LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Youth baseball alive and well in Southeast
Here is a photo of The Sluggers, one of the baseball teams in the Sellwood Baseball League. The league played their championship games on the evening of June 22 at Duniway Elementary School in Eastmoreland. It is nice to know that even though our town no longer is home of the pro Portland Beavers, baseball is alive and well in Southeast Portland. Our team consisted of kids aged 7 to 9, from 6 different Southeast schools. These players battled a season of bad weather to really come together as a team.
Julie Hanna, via e-mail
Naomi's Farm Supply
We have written back to Mr. Dave Husk at Les Schwab, to make sure they know how flexible we can be on this land during Exxon's remediation of the adjacent property on McLoughlin. We have asked if it is possible to continue here month-to-month until they are ready to pave the part of the site we're on, and also about possibly moving 60' over to the remaining acreage to the west. While the form reply letter he has sent to many customers who have written them letters and signed the petition [to Les Schwab in Bend, seeking to have Naomi's kept as a tenant at the current Sellwood location] gives many hope that they want to find a way to bring us back later, a Les Schwab representative has not yet met with us about their idea, and we realize it may mean it is not really in the interest of their corporation. Even if they are developing only a quarter of the site we're on, they own the land, and can rightly choose to have it vacant until they are ready to develop something else.
If so, and if we need to move sooner or later, that means there is something even better around the bend - it's just harder to see when you love the side you're on, and you haven't made it around the corner and further along the river... We are actively working on finding a 'bridge' site / bare lot that we could use as long as needed, with creative mobile structures, plants, and assorted friendly animals, to continue in as smooth a way as possible (pending utilities and zoning), or go into storage if we can't find it in time, while working on finding a site we can have a very long lease on, or ideally purchase, and create a really amazing space for all of you in the long term. We are trying to stay as close to you and this site as we can. You are what makes this such a wonderful and inspiring area of neighborhoods. Your support energizes us and makes our hearts warm and cozy. We're willing to bring serious cuteness to an industrial site... We will see
what works out, do our best, and keep you updated - on our website. Thank you!
Naomi's Organic Farm Supply, Tacoma St. just west of McLoughlin, www.naomisorganic.com , via e-mail
I read your article regarding the request being put forth for Les Schwab to let Naomi's stay on the land, possibly as a permanent retail tenant adjacent to the planned tire center. As a concerned Sellwood/Moreland neighbor I wanted to thank THE BEE and all the neighborhood support that has gone into keeping Naomi's right where it is. I have received the notice regarding the variances Les Schwab is asking for on the site closest to 99E. With these variance requests it is clear that Les Schwab has no intention of keeping Naomi's despite our neighborhood outreach to them. However, I still believe we can co-exist, especially with the remaining green space that Les Schwab does not want to build on, and which Naomi's is currently using.
I want nothing more than to work with Les Schwab to come up with a smaller tire store plan which would be more in line with what they led us neighbors to believe was their goal when they originally purchased the land. Although Les Schwab does own the site Naomi's is on, as of yet they do not own the paved lot in which they want their store to be built on. I am asking all Sellwood/Moreland neighbors to write to the city (Case LU11-139104 AD) before July 7th (which is the final day to put forth your opinions on Les Schwab building on this site before the city makes their decision). I am not against big business. My goal is to co-exist with Les Schwab while keeping the true feel and vision of our neighborhood intact as well as to give the small business of Naomi's the chance to survive and thrive right where they are, as they have been very good neighbors and their ideology of green living and small business is what our neighborhood is all about.
Jessica Lee, S.E. Tacoma Street, via BEE online letters form
[EDITOR'S NOTE: First, be sure you read and understand what you are opposing! Our understanding of the variance request, from land use experts, is that the variance would make the Les Schwab store more neighborhood-friendly and less disruptive to neighbors than it would be if the variance were turned down, and the Schwab company were then to construct the business as they already can without the variance.]
Hit and run damages truck in Woodstock
At 3 am, Sunday, June 26, there was a loud crash. We realized that Erik Young's vintage 1953 International pickup truck had been hit at what we believe to be full speed. The truck was launched forward about seven feet, and the front right tire was up on top of the curb. The truck was hit so hard, gas sloshed out of the gas tank, the entire bumper is now underneath the bed of the truck, and the bed is smashed into the cab. The incident happened on S.E. 46th Avenue at Martins Street in Woodstock. We did complete a police report on this crime.
We know the vehicle that hit the truck is a dark forest green color - probably a small truck or SUV; maybe a Toyota. The vehicle will have severe damage to the front passenger side headlight area. The offending vehicle was headed Southbound on S.E. 46th toward the Johnson Creek-Milwaukie area.
