Community Features

The "Events and Activities" for the month are below these featured stories!

Bybee Boulevard, Great Depression, Westmoreland, Southeast Portland, Oregon
This was the Westmoreland Commercial District in 1937. While cars were lined up along Bybee Boulevard (here, looking east), the sidewalks were pretty vacant of shoppers, since few people had extra spending money in 1937. Business seemed to be slow; a storekeeper was standing outside of Tom Thumb’s 5 and 10, with apparently no customers inside to attend to. (Courtesy of Portland City Archives)

Inner Southeast experiences the Great Depression

Special to THE BEE

In recent years, Portland and other cities in the Northwest have experienced an increase of homeless camps, graffiti-marked buildings, and a shortage of housing deemed “affordable”.

It’s enough to remind some old-timers of the Great Depression that swept the nation between 1930 and 1939 – except that the Depression was actually very much worse.

Many historians tell us that the collapse of the stock market on October of 1929 marked the start of the Great Depression; but in fact, the timber industry in Oregon was experiencing a slow economy as early as the year before. Most of the lumber that was cut and manufactured in Oregon mills was generally shipped south to California; but by the end of 1929, orders were down by over half.

The Eastside Lumber Mill where the east end of the Sellwood Bridge is now continued to struggle, laying off the majority of its workers because of the lack of new accounts. Once the premier employer in Sellwood in the early 1900’s, when families settled in the area to be near their jobs, these same loyal workers were now rendered destitute now that the company didn’t have any work for them.

The Lumber Company itself had also been decimated when fire had broken out in the mill on three different occasions – causing machinery, buildings, and lumber that couldn’t be replaced to be lost in the flames. By 1935 the Eastside Mill ceased operations altogether, and only the Oregon Door Company remained as a profitable major local business through the last years of the Depression.

The Peerless Laundry Company was the next big industry to feel the effects of the downward economy. Established by Jay “Doc” Dannell in the early 1920’s, the wet wash company had been a perfect employment opportunity for young ladies who lived in the vicinity, and a salvation for older gentlemen who drove the delivery trucks and were no longer able to handle the hard labor at the lumber company just down the hill.

During the good times, the laundry company drew a payroll of nearly $70,000 annually. Dannell closed it in 1932, though, because housewives were forced by the economy to save money by doing their own laundry at home. The Peerless Company in Sellwood was consolidated with Dannell’s other laundry firm downtown, and the resulting vacant building was later occupied by the Sellwood Motor Service business.

Everyone had to make do with what they had, and to find creative ways to survive. Since there weren’t any federal programs available for unemployment aid then, charity organizations, churches, and the city and state had to be called upon to provide food, medical care, and even shelter for those less fortunate. Programs were set up to offer free warm meals for those living outdoors, or who were temporarily out of work. Many times, these soup or bread lines as they were called, stretched for blocks. More than 19 million Americans were without a means of supporting themselves or their own family.

Life continued, whether or not people had a means of support, family members who were sick, and any food for the evening meal. THE BEE, which began in 1906, kept spirits high with positive articles, news about birthdays, anniversaries, marriages, trips, and babies being delivered into the world. Anything to keep readers’ minds off of the hard times they were in.

Weekly front-page headlines encouraged readers to support their local storekeepers and business. For the next ten years the editor of the newspaper would consistently push the message of “home boosting”, which included announcements like “appreciate your neighborhood store” – or, to the businessman, “give that job to your neighbor”. But anyone who drove down 13th Avenue during the 30’s could see for themselves that there were a lot of vacant stores.

Westmoreland and Sellwood were close communities. Small grocery owners lived near their place of business; so, when their neighbors or friends couldn’t pay for the groceries they bought, they were given credit. As more and more customers couldn’t pay their accounts, eventually the store owners didn’t have enough income to buy more food, and many shops had to close their doors forever.

Pajama Drill, Great Depression, Sellwood Community Center, Sellwood, Southeast Portland, Oregon
Wearing pajamas was a practical fashion in the 1930’s. These fashionable ladies were performing a “pajama drill” – a group exercise conducted while dressed in lounging pajamas. Here, this group was photographed outside the Sellwood Community Center. (Courtesy of Sellwood Community Center)

From the article “Hard Times” in the “Oregon History Project”, author William G. Robbins revealed that over 40,000 people in Oregon were on relief, and 24,000 householders were registered with the Portland Employment Bureau. When Franklin D. Roosevelt was inaugurated President in 1933 he was already faced with an uphill battle to stop the free fall, and get the economy back on its feet and rolling.

New government agencies were created by the Roosevelt Administration to provide work and support for the less fortunate families. Oregon reveled in the benefit of newly-created programs like the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), and the Work Progress Administrations (WPA). Westmoreland benefitted immensely from these relief programs – they helped build McLoughlin Boulevard, improved the golfing greens at Eastmoreland Golf Course, and hired lads in the neighborhood to work on the establishment of a new Westmoreland Park (the first project in the future park was the WPA-built Westmoreland Casting Pond).

Completion of Highway 99E (now McLoughlin Blvd.) connecting downtown Portland to the outskirts of Milwaukie in 1935 was accomplished using federal and state funds, following guidelines set down by the WPA. Most of the intense labor was done by men using nothing but hand tools with very little assistance from heavy machinery.

