Stunned' is the word that describes this reader's reaction to your article 'Waterfront Park could get new look' (Jan. 11).

In the Insight section of the same issue, Carol Mayer-Reed espouses the benefits of making dynamic (read between the lines as 'costly') changes to waterfront park (What's needed now is better access). It's not lost on this reader that she, a partner in the firm that had a hand in the pork-and-barrel Eastbank Esplanade, has a vested interest in seeing this 'vision' come to fruition.

The city of Portland now faces a considerable shortfall of funds, yet it pays an out-of-state consulting firm untold amounts of money to suggest improvements to our waterfront park.

On the same front page, next to this article of interest, is another: 'Schools prepare for a big squeeze.'

Here's a free suggestion for the city of Portland: Invest more in our children and stop lining the pockets of your friendly business acquaintances.

Christopher Paille

Southeast Portland

Old Town property owners may have a plan

Am I the only one who sees something weird in the illustration used in your park article? It shows a whole bunch of new buildings to the west of Naito Parkway instead of all the old historic buildings.

I am wondering whose plans the illustrator went by. I have long suspected that property owners in Old Town have resented the historic district designation and just sat on these properties waiting for an opportunity to get rid of the designation and build high-rises in place of the old buildings. That could be one of the finest historic districts in the country, but I am guessing that the property is in the same few hands as the rest of downtown, and low-rise historic is not their style.

I am no authority on any of this, but am I smelling a rat somewhere here?

John Tomlinson


Violence was never part of protest's agenda

I have two issues I wanted to comment on in the story by Don Hamilton (Bogus report derails Portland protest, Jan. 8).

The statement that 'The protest was over before Bush arrived, derailing a tense and potentially violent confrontation with police,' is a statement that depicts protesters as uncontrolled banshees ready to snap. This is not true. What the media doesn't realize is that most of the people at the protest didn't have any motivation to create any violence. Most people there just wanted to voice their opinions and uncover many of the stories that the corporate media doesn't feel are important issues to cover.

Secondly, the article mentions protesters shouting at police and the police remaining silent. This makes it sound like the police are gentle giants that wouldn't hurt a fly.

If you choose to promote biased news stories, that's your own choice. I just want to raise awareness of what is really happening. Thanks for your time.

Brenda Meininger


Portland police did nothing wrong

After reading your article (Bogus report derails Portland protest, Jan. 8) about derailing a Portland protest, I had to ask myself, why were the protesters stupid enough to leave after receiving a false report? And then they are brazen enough to blame the Portland police for an error that they may have caused?

It is enough that these individuals protest such trivial interests, but immediately blaming the authorities when you fall for a trick makes the protesters look more ridiculous and foolish then they already do.

Benjamin L. Fritz

Northwest Portland

Let's not forget the debt we owe our military

Luckily, for the 500 or so protesters in Portland, and in other parts of the country, there are Americans who step up and leave their lives, jobs and families behind and risk their own lives every single day so that people in this country have the right to express their opinion.

If it weren't for the hundreds of thousands of men and women in our armed forces earning close to minimum wage, you wouldn't be able to drive your SUVs and Volvos to your protests-socials. If it weren't for these soldiers dying to protect the Constitution of the United States of America, the first time you voiced your opinion about the government, you would be rotting in a jail cell somewhere, probably never to be heard from again.

If you would rather live in a country where the government doesn't investigate potential terrorists, move to Afghanistan. If you'd rather live in a country that turns the other way and sits back and waits for terrorists to regroup, replan and reattack rather than going out to stop them before they come here and kill more innocent civilians, I sure as hell don't want to be your neighbor.

A friend of mine has already lost her brother, and I'd rather be dead than sit back and let another friend lose a loved one because of those who don't think we should be in Afghanistan.

Michael T. Davis

Ocean County, N.J

We all benefit from veteran leadership

Oregonians should be grateful for the Supreme Court's decision to overturn term limits. Term limits in Oregon have turned out to be a terrible mistake. No matter how bright and hardworking our legislators have been, they have struggled with the loss of veteran lawmakers who give the body experience, know-how and vision.

Legislating is incredibly important. It is also incredibly difficult. Experience in the job is essential. What other difficult job requires someone to abandon it just after he/she becomes good at it? Term limits don't work. We can't let ourselves be saddled with them again.

Jeannie Burt

Oregonians for Voters' Rights

Southeast Portland

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