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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

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THE BEE's readers generated one of our most action-packed Letters column ever, this month

Invasive plant still a problem in Southeast

Editor,

COURTESY OF JIM WYGANT - You really dont want invasive Lesser Celandine (shown) in - or anywhere near - your yard!A warning to neighbors in Inner Southeast. It's spring and Lesser Celandine is bursting out all over. That cute ground cover that looks like a charming version of a buttercup is actually on the hit list of the City of Portland and the Oregon Department of Agriculture.

This plant with its appealing yellow flowers has been categorized as an invasive species in Oregon and in at least eight other states. It can be found in at least 19 states, most of them on the east coast or in the mid-west.

Unaware Portlanders have innocently let it spread as a ground cover until it crowds out everything else that grows – grass, other weeds, even English Ivy (another invasive species). While noxious weeds like Lesser Celandine are unavailable in local nurseries, starts are still offered to unwary gardeners via the Internet! But in Portland the starts are mostly volunteers. Anyone who has a volunteer startup of Lesser Celandine will quickly discover that it does not need any encouragement to spread relentlessly – into neighbors' yards, and anyplace else where seeds can drift, by wind or by water, or where the small tubers or bulblets in the root system have gotten mixed in with compost.

While the plant is attractive during its bloom season, it disappears as spring progresses into summer. Where the plant once thrived, only bare ground remains. Unfortunately the underground bulblets insure that it will return the following year.

Public agencies will not remove it from private property, so any homeowners who have a dose of Lesser Celandine must remove it [dig it out] themselves. And the City reports that there is no known chemical that will remove it sufficiently to keep it from returning.

Jim Wygant

S.E. Reed College Place

About "Affordable Housing" and no on-site parking

Editor, I find it disheartening when I continue to read articles about developers looking to purchase "once businesses" or housing lots and hide behind the "want to build affordable housing". What's affordable is subjective and I would bet that the rents at this proposed location will be anything but affordable. Hiding behind the "affordable term" is quite frankly a poor joke. Let's be honest and frank here. Developers rip down and build structures to make money with little concern of making anything affordable especially in housing. Is this new proposed 54 unit project for low income housing? If so I would be happy to send in a retraction and apology to the developer, however, I don't believe I'll have to do this. Putting a 54 unit project into an already scarce parking neighborhood only makes it worse on the neighborhood.

[I understand that] having a home in a multi-use area you are subject to combined usage but businesses normally have parking and bring something into the neighborhoods. I would hope The Bee would stop allocating such space in their newspaper with articles such as these that promote developers and "affordable housing" mantra. Let's face the facts, Portland is a great place to live but it's anything but "affordable" for most and the City Council needs to take a different look at how big they want our City to become. More tax revenue for the City via property taxes without regard to neighborhoods and approving developer projects such as this one that hide behind the term "affordable housing" needs to stop.

Mark Chan

via e-mail

Editor,

I support affordable housing and homeless shelters and I agree with many officials who say that income inequality has made it difficult for middle and lower class Portlanders to afford housing. This is a shared problem in our city and I propose a shared solution that does not increase the income disparity. Every neighborhood in Portland could have 5% of the neighborhood property set aside for tasteful, high density, affordable housing, and a homeless shelter. If it is a societal problem shouldn't it be a shared burden?

It appears to me that middle class and lower middle class neighborhoods have been chosen by the city and county to shoulder societal responsibilities while the wealthy neighborhoods increase in property values (with convenient street parking and public safety) and are allowed to shirk their civic obligations. Yes, property is more expensive in wealthy neighborhoods for public purchase, but is that an adequate excuse for decreasing the property values in my neighborhood? Who benefits from this disparity?

We can make our voices heard; I learned that at the women's march. Please call the mayor and city council and hold them accountable for equitable city planning.

