Featured Stories

Give Portlandia a riverside perch

Suggestion for Portland waterfront beautification: Move Portlandia to the waterfront (Waterfront park could get new look, Jan. 11).

Put her on a high pedestal of marble. Have her slowly revolve, so that she will be seen at different angles at different times of the day. Light her at night. Locate her so she can be seen from the water, from the bridges and from the east side of the river.

What a beautiful talisman for Portland. This is a wonderful idea that should be presented to the people of Portland to see what sort of feedback it generates. Lots of luck on this project.

Frieda E. Davis

Wayne K. Davis

Tigard

A bigger company isn't always better

Your article on Weyerhaeuser's hostile bid to buy out Willamette Industries provides an interesting picture of the bitter battle between the two rivals (Oregon 'rubes' showing true grit, Jan. 8).

Just when it appears Weyerhaeuser has finally forced Willamette to give in, the feisty Oregon company upsets Weyerhaeuser's scheme. The merger specialist quoted in the article made it clear that bigger often

isn't better, and the route Willamette is taking is more likely to create long-term value for stockholders.

Willamette has upset the industry, as well as the analysts and investors close to the industry. They want companies to close plants and reduce capacity. Instead, Willamette has invested in more efficient facilities that can sell profitably at much lower prices than the competition.

Willamette's financial performance leads the industry. It's the low-cost producer, a well-balanced mix of vertically integrated businesses built on a foundation of significant forestland holdings. More than two-thirds of its fiber needs come from its own resources, and it generates more than 60 percent of the energy it needs to operate.

The eagerness of stock speculators and industry analysts for Weyerhaeuser to take over Willamette reflects its desire to block Willamette's successful strategy to lead the industry by being the low-cost producer. Thank you for presenting a little-heard side of the story.

Rob Williams

Oregon City

Stay the course, Willamette Industries

I enjoyed reading merger expert James Brock's comments about Willamette Industries' courage in defending against Weyerhaeuser's hostile takeover in Harry Lenhart's article.

Those who have argued that Weyerhaeuser's proposal will make a stronger company should consider Brock's reality check: 'What you find far more often than not is, these very large combinations end up making the resulting entity weaker rather than stronger, less competitive rather than more competitive, less efficient rather than more efficient, because it's a big bureaucratic mess.'

I appreciated his clear assessment of Willamette's strategy: 'I think Willamette's path is far more likely to result in a stronger, healthier, more competitive, more robust organization that can compete around the world.' As a Willamette stockholder and an Oregonian, I couldn't agree more with Mr. Brock.

Lori A. Oppenlander

Beaverton