Our readers also want kids to help with earthquake preparedness and have delinquent taxes collected.

I was relaxing in one of Portland's nicer wild spaces, having just finished an appointment with the Heart Clinic at the Portland VA Hospital. The mid-October day was a mixture of warmth and bright sunshine. A splendid late Oregon afternoon.

Then I heard the news on the radio. "Just got word that Paul Allen has passed," said the afternoon host.

I had read a moving account of Mr. Allen's cancer returning for yet another battle recently in The Oregonian. I thought he would fight through it once again.

But this time cancer was serious. The gloves were off. Which, of course, as everyone knows, cancer is never held at bay by social or financial status.

I've followed the Blazers since 1975, through fabulous times, as well as times when I wanted to fire 'Trader Bob' myself. From Dr. Jack and his splashy slacks, to good guy Rick Adelman. I cringed when Mr. Allen fired Rick, yet it's sad that he never got to see Portland win another championship. So close, not once, but twice.

I sat and watched the 1977 finale against Philadelphia at my parents' home. We sat tight in our chairs, as though we were part of the furniture. My father wasn't even a basketball fan, but as a lifelong football fan, he could appreciate this magical season. Years later, lung cancer would claim him.

So yeah. As I have dealt with my own serious health issues, the message is loud and clear: Savor each and every day, folks.

Mark L. Brown

Southeast Portland

Let kids help with earthquake preparedness

When City Council candidate Jo Ann Hardesty was talking about the greater Portland area's earthquake-preparedness at a recent gathering, a lot of us learned that though buildings and bridges have been earthquake-proofed, most homes — single-family to apartments — aren't.

One solution: When the Fire Bureau's teams make their annual visit to schools, why not add for grades 4-6 hands-on instructions (with models) on what householders need to do in shutting off utilities — replete with one-page handouts to take home — showing just how to do it.

Kids will be able to teach their families just what to do. There's lots of pride and sense of responsibility in doing that.

Barbara G. Ellis

Southeast Portland

Why not collect on delinquent taxes?

Your Oct. 9 editorial suggests we vote to support the clean energy fund. This additional corporate tax would bring in $30 million per year.

I believe there are enough unassessed, uncollected delinquent taxes due the general fund that this new tax is not necessary.

I have, however, spoken with several state senators and representatives and they all have the same, word for word, response. They answer that pursuing delinquent taxes is just not worth the effort.

It would be nice if the secretary of state would conduct an audit to determine if this is true.

Gordon Hillesland


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