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March 2019 -- Vol. 113, No. 7
Scroll down to read this issue!

Memories of THE BEE's first 100 years!
In 2006, THE BEE celebrated its centennial of serving Southeast Portland!  A special four-page retrospective of Inner Southeast Portland's century, written by Eileen Fitzsimons, and drawn from the pages of THE BEE over the previous 100 years, appeared in our September, 2006, issue.
Click here to read this special retrospective!


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Sellwood Community Center, PP&R, Parks, budget, deficit, imperiled, Sellwood, Portland, Oregon
Are bleak days ahead for the Sellwood Community Center? No one will know until the budget, and this year’s budgeting process, are revealed. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Southeast’s Community Centers again menaced?

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

For years, Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) has held vigorous public outreach sessions regarding its annual budget, giving volunteers – especially those in Sellwood and Woodstock – an opportunity to justify continued support for their respective Community Centers, despite regularly putting them up for possible closure.

However, this year – instead of announcing open houses, workshops, and surveys – in late January, PP&R’s Interim Director, Kia Selley, with the approval of supervising Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish, instead let it be known that the Bureau is following a different budgeting process this year.

This new budget process, which was stipulated by Mayor Ted Wheeler, requires a “line-by-line look” at costs and revenue.

“What we’ve learned is that there is a growing structural problem in the Bureau’s budget,” Selley’s message said. “Right now, it’s a gap large enough that the strategies we have employed in past years to handle growing expenses no longer work. Current projections show up to a $7 million gap for the next fiscal year, in a $94 million operating budget.”

According to Selley, the costs for programs, personnel, and other expenses, have significantly increased, while revenue has not.

The newly-appointed Director of PP&R, Adena Long, who is stepping into this role after doing similar work in New York, has yet to comment publicly on the budget or the process. However, Inner Southeast Portland Community Center boosters have already commented on both.

Life-long parks booster – and a former Parks Bureau employee – Gail Hoffnagle in Sellwood commented, “Yes, it is baffling how this is all going to play out.  It is certainly anxiety-provoking, especially to people who depend on the Sellwood Community Center for services.

“Many programs at the Center have long waiting lists, showing a desperate need for more services, not fewer,” Hoffnagle reflected.  “As our neighborhood has steadily increased in density – we’re becoming increasingly jam-packed like sardines! – we need more indoor places to gather; to stay connected with each other.”

Currently, monies from all Centers are pooled together to fund activities like preschool, Hoffnagle commented.  “If funding for a ‘small’ center, like Sellwood, is lost, it will also mean a blow to the Centers [serving] low-income neighborhoods.”

She was pleased, though, that PP&R is looking at its budget “from the ground up”; and, at the same time, she hopes they’ll include input from people with a recreation background, as opposed to just a parks background, to study the numbers specifically for recreation.

“Besides looking at line items, I hope they’ll also take a fresh look at budget accountability – which, at times, is baffling, to say the least,” opined Hoffnagle.

She gave examples of fees charged by PP&R for the Concerts in the Park series and the outdoor movie shown at Sellwood’s “Sundae in the Park” in August. “How much does it really cost to show one movie in a park?” Hoffnagle mused.

“I hope that after deliberation, wide-ranging public input is then sought by the Bureau; our neighborhood associations and Community Center ‘Friends’ committees would love to help solve this issue once and for all.

“It would be tragic to think that, after all these years, the citizens who have been supporting Community Centers and parks would be locked out of an important process done by bureaucrats behind closed doors,” Hoffnagle concluded.


Woodstock Community Center, PP&R, Parks, budget, deficit, Southeast, Portlland, Oregon
Woodstock Neighborhood Association supporters of the Woodstock Community Center say they hope their just-renewed “five-year shared partnership agreement” with PP&R will help keep this Center open. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Meantime, Woodstock Neighborhood Association (WNA) Chair Sage Jenson told THE BEE the WNA has also considered this budget issue. Woodstock has been adhering to an agreement with PP&R to keep the Woodstock Community Center open, by providing its ongoing maintenance at WNA’s own expense.

“Given the WNA’s close relationship with the Woodstock Community Center, we understand first-hand how vital the PP&R facilities, staff, and programs are for everyone in Portland. We strongly urge city leaders to address the budget shortfall in a manner that ensures PP&R’s high-quality programs and services continue, while preserving facilities such as the Woodstock Community Center.

“We are hopeful that, given the WNA’s newly renewed five-year shared partnership agreement with PP&R, we will continue have a role working with PP&R to preserve the Woodstock Community Center and its programs for future generations of Portlanders to come.”

Possibly some comfort to the activists for parks and Community Centers came from former Interim PP&R Director Selley’s concluding statement: “As always, there will be opportunities for you to weigh in.” Certainly many in Inner Southeast hope that is so.

