Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Eastmorelander finds issues with new homes

Editor,

by: PHOTO COURTESY OF CALVIN NOLING - The reader is disconcerted by new builder-installed sidewalks that do not line up with established sidewalks, for whatever reason. First of all, I wanted to thank THE BEE for covering the influx of “infill/tall skinny/monster” homes being plastered all over the Moreland neighborhoods. We live on Malden Street and are sandwiched between two pairs of behemoth misfits. We have distributed flyers, written to politicians and builders, attended public meetings, and endured the traffic, noise, stormwater pollution, litter, and [the] eyesore of construction for months. What city planning department would approve infill construction plans with sidewalks that are offset from the existing sidewalks? What developer would submit cookie cutter plans that don’t mesh with the neighborhood character and infrastructure? What brain-dead contractor would frame and build the offset sidewalk without bringing this obvious disconnect to the attention of the builder or city? And, hopefully, what home buyer would pay full price while enduring the risks of a broken ankle at the edges of their property forevermore? Thank you for your fair and thorough coverage of local issues.

Calvin Noling

S.E. Malden Street

Comments on editorial about Clackamas Town Center shooting

Editor,

The editorial gave duly-deserved credit to the professional first responders who stepped in without regard for their own safety, [but] omitted any reference Nick Meli. Mr. Meli was an armed citizen with his CHL who was present while the shooting began. He responded selflessly, showed great control, and followed his training while not firing a signal shot. His mere presence motivated the shooter to stop his attack and retreat into the back hallway. Without firing a shot Mr. Meli’s action was significant enough to change the course of events and is an excellent example of people who take on the HUGE responsibility of there [sic] own self protection and the defense of others.

Your reference to military assault weapons exposes ignorance that has been crafted around the AR-15 debate, reinforcing the inaccurate belief that average citizens can access the same weapons our soldiers carry into battle. I do not reject the idea that fire arms are dangerous. I reject the demonization of an inanimate object as the cause for murderous tragedies. The thought that removing AR-15’s from society and expecting violence to disappear is an emotional pipe dream cloaked in the idea that the world is a safe place, without risk, and that we can delegate our personal safety to others. Get past the lazy minded rhetorical cool-aid of pop-media reporting and challenge your readers to educate themselves and make their own decisions.

Ryan T. Miller, CIC

Miller Insurance

via e-mail

Postal widow concerned about worker stress

Editor,

My name is Charity Feb. My sweet husband, Walter Feb, was a window clerk at Portland’s Brooklyn Station of the United States Postal Service until his death the day after Thanksgiving of viral myocarditis (enlarged heart caused by a virus). He was very popular at Brooklyn Station, as evidenced by copious cards and notes I’ve received from local residents, and I know he is dearly missed. He will always be the love of my life. He leaves a very loud silence.

I have long meant to write a letter to the editor of your newspaper to thank Brooklyn residents for all the love they showed Walter when he was with us, and all the support they have given me since he has departed (Walter always brought the new issue of THE BEE home for me to read). But something has developed that is not so pleasant. Three days after his death, USPS notified me that two of the forms Walter submitted naming me as beneficiary – for his Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance, and USPS unpaid compensation – were invalid. Apparently, USPS receiving clerks who witnessed these forms back in 2005 did so incorrectly, signing them before Walter did. He submitted them in good faith, paying the premiums and trusting that should the worst occur, his family would be taken care of. Now USPS tells me that they had no obligation to counsel him on their correct completion, or catch any errors. - even if their staff effectively caused the errors to occur. My lawyer has filed a tort claim on my behalf, but we fear the

benefits will go elsewhere. If nothing else, this could serve as a warning to other USPS employees to check their paperwork with their own eyes.

But there is another aspect to our story that I want to share. Walter is the second local USPS employee who has died of heart failure immediately following intense stress at his job. I can't prove stress killed my Walter, and I can’t make the USPS honor his wishes in caring for his family. He was very loyal to the idea of the USPS ... and very trusting. It cost him – and us – dearly. If one widow is saved this financial nightmare, or one worried wife convinces her hubby to quit before the stress kills him, it would be so worth it to share our story.

Charity Feb

Camas, WA

Possibly dangerous substance?

