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A mothers plea: Put down your phone, and save a life

by: TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO: L.E. BASKOW, A driver checks his handheld device while driving into Portland along Highway 26 west of downtown. A letter writer who lost her daughter in a cell-phone related accident asks people to understand the dangers of using phones while driving.

Cell phones pose a real threat to those on the road (Driven to distraction, March 19). How would you feel if you were talking to your son or daughter while they were driving and then you heard a crash? The scene of the accident was so close to home that you got in your car and drove to see what happened, only to find the vehicle that they were driving was on fire and that they were still in it.

Well, this is how it happened. A 19-year-old dropped her cell phone, tried to pick it up, lost control, side swiped another car, went across the center line and struck an SUV with four people inside. That SUV was returning from church and had my daughter and son-in-law in the front seat, and my two grandsons in the back seat. All of them had seat belts on.

The van came across the center median, went airborne and hit my daughter's car head-on. My daughter was killed; my son-in-law and grandsons were taken to the ICU with internal injuries. It was all because of a cell phone.

I am begging parents and young adults to be advised of the dangers that the use of cell phones can result in.

Studies have shown that young adults take their eyes off the road, while using the cell phone, for 30 seconds at a time.

I hope and pray that no family will have to share the experience I am living with. By sharing my story, I hope I can help even one person out there.

Peggy Tucker

Canby

Portland needs industry, not trendy shops

This article was held out to me as proof that Portland is a business-friendly environment (North Williams: a jewel and an issue, March 19). Perhaps I should have been clearer in defining the kind of business that can promote and support population growth in Portland and Oregon in general.

Although an influx of quaint, posh little shops, stores and various kinds of small businesses is nice on the eye and the palate, they do not support the kind of employees that can buy the things that such small businesses have for sale. It takes a real industry that manufactures to support an economy.

That is something Portland has rather blatantly chased out and is certainly not trying to get back.

Jim Ourada

Aloha

Changes needed to welcome growth

We need to be careful about how we are going to handle all this growth (Portland's future: even more people, March 19). I currently live in an area that officials zoned for a density of about twice what it can support because of geography and numerous stream corridors; many other areas are in the same position. One place to look at is the so-called industrial parks. Many of the uses are compatible with residential development. While we need to control growth, not all this growth can be contained within the existing urban growth boundary without major changes in the way we live.

William Kenneth Gisch

Lake Oswego

Stimulus will create green opportunities

In response to the editorial 'Stimulus work needs fast action' (March 26), as a member of the current impoverished work force here in Portland, I have seriously been considering returning to the university for an advanced degree. I have always been an outdoor enthusiast and so a degree centered on bettering the environment would be perfect.

From what I have read, President Obama's new budget and stimulus package will create thousands of new green jobs. Therefore, in my own interest and in the interest of an entire generation of environmentally savvy citizens, I am strongly urging our congressmen to follow the example of U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden in supporting this legislation. It will not only provide me with a potential career helping our country, but thousands of others who are struggling would have these opportunities as well.

Ricky Haga

Northeast Portland

Alternative transportation needs stimulus funding

As a non-driving yet very active, environmentally conscious resident in the Portland community, I believe it is essential that we focus stimulus funding on alternative transportation methods (Stimulus work needs fast action, March 26). I was excited to read that TriMet earned additional funds for its projects and I sincerely hope that it will use those to explore ways to reduce its carbon output and enhance alternative transportation methods.

Because Portland is the most 'green'-focused community I've ever lived in, it seems only fitting that we should be at the forefront of using stimulus funds to expand our sustainable practices, including green jobs and alternative transportation.

I'd like to encourage U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden to support President Obama's proposed budget so this Do It Yourself crowd can do just that and be leaders in environmentally conscious stimulus spending.

Keyon Gaskin

Northeast Portland