LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
- The Bee - News
'Ultimate Fan' is in Sellwood
My husband entered the Jeld-Wen Ultimate Fan contest. Thought BEE readers might enjoy seeing that a Sellwood resident won! From Jeld-Wen's release: 'As the winners of Jeld-Wen's search for the Ultimate Fan, a contest pitting Beavers against Ducks, Jon and Cynda Weaver of Sellwood proved their status as true Beaver believers by dedicating their family room as a shrine to Oregon State University. Every corner of the room displays the Weaver family's obsession - a bright orange ceiling, an extensive collection of autographed Sports Illustrated covers and Beaver memorabilia. The JELD-WEN judges were impressed that even Ted, the family's orange and white dog, is trained to thrash his favorite duck chew toy when 'Go Beavers' is mentioned. An OSU alum and Beaver fan since the 1970s, Jon Weaver credits his wife for the room's decor. 'My wife is the ultimate Beaver fan because she is so understanding and loving and generous when it comes to my own obsession with Oregon State,' said Weaver.'
Cynthia Weaver, Sellwood
Sad news in Eastmoreland
You have run articles recently about the sale of the Eastmoreland Grocery by owners Gary and Carol Christensen. In case you haven't learned, Gary died Sunday (November 18) from complications of surgery to remove a cancerous esophagus. A little memorial was growing in front of the store when I left for Thanksgiving on the east coast. Like other longtime patrons of the little store, I deeply appreciated Gary and Carol's dedicated service to our neighborhood. The sale of the store felt bittersweet: We would see less of Gary and Carol, but they finally would have time for fun together. Sadly that was not to be.
Jan Schaeffer, S.E. Claybourne Street
EDITOR'S NOTE: The two recent articles about the sale of the store and the farewell party for the two, by David F. Ashton, led a number of people to make sure we knew of Gary's death. We, as no doubt do the family, appreciate the outpouring of public sentiment at this sad end to the story. There is no question the spontaneous goodbye party at Woodstock Wine and Deli meant much to the couple, and to the families. See separate obituary.
Another antique exploding cannonball
I sat down today with THE BEE and saw in amazement the cannonball photo [page one, December issue]. I have a round iron ball just like it, which I dug up in my 41st Court. yard off Lake Road in Milwaukie some years ago, and it's now resting in my patio garden on S.E. Lava Drive. I had no idea what it was until I read your article. I like to collect rusted iron objects for their shapes and textures. I also have several chain links from a shipwreck in Neskowin 100 years ago, found in the South Cove. A neighbor has the huge anchor from the same ship, and some of the older beach cottages were built from the lumber which washed ashore and named one of our creeks nearby, 'Slab Creek'. Thanks for such an informative article - perhaps there was some military activity in our Sellwood/Milwaukie area which historians can uncover.
Barbara-Lee Orloff, S.E. Lava Drive, Milwaukie
Student shares vision for Reedway bikeway
I recently completed a project for my Bicycle/Pedestrian Planning class at Portland State which proposes a bike and pedestrian way along the S.E. Reedway Street corridor between Reed College and the Springwater Trail. Particular elements include the following:
- Pedestrian bridge over the McLoughlin Corridor at Reedway Street, connecting to proposed Harold Street light rail station
- Bike cafe and parkade near light rail station
- Upgrade of existing path between S.E. 26th and 28th
- Staggered refuge island at S.E. 28th and Reedway
- Upgrade of SE Reedway Street in Westmoreland to bike boulevard
- Public stairway to Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge
This was strictly a design project, and did not entail cost estimates or public involvement. In other words, it's just an idea.
Steve Szigethy, S.E. Spokane Street, Master of Urban and Regional Planning student, Portland State University
EDITOR'S NOTE: Our own suggestion that the Reedway right-of-way from 28th west to the Union Pacific rail line be upgraded to provide bike and pedestrian access to the proposed Harold Street MAX station seems to have caught on immediately, and would double the area served by that proposed station. That idea includes a bike and pedestrian bridge over the Union Pacific tracks. Szigethy takes the idea considerably further by providing a second bridge over McLoughlin, continuing Reedway as a bike boulevard, ending with direct access to the Springwater Trail at the west end. We print this concept, because given the response to the initial idea, there might be interest in this grander vision on the Reedway alignment in Westmoreland.
