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July 2014 -- Vol. 108, No. 11

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!


The next issue will be our August
issue, with a deadline of July 17.
(The September issue has an ad and copy deadline of August 14.)


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NOW -- subscribe securely, online -- by clicking

But, if you would rather not do it online, you can E-mail or telephone 503/968-6397. The 12-issue annual subscription rate is $14 per year for addresses located in Multnomah County, Oregon; and $24 for anywhere else in the U.S.(it's based on the differential postage rates for our class of postage). For international rates, inquire via that e-mail address just above!

Daily news!  The all-new daily PORTLAND TRIBUNE website  is updated throughout the day, every day, when news breaks out.  Click the banner at left to keep up to date on the banner news throughout the Rose City!

THE BEE has a second website -- it's searchable for past stories.  The content for the current month is similar to this one, presented in a different format.  To visit the other website, click the banner at right!

Transit bridge, Tilicum Crossing
Approaching from the east side, Elected officials draw close to the center span of the new TriMet “Tilikum Crossing” bridge. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Officials celebrate TriMet transit bridge milestone


East and west segments of TriMet’s new transit bridge were officially joined late in May. And, on June 6th, government and transit officials celebrated – with a ceremonial first walk from the east and west sides of the bridge, so that project partners could meet in the middle.

The event provided a rare opportunity for THE BEE to snap photos of the new bridge – which will carry the new MAX light rail line down S.E. 17th and McLoughlin Boulevard to Milwaukie – with Portland’s Inner Southeast as the backdrop.

Awaiting the approach of the governmental luminaries, TriMet Resident Engineer Dave Tertadian remarked that work on the bridge, dubbed Tilikum Crossing, is far from complete.

“We are installing the track right now,” Tertadian began. “We also need to finish up the concrete work and install the handrails.”

Also, systems contractors will soon be working to “electrify” the bridge.

“This means putting on the catenary cables, the overhead contacts, and the lighting systems,” Tertadian explained.

“Once it is electrified, then we will bring trains across, and train not only our light rail operators, but also the bus drivers [who will be driving across it]. There's quite a bit of training that needs to go on before we actually open it to the public. 

Led by a TriMet employee holding up a large orange flag – symbolizing that the bridge will carry the new light rail Orange Line – officials met in the center of the 1,720 foot long, four-pier, cable-stayed bridge.

“We’re here, tying our city together with the rest of our region. We should be very proud today,” proclaimed TriMet General Manager Neil McFarlane before a helicopter paused overhead to snap photos of the gathering, and a Portland Fire & Rescue fire boat shot celebratory streams of water into the air.

Tilikum Crossing, the “Bridge of the People”, is designed to carry light rail trains, buses, cyclists, pedestrians and streetcars – but not private vehicles.

Two 14-feet-wide bicycle and pedestrian paths – each two feet wider than standard vehicle lanes – will welcome alternative transportation commuters and sports riders, when it opens in September of 2015.

Henderson Street, shots fired, Holy Family School, Jason Edward Mooney
With the suspect in custody, officers debrief with the sergeant. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

“Shots fired” call locks-down Eastmoreland school


Perhaps the homeowner at 4027 S.E. Henderson Street – just five houses east of S.E. 39th (César Chavez Blvd), and of Holy Family Catholic School – wasn’t aware of the tragic school shooting that had just happened at Reynolds High School at 8:00 am on June 10.

At any rate, a Woodstock resident couldn’t have chosen a worse time to settle a domestic dispute – with a gun. The officers not already at Reynolds converged on that address in Woodstock at 10:45 am, called to the area of the house to investigate reports of one or more gunshots being fired.

From S.E. 42nd Avenue, west to the school, police officers closed off Henderson Street.

“There’s a subject with a gun down there, so I advise you to take cover,” a Portland Police sergeant told us – as other officers, one with a bean-bag shotgun and another with a high-power rifle, closed in on the house.

Police at the scene told THE BEE that Holy Family Catholic School had been advised to go into lock-down while the situation was being resolved. 

Jason Edward Mooney
38-year-old Jason Edward Mooney was arrested on three Misdemeanor charges, related to the “shots fired” domestic-violence incident in Woodstock. (MCDC booking photo)

Unofficial word from the school was they’d followed that advice, and kept students safely where they were at the time, in Holy Family Catholic School, just one street south of the location, until officers gave the all-clear at 11:22 am.

That was when police arrested the homeowner, 38-year-old Jason Edward Mooney.

“Reports show that Mooney shot a rifle into the yard, near his ex-girlfriend, who was trespassing on his property,” revealed PPB Public Information Officer Sgt. Pete Simpson.

Mooney was arrested and transported to the Multnomah County Detention Center, where he was processed at 12:49 pm on charges of Discharging a Firearm in the City, “Domestic Violence – Menacing”, and Reckless Endangerment, according to court records. All three are misdemeanor charges.

After making bail, Mooney was released later the same day.

