Featured Stories


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - School bus typo“Awfull” spelling error spotted on school bus

Editor, Recently our daughter snapped this picture while following a Portland School Bus going west on Powell Blvd. Thought you might be amazed, if not amused! Joan said this isn't the first time she has seen the mistake, which seems to be on a printed decal, but isn't sure if it's the same bus each time, or if this sign appears on several busses. Maybe seeing this in THE BEE will spur someone at Portland Public Schools or their bus company to look it up in their Funk and Wagnalls (remember Laugh-In?)!

Corliss Rogers Woodstock

Sellwood Community Center status update

Editor, Last spring, the Portland City Council – looking to balance their budget – proposed the Sellwood Community Center experience significant cutbacks. The neighborhood pushed back to keep this longstanding facility open. We succeeded. The Center is open, and continues to serve the needs of local residents as it has for three generations.

Our neighborhood association, SMILE, with its Friends of the Sellwood Community Center Committee, has been exploring long-term sustainability options so that the Center can be managed outside the uncertainty and turmoil sometimes found in city budgeting. Parks staff have made some adjustments to operations such that we expect that Sellwood Community Center will remain a very small opportunity for budget cuts.

In the meantime, we have been looking at various options for the longer term, but our work is still continuing. Expect to see opportunities for surveys to gather your input in how we keep “community” in the Center. The best way we can accomplish our goal is to get us all involved in making this a healthy part of a lovely neighborhood in a great city. Check out what the Sellwood Community Center has to offer at their website or in person! It’s on the corner of S.E. Spokane Street and 15th in Sellwood.

Kevin Downing Chair, Friends of Sellwood Community Center

Saying goodbye to Willsburg Editor, You could hear the rattle and crash, the crunching of wood and the shattering of glass, as Eloise’s home cascaded into a pile of splinters and rubble. The last house in [the early community of] “Willsburg” passed today, and it broke my heart. It was the first of four homes to be destroyed and soon be replaced by a somewhat overwhelming apartment building. [“Moreland Station” development, S.E. 23rd and Tenino.]

I stood alone, watching, with tears rolling down my face, remembering my funny and my sad days with Eloise, and the other owners. Then followed the gentle stream of young people who populated the “rentals” over the past decade, because the price was cheap and the location was great. Now, they’re all gone and soon there will be nothing to house my memories but a vacant, empty lot a half-block long and wide.

The ache to stay in the times gone by and keep every shingle and porch “the way it always was” became almost unbearable. I could look no more and turned to walk away. Tears welling, the words of a long forgotten poem by Joyce Kilmer, “The House With Nobody In it”, came flooding back with a renewed tidal wave of grief.

This sense of having been somehow “diminished” was as burdensome as a too-heavy overcoat, and I felt nothing would ever fill the void of my demolished vision of the precious and the good.

But exactly what was I crying for? Eloise Peppin has been gone for a decade, and the tiny town of Willsburg gone so long it was barely part of Eloise’s memory. What had moved me to such a state that I could see no farther than my own sadness and sorrow?

Could it be my unwillingness to look beyond my own immediate wants and desires to see a vision of and feel trust in the future? Was I so blind I preferred to wallow in self-pity for what I could not keep, to focus on the incredible possibilities ahead? It was, and I felt ashamed.

I had forgotten to trust in my own better judgment that “Yes, this is a friendly universe” and the joyful potential that was limitless. What will the future hold? I have no idea. There will be many apartments and that means many people, maybe a few “clunkers” but also many possible friends and allies and helpers, and examples of people I aspire to be and know.

So now, I will dust off my sense of wonder at the amazing diversity in the human experience. It’s time to renew my faith that whatever happens, I can choose to make it good. Without change, regardless of how unsettling it may seem at the time, there is no possibility of making things better. I will always miss Eloise and the four little houses, but to cling to my vision of the past means I would lose a future filled with exceptional friends I would never know.

Renee Kimball Sellwood 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.