On April 7, Navy veteran Larry Patella came to US Digital for an interview with David Madore.
Video one timeline:
00:00 Patella introduces himself and tells about how his 31-year career in the Navy began, his schooling, ranking progression and assignments.
08:38 Patella recounts his experience engaging the enemy on the USS Jennings County.
9:58 Patella recounts his experience as a special warfare officer with the 9th Infantry Division.
11:35 Patella talks about when he was assigned to demonstrate a Boeing Hydrofoil to all the NATO nations while commanding a landing ship tank. During his seven months of demonstration through Europe and Western Asia he convinced the chief of Naval operations to allow him to take crew’s wives between ports.
Video two timeline:
00:30 Patella tells about his experience as executive officer of USS Duluth during the evacuation of Vietnam.
02:51 Patella shows a picture of the USS Mount Vernon on which he served as commanding officer.
04:41 Patella shares a letter he got from Admiral Moore, chief of Naval operations.
06:50 Patella recounts a time that his ship was attacked.
09:03 Patella tells about times his crew would give toys, clothes and medical attention to residents of South Vietnam.
10:08 Patella tells about his men’s compassion when a North Vietnamese surrendered. Patella says it’s because of men like these that he considers his Navy career so rewarding.
Video three timeline:
00:00 Patella talks about a time his ship encountered a typhoon.
05:55 Patella tells the story of how he gave his crew a beach party to boost their morale while being confined to a ship for seven months.
10:25 Patella tells why he decided to retire and move to Portland.
Video four timeline:
00:00 Patella tells about his life after retirement and worked with the Port of Portland for 21 years.
03:08 Patella tells why Port of Portland became famous when Mount St. Helens erupted.
04:29 While working for the Port, Patella joined The Western Dredging Association as membership chairman. He is currently executive director of the organization. Patella explains his role and the association’s role as it relates to dredging around the world.
09:09 Patella knows a lot about Vancouver/Portland rivers and was involved in the deepening of the Columbia River. He explains what areas of the Columbia are dredged and how ships navigate the river.
Video five timeline:
00:00 Patella talks about his local passions, especially regarding what he says is wasteful spending of tax dollars.
02:08 Patella tells about his circle of influence in the 2009 mayoral race between Royce Pollard and Tim Leavitt.
05:01 Patella endorsed Tim Leavitt for mayor because he said that Leavitt promised to at least nominate Patella’s colleague, Charlie Stemper, for the resulting vacant councilmember’s seat.
09:52 Patella perceives Leavitt’s further promises to be empty. He discusses past petitions he was involved in and how city officials responded.
11:11 Patella petitioned a plan to build a hockey rink and convention center because he said the city would violate state law by entering into an agreement with a group of anonymous people. Patella filed a freedom of information request.
Video six timeline:
00:00 Patella continues his story about petitioning the plan to build a hockey rink and convention center/hotel and the investigation of Steve Burdick, an economic development manager.
01:00 As an active citizen, Patella collected enough signatures to put the hotel to a vote. He said the city took him to court because signatures were not properly notarized.
02:25 It cost Patella $60,000 of the group’s money to hire an attorney to represent them in court.
04:00 The court overturned Patella’s petition and voided Patella’s signatures. A hotel was built without a vote from the public.
04:32 Patella filed an appeal with the appellate court but dropped everything because his daughter was diagnosed with cancer and passed away.
05:09 Patella collected signatures again to not build a hotel without a vote. It went through the City Council and was taken to court again. The city said Patella’s petition was confusing and ambiguous. Patella tells the judge’s ruling.
07:26 Patella tells about circulating another petition asking for a vote on light rail so voters can decide.
09:18 Patella doesn’t believe this will be on the ballot and explains why he believes the whole system works against his efforts. He’s fearful that the city will take him to court again if he’s successful at collecting enough signatures.
10:20 Madore says that the city has the power to put the light rail/crossing project to a vote without a petition.
10:58 Madore asks, “What can we do?” Patella suggests educating people and getting someone in office that will truly represent the voters.
Larry’s e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org