Elizabeth Luthy

via e-mail

Not the first – but still very special

Editor, I read the letter from readers Mr. & Mrs Lee on their son's admission to U.S. Air Force Academy. Congratulations to Harper Lee, in a very proud moment for the family. One error, however, is that Harper is not the first Cleveland alum admitted to that particular military academy. Our son, Eric Anderson, a 2001 Cleveland grad, also went to USAFA. In fact there were two from Cleveland in 2001: Kelly Mahar was also a USAFA cadet. It's a great honor, and recognition of very hard work, even if you're not the first!

Jon and Joan Anderson

via e-mail

Local Taekwon-do school's students excel

Editor, Over 30 students from Kim's Taekwon-do in Sellwood and Portland attended the 33rd annual championship tournament in Boise, Iaho. Contestants from around the greater Northwest attended this popular event. This year we brought home both the men's and women's Grand Champion trophies and numerous metals! Master Robert Secord was the defending champion, and held onto his title. Ngan Vo won the women's title. Both are students of mine at the Sellwood Studio. Ms. Vo instructs at the studio, and Master Secord teaches at Club Sport in Lake Oswego and in the Montavilla neighborhood. Congratulations to all the students who attended this year! Local area kids who attended: Travis and Taylor Osgood, Bennett Thomason, CJ Harrison, Orion Souders, Tyler and Aiden Carter.

Master Cynthia Brown

Kim's Taekwon do, LLC www.kimstkdportland.com

About April BEE editorial

Editor, I just wanted? to say thank you for your recent article about getting a handle on the homelessness? situation. People need to stop being so PC about the real problems it has created in our community. Growing up here there has always been an element of homelessness, but mostly the first two groups/types of situations. The mental health and addiction backed homeless that seems to be multiplied every day here needs to be dealt with, legally and unapologetically. I don't feel comfortable taking my children around town and to parks. Let's start some educated and honest conversations.

Michelle Welsh

via e-mail

Editor,

Regarding Homeless in Portland or anywhere: it is sad issue. I have lived in several places and it is the same everywhere. Cities act as if they have no solutions. However, we are a nation of leader[s] and visionaries.

In May 2008, I was invited to attend a Parent Voices Conference in Sacramento, CA. I represented 3 counties in California: Shasta, Trinity, and Siskiyou. We were to discuss budget cuts, and try to save funding for medical fragile children. Several things were discussed and I watched the budget get cut for respite for severe medically fragile children and the court ordered payees, a program for people who could not help themselves. A form of this bill passed in all States, because it was federal and state funding. [This] cut [the] California budget by just $350,000. For respite and court ordered payees they crippled many poor populations. But, to the taxpayer the budget got balanced, no one asked what or who suffered from the cuts.

Now, to make this worse than it already is. The counties are now suffering with increased law enforcement issues and ER visits. So to compensate them, a deal was made.

All benefits that the [recipients] do not use, in 3 months go back to the cities where they reside. Now, most don't even know their PIN number for their food stamps, or a family member or friends are stealing them. Also, all other benefits after 3 months, including but not limited to their VA benefits, are taken back. This should be criminal. The VA tries to find their vets (I called) – they send written notices! I truly wonder how they are going to find vets with brain damage who are homeless to let them know we are going to take all your benefits because you are not using them.

The solution is clear, it just made me ill to hear we have no or limited solutions. In one city, homeless was illegal until 2008 than they had no housing, so mothers and kids would be in big trouble if they lived on the streets, now this city changed the law, to say "it's OK to live on the streets with children." It is so sad to see, many times I would see children in freezing weather or 110 [degrees] out in their cars trying to get ready for school. So. . .cities and states profit from a problem no one can fix. Our leaders should be ashamed of themselves. Profitability. So many agencies have gotten a lot of money for the homeless population. I feel they stole it.

Terrie Martin

via e-mail Editor,

Thank you for the insightful editorial: "Getting a handle on the homelessness issue" (April 2017 edition). Although THE BEE is bound to receive some criticism about the editorial, if a poll were taken I'm fairly certain most residents would agree with the editor's thoughts on this issue. On a related note, regarding members of the homeless population who suffer from severe mental illness (approx. 30% according to some estimates) it's time that federal, state, and local governments acknowledge that the "deinstitutionalization" programs which began in the 60's have been a complete failure. There has to be a better way.

