THE "LETTERS TO THE EDITOR" ARE BELOW THE EDITORIAL

From The Editor

Another science fiction prediction coming true
Star Trek the Next Generation, The Game, addiction, electronic devices
This is what the player of the holographic game that controls minds was seeing – with “reality” visible in the background – in the episode of “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. (Courtesy of Paramount Pictures)

In the Twentieth Century, science fiction – stories of imagined futures – came into its own, although the seeds of the genre are much older.  None other than the great humorist Mark Twain engaged in it, for example – in “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court”. And you know about Jules Verne and H.G. Wells.

With the success of the “Star Trek” franchise on television and in movies fully fifty years ago and counting, the groundbreaking Arthur C. Clarke/Stanley Kubrick movie “2001: A Space Odyssey”, and most especially with the enormous impact of “Star Wars” in the following decade, science fiction became fully mainstream – predicting possible futures, and developing complex philosophical themes.

We have been reminded recently of an episode of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” as we have beheld pedestrians crossing streets without looking to see if it is safe to do so – while being engrossed in, looking at, and manipulating, their smartphones. And it’s a matter of record that drivers are increasingly and inexplicably crossing over into oncoming traffic and causing head-on crashes. “Distracted drivers,” say the police. “And distracted pedestrians.”

At one time, such sudden crossover crashes were largely due to drivers falling asleep at the wheel. And undoubtedly that still happens as much as ever, in a world where too many people don’t get enough sleep.

Years ago, a long-haul truck driver invented a device that hooked over the ear, with a battery, a buzzer, and a mercury switch in it, and sold it at truck stops. We hope it’s still available, because one of those saved our own life once when we were drowsier at the wheel than we thought we were – and as our head tilted forward, the buzzer woke us up – as we realized later. At the time, we were just annoyed that it was making so much noise on our trip for some reason! If you can find one of those, we suggest you keep it in your glove box for days when you must drive and feel tired. They really do work.

But the reason for the rise in crossover crashes these days seems to be due to people trying to send text messages, or to look at things on the screens of their smartphones, while driving.

What could possibly bring pedestrians and drivers to the almost suicidal behavior of putting themselves and others in harm’s way by trying to text or manipulate a smartphone when driving or crossing a street?

It’s almost like an addiction!

Which is what brings us to the fifth-season episode of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” called “The Game”, originally broadcast in the fall of 1991, twenty-five years ago. At the time the premise may have seemed far-fetched: The crew of the starship Enterprise is introduced to a recreational electronic device which offers a game, which is played by using a headset and manipulating a hand-held screen. Soon, the crewmembers – right up to Captain Picard – would rather play this game than do anything else, and they actually took steps to pressure anyone not yet familiar with the game into playing it too, with its same effect.

In this case, we eventually learn the game was an enemy plot to take over the Enterprise by incapacitating its crew, and that the headset enabled the device to “stimulate the pleasure centers of the brain when the player successfully completed each level.”

Yes, that’s addiction.

And it was probably the point of the episode to show how something that acted as an addictive drug could undermine the will and destroy oneself – presented as an electronic device instead of a substance, to make the comment while evading the inevitable prejudices of the viewer’s own attitude towards addictive drugs.

But the remarkable thing is that this episode also constituted a specific prediction that people could become physically addicted to use of a responsive electronic device.

Lo and behold. It’s coming true.

Science fiction has done it again. And this time, the warning carries with it no solution to the problem we’re now facing; we cannot just pull the headset off and come to our senses.

We read surveys that say people expect to suffer “withdrawal symptoms”, by their own account, if they had to live a few days without their smartphone. And at present, there is no antidote for that. This obsession’s siren song is causing people to have their head down while they are driving a car or walking obliviously across a road.

Most editorial comments in newspapers conclude with some sort of solution proposed, or at least inferred. We have none. Do you?

It’s being suggested that cars be built with shielding or internal interference to block smartphone use, as a safety feature – but there is no guarantee that would reliably work, and if it caused interference to extend outside the car’s body it would be illegal under FCC rules.

We have no answer. But for the time being, we’re making sure our phone is just a phone, and we don’t answer it or place calls while we’re driving, either. That will reduce the odds of our taking our eyes off the road and running into you. But that won’t prevent your taking your eyes off the road and running into us…


Letters to the Editor

Apartments built without parking

Editor,

Just read your “From the Editor” [April BEE] regarding the city's approval of apartments and condominiums being built without parking spaces. Like you, I think this is totally ridiculous! I believe many groups of people are negatively impacted by this bizarre decision. First of all, occupiers of these apartments or condos have to search for parking spaces every day. Secondly, senior citizens and others who have difficulty walking and who must drive (like myself) are increasingly challenged to do business in areas such as Sellwood where parking is at a minimum. Thirdly, businesses in these areas must be losing customers because parking is taken up by occupants of the new housing instead of by customers who like to shop and dine in these areas. In my own case, my husband and I will drive around trying to find a place to park, only to have him drop me off and then park six blocks away (or we sometimes give up and go home or drive to another area).

