As a proud Portlander who often brags to out-of-state friends about all of the wonderful things this city has to offer, I have to say that I was terribly disappointed with the sad, lackluster event that took place on the Eastern Prom on the evening of July Fourth.

Leaving the issue of corporate vs. city funding aside for a moment, let me just say that in a year in which so many of us could have used a patriotic morale booster, the Portland Symphony Orchestra show was sorely missed. It is the role of city leaders to work around obstacles in supporting the spirit that makes a city what it is. As Portland continues its quest to be included in the list of world-class cities, the night of Independence Day was a big step backward. Portland deserves better.

P.S. The fireworks display was, as usual, first-rate.

James Becker