Several neighbors recall hearing a loud crash in the middle of the night. There was a farmers market at Key Bank across the street today, and we made a sign to put on the truck. We got a few folks stopping by and asking questions. Any information should be directed to Erik Young 503/939-8185, and would be greatly appreciated!!
Letanya Bjonskaas, via e-mail
Minor league baseball on McLoughlin?
Re: 'Minor league baseball could turn up near Sellwood - in Milwaukie': As a fan of both teams (the Beavers and Timbers) I hope that the Portland area gets a baseball team again, which I am sure it will in the future. But I gotta tell you I'm growing tired of people blaming a success such as the PTFC for baseball's failings in this city, it is after all not true. If the Beavers could have sustained a fan base that actually showed up to the games in numbers comparable to the Timbers matches I think we would have a better situation for both set of fans. Someday hopefully we will get over our misplaced sanctification of that glass box eyesore that is the Memorial Coliseum and build a proper baseball stadium or multi-use Memorial Stadium complex in its place. Just think, we could have baseball maybe even MLB, to join the NBA and MLS as well as the already pro Portland Winterhawks if not NHL in this beautiful city. Onward and forward.
Matthew Ward, via online comment form
Baseball returning near Sellwood would be heartwarming. There is a similarity [in the proposed site] to the Vaughn Street days; this location is also an area founded by early settlers, with a history of city leaders, of established businesses, and a [small] town atmosphere. Baseball names are still remembered from those old baseball days, and there was an excitement - with kids getting excused from school for Opening Day. Got for it [Milwaukie]!
Shirley Finley, S.E. Knapp Street, Woodstock
Disgruntled, in Brentwood-Darlington
[Re: Toxic gas release troubles residents near Precision Castparts, June BEE.] I live upwind of this site and could not make it home due to it being closed off that night. When the big earthquake hits will we survive the shocks, only to die in a vapor cloud emitted from Precision Castparts, and why doesn't the city give a rip?
Dave Lawton, via online comments form
Putting dog poop bags in others' garbage
I'm responding to Katherine Kenilworth's June 2011 'Letter to the Editor'. She continued a discussion thread begun by Mr. Whitfield of Woodstock, who was upset by dog walkers dropping their animal's waste in his garbage can. Ms. Kenilworth suggests we should be 'grateful' that she is doing the 'courteous thing' by dropping her dog's waste in a stranger's garbage can - and ominously suggests she might stop [bagging the waste] because of 'miserable' complainers. I contend that she is not being courteous simply by disposing of her dog's waste; doing so is an obligation of a responsible dog owner and community member. Furthermore, I know very few people who are actually 'grateful' to find an unexpected stinky mess in their garbage can. To all dog walkers: If you are responsible enough to pick up the package, please be courteous enough to deliver that package to its proper destination - your OWN garbage can.
Grant Lemke, S.E. 49th Avenue, via online letters form
I am responding to the June 2011 letter to the editor, 'Dear Dog Owner(s) thank you for picking up your dog poop'. The letter was very educational for me as it got me thinking on the topic of putting your dog poop (or trash) in another person's garbage bin as it seemed somewhat 'unfair' to the person who owned and paid for the garbage bin. As I take my garbage out each week, I have come to learn that those little green cans are not as large as they should be and often don't fit in all the garbage I have to collect from the house. Then I started thinking, 'what if everyone who had a dog and walked by my garbage bin put their dog poop in my garbage can?' It became clear to me that there would be even less room for all the garbage I collect from my house, even if it was just one person's dog poop. Owning a dog sure sounds fun, except for picking up its poop, and obviously I don't own one but just being in charge of picking up the garbage in my house, doesn't tend to lead me to want a dog as I would have to pick up after the dog and dispose of its feces by law. By doing a simple Google search I learned that under Oregon Law 164.125 it states that 'absconding without payment or offer to pay or obtaining the use of any services of a public utility nature, without payment or offer to pay for such use, is prima facie evidence that the obtaining of the use of such system or the use of such services was gained with intent to avoid payment therefore.' Even further research provided that this is known as 'Theft of Services', and is a Class C misdemeanor 'if the aggregate total value of services that are the subject of the theft is less than $100'. I may be only 12 years old but even I can see that by putting your dog poop in someone else's garbage bin is a misdemeanor crime, but then so is not picking up after your pet. I guess you're left with what you should've been doing all along, which is taking care of your pet, and all that entails - jus like my parents are responsible for taking care of me and all that entails. Please follow the law as it makes for a less miserable life. Thanks again.
