THE "LETTERS TO THE EDITOR" ARE BELOW THE EDITORIAL

From The Editor

Keeping computers and phones safe in a world of bandits and thieves

We have occasionally written about ways to avoid “malware” of all sorts when using your computer – and today, many people use their smartphone as a computer and need the same precautions. It’s more and more important, because now increasingly we are all at risk of “ransomware”.

Malicious software that encrypts all your files and demands a ransom to decrypt them again has proved insanely profitable for the bad guys around the world, and new variants are being loosed on the Internet each and every day. PCs are being infected; Macs are being infected; smartphones are being infected. Hospitals, businesses, school districts, and government agencies are being infected. It’s a real problem.

We’ve written about antivirus and anti-malware programs and the importance of keeping them up to date, because the greatest danger is always the brand new malicious software that has just been released – which your own protective software does not know about yet.

But, this month, we want to stress the weakest point in the whole system.

Sorry: It’s you.

Most people’s computers and phones get infected with malware when they click on something they shouldn’t. That being the case, the bandits carefully craft intriguing malicious links to get you to click on them!

Some come as hotlinks in e-mails that appear to be from someone you know. If your friend, your mother, or your spouse sends you an e-mail with an odd subject line and only a bare hotlink in the body of it, would you click on it? You shouldn’t, because an e-mail like that is almost certainly NOT from the person it says it is, and the link will likely lead you to download something nasty.

If what seems to be your bank, or Facebook, or a package delivery service sends you an e-mail asking you to click on a link to verify your account or find out about an undeliverable package, don’t do it. Real banks and businesses avoid this sort of thing.

If you are just not sure, don’t click, call them – with a number YOU look up, rather than one provided in the suspect e-mail – and find out if there is any truth to the request. There probably isn’t, even if it looks authentic.

It’s not just e-mails, either. Some websites invite clicks with some suggestion of intriguing gossip or amazing news. Sometimes it is just an ad; sometimes it is malware. Avoid clicking on things you cannot be certain of, and you will be much more likely not to be the victim of some thief.

They can steal your passwords, your savings, and everything on your computer or phone. They can encrypt it all, and demand hundreds of dollars (in untraceable “bitcoins”) to get it all back.

It may sound ludicrous to you that you might click on something like that, but people in government, school districts, and hospitals around the country thought so too – till they clicked on something they shouldn’t have and their files were all encrypted, and they were faced with the choice of whether or not to pay off an extortionist somewhere in the world to get it back. It’s happening now, and it will only get worse.

Make sure it doesn’t happen to you, by being constantly skeptical. Don’t click on links unless you know for certain – beyond any doubt at all – that they are authentic!

And the same goes for attachments on e-mails too. If an e-mail looks a little odd, even if it seems to be from a trusted source, don’t open its attachments – whether they be Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PDFs, HTML pages, or ZIP files! All can contain malicious code that executes as soon as you open them, to make you a victim. If you want to open it, and think you know the source, just give them a call and make sure. Better safe than very, very sorry.

Of course, if you do make a slip, you will hope that any protective software you have installed will save you. You should have antivirus and anti-malware installed and kept up to date; some Mac users are still under the impression they will not be victims of malware, but they can be and, because of their lack of concern about it, often are. There are many good protective programs, and each works a little differently.

Another reason to have good protective software is that nowadays the services that provide ads to websites may inadvertantly accept an ad that is actually designed to infect any computer that goes to that webpage. In most cases they don’t realize that is happening till it has already harmed web visitors – and some of the nation’s top websites have been victims. It can happen without your doing anything more than just going to the webpage, and you may not even know something bad has happened. Good protective software can block such infections.

For what it’s worth, we ourselves use an excellent antivirus program that works on both PCs and Macs, as well as on smartphones, called Webroot. It doesn’t slow down the device it’s on, and it seems unusually effective. It’s a paid program, and we recommend using only paid programs for security – there are some good free ones, but most of those do not automatically stay up to date, and that’s a feature worth paying for. If you’d like to check it out, here’s its website. http://www.webroot.com/us/en/home/

We also use “Malwarebytes Anti-Malware”, which works in tandem with most antiviruses – and we also use “Malwarebytes Anti Exploit”. Both of these also work on PCs, Macs, and phones. Online: https://www.malwarebytes.org/products/

So, programs like these can help protect you.

But in the end, you will eventually be a victim yourself, unless you constantly are on alert for the ways the thieves and bandits are trying to trick you into clicking. Pause and consider before making that click. And if you are still just not sure…don’t do it!


