THE "LETTERS TO THE EDITOR" ARE BELOW THE EDITORIAL

From The Editor

What makes living here so special – and how it all comes down to YOU

Your editor grew up in a small town, but his then-radio career took him to bigger and bigger cities – ultimately to the second biggest city in the country, Los Angeles. And it was from L.A. that he came to Portland to direct the programming on KEX radio – that was a long time ago.

The lesson we learned at KEX was that although Portland is a big city – currently one of the 25 largest metropolitan areas in the country – it thinks of itself as a small town, and really has to be approached that way. That’s pretty unusual.

There is an explanation for it. It has to do with the neighborhood system with which the town has grown.

Mayor Goldschmidt established the Office of Neighborhood Involvement (ONI), to formalize the relationship between the neighborhoods and the city, in 1974 – but there were neighborhood associations before that. Most notably SMILE, the Sellwood-Moreland Improvement League, which represents the Sellwood and Westmoreland neighborhoods. It’s one of the oldest of Portland’s 95 neighborhood associations.

These associations are intended to be a communications conduit between neighborhoods and City Hall, but they also serve the unique purpose of establishing and defining our neighborhoods as “small towns” within the confines of the big city.

Our neighborhoods have their own shopping districts, which are often just an easy stroll away for residents, and these businesses have their own business associations, which also serve to define the neighborhoods they serve.

The result? A small town quality of life in a metropolis. In our own travels, we have yet to find anything quite like it in any other major metropolitan area.

We have had cause a few times over the years to walk from one side of this city to the other, here on the east side of the Willamette River, and we have always been impressed with the individual neighborhoods we had the pleasure of strolling through on these walks, which frequently amount to at least six miles.

Now, however, as has been covered in the media recently, and as Robert McCullough discussed in an exclusive BEE interview in last month’s issue, there is some concern that Portland may be moving away from this neighborhood system that has worked for so well and for so long.

The city says it is concerned that various minorities are not participating enough in neighborhood associations, and as a result City Hall seems to be moving away from support for neighborhood associations in favor of supporting ethnic and economic constituent groups to serve the whole city.

The assumption seems to be that somehow the neighborhood associations are excluding or discouraging participation by members of such constituent groups in their own neighborhood.

If any neighborhood associations are guilty of that, and I do say “if”, there are remedies in the law available to deal with it. As a longtime participant in our own neighborhood association system, as a committed volunteer, we have to say we have seen no sign of that in Inner Southeast Portland neighborhood associations – either the one we have personally participated in for some twenty years, SMILE, or in any of the others that THE BEE has been covering during our fifteen years at its helm.

Instead, our area’s neighborhood associations labor hard just to get noticed by the residents of the neighborhoods they serve; all too often residents don’t even know they have a neighborhood association, have no idea what neighborhood associations do, and have little interest in finding out more.

That is, until their own ox is gored by some developer, merchant, church, other resident, or the city – at which point we have seen those aggrieved show up en masse at neighborhood association meetings to angrily register their protest, to get involved enough just to have their say and try to bully the organization to do something they want, and then to step away and never come back once that controversy is past!

Constituencies and minorities are actually very welcome at neighborhood associations. And, getting involved at the neighborhood level has more impact on the city than doing so as an individual.

Also, the city tends to pay more attention when this involvement becomes a commitment to a neighborhood, rather than just simply an effort to accomplish a short-term goal before disappearing again.

Portland constituencies and minorities clearly will have more impact working collaboratively with their neighbors in established neighborhood associations rather than by bypassing both neighborhoods and neighbors.

So, to us, it seems Portland’s unique quality of life for everyone is at risk if Portland turns from the neighborhood associations to some other arrangement that is citywide rather than today’s collaboration of neighborhoods.

It seems that way to Robert McCullough also. For those unacquainted with Mr. McCullough, he is not only the current President of the Eastmoreland Neighborhood Association, but also the Chair of Southeast Uplift – Inner Southeast’s “Neighborhood Coalition”, the official contact point between our dozen-and-a-half neighborhood associations and the City of Portland’s Office of Neighborhood Involvement.