H. Lee (a 12 year old, and future 7th grader at Sellwood Middle School), via BEE online letters form
Neighbor still not happy with hospice house
As a S.E. Henderson resident I was interested to read the article in THE BEE about the Hospice House on our block. I take issue with some of the information that was presented in this article. The fact is there are still concerns among neighbors on S.E. Henderson, but these concerns have not been registered as complaints because it was pointed out to neighbors last year that the facility was given the go-ahead to open and operate within city guidelines, and there was nothing that could be done to stop the plans, So most neighbors decided there was nothing that could be done and as a result we have all just kept our feelings to ourselves.
Many of us are putting up with several issues which directly impact our neighborhood livability as a result of the operation of the hospice house. There is definitely more traffic on our street, and parking issues. Visitors frequently park up and down the block in front of other neighborhood homes. There are large delivery trucks, (i.e. Providence Home Medical Supply trucks) driving up and down the street, and parking in front of neighbors' homes because the parking in front of the hospice house is already in use by visitors. Caregivers park their cars on the street, taking up space. And then, despite what was reported in THE BEE, there are ambulances. And recently when a patient passed away, the grieving family gathered around the body to hold hands and say a prayer, before the gurney was loaded into the waiting van. A beautiful, personal moment...except that it took place in the driveway, outside of the house, in view of the neighborhood. I really did not enjoy witnessing this personal moment as I was taking a walk down the block.
The hospice mission is wonderful, but putting a facility into a neighborhood does not work.
Red Gaddey, 4500 S.E. Henderson Street, via online letters form
Thoughts on the Sellwood Bridge
How about the county having the DMV place some kind of identifier on cars registered in Multnomah County, then any car that doesn't have that identifier that uses the Sellwood Bridge can be billed a monthly 'toll' to pay for their share of the use. A real 'user fee'.
Veronica Meidus-Heilpern, via online comment form
Agreed.... Charge a toll to all NON-Multnomah county vehicles..... I second that idea!!!!
Chris Costello, via online comment form
I live in Oak Grove and voted for the very nominal vehicle registration fee for the bridge. I was very disappointed that others in the county did not.
Joe Drury, via online comment form
Sharing the road must also require sharing financial responsibility. It is time Multnomah County brought some genuine equity to the Sellwood Bridge project by 1: Reducing the price tag by narrowing the excessively wide super-sized sidewalks, and 2; Initiating a pathway for a process whereby bicyclist paid fees and transit fare surcharges will cover the cost for any remaining funding gap.
Terry Parker, via online comment form
So let me get this straight. The Sellwood bridge is about to crumble into dust. They are building a new bridge across the Willamette for MAX. The county couldn't figure out a way to combine both forms of transportation on to one bridge?
EDITOR'S NOTE: This odd comment shows the sort of thing we editors have to deal with! First, Multnomah County is NOT building the MAX bridge. Second, surely this writer does not consider that the Sellwood Bridge would have any value being rebuilt between the Ross Island Bridge and the Hawthorne Bridge to its north, so he or she must be suggesting that the new MAX line be carried down Macadam to the Sellwood Bridge, and then cross the bridge (which would have to be redesigned for that at great expense) and then east on Tacoma Street before taking a right turn and heading for Milwaukie. Tacoma Street would be impassible to cars, and this would mean that the OMSI area, and the Hosford-Abernethy, Brooklyn, Westmoreland, and Eastmoreland neighborhoods would not be served by the new MAX line as planned. We wonder if this writer has really thought this through?
I was very surprised to find 2 vegetable plants dug from my front yard garden on S.E. Umatilla box Tuesday June 7th. I love Sellwood, and it makes me sad and angry that someone would do this. Please warn your readers about this alarming development.
Nancy Dickison, via e-mail
EDITOR'S NOTE: We occasionally get such reports; alas, it is nothing new. We hope Ms. Dickison informed the police; many small crimes can add up to a big charge, if a culprit is apprehended and is associated with a number of crimes. Without a police report, such crimes are unknown to the police. For a past-tense crime, call Police Non-Emergency at 503/823-3333.
Another vote for Naomi's
Re: 'Community spends a day celebrating Naomi's Organic Farm Supply': Who in the community wants a Les Schwab there? It is a terrible location for Tacoma Street residents. Traffic east of 99 in the evenings and heading over the bridge in the morning is already congested. Not a good fit. Would rather see something more complimentary and beneficial for Sellwood residents.
Judd Gallagher, via online comment form
EDITOR'S NOTE: Much as we love Naomi's, if they build it, we will come…and get tires there. Of course many believe there is room for both businesses on that large property.
I implore people to stop putting refundable cans and bottles out on the curb the night before garbage day. Either give them to a neighbor kid to return, or return them yourself, or put them out right before the garbage and recycling pickup! If you'd observe who is digging through those things, you could see they are not the most savory type of characters. [One such scavenger was arrested for rape in Westmoreland recently.] And they are able to glean an amazing amount information about you from the digging they do! I am up in the wee hours of the morning, and those people would scare you if you saw them hanging around in the daylight! If people would stop giving them handouts, they would move on.