Letters to the Editor

A response to “do away with golf course”

ditor,

I read the May 2016 letters regarding MAX parking and “Do Away with Golf” with great interest. I've been golfing at Eastmoreland since I was a kid – where I worked in the restaurant and pro shop for my uncle Arnie Inman, all through high school and college. And, 50 years later, and even after moving to Washougal, I'm still golfing there once or twice a week. I’m a longtime member of the Eastmoreland Women’s Club and have served more than ten years on the Women’s Board. So my roots run deep.

Eastmoreland Golf Course is the jewel of the City of Portland public golf course system. It's nearly 100 years old and has served this community well. It’s a place where kids learn the game – learn the value of honesty and character, and take the game through their entire life. It’s a place where lifelong friendships are made, and people can grow old in the sport. It’s open space in a high density area. It’s well-run, well-kept, and something everyone should be proud of. To exchange it for MAX parking or different sports facilities would be a crime. 

And beyond golf – the Eastmoreland Golf Course is one of the few facilities in Sellwood, Westmoreland, Eastmoreland, Woodstock, etc., that can host weddings, reunions, memorials, etc. And, let’s remember – it also houses a darn good restaurant. In reality, those parking places fill fast and often. Perhaps the MAX riders just aren't aware of the many functions the golf course provides.

More soccer fields? More basketball courts? Come on -- walk across the Bybee Bridge, turn left, and enjoy the beautiful Westmoreland Park. There are soccer fields, baseball and softball facilities and even a tennis court and lawn bowling available. More parking? How about leaving your car at home and taking TriMet to the MAX stop? After all, it’s a transportation “system” – not just a MAX stop, or a parking lot.

Carol Rhoton Jolly
Washougal, Washington



Editor,

We are responding to the recent letter that suggests the Eastmoreland Golf Course parking lot be used to accommodate some commuter parking for the neighborhood. While we as neighbors certainly understand the frustration felt by commuters, such use of the golf course parking could significantly and negatively impact the golf facility – and upset a history of dedicated tradition, philanthropic and scholarship donations, lifelong recreational opportunity, and the intended purpose of the site. We as a city must look to TriMet for commuting and parking solutions, and should not distort the use of a valuable, century-old community asset.

Many people are unaware that the City of Portland’s entire golf program began early in the 1900s-as a citizen-generated effort, with equity in mind. More than 100 years ago, neighbors realized that participating in the game of golf was limited to those who could afford an exclusive country club membership. For most of us, this was – and is – beyond our means. So, in order to provide a recreational opportunity to all, neighbors embarked on a fundraising campaign to establish a Portland golf program – now known as Portland Public Golf. Its birthplace was on land donated to the City of Portland by the Ladd Estate a century ago for use as a golf course – land which is now the site of Eastmoreland Golf Course.

Since the City had received the land for a golf course, it needed a sustainable golf program. Once the dedicated neighbors had raised enough money, the City agreed to fold this fledgling golf program under its Parks & Recreations program, but with a caveat: That the program be self-supporting, and not reliant on any of the City’s General Fund tax revenues.

Shortly thereafter, the former Southeast Portland farmland – now Eastmoreland Golf Course – opened to the public. Fees from golfers playing there supplied the seed money that allowed the building of the Rose City, Redtail, and Heron Lakes Golf Courses. Next year, the Portland Public Golf program will celebrate its centennial. In each of its 100 years, the program has always met its goal of operating as a separate enterprise fund; and after a century of success, there are still no General Fund tax dollars used to fund Portland Public Golf.

The program’s success continues with the new Colwood Golf Center, purchased with the added benefit of preserving adjacent wetlands. Again, this growth and sustainability has been done with fees from patrons, and not tax dollars.

Over these many years, the golf program has also been fortunate enough to contribute to Portland as a community. In the 1970’s, we were able to use golf revenue to help fund a struggling Oregon Symphony. Portland Public Golf has helped to provide full-ride four-year college scholarships to nearly 100 deserving youths. Surcharges have helped assist other Portland Parks & Recreation youth programs, and provide support for Portland Public Schools during difficult times.

Beyond providing golf to our citizens and visitors at a reasonable cost, the program as a whole contributes to the local economy by providing jobs to over a hundred of our neighbors, with a payroll that exceeds $4 million annually. Portland Public Golf provides free access to area high school golf teams, plus free or low-cost instruction to local youth. 

Portland’s golf courses provide valuable habitat to a vast array of wildlife that one might otherwise never see in a large metropolitan area. We employ best practices in the care of the trees and turf on the courses. Our radically innovative maintenance program has greatly reduced the need for chemical, fertilizer, and irrigation inputs to the soil. The program also works closely with the renowned Audubon Sanctuary program toward certification as safe for people and wildlife, and follows the best industry practices in water quality and environmental controls. The Oregon Golf Association named Eastmoreland Golf Course’s Kathy Hauff as their 2015 Superintendent of the Year for her leadership in these areas.

