THE "LETTERS TO THE EDITOR" ARE BELOW THE EDITORIAL

From The Editor

As spring begins, our thoughts wander

After the balmiest winter we can remember in our years in Portland, spring officially arrived on the afternoon of Friday, March 20. It seemed as if spring had actually arrived in January! Summer should be interesting.

In a stunning series of events, after being elected Governor for an unprecedented fourth time, John Kitzhaber resigned and was replaced in the state’s top chair by a Woodstock resident, Secretary of State Kate Brown.

We congratulate Brown.

But we are somewhat troubled by published reports, accompanied by an e-mail trail released by the Communications Director for the Oregon Secretary of State’s office Tony Green in Salem, in response to a public records request on January 15th of this year, that Brown – while still Secretary of State – joined a number of public officials across the country in writing enthusiastic letters of support for the largest cable TV company in the country, Comcast/“Xfinity”.

Comcast is attempting to merge with the second-largest cable company in the country, Time Warner Cable, and Comcast is lobbying for approval by the Federal Communications Commission in Washington, DC, where the planned merger is being subjected to antitrust scrutiny – by soliciting supportive letters from public officials.

It was not Brown’s support of this merger that troubled us so much as that the letter she wrote was supplied almost verbatim by Comcast – as was apparently also the case with many other of the obliging public officials across the country. You can read the documents that were released by Mr. Green, at this Internet address: http://readthebee.com/images/KateBrownCombined_-_Comcast.pdf.

One would think that if Brown truly thinks this mega-merger actually is beneficial to the public – and don’t forget, Comcast already has bought NBC, and all of the many NBC television networks, as well as Universal Movie Studios – that she could have found her own words to express that. We hope that, as Governor, she will be less likely to accept and use partisans’ words to express her own thoughts.

At the national level, whatever the FCC and the Justice Department decide to do about the planned merger of Comcast with Time Warner Cable, the Federal Communication has already taken a step that some had been calling for and others had opposed – announcing a “Net Neutrality” policy by reclassifying the Internet from an information service to a public utility.

Some have said this was a solution to a problem that had not yet arisen, and there is some truth to that. But there has been little public comment over the most significant implication of this “neutrality” action:  The Internet had not been subject to taxation, as an information service; but classifying it now in the same way as telephone service has opened it to the potential for taxation – at the national, state, and local levels.

Apparently the FCC asserts that it does not expect taxation of the Internet at the national level, though Congress could change that policy, as it often does when it sniffs another source of revenue. But take a look at your wireline or cellular telephone bill – state and local taxation is a significant part of that bill; and now, in a time in which wireline telephone tax revenue is declining, state and local entities might find the constantly-expanding Internet to be a very useful and lucrative source of tax revenue to replace it.

A word to the wise:  The intense public lobbying for “Net Neutrality” at the FCC may have had an unintended and expensive consequence.

And, with the Internet constantly being burdened with ever greater traffic as people try to watch television over it, it seems likely to us that the new “public utility” status of the Internet in the United States provides an obvious solution to address the problem – billing users for their amount of usage, rather than at a flat rate.

Telephone service of all types has always been billed that way, and that would provide a way of addressing the severe stress that video services such as Netflix are placing on Internet facilities that they do not own, and that they rely on others to maintain.

Those are some of the things on our mind as winter ends. As always, our Letters column tells us what is on yours.



Letters to the Editor
Packaging in which checkbook was returned

Thanks, to a Good Samaritan

Editor,

Shown is the package I received in the mail February 21st which had my checkbook in it! A big thank you to whoever mailed my checkbook back to me with a note written on the outside saying, “Found on Milwaukie Avenue -- hope it helps getting this back!” To the person who sent it to me – I thank you so much for your kindness. I only wish you had put your name and return address on it, or a note inside with your name, so I could thank you personally!

That morning I had just eaten breakfast in a small local café – done a good deed myself, by paying for someone else’s breakfast – and, talk about karma: It was paid forward immediately by someone picking up the checkbook that I apparently dropped on my way out and returning it to me. It’s good to know that there are good and honest people still out there! We have a great neighborhood in Sellwood/Westmoreland! 

Kris Heiberg
Westmoreland

 

Gun violence scares schoolkids


Editor,

While hosting a foreign exchange student this fall, I was confronted with the disturbing paradox of trying to assure the student that she should still feel good about returning to school – after her experiencing a lock-down at our neighborhood high school.

With over a hundred school shootings since the Newtown tragedy, in conjunction with the recent local shootings at Reynolds High School and the Clackamas Town Center, I found myself deeply disturbed that I couldn’t honestly reassure her that Oregon has safe and common sense gun laws, and that she should feel safe at school and elsewhere during her visit.

