Readers share their news and observations of the Inner Southeast neighborhood we live in

Concern about McLoughlin's trees


With winter coming on, I'm growing more and more concerned about the dying trees lining 99E near Westmoreland Park. They pose a serious road hazard. One tree on the east side of McLaughlin came down. It's not uncommon to have limbs fall into traffic. There are several rotten trees. There was already one serious accident a few years ago when a tree pierced a van. It's only a matter of time before a serious incident results. I contacted ODOT.

Linda Bergquist

Via e-mail

EDITOR'S NOTE: The problem with the majestic trees along McLoughlin Boulevard in Westmoreland and Sellwood is that they were all the same type of tree and were all planted at the same time in the 1930s, as seedlings, when Highway 99E – "the Superhighway" – was being completed, as has been reported in the past by our historical writer Eileen G. Fitzsimons (and we printed a photo of the blank landscape, the new highway, and all those seedlings). When they are planted at the same time, they are prone to dying at the same time, and we may again have to endure a time when the landscape on both sides of the highway has no trees. The most likely solution to prevent this cycle from repeating is to plant a variety of different types of trees to replace these, as they are removed, so their lifespans will be staggered.

Likes BEE historical articles

Editor, I thoroughly enjoy the Bee's historical articles, and Dana Beck's piece on Umatilla Street and the birth of Sellwood was especially captivating. Sellwood came to life with detail about its residents and their lives, as well as its evolving relationship with Portland. The last line about holding a piece of the neighborhood's history "in [our] hands" was a really nice touch.

One thing I'd love to see alongside these historical articles is a small reference map of the specific area being described. It would greatly enhance the experience of reading about these unique neighborhoods.

Wendy Ferguson


More about the recycling changes

Editor, My name is Satish Palshikar and my wife is Arlene Palshikar. I have an M. Sc. In Manufacturing Engineering from OIT, studied Environmental Engineering, successfully completed a Master Recycling courts, and take an active part in Master Recycling in the Portland Metro Area. . . Because China stopped accepting American scrap plastics, may recycling places like Far West Recycling took away plastic dumpsters, and do not take any plastics. . . accepting papers, glass, and metals only. . . I called Metro Recycling and told the lady about our plastic recycling experience. Hoever, I got a shocking and surprising answer from her that I have to throw away our plastic recycling into the garbage. . . We later took our car full of plastic, paper, metal, and glass to Metro's drop-in station I-205, near Oregon City, opposite Home Depot. They accepted everything. We had to put plastic, glass, metal, and paper in appropriate dumpsters. There was no charge; as long as it is recycling and not garbage, it is free. [But will it continue?] This is what I want to share. . . It's very serious that, coast to coast, all plastics will go into the garbage, and America is going backwards, to the 1950s and '60s, when it was a throw-away country. America has had plenty of time to develop plastic recycling methods, to shred and use plastic to make new things. It is never too late to do the right thing. This country should start developing a plastic cycle chain, and the future will be great. Satish and Arlenr Palshikar

S.E. Flavel Street


Editor, [Re: November BEE "Letter" about China ending the purchasing of recycling in the U.S., and the consequent end of the private recycling at New Seasons Markets and Far West Fibers]: Metro has done some work with "plastics into oil" technology, engaging with Portland corporation Agilyx ( We have the technology available to take plastic into oil, while supporting a local company. Portland recently signed an agreement to stop the plan for shipping plastics and other materials to Brooks to be burned.

What can Agilyx technology do? Is it proven? Where is it being used? Is it as good as the claims on the website? What is the amount of crude that Portland could produce a day? What is the cost-to-product ratio? How much would it cost Portland to recycle our plastic into oil? Where would the funds come from to do so?

And what is Metro's plan? What is Metro going to do with all the plastic and paper being collected, since it can no longer be sent to China, nor can it be taken to Brooks and burned. What did Metro learn in its partnership with Agilyx? Why did Metro stop pursuing a plan to buy and use an Agylix Generation 6 after, permitting and running a Generation 5, retiring the 5 with the plan to run the 6 24 hours a day? I sent an e-mail to ted Wheeler and city council members. I received a response from Wheeler's office; Wheeler did not know about Agilyx, or Metro's relationship with Agilyx. Ted Wheeler has an assistant researching the option now.

Rahmana Wiest

S.E. 48th Avenue


Questions fire cause


Regarding the article "Eastmoreland home rocked by 'explosions' and fire" [November BEE], I have a complaint about your statement: "...the cause of the fire was determined to be 'improperly discarded smoking materials'." I understand that this is from the Portland Fire Department, and thus came from their investigation on the night of the fire because they sent no one in the week following to do any further research. Therefore, you should have said: "...the initial cause of the fire..."

Upon a more thorough investigation by the insurance company, the likelihood of problems with the extension cords in the garage was a more likely cause of the fire. This is not good reporting.

Baruch Bashan

via e-mail

EDITOR'S NOTE: It took a week for the determination of the cause of the fire to be announced by the Portland Fire Department – because, as is often explained, it takes time for investigators to reach a decision on the cause of a fire – and sometimes they are not able to determine one at all. In this case, that was the determination; and, in the view of the investigators, that was their final determination. They are probably open to revising that determination if additional evidence is presented to them.

Even more about "that word"


I am writing this after reading all the other letters to the editor, the "Editor's Note", and now the recent letter from J. Stoneking about THE BEE's use of the word thug, and the word thug, in general.

I thought the "Editor's Note" took a defensive stance and argued for old tired standards. It struck me as from someone who doesn't want to change because they don't care if they offend anyone. Then you published the letter from J Stoneking, someone who wants to back up the editor. But doesn't make the editor right.

J Stoneking says as a teacher, she or he thinks conserving the meaning of words is a very important issue. As a teacher, J Stoneking should know that the meaning of words change with time. Far-right media uses the word as a racist dog whistle against blacks, and this is a huge problem with our Democracy right now. This is an infinitely larger problem then adjusting our understanding of how the word thug is used in today's world.

Chris Churchill

Lifetime Sellwood resident

now living in Brentwood Darlington

EDITOR'S NOTE: Reader Churchill evidently has overlooked that after the first two letters we received and published, acquainting us with this alleged new meaning of a word in the dictionary, we responded that we would therefore not be using it anymore, and indeed we haven't – not even when we were able to report that the two extremely violent bandits referred to in that article, months ago, were found, arrested, charged with over one hundred felonies, and were jailed with bail required of over one million dollars each. They certainly did fit the dictionary definition of the word, but we held our tongues – and the only place the apparently newly-offensive word has appeared in THE BEE since the letters began coming several issues ago has been regularly here, in the Letters written to the Editor, and reader Churchill has just done it again!

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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