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Here's where, each month, you'll find out what is on the mind of the people of Inner Southeast

In memoriam – Monkey Puzzle tree

Courtesy of Ms. Kane, heres what was left of the tree on July 27Editor,

My favorite tree in the neighborhood was removed July 26. I walked by it every day for 18 years to admire it, and always took my visitors to see it. S.E. 9th and Sellwood Boulevard.

Donna Kane

Sellwood

Traffic and parking dangers near Westmoreland Park

Editor,

I live at the intersection of S.E. 22nd Avenue and Rex, and I'm writing with a sense of frustration. Although I've reported both of the issues below to several city agencies over the past three years, they remain unresolved:

1. Westmoreland Park is bordered on the west by S.E. 22nd Avenue. Parking is legal only on the west side of this street but despite several "No Parking" signs, people regularly and illegally park in the northbound lane on the east side of the street. This restricts north/south traffic to a single lane and it impedes fire truck passage from Station 20 at 22nd and Bybee. It also sets a precedent such as this morning when a City of Portland car illegally parked there for a meeting with Asplundh tree trimmers. Soon a second car – driver and two kids – took a cue from the City car and also illegally parked there to visit the children's play area. This is not unusual. On busy weekends, we see the pattern repeated – illegal parking generating more illegal parking. This is not just an annoyance, it's a hazardous situation. Solutions: 1) Add additional "No Parking in This Block" signs. 2) Paint the curb yellow.

2. There is no crosswalk at the main entrance at 22nd and Rex Street which dead-ends there despite the fact that this is where the bulk of Park users – most of them families with young children – enter and leave. We're taking about hundreds of visitors a day. I regularly see close calls as 22nd Avenue drivers speed by. It's a disaster waiting to happen – especially since the 20 mph limit is seldom observed. Solution: 1) Add a crosswalk as well as highly visible signage, perhaps even a pedestrian-enabled crosswalk signal. 2) Add a stop sign on Rex so that eastbound drivers slow/stop before entering 22nd Ave. Currently, Rex Street drivers tend to look for 22nd Avenue traffic breaks rather than pedestrians.

The redevelopment of Westmoreland Park a few years ago turned a seldom-used drug trafficking site into a much-loved family gathering place. It's wonderful! Usage has increased ten-fold – probably more. But so have the parking and crosswalk issues indicated above. Question: will it take an injured or dead child to generate action by the City? My previous call-outs have been ignored. Again, will it take an injured or dead child to generate action?

Roddy Cox

S.E. 22nd Avenue, Westmoreland

Oaks Bottom rehab & trail closure

Editor,

The oaks bottom lagoon rehab is scheduled to include replanting of native trees including Cottonwood trees. Living near Oaks Bottom, I can tell you that the Cottonwood trees already planted there create quite a mess, and can be a breathing hazard for some people when the cotton flies through the air a couple of months each summer. While I certainly approve of native trees and shrubs being replanted once the rehab is complete, I believe that there are already enough Cottonwood trees, and I have contacted the city to express that opinion. If anyone has an opinion on this subject, or other thoughts about the rehab, they can e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Kevin Moffitt

Westmoreland

The former level of the Springwater Trail in this area of Oaks Bottom - and the railroad tracks two - was a line level with the berm on both edges of this photo. Whats missing is in the middle!Editor,

I was on my boat [off Ross Island on August 5,] and snapped this [of the Oaks Bottom rehab excavation location on the Springwater Trail, north of Oaks Park]. Ya, it's pretty closed...

Dan O'Flaherty Sellwood

Woodstock runner crosses international finish lines

Editor, I think you'd like to know about an emergency medicine provider who works for Providence Medical Group! His name is Kenric Craver, and he lives in the Woodstock area. Kenric works 13 hour shifts six days a week, seeing about 25-30 patients a day, and is active and in the Army. What makes Kenric so unique is, with all his working hours, he still finds time to complete ultra marathons and marathons in the Portland area. You will also find him crossing finish lines all over the world to support the vision and mission of Providence, and to promote self-care. He is truly an inspiration, and motivates others through his actions, his running, his compassion, and his care of others. He speaks on anxiety and depression and how running promotes health. His next marathon is in mid-August in Iceland. Justine Manley via e-mail

About that "pedestrian struck" letter . . .

Editor,

Regarding the August letter [to the editor] describing a black sedan whipping around a bus and striking a pedestrian on Bybee [at 17th], that's called lane splitting and is illegal, although people do it constantly. Motorcycles are best known for it when going between cars in traffic. Similarly, nobody waits behind someone attempting to make a left turn, they go around them and confuse the situation in the intersection for everybody. Impatience, distracted drivers, poor skills, and arrogance equal danger for pedestrians.

Jesse Argus

via e-mail EDITOR'S NOTE: As well as for drivers and everyone else!

Thanks from Woodstock Community Center

Editor,

To neighbors and businesses of Sellwood and Woodstock and the surrounding communities...

The Friends of Woodstock Community Center want to express our heartfelt thanks to everyone who participated in our campaign to prevent the closure of four valuable Portland Parks & Recreation community centers: Woodstock, Sellwood, Hillside, and Fulton. While Sellwood and Woodstock have been threatened with closure for decades, this year all of these neighborhoods collaborated to let the City of Portland know that closing our sweet Centers is not an option. Our Centers are safe for now; but the work is not done. Several members of the #SaveOurCentersPDX community continue to stay in contact with city officials, and are working to help our Centers thrive.