There is no need to accept the existing status quo of ongoing and tragic shootings, and I feel the first logical and achievable step is the passage of the Comprehensive Background Checks bill. Let’s make sure our legislators know we support them in voting yes to close this loophole.

Matthew Galaher
Sellwood

 

Vintage homes being removed

Editor,

I was saddened by the March BEE story about two more vintage homes being removed from our community (“Development removing two vintage homes”). Homes from the turn of the century through the 50’s are disappearing at an alarming rate. Our neighborhoods are losing their charm and identity.

I am also saddened by the lack of response from the community. Are we all so busy with our lives that we don’t have the time to get involved and protect our quality of life? We have a mayor and some city council members that pretend not to understand what is going on, but they are fully aware. They want more density, more taxes and more money in contractors’ pockets. Instead of making our streets and parks the first priority, they pay for their extracurricular projects first. Then they act like we should be grateful when they scrape up enough [money] to patch a few of our broken roads.

I am hoping that in this next election people take the time to make the changes needed in City Hall. We need people that care about what makes Portland neighborhoods special. A council who will review the lax building codes and make changes so that contractors can’t profit by tearing down good homes and replacing them with giant houses with no yards, or two or more three story houses that older people or families with children can’t live in. This is supposed to be the city of trees, but it is turning into the city with no soul. Meanwhile a handful of contractors are getting very rich. I for one am getting fed up. I hope others are as well.

T. Carbonneau
Woodstock

 

Red light editorial

Editor,

I found your editorial confusing. You basically acknowledge that it is perfectly legal to turn on a red arrow but then said you won’t do so. I guess I’d just ask you to avoid the North bound traffic during the week going over the Sellwood Bridge.

Gary Kelley
S.E. Flavel Street, Sellwood


Editor,

Your editorial in the March BEE raised a good point about the confusion between a red round traffic signal and a red arrow signal. In Oregon and about 20 other states they are legally the same, allowing a driver to proceed with a right turn after stopping and yielding the right-of-way. I support your effort to clarify Oregon’s laws. But I’d like to point out two issues in your letter. First, you stated that a flashing yellow left turn signal means that you can turn left after stopping. This is true, but not complete. Vehicles must only yield when making a left turn on a yellow left turn signal; stopping is not required. Second, you state that, to traffic engineers, a red right turn arrow means that a right turn is not allowed, even after stopping. As a traffic engineer it is my responsibility to know the laws in the jurisdiction I’m working. In California your statement would be true, but in Oregon, Washington, and those 20 other states, that assumption would be wrong.

Thanks for letting me clarify this.        

Scott Kelly
S.E. Umatilla Street, Sellwood

EDITOR’S NOTE: With due respect to our correspondents, we think they are missing our point. When signals are confusing, people respond to them in different ways, which increases the hazard to everyone nearby. In many cases it is dangerous to turn right on a red arrow, and we can provide specific intersections as examples. In our editorial we suggested a one-word change in one Oregon statute which would resolve the confusion and result in better safety on the roads, and we are serious about that suggestion. We hope the state legislature will make that change. Until they do, we ourselves will strictly obey red right turn arrows, and not turn on any red arrow. After all, it is not mandatory to turn right on a red signal of any kind; and when you do, the law requires that you do so only after fully stopping (many don’t), and when it is clearly safe to do so. It’s not a right, it’s a privilege.


Llewellyn School Auction, dance demonstration, Oaks Park
Dance demonstration by Dance with Joy Studios, at the annual Llewellyn Auction.

Thanks for successful auction

Editor,

On March 7th Llewellyn Elementary School held its annual auction at the Oaks Park Dance Pavilion. The theme – Speakeasy, Spend Easy – played a heavy role in the night. To get through the door you had to offer a password to a couple of “Toughs”. Once guests passed through the door, they were transported back to the Roarin’ 20’s, with the Pavilion heavily decorated to reflect that time. The evening continued with a silent auction and dance demonstration by Dance with Joy Studios, quickly followed by Trash Can Joe, featuring Pink Lady, a vintage swing band, sponsored by the Sellwood

Westmoreland Business Alliance. That set the mood for the auction guests – not just members of Llewellyn, but including the greater Sellwood-Westmoreland community – to mingle, and bid on silent auction items. The silent auction ended with a “Raid” of our Speakeasy, which resulted in the arrest of “Stickers” Galati (Llewellyn Principal), who was detained for the duration of the Live Auction and Paddle Raise. Lucky for “Stickers”, the event raised enough money to pay his bail money! At the end of the night, we hosted nearly 350 members of our community – a record-breaking attendance.