Doesn't like MAX
I sincerely hope that MAX does NOT come to our quiet, relatively crime-free, out of the way neighborhoods or West/East Moreland and Sellwood. Perhaps The Bee editorial dept. would care to take a ride to Gresham on the thing. I've seen fights at some of the stops, scary young people, etc, etc, etc. My bros. lives on E. Burnside in Gresham, right off the MAX line and its a horrible place to live.
Rick Anderson, Westmoreland, via e-mail
EDITOR'S NOTE: THE BEE has supported light rail in Inner Southeast since at least 2000, and we continue to support it. Its need will become ever more compelling in the years ahead. We have ridden it many times and will continue to do so. Problems such as are described arise from the areas mass transit is in, and not from mass transit itself. Our correspondent David F. Ashton researched this very question after a recent East County crime summit meeting. His report: 'At this meeting, we asked Portland Police Bureau East Precinct Commander Michael Crebs if the rate of violent crime has taken a dramatic upturn along the MAX line. 'That's a good question. Let's get the statistics.' A week later, we joined Crebs at East Precinct to look at the numbers and graphs. We were both surprised to see, that in East Precinct, over the past five years until present, the rate of violent crime within a quarter-mile either side of the MAX line has remained relatively steady, or slightly decreased.'
Recommendation: Winterhaven School to stay put
I'm the Principal of Winterhaven School. I have an update from our Growth Committee process, and I have a couple of new items. . .
1) We submitted a recommendation for growth to the School Board. They have determined Winterhaven should:
a) Remain in its current configuration in the Brooklyn Building. They will review this again next fall. There is a possibility they could add a double portable on the grassy knoll, near the tennis courts, if Winterhaven needs to add 60 students (to get to 400 total). We do know this will not happen for the school year 2008-09. A move to another building is not likely in the near future.
b) Winterhaven does intend to pursue some community partners toward the end of building a sustainable building to replace the Brooklyn Building. This could happen on our current property, or on a couple of other identified sites. . . I'm guessing this would be a five year plan, at the earliest.
The Winterhaven recommendation is posted at the following website: http://cms10.pps.k12.or.us/.docs/pg/10496
2) The City of Portland has ordered a play structure. We're hoping this will be installed in February or March. This is a basic structure and we may be interested in adding an alternative structure at some point in the future. . . The committee that met with the City of Portland to plan the basic structure did include neighborhood parents.
3) PPS has contacted the Portland Police and we have asked that they begin patrolling, in a more active way, the playground alcove stairway. We have seen a substantial increase in drinking in the alcove. We believe this is occurring on Saturday evenings. Between our security services and the Portland Police, the neighborhood should notice a more visible presence at the Brooklyn Building. We would very much appreciate help from neighbors in this effort. If neighbors see folks loitering or drinking at the school, please call the police. On a recent weekend we did have a break-in. Thank you for getting the word out on this safety issue.
Tanya Ghattas, Principal, Winterhaven School, 3830 S.E. 14th Avenue
Errors reported in item
I appreciate SMILE's coverage of the upcoming sewer work in the Sellwood area, but there were some errors in the item [in 'The Neighbor' newsletter on page 3 of print-only version of the December BEE]. First, the Sellwood Reliever Sewer is not part of the East Side Big Pipe Project, although the work will help reduce combined sewer overflows (CSOs) to the Willamette River. Secondly, we don't yet have a firm schedule for construction in Umatilla next to Sellwood Middle School. At this point, the work could begin this winter or in spring 2008. Finally, Environmental Services will upgrade the Umatilla Pump Station at S.E. 6th and Umatilla, not the Harney Pump Station at S.E. 21st and Harney. At one time the city had planned to upgrade the Harney Pump Station, but we have dropped that project. The Umatilla Pump Station work is scheduled to occur in 2010. Thank you, for an opportunity to correct the record.
Work will start soon on the Sellwood Reliever Sewer. Preliminary work in December will include TV of existing lines and "pot hole" excavations to locate utilities. Main construction will start after the first of January. The project includes installation of new sewer pipes up to 36" diameter in Umatilla between 19th and 11th avenues and 24" pipe in S.E. 11th between Umatilla and Nehalem. Other work for this project will occur on S.E. Tenino at various locations.
David Allred, Portland Bureau of Environmental Services
EDITOR'S NOTE: BES representatives, responding to a question from a parent of a Sellwood Middle School student, alarmed at the potential excavation of Umatilla Street by Sellwood Middle School during the school year, said at the SMILE meeting that an effort would be made to do the work when school is out for the summer, but that there are no guarantees on such timing at this point.
