Media, corporations

let down community

After spending this Valentine's Day morning amid more than 300 neighborhood residents and activists gathered in response to the recent spate of shootings in North and Northeast Portland, I came away with mixed feelings.

It was truly awe-inspiring to see so much community support shown for efforts to stop the violence by getting involved rather than simply pointing fingers. Both genders and virtually all ages and ethnicities were well-represented. Posturing was present but minimal (thank you especially to mayoral candidates Tom Potter and Jim Francesconi for listening rather than politicking!), and the focus was on positive and proactive action, although much that was said had been said before.

The room was full of energy and the voices of new blood along with the guarded optimism of the voices of experience. Diversity and unity of purpose altogether at their finest.

I had great hopes for the electronic media. When I arrived there were at least a half-dozen television cameras set up and recording. Unfortunately, after the first session, in which attendees were asked to express their 'hopes and fears,' the TV cameras, reporters and crews disappeared, choosing not to stay to hear and record the many inspiring and positive stories and solutions offered by scores of eager participants.

It also was disappointing to many that there were no representatives from the business community (most notably Nike, Adidas and the Blazers). They are neighbors, too, and affected similarly by the violence. Their financial investments in our communities are substantial, as should be their interest in its well-being. That's what we call being a good neighbor, and those are the kinds of businesses we want in our neighborhoods.

Gary E. Marschke

Northeast Portland


don't fit here

Who are these people, and where do they come from (Fight about height, Jan 20)? This is Portland, Oregon! If they want New York, or Vancouver, British Columbia, they should live there.

For them it's 'Let's build up the Portland skyline with these crappy 'Hong Kong towers,' and then once Portland is indistinguishable from every other malformed global city É we'll move on to the next big thing.'

Why are we giving variances to every speculator under the guise of density?

Oh well, I'm just a regular Joe. What do I know? What can I do? I'm sure that these developers want to 'create community'É just as long as they can make a buck.

Eric Herman

Southeast Portland

Meier & Frank store could be thriving

I found your recent article on Meier & Frank interesting and right on the mark (Is M&F ready to bolt from downtown? Dec. 23). Meier & Frank is a shadow of its former self. I have been a lifelong resident of Portland (59 years) Ñ even worked at Meier & Frank as a stockboy when I was 18 Ñ and have been so disappointed in the decline of the downtown store.

It's no wonder they don't make any money: They don't carry any merchandise. When the store was owned by the Frank and Meier families there was not a single usable space that was not occupied by some product. You used to be able to buy sporting goods, televisions ÉI can go on and on.

Hopefully someone will take it over and restore it to what a true department store is supposed to be. Downtown Portland needs Meier & Frank, but not in its current form.

Dennis Kirk

Oregon City

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