I just feel angry about this issue and wonder how a city the size of Portland puts up with this stupid thinking. I've never lived anywhere where new condos could be built without providing parking. Actually, I think there should be more public parking provided in areas like Sellwood and Westmoreland. The city should work to make shopping and dining easier, not harder!

[Name given, but withheld by request]
via e-mail


Editor,

Powerful points made, in the “From the Editor” article in the April BEE. Thank you, sir.

Jon Schleifer
Euroclassic Furniture
S.E. Foster Road


Editor:

This is in response to your April editorial about parking requirements for new apartments. It seems obvious to say new apartments should be required to provide off-street parking for all of the expected cars of the new residents (and I don't disagree that most new residents will have cars). However, the issue seems a little more complicated to me.

There are many good reasons not to require new apartment buildings to provide off-street parking (keeping in mind that many of them will, because the codes require it in many instances, and prospective tenants will demand it in many more). One reason is certainly to encourage and promote more car-free living, which can help reduce traffic congestion and pollution. Another is to keep rents within range of more people – a huge issue these

days – by keeping construction costs down. Another is just aesthetic – who wants to see a neighborhood full of parking lots? 

I am also struck by what seems to me an unfairness in the argument for requiring more new buildings to pay for off-street parking. The argument is made on behalf of existing residents and businesses who want to continue to park, or have their customers park, on the public street for free. What they are saying, in essence, is make the new guy pay so I don't have to. That seems a little selfish to me. First-come, first-serve is one way to allocate a public resource, but it seems to me more fair to say let's find new ways to share the public space (which is what on-street parking is) as the community grows.

Brian Posewitz
Sellwood

 

Editor,

Thank you, thank you, thank you for the From the Editor article in the April edition. We finally have real information concerning the neighborhood parking debacle. I think most residents already knew that all the fear mongering coming out of City Hall warning that we couldn't afford space for parking for apartment buildings was ridiculous. Whether people take mass transit or ride a bike to work, a good portion still want/need a car. We have to stop preparing for the apocalyptic future by destroying our current quality of life. Neighborhoods are being devastated and businesses are losing customers for lack of parking. We need to quit allowing contractors to dictate our future. We can't solve new problems with old ideas. The mayoral candidate who agrees with this editorial gets my vote.

Teddi Carbonneau
S.E. Ogden Street

EDITOR’S NOTE: We are indebted to ENA President and Southeast Uplift Chair Robert McCulloch for providing the documentation and observations which made the editorial possible.

 

Thanks to bystanders, after daughter struck

Editor,

I am Ken Domen, the father of the pedestrian (Elina Domen) in the article “Car Hits Pedestrian in Brentwood-Darlington Crosswalk” in the April BEE.

I want to let you know that my daughter was seriously hurt. We went to Providence Milwaukie Emergency Center that night around 7 p.m., and we were told to see a specialist (Dr. Bret Kean) at Eastside Orthopedic Clinic. From there, we were told she had to have surgery because of chipped bones behind her knee. She had the surgery and now she's in physical therapy. It's unknown whether she may need further surgery in the future unless her bones heal correctly.

On the night of the accident, my daughter got off the bus and was crossing the crosswalk on 52nd at Flavel when the light was green for her to cross. The driver, who was an older gentleman, started to turn left, even though my daughter had the right of way, and the bus driver who had just let her off the bus honked to try to warn the driver to stop. He did not, and hit my daughter.

I arrived about ten minutes after the accident when I was contacted by someone who was helping my daughter. I don't believe the man was cited and he stayed by his car and didn't come to help my daughter. I talked to the police officer and he said I’d be getting a full police report but I still don't have that yet.

I want to thank the people who helped my daughter out.

Ken Domen
Via e-mail

Improve MAX parking: Do away with golf

Editor,

May I propose/float an idea that would solve the parking issue in Eastmoreland. I propose that the City of Portland convert some of the vast amounts of land the Eastmoreland Golf Course uses into sport fields (soccer, baseball) which are in really short supply. Design these fields with parking so that during the week commuters can park while fields [are] not in use. Golf is a dying sport, plus games like soccer, etc., are growing sports with kids. Golf also uses lots of water, fertilizer etc. Easier off-street parking would also encourage mass transit use. Please consider my ideas [concerning] the parking issues caused by MAX.

