Readers' Letters
by: L.E. BASKOW, The intersection of Southeast Division Street and 50th Avenue was the focal point for a recent Tribune series of stories on the economy. A reader writes with her suggestions for how to influence current economic realities.

As a Portland native, I understand and appreciate the coping problems both residents and businesses are experiencing in the Southeast 50th Avenue block of the Richmond area.

We all find ways to cope with life's challenges. My father died of natural causes when I was very small. My mother bought an older four-plex in the Buckman area. We lived in one unit and rented out the other three. My mother had a home-based business, which included both designing and sewing women's dresses along with doing alterations.

In reading 'Stressed, but surviving: A community learning to cope' (July 16) and 'Stressed, but surviving: A neighborhood responds to the economy' (July 23), I reflected on how I grew up. These are well-written and poignant stories about real people.

Our nation's economy as a whole is in a state of flux. The domino effect has impacted businesses, homeowners and our job market nationwide. Portland was recently ranked around 10 percent in the jobless market. Foreclosures are on the rise, too.

From reading these articles on changes in the Richmond neighborhood, I noticed several people are experiencing credit card debt and job loss. A few have chosen to return to school, contribute to their neighborhood's beautification, or start a blog.

Bryan Daniel said, 'I live by three things … you have to accept it, understand it and deal with it.' I would add a fourth thing and possibly fifth thing: Learn from your experiences and grow from them. How we think shapes how we view ourselves and the world. When we limit our beliefs, we create that reality.

What if these neighbors called a meeting, pooling their financial and mental resources to create a different outcome? One option is to borrow on equity in their homes and invest in other property(ies) without selling their own homes. Equity is like money in the bank - they could create passive income collectively, form a limited liability corporation, becoming business partners.

I've read books from the experts who've virtually started their lives over from scratch with few resources and become successful and out of debt because of their efforts. As someone who is and has done some creative real estate investing with others, it does work.

What one person cannot accomplish, together they can find strength along with new opportunities that may change their lives for the better.

Jacqueline Lerner Aderman


Southeast needs more sports fields

Why is it that the city and Portland Development Commission cannot see we need that field for sports for the youth (Developers flock to old Lents ballfields, July 23)?

Let's look at the long-term needs of Southeast Portland: We will not have space for youths to play sports if we build on this land; we already need more sports fields in southeast for youths in the area. The PDC should get the Foster Streetscape plans done first. Save the open space for other uses.

In the years to come, as more people move into the area, we are going to need more open space for youths and other things.

If you want to save a child from the gangs, we need things for the youths to do outside. Team work, not gang work.

Walter Nichols

Southeast Portland

Knauls' efforts have positive impact

That's a pretty cool story (Portlander helps to purify Oregon's olive oil, July 23).

I have a friend whose daughter is deathly allergic to peanuts, so I related to the positive impact Paul Knauls is making by his efforts.

I would recommend he also try Kalamata olive oil for its fabulous nutty flavor, but now I am wondering if it has other oils added, too.

Carmen Lohkamp


Keep the products we use honest

As an avid consumer and lover of olive oil, I think this article brings to light a very important health issue (Portlander helps to purify Oregon's olive oil, July 23).

As we educate each other about the benefits of olive oil over other cooking oils, it's important that we ensure that the products we use are what they claim to be.

Thanks for reporting on this. Good work, Paul Knauls!

Daniel Ronan

Southwest Portland

Stimulus slow to help jobless

Too bad that these firms with so many unemployed are not friends of the nation's banks or the nation's economists (Stimulus money yet to produce many jobs, July 23).

Stimulus sure helped the banks and the stock market, but seems awfully slow helping Jill and Joe Blow.

Dan Maher

Southeast Portland

Stimulus must lead to taxpaying jobs

I read that only 11 percent of the stimulus money targeted for improving the economy has been released (Stimulus money yet to produce many jobs, July 23). Unless that money is spent on developing taxpaying jobs that support our local, state and federal governments and our education system, we are dead in the water.

Spending the money on preserving jobs that are dependent on tax income is futile. We must develop production-type jobs that provide permanent jobs and not just jobs that are in construction or more government overhead jobs.

William S. Hamilton


Butts are better than a smoky room

Cigarette butts on the ground outside the bars? People who choose outside tables complaining about smoke blowing in their faces?

Damn. Can't anyone be happy any more (No smoke fines, but plenty of confusion, July 16)?

Anything is better than a smoke-filled room.

Doug Stanley

Northwest Portland

We need a law to limit the litter

It's a good thing all those millions of cigarette butts are biodegradable - oh wait, they're not (No smoke fines, but plenty of confusion, July 16).

Cigarette smokers as a whole are some of the most inconsiderate people around. They don't seem to give a damn about the disgusting stink or the litter they produce, so why would they voluntarily regulate their behavior without the law forcing them to?

Thaddeus Cox

North Portland

Portland needs a Pike Place Market

Fantastic idea (Market hopes rise anew, Sustainable Life, July 9)! It would be so wonderful to have something like Pike Place Market in Seattle for our very own and get produce and other local items on a regular basis, rather than going all over town to chase farmers markets.

Aimee Fahey

Northeast Portland

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