Community Features

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

Dario Raschio, World War II, age 100
Eastmoreland resident Dario Raschio shows the awards recently presented to him for his service as a U.S. Navy pilot in World War II. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

100 year old Eastmoreland war hero honored


Eastmoreland resident Dario Raschio, who celebrated his 100th birthday last November, is lively man, who has had a fascinating life as a U.S. Navy pilot and Franklin High School science teacher. And, he’s a great storyteller.

Many people know little about this WWII U.S. Navy aviator, other than that he was presented with medals of honor he earned while flying in the South Pacific a few weeks ago, at a January 3rd Town Hall held by U.S. Senator Ron Wyden that was disrupted by protesters.

Raschio welcomed THE BEE to his Eastmoreland home of 65 years on a sunny mid-January afternoon – it is a house he and his father-in-law finished themselves, after the contractor poured the foundation and framed in the structure.

Raschio came to Wyden’s attention, said his daughter Pamela Brown, after the Veterans Administration was slow to locate all of the medals due her dad, and the Senator’s office stepped in to help. “We couldn’t get them in time for his birthday celebration at the Milwaukie Elks Lodge, which was our intent. But, it was nice for Senator Wyden to present them in person.”

Raschio’s parents immigrated to the United States the southern part of Italy, and settled in Southwest Portland. He became a proud graduate of the Catholic Church’s educational system, first from St. Michael's Elementary, and then from St. Stephens High School, which once stood at S.E. 47th Avenue and Salmon Street.

“Then, I went to North Pacific College of Oregon – originally to study pharmacy – and then transferred to Oregon State University; but I decided pharmacy wasn’t for me, so I switched to pre-med.”

At OSU, he worked as a “houseboy” in a sorority – which paid his room and board, and gave him some walking around money. “But, my mother took ill, and I realized I needed to get to work sooner, so I decided to go into education, and got a teaching credential from the university.”

However jobs in teaching were not forthcoming. He applied for Portland’s Police Bureau, but was rejected for being an inch too short in height. He also tried out for the Fire Bureau, only to end up on a lengthy waiting list.

“One day, I’m in the Pioneer U.S. Post Office downtown, and there was a big sign up on the wall that said, ‘Join the Navy!’ – so off I went for testing near Seattle.”

Because he was always physically active and strong, he breezed through the physical tests and other exams. But, his dreams of flying were cut short when the Navy’s dentist noted he had an overbite. “The Base Commander scrubbed me out – just for having an overbite!”

With few jobs available in 1939, Raschio applied and tested for all available positions, including those with the federal government. “I ended up in Washington D.C. because I did well on a test, and became a clerk for the Bureau of Mines, getting the princely sum of $100/month starting pay!”

The quality of his work, and his respected work demeanor, led him to other jobs, with pay raises, in the U.S. Census Bureau, and then the Navy Department.

Finally, in the Navy
“I was drafted in September of 1941, passed all the tests and was in the U.S. Army, but I waited to be activated.  At my Navy Department job, I went down to their medical division and told how I’d been turned down to be Navy pilot because of my overbite.”

After subsequent physical exam, Raschio was cleared for service. “The next morning I’m across the river [at the Navy Pilot training facility], and that afternoon I became U.S. Navy Seaman Second Class, ready to go into flight school.”

He started training in November, 1941; and on December 7, while he was on leave in Washington D.C., the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor took place.

He and his classmates started training on the Naval Aircraft Factory N3N, a two tandem-seat, open-cockpit, biplane aircraft. “We called it the ‘Yellow Peril’; but it was good for primary training.”

“Shot” from ships!
When Raschio was shipped out for active duty, he spent most of his Naval career in the South Pacific piloting a Vought OS2U-2 Kingfisher, a compact mid-wing monoplane, with a large central float and small stabilizing floats.

They didn’t fly off of an aircraft carrier, Raschio explained. Instead, they were “blasted off” heavy naval cruisers. “Our catapult was operated by a large shell, so we were actually shot off the ship – like being shot from a gun – which actually was not bad!”

In the air, he piloted his observation floatplane while the back seat crew member took photos.

“Coming in for a landing wasn’t easy,” Raschio reflected. “I’d fly alongside the cruiser, and hoped to land on a rope-mesh sled being dragged beside the ship. My first experience of being in a crash was when we lost a pontoon, which made the plane flip over when landing. In an instant, it went from being a seaplane to a sink-plane!”

He lost count of the number of times he was thus shot off a ship, and then successfully made safe-but-precarious landings.

Unheralded act saved lives
On one reconnaissance run, he was asked to fly over a South Pacific enemy-occupied island with an airstrip. “Our admiral wanted my photographer to document the damage their shelling had done to the landing strip.

“While he's taking pictures, I’m getting flack all over the place. I’m making turns, changing altitude, because their gunners had me in their sights.”

But, while avoiding enemy fire, Raschio said he spied something unusual. “Off the end of the landing strip area I see a narrow rail track, going over the water, to another small piece of land, located away from the main island. This made me curious that perhaps there was an ammunition dump located just off the end of the big island.

