THE "LETTERS TO THE EDITOR" ARE BELOW THE EDITORIAL
|Things we lose that make Portland, Portland|
In the last couple of months, in this space, we’ve discussed what keeps Portland the city it is that causes people to make the decision to stay here for life, and which draws new residents to join us.
Another was the mounted police patrol downtown, as a lengthy article in our sister newspaper, the Portland Tribune, by Ainslie Cromar, with contributions by Jim Redden, reminded us on the day after Labor Day. It appears to us that the Portland City Council has trouble seeing the forest for the trees, and is determined to make the Rose City feel a lot more like the big city it actually is. What a shame.
Although the Mounted Patrol never got as far out as the streets of Inner Southeast Portland, if you were ever downtown you may have seen it in action. And if you missed that article, we present a condensed version of it below. . .
“The last round-up”
It was a surreal image: Two horses, tied to a parking meter outside a café in downtown Portland, as if a passer-by had stepped out of the modern-day city and into a Western film.
But the passers-by would know where the police were: Sitting inside, with one eye on their steeds and one eye on the streets.
Portland's Mounted Patrol Unit was created in 1872 with a horse-drawn trolley. The unit underwent trials before fizzling out in the 1940s. Then, with one sergeant and two officers, the unit was reinstated in 1979 – before being disbanded again in 2017.
And up until the end, they gave an Old West vibe to urban Portland. “They’d pull up there and tie their horse up to the parking meter and go and have coffee,” recalled Larry Kanzler, former commander of Portland's Mounted Patrol Unit and the sergeant who reinstated it in 1979.
This June marked a year since their final time suiting up, before the unit was disbanded due to budget cuts. The disbanding impacted the horses, their previous owners, the officers who rode them, and the greater Portland community.
While some people feel nostalgia for the program's existence, all are happily welcoming the horses to their final homes in retirement.
Kanzler, who [after retiring with his wife Cheryl from the Police Bureau] relocated the retired horse Major to his land near Prineville, remarked that it’s a whole new life for the horses and the community. Cheryl Kanzler joked that Major probably asks himself daily, “Where’s my meter?” Instead, she said, “He gets tied to some sagebrush.”
All eight horses that patrolled with Portland's police now are scattered, and tied up in new places.
Murphy went back home to southern Oregon where he’s competing in dressage, a highly skilled form of riding; Red, Monty and Asher are with families who wish to keep their locales private. Major found his place in Prineville, while Diesel went back home to Port Orchard, Washington. Olin aids people with mental or physical barriers as a therapy horse at Forward Stride in Beaverton; and Zeus lives with a former Mounted Patrol stable attendant at the Lake Oswego Hunt Club.
Trainer Jennifer Mack said that Red was the first to leave. He cried and nickered at everyone one last time from inside the horse trailer.
“It hit home when Red left,” said Jennifer Mack, his trainer. “That solidified it.”
As the Portland Police Mounted Patrol Unit’s former full-time trainer, Mack had handpicked each horse. “They're like kids. You find them when they’re young.”
Twenty horses came and went from when she was hired in 1998 to 2017, she reflected. “I still remember them all. I can remember what they looked like. I remember what we fed them, and what size shoes they wore.” The Mounted Patrol unit worked in Portland through the 1940s, then was disbanded. In 1979, a sergeant and two officers got the unit up and running again, before it was again disbanded just last year.
When the unit finally was cut from the budget, Mack said the whole team was devastated. “It was an overwhelming feeling of ‘is this really happening?’ We'd been thrown on the chopping block for years, and then this time it was real.”
Even though she has friends living in the city, Mack remarked that she remembers her years here with the horses so vividly that she can’t bear to visit Portland anymore. “Honestly, I’'s sad for me to go there. I mean, I look around every corner and remember when a horse was walking there.”
And she still wonders, she said, why the unit was disbanded yet again. “It's pretty hazy to me as to why, after twenty years of blood, sweat, and tears. I was told it was a budget issue, when it didn’t appear to be a budget issue.”
