LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Having fun inventorying the trees
Joining a large group of volunteers for a street tree inventory workshop on a rainy weekend morning in June was a bit like Botany 101 all over again. The street tree inventory was part of the Portland Parks and Recreation tree management plan - with the goal of identifying all the street trees in the city - some 25,000 of them. From that learning tree day on a wet day in June, our group of 20+ neighbors committed to three Saturdays in July and August to catalog a total of some 4,500 trees in our Eastmoreland neighborhood [similar inventories were going on at the same time in Sellwood and Westmoreland].
We met in Berkeley Park for instructions from staffer Isaac Sandlin over coffee and rolls from the eMoreland Kitchen and Market at 8 am. Eastmoreland has the advantage in our case of having a lot of the same trees. In the original platting, many Elms were planted along streets running north-south, and Maples on east-west streets. Were those Maples Big Leaf, Norway, Red, Silver, Japanese, Sugar, or other? We found that many older trees are in fair or poor condition, and will need to be replaced within a decade.
This project is ongoing; to see how you can volunteer in any of the five targeted communities in the city, go online to the Portland Parks and Recreation website.
Eleanor Krause, S.E. 29th Avenue
'Leaf Day' information and website
Hello Southeast Portland Neighbors - the City of Portland Bureau of Transportation has been working hard to improve the Leaf Day program for 2011. Information is now available to the public about this year's leaf pickup service. The city has launched a new website at: www.portlandonline.com/leafday - with all the details. New program elements include an online Leaf Zone Locator, and the ability to opt out or pay the leaf fee online.
In the next few weeks, customers in the city's Leaf Service Area, which includes 30 Leaf Zones, will receive a mailer that highlights the changes in the program, provides the schedule and fee information, explains how to prepare for scheduled Leaf Day(s), and recommends how to get the most out of the Leaf Day service. Customers who opted out of the service and fee in 2010 will soon receive an additional mailer that walks them through this year's opt-out process.
April Keithly, PBOT, via e-mail
Regarding the article 'Airborne and Upside Down on McLoughlin' (Sept. BEE): The police say no one was cited because both drivers claimed to have the green light and they couldn't figure out which driver was lying. That's a no-brainer, as the lying driver was most probably the one taking the Holgate exit off of southbound McLoughlin. Every single time I am stopped at that intersection going north on McLoughlin, there are still 3-5 cars crossing McLoughlin on Holgate, WHEN WE HAVE THE GREEN LIGHT. Sometimes it's a big huge 18-wheeler! I've never been a fan of red light cameras or photo radar, but I am pretty sick and tired of waiting for red light runners at that intersection, and would welcome one there.
Lori Paddison, S.E. Rex Street
Comment on sewer controversy
Re: 'Brooklyn shocked by city order to pay up to fix sewers', September BEE': Thank you to the residents of the Brooklyn neighborhood for calling Dan Saltzman and the Bureau of Environmental Services on the carpet for issuing non-compliant sewer notices for sewers that cross property lines and/or party-line sewers. Rumors of this non-compliance action have been traveling around Sellwood for the last year. I strongly agree that any sewer that is leaking or not functioning properly should be quickly repaired at the owner's expense. And I would think that BES would share this concern with sewer integrity. They take the opposite approach, however, with a policy that makes our sewer system more at risk for leaks and problems.
The reason that many properties have sewers that run across adjoining property is because many Portland streets do not have sewer mains running underneath [them], so that sewer lines must join the main on a perpendicular street. All other things being equal, the best path is the shortest path since odds of sewer problems are directly proportional to the length of the sewer - the longer the line the more things that can go wrong. The current sewer system took this 'shortest path' logic into account. The non-compliance action would force sewer lines to run a longer path, probably adding problem-causing angles and thus increasing the chance for tree roots, sewer line breakage, and sub-surface shifting to cause failures down the road. This is counter-intuitive at best.
It seems hard to believe that these lines were not originally installed with all property owners' consent. If someone dug a two-foot wide trench across our front lawn, we would know about it. As for shared sewer connections, isn't a sewer main a shared sewer connection? As long as these shared connections function properly, what is the problem? Neither individual nor shared taxpayer expenditures should be coerced to address these non-problems. The real tragedy here is that Portland citizens were challenged by an obviously bad policy, with a resulting loss of credibility for City government, especially at BES.