Administrators at the Oregon Department of Transportation were planning on building a new regional headquarters near Highway 99E. WPA workers were again called upon to construct this historic, rustic building, still located just south of the Springwater Corridor Overpass.

A few of the major regional construction projects by the WPA were the development of the Rocky Butte Scenic Drive, the building of a new municipal airport near Marine Drive, and the Grand Coulee Dam along the Columbia River. Unemployed men were hired to build Timberline Lodge, and its impressive wrought-iron gate was crafted by artisans at the Eckles Iron Shop on Boise Street in the Brooklyn neighborhood.

The Iron shop hired workers who had been laid off, and trained them to learn the craft of making ornamental door handles, keyholes, straps, hinges, and other hardware used in government buildings across the state. The WPA programs infused a new self-confidence in men who had felt they did not have the talent to learn another trade.

For young men new to the workforce, the Civilian Conservation Corps was available. The CCC used these ambitious and eager youngsters to work for the Forestry Department – building roads, carving out hiking trails, constructing shelters, and learning how work as a team in finishing a mountaintop fire lookout station. During the summer, these young warriors were used in battling forest fires that occur every year in the Northwest.

While most of the men were busy with new jobs created for them by The New Deal Programs, life in the small communities struggled on. Entertainment was an important part of everyday life; playing cards, attending weekly dances, and listening to the radio, were many of the pastimes that Inner Southeast residents enjoyed, even though many were still struggling to find a job or even put food on the table.

The local movie theaters were crowded, during the weekends, with children and housewives who welcomed a change from dreary home chores. As many businesses struggled to stay afloat, Harry Moyer was one of the few entrepreneurs to start a new company. In 1937 he erected a modern theater with shops and apartments in the complex. It was the new Sellwood Theater along Tacoma Street. The Sellwood Theater would become a memorable gathering place for teens into the 1940’s, 50’s, and well into the 1960’s, until it was closed, the seats and screen were removed, and the popular Columbia Sportswear Outlet Store moved in.

Knowing that few families could afford admission to the skating rink at Oaks Park, park owner Edward Bollinger reduced prices at the rink and started the Junior Roller Skating Club on Sunday afternoons. Revenue increased as more children ventured to the skating rink and Oaks Park witnessed the largest group of active roller skaters ever.

One of President Roosevelt’s key programs was the Federal Art Project, created to hire unemployed artisans to paint public murals. Over 4,000 murals were painted on the walls of schools, hospitals, and government buildings.

If you came across any historical murals while standing in line at a Post Office it was likely painted by a professional artist commissioned by the U.S.  Department of Treasury. In 1934 the Section Painting and Sculpture Project was created by the Treasury Department to paint murals depicting themes of local historical interest.

The East Portland Post Office’s “Post Rider” mural was completed by artist Paul Grellert in 1936, and it is a wonderful example of the many paintings that can still be found in various postal buildings.

By 1939, the American economy was slowly recovering, as jobs became more abundant and consumers began spending more freely. The Great War was already underway in Europe, but the United States tried to stay neutral and out of it – until the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in November of 1941 pulled us into it, and the war economy that resulted completed the economic recovery.

Over 100 new high-class homes were built in Eastmoreland and around Reed College, and new shops and storefronts began opening along Bybee Boulevard and on S.E. 13th Avenue.

As the 1930’s – one of the worst of times – came to a close, members of the Westmoreland Community Club, the Sellwood Commercial Club, and the Sellwood Board of Trade were proudly able to claim that the Sellwood Bank never closed during the Depression; and THE BEE never ceased publication.

Sellwood Jazz, Taiwan, Kaohsiung, Buddhist Retreat Center
At a Buddhist Retreat Center, in Kaohsiung, are Sellwood Jazz players in T-shirts. From center left to right: Lisa Revell, Chris Hochstatter (vocalist), Royal Rosarian Prime Minister Adam Baker, 2017 Rose Festival Queen Michaela Canate, and Michael Bostwick, President of the Portland-Kaohsiung Sister City Organization. Sellwood Jazz founder David Stone is at far right. (Courtesy of Susie Ho, Kaohsiung)

Tunes across the Pacific: ‘Sellwood Jazz’ plays in Taiwan


David Stone taught music in Portland Public Schools for nineteen years, nine of them at Duniway Elementary School in Eastmoreland. Now in retirement, one of his projects has been to gather together eight musicians into a band named after his neighborhood – “Sellwood Jazz”.

This ensemble, in which Stone plays trombone and sings, has turned out to be a popular band. Sellwood Jazz plays at “Arrivederci”, a few senior center evening shows, and at private dances.

In October of 2015, Michael Bostwick, President of the Portland/Kaohsiung Sister City Association (PKSCA), heard Sellwood Jazz at a benefit for the Jefferson Dancers. Subsequently, Sellwood Jazz was invited first by PKSCA, and then by the municipality of Kaohsiung, to play in March of 2016.

This year they were again invited to represent Portland from March 1st through 4th at the “Lantern Festival”, one of the most important celebration of lights in Taiwan. It is held annually on the banks of the Love River.

