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I-5 bridge must work within budget

Readers' Letters
by: Tribune File Photo, Regional officials have still not agreed on the best way to reduce rush hour congestion on the Interstate 5 bridge.

The price tag is too high (I-5 bridge plan runs into new obstacles, Jan. 28). Let the leaders set a cast-iron rigid $3 billion limit and force planners to fit a bridge into that budget.

The price limit will help all by establishing one firm parameter that can be relied on. Fire any and all planners who lack the modest level of competence to live within a set budget.

Millions of Americans live within inflexible budgets every day of their working and retirement lives. It is time for our state and regional leaders to learn how to do the same.

Marvin Lee McConoughey

Corvallis

Third interstate bridge is needed

We don't need to tear down a pair of perfectly functional bridges and replace them with more or less the same thing. We need a third interstate bridge - a Northwest route - to complete the circumference of the metropolitan region and get the Vancouver-to-Beaverton/Hillsboro traffic off Interstate 5.

Ron Swaren

Southeast Portland

Few benefits to new bridge

Why would Oregonians want to pay for a larger Interstate bridge (I-5 bridge plan runs into new obstacles, Jan. 28)? If you take a look at the cost/benefit of such a bridge to Oregonians, you will find that the cost is huge and the benefits are minimal.

I don't need a new interstate bridge and I think you will find that most Oregonians feel the same way when you tell them that they have to pay for it.

The people who will benefit the most from a new bridge are the people living in Vancouver. Are they going to pay for most of the cost of the bridge?

Cancel the project.

Roy Ikada

North Portland

Use rail, not trucks for freight

Has anybody considered that trucks are not needed for long-haul freight when we have a perfectly good rail system here in the Portland metro area (I-5 bridge plan runs into new obstacles, Jan. 28)?

Get the much-too-big trucks off Interstate 5 and Interstate 205 and there would be plenty of room for buses and carpools. The only thing we need to do is rehabilitate the existing I-5 bridge, which would be much less costly and still meet our transportation needs. Light rail would help too.

Samuel R. Ganczaruk

Northeast Portland

Vancouver must pay fair share

I have no quarrel with the use of tolling or the high-tech methods for collecting tolls, but this article asserts that it would be 'unfair' to toll commuters and business for daily use of the Columbia River Crossing (We can work it out: I-5 bridge needs consensus, Dec. 24).

Why ever not? That is the whole point of assessing a toll: It is a tax on the users of a given service or infrastructure so that those who use it the most pay the most to build and/or maintain it.

Living in one state and working in another is a choice. Ditto for a business that chooses to operate in both states. If drivers can afford the cost of gasoline to commute daily across the Columbia, they can afford to pay a toll that will be but an incredibly small fraction of that cost. The new mayor of Vancouver may have won election by promising to fight bridge tolls, but there is no reason for the rest of us to subsidize his constituents.

Any notion that this is an 'unfair burden,' as the executive directors of the Columbia River Crossing Coalition assert in their article, is nonsense. It is a political fig leaf to get Vancouverites to buy into a bridge they don't want to pay their fair share for - a fair share that should charge them, not me, for their daily use of the bridge.

Nancy Beamer

Southeast Portland

Electronic tolling will pick pockets

Tolling is fine, but we shouldn't all have a transponder or cell phone application to pick our pockets as we drive over the bridge (We can work it out: I-5 bridge needs consensus, Dec. 24). Government taxes and fees should not be convenient, nor should they be hidden or simplified behind an electronic device. It should be a chore to pay these fees, so we are reminded of the cost of government.

Mark Gravengaard

Northeast Portland

PPS management mistreated educator

I cannot believe the thoughtless treatment of the valuable special education teacher (Teacher says PPS forced her out, Dec. 24).

This represents the lack of compassion to be shown by her management leaders at Portland Public Schools. If the medical condition were to have happened to management, would they themselves be kicked to the curb and pushed to retire early?

I find this situation an embarrassment to the PPS district and a total disregard for the affected students who will now not benefit from her highly skilled teaching abilities.

I wonder what's the benefit to have her retire early, so a less-experienced and lower-paying teacher will replace her until they themselves will someday walk in her shoes?

This is a disregard for the Americans with Disabilities Act, and her requests were reasonable and not without basis to help her continue working at a job. I don't see a costly request made by her.

I will hope the powers to be will decide in her favor. The new year will be better for this teacher, who deserves much more than she has received.

Marcia Blaine

Northeast Portland

Teacher went above and beyond

While I don't know all of the facts of this story, I do know this woman, who was our youngest son's main teacher for his four years at Madison High School (Teacher says PPS forced her out, Dec. 24). She was a good and caring teacher who went far beyond the minimum in meeting his needs.

Madison has been in turmoil for some time, being the recipient of wisdom from on high (non-celestial) about how to educate these poor children out east. Few teachers or involved parents appreciated such innovations as the small-school model in which students couldn't take desired classes because they weren't offered in 'their school.' It was nuts.

Jane McInturf

Northeast Portland

Some common sense needed

Unless you sue the (school) district or have a lawyer write them letters, you get no response or a very slow response (Teacher says PPS forced her out, Dec. 24).

I know of one teacher who had major surgery and other health issues. Her schedule was tightly packed, and the principal refused to either change her schedule or cover her class for a few minutes to use the rest room. The teacher had to hire a lawyer to get a change.

It isn't always the upper administration, but also a lack of common sense on the part of some school administrators. If the facts in this story are correct, it will be a big payday for the lady who just wanted to teach.

Dennis Hartinger

Northeast Portland