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Autos arent the lone polluters

The Portland Tribune is to be commended for shining the light on a whole class of largely unrecognized air polluters (Construction racks up hidden cost, Dec. 4).

For more than 40 years the burden of cleaning up the air has fallen mostly on the motorist. That effort has been effective: New cars today are unbelievably clean when compared with those manufactured in the '60s.

Unfortunately during those 40 years, trucks, buses, trains, boats, ships, construction equipment, pumps, generating equipment, planes, mining equipment, dredges, refrigeration equipment, tractors, agricultural harvesting equipment, gardening equipment and more have continued to sully the air and remain largely unregulated - a tribute to the effectiveness of political action committees and lobbyists.

The enormity of the nonauto pollution problem made the national news recently when a spokesman for the California Air Resources Board pointed out that the ships, trains and trucks operating out of the Port of Los Angeles produce as much air pollution as the 6 million cars in the L.A. basin.

Hopefully, more articles like this one will motivate Oregon's governor and the Legislature to require all the polluters to clean up their acts.

Don Robison

Southwest Portland

Tribune is turning to tabloid approach

Jim Redden's story ('TriMet: Free equals less safe' Dec. 11) unfairly implies that TriMet General Manager Fred Hansen has been less than forthcoming about problems with free-ride zones and the problems with security in such systems.

In fact, Hansen has done an outstanding job directing a great public transportation system for this metropolitan area and has communicated well with the public all along.

The problem of security on the MAX trains involves all of us - our regional governments, including our local law enforcement agencies - working together. Now is the time for collaboration and problem-solving, not scapegoating.

Newspapers have a responsibility to understand and help inform the public regarding the complexity of and multifactorial difficulties faced by large public agencies such as TriMet.

The tone of recent articles in the Tribune about this, and also about medical accidents at a local hospital (Patient dies after being restrained, Dec. 4), has raised my antenna more about the Portland Tribune than about these agencies that serve the public.

It seems that the Portland Tribune, perhaps thinking it can sell more papers, is becoming less news and more tabloid when it uses innuendo and screaming headlines instead of careful journalism.

David Thompson

Southwest Portland

Helping homeless will help TriMet

By eliminating Fareless Square (TriMet rethinks Fareless Square, Nov. 30), TriMet would be compounding the misery of the homeless who seek shelter from extreme weather.

Provide the homeless a home away from Fareless Square and retrain them to be productive citizens for employment that could give them fish and bread on the table.

Society should take care of its discards to keep them from doing their illicit business.

Shantu Shah

Southwest Portland