Local writers tell us their thoughts on polluters, Umpqua Bank's move, suburban trees and the proposed Frog Ferry's carbon footprint.

The dying, fractured Republican party is sadly being led by a sissy, a liar, a crook, a traitor, a loud mouth ego maniac and a loony tune in the name of Donald Trump.

There was a time when I could look at the Republican Party as the Grand Old Party blessed with competent leaders that cared about their fellow Americans. Sure, they were basically conservative. However, that is not a bad thing, just as it is not bad to be liberal or progressive.

The important issue is, can the two ideologies get together and find a compromise solution to an issue that will help Americans? Sadly, that is not the case now.

What can we, you and I, do about it? We can vote. Yes, vote.

Your vote counts and matters.

Gary L. Hollen

Northwest Portland

Make Polluters Pay is the right plan

This year Oregon experienced one of the worst heat waves in recent history. We know the impacts of climate change are here, and it's about time we enacted climate policies that will help us reach President Biden's ambitious goals to lower carbon emissions.

The pending reconciliation package calls for trillions of dollars to invest in climate and infrastructure initiatives. However, there's another plan, the Make Polluters Pay Plan, that could help raise $500 billion to fund the reconciliation bill, and it's building momentum. Make Polluters Pay would hold the biggest fossil fuel polluting companies — such as Exxon, Chevron and Shell — financially responsible for their contributions to the climate crisis.

Under the plan, the worst polluters would be required to pay a fee based on their share of total fossil fuel emissions throughout the past 20 years to a climate fund. And because these fossil fuel giants would need to compete against smaller companies, they couldn't pass these costs on to the consumer. The worst polluters should be held accountable for the mess they've made. Urge your elected officials to support including the Make Polluters Pay Plan in the reconciliation package; it's fair, it's straightforward, and it's a win for the climate.

Celeste Meiffren-Swango

Southeast Portland

Umpqua Bank move is disappointing

We were very disappointed to read in the Wednesday, Oct. 17, Business Tribune that Umpqua Bank will be relocating its corporate headquarters to Lake Oswego.

It was stated that the bank wants to leave the blighted area around Umpqua Bank Plaza, 1 S.W. Columbia St. in downtown Portland.

It is very frustrating to see our bank decide to bail for the wealthiest suburb in the metro area, rather than work to turn around the area where it is located.

Unfortunately, Umpqua Bank seems to be following traditional banking practices that undermine communities rather than build them up. Redlining and the 2008 recession are both bank-related crises still affecting this country and city.

We began banking with Umpqua after we learned that our former "national big bank" played a key role in the 2008 recession. We were impressed with Umpqua's solid local reputation. Where has that commitment to local gone?

Perhaps it's time for us to move our funds from Umpqua to a local bank that actually wants to make a difference in the city of Portland.

Susan and Greg Aldrich

Northwest Portland

Beaverton project mocks 'Tree City' image

An oxymoron is saying or doing one thing, then doing the exact opposite.

Beaverton bills itself as "Tree City." I live in close proximity to Western Avenue in Beaverton, and have watched the current project of installing a bike lane on Western Avenue between Beaverton Hillsdale Highway and Allen Boulevard. To do that, more than a dozen old-growth trees have been ripped out. There is no delicate way to put it, it's appalling and not a well thought out pet project being done by the city that bills itself as tree-friendly.

It's hard to see how the death of all these trees is beneficial to the planet. We all know what the benefits of trees are to the planet. A bike lane that connects to two roads with non-bike lanes is ludicrous.

Someone will rebut this letter, and I welcome it, because from a logical stand point I would enjoy hearing the justification for killing all these old trees that the city took it upon themselves to kill in the name of a one mile bike lane.

Welcome to Tree City. You honestly could not make this up, because who in the logical mind would believe? Seriously.

For anyone who thinks I'm not doing my part regarding trees, please come by and help me clean up my annual fall mess. I also desperately need these trees trimmed, but can't afford it now as I'm bracing to pay my increased property tax bill that I just received.

I need to go rake up leaves and pine cones now.

James Maass


Make the Frog Ferry all-electric

The proposed Frog Ferry is a long overdue addition to the transportation portfolio, but why fossil fueled diesel vessels rather than clean, green energy electric powered vessels.

One only needs to search "electric powered passenger ferries" on the internet to discover the huge strides being made with this technology.

There must be dollars in the Build Back Better Plan that would be available for a climate healing transportation development such as the Frog Ferry.

Ed Gorman

Northeast Portland

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