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Our readers weigh in on he issues of the day, including the safety of the MAX light rail system, residentlal infill projects, reforming the Electoral College, and more

On the very day that the lead story was "How Safe is TriMet?" (June 6 Tribune), I had a hard fall while riding MAX. I had to go to the ER, but I'm OK today, two days later. I hit my head — hard — bruised my side, hit my nose, cut my hand and scraped both knees. No bones broken.

MAX is not safe for elders. As the ER doctor said, I am "a young 75" years old.

There are some wonderful people who ride TriMet. Three great folks helped me. One woman tried to catch me as I was falling, and then gave me a clean cloth to stop the bleeding on my hand. Two men helped me get up off the floor. One of them pressed the red call button and told the MAX driver to stop the train until I was standing up.

One of the men walked with me to the bench at the Lloyd Center MAX platform. I asked if he was on the way to work, and was he sure he wanted to walk with me? He said it was fine, and walked with me. I'm also grateful to my boyfriend, Martin B. Anderson, for immediately driving me to the ER.

Hey, you three wonderful MAX riders! You know who you are. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Marian Drake

Northeast Portland

The changes that infill would bring

Regarding recent articles on House Bill 2007 and the Portland Infill Project: I commend the Tribune for covering this subject and hope that you will continue. It is of tremendous importance to the people of Oregon and Portland. 

If these measures were to become fully implemented in their present form, they could change our way of living by:

• Eliminating the ability of cities to control the zoning and population density in their neighborhoods.

• Turning all single-family neighborhoods into the equivalent of apartment zones.

While the stated intent is to increase housing and make it more affordable, it seems more likely to result in the equivalent of small apartment complexes and motel-like short-term rental complexes. There is no guarantee that this would result in reduced rent. It also seems likely this would result in redevelopment of these properties by developers with a reduction in the opportunities for homeownership. This would reduce the ability of much of our younger population to build wealth over time.

I am currently land-use chair for the Collins View Neighborhood Association and have been land-use chair and board chair for over 20 years. I have gained great respect for Portland's land-use procedures and professional staff. HB 2007 would appear to place significant limits on the city's ability to tailor development to the needs of its population.

David F. Johnston

Southwest Portland

Senate should revise popular vote bill

When Oregon's House of Representatives passed HB 2927 that would award Oregon's electors to the winner of the national popular vote — regardless of who wins in the state of Oregon — it essentially minimized Oregon's future voice in presidential elections. While well-intended, this approach would not "ensure that every vote in every state will matter," as claimed by Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer, D-Portland.

Those who have read Ron Chernow's "Alexander Hamilton" remember the voting power posed by the state of Virginia based on its overwhelming population. The less populous states in the Northeast would have had little say in national governance had it not been for the electoral college system. Why would a candidate even visit Oregon, much less listen to its concerns, if our electoral votes would automatically be awarded to the national popular vote winner no matter how Oregonians themselves voted?

The Senate should revise this bill — or better yet, present a revised version to the voters — that incorporates what Maine and Nebraska do by divvying up the electoral votes based on the popular vote within the state and congressional districts. Keny-Guyer is correct; "Oregon deserves a voice in who becomes president." But HB 2927 is not the solution.

Linda Williams

Northwest Portland

Support Farm to School in Oregon

We are writing to express our strong support for HB 2038, the Farm to School bill that would maintain funding, in the form of grants administered by Oregon Department of Education, to reimburse school districts for their purchases of Oregon-grown and Oregon-processed foods and for food-based, agriculture-based or garden-based educational activities.

We understand that funding for the program has been eliminated in the Ways and Means Target Reduction Lists released in April. This is unacceptable! This valuable program supports Oregon's farms and food businesses, encourages healthy eating, and connects students with where their food comes from and how it is grown.

Farm to School funding is a win-win for everyone, students and producers. Without the funding we would not have been able to increase our local purchases by 8 percent. Students have enjoyed eating local apples from Kiyokawa Family Orchards, watermelons from Hermiston, hummus from Truitt Family Foods and 100 percent grass-fed beef from Carman Ranch. Let's continue to feed Oregon students food grown in Oregon.

We encourage our fellow community members to get in touch with our representatives in support of prioritizing and preserving funding for this important program.

Gitta Grether-Sweeney

Nutrition Services senior director

Portland Public Schools

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