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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Ultralight, flying over Oaks Park

Editor,

Here is a picture of an Ultralight aircraft over Oaks Park Sunday, September 23. We saw six of them. Looked like they took off from someplace near Willamette Park, and landed in the burned field next to the trail at Oaks Bottom. We were walking on the Springwater when they first came over – we were concerned about their proximity to the power lines. By the time we finished our walk they were gone, so we never got to see if they really landed in the field. There’s a story somewhere! My husband Tom took lots of pictures – this one gave the best “sense of place”. No confusion as to where it is!

Marianne Nelson

via e-mail

Watch out for others on the streets

Editor, I have been living in Sellwood since 1984, and have watched the area gradually become very busy and congested. As a walker, runner, bicyclist, bus rider, and driver of a car, I have seen a number of near misses – especially in the last couple of years. In order to keep everyone as safe as possible, there must be cooperation between all modalities of transportation, and less elitism about having “the right of way”. In other words, we must all pay attention, and take responsibility for our actions. Most of us who are runners, walkers, and bicyclists, are also drivers of cars, and do the best we can to be safe and alert while driving. However, when someone walks out in front of your car in the middle of the block, or a bicyclist goes zooming past you when you are turning right, there is only so much you can do. So, please, let's do all we can to prevent needless tragedy and watch out for each other.

Christine Olson via e-mail

Cleveland High gets top ranking

Editor,

I am a member of the Cleveland High School Foundation Board. In October, CHS was just one of two high schools in the Portland earning the distinct rank of “outstanding”, according to just-released state report cards.

The state Department of Education bases the rankings on students meeting state benchmarks in reading and math, as well as high school graduation rates, percentage of students tested, and how well various group (such as minority, low-income special education and limited English speaking) performed on state tests.

CHS earned an overall “outstanding” rating after receiving an outstanding in the areas of student achievement, attendance/graduation and percent of students tested. Wilson High School in Southwest Portland was the other PPS high school to receive an “outstanding” ranking. It'd be great if the school could get recognition in THE BEE for this accomplishment!

Mary Gay Broderick via e-mail

Lifehouse Church closing

Editor, In 2008, Lifehouse Church was a small group of people who began gathering at Lewis Elementary to share their faith and do life together. Since that time we have grown and moved to the Mt Scott Community Center. However, Lifehouse Church’s journey is now coming to end. As we looked at the current and recent reality, we have come to the conclusion that we are no longer able to effectively sustain ourselves as a church. Our last gathering will have been October 28. We wanted to express our gratitude to the Woodstock and Mt Scott neighborhoods for their warm welcome and opportunity to be a part of the community. Whether it was dressing up for the WNA’s Halloween Party, marching in the WCBA’s parade, picking up litter along the boulevard, helping the MSNA with an egg hunt, collecting backpacks for kids, feeding folks at Thanksgiving, singing carols and lighting a tree, or putting on a Christmas Eve gathering at Papaccino's – every opportunity we could volunteer has been a meaningful and fun experience. We can still be reached for more information at: HYPERLINK "mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tom Vice

Lifehouse Church

HYPERLINK "http://www.lifehouseportland.com" www.lifehouseportland.com

Disliked Armstrong editorial

Editor, Your editorial re: Lance Armstrong neglected to mention that 26 people have testified that he used performance enhancing drugs, including 11 of his teammates. Even if you don't credit these allegations, a serious piece exploring this issue should have at least mentioned them, and then explained why the allegations are not credible. Your editorial made it sound like the Anti-Doping Agency was persecuting him for no reason.

Mary Delamater

Woodstock [EDITOR’S NOTE: Let us make it clear we have no idea if Armstrong is guilty of anything or not. Our point is that in this country, you have constitutional rights, and you are not guilty until proven guilty through due process. This rogue agency seems to feel due process is unnecessary, and that if the accused dares to opt out of “arbitration” with it, the victim is automatically guilty and must face draconian punishment. This reminds of the HUAC, which operated similarly. In that case, some people were “accused” falsely by people who sought to protect themselves from the committee by doing so. In the case of inquisitions of this sort, that certainly does happen (as we observed in the case of the Salem “witches”, in that editorial). Who knows…these 26 people may be doing some of that here. You think you have proof? Take it to court!]

