Letters: ICE protest didn't display city's best
While reading the article "Mayor says Occupy ICE protests 'absolutely' made a difference" (July 31, 2018), I thought, really! Surely you jest.
As I continued to read the article, I turned on network news from New York and saw a different story. Piles of garbage were everywhere, posing an environmental nightmare, plus needles also were everywhere. And ICE faced an obvious threat from thugs; when they reportedly contacted the city for help, our mayor told police to stand down, which I found disturbing.
Since when do you distinguish between who you protect and who you don't, which left ICE officers in a bad place, which I find outrageous. They are federal officers doing a dangerous job and risking their lives every day. Each day, ICE has a job to do protecting us from criminals who enter this country illegally and pose a threat to all of us.
I am not opposed to immigration of anyone as long as it is done legally. However, I do not support anyone who enters this country illegally and expects certain rights and in some cities are allowed to vote when they are not here legally.
So, who paid the $12,000 to clean up all the garbage left by the demonstrators? City residents or demonstrators? What everyone saw on TV didn't paint the best picture of our beautiful city.
Louis H. Bowerman
More repairs could reduce our e-waste
After reading the article, "Oregon loses major recycler of electronic waste" (July 21), it struck me that throughout this entire article, the question was not raised as to why it's so difficult to recycle these devices in the first place. Oregon E-Cycles laws apply to recycling "covered electronics" such as large computer monitors, printers, and computer towers, but why aren't more people repairing and reusing their devices?
To address the issues arising with the loss of a major electronic recycling firm, the E-Cycles program ought to focus more on reusing electronics than recycling them. If people could more easily repair their electronics, there would be less e-waste produced and people won't have to pay even more exorbitant prices for their devices than they already do. As a college student living in an expensive city, I can't afford a price increase for my devices.
Right to Repair legislation will hopefully be introduced in Oregon during the 2019 session. Oregonians need to tell their legislators to put pressure on tech manufacturers to release the manuals, tools and parts needed to repair consumer electronics. This will result in lower repair prices, less e-waste, and make it easier to reuse and recycle devices.
Don't lock out Independent candidate
My name is Antonio Jacob Sunseri and I am concerned about the inclusiveness of the gubernatorial debates here in Oregon.
In the 2018 midterm elections, I will vote for the Independent Party of Oregon's gubernatorial candidate, Patrick Starnes. I would appreciate being able to see my candidate debate both Knute Buehler and Gov. Kate Brown. The IPO (Independent Party of Oregon) is the third largest political party in Oregon, and one of the largest minor parties in the country with 4.48 percent of Oregon's registered voters belonging to the party as of June 2018. Patrick Starnes presents an excellent third option for Oregon voters. I am part of the Pacific Green Party of Oregon. My party's gubernatorial candidate, Alex DiBlasi, withdrew from the race and endorsed Starnes. This illustrates his widespread appeal to people of many political backgrounds. I believe that Starnes is a great option for Oregonians and we deserve to hear his platform on "the big stage."
Antonio Jacob Sunseri
Inequality contributes to unaffordable housing
I agree with John Charles's argument about Metro's bond plan and his general statement that removing "artificial" (bureaucratic) factors that drive up housing costs would increase supply, e.g., zoning ordinances, planning requirements, building codes and system development charges.
City, county and state government are more like USSR-style central planning these days than governments in a democracy. But it's worth keeping in mind that some of the artificial factors help maintain quality, while some are counterproductive aesthetically and economically.
Still, this is not "... the only way to significantly reduce the price of all homes in the region." One needs to consider the underlying problems. It is important to note that the phenomenon of housing prices rapidly outpacing gains in income is not unique to Portland or many American cities.
In European countries, the percentage of households above 60 percent of median income that spend more than 40 percent of their income in housing has increased dramatically since the 2008 financial crisis. Supply has shrunk dramatically relative to need just as here, especially public expenditure on "social" housing. Getting a house has become all too expensive (in Voxeu, Dec. 15, 2017)
Underlying unaffordable housing results from rising inequality of income and wealth within countries even as inequality between countries has declined (see "Global Inequality" by Branko Milanovic). This results from tax laws and nonenforcement that favor the rich. The cliche that Texas has the best laws money can buy applies to tax laws in most countries.
In a more equal economy, more people would be able to afford housing at a reasonable percentage of their incomes. Progressive taxation on the scale of the 1950s and 1960s in America could eliminate the problem as well as increasing GDP, just as it did then.
Kavanaugh not a good choice for court
Thank you for the article (August 2 ), "Senators: Court nominee could be bad for our health."
Brett Kavanaugh should not be appointed to the United States Supreme Court. He is extreme right wing, and we need moderates on the court who do not have a personal agenda like Kavanaugh has. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley of Oregon, and Maria Cantwell of Washington state are extremely concerned about this dangerous man. Wyden is quoted in your article as saying "Kavanaugh will side with those who want to turn back the clock and discriminate against people with pre-existing (medical) conditions."
The Senate Justice Committee is the first to vote on Kavanaugh's nomination. If this committee votes no, he will not be voted on by the entire Senate, and will not be able to be appointed to the court.
Kavanaugh would be a threat to the Affordable Care Act in general. We need Medicare for All, and not another Supreme Court Justice who would threaten or take away our health care.
I agree with Senator Diane Feinstein that the vote should not take place until after the November elections, so that the American people will have a say about Kavanaugh's nomination, and have a chance to be sure he will not be appointed to the Supreme Court.
Readers can contact Meredith B. at Senator Wyden's office to request a list of all members of the Justice Committee, so that readers can call in their opinions to each one of these crucial senators.