Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Portland Urban Forestry Division Endangers Lives with Tree Cutting Permit Denial

OPB reported on a Portland Urban Forestry tree removal permit denial that ended up endangering the lives of the Joel and Sarah Bond's family and destroying their home. 

The Oregonian added:

"Last year, the city refused to issue a removal permit to the Bonds because the tree 'appears healthy and not dead, dying or dangerous,' the permit denial letter said.

"A city inspector took less than five minutes to look at the trees and told the family it was perfectly normal for them to lean and sway, Joel Bond said."

. . .

"Bond said he's disappointed the city's tree permit system didn't keep his family and property safe. He said the inspection should have been more rigorous – a recent and more thorough inspection of the fallen tree showed it was rotten inside, he said, even though it looked outwardly healthy." (emphasis added) (Oregonian, January 28, 2024, page A16)

There were further casualties.

"Falling trees killed an elderly man inside a Lake Oswego home and a woman trapped inside a Southeast Portland motor home, and they injured countless other residents. The trees crushed houses, cars, power lines and power poles, causing millions in property damage and tens of thousands of power outages." (Oregonian, January 28, 2024, page A1)

We also had a tree come down in our neighborhood that was pronounced healthy and not dangerous enough to apply for a tree cutting permit two years ago even though it was leaning.What is clear from both of these examples is that arborists don't have great predictive ability on if a tree may be coming down any time soon. Despite that, they have not shown any interest in modifying tree cutting permit policies to error on the side of human safety.

The Oregonian, which reported on the tree disasters, has only come out with a tepid editorial about the senselessness of requiring those whose trees fell to get a $100 retroactive tree removal permit because the storm removed it. "For the city to demand that they secure a permit and pay a $100 fee seems needlessly aggressive and serves no clear purpose." But the editors give only a nod to the predictive failure of the Urban Forestry Division as to inspected trees they said were safe which fell.

"In addition to dropping the permit requirement, the city could do more to help quell people’s anxieties. As the authority on Portland’s urban forest, City Forester Jenn Cairo should provide greater communication to the public about what the city will do in the coming weeks and months to ensure the health of trees and the safety of the community. Portlanders’ concerns are merited, considering that arborists have noted, as in a recent story by The Oregonian/OregonLive’s Tom Hallman Jr., that trees considered stable just a few months ago were among those that fell. The office should also ensure the diligence of tree inspections, considering that some homeowners were denied permits for removing trees that later fell on their homes, as Wozniacka reported." (emphasis added)

Unfortunately, too many modern "experts" speak as though they know the whole truth, when in fact they are guessing at probabilities. Even worse, as in the case of Joel and Sarah Bond, the City inspections can be so cursory as to not truly evaluate the health of the tree. This is negligence if not incompetence and needs to be addressed.







Friday, November 17, 2023

Tucker Carlson's Broken Emotional String

Tucker Carlson seems like a pleasant enough man, but his response to the torture and killing of Israelis and many other nationalities including at least 33 Americans shows a missing string in his emotional response. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, for example, knows something poor Tucker Carlson doesn't. 

“Every civilian life is equally valuable,” Blinken said. “There is no hierarchy when it comes to protecting civilian lives. A civilian is a civilian is a civilian, no matter his or her nationality, ethnicity, age, gender, faith.”

Added to the fact that civilians were tortured and killed is the horrifying reality that babies and children were targeted as well as women and the sick and elderly.  

What can you say to someone who just doesn't understand how horrifying death by torture is compared to all the other ways to die? How can you explain that a "disproportionate" response is the only appropriate response? It's why the horrifying ways the Nazis used to kill Jews and dissenters in Germany or the Bataan death march deaths are much more emotional for most Americans than the deaths from the Japanese surprise attack at Pearl Harbor. Torture makes a difference. 

Very sad that Tucker Carlson is not able to understand that. Though were he given a push button choice for himself or his family to die by torture or die by fentanyl, he would probably choose the latter and be grateful for the choice.

Monday, May 29, 2023

Memorial Day flags at Willamette Cemetery - May, 2023

With much gratitude to the veterans who have fought for us and those who paid the ultimate price of their lives. Special honor to my Dad, brothers and uncle who have served. Also, to two cousins who gave their lives in World War II.

Friday, March 24, 2023

1876 German Primer Book Used in Portland Grade School in the 1920's




Here are photos and a pdf of a German primer used in the 1920's by a student at Albina Homestead School in Portland. Here's a link to the pdf of the book Neues A B C Buch Sonntags Schulen published in 1876.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Yashica MAT-124G camera manual



   For those who need a Yashica MAT-124G camera manual.

Thursday, December 30, 2021

Kaiser Permanente Refuses to Follow CDC Science on COVID Isolation

UPDATE: Kaiser decided to get in line behind the CDC as of yesterday, they are going to the 5 day isolation.  

"For everyone who tests positive for COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status
  • Stay home for 5 days
  • If you have no symptoms or your symptoms are resolving after 5 days, you can leave your home
  • Continue to wear a mask anytime around others for at least 5 additional days
  • If you have a fever, continue to stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever resolves without the need for fever-reducing medications"


However, they are still requiring sick and non-sick to stand in the same testing line


Kaiser Permanente (KP) joins the ranks of those who do not believe in following CDC recommendations.

The CDC recently changed its COVID protocol to:

"Given what we currently know about COVID-19 and the Omicron variant, CDC is shortening the recommended time for isolation for the public. People with COVID-19 should isolate for 5 days and if they are asymptomatic or their symptoms are resolving (without fever for 24 hours), follow that by 5 days of wearing a mask when around others to minimize the risk of infecting people they encounter. The change is motivated by science demonstrating that the majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs early in the course of illness, generally in the 1-2 days prior to onset of symptoms and the 2-3 days after."

My sister-in-law recently got COVID and was told by a KP doctor that KP is not following the CDC's 5 day isolation recommendation. KP's recommendation remains 10 days of isolation:

"If you test positive, stay home and isolate for 10 days and until your symptoms have improved."

KP apparently does not believe in following the CDC's "science". Sounds like KP and the anti-vaxxers are on the same page in distrusting CDC science, even though KP has persecuted and fired employees who did not follow CDC science about the need to be vaccinated even if one has developed truly effective anti-bodies by having survived COVID.

Personally, on this issue, I think the CDC has far superior information than KP which seems stuck on old variants and habits rather than science and testing. 

KP certainly does not carry its hypersensitive view of isolation to its testing procedures. KP does not separate people who have COVID symptoms from those who need a test in order to travel. Sick and well are all forced to stand in the same line and be tested at the same area. My sister-in-law who was clearly sick was standing in line with a lady waiting for a negative test so she could take a cruise. The KP testing line is a great place to contract COVID since the sick and the well are forced into a single line.