The Blazers own this city, only because Timbers fandom is a fad—you can thank the Eurocentric nature of Portlanders for that ["Rip City vs. No Pity," WW, Oct. 9, 2013].
Seriously, three quarters of these supposed "hardcore" Timbers fans didn't give a damn about the team before it joined Major League Soccer. Dressing up in overpriced team swag doesn't constitute a die-hard constituency—it shows how herd-minded and easily sold most of these "fans" are.
The passion for the game and especially the team were entirely obvious 10 years ago. Now it seems people are going to the games because they should, and not because they actually feel that same passion. Sad, really.
I don't buy the overpriced Timbers merchandise, but I do love to support a local team that has less of a criminal record than the local biker gang.
The writer has a point, that there are more "O" decals adorning Portland cars than there are pinwheels or axes ["Wrong! It's the Ducks," WW, Oct. 9, 2013]. But watch that all change if the Blazers went to the NBA Finals or the Timbers won the MLS Cup.
Indeed, the Ducks are a hot ticket, but Oregon football suffers from that most annoying of sports-fan tendencies: bandwagonism. Sure, fans all have their reasons for cheering on the UO football squad, even if they are in no way associated with the school itself.
Personally, I'll resist the bandwagon and stick to the professional sports teams that actually represent my city.
PAYING FOR THE CRC
If Oregon were to pay the entire non-federal cost of the Columbia River Crossing, is there a legal mechanism for having us pay less for tolls than Washington drivers? ["Toll On, Columbia," WW, Oct. 9, 2013.]
I thought it might be discriminatory to charge differently based on license plates, so I brainstormed. Could tolls paid by Oregon vehicles be reported to the DMV, which could then issue a refund of half the sum to the registered owner at regular intervals (quarterly, annually, etc.)?
Another option: ODOT could report to the Department of Revenue and it could be applied as a tax credit. I'm sure there are plenty of other options, but you get the idea.
It seems like it wouldn't be preferential treatment from ODOT because everyone would pay the same price up front. Oregon would just put in place a separate system, through the DMV or DOR, to give our drivers a monetary "thank you" for already having done their part and taken the risk up front.
If Washington wanted to put in place a similar mechanism for its residents, who didn't pay for the bridge, that would be entirely up to them.
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