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Readers' Letters: Conservative bucks behind city water measure

In Sources Say (Cash washes in to back, buck water measure, April 24), you say "measure supporters report raising just under $50,000 to pass it, so far"?

Wow, you're pretty good at distorting the truth with those numbers (about Ballot Measure 26-156). It appears you left out the funds the Portlanders for Water Reform committee raised in 2013. Did Kent Craford (a petition backer and industry lobbyist) help lead you to the secretary of state’s website to check his campaign’s contributions for 2014 only?

When someone checks it out (without his guidance), one might discover that the total raised to date is well over $200,000, of which $80,000 came from Siltronics. And lumberman Andrew Miller has given $8,000 to date to help underwrite yet another conservative movement to pass 26-156.

Micah Meskel

Northeast Portland

Reservoir flushing is just too much to bear

Someone had better flush Mt. Tabor Reservoir 5 (38 million gallon flush after teen urination, web story, April 16). I noticed a flock of geese and a bear using the facilities. You can't be too safe.

George Roxandich

Bethlehem, Pa.

God bless America? It may need that help

I live in little old New Zealand, and I couldn't believe reading that your bureaucrats could deliberately waste so much of a precious commodity called water over a little pee (38 million gallon flush after teen urination, Web story, April 16). My friends and family were peeing themselves with laughter.

Honestly, I don't think our own bureaucratic morons could get anywhere near the person whose decision it was to dump such a life-giving source. David Shaff (Portland Water Bureau administrator), you really take the biscuit. Shaff, you haven't got a perspective. Floy Jones is right. Good on her.

So where to now, Mr. Shaff? Empty out the public swimming pools every few minutes because kids (and others) keep peeing in the water? What are you going to do with the rivers? Stop them and let them drain away until the minuscule pee has disappeared.

We see and hear the comment on TV a lot uttered by anyone in America who has a microphone thrust in front of them. It goes, God bless America. That's the only thing your country can get right, you certainly need lots of help.

Bryan Bamber

New Plymouth, Hurdon, New Zealand

It should be ‘Bridge of the Bureaucrats

We're going to call the new mass-transit bridge "Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People"? (Bridge of the People, April 17).

On the contrary, I would think that since the people voted down the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Line back in 1998 only to have it be resurrected by the politicos, it should be called "Bridge of the Bureaucrats." Pardon me if I don't know the Native American word for "bureaucrat."

Gary Dye

Southeast Portland

Bicyclists aren’t paying for new bridge

The name of the bridge is immaterial, but allowing bicyclists who refuse to share the road or pay their fair share is abhorrent (Bridge of the People, April 17).

Ron Gonshorowski

Dallas, Ore.

PPS budget covers a lot of dysfunction

What a rosy picture! (After lean years, it’s time for PPS to invest, prosper, guest column, April 24).

There was no mention of the numerous allegations of discriminatory behavior by Portland Public Schools leadership, the Oregon Department of Education ordering PPS to comply with the law, PPS riddled with scandal, conflicts of interest, wasteful spending, misrepresentations and dysfunction. The culture of cover-up is exemplified here by the person promoting that culture.

Kim Sordyl

Southwest Portland

Skinny houses is wrong policy choice

The skinny houses being plopped down in long-established neighborhoods featuring completely different — and more attractive — architecture isn't a plus for anyone but the developer that got to turn one lot into two (Portland slides down “smart growth” list, April 15). Biking is great and all, but it isn't particularly viable for about half the year due to our northern latitude.

I generally support public transport and bike friendliness, etc., but it seems like some proponents have twisted these sound ideas into an ideological war against the automobile. Autos and other means of transportation do not have to be mutually exclusive.

Jared McClanahan

North Portland

Developers defeat state’s land-use schemes

Remember Gov. Tom McCall? He said, "Recycle." We listened. He said, "Clean up the rivers," and we listened. He said, “Save agricultural land by limiting urban sprawl.” Initially, we listened.

But when he said, "Come visit us again and again ... but for heaven's sake, don't come here to live," we did just the opposite, negating the efficacy of the urban growth boundary. It seems the real estate developers and the proponents of growth have defeated Oregon's once-grand schemes. If ever there were a perfect case study for the need for population control, this is it.

Geoff Sanders

Southeast Portland

Voters should say no to new taxes

No new taxes. No more extra taxes so little kids can do art and tambourine. No new taxes to create sidewalks. Yes to requiring builders and contractors to put in sidewalks in front of new homes. It is time for the city of Portland to stop giving out waivers that allow the builder to skip the sidewalk installation.

I voted no on the arts tax because we already pay property taxes and because most of us did art and music in our elementary classrooms. Considering the economy, it would seem that extra art for little kids wouldn't need extra tax money every year.

It is time once again to pony up $70 that we really don't have to spare. We are stuck with this unfair tax forever. Thank you very much you voters who didn't think this one through. Everything has gone up but my income, and our expendable income is minimal.

Oregon has not come out of the recession; jobs are still scarce. Restaurants are folding and mall stores are hurting. Times are hard, and shelling out a $70 flat tax every year forever is just plain frustrating. The only solution is to move out of Portland and Multnomah County.

The logic until now has been to not require new home sidewalks because no sidewalks are on that street, block etc. Every section of sidewalk already in place decreases the amount of area needed for sidewalks. If every builder/contractor had put in sidewalks for houses built in the past 50 years, we would have less to complain about.

No new taxes! Be prudent with the funds that I already sent. Portland and Multnomah County residents are already overtaxed, so no new taxes.

Patti Waitman-Ingebretsen

Southwest Portland

Broken system hurts school bond chances

Sometimes you have to make difficult decisions to force positive change.