Before leaving for Taiwan in late February, Sellwood Jazz was busy with numerous practices, memorizing 20 tunes to perform for the people of Kaohsiung at six venues. Sellwood Jazz was accompanied by a delegation that included PKSCA President Bostwick, 2017 Rose Queen Michaela Canete, and Rosarian Prime Minister Adam Baker.

David Stone views Sellwood Jazz as amounting to professional music ambassadors. In Kaohsiung they play for the general public along Love River; march in the Lantern Festival Parade; and perform at a senior center, an orphanage, and at the Buddhist School for the Disadvantaged. Sellwood Jazz also performs for the auspicious Mayor’s Luncheon, along with the other entertainers from other sister cities attending the festival. According to Nathan Seaman of Sellwood Jazz, “Americans are a rare sight in Taiwan.”

Kaohsiung has been a Portland Sister City since 1988, when it was officially approved by Portland City Council as Portland’s ninth Sister City. Kaohsiung is known for contributing all of the dragon boats for Portland’s dragon boat races, and for bringing the award-winning Shu-Te Commercial High School Marching Band and Drill Team to march in Portland’s annual Rose Parade. The purpose of the Portland Kaohsiung Sister City Association is to promote people-to-people exchanges of educational, artistic, and cultural activities.

When officials in Kaohsiung learned that Stone’s wife, Lisa Revell, was an exercise teacher, they contacted her in Portland before they left last year and asked if she would teach a class at a Kaohsiung senior center. Revell was asked again this year to lead a 30-minute session of exercises.

Used to teaching twenty or so seniors in her Sellwood and Creston-Kenilworth “Better Bones and Balance” classes, Revell was somewhat surprised at finding herself in Kaohsiung teaching a group of 300 seniors – seventy, eighty and even ninety years old. “The Taiwan seniors enjoyed it so much last time, clearly it was required for Lisa to do this again!” grins David Stone of his wife’s contribution.

To conclude the exercise class, Sellwood Jazz played a tango, as the seniors matched Lisa’s moves with some verbal instructions in Mandarin. The Taiwanese loved it, Stone says.

Asked by THE BEE about the highlight of this year’s trip, Stone remarked, “Every event offered something worth remembering for the rest of one’s life. I can recall our first trip – first day, we had a very young and extremely talented [Taiwanese] twenty-year old bass player who exuberantly exhorted, ‘This is the best day my life’.

“My favorite moment was playing in front of a huge gold-colored statue of Buddha at the School for the Disadvantaged, and joining forces with their school concert band to play a standard jazz tune, ‘Killer Joe’. It was a real ‘coming together’ to make music between two diverse and beautiful cultures.”

For more information about the Portland-Kaohsiung Sister City Association, visit – and to learn more about Sellwood Jazz, go to

Melody Ballroom, Duniway School Ball, fundraiser, auction, Southeast Portland, Oregon
Duniway Foundation Masquerade Ball co-chairs Trisha Highland and Trina Fowler were on hand to greet the arriving guests at the Melody Ballroom on March 2nd. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

‘Masquerade Ball’ fundraiser benefits Duniway kids


Hundreds of Eastmoreland folks made their way to the Melody Ballroom in Southeast Portland on March 2 as volunteers from the Duniway Elementary School Foundation hosted their 19th annual dinner and auction.

Taking a brief break from their duties as the ball got underway, co-chairs Trisha Highland and Trina Fowler told THE BEE about the party.

“Our fun, festive, and elegant theme this year is ‘Masquerade Ball’, chosen in coordination with Alameda Elementary School Foundation volunteers; they’re helping us tonight, and we’ll help them with their event tomorrow,” said Trina Fowler.

“The 270 guests here tonight will enjoy a silent auction, a formal sit-down dinner, a ‘live’ auction, and then an ‘after-party’, with music and dancing,” explained project partner Trisha Highland.

The fundraiser is vitally important to the Duniway Foundation because it “raises funds for people”, helping to pay for the school’s physical education teacher, librarian, music teacher, and educational assistants, Highland said.

“And, about 30% of all the funds that we raise go to help other Portland Public Schools as well,” added Fowler.

A total of about 40 volunteers, split between auction item procurement and hosting the ball, worked together with the hope of raising a total of about $50,000 that evening.

“For me, the importance of volunteering with the foundation is very personal; I want my children to have music and art in their school, as well as a well-rounded education,” stated Fowler.

“I do it because we think it’s an incredibly worthwhile cause,” Highland emphasized. “Our Foundation and PTA come in to ‘bridge the gap’ in the budget because we want our kids to love school, and have a good education.”

Soon, guests glided into the Grand Ballroom for a banquet of a Northwest Salad, Seasonal Roasted Vegetable Medley, Wild Rice Pilaf, and Greek Baked Chicken Breasts – followed by a “dessert dash” auction.

Duniway Principal Matt Goldstein was all smiles as participants swirled around him, many of them stopping to say hello.

“To me it’s an incredible gift that they’re giving the school,” Goldstein said. “And, so many of our parents help out in so many different ways, from volunteering in our school, to putting on events like this, to contributing financially.”

“It looks like we’re being cut by one teacher [by PPS], making the timing of this event very important,” Goldstein observed. “The funds raised mean that instead of having 33 students in a classroom, we’re able to have 25 – and this makes a real, positive difference.”

