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Readers' Letters: College costs have hit the tipping point

As a society, we should be supportive of those who choose to get an education that will contribute productively to society (OHSU students get bitter insurance pill, June 28).

Paying $4,000 a year for insurance is a tremendous financial burden when you are a student without an income, and it is difficult to live on student loans, especially knowing that not only do you have to pay back the cost of your loan, but after 20 to 30 years of interest, what may have cost $4,000 in total will cost closer to twice or triple that amount. That’s a very steep price for insurance.

Elizabeth Biermann

Southeast Portland

People will report rental violators

I’m unclear why Steve Unger thinks that many short-term rentals will operate illegally and deprive the city of lodging taxes. If they are on Airbnb in Portland, they will be subject to those taxes which there is no way around, whether legal or not (Portland to embrace Airbnb type short-term rentals, but not in apartments and condos, Web story, June 24).

Legal short-term rentals will be a hot commodity and, in my opinion, unfortunately there will be incentives to report competitors who are not playing fair. It is probably only a matter of time before neighbors or other Airbnb hosts will report others who are not registered with the city.

Susan Moray

Southeast Portland

Kids should get gun education

In my opinion, we should be fully educating our kids about guns as soon as they get to be high school age. Since this has been and, hopefully, always will be a gun country, there should be a mandatory gun class in every school in America (Your vote could help put a stop to rampant gun violence, guest column, June 19).

Kids should learn everything about guns — how they are constructed, how they function.

It seems like the kids learn guns from video games and movies, and have a misunderstanding of the seriousness of firearm use. Let’s just not touch our Second Amendment, because there is nothing more important than freedom. Or whatever is left of it.

Tomas Pudil

West Linn

Burdick creates her own problems

The Tribune wrote: “It has been frustrating to hear the vitriolic reaction to a renewed proposal from state Sen. Ginny Burdick, a Southwest Portland Democrat, to make adults criminally liable for what happens with firearms obtained by children” (Focus on responsible gun ownership, editorial, June 19).

I would submit that the vitriol is not so much over Burdick’s most recent proposal, but over Burdick herself. Burdick doesn’t really believe in responsible gun ownership, she believes guns should be confiscated. She and state Rep. Mitch Greenlick were all in favor of legislation that would not only trample on the Second Amendment, but the Fourth and Fifth as well.

Every tragedy is an opportunity to Burdick and those of her ilk. And in the aftermath, she always insists that “gun nuts” are threatening her life, but is unable to prove it.

And make no mistake. To Burdick a “gun nut” is anyone who owns a gun. She will talk a good story about coming from a family that hunted, etc., ad nauseaum, but she doesn’t mean one word of it.

Dave Lister

Tigard

People need to talk about death

Death Cafes redefine the notion that death is a taboo topic. These events are one of the few places we can be safe to share our opinions, ask questions and hear others’ perspective on death (O Death spare me till we talk about it, June 19).

Once people find out what I do — helping families find the resources they need — they really open up to discuss death and ask questions. For more info on the Death Cafe movement worldwide, I share a compilation of articles and videos about Death Cafes at departingdecisions.com.

Angela Kienholz

Southeast Portland

Community college is a great option

Who knows why looking down on community colleges nowadays has become such a fad, but it really gets to me. The usual stereotype is that community college is just a place where the slackers and partiers end up.

No.

Getting right to the point, community college saves you money. For a teenager who has a job, but is still addicted to mac and cheese and the mall, that’s a major plus. If your parents don’t make $249,291,415,792 a year, then saving around $30,000 for a year or two should sound pretty freaking good to you.

Or maybe your parents do make $249,291,415,792 a year ... so what? Of course, when I go to the grocery store with my parent’s money I might stretch the budget a bit to get my Cheez-It fix, but when it comes to somewhere around a heavy chunk of $30,000, I’d prefer to not go a dime over. Why spend the money on something that you could get somewhere else for a year, and start paying the big bucks when you’re not just a kid who’s still thinking, “I think I’ll be a cowgirl when I grow up”?

Do whatever you feel is right, whatever you can afford, just do something. Yes, I’m preaching the option of community college, but I’m preaching every option. Maybe you’ve known exactly what university you’ve wanted to go to since you were in junior high. That’s great!

Now for the rest (and majority) of us, don’t worry. Take a year here, take a year there, get a cool job/internship, etc. — experience life to the fullest, because there’s nothing wrong with becoming a well-rounded person in a way that doesn’t exactly include four years at a million/billion/trillion-dollar college.

Jessica Daly

Lake Oswego

Stability can be good for racquet clubs

Great story (Tennis pros say racquet clubs serves them well, June 12) — this is one problem with some of the clubs I’ve been at, the high turnover of pros. Right when you get used to them, they bolt.

A friend of mine is a club pro, and he jumps around all over the country every few years. Stability is a good thing. Glad to see this club keeps its talent around and the talent wants to be around.

Tim Sullivan

Boise, Idaho

Hoping Fritz gets a kick out of soccer

Hey, I hope Amanda Fritz, one of the two city commissioners who voted against the Timbers, is watching what’s happening in our fair city.

There is a lot going on and there’s lots of publicity nationwide and worldwide for Portland because of soccer and the Timbers/Thorns.

The whole Major League Soccer/Timbers/Thorns/Providence Park deal turned out to be a pretty sweet deal for the city. Too bad Amanda Fritz thought the whole deal was bad and a waste of money because she thought we had too many potholes to fill.

Brian Nutting

Milwaukie

We saw it coming; why didn’t they?

“Leaky-butte syndrome” happened as soon as the new concrete storage device was completed and testing was begun, above the Powell corridor in east Portland (Let’s get water, sewer bureau changes right, editorial, June 5).

Those of us who testified against debt-financed expenditure for large concrete projects like this looked into the history of the contractors involved and warned city officials about failures and cost overruns. Management and politicians appeared to us to be remiss about checking references.

We did it, and we put research up on a filmed record and in comments in places such as this. Alas, by the time public testimony was taken, it was too late for the public interest to be protected.

I questioned whether evidence of ancient humans would be carefully researched. I also asked for documentation of a need to put something new in a known seismically active place when we know the existing reservoirs have already withstood ground movement for more than 100 years.

I did not see the design before testifying. Had I seen all the posts involved, I would have been astounded. So much surface for mold to grow on in one of the mold centers of the planet. The posts create so much surface inside this structure that it is not at all surprising there have been more than 3,000 leaks. What about the project with divers checking out the leaks on top of the butte? How is that going?

There are a lot of bizarre details to this saga. Given Portland’s reputation for weird episodes, I hope to hear more from the Tribune as more unforeseen situations develop.

Mary Saunders

Northeast Portland