To Rep. Nosse

There are a lot of problems facing our community right now and we’re all faced with difficult decisions on a daily basis, especially when it comes to how and when to spend our money. This proposal to create tax on beverages will just add to the difficulties people face in Portland.

I know you support this tax and that’s why I wanted to get in touch with you. I think you have good intentions, but I’m not sure you fully grasp the unintended consequences that could come from this tax.

I run a small business near your district and I’ve been watching how this tax is panning out in other cities. Lots of businesses have been forced to lay people off because their sales have gone down – and not just sales on those drinks with sugar in them, but sales across the board. People are just going to places where they can buy what they want – other towns or counties.

Why are we holding the smallest businesses in our neighborhoods responsible for solving the area’s funding problems?

Shouldn’t we have a plan that’s a little fairer? A plan that doesn’t directly impact the grocery budgets of families who can least afford it? I urge you to reconsider your support.

Thank you,

Zouheir Hussein

New  in Portland

I’m a newbie to SE Portland, having moved here last June. I read the February edition’s small article Twenty is Plenty about reducing speed limits in order to attain the Vision Zero goal.

As I drive in the neighborhoods of SE, I find there are multiple “stimuli” that must be addressed, far more so than in any other neighborhood I have been in. So while I agree the speed limits need to be slow, I wonder if the Portland powers that be might also address the following thoughts I have:

1) There seems to be no parking enforcement concerning trucks and vans parking at intersections right up to the stop sign. There is no way to see over them when attempting to enter into the intersection, and I’ve had to come to a sudden stop to avoid a car, bicycle, or pedestrian.

2) In the relationship between motor vehicle traffic and all who share the roads in narrow streeted neighborhoods, there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of responsible interaction between bicyclists, pedestrians, vis-a vis motor vehicle drivers.

It’s been my experience that pedestrians and bicyclists believe they have no responsibility to look, merge, stop at signals, or follow any of the other traffic laws that motor vehicles are required to adhere.

It’s as if they want to challenge cars by entering a crosswalk head down staring at their PDA, or bicyclists pushing through an intersection without regard to right of way. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had to slam on my brakes to avoid someone doing this.

I could never imagine driving much over 20 MPH in SE and NE neighborhoods. There are too many variables coming at me all at once. If folks want to reduce accidents, some of my points might be considered as well as talking about speed limits as the only solution.

Thanks for your time. I love it here!

Sean Watkins