Featured Stories

Other factors harm eels

by: L.E. BASKOW, Clayton Anderson, 15, of the Warm Springs tribe navigates a path along the base of the Willamette Falls in the search for lamprey. A recent story about pollution and the fish’s decline also should have mentioned overfishing, one reader says.

Your July 3 article 'Eels slip into trouble' noted the decline in lamprey populations in the Willamette River basin over the years, and asserted that pollution was the cause.

In fact, there are multiple factors involved in the declining lamprey populations, of which pollution is only one possible factor - a relationship that has not been demonstrated with scientific proof.

A glaring omission from your article is the fact that overfishing is a major factor, usually the most significant factor, in declining populations of native species such as lamprey.

It is unconscionable that native peoples continue to heavily harvest the lamprey in the face of dramatic population declines.

If they truly were interested in preserving this species, they would declare a moratorium on harvesting the lamprey and work toward restoring these populations to a sustainable level.

Instead, the tribes continue to take eels, continue to watch the numbers drop and continue to point the finger elsewhere - at 'polluters.'

Given the potential damage award the tribes may receive, I wonder if they are interested in seeing the lamprey population restored, or are they more interested in a big payday?

Frank Ray

Southeast Portland

Little has changed in cops' profiling habits

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision to throw out the conviction of Bennie Demetrius Washington (Ruling puts cop searches in peril, July 6) does not put 'cop searches in peril.'

But the decision does highlight the racial tension between Portland police and the community. We need to consider why and how Portland police officers decide to stop and question African-Americans like Washington, even when officers have no reasonable suspicion that a crime is afoot.

One question remains unanswered: If the two officers did not even have reasonable suspicion that criminal activity was taking place, why then were they asking a black man for consent to search his car and his person?

If there is no reasonable suspicion, we must consider the possibility that the police contact was initiated simply because of Washington's race.

Racial profiling is common on Portland's streets. Blacks are stopped and searched more often than whites, even though whites are more likely to have illegal drugs and weapons.

As long as Portland police officers continue to target and treat African-Americans and other people of color differently, the community has an obligation to scrutinize both the actions of police officers and the policy decisions made by the bureau that may affect people of color in disparate ways.

Alejandro Queral

Executive director

Northwest Constitutional Rights Center

Keep all of our 'hoods thriving

To bring low-income residents or community services for the homeless to an area that has almost no homeless population is ludicrous (Armories face the unknown, July 3).

Keep Portland neighborhoods thriving and healthy without mixing diverse populations together, which only helps to create intellectual ghettos of bureaucrats rather than helping individual citizens of Portland.

Glen Livingston

Southwest Portland

Via Web

Time is right for more solar power

Open your eyes, folks: All the things necessary to make solar power feasible are finally coming together (Solar panels proposed for Multnomah County buildings, June 27).

The technology is better, the political atmosphere is better, private investors are finally interested, and the state of Oregon has recognized that an aggressive tax credit is just enough to push it over the tipping point.

Expect to see many more renewable energy projects over the next several years.

This is the right thing to do for the future of our planet and our own future. We now just need similar leadership at the federal level.

Rod Hanson

Renton, Wash.

Via Web

City needs to stand up to contractors

I agree with Brian Berning's letter about studded tires (Want to save roads? Ban studded tires, July 3). We have to take chains to go up to the mountains anyway, right?

Barry Adams' letter about who should pay for our destroyed roads is way off-base, though (Road repairs will take toll on taxpayers, July 3).

For years, I've driven past those giant cranes and ultraheavy concrete (and other work) trucks, then watched them throw a few cheap patches on our streets on their way to their next project.

It's getting even worse downtown.

Why on earth should the city have to pay for fixing the streets after those contractors are done with their multimillion-dollar deals?

It's bad enough that we have to fight through all that construction, but then we're left with streets that knock out our teeth.

All the new (promised) tax revenue is great, but I say to heck with that if the trade-off is shattered infrastructure.

Commissioner Adams - stand up to these contractors! They need us more than we need them.

John Porter

Northwest Portland

Cost, commute make for musical houses

I was motivated to write after reading the Rethinking Portland insert (Is housing choice floating out of reach?, June 26) in my Scappoose Spotlight.

We moved from Eugene in 2004 for my job in downtown Portland. We settled in West Linn because we couldn't afford a home in Portland.

The commute became so unbearable that in 2005 we cashed in our 10-mile commute for a 25-mile commute to Scappoose, with a nice $80,000 gain.

We also upgraded from our claustrophobic townhome to two tranquil acres with territorial views.

While the commute was more than twice the distance, it was equal timewise and more 'peaceful' than our former commute - we didn't have to deal with traffic for most of the way.

Now, after two years, we are cashing in on another $80,000 gain to leave the Portland metro area for a job in Central Oregon.

We have purchased a glorious home with Mount Jefferson and Three Sisters views and, most important, a shorter commute.

All this, thanks to rising housing costs.

Debra Velure

Scappoose (but not for long)