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Make a real difference: Write in Katy Smith

A lot of serious concerns have come to the fore about the honesty of Charlie Hales and Jefferson Smith’s incredible record of speeding tickets and license suspensions.

Right now, neither candidate standing for mayor of Portland appears worthy of election to office, any Portland office.

While many Portlanders agree they are facing an election conundrum, what real options are available to voters as write-in candidates?

At the Democratic National Convention, Barack Obama said that the best thing he ever did was marrying Michelle Robinson. She became his muse, ethical sounding board and self-styled Mom-in-Chief.

This may have been political posturing, but is was prescient and beyond wise even for a Chicago Democrat looking for a high political “bounce” coming out of Charlotte. It was also very cute and invoked the old saw: Behind every great man is a great woman.

That’s why I am suggesting we write in the name Katy Smith for mayor of Portland. Katy, since her marriage to Jefferson, has acted as Jefferson’s muse. Jefferson doesn’t speed anymore. Jefferson’s ODL is valid.

Candidate Smith is facing the political heat and its grave fallout. And, he is accepting full responsibility.

Perhaps Katy’s home cooking and unique domestic ways have tamed the many beasts within this bright Harvard man? Jefferson certainly appears to have changed, but is that enough to earn him the nod for mayor?

No, it is not.

But Katy Smith has made me pause and reflect a bit more. Perhaps the best candidate for this office is not a flawed man at all, but a sterling woman. And recalling the president’s words about Michelle Obama, I think Jefferson Smith may very well feel the same way. One can certainly hope so.

Politically, this choice is a two-fer. With Katy as mayor, she can hire Jefferson as chief of staff/consultant/policy wonk. Katy has shown she has a good head for politics and that she can control the personal narrative and maintain her cool.

She has managed Jefferson, and I believe he would agree, like the president, that he is a better man for it.

Bud Clark had Tim Gallagher and David Kish as chiefs of staff. Vera Katz had Sam Adams. Katy could have Jefferson working those levers of power at City Hall just like Kish and Adams.

Of course, the really big upside here is that she can fire Jefferson if he doesn’t do the job.

Not to be facetious, that is why I’m voting for the best woman in the race, and writing in Katy Smith’s name on my ballot for mayor.

Sheridan Grippen

North Portland

Fluoride decision unjust, unethical

I’m disappointed with the Portland City Council’s recent approval of fluoridation of Portland’s water. Medicating the public water without the public’s vote is unethical.

A pea-size amount of fluoridated toothpaste contains roughly 0.25mg of fluoride. One glass of fluoridated water contains the same amount of fluoride. We are told not to ingest the pharmaceutical grade fluoride in toothpaste. If “accidentally swallowed,” we are told to “get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away.” On the other hand, we are told to ingest the industrial grade fluoride in drinking water.

According to Portland Mayor Sam Adams and the Portland City Council, fluoridated water is beneficial to our health. On Sept. 12, Portland City Council unanimously approved a plan to fluoridate Portland’s drinking water. The decision is unjust, unethical and unsafe for many reasons.

To name a few: it is unethical to force medication on us in our water source; fluoride has not been proven safe; the implementation of the water fluoridation is going to be expensive for taxpayers; and despite the arguments by Mayor Adams et al, poor children will not be helped by fluoridation of the city’s water supply.

Dan Currin

Northeast Portland

by: TRIBUNE PHOTO: CHRIS ONSTOTT -  Tribal gillnetters on the Columbia River wouldn't be directly affected by a commercial gillnetting ban that will appear on the November ballot, but tribes oppose the idea and fear they'll be targeted next. Gillnet story

misstates Measure 81

Regarding the article “Barbs Fly over Gillnets” (Sustainable Life, Sept. 20), I must take issue with how you presented this article.

The headline should have been taken from Mr. Bakke’s quote: “The initiative does nothing to improve spawning grounds or boost depleted stocks ...”

This article does not belong in your “Sustainable Life” section, because Measure 81 has nothing to do with conservation. This article should have been printed in the business section, because this fight is simply about the sport fishing industry battling over the allocation of harvest with the commercial industry.

There are limits on the numbers of fish that can be caught in order to control overall fishing mortality to wild fish. This is simply a battle over who gets to catch the limited number of fish available. It was very strange reporting on your part to include not a picture of the non-Indian fishery, but a picture of the tribal fishery. Measure 81 claims not to involve the tribes and it is odd that you seem to try to implicate they are part of the issue.

It was inappropriate that you included a photo of a dead bird and claim that it was from an abandoned net simply because one of the sponsors of Measure 81 gave you a picture with an allegation.

Before you state something as fact you should determine if it really is or clarify it is a “claim” made by the CCA.

The beginning of the article simply panders to emotion rather than explaining facts. You imply that fish are terrified and traumatized by gillnets, and yet present no evidence to support this.

Even if it were true, it would be no less true than whatever terror and trauma are caused by sports fishers, orcas and bears.

Roy Sundstrom

Chinook, Wash

Industry howls at plastic bag ban

The many disgruntled responses (Thursday, Aug. 16, “Reader’s Letters”) to Portland’s partial plastic bag ban are extremely telling of the degree to which market libertarian ideology and corporate skullduggery have been diffused and normalized.

Many of the letters took umbrage with the perceived “arrogance” of the city’s ban, seeing it as an intrusion into the freedom of the consumer, failing to recognize that the situation against which the city is responding is itself the result of the ubiquitous “intrusion” of the plastics, chemicals and packaging industries’ products into society and the environment.

The commentaries betray an aversion to the “nanny state,” failing to recognize that this reaction is precisely the one carefully cultivated by “nanny corporations,” often under the cover of front groups like “Save the Plastic Bag Coalition” (funded by various plastics manufacturers), “Progressive Bag Affiliates” (American Chemistry Council), or the “Center for Consumer Freedom” (representing restaurant, tobacco, alcohol and other industries, funded by corporations like Coca-Cola, Cargill, Tyson Foods and Monsanto).

These groups worked hard to insinuate disposable packaging into the fabric of daily life and are now leading the opposition to the bag bans.

While the intrusions and compulsions of industry either go unnoticed or are defended as expressions of individual freedom, government action to curtail or reverse them in the interest of the common good provokes howls of libertarian protest.

This is the industry’s insidious tactic.

Jonathan A. Jensen

Salt Lake City

Don’t reward bad driver behavior

I read “Traffic! Where not to drive” (Aug. 30), about the daily commute clot and was struck by this paragraph:

“Some of those vehicles speeding along 82nd Avenue end up hitting other cars and people because they try to rush through a yellow light. The city has placed sensors beneath 82nd well before the Powell intersection, so if a car is speeding fast a block away, the green light lasts longer, allowing that car to get all the way through the intersection before cars and people headed up Powell start into it.”

Isn’t this rewarding and encouraging the worst type of driving behavior?

Roger Noehren

Southeast Portland