Letters: Explore Meatless Mondays in new year
With the glow of Christmas barely behind us, we look forward to the new year and the customary resolutions: reduce social media, reduce weight and, this year, reduce animal food consumption.
One-third of consumers already report reducing their consumption of animal foods. Hundreds of school, college, hospital and corporate cafeterias have embraced Meatless Monday. Even fast-food chains Chipotle, Denny's, Panera, Subway, Taco Bell and White Castle are rolling out plant-based options.
A dozen startups, led by Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, are creating healthy, eco-friendly, compassionate, convenient, delicious plant-based meat and dairy products. Meat industry giants Tyson Foods, Cargill and Canada's Maple Leaf Foods have invested heavily in plant-based meat development. So have a number of Microsoft, Google, Twitter and PayPal pioneers.
According to the Plant-Based Foods Association, plant-based food sales have grown by 20 percent in the past year, 10 times the growth rate of all foods. Sales of plant-based cheeses, creamers, butter, yogurts and ice creams are exploding at a 50 percent growth rate. Plant-based milks now account for 15 percent of the milk market.
The plant-based New Year's resolution requires no sweat or deprivation — just some fun exploration of your favorite supermarket and food websites.
No more apartments in single-family enclaves
Homeowners in Laurelhurst and other neighborhoods are not responsible for racial exclusions in the past, or any other mistakes of the city.
These homeowners have put lots of time and money in maintaining their homes, in addition to paying high property taxes for years. We should appreciate their efforts to keep some historical architecture in Portland, as the city is fast demolishing it.
Rental units in Portland's single-family neighborhoods will do nothing to improve the city, while doing little to provide "affordable housing."
Unless and until Portland has some type of rent control, there will never be affordable housing here. Adding so much rental housing will put a strain on neighborhood traffic and neighborhood schools.
The Residential Infill Plan (RIP) should R.I.P., and another method of providing affordable housing should be explored.
Destroying neighborhoods with the addition of rental properties will result in huge changes and destroy what are now stable environments for families.
At the very least, before any rezoning of single-family neighborhoods is done, a vote from the neighbors should be taken to determine if they want apartment buildings, duplexes, triplexes or several ADUs per lot allowed.
It's strange that rezoning of neighborhoods can even be considered, yet rezoning of the Wapato property to house the homeless never is.
Ban video lottery machines
If you have a device or machine that knowingly steals money, should that be allowed to prey on vulnerable members of our society under the guise of entertainment?
That is what the 21st-century slot machine is, whether run by the state of Oregon or a Native American casino.
These slot machines, or video lottery terminals as the Oregon lottery likes to call them, are a legal license to steal.
Talk to any game designer, and they will tell you the concept of these machines and the way the software is written is to let people think they're winning when they're actually losing. This creates a euphoric sensation in an addict's mind until the machines designed to create an exact return on investment for the lottery or the casino breaks the player.
These modern-day slot machines should be banned and removed from bars, restaurants and casinos. It has been proven time and time again, that they steal money from the poor, the addicts in our society, and folks that are just plain bad at math.
Just because it's technically legal doesn't make it right. It's legal thievery hiding behind the concept of entertainment. Go to any Gamblers Anonymous meeting and see the destructive nature of what a slot machine in this day and age really does. It destroys lives and families, yet the lottery will tell you all the good it does. Totally hogwash.
Rezone auto showroom, fast-food sites
I read about the city asking churches to consider developing their property. But how about the city looking into developing other entities that take up large amounts of space?
Couldn't all the auto showrooms on Northeast Broadway/Weidler and the fast-food drive-throughs develop their land, or better yet move farther out of town? Most large cities build apartments above stores these days and use their space wisely.
If this city wants inner-city residential housing, then those two entities take up a huge amount of space, do little for the neighborhoods where they are located, and don't encourage a "walkable" city.
In fact, they cause a lot of noise at night (McDonald's has road racers in its lot) and give off smells. And in winter they do not clear snow around their properties and, generally, are not neighborly.
Portland needs to act like the "big boy" cities now that it is getting more large companies settling here. Zoning will need to be adjusted.