Kudos for Cleveland High retrospective
[Re: Dana Beck’s part two of Cleveland High history, November BEE:] Well done! 35 years later, I’m still living the inscription above the Cleveland doors daily. [My] life: 22 years serving in the Air Force, 13 years as an H/R Professional in Northern California, Sacramento region.
“What you are to be, you are now becoming” – I pondered those words daily as I entered high school, and it still rings true today! Thank you.
CHS Class of ’81
More objections to “Eastmoreland Historical District”
The possible designation of Eastmoreland as an Historic District is a complex issue – an issue that has created an emotional rift between those who support the designation and those who do not. This saddens me, as a relatively new member of the neighborhood, as this emotional fissure has created an “us versus them” mentality, and has led to unnecessary anger and mistrust on both sides.
My family was fortunate enough to move into this beautiful neighborhood six years ago. We deemed Eastmoreland to be the best place for us to raise our children. The future of this neighborhood belongs to the young families and the children, as these are the people who will still be here in 25 years. Yet, those pushing the Historic District forward are ignoring the needs of future generations. One can easily understand the notion that we must preserve what we have, but the proposed option is very shortsighted. Historic designation lasts forever, and it is not something that should be used as a tool to address an immediate problem. Placing lifetime restrictions on a constantly growing neighborhood severely limits a homeowner’s ability to allow their homes to evolve, to be more energy efficient, and to grow to accommodate the specific needs of their family. No individual or board should be allowed to limit what a homeowner needs to do for the wellbeing of his or her family.
I am also disappointed with how the entire process has unfolded. Many of those opposed feel that we have no voice in the matter as requests for information have repeatedly been ignored. Promises have been made to appease those who question the proposal, only to be broken. Neighbors have been told that once the survey was completed they would have a chance to review it before the proposal was submitted. Again, this promise was broken. Voices are being censored, opinions are being squelched, and it seems many who support the historic designation see no problem with this. The process should have never gotten this far without a majority of the neighborhood behind it.
I, and many others, would like to see the Historic District designation process stop immediately. The notion that a small group of individuals can dictate what everyone in the neighborhood must do with their home and property is unnerving. Yet, despite countless requests for transparency, open dialogue, honesty, calls to slow down the process, the Board of the Eastmoreland Neighborhood Association continues to push forward at full steam, ignoring the very neighbors who they are supposed to be representing.
We all love trees, beautiful homes, and the unique and special place that is Eastmoreland, but many of us also value our rights and the ability to make choices we deem necessary for our families. Imposing an Historic District on people who do not want it is wrong. History has clearly shown that progress is never made when an individual’s rights are taken away.
I would like to thank the hundreds of my Eastmoreland neighbors, city technical staff, and guests from Irvington and Alameda for joining us last October 4th at Holy Family School for a presentation and panel discussion. I am honored to have served as the moderator for the panel discussion, where I saw many of our questions as a community answered as to what is possible in an historic district. I am grateful for our Irvington and Alameda guests for sharing their personal experiences about how the district was created, and what challenges they’ve met while maintaining and improving their own homes, and about the Alameda residents’ unsuccessful attempt to leave the Irvington district.
This is all very important because it’s clear to me that a historic district is a choice not to be taken lightly. Once done, it is nearly impossible to undo. It’s purpose is not, as some have said, to “guide change”, but to freeze the appearance of a place in time. . . Now we are faced with a district that excludes a large amount of the Berkeley Addition, yet zig zags away from the boundary line at 36th Ave to include my house. Most of the houses in the Berkeley Addition were found to be too far changed to fit the desired narrative, the ENA has decided. So they’re being cut loose. If this goes through, we will have, unintentionally, a control group for an experiment to see if the Residential Infill Project actually does reduce the scale of allowable development, what demographics live where, and if property values do indeed increase faster in an historic district. What a sad state of affairs.
I want this to stop now. I want us to heal as a community and respect each other’s rights as citizens and homeowners. I want us to engage with the city, who has shown a willingness and desire to address housing scale issues while attending to a profound housing supply shortage. And I want the ENA to stop wasting money on this attempt to dictate an exclusionary and elitist land use policy that has nothing to do with historic preservation and everything to do with freezing time to the benefit of some and the detriment of everyone else.
We are writing as residents of Eastmoreland to offer our point of view about the proposed Historic District, drafted by the Eastmoreland Neighborhood Association Board. We have witnessed far too much acrimony and divisiveness about this issue whether online in NextDoor or in person at various meetings. Perhaps the biggest impact this issue has had to date is the wedge it has driven among neighbors.
