City must shun mediocrity

by: L.E. BASKOW, St. Patrick’s Church in Northwest Portland borders an area now dominated by parking lots. Con-way Inc.’s bold development proposal for the area tests the city’s commitment to urban density and its ability to turn big visions into reality.

We can't thank you enough for such an excellent article detailing the debate over how the mostly vacant and unattractive parking lots that have existed for years in Northwest Portland should finally be developed. (Undoing of a vision, April 29).

As citizens of Portland, we are tired of getting excited about a bold vision for some site, only to see it inevitably changed, dumbed-down, lessened and made mediocre by sitting year after year until 'all parties can come to some agreement,' which seems to be something our current mayor encourages.

Thank you, Peter Korn, for including what needed to be said: that the Northwest District Association often puts a damper on projects that could be conceived as exciting if people had real vision.

What a bunch of complainers they prove to be on just about every proposal that in any way touches the neighborhood. They have action? They have persuasion?

Well, it would be wonderful if the association could use some of it on whoever hangs onto that vacant site at Northwest 23rd Avenue and Northrup Street (the old pie shop corner) or the old grocery at Northrup and 21st.

Those pieces of Portland have sat inert for almost as long as I've lived here. What a statement of development malaise.

We applaud Peter Finley Fry for his willingness to say how things really get dumbed down and compromised into mediocrity. How we long for bold leadership in Portland that will take us where we should be going to become a great city.

Hooray for those making a valiant try, like Craig Boretz, Homer Williams, Fry and others. We agree with Boretz - change how we think about traffic here. We love the possibilities of the Con-way vision.

John Pearson

Southeast Portland

Free and online, Trib is vital to community

Thank you for the nice article about the Portland Tribune going online daily and keeping the print news for Thursday (Tribune announces changes, May 2).

I'm sure you'll get some complaints, but I just moved from out of town and want you to know what a treat it is that you offer this paper free. What a great way to keep the community connected by making it available to everyone.

So, thank you again. I think you're doing a great job. My favorite is 'Stumptown Stumper,' being the history buff that I am.

Denise Brock


Paper has been a leader since Day One

I applaud the move to once a week publication and continuous online updates. Since the morning of the Tribune's inauguration in Portland's Pioneer Courthouse Square, I have been an avid reader.

Your paper has covered local political and general interest news in a far more in-depth manner than the local daily, and the photography is always spectacular.

Thanks for the great work.

Aaron Kirk Douglas

Southwest Portland

Clinton stands above rest on health care

As I travel around the capital and back home in Gresham, I hear from many Democrats who are struggling between the choices in this month's primary. But I believe that the choice is very clear.

We're facing a number of very serious challenges at home and around the world, and we need a president who has the experience to be able to meet those challenges head on. To me there's only one choice and that choice is Hillary Clinton.

No one can deny that Clinton has more than 35 years of experience that will enable her to solve the problems the country is facing. As a registered nurse, I have been particularly impressed with her efforts to provide health care for all Americans.

Millions of Americans and thousands of Oregonians currently lack access to even basic health care. Some will put off seeing a doctor until they are gravely ill. Others will be forced into bankruptcy if they are in an accident or develop a serious illness. Even those with insurance are constantly afraid they will lose it when they need it most.

America is the only country that does not provide universal health care. Clinton is the only candidate who has promised to change that.

Hillary Clinton has fought to expand access to health care for more than 15 years. She has never given up in doing what's right for America. That's why I'm supporting her. Please join me.

Sen. Laurie Monnes Anderson, D-Gresham


For soldiers' sake, elect Obama to office

From the comfort of my armchair, I saw on the TV nightly news a wounded American soldier hobble off a transport plane, stand at attention as best he could, and salute the flag of our country.

It broke my heart.

These American men and women deserve a better commander in chief, a better government, a better cause, and, yes, a better country, than what they are fighting for, getting hurt for, and dying for today.

In their honor, and for our country's sake, let us turn our backs on this war, help elect Barack Obama to the presidency in November, and work with him to build an American republic worthy of all our soldiers' sacrifice.

Art Llebrez

Southwest Portland

A vote for Kroger is avote for environment

Some may be confused about who to support for attorney general. I am not.

John Kroger is the only candidate committed to enforce Oregon's environmental laws. Oregon's environment has suffered for decades from an entrenched system that does not provide the necessary resources or experienced attorneys to get the job done.

There was a lot of hoopla in the Oregon Legislature about 24-7 state patrol coverage. How about applying the same resolve to protect Oregon's water, land and air from pollution?

Oregonians have been working hard to plant trees, pick up litter, redirect storm water and collaborate with diverse stakeholders to restore our natural resources.

Kroger understands that without the backstop of enforcement, these protection efforts will always fall short. We need an attorney general with the gumption to challenge the status quo and bolster citizen efforts. We need John Kroger as our next attorney general.

Sue Marshall

Tualatin Riverkeepers former executive director

Lake Oswego

Macpherson will shake up status quo

A record of service. A lifetime of commitment. A tradition of tackling tough issues. That's what state Rep. Greg Macpherson, D-Lake Oswego, can bring to the position of attorney general.

His legislative service and deep Oregon roots give him the perspective to thoroughly grasp how issues affect the lives of Oregonians, especially regarding our children and the environment.

So what's the main difference between Macpherson and his opponent? It's more than style. Greg Macpherson wants to revisit Measure 11's mandatory minimum sentences, which have diverted our tax resources into prisons and crippled state services.

His opponent wants the status quo. Do we really want to continue being one of the few states that spends more on incarceration than on higher education?

Let's elect an attorney general with demonstrated leadership to address today's problems to promote a better future for our state.

Jan Pearce

Lake Oswego