On a year to year basis, Eastmoreland and Heron Lakes courses are regularly recognized in Golf Week Magazine in the list of the 50 Best Municipal Golf Courses in the nation, and in Golf Digest’s Best Public Courses. Willamette Week in 2015 named Eastmoreland as the best public course in Portland. 

Golf is a lifetime pastime; we like to say it is for ages 6 to 106. Golf is a game where all generations can participate and compete long after our ability, speed, coordination and energy have waned. But it’s not just the game that brings people to Eastmoreland or other City courses. Portland’s golf program relies not only on golf related activities, but on our restaurant and banquet business as well. Even during the off-season, courses will host wedding receptions, memorials, reunions, birthday parties and other gatherings. They require the use of the entire parking lot.

We as a community must ask our leaders for other options for commuting and parking solutions.

Rob Cumpston, 53-year employee & GM
Clark Cumpston, 53-year employee & PGA Life Member

 

Pigmice robotics team visits St. Louis, ranks high

Editor,

FIRST Robotics Team #2733 – the “Pigmice” from Cleveland High School – went to the FIRST World Championship in May to compete against 600 other robotics teams. The team captain, a young woman from Cleveland, took the team to St. Louis on an unexpected lottery ticket, to have one of the most memorable and educational experiences in their FRC Pigmice career. The Pigmice ended their season by ranking 29th in their division out of 75 teams. Off-season, the team is busy with community outreach projects, such as mentoring FLL teams, teaching merit badges for BSA Troop 351, and many other projects. These robots cost a lot of money to build, so sponsors like Boeing, Autodesk, and Winks Hardware – to name just a few – help pay for all aspects of having a team. You can see more about the team, online, at: http://www.pigmicepdx.com

Thea Villasenor-Coleman
Jackson Ramsey
via e-mail

 

Moreland Farmers Market open again

Editor,

The Moreland Farmers market is proud to have opened its 11th season on Wednesday, May 4th! The market times have been expanded, and will now run 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.! This is enough time for parents picking up their kids from school to stop by on their way home, as well as enough time for neighbors to stop by and enjoy a hot dinner after work.

Many of our neighborhood’s favorite farmers and vendors returned this year, along with some new and offerings! We are excited to be offering even more vegetables, berries, fruit, sweets, cheese, meats, hot food and bakery items than ever before.

We hope BEE readers will join us for music, kids’ activities, outdoor fun, cooking demonstrations, and some of the best food in Portland. See you on Wednesdays at the Market, on the corner of S.E. 14th and Bybee Boulevard in Westmoreland!

Lannie Kali
Moreland Farmers Market Manager

 

City sending wrong message?

Editor,

Some residents of Portland don’t like the idea of high or mid capacity housing being built, but with the housing crisis being such an issue, but as a Portland native myself, I think it’s important we provide that housing to more than just high-income residents. Many life-long Portlanders are getting pushed out of their homes by rent hikes with nowhere affordable to go, partly because the only new housing being built is huge and expensive.

It’s a waste of space to build more houses for 1-2 families when the same amount of space could house ten times that amount of low/mid-income families or students – who are in much greater need of being closer to their work or school, because they are likely less able to afford the luxury of a car. Currently I feel as if the city is sending the message: “If you aren’t well off, we don’t need you here.”

Sarah Harmon
S.E. 71st Avenue

 

Concerned about road dangers

Editor,

In the May 2016 issue of THE BEE, there were articles on at least three car crashes, two of which resulted in fatalities. What are we doing to remove these dangerous vehicles from the road? With statistics like that, I find it hard to believe that parents put their children in these vehicles daily, rather than finding alternate ways of getting from place to place. If our society would invest in more non-lethal modes of transportation we would all be safer (and healthier). I encourage all my neighbors to lobby our elected officials for ways to remove these fatal vehicles from our streets.

Carrie Leonard
Sellwood/Westmoreland

EDITOR’S NOTE: Actually, today’s vehicles are the safest ever. The cause, as may be deduced from our reports on these accidents, is invariably a driver. This was also the subject of our May “From the Editor”. And this is the reason people are developing self-driving cars these days: The car is presumed to be potentially a much safer driver than today’s human beings.

