Interstate 5 idea shows some warped priorities
Many were encouraged with the publication of the Portland Tribune. I have been disappointed.
For example, take the Jan. 18 front-page story with a subheadline that reads 'Everyone talks about moving I-5 from the riverside. Has the time come?' (East-side story, Jan. 18). That simply is not true. The only ones for moving I-5 are the same people who are anti-motor vehicle. They have warped priorities, putting their biases ahead of the practical and the general welfare.
The same group that wants to remove a portion of I-5 also would like to kill off the Central Eastside Industrial District, which has a high concentration of family-wage industrial jobs.
Another outlandish proposal, covered recently in the Portland Tribune, is to remove 200 feet of the west-side sea wall (Waterfront Park could get new look, Jan. 11). There is a reason for the sea wall. Before it was built, the lower part of downtown flooded!
in casting stones
Columnist Bill McDonald is too lazy and probably not interested in telling the truth about the Enron disaster! (Enron scandal casts Bush White House in Clinton light, Jan. 25.) He's afraid he'll get sued, so instead he tells you that it all happened because of the Bush White House and that 'Gov. Bush's deregulation É allowed Enron to run its reckless enterprise.' Enron, and its financial dependents like Citibank, gave money to many Democratic campaign slush funds, as well as Bush supporters, and so far here is what we know as fact:
1. Nothing unethical or dishonest has been defined and attached to any elected Democrat or Republican official.
2. Electricity deregulation has worked to benefit the public in all instances where both the supply and the sale price have been completely deregulated.
3. The management, the outside auditors and the board of Enron have an overwhelming task ahead to prove that they did not violate many existing laws covering fraud and misrepresentation.
4. It is unfair to allow innocent and uninformed employees to concentrate their retirement monies in their employers' companies where they cannot invest the money with the full freedom to buy and sell the stock at any time.
5. The Clinton administration's reputation was earned by association in actual proven fraud and perjury involving elected government officials.
Finally, do we want to limit the public's right to contact elected officials Ñ and be left solely with the media, like McDonald, to influence new legislation? Ouch!
act like crooks
Before we become victims of terminal boredom with countless bipartisan investigations and committee hearings, I challenge our state and national leaders to take a stand on the Enron bankruptcy issue.
I believe that the crimes of the Enron executives, their accountants and other collaborators should be dealt with as acts of terrorism against the American public. A handful of men enriched themselves beyond the limits of simple greed: They stole retirement benefits from thousands and have been the cause of at least one apparent suicide.
We should freeze all of their assets and confiscate all political donations made in their name in the last three years. The money should then be redistributed equitably to the stockholders left twisting in the wind. The former executives should then be sentenced to a life of poverty.
Street racers risk
lives of others
It's encouraging that admitted streetcar racer Mike McKeague of Ill Intentionz Car Club will continue his education next year at a local community college.
Maybe it will help him grow up and out of his teen-age egocentrism. Through the myopic lens of immaturity, McKeague sees a world where street racing is OK because the racers know the risks and accept them (Street racers can do it safely, Insight, Jan. 29).
Unfortunately, they have little regard for people using the road legally who have not been informed about, or asked if they also accept, the risks imposed on them by these racers. He seems to forget about people such as 65-year-old Donald Ickes and 11-year-old Krystal Pomante, who weren't aware of the risks and certainly hadn't accepted them before they died in recent racing-related collisions.
McKeague says the racers attempt to minimize the risks by finding places where 'traffic is nearly nonexistent' at times when 'most people are É not driving the streets.' He says spotters are placed 'to identify potential hazards to the racers,' including people who wander onto the roadways the kids have usurped for their illegal teen-age games.
McKeague says he's 'serious about racing.' After all, he's been at it for six months. With that wealth of experience, he says he respects the responsibility that goes with racing. Unfortunately, his writing indicates he doesn't even recognize that the issue involves more than him and his buddies. How could McKeague respect the responsibility when he apparently doesn't even understand the issue is not about him and his friends? It's about the innocent people they put in harm's way.
Endangering others for a few seconds of fun is not responsible; it's selfish, stupid and immature.
Check bigger picture
for local-school fix
I was impressed with the thoughtfulness that Promise King showed to the challenges facing the Portland school district and the Education Crisis Team (Boycott won't help our schools,
Insight, Jan. 25.). Eliminating the achievement gap is a huge problem across the country, which won't be solved with a boycott. Mr. King did a great job of pointing out many of the reasons why simplistic approaches will fail. I applaud his willingness and ability to look at the bigger picture.
As Cascade's education policy analyst, I pay a lot of attention to trends both in Oregon and across the country. Across the country there are some promising trends toward reducing the achievement gap from which Portland and Oregon can perhaps learn.
Cascade Policy Institute