Don't let bickering derail Tigard renewal

It was with disappointment that I read of the recent troubles besetting the City Center Advisory Committee ('Downtown Tigard group coming apart at the seams,' July 12, 2006).

As a former member of the Downtown Task Force, I have an intimate knowledge of the hard work that went into developing the comprehensive plan for downtown Tigard. My family and I look forward to moving back to Tigard following my completion of law school, and I had hoped that the 'new' downtown Tigard would be a place for our family to shop, eat, and play. These recent developments on the CCAC call into question the city's ability to carry out the revitalization plan.

I encourage all parties involved to set aside their personal differences and continue working toward implementation of the downtown revitalization plan. A drive through the neighboring towns of Tualatin, Sherwood and Lake Oswego demonstrates that Tigard's aged city center has been left far behind as other communities update their downtowns.

The citizens of Tigard expressed their desire for urban renewal through passage of tax increment funding; it would be a shame if the community's goals were derailed because of personality conflicts or power struggles.

Throughout this entire process, city leaders have used the analogy that downtown Tigard should be the 'heart' of our community. Applying this same metaphor, Mike Marr, Mike Stevenson, Jim Andrews, Marland Henderson, and Mayor Dirksen have been among the foremost 'heart surgeons' working to repair downtown Tigard for the past 20 years. I just hope they can all get back in the operating room and continue the important work of making the 'heart' of Tigard what it can be - a dynamic, attractive civic center that is the pride of the region. Don't let this opportunity pass.


Be aware of PGE's tree trimming policy

When you have trees on your property that mingle with the power lines, you become accustomed to Portland General Electric sending tree services to your area every few years. They trim away high branches that may interfere with the uppermost high voltage power lines. We have lived with this cycle for more than 30 years with no problem.

We came home from work this week to find our trees opened up and all the green curtain of cedar boughs completely stripped out down to fence level. We have a corner lot, and it took 30 years to train three 50-year-old trees into an attractive barrier of cedar hiding the fence between our back yard and the road.

The tree service stepped far beyond its bounds. They can legally create a 5-foot buffer between the upper wires and the trees, but they cut out all greenery all the way down the trunk to the ground. They ruined the habitat we had created for the critters that resided in that shelter, to say nothing about the privacy they destroyed in our yard. The shade garden we had created is now in full sun. Every time we walk out the door and have only a view of the trunk and bare branches, we are reminded of the ignorance and arrogance of the workers who violated our property.

We urge everyone to monitor closely any work done on or around your property. PGE, which is ultimately responsible for the work, will not let work proceed unless you are present as long as you stipulate that condition. We did not know this until PGE's forester came out to survey the damage. It was too late to fix the destruction that was done to our property. Notice was sent out to homeowners in January that trimming would be done; that is the time to notify PGE, not seven months later when the work begins. We are hopeful that someone else can be spared the angry, empty feeling we are left to endure because they are forewarned of these practices.


When will we say enough is enough?

Each day that goes by, more death and destruction. Each day that goes by, more people die. Each day that goes by, more homes are destroyed, more schools destroyed, and more families are torn apart.

Each day that goes by, more businesses are destroyed and more temples, mosques, synagogues and churches are destroyed.

It is so in Lebanon and Israel and also in Palestine and, most certainly, in Iraq.

How much is enough? How much longer? One more day longer or one more week or one more month?

How much is enough?

When will we say we've had enough of the killing and the dying, and of the brutality and of the hatred?

How about today?


REV. DR. WES TAYLOR, Pastor, Tualatin United Methodist Church

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