Grout School, Sellwood Middle School, principals
Sellwood Middle School’s new Principal, Brian Anderson, is at left; the new Principal of Grout Elementary School, Annie Tabshy, is at right. (Courtesy of Portland Public Schools)

New Principals for Grout Elementary, Sellwood Middle School


New Principals have been selected for leadership roles at Grout Elementary School on Holgate Boulevard and Sellwood Middle School on S.E. Umatilla Street.

Grout Principal Susan McElroy has retired as of the end of the school year this month, and is being replaced with Annie Tabshy, previously the Principal at Maplewood Elementry School – and a veteran of 22 years in Portland Public Schools.

Sellwood Principal Charlene Russell is also retiring this summer, and administrator Brian Anderson has been chosen to replace her.

Both appointees tell THE BEE they are eager to take the helm, and learn about their new schools’ culture and educational focus.

New Grout Pricipal Annie Tabshy has been a classroom teacher at both Rigler and Boise-Eliot Schools, and previously worked with Susan McElroy in the Nike Summer Academy project for students heading to first and second grade. At Boise-Eliot she also served as the Title I reading teacher for K-3 students, and as a reading coach.

In addition, Tashby was also a literacy TOSA (Teacher On Special Assignment) at the District level. In her administrative roles, Ms. Tabshy was Assistant Principal at Beverly Cleary K-8 School for three years, and Principal at Maplewood Elementary for three years.

She says she is excited to move to Grout School where she loves “the warm feeling you get when you walk through the front doors”. Literacy has been a strong focus throughout her career, and Grout students should enjoy a strong focus on reading and writing skills.

Sellwood Middle School’s new Principal, Brian Anderson, was introduced to the community at an informal coffee event at the school on June 3.

 Outgoing Principal Charlene Russell has enjoyed the support and encouragement she received there for the past four years, and said, “The kids here are just fantastic, and the teaching staff is incredible. It’s been an honor and a privilege to lead S.M.S., and I will miss it more than I can say.”

Anderson brings with him an impressive career in collaborative leadership. Prior to his educational career, he spent twenty years as a mediation and arbitration manager. At Portland Public Schools, he brings broad experience as a teacher in general and in Special Education, as well as leadership as a curriculum specialist in literacy. He taught at Kelly and Scott Elementary schools – and Beaumont Middle School, where he led a Special Education behavior classroom. He served three years as Assistant Principal at Mt. Tabor Middle School, and five years leading Buckman.

Anderson helped refine Buckman’s arts focus, and worked to develop opportunities for staff in both academics and the arts.

“I have seen miracles happen when a student connects to the arts, and it has been a life-changing experience for me,” he says. “I’m excited to bring a passion for learning and leading to Sellwood Middle School, and I plan to focus on equity and appreciation of the arts here.”

Sellwood Bridge, belvedere benches
Seated before the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners, the ACE Academy graduating seniors described the process they used to design and construct the prototype bench. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

ACE students design new Sellwood Bridge’s belvedere benches


For the past three school years, students from the Architecture Construction Engineering Academy (ACE Academy) charter school have participated in the new Sellwood Bridge Project in meaningful ways.

When the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners met on the morning of Thursday, June 12, a semicircular wood and steel bench had been assembled before them in the chamber.

“This year, students from the ACE Academy were to design and build four benches to be installed at belvederes on the new Sellwood Bridge,” Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury announced, as the presentation began.

“The project turned out to be a little more daunting than anticipated,” Kafoury continued. “This year, the students focused on the bench’s design, and on building the full scale prototype you see here before you.”

Graduating ACE Academy seniors Jesse Martinez, Rebekah Fast, Taylor Lehman, and Ethan Wells introduced themselves – and then began with a PowerPoint presentation, taking turns telling about all the different aspects of their project.

In the beginning, the students explained, they’d met with representatives of the architectural firm – Safdie Rabines Architects – regarding bench design specified for the bridge. And, they checked in with bridge-building officials throughout the year, as the designed process developed.

The students described why they modified the original architects’ design to strengthen the bench. And, they added arches between the legs on the bench, and rounded the armrests to complement the arches of the bridge.

As part of establishing a design and building process, the students calculated time and material price estimates, and made a detailed cost analysis. They applied math skills when making scale drawings, performing calculations to make sure the benches would fit appropriately.

And they applied other skills for stress testing bench frames and joints, and analyzing the types of welding and wood stain that would be best for the environment.

The Multnomah County Commissioners applauded both the students’ diligence and their final project. Commissioner Judy Shiprack commented, “I am really in awe!”

The project’s supervisor – also an ACE Academy math instructor – Doug Mella looked pleased, both with the prototype and with his students’ presentation. “This is a real-life project, giving our students real-life experience that an architect and engineer would go through.  It’s been an extremely valuable experience for them. They did a great job.”

A new team of seniors will use the prototype to actually build the four permanent benches during the 2014-2015 school year. The benches will be in place when the new bridge opens in the fall of 2015.

As the county commissioners moved on to other business, Sellwood Bridge Replacement Project Manager Ian Cannon commented to THE BEE, “The bench design is awesome. We’re already looking forward to having those on the bridge.”