Patrick C. Baures
S.E. 43rd Avenue


Or, improve MAX parking while still playing golf

Editor,

Two months ago, I wrote to THE BEE after e-mailing TriMet. I felt I had hit upon a reasonable solution to the street parking problem near the Bybee Station on the MAX EOrange Line. After their initial response telling me it had been sent upstairs, I heard no follow up. I just wrote them again with an update I'd like to share.

On March 31st, 1 p.m., on a beautifully sunny and calm day, I drove down from my house to 27th and Rex, the 9th Tee on the course. The Golf Course was alive with Golfers and I was envious because I wasn’t with them. A day like the 31st was the one concern I’d had with the idea I had presented TriMet with. Would there be enough parking for the Golf Course on a truly beautiful day?

While I didn't stop in the parking lot at 27th & Bybee (there were two cars in the lot but I don't know how many empty spots there were), I did enter the main Golf Course parking lot and checked it out for availability. There were 79 spaces in the lot that were empty: Many more than I thought I would find on such a beautiful weekday.

If there were that many spaces available [on a great day for golf], I needed to increase my original 45 to 50 spaces [estimate], for dedication to Orange Line parking on weekdays to 50 to 60 spaces. So, again, I have written to TriMet about my thoughts, and I will be sharing with THE BEE any response that I receive.

                               ____________________________

Yesterday I wrote you that I had once again reached out to TriMet to work on a resolution to the street parking problem around the Bybee Orange Line Station. I received a very nice call from TriMet this morning to discuss the situation.

The long and the short of it is that I have nothing positive to share. TriMet approached, through the City, the Eastmoreland Golf Course about setting aside assigned parking spaces in the Golf Course parking lot for Monday thru Friday parking for that purpose. The Golf Course Management said no. They also brought up another potential problem for doing what I suggested. If we create a small "Park & Ride" it would create more cars trying to use the area and while it might solve the problem short term, they felt that in a very short time the problem would be as bad or worse. While I had considered that, I felt it would not be as bad as they think.

Now for the rest of the story: There are no plans to build the Tacoma Park & Ride [parking structure] in the foreseeable future! So we must look at this as a permanent problem. What options does the neighborhood have?

Actually, there are a couple. Getting the “home side” of the streets labeled for a parking limit signage (e.g., four hours between the hours of 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.) is the most difficult solution. The easiest solution is permit parking. We need to petition the City to create a new Permit Parking Zone. The only catch is that the petition must be signed by every single homeowner where the petition will effect. I don't see that as a problem.

Fred Russell
via e-mail

 

New rules for neighborhood cleanups this year!

Editor,

Just wanted to mention the annual “SMILE” Sellwood-Westmoreland Neighborhood Clean Up on Saturday, May 21. It starts at 9 a.m., and ends promptly at 2 p.m.  This year we would like to make sure everyone is aware of certain “What Not to Bring Items”. 

No Metro-prohibited materials are accepted, including – but not limited to – food garbage, plaster, concrete, dirt, sheet rock, batteries, ANY construction/demolition materials, or hazardous materials. NO MATERIALS Possibly Containing ASBESTOS – please refer to “where asbestos may be found”, online at: http://www.epa.gov/asbestos/learn -about-asbestos

Volunteers are welcome to arrive at 8:15 a.m. at the cleanup site – in the south-end parking lot in Westmoreland Park.  Bring gloves and a smile.

Also, for Senior curbside pick-up only – call 503/794-8212, and give your name and address, and ask for instructions on how to prepare your items.  Remember – NO asbestos-related materials!! 


Kris Heiberg
SMILE Neighborhood Committee


Dismayed by coverage

Editor,

I take great umbrage at THE BEE’s soft coverage of the gross negligence that has occurred at the Bullseye Glass Company.

While we are all pleased that Bullseye has suspended use of these metals and thus reduced their presence in the soil and air, I think it is disingenuous to brush off the health concerns so lightly after we in the neighborhood have lived through a continual exposure to these carcinogens for decades despite Bullseye's claims the they are a “good neighbor” and DEQ's purported mandate to protect Portland's citizens.

I am surprised and dismayed that our local community paper comes off as a corporate and governmental stooge and spends not even one or two lines of its follow-up story on the lasting effects that this crisis is having on our community.

Matt Berson
Portland Wine Company

EDITOR’S NOTE: We pointed out in our original front page story in the month before that the reported amounts of emissions at Bullseye were miniscule and below levels capable of causing harm, and at the time we were alone in pointing out this “moss-gathered” test information. Subsequent testing has confirmed this. We think we engaged in good journalism by telling the truth, rather than spreading alarm.

