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Stadium bonds would be unlawful

Readers’ Letters

The proposed $150 million Portland major league baseball stadium bond issue violates Article XI, Section 7, of the Oregon Constitution, which requires voter approval of the proposed bond issue.

House Bill 3606 ignores the constitutional mandate that voters approve state debt or liability. The bill purports to authorize an unidentified entity to issue the bonds.

But the Oregon Supreme Court, in Martin v. Oregon Building Authority, declared unconstitutional a 1975 statute allowing an 'Oregon Building Authority' to issue state building construction bonds without voter authorization.

The court rejected arguments similar to the claims of the bond issue promoters. In (ruling) 276 Or 135, in words applicable to the Portland baseball stadium scheme, the court held that:

'The use of the authority device contravenes the purpose of the constitutional debt limitation. If approved, there would no longer be any effective limitation. Use of the authority permits the discretionary incurrence of long-term obligations, which the state is in substance obligated to repay from general tax revenue, without limit and without control by the voters.'

Promoters claim that taxpayers would not pay if baseball income taxes prove insufficient.

To the contrary is Chief Justice Arno Denecke in Walsh Construction Co. v. Smith:

'If the state did permit a default, the state credit rating would be lowered, and the interest rate the state would have to pay would increase. The general fund will be called upon to repay 'revenue' bonds if the revenue is insufficient. This will occur whether the statute provides that the state 'may' repay or is silent.'

Henry Kane

Beaverton

Coliseum is a piece

of Portland history

I've recently heard that the Memorial Coliseum is being considered for either a Home Depot or Costco (Plan converts coliseum to giant retail complex, May 23). Wrong!

Anyone who is a native should know what the name Memorial Coliseum stands for. The building was named to honor the veterans who died to defend our nation. The building was home to the Lester Patrick Cup-winning Portland Buckaroos, the Trail Blazers, concerts and shows.

This building's name shouldn't be tarnished with big business. The Memorial Coliseum Home Depot? Wake up, Vera!

Tim Flynn

Northeast Portland

Here's a cushy idea

for Waterfront Park

Regarding your article about putting down plastic on the ground at Waterfront Park (New park plan gets people off the lawn, May 6): How about a more lively option: low-maintenance, but still oxygen-producing, moss!

We have replaced our lawn with moss, and it's just awesome. It needs no care and is wonderful to walk on Ñ bounces back like you wouldn't believe. No mowing É no fertilizer.

Albert Kaufman

Northeast Portland

Who would confuse

blankets with jewelry?

I really appreciated the story about the name issue between Pendleton Jewellers and the much larger and more established Pendleton Woolen Mills (Pendleton name makes for woolly ancestral issue, May 23). You would think that Pendleton Woolen Mills would have better ways to spend its time and resources than picking on a new, unrelated business.

As if potential customers would actually confuse the two businesses. Is it an issue of business names or the fact that both have Broadway addresses in Portland? Did the more than 100 businesses in Pendleton, Ore., with Pendleton in their names receive similar letters from attorney Anne Glazer?

I'm a sixth-generation Oregonian and a lifelong consumer of Pendleton products. The action of Pendleton Woolen Mills in this matter is ridiculous enough to cause me to quit purchasing their products. I have a feeling spending that money at Pendleton Jewellers would be more appreciated.

Jeff Fisher

North Portland

Supporting cruelty

is not family activity

Multnomah Greyhound Park's attempt to introduce a new 'family atmosphere' does not hide the suffering faced by greyhound racing dogs each and every day (New manager: Bring the kids to the dogs, Sports, May 2).

The lives that most racing greyhounds endure is appalling. They are individually caged for up to 22 hours each day and receive little human interaction. According to 'Care of the Racing Greyhound,' an industry handbook, the primary source for meat used to feed greyhounds in the United States is 'abattoirs that have commercial products of 4-D meat for greyhounds.' It goes on to add, 'The 'D' stands for É dying, diseased, disabled and dead livestock. This meat is used because it is the most economically feasible at this time.'

The public does not know exactly how many greyhounds are actually being killed in Oregon. This is because the Oregon Racing Commission will not make full and reliable records available at this time.

The national dog-racing industry itself admits that thousands of greyhounds are killed each year when they are no longer fast enough to turn a profit. A significant number of greyhounds are also injured while racing. Official records from other states indicate that approximately 7 percent of all greyhounds that race will suffer serious, and often fatal, injury.

Greyhound trainers claim that their dogs would never be mistreated, because they rely upon these dogs for their livelihood. The fact of the matter is, however, that greyhounds are short-term investments, and as with all investments, it is critical to secure the highest possible return while incurring the least amount of cost. Usually, this means cutting back on things like food, veterinary care and other basic needs.

For decades, the dog-racing industry has been allowed to hide behind a veil of secrecy. Enough is enough. Dog racing is cruel and inhumane, and it should be outlawed in Oregon.

Christine A. Dorchak

vice president, Grey2k

Somerville, Mass.