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 are edited for space, style, grammar and 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. Deadline for the July issue is Wednesday, June 15.

Paper invaluable to reader

To the Editor:

Why read the Mid-county Memo? For more than 25 years I’ve received a copy of the Memo in my mailbox, and since I have a basic curiosity about things, I read it. My reasons: it shows up every month, it’s free and it only takes a few minutes to thumb through. So, why not? What amazes me is how many of my neighbors don’t bother. If they are waiting for The Oregonian, the Portland Tribune, Willamette Week or any of our four local TV stations to tell them about what is happening in any community in east Portland, they’ll have a long wait. Gone are the “east Portland bureaus” and the assigned reporters. Here to stay are the easy stories, what’s “trending” on social media, pretaped national stories and the carefully staged events of organizations and local government designed specifically to provide the needed one- or two-minute sound bite to fill in between commercials. Ever notice how often a TV reporter is interviewing a “spokesperson” and not the actual public official or business executive? How often do you see any meaningful reporting on your neighborhood, compared to those of the inner city where most of the news people live?

The Memo bills itself as a “community newspaper,” and that is exactly what it is. Its readership area is much like a small town, and the Memo functions much like a small-town newspaper would, reporting on school events, new businesses, retirements, community events, restaurant ratings and more. It is supported by businesses within its community, many owned by neighborhood residents. The ads are from businesses that local residents are likely to (or maybe should be) patronizing. Published once a month, the Memo has to meet a deadline not defined in hours but in days, allowing to dig a little deeper and wait for a reply.

In my own experience over the last three years dealing with some serious concerns in my own neighborhood, the reporting of the Memo has reached more of our neighborhood residents than any other means we could use and has resulted in an unprecedented response from our neighbors—a level of response that could not be ignored by city officials. It took the response of my neighbors to get those changes made, but it would not have been possible without the careful and accurate articles in the Memo. This is a type of community-focused reporting that can only come from a “community newspaper,” and it makes a difference.

So, to Tim Curran and staff, thanks for all you have done and keep up the good work. I’ll be reading.

Al Brown

Argay Terrace resident and AT Neighborhood Association Land-Use Chair