 

Local students succeed in Idaho

Editor,

Kim’s Taekwon-do of Sellwood took eighteen contestants to compete in the 32nd Idaho state Championship tournament held on Saturday, March 19th. I’m pleased to report that it was a “clean sweep” for Sellwood, as we won both men’s and women’s grand-champion titles. 2nd Degree black belt, Lizzet Garcia, and 4th Degree, Robert Secord, worked hard to attain this year’s title. Our school also swept team competition, taking 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th places. I enclose a photo of the team (below).

Master Cynthia Brown
S.E. 13th Avenue


Taikwon Do, Sellwood students, win in Idaho

BulkyWaste disposal opportunities coming to Southeast

Editor,

As the area’s representative on the Metro Council, I want to let BEE readers know about some upcoming opportunities for Southeast Portlanders. Several neighborhood associations and nonprofit groups are hosting cleanup events in the coming weeks to make it easier for folks to get rid of bulky waste and items that aren't recycled at the curb. Covering the disposal costs for these cleanup events is one of the ways Metro carries out its responsibility for managing the region’s garbage and recycling system.

Thanks to the thousands of volunteers who contribute their time and energy, these events help spruce up the appearance and improve the safety of our neighborhoods. Keeping our neighborhoods clean protects the value of public and private property and reduces health hazards for our families.

Some materials are not accepted at these events: Hazardous waste; construction, remodeling, and demolition debris; household garbage; and waste not accepted at transfer stations. Check with your neighborhood association about materials they’ll take. Find out how and where to recycle or safely dispose of hazardous waste and how to prep your load to save money and time. Ask Metro at 503/234-3000 – or go online to: http://www.oregonmetro.gov/findarecycler

Southeast Portland is a great place to live, work, and play. Thanks for helping to keep it that way. I look forward to seeing you in the neighborhood.

Bob Stacey, Metro Councilor
District 6

Send the kids to D.C.

Editor,

For the third year I am reaching out to businesses and neighbors in the BEE coverage area. In June, the eighth graders from Sellwood Middle School will visit Washington D.C. This is a major field trip that relates to the eighth grade curriculum on citizenship and government. It’s an exciting opportunity to visit our nation's capital in a presidential election year!

At this point, all but four of our students can cover the trip financially. In the past, we have pulled together with fundraisers to fill the gap for those who need additional support. 

Last year, with the help of BEE readers, we were able to achieve our goals so that all the students who wanted to take the trip were able to. 

Although I say it every year, I think parents and students will agree: The memories of this eighth grade trip will last a lifetime, and it’s a chance for our kids to see government and leadership in action.

To help four students take our 8th grade trip to Washington D.C., please contact the Sellwood Middle School office at 503/916-5656.

Ms. Paula Izaugie
Sellwood Middle School Library Assistant
pizuagie@pps.net

 

Philanthropy by Sellwood family

Editor,

The Oregon Community Foundation is pleased to announce the establishment of the Gilliam Family Milwaukie Achiever Scholarship Fund, dedicated to supporting Milwaukie High School students achieve higher education success.

The Gilliam family, which resides in Sellwood, are pleased to commit to driven and talented students who may otherwise have difficulty financing higher education.

Melissa Wilmot
for the Oregon Community Foundation


First Class Scouting


Editor,

We would like to have the below published – it was written by one of our Scouts to satisfy a requirement for their First Class badge:

We would like to encourage boys of the Sellwood­Moreland community to join Boy Scout Troop 64. It is a really fun experience to be a part of, and a great place to make friends. In the spring and the fall the troop often goes on hiking, camping and cycling trips. During summer we go to Scout Camp for a week, where the scouts learn how to sail, cook, rock climb, ride horses and shoot. In addition, our monthly trips in the summer usually include a whitewater rafting trip. Then there is snowshoeing and skiing in the winter, along with Scouting for Food, where we collect food for the hungry; and our annual Christmas tree recycling fundraiser. The troop meets every Monday at 7:00 p.m. at Moreland Presbyterian Church (1814 S.E. Bybee Boulevard). For more information please contact Scoutmaster Tom Armstrong at: tdarmstrong@yahoo.com

Jason Burns
Troop 64 Committee Member

 

Sellwood artists displaying at Architectural Heritage Center

Editor,

A note to advise you that Portland’s nonprofit Architectural Heritage Center is hosting two Sellwood residents and talented local artists rendering images influenced by their month-long visit to San Miguel de Allende, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Suzanne Flynn's work is highly textural with bold abstractions relating to the colors and forms found in SMA architecture. Susan CR Cunningham's whimsical multimedia paintings reflect the bright colors and culture of Mexico, full of fantasy and legend.