“As I think about it now,” Raschio recalled, “I must have been crazy to fly down to about 500 feet for a better look. It was clear that, on the little island, the track went right into a building partly covered by palm trees.”

He was eager to tell the Admiral of his sighting, but he never made it back to his ship. After ditching in the ocean, he and his crewmember were picked up by a destroyer.

“The commander of the ship comes over and says, ‘You fellas are pretty cool, being in the water with a shark circling the two of you!’ I’d apparently cut my knee getting out of the sinking plane; I was giving the shark an invitation to dinner, and I might have been the main course!”

When the destroyer started shelling the island he’d just observed, Raschio said he told the commander about the suspected ammo dump he’d spotted.

“They put in a volley of shells, and nothing happened. When they put in a second volley – holy cow! It turned into the biggest fireworks display that I’ve ever seen.  The exploding ammo dump turned night into day.”

When he finally get back to his ship, he didn’t crow about the victory. “After all, I’d just cracked up one of our planes. The destroyer’s crew got a citation for blowing up the ammunition dump; I got the honor of being the 27th pilot picked up out of the water at that time after ditching a plane.”

About his military career, Raschio said, “Just being able to fly for the U.S. Navy – I’m proud of it. Remember, I come from very humble beginnings. When I started grade school I could not speak English, I spoke Italian.”

After the war, Raschio earned a commercial pilot’s license. “But, my wife really didn’t want me flying; she preferred that that I be a teacher.”

He went to work teaching science classes at Franklin High School, and spent his entire 35-year career there, retiring in 1980. Raschio is credited with starting and operating the first summertime drivers’ training program in Portland during that time.

Settling in Eastmoreland
While getting his Masters degree at Reed College, Raschio drove through a new nearby neighborhood called Eastmoreland that was still being developed. With $10,000 they’d saved, plus a VA loan, he and his wife purchased the second house to be built on their street. “We did all the finishing work on the house, including the driveway, and stone walls leading up to the house.

“It’s ended up being a very nice house, even though it took us several years to do it.”

Returning to his recent awards presentation, Raschio remarked, “I'm not one to brag about things. The real heroes in the war were the brave men who died trying to storm the islands. Anytime I see a U.S. Marine, I salute them.”

As for how he so vigorously reached his hundredth year, Raschio told THE BEE, “I think being an active person is part of the reason for my longevity.”

Footloose, Franklin High School
Josh Hauser – playing the misunderstood Ren McCormack – talks with his mom, Ethyl McCormack, played by Hannah Cable. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Franklin High thespians get “FOOTLOOSE”


Opening on Friday, March 6, the Franklin High School Performing Arts Department plans to give their performance space a rollicking sendoff – as they present the last musical ever to be seen in their decades-old theater, the production of “FOOTLOOSE, the Musical”.

With Franklin High about to undergo major renovation, and the students to be moved to the Marshall High campus while the work is done, this venerable theater will not be used in this form again.

The play, based on the 1984 motion picture of the same name, is an archetypal story of teenage rebellion, expressed through acting, song, and dance choreography.

“We like the show because it has lots of great dance numbers in it that will feature our first-rate dance students,” said Franklin High School Drama Instruction Josh Forsythe, the show’s director.

“Most of the characters in the story are young people, trying to make sense of the world in which they find themselves,” Forsythe told THE BEE as a rehearsal began. “Our actors can relate to many of the situations in the story.”

The production will feature a cast of 80, with about a dozen more students handling the technical assignments, Forsythe said.

During our visit, stagecraft students busied themselves building the set, as the actors and dancers gathered before their first group choreography rehearsal.

“I'm feeling honored that we get to work in this theater for one last time,” Forsythe commented. “We’re working to go out with a ‘big bang’ production. We are going all-out for this one!”

“FOOTLOOSE, the Musical” opens March 6, and also plays at 7:30 pm on March 7, and again on the weekend of March 12, 13, and 14. And, at 2 pm on Sunday, March 8, they’re offering a family matinee performance.

Check with the Franklin High office for ticket information.

At a recent special program at the Sellwood Library: Erik Harper, with Tarin Dicianno (age “Apples to Oregon”, Deborah Hopkinson
At a recent special program at the Sellwood Library: Erik Harper, with Tarin Dicianno (age 5) and Sorel Johnson (8), is holding the book “Apples to Oregon”, with its author Deborah Hopkinson – and with Ben Rubin (4), who is consuming an apple himself. (Photo by Rita A. Leonard)

Oregon’s statehood began on Valentine’s Day, 1859


On February 14, 1859, President James Buchanan signed a bill officially admitting Oregon as the 33rd State in the Union. Some pioneers, explorers, and other settlers had already arrived here, but on Valentine’s Day 156 years ago the U.S.A. gave our state official sanction.

During the following century and a half, residents and industry developed Portland into a transportation hub, creating one of the largest west coast cities. As historical articles in THE BEE over the years have made clear, Inner Southeast had important parts to play in the development of the region and the City of Portland.

