LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Rose Manor a concern
There has been a flurry of activity at the old Rose Manor Motel site in recent weeks. Unfortunately, very little of this activity has been positive in nature. What was once one of the finest lodging establishments in the City of Portland is now a fenced-in complex of wrecked buildings that serves as an illegal garbage dump and a haven for criminal activity. Problems began to mount a few years ago. The Rose Manor, once an affordable lodging establishment for tourists and business people, had become a run-down facility catering to the housing needs of our community's poorest and most vulnerable citizens. Nuisance and housing code violations piled up, and the motel closed completely in late 2005. Nuisance issues continue to mount. The property owners closed the business without securing the various buildings on the site. This led to squatters living in some of the rooms. The windows to the office were broken out nearly a year ago, and the building remains unsecured to this day. Sensitive documents from the motel office have turned up during at least one local drug raid. Credit card receipts and other materials from the Rose Manor Motel are being used to provide identity thieves with the personal credit information that they desire. The past month has seen workers start to demolish the entire complex. This was news to both the Brooklyn Action Corps and the City of Portland, since no construction or demolition permits have been granted or applied for. City inspectors conducted a site visit on October 12th and found the property owners to be in violation of conducting interior demolition without a permit. This demolition is of particular concern of the Brooklyn Action Corps. The visual blight is an insult to a neighborhood that has worked hard over the past two decades to clean up its image. Building debris and other garbage has been stacked up in the parking lot for nearly a month now. This is no doubt attracting rats and other animals to the area. Even worse, the odds are great that the debris contains asbestos and lead paint that should be contained and removed by trained professionals. Unfortunately, the property owner has sought a far different means for demolishing the buildings. The site has been opened up at odd hours for day laborers and the homeless to haul away anything that they want. This led to the structures being stripped of its wood siding and metal fixtures without any apparent contamination cleanup. Area residents have reported seeing furniture and bedding being carried away to local homeless camps. Although we on the Brooklyn Board are working hard to enhance the lives of the local homeless population, we feel that having them work in an illegal building demolition is not the best for them or for the greater community. It is our hope that the owners of the Rose Manor Motel will recognize the property's blight and risk to the neighbors and city, and come into compliance with city building codes. The Brooklyn Action Corps is generally supportive of new development, and would like to encourage the property owners and/or managers to work with us to make Brooklyn a better place to live and work for everyone.
Vice Chair, Brooklyn Action Corps neighborhood assn.
Two comments about donating blood
I appreciate your article in defense and explanation of the Red Cross and its efforts to ensure a safe blood supply. I wanted to add my experience, since it involves an issue you didn't mention in your article. I used to give blood regularly (O positive) - I started in High School around 1980. I had to quit donating around 2000, when they started asking 'personal questions' about living in Britain or Europe, because of concerns about Mad Cow Disease. There is no blood test for Mad Cow Disease, so the Red Cross' solution is to refuse blood from anyone who lived in Britain or Europe. I don't recall the exact rules, but they do not want my blood because I lived in Scotland for a year in the mid 1980s. I can understand their concern, but I have been a strict vegetarian since about 1980, so there is no way I could have ingested tainted beef in Britain in the mid 1980s. So alas, because the Red Cross is trying to be safe, they have eliminated me as a donor, even though I have safe blood.
[Re: BEE October editorial:] It is widely recognized that the Red Cross 'blood screening' is anything but, when they do not 'screen' hetrosexuals who may or may not have had multiple sexual partners. However, the Red Cross DOES screen gay and lesbian blood donors--they CANNOT donate blood--presumably because the Red Cross mistakenly subscribes to the theory that gays and lesbians are ALL promiscuous and unable to be monogamous. I would say that unless you have been on the receiving end of that kind of blind discrimination, you would not be half as annoyed or astonished with the Red Cross as my life partner and I are.
Bouland and Associates
SE Milwaukie Avenue
EDITOR'S NOTE: Actually, as explained in our October editorial, your editor was himself prevented from giving blood for two years due a test's false positive; perhaps you might consider what we did, which is pursue changing the federal rules which apply to exclusions via your Congressperson or Senator: An appeals process via special testing to prove a lack of infection might be a solution for you as it was for us. And, heterosexual blood donations are indeed tested for all sexually transmitted diseases, and the donors are permanently excluded for positive tests, genuine or false. However, both the above letters seem to help prove a point in the editorial, though - the Red Cross IS taking extravagant exclusionary precautions, and still has gotten hit with a $4.2 million fine by the government for 'not taking sufficient precautions'. This circumstance does not bode well for any relaxation in precautionary exclusions in the future, and further puts the burden of the system on those who manage to make it through the screening protocols and are still willing to keep donating. We think if you can, you should!