About the overall project, Cannon said the contractors are making good progress. “We’re at about the 60% mark on the project – and pretty much on schedule and on budget.”

Follow the Sellwood Bridge rebuilding project process at its website:

Learn more about the outer East Portland ACE Academy charter school by going online to:

Johnson Creek Boulevard, shooting
Officers, investigators and detectives from both the Portland and Milwaukie Police Bureaus begin their investigations. The vehicle in the garden at rear was driven by the suspect, and wound up in that position after rebounding from the police car he rammed in an attempt at escape. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Man shot when ramming police car after pursuit


Knowing that there were outstanding warrants for his arrest was probably why a former Lebanon, Oregon, man tried to flee from a simple traffic stop just before 8 am on Wednesday morning, June 11.

Just across the border in Clackamas County, two Milwaukie Police officers stopped a white SUV near the intersection of S.E. 52nd Avenue and Harney Street, across from the former White Stag corporate office.

When the officers ran the man’s identification, they found that the subject of their inquiry, 38-year-old, Travis Blake Utley, was indeed, a wanted man.

Travis Blake Utley
38-year-old Travis Blake Utley, who attempted to elude police, and then rammed a police car, before he was shot by officers on Johnson Creek Boulevard. (Photo courtesy of Portland Police Bureau)

As they attempted to take Utley into custody, Utley drove away, heading west on S.E. Johnson Creek Boulevard.

“When police attempted to conduct a high-risk traffic stop to take Utley into custody, Utley intentionally drove toward officers and rammed a police car with his vehicle,” said Portland Police spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson.

The impact was so severe that SUV Utley was driving recoiled, and bounced up over the sidewalk and into a yard before it came to rest.

“The two Milwaukie police officers fired their weapons, resulting in Utley sustaining gunshot wounds,” Simpson went on. “The Milwaukie police officers on-scene performed CPR and rendered medical aid. Utley was transported via ambulance to OHSU, where he later was pronounced deceased.”

Because the shooting occurred within the City of Portland, detectives from the Portland Police Bureau were assigned as lead investigators in this case, Simpson said.

Neither officer was injured during the incident. The Milwaukie officers involved have been placed on administrative leave, which is standard protocol in this type of situation.

The subsequent investigation at the scene, conducted by the Portland Police Bureau, the Clackamas County Major Crimes Team, and the Milwaukie Police Department, closed the street to traffic for most of the day. 

Anyone with information related to the incident is asked to call Portland Detective Chris Traynor at 503/823-0449.

Oaks Amusement Park
Oaks Amusement Park’s Events Manager, Emily McKay, shows THE BEE one of the massive birthday cakes about to be served to park guests. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Oaks Park: 109 candles on the cake


Many families celebrate birthdays at historic, nonprofit Oaks Amusement Park every season. 

But on June 7, it was “The Oaks” turn. And, at age 109, this “grand dame” of American amusement parks is still as young and lively as a teenager.

“We are now the longest-continually-operating amusement park in America,” exclaimed Events Manager Emily McKay.

Oaks Amusement Park was started by the Oregon Water and Power Commission as a destination for the end of the trolley line, McKay told THE BEE. “So, one of the reasons it was built – like many other ‘trolley parks’ of the day – was to give Oregon City residents a reason to come into town. And, it encouraged people living in Portland to use the new trolley line on weekends.”

To celebrate its 109th birthday, the park invited “iconic Oregonians” to share why Oregon is special to them, McKay said. “Then we’ll dedicate our new Chippers Choppers family ride with a graphic ‘road trip through Oregon’ theme.”

The park returned to their Tuesday-through-Sunday summer daily operations on June 14 which run through the end of August. The park is open year-round, but on a much more restricted schedule outside the summer months.

Oaks Amusement Park is located just north of the foot of S.E. Spokane Street in Sellwood, on Oaks Park Way. Take the turn just beyond the railroad tracks and drive north next to the Sellwood Riverfront Park.

Two unusual auto accidents in Westmoreland
High centered, McLoughlin Boulevard
SIDEWAYS TO BOTH DIRECTIONS OF TRAFFIC. Just before 4 pm on the afternoon of Thursday, June 12, as rush hour was building, a vehicle that was apparently northbound on S.E. McLoughlin Boulevard managed to wind up at right angles to both directions of travel, high-centered on the concrete median just north of S.E. 17th. No injuries were reported, and there was no immediate explanation for how the car got into this predicament, but the inside lanes in both directions of McLoughlin were shut down until the vehicle was dislodged and removed – by 5:11 pm. (Photo by Eric Norberg)
Oaks Bottom

It took two tow-trucks and a two-hour blockage of S.E. Milwaukie Avenue between Insley and Mitchell to haul this SUV back up out of Oaks Bottom, after it took an abrupt turn and went over the side at 7:18 pm on Friday night, June 6. The drop was only about 20 feet, and the driver received only minor injuries, according to officers at the scene – but it was unclear just what caused this odd one-car accident. The investigation lasted most of the evening. (Photo by Eric Norberg)

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