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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Eastmorelanders still don't like cellular antennas

Editor,

Re: "Cellular antenna plans rile Eastmoreland neighbors" [December BEE]: A few updates to this well-written coverage in THE BEE: On Tuesday, November 22, the chairs of Eastmoreland, Concordia, and Alameda met with Commissioner Saltzman to present briefing papers on the situation and ask his help to force an open dialog with T-Mobile. The briefing papers can be found on eastmoreland.org. Eastmoreland has retained the respected lawyer, Peter Livingston, to address federal preemption issues with the city. The pivotal court case, Hillsboro v. Voicestream [Voicestream is now known as T-Mobile - Editor], has ruled that cities do have the power to regulate cell tower siting on aesthetic and neighborhood character grounds. T-Mobile finally provided copies of their Eastmoreland slides to the city last Friday [November 18]. We have received a set from the city on Wednesday [November 23]. These are also posted on our web site. Eastmoreland's rejection of the proposed tower was delivered to T-Mobile on Wednesday. Thirteen other neighborhoods have joined Eastmoreland, Concordia, and Alameda in opposition to the siting of cell towers in residential areas where alternatives are present. If you want to help, contact us through our web site or email our board members, Kimberly Koehler (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Allison Gillespie (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Robert McCullough, President, ENA, via BEE online comment form

Editor,

T-Mobile wants to put a six-foot-tall array of cell antennas on the 'new and improved' utility pole near the one shown in the photo. It's on 37th, halfway between Ogden and Knapp....right around the corner from the Eastmoreland Market. If the cell tower is constructed as planned, customers enjoying a cup of coffee at the outdoor cafe tables at the Market will be looking directly at a cell tower. SE Uplift, representing 20 neighborhood organizations, recently sent a letter to Commissioner Saltzman's office encouraging him to work with the Eastmoreland Neighborhood Association in stopping this inappropriate, industrial structure. We are inundated with radiation from many sources we cannot control. That's why it is so crucial we reduce our exposure when we can.

Kimberly Koehler, ENA Board, via BEE online letters form

[EDITOR'S NOTE: The radiation exposure from cellular antennas on top of utility poles is insignificant, and certainly much less than from using a cellular phone oneself, which itself after decades of attempts to prove harmful, still yields no science whatever indicating bodily harm from such very low signal levels. As far as aesthetics go, from our own surveillance of several of these installations in the neighborhood, people are not looking up. These antennas on top of the utility poles do not look much different from the power transformers up there already, and probably will not be noticed unless a point is made of doing so.]

'Milwaukie Avenue racetrack'

Editor,

I want to let Lynn Ferguson [November BEE letters column] know that I also filled out a form to request a crossing at that very intersection [at S.E. Insley], a year or so back. It took about 4 or so months for them to 'study it' - after which I received a letter saying there was not enough traffic to justify the expense. Guess we'll just have to wait till someone gets injured before we get action.

Mark Davison, via e-mail

About those owls released at Tideman-Johnson Park

Editor:

I was glad to read about the owls that were rehabilitated and released in Tideman-Johnson Park [November, 2011, BEE]. I was sorry to be reminded, though, that some people still use 'glue traps', such as the one in which one of the owls was injured. Aside from the impacts on unintended victims such as the owl and pets, glue traps for mice and other rodents are inhumane. This should be obvious to anyone who spends even a little time thinking about how glue traps work and has even the slightest capacity to empathize with another living thing. I will quote from middle-of-the-road Wikipedia to avoid claims of sensationalism:

'Glue strip or glue tray devices trap the mouse in the sticky glue. . . . Many animals trapped by these devices sustain severe injuries including severed limbs and torn skin caused by gnawing them off themselves to try to escape. . . . Death is much slower than with the traditional type trap. . . Trapped mice eventually die from exposure, dehydration, starvation, suffocation, or predation, or are killed by people when the trap is checked.'

The intended victims (mice and other small rodents) might not warm our hearts like dogs, cats, and more glamorous species of wildlife, but I suspect that even these 'lower' forms of life feel shock, terror, panic and pain. (Ask anyone who has had one for a pet.) I can find no reason to care less about that pain and suffering, much less to disregard it completely, and I think most people would agree that a dog, cat or owl (for example) should not be stuck in glue until it chews off its limbs or dies of thirst or starvation.