Editor, I read the letter from the Editor on the “witch hunt” that Lance Armstrong has allegedly gone through. If the Editor and staff had taken an objective look at the evidence prior to the piece in THE BEE, such foolishness would never have been printed. Sorry, Mr. Norberg, but it is dangerous to make conclusions without the facts.

Kelley Baird

via e-mail [EDITOR’S NOTE: We replied, “You seem to have missed our point. It was not about whether Lance is guilty or innocent of anything. It was about a rogue agency that demanded he pursue an endless process with them or be declared guilty. Under the Fifth Amendment, nobody can be found guilty because of refusal to testify against oneself. This kangaroo court seems to be operating in a fashion reminiscent of the HUAC, as we said, and that is unacceptable. And we stand by that.”]

Editor,

I was appalled to see published an editorial equating his [Armstrong’s] situation to the horrors of McCarthyism. I shuddered on behalf of McCarthy’s victims – who were indeed real victims – for the disrespect you showed in your irresponsible editorial.

Suzanne O'Gorman

via e-mail

[EDITOR’S NOTE: We also received a fourth e-mail questioning governmental status of the USADA, since withdrawn – as well as a fifth e-mail, vigorously condemning our editorial, but not saying why. According to our own Internet research, the USADA, which unilaterally stripped Lance Armstrong of all his titles simply on the basis of his refusing to continue further to “arbitrate” banned substance use charges, was “created in 2000; [and] USADA is recognized by Congress as the official anti-doping agency for Olympic sports in the United States”. In this country, constitutionally we are innocent until legally proven guilty, and we also cannot be compelled to testify against ourselves – in which case the refusal cannot be considered an admission of guilt. Except, apparently, in the case of this agency.] Backpack story was good news Editor, I read the article “Stuffed Backpacks” [October BEE]. Nice story. It made me think of Holy Family Church “Backpack for Kids”. Holy Family Church partners with Moreland Presbyterian for this program where the parishes fill backpacks (I don’t think they use backpacks anymore, but the name stuck) with food for kids within our community who might otherwise go hungry over the weekend. The kids are given the food on their way home from school on Friday.

Also, Holy Family Parish has started a “Holy Family Parish Garden”. Interesting story about a man who loves to garden and the church allowed him to put in a garden behind the house where the pastor lives. This is not a “community garden” – he only wants enough produce to feed his family, otherwise the parish can use it for anything they want. Right now, the parish is giving the produce to St Vincent de Paul every Friday to be placed in food boxes that will go to those in need in our local community. Gene Dieringer

Woodstock via e-mail [EDITOR’S NOTE: The Southeast Portland Rotary Club has also been a participant in the backpack program mentioned by Mr. Dieringer, as are some other schools.]

Anonymous gift appreciated

Editor,

Thank you for the great article about the knitting group at All Saints Church! I would like to have the following in the paper: The Psalm 139 Prayer Shawl Ministry at All Saints Episcopal Church would like to thank the anonymous knitter who delivered two bags of homemade hats to the church. Her generosity helps ensure that we will be able to give each of the Hot Meal attendees attending a late December Hot Meal event a homemade gift! Thank you to a generous knitter!

