Readers’ Letters

I'm responding to your previous letters to the editor submitted by Donna Lee Delk (Mimi Smith is a child, and her story tragic, Nov. 28) and Nan Wilder (Turning a blind eye doesn't help, Nov. 21), both of whom were responding to the Nov. 14 article 'How much danger does she face?' describing the disappearance of teenager Mimi Smith, apparently with her softball coach, Andrew Garver.

I am Andrew Garver's second ex-wife, and my concerns about Mimi and him were laid out in the story.

Specifically in response to Delk: Telling the truth as I knew it with regard to my marriage to Andy Garver and his 'relationship' with Mimi Smith took only the courage to live honestly É with my own past of being married to a man addicted to control and pornography and in the acceptance of the reality that in two-plus years with him, my impact in his life amounted to nothing.

It is my hope that mothers like Angie Biggs are not the norm Ñ excusing Andy's relationship with Mimi by saying 'the heart wants what the heart wants' Ñ and that our communities are more represented by Delk and Wilder.

Accountability for our choices (and I chose to marry Andy) allows us to learn and even to teach others.

Thank you both for your thoughts.

Julia Dahl

Richland, Wash.

Tram's costs will-stay under control

On behalf of Portland Aerial Transportation Inc., the nonprofit board empowered to oversee the Portland tram project, we want to correct any confusion arising from your story on preliminary cost estimates (Tram estimate doubles, PDX Update, Nov. 21).

The PATI board has acknowledged that our initial $15.5 million estimate of the project should have included provision for soft costs. However, that estimate has been corrected. Now, we are fully engaged in creating an excellent, and affordable, tram design.

Even at this early stage of design, we have secured two preliminary project estimates: one from the architect, Sarah Graham, and another from a respected, independent cost estimator. This approach allows us to take corrective action now, rather than wait until the design is almost complete. We will meet with our architect in mid-December and again in mid-January to assess progress toward reducing the estimates.

In addition, PATI recently chose the Doppelmayr Co.,the world leader in aerial transportation systems, as our engineer and equipment supplier. It is already assisting us with quality and cost control.

We are confident that the Portland tram will be well-designed, will serve the community and will be delivered at an affordable cost.

Pat LaCrosse

Chairman, PATI

Northeast Portland

Mike Lindberg

Vice Chairman, PATI

Southwest Portland

Jaynes out of step-with soccer fans

Dwight Jaynes' column on soccer, 'Much Adu About Nothing' (Nov. 28), was gratuitously nasty. Jaynes is not only out of touch with his own city and its many soccer fans but is unaware that Portland is recognized as 'Soccer City, USA.' Because of its support for the game, Portland was chosen as the venue for two of the quarterfinal matches and the semifinal matches of the Women's World Cup championship just a few months ago.

As many as 26,000 fans showed up at PGE Park and were treated to six matches of world-class soccer. And then there is the University of Portland women's soccer team. They recently played the University of Santa Clara in Merlo Field in the third round of the NCAA playoffs before a sellout crowd of 3,400 cheering fans.

Not a single player stood around with her hands on her hips, as Jaynes claims soccer players do. If he'd been there, he would have seen fantastic teamwork, accurate passing and truly awesome technical skills.

He would not have seen soccer fans getting drunk and raising hell, as he claims soccer fans do. All sports have some rowdy fans; soccer is no exception. But did he watch the Florida State vs. Florida football game on television recently when players from both teams went after one another in the middle of the field after the game? The brawl had to be broken up by the police.

The recent signing of the gifted 14-year-old soccer player Freddy Adu to a four-year contract with Major League Soccer peeves Jaynes, who says signing such a young player would never happen anywhere else. If a player is physically mature and has competitive skills, as is the case with Adu, why not? Major League Soccer has assured his family that his education and other personal needs will be taken care of.

Let me suggest that Jaynes attend a few UP soccer games next season. He might appreciate why soccer is the No. 1 sport in the world and is enjoyed by thousands of people right here in Portland, Oregon.

Peter Cullen

Southwest Portland

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