Find out more about the Duniway Foundation by visiting their webpage:

Silas, Dougy Center, 5K run, fundraiser, Duniwy School, Portland, Oregon
Muralist Max Collins of Hallow Studio pauses for a moment with 5K race organizer Jodie Brauer, who stands next to the mural her late son, Silas. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

‘Celebrate Silas’ 5K supports nonprofit Dougy Center


On the chilly and overcast morning of Sunday, March 4, people started gathering in the Eastmoreland neighborhood to participate in the “Celebrate Silas Memorial 5K and Mural Project to Empower Healing and Hope”.

From all over the greater Portland area, some 175 participants made their way to the playground at Duniway Elementary School, where they were welcomed by the event organizer, Jodie Brauer.

“My son, Silas John Bogdanovic, died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) on March 23, 2011, one week after celebrating his first birthday,” Brauer confided to us.

“As I was grieving, and trying to figure out what I wanted to try to do to celebrate his birthday the next year without him, I decided to train by running – and settled on 12 miles, a mile for each month that he lived,” Brauer told THE BEE, as participants came by to greet her.

After running the dozen miles to celebrate subsequent birthdays for two years, friends started doing a four-mile run with her. In 2014 Brauer and her supporters aligned with nonprofit Dougy Center for Grieving Children & Families, as a fundraiser.

Making it a public event, they chose to come up with a standard 5K walk/run route. “We wanted to include the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden on the way, because there is a bench there in Silas’s memory,” Brauer explained.

She chose The Dougy Center, Brauer said, “because of the important work that they do; and, since I live near it and started volunteering there, it just made sense.”

Earlier this year many families participated in Max Collins’ “Mural Project”, where this local artist held workshops on behalf of The Dougy Center, to create a wood-mounted mural based on a photograph, to commemorate a loved one. Many of these murals were displayed along the Duniway playground fence that day.

At 10:00 a.m., Brauer climbed the play structure and greeted the assembled participants. After a brief introduction, she read a list of those who have passed away who were being honored by their friend or family members; and then the runners were off.

In all, about $10,000 was raised to help fund the nonprofit Dougy Center on S.E. 52nd.

To learn more about the 5K, visit the website; and for information about The Dougy Center itself, go online –

Nicarauguan water project, Brooklyn neighborhood, Southeast Portland, Oregon
In this photo, the “Agua Nicaragua” volunteers are shown having arrived at the school in Nicaragua in February. From left: Scott Walsh, Holly Schoenbeck, Daniel Rue, Bob Schnyder, Neil Rue, Carl Demrow, Clair Schnyder, Julia (Teacher), Bob Krueger, Brian Marsh, Trevor Marsh, Megan Walsh, and Don Schoenbeck. (Not pictured: Mike O'Connor.) (Photo by Mike O'Connor)

Southeast volunteers travel to repair water wells in Nicaragua


For the second year, a group of Inner Southeast Portland volunteers calling themselves “Agua Nicaragua” has journeyed to El Transito, Nicaragua, to repair community water wells in that drought-stricken village. Brooklynite Mike O’Connor tells THE BEE that the group is sponsored, in part, by Moreland Presbyterian Church, as well as financed through a Facebook page (, and a GoFundMe page (

“We’ve also donated new backpacks and school supplies to the village children, who often cannot afford them,” says O’Connor. “The water well at the school needed a new hand-crank pump, which we installed, along with a new pump at another nearby school’s community water well.”

He continues, “We also painted the school with the help of the students' parents, taught a class on good hygiene, and brought ‘pen pal’ letters from children affiliated with Moreland Presbyterian Church.” Members of the team covered their own expenses for travel and lodging, for the latest week-long trip.

Bob Krueger, one of the project organizers, remarked, “It’s amazing how little money it takes to make a huge difference in the health, comfort, and security of the village. For the price of one of our phone bills, or an evening’s entertainment in Portland, you can make a life-changing difference in a community where people might otherwise have to walk for up to three hours a day just to secure cooking and drinking water.”

The technology that makes it inexpensive to repair broken water wells uses a system with locally-sourced PVC pipes, nylon rope, and a modified bicycle wheel, from which is made a hand-operated pump that even a child can use. This system costs nothing to operate, and is virtually maintenance-free. Experience shows that this bicycle-based pumping system is the most reliable way to get clean water as quickly, cheaply, and simply as possible to as many people as need it.

Members of the Agua Nicaragua team reached their funding goal through local donations and their two Internet pages. New donations to those pages will go toward planning future trips. Their long-term goal is to make this an on-going effort, with a revolving group of micro-funders, volunteers, and other sponsors.

The team hopes to expand their effort to other communities that need these crucial resources. They're also working with a Nicaraguan-based charity, “Nica Angels”, to prioritize the villages and districts where this need is the greatest.

For more information, contact Mike O’Connor at 971/344-5953, or e-mail; or call Bob Krueger, 503/709-2416, or e-mail To see pictures and videos from the latest trip, visit

Woodstock composer, Portland Chamber Music, concert, Community Music Center, Woodstock, Southeast Portland, Oregon
The “Portland Chamber Music” ensemble played a concert of compositions from immigrant composers in early March. Included was a piece by Woodstock resident and composer Tony Freixas (shown at center). Deborah Gitlitz (center right) was biographer/storyteller for the performance. (Photo by Elizabeth Ussher Groff)

‘Portland Chamber Music’ ensemble features Woodstock composer


The Portland Chamber Music ensemble has been offering free neighborhood concerts for three years now. As a nonprofit dedicated to offering entertaining and educational experiences for all ages, the ensemble’s programing includes timeless classics, contemporary compositions, and occasionally pieces by local composers.

