LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Local students triumph in state competition
Stephanie Taylor, Sara Hill, Gabe Beck, and Aidan Mellies showed determination and a bit of improvisation to capture the first place trophy in their challenge at the 'Destination ImagiNation' state tournament held on April 9th in Corvallis. Together for their fourth year, this team first met as students at Duniway Elementary under the coaching of parent Dominique Lampert. The team chose the 'Spinning a Tale' challenge to research energy cycles in the natural or physical world, and decided to focus their study on rocks. As part of their performance they crafted an original play about the rock's life cycle, pulling in references to mythology and science. With guitar music and a humorous script, this team impressed the judges with their creativity, enthusiasm and science knowledge. 'These students started practicing in November and met weekly to design sets, write the script, build a DiCycler, and practice instant challenges,' said coach Dominique Lampert. 'DI is all about using teamwork to solve challenges and this team collaborated and most of all, enjoyed each other and the challenge.' Congratulations to the S.E. team representing Sellwood Middle School, Sunnyside Middle School, the Access Program, and Northwest Academy. For more information on organizing your own Destination ImagiNation team for the 2011-2012 school year, visit online: www.oregondi.org .
Carol Samuels, parent, Eastmoreland
Why no bus service for new Sellwood Bridge?
I just learned from the minutes of a recent SMILE meeting published in THE BEE that Tri-Met does NOT plan to resume the bus route which previously served the Tacoma Street centric part of Sellwood and Westmoreland when the new Sellwood Bridge is completed.
This decision is shortsighted and damaging to our neighborhood. A major part of the debate over the bridge design had to do with ensuring wide enough lanes for bus access -not to mention the issue of a possible streetcar! I strongly supported the new bridge planning because I have greatly missed the trans-Sellwood-Bridge route, which was discontinued when the old bridge was declared unsafe for buses, firetrucks, and semi's.
The discontinued route, I believe the old number 12, was THE most direct route, with the least amount of walking and NO transfers, for south Sellwood/Moreland residents wanting to reach the following destinations: The OHSU wellness center and clinics, John's Landing businesses, PSU classes and special events, the Portland Saturday Market in the South Park Blocks, and downtown shopping and cultural attractions.
The existing Route 70 requires transfers (and far more walking for some, due to its alternating 13th and 17th street routes), and its frequency is far less than that of Route 19, which is an 8-block-walk from the Tacoma Street area.
Tri-Met's decision to drop this route needs to be challenged in the strongest possible terms. It is a slap in the face to many residents who devoted hours at bridge design input meetings to ensure that mass transit would have a CENTRAL role in the rebuilt bridge. Tri-Met needs to understand that the loss of this route is especially damaging to PSU students carrying a backpack full of books, seniors (as well as employees) who wish to get to the OHSU wellness center/clinics quickly, and shoppers visiting Portland's largest farmers' market or downtown stores, who often come home laden with packages.
Nancy Beamer, via e-mail
Hoping Naomi's can stay in Sellwood
I'm sure we're not the only family who LOVES having Naomi's Organic Farm Supply in the neighborhood. Not only is it great to have a close local option for picking up soil and gardening supplies, but kids love visiting the goats, geese, and baby chicks at Naomi's. The staff is super-nice, don't mind you just coming by to hang out with the animals, and have great supplies for helping kids enjoy the outdoors - like gardening supplies, bird feed, seeds, etc. They also provide workshops on all sorts of interesting things related to organic gardening, and raising urban animals like chickens, goats, and bees. Naomi's current lease [on the former Kasch's property on Tacoma Street at the west end of the McLoughlin overpass] expires May 31st. Les Schwab owns the property and currently has no plans to renew Naomi's lease because they intend to put a tire center on the property. I personally would like to thank Les Schwab for having leased to Naomi's shop up till now; it seems to me there is room for both businesses on this large piece of property, and I'd be more inclined to be a Les Schwab customer if I could go hang out with my kids at Naomi's while I wait for my tires! I intend to contact Les Schwab Headquarters in Bend to ask them to continue to lease space to Naomi's while building their tire center, and I hope others will too. I'm writing to Jana Smith in their advertising department - Box 5350, Bend 97708.
Kirstin McAuley, via e-mail
In 2009, Les Schwab Tires bought part of the property at the corner of Tacoma and McLoughlin, the previous home of Kasch Garden Centers. Since then, they've leased part of their property to Naomi's Organic Farm Supply while they decided whether to buy, and how to develop the rest. Naomi's lease ends on May 31, and Les Schwab faces the decision whether to continue renting to Naomi's or to develop the entire area into a Les Schwab store. Les Schwab Tires is a strong Oregon company that will be a good neighbor to all of us in Sellwood. They've been very generous in renting to Naomi's so far, and they wouldn't be doing anything illegal or immoral if they decided to stop. But we, and many other Sellwood neighbors, would hate to see Naomi's leave. Naomi's is an independent business that employs ten people in the area, and with only a two-year track record they've already built a strong business serving organic farming needs in an urban area. A move now, as they're gaining the clientele and experience they need to thrive, could be devastating.
As a company that can trace its roots back to a single tire store in Prineville, Oregon, Les Schwab should be particularly sympathetic to their situation. They've been considering options for the property development that would be beneficial to both companies, although no final decision has been made. We hope that they, like us, would like to see Naomi's continue where they are, and watch what happens as they grow.
If there are other Sellwood neighbors who would like to see Naomi's Organic Farm Supply stay in their current location, we'd like to encourage them to call, write, e-mail, or just go by a local Les Schwab Tire store, and ask them to continue renting to Naomi's. Les Schwab is famous for the way they listen to their customers, and we hope they listen to all of us on this issue.
