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TriMet is trashing its reputation

Readers’ Letters

The article 'Talkin' trash' (Feb. 17) is a perfect illustration of why the general public has no confidence in public officials, both elected and bureaucratic. There is a disgusting disregard among these folks for the basic financial prudence that most of us private citizens must exercise every day. And they have no shame. It shocks me, and I suspect shocks most people, that TriMet spokeswoman Mary Fetsch can defend spending $915 for a trash can without so much as a blush.

And frankly, the media do little to put any perspective on this reckless use of public money. Witness your report: 'The cost difference is relatively small Ñ 60 of TriMet's deluxe cans cost $40,620 more than 60 of the city cans do.'

Relatively small? To a lot of taxpayers and TriMet riders who finance those fancy cans, $40,620 is a year's total income. Perhaps it's small to you, or to the fat-cat bureaucrats and politicians spending someone else's money, but I bet if you put it to a public vote, $915 trash cans would go down É well, down the trash can.

Ralph D. Lockhart

Lake Oswego

Story doesn't paint-true picture of crime

There are several items that I find offensive in your recent article on the violence in North and Northeast Portland (Shootings spark call for action, Feb. 6).

• That people think violence is strictly a black-on-black thing is ridiculous. Crime does not know color in this neighborhood or anywhere else. I live in this neighborhood, and my family has been the victim of violent crime recently. We are white. Trust me, our color did not matter.

• A businessman, Leonard Smith, states: 'They ignored North and Northeast Portland for years. People living over here don't have any jobs. When they get out of prison, there's no work. There's a lot of anger here.'

First, none of the people involved in these crimes was over 25 years old. Many of them should be in high school and not working. Second, in case he has not noticed, unemployment is rampant city- and statewide. Third, the police bureau is spread so thin and the state voters refuse to pay up.

Finally, I hope Smith is not advocating or justifying violence as a response to joblessness, incarceration or lack of police. If ordinary law-abiding citizens think it is OK to resort to violence when angry, our road ahead is bleak. Ask Smith if he is willing to pay more taxes for more officers and social services. What is he talking about? Looked to me like the Portland Tribune just wanted an inflammatory remark to put in your paper.

It seems to me that until people are willing to stand up and say 'No more!' and pay for more police, teachers and social services to support our community, the unfortunate truth is that crime will continue to rise.

C. Angus McInnes

Northeast Portland

'Porn' headline-was inappropriate

I was appalled by the -March 16 shock headline 'You've got porn.' This is the second time in recent weeks that you've had a headline that I am not comfortable having my 8-year-old daughter see.

I will not read your paper when you see fit to highlight things on the front page such that I can't feel comfortable leaving the paper on my kitchen table.

Phil Derby

Clackamas