Regardless of the merits of the proposal, we are saddened by the ENA Board’s process, its attitude to the ENA members (Eastmoreland neighbors) and an “ends justify the means” approach to establishing the district. The ENA Board has been working hard to address this key issue: how to maintain Eastmoreland’s single-family home “character” in the face of rapid city-wide population growth. After much consideration, they have concluded the only way forward is through establishing an Historic District.
The ENA Board has not grasped the situation in its broadest sense: this is fundamentally a political problem which requires adept and nuanced community engagement. But the ENA Board is not familiar with community organizing; individual board members with whom we’ve spoken have been open and frank about their lack of political savviness. As a result, they have focused on the wrong problem. If they had known how to engage the broader neighborhood (and their good-faith attempts must be acknowledged, even if they were ineffectual), a richer picture would have emerged, leading to very different conclusions about the problem.
Instead, the ENA Board has made it very clear, in personal conversations with us, as well as in their public meetings and public media postings (including last month’s Letters to the Editor), that they are not interested in a community-based approach, either in defining the problem or designing a solution. They’ve figured out the problem, and the solution, and we’re being told (not asked) to go along or get along.
The real problem is how Eastmoreland will participate in addressing the massive influx of new Portland residents over the next 10 years. This is not Eastmoreland’s problem to resolve alone, it is a city-wide challenge requiring every neighborhood’s participation. One approach the ENA Board hasn’t tried is to join in a political movement with other affected neighborhoods on Portland’s Eastside to force the city into addressing this city-wide challenge.
One of the Historic District’s greatest failures is how subjective it is. Professional preservationists don’t agree on what constitutes historical and what does not, or what changes would be allowed, and what would not. The proposed district in the Draft Proposal is peppered with “non-conforming” homes. This is ludicrous. Eastmoreland’s charm does not derive from an historical period, such as Crested Butte, CO, or Williamsburg, VA. Eastmoreland’s true character is one of change and adaptability: we have homes from 1918 to 2016, each a record of its time.
We are just two people who bought a house in a lovely neighborhood 25 years ago, to raise our kids and create a nest-egg. Now, we, and many hundreds of our neighbors, face real threats to our neighborhood: a divisive, contentious process, spoiling a sense of shared community; a blunt and one-size-fits-all “solution” to the wrong problem; and a perception by the broader community about our “elitist” values. These have had far greater negative impact on our beloved Eastmoreland than the perceived or actual threats: a few duplexes here or there or the infrequent plunking down of homes with questionable aesthetic taste.
We urge the ENA Board to slow down their current approach, step back and assess their relationship to all ENA members, and immediately begin a process of engagement that will lead to a richer, deeper understanding of Eastmoreland, so we can build a better future together.
Leo Frishberg and Susan Zeidler
S.E. Carlton Street
The Eastmoreland I want to preserve is the place filled with neighbors who treat one another with respect and kindness, who look out for each other. The neighborhood where hundreds turn out to lovingly cheer on children decorated in red, white, and blue. The neighborhood where we walk around in the pitch dark carrying rakes to clear out clogged storm drains blocks from our own homes; where we greet one another with a smile while enjoying a walk. I care more about our people than our houses or our trees, though I love them both.
One Eastmoreland neighbor had lovely neighbors move in, a young family with small children who looked forward to going to “done way” (Duniway). They became dear friends, in spite of the fact that they moved into a new box of a house. Another had neighbors who refused to speak to them and yelled at their children. They lived in a lovely historic home. Another neighbor had a resident come up to him and yell at him. It had to do with a tree. My point? Today, more than ever, it is how we treat one another that matters. It is more about how we act than about what we live in – or under. I call on the Eastmoreland Neighborhood Association to withhold final submission of the Historic District application unless and until a clear majority of the neighbors support it in a ballot handled by a neutral third party. Just because you can, don’t unilaterally continue a process that has a significant impact on everyone in the neighborhood without clear evidence of broad support. I call on Keep Eastmoreland Free, the Eastmoreland Neighborhood Association, and the City of Portland to participate in an open forum, mediated by a neutral third party, to share information about what homeowners would face in an Historic District, and to do it in advance of the ballot or submission.
Like many of my neighbors, I will support whatever the majority chooses. And I ask all of us to work together to demonstrate that we are trustworthy, and that we are willing trust and respect one another as we go through a process that will impact all of us for many years to come. Our good neighborliness is worth preserving.