Hooray for 'Three Bridges'
I attended the opening ceremonies and ribbon-cuttings of the Three Bridges Project on October 19th, officially opening that segment of the Springwater Corridor to the public, and was pleased with the response and turnout of both the public and public officials, despite the threatening weather. After the obligatory speeches, we all walked along the new trail, and ribbons were cut at each of the three new bridges. I thought it appropriate that a few minutes after the cutting ceremony of the bridge over Union Pacifc, Amtrak train #504--a Cascades train--passed under the bridge, the first train to do so under the (officially) newly opened bridge. For most people, the highlight is the orange-red ['Tabasco'] arched bridge over McLoughlin Blvd. 'It's a beautiful bridge,' exclaimed Milwaukie mayor Jim Bernard. 'We are so proud of this,' stated Portland mayor Tom Potter. I agree completely. On a more somber note, just before and during the ceremony, I was disconcerted to see several people walking right out in front of the Oregon Pacific Railroad train that was coming down the track [on S.E. Ochoco Street] at them. People using the trail need to be aware and careful around trains, tracks and crossings. I, for one, don't want to see anybody hurt and/or killed by trains.
S.E. Lexington Street
New website for carpoolers
I am writing to you as a resident of Eastmoreland. I have developed a new carpooling website meant to help residents locate other local neighbors open to carpooling. Carpool Crew helps them find one another based on location, as well as personal preferences like where they shop, work times, preferred radio stations, etc. Our belief is that people want to ride with someone they like and trust, who lives near them. We aren't affiliated with other websites, other than my company, Real Headway. We aim to build software systems to help people, free of charge. I don't know of anyone else doing what we are doing with Carpool Crew; there are lots of carpool sites, but they are mostly municipal websites limited to a geographical region, and Carpool Crew is able to help anyone, anywhere in the USA.The website is based in Portland, and is a helpful tool to make our local community stronger, while reducing emissions and saving gas money. We were just featured in Cisco Systems' $100 Million+ ad campaign touting human ingenuity through technology! The web address is www.carpoolcrew.com, and it's open to all.
Developer, Carpool Crew
Let's have a little more courtesy
I was very pleased to read the article about the 'Older Adult Three-Wheeled Bicycle Program', and am writing not only to urge seniors to take advantage of this fun opportunity, but also to advise our community to assist and encourage them in this healthy activity. Your article pointed out that the primary barrier to older adults riding bicycles is the fear of falling, and the fact that many have not been on a bike in 40 or 50 years. The project wonderfully addressed this concern by purchasing easy-to-ride recumbent tricycles and offering free classes on how to ride them. Although I was an avid bicyclist as a child and young adult, I recently climbed back onto a bike for the first time in about 5 years and embarked on a two-wheeled commute to downtown Portland. I must admit, I was a bit intimidated by the multitudes of faster and better-equipped bike commuters speeding past my old mountain bike, often without the courtesy of a verbal warning. I see this interaction among other bicyclists and pedestrians as another potential barrier to seniors signing onto this mode of transport. Even though Portland is full of courteous riders, I still remind each of us to be aware of our actions. Slow down a bit, give a little more space, and offer our biking seniors a smile and quick wave. In this way, we can all do our part to promote the continued health of our community. Happy riding!
S.E. 9th Avenue
Big plans for 'Arleta Triangle'
Many have noticed the changes happening over the past two years at the 'Arleta Triangle', that piece of land at S.E. 72nd and Woodstock Boulevard. Many neighborhood residents haven't had time to get out and help with the building, landscaping, and other hard work at the site -- but there IS something everyone can do to help improve this part of Southeast Portland. This fall, the Arleta Triangle Project will adding an amazing custom canopy. Artist Brian Borrello, who has created art for the Rose Garden MAX Light Rail station, is overseeing construction of the canopy. This canopy is the most ambitious piece of this project - and this is where we need everyone's help. We secured a grant from the Regional Arts and Culture Council for part of our work, but we need to raise $4,000 more by this November. We need our neighbors in Southeast Portland to make cash donations, or perhaps give us donated materials. To make a donation, give the easy way -- online, at: www.arleta-triangle.org. Or contact us at 503/774-3631 for more information. Donations are 100% tax-deductible. Thank you for helping.