On Saturday, March 3, a concert entitled “Immigrant Composers: Inspiring Diversity” included a composition by Woodstock resident Antonio Freixas, a Cuban-American composer. The concert was held at the Community Music Center in Southeast Portland.

Freixas’ piece, entitled “Cuidad de Sol y Sombras: Memorias Lejanas de La Habana”, was performed by flute and piano. As the title says in English, the piece evokes images of sun and shadows in the city of Havana. Its impressionistic style includes distant memories conveyed to Freixas by his parents and their music.

“This piece is very symbolic,” remarks Freixas. “The images of sun and shadow are contrasted in the music by shifts from major to harmonic minor and back – a feature common to the Latin music I am familiar with. Havana was built with very narrow streets and high buildings so that  people could walk in the shadows to stay cool. The minor keys [in the piece] are shadows and night, the major keys are sunlight and day.”

Although he has played the piano – mostly self-taught – for fifty years, Freixas is also a self-taught composer as well. He only began writing classical music in 2015, when already in his early 60’s. He does not compose on paper or the piano, but uses computer software (Sibelius scorewriter software, for the “Ciudad” piece) which makes it possible to immediately hear the music, rather than holding the tune in one’s head. He has composed eighteen pieces for chamber music performance, and two for orchestra.

Freixas says he writes music that creates an emotional experience. He tries to make it complex and surprising. “To me, this is what separates classical music from other genres. The best music rewards listeners with new insights each time they hear it.”

As to how he came to begin composing only now, in his retirement, Freixas explains: “I really got started because of a friend on Facebook, a singer songwriter. She had no written music for her song, so I used the free software MuseScore, and wrote it for her.” He started reading books on instrumental orchestrating, and continued with intensive study of instruments, music theory, and different software.

As for his personal history, when he was seven years old, in 1961, Freixas came to this country with his family. They lived in Miami for a year, and then moved to Portland, then California, and finally returned to Portland in 1980.

While in the Golden State, he went to the University of California, at the Davis campus near Sacramento, where he earned a degree in Fine Arts, and a Masters degree in Computer Science. He retired several years ago from jobs as software engineer, graphic designer, and photographer.

The March 3 concert by the Portland Chamber Music Ensemble also included pieces by other first-generation American immigrant composers past and present from Cambodia, Syria, Ecuador, and Russia (Rachmaninoff). It included an enthusiastic and informative professional librarian/storyteller, Deborah Gitlitz, who lives near the border of the Woodstock/Mt. Scott-Arleta neighborhoods. She gave a brief biography of each composer, and told a story concerning one piece. The concert was funded in part by the Regional Arts & Culture Council.

If you missed the March 3 performance – on Saturday May 12, the Portland Chamber Music Ensemble will play a free Woodstock Concert at 7 p.m. at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 7220 S.E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd (formerly S.E. 39th).

For a list of other neighborhood concerts offered by the Portland Chamber Music Ensemble go online – And, to listen to music by Tony Freixas as well as for more information about his composing, visit –

Hot meals, Saturdays, All Saints Episcopal Church, Woodstock, Southeast Portland, Oregon
Shown helping to cook and serve in the All Saints’ Hot Meals program are, from left, front row: Deborah Swan, Nancy Patrick (coordinator), Sam Kahn, and Katie Essick; back row: Steve Gates, Sarah Cooper, Mark Portrait, Tina Savage, and John Essick. (Photo by Elizabeth Ussher Groff)

‘Hot meals, warm hearts’ at Woodstock’s All Saints


Nancy Patrick admits that she is passionate about the Saturday hot meals program that she coordinates at Woodstock’s All Saints’ Episcopal Church, where she is a member.

Each Saturday at noon, about one hundred people are served in the Parish Hall.

Before starting to work with the All Saints’ program in 2009, Patrick lived in Idaho, where she learned to cook in large quantities as a volunteer for twenty-three years with a hot meals program there.

Now she orders food weekly from the Oregon Food Bank, and oversees volunteer cooks and servers every Saturday of the year. The program in the Parish Hall of All Saints’ is very successful, serving 3,974 meals last year – not counting second servings, and to-go boxes.

“We ask no questions regarding income. For the low-income people, it makes their SNAP (food stamps) go further. One of the big things that’s important and appreciated is that we treat everyone as equals,” smiles Patrick. “One purpose [of the program] is to give a safe place to come and relax and visit, while having a nutritious, balanced meal.” For people with no place to call home, this hospitality is especially appreciated.

The Woodstock program began in 1988. At first it was just church members who cooked and served, but now volunteers from the community are integral to the program. Volunteer cooks (who must have a food handler’s license) help with meal preparation. Others help with set up, serving, and cleanup. Nancy fills in for the third- Saturday cook, if business takes the other cook out of town.

John and Katie Essick, volunteers from the Woodstock neighborhood, have been helping to cook every first Saturday for fifteen years, and this past year they invited Lewis School retired teacher Deborah Swan, and former PP&R employee and Woodstock neighborhood resident Sarah Cooper, to help.

