Readers’ Letters

We went to the Grand Floral Parade on June 7. It was a beautiful, sunny day. We spent a fair amount of time, expense and effort to arrive early on MAX and beat all of the sidewalk hogs so the kids could see the happenings. All things were in order: my son, my wife and I, along with a friend of my wife's, enjoying all the benefits that the Rose Festival parade has to


To then have the city of Portland street cleaner tankers swoop down on us, in less time than was between floats, was completely unexpected and unannounced. It caused panic along the curbside spectators, who tried to get children and belongings off the street and onto the sidewalk.

This was completely uncalled for and embarrassing: Visitors from out of town said they would not return to the event out of lack of respect of life and limb for lookers-on. In fact, I myself am not returning!

I was injured as I tried to move my things, get off the street and grab a young boy next to us to get him out of harm's way in less than 40 seconds.

What a great message to send our kids Ñ that you're welcome to come and watch, but you better watch out or we'll sweep you away!

William Jeffords

Oregon City

Police traffic response

depends on the area

I would like to know exactly what is a 'routine traffic stop,' a phrase often used to describe the start of the encounter that ended with Kendra James being shot (Marchers protest police shooting of Kendra James, May 27).

I would like to know why I, as a white female, have never been stopped for 'failing to come to a complete stop' at a stop sign. I have been in more affluent areas of Portland, where I've seen all kinds of questionable driving, including failure to stop at stop signs, failure to use a turn signal while driving fast and changing lanes, or weaving through freeway traffic. Yet rarely do I see police officers around these events, and, if I do, I do not see them stopping someone for 'failure to come to a complete stop' at a stop sign.

So, regarding Kendra James, exactly what does this mean? Is it a fallback position, just another excuse to stop young people of color who are out driving at night?

I do not understand why the entire city of Portland, not just Northeast, is not on fire with the rage of the injustice of this incident. Kill, then lie about it, then hold numerous public (image) meetings to explain and justify one's actions. Are these the kind of 'public servants' we deserve?

Linda S. Kanzinger

Northeast Portland

C'mon, Portland,

lighten up already

Columnist Phil Stanford criticized The Oregonian for trashing the Grand Floral Parade and the Rose Festival (On the Town,

June 6).

While I think it's fine if people want to keep going to the same tired old parade and festival year after year, I think it's a colossal waste of time and money. What's the matter, is the Rose Festival a sacred cow?

Isn't it OK to take a few ironic punches at Portland's provincial tradition? In the great tradition of Mad magazine, nothing is too sacred to lambaste.

When I first arrived in Portland a decade ago, I gamely battled the crowds to see what the excitement was all about. Sure, the band that plays 'Louie Louie' each year offers a little flair to the Starlight Parade, but the overpriced fried dough and overpriced rides at the Fun Center and the marching band after marching band are due for some verbal punches.

Even those who enjoy the heck out of the Rose Festival surely can stand for a little jousting by those of us who don't. Portland is kind of a cow town. I like that about it, but let's not be afraid to make fun of our unsophisticated ways. As they say, criticism keeps you sharp, and dull as the parade is, revering it is even duller.

Courtney Scott

Northeast Portland

Attention for James

comes far too late

It is a shame that Kendra James became of interest to many only in death (Activists: Shooting stats only hint at problem, June 3). What a waste É a missed opportunity of human compassion and to develop Kendra's potential. With two small children and a known drug addiction, she needed help and interest while she was alive; it may have made a difference for her.

Where were these well-meaning folks of interest then? What are they doing for the Kendras that still exist?

No one takes drugs with the idea of being addicted; that only happens to everyone else. The drug existence only comes to an early end and scars the living: the two children left behind, the grandparents.

We miss the point of the protests. Is there another end for an untreated drug addiction? It is always a lonely, violent termination to an existence; not life. With passing, it leaves the loved behind, maybe with some guilt for not intervening with interest in life; only in death.

Michael Korte

Northeast Portland

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