If wishes were buses, judges would ride
I had a dream: The three judges of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously announce that they prefer to ride TriMet buses to work and so don't need parking spaces in the basement (Often at odds, politicos go postal, July 29).
They also say they enjoy walking downstairs to the post office, during their breaks, and mailing personal letters there.
City Hall can't handle
Portland General Electric
City Hall politics never ceases to amaze. Even after a flat turndown from Enron Corp. bankruptcy officials, and eroding support from surrounding counties, public power partisans at City Hall keep lusting after Portland General Electric in a failed effort to get the city into the power business (Counties back away from city's PGE bid, July 18).
What part of 'No' don't they understand? Weren't they listening when the fat lady sang? Commissioner Erik Sten and his followers didn't get the message.
Canadian Olympics boost
argument for Amtrak
Another reason to keep Amtrak Cascades trains going is that Vancouver, British Columbia, will be the site of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games (Lawmakers hold out hope for boost in Amtrak funds, July 22).
Amtrak already provides one round trip daily between Seattle and Vancouver, and a second one is hoped for. The train schedule presently favors people from Seattle. People could spend the night in Seattle, go to Vancouver for the day to attend the games and come back that night.
The Vancouver station is across the street from the former Expo '86 site and the BC Stadium (where some events will be held), and a Skytrain station is nearby. Since customs inspections take place at the station in Vancouver (northbound) and on the train (southbound), there is less time waiting in line at the border.
The route is one of the most scenic in the country. About half of it is along the water (Puget Sound, Sammish Bay, etc.), and the rest is through verdant valleys with Mount Baker in view (weather permitting).
The state of Washington provides the funds for the train as well as for three round trips between Seattle and Portland. The state of Oregon has picked up the tab for two of those trains between Portland and Eugene. The Seattle-Portland-Los Angeles Coast Starlight is separate; it is more of a land cruise train. The 12:30 p.m. train continues from Seattle to Bellingham, Wash., and is a logical choice to extend the train all the way to Vancouver.
Many of us long for the day when we can have one train that goes all the way from Eugene to Vancouver, B.C. Keeping these trains on track will help us do that as well as provide needed transportation and jobs.