In the interview we published last month, McCullough suggested that the key issue is actually one of communication. Neighborhood associations need to communicate better with those their serve in their neighborhoods, to encourage wider participation and better representation of the neighbors they serve. But it’s hard to do that without money.

ONI has disbursed funds to neighborhood associations annually for that purpose for some time – it’s not really enough money to make the needed communications impact, but better than nothing. McCullough calls for an increase in these funds, and suggests making city printing facilities available for neighborhoods to use to print newsletters and flyers. It certainly would be a start!

All of this leads us to point out that every neighborhood association in Portland, in May, has its annual Board elections.

Every seat on every Board of every one of those neighborhood associations is filled by an unpaid volunteer committed to the health and wellbeing of her or her own neighborhood, and one of the most important things required of these Board members is simply to show up at the majority of the meetings, and participate!

Why not visit your own neighborhood association’s General Meeting this month and see what you think. If what they do interests you, consider running for a seat! (There are also neighborhood association committees devoted to specific interests, such as transportation and land use, that would welcome your participation, too – whether you are on the Board or not.)

You’ll get to know your neighbors, you’ll learn what’s going on in your (and other) neighborhoods, and you’ll be in a position to make a difference.

If you are actually not sure what neighborhood you are in, or when your association meets, it’s time you found out!

You can start by calling Southeast Uplift at 503/232-0010 during their office hours. They should be able to tell you what your neighborhood is, based on your address; what your neighborhood association is; and when and where it meets.

This is a great city. Get involved!


Letters to the Editor
Woodstock Mural
Woodstock residents Max and Jack Loch enjoy the old Papaccino’s mural that their Dad upcycled, with help from neighbors Greg and Clay Giest.

Original Papaccino’s mural rescued

Editor,

The mural was hanging on the west side of Papaccino’s for years. They removed it to put up a new, larger one. They put it out on Woodstock Boulevard with a “free” sign on it; I happened to be driving by with my boys, had a pickup truck, and thought it would be a cool thing to have, so we took it.

I figured my wife would scratch her head wondering why I brought home more junk. She did not scratch, and suggested we hang it in our back yard. We put a few coats of sealant on it, and our neighborhood friends Greg and Clay Geist helped frame and hang it up. We really love the Woodstock neighborhood, and are happy the mural will have a few more years of use.

Dan Loch
Woodstock

Why she moved away

Editor,

Until three years ago I was a resident of Southeast Portland, within walking distance of two friends who are still there: one on S.E. Mall Street between 42nd and MLK, and the other on S.E. Insley between 60th and 62nd. Mall Street experienced a tear-down in the last couple of years, and in its place is a skinny house that blocks sunlight, sky, and view from adjoining neighbors, not to mention being rather an ugly structure on the side wall from street to back.

Now I hear that Steele Street has a lot (in the 6100 block; case # LU 14-254858 LDP) being eyed for another tear-down – this time a sweet old bungalow with nice trees. It is to be replaced, if the developer gets his way, by two skinny houses. Who gains?

The person selling the property probably gains.

The house builder gains.

Perhaps the new owners of the skinny house gain, though at the prices they’re getting, I’m not sure they wouldn't be better off in a condo.

And the neighbors? What do they gain? Nothing. More neighbors, more cars on the street, less sunlight, removal of venerable trees, and in most cases, judging from my observation, what used to be a nice front yard. Skinny home owners do not seem to garden. 

And so, do we owe anything to people who reside in these old neighborhoods of Portland? Might we not want to reconsider the livability factor of these tall, skinny dwellings being plunked down in settled communities? I think Portland is selling out its long-time residents. And for what? What does Portland gain? More tax dollars? At what cost to the citizens, please? 

Sharon E. Streeter
via e-mail


Fallen tree, Eastmoreland
This photo of the fallen tree, sent in by Mr. Broderick, who is Associate Vice President of University Communications at PSU, shows just how large the fallen tree was.