Our silent and live auctions proved very successful, with local businesses in the community and families of Llewellyn donating the majority of the auction items. I can’t say thank you enough to our generous community, our army of volunteers, and all of our guests who made this event possible. As we walked through the neighborhood, visiting many local businesses, soliciting donations, or just hanging up signs, we felt warmly welcomed by all. I am proud to be part of such a benevolent community.

Meg Asay, Auction Chair,
on behalf of all of our auction committees

 
Neighborhood cleanup coming in May

Editor,

The SMILE Neighborhood Cleanup Committee wants to remind Sellwood and Westmoreland neighbors about the annual neighborhood clean-up coming next month in May. It is traditionally on the third Saturday in May – so it will be held on May 16, 2015. Drop-off hours are from 9 am to 2 pm. Volunteers are welcome to come help out at the site, which is at the south end of Westmoreland Park – at S.E. 23rd and Nehalem Street. Proof of residency is required for dumping at the site (driver’s license or a utility bill).

Mixed waste, yard debris, appliances (extra charge for Freon), and Styrofoam are accepted. Goodwill will be on-site to accept good and reusable household items (furniture, clothing, etc.) – and e-waste from households only!

Prices vary according to the size of the load:

  • $7-13 small cars, sedans
  • $13-20 small trucks
  • $20-30 full-size pickup
  • $30 and up for larger loads

We cannot accept construction materials (plaster, sheet rock, concrete, etc.), dirt, food garbage, or any hazardous materials. Curbside collection is available for seniors and disabled individuals – call 503-794-8212 to get on that list; you will pay the volunteer driver for your load. A big thank you to our sponsors: SMILE, Heiberg Garbage & Recycling, Portland Parks, BES, Metro, Southeast Uplift, 13 Virtues Brewing Company, QFC Market, and Starbucks! And another big thank you to all of our many volunteers!

The SMILE Neighborhood Cleanup Committee
via e-mail




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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.


Obituaries
Richard Nudelman, rescue greyhound
Richard Nudelman died at age 70 while jogging in Woodstock. One of his loves was rescued greyhounds, of which this is one. (Photo courtesy of Lorien Nudelman)

Woodstock philanthropist died doing what he loved – running

By ELIZABETH USSHER GROFF
for THE BEE

Woodstock resident Richard Nudelman was perhaps best known for his passion for helping others – as well as his love of running.

In the November, 2013, issue of THE BEE, we reported that a neighborhood resident had saved Richard’s life by immediately performing CPR when he collapsed while running on a street near Woodstock Boulevard. At that time he was taken by ambulance to OHSU, where he received a new pacemaker.

Sadly, this time there was no rescue. On Friday, February 13th, the day before Valentine’s Day, Richard died while running near his home in Woodstock. Just one week earlier, he had told this writer during a chance encounter that he was doing pretty well – still running, but carrying his POLST (“Physician’s Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment”) form with him when he ran.

Richard was prepared for the worst, inasmuch as his doctors were baffled by his heart, which seemed to be in good condition, but which suffered problems that were mysterious and unpredictable.  Doctors had recently replaced his pacemaker with a pacemaker/defibrillator.

While his physical heart gave way, his compassionate heart lives on through the community work he put into motion.

“He had the biggest heart of anyone I have ever known,” says his daughter Lorien.  “He was kind-hearted, whimsical, generous, and had a unique sense of humor.”

One memorable story that Lorien tells is of Richard getting up in the morning and dipping three or four dozen strawberries in chocolate, and then carrying them around in a cooler, giving them to people he came into contact with during the day.

Richard moved to Medford over thirty years ago from Chicago, where he was born and raised. He got his Masters degree in social work, and began a private practice in Medford as a therapist for young children, teenagers, and couples, a practice which he continued for thirty years.

Richard loved animals, especially rescued greyhounds.  In Medford he was co-founder of SNYP (“Spay/Neuter Your Pet”), and he continued to support animal organizations when he moved to Portland. When a special greyhound passed away not long ago, he ran an obituary ad for it in THE BEE.

A resident of the Woodstock Neighborhood for the past three years, Richard had made a great many friends, and helped hundreds of people by organizing the “Southeast Portland Food Project”, which collects food every two months from resident donors, to help stock the shelves of local food pantries. The all-volunteer Food Project will continue under guidance of the steering committee.

“As he [Richard] would say, every chance he could, he wanted the Southeast Portland Food Project to become the Portland Food Project – meaning that he wanted us to have food donors, neighborhood coordinators, and partner food pantries, in every part of Portland,” recalls Jim Valluzzi, a steering committee member. 