The Inner Southeast history of Pendleton Woolen Mills closely parallels Oregon’s. In 1863, English weaver Thomas Kay traveled to Oregon, considering it an ideal place to raise sheep for wool. The family eventually established the Pendleton Woolen Mills, producers of quality wool trading blankets that Native Americans used for tribal clothing and ceremonies. The blankets were also a standard of value for trade and credit.

Over a hundred years ago, a horse-drawn wagon delivered Pendleton blankets to a trading post in Arizona. This wagon can still be seen at the Pendleton Woolen Mill Store, at 8500 S.E. McLoughlin Boulevard.

Fruit is another important aspect of Oregon history. The tall tale “Apples to Oregon”, an award-winning children’s picture book by Deborah Hopkinson, was the focus of a harvest celebration last fall at the Sellwood-Moreland Branch Library. The story is loosely based on pioneer orchardist Henderson Luelling, who brought his family and two wagonloads of grafted fruit trees from Iowa to the Willamette Valley in 1847. This helped begin the Pacific Northwest’s fruit industry.

Author Hopkinson gave a presentation celebrating apples and family reading to honor the 10th anniversary of her book, an “A.L.A. Notable” selection. She has written much historical fiction for children, and she pointed out elements of writing and illustration that enrich reading.

Children read “Apples to Oregon” aloud with her, then asked questions. Hopkinson listed apple facts, and provided free apples for tasting. She also mentioned that Luelling planted his first fruit trees in Garthwick, at the south end of Sellwood, and in Milwaukie.

Hopkinson also pointed out that “Luelling” is a Welsh name, and has several different spellings. The Seth Lewelling School in Milwaukie is named after Henderson’s brother, a fellow orchardist who founded the Oregon Horticultural Society. Westmoreland’s Llewellyn Elementary School is named after another man, but its name is also drawn from the same Welsh root.

The author lives nearby in West Linn, but frequently travels to visit schools and speak at conferences. She also works as a fundraising professional for colleges and universities. For more information, and lesson plans based upon her books, go online to:

Richard Seidman, Friends of Trees
Friends of Trees founder Richard Seidman, in the white suit at left, shown accepting a GEO award in 1993 for Environmental Excellence as founder of the organization. (Photo courtesy of Friends of Trees)

The once and future trees of Inner Southeast Portland

Special to THE BEE

Usually, in this space, we devote our attention to people or buildings from Inner Southeast Portland’s past. This month we turn to something that was here long before people and buildings, and they’ll most likely be here when we are long gone: Trees. 

From as early as the first Native Americans, to the arrival of white settlers in the Oregon Territory in the late 1840’s, the abundance of trees has been an important part of the business and the lifestyle of the Pacific Northwest.

Trees have provided for the safety and shelter of mankind, nourished us with abundant nuts and fruits, and kept households comfortable with wood as a heating source during pioneer times.

Local firs were used in the construction of Ft. Vancouver on the north side of the Columbia River. Chief Factor (Director) of the fabled Hudson Bay Company, John McLoughlin, attempted to grow some of the area’s first apple trees, deeming them necessary for the workers and officers of his local office here to be self-sufficient.

The Horticultural Society of London found this region so rich with plant life and trees that it sent the first botanist to visit the United States, David Douglas, in 1825, to collect and record numerous specimens shipped back to England for further study and identification.

When Sellwood was just a nameless settlement, the wood from cedars, Douglas firs, and western hemlock provided lumber for the construction of houses, furniture, bridges, and schooners along the riverfront. Acres of trees were harvested and shipped down the California coast and over to the Hawaiian Islands where trees were not then in such abundance.

George and Jacob Willis set up joint lumber mills along the banks of Johnson Creek, as did the partnership of Sorenson and Young – who opened the first lumber mill In Sellwood along the bank of the Willamette River at the foot of Tacoma Street.

In 1848 Henderson Luelling and William Meek brought along several hundred grafting sprouts of various fruits from their farm in Iowa, and started the first grafted fruit stock near the rolling hills of the Waverley Golf Course, the second oldest still-existant golf course in Oregon.

Luelling experimented with native crabapple trees that grew wild, grafting them with the cultivated apples he brought over from the Midwest. These new varieties of apples, pears, and cherries, became some of Portland’s most sought-after produce on the East Coast, and also in the booming mining towns of California during the gold rush era.

Within the next six years the Luelling orchards were providing stock fruit trees throughout the Northwest – after which the pair sold the majority of their land to nursery supervisors Henry Miller and Joseph H. Lambert in 1864.

As more farmers began planting their own stock trees, fruit became abundant throughout the Willamette Valley, and oversupply reduced prices and profits. Consequently, Miller and Lambert decided to start a nursery, selling seeds, bulbs, and rare plants. Although Ginkgo trees are among the oldest living varieties on earth, Henry Miller introduced the first ones ever seen in this region.