Eastmorelander says thanks to everyone

Editor,

Our large silver maple tree fell victim to the high winds of March 15 in the Eastmoreland neighborhood, toppling power and cable lines, closing S.E. 28th Avenue, and creating a sprawling mess of limbs and branches. Thankfully, no one was injured. We want to thank our neighbors for their patience and crews from PGE and the City of Portland their diligence in cutting up the tree, removing the massive stump and limbs and for cleaning up all the debris. 

Chris and Mary Gay Broderick
Eastmoreland

 

Three notable plant sales on Mother’s Day

Editor,

We’ve got not just one, nor two, but three pretty great plant sales within a mile of each other on the same day. And all of us [are] using what we know and love, horticulture, to benefit our neighborhoods locally, and our fellow Portlanders in a larger context. Pretty special, I think. And I’ve always wondered what these sales mean to the people who attend them. Is this an annual Mother’s Day ritual? Are they drawn by a civic sense of duty to show community support? Or are they just looking for cheap plants?

Elspeth Tanguay-Koo
Eastmoreland

EDITOR’S NOTE: You will find all three sales listed in the Events and Activities listing in this issue of THE BEE.


Child hit by golf ball from Eastmoreland Golf Course
Kyan Stanley holds the golf ball from Eastmoreland Golf Course that hit him in the upper arm as he drove by. The welt is visible near his shoulder.

Eastmoreland golfer gets a hole in one…kinda

Editor,

I was driving west on S.E. Bybee Sunday March 29th at about 2:40 pm when my son, Kyan (7), yelled “Ouch!” – and I heard something bounce around in in backseat. We pulled over and discovered that a golf ball had sailed through the open sunroof (all side windows were up) and hit Kyan in his upper left arm (see photo).

Fortunately the yellow “Top-Flite 3” left only a big, red welt, and nothing more serious. A few inches over, and Kyan might have had a broken nose or some missing teeth. I was wondering – do many cars, pedestrians or homes on Bybee get hit by golf balls? Has there ever been a discussion about installing protective netting? 

Thanks,
John Stanley

EDITOR’S NOTE: Yes, we even had a front page article about this problem a few years ago. The golf course is so huge there seems no practical way of placing high netting around the populated areas of the whole thing. Golfers are supposed to avoid hitting balls toward the road or houses, but some do anyway. They are also responsible for damage done. When our own car’s front window was smashed by a golf ball while driving southbound on S.E. 28th just north of Bybee a year ago, we reported it to the golf course, and they identified the golfer and instructed him or her to contact us about paying for the damage, but they chose not to do so.


County Fair is coming

Editor,

I’d like to make a short notice in your May publication regarding entering exhibits in the upcoming Multnomah County Fair at Oaks Park over Memorial Day weekend. “Treasured Traditions” has been selected as the theme of the Fair this year. The 109 year old event will again offer the main exhibit hall, featuring competitions in art, crafts, floral, foods, needlecraft, and photography. It is easy to enter, and cash prizes will be awarded for the best exhibits. No previous experience is necessary, just bring your exhibits and join the fun! Special competition classes will be available for youth (age 18 and under), senior citizens, and physically-challenged. Entries for the competitions will be taken on Thursday, May 21, from 11 am to 7 pm. [The Fair is May 23-25, 12-7 pm daily at Oaks Park, and admission is free.] For additional information regarding the Fair and to access the exhibitor handbook, go online to: http://www.multnomahcountyfair.org – or phone: 503/761-7577.

Larry Smith
Director, Multnomah County Fair Board

Thanks to Ellen Burr

Editor,

After four years as chairman of SMILE's Land Use committee, Ellen Burr is retiring.  If you know Ellen, I hope you will take the time to thank her for what has been a very challenging volunteer position.  She has served the Sellwood-Westmoreland neighborhood well, working to unravel the city’s arcane and very complicated land use regulations; leading her committee members through multiple planning documents; and organizing testimony on SMILE's behalf at hearings and City Council meetings.  Her donation of hundreds of hours of her personal time for the betterment of this community is noted and appreciated.

Eileen G. Fitzsimons
Westmoreland


Paul Colvin, teacher, Lewis Elementary School
Teacher Paul Colvin retires in June at Lewis Elementary.

