Readers' Letters
by: Christopher Onstott, Training Supervisor Greg McGrew compares an old TriMet bus to one of the new buses, which has no steps to the seating area. In the midst of its own unprecedented financial turmoil, TriMet is asking voters to approve a $125 million spending measure Nov. 2.

TriMet's bond measure request is bogus, and will receive a no vote from me (TriMet bond plan faces a bumpy route, Sept. 16).

TriMet has had to subsidize its light-rail projects by 10 percent of $2.3 billion dollars, so TriMet's General Manager (Neil) McFarlane says. If not for light rail then, TriMet would not need to ask working families for more property taxes to finance the purposes of the bond measure.

On top of this, McFarlane and TriMet representatives should not be trusted, as they know very well the free zones for light rail take money from the bus system and compete against it.

The fact is, TriMet bus riders only pay 17 percent of the cost of their ride at the fare box, making it one of the lowest fare box rates among metropolitan bus systems. If this group (of riders) wants credence, they should be attacking TriMet's costly operations such as overpayment of health care premiums, the costly, unwise Wilsonville train project and now the Milwaukie light-rail study investment (some $100 million).

Bob Clark

Southeast Portland

Seniors, disabled need added safety

The Elders in Action Commission is a group of senior advocates who seek to shape aging policy on all levels. Transportation is a main focus area of our advocacy, because it is one of the single most important needs for seniors wanting to remain in their own homes (TriMet bond plan faces a bumpy route, Sept. 16).

Many seniors and people with disabilities rely on the TriMet LIFT system as their sole mode of transportation; this is a vital but expensive service to operate. Some LIFT riders would be perfectly capable and happy to ride their local fixed-route bus service, but due to the lacking infrastructure, they can't even get to the bus stops safely.

Voting yes for transit will allow for sidewalks, benches, lighting and other safety improvements to more than 300 transit stations. Equally important, new low-floor buses would make it possible for seniors and people with disabilities to ride transit and regain their independence.

Knowing that the older adult populations in our communities are growing at an overwhelming rate, the Elders in Action Commission has been advocating for these types of improvements for years. Today more than ever it is crucial to act now and vote yes for transit.

Augusta Hayter

Southwest Portland

Use WES money to improve buses

I am a disabled senior citizen, so improved buses and stops would be a good idea. However, how can TriMet justify giving them more money when they keep pouring money down the WES train drain (TriMet bond plan faces a bumpy route, Sept. 16)?

Stop the idiot-inspired WES train and use the money from that to buy buses. I suppose that TriMet's new buses would just sit in the garage due to service reductions anyway. I'm voting a big resounding 'no.'

Samuel R. Ganczaruk

Northeast Portland

Health care isn't free for others

TriMet is doing very well to make an effort in balancing its budget in a way that does not involve further service cuts. I commend TriMet for that. I condemn the behavior of the bus and train operators for complaining about having to pay for benefits, as the average person like myself has to do if we want health insurance.

They already make much more per hour than I ever will, so why shouldn't they pay for such services?

Megean Duncan


Forget MAX, let's take the bus

We need buses. We don't need more MAX lines, but there is no money in buses: no kickbacks, no lobbies, no payoffs, no campaign contributions.

New subject: Earl Blumenauer gets contributions from folks who lay down MAX rails (Portland basks in train glory, even as plans hit obstacles, Oct. 14). Earl, give us more bus service. I'll take you to dinner and miniature golf - we'll take the MAX.

Desiree Effner


TriMet must learn from its mistakes

Pushing TriMet to the point of financial disaster is going to be the only way of changing its focus (Do voters support more buses? It depends, Oct. 14).

We must vote no on TriMet's proposal if we have any hope of getting it to streamline its bloated payroll and to halt new rail projects until our bus service is restored. Things TriMet cannot afford like WES 'The Yuppie Express' must go if they are not working.

Use your no vote like a 2-by-4 to get their attention.

Dennis Lively


Buses should be made in Oregon

Are 100 percent of the new buses being manufactured in Oregon by Oregon workers? If not, why?

If TriMet can't guarantee this, I believe everybody should vote no. If we are going to spend that much money, let's spend the money here in Oregon.

Are these new buses going to run on natural gas? Why not? They'd better buy buses that run on fuel that is available in the U.S.

Michael Young

North Portland

Bond will provide service to seniors

The Leagues of Women Voters of Portland, East Multnomah County and Clackamas County urge a yes vote on Measure 26-119.

Measure 26-119 enhances specialized door-to-door bus service for the elderly and people with disabilities. For people who cannot use the regular TriMet bus lines because of physical impairments, bond proceeds will be used to replace up to 100 LIFT buses that provide door-to-door service.

Improving access to transit for seniors and people with disabilities at a low cost to property owners is a good investment in our communities. This measure deserves our support.

