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Big amusement park beats a ballpark

Readers’ Letters

Mayor Vera Katz has suggested that Portland needs a major league baseball team to bring it up to standard. That might be a good idea, but it is controversial for good reasons.

Another area where Portland is playing in the minor league is with our venerable Oaks Amusement Park. It's cute, but it's very dated and, truthfully, a pretty boring amusement park.

Oregon and the entire Northwest lack a good major league amusement park. The closest park with a decent roller coaster is in San Jose, Calif. Perhaps if we really wanted to create a new project with great public appeal it would be a new, bona fide amusement park.

Here's an idea: a big amusement park (perhaps called the Great Northwest to give it a regional identity) sited around the shell of Memorial Coliseum.

It would be a great attraction, and it would put an albatross to profitable use. A park there could put many attractions indoors, offering fun year-round. It would be at the crossroads of all the MAX tracks, making it accessible to the metro area. It would be in the midst of the convention center, making Portland a great place to bring the whole family to a convention. Affordable yearly passes would encourage its use by youths as a spot to hang out safely and keep out of trouble. People from all over Oregon and the Northwest would make Portland a vacation destination.

What fun it would be to look toward the coliseum and see some modern roller coasters beckoning. We can do this!

Michael Kuhn

Southeast Portland

Casino makes more

sense than tax does

A major league baseball franchise would bring Portland closer to parity with other 'Left Coast' cities, e.g., Seattle, San Francisco-Oakland, Los Angeles-Anaheim and San Diego.

Yet, why, by utilizing some extraneous 'taxing' endeavors, should we be trying to accomplish something that the Grand Ronde tribe has already proffered with far fewer contingencies Ñ if the tribe is allowed a gambling casino in Portland?Ê

Casino gaming is most profitable, and the fact that Spirit Mountain is Oregon's No. 1 tourist attraction underscores the fact.

Moreover, Portland has surplus school district property Ñ the 'Blanchard Site' Ñ with a 'white elephant' Memorial Coliseum virtually across the street.

So, why not sell or cede the Blanchard site to the Grand Ronde Tribe to build a field of dreams Ñ and, at the same time, transform (under special lease conditions) the coliseum into a cash-cow gambling palace capable of hosting small-scale sports attractions such as boxing. We could still preserve the memorial site for those who have served in our country's military, including Native Americans.

Is this possible? I certainly believe so Ñ and am aggrieved that the media have not reported on the issue more comprehensively.

However, it's not too late to let the dialogue spin.

Bill Bagby

Milwaukie

Marijuana policies

antiquated, unfair

In another era, Robert Eisinger probably would be lamenting those 'criminals' dumping tea into Boston Harbor as he does today those of us who do not respect adult marijuana prohibition and adamantly reject this stupid war on (some) drugs (Do it, but don't get caught?, Insight, July 15).

His argument, as I read it, suggests that if it's a 'law,' it must be moral; therefore, it must be respected. Had the Founding Revolutionaries followed that logic, we'd still be bowing to kings, and African-Americans still would be slaves.

Essentially, lawmakers have declared that all adults are incapable of their own personal drug-use decisions. We disagree and find this arrogant mind-set extremely insulting. We believe that most cannabis consumers are responsible adults, certainly capable of making their own decisions.

We believe that a regulated marijuana market for adults could generate significant state revenues for both the private and public sectors, while denying the criminal element substantial profits. It also would separate this relatively harmless substance from the much more dangerous illegal drugs now sold on our streets. It might even help spur a long-overdue national debate about the drug war itself.

Floyd Ferris Landrath

American Antiprohibition League

Southeast Portland

DePreist's words

ring beautifully true

I have just had the great good fortune to pick up and read the Insight section of the July 8 Portland Tribune (A nation that closes its eyes is sure to stumble sometime). James DePreist's commencement address for the graduating class of Portland State University should be carved in stone and erected in the park blocks!

In all of my wide reading about our current dangerous situation, no one has gotten to the core of the matter so stunningly, succinctly and beautifully.

Janet McNary

Northeast Portland