By 1870 Miller had parted with Joseph Lambert, going downtown to open a floral shop. Lambert then sold what remained of the fruit orchard to investors in the Waverley Golf Club, and the few apple and cherry trees left standing became decorative scenery for golfers, instead of sources of food.

Nonetheless, from the turn of the Twentieth Century until the 1930’s, the Northwest was still one of the major lumber producers in the world. Numerous sawmills and lumber yards were built along the Willamette River, but as the supply of local trees diminished, mill owners had to rely on wood harvested farther into the Cascades and along the Oregon Coast.

By the 1940’s and 50’s most sawmills and lumber companies had closed down along the Portland waterfront, replaced by urban growth – concrete highways and unsightly industrial companies. Never was much thought or action given to the replanting of some of the wonderful and beautiful trees that once dominated the land in and around Portland.

For a brief period in 1902, the Womens’ Auxiliary Board of Trade in Sellwood attempted to beautify the unpaved streets and unkempt residential yards of the neighborhood – a place that looked more like a rundown lumber mill than a prosperous community where families were welcome.

Mrs. E.D. Curtis, President the club, encouraged her twenty-five active members and others to promote the planting of trees and roses. A campaign was started, and blank cards were distributed by Sellwood students on which interested parties could request the type of trees that they desired to be planted in their front yard. Cards were also available at the Sellwood Branch Library, in which patrons stated whether they wanted ornamental, nut, or fruit trees. Many of those trees planted then may be among those still standing along the streets of Lambert and Miller Streets today.

More than half a century later, when the 1970’s arrived, a new generation of young people intent on saving the earth and preserving the environment began to emerge.

On a cool fall evening in Sellwood, substitute teacher Richard Seidman was looking for a new purpose in life. Inspired by an article concerning the “American Forestry Association Releaf Program”, Seidman wondered if there were a better way to preserve and restore the trees we once admired.

Through intensive research, and using advice he culled from various tree organization leaders around the country, Richard began formulating a plan. In various meetings with local City Forester Alex Wynstra, Seidman absorbed as much information about preserving and planting trees as he could find.

Seidman was intent on forming a committee dedicated to improving the environment, connecting the city with neighborhood volunteers, and basically planting trees everywhere that they could possibly be. 

Using the positive help of city activists Beth Stout and Nyta Hannaford, who were themselves battling city officials over the excess cutting and removal of heritage trees in Portland, he formed a group intent on planting and new trees where old ones once stood.

In 1988 they established “The Portland Tree Brigade” but only for a short time, as revealed on the Friends of the Trees website. Group members decided that the name Friends of Trees would more appropriate for the organization, and so it became.

Seidman gathered his team and assembled shovels at Sellwood’s Waterfront Park in April of 1989 for the ritual planting of the organization’s first tree. Unfortunately, on a return visit by Seidman to the Sellwood park, the official tree planted then had disappeared!

Portland Parks and Recreation officials had ordered the removal of the tree after it had been severely damaged by unknown vandals. Though disappointed at the loss, Friends of Trees volunteers forged ahead, recruiting additional help from neighborhood volunteers and financial support from local businesses.

The first successful street-tree planting was in the Woodstock neighborhood in 1989. Ms. Terry Griffiths, still an active part of the Woodstock Neighborhood Association, spearheaded the early Friends of Trees planting in Woodstock. While still supporting the tree project there, Terry has concentrated her efforts recently on organizing of the annual Woodstock Plant Sale. Proceeds from that event help cover the costs of the upkeep and maintenance of the Woodstock Community Center.

Meantime, following the success of the Woodstock tree plantings, volunteers from the Buckman, Sunnyside, Laurelhurst, and Reed Neighborhoods organized their own tree planting committees. Friends and neighbors gathered, intent on reclaiming and restoring the trees that once had covered their community, and the Friends of Trees was there to help.

Eastmoreland Resident and longtime Friends of Trees activist Karen Williams was a pivotal supporter of the Eastmoreland Tree Committee when it was founded in 1995 under the leadership of Darlene and Don Carlson. The Eastmoreland Tree Committee was formed by the Carlsons when they realized that many of the elms and maples originally planted in Eastmoreland had not been replaced after the city removed them because of disease or damage by winter weather, storms, and lightning strikes.

Karen became active with the Friends of Trees in 1996 when a new street tree was needed in front of her house, and she wanted to be involved in the planting. Her enthusiasm and spirit has continued each year – volunteering as a Neighborhood Tree Crew Leader, training volunteers in the local planting of trees along streets and yards, and in her leadership of numerous group plantings in the neighborhoods of Brooklyn, Hosford-Abernethy, Reed, Woodstock, Eastmoreland, and throughout the Inner Southeast area.

Besides being the Volunteer Neighborhood Coordinator of Friends of Trees for Eastmoreland, Karen’s dedicated energy has included training crews in the proper planting of trees in Northeast and North Portland, Vancouver, and Beaverton, among many other accomplishments.