Teri Wright, via e-mail
Local Miss honored
I want to update you on the outcome of the National American Miss Pageant held at the DoubleTree Inn at Lloyd Center this past Memorial Day weekend. My daughter, Jazmine Smith, came in as 4th runner up out of about 90 young women in the Teen Division. Jazmine also was the winner of Miss Photogenic, and won a prize of $250 a trophy, she was also the winner of Miss Personality, with a prize of $50 and another trophy, and was the second place winner in the Talent contest.
Linda Rea-Smith, Woodstock, via e-mail
Thanks from Woodstock for plant sale
Woodstock's annual Day-Before Mother's Day plant sale was once again successful due to the generosity of neighbors. Many people donated extra or divided plants from their gardens, which in turn were sold at bargain prices to the delight of other neighbors. For the past several years, proceeds from the sale have gone to cover routine maintenance costs of the Woodstock Community Center. The center is kept open under a partnership agreement between Portland Parks and Recreation and the Woodstock Neighborhood Association, coordinated with the Friends of the Woodstock Community Center (FWCC) - a group of neighborhood volunteers who help with grounds and building maintenance, fundraising to cover custodial fees, and opening and closing the building for groups who use the center.
The FWCC would like to thank everyone who donated plants and helped the day before and the day of the sale. Thanks also to Alison O'Donoghue for poster artwork and to Ted Olson for poster graphic design. Sale proceeds totaled almost $2,700, which helps considerably to cover the approximately $4,400 needed each year for custodial work and supplies at the community center. Anyone interested in participating in the FWCC can call Lonnie Port, FWCC Chairperson, at 503/774-2619.
Terry Griffiths and the Friends of the Woodstock Community Center
Want to Get Involved in Research about Southeast neighborhoods?
I want to alert BEE readers about a study about watershed health and neighborhood nature, and to invite them to participate! It will help researchers find out more about the benefits of small scale neighborhood-oriented nature.
I am a PhD candidate from the University of British Columbia (and a former Portlander), and I am looking for people to take part in my research about neighborhood nature. Through a conversation and interview of approximately one hour, you will be asked to explore your experiences with, and thoughts about, watershed health projects - like rain gardens, bioswales, and habitat restoration, and how those experiences relate to social, civic, and environmental issues - and the whole range of opinions are wanted! You don't need to have direct experience with any of these types of projects to participate.
Sarah Church, via e-mail
Or maybe you'd like to inventory some trees…?
Here's an update on tree issues for the Eastmoreland and Sellwood/Moreland (SMILE) Neighborhoods… (1) Reed College Place Parkway. When funds were unavailable from the City of Portland Bureau of Transportation, residents of Eastmoreland raised the money to complete initial pruning of lindens in the Reed College Place allee. Pruning was completed in mid-January of this year. Two linden trees were removed, and replaced, and a third linden tree was planted in an empty space. The Eastmoreland neighborhood Association (ENA) has contracted with a landscape contractor to oversee the parkway through next January, and will contract with the ENA for next calendar year. Reed College grounds workers aerated and seeded the parkway in June. Fertilizer will be applied in summer after grass seed germination and in fall after leaf removal. (2) Elm Inoculation. Using funds raised by tree enthusiasts in the Eastmoreland neighborhood, 85 mature American Elm trees were inoculated against Dutch Elm Disease in mid-June by volunteers overseen by arborists from Portland Parks and Recreation City Nature Urban Forestry. Each year 1/3 of the mature elm trees in Eastmoreland are inoculated with a fungicide that keeps the disease at bay, but does not eradicate the disease.
This completes the twelfth year of the Elm Inoculation project, which was begun in 2000.
(3) Tree Inventory. Both Eastmoreland and Sellwood/Westmoreland Neighborhoods are participating in a Street Tree Inventory Project, overseen by Portland Parks and Recreation City Nature Urban Forestry. Both neighborhoods seek residents and business owners to volunteer a few hours of their time on Saturday, July 16. (Additional Tree Inventory sessions will be August 6th and 27th for Eastmoreland, and August 20th and September 10th for SMILE.) No prior training is necessary. Each team will have at least one person who has been trained in tree identification. We will work in 2-person teams between 8 am and noon, with certified arborists on hand to assist us if we have problems. We will meet at 8 am for coffee, juice, pastries, and orientation, before breaking into 2-person teams to gather information on street trees in their assigned area. We will meet back at the staging area around noon. Here are the two staging areas:
Karen Williams, 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.