Neighborhood volunteers who pick up food from donors’ porches are still very much needed, say steering committee members. Currently the Food Project has 88 volunteers who pick up the signature green bags with non-perishable food from 1,000 donors. “We need more volunteers from all parts of Portland to fulfill Richard's dream,” remarks Valluzzi. 

Anyone interested in being a neighborhood coordinator for the project can find information online: http://www.portlandfoodproject.org/coordinator-signup-form.php.

Or, to be a food donor: http://www.portlandfoodproject.org/donor-signup-form.php.

Two celebrations of Richard’s life will take place. One will be an informal gathering and potluck in Portland, on April 19, 5-9:30 pm, at “TaborSpace”, 5441 S.E. Belmont Street, at Mt. Tabor Presbyterian Church. The other will be in Medford, held on his birthday, June 7th

Yet another event, to support Richard’s work and honor his memory, will be an afternoon tea on Saturday, May 2nd, and Sunday, May 3rd, from 2 to 4 pm each day, at Mehri’s Bakery and Café, 6923 S.E. 52nd Avenue, at Bybee. 

The tea – which will offer tea, mini sandwiches, and desserts – will benefit the Food Project. The cost per person is $25; or $20 with a donation of a bag filled with groceries. Seating is limited. For reservations to guarantee your seat, call Mehri at 503/788-9600.



Justine Frances Petela
Justine Frances Petela

Justine Frances Petela

June 17, 1951 – February 27, 2015

The family writes, “We lost a true original and free spirit when Justine Frances Petela, age 63, a resident of S.E. Schiller Street, let go of the balloon on February 27, with her closest family near her. A woman of great artistic, creative, and intellectual gifts, Justine was co-owner of ‘Hey Joe’, the unique Portland used book and record store in the blue house at Hawthorne and 39th, between 1989 and 1996. She also worked as a paralegal in Hawaii in the 1980s.

“At Woodstock dog park she was known as the loving companion of Zinnia, Molly, and Chauncey. Adept in numerous crafts and artistic media, from painting to jewelry, she had a particular talent for the fiber arts, creating quirky, witty, and avant-garde works in those and the many other arts she pursued. Justine was a passionate and excellent natural-born cook who, for some time, prepared weekly soup meals for the needy and homeless in her neighborhood.

“She also possessed singular original insight on myriad topics, including film, popular culture, history, literature, music, politics, and current events, strongly espousing principles of nonviolence, social justice, and respect and recognition for women throughout her life. Justine was also a musician and music lover, domestic goddess, thrift maven, force of nature, and twin sister.” Arrangements have not been disclosed.

Frank K. Springer
Frank K. Springer

Frank K. Springer

March 24, 1912 – March 8, 2015

Frank K. Springer, a resident of the Brooklyn neighborhood, died peacefully at the age of 102 on March 8th, 2015, at Emanuel Hospital in Portland.  Frank was born in Lebanon, near Albany, on March 24, 1912. 

He graduated from Washington High School in Portland, and was employed as a postman and furniture finisher before being hired by the Portland Police Bureau in 1938 as a patrolman. He quickly worked up to lieutenant, and played a large role in shutting down illegal gambling and prostitution in the city as head of the Vice Squad. In 1962, he became captain, and inspector shortly after. Frank retired in August 1973, but stayed involved in preserving the Police Bureau's history at the Portland Police Museum.

Frank was an accomplished glass artist and lapidarist. Having taken up both hobbies, which would become his passions for the rest of his life, in 1970. He created a body of brilliant work that crossed mediums, amazed family and friends, and was often displayed at rock shows, at county and state fairs, at OMSI, and at a number of local art galleries.

Brooklyn was the neighborhood where Frank spent most of his life, and when he turned 100, there was a parade and celebration there. Till the end, Frank was happy to talk all day. “At 102, I’m so old I can say what I want to,” he laughed.

Frank’s friendly, caring, and compassionate personae resulted in a continuous growth of extended family. He loved his friends, and always loved making new ones. And he was also an oral historian.  Family friend Dave Mazza started filming “Frank’s Town” a couple of years ago. It’s a documentary about Portland as it evolved during Springer’s lifetime. “He was a wonderful source of information, and it's a lot of important history that needs to be preserved,” Mazza said. “It’s not often you find someone who’s such an important part of a city and institution.”

Frank was preceded in death by his wife of over 50 years, Jerri Springer, with whom he eloped in 1934, and by a son, Frank, Jr.  He is survived by his son Larry, five grandchildren, and eight great grandchildren.

A funeral service for Frank Springer was held at Wilhelm’s Portland Memorial in Westmoreland on Friday, March 13th, 2015.

 


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