Longtime Lewis School teacher retires

Editor,

My name is Sarah Kohn. I am a teacher at Lewis Elementary School and am writing to tell you about retiring teacher, Paul Colvin. Paul is a much-loved teacher and we know the community will want to know of his retirement in June. He currently teaches fifth grade at Lewis Elementary School, but Paul started teaching at Lane Elementary in 1983, then moved to Woodmere Elementary in 1986, when it was changed over to a middle school. He spent most of his career at Woodmere, teaching several different grade levels, including five years as a reading specialist in the Reading Recovery program. He also taught K-5 music at Woodmere for nine years before moving back to classroom teaching in fourth and fifth grades at Lewis.

While at Lewis he helped Tori Padellford and Tony Jamesbarry put on three drama productions. He was also part of the legendary (in their own minds) Lonesome Teacher Trio, which played for family dances at Lewis the past four years!

There is a community gathering planned for Paul at Lewis Elementary on May 25th from 3:30 to 4:30 pm. We welcome current families, as well as alumni and friends, to stop by and wish Paul well.

Sarah Kohn
Woodstock

Local students write to BEE

Editor,

I am the Program Manager for the Signum Fidei Program at La Salle Catholic College Preparatory. . . As part of the graduation requirements, our students are required to provide service to the community; our seniors spent two days working at the Trillium Court location for Habitat for Humanity. . . My students were tasked with writing a letter to the editor of their local newspaper to persuade others to take action, or to support the organization; they also gave a speech in class. Attached are two letters written to you for this purpose.

Amy Moor
La Salle [High School]


Editor,

I have had the opportunity to work first-hand with Habitat for Humanity through La Salle High School. My personal experience was very positive and a great learning experience. Habitat for Humanity should get additional funding from the city and government because they are not only helping individuals and communities, but they help people move out of government housing and leave public assistance. Habitat does not give out houses for free; the people living in them must work [to build their houses], and pay to live there. The majority of the people who help build these houses are volunteers, and are not paid.

Cameron Taylor
Inner Southeast Portland


Editor,

Habitat for Humanity supports the community by having volunteers help build houses and also repair houses. My service with Habitat for Humanity was helping build houses at the Trillium Court location. On my first visit I put in framing for three new duplexes that were going to seven families. The second time I visited the development, I put my skills into work by putting stucco on the outside of the houses. There are four types of services Habitat for Humanity provides to poor or low-income families: Home ownership; home repair and preservation; partner family resources; and local housing resources.

To conclude, I think that people in Portland and surrounding areas should support Habitat for Humanity because, with volunteer help and donations of any size, they help families in poverty become homeowners and become contributors to society.

Thomas Riddle
Inner Southeast Portland

 

Sellwood Middle School celebrates the community (and vice versa)

Editor,

On Tuesday, May 19th Sellwood Middle School will be hosting a Community Appreciation Day. At 11 am the fabulous SMS band, dance team, and students, will march through the neighborhood to show our gratitude for all the support we receive from the community’s businesses and residents.  In addition, local businesses will be donating a portion of their sales on that day to the Sellwood Middle School Foundation Look for our Red Apple Poster in the window of participating stores and services. Follow us at: www.facebook.com/SupportSellwoodCelebrateSellwood for a complete list of participants and more information.  All donations directly benefit the SMS Foundation, which funds staffing for vital education programs, electives and smaller class sizes.

So, put your list together of all those things you’ve been wanting and go shopping in the Sellwood-Westmoreland area on Tuesday, May 19th. Stock up for Memorial Day weekend. What do you need for summer or Father’s Day? There’s no better day to shop. You’ll be supporting local businesses and our public school, which are both so important to a vibrant community. Join us in the celebration!

Wendy Cogan
SMS Foundation and SMS PTA


Seth Matasar, Portofino Restaurant, Quinn Gilroy, Holy Family School
Holy Family student Quinn Gilroy, with her mentor, Chef Seth Matasar of Portofino Restaurant.

