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Its time to clear the air

by: L.E. BASKOW, While private operators are taking the initiative to reduce airborne particulates in the Portland Harbor, one reader points out that there are numerous other sources of pollution.

I did not know international ships caused so much air pollution in Portland (Big Ships, Bad Air, Nov. 6), but that's not the only source.

Perhaps more than 10 billion pounds of pollutants reach the U.S. - primarily western states - from Asia annually. These pollutants include particles such as dust and soot, heavy metals, pesticides, PCBs, mercury, ozone, carbon dioxide, nitric oxide, and sulphur dioxide.

Viruses, bacteria and fungi can hitch a ride on airborne particles. Such pollutants could affect our weather and impede our efforts to meet air pollution standards. Soot and dust that fall on Northwest glaciers could increase melting rates and water shortages.

One study estimated that 20 percent of the mercury in the Willamette River is from Asian air pollution. Like Peter Williams, I, too, cycle along Willamette Bluff. Many times I've encountered paint aerosols presumably wafting from Swan Island. I have experienced it so often I'm surprised residents (including the University of Portland) put up with it.

Tom Shillock

Northeast Portland

Opinion writer gives hope for humanity

'Gen Y finds voice at polls' is full of hope and optimism and energy (My View, Jordyn Livingston-Esquibel, Nov. 13).

This writer is one of us who votes for what is best for our country, rather than for what is best for 'me.'

Determination, optimism and energy did not fully sustain my generation, and I'm happy when I perceive that we passed on our best to our children. We passed along some bad stuff, too, and I have long worried about the good stuff being visible among the bad.

There is plenty for this optimistic writer to be wary of. The country still thinks in terms of 'war' - fighting this, war on that; Sen. John McCain used the word 'fight' as his primary verb in his campaign promises.

Peers can abandon the cause, casualties of selfishness borne of bad times. The 1,000 people who own half the wealth and resources in the world are still determined not to let go, or even to be identified, and overpopulation will undermine every well-intentioned determination, as it has countless painful times in history.

I could offer many other caveats, unseen threats that blindsided my own optimism and energy, but I was not one to listen to considered musings from people over 30 and perhaps it's always been thus. I do dare to hope that we are at the dawn of a new and better age. Thanks, Jordyn.

Daniel Enroth

Hillsboro

Don't lump IRCO with other tutors

Hourly rates for the tutoring firms working for Portland Public Schools this year range from A+ Advantage Point's high of $59 to nonprofit Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization's low of $40 (Tutors off target, Nov. 13).

I am an IRCO tutor at one of these three schools, and I think it is important to mention that IRCO's tutors are volunteers.

IRCO is highly organized. There is always a coordinator at the sessions (along with the caseworkers of the children we tutor) It can be overwhelming because we are short on volunteers, but I think the program is great. I only wish we had more time to work one-on-one with the kids.

I just don't think it's right that you would put nonprofit IRCO in this category with the other tutoring firms. Volunteers go through background checks and trainings. We also are invited to attend multiple training sessions throughout the year to better our tutoring skills.

Erin Welch

Southwest Portland

Club Z is milking the cash cow

Club Z sounds like another recipient of the Portland Public Schools cash cow (Tutors off target, Nov. 13).

Remember the story last spring about the company who 'managed facilities' for them at a very hefty cost? Same idea, different general ledger account.

Club Z was thrown together to capitalize on the availability of funds. It sounds like little thought was put into the day-to-day workings; their focus is on how to complete the paperwork so they get paid. The students and tutors are merely pawns in their game.

Bonnie Hadley

Tigard

Forget menus: There are bigger fish to fry

This goes beyond government picking the low-hanging fruit - this is creating fruit (Menu-label law may be hard to swallow, Nov. 6).

We cannot fund Wapato, cannot afford to fix the bridges or roads, cannot adequately fund mental health programs.

So what do our wonderful commissioners concentrate on? Caloric counts on menus that people standing in front of couldn't care less about.

Does anyone with half a brain think that a 400-pound man seeing that a Big Mac has a gazillion calories is going to turn around, walk out of the restaurant and go get a piece of fruit?