Bev Curtis, Psalm 139 Prayer Shawl Ministry All Saints Episcopal Church

Skatepark sought on S.E. Powell Boulevard

Editor, I've been working towards a Powell Street Skatepark in Southeast Portland in conjunction with Skaters for Portland Skateparks. In a very similar effort to the Brooklyn Street Skate Spot, this project will need to be self-funded by the community, local skaters, parents of skateboarders, as well as donations from corporations and local businesses. We've launched the fundraising project online, and although we don’t have all the incentives up, I'm hoping to get the support of the community. Here is the link: HYPERLINK "http://www.neighbor.ly/powellstskatespot" www.neighbor.ly/powellstskatespot

Colin Sharp

503/781-5225

Thanks from Moreland Farmers Market

Editor,

I want to thank everyone who helped make the Moreland Farmers Market’s 7th season a success. This was our longest season yet, with a total of 24 markets, stretching from early May through the middle of October. This was also our biggest market yet, with an average of 30 vendors showing up to each market. Thanks to all of you who came out week after week in support of our hard-working vendors.

We are lucky to have a supportive group of sponsors and partners. Thanks to grants from our sponsors, we were able to help many families and individuals have greater access to farm-fresh produce through our EBT/SNAP and Project Linkage programs. Many of our neighborhood businesses, artists, and musicians helped to make this a season full of fun activities at the market with donations of their time, energy, and supplies. You can learn more about our sponsors and partners on our website.

Lastly, I would like to extend a very big thank you to all of our volunteers and Board members. These are people in our community who have given much to the market, some since the market’s founding. Before becoming the Market Manager, I had no idea how much work went on behind the scenes to make the market happen each and every week. I now know that without our volunteers and Board members the market could not exist.

Our market will be starting up again in May, 2013. You can always check for updates on our website – HYPERLINK "http://www.morelandfarmersmarket.org" www.morelandfarmersmarket.org – or you can contact me directly at: HYPERLINK "mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. – or at 503/341-9350.

Adam Seidman

Market Manager, Moreland Farmers Market

“Livingly Dying” reading

Editor,

I would like to invite BEE readers to my reading from my works on “Livingly Dying”, a phrase borrowed from the late Christopher Hitchens. While the content may not seem like date-night material, it will be an honest chance to walk with one woman as she faces a terminal cancer diagnosis – including the positives of having a husband and community that walk every step with her. Cancer is epidemic and dying is a given for all who enter this world. Why not look behind the curtain for 30 minutes? It will be on Thursday, November 15th, 6:30 pm, at the Rain or Shine Coffee House, 5941 S.E. Division Street.

Marcy Westerling

Woodstock

Kids value reading help

Editor,

A new school year is upon Oregon’s children, but the need for SMART hasn't gone away. SMART (“Start Making A Reader Today”) is an early literacy nonprofit that envisions an Oregon in which every child can read and is empowered to succeed. But we can't do it alone. Volunteers, especially readers, are the backbone to the work we accomplish for Oregon's PreK-third grade children. In the 2012-2013 program year, we aim to serve 2,708 local children at 78 sites. To accomplish this goal, here in Inner Southeast Portland, we will need readers at Ardenwald, Lewelling, and Milwaukie elementary schools in Milwaukie, and Whitman and Woodmere elementary schools in Portland. We welcome all new and returning SMART volunteers! Applications are accepted year-round. To make a difference at schools in your community, go online to: HYPERLINK "http://www.getSMARToregon.org" www.getSMARToregon.org – or call 971/634-1616. Chris McKee via e-mail Sellwood Bridge activity in photos

Editor,

Back in January I started producing a series of slideshows about the construction of the new Sellwood Bridge (or at this point, the temporary bridge, the work-bridges, etc.). The first slideshow in the series includes some of the history of the old bridge, as told by Sharon Wood Wortman, Portland’s “Bridge Lady”. As a former civil engineer, I try to include as much explanation as I can about what’s being built and why. Some of the slideshows include comments from Mike Pullen, of the Multnomah County Communications Office. I have posted all of the slideshows online, and will continue to do so, and links are posted on my blog: HYPERLINK "http://www.sitespecificmedia.blogspot.com" www.sitespecificmedia.blogspot.com I would appreciate it if this information were made available to the public through THE BEE.

