Folks, as problems go, this park/dog thing isn't that tough, notwithstanding at least one former parks director's inability to come to grips with it (In parks battle, dogs make up the flash point, June 17).

And in a city where there isn't enough money to arrest and prosecute car thieves, spending $60,000 to bludgeon otherwise law-abiding dog owners seems downright irresponsible. And then even more money for 'education.'

C'mon. Dog owners know there are leash laws. The problem is that when you've invested a lot of time and money in developing a well-trained, well-behaved dog, it just seems absurd to have to walk around tethered to the poor critter.

Reporter Janine Robben actually stumbled across the solution I'm thinking of when she mentioned that 'Vancouver, B.C., with a population roughly comparable to Portland's, has 29 parks with designated off-leash areas or hours, compared with Portland's four.' Hmm. 'Hours.' What might that mean?

Here's what. Awhile back I lived in San Diego. That city's leaders Ñ like Vancouver's Ñ thought in terms of time as well as in terms of space.

San Diego has instituted traditional dog parks and beaches. But it has also designated additional city parks and beaches as off-leash zones during certain hours of each day. At certain San Diego parks you can let Fido run free in the morning and evening, but the rest of the time it's a veritable rug-rat heaven.

So what's left? Dog feces, for sure. But that's a problem whether pet owners use leashes or not. That's where the education effort should be focused. I can't tell you how many people I've heard say with all sincerity: 'It's natural! It's good for the grass!'

Diligent enforcement under those terms might actually turn a profit Ñ or at least help defray the cost of a more frequent law enforcement presence in the parks to stop true crimes.

Phillip White

Northeast Portland

Police weren't helpful during memorial ride

I was disappointed with the Portland police's behavior during the June 27 Critical Mass bike ride to, on the one hand, remember and celebrate and, on the other, mourn the three people killed and one severely injured from Portland's biking community (Bicyclist fatalities mourned, July 1).

It is my belief that police often seal off traffic to those who participate in funeral and memorial processions. Our police did not do so for Theodore Hriskos, Angela Leazenby and Orion Satushek, nor for Caroline Buchalter, who remains in the hospital from her injuries.

That is sad.

Len Grasso

Southwest Portland

Piece of history loses out to profits

I am disappointed that the historic 'Drink 7 Up' sign will be 'redesigned' and not preserved (Up-ended, June 24).ÊI appreciate the fact that your article brought attention to this situation so prominently.

There is one major fact that you neglected to report. The 7 Up distributor, Columbia Distributing, and the local Budweiser distributor, Maletis Beverage, are owned and operated by the same family, the Maletis brothers. The two companies are managed and operated as separate businesses (as per their agreement with Anheuser-Busch). It makes me think that their bottom line made the decision for them as to the future of this Portland landmark. They make more money selling Bud than 7 Up.

Your article also makes me rethink my next beverage choice.

Teri Joly


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