Local chef mentors Holy Family eighth grader

Editor,

As part of their curriculum, eighth graders at Holy Family Catholic School complete an Independent Learning Project in an area of interest to them. The students work with a mentor to explore areas related to their topic, and present what they have learned to a committee. Student Quinn Gilroy chose Italian cooking, with Seth Matasar, owner of Portifino Restaurant in Sellwood, as her mentor. Seth graciously spent time educating Quinn on all elements of preparing a four-course meal, including proper tools to have in the kitchen, ingredient selection, safe food handling, and of course cooking. Her meal consisted of an antepasta plate, mixed greens with homemade balsamic vinaigrette, steak au poivre and bananas foster. With direction from Matasar, Quinn purchased all the ingredients at our local New Seasons, including the wines. Matazar then acted as Quinn’s assistant chef while she prepared the same meal for family and friends.

Colleen Gilroy
via e-mail

Intention of “net neutrality”

Editor,

The goal by the FCC in making the Internet a utility is to keep it Neutral. No tiers. No prioritization. No de-prioritization. While there may certainly be other ramifications in doing this using the utility route, it is not intended to make it more of a pay-as-you-go model. This is the direct opposite of what it is intended to do. The goal is to make ISP into what is called a "common carrier" like the phone company is for telephone calls.

The telephone company is not allowed to alter the priority or quality of telephone calls. The most they can do is prioritize outage repairs to hospitals/etc (via the FCC TSP program).

Andy Payne
Eastmoreland
Network Engineer – OHSU

EDITOR’S NOTE: We had no quarrel in our April editorial with the FCC intentions in “net neutrality”. Our point was that, in making the Internet a public utility, the FCC has, perhaps unintentionally, uncorked the bottle and let out the genie – since many things that you point out the FCC did not intend by this change can now be done legally by every level of government: Particularly the taxation of the Internet – whether this was intended or not! Internet service can now be a new source of tax revenue. So, it almost certainly will be.


Llewellyn enrollment reminder

Editor,

Please remember to register for Llewellyn for the next school year! The school is organizing its staffing now, and so it is important to register your kindergartener so the school knows how many classes to plan for. Here is the link for kindergarten information in all Portland Public Schools: http://www.pps.k12.or.us/departments/kindergarten. Remember, full-day kindergarten is free starting in 2015! If you have older children who will be new to Llewellyn, don’t forget to register them as well. Call the school: 503/916-6216. Thanks for supporting our great neighborhood school!

Kristina Engstrom
Westmoreland


Meals on Wheels clarification

Editor,

I read the Meals on Wheels “Flapjack Fundraiser” article in THE BEE, and it sounded great. [But] there is one thing in it that I’m not sure is completely correct. It said, “No one who meets eligibility will be refused service...” But we are an organization that provides service to people 60+ years old, no matter of income or situation. Only the homebound seniors need to be homebound, but people coming to our Center [to dine] just need to be 60+ years old. [The article] makes it sound like there is a criterion other than being 60+. In fact, it doesn’t mention [the requirement] that people need to be 60+ years old.

Colette Livermore
Thelma Skelton Center Manager
Meals on Wheels People


CORRECTION:

In the March BEE article about the new Director of the Johnson Creek Watershed Council, Daniel Newberry, there was a reference to “Wood River”. This was a typo for “Hood River”. We regret the error.




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.


Obituaries
Stan Boquist
Stan Boquist – a photo taken as he was retiring from the Southeast Portland Rotary Club on November 10, 2014.

Stan Boquist

July 12, 1924 - March 18, 2015

Stan Boquist passed away March 18, 2015, at the age of 90. He was born July 12, 1924, and was a graduate of Grant High School, and of the University of Oregon, where he was a member of the ATO fraternity. 

During WWII, he served in the European Theatre with the 102nd Combat Infantry Division, and was the recipient of two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star. In 1949, he joined his father in the casualty insurance business, and in 1975 became a partner in the firm of Campbell, Galt and Newlands (now USI). He retired from there in 1993 as senior vice president.

Over the years, he was active in various organizations including Southeast Portland Rotary, which today meets at the Eastmoreland Golf Course Clubhouse, for which he served as an early President; he joined the club shortly after its founding in 1960, and was an active member until shortly before his death.

