Featured Stories

City should stop targeting Greek Cusina

With all the other problems in Portland, why is the city so focused on this one business ('City targets Greek Cusina,' July 31)? If there really are code violations, why aren't agencies working with the owners to get them fixed, instead of investing so much energy in trying to put Ted Papas out of business? Isn't all this contrary to Portland's 'buy local' bumper stickers?

If the Greek Cusina were a homeless shelter or a store selling hemp clothing made with solar-powered sewing machines, the city would be falling all over itself to get any violations actually acknowledged resolved.

B. Hadley

Tigard

Sidewalk rules unfairly enforced

First Peterson's, now the Greek Cusina.

It's good the politicians are deciding which businesses are good and which need to be shut down ('City targets Greek Cusina,' July 31).

If city officials have a problem with the sidewalk portion of the restaurant, they should try walking down Northwest 21st or 23rd Avenue. At least the Greek Cusina has a barrier to keep its patrons in a confined space on the sidewalk.

In Northwest, the restaurants take up the entire sidewalk, not allowing space for pedestrians. The city has clear rules, which it selectively enforces on sidewalk seating.

I say it is time to enforce these rules on the businesses that are appropriating the sidewalk in Northwest Portland.

James T. Leist

Milwaukie

Tell dogs to 'go sit' on the toilet

Regarding 'City loves its dogs, but loses top rank' (Aug. 14), I have never owned a dog, so my only experience with them is removing their feces from my lawn and garden, removing it from the soles of my shoes after some of my walks and watching them urinate and defecate all over my local park.

If half of Americans 'consider their pets to be family members' - as reported by the American Veterinarian Medical Association - I suggest they be trained to use the toilet, as all other family members are trained to do.

Louis Sargent

Northwest Portland

Smoke-free law is to be applauded

As the new Smokefree Workplace Law goes into effect in January, Oregonians can rediscover some of those favorite restaurants and bars previously hidden in clouds of secondhand smoke. But there is a better reason to applaud this new law.

Simply put, secondhand smoke is a killer. It contains over 4,000 chemicals, more than 50 of which are carcinogenic. The surgeon general has determined that there is no safe level of exposure.

Secondhand smoke is far more dangerous for hospitality workers forced to labor in smoky environments where working an eight-hour shift is like smoking a pack of cigarettes. In fact, female restaurant workers are four times more likely to die of lung cancer than other workers.

Nobody should have to breathe air that causes cancer, lung and heart disease and strokes just to hold down a job.

We applaud bar owners who have embraced the change as a way to improve the health of their employees and customers such as Robert Becken of Smokey's Tavern featured in 'City 'dive' bars get ready for last gasp' (Aug. 14).

In the end, this new law will improve the health of our community and reduce the heavy toll of tobacco - something we all should applaud.

Chuck Tauman

Tobacco Free Coalition of Oregon president

Southwest Portland

Let adults decide about smoking

I was a bartender for many years and was teased that I was the only nonsmoking bartender in the world. As a nonsmoker, I would rather have smokers inside the bar than have to run the gantlet of cigarette smoke when I'm walking down the street.

I can't recall any law that says that bars must allow smoking. Why can't we just let bar and restaurant owners decide for themselves if they want to have a smoking or nonsmoking establishment?

If there is truly a market for smoke-free venues - and I would be more likely to patronize one - then owners will capitalize on it.

Is it that scary to allow adults to make the choice to go to work in a smoky bar? Aren't we smart enough to decide?

Julie Woelfer

Northeast Portland