While I dread voting against education bonds, the idea that the majority of the school budgets is on the backs of homeowners in this day and age is ridiculous. Homeowners are not wealthier than renters, we just happen to own a home. Mine is in need of drastic repairs.

In the past 14 years, my property taxes have increased 125 percent. This is not a fair, sensible or logical amount of increase, and it is 100 percent due to various bonds and measures, mostly school bonds.

While the current rhetoric is that the current Beaverton School District bond (Ballot Measure 34-219, May 20 election) being tossed out to Beaverton voters for schools will not increase property taxes, it certainly will not decrease them either. If the bond fails, homeowners will see their property taxes go down for the first time in 14 years, and no one seems to mention this.

The system is broken, and it needs to be fixed. This is why I am voting “no” on the school bond in May. If a few of these bonds fail, maybe then someone will get serious about getting the system fixed.

James Maass

Beaverton

Taylor deserves District 41 support

I encourage Democrats in House District 41 to vote for Kathleen Taylor, a good friend, a good neighbor and a strong advocate for public education.

She is a smart, energetic woman who is passionate about progressive government. She has been an active leader in her family’s school foundation. She raised the money necessary to put more teachers in classrooms and maintain quality education for students.

I am a public high school teacher who has taught for 18 years in the public school system. I also have two children at Llewellyn Elementary, and our family intends to watch our daughters matriculate through Sellwood Middle School and Cleveland High School. As a public school teacher and a parent, it is great to know that we will have a champion of public education in the state Legislature if we vote for Kathleen Taylor.

She has received the endorsements of Gov. John Kitzhaber, former Gov. Barbara Roberts and the League of Oregon Conservation Voters. Moreover, state Rep. Carolyn Tomei endorsed Taylor as the best choice for District 41.

As a native Oregonian, I know those endorsements are meaningful. Kathleen Taylor is the right vote for District 41.

Andrew Duden

Southeast Portland

Voters should send Taylor to Salem

I have known Kathleen Taylor for the past eight years, and I know that if she is elected as state representative in District 41, she will be one of the hardest-working education advocates we’ll have in Salem. I have worked with Taylor in the PTA at our children’s primary school and on the foundation board of our children’s middle school, and I have seen the passion and dedication she puts into her work.

Taylor approaches education issues from not only a parent’s perspective, but also the perspective of a government management auditor. Taylor has worked as an auditor at the state, county and city levels of government, where she has helped ensure our tax dollars are being spent effectively on the critical services, like education, that are important to our community.

I hope you’ll join me in voting for Kathleen Taylor on May 20. Our kids’ schools deserve a strong advocate, and we can count on Taylor to deliver.

Monica Harding

Southeast Portland

Bailey deserves vote for county seat

In response to your story (County hopefuls dig into local roots, April 8), we are strong supporters of Jules Bailey for county commissioner, District 1. At first we had been disappointed that Bailey was no longer going to represent us in Salem but were easily convinced that he would be very effective on the county level in promoting the very issues we had lobbied him about many times in Salem.

We are activists for criminal justice reform and public safety, including substance abuse and mental health treatment, youth education and services, help for victims of domestic violence, and services for people released from prison. Bailey helped pass HB 3194 that has sent money to the counties for such front-line services, rather than unnecessary prison spending.

When we first lobbied Bailey, we had thought he was focused on environmental issues and were surprised by his knowledge of and interest in our topics. We soon learned that Bailey is extremely knowledgeable, articulate and experienced on many important issues, and very receptive to constituents. Now we look forward to his leadership closer to home.

Sally Joughin

Southeast Portland

Lost wallet leads to nice discovery

I recently flew to Portland from Kansas to visit my daughter and her family. On Friday morning I dropped my grandson off at school and walked to the Grand Central Bakery & Cafe at Seventh Avenue and Fremont Street.

After a delightful breakfast, I set off for my downtown trip via the MAX. As I got closer to the stop I realized with horror that I no longer had my wallet. I panicked, retraced my steps, went back to the cafe and was told that no one had turned in my wallet. I retraced my steps again thinking of all of the complications that I would incur by trying to get my credit cards, medical cards and license renewed, much less the money that I had lost.

As I walked by the newspaper stand there was my wallet. Some kind soul had carefully placed it in the corner. I couldn't believe it; not one item was missing. This was just the beginning of an incredible journey.

So many people reached out to help me find directions and to keep me on the right track, and I want everyone in the Portland area to take pause and to realize what a wonderful, friendly and helpful city they live in.

Sallie Brodhay

Overland Park, Kansas

Robinson isn't the problem for OSU

Good article (Time for Craig Robinson to secede from Beaver Nation, March 25). A couple things: The Pac-12 is not a bad conference in relation to other conferences in America. They had three teams in the Sweet 16.

Also, why would (Oregon State men’s basketball coach Craig) Robinson be a nice guy and negotiate away money that is owed him on a signed contract? I've never known anyone to do this, let alone greedy collegiate coaches.

The bottom line is OSU messed up the contract and can't afford the buyout. It's a $4 million buyout (plus assistants), plus another $4 million or so to bring the next guy (and staff) on board. That's $8 million for an athletic department scrambling to get out of the red has to pay. It's the contract.

Yeah, Robinson isn't that great of a coach and a change needs to be made. But this is on (OSU athletic director Bob) DeCarolis and OSU.

Tim Sullivan

Boise, Idaho

Is that your bag? Get closer to find out

It seems to me that there is a very simple reason why people don't stand back — everyone's bag looks the same (At baggage claim, it’s survival of the fittest, March 27). Even if you have a distinctive luggage tag or ribbon on the handle of your suitcase, there's a decent chance that it will not be visible as the bag approaches.

I regularly have to turn over bags on the belt and check the name on the bar code sticker to know for sure if it's mine or not. You can't do that from eight feet away.

John Kutasz

Southeast Portland