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Vacate areas that flood often

by: TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO: L.E. BASKOW, Patty Helean sits on her truck's tailgate at Southeast 115th Avenue and Harold Street to warn drivers of high floodwaters on Jan. 2. Johnson Creek in the area floods often.. A letter writer suggests homes and industry should be removed from areas that repeatedly flood.

It seems to me that the best use of this flood plain is as a flood plain - we should be removing houses and industry from areas that flood regularly (Floods threaten job site, Jan. 22). Every time it floods, toxic waste from all the junked cars and industry is basically dumped into Johnson Creek and the rest of the area. What are the costs of the cleanup, environmental degradation and property loss versus just buying these low-lying properties and allowing nature to reclaim them?

At the very least, these industries should be forced to store their waste above the highest flood level.

John Peterson

Southeast Portland

Would the city allow downtown to flood?

An important fact that failed to be disclosed in this article is that prior to 1996, the Freeway Land site was in the 100-year flood plain, and now it's not (Floods threaten job site, Jan. 22). The amount of illegal fill took the site out of the 100-year flood plain.

When the Freeway Land site was a lumber mill, water flowed freely from the creek onto the site and into ponds to float the logs. There is no urban myth about it; water is now directed away from the Freeway Land site submerging a PGE Power substation, a major arterial - Foster Road - and existing businesses on the opposite side of Foster Road.

Yes, historically Johnson Creek has flooded at some points as it makes its way to the Willamette River. But what people are not grasping is it's getting worse as it is flowing into areas that have never flooded.

A question to ponder: Downtown Portland is in the 100-year flood plain. If it flooded there as frequently as Johnson Creek does, how long would the city allow downtown to flood before a resolve was at hand?

Gary W. Sargent Sr.

Southeast Portland

Dishonesty will be the root of downfall

It amazes me how the public continues to justify public officials' behaviors (You're a Liar! (But aren't we all?), Jan. 29).

When you take that type of position, it comes with an extra level of accountability and the need for integrity. I am scared about the type of society my grandchildren will be in as adults. American people are like the 'frog in boiling water,' slowly moving toward no absolutes or rights and wrongs with all of this justification. You think things are corrupt now, my fear is that dishonesty will reign and be the root of our downfall as a nation if we continue on this path.

Brenda Kephart

Tigard

Behavior will not protect our youth

I read with interest the front page story about the abundance of lying public officials and our increasing acceptance of these people (You're a Liar! (But aren't we all?), Jan. 29). But this story entirely missed the mark of why what Sam Adams did must get him ousted.

As a youth, I was used by an older man in a position of power. At the time, I didn't realize the long-term and very harmful effects this would have on me. While I was desired in a secret and confined environment, I was nonexistent to the world. While I looked to him for approval and love, I was constantly battered by the lack of these benefits seen in normal relationships. When it ended, I was left emotionally broken and in a vacuum.

To be a man who could use others in such a horrid manner is to be a man who doesn't deserve the public trust. It isn't Sam Adam's lying nature; it is Sam Adam's egocentric and conscienceless behavior that is alarming.

And poor Beau Breedlove has no idea at this juncture the harm that has been done him. He is still developing.

Burr Robson

Southeast Portland

Lying is human nature

Good to see your paper acknowledge that everyone lies (You're a Liar! (But aren't we all?), Jan. 29), which includes both the media and politicians. Which is why one should never wholly believe either. It's human nature to be self-serving; an act of survival with its evolutionary basis in natural selection. So it stands to truth we should be poor judges of our own characters.

Sean Doyle

Northwest Portland

Only our vision is blurred

OK, hold it a minute. I can't even read the article 'You're a Liar! (But aren't we all?)' (Jan. 29) because I am so dismayed by the premise and first few lines.

Not everyone is a liar and not everyone has indiscriminate sexual habits that prompt them to lie. What is wrong with our world when that is the assumption?

May I set the record straight by declaring that there are still some of us with integrity out there who are tired of hearing that the bar has been lowered and, as such, we should look the other way any time proof of these diminished ethical standards surfaces.

The truth is true, whether we acknowledge it or not. The bar is where it has always been and will continue to be. It is our vision that has blurred.

Helen Butler

Aloha

Leaders must be accountable

Whatever your stance on this imbroglio with Sam Adams may be, I'm most disgusted by the initial explanation wherein he claimed to have made a 'mistake.'

Let's be clear: Mistakes are inadvertent by nature, such as when one hits the wrong key while typing. Choices are freely made and, as such, must be owned by the chooser.

In the field of accounting, 'errors' are unintentional mistakes, while 'irregularities' are intentional and thus unethical. A clear distinction has been made, and with good reason. What I'm saying is, mistakes - by definition - cannot be chosen.

In this latest sordid scandal from the center of Dysfunction Junction, also known as 'The City That Works,' we have a tangle of lies and unethical choices.

What we need from Mayor Adams and the populace at large is the resolve to reject lame excuses about supposed mistakes.

In a word: accountability.

Until we demand that from our leaders and ourselves, there is little hope for trust and truth as the standards of the day.

Dave Murray

Beaverton

Can society function without trust?

So lying is OK because 'everybody' does it (You're a Liar! (But aren't we all?), Jan. 29)? That's got to be the most sophomoric excuse I've heard since I was a child. As an adult, we learn lying is serious, inexcusable and should have consequences. Sam Adams lied, just like Bernie Madoff lied. Both men went to elaborate lengths to cover up their lies. Bernie Madoff's lies ruined lives and cost billions. He's going to jail. Sam Adams has also ruined lives. Maybe he should go to jail too.

What if everything I told you was a lie. Would that be OK? Can society function if nobody can trust anybody? Of course it can't. Our leaders have to set an example, and just because other leaders have lied without consequences doesn't make it the new standard.

Mark Kraschel

Northwest Portland