Brian Kirkpatrick, via e-mail
Former Bybee Bridge's fragment finds home amid cakes
'Piece of Cake Bakery' is celebrating 33 years in business and loves being in the Sellwood neighborhood. As you probably know, we make delicious cakes for even the most discriminating sweet tooth. But we are also collectors. We have the Mount Bachelor Ski Lift in front of the shop, a large ET on our counter, the Tunnel of Love car from Oaks Park, and now a new item: We have a piece of the old Bybee Bridge! I found this piece at a local Sellwood garage sale. It was purchased at a school fundraiser, and they felt we would be the perfect new owner! And please tell the readers that we REALLY would love a piece of the Sellwood Bridge when it eventually gets demolished!
Marilyn DeVault, Food Designer, Piece of Cake Bakery, 8306 S.E. 17th
Thanks for help with historic quilt
This is a note of thanks to those who have been helping unravel the mystery of the 1914-era GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) quilt, donated to SMILE, the Sellwood-Moreland Improvement League neighborhood association.
On Sunday afternoon, September 11, six volunteers gathered at SMILE Station to transcribe the names and other information embroidered on crazy-style quilt. Working in teams, four of us worked our way through the 81 blocks, completing our task just before six o'clock.
This historic 'fabric document' was then carefully folded, returned to its archival container, and now has been transported to the Latimer Quilt and Textile Center in Tillamook, where it will join another GAR quilt in their collection. The ownership of the quilt has also been formally transferred from SMILE to Latimer.
My thanks to the following volunteers who worked so diligently and efficiently to complete this phase of the project: Betty Murrell, Janis Pearson, and Jere Barrett. Also to Craig M. Jones, who has begun conducting research on some of the individual names, and Bill Volckening, who took professional-quality photos of the quilt. Finally, to Geri Carlson, member of the Sellwood's Lance family, who held the quilt for decades, and then donated it back to the neighborhood.
The next step will be to find an individual who can assist in sharing the transcribed information and images, online. We hope that people with an interest in the Civil War, early veterans groups, and historic quilts, will come forward to move us into the 'detective' phase of this project. We can be contacted either through THE BEE or the SMILE websites.
Eileen Fitzsimons, SMILE History Committee
FYI: Roller Derby making big comeback in Portland
The bleachers were rocking inside the old hanger across the parking lot from the Oaks Park Pavilion, mixing with music and a general pandemonium of voices as I scrambled to find a seat. The crowd finally came to a crescendo as the announcer blared: 'Let's hear it for the Rose City RRRRR-Rollers!' Yes, the once-again-burgeoning sport of Roller Derby has a home here in Portland, with four adult teams and one for girls ages 12-17 - that one aptly named the 'Rose City Rosebuds.'
The history of Roller Derby is a surprisingly long one. It first began as a test of endurance during the 1880s, but after WWII it began evolving into the spectator sport it is today, with points, matches, and colorful (and occasionally irreverent) Derby nicknames such as 'Jesus Fiest', 'Slamnesia', and 'Acid Pest'. Bouts are about an hour long, and consist of 'jams', or two-minute matches, where each team's 'jammer' (identified by a star on her helmet) fights to get in front of the pack and circle the track to score points, while her teammates throw elbows and hips to block their opponents. Roller Derby is a contact sport! - with bumping, blocking, and hitting accepted in certain allowable body areas; however, a skater is not allowed to hit below mid-thigh or around the head or in the back, and doing so can send a girl to the penalty seat.
The Rosebuds began three years ago, as a more casual drop-in drop-out league, but has evolved into four mini-teams, two administrators, four primary coaches and two assistant coaches. 'No team exists,' one of the coaches ('Susan B. Anarchy') tells me later at a Sunday practice, 'That hits harder than these girls.'
The match is well underway, with the Rosebuds sporting purple jerseys; they clash with the yellow of their opponents, the Kitsap Derby Brats. In the tangle of the pack girls will occasionally take a tumble, but others either swerve around the fallen or simply jump over them. Clad in knee pads, wrist guards, gloves, mouth-guards, helmets, and fishnet tights, they are quick to get back on their skates, pumped up with energy as the crowd screams.
