Readers are concerned about the issues of the day, incuding the future of the western meadowlark.

As a fifth-generation Oregonian whose ancestors came here to find promise, it is with hope that I view the proposal to bring in new revenue. Years ago, Intel came here because of our amazing education system. Now they stay here, get tax incentives and deals, but Oregonians are looking at leaving our state because business isn't investing in education like they used to.

Years ago, 18 percent of our state general fund was from business taxes, and now it is less than 7 percent. The big business coalition thinks that spending is out of hand. You know what? They're right, in the sense that they would rather spend on things that don't make economic sense. In their own words in the Oregon Business Plan to end poverty, their proposals all detailed how the state should invest in programs — the ones they aren't willing to pay for now.

When it matters, like in today's emergency situation, let's see if they actually care about ending poverty and supporting the state that has helped make their businesses successful. Supporting and investing in education is one of the biggest indicators of future economic growth.

Our kids cannot wait, and neither can our state. It is time to reverse the 25 years of disinvestment our businesses have contributed to by not paying their fair share.

Sunny Petit

North Portland

Pay attention, walkers and drivers

There is something wrong with some of the Portland pedestrians and motorists. They walk or drive like colorblind zombies. They do not observe traffic signals. 

During a recent lunch hour, I was driving and going through green lights and at two different signals people were walking across red signals and preventing motorists from going straight or turning right on green lights. Another motorist took a left turn in front of me from the middle lane, while I was going straight in the left lane.  

The city of Portland should fine $1,000 each jaywalker and driver not observing traffic signals, since it's a physical safety hazard to both the pedestrians as well as the motorists.

Shantu Shah

Southwest Portland

Not the Portland of yesteryear

I just moved my family here to start a new life despite the utter horror of Trump. I am deeply embarrassed that folks believe they have to resort to destruction to be heard. This is not the Portland I remember from my youth.

Dana Tate

Northeast Portland

New apartments and bad streets

Why is it the city can permit new apartment complexes galore in East Portland but can't maintain or upgrade the streets? I thought the Comprehensive Plan was supposed to require infrastructure consistent with development, or is this a fallacy?

David Krogh

Southeast Portland

Keep the western meadowlark

Please do not remove the western meadowlark as Oregon's official state bird. State Sen. Frank Girod, predictably from a west-side district (Stayton), introduced Senate Concurrent Resolution 18 to replace the meadowlark with the osprey.

The meadowlark, while found throughout Oregon, is primarily identified with well over half the state in the grasslands and pastures east of the Cascades.

Once again, a west-side legislator has devised yet another ham-fisted grab, giving short shrift to a bird that, for many, defines a way of life on the east side.

Anyone who has ever woken up on a sunshiney morning in the Baker Valley or along the base of the majestic Steens can never forget the time nor the place of hearing, according to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, its "buoyant, flutelike melody ringing out across a field."

After 90 years of Oregon history, for Sen. Girod, it's all about the momentary whim of a "beauty pageant" maneuver to replace a bird special to Oregonians and increasingly rare with a common species.

Girod claims the choice of our state bird is "unoriginal." This is false for, had he bothered to review history, the reality is exactly the opposite.

Oregon and Wyoming actually were the first to designate the meadowlark as their respective state birds in 1927.

Then, four other states, Nebraska, Montana, Kansas and North Dakota, followed our pioneering designation by establishing the meadowlark as their state birds between 1929 and 1947 following the adage that "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery."

Keith Daellenbach

Northeast Portland

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