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Letters to the Editor for Aug. 17

Activists apologize for chalk message

Dear Fair Board and Washington County Commissioners,

Let us express our deepest regret over an incident that occurred on the eve of the Washington County Fair.

We are responsible for the 'Save our Fairgrounds, Fire the Fair Board' message written in sidewalk chalk on the pedestrian knee wall at the corner of 25th and Cornell.

Since sidewalk chalk requires no special clean up and washes off in the rain, it seemed to be an acceptable medium in which to voice our discontent.

We are sorry that you mistook the sidewalk chalk for spray paint and felt the need to file a police report. (For future reference, sidewalk chalk smudges when rubbed and spray paint does not.)

The police did contact us. Once the whole sidewalk chalk/spray-paint muddle was explained, we were thanked for our honesty and the file was closed.

Again, we are sorry. We certainly did not view the 'Save the Fairgrounds, Fire the Fair Board' message as overly inflammatory and did not mean to intimidate you into canceling the public hearing.

We also feel just awful that rumors of this incident have gotten so out of hand.

We hope you will do the proper thing and correct any misinformation that you might hear, especially if others who were not involved in this minor incident are unfairly maligned.

With deep regrets,

LINDA MOKLER

JUDI PALUMBO

Applauds council's rejection of Wal-Mart

This letter is in response to your recent article on the Beaverton City Council's rejection of the proposed Beaverton Wal-Mart store.

I have been a resident of Cedar Mill for five years, and I drive through the Cedar Hills Boulevard/Barnes Road intersection daily. I applaud the City Council's efforts to consider pedestrian and vehicle safety of those in Cedar Mill and its neighboring communities an important issue.

Also, I appreciate the council's consideration of transit-oriented districts, which utilize mass transit, bike and pedestrian use, another critical issue.

I take issue with Wal-Mart's motivation to build a store at this particular location. It's not just 'to serve its customers in the community,' as stated by Jennifer Holder, of Wal-Mart's west region public affairs. Wal-Mart wants to build on this particular property in Cedar Mill because of its proximity to two major freeways in western metropolitan Portland. This translates to location, location, location, which means money, money and more money. Wal-Mart has spent two years working with government officials because of the potential cash cow this store will be to them.

It is unreasonable to expect housing development to be constrained, as previously mentioned by Cedar Hills resident Jim Forster, as these developments have already been approved and are in the building process.

Citizens can do something about future developments, especially ones that are traffic magnets such as Wal-Mart. Metropolitan Portland is facing the perplexing combination of more people moving here (which means more cars on the road), limited transportation dollars, as well as constraints and limitations to transportation improvements.

I disagree with Jennifer Holder. The City Council's rejection of the Beaverton Wal-Mart is not about a popularity contest or a political maneuver. It has to do with a traffic magnet not belonging at an already congested intersection. It has to do every bit with the council's caring about the safety of its citizens (and potential future citizens) on bike, on foot and in their cars. Wal-Mart is having problems because they are attempting to build in an already congested area. This Wal-Mart would not be a typical big-box store because of its proximity to two freeways and it being the only one of its kind on the Portland westside.

Opponents of the proposed Wal-Mart stuck to the issues of traffic, safety and zoning with its transit orientation. And they won, at least this round. I think that Mayor Drake said it best. 'I don't think this is about Wal-Mart. It's about the wrong store for this location.'

NICOLE CHAMBERLIN

Cedar Mill