She said they were told the mounted patrol would be replaced by community service officers, but she never saw that happen.
“There's all this talk about ‘community policing’. Well, you cut the best community policing tool you ever had.”
When Zeus was new and out on the street, she recalled, he always noodled his head into people's conversations, as if he had a story to tell. And then there were his adventures at Union Station, when he would follow people getting on the train and sniff their luggage as it rolled behind them.
"Everybody just laughed because he was this giant horse … and he just wanted to know what was in your luggage. You know, like ‘what kind of socks are you wearing?’ But that was all before the band broke up.”
During the final years, Mack saw the unit slowly cut from seven officers to five, then from five to three, who then weren’t allowed to work crowd control. “They kind of whittled away at us.” And once they had so few officers, she said, they became “a victim of circumstance.”
Saying goodbye was hard. "The first one to leave and the last one were the hardest," Mack conceded. After Red left first, it was a slow unravel of calling the horses’ original owners and sending them to their new homes.
When they drove Diesel to Kathryn Kleinwatcher, Mack said it seemed like just yesterday that they'd first picked him up. Mack met Kleinwatcher outside where she was crying and saying "this shouldn't be happening," but simultaneously feeling happy to have him back home.
And then the last horse, Monty, left. Every stall finally was vacant.
“After Monty left, it was weird,” Mack reflected. “It was empty.” Even if she never gets her position back, she hopes the unit will re-form and that the horses will stay in the public’s hearts. She said they aided many issues and bridged the gap between the people and the police.
Major: Part of the legacy“I’ve got the last memory,” Larry Kanzler smiled, as he looked proudly to his horse, Major, who was grazing in his pen. Cheryl Kanzler, his wife, said with almost 99 acres to roam, three horse pals and weekly spa days, Major is content in retirement. “If he could talk, he’d say it’s a good life,” she commented. “He’d probably tell you ‘they don’t work me enough. I’m getting a little out of shape. I’m getting a little overweight.’ But that’ll come. We’re going to take him camping.” In 1979, when Larry Kanzler was a Portland Police sergeant, he was the one who restarted the Mounted Patrol unit, after it had been inactive for almost 25 years. Now, he and Major are retired, but are still partners at the Kanzlers’ place in Prineville. Larry Kanzler recalled that Major’s most peculiar habit is always trying to get closer to people by nudging them with his head. "He's retired, he needs some love," Cheryl Kanzler remarked; “He's worked the mean streets.” The boots Larry wore when he used to ride his patrol horse, Toby, in 1979, still sit by his door like relics.
“We both have had some sleepless nights about them getting rid of the unit,” Cheryl Kanzler admitted. “For Larry, particularly, because it was always near and dear to his heart.” But she looks at the situation optimistically and believes the horses may still come back one day.
Cheryl herself also served in the Portland Police Bureau – as a homicide detective. She remembers watching how effective the horses were when controlling crowds. “It was like the parting of the seas. I would love to see it come back.”
Larry agreed that, when he was in the unit, the horses “brought the police department back into the community.” When officers sit in their cars, he thinks, there's a disconnect. “The City of Portland deserves to have a safe environment to live in, and horses can be an integral part of that package. I don't think the people on the Bureau have any idea what the capability of those horses is.”
Cheryl added that it really isn’t about the city having a budget for the unit, but about truly wanting it back. “If they really wanted to, they would find the money in a heartbeat.”
History of the mounted patrol unit
As reporter Jim Redden observed in a 2014 Tribunearticle, “Portland police have used horses, off and on, since 1887. A sign posted at the Centennial Mills headquarters lists the benefits of mounted officers, including greater visibility that increases their crime prevention effectiveness, the ability of horses to respond quickly in congested areas, and their accessibility to residents, business owners and visitors.”
The City Council considered cutting Portland Police Bureau's Mounted Patrol Unit several times during the past five years. Structural problems with its home at Centennial Mills hastened its demise.