“It feels really good to demonstrate to our guests that they are special. We treat them a little like restaurant patrons: Offering them options, serving them tasty food, chatting with them for a few minutes. And I love working with the other volunteers, because we all feel the same way,” remarks Essick.

There are usually ten volunteers to help set up and serve each Saturday, but when they are short on help, such as on the fifth Saturday of the month, “clients” pitch in.

“Clients help serve, and wash dishes. We can always depend on someone to help out. Everyone cleans up after themselves,” says Patrick.

One client who helps set tables is 71 year-old John Linneball, a Lloyd District resident. He has been going to All Saints’ hot meals for fifteen years, and says, “I like the hospitality – and that they serve us at the table for the first serving. To stand in line for second servings is hard on my back, so they serve me a second.”

Safeway donates twelve loaves of French bread every Saturday. Patrick says the program could always use more fresh produce donated for salads and hot vegetables.

The church’s janitor, Joe Marlia, picks up from the Food Bank weekly, and goes to the Food Bank “docks” to pick up desserts, yogurts, apples, and frozen strawberries.

Patrick buys placemats, napkins, salad dressing and canned tomatoes at the Cash & Carry store in the Hosford-Abernethy neighborhood. Last year the total spending on food was $1,000 – which had a retail value of $10,000.

In addition to the Food Bank, the program is largely supported by donations from the congregation and the community. A collection basket is made available every first and third Sundays at the All Saints’ church services. Sometimes, clients choose make a cash donation for their meal, too.

Patrick observes that there is no proselytizing or saying of grace before meals, meeting USDA guidelines. But, she says, the caring meals and the volunteer connections show the guests that they are welcome and valued. “I learn a lot of love and faith from them,” says Patrick of the clients they serve.
Anyone who would like to help in any way with these meals, or who has questions about the program, can e-mail Patrick at:

Donation checks can be sent to All Saints’ Episcopal Church, 4003 S.E. Woodstock Boulevard., Portland, OR 97206 – and should have “Hot Meals” written on the memo line.

Drug shredding, Southeast Precinct, donations for needy, Burnside Street, Portland, Oregon
DEA Agent Jenna Worthing carried a bag of medications to be destroyed and papers to be shredded. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Southeast neighbors dump old drugs, help needy


Making it even easier for Southeast Portland residents to safely dispose of unused prescription and over-the-counter medicines, as well as confidential and financial paperwork, Portland Police Bureau (PPB) White Collar Crimes Unit and Office of Neighborhood Involvement worked with Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) local agents to simplify the latest drive-through, turn-in event for increased convenience late last year.

With a new vehicle flow established around the former Southeast Precinct building, traffic congestion along East Burnside Street from waiting cars was reduced.

“We’re glad to be working again in partnership with the DEA, taking in unused and expired medications,” remarked City of Portland Office of Neighborhood Involvement Crime Prevention Coordinator Jenni Pullen.

“By holding this event a couple times each year, we’re encouraging the community to clean out their medicine cabinets, so potentially kids and other people won’t get their hands on them,” Pullen said. “We also want to raise awareness about keeping the waterways clean; don’t flush discarded drugs, bring them to a drug turn-in where we incinerate them!”

As for document disposal – keeping sensitive documents out of the hands of identity thieves by shredding them is an important step in preventing fraud, observed Pullen. “And, it’s gratifying to see the amount of donations people are dropping off for the Sunshine Division; the barrels are already full, and the day is far from over!”

After the day ended, Pullen told THE BEE that a total of 26 boxes of discarded drugs were collected, sending 1,300 lbs. of medicines to the DEA’s incinerator – and more than six tons of personal documents were securely shredded, also.

Southeast Events and Activities

Red Cross Blood Drive in Woodstock
: From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today, the Red Cross Bloodmobile will be in the parking lot of the Woodstock Shopping Center, 4523 S.E. Woodstock Boulevard, and walk-in donors will be accepted as space permits. It’s recommended, though, that you make an appointment to minimize wait times. Call 1-800/733-2767 to make your appointment. Recent disasters and weather extremes have left blood supplies short, so your donation is especially important this year.

Good Friday Worship in Woodstock: This evening at 7 p.m. the community is invited to attend “Good Friday Worship” – a traditional service of remembrance of the crucifixion of Jesus, with songs from the Trinity United Methodist Choir. The church is on the corner of S.E. Chavez (39th) and Steele Street.

Boy Scout “Easter Breakfast” this morning:
Boy Scout Troop 143 will offer an “Easter Breakfast” at the Milwaukie Elks Lodge, 13121 S.E. McLoughlin Boulevard, from 9 a.m. to noon today: Adults $10; under-11 and seniors $5; large families, $40; under age 2 free. All proceeds help scout summer camp and fund life skill activities.

Westmoreland Park “Easter Egg Hunt”: The longtime, traditional free Easter Egg Hunt for kids – divided into different age categories, to give all kids a chance – is at 10 a.m. SHARP this morning, sponsored by SMILE, the Sellwood-Westmoreland neighborhood association, and run by the Oaks Bottom Lions Club. Parents and kids are strongly advised to come early, to the south end of Westmoreland Park just east of the parking lot, since the start will be at 10 a.m. to the very second, and five minutes later, it’s pretty much over.