In a corner above the speakers, a screen projects the score, time, number of jams and the Derby nickname of the two jammers on the floor. The Rosebuds eventually win their game at Oaks Park's roller rink, 116-96. Roller Derby is truly defined by the women who are part of it; a place without limits or a preconceived notion of who and what females ought to be like - in coach Susan B.'s words: 'Tough girls with a lot of heart'. The team has even more to be proud of, as this month a select group will travel to Denver to play against the Mile High City's junior derby team in the biggest match of its type in the country, televised on the nationwide derby network DNN. (Yes, there is such a thing!)
Mackenzie Broderick, Cleveland High School junior and journalist (and Rosebuds team member)
More plumbing and appliances in local gardens
I enjoyed reading about all the creative ways to reuse appliances and furniture in the garden [September BEE], and wanted to throw out another great idea. My husband made a potting table out of our old utility sink. He simply cut wood slats to lay across the top of the sink, with just enough space between them for soil to drop through. It's waist high - perfect for gardening, and is surprisingly attractive.
Wendy Ferguson, via e-mail
Spaghetti to arrive one month early this year
I want to alert the Inner Southeast community of a change! Breaking with a tradition of 67 years, the annual Spaghetti and Meatball Dinner at St. Philip Neri parish has been moved up a month. The women of the Altar Society have for years been producing two events in November, so it was moved to October out of consideration for them. This 68th annual Spaghetti and Meatball Dinner will be held October 9th from noon to 5:30 pm, with tickets available in advance and at the door. The dinner features authentic homemade Italian pasta sauce, generous meatballs, and includes salad, bread, and dessert for only $11 for adults, $9 for seniors, and $5 for children 5-12 years old. There is a vegetarian option, wine is available for a nominal fee, and take out is also available. The Spaghetti and Meatball Dinner has always been popular with the surrounding community because it is a fun, lively event with great food.
Anita Donahue, via e-mail
Opportunity to save energy and money
Several Neil Kelly Home Performance staff members live in Sellwood, Westmoreland, and Woodstock. Together, we decided that we want to help make our neighbors' homes more energy efficient and also help our local community at the same time. Thus, the idea for 'Energize S.E.' came about. The premise of the program is to provide no-cost Energy Star audits to our neighbors, and also provide a discount on recommended work for groups of neighbors that get audits. In addition, we are supporting our community partners by donating $75 per person that signs up for an energy audit with us through community organizations. If you're part of a community organization that would like to take part in this, contact us at the information below!
By getting groups of people in S.E. Portland to make their homes more energy efficient, we can purchase the materials in bulk and pass the savings on. For example, if 25 neighbors sign up for an audit, anyone that decides to go forward with the work would receive 5% off.
Anyone that lives in S.E. Portland is eligible to receive a no-cost energy audit on their home, and can qualify for the discounts. Visit online: www.neilkellyenergy.com - or call Neil Kelly Home Performance at 503/288-7461 for more information. We're excited to help our neighbors save on their energy bills and lower their carbon footprints.
Thomas Staten, Sellwood resident, Neil Kelly Home Performance employee
Date wrong in article
Re: 'Centennial Arrives for Sellwood Church' (September BEE): In both the picture caption and in the next to the last paragraph of the article, it is mentioned that the 'rectory bungalow' was moved to the corner of S.E. 8th and Sherrett in the year 2000. I moved to the N.W. corner of S.E. 8th and Sherrett in June, 1980. The rectory bungalow was already here. I believe the bungalow was moved to the site in the 1960s, but I'm not sure. Perhaps someone could check for the actual move date.
Leah Hollingshead, via e-mail
EDITOR'S NOTE: This could have been an error we made during editing. In any event, we stand corrected.
4-H is back
The 4-H Youth Program is back in Multnomah County, and is now recruiting adult volunteers for their 4-H Sustainable Schools and Club Program. The 4-H Sustainable Schools Program has leader workshop coming up. Space is still available for both. Great opportunity for teachers, parent volunteers or garden members who want to become 4H volunteers. OSU Extension 4-H Sustainable Schools Garden Training is on October 14, 15, and 22. Registration is open and OSU professional graduate credits are available.
For more information or to register visit our Internet website: www.4hwildlifestewards.org - or call 503/916-6074.
Janice Jenkins, via e-mail