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Readers' Letters: Port doesn't have anything to lose, but city does

Sounds to me like the Port of Portland and the city are too cozy with each other for the port to be so cocky (Port balks at Hayden price tag, May 16). This mocks the public process. If they can find cheaper land, they should do it.

As to the port’s promises of jobs with no firm commitment to furnish them, it should put some of its own skin in the game, not rely on “third parties” or my wallet for site development or mitigation costs. Interestingly, when the port says in regards to mitigation that “you” can pay people to flood their fields, it really is pointing to someone other than itself. In my neighborhood, you didn’t get to play if you didn’t ante up.

I would really be displeased if in the future this goes south, leaving the public having less funding for schools and police to pay for this folly. If you spend money here, you can’t spend it there. Or would mitigation just not happen? This agreement even gives them the right to “opt out” and renegotiate.

Speaking of south, where are all those South Waterfront jobs?

The story continues: “Eric Engstrom, a principal planner for the city Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, dismissed Sallinger’s (Bob Sallinger of the Audubon Society) fear that the port could walk away from the deal if funding isn’t procured. “ ‘I don’t view that as an escape clause; that’s something that’s used in agreements like this.’ ”

Well, I don’t really care how BPS “views” this. I care about its future operance. Who’s minding the store?

So there it is. Is this about satisfying the port or doing it right ... even if that means it doesn’t happen.

Wreck an Eden for free. Boy, Portland drives a hard bargain ... with our money.

Robert Bernstein

Southeast Portland

Rules should be the same for all players

After working closely as a major stakeholder with the port and city staff, it has become quite apparent that Eric Engstrom has become biased toward the port’s position (Port balks at Hayden price tag, May 16).

At every presentation, he has negated to offer the positions offered to him on behalf of the manufactured home community to the city’s Planning and Sustainability Commission. Island residents and manufactured home representatives have given thoughtful, well-studied plans on the required mitigation to protect the health and homes of the residents. This will not only protect people at ground zero but across the area, including downtown Vancouver.

It is unbelievable that Metro can change city building codes and requirements to build in a floodplain to its own ends in supporting the port. If this project can bring in as much money as Bill Wyatt stated, there should be no problem building it to current codes (as would be required by the general population) with adequate mitigation. Recent flooding across the country should be viewed as a warning.

Stefan Karlic

North Portland

Invest in the city, not in tax breaks

The kinds of businesses I want in Portland are those that the city doesn’t have to bribe with tax breaks. Therefore, I was interested in the Tribune’s article (Nike expansion will have a ripple effect, April 26).

Some jobs for local people may result from Nike’s Beaverton expansion, but a vibrant city depends on having a variety of taxpaying businesses and a city work force providing needed city services.Apparently Portland wasn’t able to woo Nike, although “Portland officials had discussed investing $80 million in new streets, parks and other amenities to attract the company.”

Given proposals to drastically cut Portland services, I wonder whether any businesses will want to expand or move here if there are not enough school teachers, no well-educated work force, deteriorating parks, crumbling streets, decreased city maintenance, no jobs and services for people returning from prison, people lacking drug treatment and mental health care, more foreclosed homes, and more individuals sleeping in doorways.

If workers who provide city services lose their jobs, it will have a spiraling-down effect on the whole economy. When unemployed workers become unable to make customary purchases, then those who had provided those products will start losing their jobs, too.

The state already gave Nike a huge tax break by guaranteeing its current tax structure for 30 years. Portland didn’t win the expansion competition, but I believe that instead of allowing big corporations to extort tax breaks from our city, the City Council should focus on money and wealth we already have, which could be tapped to offset the $25 million shortfall.

People who understand economics know that this is the time to invest in Portland, not cut.

Sally Joughin

Southeast Portland

Hold street kids accountable

In regard to the Tribune article (Street Fight, May 2), I think reporter Peter Korn had a good point that issues concerning the traveling homeless should be addressed. They should be held accountable for their actions just like everyone else, and they should not be permitted to make downtown a less desirable place for shopkeepers and local citizens.

As a former street kid who now owns a business and receives no public assistance, I see enforcing the city rules as a way of helping the homeless, especially the young and able. Some of the handouts and social programs aren’t helping how they were intended, so why not try something new? Make the young and able pick up litter and serve the community so at least they’re contributing something.

Heather Rasch

Soldotna, Alaska

Hayden residents still have Safeway

Regarding your article (Jantzen Beach project builds for future, April 25), which says there is no grocery store on Hayden Island: Well, that’s almost true — the last I heard Safeway was still on the island on the east side of Interstate 5, or did it get closed?

Sam Butler

Beaverton

Editor’s note: The article

indeed was incorrect. Safeway continues to operate a Hayden Island grocery store.

Teachers should be certified in CPR

I am writing in response to the current dismissal of House Bill 3135, which would make CPR certification mandatory to all licensed teachers in the state of Oregon. I find it very disconcerting that state Rep. Sara Gelser, the chairwoman of the Education Committee, dismissed the bill before the Education Committee could even vote on it. This is absurd.

I am a concerned mother, nursing student and citizen who feels that this is a very important issue that should not be dismissed. It needs to be talked about more among legislators, media and the community. Someone with power and a say needs to come out and take a stand on HB 3135. We need to raise awareness of this issue and be the voice of all our children to create a safe school environment for them to thrive.

Sarah Gehrke

North Portland