S.E. 36th Avenue
I have been reading with great interest the debate going on within Eastmoreland. The most recent letter from Mr. McCullough adding an economist’s perspective inspired me to enter the debate. As an outsider I might be able to offer a perspective that may add to the debate.
There is a much simpler way to explain why home values would increase with a historical designation, and it goes to the foundation of modern economics. If by nearly permanently constraining supply without easing demand, prices will in fact climb. But as with every decision in life there exist costs or externalities. I am going to offer some of those up while adding that it is not for me to decide if those costs are worth it nor will I judge anyone for deciding they are. So here goes.
- Ever increasing home values will limit the pool of potential buyers capable of affording the neighborhood. This may lead to a more homogenous demographic makeup. Based on information from portlandmaps.com, this would mean a greater white population between the ages of 40 and 64 without children.
- Those who can afford these homes are likely to be older, with kids out of the house. Within this context most homes in Eastmoreland are quite large with many bedrooms (perfect for multi-generational families), leaving a mostly empty home. This is a misallocation of resources from the perspective of the environment.
- If a family is able to stretch their budget to get a home in Eastmoreland, it may strain their ability to do basic maintenance on the home. This can lead to unchecked problems such as dry rot spreading to become a much larger problem.
- Local environmentalism on the whole can have a negative effect globally. A great example of this are the wonderful Sequoias that were saved. Three Eastmoreland trees were saved to stop the building of two homes (as opposed to just the one). That potential buyer may now seek a home in a new development in Tigard or some other suburb. In order to build that home maybe seven trees needed to be cut down. Net gain for the environment: four.
These costs may be fine with you. I understand that every city has these neighborhoods, and that there are positive aspects to this as well. I would like to say, though, that even in a forest, fires are needed for the greater health of the ecosystem. Perhaps some demolitions (fires) are OK. Another option, one that Harvard economist Edward Glaeser recommends, is rather than a blanket Historic District, it may be wiser to pick a number – maybe 20 or 30 – and make that many homes Historic. That number should never increase, and it would force a choice of the best examples of historic architecture to preserve, while offering opportunity for the next generation of Portlanders.
I have also noticed a little disdain for developers. To that, I point out that Eastmoreland is not a natural entity that grew out of the ground. In its beginning, developers knocked down trees and built large homes while making as much of a profit as they could. Perhaps 80 years from now, a new home today will have preservation sought [for it] just like your homes are today. But first you must allow some change to happen. Remember, it can be healthy.
Editorial too little, too late?
In this month's [November] BEE, your opinion piece “Our world – is it at an inflection point?” got my attention. Of course propaganda is nothing new – and of course you know this. But, citing Stalinism as its modern-version source is troublesome. For all the seeming dissembling, I hope you don't really think that the Bolsheviks and Stalinists were successful at, or even tried to hide from the Russian people the intent and horror of their terror – they virtually proclaimed it as a proof of their revolutionary conviction and political correctitude.
Now, as for concluding that “propaganda” is only now pervading the USA in its so-called “news”, here are some countervailing citations: [there follows a great many hotlinks, far too many to list here, some involving the CIA].
From the article, I'm left wondering why, nobody ever writes or talks to me about Facebook News Feeds. Maybe I'm too old. I have an account only because I was getting so many “friend” requests I started thinking I might hurt my friends’ feelings by not signing up and accepting – you know, like: “Why didn't we see you at the block party?” But, I don't even know what a Facebook News Feed looks like. Maybe my platform is too old and they simply don't parse in the browser. As for your take on it, how about we just follow the money: “[FB] ...gives advertisers the ability to exclude specific groups it calls “Ethnic Affinities.” Ads that exclude people based on race, gender and other sensitive factors are prohibited by federal law in housing and employment.
In conclusion, Eric, not saying you’re wrong, just late to the party. The “inflection” point may be long behind us, but please give up on the notion that WE all agree it’s all OUR fault.
S.E. Knapp St.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Of course, using lies to manipulate public opinion is not new, although the Twentieth Century saw this folk art turned increasingly into a science. Even so, news media (of which we have been a part for half a century) still aspired to discern and report the truth. This aspiration, just in this decade, seems to have given way to a desire to get as many “clicks” on the news as possible – as a means of selling online advertising. It is clear that rumors and fiction are more interesting, when presented as truth, than what really is true, and get more “clicks” – so now there is an increasingly widespread willingness by media to emphasize what gets “clicks”, rather than what is mundanely factual. Mr. Gabel is a prolific music composer and our hat is off to him; we think the inflection point we referred to is not his fault but the media’s fault, and that the inflection point that is the focus of our concern is less than five years old. All we can say is that THE BEE remains more interested in facts than “clicks”, and will endeavor to report the truth as long as we have anything to do with it.
