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Be wary when renting or letting

The biggest clue that something is wrong is a tenant who wants to move in immediately ('The artful dodgers,' July 3). At the very least it suggests someone who is not able to plan ahead (not a desirable trait in someone you're intent on doing business with).

At worst, it indicates someone who is looking to get a foot in your door before you can discover they are a deadbeat. Once they have possession, they are your problem, regardless of how they mislead you.

When disputes occur, the laws tend to work in favor of a tenant whom the courts see as the more vulnerable party and who has something more difficult to lose (a shelter) than the landlord (some money).

That is probably how it should be, but a crafty person can slow-walk the system and end up living rent-free for a couple months. It comes at a price though: Once evicted, no sensible landlord will rent to them - ever.

If you are a landlord, never give someone possession without receiving the first month's rent and security deposit in cash or the equivalent (e.g., certified check or money order).

Taking a personal check is tempting and seems to be a gesture of good will, but it is very unwise. If someone can't come up with the cash to move in, listen to experience and consider them trouble.

If you are a renter, don't rent from a landlord who is operating on a shoestring. Look for signs of deferred maintenance and ask probing questions about how the property is managed. I'd much rather have a tenant who keeps me busy with requests for minor repairs than one who I never hear from until they move out.

For either landlords or tenants, the basic advice is the same: Don't do business with someone making claims you can't verify. Trust is great for marriages, but in business, not so much.

Dan Keeton

Southeast Portland

Cryptosporidium needs more coverage

The Portland Tribune article 'How safe is city's water?' (July 3) said there is no cryptosporidium in the Bull Run water supply, despite the printed water quality reports that have been mailed to all postal customers before 2002 showing detections.

The good news is that the Tribune is paying attention to this discussion and providing information to the public. There are costs and we need information. Keep up the coverage.

Commissioner Randy Leonard can guide public discussion of the issue, but the public needs to understand all the ramifications, not just the point of view of Friends of the Reservoirs.

Tricia Knoll

Southwest Portland

Local music on radio but more is welcome

I think Rob Brading's assertion that 'there isn't another station in the area' that is doing local music is ill-informed at best ('Strong signal for local music,' July 3).

KBOO (90.7 FM) has at least six shows that I know of that regularly feature live and recorded local music. My show 'Midnight Mixtape,' 'Music From Your Neighbor's Basement,' 'the Outside World,' 'the Movement, Dharma Wheel' and 'Drinking From Puddles' all feature plenty of local rock, indie, folk, hip-hop and jazz every week.

KBOO is working to add quite a bit more local music to its programming in the coming months. Jeremy Petersen and Dave Christensen at OPB Music also are giving Portland and Northwest musicians airplay every week on their 'In House' program.

They broadcast all over the state and quickly are becoming a presence on the Internet as well. In addition to the FM stations, KPSU (1450 AM) also features local music.

All that said, I'm pleased that soon there will be two strong community FM stations in the Portland area that support local music. The more the merrier. Congratulations to KZME for getting a license, and I'll be listening as soon as they're on the air.

Levi Ethan Cecil

North Portland

Assisted suicide is what it is

Regarding the letter ' 'Suicide' was poor word choice in story' (July 3), it's assisted suicide. That's what it is, that's what it accomplishes. I'm in favor of it. I voted for it twice and I don't see any reason to call it anything other than assisted suicide. Lord save us from the politically correct crowd.

Karen Miller

Northeast Portland