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Support recall for right reasons

Short Views

It's natural that some of the people most interested in recalling Portland Mayor Sam Adams also happen to be those who have political differences with him.

Some of the most vitriolic attacks against Adams that we've seen in the comments section of the Portland Tribune Web site - as well as on other Web sites and blogs - are coming from people who probably never voted for Adams in the first place. Likewise, the recall campaign gained a prominent ally this week in the form of ex-Portland Mayor Tom Potter - someone who has never been an Adams' fan.

Portland voters, however, shouldn't be misled into thinking that this recall campaign is based on ideology or on pre-existing political differences. It's true that the Adams' opposition camp is well-stocked with people who already disliked the mayor. But there are many other prominent and ordinary citizens who have lost confidence in this mayor.

Adams ought to face recall not because of his politics, but because he lied in order to win an election - and he did so after exercising extraordinarily poor judgment by becoming sexually involved with a teenager.

Adams' deceptions influenced the outcome of the 2008 mayor's race, and without a recall election, Portland voters will have no other opportunity to make a fully informed decision about whether they want Adams to continue as mayor. We urge Portlanders to sign the recall petitions now circulating and force Adams to be accountable for his behavior.

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Let's not lose all the teams

More is at stake than perhaps meets the eye as the Portland City Council continues to look for a solution to its stadium dilemma.

As reported in the July 9 Portland Tribune, one worst-case scenario is that the city could end up losing not only Major League Soccer, but also its minor league soccer and baseball teams, if the council isn't able to put together a deal to renovate PGE Park for MLS and build a new baseball stadium elsewhere.

This potential loss of teams arises from the fact that Merritt Paulson - the owner of the teams - must find alternate locations for the teams to play if the stadiums don't come in on schedule. Unfortunately, those new locations could lead him out of town.

If Paulson pulls out - and for the record, he is making no threats - the city will be stuck with $28.5 million in remaining debt for the previous renovation of PGE Park, but it will no longer have the Portland Beavers as a rent-paying tenant. Portland, however, would lose much more than money if the city can't hold onto its teams: The city's citizens also would lose recreational and entertainment activities that help define Portland as a highly livable community.

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Faith healing fails test

The case of Carl Brent and Raylene Worthington, who are charged with manslaughter in the death of their 15-month-old daughter, helps justify the need for Oregon's 1999 law that removed 'spiritual treatment' as a possible defense in a manslaughter case.

The Worthingtons are on trial in Oregon City because they did not seek medical assistance for their daughter, Ava, who died in 2008 of bronchopneumonia and other conditions. Rather than call a doctor, the Worthingtons chose to pray and use other 'faith healing' techniques.

In our view, the Worthingtons, as adults, certainly had a right to practice whatever religion they pleased - and even limit their own treatments to faith alone. But as parents, the Worthingtons did not and should not have a constitutionally protected right to endanger a child for religious reasons. The charges brought in the Oregon City case - regardless of its outcome - reflect the values of a state that places the safety of a child above the misguided and dangerous beliefs of a parent.