Editor,

I am writing to express concern that a business, Herb Stomp, is openly selling Kratom in the Brooklyn neighborhood in a storefront/house on Milwaukie Avenue, just a block south of Powell. They may be legally selling this possible narcotic, but here is a link to a recent news story about this dangerous substance. [THE BEE converted the long hotlink offered to a much shorter link, for reader convenience in typing it into the browser bar. It is: tinyurl.com/cfmjm94].

I would greatly appreciate it if THE BEE could put “harsh spotlight of the media” on these folks while educating our community.

Jim Hilsenteger

S.E. Lafayette Street

via e-mail

Pedestrians should use sidewalks

Editor,

I have noticed a disturbing trend in our Sellwood/Westmoreland neighborhood: Groups and pairs of walkers have taken to walking and jogging in the streets – sometimes wearing brightly-colored clothing, sometimes not. One particular group I often encounter even refuses to move to the side when cars are trying to drive by! Not only is this a safety issue for these pedestrians, but it sets a very bad example for the many children in the neighborhood. We live in a lovely neighborhood with plentiful sidewalks. If you are on foot, please use the sidewalks.

(Name withheld by request)

Westmoreland

Thanks for buying “Street Roots”

Editor,

I would like to thank my “Street Roots” customers from the 2012 Sellwood-Moreland Farmers Market, and customers from the Sellwood-Moreland Library in 2012-2013. Your kind words, generosity, [and] business conversations of social justice are what keeps positive change in MOTION!!! Muchas Gracias!!!

Brendan Lee via e-mail EDITOR’S NOTE: “Street Roots” is a locally-published newspaper by the homeless, sold by the homeless on the street, to benefit the homeless in Portland.

Effort to make tribute to late CHS grad

Editor,

One year ago we lost LTJG Thomas J. Cameron and three other crewmen in a tragic Coast Guard Helicopter crash in Mobile, Alabama. Thomas grew up in Southeast Portland, and many of you reading this likely knew him and know the amazing individual he was. Thomas’ family has been searching for a cause in which to apply donated funds in a way that will honor Thomas’ memory. Thomas is an alumnus of Cleveland High School, where he was an avid soccer player and talented athlete. His athletic feats followed him to the Coast Guard Academy, where he became team captain. I, as well as many others, feel an excellent way to honor Thomas would be to name the field house at Cleveland High School’s track in his memory. Thomas would be honored if the community showed their support for this effort in any way possible. Donations for this effort can be sent to: Debra Hardy Wells Fargo Advisors, 5400 SW Meadows Road, Suite 200, Lake Oswego, OR 97035. Thank you.

Debra Hardy via e-mail

Local Lions Club contributes to shower project

Editor,

Some BEE readers may have directly or indirectly helped to fund our new shower addition at the Oral Hull Foundation for the Blind in Sandy! The Oaks Bottom Lions Club has always been very supportive of our park, and the services we provide those with blindness and vision loss. Many individual Lions clubs helped raise the matching funds for this $61,500 addition, and in many instances members contributed individually. The Philbin Hall Dormitory is used by overnight blind and low vision guests and was originally built in the early 1990’s to accommodate 48 twin beds in 24 rooms; but both the men and women's restrooms featured just one shower facility with three shower heads which allowed for little to no privacy. Thanks to the Lions Clubs, there are now three new showers and an additional restroom.

Sharon Elder via e-mail

Moreland Farmers Market gearing up for season

Editor,

The Moreland Farmers Market is kicking off its eighth season on May 15th and we’re looking for a few good volunteers! There are many ways to get involved: You can help us move and lift things with market set-up or tear-down, you can talk with and help people at our information booth, you can write an article or a post for our website, and you can help us organize our fun events. To find out more, and meet our great crew, come to our volunteer information session at Sellwood’s Tea Chai Te on Sunday, April 21st, at 3:00 pm. Tea Chai Te is located at 7983 Southeast 13th Avemnue (in the red caboose). If you can’t make the meeting, but are still interested in being a volunteer, or if you have any questions, contact me at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Adam Seidman

via e-mail

Steamed over traffic control device

Editor,

March 20th, SMILE held its monthly board meeting. An issue on the agenda presented by SMILE board members Paul Notti and Tom Ramsey was one to place a 120' concrete diverter on S.E. 15th to prevent cut through traffic on S.E. Tenino. This diverter will push Tenino’s traffic problems onto Umatilla and Sherrett, the two streets that flank the Sellwood Middle School. Ultimately, this will negatively effect [sic] the safety of our students, as local children walk to and from school and others await carpools and buses heading north into Westmoreland and others home to Eastmoreland. As well, Clatsop, Marion, Linn, and streets all the way to the river will feel the ill effects of shouldering more of the cut through traffic burden.