He married Katherine Becker in 1949, and they were married 65 years. She passed away in 2013. They enjoyed traveling, golfing, and family camping, and had many great memories at their home at Black Butte with family and friends. Winter visits to Palm Desert and to local beaches were also favorite travel destinations.

Survivors include his daughters, Judith of Seattle and Debra of Hood River; his son, Steve, of Milwaukie; and three grandchildren.

Arrangements were under the direction of Finley Sunset Hills Memorial Park and Mortuary.

Sandra Mussman
Sandra Mussman

Sandra Leigh Beard Mussman

April 25, 1960 – April 13, 2015

Sandra Mussman passed away on Monday, April 13, at age 54, at OHSU Hospital, due to a severe hemorrhagic stroke. Sandra was born in Ft. Campbell, Kentucky; her father was a career military officer, and she spent her childhood in Arizona, Oregon, Germany, and Virginia. After graduating from McLean High School in McLean, Virginia she attended Northern Virginia Community College, completing her Associates degree in Personnel Management.

Sandy moved to the Portland area in 1991 and subsequently worked for KGW and Pacificorp in her career as an Executive Assistant. She married Charles Mussman in 1993; they were active parish members of St. Cecilia’s in Beaverton for 20 years. A breast cancer survivor, Sandy successfully beat the disease in 2010. Sandy moved to Westmoreland in 2013, where she was an active member of St. Agatha’s Catholic Church in Sellwood – singing in the choir and volunteering at the Thrifty Cottage.

She enjoyed spending time with her extended family, as well as crocheting, doing water aerobics, and volunteering at St. Vincent de Paul. She especially valued her time with her friends at PWOP – People without Partners – at St. John’ s Parish in Oregon City.

Sandy was predeceased by her mother, Alison Lidstone Beard, and is survived by her father, Louin Beard, and stepmother Jane Beard; and by her sisters Cheri Beard Harney (husband David), Julie Deppe, and Kimberly Beard Obermeier (husband Andreas), stepbrothers Matthew and Steven Caudill; as well as her nieces and nephews – Allison Harney, Elizabeth Harney, Tristan Deppe, Alex Deppe, Hayden Deppe, Julia Obermeier and Shannon Obermeier.

A Mass of Christian Burial was held on Thursday, April 16, at St. Agatha Catholic Church. Her remains were interred at St. John’s Catholic Cemetery in Oregon City. Donations in Sandy’s memory may be made to the breast cancer research organization of your choice. Arrangements were by Holman-Hankins-Bowker & Waud in Oregon City.

Dario Raschio
Dario Raschio, as he appeared during his BEE interview in his Eastmoreland home in January. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Dario Michael Raschio

November 10, 1914 – April 5, 2015

Dario Michael Raschio, a World War II Navy veteran and 65-year resident of Eastmoreland, died on Easter Sunday, April 5, 2015, at the age of 100.Raschio grew up in the Portland area, the son of immigrant parents. He graduated from Oregon State.

BEE readers may remember that on Saturday, January 3, an appearance by Oregon Senator Ron Wyden at the new Southeast Campus of Portland Community College, on S.E. 82nd Avenue of Roses at Division Street, was disrupted by demonstrators when Wyden presented a few long-overdue medals to Raschio – the presentation was completed before the gathering was cut short.

We at THE BEE were so impressed by Mr. Raschio and his story that we presented an extensive illustrated interview with him in our February issue this year, which included his recollections, and highlights of his life. (Page 12-13, February BEE.)

“He’s a son, a husband, a father, a grandfather, a great grandfather, a war hero, and a school teacher,” Dario’s son-in-law, Mike Bennett, summarized at Raschio’s 100th birthday celebration last November at the Milwaukie Elks Lodge. As revealed in the BEE article, Raschio taught science at Franklin High School for 35 years.

Sen. Wyden says he’ll remember Raschio “as a friend, neighbor, and American hero who gave so much to this country.”

Raschio concluded his BEE interview with David F. Ashton by reflecting, “I think being an active person is part of the reason for my longevity.”

A funeral was held for Raschio on Friday, April 10th, at The Church of St. Michael the Archangel in Southwest Portland.

 


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