Thursday, August 16, 2007

"Vote" now against billboards

In an editorial attacking the epidemic of billboards since the passage of Measure 37, The Oregonian editorial board today urges a November vote for Measure 49 as a way to reject the billboard epidemic.

Voting for Measure 49 is a good idea for all kinds of reasons, but citizens should “vote” between elections as well. As I have pointed out here and to The Oregonian (in an unpublished letter), the most direct way to fight billboards is to let advertisers know that “outdoor advertising” is counterproductive.

The billboard pictured with today’s editorial is near Sandy and advertises Smoky Hearth Pizza Company, home of “Portland’s Best Pizza.”

Your vote is one phone call away. The phone number for Smoky Hearth Pizza is (503) 668-4466. Ask for co-owner Jeannine Hokanson. Or you can e-mail her.

I talked with Jeannine today on the phone. Jeannine, who is co-owner with her husband, Don, is very pleasant and an excellent listener. If you state your concerns politely, respectfully and even helpfully, I think you will find that your “vote,” added to others, might make a difference.

I told Jeannine that if Smoky Hearth took down its sign, I’d go out of my way to drop in for a pizza on my next trip to Mt. Hood via Sandy.

By the way, Jeannine told me I was the first person from outside the Sandy area to complain.

Will you be the second?

P.S. I hope that someone in Sandy, who has "eyes" on the billboards, will pick up on this little effort and clue us in on others to contact. The manager of the Sandy Safeway perhaps?

Meanwhile, I have put out a call to our Metro Counselor Robert Liberty because Jeannine informed me that the Portland Zoo, which is operated by Metro, has advertised on the Sandy billboards. I'll let you know Robert's response.

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