SMILE board members passed the issue 6-4 with one board member abstaining. Clearly, they were divided on this issue, as are neighbors. . . Though the vote went in favor of the diverter, this is a conversation that should not end here. Voice your concerns and push for a REAL comprehensive plan. As well, we need to let PPS and Sellwood Middle School families know that even though it will feel negative impacts from this on the north, west, and south sides of the school, we do actually care about the safety of our students and our neighbors.

Laura Bilyeu

Principal Broker

Bilyeu & Co. Real Estate EDITOR’S NOTE: Ms. Bilyeu made some disparaging personal remarks about those who disagreed with her position, which we have edited from her letter in favor of highlighting the objections she wishes to make about the concept – which amounts to a traffic diverter similar to the one already installed at S.E. 13th and Spokane Street. She did not mention it in her letter, but she herself lives directly in front of where the diverter would be located, and said at the meeting she would find it personally inconvenient. Surprisingly, the whole issue was evidently begun by Ms. Bilyeu with a complaint to the city about Tenino traffic in 2010, and, in February, she appeared at SMILE to advocate for a more expensive bioswale solution at 15th and Tenino which would have had the same effect as the concrete diverter in stopping cut-through traffic on Tenino. We know some residents near the diverter favor it while others oppose it, for a variety of reasons. The issue arises due to a large number of recent vehicle sideswipes, two traffic crashes, and two killed pets from cut-through drivers on S.E. Tenino – particularly in the long, narrow block between 15th and 13th. Cut-through traffic on all Sellwood streets, always an issue, is currently being temporarily exacerbated by the construction that is slowing and stopping traffic on Highway 43 at the west end of the Sellwood Bridge, in connection with the bridge replacement project.

Looking ahead to May garden tour fundraiser

Editor,

I want to alert BEE readers that the Sellwood Garden Tour will return on Sunday, May 19th, for its 16th year. The Garden Tour is Sellwood Middle School’s largest fundraiser. We’re pleased to confirm that once again, six gardeners in Sellwood, Eastmoreland, and Garthwick have generously agreed to open their stunning gardens for you to explore. The gardens range from a cottage garden to a Vietnam-inspired backyard oasis. A garden tour perennial favorite, the late Dulcy Mahar’s garden, is once again included. The garden she so loved continues to evolve with her husband Ted’s blessing, and Doug the Wonder Guy’s skill and knowhow.

Garden Tour tickets are $25 each, and will go on sale Friday, April 19th at the following locations: Dennis’ Seven Dees at S.E. Powell, Lake Oswego, and Cedar Hills; The Whole Nine Yards, 1820 East Burnside; Chrisman Picture Frame and Gallery, 8002 S.E. 13th Avenue (cash or check only); New Seasons Market, 1214 S.E. Tacoma Street; Duniway Elementary School; and Sellwood Middle School. For more information or to purchase tickets online, go online to: www.pps.k12.or.us/schools/sellwood. You can also learn more about the Sellwood Garden Tour at the Sellwood Garden Tour Facebook page.

Shirley Macmillan and Kathy Gustafson Sellwood Garden Tour Co-Chairs via e-mail

Fluoridation of water on ballot

Editor,

As parents and residents of Westmoreland, we have been closely following the fluoride debate and community conversation. We are, respectively, a Kaiser physician and a public health advocate raising two young children in a community that we love. Yet we simply cannot understand why Portland doesn’t have water fluoridation. Both of us were raised in cities with fluoridated water, and both of us feel that our dental health benefitted from increased access to fluoride. We’ve heard all the arguments, both for and against fluoridation. We’ve heard concerns that fluoride can cause cancer, a variety of other diseases, or that it hasn’t been studied long enough. But we’ve looked at the facts, and we still strongly support water fluoridation.

Claudia Colen

via e-mail EDITOR’S NOTE: One argument Ms. Colen may not have heard is that some people are allergic to fluoride. We didn’t know that ourselves, until Ms. BEE tested as severely allergic to it, and she is disturbed about having to bathe in something she is allergic to. We weren’t going to mention this in print, since we usually avoid taking positions on election matters, but since you brought it up…

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