Letters: Take climate action for future generations
If you have been reading about climate change, perhaps the recent publication by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and you are wondering what to do, we have an opportunity right now, this week in Southwest Washington.
A Chinese company, Northwest Innovation Works, is trying to build the world's largest fracked gas-to-methanol refinery in Kalama, Washington. Canadian fracked gas would be sent by a massive new pipeline to Kalama for export to China.
Please take a stand against this refinery that would lock in natural gas use for decades. The IPCC tells us we must take drastic steps to mitigate climate change and we must do it now.
Our children and grandchildren are depending on us to stand against new fossil fuel infrastructure.
Send comments against the Chinese refinery.
Establish the Devil's Staircase Wilderness now
Thanks to Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, we have the best chance in a decade to protect a rare pocket of old-growth forest.
The proposed Devil's Staircase Wilderness would preserve some of the remaining old-growth trees in the heavily logged Coast Range. This small remnant of untouched forest, found in remote, steep canyons, shelters tributary streams of the Umpqua and Smith Rivers and protects species that thrive in old-growth trees.
But these groves grow on lands managed by the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management, and these majestic trees could be logged at any time.
When I visited the Devil's Staircase, I was stunned by its peaceful beauty. We must protect these remaining giants, and we have a limited opportunity to act. Sens. Wyden and Merkley have co-sponsored the Oregon Wildlands Act that would create the Devil's Staircase Wilderness. It was voted out of committee in the U.S. Senate, and could be considered during the lame-duck session.
A parallel bill, sponsored by Reps. Peter Defazio, Earl Blumenauer, Suzanne Bonamici and Kurt Schrader, could pass the House of Representatives, leading to permanent protection for the Devil's Staircase.
I'd like to applaud the support of public lands protections from all of these Oregon legislators.
Portland area has a rich 'base ball' club history
Compliments to Stephanie Basalyga on her article Nov. 30 "Diamond in the Rough" about the current attempt to bring major league baseball to the Portland area. It looks as if it may actually become a reality this time around.
Just one historical quibble. Baseball in Portland does indeed go back to the formation of the first recorded Oregon club in Portland in 1866, but the article got the club name wrong. It was the "Pioneer Base Ball Club of Portland," not the "Portland Baseball Club." Note also the two-word spelling "Base Ball" common at that time.
The Pioneers, organized in June 1866, played their first interclub match on Oct. 14, 1866, against the newly formed Clackamas Base Ball Club in Oregon City and won handily 77-45.
The big game day started with a steamboat trip from Portland upriver to Oregon City, where the Pioneers and their friends were met by the Clackamas nine and their fans and treated to a hotel meal before the game.
The match itself was followed by a dinner with toasts and much festivity ending in a steamboat trip back down the Willamette to Portland with the victory laurels firmly in the Pioneers' hands.
Within a year there were a dozen or more baseball clubs throughout western Oregon and Washington, with more being formed every week and America's new post-Civil War pastime became solidly entrenched in the culture of the Pacific Northwest.
Let's hope it will blossom here once again as it did in 1866.
Wheeler's re-election is assured, unfortunately
Your front-page article on Mayor Ted Wheeler's considerations regarding a second term is funny on its surface (Dec. 4). Wheeler will run and win another four years easily.
There's little or no reason to think otherwise.
First, Wheeler has proven to be a far different individual and politician than the individual who took office over two years ago. Citizens of Portland were led to believe Wheeler would be a more mainstream, politically independent, fiscally responsible elected official than his marginalized predecessors.
Once elected, Wheeler quickly set out to prove the reverse. His pandering to the homeless and anarchists have set the examples of how he sees his duty.
The mayor has demoralized and marginalized the police. Our Portland officers are now a shell of their former selves and this slide promises to continue, as incoming City Council members already have signaled a combative tone toward the police. We lost the mounted patrol, only to gain 12 new quasi-police to further compound the folly.
In a sweeping command statement, Wheeler has promised to make Portland the "cleanest" city in the nation. Each and every person hearing that edict must have doubled over in laughter. Is this Wheeler's idea of profound leadership? Meanwhile, the trash, needles and homeless garbage pile up in ever larger and uglier amounts.
However, Wheeler is a quick read, he knows his words will be accepted and his actions not expected. Accountability is not an issue.
Although, I don't fault Wheeler entirely. Portland has been on a devolving trajectory for decades. A continued parade of elected "leaders" have seen fit to be "herd" creatures, each one promising more gifts than Santa Claus, while raising taxes on some and presenting exceptions to others.
Ted Wheeler didn't start the slide toward declining livability. There have been many who have preceded him. However, the Wheeler who citizens of Portland elected to reverse the chaos and broken promises has been a huge disappointment.
Wheeler must know his re-election is assured. The odd dynamic of Portland voters ensures another four years in office. His record will not count, unless he broke the mold and became a leader he once professed to be.
However, this is Portland, and Wheeler (who is a smart politician) knows what he needs to do to rule the city again. Simply do what he's done already, continue to move to the left and gain more accolades and praise from his liberal supporters.
Taxpayers and those who pay his salary are only marginal and passing concerns. The need to out-promise and outspend his predecessors will somehow make him mayor again.