by: JIM CLARK, While many consumers are bracing – with their credit cards – for the opening of a Portland Ikea, one observer of the Swedish-furniture phenomenon says the store can pose insurmountable competition.

I visited Portland recently from Minneapolis, where we had an Ikea (Welcome to Portland? March 27) open two years ago.

It was enthusiastically received. However, within a year, many midrange home furnishing stores went out of business.

Ikea is a paradox. As a Swede, I love it but also resent it. Ikea will do well in Portland, but I guarantee many businesses will suffer.

By the way, the correct Swedish pronunciation of the store is 'e-KAY-ah.'

Mats Sexton


Raider paved way for local rock

Thank you for writing about Mark Lindsay (A Raider rides again, March 20).

In the '50s, Paul Revere and the Raiders' music was the start of garage rock and the great Northwest sound. It survives today.

Some say the British Invasion generated the garage rock movement, but years before anyone had heard of the Beatles, Northwest bands like the Raiders, the Kingsmen and the Sonics (along with dozens more) were rockin' out here.

The Northwest was much like Liverpool in the '50s - the Raiders were our Beatles.

The sound the Raiders made fostered the DIY ethic that remains prevalent today. Members of the Wipers and Dead Moon listened to it and went to places like the D Street.

A generation later, they were showing kids the real thing at places like the old Satyricon. Then groups like Nirvana got into it, and our independent and honest scene inspired people like the Shins to move on in.

We owe Lindsay and the boys big-time.

James Hawthorne

North Portland

If you build it, they will drive

Some of you transit critics really amaze me (Transit fans stay on track, March 20).

Up here in the Puget Sound region, we are incredibly envious of Portland's MAX and streetcar. The Seattle area is still 100 percent dependent on cars and buses, and our traffic is probably worse than yours.

Our first and only light-rail line is finally under construction, in 2007!

You would be crazy to not be building more rail projects. Freeways are not the answer; they actually make traffic worse in the long run.

Paul Symington


Via the Web

City does right thing with resolution

I live in Portland by choice.

I enjoy living in a place where people can think past our government's reliance on violence and imagined superiority (Portland City Council passes Iran resolution, March 21).

Our typical, aggressive approach has brought us thousands of dead and further polarized the world.

I welcome any attempt to build mutual respect and understanding between citizens, especially when so much effort and money is invested in people regarding one another as 'enemies.'

I appreciate the Portland City Council's approach.

Gabriele Ross

Northeast Portland

Via the Web

Couplet critic has strange bedfellows

Tres Shannon, co-owner of Voodoo Doughnut, opposes the Burnside couplet because he loves the street's sleazy ambience (Burnside fans: Bring on disco crosswalks, hold the couplet, March 23).

Consider the supreme irony of Shannon in league with million-dollar Pearl District condo dwellers worried about any alteration to their precious urban enclave.

They're missing the point: the need to end the dominance of automobiles on West Burnside Street, thereby bringing together the north and south parts of downtown.

Narrow self-interests should not trump the vision of a safer, greener, more humane downtown Portland. It is a winning idea whose time has come.

Matthew Sproul

Southeast Portland

Protester's behavior has a consequence

As Americans, we realize putting up with rabble-rousers and demonstrations is as much about Americana as apple pie, but when you start burning an American soldier in effigy, as reported in the March 23 editorial 'Rudeness mars peace message,' that takes it to a new level.

If there are not enough centrist Americans in your area to take a stand against this type of behavior, then I say to the rest of the nation, 'Boycott Oregon.' I have been buying grass seed from your state for years, but no more.

I will be urging other Americans to look at what is going on in your state and at doing business elsewhere.

Larry Crowder


Via the Web

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