Barry Emmerling

Sellwood-Moreland

Demonstration above Powell Blvd each "fourth Saturday"

Editor, Every 4th Saturday since November 8th, members of 350PDX and SW HOPE have been participating in a street side Vigil Against Bigotry and to Save the Earth on Multnomah Boulevard across from Marco's Cafe. In March, a second group from 350PDX began their own monthly vigil in Southeast Portland on the pedestrian bridge above S.E. Powell Boulevard and 9th Avenue.

The vigils begin at Noon and end at 1:30. There are usually 9-12 people at each site. The public is welcome to join at any time during the vigils. The Southwest group estimates 2,000 cars pass during the hour and a half, and the Southeast group estimates over 3,600 cars pass. They are met with honks of approval, thumbs up, victory, blown kisses, peace signs and, every once in a while, thumbs down.

Mark McLeod of the SE 350 Team says, "We decided to create signs and conduct a 90-minute vigil on a pedestrian bridge high above a heavily traveled Oregon State Highway because we knew it would be fun and a good way to get 5,000 people to think for at least a few moments about climate justice."

They are there to remind people that clean air, clean water, and renewable energy are worth fighting for and that bigotry is not acceptable. Glenna Hayes and Eileen Fromer via e-mail

BEE crossword reaches far corners of world

Editor,

BEE crossword puzzles provide entertainment in Asia - by flashlight!I was in a remote region of Burma (Myanmar) researching environmental issues, and the mountain town where I was staying lacked electricity. Luckily I had brought with me a few of the pretty challenging BEE crosswords, so I spent some evenings solving them by flashlight. Thanks for the low tech way to pass the down time!

The Burma environmental report I produced is "Unsheltered Heights", and can be seen online – www.projectmaje.org

Edith Mirante

Sellwood author

Opposes Eastmoreland "Historical District"

Editor,

An HD will undoubtedly have many intended and unintended consequences for the affected district, but also on the community at large. You can't stop progress by pulling up the drawbridge and receding into your fortress.

Lots of people from East County come through this neighborhood daily to park their car on 27th and take MAX to their job downtown. They can't afford the $800K 1926 fixer that the ENA is trying so desperately to save, even though it may sit on the market for 6 months+ because no one wants to take on the $300-400K of repairs to make the place functional and safe to live in. Case in point is the latest ENA poster child house on SE 30th. Rather, a savvy buyer might take that same million $plus and buy one of Sabastian's Leeds platinum certified new houses and save the construction headaches and the ongoing repair bills. . .

Until the ENA and their HD supporters pull out their checkbooks and buy these tired homes, fix them up and keep them as rentals or resell them at whatever price the market will bear, please save me the hypocrisy that every EC house must be saved. Some should. Others not. The fact remains that families do buy the houses that can be remodeled to fit their needs. Not many go to developers.

I remodeled my house long before the HD issue arose. . . So did most of . . . pro HD neighbors. The remodel list is long on both sides of the issue, but with this important fact: None of us needed to ask permission and pay extra fees beyond zoning and permits to do so.

The rub is the pro HD side wants to limit what other neighbors can do with their homes in the future. That is disingenuous. It is unfair. It is wrong. ENA and Heart try to justify their position by the blanket statement "we must stop developers from leveling our neighborhood". That is hyperbole and fear mongering. The numbers do not bear out their position.

Chris Blattner Eastmoreland Editor,

Be careful what you wish for. Many people support the historic district ("HD") because they falsely hope that the HD will stop demolitions and higher density housing. Ironically, the HD will more likely stimulate higher density housing than stop it. Higher density housing includes duplexes and triplexes. The residential infill project ("RIP") allows new RIP-scaled, single-family houses and higher density housing; RIP does NOT mandate higher density housing. The HD and RIP are NOT an either/or proposition. If the HD goes into effect, Eastmoreland will get both RIP and the HD, with the HD overlaying RIP (RIP+HD).

