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Portland needs real fixes, not Band-Aids

by: JIM CLARK, Unless the city stops postponing proper maintenance on its streets and bridges, one reader says, drivers are only going to see more potholes like this one on Northwest Lovejoy Street.

Forgive me, but I just don't get it. Portland spends money on new stuff like it's going out of style - MAX, trams, bike lanes - while our infrastructure rots.

Bridges, schools and roads are patched with Band-Aids as we postpone the inevitable. I liken our care for existing roads and bridges to maintaining a car: pay a little now, or pay a lot later. Portland's streets and park facilities are shameful.

Business owners on Northwest 23rd Avenue are going to have to face reality sooner or later (Response mixed to nixed fix, Feb. 12), and the disruption is likely to be much bigger and longer the more Band-Aids we apply.

Same with the bridges. And the schools.

I hope we can elect people with the courage to lead and do what's right, not politically expedient, but I don't think I'll live that long. Alas, poor Yorick!

Jeff Hockley

Southwest Portland

Let the numbers speak for themselves

As much as I enjoy the Tribune, I did a doubletake when I read the banner headline 'Poll: Adams no shoo-in' (Feb. 12). The numbers belie the headline.

The poll showed Sam Adams with 41 percent (favoring him in the mayoral election), challenger Sho Dozono with 20 percent and 36 percent undecided. If the numbers are good, Adams needs to muster less than one-third of that undecided vote for another 10 percent, while Dozono needs nearly all of it, or 31 percent, to win.

If that's not uphill for Dozono, I don't know what is. Clearly, the facts/numbers show Adams is the odds-on favorite to win in May. Maybe next time we can keep our little editorial biases off the front page.

Peter Toll

West Linn

Keep on sustaining Sustainable Life

Please copy this to Anne Marie DiStefano, who did an incredible job putting together Sustainable Life the Feb. 12 issue. I read it from cover to cover, thought it informative and entertaining, and very well written.

I look forward to seeing another Sustainable Life!

Sharon E. Streeter

Southeast Portland

Imagine if we really made smart choices

Regarding Todd Murphy's 'Portland residents have few gripes, poll finds' (Feb. 15), I would refer him or Tim Hibbitts - or you, readers - to Phil Stanford's column 'Circus is always in town at City Hall' (Feb. 8).

Somehow, in spite of the incompetent city and county government, Portland remains a very livable and likable home for many people.

Can we imagine how much better Portland could be if appropriate attention were given to our many real and 'ordinary' problems, instead of hiding our heads in the politically correct sand and repeatedly voting the same way while expecting different results?

Peter Wantoch

Southwest Portland

Hillary Clinton will straighten us out

If no one has noticed, we are in a recession! Meanwhile, the war is costing Americans more than $338 million a day. With this money we could pay for housing for hundreds of thousands of families, scholarships for students and health care for all.

We do not have the money to waste time on outsourcing our industry and sending money to everyone in the world, at the expense and well-being of the American people.

Hillary Clinton will get us out of Iraq - she will implement health care for all and better funding for college students. We need infrastructure, people. Unite for Hillary Clinton, unite for peace and for America.

BJ Pemberton

North Portland

Kid has right idea on Barack Obama

Audrey Van Buskirk's column about her 8-year-old son's passion for Barack Obama explains perfectly why Obama will be our next president (He's just 10 years shy of voting age, Life With Children, Feb. 19).

Of course, he is not the most experienced. That is not important. It's what he is doing to all of us that is going to make the difference.

In reality, the president alone does not have that much power. For too long it has been an elite group in Washington and in corporate offices that have been pulling the strings.

But now, their days are numbered because Barack Obama is about to take us back to a time when we had a country that was 'of the people, by the people and for the people.'

Hillary, don't take it personally. It's not about you, but you are right - it is about 'us'. We have had enough, and we're about to take our country back. Barack Obama isn't going to do it. He is going to let us do it. It is about uniting and democracy with a small 'd.'

Kate Mytron

Southeast Portland

City doesn't even need Sellwood Bridge

I must admit that I don't understand why Multnomah County wants to rebuild the Sellwood Bridge. I live very near the bridge and use it often. Yet, I could get by very nicely without it and would rather not spend all the money needed to rebuild it.

If neither the state nor the residents of the counties which most benefit from its existence will help pay for its reconstruction, then, please, let's just close it down. We in Portland and Multnomah County don't need it.

Donald Berg

Southwest Portland