Volunteer, Arleta Triangle Project
Local performers in regional concerts
I invite your readers to take notice of Cappella Romana's opening concerts, featuring Tchaikovsky's 'Divine Liturgy', conducted by guest director Mark Bailey from New York. The Portland concert is at 8 pm, Friday, November 3, at St. Mary's Cathedral, 1716 N.W. Davis; tickets are $25, with student/senior discounts available, available via 800/992-8499 (TIXX). Free pre-concert talk at 7 pm. It will be a rare treat for Portland to host Mr. Bailey in these concerts. Also, three of our regular singers who will participate in this project are residents of Inner Southeast: (1) Amy Russell-Cathey, alto, also runs an opera company (Opera Theatre of Oregon) and was recently profiled in THE BEE for her work with the Portland Symphonic Choir. (2) Stephanie Kramer, soprano, is one of Portland's busiest ensemble singers; she performs regularly with Cantores in Ecclesia, Oregon Catholic Press, Cappella Romana, Portland Pro Musica, and many other ensembles. Also, in Sellwood, she cares for her blind mother, who has been a patron of Cappella Romana for many years. (3) Mark Powell (myself): I'm also singing in this project (in addition to managing the ensemble) and live in Brooklyn, your neighbor to the north. My training is as a musicologist, and I also work for Portland Baroque Orchestra, with whom Cappella Romana will be singing Handel's Messiah this December.
Local artists in cooperative market
Once again this year local artists will be offering their own holiday 'Merry Marketplace' in Sellwood, and I wanted to share with you the story of one of the participating artists… Laurie Romanaggi cannot pass up an estate sale. She's always looking to bring new life to old vintage Holiday décor that others have discarded. Laurie has taken old Christmas tree ornaments from the '50's and '60's and transformed them into trendy, dynamic wreaths. She creates ornaments, sleighs, and gift tags from vintage cards, pipe cleaners, decorations, and knick-knacks. For the past six years she has worked away in her self-designed studio in the backyard of her home in Eastmoreland. What began as a hobby, has turned into a successful business. She sells hundreds of creations annually in various boutique shows. In March of this year, Laurie's studio was on the cover and featured inside the 'Country Sampler, Decorating Ideas,' magazine. In our annual 'Merry Marketplace' artists-run Sellwood fair, hundreds of Laurie's whimsical items will be for sale, along with items from 15 other artists--on Friday, November 17, from 11 am to 8 pm at SMILE Station, 13th and Tenino in Sellwood.
Research study may save lives; now you know about it
My name is Denise Griffiths, and I am a Research Associate at OHSU. I'm not sure what, if anything, you have heard about the Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium (ROC), so let me start by explaining what and who we are so you have a better understanding of why I'm writing. We are one of 11 sites in North America participating in the ROC. The ROC was formed to conduct out-of-hospital research in cardiac and trauma resuscitation: The research will enroll patients at the scene of injury or cardiac arrest by the paramedics, to determine whether a type of resuscitation fluid that is different from normal saline can improve survival rates in severely injured people. The planned start date is November 1. Given the underlying injury or illness, these patients will not be able to prospectively give their consent to be a study subject. For this reason, federal law requires us to broadly notify the lay and medical community before the study begins. We've done this in several ways--random digit dial phone surveys, open forums, presentations to many community groups, a cable access show, letters to city officials and neighborhood associations, stories running in newspapers and some newsletters, etc. The majority of those we presented to did have positive feelings about the study. We completed the consultation process and submitted this information to our review boards for final approval to move forward with the study. We are now receiving our final approval, and need to notify the community that the study will begin. Those who do not want to be a part of the study can choose to opt out. We have bracelets that they can call and request if they choose to do this. This is our notification that the study is beginning.
Denise Griffiths, Research Associate
Center for Policy and Research in Emergency Medicine
Thanks for help with Monster March
As the sponsoring organization for the October 29th 'Moreland Monster March', the Westmoreland Business Alliance would like to thank the following businesses for the support and donations that helped to contribute to another fun and successful Monster March, with lots of happy Trick or Treaters: Adobe Rose, Stars, Stickers, Wilhelm Mortuary, Moreland Theatre, Oaks Bottom Pub, Kay's Bar, U.S. Bank, Nuture Hair Design, Haggis McBaggis, Moreland Frameworks and Gallery, Philadelphia's, Moreland Vision Center, Branches, Hanna Realty, Fat Albert's, The Silver Lining, CoCo Gets Dressed, Westmoreland Cleaners, Windermere, Westmoreland Liquor Store, Officer Heidi Helwig, Gallery 7126, Christian Science Reading Room, Wallace Books, Wells Fargo Bank, Springwater Grill, Tom Brown, and West Moreland True Value Hardware.