Thanks from Woodstock Neighborhood Assn
The Woodstock Neighborhood Association (WNA) wishes to express our gratitude to everyone who contributed to the success of this year’s “Hallowe’en on Woodstock” – including all who attended the WNA-hosted neighborhood party at the Woodstock Community Center on October 31.
We were very happy to partner again with the Woodstock Library, Woodstock Farmers Market, and Portland Parks & Recreation to publicize our neighborhood’s special events, and to see so many businesses generously welcome trick-or-treaters on Sunday and Monday. We want to thank Pamplin Media Group for their help in getting the word out to the broader community via complementary ads in the Portland Tribune.
Big appreciation to other generous event sponsors: Woodstock Law Offices of Benjamin O. Falk and Joanna L. Dorchuck, Woodstock Tax Service, Portland Fish Market, Portland Family Health, EyeStyles, Grand Central Bakery Woodstock, VCA Woodstock Animal Hospital, Dick’s Primal Burger, Kim Woodhouse of Stephen FitzMaurice Real Estate, Woodstock Farmers Market, and Woodstock UPS Store; and to Bi-Mart, Red Fox Vintage, and Woodstock Natural Health Clinic. Thanks to New Seasons for supplying the pumpkin bread, and to Papaccino’s Coffeehouse for the hot cider. And thanks to Permaculturist Marisha Auerbach for the loan of her Woodstock-grown squash for party decor.
Our volunteers are the best! This year’s WNA party rocked, thanks to “Status Crow” (Dale Jones, Ann Heyen, Les Szigethy), and “The Squeezebox Cowboys” (Dan Gossman, Dean Fairly, Les Szigethy). A children’s craft activity was organized once again by Ruth Williams. And our stalwart popcorn crew – Joan and Everett Hobson, and Nancy and Jerry Hockert – also helped set up and clean up. Additional help came from Friends of the Woodstock Community Center, Merrilee Spence, Terry Griffiths, Kitsy Brown Mahoney, Sarah Cooper, and Elizabeth Ussher-Groff, as well as from WNA volunteers Christopher Bacher, Florence Dezeix, Elisa Edgington, Teresa Purpura, and Ruthann Bedenkop. (To anyone whose name was inadvertently left off this list: We appreciate you too!)
Congratulations to our candy-corn guessing-game winner, Aly Winstead (there were 409 corns in the jar, and Aly guessed 400); and all the winners of this year’s raffle prizes. Thanks to the generosity of all those listed above, WNA met our fundraising goal, and party proceeds will be spent on equipment to help keep pedestrians safe when crossing the boulevard during future neighborhood events.
Becky Luening & Kim Woodhouse
Event Coordinators, WNA
Corrections for Salmon Celebration article
My name is Nikki Bruno. I was excited to see mention of my In-Laws’ contribution to the Salmon Celebration in your article, and that my daughter was present. I wanted to clarify, though, that my daughter was six weeks old at the time, not the six months mentioned in the article.
I would also like to clarify one other point, in my role as a cultural educator. The Salmon Bake is a cooking method rather than a smoking method, as smoking is done in an enclosed space with more smoke than our little fire had. Traditionally, our people cooked fish for immediate use over a fire, as we did at the event, or air-dried it to store for later.
Corrections to “CHS History” article
There were three inaccuracies in the article “Cleveland High Legacy” [in the November BEE]. Flanagans was located at S.E. 82nd and Powell; Yaws was located on 40th at N.E. Tillamook; and the TikTok was located at East Burnside and Sandy Boulevard.
D. D. Scott
Local favorites reported giving way to apartments
Goodbye to two Westmoreland-Sellwood icons – Mike’s Drive-In, and the Dairy Queen on Tolman. A middle class neighborhood of single-family dwellings who could grab a middle class bite at these favorites is fast becoming apartment-land, with few eateries to serve different sections conveniently – like the retirement bldg. on S.E. 17th. I think more people and families will be affected by this “new look” than the builders could have ever known. 45 years on Rex Street, and moving.
S.E. Rex Street