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Dispose of waste safely

by: DENISE FARWELL, A story about AAA Auto Wrecking in North Portland, run by Hebert “Hebo” Thurston, and his father, Hebert “Hebe” Thurston (with dog, Cry Baby), prompted a local official to wonder how the enterprise handles its waste, and to suggest a resource that offers guidelines.

Steve Wilson's July 24 article 'Junk is family treasure' about AAA Auto Wrecking was interesting. I was concerned, though, about the description of workers draining auto fluids and 'working in an oil and mud soup.'

There was no mention of what happens to those fluids.

Breaking down junk cars can release petroleum products into the air and local waterways, such as the Columbia Slough, and can contaminate soil with toxic metals.

The Portland Regional Pollution Prevention Outreach team has created a best practices guide to help recyclers choose environmentally friendly practices like paving the soil surface to prevent contamination, draining automotive fluids into sealed containers, and directing contaminated drainage into treatment systems and the sanitary sewer.

Customers can help protect the environment by choosing recyclers who have the highest commitment to adopting these practices. See more about the best practices for automotive recyclers at the Ecological Business Program Web site, www.ecobiz.org

Linc Mann

City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services

How about Tonya Harding Drive?

I guess we must name our streets after people, famous or infamous ('Chávez Avenue' sparks debate, July 27). After we get up to 200 and something we've run out of numbers, and letters only go to 'z,' so we look to long-dead folks for names or renamings.

So Mayor Tom Potter and Portland need names. And they are available; most recently Rosa Parks. Now César Chávez is the latest candidate.

No one seems to question that Chávez and Parks are worthy of an honor. And let's hope the city keeps it an 'honor' by at least occasionally paving those roads.

I'd hate to think of Chávez trying to lead a protest march down our streets these days - most of them being blocked or given detours due to construction. It's hardly the way to treat out-of-town guests.

So perhaps the council should consider naming streets after Oregonians, who, after all, are used to the climate, if not the street conditions.

There must be some worthy locals we could choose. Consider Neil Goldschmidt Boulevard … or Tonya Harding Drive …

On second thought, stick with the out-of-towners.

Mike Burton

Southwest Portland

If road name teaches about activist, great

Come on guys, anything is better than a name as boring as Interstate Avenue, Union Avenue or even Portland Boulevard ('Chávez Avenue' sparks debate, July 27).

What do we think about Interstate Avenue besides its literal meaning? If renaming a street provides discussion about César Chávez, then great - he was a great man who fought for what he believed in.

Job well-done.

Travis Murillo

Northwest Portland

Via Web

'Interstate' runs through local history

First and foremost, do not rename Interstate Avenue ('Chávez Avenue' sparks debate, July 27). It is part of our history, leave it alone.

Interstate Avenue isn't just a street, it's a historic street.

Before Interstate 5, Highway 99 was the only route north and south, making an interesting split that ran about halfway down the state. It was (and is) 99E and 99W. The north end of Interstate Avenue was the start of the split, the beginning of 99W.

I think it's important that the memory and the contributions of folks who have done so much be honored. The problem is there are thousands of them, past and present, nationwide.

We have so many local folks who've made their mark. Any renaming of streets or other public places in Portland should reflect only those who have done so much for the city itself - local heroes, if you will.

Joseph Noecker

Southwest Portland

Many deserve honor of street names

Where is there any recognition of older ethnic groups in Portland? ('Chávez Avenue' sparks debate, July 27). I see nothing near Hawthorne Boulevard for Portland's Italian community.

Interstate Avenue was called Patton Avenue until the bridge to Vancouver, Wash., opened in 1917. It still holds the last vestiges of Portland's Polish community in the form of St. Stanislaus Catholic Church and the Polish Library Building Association Hall.

The old Finnish Hall moved in recent years from North Fremont Street and Montana Avenue to the Kaiser Permanente complex on North Interstate Avenue.

I am glad that Rosa Parks was honored with the renaming of Portland Boulevard, but Grand Avenue should have been the street.

After all, Union and Grand avenues were a couplet, and it was the risky and difficult efforts of Parks and Martin Luther King Jr., working together, that put a face on the civil rights movement.

Why hasn't any Portland street been renamed after John F. Kennedy?

Don Borkowski

Salem

VisionPDX ignores citizens' concerns

Thanks for continuing to cover the emerging saga of VisionPDX (VisionPDX dream's still fuzzy, July 20). But there is one notable aspect of the VisionPDX summary document, 'Portland 2030: It's Up to You,' not noted in your story:

One of the most prevalent concerns gathered from the 13,000 or more citizen comments was that development and the city's co-investment therein (South Waterfront, Portland Streetcar, Pearl infrastructure, etc.) benefits developers and the wealthy.

The concern appears so frequently in the data that its omission as a concern or aspiration in the summary certainly is conspicuous. It calls into question the degree to which the entire visioning exercise actually incorporates the full spectrum of citizen concerns.

Daniel Anderson

Northwest Portland

Why must taxpayers pay for cheapskates?

First, Mayor Tom Potter opens up the City Hall toilets to the tune of $40,000 for a mere six months, and now this (Laboring for answers at day-labor site, July 31)?

I am a liberal person, and even I think this is not a prudent way to spend taxpayer money.

How about letting those who benefit from the day laborers put up the funds? You know, the people who pay them under the table so as to not have to pay state, federal, city, county and TriMet taxes, and who sometimes pay less than minimum wage on top of all the other savings.

Those of us who work honestly and have taxes taken out of our checks should not be the ones to make accommodations for day-labor sites. That just adds insult to injury.

On second thought, maybe Portland should fund this project. It might get some of the homeless campers off of the Springwater Trail, Powell Butte, Grant Butte and all the other places they lurk. You go, Potter!

Carmen Lohkamp

Southeast Portland

Via Web

Employment here isn't for illegals

I'd like to see a measure on the ballot to block undocumented workers from obtaining employment in Oregon (Laboring for answers at day-labor site, July 31).

I'd also like to see employers fined for using undocumented workers. I'm tired of paying for illegals.

Quinn Annas

Corbett

Via Web