Letters: Fall 2019
Author: Portland State Magazine
Posted: September 24, 2019

From the editor

I’ve retired, which means this is my last—and 97th—issue of Portland State Magazine. For 31 years I’ve had one of the best jobs in the world. There is nothing more remarkable and varied than the stories that come out of a university.

And it has been a family affair. My husband, John Kirkland, has written many of the magazine's feature articles through the years. Our sons grew up with PSU as a big part of their lives, and our oldest son, Ian, earned a Portland State degree in mechanical engineering. As a child, he happily posed for photos for a magazine story or two. And I don’t know if he remembers, but in 1998, one of his heavily corrected third-grade spelling tests appeared in the magazine when John interviewed an education professor about the difficulties of English spelling.

It’s been a joy editing the magazine. Except for the deadlines and the infrequent vacations, I am pretty sure I am going to miss it. I am ready to start anew and see what stories now come out of my life.

~Kathryn Kirkland

More scenarios wanted

“Reimagining the Burnside Bridge” in the spring 2019 issue was thought-provoking and perhaps may cause us to think about preparing for the inevitable catastrophe of the Cascadia Subduction Zone “going live.” Professor Schnabel’s architecture students apparently did a laudable job creating various schemes for apparent replacement of the Burnside Bridge. But how about a “design scenario” that takes a comprehensive look at the survival of all the Willamette bridges and project a survival plan for that event? Maybe look at what would happen when the Vista Bridge collapses from Cascadia.

~Nick Steffanoff

Where’s the real story?

In the latest issue of the PSU magazine [spring 2019], you took the easy way out on the resigning university president. You hid the reasons behind it, and never even mentioned the "why." I had to go online to another source to find out why he was being removed. This didn't happen when I was a student at PSU when it came to the school newspaper or subjects. We addressed it.

~Tony Hepner ’84

That’s me

Imagine my surprise, as I read through the spring issue of Portland State Magazine to see the photo on page 32 commemorating the 50th anniversary of Portland State becoming a university. I am the person on the ladder on the right side, then Terrie Todd and a graduate student. This photo has special meaning to me, not only because of my long connection to PSU but also because of my mother, Elinor Martindale Todd, who as a student lobbied for four-year college status for Portland State.

My three degrees from Portland State have served me well. After 17 years as the public health dean at Brown University, I am enjoying being “just” a professor once again. When I return to Oregon each summer to visit family and friends, I am amazed by the beautiful Portland State campus. PSU will always have a special place in my heart.

~Terrie Fox Wetle ’68, MS ’71, PhD ’76

A question of citizenship

Your report on the census [“Census may undercount Oregonians” in the spring 2019 Portland State Magazine] displays the intellectual dishonesty and political bias of PSU in general, and your magazine in particular. You don’t explain why a citizenship question would make children, renters, or “people of color” hard to count, as they have no reason to evade the question. Neither do legal immigrants. [But] counting illegal aliens steals congressional representation from American citizens in favor of lawbreakers.

~Lyneil Vandermolen

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