Hello, I am writing in regards to your paper's July 9 review of our new bar/restaurant, called The Liberty Glass [Clublist Spotlight, WW, July 9, 2008]. We wanted to let you know that perhaps it was miscategorized under the "music" heading. It's very interesting because we are not a music "venue," and there was no mention of music anywhere in the article (although we do have live dinner music accompaniment on occasion). We would encourage you to send down a real food critic if you'd like to do a review of our place, instead of sending down a "scenester" to miss almost entirely what we are trying to do here, which is:

1) provide healthy home-cooked meals with local sustainable and organic-when-possible ingredients until midnight every day.

2) give the residents of our neighborhood a relaxing place to eat and drink when they get tired of the crowds on Mississippi Street. and

3) do so for a fair price that reflects the time and energy that goes into making everything from scratch everyday with quality ingredients.

Perhaps Mr. Mesh would be inclined to walk up on the strip of Mississippi and see that we are actually one of the lesser-expensive restaurants in our neighborhood. I would recommend to him dining at Laughing Planet Cafe, that sounds right up his alley.

We do appreciate the press and all...but if you're gonna do it half-assed, why bother??

Jason McCormick
Part-Owner of the Liberty Glass

Recently, there has been a lot of negative press on Senator Betsy Johnson and her husband, John Helm. This press is usually covered by reporters with an ax to grind, or are simply too lazy to dig into the real facts.

I have known Betsy and John for decades. I have seen them both put their money where their mouths were, and they personally financed projects to help small local airports, and they have a net loss to show for their good intentions.

So here WW goes again, beating up on John & Betsy. Not satisfied when its highly "spun" story about the Portland Downtown Heliport failed to "gain traction" ["Copter Cash," WW, June 18, 2008], the WW "Murmurs" column brought up the heliport again [July 2, 2008].

The Downtown Heliport is an asset to Portland, and many years ago, I worked to get the heliport established. It was Betsy and John who did the heavy lifting to make it happen. Then when the City estimate to run the facility was outrageously high, Betsy and John again stepped into the breach, and, through the not-for-profit Northwest Rotorcraft Association (NWRA), operated the heliport for nearly 20 years. When the City demanded an increased insurance coverage, the Rotorcraft Association was overwhelmed, in that they were already losing money, year after year, operating the heliport; additionally, it would have been impossible under the City's new terms and hostile agency administration. So it is easy to understand why the NWRA would want out—unappreciated losses year-after-year, with not only no end in sight, but even more losses in the future.

Right now, the average citizen does not see the value of the heliport; it is mostly an economic development tool, along with a handy roost for the TV stations' helicopters. But when a disaster comes along, everyone will appreciate the life-saving convenience of the heliport's ability to fly out people needing help, and fly in various supplies and personnel.

C. Norman Winningstad

Editor's Note: The public documents of NWRA's city heliport management show the City of Portland bent over backward—including offering to cover the cost of insurance—to retain NWRA as operator of the heliport. The city's offer also came despite the NWRA's inability to collect landing fees or communicate with the city in a timely fashion.

CORRECTION: Last week's story "Craig's List" incorrectly reported that a Multnomah County Circuit Court jury found Craig Berkman "defrauded investors." While the jury found that Berkman converted plaintiffs' money; breached a fiduciary duty; was negligent; and made negligent misrepresentations to investors, there is no factual support for the statement that the jury found he "defrauded investors." The investors' original fraud claim against Berkman was not presented to the jury. It was Berkman's accounting firm, Arthur Andersen, that the jury found defrauded investors. WW regrets the error.


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