The Mid-county Memo is your newspaper. We want to hear from you. Discuss an important issue, respond to a request for comment or address a concern you want to call to the attention of the community. Letters to the editor will always be edited for space, grammar and issues of clarity. Please include your full name and identify the neighborhood in which you reside. We prefer e-mailed letters to the editor sent to Darlene Vinson at email@example.com. Please put “Letter to the editor” in the subject line. You may also mail your letter to 3510 N.E. 134th Ave., Portland, OR 97230 or fax it to 503-249-7672. Deadline for the December issue is Sunday, Nov. 15.
Open letter to City of Portland officials
To the Editor:
I am 32 years old. I am married with a four-year-old daughter and two-year-old son. We live in the wonderful neighborhood of Argay Terrace in northeast Portland. When we bought our house two years ago, we were so happy that we were able to afford a house in this neighborhood. As we drove into this neighborhood with our realtor, we could see and feel that this would be an ideal neighborhood to raise our young family.
Now a developer is proposing to build an obtrusive apartment complex right in our backyard where an apartment complex has no business being. Literally, after the apartments are built, the view of Mount St. Helens that we have from our back deck will be replaced with a view of apartments. Our safe and quiet dead-end street will be opened up as the access to these apartments. A street that does not see 100 cars in a month will see that many cars in a day. Apartments will lower the value of our homes, and opening the street will take away from our safety. The fact that safety will be taken away from my children is why I am so passionate about this situation. My husband and I were both taught by our parents that buying a house is one of the best investments you can make. I always believed that, but now I am very discouraged. Between all the theft/destruction of property that goes on and what my neighborhood is facing, I’m beginning to feel that it’s pointless to try to have anything nice.
You may think I am being overly dramatic. However, here is the message city of Portland officials are sending to me: “Yes, work hard. Save your money with the goal of becoming a homeowner. Make that great investment. Spend a large amount of money on investing in a home. Be proud of your investment. Put additional money into your home to raise its value—after all, it’s an investment. Nevertheless, just know that we have the right to take this all away from you. All your hard work, your spent money means nothing. We want apartments in an area where only houses should be built. It is going to lower the value of your investment, your home that you worked so hard for. We can even take away from the safety that you wanted for your children when you chose to buy a house on Northeast Rose Parkway in the Argay Terrace neighborhood. We are the city of Portland, the ‘city that works.’”
As I said, you may think I’m being dramatic. I don’t think so. This whole situation has left me with a very sad feeling. A feeling that it’s all pointless. Why bother trying to have the dream of owning a nice house in a good neighborhood to raise your family? The city can just take it away.
Editor’s note: The developer’s first plan called for single-family homes. When he discovered that required him to construct a full city street connecting to at least one, if not both dead-ends, he opted for apartments.
What’s out there for the kids?
There’s nothing out there for kids to do today. I look around and don’t see anything for young people to do like there used to be. When my kids grew up, there was a bowling alley, an ice rink and plenty of other things for them to do to stay out of trouble. What are they supposed to do today, smoke pot or play football? Not every kid likes sports.
Why aren’t adults and businesses providing more stuff for kids to do these days? There just should be more things for kids to do.