Womens football opens eyes
Thank you for the recent article regarding the game between the Portland Shockwave - Portland's professional, full-contact women's football team - and the three-time national champion Sacramento Sirens (Shockwave take division title, July 11).
A friend of mine who used to play for the team mentioned the game, and since I had nothing else scheduled for the evening and the weather was perfect, I went. I found it easy to park, the admission was inexpensive, the concessions were cheap and the game was lots of fun.
The lead changed several times; the quality of play was quite good.
Not only was the game an eye-opener for people with old-fashioned ideas about women, but it was also good, inexpensive entertainment.
Better mass transit makes for happy city
How to accommodate 1 million more people in the Portland area (Get ready for the next million, July 11)? A lot of them will have automobiles, boosting the car population as well as the human numbers.
Efficient, useful public transport: That is the sustainable future answer, that is the trump card in our hand.
How to do this? East, West, North, South MAX - the Metropolitan Area Express light rail - connecting the metro area through Portland's downtown, both sides of the river, in a subway that provides speed and capacity for expansion, crossing under the Willamette River.
Already MAX trains and buses are packed too often, and 'they' keep coming.
Longer, faster trains must deliver people more quickly than the automobiles bogged down in surface transport; trains will be used because they will save time and money. Yes, regional MAX, but also buses, many of them electrically powered by local, clean energy, and commuter trains all tying into state- and countrywide fast, frequent rail service to offer a complete, usable system of public transport, a true alternative public transport.
With oil expensive and finite, Portland and the nation must rethink and retool for a sustainable future or face absolute gridlock. Is it possible? Is it rational? Is it economic? Is it efficient? Does it save time, money and space? Is it sustainable? Yes, yes, yes.
Portland is paying right now, out of our collective local pockets, for the Big Pipe, more than $1.4 billion to start with, to invest in a clean river future. Certainly transportation and land economy are worth our investment, too.
Quit using the state gas tax for roads only. We must broaden its use to a true all-transport tax and promptly add a parking tax as well to lead to a 'higher and better use' of scarce land. Both taxes must be available to public transport.
Sustainability demands rethinking Portland's future and again showing what smart, concerned and informed people can do.
If we're so smart, then why …
I just read about a recent study by Bizjournals.com that puts Portland among the 10 smartest cities in the country (Seattle's No. 1; we're no. 9). If we're so smart, then how come:
• We can't have an honest and open dialogue about a sales tax without shooting the messenger and running for cover?
• We spent the last 15 years cutting administration and services for our schools, and now we're screaming 'Why can't you do it right?'
• Multnomah County commissioners are more focused on infighting than they are on our children (and us)?
• When we try to help our schools, so many people are more interested in spewing venom than in actually helping create positive change?
Listening to us talk about how progressive we are is a bit like listening to Grandma talk about how great things were when she was a girl - it might (or might not) be true, but it really doesn't change where we are now. Quit looking to Salem and the mayor and the school board to solve all the problems - look inside and start the change.