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Follow paper trail to bigger woes

Even with the money that will be provided by Multnomah County's Measure 26-48, Portland schools could reduce spending in a basic area.

Each week my daughter comes home with homework assignments printed on only one side of the paper. Copying on both sides, as we do in my office, would reduce the amount of paper consumed and thus cut such expenses.

Interestingly, the homework usually is copied on colored paper, which costs more than white paper. Using plain paper would help education dollars stretch further.

The above example tells me that school officials haven't implemented the most elementary of cost-saving ideas. Thus, I have doubts that they're controlling the bigger line-item expenditures.

Perhaps there's enough money for education after all.

Perhaps what we have is a spending problem.

Kurt Weber

Northeast Portland

Encourage, not

discourage, shopping

The recent article that details Portland's idea to 'fix' traffic problems in Northwest Portland's shopping area (Traffic-heavy Northwest seeks parking solution, May 16) will only drive more people away from shopping there. Notice that their solution to people shopping in the area is to charge people to shop.

Just placing parking meters on a street removes 25 percent of the available parking immediately. The 'standard' car slot wastes space to ensure that there is room for the largest vehicle. Survey a street without meters and then with one, and you will find that this is always the case.

Parking garages can, and really should, be built Ñ but why always aboveground, and why should people pay in perpetuity for it? In England, under almost every public park there is a parking garage. If garages are to be built, have the costs of building them be paid for like most bridges were paid for years ago: Issue bonds to build them, and once paid off they then become public property. Under that system, there is no charge to park. This at least lets people and businesses know that someday the shoppers will be able to park for free.

A city's goal is to encourage people to shop. Having to worry about running back to a two-hour meter and move your car to another block to avoid a $26 ticket or having your car towed does not encourage people to work or shop in any district.

Tom Philo

Beaverton

Kids at dog tracks learn life is cheap

The Multnomah Greyhound Park is no place for kids (New manager: Bring the kids to the dogs, May 2).

The track owners, visitors, vendors and breeders are parasites feeding on the suffering of thousands of short, miserable lives. The only lesson it has for children is that if you don't perform as expected, you are disposed of as garbage.

Stanley Jones-Umberger

Washougal, Wash.

Dog track is a good place for families

This is in response to 'Greyhound track is no kiddie park' (Readers' Letters, May 13). On the contrary, Multnomah Greyhound Park is a great family destination.

First things first, letter writer Connie Theil is not just your average concerned citizen. She is an animal rights activist who continually tries to destroy greyhound racing.

Multnomah Greyhound Park Manager Jeff Grady is very correct: The track can be a very good environment for kids. Greyhound racing is an exciting sport that combines amazing athletes with speed and excitement. It makes for a wonderful way for parents and their children to enjoy a day together.

Theil is quite erroneous when she states that greyhound racing is about gambling and nothing more. It's about the thrill and excitement of racing. As a decade-long fan of the sport who travels hundreds of miles to visit Multnomah Greyhound Park on a regular basis, I know that the dogs themselves love what they do as much as we love to watch them.

In an age where sitting down as a family for dinner is becoming rarer and rarer, I say bring your kids to the greyhound track and enjoy the sport together. You'll have a great time.

Ryan Reed

Cheney, Wash.

Families should judge senior driver ability

I am writing in response to the Perspectives pieces, in particular 'Third party takes burden off family' (Insight, May 6). Last summer I drove with my son to Seattle. I turned to him as we passed Vancouver and said, 'When I turn 66, you should take me for a ride every year to determine if I am still a competent driver.' I recognized that a family member could determine a failing in driving ability better than any doctor could.

How many drunken drivers have had their licenses revoked and continue to drive with false bravado? And what about the drivers who drive without insurance and circumvent the law? A doctor may decide that his or her patient at 70, 80 or 90 years of age should no longer drive and make a report to the state. Is a police officer going to seek that driver out, or will that officer depend on the license department to make the cancellation?

The only effective way is for the family to remove the car, which removes the temptation.

As to guest writer Teri Vance's comment on the third party taking the burden off the family: 'Unfit drivers can harm or kill themselves and others. Being on the road is a privilege, not a right.' I say this: Betcha an old driver is superior to a careless teenager or a perpetual drunk.

Lou Ann Schreiber

Northwest Portland