THE BEE will continue to keep you abreast of this issue. For now, feel free to let the Bureau know your thoughts, via e-mail, at ParksBudget@portlandoregon.gov



Moreland Woods, Foundation Partners, Wilhelms, Portland Memorial, Westmoreland, Portland, Oregon
Foundation Partners Group’s consultant, Read Stapleton of “DOWL HKM”, points to the northern parking lot that the owners hope to sell to a developer; new parking spaces would then be added north of the mortuary building. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

‘Moreland Woods’ looking likely to become burial plots

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

THE BEE has repeatedly told you of the dream for the wooded area on the north side of Wilhelm's Portland Memorial Mortuary: To become a public park in Westmoreland, overlooking Oaks Bottom. The neighbors have named it “Moreland Woods”. But now, that dream seems to be fading.

The new owners of the property, The Foundation Partners Group, who previously had appeared to give the local group a full year to raise the money to buy the plot for a park, now has announced tentative plans to install parking and burial plots on that wooded two-acre property on S.E. 14th Avenue between Duke and Claybourne Streets.

That’s on the west side of 14th, a short distance north of Bybee Boulevard, between the Portland Memorial Mausoleum and Llewellyn Elementary School.

“Our group, ‘Friends of Moreland Woods’ is an ad-hoc committee of SMILE,” explained steering committee member Nanci Champlin at a meeting held at Llewellyn School on the evening of January 23 – a development which permitted public contributions for a possible park to be tax-deductible charitable contributions.

“Our group, which came together in fall 2017, is still hoping to potentially purchase Moreland Woods – the offer is not off the table,” Champlin told THE BEE.

“We have been talking with Portland Parks & Recreation and the Portland Parks Foundation, and with Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish, pointing out the city’s commitment to developing ‘walkable neighborhoods’,” Champlin said. “This area is defined as ‘parks deficient’; and the city might also be motivated to protect the magnificent trees on the property.

“In 2015, before the business and property was sold, the then-manager at Wilhelm’s nominated ‘Moreland Woods’ to be preserved by Portland Parks & Recreation. We hope the new owners will recognize the value that it has to the community, and the love that everyone has for the spot; it’s become beloved in the neighborhood.”

During that January public meeting, Friends of Moreland Woods Vice-Chair Amrita Vatsal pointed out that The Foundation Partners Group’s new proposal hasn’t been finalized – not yet.

The funeral home’s southeast parking lot, on the east side of 14th, recently used by the Moreland Farmers Market, has already been sold for development, she said. “Their proposal will reduce the quantity of land under their conditional use; they’re proposing to carve out the other parking lot to the northeast of Wilhelm’s and remove that from conditional use zoning, in order to potentially sell it.”

The Foundation Partners Group’s consultant, “DOWL HKM Planning Group” Manager Read Stapleton, confirmed that the group’s plans now call for adding about 23 parking spaces along the north side of the Mausoleum within the Moreland Woods section, and adding burial plots there, too.

He pointed out that the proposal includes a 15-foot-wide public access path at the north end of the lot, from S.E. 14th Avenue to the Oaks Bluff Path, as part of the plan. “The new owners fully appreciate how awesome the trees are,” Stapleton assured the forty neighbors gathered in the school’s cafetorium.

“[Not all the trees] will be saved, if there are to be cemetery plots, because there’ll be some ground disturbance when excavating funeral plots,” Stapleton said. “There will not be mass grading – but there will be grading for the parking area. The intent, for the cemetery itself, is that the ground contours would remain as they are today.”

The Foundation Partners’ new proposal for “Moreland Woods” will be presented to the neighborhood association at the SMILE General Meeting on Wednesday, March 6. We’ll keep you informed on this issue. For more background on the matter, go online – http://www.morelandwoods.org



Cleveland High School, C H S, Southeast Portland, logo, Nike, design, revealed, Phil Knight, Portland, Oregon
Cleveland High School staffers Jacque Fitzgerald and Tim Graham, and Claire Millon preview for THE BEE the school’s new logo, emblazoned on shirts – which, minutes later, were given to all students and staff members. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Cleveland High gets new logo ‘identity’

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

On Thursday, January 31, during an afternoon all-school assembly that filled every seat in the capacious Auditorium, Cleveland High School (CHS) students and staff were introduced to their school’s new identity.

No, they’re not going back to their original 1916 name, “Commercial High School”, nor as – they were renamed only a year later – “High School of Commerce”; or even the name they took on when the campus moved east, across the Willamette River to its current location in 1929, the “Clinton Kelly High School of Commerce”.  This storied school remains “Cleveland High”.

“Actually, we’ve been working with a committee of students, faculty and alum in a ‘rebranding’ project,” explained Nike Graphic Identity Group Art Director Paul Sullivan, before the assembly began.

“To us, ‘rebranding’ is creating a new logotype and [graphic identity] system based on the school’s rich history; and, at the same time, setting them up for what’s to come in the future,” Sullivan told THE BEE.

After researching the school’s history, and meeting with the committee, Sullivan and his artists at Nike developed a new “primary logo”, a secondary logo, and “word-marks” – a textual representation of the school’s “brand”. “The school’s colors, the green and yellow, are very strong, and are part of their history,” Sullivan noted. “So, the effort we focused on was modifying the ‘C’ logo style into something they can use, with pride, in the years to come.”

Asked if there was a connection between the rebranding project and the company’s founder, former Eastmoreland resident and 1955 CHS graduate Phil Knight, Sullivan replied, “His vision and aspiration are probably the biggest tie, as far as how we work in this design group; committing to the best.”