But in 2013, then-Mayor Charlie Hales faced a $21.5 million funding gap and proposed a budget that, among other things, would have eliminated 55 positions in the Police Bureau. One way to reach that goal: Cut the mounted horse patrols. At that time, the unit consisted of eight horses, four officers, a sergeant, an equestrian trainer and two stable attendants. The cost of maintaining the unit hovered around $800,000 per year.
Hales also wanted to spend more money on "beat" officers on walking patrols, community outreach, and on drug and violence enforcement.
However, in 2013, the independent Friends of the Mounted Patrol, a nonprofit organization, promised to raise $200,000 annually to support the unit. Dozens of people came to public hearings to praise the unit. Those efforts saved the unit from the chopping block.
The Mounted Patrol came under budget scrutiny again in 2014, when a city agency declared the existing horse stables unsafe, forcing the horses to be relocated to a farm in Aurora. The unit had been housed at the aging former flour mill on Northwest Naito Parkway and Ninth Avenue since 2001.
The fate of the Mounted Patrol became a campaign issue in 2016 when mayoral candidate Jules Bailey – who lost the election – promised to restore officer positions to the unit.
But, it was under our current Mayor Ted Wheeler’s watch that the end of the unit finally came about.
The Mounted Patrol unit was disbanded in August 2017 after four decades of full-time service. And Portland became just a little bit less Portland.
Lack of PP&R maintenance is a hazard for dogs
Many people walk their dogs around the Oaks Bottom south pasture (reclaimed land-fill dump) – I do it myself, but I didn’t this summer. This summer [had the] worst infestation of unfriendly grasses there I’ve seen, the seeds of which are dangerous to dogs, if embedded in paws, sucked into noses, caught in ears or eyes – the seed awns are barbed; once embedded, [they are] hard to remove, tend to migrate deeper and do not disintegrate, [and they] become infected, painful, and deadly. Common names: Foxtail and Cheatgrass.
Certainly PPR biologists know about this, yet fail to eradicate these invasive grasses. Optional explanations: 1. don't care, 2. too costly, 3. hope it will keep dogs out.
Please bring this to public attention. Whacking these grasses out in May and June before seeds are ripe would not be costly; if allowed, neighborhood dog owners could organize crews to do this for FREE, but PPR won't allow it.
As for dogs in Wild Life Refuges – we’re told they will hunt wildlife and disrupt plant life. Really? More so than predatory wildlife? If anyone knows of a domesticated dog that can outhunt a coyote, please tell me – I would like to see that dog in action.
“Residential Infill Project” not turning out well
Forget the legacy of regulation intended to stabilize and protect Portland’s single family housing stock and to vitalize neighborhoods by concentrating density around walking scale commercial centers. The diffuse density Residential Infill Project craters [the previous] planned density around centers and main streets of the past 40 years. Round file the recently approved 2035 Comprehensive Plan.
The [city] zoning code is a declaration of planners’ intent and owners’ entitlement. These proposals make false the term “single dwelling zone”, and muddy the purpose of multi-dwelling zones. Three or four units on a lot is, by any definition, a multi-family land use. Transparency and truth in zoning be damned. . .
At first, most of these multi-dwelling units will be built where house values are eclipsed by the underlying value of the land – smaller houses and in more affordable neighborhoods where displacement is already a problem. Where successful, expect whole blocks sent to the landfill as each house is sold. Forget worrying about the big one. Prepare the way for demolitions as we welcome our new neighbors to thecity.
Even if lot widths are held at 50 feet, yards will be “shared” by the owners, whether a duplex or a fourplex. Building and maintenance will be shared under condominium ownership, or increasingly by the property management company, on behalf of an absentee landlord. The ideal single family house on its own lot will be increasingly scarce and expensive. Many families will pack up for the suburbs, leaving our expensive new schools begging for students.
