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Connection congratulated for calling attention to local characters

Thanks for the great article on Thom Powell in the most current Southwest Connection. Our family has known him for almost 20 years and he taught both my kids at Robert Gray. Keep up the great writing and highlighting of our Hillsdale characters!

Sarah Pulle

Beaverton (formerly of Hillsdale)

Story on state senator incenses citizen of Tigard

I was incensed reading the April cover story regarding state Sen. Ginny Burdick’s proposals to infringe on Oregonians’ right to keep and bear arms. She declares that “now is the time” for “commonsense” gun legislation. I found none of it commonsense. The clearest example is her effort to ban legally concealed guns in schools.

At first glance, this may pass for commonsense, but is it? First, it challenges the Second Amendment and the Oregon constitution. Second, as economist John Lott has proven, more guns result in less crime. Third, with one exception the recent multiple-victim public shootings have occurred in “gun free zones.” Fourth, we have had legal concealed carry (licenses) in Oregon schools for years with zero incidents. Finally, it is exceedingly impractical. Suppose you are a woman and you are going to a school ballgame or you are a parent or on staff or you are a college student with a concealed carry license. It is now illegal to enter a school with the handgun you carry 24/7 every day of the year. Where will you leave your gun? At home? In the car? What if you commute to PSU at night? You are effectively disarmed and you risk becoming a victim or else the law has made you an armed criminal.

Any Newtown-type shooter now knows his local school is wide open. There is no one to oppose him, and police are five or 10 minutes away. This is common sense.

It may feel good to pass more laws regulating the law-abiding citizen and the weaponry they may own, but these people are not the threat. On the other hand, why are so many criminals and deranged people walking free in society?

Randall Atonson

Tigard

Expand transit options for Southwest Portlanders

As a resident of Hillsale, I am a frequent transit rider. In fact, we bought a townhouse here because of available transit when moving from Idaho.

I fully support enhanced transit for the Southwest Corridor. Sometimes, our options are limited, so much more infrastructure is needed.

Examples of poor service include trying to get from my house to OMSI or the RR Heritage Museum, to Sellwood just over the river, or even to locations like the Southwest Community Center where the Line No. 1 runs when it wants to run.

When the new Portland-Milwaukie MAX line opens in 2015, such connections to the Eastside from Southwest Portland will be much better. Imagine getting over to Libby's for Trad. Jazz in Milwaukie on light rail. At age 72, I can still dream.

TriMet should make permanent the universal high school transit pass system. The busiest transit stop in Hillsdale is at Wilson High School. Our students ride to school, jobs, athletic events, cultural events and for date nights downtown. And, the message is learning how to really live in a city.

Arnold Panitch

Hillsdale

Ponderings on parking

I’m very appreciative of the added parking now available next to the post office, but I do have some serious reservations about it. The right-angled spaces and narrow driving lane make for very difficult maneuvering. I’ve already heard about some accidents there. I’d like to offer a suggestion, which I have made to Hillsdale Main Street also.

Angled parking would greatly improve the ease of access of the parking spaces; it could be configured either so that 1) so that the parking spaces on both sides of the driving space are angled and parallel to one another (Here you could drive in from either end, depending on which side you wanted to park on), or 2) angled so that the opposite sides of the driving lane oppose one another (Here you would drive down the lane from only one direction, no matter which side you wished to park on). Either of these would be less conducive to bumper crunching.

But I think that an even better idea would be to remove the concrete wheel stoppers and install instead a continuous, narrow speed bump, which would serve as a stopping point for parked cars and delineate the driving lane, but could be driven over. In this manner, one could enter the parking spaces between the two driving lanes from either driving lane, front in, and be able to leave by driving forward, not backing out. Such a parking speed bump can be found in the Raleigh Hills shopping center in front of Radio Shack. This would be an improvement welcomed by all who park in Hillsdale.

I would also suggest that each parking space between the two driving lanes have a painted sign in the space, saying something to the effect of "1 hour limit." The spaces on the north side could have the same lettering on the pavement or actual signs in front of each space.

Let’s make the parking situation in Hillsdale easier and safer. If you agree with me, write to Hillsdale Main Street and let them know: 1509 SW Sunset Blvd., Suite 2B, Portland, 97239; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Susan Narizny

Hillsdale