According to CHS Special Projects Coordinator Jan Watt, “Portland Public Schools Zone 6” Board Member Julia Brim-Edwards, a NIKE employee and a former Cleveland parent, had asked Graphic Identity Group to consider the project.

The “big reveal” at the CHS assembly began with a corporate image video narrated by Phil Knight. Then, in a professional presentation of “T.E.D. Talk” quality, Sullivan explained how their research of Cleveland High led to the development of the new logo.

After that, members of the committee were invited onto the stage – where they all peeled off their outerwear to reveal the new gold logo on a crisp green T-shirt.

Just before dismissing the students back to their classes, everyone got one more surprise: All of the staff and students received a new T-shirt featuring the new branding for the school.

CHS Principal Ayesha Freeman commented on the project: “It allows us a tremendous opportunity to celebrate our school, and our greater school community, in a way that brings us together and brings a stronger sense of who we are!

“I am completely starry-eyed – feeling excited, and even more than that, humbled – that Nike ‘said yes’ to partnering with us, and were willing and eager to create our school’s visual identity, pro bono, with us,” she said.



snow day, schools closed, Southeast, Portland, Oregon
Young Kennedy, and her mom Kirsten Rush, enjoyed the “snow day” in Brentwood Park. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Complicated weather: Snow day, freezing temps, and a lot of rain

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

Demonstrating to Inner Southeast Portland residents that winter is really here, snowfall on the morning of February 5 paralyzed traffic, caused a “Snow Day” closing of all area Portland Public Schools, and hampered businesses.

The one-day blizzard of unusually dry and fluffy snow was the result of “cold meeting moist”, explained National Weather Service Portland (NWSP) Meteorologist Colby Neuman to THE BEE, while looking at the computer displays at his East Portland offices.

“We have cold air that’s been coming down south from Canada and Alaska, and picking up just enough moisture coming east off the Pacific Ocean, to bring us some low elevation snow,” Neuman said.

Unlike other years, in which meteorologists were apparently caught by surprise, they accurately foretold this weather event. “In this case, our weather models were hinting at the strong possibility of low elevation snow a week before the snowfall.”

Snowfall takes the right combination of conditions, Neuman explained. “If we have too much cold air coming from the interior, we tend to dry out and it’s just cold. If moisture comes in significantly over the ocean it tends to modify [weather conditions], and warm up just enough that we see a few flakes in the air, but it’ll be mostly rain.

When it’s a week out, we don’t necessarily trust any model solution,” Neuman pointed out. That weekend, the snow turned to slush, and then froze in sub-freezing temperatures.

As more-typical rainy winter weather returned, Portland Meteorologist Scott Weishaar reviewed the forecast with the actual conditions in the area. “We had a battle between the warm southerly flow up from the Willamette Valley with the cold flow coming from the east, through the Columbia Gorge; the warm southerly flow won out.”

There was plenty of precipitation, Weishaar observed, “but the cold air boundary line stalled further to the north and west of Inner Southeast Portland, so it didn’t turn out to be quite as cold as anticipated.

But, the whole West Coast has been cooler and wetter than usual lately (snow in San Diego??) -- and there's just no telling what the rest of the winter may have in store for us.



Dougy Center, grieving children, million dollars, grant, Southeast, Portland, Oregon
Local New York Life representative Kimberly Wuepper Rudick presents the ceremonial check to Dougy Center Executive Director Brennan Wood, and Board Chair Ashleigh Gunter. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Southeast’s ‘Dougy Center’ granted $1 million

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

The Dougy Center for Grieving Children & Families – long based in the Creston-Kenilworth neighborhood on S.E. 52nd Avenue, just south of Foster Road – has survived a devastating fire, and other setbacks over the years.

And, the organization continues to thrive – thanks to the support of their volunteers, and financial sustenance from bequests, donations, and grants. The innovative Center now shares their model of care through training locally, nationally, and internationally, assisting individuals and organizations seeking to help children in grief.

On January 29, The Dougy Center learned they’d be getting big boost from the New York Life Foundation – a $1 million grant to be received in thirds, over the next three years.

“This grant will fund program development trainings, scholarships, and a best-practices manual that will help share our Center’s model that emphasizes peer grief support – in which children and teens share their experiences through play, art, talking, and other activities,” explained Dougy Center Board Chair Ashleigh Gunter – while accepting the “big check” on Friday evening, February 8.

“While we’re headquartered and host our support groups right here in Inner Southeast Portland, this grant will allow us to share our model more broadly; so, we’re really excited about it,” Gunter told THE BEE. “In addition to being able to more widely share our message and methods, this grant validates the model that we have worked so hard on over the years.”

During the brief ceremony in the Center’s “living room”, Dougy Center Executive Director Brennan Wood reminded the gathered supporters, “Our mission is to ensure that no child grieves alone; anything that enables us to serve more children is at the top of our priority list!”

After the check presentation, local New York Life representative Kimberly Wuepper Rudick commented, “This is a ‘passion project’ of our company, as we strive to support our communities.”

To learn more about The Dougy Center, go online – https://www.dougy.org





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