Tom Dwyer, Tom Dwyer Automotive Services, via e-mail
Dog droppings still an issue
May I appeal to the dog owners of S.E. through your pages: Please don't dump your packets of dog poop in my trash bin! It seems every week I leave my trash out for collection early in the morning, only to return home in the evening to find packets of dog poop dumped in my now-empty empty bin. Why is it dog owners seem to think it perfectly reasonable to leave me and my family to live with their dog's poop smelling in my bin for a week? It is not reasonable. It is ill-mannered, inconsiderate and un-neighborly. Your dog is your responsibility. Take your dog's poop to your own bin - please!
David Whitfield, Woodstock
EDITOR'S NOTE: This is a slightly more acceptable practice than the one previously reported, in which dog owners take the time and make the effort to scoop the poop, only to drop the bag on the sidewalk and walk away - behavior which still baffles us. But for those who do not know, even bagged poop does stink up a garbage can, so it would be best to take it home with you and dispose of it there.
Volunteers needed for local 'Tree Inventory'
Anna Stulz, via e-mail
Responds to editorial
Your understanding of how much bandwidth is available is woefully inaccurate. There is nearly 100x more capacity available sitting idle. It is referred to as "Dark Fiber". All bandwidth restrictions are arbitrary limits placed by carriers. There is NO shortage of bandwidth. In 2002 new technology made every inch of fiber optic cable able to use multiple beams of light. It's why so many Telcoms went out of business in 2002. I would suggest your source is lying to you or completely ignorant of history. And by the way, all of that fiber optic cable laid out in the 90's was paid for by Federal, State, and local grants, easements, tax-breaks, right of ways, and in many, many places, monopoly status. The Telecoms did not pay for the fiber optic network build-out and there is no shortage of bandwidth. It's all Lies and Greed.
Ray Beauvais, S.E. 15th Avenue
EDITOR'S NOTE: Dark fiber is obviously not part of the currently available capacity. In any event, there really are limits to Internet capacity, and it's not just the connections - the computers that run the Internet have their limits too. Getting back to the point we were making, AT and T says that 2% of its customers use 20% of the capacity of its own network. If that keeps up, 10% of its customers could max it out. AT and T is moving to usage-based billing, and that seems a reasonable solution to the problem.
New community gardens planned for Southeast
Portland Parks' Community Gardens Program and the Friends of Portland Community Gardens are working together on an ambitious program to create new community gardens to meet the ever growing interest and demand of Portland residents to grow their own local healthy food. Even though the City's program provides 36 gardens throughout the city, serving over 1000 families, there are more than 2,000 families on a waiting list hoping for a garden plot of their own. Here in Southeast Portland, two new gardens are being planned at Errol Heights Park and at Mount Tabor Park in the nursery blocks. These two new gardens combined will provide approximately 80-90 new plots. Friends of Portland Community Gardens are beginning to fundraise for these gardens, and welcome interested partners in the endeavor. In-kind services, donated materials, or small cash donations all help to leverage Friends ability to seek grant funding. You are invited to attend a public meeting for Errol Heights Community Gardens to find out more about the garden planning and construction plans; or to get involved. The meeting will be held on Thursday, May 12th, at 7 pm at Lane Middle School Library, 7200 S.E. 60th Avenue.
Lora Price, via e-mail
Calling all former Eastmoreland Hospital staff
From 1954 to 2004 Eastmoreland Hospital was a full service hospital in Southeast Portland at S.E. 28th and Steele Streets. This small hospital trained Osteopathic medical students, interns, and residents. There was a closeness among the members of staff, from the Chief of Staff to the Administrator to the Nursing Staff, and all the people who made up the team of dedicated individuals whose function is to serve the needs of others. That spirit is alive and well today. Twice annually there is a luncheon at Country Bill's Restaurant, at 45th and Woodstock Boulevard, for all ex-employees of Eastmoreland Hospital. It is fitting we have chosen Craig Thomas' restaurant, for there is no more community-minded person or establishment in the neighborhood. It is still a favorite spot for all of us. Our last luncheon on April 9 featured Dr. Lisa Watts, Regional Director of Medical Education, A.T. Still University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona, at its NW Regional PCA Campus in Portland. She completed her residency training at Eastmoreland Hospital.
The group is now actively planning a tour of Western University of Health Sciences in Lebanon, Oregon. They will be accepting their first class of 100 Osteopathic Medical Students in July 2011.
The next luncheon will be October 8th at 11:30 am at Country Bill's. If you were an employee of the Eastmoreland Hospital in any capacity we would welcome you. Please contact Linda Waide at 503/235-5524.
Dr. B. E. 'Genie' Willis, Woodstock
'Planet Repair' announced in Sellwood
I am writing to inform you of a new institute for urban sustainability that has been founded in Sellwood. The Planet Repair Institute aspires to be a centre for the education and demonstration of sustainable design solutions rooted in the community. The institute works to demonstrate how a typical house in an average Portland neighborhood can employ simple and inexpensive methods to increase the ecological footprint of its neighborhood. We focus on techniques of natural building, urban agriculture, and renewable energy systems. We would like to inform the residents of Sellwood of this resource in their neighborhood. Please visit the Planet Repair website:
Michael Simpson, via e-mail
Golf clubs found
I've found a set of golf clubs - a complete set of irons, two metal woods, nice bag. If this sounds like something a BEE reader has lost, call me at 503/232-8566.
Rick Canham, 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.