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 October issue is Thursday, Sept. 15.

Citizen’s input gets no respect from city: “Eat the pizza and go home”

To the Editor:

I have become involved with the vision for a better Gateway since the May 2016 announcement of the groundbreaking for a park off of Northeast Halsey and 106th Avenue. At that groundbreaking and at every meeting since, I have spoken up to voice my opinion that a real Gateway [Discovery] Park should be at the former Elks property [711 N.E. 100th Ave.]. A large park, much larger than what is allowed off Halsey and far more accessible to public transit, may at last awaken property developments from the shameful blight south of Fred Meyer. Possibilities seemingly abandoned 10 years ago with the parking conversion for Oregon Clinic and further with the sale a year ago of the Elks property to [the] David Douglas School District can be recovered.

I don’t believe I was invited to help preserve the Gateway vision at its stages of abandonment. This has never been on the agenda of a Hazelwood Neighborhood Association meeting. Even now, I feel that anything I do to work toward better outcomes is unwelcome. I resist the complaint that public comment now is untimely.

The Gateway Action Plan meetings at IRCO on May 11 and at Ride Connection on July 11, in my opinion, were not at all for the purposes of informed democracy. My written input at IRCO brought no city response. Presenters at Ride Connection admitted that the opinions of the public would have no bearing on developments. “Eat the pizza and go home” is the message that was transmitted. I don’t think that is how it should go, and I said so.

I offer this idea as a first step in developing better plans for parks and for the future of Gateway. I hope we will decide that plans for any park at 106th and Halsey must be considered alongside the bigger picture. I will do more as asked.

Phillip Norman
Hazelwood resident

Broken promises the real problem

To the Editor:

Harriett Heisey’s argument in regards to Wapato’s use for the homeless is quite sound (Letters to the Editor, MCM August 2016). It is often difficult to argue with logic. The city’s lack of desire to make the adequate changes in order to resolve homelessness is clearly exemplified by the use of the Hansen Building. It demonstrates how little value those in charge put on human life. Using the cheapest and most outmoded buildings to house unwanted people is rationalized as a perfect solution. It matches the inaction of the city to integrate this neighborhood with Portland, as was promised years ago when it was annexed. There are no powerful businesses to counter their argument—only neighborhood residents who will have difficulty coming together as one strong voice, making this neighborhood an easy target for Portland to dump their problems (as we have seen the rise of homeless shelters in this area). According to their own statement, it will house 200 individuals with unknown backgrounds, rotating five times a year.

Shahab Nahvi
Wilkes resident