Sunrise Easter Service in Sellwood Riverfront Park:
At 6:45 a.m. this morning, everyone is welcome to come for an Easter Sunrise Worship Service at Sellwood Riverfront Park, at the foot of S.E. Spokane Street at the Willamette River – followed by breakfast at the Sellwood Faith Community House, located at 1535 S.E. Tacoma Street.

Easter Morning Service at Mt. Scott: “Whether you are in church every weekend or haven’t been in years, you’re invited for worship, music, and fellowship this morning at 10 a.m. at Mt. Scott Presbyterian Church. Our Community Choir will be making their debut during this service.” Mt. Scott Park Presbyterian Church is on the corner of S.E. 73rd and Harold Street. Call 503-771-7553 for information, or go online –

Easter Sunday Service in Woodstock: At 10:30 a.m. this morning, the community is warmly invited to join in a grand celebration of Christ’s resurrection, at Trinity United Methodist Church, S.E. Chavez (39th) and Steele Street in the Woodstock neighborhood.

Reed College students’ music recital:
This afternoon at 4 p.m. will be a regular recital featuring Reed music students performing a variety of works. The program is usually about 45 minutes long, and is free and open to the public, in Eliot Hall Chapel – on the third floor of Eliot Hall – and it can be accessed easily from any of the major Reed College parking lots on Woodstock Boulevard or on S.E. 28th. A different recital will be presented at 4 p.m. in the same location on April 13 and April 20.

Reed College play tonight and tomorrow night: When everyone carries a panopticon in their pocket, what does it mean to lose sight of the things closest to us? This is the question asked in British playwright Caryl Churchill's 2012 play “Love and Information”. The play's “open text” structure is constituted of more than fifty scenes and a hundred characters, each offering an ephemeral glimpse into the gossamer moments that thread the fabric of our lives. It’s at 7:30 p.m. tonight and tomorrow night at the Diver Studio Theatre on the first floor of the Performing Arts Building, and can be most easily accessed by parking in the west parking lot off 28th Avenue. Ticket prices range from $3-$7. Open to the public. For more information, visit

Share-It Square Neighbors Garage Sale:
The neighbors near Sellwood’s Share-It Square are offering a small neighborhood garage sale during their annual intersection clean-up day. This is a fundraiser for this summer's street painting. Sale is today from 9 a.m to 2 p,m,, at the homes just north of S.E. 9th and Sherrett, on the west side of the street. “Our rain date, if it’s super swampy out there, is April 14th.”

Piggy Bank Ceramics Painting for kids and families: This morning at 11 a.m. at the Sellwood Branch Library, kids and families are invited to “come and paint your own piggy bank, and start saving money for that special something. We supply the ceramics, lead-free paint, colorful mats, aprons, water buckets, paint brushes and all that is needed. All you need is a child with an imagination!” Free, but space is limited for this 1-1/2 hour session, so best come a little early to be sure of a seat. The library is on the corner of S.E. 13th and Bidwell Street.

Adults, spot “Misinformation, Fake News, and Political Propaganda”:
At 6 p.m. this evening at the Sellwood Branch Library, this free hour-and-a-half workshop uses real-world examples of political ads, news headlines, graphs and charts, the effect of word choice in messaging, statistical data and other types of information, so you can learn to distinguish truth from fiction and become your own “fact-checker”. Made possible by The National Endowment for the Humanities Fund of The Library Foundation. Come a little early to be sure of a seat. The library is on the corner of S.E. Bidwell and 13th Avenue.

Reed Orchestra presents a free concert:
At 7:30 p.m. this evening the Reed College Orchestra will be in concert in Kaul Auditorium – and it’s open to the public, and free. Kaul Auditorium is located off the main quad in the center of campus, and is most easily reached by parking in the west parking lot off S.E. 28th Avenue.

Dealing with family problems – “It's All About Love”:
At the Woodstock Branch Library, 2-3 p.m. this afternoon, you’re invited to an interactive family art workshop that also includes the latest brain science about the human heart in language kids can understand, but that parents will learn from too. “We’ll be creating heart and love inspired recycled and nature-based art, while also playing fun brain science games to learn more about the human heart – to transform common parenting challenges in your home with heart-based positive parenting tools. Love is all we need! Free. The library is on the corner of S.E. Woodstock Boulevard and 49th Avenue.

Symphonic band concert tonight at Reed College: At 7:30 p.m. this evening, the Portland Gay Symphonic Band will present a program called “Earthrise”, which will include Smetatana’s “Moldau”, Ticheli’s “Vesuvius”, Copland’s “Outdoor Overture”, among others, to give the listener the opportunity to see how composers have created musical art in homage to the Earth. Ally Shuell, a senior at Madison High School and winner of the orchestra’s First Annual Young Artist Solo Competition, will be performing “Diversion” by Bernard Heiden. She will be awarded a $500 scholarship at the performance. The orchestra is offering this concert for free to the community – with a suggested donation between $15 and $40. The concert is in Kaul Auditorium on the Reed College Campus, off the main quad in the center of campus, and is most easily reached by parking in the west parking lot off S.E. 28th Avenue.