Karen I. Westphalen, P.E. via e-mail

Accolade from a homeless man

Editor,

A little over a month ago, coming south from Alaska, I found myself stranded in Portland – but the part that I am writing about is nothing less than a small miracle. After sleeping three nights in my van and eating all the food I had, I was approached by a young man who directed me first to the Blanchet house...this is a place he told me where they feed homeless ...HOMELESS ...hey who are you calling homeless! His reply: ‘You’re the one sleeping in his van!’ I was homeless, so off I went to the Blanchet House to eat. The line went on for a block, so I waited, and to my surprise it went quite fast ...even more surprising, no questions were asked. I was given silverware and seated, and SERVED, and the meal was great – these people treated me with respect, in a time when I was feeling quite down. A little food and a little respect was just what I needed. Next I went to the Salvation Army; I was given a pad and a blanket...it was not great, but it was much less stressful than sleeping in the front seat of my car, fearing arrest. The next day I was directed to Transition Projects (TPI). I was allowed to take a shower (it had been over a week), and it was great. Now with a full belly and a shower, I was starting to feel better when one of the guys from TPI told me that if I were to sweep the floor that I would earn barter points which I could trade in for a chance to do laundry. WOW – a dry warm place to sleep, a hot meal, a shower and clean clothes – this was the formula for a new perspective. After a few weeks TPI moved me into the Barracks Known as Doreen’s Place. What an upgrade! Now I had a bunk bed, a wall locker, a place to shower, and access to a vet rep, as well as a job counselor. The next day, as I walked down the street, a man pulled his car up to the curb, rolled down his window, and said ‘here’, and gave me two new pair of socks. Within minutes another man walked up to me and said ‘you’re homeless?’ It was put as a question (I was wearing a backpack). He handed me a card in which was the most beautiful note I have ever received, as well as two dollars and two coupon books from McDonald's. A great many more things have happened to me since arriving here, and though I have not yet found a job, I write this to say THANK YOU PORTLAND – and all who have made these things possible. A number of churches feed the men at Doreen's every night (half of these men are vets, of which I am one), and many people give clothes and other things. After each evening meal as the church group leaves the building, the men who have been fed (by the generosity of said Church group) stand and clap them out the door as a sign of gratitude...

Mike

via e-mail [EDITOR’S NOTE: It doesn’t appear that Mike has spent much time in Inner Southeast so far, but what he wanted to say to the community is worth bringing to your attention, and certainly Inner Southeast is not without homeless individuals of its own. So we waive our usual rule about letters not specifically about Inner Southeast in this instance. It is also relevant to the observance of Veterans’ Day in November.]

Success in Food Project

Editor,

The Southeast Portland Neighborhood Food Project achieved our most successful collection day in August: 1,500 pounds of non-perishable food was donated to two Southeast food pantries, the SECC Food Pantry, at 5535 S.E. Rhone, and Kelly School SUN Pantry, 9030 S.E. Cooper.

The Southeast Portland Neighborhood Food Project is an all-volunteer organization that has grown to over 100 donors participating regularly. We provide donors with a sturdy green bag to fill. You purchase one extra food item each time you shop, and at the end of the designated time, a neighborhood coordinator picks up the bag from your porch and delivers it to appreciative food pantries. Neighbors get to know neighbors, and a sense of community is created. For a list of the most needed food items and the next pickup date, and information on how to participate, go online to: HYPERLINK "http://www.southeastfoodproject.com" www.southeastfoodproject.com – or call me at 503/777-2110.

Richard Nudelman

via e-mail

Kids benefit at Fresh Hop Beer Fest

Editor,

Thanks to many volunteers for everything they did to make the Children's Area of the Hop Festival at Oaks Park a success!!!! Special thanks to: Aria at Art a la Carte, who set up and managed the art area – it couldn’t have been better; Rachael of Sellwood Soap Company who had soap bubbles/buckets – and who would have thought bubbles could be so much fun (for adults too); Jane Shue of Brooklyn Center Suites AND her volunteers - the volunteers were invaluable; Rachel, JoAnn, David, and the others from Dances with Joy Studios – the dancers were great; Carolyn of Oodles4Kids contributed the origami paper; Todd, Llewellyn Foundation and their whole gang were fun!!! And thanks to many more not mentioned here. The beer folks ran out of beer, so that must mean that they had a larger crowd than expected! Llewellyn sold out on root beer, and I think lemonade as well; they were so excited that they want to do it again next year, and have the kids make the root beer!

