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Storm put citys services to the test

Portlanders respond to this assignment:

Evaluate the area's weather-related services during the recent storm.

• Arlene Kimura, a neighborhood activist from east Portland: 'Services were good but could have been better coordinated. Airlines could have bused many passengers to Sea-Tac to get them out of Portland. However, all the Department of Transportation crews and utility workers deserve a standing ovation.'

• Phoebe Neidhardt, a junior at Cleveland High School who lives in Southeast Portland. 'All in all, I was pretty impressed, although I stayed home for the majority of the time. I have to admit it was hard to live without the movie store by my house being open!'

• Suzi Helmlinger, a downtown business owner who lives in Southeast Portland: 'My dear friend, who lives in Northeast, slipped in her house and very badly broke her ankle. The pain she felt was unbelievable. After managing to get to the phone and call 911, she was asked if this was really an emergency. I guess the operator wasn't thinking clearly. Anyway, the paramedics and fire department came, dug out her steep driveway and took her to the hospital. Everyone did their job well, except the 911 operator, who could use a little common sense brush-up.

• Rachel Gerber, a legal secretary who lives in Beaverton: 'MAX is not a panacea; it needs modification. TriMet's chief gave his agency a B+ rating. I'd go with C.'

• Jill Eiland, a government-relations executive who lives in Northwest Portland: 'We learned MAX and the airport are not weatherproof, that buses are still the most reliable form of public transportation and that the kindness of strangers and neighbors goes a long way in an ice storm.'

• Shirley Minor, a manufacturer's representative who lives in Northeast Portland: 'There was too much media coverage during this metro shutdown; a glance from the window kept me up-to-date. In general, the public is not prepared. I see potential chaos. And, I appreciate my gas-thirsty SUV even more. I had plenty of room to roam.'

• Misti Wittenberg, an executive for a senior citizen care facility who lives in Northwest Portland: 'Two words: Use salt! The environment will not suffer permanent or negative effects by using salt for a few days every 10 or so years. Use salt!'

• Breanna Probasco-Canda, a 17-year-old Grant High School senior who lives in Northeast Portland: 'The roads are better than they were last week, but the lack of maintenance for excess snow leaves large mounds that can pose potentially dangerous situations for people walking on the streets.'

Interested in serving on the Tribune's Color Commentary panel? Contact Dave Kern at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..