Rain barrel resource
Re: the article concerning rain barrels [December BEE]. Could you find out the telephone number? Also, would it be necessary to acquire other equipment in order to install them, such as special hoses, etc.?
Mrs. Evans, Eastmoreland
EDITOR'S NOTE: For Mrs. Evans and other readers interested in this resource, writer Merry MacKinnon reports the number of Anthony Cast rain barrels to be 503/998-8720. We would guess that an installation would normally include all the necessary hardware, but that would be something to ask when you call.
The Sellwood Westmoreland Business Alliance, sponsor of the Monster March, would like to take the opportunity to thank several local businesses for their cash donations. We greatly appreciate the participation of QFC, Wells Fargo Bank, Bank of America, Safeway, Stars, Wallace Books, Westmoreland Cleaners, American Family Insurance, Moreland Vision, and Moreland Frameworks. We would also like to thank all of the merchants who so generously contributed candy for our marchers.
Lynne Murphy, Sellwood Moreland Business Alliance
Local girl recognized nationally
Here is more info on Dallas Jessup to follow up on your recent article entitled 'Empowering Girls: Just Yell Fire'. As you reported, fifteen-year-old Dallas wrote, produced, and starred in her own movie, 'Just Yell Fire'. Now, Dallas has been identified as one of the nation's top 40 heroes, and is in the running to be named 'America's Greatest Hometown Hero' in the 6th Annual Volvo for life Awards - a nationwide search for real-life heroes across America. The program has adapted an American Idol approach to everyday heroes, and now Dallas needs votes in order to continue on the in program.
Please invite your readers to visit the website: www.volvoforlifeawards.com, and vote for Dallas now through Jan. 7. Three category winners will receive a $100,000 charitable contribution, two runners-up in each category win $25,000 charitable contributions and one grand prize winner will get a new Volvo every three years for the rest of his or her life.
Anna Kruchowski, Volvo For Life Awards, via e-mail
Cyber-fundraiser for Woodstock Elementary School
The play structure at Woodstock Elementary is old, made of wood, and undersized. We have children getting splinters and the current structure does not support the growing student population. The Woodstock PTA has registered with a website to help raise funds for the playground. Your readers can help raise funds for the play ground by going to: www.goodsearch.com. There is a box that says 'enter your charity here'. By typing "Woodstock PTA" in the box, and then clicking the verify button, every search made with 'goodsearch' will donate 1 penny to the playground fund. To make searching with 'goodsearch' easier, people can change the default search engine on their browser or add a 'goodsearch' tool to Internet Explorer. People can also earn extra money by starting their shopping at: www.goodsearch.com/goodshop.aspx. Many stores will pay percentage of proceeds to the Woodstock PTA to replace the play structure.
Scott Farestrand, Woodstock
Mourning a special dog, 1998-2007
Shock wasn't my dog, but I loved him, because he was the smartest and most obedient dog I have ever encountered. I loved him because he was a link to my sister; Mary loved Shock. Mary was irate when Mark brought the dog home; Mark never confirmed with her that he was bringing home a dog that was born to herd sheep. . . She vowed to have nothing to do with this strange-looking dog, but that didn't last long. As quickly as Mark trained Shock, Mary spoiled Shock. She soon referred to him as 'her guy'. When we lost Mary, Shock mourned her in his own way. I noticed how sad his eyes had become. Whenever I was over, he stayed close to me. I think he somehow knew there was a connection between his Mary and me. I, too, began to spoil him whenever I saw him. I'd sneak him tidbits, play ball and walk him. How can you not love a dog that loves you? How can you not love a dog your sister loved? My nephew, Anthony, was at my house the night before Shock's surgery that proved fatal. I told Anthony to tell Shock I was going to save the steak scraps for him, and I promised Shock a walk when Mark let him listen to my voice on the phone the night before. Anthony was telling me how much he was looking forward to going away to college next fall. I asked him if he and his twin, Julia, felt bad about leaving his dad alone. He said no, because his dad had Shock…
Tonight I look up into the night sky, and find a star that shines so bright. This is the star where I believe my sister has gone. This night I notice that close by is a smaller star, which seems to be twinkling at my bright star's heel. I stand on my deck for another few moment to watch those stars, and to hope.
Susan Allegretto Schrepping, Shock's aunt, S.E. 40th AvenuE (Shock lived at 36th and Copper)
All letters to the editor are subject to editing for clarity and available space, and all letters become property of THE BEE.