Neighborhood ski bus returns
Our S.E. neighborhood has had a ski bus going to Mt. Hood Meadows on Wednesdays in January and February for the past thirty-three years. Sandy Johnson and Marilyn Smith have been the Ski Bus Advisors. This year we are joined by Brenda (Johnson) Saling. Sandy's daughter. Another change will be the parking spot for the 'Moreland Skiers'. After quite a few years of parking at the Nazarene Church on S.E. 17th and Bidwell, we will begin meeting at Westmoreland Park on the west side of the Sckavone baseball field. It seems our previous parking lot has been sold to a developer. Of further interest to the skiers in our area is the date of our Ski Preview Party to be held at the Mountain Shop on
Thursday, November 9, from 7 to 9 pm. Besides registering for the multi-week ski program, meeting the new ski school director, and enjoying the appetizers, guests will have an opportunity to win some significant door prizes. Everyone is welcome. Skiers wishing to check out our program can participate in our Season Opener on Wednesday, December 6th. The eight-week program begins Wednesday, January 10th. Alpine (downhill) skiers can choose to come 8, 6, or 4 weeks. A few seats are available for single rides during the season. We like to think of it as eight mini vacation days, and are looking forward to another great ski experience.
S. E. 32nd Avenue
Many thanks from 'Sundae in the Park'
The kids are back in school, the air is a little chillier, and before memories of the 26th annual Sellwood 'Sundae in the Park' in August fade completely, as the Chair of the event I would like to publicly thank those involved. It was another great day, and I hope all who attended felt that way too. First, I would like to thank Kris Heiberg, who continues to secure our spot in Sellwood Park with permits of all kinds; she keeps us on board. Thanks also to Sharon Bart, who's on the neighborhood association board (SMILE), and picked Sundae in the Park as an additional personal project; her high energy and can-do attitude made this year's event a real joy. Others on the committee include Amanda Hill (and daughter Cassidy) who not only gathered all the fabulous gift certificates and prizes we gave away that day, but also stayed at the drawing table all afternoon. The fruits of their labors included prizes from the following community-minded merchants: The Adobe Rose Café, Assaggio, Cha Cha Cha, Columbia Sportswear, Haggis McBaggis, the Moreland Theater, Moreland Frameworks, American at Heart, Bellagio's Pizza, CoCo Gets Dressed and CoCo and Toulouse Go Shopping, Fat Albert's Café, the Iron Horse, New Seasons Market, Philadelphia's, Curds and Whey Cheese Shop, Branches, Spirit Feathers, Starbucks Coffee, Bowser Boutique, Gino's, the Jealous Gardner, Papa Haydn East, Pizzicato Pizza, Schondecken Coffee, Spoiled Rotten, West Moreland True Value Hardware, Video Lair, Cypress Salon and Day Spa, Kim's Taekwon-Do, Sellwood Public House, Springwater Grill, Abundant Yarn and Dyeworks, Wallace Books, Grand Central Baking, Mike's Drive In, the Ugly Mug, and Sellwood Dog Supply.
Committee member Eva Fitzsimons made the contacts to those involved with the neighborhood information, that included: Friends of Oaks Bottom, Friends of Trees, Sellwood-Moreland History Committee, Urban Forestry, Southeast Uplift, Southeast Portland Rotary Club, Oaks Bottom Lions Club, Sellwood Library, Sellwood Community Center, Meyer Memorial Boys and Girls Club, Oregon Zoo ZAP Team, Foster Family Network, SMILE NET Team, and Portland Open Studios and Art Walk.
Southeast Portland Rotarian Christine Ellis is an honorary member of our committee, and she gathered Rotarians and supplies to serve gobs of Breyers Ice Cream. SMILE board members Dana Beck and Reid Kells rolled up their sleeves, along with Bob Schmidt and Scrafford Orser, to set up and take down our very sturdy stage. Nancy Walsh and Reid were generally everywhere doing everything! We'll try to get more help for them next year! Thanks to Portland Parks and Recreation for the use of the tables and chairs, and our Sellwood Park crew who packed those 100 chairs from the Community Center to the park and back. Another family who donated their day were the Monnies--Silke, David and Lucca took responsibility for the free popcorn table sponsored by SMILE. Thanks to the businesses who displayed flyers, and to the Boys and Girls Club for getting them in those windows. Thanks also to Papa Murphy's Pizza and THE BEE for additional promotion. The Boys and Girls Club had face painters there throughout the day, and the Oregon Zoo's petting zoo was a hit again this year. Paul Parker and Parker Sound made things work on stage as we listened, laughed, and danced to Charlie Brown, Tall Jazz, the All Sellwood-Moreland Bluegrass Band, and The Sparks. Thanks also to the Demolay group who provide cotton candy and sno-cones each year, and to Linda James and the crew from Loaves and Fishes who are not only at our event, but at many others throughout the summer, to gain support for their great program. Special thanks to my own family, who think volunteering is as important as I do, and to my husband Scrafford, who was in town this year to emcee the event and did a smashing job. Lastly, if I have forgotten someone, please know that you are truly appreciated as well. It takes all of us to make a great Sundae in the Park. Until next summer…
All letters to the editor are subject to editing for clarity and available space, and all letters become property of THE BEE.