Jack Pollock
PEEPING POLICEIn another sly move to monitor potential terrorist activities, a group of Republicans have proposed two bills to the state legislature that would allow more spying. House Bill 2539 and HB 2554 would amend the state constitution to allow police to share criminal files with the FBI and vice-versa--currently an illegal activity. The proposed bills would also allow INS agents to check police files on people they merely suspect of being illegal immigrants, but have otherwise committed no crime.

"This is a request for law agencies to support the government," says Rep. Donna Nelson, who's sponsoring House Bill 2554. "In no way does this infringe on people's rights--you want to protect them against evil," she adds.

Under the proposed bills, at the bequest of the FBI, police would be allowed to collect information on citizens based simply on their political, religious, or social views.

"What these bills are doing is whittling away the civil rights of those who want to be politically active," says Dan Handleman of Copwatch.

According to an email from the ACLU, no law enforcement agency or police union supports either bill. ANNA SIMON

HELP ON THE WAY!Ever since her family lost their health insurance,

North Portland resident Sherrice Young tells her 7-year-old daughter not to run too fast or play too hard. Last August, Young found herself without insurance for the first time when school budget cuts put her husband out of a job. He had been a custodian for 16 years.

A month after their coverage ended, Young found herself in the emergency room when her daughter coughed up "quite a bit of blood." What turned out to be strep throat cost Young $910.

"I'm c

onstantly telling our children, 'Don't do this, don't do that,' because we can't go to the hospital," Young said.

With unemployment unrelenting, more than 400,000 Oregonians don't have health insurance. But while keeping a family well can feel like a personal issue, a group of labor organizations and health care providers, are participating in Cover the Uninsured Week (CTUW), an event taking place March 10-16.

With townhall meetings and free health screenings, the week-long events hope to bring attention to the plights of the uninsured. For more information, call (503) 226-9353 or visit www.CoverTheUninsuredWeek.org. JAYMEE CUTI