Last week, WW wrote about the complicated saga of earthquake preparedness in Portland ("Doom Town, WW, March 6, 2019). Attempts by city officials to require seismic upgrades to unreinforced masonry buildings—or at least the posting of warning signs—have been met with protest. The conflict hinges on a simple question: Is it better to be fair or safe? Here's what readers think.
Lionel Manners, via Facebook: "I'd rather risk dying in an unreinforced masonry building than live in a city without them."
Marcia Kudella Westlund, via Facebook: "Another wealth grab by puppets of the rich. More people homeless, more upscale unoccupied condos, more wealth moved up."
IMissBBSs, via Reddit: "They should be able to make a profit while leaving all of the risk to the folks occupying the building. We need to stick to our rigged individualistic roots as pioneers and embrace danger for the sake of profits."
Jonathan Leroy Brown Dupuis, via Facebook: "Darn natural disasters and their political agendas…."
Joe Spliff, via Facebook: "They sure are getting creative in their ways of pushing people out to make room for California."
Patrick Bright, via Facebook: "Earthquakes don't care about politics."
My Two Cents, via wweek.com: "People shouldn't have to borrow and go in debt for something that may or may not happen. And even if it does happen, the building owners may be dead and gone."
Justin Patino Sayers, via Facebook: "P-town loves gentrification, I mean 'progressiveness.'"
Mellissia Maria Franklin-DeFilippis, via Facebook: "We're not stupid. We know our buildings are old."
John Buss, via Facebook: "Are we all going to live in steel reinforced concrete bunkers? Life has risks, and to take on the massive economic burden to bring our city up to the new 'code,' it's just not feasible."
Florgblorgle, via Reddit: "I'll just point out that the seismic work can be frighteningly expensive and very difficult to finance for small landlords."
MobiousStripper, in response: "Oh, in that case, let's let people die."