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Our readers also expess their opinions about the Las Vegas shooting, the PERS debt and more

Our leaders allowed the Springwater Corridor to be turned into a miles-long drug- and garbage-infested campground for the homeless. Then they spent tens of thousands of dollars and took several months to clean it up.

In an astoundingly short time they have allowed the same thing to occur on the I-205 bike path. On an end-to-end ride recently, I was appalled to see conditions which will prevent walkers from daring to take the path. Bikers will last longer because they can rush by at 15 mph, but the end is coming. The amount of trash, busted glass and scary humanity is enough to stop this avid cyclist from venturing out there again.

There is a spot between Burnside and Stark that is particularly frightening. The path is 10 feet wide and bound by a solid wall on one side and an 8-foot chain link fence on the other. There is no break. When I made the turn off Burnside, I faced a large young man with a needle in his arm. I had to stop. Thankfully he stepped aside and let me pass. This is not a bike-friendly city on the I-205.

Tim Martin

Southeast Portland

Shooter's motives not such a mystery

Why, why, why did he do it? Maybe Stephen Paddock's motives aren't really all that mysterious — isn't it enough that he was a gun enthusiast? We're not talking about stamps or model trains here. What sort of demented hobbyist loves, cherishes and collects contraptions that have the primary, if not only, purpose of ripping apart human flesh? You don't need machine guns to clear farm vermin. How many home invasions are there in suburbia anyway?

We're talking about nice, quiet guys with very violent fantasy lives. A lot of them spend way too much time watching action shows on TV and posing with their guns in front of their bedroom mirrors. There will always be a few with the time and money to realize their dreams.

Gerhard Magnus

Northwest Portland

We need a real plan addressing guns

Gun fatalities in this country, in this year alone, total more than four times the deaths from the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Sept. 11 was a turning point for this country, a defining moment. It was the moment which we, as a country, agreed to cede our civil rights in order to be protected from the possibility of mass attacks or terrorism.

How ironic that these days, as the death tolls of gun-murdered victims skyrocket, we can no longer point our finger at foreign terrorists, but have only ourselves to blame. Even more ironically, in spite of the increasing numbers of Americans killed by armed white men, our leadership still points to the threat of foreign terrorists as the justification for increasing surveillance culture, closing our borders, and suspending our civil rights.

While I appreciate politicians' statements condemning gun violence in this country, I am ready to hear a concrete plan for loosening the NRA's stranglehold on good policy, a plan for increasing regulation of the gun industry, and a plan to removing assault weapons from the public sphere. I am calling on the Oregon Legislature to step up. The time has come — let's get to work.

Michelle Johnson

Northeast Portland

These reforms don't protect citizens

"Reflecting criminal justice reforms sweeping the country, the Portland Police Bureau has announced it will no longer identify anyone as a gang member or associate — and will purge the hundreds of names in its existing gang list" ("Portland police scrap gang member database," Oct. 5 Tribune). "Reforms" you speak of are generally in liberal jurisdictions such as California and New York.

I think this is a very dangerous move since governments' main responsibility is to protect its citizens, and this is not the way to do it.

Louis H. Bowerman

Southeast Portland

Police chief headline was inappropriate

As a writer who often toys with potential titles for articles before submitting them to a Community Newspapers affiliated paper, the BEE, I was shocked to see your Oct. 5 front page title "Interview with THE OUTLAW."  The article, about new Portland Police Chief Danielle Outlaw, was informative, but the title is completely out-of-line.  I believe that this kind of pun on the name of an incoming police chief is inappropriate at best and an especially inappropriate title for our first African American female police chief.

I read and value each of the two print copies of the Tribune every week but am very disappointed with this display of poor judgment.

 Elizabeth Ussher Groff

Southeast Portland

Time for a candidate from the Eastside

Regarding "Fish funded park where foe announces candidacy" (Sources Say, Sept. 28 Tribune): Portland City Council candidate Julia DeGraw's choice of the East Portland Community Center for her campaign kick-off is only "unlikely" to the Westside establishment, who believes East Portlanders must show gratitude for bread crumbs sent eastward by City Hall. Kudos to her opponent Nick Fish for building a playground there almost seven years ago, but the reach back in time is so contrived it stresses credulity.

When the Eastside is desperately suffering a rent crisis, crumbling roads and sidewalks, and crashing air standards, it makes sense that DeGraw would choose a kick-off location down the street from where she lives in outer Southeast. If Fish's relevant achievement is building a play-structure seven years ago, so be it — now is the time to hand over the reins to a new candidate, who actually faces issues relevant to East Portlanders.

Emma Prichard

North Portland

Mind-boggling wastes of money

TriMet is tossing out a possible bond to raise $1.7 billion to assist in paying for a new light rail line, while at the same time we find out that the PERS deficit is ballooning to $25.3 billion as recipients of this poorly concocted plan continue to bankrupt our state. Waste is waste. From the Columbia River crossing studies to the Cover Oregon debacle, to the millions of dollars wasted on the projected cost of the OHSU tram, the money thrown away by this state is mind boggling while our so-called leaders can't figure out the homeless nightmare in our city and state. I will never vote to give this state or city another dime until all the blatant waste stops, period.

James Maass

Beaverton

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