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Letters to the editor

Editorial misrepresents transit issue

To the Editor

There is misrepresentation in your editorial 'Our transit future needs focus, not fight.' You state, 'In many ways, this is an old battle between those who believe in the value of regional planning and mass transit and those who don't.' How is someone questioning, asking for a vote on issues of mass transit, as someone who doesn't believe in regional planning or mass transit? Why is that a 'fight'?

How are citizen-inspired initiatives and measures not 'focusing' on transit's future?

Citizens have asked for public votes on major transportation issues and elected officials and bureaucrats have refused to do so. The initiative process is what is now left to help clarify what citizens want. There should not be a fear of voting. It will help give transit clarity and not let a small group of hand-picked committee citizens, politicians and bureaucrats determine what affects so many citizens and who have to pay for it.

There are all forms of mass transit, as your editorial mentions. What haven't been well represented in the past decades are other forms besides fixed rail and the over-abundance of dollars directed to rail at a cost for effective bus service. It is sad that Pamplin Media Group has used typological thinking to categorize those who might see regional planning and mass transit differently, as non-believers in planning and transit.

Jerry and Nancy Ward, Fulton Park

Food carts would be a good addition to Hillsdale

To the Editor:

Food carts would be a great addition to Hillsdale. There's a reason food carts are so popular. It's because they are an excellent, cheap way to access a great variety of food quickly. Food carts are in style and kids will go to them. I would prefer that they have some located here as an option rather than going downtown. Arguing that they will undercut longstanding local eateries and change the character of the intersection by being jammed with teenagers reminds me of the anti-sidewalk arguments and what I consider to be wrong with Hillsdale.

That is, people trying to preserve some 'character' that they consider ideal. That intersection is at a high school, teenagers are always going to be there.

I don't see how having them there would ruin the character of the intersection. Should we hustle them off to other places where we don't need to see them? Providing them with a place to go, socialize and get some quick food is a good thing. Further, I don't see how protecting our 'longstanding' eateries from competition is beneficial. There are many kids who don't have the time or money to patronize those eateries and would benefit from food carts.

There are many things I love about Hillsdale, but the resistance to 'outsiders' and change aren't on the list. Does Hillsdale want to be connected to the larger community or isolate itself and be open to locals only?

Larry Gloth, Portland