Letters: Who really needs the South Park Blocks changes?
Answers to two basic questions give reasons to oppose the South Park Blocks Green Loop Plan.
Who needs the changes? Are people who live and work downtown clamoring to trade trees for asphalt? Are visitors complaining? Business owners? How about PSU students and staff?
The bureaucrats and lobbyists asking to cut trees and pave grass represent vocal but small groups with limited visions.
What Portland values does the plan represent?
Landmarks such as the South Park Blocks elms symbolize the greatness of Portland's civic vision. Portland's urban forest frames Tom McCall Waterfront Park, The Halprin Sequence, Pioneer Courthouse Square, Holladay Park, the Plaza Blocks, and the Park Blocks.
Portland is not alone revering trees taking decades to mature. Great parks from coast to coast, such as Golden Gate Park and Central Park, become more sacred as both trees and populations grow. And as climate change increases the value of shade and clean air. Their trees, and ours, form monuments to foresight. And certify claims to status as major cities.
Please, no more jokes about stump town. Portland leaders whom our history cherishes worked hard to leave us the South Park Blocks. Let's not use chain saws to destroy their legacy.
Lloyd D. Lindley II
Former member of the Portland Design Commission
and the Portland Urban Forestry Commission
Time to get tough for safer streets
In the face of record traffic fatalities, an announcement that Portland police will be directed to enforce speed limits over expired tag stops is welcome news for residential neighborhoods who have been plagued by dangerous speeders.
Does this mean more speed traps, motorcycle officers with radar, better responses from residents' complaints about street safety?
Citizens should remember that the dismal failure of Vision Zero is that there is no law enforcement component to this make-work program, meaning the Portland Bureau of Transportation silo doesn't talk to the Portland Police Bureau silo.
If our "We Don't Act, We React" City Council wants safer streets, they should fully staff the police bureau and start writing $1,000 citations for moving traffic violations.
Get tough, Portland.
Put vaccine energy into curing MS
It is amazing to see how fast COVID-19 vaccines were developed and distributed. But as a loving husband to an amazing woman who has been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, I can't help but feel a pang of wistfulness.
There is no cure for MS and, because of the medication my wife is on for her diseases, she cannot receive the vaccine. Our lockdown will continue. While there are medications that help with symptom management, I hope there is a chance for a permanent cure out there.
I hope our congressional leaders will continue to support biopharmaceutical companies on behalf of my family and the 1 million Americans living with MS.
But then I get concerned when I read about legislation being discussed that, through price setting mechanisms, may hamper future medical innovation and may lead to fewer cures being developed.
For people living with MS, this is troubling. MS is a life-changing diagnosis for the patient and their family and you cannot imagine the hardship in watching the disease progress in the central nervous system of a loved one. A cure cannot get here fast enough and Congress should avoid erecting any roadblocks that may impede medical innovation.
The vaccine shows the potential of medical innovation. Let's apply similar energy to the fight against MS.
Portland police are not above the law
As an almost lifetime resident of Portland, I have a gripe. Who the hell do these officers' of the Portland police that have resigned their assignments within the police bureau think they are?
They are servants of the Portland community. They swore an oath to serve and protect. Part of that "service" is to provide protection of the rights of all of us, including themselves. They have decided that the 1st, 4th, and 5th amendments can be sidestepped just because they wear a badge.
Shame on everyone in the Portland Police Bureau who believe they are above the law. The incident involving the officer being investigated for abuse of a protester is an example of what many Portlanders who have seen the video have become a rallying point of what we do not want of these officers.
The PPB demands that the citizens of Portland adhere to the law. Should that not be the same for them?
Throughout the country we witness nightly the abuses that being Black is a cause.
However, here in Portland, if you're not a cop, you are fair game for just that same abuse.
Portland has become an armed camp. Cops have become the Portland army with a martial law mentality.
PPB! You serve the people, we do not serve you. If you forget the rights of the people, you are in the wrong profession.
Thugs with a badge are still thugs. We need a new prospective of what PPB needs to be.
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