Mr. [Aaron] Mesh, I really appreciate that you spent 48 hours in the Occupy camp before writing your story ["Notes From the Occupation," Oct. 26, 2011]. It is well-written and representative of the camp experience. I take exception with one item. You refer to me as a leader of a committee. While I am passionate and involved, I am in no way representative of any official leadership. I have not been elected, appointed, or asked to fulfill such a role. I mention this to emphasize that the Occupy is the result of people self-organizing, working together and sharing responsibility. This is democracy in its purest expression.
—Jimmy Tardy, Occupy Portland
Thanks for the story. It's a much-needed, insightful look into the inner workings of a sometimes-flawed, sometimes-sincere movement. It takes a lot of resources and dedication for a newspaper to send someone on assignment for multiple days, and I'm glad you guys made the investment.
I'd be curious (has anyone done a survey?) of the percentage of Occupiers fitting into [these] categories: mentally ill, displaced overage workers, marginally employable, just plain lazy (my guess: largest share).
Occupy Portland is a perfect storm of misunderstandings. They do not fully understand the words they use, the goals they have and the effect their actions will have on the community they claim to be fighting for.
BIG, BAD BRIDGE
Contrary to what [Oregon and Washington] officials are saying, the Columbia River Crossing is way behind schedule ["The Runaway Bridge Project," Oct. 26, 2011].... Instead of sinking more time and money into this unwieldy megaproject, isn't it finally time to work toward an affordable, buildable Plan B?
The state should implement a five-year hiatus on further bridge construction planning. Use those years to learn the effect of higher car prices, rising fuel costs, and any economic changes to reassess probable traffic counts. Replace the present, very crude estimates of tolling effects with a real-life pilot trial of tolling on the present bridge. Every currently posed comment...should receive a thoughtful and complete response based on knowledge. Cost estimates in particular should receive a thorough review.
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