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 December issue is Tuesday, Nov. 15.

Recalling a more bucolic time

To the Editor:

Regarding The Barn closing … I’m sad to say it is a sign of the times. My generation and possibly half of the next generation are what is left of those who appreciated and enjoyed wide open spaces and wonderful farm lands reaping the best of the best in fresh produce. We also valued hard work and the responsibility of caring for the land. I grew up, along with my three siblings, in the ‘40s and ‘50s on Southeast 148th Avenue and Stark Street. Our dad had a feed store next to Happy Landing Tavern (which ironically is still there) and we loved our summers helping him deliver hay, alfalfa and chicken feed. Many times he would barter with farmers, exchanging livestock feed for produce and meat products to put food on the table. As kids, we caught the berry bus and picked berries (and later beans) for our spending money, and the apples, pears, cherries and plums we picked on our acreage were loaded into our wagon and sold door to door to our neighbors. We raised chickens and gathered the eggs. We took turns cleaning the coop and were better for it. We played in the dirt … and probably ate dirt, which I believe has contributed to our healthy immune system. I loved that time in my life.

I will continue to seek out fresh produce at farmer’s markets and patronize Spada, Giusto and Fuji farms in east county for as long as they are in existence. I’m sad for those who have not and will not experience a much simpler life in rural America, where our farms were so essential to our existence. I will miss The Barn just up the road.

A final word, or two … food trucks? Really?

Joy Beldin

Neighbors will need to help each other when an earthquake hits

To the Editor:

Our Neighborhood Emergency Team (NET) for the Argay, Parkrose and Wilkes neighborhoods recently discussed at our meeting some misunderstandings about Portland’s Basic Earthquake Emergency Communication Node (BEECN).

The Portland Bureau of Emergency Management has designated neighborhood places to go in the first 24–48 hours after a major earthquake. If phone service is down, these will be the places to ask for help and to report severe injuries and severe damage. Please note: No food or water will be at these sites.

There are 48 BEECN sites around Portland. Parkrose High School field, Knott City Park and Wilkes Park sites are locations in our neighborhoods. However, there is a great need for more trained people to operate radios at these locations after a major disaster. At the moment, the Parkrose High School field site has only two trained volunteers, and it needs at least eight!

The free BEECN training takes about one and a half hours. Applicants need to complete a BEECN application and pass a background check. See

Our Neighborhood Emergency Team also needs more members, and we highly recommend the free training! Since being trained, we feel more confident about being prepared for a disaster. We learned how to organize a meeting with neighbors to discuss emergency preparedness and to plan ways we can help each other when a disaster happens. First responders (rescue and medical) will be in high demand after a major earthquake. Neighbors may need to care for themselves for several weeks.


To learn about Parkrose NET, please contact Michael Schilmoeller at 503-880-2590 or

Sharon and Clare Mershon
Argay Terrace residents

Reform campaign finance rules

To the Editor:

Now is the time to stand up for a government that truly is of, by and for the people. As a democracy, we deserve to choose our politicians, not have money decide for us. A yes vote on Multnomah County Measure 26-184 is a yes vote for democracy and keeping our local elections honest.

Oregon is behind the times on campaign finance reform, being one of only six states that does not limit campaign contributions. This ties directly to the F rating Oregon was given for avoiding government corruption by the State Integrity Investigation of the Center for Public Integrity in November 2015. On top of the F rating, Oregon was ranked 49th in control of political financing, followed only by Mississippi.

For far too long, campaigns have been focused on big money and have become a popularity contest instead of focusing on the community’s wants and needs. Campaign finance reform is an issue that cuts across political lines, as it affects each and every one of us when our representatives are too focused on schmoozing big donors instead of listening to their constituents and creating a better community. Big money is corrosive to politics, and we must stand up for a change.

An election is not something that should be bought. A political position should be earned because the candidate believes in their community and wants to better serve the people they represent. Vote yes on Measure 26-184 and make Multnomah County a leader in campaign finance reform.

Liz Trojan
2016 Multnomah County Charter 
Review Committee member

Parkrose LEAP students at home on the MHCC/Maywood Park, 10100 N.E. Prescott St. COURTESY LISA GUTIERREZ

Parkrose LEAP students at home on the MHCC/Maywood Park, 10100 N.E. Prescott St.

LEAP students want you to know who they are


I am the Parkrose teacher in the LEAP program at MHCC/Maywood. My students were very excited to see their educational program mentioned in the article about the MHCC/Maywood campus. However, they were disappointed when they saw the photo of LEAP students. The students in the photo have not attended LEAP for several years. My students asked that I send you a current photo in case one is needed for future articles.

Thank you,
Lisa Gutierrez
Transition Coordinator
Special Education Teacher
Parkrose School District