Her current involvement with the Eastmoreland Tree Committee includes the annual elm inoculation organized by Denny Stenzel, street tree plantings, and assessing and documenting the health of existing street trees in the neighborhood. Committee volunteers include a retired lawyer and a U.S Forestry Service worker, and City of Portland Urban Forestry Commission member Catherine Mushel, all of whom are essential in preserving neighborhood trees.

Neighborhood Trees Senior Specialist Erica Timm announced last December 13th, in celebration of Friends of Trees’ 25th anniversary, that the Sellwood-Moreland planting would be grouped with the communities of Brentwood-Darlington, Mt.Scott-Arleta, Brooklyn, Eastmoreland and Woodstock. Over 316 trees will be planted in one of the largest tree planting events ever.

“Nearly 500,000 trees and shrubs have been planted between the two programs of Neighborhood Trees and Green Spaces” since the first planting in 1989, relates Erica. While starting up as a small group intent on supporting the local Portland neighborhoods, Friends of Trees is now recognized as a regional program accomplishing plantings in Vancouver, outer Portland, and as far as the Salem, Eugene, and Springfield metro areas.

Friends of Trees appears strong as a proverbial Redwood, following the seed of philosophy that Richard Seidman planted 26 years ago.

Working together, ordinary citizens can learn how to plant, preserve, and nurture a forest of trees in their own back yard that will be enjoyed for generations to come. And with the return of the urban forest, the Portland area seems to be coming full circle!

SMART, Start Making A Reader Today, Sally Rhys
Student Bella Williams says she loves to read with her SMART volunteer, Sally Rhys. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Inner Southeast schools still seek SMART reading helpers


Watching a session at which SMART (“Start Making A Reader Today”) volunteers read one-on-one with students at a weekly gathering, it’s difficult to tell whether the child or the adult is the one enjoying the experience more.

The SMART Program Manager for East Multnomah County, Michelle Gilmore, was also at the East Portland reading session at Whitman Elementary in the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood when we visited.

“It’s a simple idea,” Gilmore said. “Since 1992, SMART has been pairing caring adult volunteers with children who need reading support. And, by participating, the kids get books to take home and keep.”

During the school year, adults come in and help the youngsters develop a love of reading while they help build their reading skills, simply by sitting and reading with them, Gilmore told THE BEE.

At the session on January 20, SMART volunteer Sally Rhys took time from her job as an executive coach to read with student Bella Williams.

“I started doing this about three years ago now, because I remember my dad putting me on his lap to read cartoons and comics,” Rhys recalled. “I realize that without a parent so involved in helping you learn – or if you have a language barrier – it would be difficult to read.

“Then, I became aware of how important it is for a student to be reading by the second grade!” Rhys exclaimed. “It’s critically important for students to read at this level, if they are to have success in school, and later in life.”

Volunteer Jim Ruppa told us he is in his fourth year of being a SMART mentor. “When I retired as a Spanish language teacher at La Salle High School, I decided to join the program. Here in Southeast Portland, my background helps in this volunteer job as well; many of the kids at the school are bilingual.  If they don't understand something in English, I can explain it to them in Spanish.”

The time he spends with students is “the highlight of my week,” Ruppa said. “I look forward to coming here on Tuesdays; I love the time I am with my students. When our time is over, it feels like I’m doing something that’s really important.”

SMART Program Manager for East Multnomah County Michelle Gilmore reiterated: “It is not too late for volunteers to sign up with their program; in this area, we have high levels of need. There are schools all over the area that could use volunteers to have an hour a week, to share and to give back to the community.

“We have some schools where we have only two volunteers reading, and we need about twenty more,” Gilmore added.

Even though the program ends for the school year in the middle of May, now is actually a good time to join the program, she said. “Right now, we have a lot of kids waiting to be read with. This is a good opportunity to ‘give it a try-out’ for volunteers. We’re hoping that people fall in love with being a volunteer, and we will see them again next fall!”

To learn more, call Gilmore at 971/634-1603, or go to the website:

Hosford Middle School, GREAT, Portland Police
Portland Police Officers serve up pizza slices to Hosford Middle School students who are graduating from the “GREAT” program they present in the school. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

GREAT graduation at Hosford Middle School


Across the city, Portland Police Youth Services Division officers continue to provide a thirteen-week class in middle schools, called “Gang Resistance Education And Training” (GREAT).

On January 20, Hosford Middle School GREAT classes celebrated having completed the course with prizes, and a pizza feed in the school’s gymnasium.

“We are invited into classrooms to offer this program, that has the aim of teaching life skills that help ‘inoculate’ students against youth violence, delinquency, and gang involvement,” reflected Portland Police Bureau Youth Services Division Officer Mike Paresa – as he helped bring in large insulated bags full of freshly-baked pizzas.

“Students, mostly through role-playing, gain skills such as anger management, good decision making, how to take care of your community, and how to get along in this culture and be a good citizen.”