Alyce Irving via e-mail

Access issue at closed bridge

Editor,

The bridge over Johnson Creek linking the Springwater Trail to the Eastmoreland Racquet Club has been gated shut. According to the club, this action was taken by the landowner and not the club. Portland Parks says, “Apparently, the bridge is owned by the Racquet Club but it is on Portland Parks’ property. No one is maintaining the bridge at this point, so Parks believes that the Racquet Club opted to close it. It was not closed or restricted by Portland Parks.” I believe it is, in fact, a public path.

T. Wilson

via e-mail New service at Loaves and Fishes

Editor,

“Healthy Feet” is a new business that has begun providing much needed senior foot care at the nonprofit Thelma Skelton Loaves and Fishes site in the Brooklyn neighborhood. A registered nurse is licensed to care for diabetics and clients on blood thinners, especially. We have been providing this service for almost one year at this site. The next service date will be Wednesday November 21st and on the third Wednesdays of each month. The location is on the corner of S.E. Milwaukie Avenue and Center Street. Contact Collette for appointment at 503/953-8209.

Sara Genta

via e-mail

Advocates for school bond

Editor,

I am writing to urge Inner Southeast voters to vote yes on the Portland Public School Bond.

Every great city must have strong public schools. Community members worked with the Portland Public School district to come up with a cost-effective and focused bond measure – Measure 26-144 - that will vastly improve our city’s school buildings. Voters should approve this school bond; it’s a smart investment that will improve learning environments for our kids and provide vibrant community spaces for our neighborhoods.

The bond emphasizes safety, accessibility, and cost-effective modernization. A significant portion of the $482 million bond would pay for earthquake retrofitting, as well as better roofs, accessibility, and middle-grade science labs. Another substantial investment will be made to fully modernize Roosevelt, Inner Southeast’s Franklin, and Grant High Schools, and to rebuild Faubion Pre-K-8. Investing in these four schools will not only remedy egregious safety and accessibility problems, but will provide modern learning environments for students and a new resource for community activities and events. In addition, modernized high schools will touch the most students in the district fastest. The bond targets high schools because a modern learning environment at the high school level improves graduation rates and promotes a successful transition into college or career.

These modernization plans are forward-looking, but not lofty. Homeowners would pay no more than $1.10 per $1,000 of assessed value for eight years, which is just over half of the cost of last year’s bond. After eight years, the initial cost will decline to $0.30 per $1,000 for an additional 12 years.

Mike Rosen, Legislative Chair

Cleveland High School PTA

Rough cut of movie in Sellwood showing

Editor,

I am writing on behalf of “The Camino Documentary” (HYPERLINK "http://www.caminodocumentary.org" www.caminodocumentary.org), a non-profit documentary being made right here in Sellwood. We have a screening coming up of our rough-cut version of the film, and would like to spread the word out to the community through you. We will be screening on November 2nd, at 7 pm, at New Thought Center for Spiritual Living. This event is free to the public.

Chad Westbrook via e-mail

Event at retirement community

Editor,

Willamette View, a retirement community in Milwaukie just south of Sellwood, is holding a one-day Holiday sale event on Tuesday November 27, from 9 to 3. They’ll have twenty-five tables loaded with bargains priced to sell, including glassware, house wares, silver, linens, jewelry, 78 rpm records, paper products, toys, decorations, artificial Christmas trees and fun "old stuff." This is not a bazaar. The resale items are donated with proceeds going to the Willamette View Foundation. Location is Willamette View Main Auditorium, 12705 S.E. River Road. Just wanted BEE readers to know about it. Jackie Buisman 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.