A goal of RIP is higher density housing; the goal of the HD is preservation. These goals will conflict when a person wants to demolish a "contributing" single-family house ("SFH") and replace it with higher density housing. This conflict – higher density housing vs. preservation – will be resolved by the city council as part of a Type IV demolition review. If the city council favors higher density housing over preservation, a person will be allowed to demolish a "contributing" SFH and replace it with higher density housing. While this higher density housing replacement violates the HD's goal of preservation, it furthers RIP's goal of higher density housing.

In contrast, these goals -- higher density housing and preservation – will align to stop a person from demolishing a "contributing" SFH and replacing it with a new RIP-scaled SFH (1-for-1 replacement). This 1-for-1 replacement violates the HD's goal of preservation and does NOT further RIP's goal of higher density housing.

The unintended effect of the HD is to DISALLOW a new RIP-scaled SFH replacement for a demolished "contributing" SFH (1-for-1 replacement), but ALLOW new higher density housing as a replacement. This will more likely spark higher density housing than prevent it.

It should be noted that a "non-contributing" house may be demolished and replaced with a RIP-scaled SFH or higher density housing. In any event, a Type IV demolition review is NOT required for a demolition of a "non-contributing" house.

The HD is the wrong solution if a person fears higher density housing. A better solution is to form and fund a legal entity that can purchase vulnerable single-family houses, renovate them as deemed appropriate for historic preservation, and then sell them at cost or slightly more than cost. Preservation is the goal, NOT profit.

David B. Brownhill

Attorney and LL.M. in Taxation via e-mail Editor, It's official: The Eastmoreland Neighborhood Association no longer represents the Eastmoreland neighborhood. The association lost all credibility March 16 when the ENA board rejected the majority vote in the neighborhood survey that the ENA itself organized, promoted and commissioned. The vote was 702 against and 666 in favor of the historic designation. Board members publicly stated over the past seven months that they would abide by the majority vote in their own survey. Silly us, we actually believed them.

Chris and Mary Gay Broderick Eastmoreland

Supports Eastmoreland "Historical District"

Editor,

I am concerned that the current intent of the Eastmoreland anti-historic-district group appears to be to put their people on the ENA Board with the single mission of cancelling the historic district. If that happens, ENA as a neighborhood organization is likely to be destroyed. I cannot imagine that one-issue candidates for the Board will continue to attend meetings once they have achieved their goal. In that case, failure to establish a quorum at subsequent ENA Board meetings would mean that nothing could be accomplished on any other issue. The broken-heart signs in the neighborhood that ask "Had enough...?" are representative of an ongoing attempt to depict ENA as some kind of evil cabal, rather than what it is – neighbors who have volunteered to do a variety of tasks in service to the neighborhood.

Unfortunately, the pro-historic advocates are not as committed as the anti. On a recent weekend morning the anti supporters were out knocking on doors and leaving door hangers. The pro contingent was nowhere in sight. Maybe it is easier to organize and commit to something we oppose than to support what we favor.

I was on the ENA Board about 30 years ago and also on the controversial neighborhood traffic calming project of that era. But, in my 40 years in Eastmoreland, I have never seen such hostility among neighbors as is occurring now, often supported by misrepresentations conveyed through social media. I would urge anyone who is interested in preserving ENA to either run for a position on the Board, or at least show up for the May 18, 7 p.m., meeting at Reed College's Vollum Auditorium.

This has become a mission to rescue ENA.

Jim Wygant

S.E. Reed College Place Editor,

Tom Brown has recently told me that he will make sure that I will not be reelected to the Eastmoreland Board. No one likes to be bullied, so when the nomination committee asked whether I would like to serve for another three years, I said yes. So, with apologies to all, this is my campaign speech (letter).