Although I am often dismayed by the pain and suffering that humans inflict on animals, and by our obliviousness to that, I am encouraged that the 'arc of the moral universe' also seems to bend toward more compassion for all living things. (See 'God bless the animals' on page 14 of the very same issue of THE BEE.) A quick Internet search will reveal numerous more humane options for controlling mice and other rodents as well as discussion of how to simply live with them and/or not attract them. I hope more people will turn to these alternatives and encourage others to do the same.

Brian Posewitz, S.E. 11th Avenue, via e-mail

Local youth soccer triumphs

Editor,

Great showing by the Southest Soccer Club at the PYSA Fall League Cup Tournament. Eight U-10 teams from the Portland Metro Area competed in the two weekend tournament. SESC Rockets and Speedsters advanced to the Final Match on Saturday, November 19th. The Final was won by the Rockets with a close 3-2 win over a great Speedsters squad. Both teams are made of players from Southeast neighborhood schools - Duniway, Holy Family, Llewellyn, and St. Agatha. Way to represent SESC, boys!

Ann MacNeela, S.E. 33rd Avenue, via online BEE letters form

Editor,

This past November PYSA (Portland Youth Soccer Assoc) hosted their end of season tournament in which 78 teams citywide participated. The Southeast Soccer Rockets and Southeast Soccer Speedsters, competing in the U10 Boys division, both won their individual brackets and found their way to the championship game together, held at Chapman Elementary on November 19th. In a hard-fought and exciting game, the Rockets were crowned champions with a final score of 3-2. The talent that was displayed on the field that afternoon by both teams was exceptional, and it was apparent that all of the players worked very hard all season long. We would like to congratulate all of the players and coaches, and thank Southeast Soccer Club, friends and families for all of their support! What a fabulous way to end a great season of soccer!

Kenan Smith, Peter Gutmann, Michelle and Jerry McCann, SESC Rockets Coaches

Why do people throw away perfectly good stuff…?

Editor,

I am shocked at the amount of perfectly good furniture, clothing, and other items that are thrown away in dumpsters or left out on the street. In particular, large items such as sofas that are left to rot on the sidewalk are a breeding ground for vermin, are a nuisance, and bring neighborhood property values down. Dumping garbage on the street is a code violation as well, and I would encourage neighbors to call 503/823-2633 to report items dumped on your street.

There are numerous ways to find good homes for the items that you no longer want. I recommend starting by asking neighbors and friends if they need an extra chair, television, or whatever the case may be. Branch out to the community - there are churches, schools, and nursing home facilities that may be able to use your unwanted items. Or try: www.freecycle.org - which is a great way to connect to people who need what you are giving away. Finally, there are many charitable organizations like Goodwill to donate to (and get a tax writeoff).

Although I love the concept behind the 'free boxes' around my neighborhood, what I have witnessed are the moldy remains of clothing and books that have been picked through, rained on, and left to sit on the sidewalk. If an item is truly too trashed to be usable any longer, then take it to the dump. Don't leave it for someone else to deal with.

Stephanie Overbey, S.E. 42nd Avenue, via BEE online letters form

Local athletes advance

Editor,

I want BEE readers to be aware that three local young athletes were to compete in the State Gymnastics Championship meet in the first weekend of December at OGA in Beaverton. There are possibly more than three; however the three I write of are all teammates on the level 4 compulsory team at Precision Elite Gymnastics Academy in Clackamas, and all reside in the Sellwood-Westmoreland, Eastmoreland, and Reed neighborhoods, and attend the local schools - Llewellyn, Duniway, and Sellwood Middle.

The three girls each competed at the North Sectional level 4 gymnastics competition on the weekend of November 19th and 20th, where the athletes with the 72 highest scores were selected to advance to the state championships to compete against the top 72 athletes from Southern Oregon. In order to even qualify to compete in the North Sectional meet, each of the girls had to score a minimum of 31 all around, which correlates to an average of score of 7.75 on each of the four events. Each of the 3 girls had posted all-around scores in excess of 37 points prior to the North Sectional competition, easily qualifying them, and each of these three girls then scored over 37 all around during the North Sectional meet which comfortably secured their spots as competitors in the upcoming State Championship.

This is the first year each of these children has competed, and their first meet was in September. All three of these girls hail from the same extended neighborhood, are on the same team, and have had very successful seasons - standing on the first place podium over a dozen times, combined. I am the proud parent of one of these athletes.