Woodstock Red Cross blood drive today:
There will be a Red Cross blood drive this afternoon, 2-7 p.m., at Woodstock Bible Church, 5101 S.E. Mitchell Street. Please sign up at to guarantee your appointment time. “Thank you for donating. Your blood helps save lives.”

Portland Parks’ “Drop-In Ladybug Nature Walk”:
This morning at 10 a.m., for interested families, Portland Parks Environmental Education presents a “Drop-In Ladybug Nature Walk” in Creston Park for ages 2 to 6, plus a grown-up. No reservation necessary; just meet at the trees by the parking lot near S.E. 43rd Avenue and Rhone Street. Cost is $3 to $8 per child on a sliding scale.

St. Anthony of Padua’s Spring Luncheon and Bingo: This morning at 11:30 a.m., St. Anthony of Padua Church presents its Spring Luncheon and Bingo; the $7 cost includes a Bingo card. The address is 3720 S.E. 79th Avenue. For information, call 503/504-1204.

CHS presents hilarious musical “Legally Blonde”:
The spring student play at Cleveland High opens tonight at 7 p.m., and runs tomorrow evening, and April 27 and 28, at 7 pm. Matinees are Sunday, April 22 and April 29 at 1 p.m. Tickets at the door: $15.00 for adults, 10.00 Seniors, 8.00 students. For more information call Cleveland High l at 503/916-5120.

Reed neighborhood “roots music” concert tonight:
The Portland Folk Music Society this year is touting as its “new venue” the Reedway Friends Church at 2901 S.E. Steele Street, just north of Reed College – and this evening it is presenting the “award winning original roots music group” Kathy Boyd and Phoenix Rising. Doors open at 7 p.m. this evening, and the concert starts at 7:30 p.m.

For adults – “Braiding Trivets”:
Reuse your old rags by turning them into something practical and colorful at the Woodstock Branch Library, 2-5 p.m. this afternoon. Learn how to get a braid started, and begin stitching your work together. Have no fear, discover folk wisdom! You’ll leave with a finished trivet, and the knowledge to even make a full-sized braided rag rug to cozy up your home. Bring your own rags, or there will be some on hand to get you started. Free, but registration is required; register in the library, or by calling 503/988-5123. The library is on the corner of S.E. 49th Avenue and Woodstock Boulevard.

SMS School Foundation 5K Run/Walk for Education: All proceeds benefit the Sellwood Middle School Foundation, which raises funds to support the Elective Programs at the school. Race registration is $25, starts at 8:30 a.m. at the school. T-shirts available for purchase on-site; raffle tickets for great prizes from local businesses are $5 each, or 5 for $20. At 9:30 a.m., the Kids’ “Fun Run/Walk 1K” begins with paid registration; and at 10:00 a.m. the “5K Run/Walk” begins. Both events start and finish at the school. To register online, or for more information, please go online – – or contact Lemmy Cooper with your questions via e-mail –  

Folk music from around the world at Reed College: At 3 p.m. this afternoon, a Chorus and Collegium Concert called “Folk Art: For the People, By the People” will take place in Kaul Auditorium on the Reed College campus, and it’s free and open to the public. The concert will feature choral arrangements of traditional folk melodies from North and South America, The British Isles, Estonia, Korea, Mongolia, Norway, Serbia, and South Africa. Kaul Auditorium is located off the main quad in the center of campus and is most easily reached by parking the west parking lot off 28th Avenue.

College Night at Cleveland High:
The Cleveland College & Career Center will host its annual “College Night” for students and families at 7 p.m. this evening in the Cleveland High School auditorium. The program begins with a panel of current Cleveland seniors discussing their college search and selection process, followed by several breakout session choices. The sessions include Inside the Admissions Office, Crafting the College Application Essay, Financial Aid Basics, Public Universities In-State and Out, and Community College Options.

Red Cross Bloodmobile at Moreland Presbyterian Church:
The American Red Cross brings its Bloodmobile back to the parking lot on S.E. 19th, just south of Bybee Boulevard, from 2 to 7 p.m. this afternoon. The need is great this year after a series of natural disasters across the country; drop-ins welcome as space permits, but reservations are recommended, to avoid waiting. To reserve a time, call the Red Cross at 1-800/733-2767.

VFW “ice cream social” this afternoon:
Celebrate Spring with a Fundraiser Ice Cream Social, 3 to 6 this afternoon at VFW Post 4248, at 7118 S.E. Fern in Southeast Portland. “There will be games, hot dogs, raffles, and of course ice cream!  Bring your friends!”

SMILE Open House midday today:
You are invited to drop in to the Sellwood-Moreland Improvement League’s Open House at SMILE Station, 8210 S.E. 13th, today from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. SMILE is the Sellwood and Westmoreland neighborhood association, and you’ll learn about all the good things SMILE volunteers do for the Sellwood-Moreland community. Members of the SMILE Board will be there to discuss the upcoming election and how you can run for a seat on the Board. You’ll also hear about the “Buy-a-Brick” fundraiser to have your business or family name engraved on one of the bricks in the pathway in front of the SMILE Station. Funds raised will be used to expand programs SMILE provides to the community. Free refreshments are provided by the New Seasons Market in Sellwood, and a drawing for gifts from neighborhood businesses is part of the fun.


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