I came to Eastmoreland as a Reed student and, absent grad school, have been here ever since. My day job is as an energy economist. I am often active in environmental issues, such as protecting the boreal forests in Quebec and British Columbia. My testimony at the U.S. Senate initiated the Enron trading investigations, and I participated in the prosecution, working for the U.S. Department of Justice. I am active in neighborhood issues on a variety of levels. I have been on the Board since 2008 when I sought to protect the trees and greenspace of Reed College Place. Our mayor of the time, Sam Adams, had abandoned the area – even cutting off the water. We saved the trees, replanted the grass, and raised the money for the neighborhood.

As Eastmoreland's representative, I am Chair of Southeast Uplift, the nonprofit association of twenty Southeast neighborhoods. This has given us the ability to make some much-needed changes to city regulations. City regulations now require delay and notice before demolitions, to allow attempts to save the home and to allow for legally required checks for lead paint and asbestos that can affect neighbor's health. Developers had lobbied the city to allow "no knock" demolitions without delay or notification. In part due to my efforts, we have rewritten the rules to eliminate the loopholes. I serve on the city committee that oversees this process. I was also active on a subcommittee of the city freight committee to implement gas taxes for the owners of the 100,000 heavy trucks in the area, so that road repair costs would not all be borne by small business and homeowners.

I have served on a number of other city committees. In the past few weeks I have spoken to the City Council on tax collection issues in my role as a member of the office and financial management committee, and sent letters to the City Council in support of additional bikeways, and the long-delayed Southeast Portland Community Center as Chair of Southeast Uplift.

I was the primary witness in our successful litigation with the UPRR five years ago, and was instrumental in having environmental restrictions applied to the nearby Union Pacific railyard – the only railyard in Oregon with rules to protect our health. I also helped the neighbors on S.E. Martins protect a stand of Giant Sequoias, and eventually negotiated the settlement with the developer in the mayor's office just hours before these trees were to be felled.

I am an opponent of gentrification – replacing affordable homes with McMansions – for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, the McMansions remove the urban canopy, solar access, and greenspace. Second, elimination of affordable housing is making Portland less diverse, and reducing the opportunity for young families to live in Southeast Portland.

Please attend Eastmoreland's general meeting at Vollum Center at Reed College on May 18th, and do vote. And, as always, feel free to come by and visit, okay?

Robert McCullough

Eastmoreland EDITOR'S NOTE: Although we have this letter in the "pro Historic District" section, because Robert certainly doesn't personally oppose it, we should point out that at the March ENA meeting where the decision had to be made to whether continue to pursue the district application, Robert kept his word to follow the result of the neighborhood poll on the subject – which was pretty evenly split, but with about 30 more "no" votes than "yes" votes – and he voted "no". But he was not in the majority.

Editor,

The "Historic District" designation is simply the only option left to Eastmoreland residents who want to stop property investors from turning sturdy homes built of old-growth timber into rubble, solely in order to exploit the value of the character they are in the process of destroying. But we don't live in isolation, and the charmless, particle-board houses and apartment buildings transforming all of N.E. and S.E. have an adverse effect on everyone's spirits. Instead of pitting preservationists against social justice advocates, both should be fighting to have more influence on what development is going to look like. Is there any reason we can't have stronger renter protections, tiered rents based on income within apartment buildings, and architecture and landscaping that incorporate attractive public spaces? Our closest shopping street, Woodstock Blvd, would be improved by the development of two and three story mixed-use buildings, but if we leave it to profit-seeking developers and city officials dedicated to a radical, sweeping Residential Infill Project, the result will be the kind of anonymous, inhuman buildings already spreading from North Portland to Sellwood. Future generations will look around at their depressing world and ask why we didn't fight for the kind of incremental, thoughtful growth that enriches lives rather than the bank accounts of investors. Katherine Showalter

via e-mail Editor,

I am disgusted by the tone and accusations that have developed in our local historic district controversy in Eastmoreland. Despite the differences in opinion on this matter, a new theme has emerged which is particularly divisive and may threaten reconciliation between neighbors once the dust has cleared. This new theme has been to cast supporters of the historic district as elitists or racists. We've seen these kinds of accusations before from the likes of the Home Builders Association and 1000 Friends of Oregon, but I never thought I'd see the day when my own neighbors in Eastmoreland champion this idea and accuse their own neighbors on the other side of the issue of redlining.

