Changing skyline points to progress
I'm sick of hearing West Hills neighborhoods complain about the South Waterfront District towers (The price of a high-rise city, Jan. 17). Real cities grow, and like it or not, Portland is entering the 21st century.
These towers are being built in the middle of a major metropolitan area. It's not as though these towers are being erected out in the country near Estacada, obliterating pristine views. If everybody complained about their view, nothing would get built.
Most Portlanders are excited to see these striking new buildings rise. Not only will our skyline become more robust, so will our economy.
Taxpayers foot bill for hasty decisions
Two arbitrators' opinions Ñ within six months Ñ for two Portland public officials' decisions cost Portland taxpayers a hefty amount.
Arbitrator John Barker's opinion Aug. 23 concerning the termination of Steve Goldschmidt, former human resources director for the Portland school district, and John Truesdale's recent opinion regarding Portland police officer Scott McCollister's suspension have cost a bundle. Haste in both cases wasted precious public resources that could have been utilized better in public safety and education.
Our legal and justice system is so corrupt that it benefits at the expense of the public. Much of the money in these cases goes toward legal expenses.
Arbitrators are not gods, but their decisions are binding and are difficult, if not impossible, to challenge. However, the relatives of shooting victim Kendra James certainly should make every effort to challenge Truesdale's opinion, which awarded officer McCollister 5 1/2 months of back pay and gave him a clean personnel record.
City squanders cash, then asks for more
I couldn't agree more with letter writer Maurice Troute (Readers' Letters, Jan. 17). I have diligently paid my Multnomah County taxes, despite the fact that I have no children, only to see the schools fall into further disarray. Every day I drive past projects being done by 'the city that works' that didn't even need to be done, while the busiest streets are wrecks.
We pay a fortune in taxes, yet the city keeps getting further in the red. How about this: Knock every city worker's pay Ñ including the mayor's and commissioners' Ñ down to the minimum wage until the city is in the black. I guarantee results.
Don't bank on tram to boost tourism
I can only assume that the letter from Bruce Hamilton was written tongue in cheek or that Hamilton is a newcomer to the Portland area (Readers' Letters, Jan. 20).
Let us ignore for the moment the extravagant expense of the planned OHSU tramway and examine the contents of his letter.
First, the tramway that was located in the early 1950s at Mount Hood was a complete failure and had to be removed because of mechanical flaws and a poor business plan.
Then consider his suggestion for a Columbia River Gorge tram from Rooster Rock to Vista House. There is a highway already in place (the Old Columbia River Highway) that takes the visitor not only to the Vista House to enjoy the view, but also gives motorists an opportunity to ogle all the scenic waterfalls, especially Multnomah Falls.
I encourage all to try it Ñ especially Hamilton.