Environmental burden should be shared


Our father purchased land in Portland in the 1950s with the intent of developing it at a later time. He could not afford to do so until 1995. At that time, he learned that the city had already placed (without his knowledge) an 'environmental protection zone' over 80 percent of his property. This made development virtually impossible. There was no compensation for this undertaking.

We believe that if the surrounding community is devoted to maintaining healthy streams and natural resources (Zone of contention, Dec. 11), the burden for these efforts should be spread over the whole community instead of raping a few homeowners of their lifelong investments.

Why is it that when the community voices these concerns (via Ballot Measure 7), our city and county bureaucrats choose not to listen?

Chris Davis


Sensationalizing father's grief

is predatory journalism

Journalistic integrity has just bottomed out. The front-page feature article (Dad grieves, wondering why police shot his son, Dec. 21), was one of the best examples of predatory journalism I've ever read.

Column after column sensationalizing a father's grief, sorrow and loss. The only objective reporting in the whole article came from Bill Cromb when he said, 'I don't want to say anything bad against the police. I don't know the facts yet. I don't want to slander anybody or say anything out of line.'

I guess it wouldn't move papers or sell advertisements if these tragic incidents were reported objectively and evenly once all the facts are known and our court process has had time to do its job.

I have been involved with more than my share of police 'traumatic' incidents. I've witnessed and felt the suffering inflicted on all involved parties. From police officers and their families, to the victims, the people in their lives as well as the suspect's/defendant's family and friends, there is only one clear, certain truth: Nothing good ever comes from these incidents. Everyone touched by the tragedy is scarred.

To take Mr. Cromb's pain and document it like you did was insensitive, opportunistic and just plain wrong. To Mr. Cromb, I send you my deepest condolences for your loss and hope you find the answers and peace of mind you seek.

Frank R. Gorgone

Police Sergeant

Northeast Portland

Voters OK'd measure because

Legislature, courts failed

It is very unfair for a city or county or the state to change land use rules after someone buys land and not compensate the owner for the loss he suffers. But that is what governments have been doing.

The voters approved Measure 7 to prevent such unfair rule changes. It requires the government to pay compensation to the owner, or remove the regulation. I have just learned that Measure 7 is not a new concept. The 1973 Legislature that enacted the state's land use planning system intended compensation to be paid when regulations reduce the value of someone's land. The Legislature specifically directed a legislative committee to develop a compensation like Measure 7, but it was never developed or enacted.

To make matters worse, the courts failed to require compensation except in the rare case where a regulation leaves the landowner with no use whatsoever: in other words, no compensation for 'partial takings.' This left landowners completely at the mercy of state and local land use 'planners.' The courts are still holding up Measure 7 Ñ a measure the people had to pass to do what the Legislature and the courts have failed to do.

Brent Valentine

Southeast Portland

$200 million channel

deepening guarantees nothing

In response to William Sloan's letter to the editor (River warnings are much ado about what?, Dec. 25): The hue and cry is about the $200 million-plus of taxpayer money it will cost to dredge the channel Ñ which does not ensure that the shipping companies that left will return.

A few years back, the pros said they wanted to dredge the river from the ocean to the Broadway Bridge. Now they want to drop the dredging of the Willamette River.

Why? Because the Willamette is too contaminated. Where does that contaminated river flow? Into the Columbia River, of course.

Wes Kovanen Koven

Northwest Portland