Nuclear power has no place in Northwest
Thanks for the front-page story 'Nuclear thaw?' (March 29), calling my attention to a proposal to bring WPPSS nuclear power back to life. However, your story was one-sided, presenting the favorable views of former Oregon Gov. Neil Goldschmidt, President George W. Bush and the various corporate welfare slackers some call the nuclear industry.
There is another side, and I'll let others present the details of why starting WNP-1 is an incredibly stupid idea. I simply will share my plans here. I am a semiretired activist, very busy, but with time available should a higher priority need arise. If this proposal goes forward, I promise I will drop everything else and do whatever I can to stop it.
My threat will not strike fear into the hearts of power brokers like Goldschmidt or broken power executives like BPA or even a strutting puppet like Bush. But I can assure you that thousands of others will join me in the Portland area alone, and we will stop this thing cold. We've done it before.
City's tram scheme
won't stop with OHSU
So Oregon Health & Science University has not submitted 'a formal proposal' for its proposed tram project? (A slim hope, March 26). How 'formal' a proposal does Portland need to realize the severe impacts of this proposed tram to neighborhood livability?
City planner Susan Hartnett's comment is disingenuous at best if she implies that OHSU won't actually end up submitting its proposal to the city Ñ a city that can't seem to jump high enough to provide proposed code and rule changes to make aerial trams a certainty in Portland. OHSU is deadly serious about its tram plans, as it has shown with its 'scalpel-rattling' threat to move to Hillsboro if Portland does not OK the tram.
It's not just about the Homestead/Lair Hill neighborhoods, where I live, anymore. While Lair Hill would be the first neighborhood to fall victim, the proposed tram policy is citywide. If OHSU builds its tram, and the proposed code changes are enacted, all neighborhoods will be open for the development of tram systems. Do you want 70- to 225-foot-tall towers with dozens of tram trips per hour passing over your house, 24/7? I certainly don't!
As for affecting the Terwilliger Parkway, Hartnett's specious comment that OHSU might design the tram so it 'doesn't require the removal of any trees' is really out of line. As if merely not cutting down trees would make the tram somehow acceptable to run through a protected parkway or over a residential neighborhood!
If residents care about the skies over their homes, neighborhoods and parks, I urge them to attend the upcoming hearing Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. before the planning commission, 1900 S.W. Fourth Ave. It is not too late to put a stop to this selfish sky grab.
Losing custodians will backfire for schools
A Portland school custodian performs a multitude of tasks on any given day on a moment's notice that a cleaning contractor either would be unable or unwilling to do.
I worked as a Portland public school custodian for 37 years, retiring in 1998. During my years with the school district I saw the reduction of the custodial maintenance department and the resulting slow deterioration of the schools.
As a consequence, the taxpayers have been besieged for bond and levy money, in part to repair the schools. If the school board allows the loss of its custodial maintenance departments, I think the school district will collapse within itself (Budget would ring the bell a final time for 2 schools, Feb. 26).
I once joked that a topic for Oprah could be 'The School Custodian: Man or Myth.'
Now if the Portland school board replaces the 300 remaining custodians with contract cleaners, my words will become reality. This action will bring the demise of what once was a proud and conscientious group of men and women dedicated to the daily upkeep and security in their respective buildings, by committing as much as 30 years of service only to be unceremoniously let go under the guise of 'saving money.'
Lanny R. Olin
allow drug research
Now the drug publicity is over Xanax and how dangerous it can be (Xanax: The dark side of a legal drug, March 15).
There is no hope for drug problems unless the government allows unrestricted legitimate research. Research that showed promise in specific areas by use of marijuana, LSD and MDMA was closed down and nothing further allowed. Ideology, not scientific research, is the rule of the day.
Progress is hopeless as long as the fiction of legal and nonlegal drugs persists. The first principle must be: There is no such thing as an absolutely safe drug. An average of 50 people a year die from aspirin poisoning, several hundred from peanuts.
The toxicity and relative dangers are unrelated to legality. Television commercials assure us that a wonderful pill will take care of our ailments. Viagra will make life wonderful again, even though hundreds of men already have died from it. But it's legal!
Our society's completely irrational and unrealistic approach cannot possibly solve the problem.
Hundreds of thousands of people die each year from drug abuse because of alcohol and nicotine. This does not necessarily imply that marijuana is safer or more desirable. But it does say that because research is forbidden, we don't know what we're talking about.
Parents are children's first line of defense
It was recently reported that the school Miranda Gaddis, one of two missing Oregon City girls, attends did not notify her mother that she was absent from school March 8, the day she disappeared. The girl's mother, Michelle Duffey, stated, 'There was no message on my machine,' and 'There was nothing. I was angry.'
While it is unfortunate that the school didn't call the parents of either Ashley Pond or Gaddis, I think a more important question to ask is: 'Why was Miranda allowed to continue to walk alone to the school bus?'
Ashley Pond had vanished without a trace nearly two months before from the same apartment complex. These children are of the same age, attend the same school and had been on the same dance team.
As a parent of a 7-year-old and 12-year-old (both girls), I am also angry! While I believe that schools should call and let parents know when children are absent from school, it doesn't negate who is ultimately responsible for our children's safety. Parents, please know where your children are, and give them the chance they deserve.