Brandon Wheat

Gresham

Sizemore and his ilk deserve close scrutiny

Letting an out-of-state, eccentric, rich contributor and a very conservative anti-union door maker from Klamath Falls push Bill Sizemore on our initiative system will be the end of it (Sizemore still filing: this time a lawsuit, Nov. 13).

This is not a 'line of work,' as you write - Sizemore is a leech stuck to the rich and our system.

I only hope a few laps around the IRS merry-go-round will teach Sizemore and his rich dupes that they don't rule the world like they think.

Dennis Lively

Tualatin

Let democracy rule initiative process

Grapes taste pretty sour right now for fascism - those who think teachers and unions are the problem have too much money and time on their hands (Sizemore still filing: this time a lawsuit, Nov. 13). The initiative process needs to be fixed so the kings can't 'buy' their own serfs.

David Kunz

Northeast Portland

Unions are state's enemy, not Sizemore

I am glad Bill Sizemore keeps battling the unions who have a lock on the political processes in this state (Sizemore still filing: this time a lawsuit, Nov. 13).

The unions are the only reason Sizemore is regarded as an enemy of the state, as they try to muzzle the only freedom of expression trying to counterbalance the unions' dominance over the state's governance.

Unions should rather be regarded by Oregon citizens as the enemy of the state.

If a corporation acted like the unions in hiding millions of dollars in lobbying and campaign contributions, the corporation would be run out of Oregon on a rail, tarred and feathered.

Oregon citizens need to wake up to the con being run on them by the state's government employee unions.

These unions have you focused on the wrong shell, the one named Sizemore.

Bob Clark

Southeast Portland

City must take reins, urge green building

If the city wants to lead the green movement, it will have to find ways to encourage all architecture, engineering and construction firms to support LEED construction standards (City ties economy to green leadership, Nov. 13).

Whether it is lower costs for project certification and certification exams or tax incentives for city-located firms and projects, Portland certainly can find ways to really push this from the bottom up.

Gregg Mizuno

Northwest Portland

Intervention, not aggression, is answer

What's the concern about a dangerous person on the psychiatric ward - that they are armed and present a fatal danger (Safety concerns prompt OHSU to mull gun rules, Nov. 6)?

If so, how about good preventive security that ensures no guns get on the ward or even in the hospital? There are screening devices that can be placed at manned entries and there could be a no-tolerance policy toward guns.

Why do security officers need to use guns to control aggressive behavior anyway? They, as well as staff, should be trained in noninjurious intervention techniques.

Ron Fanyak

Salem

Training, weapons should be mandatory

In today's sad society of mentally imbalanced people on the loose, I feel everyone wearing a uniform and a badge who is in public view should be allowed and mandated to carry a firearm (Safety concerns prompt OHSU to mull gun rules, Nov. 6).

They should all be professionally trained through the state Department of Public Safety Standards and Training and certified to carry.

Along with the right to be armed, they also should be commissioned to make arrests. This goes for anyone wearing a uniform in public - from jail deputies to campus security.

To the taxpayer, they see a uniform, and when they need assistance they have the right to expect help.

Bruce Giggers

Clackamas

Campuses, hospitals need armed security

I welcome anyone to look at the Portland Tribune's posted picture in 'Safety concerns prompt OHSU to mull gun rules' (Nov. 6) and tell me, would you know the difference between an Oregon Health and Science University security guard and any other police officer in the nation?

People who do not work security at a major hospital do not understand what goes into it. Officers are highly trained and have significantly more contacts with people who suffer from mental illnesses, drug addictions, major traumas and gang retaliation.

Officers at OHSU are expected to respond to the same types of calls that Portland police do - just with fewer tools and resources.

We are a point in the nation now that Oregon is the last state that does not have armed officers at its campuses and hospitals. This is not the wheel that OHSU is inventing. They are just saying - along with the rest of the campuses - 'Me too!'

Kevin Cheyne

Southwest Portland

Outlaw's plays are too predictable

I am impressed with the strides Travis Outlaw has made as a Blazer (Outlaw a veteran? You bet, Nov. 20). He has come a long way.

The one thing I'd like to see at this point is for him to pass the ball more.It seems like he's something of a black hole on offense. He seldom seems to pass the ball once he gets it, and you can bet he's going to shoot when he gets the ball.

Both Outlaw and the Blazers win if he's less predictable.

Eric Matthieu

Southeast Portland