Readers’ Letters

The uses proposed so far for Memorial Coliseum are uninspired (Portland's crown jewel or clunker?, Business, March 5). I propose to solve an existing civic need at less expense than we would otherwise be faced with: Let's move our main library to the coliseum.

Downtown's Central Library is just too small. Forty percent of the books are hidden away in the basement, and there are waiting lines for computers. We're going to have to pay for a solution before too long.

Memorial Coliseum offers a location close to downtown and excellent parking and public transit access, and we, the taxpayer, already own it. We can sell the downtown building for a good price: It has modern utilities, and the buyer would be prohibited from scarring this beautiful landmark. The library also could move its administration offices from North Russell Street and sell that property.

Portland Public Schools could also move its offices, as well as nontraditional learning spaces, into the coliseum, and the district could sell its old headquarters. Overall, a significant part of the financing would come from the sale of the old buildings. The city, county and school district would have to cooperate to make this happen, but all three would benefit.

Bruce Silverman

Northwest Portland

Front-page articles

tell a story together

I don't know É did the juxtaposition of the coverage of the Perez shooting (Traffic stop ends in death, outrage, March 30) with the story on a Bantu family's arrival in Portland (Bantu family finds new home and new hope) and its accompanying quote 'I got here and I saw a lot of white people. É I thought they are going to hate me because I'm black' give anyone else pause?

Peggy Heath

Lake Oswego

It's time to grant

same-sex marriages

What's it take for two lesbians to get basic spousal rights that are so freely afforded to all heterosexuals?

Case in point: Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin of San Francisco have been faithful partners for 51 years. There are many others like them. It's hard to imagine what more a person could expect of another to deem them worthy. They are treated as if they are out to destroy society; however, they merely long to join it. Would they be worthy in, say, another 51 years?

Macaulay Culkin was allowed to marry while barely a teenager; there are reality-show marriages, and Britney Spears had a Vegas-style 'Oops, I did it again' type of wedding. Contrast this with a voice of reason on news coverage, as a black minister from the (San Francisco) East Bay tells how slaves couldn't marry, and up until the late 1960s, interracial marriage wasn't allowed. He continues to say serial killers on death row are given the right to marry; surely law-abiding citizens deserve a choice to marry the one they love.

Yet the lesbian daughters of Dick Cheney and Dick Gephardt, for example, are flatly denied the option. Committed, loving relationships should be honored, not devalued.

Play by the rules, be a hard and dedicated worker, a contributing member of society, pay the taxes and just keep getting shut out É always the bridesmaid, never the bride.

Other countries, including our neighbor to the north, are already successfully solidifying same-sex unions. The sky -hasn't fallen, and it won't. Can't we progress just a bit?

Tracy Turner

San Francisco

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