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The Letters to the Editor is where BEE readers share their perspectives and their observations of Southeast Portland

Thankful to be alive after hit-and-run

Editor,

This is Lana Keane, with her two broken wrists; she has a lot of metal in her right arm now. The photo was taken by a friend.I was struck by a driver who drove away from the scene. A hit and run by a reckless inattentive driver, who not only was driving far too fast, but ran a Stop sign, and then drove away after she hit my desperate outstretched hand, breaking my wrist from the impact. She stopped just in time to avoid giving me a worse fate – ultimately only tapping my hand. But that was enough. I broke my second wrist [in this accident], just over three weeks after my first break from a hiking fall. It all happened on the morning of Wednesday, September 29. I was walking with my girlfriend at 6:30 a.m. when a Mini Cooper, in British Racing Green, came roaring Northbound on S.E. 32nd – running the stop sign at Woodstock where we were crossing, and heading East. The stunned woman [driver] with short brownish-red(?) hair was probably in her 70s (I'd guess, because those Minis are fish bowls, and her image is stained in my brain). She stared, hesitated, contemplated doing the right thing after so much wrong, and asked if I was okay. I was bent down cradling my arm with my splinted other after rushing back to the sidewalk, and when she heard that I WASN'T okay from my friend, she slowly drove away, turning West onto Woodstock. She for a moment wanted to care, but then shocked us when she drove away. She just drove away after running a stop sign and hitting me. She continued to do the wrong thing, and to flee from her mistake. She continued to show gross negligence and disregard for her fellow humans. I'd already just had wrist surgery – plates and pins – and now I will have matching hardware in my dominant right wrist, due to this driver. I will continue to struggle caring for my 3, 7, and 9 year olds with two broken wrists. I will continue to find new challenges as I try to care for even myself with limited use of two hands, because I went for a morning walk and met the wrong driver at the wrong time. Was she looking at her phone, fiddling with the radio? Hard to know, since she hit me and then drove away. Had my girlfriend not started screaming "watch out", would the driver even have looked up to stop? If it had been just a second before or after could we both have been missed, or both hit and killed? Shame on you lady. I hope you can't sleep at night either. And to the rest of my neighbors, please watch out! Be safe and aware! There is cruelty and denial in some people that continues to shock. But in all of you who have stepped up, brought me meals, grocery shopped, checked in, carpooled my children, sent flowers (and wine and chocolate and straws!), offered support, and listened to me cry – I see you. I thank you. We are a community of love, and goodness will prevail. Lana Keane via e-mail

Fears dangerous encounters

Editor, As an attendee of the October 6th general meeting of SMILE, the Sellwood-Westmoreland neighborhood Association, I was not surprised to hear residents' concerns about the illegality of homeless tents and vehicles, an assault on a resident, the lack of support for the mentally ill in the city, and the overwhelming increasing numbers of the homeless. One attendee stated it was unfathomable that residents were tasked with addressing the critical emergency of these issues, as it is truly the responsibility of our elected officials in the city, county, and state in which we live. I stated the fear I feel walking alone in Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge, where I either hear angry blood-curdling outbursts (also heard while riding my bike on the Springwater Corridor), or see mentally ill men on that trail while I am walking alone, which terrifies me as a 69 year old woman. The ever-growing encroaching cars lined up on the road to the Oaks Amusement Park, and the growing homeless camp in in the parking lot in Westmoreland Park make walking a fearful experience if you are a woman alone. Training programs such as Neighbors Together may be a start to get people together, but we need to demand and hold accountable our elected officials, commissioners, and county politicians to fund long-term support services for the mentally ill and the drug dependent; and, for homeless people, to provide housing, and end illegal camping and illegal living in vehicles. I have yet to see more "park rangers", as we were promised by the Mayor. Public safety seems to have gone by the wayside in this neighborhood and this city. Juliana James

S.E. 15th Avenue

"Trees vs. Deregulation?"

Editor, In response to Tim DuBois' letter in the October BEE, "Contests the idea of saving that tree," the lengthy argument for home density is a straw man, while deregulation is anything but a magic bullet. First of all, Oregon's Urban Growth Boundary, a forward-looking regulation enacted in 2007 and periodically updated, has been working very well in fulfilling its mission to protect farms and forests from unregulated urban development encroachment. Regulations that favor the rich allow wealthy corporations like Renaissance Custom Homes, "to overcome . . . government regulation" by taking out trees under 35 inches in diameter or paying for every inch over 35 to take trees down so that it can maximize its profits by building as many high-end homes as possible on its acquired properties. Getting rid of every tree in the way of another home is not environmental stewardship; it is pure greed. Deregulation, a favored anti-government stance, allows rich development corporations to gain even more power to increase the disparity between rich and poor, to further segregate rich and poor communities, and to disregard the natural environment within the urban growth boundary in favor of the most dense development priorities. Meanwhile, dense apartment complexes, plus new tiny homes, and other intentional new communities, are already being built as quickly as possible to accommodate lower income people and homeless individuals. Let us, indeed, "begin to tackle our most pressing problems" that include mitigating climate change (preserving and planting trees, transitioning to renewable energy sources, etc.), achieving full vaccination status, and providing affordable healthcare and economic opportunities for all. Roberta Badger-Cain

S.E. Schiller Street NOTE TO READERS: Clearly, TriMet read our editorial in the October BEE discussing the need eventually to build the long-promised MAX Harold Street Station (or else to restore the previous pre-MAX ample downtown service by bus) for north Westmoreland, where so many apartments have now been built because of the zoning change TriMet asked for in the 1990's as a prelude to offering light rail service there. We know they saw the editorial, because the link we provided to the TriMet webpage promising to build the station when the time is right – a page which had been on the Internet for over a decade – immediately after publication turned into, "Oops! We can't find that page. Sorry, the page you're looking for has moved or is no longer available." That does not bode well for any improvement in the marked lack of downtown transit service in north Westmoreland, but we will continue to hope.

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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