Right now Portland has a 20 year supply of land available for infill for a variety of housing types without any changes to the zoning! The deeply flawed economic analysis that the City used to justify its 2016 RIP proposal suggested that the RIP would produce less than 1,800 new units over the next 20 years. Are these worth introducing chaos into neighborhood zoning code? Are these worth hundreds of thousands of dollars of staff time and countless hours of volunteer time, and time for public comment and testimony over the past 3 years?
Rod Merrick, AIA NCARB
Merrick Architecture Planning
Thanks for “Sundae in the Park”
Sellwood and Westmoreland neighborhood enjoyed a great summer weekend, August 4 and 5, celebrating “Summerville” in the business districts on Saturday – and the 39th Annual “Sundae in the Park” at Sellwood Park (on Sunday, of course!). The weekend was capped off by a showing of last year’s hit movie “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”, presented by the Sellwood Moreland Business Alliance and Portland Parks’ “Summer-Free-For-All” under the stars!
SMILE’s Sundae in the Park Committee owes a big, grateful “THANK YOU” to all the event volunteers – especially Pam Orser (permits), Joel Leib, Pat Hainley, Tyler Janzen, Peter Dueber, Ed & Leslie Nunez (Set-up), the Southeast Portland Rotary Club and friends (ice cream scoopers extraordinaire), and Cathy Aune and her stellar grandkids for the hours they put in at the “drawing” table! Thanks also to the two church congregations who really helped us out with activities, game supervision, and manual labor – Christ Church Sellwood, and EastBridge Church!
Next year’s “Sundae in the Park” will be the last one for a couple of us on the committee. To keep the event going, at least two or three individuals will be needed to work with us, beginning in January, on the 40th annual Sundae in the Park. That group will take over the following year. If you can help, please join us at SMILE Station, S.E. 13th and Tenino in Sellwood, on Wednesday, January 9, 2019, at 7:30 p.m.
If you are at all interested, join us then – there’s no limit on helpers!
Nancy Walsh and Gail Hoffnagle
SMILE Sundae in the Park Committee
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|Christopher J. Joachim
Christopher J. Joachim
November 30, 1968 – August 19, 2018
Christopher J. Joachim, 49, of Westmoreland, Portland, passed away on Sunday, August 19, 2018, with his family by his side, after suffering complications resulting from a bicycling accident on Mt. Hood.
His family reports that “Chris embraced the Pacific Northwest lifestyle as a bike commuter, snowboarder, and fisherman – especially enjoying his times spent camping and cooking with friends, listening to music, and tinkering on his many bicycles. He also cherished the times he was able to return to his hometown, Green Bay, Wisconsin, for hunting trips and football games at Lambeau field. He was a steadfast and dedicated friend to many – some friendships going back to preschool days.”
Born on November 30, 1968, to Joan Fahs (Gutowski) and Larry Joachim, Chris reportedly “bled green and gold” in his lifelong passion for the NFL’s Green Bay Packers. Chris attended Green Bay’s West High School (Class of 1987), and moved to Portland’s Sellwood-Westmoreland neighborhood in 1997. On September 20, 2003, Chris married Valerie A. Menely, and their daughter, Isabella, was born a year later. Chris spent his career as an account manager in the freight forwarding/transportation logistics industry, starting with Schneider International (Green Bay/Portland), Integrity Logistics (Wilsonville), and for the past 15 years he was part of the Independent Dispatch, Inc., (Portland) family.
Chris will be sadly missed by his wife, Valerie, and daughter, Isabella; by in-laws, Doug and Ruth Menely; and Matt, Sarah and Miles Menely in Oregon; by his father, Larry Joachim; stepfather, Dale Fahs; by his siblings, Jeff Joachim, Nicole Joachim, Mike Joachim, Sean Joachim; by his extended family in Wisconsin; and by countless friends and co-workers.
Chris’ family wishes to extend heartfelt appreciation and thanks for the compassionate care received at Emanuel Hospital’s Neuro Trauma Intensive Care Unit, and to their friends and family, for all the support and love received during this tough time.
Celebrations of Chris’ life are planned in both Portland and Green Bay, on dates and at locations to be determined.
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