Take more care with trees
In Southwest Portland, trees are being felled so that homeowners can enjoy more majestic and uninterrupted views (Codes may not see forest for the trees, Feb. 5).
Rather than cutting a view window in the tree or doing some view trimming, the trees are simply cut down and eliminated without any consequences for violating existing city codes on protected trees.
While Portland can force us all to use 10 percent ethanol gasoline to preserve the environment, it continues to turn a blind eye on the abuse of one of our most environmentally important resources - that being, as the article mentioned, the positive impact of large trees in cleaning air and protecting against global warming.
Also, the requirement that developers plant new trees to replace the ones cut down is most often a new planting of cheap, deciduous varieties that never replace the trees removed and forever changes the unique evergreen appearance of the Northwest forests.
Zoos are last best chance for animals
I am always incredulous when people who profess to like animals express negative opinions about zoos (Letters, Feb. 5).
Few people will ever be able to visit the wildlife parks of Africa, whereas any American who wants to will be able to see animals in one of our many good zoos.
How can these critics not realize that there are now only 10 percent as many animals living in the wild as there were 100 years ago?
By 2050, very few animals will be left in Africa, Asia or South America due to reduction of habitat, poaching and aggressive farming. Zoos are wildlife's last best chance, in spite of the noble and costly efforts around the world to save them in the wild. Good zoos need our full support!
Everette H. Williams
Oregon voters get to take their time
Regarding the editorial 'Get Oregon off the sidelines' (Feb. 8): When it is only February and we are down to three viable candidates for an election not taking place for nine more months, I think it is commendable that Oregon has refused to join the states rushing to hold earlier and earlier primaries.
I think Oregonians benefit from taking the time to consider their choices fully, and the rest of the country rushes to vote early at the cost of slow consideration of the candidates.
Growth isn't the answer to everything
Letter writer and economist Frieda Campbell has it right when she suggests that if we don't build more highways, and thus increase our capacity for more freight shipping, our economy will stop growing (Letters, Feb. 12).
However, what she has dead wrong is her assumption that without growing, our economy has to stagnate and become less healthy.
The exact opposite is true. A growing economy, as Campbell outlines, is dependent on ever-growing populations and resource consumption.
But as renowned economist Herman Daly said, 'An economy can grow without developing and develop without growing.'
Where we live, the bioregion of the Columbia-Willamette watershed, is an already grossly overpopulated and overconsumed land mass with very limited and shrinking resources (think salmon, farmland, energy, old growth, tree cover, glacial runoff and overall necessary ecosystems).
Particularly now, with U.S. and world oil production having already peaked, we have driven long past the point where it is possible for our economy, and thus our population and consumption, to continue growing without causing even more substantial harm to the average pocketbook, the environment and our future than it already has during the last decades.
For our economy to become healthy, then, it is imperative that we drastically reduce our dependency on global trade and freight shipping. Instead, we must relocalize in all ways so that freighting takes up only a small portion of our commercial activities.
As Julian Darley of the Post Carbon Institute explains, this means our living closer together instead of spread out all over the countryside, building and using a lot more transit, and transitioning our economy back to farming, primary production and regional trade as our base.
This will allow Oregonians to prosper without growth instead of being forced into extreme penury, as all we surely will be if our freight shipping and economy keep growing.
M. Scott Jones
Rededicate coliseum to honor veterans
Memorial Coliseum, originally opened in 1960, should be run by a committee whose aim it is to keep it in good condition - available to the Winter Hawks for hockey and other events, such as the Davis Cup and the Portland Rose Festival Association for its annual Grand Floral Parade and coronation of the Queen of Rosaria. Last year was the festival's 100th anniversary.
Presently, a group with interests in the Rose Garden Arena and in Seattle has control over all agreements and concessions in the coliseum building. This should not occur!
Decisions should benefit the general public, many of whom travel a distance of 30 miles or more to attend coliseum events.
A ceremony to rededicate Memorial Coliseum and stress its importance to honor veterans would draw media attention and, hopefully, educate those who are unaware of its historical significance.
Marilyn E. MacGavin
Former president, Portland Rose Society
For the retired, taxes really add up fast
I wonder if anyone else out there who is retired and on a fixed income is tired of getting taxed out of their homes.
The schools want more, Sam Adams wants more, Multnomah County wants tons more to fill their pockets - and they can't handle what they have now. The working class is taxed to death, and all this equals is a city and state that cannot help its retired disabled class.
And Sam, thanks. You showed your true colors before election time.