During the brief graduation program, Officers Tracy Ballew and Jessica Brainard joined Paresa in giving movie tickets and other prizes to the top students in their classes. Then, the officers and program staff lined up behind tables and served pizza to their GREAT participants.

Interim Principal John Hinds, new to Hosford, said he appreciates the GREAT training in the school he’s supervised over the years. “I appreciate most that this program gives students the opportunity to have interaction with police officers.”

The result is, Hinds observed, “The students end up feeling good about themselves from this program, and I’ve seen many positive outcomes in the past.”

Prototyping, 3D printing, Sellwood Branch Library
Seventh grade da Vinci Arts Middle School students Kaitlyn Barnack and Emily Fox watch, as their computer design becomes a tangible object – a kitty-cat cookie cutter, produced by a 3-D printer at a Sellwood Library workshop. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Kids learn “rapid prototyping” at Sellwood Library


Not that long ago, being able to create a solid, three-dimensional object with the push of a button was solidly in the realm of science fiction. But now, the Star Trek “Replicator” is looking possible!

Today, thanks to computer programs and a 3-D printer, ideas can be quickly be turned into physical items.

Elementary school kids got hands-on experience with “rapid prototyping” in a workshop at the Sellwood Branch Library on Saturday, December 20.

“We are making custom plastic cookie cutters, and printing them out with a 3-D printer,” explained the workshop’s leader, Ben Jones of “PDX DIY – the Maker Club for Youth”.

Jones showed the students how to use a simple 3-D design program on a laptop computer. When the participants were satisfied with the look of their new cookie cutter plan, they pushed the “print” button.

The motors on the table-top maker-machine started to click and whir, moving a part similar to a hot glue gun while following the computerized pattern – building the part layer-by-layer.

“We are also making moulds out of epoxy polymers, and then using casting resin,” Jones explained. “This is the ‘old-school’ method, to create a polymer mold, and then fill it with a casting resin.”

So, the participants were learning both the one of the oldest, and yet the newest, ways of doing rapid prototyping.

“We think teaching kids this is important,” opined Jones, “Because, instead of just buying your own stuff, you are now able to create things from scratch, from out of your own imagination.”


Westmoreland Park Work Party.
Join Crystal Springs Partnership volunteers for a work party this morning, 9 to noon, at Westmoreland Park, removing weeds, mulching and furthering the restoration of Crystal Springs Creek. Coffee, tea, snacks, and camaraderie will be provided. Dress for the weather, and feel free to bring hand tools and gloves. Meet at S.E. 22nd Avenue and Bybee Boulevard at 9 am. For more information, go online to:, or e-mail:

Tech Help offered adults and seniors at Woodstock Library.
Do you have technology questions? Make a 30-minute one-on-one appointment with a friendly, knowlegable volunteer, and learn answers to your questions about mobile devices, websites, downloading, e-readers, getting started with tech, and much more. If possible, please bring the device you need help with. The consultations take place 5-7 pm this afternoon at the Woodstock Branch Library, S.E. 49th at Woodstock Boulevard. Registration required; register in the library, or by calling 503/988-5234.

Llewellen offers preview of upcoming Kindergartn. Llewellyn Elementary School’s “Connect to Kindergarten” event is this evening from 6 to 7:30 pm. Join the Principal and staff members in an introduction to the school. Childcare will be provided.  6301 S.E. 14th Avenue in Westmoreland.

Friends of Chamber Music: Jordi Savall concert. This evening at 7:30 pm at Reed College’s Kaul Auditorium, Jordi Savall, “one of the most multifariously gifted musicians of his generation and a revered viola da gamba player”, performs in a program featuring music from the Ottoman Empire, in dialogue with the Armenian, Greek, and Sephardic traditions. Co-presented by Friends of Chamber Music, Portland Baroque Orchestra, and Cappella Romana. For tickets call 503/224-9842, or go online to:

Duniway School kindergarten open house.
Duniway Elementary School’s “Connect to Kindergarten” will be this evening, 6 to 8 pm, in the school cafeteria at 7700 S.E. Reed College Place in Eastmoreland. Incoming kindergarteners and their parents are invited to learn more about Duniway and its curriculum, tour the school, and meet the Principal and the kindergarten teachers. Enrollment forms for the 2015-2016 school year will be available.  IMPORTANT:  If you would like to pre-register your child at this time, please bring an original copy of the state-issued birth certificate or passport, current immunization records, proof of address, and emergency contacts and phone numbers.  If you are unable to attend tonight, additional tours of the school will be available later in the spring. Please call Duniway Elementary at 503/916-6343 for more information.


Master Class at Reed College by Paul Roberts.
Pianist, writer, lecturer, inspiring teacher, and a leading authority on the music of Debussy and Ravel, Paul Roberts “has earned the admiration of audiences, critics and fellow professionals worldwide”. Among his many accomplishments, Roberts was appointed artistic director of the international summer school for pianists “Music at Albignac” in southern France; he teaches at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama; and he performs regularly and gives master classes in Sweden, Denmark, France, Spain, Singapore and Australia. This master class will be held at 4 pm this afternoon at “Performing Arts Building 320” on the Reed College campus, on Woodstock Boulevard east of S.E. 28th, and admission is free.

