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Sinkhole at the Wilson Tennis Courts

Ryan, a friend of my son Jack, was over for dinner the other night and mentioned that a few days prior he and his dad had gone to Wilson High School to play tennis, but that they could not use the courts due to a sinkhole. Absurdly, this is the idea that immediately came to my mind:https://noticingswportland.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/sinkhole_01.jpg?w=300

I decided to go see the sinkhole for myself, and because it was a stunningly gorgeous evening, Garry accompanied me. When we got to the tennis courts we were met with this,and this:We looked through the fence again and again, but could not see a sinkhole anywhere.Then on the far side of the courts Garry spotted an orange cone,and we went to investigate.There we found it. The sinkhole:Actually there were two:Our search for the sinkholes was over. But I wondered if a few orange cones could be placed around the sinkholes to warn players away? Or could they be filled up with a few shovelfuls of gravel? Could the small sinkholes grow and endanger nearby people? Could a player reaching into the sinkhole to retrieve a lost tennis ball be bitten by a startled rat?

I should not make light of these sinkholes, because I am sure the issue is much more complex and dangerous than it looks, and undoubtedly there would be major liability issues if someone did get hurt. But what a beautiful evening it would have been for neighbors to be out getting some exercise with a game of tennis. Portland summers are short, and I hope the Wilson tennis courts are repaired soon. The much larger issue of course is Portland’s aging, sub-standard public school facilities. A $482 million construction bond will be on the ballot in November. Modernize aging facilities? Yes. Accessibility improvements? Yes. Seismic upgrades? Yes. The need is great, and who knows? Maybe a bit will be left over for neighborhood tennis courts.

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4 responses to “Sinkhole at the Wilson Tennis Courts

  1. I wonder if it will grow and what is the cause. Is there some excess water sprinkling going on? Is there a spring under there. Those sink holes are not terribly far from the horrific one off of Terwilliger not so many years ago.

  2. Hopefully I’m not the only one who had a chuckle over this. I’m from
    Florida where sinkholes are usually more like the one you imagined. I don’t know what to call the dent in the tennis court but I do hope it doesn’t get any bigger.

  3. I don’t know if the School District is using the word ‘sinkhole’ in a scientifically accurate way, but ‘dent’ seems like an appropriate term for now, doesn’t it? Thank you for the nice comment.

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