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ECO-Thoughts: Piles of Foodday leave bad taste in neighborhood

by: COURTESY PHOTO - Plastic bags with the free weekly Foodday advertising section litter the ground in Terry Nelsons Buckman neighborhood.The Oregonian newspaper’s weekly free Foodday has been littered throughout our Buckman neighborhood for years. Mostly on the stairs and sidewalks of our homes.

In a continued effort to stop this litter, I left messages for the Foodday distribution manager for five continuous weeks beginning Nov. 28, 2013. He never responded to my repeated requests to chat about their distribution methods/practices.

After being ignored by The Oregonian for six weeks, I then contacted Resolutions Northwest, a local neighborhood mediation service, in an effort to coax The Oregonian to discuss the littering of their product. The Oregonian never responded to Resolutions Northwest either.

Avoidance of this issue is clearly The Oregonian’s business model.

Weekly littering on our sidewalks is an annoyance and is unsafe. Homes that are vacant have these weekly papers stack up, inviting break-ins and vandalism. The plastic bags that The Oregonian uses are slippery and are a slip hazard to pedestrians when wet.

Pedestrians slipping and harming themselves near my property on such items intended for my address open up liability exposure to me. Additionally, it’s offensive and unwanted litter from the state’s oldest corporation. Why would they hide their reasoning about this dirty method if it were a reasonable and respectable practice?

If The Oregonian would have ever replied to me, I’d have wanted to learn the following:

1. What local regulation grants them authority to distribute commercial advertisements on city sidewalks? Would Pizza Hut be allowed the same?

2. What is The Oregonian’s official position about their distribution method?

3. Is The Oregonian aware of the community’s opposition to this method?

Is The Oregonian genuinely dedicated to a clean environment? Or not so much when there is a buck to be made?

Terry Nelson lives in the Buckman neighborhood of Southeast Portland.

Editor’s note: Sustainable Life invited management at The Oregonian to respond to this essay but they declined.

EcoThoughts are thought-provoking essays on the environment written by readers.

If you have one to propose, contact Sustainable Life editor Steve Law at stevelaw@

portlandtribune.com.