Lenten Services at Immanuel Lutheran.
At noon and at 7 pm today, you are invited to attend Lenten Services at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 7810 S.E. 15th Avenue in Sellwood. In fact, Lent services are held at noon and 7 pm every Wednesday from today through March 25th. On March 29th, Palm Sunday Service is at at 10:30 am. All are welcome.

Immanuel Lutheran preschool open house today.
Immanuel Lutheran Church in Sellwood is holding its annual preschool open house today from 10 am to noon. You are welcome to visit the classroom and meet the teachers. The address is 7810 S.E. 15th Avenue. For more information, call 503/236-7823.

Ventriquilism exhibit repeats at Puppet Museum. Ping Pong’s Pint Size Puppet Museum in Sellwood has brought back its very popular ventriloquism exhibit, now through April, and as a special feature today at 2 pm offers a performance called “AdVENTures in Ventriloquism with Chuck Mott”. Mott, a local ventriloquist, puppeteer, and magician, will explain the how-to of ventriloquism, with a live performance, Q & A, and an opportunity to try your hand (and lips) at "venting" yourself. Show length is 45 minutes. Tickets are $7.00 each for ages 2 to 99. Reserve seats at 503/233-7723. The museum is situated at 906 S.E. Umatilla Street.

Free “Portland Camp Fair” today at Trackers Earth.
Trackers Earth’s “Portland Camp Fair”, from 10 am to 3 pm today, is free to all, and features fourteen areas of activities, including woodcarving, homesteading projects and animals, fiber arts, knot tying, fishing and casting demonstrations, archery, blacksmithing, and a great deal more. Campers are encouraged to bring a friend. On-site registration is available, so families have an easy and guided opportunity to enroll in their favorite camps. The location is 4617 S.E. Milwaukie Avenue, just south of Holgate Boulevard. For more information, including fall details on the available camps, go online:

OHSU Brain Fair today at OMSI.
It’s free, today, 10 am to 5 pm, in the auditorium at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry! Learn about the amazing adaptive power of the brain at the largest brain fair in the country. The free fair is part of Oregon Health & Science University's (OHSU) Brain Awareness Season 2015. This year's cerebral celebration, today only, will include interactive exhibits, real human brains, crafts, demonstrations, prizes, and OHSU neuroscientists explaining their groundbreaking research. OMSI is on S.E. Water Street, on the east bank of the Willamette River, just north of the Ross Island Bridge.

St. Agatha’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration. St. Agatha Catholic School once again celebrates St. Patrick’s Day today, starting with a 5K fun run at 11 am, the parade through Sellwood to Westmoreland and back starting at noon, the carnival noon to 5 pm at the school (15th and S.E. Nehalem), and food and a beer garden noon till 8 pm. For more, go online to:

Portland Rose Society Fair at Oaks Park.
The Portland Rose Society’s 21st Annual Information and Vendor Fair is this evening, 7:30 pm, in the Oaks Amusement Park Dance Pavilion. Local garden and supply centers will be there with special bargains; experts will be there to share information on organic gardening, soil supplements, disease control, and sprays. There’ll be free refreshments and door prizes, and a lot more. Bring a pair of your gardening shears for a free sharpening! For more information, call 503/777-4311. Oaks Park’s access is from the foot of S.E. Spokane Street in Sellwood, at the Springwater Trail and the railroad tracks. 

Pageturners Book Group meets at Woodstock Library.
Read “State of Wonder” by Ann Patchett; then engage in stimulating conversation about books, exchange perspectives about characters and plot, and get to know your neighbors. Sponsored by the Friends of the Library. It’s free, and it’s this evening, 6:30-7:30 pm, at the Woodstock Branch Library, S.E. 49th and Woodstock Boulevard.

Last day to reserve tickets for Lenten Seafood Festival.
St. Philip Neri Church, on S.E. Division Street, set its deadline as today to reserve tickets for its “first annual Lenten Seafood Festival”, in its own Carvlin Hall – which will be 5-8 pm on Saturday, March 21st. Adult tickets are $25; age 6 to 12 years, $15; age 5 and under, free. For information and to order tickets, call 503/231-4955, and do it today.

“Green construction” the topic of Breakfast Forum today.
The monthly Breakfast Forum, created and hosted by Reed neighborhood resident Ann B. Clarkson, presents at its March meeting today a discussion on “Green building materials – established and cutting edge”, facilitated by Barbara Fletcher. The Breakfast Forum is an informal group whose members meet monthly at Mt. Tabor Presbyterian Church library, 5441 S.E. Belmont. It’s 7:30 to 8:30 am, free, no registration required, and guests are always welcome. For information, call 503/774-9621.


