Eric Norberg, Editor & Gen. Manager
Brian Monihan, Publisher
Sandy Hubbard, Independent BEE
     Advertising Representative
Molly Filler, Page Design
Jaime McCaslin, Accounting

Eric Norberg:          Sandy Hubbard:
Call: 503 / 232-2326    Text: 971 / 407-7942
 fax: 503/232-9787


"Community Classifieds" want ads: 503/620-7355
Circulation/subscriptions: 503/620-9797
Accounting/Billing: 971/204-7712
Community Newspapers, Inc.

Editorial and Sales Address:
1837 S.E. Harold St, Portland, OR 97202-4932
Remit bill payments to:
Accounts Receivable Department
P.O. Box 22109, Portland, OR 97269-2109

e-mail:
ReadTheBee@myexcel.com


THE BEE IS LOCALLY OWNED BY THE PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP

February, 2023 - Vol. 117, No. 6
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 the special centenary retrospective!


_________________________________________
BEE SUBMISSION AND AD DEADLINES

Next BEE is our March
issue, with a deadline of February 16.
(The April issue has an ad and copy deadline of March 16.)

INTERESTED IN ADVERTISING? CLICK HERE FOR RATES AND INFORMATION!
     ____________________________________

Want to subscribe to receive the PRINT version of THE BEE in the mail?
Email circulation@pamplinmedia.com -- or telephone 503/620-9797, during weekday business hours.
The 12-issue annual subscription rate is $25 per year for addresses anywhere in the United States.. International rates available; inquire via the e-mail address or the telephone number just above!

 _________________________________________________________________________


Daily news! 
The Portland Tribune is updated a number of times every day, to bring you the latest news of the Portland area and Oregon.  Click on the banner at left to read the Tribune online!

THE BEE has a second website -- searchable for past stories.  The content for the current month includes what is on this one, presented in a different format.  To visit our newer website, click the banner at right!

GDPR NOTICE: The owner of this website, www.ReadTheBee.com, collects no information on this site from any reader, and never has.



One of the most disruptive events in the December 27 wind and rain storm was the toppling of four tall wooden power poles across the Holgate Viaduct over the Brooklyn Train Yard, bringing down not only distribution powerlines but regional high voltage transmission lines, leading to power outages of over 24 hours in checkerboarded sections of Southeast Portland.
One of the most disruptive events in the December 27 wind and rain storm was the toppling of four tall wooden power poles across the Holgate Viaduct over the Brooklyn Train Yard, bringing down not only distribution powerlines but regional high voltage transmission lines, leading to power outages of over 24 hours in checkerboarded sections of Southeast Portland. (Courtesy of PGE)
Shortly after heavy winds brought down four tall high-voltage distribution power poles on the Holgate Viaduct, drivers beheld the ends of the broken off poles, fallen into the railroad yard below.
Shortly after heavy winds brought down four tall high-voltage distribution power poles on the Holgate Viaduct, drivers beheld the ends of the broken off poles, fallen into the railroad yard below. (Photo by Jonathan House, Pamplin Media Group)

Sleet, rain, high winds wreak havoc at end of 2022

By RITA A. LEONARD
For THE BEE

Tuesday, December 27, was the rainiest day of the past year, with well over two inches tallied in Inner Southeast Portland. The previous Friday, December 23, found the city pretty much immobilized as a sleet storm coated everything with a quarter to a half inch of frozen pellets; it looked like snow, and crunched like snow when you walked in it, but it was ice – and most people stayed home.

The heavy rain on December 27 was accompanied by high winds – officially gusting near 50 miles an hour at the National Weather Service office at the Portland Airport. However, it’s hard not to think that considerably stronger winds raked Inner Southeast between 10 a.m. and noon that day – the Oregon Parks Department says some of its parks were damaged by winds of up to 75 miles per hour – since astonishing damage was reported in a south-north line from Sellwood to the Brooklyn neighborhood in Southeast Portland.

Trees (and utility poles) that had stood up to 50 m.p.h. winds before were brought down across neighborhoods served by THE BEE, and there were many patchwork power failures all over Inner Southeast. Some intersections had traffic lights out for a full day, while nearby traffic lights continued operating. Some homes and businesses had few if any power interruptions, while others suffered a lack of electricity for over a day. Regionally, as many as 200,000 customers were out of power at its peak, as the big storm roared through.

