Jax return deserves ink
I am writing to inquire about the lack of coverage of the Portland LumberJax. There seems to have been more coverage of the labor struggles and the season cancellation than the resurrection and subsequent rescheduling of the season.
As part of this, the LumberJax have acquired all-star forward Dan Dawson, who is one of the elite players in the National Lacrosse League.
It would be similar to the Blazers acquiring Dwayne Wade or Kobe Bryant. This kind of franchise player being added should make sports headlines, and I would love to see coverage after the Jax sign Dawson.
Please be fair in your coverage of this sport in Portland, and one that can be a positive force for sports, including long-term hopes of landing more professional teams here.
Don't blame Fareless Square for crime
In the article 'Pressure mounts for more MAX fixes' (Nov. 16) the idea of eliminating Fareless Square arose.
Some might argue that Fareless Square makes it easy for people to evade fares and thus contribute to violent crime in Gresham. If this were correct, most of the crimes aboard TriMet should have occurred within downtown and the Lloyd District.
The fact is that reported crimes in recent weeks have occurred in Gresham.
The reason for this has nothing to do directly with fare evasion or the existence of Fareless Square, but rather it's because of the gentrification of inner Portland and the resulting shift of the low-income and ethnic minority population from the urban core to the eastern suburbs.
With it, demoralized youths and gangs also moved eastward.
Fare collection won't stop the crime problem. Gresham Mayor Shane Bemis notes that many crimes occur in areas surrounding the MAX stations rather than on board.
All this talk against Fareless Square and fare evasion is about scapegoating the poor and the homeless population, who daily rely on TriMet for their basic living necessities.
Fare revenues account for only 16 percent of TriMet's income, most of which is spent on administration and enforcement of the fares.
Stop chasing after the poor who cannot afford bus fares that already are too expensive for a low-income person; instead eliminate all fares and use the resources wisely to fight real crimes.
The Right Rev. Sarah A. Morrigan
Let fares themselves pay for inspectors
TriMet cannot afford to hire fare inspectors (Pressure mounts for more MAX fixes, Nov. 16)? It could if it collected fares from all riders.
TriMet General Manager Fred Hansen needs to be replaced, or at least forced to ride his own train.
Chicago could learn a lot from Portland
It's great to see that Portland is wielding its 'green' influence around the country (Chicago takes a shine to Portland, Nov. 13).
I have a suggestion. How about Portland help Chicago to come up with a recycling plan? I recently moved from Portland to Chicago and was appalled to find out that the Windy City lacks a comprehensive recycling plan. What a disgrace.
Chicago ought to be ashamed of itself, and Mayor Richard Daley needs to take some pointers from Portland about how to create a good recycling program.
Yes, Chicago is a world-class city. It is clean, progressive and vibrant, but it has missed the recycling boat altogether. Thanks, Portland, for being so green.
Kevin J. Mork
Public process never came in renaming
I am disappointed in the coverage of the proposed name change for César Chávez Boulevard.
The reporting has been anything but fair and balanced.
Why do advocates of the name change want only to rename North Interstate Avenue and not accept any other form of honoring Chávez?
Where were the suggestions from the opposition? Where, in this city of direct democracy, were the notices letting all of North Portland know it could weigh in on the issue?
Where, in this city of direct involvement, was the venue to voice concerns and work together to form a solution?
We haven't had it yet, and to win this issue that must happen. We need a mediator who will show people that telling their story is safe and must be done to validate the name change and honor César Chávez.
Other things besides streets can be named
The ongoing saga of street renaming reached a new, almost comic, low last week when a majority of city commissioners passed a resolution to change Fourth Avenue (please note: all of downtown Fourth Avenue, not merely Southwest Fourth) to César Chávez Boulevard.
One can appreciate that these commissioners felt frustrated by the petty stubbornness of the self-appointed activists and the petulant fantasies of Mayor Tom Potter insisting on North Interstate Avenue.
But what on Earth were they thinking of when this resolution disrespects the venerableChinese minority community north of West Burnside Street without any prior notice? Perhaps they intended to demonstrate the absurdity of the entire process, which began 20 years ago over Union Avenue.
Why should any street be renamed? Why not name a freeway or bridge or park or building, none of which would inconvenience scores of people and businesses?
The only answer can be the arrogance that so often seems to accompany ethnic divisiveness. Shame on Mayor Potter and the so-called activists.
Red-light cameras discriminate
The 'Red-light rundown' picture (Nov. 13) is worth a thousand words, not a thousand seconds.
In the picture, the left-turning driver waits for the pedestrians to cross the walk in the direction of the green light. Fortunately, there were only four adult pedestrians crossing while the car was waiting to turn.
Imagine there were 20 people in the crosswalk and one or two wheelchairs crossing fromeither direction during the lunch hour downtown.
If the yellow light is programmed for only five seconds and pedestrians have not finished crossing, chances are that the car would get a red-light ticket for running the red light. Whose faultwould it be?
If a bicyclist is running a red light at the same time, does he get a photo in the mail? If the bicyclist (or the pedestrian) does not get the red-light ticket in the mail, the law discriminates against automobile drivers for running red lights.
Only a Supreme Court case could resolve such discrimination.