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Readers' Letters: Street fee hearings exclude constituents

Why isn’t there a “residential” work group for stakeholders who are not necessarily low-income, business owners or nonprofits? Does that mean that everyone else in the middle gets ignored? (Street fee hearings announced, Web story, July 11).

It seems like we’re addressing the issue on a few fronts but not accounting for a huge part of the population that the street fee also will affect — the majority of the residents of Portland. Defeat the street fee.

Lacey Cone

Southeast Portland

Working people can’t speak on street fee

We need anthems, parades, and brass bands again. The pointed exclusion of the general population relies on the inability of working people to participate during bankers’ hours (Street fee hearings announced, Web story, July 11).

A long-haul crusade to empower ordinary working people is called for. These present officials cannot be reformed. Evidence for their heartlessness is sufficient by knowing whom they plan to bleed.

Mary Saunders

Northeast Portland

Novick recall effort is misguided

This is a complete misuse and misunderstanding of the citizens’ right to recall (Novick on recall plan: ‘Start working with us to find solutions’, Web story, July 12).

Recall should be used for serious illegal, immoral or unethical conduct while in office. When an elected official makes public-policy decisions one disagrees with, the appropriate response is to recruit and elect a different person to that office.

Jim Gardner

Southwest Portland

Recall? Novick must be doing job

I’d say that this knee-jerk reaction to city Commissioner Steve Novick’s efforts to solve some really hard problems simply means that the man is doing the right thing. Keep thinking outside of the box! (Novick on recall plan: ‘Start working with us to find solutions’, Web story, July 12).

Christopher Olson

Southwest Portland

Step up, do job by running for office

Why do these petitioners come out of the woodwork at midterm, but when they have the opportunity to run for the council themselves, they always stay on the sidelines?

JD Mulvey

Southeast Portland

Going different way? Well, good luck

Great! Follow ODOT’s suggestion and take an alternate route (Honk if you think traffic sucks, July 15).

Then instead of being upset about the traffic, you can be upset that Portland doesn’t time any of its lights. Red light to red light on the arterial.

Pathetic.

Kevin McDonnell

Northeast Portland

Court decision didn’t exclude all options

The only thing at issue with this decision is that an employer cannot be forced to pay for a treatment to which it is morally opposed. In this case, the employer wanted four of the birth control methods removed from the policy since it refused to pay for what it felt were abortions (High court ruling infringes on women’s rights, guest column, July 10).

The justices reviewed the government’s own findings that all four methods excluded could prevent a fertilized egg from reaching maturity — in effect, an abortion. They are not saying the woman cannot use those methods, only that the employer does not have to pay for it. The woman can still use the other 16 forms of birth control, and if she wants to use one of the missing four, she can pay for it herself.

Brian Vanderzanden

Beaverton

Foster bike lanes will be welcomed

Too bad this plan won’t take effect until 2016. I could really use those bike lanes now (Foster Road slims down, will lose lanes to city’s “road diet,” June 17). Bike riding to and from work five days a week down Foster feels incredibly dangerous. Hopefully my luck doesn’t run out before those bike lanes are put in.

I am a car owner, but I’m getting older and biking is a great way to hold on to what little youth I have left.I enjoy breathing, and if bike lanes will increase my odds of continued breath, then I am all for it.Gruesome death by way of car/truck/bus is just not my thing. It’s funny, when I ride on the sidewalk, pedestrians yell at me and tell me to ride in the street. When I ride in the street, frustrated and impatient drivers yell at me and tell me to ride on the sidewalk. So yeah, bike lanes it is.Now we can all be happy ... and safer.

Rick Powell

Southeast Portland

Oregonians need to support way of life

I am a fourth-generation Oregonian. Honestly, for years though, I never really understood what that meant. But gradually I came to realize that my sense of Oregon identity is deeply intertwined with the state’s clean and open spaces.

And as your article (Northwesterners support efforts to reduce carbon emissions, Web story, July 11) suggests, it appears others may feel the same way. In light of recent challenges and proposed riders to the Clean Power Plan, it is ever the more important that we act on these shared values. We must call on our federal legislators to protect that which is central to both our health and identity.

Julia Lampus

Lake Oswego

Elephant rights drive is more than local

“Some local animal rights activists do not believe elephants can be kept in zoos humanely ...”, it says in your article (Walls go up on zoo elephants’ new home, July 8).

It is not just local activists who think that elephants should not be kept in captivity; it is a long list of individuals and organizations who have taken the time to speak out about the inhumanity of keeping these massive animals confined for years on end, subjecting them to hundreds of invasive medical procedures, including attempts at artificial insemination and daily foot treatments that would not be necessary if they were living on miles of grasslands as nature intended.

Elephants in the wild do not get foot rot. But the Oregon Zoo elephants do. In fact, Tina, born at the zoo, died from foot rot in her early 30s. Pet suffered from foot disease among other debilitating ailments and was euthanized in 2006.

Chendra and Packy have foot disease and Packy has abscesses. Rama, Packy and Tusko have tuberculosis. Stoney, born at the Oregon Zoo, was sold to a circus and died in the back of a Dumpster, alone, starved, unable even to stand.

All that information is left out of this article. If more people were to understand how the elephants at our zoo are suffering and will continue to suffer in their new expanded habitat — which, by the way, is really only about 3.5 acres for the herd of eight — they would very likely agree with local, national and international activists, educators, scientists, veterinarians and humanitarians everywhere that elephants most definitely do not belong in captivity. And that Packy as the eldest and sickest should go to sanctuary now.

Courtney Scott

Northeast Portland

‘Keeping elephants captive is ‘travesty’

I am so sick of hearing about the zoo and the elephants. Those elephants should be at a sanctuary (Walls go up on zoo elephants’ new home, July 8).

They could give the elephants free roam of the entire zoo, and it still wouldn’t come close to a natural habitat. It is shameful that teaching people to deprive animals of their natural lives and gawking at them is considered “educational.” Everyone involved with keeping this travesty going should be ashamed.

Jill Natowitz

Southeast Portland