 

Performance art by youth in Sellwood

Editor,

I’m Ann Singer, Executive Director for Rogue Pack, an organization that focuses on storytelling, theatre workshops, and performances written and performed by Portland's under-served youth. Our next show is going to be a co-production with Girl Be Heard, a social justice theatre company from New York City: “Promises you break: Stories of youth from LGBTQ, mental health, homeless, and foster care communities”. Girls from Boys & Girls Aid will join Girl Be Heard on stage performing their own stories about life in the foster care system. The show is FREE, with suggested donation, and will perform Friday June 10th, at 7:30 pm at Sellwood Playhouse.

Ann Singer
via e-mail

 

Carrot source clarified

Editor,

Thank you to THE BEE for the nice article "Generations Return for Annual Westmoreland Easter Egg Hunt”. I, however, would like to make one correction. The generous donation of carrots was from New Seasons Market. For the last few years the Easter Bunny has been passing out carrots, tassels and all, thanks to New Seasons.

Fran Shaw
Portland Oaks Bottom Lions Club


Ode to the Sequoias

Editor,

Last fall I wrote to you about saving the Sequoias [the three large trees threatened with removal by a developer who acquired the property on which they were, in Eastmoreland, as reported at the time on the front page of THE BEE]. They have survived. In celebration, I have written a poem about their survival through the summer and fall of 2015. I hope you can print it in the Letters in the June BEE:

                                                    SEQUOIA SEASON

Last summer you stood tall, feet firmly planted in the earth, with heads towering heavenward. You have been silent sentinels of S.E. Portland for 100 plus years. Residents admired your green magnificence and breathed in your fragrance.

Fall brought threatening winds quivering through your branches. Controversy swirled around you as developers sought your demise while tree lovers sought to save you. You witnessed: Protesters, admirers, signs, posters by children, one brave soul even nesting in your branches for a few days, prayers for your survival. Political activity, newspaper articles; and Friends of Trees tried to rescue you.

Winter came and you survived, still standing strong and tall. The community celebrated – singing in the rain. You heard “O, Come All Ye Faithful” and other carols, lights twinkling around your trunks.

Now it’s spring time; new life blooming all around you. The air is purer because of your presence; birds can still nest and perch in your branches. In the future children may play and adults may find peaceful sanctuary in the shade of your green cathedral.

Soon it will be summertime again; let the story of your survival inspire other neighborhoods in our lovely green city to save your cousins from destruction. Long may you live!

Annie Lind
S.E. Nehalem Street

EDITOR’S NOTE: We normally do not encourage literary efforts to be submitted to our Letters column, but when we receive poetry about the news – it’s hard to resist.

 

Outdoor school

Editor,

If you went to Outdoor School and loved it, please help make it possible for every fifth or sixth grader in Oregon to also enjoy and learn about nature. By signing a petition to qualify “Outdoor School for All” on the November ballot, you’ll help get our next generation of leaders off the couch and into Oregon’s great outdoors. No taxes will be levied or raised to fund it. Instead a small portion of existing unallocated Oregon Lottery funds will pay for Outdoor School for All.

The Audubon Society of Portland is sponsoring this petition drive to provide a unique experience to those children whose families and public schools are not wealthy enough to provide it. We need 120,000 signatures by July 1st to qualify for the November ballot.

Corinne Stefanick
SMILE President




Letters to the Editor may be submitted via e-mail by clicking HERE.

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


Obituary

Carl A. Neubeurger

December 30, 1924  -  January 17, 2016

Carl A. Neuburger was born in Portland to Carl John Neuburger and Pearl (Scheer) Neuburger on the next-to-last-day of 1924. During his early years he was a Boy Scout and later a Scoutmaster. He graduated from Lincoln High School and Portland State College (now University), where he had degrees in Special Education and German.

Carl spent time in both the Army and Air Force, and because of his enjoyment of hiking and mountain climbing, after leaving the service he joined the Chemeketans and the Mazamas around 1950. He earned the 16 Peaks award. His hiking included the Columbia Gorge, and he wrote a Gorge Guide in 1958, around the same time he hiked the Italian Dolomites.

Carl worked for many years in the Portland shipyards as an Assistant Supervisor, and was a member of Oregonians In Action for many years.

After his wife Nathalie entered his life, they traveled to Europe four times and found his father’s birthplace, which today is located in Romania. He learned Romanian for the trip, and he also spoke Czech and Italian. Carl folk-danced for forty years with the Bavarian Dancers (formerly the Peasant Dancers), performing ethnic dances of Europe, Israel, and Mexico.

Carl and Nathalie lived in Westmoreland; he passed away on January 17, but is survived by his wife Nathalie; Louie, a brother; two daughters, Carolyn and Claudine; and two sons, Carl and Alan. Funeral services have been conducted, and included military honors.


 


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