Featured Stories

Meters, shoppers at odds

by: Jim Clark, Commissioner Sam Adams wants to add metered parking to Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard and other neighborhood business districts in Portland. Proponents of the plan claim it will spur more business by increasing turnover of parking spaces as customers come and go. A critic of the plan argues that meters will take away one of the boulevard's best attributes.

The city wants to beleaguer one of its most popular shopping and cultural districts with parking meters. This is a remarkably bad idea.

The boulevard has survived quite nicely for the last 150 years or so without parking meters, thank you. Why does the council want to homogenize one of the most famously eclectic and popular places to hang in our city?

Hawthorne Boulevard is recognized regionally and even internationally. Where else can you stroll up to 200 businesses in 40 blocks? Who else offers you a glimpse of the oldest business in the state (Holman's Funeral Home, est. 1854), the house Linus Pauling grew up in and the office Doc Severinsen's father worked out of (he was a dentist, hence his son's moniker).

I have been rehabilitating buildings on the boulevard for some 18 years, and in that time I have seen the Hawthorne Bridge closed for two years for refurbishing, then closed again during the holiday season for a movie shoot, and now the city has launched a yearlong construction project to 'improve' the boulevard.

To add insult to injury comes the notion of making shopping more of a hassle for our patrons.

Malls do not charge for parking, and Hawthorne Boulevard is like a big, beautiful, open-air, historic, colorful and diverse mall. Therefore, the parking should be free.

Corey Brunish

Southeast Portland

Portland on verge of doing more for kids

As members of the Committee on Our Bill of Rights, Children and Youth, a project through the office of Mayor Tom Potter, we read your article on the Woodlawn Dreamers with great interest (Woodlawn Dreamers keep at it, Aug. 1).

Students adopted by the I Have a Dream Foundation are fortunate to be given the chance of a brighter future.

It's amazing what just one group can do for youth. Imagine what a city government and community of supporters could do! We hope that every child and youth in Portland will have a chance to succeed.

This isn't just our hope; thousands of children and youth have identified their rights to foundations for a successful future, a voice in policymaking, and support and respect from adults.

Together we created a document that reflects the voice of young people in Portland. Mayor Tom Potter will introduce the Bill of Rights and a resolution to City Council on Wednesday, Aug. 16. Portland could be the first city in the nation to adopt a Bill of Rights written for and by children.

We ask our fellow Portlanders for their support when we present this to the City Council from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the City Hall council chambers.

As the Skidmore Fountain inscription reads, 'Good citizens are the riches of the city.' We believe a city that values youth will be more vibrant and prosper.

For information, or to add your name to our list of supporters, please visit www.portlandonline.com/mayor.

Isaura Ascencio, 17

Northeast Portland

Kaia Range, 17

Southeast Portland

'Wilderness' loosely defined on mountain

Nice article on Mount Hood guiding (High hopes, Aug. 4). I know Joe Whittington and have been up the mountain several times. I've always found it funny that in any Hood-access conversation, the south side of Hood above the Palmer ski lifts is even considered 'wilderness.'

What a pathetic joke that is. I've never seen an area so abused and so overused as the south side of Hood.

The classification on the west and north sides makes sense to me, but on the south side they might as well open a strip mall/truck stop. Between climbing clubs, existing guides and the general public, the mountain is a virtual county fair during high season - a horrible gaggle of people and their byproducts.

I consider myself pretty hard-core pro-environment, but I just can't think of any negative impact to the south side of Hood's 'wilderness' if it was simply opened up as a Fuji-style outdoor exhibit.

Now, if we want to talk about closing all commercial activity on the mountain and a rigid permit system, that sounds like progress to me.

Doug Pearson

Vancouver, Wash.

Port had warning on airport's tall trees

While a recent editorial makes an important point that fire season is upon us and the call to action is now, it missed a key point: The Port of Portland must manage its resources for the long term rather than crying 'Fire!' and looking for special treatment (Trees put many more in danger, July 28).

The port has held an easement on the property adjacent to the Sandy River for decades for the purpose of managing the vegetation. But the port did little to nothing for years as the quick-growing cottonwoods emerged.

In late 2002, the Federal Aviation Administration pushed the port to address the tree height as it encroached on the flight path. In 2003, nothing happened. In 2004, nothing happened.

Finally, in late 2005, the port announced that it wanted to top 20 feet off a couple of hundred trees. Instead of applying for a permit like other landowners, the port pushed for an outright exemption of all natural and scenic resource reviews and expanded its request to completely remove more than 1,000 trees.

By waiting for decades and then pushing for an unprecedented exemption, the port created the debacle we witnessed recently. In truth, the port failed miserably in Project Management 101.

When you can support firefighting efforts and protect the scenic and natural resources of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, shouldn't you do both? Apparently, the port didn't think so. Thank goodness Multnomah County does.

Kevin Gorman

Executive director, Friends of the Columbia Gorge

Southwest Portland