Boeing plan hurts health
- Portland Tribune - Opinion
It's true that increasing allowable pollution levels may help create new jobs in certain industrial sectors. Sadly, some people can't afford to move their families away from the pollution (Boeing paint plan worries airport neighbors, Sept. 28).
Environmental justice is a movement that recognizes the relationships between environmental burdens and social equality.
It's not a movement led by Birkenstock-thumping trustafarians, but rather a social justice movement recognizing that the bulk of environmental and social harms tend to aggregate in poor and minority neighborhoods.
Why? Because those residents often lack the political and financial connections to debate powerful companies like Boeing.
Those reaping the economic 'benefits' associated with increased pollution usually have the resources to ensure that pollution does not end up in their children's lungs.
Neighbors do not oppose Boeing's presence and contribution to the local economy; rather, they oppose Boeing's economic calculus that discounts the human cost of increased pollution.
There are safer ways of doing business
I was disappointed to learn that Boeing hopes to significantly increase its VOC emissions in Portland (Boeing paint plan worries airport neighbors, Sept. 28).
Boeing already is dumping significant amounts of a known carcinogen, tetrachloroethylene, into Portland's air every year, according to the EPA's Toxics Release Inventory Database.
In my view, there is no compelling reason to provide them with more opportunities to contaminate the air we breathe.
If Boeing wants to expand its operations, it should be able to do so without affecting the health of Portland residents and neighbors - especially children and seniors. The technology to mitigate emissions definitely exists.
If Boeing's reason for not addressing the concerns of Portland residents is that the company doesn't want to pay for it, then it should go back to the drawing board. Risking the health of children in Portland is not a price we should have to pay to keep Boeing's costs low.
Keep pressure on Superfund polluters
Kudos to the Tribune for its ongoing investigations into environmental pollution (For those who look close, bill tells tale, Sept. 28). The public needs strong advocates in the press exposing the unpleasant truth, long before we see unexplained costs on our sewer bills.
It's been four years since I sat in on Portland Harbor Community Advisory Group meetings, but the refrain is still the same: How can we get those Potential Responsible Parties to pony up their part of the cleanup costs?
Let's start by naming names: Schnitzer Steel Industries Inc., Kinder Morgan, etc. Or is that 'bad business,' so let's just let the taxpayer pay?
The Superfund cleanup costs will keep growing until we get leadership that takes corporate polluters to task right now. Keep exposing them.
Proposed market site is close to transit
The location of 511 N.W. Broadway looks like an excellent location for a market (Public market sets sights on new home, Sept. 26, portlandtribune.com).
It appears that the parcel has on-site parking - the developer may have other plans in mind for that surface lot, but in the short-term it will make it convenient for drivers to locate the market, even if in the long-term drivers will have to make adjustments.
The building is close to transit - one block from the transit mall, which, in addition to buses, will carry yellow- and green-line MAX trains in fall 2009.
The building also is relatively close to the Portland streetcar and the Pearl District.
School is to learn, not to get through
Go back to the basic high school education we had when I went to Benson from 1957 to 1960, and bring back teachers who really cared like Mrs. Meagher (Benson principal on leave, Sept. 14).
All the no-nonsense shop teachers and other underpaid teachers didn't care about money, only that students received a first-class education and graduated.
No one cares about education anymore - they only think of getting through high school. And many parents don't give a damn about their kids. I hope they close the school now since it isn't worth tarnishing the honor we had before.
Mr. Simon Benson, I hope you are not watching from above.
Seoul, South Korea
Bridge plans weren't always the clearest
To set the record straight on the Sellwood Bridge debate, Multnomah County Commissioner Maria Rojo de Steffey says the interchanges were discussed earlier, which is basically true (Any bridge will take a big budget, Sept. 28).
The community task force was convinced by county staff and the consultants that a signalized west-end interchange was the best option. However, the group did not learn until the final meeting that the interchange required five lanes.
The east-end interchange with the road under the bridge has been on the maps but was not really up for discussion, even though a number of neighborhood representatives are against it because of increased traffic in the neighborhoods.
Crime, poverty don't make for local color
Perhaps Ean Reeves wasn't explaining himself well, but his comments about not wanting the area too gentrified made my blood boil (A new Civic hybrid, Sept. 11).
If you don't want your neighborhood gentrified - or think that the prostitutes and drug dealers are fine and add flavor - then please take your nearly $500,000 investment elsewhere.
Or, better still, buy a condo for less than $200,000 and donate the rest to charities that help the addicted and homeless, since they probably find their situation much less entertaining than you.