Japan's Portland Fixation

Nice article, but Japan is not obsessed with Portland ["The Dream of Portland Is Alive in Japan," WW, Jan. 11, 2017].

It sounds nice to some odd, insecure provincials in Portland, undoubtedly those dying to hear their life choices validated, but it isn't true.

There is a tiny subculture of people who romanticize Portland, as Daisuke Matsushima mentioned, but the simple fact is that 99 percent of the people in Japan couldn't find Portland on a map if their lives depended on it.

—"Alex V"

Well, the Portland festival near me [in Japan] starts soon. I had doughnuts from Blue Star recently. My students don't know where Portland is on the map, but they've seen it in the news and heard about it.

I see as many Portland shirts here as I do representing any other city. I went to the Oregon-themed bar that was voted best craft-beer bar in Kansai, and the people at the bar I go to know me as "Portland Man" because that's the thing they are most excited to talk to me about.

You get the point. Sure, the Japanese aren't obsessed with Portland, but you gotta admit it's kind of exploded recently.


City's Homelessness Project

Portland is spending $350,000 to "talk about homelessness" ["Talk It Out," WW, Jan. 11, 2017]. Talk in "the city that works" is apparently not cheap.

The probable results? Maybe another 10-year plan that goes 12 or more years to accomplish nothing other than making the movers and shakers involved feel better about themselves. Business as usual. Pathetic as usual.

Spend the money on mental health hospitals (outside the city and away from the drugs and vice) to keep the severely mentally ill from dying in doorways and parking garages.

—John Patrick Riley

This project should be put on hold until someone outside of City Commissioner Amanda Fritz says it will be money well spent. My hope is that new Commissioner Chloe Eudaly will look at the program and be able to answer if this will help the houseless or just the nonprofits.

Maybe we should hire one of the advocates for the houseless to go to neighborhood association meetings and explain to them what it is like to live on the streets. Creating jobs and reaching out has a nice ring to it.

—Joseph Walsh

Portland Likes to Drink

Living in Portland, I can understand the excessive drinking numbers ["Neighborhood Health Watch," WW, Jan. 11, 2017].

I need it just to get through the City Council's daily debacles.


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