Adams dreams, city tumbles
Is Sam Adams serious? Unfortunately, yes, he is. The Portland metro area is at a point where:
• One bridge (Interstate) is the major chokepoint in a continental system, causing increased costs and pollution for Portlanders.
• A second - Sellwood Bridge - literally is falling apart.
• Areas within the city limits have unpaved streets, no sidewalks and deadly crosswalks.
• MAX, crown jewel of the mass-transit system here, is more and more seen by its legitimate users as a rolling crime scene.
The issues are not unrelated in the big picture - the total assessment of Portland's transportation present and future.
Now here comes Sam Adams with the innovative idea to 'recycle' the condemned span from the old Sauvie Island Bridge (Bridge troubles the waters, April 25), when the span pretty much has reached the end of its useful service life.
The purpose is to create an exclusive link from tony areas west of Interstate 405 with Pearl District addresses to the east. Recently, Adams garnered support by graciously opening the process up to bid.
The old span should be truly recycled - cut up and hauled away for scrap. Portland has real-world transportation issues that for too long have been back-burnered in favor of 'visionary' and 'alternative' programs.
Too often, it seems, 'visions' is a synonym for 'hallucinations.' Moreover, alternatives typically are what one seeks when what one needs most is unavailable.
If there is to be any more transportation money spent in the city core while other areas suffer, reality and logic dictate 'ugly' concrete and steel.
Let's move Mount Hood closer, too
Sam Adams' idea of moving the old Sauvie Island Bridge sure beats moving the Interstate 5 freeway (Bridge troubles the waters, Apr. 25).
When he and former Mayor Vera Katz came up with that one, I suggested moving the Willamette River instead, but no one listened.
Now, I suggest that we move the bridge farther south where it would have a practical application. Couldn't we use it to link Oregon to Mexico? We could bypass California and hit the beach.
City's day labor site violates U.S. laws
My son is a Border Patrol agent in the San Diego area. Most nights he can be found risking his life in the desert attempting to apprehend terrorists, drug smugglers and people attempting to enter our country illegally.
Last month, the Portland City Council voted to spend more than $200,000 of city tax money to establish a day labor site for illegal aliens.
There are eight pages in the Portland phone book of for-profit temporary/day labor locations in the metro area that check the Social Security numbers of their laborers.
Why does the city of Portland need to fund a day labor site that does not check the laborers' Social Security numbers?
There are many reasons to protest the presence of illegal aliens in our country: physically and financially strapped schools, increased crime and prison populations, overburdened emergency rooms, citizens paying health care costs for illegal aliens, lack of auto insurance purchased by illegal aliens, costs of social services for illegal aliens; lowering of hourly wages, establishment of a second-class group of citizens, etc.
I am not here to discuss those issues. I want to talk about the law.
On March 5, I testified before the Portland City Council on this matter. I pointed out that to establish a day labor site for illegal aliens would violate at least four U.S. laws: harboring illegal aliens, encouraging illegal aliens to enter the U.S., conspiring to do either of the aforementioned, and aiding or abetting any of the aforementioned.
Three hours later the council voted unanimously to violate each of these laws.
The illegal day labor site is due to open at 240 N.E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. the first week in May. Mayor Tom Potter - also the police commissioner - has declared that the Portland Police Bureau will be assigned to provide security for this illegal site and its illegal clients.
I wonder how Portland's men and women in blue will feel about, while serving as security at this site, the disrespect they will be showing their federal brothers in blue.
As each of you drive by this illegal day labor site, please think of my son and his partners risking their lives in the California desert, and say a silent prayer for them and our country.