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City blows money on unnecessary projects

The Portland Fire Bureau should not be coerced into moving to make way for the proposed Old Town housing development (For right site, fire station may move, April 4).

We have already seen this scenario: when the Lovejoy ramp was torn down (one year after extensive retrofitting) to make way for Pearl District development. Our tax dollars are continually wasted by development projects such as these, which drain funds from badly needed areas such as schools, libraries, social services and law enforcement.

The Portland Development Commission seems to exist strictly in order to fund key west-side development projects, instead of actually using funds to enhance the lives of regular citizens. I live in the Buckman neighborhood, and we cannot get PDC funding for a badly needed community center for the central east side, yet funds seem to be available for all manner of projects on the west side. (Don't bring up the Eastbank Esplanade Ñ most east-siders feel that it was a big waste of money.)

How can Mayor Katz justify continual development on the west side when we cannot even afford to keep our schools open for an adequate length of time? Oregon has been ridiculed via a nationally published comic strip ('Doonesbury') because of its inability to provide adequate schooling for our children.

What does it take to get the message across to the mayor Ñ real livability is much more than fancy housing developments, chichi grocery stores and retail boutique communities. It's about education, libraries that are open seven days a week, after-school art and sports programs, and educational systems that can provide an adequate length of school year without cheating the teachers out of two weeks' pay. Would Mayor Katz go without pay for two weeks? I think not!

Lily Witham

Southeast Portland

Meth addicts wreak

havoc, can be treated

Thank you for focusing on the terrible problem of methamphetamine addiction and its effect on our community (Meth cooks up citywide menace, April 4).

At Union Gospel Mission, we deal with the ravages of this drug on a daily basis. In addition to the homeless services Union Gospel Mission provides, we also provide LifeChange, a long-term addiction recovery community.

Most of the residents of LifeChange have been involved with meth, and like those described in the article their lives were nearly destroyed by this drug. Many LifeChange residents have cycled through the criminal justice system because of their addiction.

The LifeChange program focuses on people considered to be hard-core addicts. LifeChange is not 'treatment.' Residents of LifeChange spend two to four years living and working at Union Gospel Mission not only overcoming their addiction, but learning to deal with the root causes of their addiction. They also learn marketable skills and how to build a new life.

Learning life skills is a key component for addiction recovery. Many of those who have been in and out of jail have never learned how to be responsible members of society, and in some cases their addiction and criminal behavior have escalated as they bounced from the streets to jail.

Arrest and prosecution of the users and makers of meth is only one piece of the puzzle in this problem. Effective addiction recovery needs to be the cornerstone of the solution.

Stacy Moe Kean

Union Gospel Mission

Northwest Portland

Imported traditions

could diminish rights

A Tribune reader's response to a recent article made me glad to learn I am not the only person concerned about importing cultures that do not value women (Refugees bring brutal traditions with them, Readers' Letters, April 4).Ê

Immigration is driving our population increase, and most immigrants are from cultures that have less concern about women's safety and rights. Our judges often accept imported cultural traditions as excuses for brutalizing and killing women. What will life be like for our granddaughters?

Carol Joyal

Los Gatos, Calif.