Letters: More roads bring more drivers, vehicles
I am so glad that Joe Cortright is leading the fight against freeway expansion ("Just say no to freeways," Sept. 5 Tribune). Mr. Cortright is a brilliant and wise man, and we need to pay attention when he speaks and leads.
My late and wise father told me about how freeways and more roads just make for more drivers and more cars. That was in the 1950s, so this is nothing a lot of people have not known for ages. The short-term jobs are not worth the long-term harm that widening roads does to our community. Our tax dollars should be for road and sidewalk maintenance, not new roads.
I quit driving 20 years ago. Now I walk, bus/MAX, taxi, or pay for the gas of friends who drive me places. Walking in Portland traffic is hard enough without inviting more traffic and more freeways.
Ryan, Walden stay out of spotlight
Regarding Rep. Paul Ryan's and Rep. Greg Walden's stealth visit to Portland recently: Like their visit to Intel, there were no public events. They also avoid their constituents back home. They got the money from wealthy donors at a country club and snuck out of town. They run scared because they know we will not forget their work to keep their health insurance while cutting ours.
Renegotiate NAFTA for the people
As the physicality of climate change bears down onto our doorsteps in the literal form of hot ash raining from the sky, we must remain vigilant in ensuring the new round of NAFTA negotiations uplifts the agency of people over that of fossil fuel corporations in realizing an equitable and sustainable future.
Nothing so singularly demonstrates our collective fealty to corporate interests in the current NAFTA as the Investor-State Dispute Settlement mechanism, or ISDS, where corporations can sue governments for profits "lost" due to higher labor/environmental standards. The favor is not returned: While corporations can sue governments, we the people and our governments cannot sue corporations.
Had Transcanada, the Canadian fossil fuel behemoth behind the Keystone pipeline, won its $15 billion "lost profits" claim against the U.S., it would have been the equivalent of subtracting $100 from every American's tax return. Trump did them better by building the pipeline.
While we suffer the indignity of paying for climate change in the form of evermore extreme wildfires, we cannot suffer the double-indignity of paying corporations for dubious "lost profits" claims due to fundamental labor and environmental standards. Tell your representatives to renegotiate a NAFTA for the people and end ISDS.
Southerners in Portland speak out
We are Portlanders from the South. One of us is Jewish and two are Christian. We are white.
For us, as we grew up, race was an ever-present topic — discussed, dealt with, lived. Racism was all around us. However, we also read "Life" magazine or Sunday school literature or had a family who believed in racial equity. The Civil War may have been part of our family or regional heritage, but we decided that our ancestors were on the wrong side of history. We lived through and supported the civil rights movements in our states, and years later we cheered loudly over the election of President Obama.
Like many other southerners, we want the statues of Confederate generals removed from their places of honor in our hometowns of New Orleans; Richmond, Virginia; and Jackson, Mississippi. But we also see and feel many instances of intolerance, racial injustice, and even hatred in Portland and other places. We shudder when we think of white supremacists coming to our city. As both southerners and as Portlanders, we denounce racism and intolerance in all its forms, and we pledge to work to eliminate racist and inequitable practices wherever we encounter them.
Jean Beal, Robbin Isaacson DeWeese, and Georgia Wier
High job turnover no surprise
I read "We Love Our Jobs, Oregon Survey Shows" by Jim Redden (Aug. 31 Tribune) with great interest. What was missing from the article was the size and type of companies the persons interviewed worked for. It has been my direct observation that the smaller companies have no HR people or the one they have isn't properly trained, nor are the people who are hired. There is little, if any, indoctrination or follow-up training. No expectations set as to performance. No wonder there is high (and expensive) turnover. And job disappointment.
The kicker works; don't mess with it
When the Legislature set the current budget, they adjusted taxes and fees upward. Oregon now finds itself in the enviable position where revenue has exceeded what was needed to cover this larger budget. The kicker law simply says "You raised too much, so give it back."
The give-back also stops the Legislature from starting from an even higher budget next year, that would increase spending geometrically for years to come.
The kicker works; do not change it.