The one power disruption that drew the most attention and had the most impact in Inner Southeast occurred on Holgate Boulevard – atop the viaduct carrying drivers over the Brooklyn Train Yard, between S.E. 17th Avenue and 24th Avenue. At 10:17 a.m. December 27th one of the extra-high wooden utility pones on that bridge snapped at its base in a powerful wind gust, and fell over the north-side railing of overpass into the railroad yard below. It took three other such poles on that viaduct down with it.

PGE foreman Cody Bell later explained, “High winds across open spaces such as on the Holgate Viaduct often create a domino effect when they begin to blow down power poles. Once one goes down, the adjacent poles and wires pull others down with them.”

Since these poles carry the high-voltage regional electrical lines from the nearby PGE substation at 24th and Cora westward, before turning south on 17th, and then east on Reedway Street in Westmoreland, most of north Westmoreland and some of Brooklyn lost power at that moment. When PGE crews arrived they found that to restore service they would have to mount four new extra-high poles on the bridge, then replace all the fallen high-voltage lines. Power was not restored to most the affected areas until 12:40 p.m. the following day, and crews were still at work connecting other utilities carried by those poles two days later.

That spectacular utility pole failure on Holgate, disrupting high voltage distribution in Southeast Portland, apparently triggered a chain of outages of various lengths on the power grid as far east as S.E. 82nd, and as far south as Highway 224. PGE and Pacific Power brought in repair crews from all over the region, and they were kept busy throughout Western Oregon – even, in some of the more remote areas, well into the following week.

THE BEE contacted Andrea Platt of PGE for a perspective on all the damage:

“With multiple crews doing multiple repairs, I’m unable to piece together what specifically happened. Generally, I can tell you that we saw significant damage from uprooted, leaning, and fallen trees – as well as from sodden, heavy tree limbs. When trees and heavy limbs lean and/or fall, they can damage equipment, and even snap power poles in some cases.

“The soil was already saturated from the pre-Christmas ice and rain, and the heavy rains last week added to the soil saturation. When saturated soil turns to mud, the high winds move the trees more impactfully – creating a recipe for trees to uproot and fall.

“To your question of other significant outages in Southeast, following the Tuesday, Dece,ber 27, rain and wind storm, PGE restored more than 235,000 outages caused by the weather, falling trees, branches, and debris. Those outages occurred across our entire service area – including in Southeast Portland.

“PGE and contractor crews numbered in the hundreds every day last week as we worked on restoration – more than 600 on Tuesday and Wednesday, and more than 500 on Thursday and Friday. It’s difficult to say how many were dispatched and active in any one particular area at any one particular point, given how dynamic the impacts of the storm were.”

David F. Ashton contributed to this story.



Golfers at the PP&R-owned Eastmoreland Golf Course had an extra hazard to deal with on December 27th, in the form of a large tree down on the greens.
Golfers at the PP&R-owned Eastmoreland Golf Course had an extra hazard to deal with on December 27th, in the form of a large tree down on the greens. (Photo by Rita A. Leonard)

December 27th windstorm brought down branches, trees

By RITA A. LEONARD
For THE BEE

As reported in our headline story this month, the rain and wind storm of Tuesday, December 27, wreaked unusual havoc on Southeast Portland – to a surprising degree, since the wind gusts recorded at the National Weather Service office at the Portland Airport topped out around an unremarkable 50 m.p.h.

It is hard not to think that somehow the localized gusts in the neighborhoods lining the east side of the Willamette River must have significantly exceeded what the Weather Bureau was measuring at the airport.

The snapping off of four poles carrying high voltage transmission lines on the Holgate Viaduct undoubtedly had the greatest and most widespread impact of all, in Southeast Portland; but BEE correspondents observed some sort of tree damage – minor or major – on nearly every block we traveled in Inner Southeast that day.

Below are three more of the photos we took to document the aftermath.


