LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Eastmoreland "Historic" vote tactic
I don't think anyone believes the current system for listing on the National Registry is perfect (there really aren't any perfect processes), but what most people do in this country is fix (or try to fix) a process they think is broken and not subvert it, in the process disenfranchising thousands of their neighbors. In this case with the acceptance of the SHPO, 4 households (less than 0.1%) control 70% of the decision. Simple math shows that if you remove their fictional trusts, they didn't have a majority.Derek Blum
Fresh off the historic-district debacle, which tore the neighborhood apart for, it turns out, nothing, the board of directors of the Eastmoreland Neighborhood Association decided to double-down on its practice of exclusion and division. At the annual "meeting of the members," the directors presented new bylaws for approval, but didn't allow debate or amendments, not even on the new and controversial parts that permit ENA committees to conduct business in secret, without notice to the neighborhood. At an earlier meeting of just the directors, Rod Merrick, board president, admonished his colleagues not to succumb to their "democratic leanings" when the bylaws came up on the agenda, and they didn't. The directors also presented a slate of candidates for the board that consists entirely of historic district supporters, even though the district is, by all accounts, less supported than opposed. . . The directors might think they're winning, having connived to stifle all dissent. But, really, they're losing, and so is the neighborhood as a whole. It's not dissent that wrecks a neighborhood association, its alienation and apathy. People stop caring when they don't feel represented, and when they stop caring, they stop contributing. Hopefully, the board will decide, sooner rather than later, to try a little outreach and inclusion for a change, and to focus more on matters of consensus, not disagreement.
I read with fascination your recent story about the "stolen" election regarding the proposed Eastmoreland Historical District. The world "stolen" is mine, but surely it fits: four households stuffed the ballot box. The views of the 2,000 people eligible to file objections were simply unimportant to these four households, who took it upon themselves to put their selfish interests first. There actions may have been legal, but they were not ethical. Their names are public record (I can provide them if you do not have them). Surely, they expected not be caught in the public spotlight when they engaged in such an outrageous tactic.
EDITOR'S NOTE: According to a press release from HEART, the names of those who employed this tactic, which was accepted by state and federal authorities as legal, were:
Patrick Cummings = 1,000 Trusts
Roberta J. Altstadt = 1,000 Trusts
Susan Zeidler and Leo Frishberg = 2,000 Trusts
Andrew Schpak and Erica Hetfeld-Schpak = 1,000 Trusts
As to how one person could count as 1,000 people in this way – well, our own question would be, why someone dividing themselves up into 1,000 trusts would not actually be considered to have a vote of .001 for each trust, with all of those thousand "votes" adding up to one single vote – the individual who engaged in this exercise having thus converted himself or herself into fractions?
Mischief on S.E. 34th
Came home from work – only to pull up and find this [see photo]. Portland police investigated, and no prints obtained. The placard inside indicates this should be parked "on the quad" – and Reed College has found it was theirs and has picked it up. Thankfully, no one hurt, including the joyriders, as they initially tipped it completely over in the driveway. They tried to upright it but it was stuck perched on the wall so they ran off.
Vandal at large
This morning [May 18] at 5:19 a.m. my wife and I heard our gate open. I jumped out of bed to look out the bedroom window to see if someone had mistakenly gone into our back yard. I looked away, and when I looked back, a short (about 5'6") and around 30-year-old black male was bending down and picking up a large rock from our flower bed. I was looking at his back and the top of his head, which looked to have thinning hair. . . and he wore a light earth-tone-like grey or green jacket.
He rushed back through the gate, and a moment later the rock came crashing through our large living room window. By the time I was dressed [enough to go] out the door he was nowhere to be seen, and while I looked for him, my wife called 911. The police came and said they would be on the lookout.
I don't know if he was on foot or driving. This occurred on S.E. 21st near the cross street of Lexington. If anyone saw a man meeting this description that morning, or saw him get into a car and saw the make or color, please let the newspaper and the police know. We've been here [in Sellwood] over two decades, and it's been a great neighborhood. However, things are getting rougher and neighbors need to watch out for each other.
