TO THE EDITOR: I propose an appropriately joyous Portland-style response to an Obama victory. On election night, when CNN calls it for Obama, I suggest that we all strip naked and run around in the street in celebration. Party naked PDX 11/4/08!
CLOSE THE ROADS
DEAR MERCURY—Amy Ruiz's story ["Traffic Control," News, Oct 9] makes note of Randy Leonard's rhetorically supporting banning cars in Portland's South Park Blocks, a practice of some European cities. That's great that Leonard is "thinking green" but some anti-war, pro-ecology, and anti-poverty activists have suggested that banning cars altogether in downtown Portland, in what is now Fareless Square, and making TriMet's whole system free to riders, are two systemic ways to help stop global warming, help end the wars for oil profits in the Mideast, provide transit access to workers and the poor in the nation's worst recession since the Great Depression in the 1920s, and help preserve air quality downtown. Piecemeal, band-aid approaches tend to get "mentioned" and then forgotten.
—Lew Church, Coordinator, PSU Progressive Student Union
NOT SO SMART
DEAR MERCURY—Can I just chime in on how completely stupid the proposed SMART Tower project is for Portland ["Brand Awareness," Hall Monitor, News, Oct 9]? As someone who has a bachelor's degree in travel and tourism, I fail to see how this will attract tourists to our fair city. We would do better by simply continuing to focus our efforts on green initiatives instead of more pet-projects during an ECONOMIC CRISIS. Third, the first thing that jumped to mind when I saw the proposed design was Seattle's Space Needle. For Christ's sake, will we ever stop trying to imitate Seattle in my lifetime? Lastly—and probably the most obvious—the phallic nature of the design. Will this tower shoot red, white, and blue water out of its top to welcome the ships in for Fleet Week? Here's an idea: How about we instead line the entire length of the underside of the Fremont Bridge with wind turbines, and if you still need a phallus on the Waterfront, contract with some local Native American artists for a series of totem poles. Not only would you probably save money and generate more energy, but you would actually be contributing something to the true heritage of this region.