This street tree at S.E. 27th and Knapp was still standing – but many of its limbs were down on the sidewalk, down in the street, and down on the utility lines. This tree had certainly had better days than this one.
This street tree at S.E. 27th and Knapp was still standing – but many of its limbs were down on the sidewalk, down in the street, and down on the utility lines. This tree had certainly had better days than this one. (Photo by Rita A. Leonard)
A street tree on Woodstock Boulevard across from Reed College lost a huge branch in the wind, cut up and left at the side of the road by PBOT; and then PGE crews responded to repair the power lines it had brought down.
A street tree on Woodstock Boulevard across from Reed College lost a huge branch in the wind, cut up and left at the side of the road by PBOT; and then PGE crews responded to repair the power lines it had brought down. (Photo by David F. Ashton)
One of Eastmoreland’s signature elm trees uprooted and fell entirely across the grass median along Reed College Place, in the course of the December 27th rain and wind storm.
One of Eastmoreland’s signature elm trees uprooted and fell entirely across the grass median along Reed College Place, in the course of the December 27th rain and wind storm. (Photo by Rita A. Leonard)
This map shows the boundaries of the newly-listed “Eastmoreland Historic District”.
This map shows the boundaries of the newly-listed “Eastmoreland Historic District”. (Courtesy of Oregon SHPO)

A decade of controversy, but Eastmoreland Historic District finally established

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

An effort to distinguish a large portion of the neighborhood as a federally-protected “Historic District” first became known to many Eastmoreland residents when those proposing the action – and others who opposed it – displayed at the neighborhood’s 2012 Independence Day Parade.

What was originally expected to be a year-long process ended up being a decade of wrangling, controversy, and strife among Eastmoreland neighbors. THE BEE has told the story every step of the way, to keep the neighborhood informed on its twists and turns.

Those in favor of the proposal said the Historic District would preserve the nature of the neighborhood, limit redevelopment, and end the splitting of lots, allowing contractors to raze a “historic” home to build two new homes in its place.

But, other neighbors stood against the proposed Historic District, contending that it could limit and restrict the rights of homeowners -- including how they could upgrade or change their homes – and warning that such restrictions could reduce property values.

Into the courts
Over the years, the proposal was submitted to the federal National Park Service (NPS) repeatedly with a recommendation to list it in the National Register of Historic Places – but each time it was rejected, due to issues related to the counting of the number of property owners in favor and opposed (a majority was required to approve). Specifically, in May of 2017, April of 2018, and May of 2019.

One of the most unusual complications in the counting of objections occurred when a handful of homeowners instituted hundreds “trusts” as owners of their single properties, contending that each of these trusts could legally cast a vote against the proposed district, thus overwhelming the large number of “yes” votes from other individual residents. Eventually that strategy was legally ruled out.

But, the rules in place at the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) at the time didn’t specifically cover how to count residences and owners, for voting purposes. The led to litigation which ended up causing the SHPO to enter into a lengthy rule-making process, complete with opportunities to comment, all done during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On September 30th of last year, SHPO again resubmitted the nomination to the NPS, concluding that the majority of voting property owners in the affected area of Eastmoreland actually had approved the District’s formation. “The NPS will make the final decision about listing the District,” said Associate Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer Ian Johnson in a BEE interview at the time.

Finally, after a lengthy public comment period and review, the NPS announced on December 7, 2022, just as the Januar4y BEE was going to press, that it had approved the nomination for the Eastmoreland Historic District to be entered into the National Register of Historic Places on December 7, 2022.

Neighbors chime in
After learning of the decision, Tom Brown, an Eastmoreland resident and opponent of the Historic District, remarked to THE BEE. “I’m extremely disappointed the NPS approved a six-year-old nomination that allows a whole neighborhood to be designated ‘historic’, when it’s not historic. The approval gives the Eastmoreland neighborhood special protection that interferes with Portland land use.”

Proponent Derek Blum, whose organization HEART (“Historic Eastmoreland Achieving Results Together”) had promoted the concept, told THE BEE, “After a long and controversial process, I am thrilled that much of Eastmoreland has now been designated as an Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places. This will help ensure that Eastmoreland’s architectural history will be preserved, by preventing most future demolitions and retaining the special qualities of the neighborhood for future generations.”

Current Eastmoreland Neighborhood Association President Matthew Timberlake – the ENA had originally proposed the idea – commented to THE BEE, making it clear he was speaking only for himself and not the neighborhood association’s Board, “I'm so grateful to the members of the Eastmoreland Neighborhood Association, past and present, as well as the members of HEART, and our neighbors – all of whom have worked so hard to achieve this important designation for our neighborhood.