Ventriloquism today at Puppet Museum.
Ping Pong’s Pint Size Puppet Museum in Sellwood, as part of its current exhibit on ventriloquism through April, today at 2 pm presents “Ventriloquism with Dave Miller”. Dave performs ventriloquism, tells stories, and entertains, while giving a behind-the-scenes look at American ventriloquism. Fun for the whole family; show lasts 45 minutes. Tickets are $7.00 each for ages 2 to 99. Reserve seats at 503/233-7723. The museum is situated at 906 S.E. Umatilla Street.

Vegetable Gardening Tips and Tricks at Sellwood Library. Athena McElrath, a Master Gardener, will present her best tips and tricks for growing your own vegetables and small fruits. This program for beginning gardeners will include her seed list, and how to use ordinary supplies in an ordinary back or front yard garden area. Learn how to start seeds, prepare your planting beds, plant, and then enjoy the harvest. Great for the new  vegetable/small fruit gardener, as well as the gardener who is new to Portland. Free. It’s this evening, 6 to 7:30 pm, at the Sellwood-Moreland Library, S.E. 13th at Bidwell Street.

“Spring Ceramics” family project today at Sellwood Library.
Celebrate spring and paint your own bug, butterfly, and more. The library will supply the ceramic pieces, paint, brushes, smocks, water tubs and mats; you come with your imagination and talent. The pieces are painted with lead-free acrylic paint, and are ready to be taken home in just a few minutes. Free. 1 to 2:30 pm this afternoon for kids and families, at the Sellwood Branch Library, on the corner of S.E. 13th and Bidwell Street.

Chemistry for kids at Woodstock Library today.
Spin! Pop! Boom! How do you know that a chemical reaction has occurred? Start with a change of color in a chemically-challenging “magic” trick. Move on to an assortment of experiments featuring both chemical and physical changes. Watch in awe as the Mad Scientist creates numerous versions of erupting science! Everything is guaranteed to be amazing! It’s for kids, and it’s free, this afternoon from 1 to 1:45 pm at the Woodstock Branch Library, S.E. 49th and Woodstock Boulevard.


     Useful HotLinks:     
Your Personal "Internet Toolkit"!

Charles Schulz's "PEANUTS" comic strip daily!

Portland area freeway and highway traffic cameras

Portland Police


Latest Portland region radar weather map

Portland Public Schools

Multnomah County's official SELLWOOD BRIDGE website

Click here for the official correct time!

Click here to draw a map of anywhere in the United States!

Oaks Amusement Park

Association of Home Business (meets in Sellwood)

Local, established, unaffiliated leads and referrals group for businesspeople; some categories open

Weekly updates on area road and bridge construction

Translate text into another language

Look up a ZIP code to any U.S. address anywhere

Free on-line PC virus checkup

Free antivirus program for PC's; download (and regularly update it!!) by clicking here

Computer virus and worm information, and removal tools

PC acting odd, redirecting your home page, calling up pages you didn't want--but you can't find a virus? You may have SPYWARE on your computer; especially if you go to game or music sites. Click here to download the FREE LavaSoft AdAware program, and run it regularly!

What AdAware doesn't catch, Spybot may! PC's--particularly those used for music downloads and online game playing--MUST download these free programs and run them often, to avoid major spyware problems with your computer!

Check for Internet hoaxes, scams, etc.

Here's more on the latest scams!

ADOBE ACROBAT is one of the most useful Internet document reading tools. Download it here, free; save to your computer, click to open, and forget about it!

Encyclopedia Britannica online

Newspapers around the world

Stain removal directions

Convert almost any unit of measure to almost any other

Research properties in the City of Portland

Free marketing ideas for businesspeople from a Southeast Portland expert

Local source for high-quality Shaklee nutritionals

Note: Since THE BEE is not the operator of any of the websites presented here, we can assume no responsibility for content or consequences of any visit to them; however we, personally, have found all of them helpful, and posted them here for your reference.


Local News websites:
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Local News

KATU, Channel 2 (Digital/HDTV broadcast channel 43)

KOIN, Channel 6 (Digital/HDTV broadcast channel 40)

KGW, Channel 8 (Digital/HDTV broadcast channel 8)

KPTV, Channel 12 (Digital/HDTV broadcast channel 12)

KPDX, Channel 49 (Digital/HDTV broadcast channel 30)

KPAM 860 News Radio

Your neighborhood online!

SMILE -- The Sellwood-Moreland Improvement League  and  its blog

"THE NEIGHBOR", the official monthly newsletter of SMILE, The Sellwood Moreland Improvement League, appears on page 3 of THE BEE each month. For the very latest version of this newsletter, click here!

Woodstock Neighborhood Association website

Woodstock Business Assn. business directory

Southeast Portland Rotary Club website

Sellwood-Westmoreland Business Alliance website

Eastmoreland neighborhood website

Brooklyn Action Corps Neighborhood Association

Alternate Brooklyn Action Corps website

Reed Neighbors

Foster-Powell Neighborhood Association  and  its blog

From SMILE and Portland Parks: Historic Oaks Pioneer Church--available for weddings and events in Sellwood