Letters: Portland is ready for professional baseball
There is a buzz in Portland around baseball. Portland residents are wondering if this would benefit them or not, especially with new announcements from the Portland Diamond Project.
We believe that the project is a good thing because there are a lot of baseball fans here, and the project will help Portland's economy grow.
The proposed ballpark site is Terminal 2, in an industrial area with mainly warehouses. The closest neighborhoods are the Slabtown and Northwest neighborhoods. T2 is a good site, as there is almost nothing to remove for this project.
Gerry Mildner, a professor at Portland State University, knows that Portland's market is small compared to larger cities. His main worry is that Portland doesn't have enough people to support a franchise. If there isn't enough interest, it may cause unwanted changes in the economy.
Portland Metro Council President Lynn Peterson spoke to us about transportation. Front Avenue runs by Terminal 2. Front is mainly used by large vehicles for industrial transport, and not many other roads run to the spot.
Peterson said that transportation would be easier for fans if there were a variety of ways of transport to get to the ballpark. Another idea is a traffic circle just for Lyft and Uber cars to pick up and drop off fans. Others suggest that there could be water taxis to travel along the river to the stadium and other stops.
Developers will follow a long-term master plan that will make the whole baseball plan more worth it. They hope to build a whole new "Pearl District" in what is now the industrial area.
Advancing the economy of Portland will be an effective and efficient way to solve multiple problems that residents of the city frequently encounter in their everyday lives.
PGE about to make an expensive mistake
PGE is closing its coal-fired power plant in Boardman next year. Good.
Ratepayers nixed a plan to replace it with gas turbines — U.S. pipeline companies lose 13 million tons of methane to the atmosphere every year, and methane is 86 times as bad as carbon dioxide over the next critical 20 years.
And now PGE is going with wind, solar and lithium-ion batteries. There are better batteries (Google Ambri), but that's not what this is about.
I will resist anyone trying to build a new pressurized-water (nuclear) fission reactor in the Pacific Northwest. That primitive technology is still as dangerous as when Three Mile Island almost took out Pennsylvania.
But there are several kinds of fission reactor; some are far safer. Molten salt reactors shut down, instead of melting down, if they lose power; and they operate at atmospheric pressure, while a pressurized-water reactor runs at around 150 atmospheres and is a steam explosion waiting to happen.
Pressurized-water reactors waste 96% of their expensive fuel; salt reactors can burn that nuclear waste and reduce it 20-fold. We already have fuel for thousands of years; no need to dig up national monuments.
Salt reactors run two to three times as hot, and so efficient, and they are the right temperature to replace a coal boiler. PGE could keep using the turbines/condensers/pumps and the rest of the expensive plant their ratepayers have already paid for and avoid the carbon footprint of replacing all of that equipment.
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