|E-RFD: Why not the Chavez Bypass?
Editor: for those of you who do not live in the People's Revolutionary Socialist Republic of Portland, the event referred to, here, is the November '07 flap over renaming an ancient city avenue in the NE city grid. The famous farm work labor organizer, C. Chavez, was to be honored. When local citizens objected, in part because some business signing, all cards and stationery, etc. would have to be redone, in part because some didn't care for Chavez' politics and in part just because (tradition), the local Hispanic leaders cried "racism." Next, the city bosses suggested renaming 4th Avenue, a street in downtown. This street runs through Chinatown, whose residents objected for all the reasons above, plus a few more. Since it is a bit hard to call Asians racist, the City Council shelved the whole idea.
The best of all the ideas of this type we at the magazine heard during this event is the one we heard on the Victoria Taft radio talk show (KPAM AM) A caller suggested using the Chavez designation for the long sought-after "West Side Bypass," which at present doesn't exist. Perhaps, the caller reasoned, if we named the future route after whichever socialist the enemy chooses, this desperatly-needed driveway from I-5 near Wilsonville to the largely illegal-Hispanic Hillsboro-Cornelius-Forest Grove multicultural-mega-barrio would finally be constructed -- thus reducing by half the morning and evening jamups at the 217-26 West junction just west of the Canyon Road freeway route into Portland.
We thought that one was brilliant, because it would use political correctness to generate public spending for something that was worthwhile, for a change. But, of course, just for that reason, it doesn't have a chance. No government body in Oregon likes logic. Anyway, one of our readers sent in another idea.
I say, enough embarrassment already!
Please note that New York City has a seemingly fairer resolution to renaming city streets by designating honorary attachments. This method appears far less divisive and falls in line with Portland's 'other' practice of historic district or byway signs. Thereto, how about restoring Union Ave and Portland Ave along with "attachments" that make far more commoner sense? One outside example is I-205, honorably 'seconded' as Veteran's Memorial Highway.
As to a 4th Ave 'renaming' for C. Chavez, resonating with Hugo and Linda, et al? Seems a 'Fifth' Column embottlement has infiltrated city hall chambers.