Like most ex-Californians now living in Portland, I'm on the run from bulldozers. My native state saw so much fine land and classic architecture brainlessly deconstructed into simulacra suburbs and tacky theme parks.
That's what the winning design for the Mount Tabor reservoir burial project looks like to me: a really tacky conceptual theme park. 'Wild,' 'mixed wild and cultivated,' 'cultivated' Ñ oh, please.Ê
Structurally, Portland is a unique and precious place. People keep saying this; why isn't it believed? The stubborn crew pushing through this 'makeover'Ñ against all intelligent opposition Ñ should be hoisted by the neck scruff and thrown out over the edge of the Juan de Fuca plate.
Before it's too late, Portlanders, think: California É
And, regarding the 'terrorism' argument, note that New York City's reservoirs remain uncapped, unburied.
Bhopal is close
to worst-case scenario
Chemical company consultant Buzz Melton states with dogmatic assurance that a 'worst-case scenario,' which 'assumes an extremely unlikely event Ñ the total release in 10 minutes of a company's most dangerous chemical from the largest tank it stores it in' Ñ has 'never happened Ñ not in the history of planet Earth,' (Formula for Disaster, Oct. 3). This begs the question: Exactly which planet has Melton been living on for the last 18 years?
On Dec. 3, 1984, more than 40 metric tons of methyl isocyanite gas, a pesticide component, were released into the atmosphere from Union Carbide's pesticide factory in Bhopal, India. Methyl isocyanite is one of the most lethal gases produced by the chemical industry. Over the next two days more than 8,000 were killed by this gas, while the current death toll is more than 20,000. Today, 18 years later, at least 300,000 people are suffering hideous, chronic, debilitating injuries as a result of this 'extremely unlikely event.'
It may have taken a little longer than Melton's 10 minutes for the release of one of the world's most hazardous chemicals to have occurred Ñ it took two hours for this cataclysm to befall Ñ but go tell those survivors, whose lives have been a living hell every minute since, that this was an 'extremely unlikely event.' Somehow I doubt that they Ñ and anybody who cares to know what actually happened that night in Bhopal Ñ will believe you.
No amount of security would have prevented this: Cost-cutting measures mandated by Union Carbide in the United States were directly responsible for the catastrophe.
Girls aren't griping;
they're taking action
After reading Phil Stanford's comment on the Rock 'n' Roll Camp for Girls Ñ 'girls can't get a fair shake in the music business? Puh-leeze' Ñ I found myself wondering what fueled the sarcasm behind that comment (On the Town, Oct. 10).
If you were to take any kind of general look across the landscape in modern rock, pop, hip-hop or any other genre of music today, it wouldn't be hard to see that there are still far more men than women getting signed, getting marketed, getting shows and getting instruments handed to them at a young age. As a musician and a former employee of the music industry, I'd loosely estimate that for every 10 males working in the music industry (or, heck, playing an instrument, for that matter), there might be one female. The numbers might look a bit better in a musically rich town like Portland, but not much.
But, really É do you hear us kvetching about this? I don't. I do, however, think it's really cool that a bunch of local girls got together and decided to do something about it. Like putting together a free summer camp where girls from all walks of life Ñ regardless of their family's ability to provide funding for an instrument, regardless of whether they have a stable family home with an extra room where they might learn to write and play music Ñ can feel free to pick up an instrument, and express themselves freely, and get help in doing so from lots of accomplished female musicians in the process.
And, do you know what's absolutely best about this? The girls all did it themselves. Just like the boys can, if there was a need for it. And, more importantly, if they had the desire and gumption and dedication to simply step up and do it for themselves É like the girls did.
So what are you 'Puh-leezing' about, anyway?