Jennifer Krager, via e-mail

Beware the Poke weed

Editor,

I am writing to ask that THE BEE please inform readers regarding the highly toxic and invasive plant Poke weed (Phytolacca americana). Many parts of Poke weed, including berries, are toxic, and may even cause death if eaten. It is not native to Oregon and here in Portland it is considered an aggressive, invasive plant that can be spread by birds eating the berries. Poke weed is also disruptive to native wildlife in Oregon. Poke weed is being grown as an ornamental by Portland residents who may likely not know of the toxicity and invasiveness of this plant. Hopefully, residents will choose to remove Poke weed once they are more informed of its toxicity and invasiveness.

Heather Brunelle, S.E. Rural Street, via BEE online letters form

Sellwood kindergartners carol in Milwaukie

Editor,

I am a parent of a Kindergarten student at St. Agatha Catholic School in Sellwood. On December 1st, our Kindergarten class performed their Christmas pageant songs to the 60- plus residents at the Milwaukie Convalescent Center. The students were thrilled to perform in front of such an enthusiastic crowd. The pageant itself was scheduled for Wednesday, December 14th. Thank you to everyone who attended on December 1st - the residents and staff, students and families, and our Kindergarten teacher Mrs. Archambeault, and Music Teacher Mr. Heath. A special thank you to Mr. Bill Price, the Milwaukie Convalescent Center Administrator, who helped coordinate this special event.

Julie Hanna, via e-mail

Earthquake monitors sought

Editor,

The Pacific Northwest Seismic Network is looking for citizen volunteers to host NetQuakes strong motion seismometers in the home or small business. Please let your readers know about this opportunity to participate in the seismic monitoring of the greater Portland Metro region. More information about NetQuakes in the Pacific Northwest is posted on the PNSN Internet website: www.pnsn.org/OPS/netquakes.html . And if readers are interested in hosting a NetQuakes instrument and meet the qualifications, they should fill out a volunteer form online obtained by clicking HERE.

William P. Steele, U of W Pacific Northwest Seismic Network, Box 351310, Seattle, WA 98195-1310, 206/685-5880

Art stolen from Sellwood porch

Editor,

I know this isn't a huge, breaking story but it's something that really upsets me. It's the first bad thing I've had happen since I moved to Sellwood a year ago. While I was visiting family in Ohio, someone stole two pieces of glass art from my front porch. I would never have dreamed of leaving the artwork on my porch in my former Ohio neighborhood, but I thought that Sellwood was a better place. I purchased the glass art at the Edgefield Cracked Pots sale andwould dearly love to have them back. Thank you.

Lois Moss, 935 S.E. Linn Street, 216/870-0057

Free reading classes start in January

Editor,

I wanted to inform our community about a very important free reading program for adults with developmental disabilities starting in S.E. Portland in January. This is the only program of its kind in the area, as services like these are virtually nonexistent. The reading program is open to all levels, including very beginning readers, and will take place at 'On-the-Move Community Integration' located at 4187 S.E. Division Street.

The free reading classes are open to absolutely anyone with a developmental disability who is motivated to increase independence through improving their reading skills. Classes will combine group lessons and one on one tutoring. As someone who has learned a great deal about this field, I know that many with special needs wish to improve their reading skills but don't have the opportunity to do so. With assistance, these individuals can reach great potential and contribute an incredible amount to our community.

The first session will begin on January 19 and runs for 10 weeks. The classes will be held on Thursdays from 3:00-4:30 p.m. Pre-registration is required and space is limited. The registration deadline is Friday, January 13. To pre-register, just call 503/287-2346, or e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The website for more information is: www.onthemoveonline.org .

Volunteers are also needed! While no prior teaching experience is necessary, volunteers should have good reading skills and a desire to work with a diverse student base. Volunteer training will take place on January 12th, 3-5 pm, and the deadline to pre-register for the training is January 5. These rewarding volunteer positions offer a wonderful opportunity to support our local community. The program is sponsored by On-the-Move Community Integration, a S.E. based 501c3 nonprofit organization devoted to creating a more inclusive society.

Lauren Marrone, via e-mail

All letters to the editor are subject to editing for clarity and available space, and all letters become property of THE BEE.