“It’s my sincere hope that we now can recognize the efforts of all of our neighbors, on both sides of this issue, and thank them all for their work on behalf of our neighborhood.”



In rain-soaked Oaks Bottom, workers used excavators to locate the leaking 60-inch water main that serves the area west of the Willamette River.
In rain-soaked Oaks Bottom, workers used excavators to locate the leaking 60-inch water main that serves the area west of the Willamette River. (Courtesy of Henrik Bothe)
PWB crews dug through the muck and mire of Oaks Bottom to locate a break in the huge water main.
PWB crews dug through the muck and mire of Oaks Bottom to locate a break in the huge water main. (Courtesy Portland Water Bureau)

Huge water pipe breaks in Oaks Bottom, challenging PWB crews

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

Due to onset of cold weather, from December 19 through the end of the month, Portland Water Bureau (PWB) crews have had their hands full, responding to 35 water main breaks.

“During the cold snap, and the days following, the Bureau received more than 850 calls about water problems, and supported nearly 180 requests from customers for emergency water shut-offs due to frozen or broken pipes at their homes or businesses,” PWB Public Information Officer Felicia Heaton told THE BEE.

But, before the big chill, in late November, a break in the “Washington County Supply Line” -- a five-foot-diameter pipe that delivers water to Washington County, broke in Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge.

The pipe is approaches Oaks Bottom buried under S.E. Ellis Street in Westmoreland. From Oaks Bottom it crosses the Willamette River on the way to Washington County.

“This vital piece of infrastructure allows the Water Bureau to distribute water to tens of thousands of people west of the Willamette River,” Heaton said. PWB Maintenance, Construction and Operations Division crews responded swiftly to the pipe break, isolating the broken section without disrupting water transport to residents and businesses on the west side of town.

This break presented multiple challenges for repair crews, we learned. First, it’s in a sensitive natural area that was also once an illegal landfill, which meant workers first needed to widen paths, remove trees, and protect crews from hazardous soils.

“It was on Portland Parks property, so significant coordination was needed to obtain a permit for vehicular access to the site,” Heaton said. “We also coordinated with the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services to find a suitable location to dispose of the soils from excavating the ground around the pipe.

“With a five-foot-wide pipe, there was a lot of soil to remove; crews excavated a 30 by 50-foot area that was 11 feet deep in some places,” described Heaton.

Once excavated, it became clear that the restraint system that kept the pipe in place had failed. A contractor then welded the pipe joint restraints together, making the pipe even stronger, for the future.

“As of early January, the Bureau has completed 75 percent of the pipe repair, including the welding,” Heaton said. “Now, crews are patching the inside and outside of the pipe.”

The timing of the final steps, including back-filling the area and restoring the surface is weather-dependent.



After a noontime shooting wounded a teenage student, officers mark evidence in the street near Cleveland High School.
After a noontime shooting wounded a teenage student, officers mark evidence in the street near Cleveland High School. (Courtesy KOIN-TV-6)

Student injured in shooting outside Cleveland High

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

An unidentified student was wounded in a shooting outside of Cleveland High School (CHS) on December 12, a Monday, during the lunch hour.

At 12:34 p.m., Central Precinct officers were dispatched to the school after receiving several calls, reporting a shooting. As is their policy, Cleveland High immediately went into lockdown.

Upon arrival, officers closed off S.E. Franklin Street- - the road that is immediately north of the school, as well as 26th to 28th Avenues. Members of PPB’s Enhanced Community Safety Team (ECST) arrived spearhead the investigation.

In the street, and also on the school’s property, officers found spent bullet casings. Missing from the crime scene, however, was any shooting victim.

But at 12:50 p.m. a 16-year-old suffering from a non-life-threatening gunshot wound walked into a local hospital. Investigators determined that the teenager was a CHS student, and had been injured in the shooting earlier that hour at the school.

According to witnesses, two vehicles may have been involved, but neither vehicle was located.

“Based on the investigation by the ECST so far, detectives are confirming that the incident was not a random act; and that the individuals involved were focused on each other and not the school,” a PPB spokesperson reported later that week.

“The involved subjects have been identified; however, at this time, no arrests have been made,” the Portland Police official added.

Nonetheless, if you have any information about the shooting, but have not yet spoken with detectives, e-mail  crimetips@police.portlandoregon.gov; attention: ECST – and refer to Case No. 22-329000.