To be clear, these accusations of elitism are not only untrue, but they are not supported by the evidence. Protecting homes from demolition is actually far more likely to prevent development of even less affordable housing than exists today. Eastmoreland is not broadly affordable, but when the most affordable homes in the neighborhood are replaced with even more expensive stock, it leads to further home price escalation and exclusion.

On average, the price of a new home built is over 67% more expensive than the demolished home it replaces. How is the status quo better than protection? You have it very backwards.

So, to my neighbors actively promoting this notion of elitism for the sole purpose of preventing the historic district, please stop. Make your case on the facts, not by creating divisions and name calling. I hope that everyone can agree and will join me in pushing back against this ugly and divisive language that has now entered the debate.

Derek Blum via e-mail Editor, As we all know, the Historic District nomination in Eastmoreland has been a very contentious issue and has created a less-than-friendly environment in the neighborhood. Both sides are passionate about their pro and con opinions and consequently disparaging comments have been made by both sides. This is disconcerting to many of us. When July 8th rolls around, and we have a decision on the Historic District, we have to come together as a community and neighborhood and abide by whatever decision is made. The time to start the healing is now.

For this reason, I find the publishing of the anonymous Letter to the Editor very disturbing. I feel it is totally converse to the healing process. In the letter, the "unnamed author" makes scathing comments regarding members of the ENA Board. I won't go into the details of the comments; I am sure others will reference those. I will comment on the journalistic ethics of Mr. Norberg to print this letter without the author being identified.

This is no way to heal a divided neighborhood. Mr. Norberg, in an Editor's Note on the online version of the April BEE, states that his explanation of the McCullough/"unnamed person" leaflet argument "defused this one acrimonious situation, within the larger contentious issue." It did nothing of the sort. It is a case of talking out of both sides of your mouth, condemning anonymous screeds and then printing anonymous screeds. Please, we need professionalism in journalism. You are well aware of the furor surrounding this issue; let's start restoring peace to our neighborhood by discussing facts and not promoting defamatory attacks.

Beth Warner

via e-mail Editor, I was surprised, bewildered and extremely disappointed that the Bee would publish a frontal attack on four Eastmoreland Neighborhood Association board members by name. The author is gravely mistaken in his/her assertions. I am not a Board member but am a long time Eastmoreland resident who is deeply concerned about protecting the character and historical integrity of our neighborhood. Because of this concern, I began attending ENA land use meetings in the fall of 2014, about three and a half years ago. It is critical for your readers to understand that none of the organizers of the opposition to the historic district (HD) nomination ever got involved in the six-year effort by the ENA and others to find a solution to protect the neighborhood in the face of increasing density pressures. Consequently, their assertions, as outlined in this anonymous letter, lack credibility.

The author's principal contentions are contrary to my observations over the past three and a half years:

Contrary to the author's assertions the ENA, as opposed to those who support speculative demolitions, has supported policies that will preserve the scale and lot coverage of existing homes and thus the smaller, more affordable housing in the neighborhood.

To claim that the policy of the ENA board is to keep "lower income people" out of the neighborhood is a blatant lie. Such irresponsible language is part of the opposition's strategy from the beginning to discredit the ENA, its board and thus the decision to form a historic district. The ENA is not against density per se but against poorly planned density that destroys our sense of history, neighborhood character, greenspace, and livability.

The author states "the LUC Land Use Committee, ignored (or blocked out) all overtures by the City about a potential R7 for Lower Eastmoreland (SE 27th-36th)." This is another blatant lie. I witnessed extensive negotiations with city planning over several years to pursue "truth in zoning". Unfortunately, zoning regulations are opaque as an R7 zone, which historically required a 7,000 sq. ft. lot for a new build single family house now can be as small as 4200 sq. ft. The negotiations with the city attempted to rectify this and to apply the same zone to the entire neighborhood, from 27th to 39th.

