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, style, 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 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 June issue is Sunday, May 15.

Bureaucrats, bike lanes foolish

To the Editor:

Regarding the current cover article “Changes threaten neighborhood livability” (MCM, April 2016), there’s nothing like a city commissioner telling folks how it really is. On page 7 of the April edition of the Mid-county Memo, commissioner Dan Saltzman is quoted as saying, “It’s their (BPS staff) job to make recommendations and ultimately council’s job to make the decision.” In other words, you (neighborhood association) can tell us your needs and concerns, but in the end we (city council) are going to do what we want, no matter who or what organization (BPS staff) says otherwise. This hubris coming from a guy whose family business regularly conflicts with his job as a Portland city commissioner, causing him to have the highest absentee rate of the city council. Guess what, Mr. Saltzman? You can and will be voted out.

In the same issue, I have to agree with Brad Fouts, owner of Bradford’s Sports Bar and other businesses along Northeast Halsey east of 102nd, regarding the PDC and PBOT proposal to add a bike lane on a main thoroughfare. This will hurt their business by eliminating street parking and further congesting a major route home for weary commuters, all to accommodate a handful of bike riders (“Bike lanes blow out business’ parking” MCM April, 2016). According to Fouts, he has counted three to five “legitimate bikers” a day that travel the Halsey route. The rest are drug dealers.

When dealing with City Hall, PDC or PBOT, don’t confuse issues with common sense and logic: they’re noticeably scarce in those public entities. The city’s ongoing war against people using cars for primary transportation is adding more bike lanes, turning two-lane streets into a ridiculous one-lane and lowering the speed to 25 mph, thereby creating even more gridlock. Might as well shut down the Gateway-Halsey corridor completely and turn it into an “Alice in Wonderland” amusement park. What stubborn fools we have for “leaders”!

Marvin Thiessen
Sumner resident

Save Argay Park’s holly trees

To the Editor:

Anyone wonder why the Argay Terrace neighborhood has two holly leaves in its logo?

Well, until about 1961 the land between Northeast Sandy Blvd. and I-84 from about 135th to 142nd was a holly orchard that shipped cut holly all over the world. It operated 24/7 from Halloween through Thanksgiving, with cutting by day and packing by night.

The Portland Parks Bureau wants to remove the trees by the Argay Park Tennis Courts.

Their argument is that they are invasive. Only female English holly is invasive, not the row of beautiful, sterile variegated-leaf trees that grow in the back by the tennis court fence. Their argument is that bad people can hide in them. All the lower branches were removed years ago. If a few suckers pop, they can be cut with garden shears.

Contact Portland Parks to save Argay’s history:;

We did not pass the park’s bond to have our sense of place removed.

Paulette Rossi
Argay Terrace resident

Candidate forum dispensed good info

To the editor:

Congratulations to the Argay Terrace Neighborhood Association (ATNA) for a well-planned, well-executed City Commissioner Candidates Forum held April 19. Because ATNA had solicited questions from the public in advance and could carefully word the questions asked, a wider range of topics could be covered and candidates’ responses were kept focused within a short timeframe. I got a better understanding of each candidate because I could observe who answered questions directly and who digressed or completely ignored a question; who catered to the “emergency of the moment” with suggestions that we invite people to camp in our back yard, add rooms or subdivide our home to provide more housing, and who suggested a “tax cut” for personally housing homeless. We heard their position on Arts Tax, gas tax and various other suggested taxes as additional sources of income for the city. We heard opinions on police department staffing/funding/performance; whether planners should first become personally familiar with neighborhoods before submitting specific recommendations that adversely affect businesses and residents; whether city funds/grants are wisely handled, as well as other pertinent subjects. This is the most informative forum I’ve ever attended. One learns so much more from observing candidates rather than relying on a written statement. My thanks to the ATNA board members for this carefully planned event.

Valerie Curry
Argay Terrace resident