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Potassium iodide misuse is risky

Readers' Letters

It is irresponsible in the current climate for you to even suggest people should buy potassium iodide (The Big 'What If?', March 17). Most pharmacies are already sold out.

People, especially the young who may have little substantive medical history, run the risk of iodine allergy and anaphylaxis as well as other interactions, especially if undiagnosed conditions exist. People are actually taking doses of this prophylactically in a misguided attempt to ward off imagined ill effects, when radiation levels in Oregon are not elevated in any way (even in Tokyo, they compare to only one-tenth the dose of a dentist's X-ray).

You should use your bully pulpit to encourage people more strongly not to misuse this drug and cause themselves potential harm.

Bud Feuless

Southeast Portland

Get prepared for a quake now

The best I can tell you is have a 'go-bag' by your front door and a second one in your car (The Big 'What If?', March 17).

A go-bag is a backpack with all four items needed - food, water, shelter and heat. You can add a couple rolls of quarters and 50 to 100 bucks all in small bills, and if you are inclined and feel comfortable with it, a good handgun that you can hunt small game with. Heat: a good multi-fuel backpacking stove. Shelter: a good tent and sleeping bag. Water: a good filter that will remove everything. Food: camping, freeze dried.

Everyone else, buy supplies a little at a time. Make plans and practice, practice, practice. Turn the power off at your place for a weekend in the middle of winter. Pretend an earthquake is happening right now and figure out what you will do.

Clarence Leacel Smith

Southeast Portland

Will an earthquake destroy dams?

I'm very concerned about dam failure (The Big 'What If?', March 17).

What analysis has been done, by whom, when and concerning what Richter ratings?

Chris Emery

North Portland

Renters will be affected too

So what do renters do (The Big 'What If?', March 17)? All I hear about preparing for an earthquake assumes you own a home. There are many renters in Portland.

Samuel R. Ganczaruk

Northeast Portland

Hayden senior community overlooked

Steve Law's article, 'Messy process clouds Hayden plans' (March 3), sheds some welcome light onto the business-as-usual approach driving ill-advised development of the open space and wildlife refuge of West Hayden Island.

What is missing from the story is attention to the residential community living within a few hundred yards of the port's contaminated dredge spoil disposal site. We live in the Hayden Island Manufactured Home Community, a modest neighborhood of 440 families - more than 1,300 residents - of mostly elderly folks with limited means and mobility. We live in the shadows of the Interstate 5 bridge, the Jantzen Beach Supercenter, retail semi-truck depots and now, exposed contaminated dredge spoils from the Portland Harbor Superfund site.

The port's strong-arming of both the city planning process and the Department of Environmental Quality's permitting process - and our government's abdication of accountability in the process - has been an environmental injustice upon our community in violation of state law.

We are just now beginning to gain opportunities for meaningful participation: We represent the community on the current citizens committee, and the DEQ has begun to engage in outreach to our community.

Yet we continue to be deprived of the full factual analysis. We do not have confidence in the toxicology report and risk assessment to our health, and we adamantly oppose the development of a marine industrial terminal in our neighborhood. It would decimate our quality of life and destroy hundreds of acres of natural wildlife open space.

This is beyond the classic 'jobs vs. environment.' This is the age-old 'money vs. human rights.'

Pam Ferguson and Donna Murphy

Hayden Island

Reporter keeps an eye on city, port

Who watches the watchman, who guards the guards? You are doing a great job staying on top of this, Steve (Law). Most Portlanders don't have a clue about West Hayden Island and what we stand to lose if the city and port get their way (Messy process clouds Hayden plans, March 3).

Thanks for your excellent reporting and keep up the good work.

Cheryl K. Lund

Hayden Island

City kowtows to industry's wishes

The mayor's office has conveniently withheld email records and stonewalled, eh (Messy process clouds Hayden plans, March 3)?

This sort of 'my way or no way' behavior is what we get for letting Sam Adams in as mayor of Portland. The man is a classic control freak and it should come as no surprise to anyone that he and his staff are now in bed with the Port of Portland over annexing Hayden Island as an industrial site.

It's petty but so typical of government regardless of the partisan angle. One of the advantages of being a professional historian is knowing that government's bedfellow relationships with industry are pretty much a constant and have been for nearly 200 years. We get 'democracy' in name only and industry gets a chamber of commerce-style government that kowtows to its expensive wishes.

Industry gets even more when we have spineless self-serving politicians like Adams and his toady ladder-climbing staff who love to use legal loopholes to every advantage against the higher public good.

Kevin Bunker

North Portland