Another blatant falsehood is the author's contention that "self interest partly explains why SE Cooper was retained in the HD". The boundary of the HD was determined by AECOM, the consulting firm that specializes in HD nominations. They were hired to determine a defensible boundary, which is what they did.

For the author to claim that Rod and Meg Merrick and Clark Nelson tried to influence the boundary out of self-interest is slanderous. I first met them when I began attending LUC meetings. I can categorically state that there are few Eastmoreland residents who have sacrificed more time and have been more dedicated to the protection of the neighborhood than these three.

Ed Dundon

S.E. Reed College Place

Editor,

I was shocked and disappointed to find that the editor chose to publish an anonymous letter in the April edition of The Bee that was clearly intended to slander me, my husband, and two other Eastmoreland Neighborhood Association board members. The letter was comprised of blatant falsehoods and was a cowardly thing to do.

The basis for all of the ENA Land Use Committee's actions since 2011 has been to protect the character of our neighborhood in the face of speculative demolitions and lot splitting, driven by quick profits for developers. It has never been about keeping people out; to the contrary, unlike those who promote speculative demolitions, we have always sought to keep the most affordable housing that we have.

Anonymous latched on to the density argument because it is in Keep Eastmoreland Free's best interest to spin it as some sort of plot, by us, to discriminate – a particularly painful and effective way to demonize us. We are not against density per se, just against poorly planned density that destroys our sense of history, neighborhood character, greenspace, and livability.

Anonymous' narrative that BPS would have granted Eastmoreland the R7 west of 36th, was never a reality. Yes, we were told it was a possibility but it never went beyond that, and we did discuss other options. It is clear that anonymous' insistence on spreading his own construction of events, is a way to discredit our many-year effort to save the historic character and livability of our neighborhood.

His other assertion that the reason why the historic district encompasses our house is because we wanted it that way, is blatantly false. The consultant determined the boundary; not us. We hired them to use their professional expertise to determine a defensible boundary. That is what they did.

Meg Merrick

S.E. Cooper Street, Eastmoreland EDITOR'S NOTE: To clarify this matter, which seems to have confused several readers – in common with most newspapers, we will not print anonymous letters, but will occasionally [and have in the past] print letters submitted with a request that the name be withheld (as long as the correct name of the writer is known to us). Usually this request arises from fear of personal retaliation for the stated views, although we are unsure of the reason in the current case. As for the letter Ms. Merrick refers to, we understand she may already know the author of the letter, and we are told that the writer has identified himself to the ENA Board as well. After publication, the writer of the letter, an attorney, told us he had changed his mind and had decided to allow having his name on the letter when published – but then had forgotten to tell us so.

Article told of Sellwood resident planning Benson High's centennial

Editor,

Thank you for the BEE article highlighting Benson Polytechnic High School's upcoming centennial celebration, and for bringing attention to the school's unique history, vital mission, recent transitions, and promising future. The Benson Polytechnic High School Alumni Association (BPHSAA) has been enthusiastically planning this all-class "Grand Reunion" in recognition of the school's first century. The festivities will kick off on Friday evening, June 9th, with a meet-and-greet at The Kennedy School. Details and tickets to the weekend's assorted events can be found online: www.bensontechalumni.org

Benson Tech has a proud history of providing Portland Public School students with both a rigorous academic foundation and the career & technical education (CTE) skills necessary to meet the region's workforce growth needs. Benson's CTE programs offer learners the opportunity for authentic, hands-on application while simultaneously developing sought-after workplace competencies. Not only does the school produce graduates who possess marketable CTE, academic, and "soft" skills, but it does so across demographics: 88% of Benson students graduate on time (compared to 75% district-wide), including 92% of African-American students (24 percentage points above the district average) and 93% of Latinx students (28 percentage points higher than PPS as a whole). Furthermore, of the nearly 60% of Benson students who qualify as economically-disadvantaged, 87% graduate on time (versus 67% in Portland Public). Rachael Lizio Katzen Kurynny via e-mail

All letters to the editor are subject to editing for clarity and available space, and all letters become property of THE BEE.