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'Portable Potty' stink allegation resolved in Eastmoreland

by: DAVID F. ASHTON - This portable toilet has been moved to a less prominent spot from S.E. Reed College Place and Lambert Street.Early in April, a dustup about accumulating portable toilets at the Duniway School field ended up in weekend radio and television news reports – and with the home of the Eastmoreland Neighborhood Association (ENA) being covered with toilet paper.

Some accused ENA of being heartless, making kids and adults “hold it” while playing sports on Duniway Field, rented out to various groups and organizations.

“The problem came to a head last year,” ENA President Robert McCullough told THE BEE.

“At one time last summer, there were four porta-potties at the field,” McCullough observed. “But more than the sheer number, the real problem was that facilities were not being properly serviced. Neighbors reported the stench as being almost overwhelming.”

On April 3, THE BEE visited Duniway Field, where a kids’ baseball game was underway. One “Honey Bucket” portable toilet was set up against the backstop.

“My son is here playing T-ball,” said Eastmoreland resident David Shenson. “We live close enough to walk to the game. But, it’s nice to have a convenient bathroom instead of having to walk home.”

Asked about the ruckus being played up in the broadcast media, Shenson commented, “I can understand why neighbors might be upset. But, I also think that reasonable people have to come together to compromise.

“We need facilities here at the field,” Shenson added. “But, we also need to make sure that it's not intruding on others by giving off odors that they have to put up with every day.”

While that game was underway, inside the school McCullough and Eastmoreland resident Brian Oringdulph were meeting with Portland Public Schools and Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) officials.

And, on April 9, PP&R Facilities & Asset Management staff member Marlys Mock reported to the ENA board that the “portable restroom has been moved [near the school building], next to the camellias”.

“We’re working on an idea to build a permanent bathroom structure on the site,” McCullough said. “We want people to enjoy recreation outdoors – we simply don’t want to repeat what happened last year.”