Letters to the Editor: Nov. 12, 2020
Let's talk about Oregon
There are few things more reassuring than having something to look forward to. As a kid, it's your birthday. As a teen, it's not being a teen. As an adult, it's being wherever you feel totally at home. And, as an adult in COVID times, it's the chance to be safely surrounded by people you love.
Over the last three years, I haven't quite felt at home. Grad school has sent me from Beaverton to Boston and then down to the Bay Area. At each stop, it's become more apparent that Dorothy was really on to something — there's no place like home (especially when home is Oregon). For most of school, I found comfort in the fact that there would be a clear way to return home — to Pips Donuts in Portland, Pre's Trail in Eugene, and Wallowa Lake near Joseph. But, as COVID-19 further disrupts daily life, I've become less sure of how and when I'll make it back home.
That's why I'm creating a new thing to look forward to in the near future — having virtual lunch with 100 different Oregonians in 2021. I'm calling it the PB & Joy project — I'll start each session with a PB&J in hand and a primary question in mind — what is it about living in Oregon that brings you joy?
My hope is that 100 different answers to that question won't only serve as a source of hope for me. I'll highlight segments from each lunch in a blog that will hopefully attract a stable and strong following. If the project works out, posts will reach countless other Oregonians that could use a reminder of why we're lucky to call our state home.
So, will you join me for lunch? No need to actually bring a PB&J...though I will be having one. We will simply hop on a Zoom and focus on what brings you joy as an Oregon resident. It may sound silly but I am far from the first person to think breaking bread and actively talking about what's going right when so much seems wrong may be restorative (of course, a PB&J or 100 won't hurt either).
Kevin Frazier, Tualatin
A response to Jim Redden's Metro reporting
Jim, thank God the voters rejected the measure. MAX on Barbur is an abominably horrible worst-case example of senseless engineering for the hell of it.
My estimation of 500-1,000 mature street trees and forest canopy felled from satellite views looks more like 1,000-1,500. Don't tell anyone about that, nor how traffic hazards worsen, nor that transit patronage like is better with rapid bus "curbside stop" alternatives.
How do you spell fraud? I spell it: Metro, TriMet, ODOT and City Council are not off the hook. Court charges of criminal acts that misdirected their studies to "predetermined outcomes" thoroughly manipulated in each and between all these agencies — obviously in need of reform, by court order if necessary.
As for your reporting, please do a special to fill in the parts you left out. MAX on Barbur: bad idea. Rose Quarter I-5 rebuild: bad idea, in the same sense of poorly engineered design roadway arrangements.
You'll see ODOT in court for their bald-faced lies about their "widenings" some department heads there have going on for the hell of it.
Art Lewellan, Northwest Portland
Don't rename Wilson High School
I want to go on record as greatly opposing the school renaming project.
It is no doubt, a great exercise for current students. Unfortunately, they are a very small portion of all those who have graduated from Wilson since it started. How can they imagine that they can speak for all of us who graduated over the years?
The idea of going back in history and analyzing people for their lives in their time is wrong. We can't change history and should not attempt to try. That was then and this is now and they are different.
Teach these student to understand the various eras and what was happening in those time periods. Do not teach them to change things to suit themselves because history situations can be learned and improved.
They do not speak for the many, many students who came before them. They represent a very small portion of the alumni and are very shortsighted.
Renaming is another big issue. Picking someone that they believe will represent better is a big can of worms. Many of us in Portland are still frustrated about renaming Northeast 39th Avenue to please a small group of people decided it should be changed. What were they thinking?
If these students who somehow think they need to attempt to change history, need to change the name of the school, then it should be known as whatever beginning 2021 or 2022 and leave the rest of us alone. We are still graduates of Wilson High School, Portland, Oregon. Do not shove a new name on alumni, as we all went to Wilson and are still proud of that. Teenage students have not lived long enough to make decisions that impact more than they fully understand.
Patti Waitman-Ingebretsen, Tigard
An open letter to Gov. Kate Brown
My husband is located at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility currently for intake process.
It is my understanding that some if not all inmates are on lockdown due to COVID-19. I understand there is safety concerns, but I don't agree with loved ones not being able to contact their families. Locking inmates in cells does seem right for their mental health or physical health. I also feel it is not okay to be locking inmates with COVID and without COVID in the same facilities.
I feel the governor should stop transfers for the time being, or only transfer straight from jail to the prison an inmate doing their time. I feel inmates should be re-evaluated for their risks to the public and to the safety of themselves and release inmates that are susceptible to not being able to recover from COVID.
My husband is older, his health is not perfect, he's a first time offender, and I feel he should not be locked into a facility where he can't contact his family and is at high risk of being infected. Even if they are forced to be in there, I feel they should at least be able to do visits from the tablets they have in their cells, being as they aren't allowed out to the phone.
It is not their fault that there is a pandemic, and they shouldn't be treated as if their lives don't matter.
Some of those inmates are young, first-time offenders and probably scared to death while their families are out here worried sick.
I just hope this is something that can be looked into. Thank you for taking the time to read and acknowledge my concerns.
I want the word to go out that our inmates are suffering and I think their needs to be some type of justice for them. Not all inmates are bad inmates, just like not all cops are good cops.
Cameron Frombach, Medford
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