Flynn and Cunningham were previously members of Talisman Gallery in NE Portland and both have shown at additional venues in Portland and around the Northwest.

The showing opens on June 3, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Architectural Heritage Center, 701 S.E. Grand, and we hope many of the residents of Southeast Portland will be interested in visiting it.

Architectural Heritage Center
via e-mail


It’s a parade, on May 24th!

Editor,

I want to ask BEE readers to “Support Sellwood, Celebrate Sellwood!” On Tuesday, May 24th, Sellwood Middle School will be hosting a Community Appreciation Day. At 11:00 a.m. the fabulous SMS band, dance team and students will again 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, parade route, and more information. All donations directly benefit the SMS Foundation, which funds teachers for core classes, vital electives, and smaller class sizes.

So, put your list together of all those things you’ve been wanting, and go shopping in the Sellwood-Moreland area on Tuesday, May 24th, and stock up for Memorial Day weekend. What do you need for summer or Father’s Day or that new graduate? 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! Thank you!

Wendy Cogan
on behalf of
The SMS Foundation and SMS PTA

 

Llewellyn Elementary earns “Green School” certification

Editor:

Congratulations to the Llewellyn Elementary School Green Team, and Principal Joe Galati, for receiving Green School Certification from the Portland Public Schools.

The hard-working Llewellyn Green Team members are: Alexia Wellons, Liz Rubin, Carrie Lopez, Jen Soares, Elizabeth Milner, Regan Silbert, Allison Eshel, and Emily Bawol – all parents of children at Llewellyn.

On Earth Day, April 22, the Green Team members and numerous other volunteers gathered at the school for a celebration. They were pleased to have Governor Kate Brown and Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden present to observe Earth Day, and to take part in the official certification. These guests joined the children in making seed balls of mud, and native flower seeds favored by pollinators, to plant in their home gardens.

The Green Team earned this honor because they conducted a waste audit with a local Girl Scout troop of classroom discards, cleaned up the school garden, and assisted with recycling. In the future, they will present pollinator lessons in classrooms, expand recycling and composting efforts, and maintain the garden for class and after-school use – while pushing to get a dishwasher for Llewellyn’s kitchen, so lunch trays, utensils, and plates are washed rather than tossed.

The award was presented by Portland Public Schools’ Stacy Ludington, and Nancy Bond of the Green Schools Certification project. PPS guest Courtney Westling, Director of Government Relations, was also present. Thanks to all of them for this honor and to our many volunteers who helped make Llewellyn a winner. That includes Ed LeClair who organizes morning bike trains to the school, starting from various locations in the neighborhood.

Special thanks also go to the following businesses for their generosity in providing refreshments, soil, seeds, and expert public relations assistance: Pro-Time Lawn Seed, Portland Homestead Supply, Portland Nursery, QFC Market, New Seasons Market, and Scarlet Letters Copywriting.

Corinne Stefanick
President, SMILE
The Sellwood-Moreland Improvement League

 

CHS paraphernalia for sale

Editor:

We are gearing up for the Commerce-Cleveland High School 100th Anniversary celebrations and we do not want BEE readers to miss a thing. 

To commemorate the 100 years of Commerce-Cleveland High Schools, a Centennial Edition Yearbook has been assembled. The book features school history from inception to year end 2015, school activities against the backdrop of national news items, pictures of all our Rose Festival Princesses and Queens, pictures of all Distinguished Alumni award winners with biographies, pictures of all members of the Mel Krause Athletic Hall of Fame, pictures of most student body presidents, and pictures of every yearbook cover since Commerce was founded. To get a look at some excerpts of the book and to know how to order, please go online to: https://db.tt/CmKP5luO

The “Celebrating 100 Years” shirts are available for purchase. They are $12 each for sizes S-XL, and $15 for XXL. Your pre-order will help us figure how many to purchase. Please let us know sizes and how many by your e-mail notice to: CCHSAA@gmail.com or call Nancy Carr at 1-916/202-7132. Extras will be for sale at the high school in "The Mall", during the August Auction and Golf Tournament and during all October All-School Reunion weekend events.

Don’t forget about the 100th Anniversary Golf Tournament and Auction August 17. Forms are available online at https://db.tt/Hop8gDs4 – and at the School Reunion at 7 p.m. October 15th. For Details and Registration Forms, go online to: https://db.tt/09RVvQbR

And, for more information about Commerce-Cleveland High School, visit: http://chs-alum.blogspot.com

Neshia Branson
Class of 1963
Cleveland High




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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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