Letters: Cutting MAX stops speeds trip downtown
I would like to address a recent My View column ("Fewer MAX stops won't improve transit").
My family lives in Goose Hollow, and we use the MAX five days a week. When we're headed west, we go to the King's Hill stop. When we're headed east, we go to the Goose Hollow stop.
We've just used Google's pedometer to measure the distance to the two stops and they are essentially the same distance from our building. The current MAX stops are very close together.
The MAX passes through downtown very slowly. Eliminating stops would speed it up for everyone. I totally support the removal of the King's Hill stop.
Find funds to retrofit dangerous buildings
Your March 26 editorial ("Unreinforced masonry is a state issue"), says the city doesn't have the money to help building owners retrofit unreinforced masonry buildings so they won't kill people in an earthquake, so the state Legislature should take up the issue.
Unfortunately, the issue is just as difficult for the state. For the city, the choice is let people die in the next earthquake; force building owners to pay for something many say they can't afford; raise taxes; or divert money from police, fire, parks and housing — the four things the city spends the vast majority of its money on.
For the state, the choices would be exactly the same, except that the state spends almost all its money on schools, health care, prisons and other public safety programs. So those are the services the state could cut in order to free up money for retrofits. But they're no easier to cut than police, fire, etc.
One way of addressing the issue — at any level of government — is to require retrofits, but send the voters a tax increase to help pay the costs. That would mean the retrofits would have to happen one way or the other, but the building owners would have a chance to convince taxpayers to help them out.
'Stealing' our kicker is shameful, criminal
After voting on the Oregon kicker not once but twice and making it part of the constitution of this state, $108 million of Oregonians' money — which they are entitled to by law — is being stolen by the governor to fix budget shortfalls. In other words, the broken PERS system that Salem has been ignoring for 20 years.
This unrealistic and mathematically impossible system is bankrupting the state and now laws that voters voted on — in this case twice — are being ignored.
This is how Salem respects what we vote for. And they are breaking laws to plug holes in the broken system they created.
Stealing our kicker money needs to be challenged in a court of law and not just accepted because the governor signs off on it.
Totally shameful and criminal.
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