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Remove baby before …

by: JIM CLARK, Baby products with a bevy of warning labels are nothing new. One reader remembers a highchair whose manufacturer felt a need to remind users not to store their kids in the closet.

Thank you for the trip down memory lane (Riding right's tough to do, Nov. 27) since my children now are 20 and 23 - well beyond car-seat age.

Your story reminded me of one of the best warnings I've ever seen.

It came on a folding highchair that attached to the side of a table for those fear-producing first trips to a restaurant.

The chair came in a very flat box with instructions on how to install it. I dutifully read them with the focused mind of a new parent … and attorney. They were very complete and understandable.

Well, our plans to venture out were foiled by the baby's desire to projectile vomit, and I began the process of returning the chair to its box.

Thank goodness there were storage instructions, because I probably would have failed miserably without them. The very first one was: 'Remove baby before storing chair.'

Sam Imperati

Southwest Portland

Other notables never visited

Phil Stanford wittily skewers the proposal to honor César Chávez (Stay tuned to sitcom at City Hall, Nov. 20), and by extension, our Latino community, when he observes that 'it's about time we named one of our more prominent public buildings after a California union organizer, who as far as I'm able to determine from news accounts, never set foot in Portland.'

But why stop there, Phil? I hear that we have streets named after other equally undistinguished outsiders.

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was just an Alabama Baptist minister who, as far as I can tell, never set foot in Portland.

And Rosa Parks? Just an Alabama seamstress who never set foot here either. And yet you haven't seen fit to skewer them with the same smarmy sarcasm they surely must richly deserve. Why not?

Rick Bernardi

Southwest Portland

Fareless Square has problems

For years, TriMet operators have complained about Fareless Square (TriMet rethinks Fareless Square, Nov. 30) and asked the agency to end it, to no avail.

It may have served a useful purpose at one time, but the good it may do is far outweighed by the trouble it spawns: fare scams and behavior problems with drunks, rowdies and mental cases, all which waste the time of legitimate riders and operators.

Bob Hawley

Mount Angel

Let's expand Fareless Square

Hopped up on the deadly thrill of a free ride between downtown and Lloyd Center, criminal elements club and stab innocents at the distant Hillsboro and Gresham MAX stations (TriMet rethinks Fareless Square, Nov. 30). Right.

I've listened to this tommyrot from TriMet for years now, and it still sickens me.

Fareless Square is a brilliant idea. It makes TriMet useful to all folks downtown who can get freely from place to place.

TriMet has had it out for Fareless Square for some time now. Let's get over it.

If there's a crime problem on TriMet, let's deal with it realistically, though as a long-term rider, crime on the MAX and buses is news to me.

This attack on Fareless Square is a red herring. We need to preserve Fareless Square as the crown jewel of our transit system.

Since TriMet never has managed to collect even 25 percent of its operating budget from the farebox, the sensible decision would be to eliminate all TriMet fares. Wouldn't that be a way of maximizing mass-transit use as opposed to new fares, turnstiles and cops?

Francis Ferguson

Northwest Portland