Jay [last name withheld by request]
SellwoodEDITOR'S NOTE: We understand a local business in Sellwood was similarly victimized, during hours when it was open, in the same week.
At least nine pieces of mail I deposited on April 12th at the Sellwood-Moreland Post Office were located within the building and delivered only after I complained on May 15th. I am not the only postal customer affected. My mail included checks to timely pay personal and business income taxes.
Thanks for plant sale success
Editor,The Friends of Woodstock Community Center would like to thank all the Plant Sale donors, plant sorters and labelers, and day-of-sale volunteers (many of whom are the same people), whose combined efforts made our May 12th Plant Sale a rousing success.
The Friends of Woodstock Community Center, an auxiliary subcommittee of the Woodstock Neighborhood Association, is responsible for implementing the Partnership Agreement with Portland Parks that has kept the Community Center open since 2004. The sale raised approximately $5,000 – money that will help us support the continued existence of the Center.
Neighborhood businesses helped as well: Our thanks to Papa Murphy's, Papaccino's and Safeway, for contributing food and beverages to sustain hardworking volunteers, to New Seasons for donating veggie starts from Westwind Nursery, and to Ace Hardware Garden Center and the Portland Nursery for donating sedum flats for filling out the volunteer-crafted hyper tufa planters.
Treasures can be found when neighbors divide, share, or propagate their favorite perennials. Community is nurtured when neighbors exchange knowledge about plants. Thank you, Woodstock friends, near and far, for another successful Plant Sale.
55th CHS Reunion coming
Editor,It doesn't seem possible that it was 55 years ago this month we were preparing for our graduation from Cleveland High School! Now we are planning the 55th class reunion for the CHS Class of 1963. We haven't found some of our classmates, so we hope we can reach some of the missing through THE BEE! The reunion will be on Saturday, August 18, at the Eastmoreland Grill, Eastmoreland Golf Course, 2425 S.E. Bybee Boulevard. Registration and no-host cocktails will begin at 6 p.m., followed by an hors d'oeuvre buffet. We need all members of that class who can come to complete the registration form and send their check, $55 per person, by July 19. For questions, or the registration form, and where to send it and the check, contact Bonnie Lowe – 503/956-8620. We hope to see all our classmates at the reunion in August!
Corrections needed in "Moreland Woods" article
"Friends of Moreland Woods" is a neighborhood group (and an ad-hoc SMILE committee) advocating for the community's vision for the future of [the undeveloped property between the Wilhelm's Portland Memorial mausoleum and Llewellyn Elementary School that we call] Moreland Woods. We are grateful for THE BEE's coverage of this issue, and would like offer two corrections to the article in your May issue.
First, because Moreland Woods lies on private property, at this time there can be no definitive plans for any potential use of it by the public. We have just begun active discussions with Foundation Partners Group (FPG), the Florida firm that purchased the property in 2017, to determine if a mutually beneficial agreement for the Woods' future use – one that satisfies the community's needs as well as those of FPG – can be found. On April 24, we met with their representatives for the first time to discuss options moving forward.
Second, because of this, as grateful as we are to Mark Lakeman for his generous offer to develop a charrette of options for the space, we are not at that point yet. If Friends of Moreland Woods and FPG can reach an agreement, we intend to take Mark up on it. We are committed to remaining engaged in the process in order to advocate for the neighborhood, but it will take time for all parties to come to an agreement that is truly a "win-win" for both.
As the project proceeds, we will post new developments online – www.morelandwoods.org – and we invite community members to help with fundraising, legal and real estate issues, events management, and other aspects. Together we will seek to fulfill the community's vision for what Moreland Woods could become so that future generations can continue to enjoy this majestic, quiet, natural place.
Ann Scott, Amrita Vatsal, Corinne Stefanik, Liz Milner, Colin Berry, Nanci Champlin, Lise Petrauskas, and Susan SchenThe Friends of Moreland Woods Committee
All letters to the editor are subject to editing for clarity and available space, and all letters become property of THE BEE.