Elizabeth Pratt, Marlene Byrne and Lorie James

League of Women Voters

Portland, East Multnomah County and Clackamas County

Pass the plate for TriMet's budget

Maybe U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer should pass the collection plate at the Rail~Volution conference so all these transport planners, smart-growth advocates and urban developers can help fill the gap in TriMet's unsustainable budget (Portland basks in train glory, even as plans hit obstacles, Oct. 14).

Then maybe the transit agency can stop all the complaining and buy some of the new buses it wants, but can't afford.

Terry Parker

Northeast Portland

TriMet employs disgusting tactic

For the TriMet board to use old and disabled people to raise supposed bus money that will actually free up other money for Milwaukie MAX and the Lake Oswego streetcar condo insanity is really disgusting (Do voters support more buses? It depends, Oct. 14).

(TriMet board president, Rick) Van Beveren is either being duped or deserves tar and feathers.

Jack Bogdanski

Northeast Portland

Oregon needs seasoned governor

In uncertain economic times such as these, we need an experienced governor who knows enough about government to know where to cut and where not to. Further, our next governor needs to know how to get things done in a Legislature dominated by Democrats. Democratic candidate Dr. John Kitzhaber is that person and I urge you to vote for him for governor.

It's a safe vote during tough times. Kitzhaber is fair and pragmatic when it comes to budgeting and the alternative is too risky, too inexperienced.

Tim Young

Southwest Portland

Dudley will bring about change

Oregon's next governor needs to get a handle on the runaway spending in Salem, and the Portland Tribune even said as much in their editorial 'Let Kitzhaber steer state into future' (Oct. 14).

I don't trust Kitzhaber to 'quickly implement effective, course-changing public policy.' He's too entrenched with the public employee unions, and they're not going to stand for wholesale reforms. The Tribune even admitted 'Dudley would seek more immediate changes than Kitzhaber.'

I agree, and I'm voting for Dudley.

Arvis Franks


Kitzhaber failed first time around

I totally disagree with the Portland Tribune (Let Kitzhaber steer state into future, Oct. 14).

I remember Dr. John (Kitzhaber) when he ran Salem. Dr. John was constantly wanting more taxes, he hated the kicker, he wanted logging stopped, he wanted the dams breached, he is anti-businesses. The Oregon Health Plan is less than he envisioned, basically another government whoopee. The education plan he pushed down our throats is a total failure.

I can go on and on listing his failures. Please voters, do not vote for Dr. John.

Rick Durbin


Tribune made wrong decision

I understand the editorial board's dilemma (Let Kitzhaber steer state into future, Oct. 14).

I frankly prefer neither (candidate). I just don't share The Tribune's assessment of Kitzhaber's willingness to do things differently. Yes, the next governor should blow up state government agencies as we know them today. But, Kitzhaber is so beholden to state unions that he will simply light the fuse, watch the flame peter out, then protest that's all he could do.

Dudley may blow up more than he should through inexperience, but at least we have a greater assurance that major change will occur.

In a narrow decision, the Tribune flipped the wrong way.

Robert Smith


Huffman ill-suited for Senate job

That Jim Huffman had green inclinations in the 1970s has no bearing on his fatal flaw as a candidate for the U.S. Senate today - he is an economic libertarian ideologue. (Huffman evolves on green issues, Sept. 2.)

A libertarian view is a statement of faith, not a conclusion based on objective analysis. Clearly, the capital markets of the world are driven by investors' search for the highest total return over a relatively short term, a quest with neither a moral compass nor any concern for the Earth or future generations.

This quest produces relentless pressure on the Earth's natural systems, which are now over-stressed. Without being constrained in some manner, the capital markets will harvest the last fish, drain the last underground water table, etc.

Although laws and regulations to protect the Earth are not easy to design, Huffman's position that the unrestrained capital markets will produce a sustainable future is fanciful at best or, cast in a darker light, cover for those who seek to sacrifice our children's future for short-term profits. Huffman is ill-suited to represent Oregon in the Senate.

Dick Roy

Co-Founder, Center for Earth Leadership

Southwest Portland

Huffman the adult choice for Senate

The article about Jim Huffman was interesting, but his current views should not come as a surprise - it is called 'growing up' (Huffman evolves on green issues, Sept. 2). Albeit the phenomena is not widespread among college professors, the move toward acting like an adult, with a realistic view of the world and a recognition for the need of personal responsibility, is a major plus for someone we are sending to Washington, D.C.

Wyden is part of the crowd that has taken this country to ruin - time for him to go.

Dave Luck

Lake Oswego

Free market doesn't preclude regulation

This is a real hatchet job article on Huffman (Huffman evolves on green issues, Sept. 2).

I'd like to see, hear or read a real interview of (Jim) Huffman by an objective reporter to find out what his actual beliefs and solutions are. No believer in the free market feels that there needs to be no regulation by local, state and federal agencies on water quality and other environmental issues.

William S. Hamilton


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