The Woodstock Community Center has been a Portland Parks & Recreation resource for 60 years, so to express our deep appreciation for the outpouring of support, the Friends of the Woodstock Community Center are inviting all our neighbors to join a birthday celebration on Sunday, September 9. We'll start with a kids' parade from the Woodstock Farmers Market at 2 p.m. down the sidewalk to the block party in front of the Woodstock Community Center. Enjoy local entertainment, have some cake and ice cream, and see our class demos and displays. Our 60th Birthday Celebration will immediately follow our community's Fourth Annual "Woodstock Gives Back: A Coordinated Day of Giving" that begins at 10 a.m. The party is free and open to the public.

Dawn Haecker

Chair, Friends of Woodstock Community Center

Podcast based on Westmoreland location

Editor,

My name is Drew Beard and I've lived here in Westmoreland since 2010. After two years spent researching the history of the Sellwood-Moreland neighborhood, I became fascinated by the origins of the rural community of Midway and the particular intersection of people and commerce all dwelling so close to the edge of the bluff and Oaks Bottom.

Like Washington Irving's Sleepy Hollow, this is a very special place. My fascination led me to create Annex, a weekly dramatic podcast presenting the serialized story of a particular block or two of "Delaney Avenue" in the fictional Pacific Northwest city of "Harborview" (a composite of Portland, Seattle, and San Francisco). Inspired by the history of Portland as a city and life along Milwaukie Avenue, Annex takes place over the course of the Twentieth Century, opening in 1913 and continuing into the 1920s, 1930s, and beyond. Each week, its residents feud and connive in the name of land and its development amid suspense, romance, and mystery. Recorded at a home studio here in Sellwood-Moreland and at Open Signal in N.E. Portland, Annex's cast of voice actors is drawn from Portland's wealth of trained stage performers. Our dedicated crew of producers, editors, and sound designers are alumni of Portland State University's film program. Our first season (13 episodes) is now available on iTunes and at annex.libsyn.com. Annex's second season, taking place between 1916 and 1917, premieres on August 9 and will run through the fall, with our third season launching in January.

Drew Beard

S.E. Milwaukie Avenue

(in what was once Midway)

Our Lady of Sorrows School reunion September 15th

Editor,

I have this message for friends of the former Our Lady of Sorrows School in Woodstock:

You are warmly invited to join us for an "All-School Reunion" on Saturday, September 15th, at Our Lady of Sorrows parish [S.E. Woodstock Boulevard at 52nd Street], at 2 p.m. Our Lady of Sorrows School started in 1928, and successfully graduated students through 2007.

We will gather in the gymnasium for cookies and punch, with an added treat of wiener wraps made by our very own "Lunch Lady". Not only did Mrs. Barbara Sheridan work in the school kitchen for several decades, but she herself is a graduate of Our Lady of Sorrows School.

This will be a time to walk down memory lane, stroll through classrooms, remember hard-won sports victories, and visit with follow students and staff. You can find your brick in the courtyard, and your donor leaf on the tree sculpture, which marked the campaign to build the addition in 2000. Historical memorabilia will be displayed throughout.

Everyone is also invited to join us in the church for Sunday Vigil Mass at 5pm.

Evelyn Brush, Pastoral Minister

For Our Lady of Sorrows All-School Reunion Committee

Please water and trim trees and bushes

Editor,

I think this is important info for all homeowners with trees, courtesy of Patricia Hoff-Clement: Several weeks ago, the City of Portland urged people to water small trees. Since then, there has been excessive heat, polluted air, and no appreciable rain. The result is that trees in the Northwest – indeed, throughout the West – are now actively suffering and dying. Please water any tree (young or old) you can, that is showing signs of dehydration. These signs include:

· Curled leaves like potato chips

· Red, yellow or brown leaves

· Drooping limbs and leaves

· Tops of trees fading in color

· Conifers producing a lot of cones at their crowns

You can help the tree by (1) hosing its leaves (which not only hydrates and cools the leaves but cleans them so they can photosynthesize) and (2) running a slow-drip hose at the tree's base for hours each day.

Portland is one small part of the Northern Temperate Rainforest which runs from California to Alaska. This forest can tolerate 2-month droughts, but is threatened by a 4-month drought, which is our situation at this point. Rainforest trees like Western Red Cedars and Western Hemlocks are especially affected by drought. The best thing to do as a homeowner is walk your yard and look at all your plants. Lilacs and rhododendrons are also suffering from lack of water. Ted Hoff

Westmoreland Editor,

I enjoy morning and evening walks through the neighborhoods of Eastmoreland, Sellwood, and Westmoreland -- however, I find that I have to do most of my walking in the streets, because many people do not keep the trees and bushes trimmed along the sidewalks in front of their houses. To walk down the sidewalk on most streets in Southeast Portland I have to constantly duck, or get poked in the head and shoulders by low hanging branches. Walking in the streets is not the safest option, for obvious reasons. So my simple request is for people to please trim vegetation along their sidewalks to a height of at least seven feet, and to the whole width of the sidewalk. Thank you.

Tom Jardine

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.

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