Thank you for continuing and increasing your local newspaper’s presence. This is particularly welcome with our other local news source apparently being gutted by its out-of-state owners.

My whole family appreciates having good, local news in a physical format. We only wish we could have it delivered early in the morning so that we can share it over our breakfast table on the day of publication.

Electronic devices are not welcome at our kitchen table — why would we put greasy fingers on or cups of coffee and juice near expensive equipment like iPads? I also have found that I don’t read so much as briefly scan through any e-newspaper. It’s just a very different sort of activity to look at news online.

With a physical paper, my family shares it, passing it around, pointing out different parts to discuss together and often revisiting this or that story at different times in the day. It is informative, but also a relaxing pleasure.

Also, my children (twins) are getting ready to begin school next fall, and we use the paper a great deal to encourage literacy and to help teach the foundations for their learning to read. As they grow older, the content of the paper will provide lots of opportunities to discuss community, civics and ethics. It plays an important role for all of my family, and we all are thankful for your services.

Thank you and keep up the good work.

Rosamund Kummel

Southeast Portland

Tax empty lots to pay for seismic work

“Eventually this neighborhood will be developed simply by virtue of its location.”

Folks have been saying this about Chinatown since we studied it when I was in architecture school in the 1980s. It is not going to happen (Old Town/Chinatown needs a vibrant mix, guest column, April 3).

The next generation[s] have moved on, from Hawthorne to Belmont to East Burnside to Alberta, etc. Paying public money to do seismic improvements is throwing money after a fantasy. Tax the empty lots that blight the place and put that toward the historic buildings’ seismic improvement.

Bill Badrick

Northwest Portland

Keep Kafoury for another term

Even if Jim Francesconi is running for county commission chairman out of the purest of motives, the fact that he can repackage himself on demand like some sort of chameleon makes you wonder if there is a real person behind that public façade (Can Francesconi be the comeback kid?, April 10).

As this article indicates, on the City Council he was too easily swayed by the last person to have his ear before a council meeting. And he still seems to be a lover of backroom politics, as evidenced by his promises to the Service Employees International Union as reported by Willamette Week.

I don’t care for the politics of either of these front-runners, but the Multnomah County chair is an administrative job. Voters should keep Deborah Kafoury for at least the next term. She has been closest to and had the most experience with the management of the county.

Dave Lister


Water system isn’t pro-environment

It’s very sad to see environmental dollars being spent to defend Portland’s existing water system (Community groups oppose Portland water measure, Gresham Outlook, April 1).

Any true environmental activist knows that Portland’s at-large system was used to lobby the federal Environmental Protection Agency at Portland ratepayers’ expense for pro-business modifications to the Safe Drinking Water Act. It was used to defame Bull Run logging activists. It’s being used to hide radon levels in the Columbia and expose our watershed to mercury waste from UV bulb validation. And it’s one City Council vote away from regionalizing our Bull Run water and commingling it with Superfund sources.

Civil rights activists have written about the egregious lack of democracy in Portland’s at-large system, and have concluded that district-level representation is more important than even campaign finance reform in addressing our long history of abuses.

Portland’s retention of at-large government, which was outlawed in the South by the Voting Rights Act and abandoned by every other city, is an embarrassment and a liability.

City environmental contractors would serve their public and private donors best by supporting district-level representation and cooperating with the new board — which they will have to do when Measure 26-156 is passed, and we will all be better off for it.

Katherin Kirkpatrick

Southeast Portland

Bioswale too small to be effective

The Southwest Huber Street project contains very little obvious watershed potential (To fix streets, city must act, not just talk, editorial, April 3).

The one-foot-wide strips look like a hazard to drivers and pedestrians. Calling this a sidewalk to allow access to businesses along Capitol Highway would be a better description. The large amount of money spent on the small amount of bioswale area should be an embarrassment to all.

Teresa McGuire

Southwest Portland

Independents not likely to hold office

I’m an independent voter, but I still seem to be stuck with big-money corporate partisan candidates (Corporations wet beaks in water district campaign, April 10).

Now that campaign finance reform has been dashed against the rocks by the “codgerly” gremlins in the Supreme Court, I really don’t see how an independent political candidate will get elected to any office on a state or national level. It’s dispiriting and vexing.

Corwin McAllister

Northwest Portland

Bailey will improve livability for county

In response to Jim Redden’s story (County candidates dig into local roots, April 8), I would like to offer that I think the clear choice in this race is Jules Bailey.

As someone who has lived in House District 42 for the last two years, I really admire how hard Bailey has worked to fight for legislation that benefits not only the whole state, but Multnomah County as well. We need people working for the county who will prioritize healthy communities and eradicating poverty and who have strong, clear experience in government. That is Jules Bailey.

That’s why in the May 20 primary, I’m voting for Jules Bailey for county commissioner. He is a champion for education and for long-term solutions to poverty, and he plans to make great programs like SUN schools a priority. We need a commissioner like Jules Bailey to fight to make Multnomah County an even better place to live.

Courtney Graham

Southeast Portland

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