LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Activate that crossing signal
What is up with the crosswalk at 19th and Bybee? It was put in 2.5 months ago, and the lights still aren't working. Very disappointing.
S.E. 22nd Avenue
Courtesy of Scott Kelly, Chair of the SMILE Transportation Committee, THE BEE has the answer from the Portland Department of Transportation, provided by Winston Sandino to committee member Will Henderson:
"I completely share your frustration, as I also want to get this project done. Unfortunately, there are only two companies for the entire state of Oregon that can do striping and, as you may know, they are extremely busy. They could not do the striping [in late May] and now there is a moratorium for two weeks for the Rose Parade. They have it scheduled to do it the 25th, 26th and the 27th of June, unless there is a cancellation – then they could do it the 18th. At this point, that's all I can say, but as soon as we have the striping, we will turn on the flashing beacons."
Winston Sandino, PMP
PBOT Capital Project Manager
More on Eastmoreland Historic District
Editor,Derek Blum and his wife decided last month to sue the State over its conclusion that Eastmoreland didn't meet the requirements for listing on the national register of historic places. Eleven months earlier, Derek published a letter in this paper, urging everyone in the neighborhood to "accept" and "respect" the impending outcome of the State's "comprehensive process" for assessing historic-district nominations, however it turned out, "[a]pproved or denied." He also said that he was "troubled by the active legal action [then] underway against the State," filed by an HD opponent, and what he saw as "threats of additional lawsuits." And he decried the willingness of what he called "well-heeled and well-connected individuals" to "drag our community into a drawn out legal process" that "will only delay or irreparably harm our healing process, not to mention cost[ing] a whole lot of money to individuals and taxpayers."
Since Blum published those comments, the State has determined that a majority of affected property owners, as defined by state law, oppose an historic district in Eastmoreland, a finding that should prevent the National Park Service from creating one there. But, instead of accepting and respecting that outcome, as he admonished everyone else, Derek is now bringing his own lawsuit to try to overturn it.Apparently, he's now willing to do what he warned us against before: Drag our community into a "drawn-out legal process" and delay the "healing process" that so many of us are hoping for. I wish he would have kept his own counsel.
In the June issue of this newspaper in Letters to the Editor, Tom Christ complains that the ENA board did not allow for debate and amendments regarding the new bylaws at the annual meeting in May. Where has he been?
The Bylaws Committee began meeting in January and spent countless hours revising our antiquated bylaws. There was discussion regarding the process and changes at board meetings in February, March and April. Neighbors were asked to submit their comments for review on both Facebook and the ENA website as well as in the Spring ENA newsletter. In other words, there was plenty of opportunity for neighbors to weigh in on the proposed changes and to offer their suggestions. As for amending the bylaws at the annual meeting – how can that happen if they haven't been passed? This is all moot since the bylaws did not receive the 2/3 vote needed for passage. I'm sure Mr. Christ will have plenty of opportunity to offer his suggestions in the coming year.
As for the election of board members – once again Mr. Christ complains that only proponents of the historic district were put forward on the ballot although the "neighborhood is less supported than opposed." Mr. Christ is wrong on two accounts here. The process of nomination of board members is open to all members of the Eastmoreland neighborhood as evidenced by the fact that two opponents of the HD were on the ballot this year and over ten opponents were on the ballot last year. None of them won. And, secondly, 5,000 bogus opposition trusts filed by four families do not count as a representation of the will of the neighborhood. What it represents is that four families feel their interest to oppose the historic district is more important than the desire of the 2,000 families who live here.
I think Mr. Christ may be the pot calling the kettle black – maybe he's the one that should begin focusing on matters of consensus rather than disagreement.
Harassed at construction site
I wanted to share a harassment situation I just experienced as I walked by a demolished home/new build site at 7516 S.E. 39th (across from Holy Family), in hopes other women who may run or walk this route by themselves can be made aware.
I am a woman who lives in this neighborhood and walk by this construction zone each day to walk my blind, ancient dog. I now feel totally unsafe going past there on my own and will need to alter my route due to the owner of this business and his two employees yelling at me and harassing me as we slowly walked by – all because someone else in the world buys the same type of dog poop bag and happened to have lost theirs at the edge of the sidewalk at the construction site. He asked me if it was mine, and I said no, it wasn't. It was about 15 feet behind me, and I guess he expected me to drag my old, blind dog back to pick up someone else's litter.
He then proceeded to point out it was the same type of bag I had so it obviously had to be mine – and I said that I brought exactly one bag that was now in use, and showed him the full bag. Then he told me not to litter anymore and I said he didn't need to lecture me – I was not the type of person who litters – at which point he started yelling that I obviously am a litterer, and just kept yelling – and his employees I believe joined in, as I tried to get away from them as briskly as I could with my very slow dog.
This is not the type of experience that leaves me feeling comfortable in my own neighborhood – having to walk by verbally abusive people.
(Name disclosed to THE BEE; withheld by request)
EDITOR'S NOTE: It is astonishing that if this reader had been holding a full dog waste bag, someone would think another one on the ground nearby would be hers too! Why would you pick one up and not the other, then? This does bring up a point made in previous letters, however – that some folks carry a bag for this purpose, fill and close the bag, and then drop it on somebody else's property or even put it in somebody else's bin. And then somehow feel virtuous for having picked it up before littering with it! We found one of these in our yard debris bin recently on collection day – which broke the rules for yard debris in two ways (plastic bags and pet waste are both prohibited in that bin; both go only in the garbage can). Fortunately we found it and moved it to our garbage can before the collection truck came by – it would have been within the rules for our bin not to be collected that week because of that bag. To those who litter this way, we urge that when you pick pet waste up (good for you) and put it into a sealed bag (good for you), you should take it home and put it in your own garbage can. It's the mark of a responsible pet owner. And if you are one – good for you!
Postal mishap mutual
I read with outrage Bill Henderson's letter [June BEE] about the Sellwood-Westmoreland Post Office failing to deliver mail [on April 12]. Bill's statement is correct: he's not the only one affected. I, too, dropped off my checks to the various government taxing agencies on April 12. I always drop off important mail in the post office lobby, thinking that it's the safest, most secure, way for my tax payments and other important mail to be sent. The US Post Office not only needs to issue an apology for their incompetence, but also a signed letter to all whose mail sat there undelivered for a month. This occurred at the worst possible time, when people are mailing their tax returns just ahead of the deadline. I'm now on the hook for $212 for state and federal interest penalties. You bet I'm mad.
S.E. Cesar E Chavez Blvd
EDITOR'S NOTE: Mr. Henderson determined that the post office had stamped a courtesy cancellation, with the April 12 date, on all the affected envelopes, before the mail in the misplaced collection bin was sent downtown for the official later cancellation and mailing. Thus, any agency seeking a penalty for delayed payment should be advised to closely examine the envelope in which the payment was received – for the courtesy postmark showing that it had indeed been mailed before the deadline.
All letters to the editor are subject to editing for clarity and available space, and all letters become property of THE BEE.