A PPB Forensics Division investigator takes photos of evidence in the east parking lot at Franklin High School, just south of the gymnasium where a basketball tournament was taking place at the time of the shooting outside.
A PPB Forensics Division investigator takes photos of evidence in the east parking lot at Franklin High School, just south of the gymnasium where a basketball tournament was taking place at the time of the shooting outside. (Photo by David F. Ashton)
This is the gun recovered at the scene by detectives, who believe it was the one used in a shooting in the Franklin High east parking lot, outside the gym where a basketball tournament was underway. One student was slightly wounded.
This is the gun recovered at the scene by detectives, who believe it was the one used in a shooting in the Franklin High east parking lot, outside the gym where a basketball tournament was underway. One student was slightly wounded. (Courtesy of PPB)

Shooting near Franklin High basketball game nicks student

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

A shooting took place outside the Franklin High School (FHS) Gymnasium during a basketball tournament on Saturday evening, January 7. A Portland Public Schools student sustained a “graze wound” injury in the attack, but the teen declined medical attention.

At 7:39 p.m., a Portland Police officer – who was working an overtime detail at the school – heard shots fired outside of the building. The officer radioed for backup and within three minutes East Precinct officers and sergeants, along with the PPB “Focused Intervention Team” (FIT), and a K9 Unit soon filled the school’s east parking lot, just south of the gym building, while the police Air Support Unit circled overhead.

In addition to finding evidence of gunfire in the parking lot, thanks to help from detectives from the PPB Enhanced Community Safety Team, officers also recovered a handgun.

Off campus, and some distance from the shooting, FIT officers soon located the apparent shooter – a 15-year-old male. He was later booked into the Donald E. Long Juvenile Detention Center on an unrelated arrest warrant, plus a new charge of Unlawful Possession of a Firearm.

On Monday, two days later, PPS provided “trauma counseling” to Franklin High students.

Superintendent changes mind on police
You may recall that PPS Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero announced, in June of 2020, that all police officers would be removed from high schools. Within days, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler disbanded the PPB's Youth Services Division, consisting of School Resources Officers (SRO), and reassigned them to other posts.

Including the December 12th noontime shooting at Cleveland High School less than a month ago, this was the fourth shooting outside a Portland Public Schools campus in the last several weeks. Perhaps the recent spate of shootings at schools is what has changed Guerreo’s mind.

“The Superintendent has asked for additional [PPB] patrols, and that’s a continuing conversation,” PPS spokesperson Valerie Feder confirmed to reporters that same week.

The possibility that PPS may again allow officers on its campuses was announced in a letter to parents, distributed the same week as the Franklin High shooting, digitally-signed by PPS Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero. In part, he wrote, “We will accelerate talks with the City and PPB to step up patrols in the immediate neighborhoods around schools.”

While it appears that PPB School Resource Officers are not likely yet to be invited back inside the schools, perhaps the recent shootings at local schools will at least lead to a greater police presence around them.

Even though a suspect was taken into custody, if you have information about this incident the police want to hear it. Please send an email to – crimetips@police.portlandoregon.gov – to the attention of ECST; and, refer to Case No. 23-6295.

Or, you can send an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers of Oregon, by going online – http://www.crimestoppersoforegon.com




Comments? News tips? Click here to submit!

Trying to remember or locate a BEE advertiser? Click here to e-mail us, and we'll help!

Fair warning:  We have so many great photos on page 2 this month, it may take a while to load on slower connections!  If that applies to you, click the link below, then go get refreshment, come back, relax, and prepare to enjoy what we have for you on page 2!

READY TO TURN TO PAGE 2 -- FOR "MORE NEWS"? Click here!

Note to readers: At some point, this, our original Internet website, may be replaced at this web address by our new website, as part of the Community Newspapers group. At that time, you will still be able to access this, our original -- and smartphone-friendly -- website, if you save this address:  www.sePDXnews.com. Right now, it takes you to our newest website; if you ever find our newest website appearing at www.ReadTheBee.com, you will then be able to find this old familiar website at that "sePDXnews" address.  And, you'll still have your choice of which one to visit!

Entire contents © 2023, THE BEE
; Pamplin Media, all rights reserved.




HTML Hit Counters
Hit Counters