Community Features

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

Cleveland High School, Commerce High School, Clinton Kelly
One of East Portland’s first schools was built on this farmstead of Clinton Kelly, who donated this portion of his property to the Portland School District for Clinton Kelly Elementary School. Commerce High moved into that schoolhouse in 1929, later updated to Cleveland High School. The man with the horse would be near today’s Powell Boulevard. (Photo courtesy of the Portland Bureau of Transportation)

Happy century, Cleveland High School!

Special to THE BEE

A lot can happen in 100 years – and, if you attended Commerce or Cleveland High School during that time, you were involved in a lot of life-changing decisions.

High school is a time when you make new friends, become inspired by teachers, and increase your knowledge – learning about world events that will shape your future forever.

In September of 1916 the leaders of education in Portland were intent on improving the status of this city and its citizens. One of their goals was to establish a school devoted to the improvement of the business community; and the High School of Commerce (Commerce High) was soon officially declared open – accepting students who wanted to pursue a career in the fields of accounting, bookkeeping, and secretarial duties.

Thus it is that September of 2016 marked the start of the 100th anniversary of Commerce High School’s – now Cleveland High School’s – commitment to the education and success of its young people.

With the big anniversary looming, Cleveland High alumni Nancy Carr and Nancy Beaver, as well as other fellow graduates, wanted their school to be recognized for its excellence in educating Portland’s youth.

Banding together, the school’s Alumni Association members are offering, this fall, many events and reunions, to summon back the students who once roamed the halls or represented the Indians and Warriors on the sports field, sang, danced, spoke, or created art and poetry at CHS during their teenage years.

Spending endless hours talking to other ex-classmates and teachers, and reviewing past photos and yearbooks, in order to compile the history of the school, the Alumni Association is now proud to present the Centennial Edition of “Commerce-Cleveland High School 1916-2016”, available at Cleveland High.

All of the photos, including past Rose Festival Princess pictures from past Ledger yearbooks, were collected and presented to the editors of the book by Dennis Maloney (CHS grad, 1960).

These centennial events are already underway, as Cleveland students and alumni participated last spring in the Rose Festival Starlight Parade, followed by a golf tournament in August at the Eastmoreland Golf Course. But there’s plenty of more in the offing.

Events for the anniversary still to come include the classic rivalry Cleveland-Franklin football game on Thursday night, October 13th. The alumni Cleveland High School Tour will be 1-3 p.m. on Saturday, October 15th, and the All-Class Reunion follows on the same evening.

Anyone wanting to attend the remaining celebrations is encouraged to call and register for this once-in-a-lifetime observance. Most all of the festivities are free, but registration is required to allow for staffing, and to supply enough party favors for the attendees. So get cracking, you ex Warriors and Indians – and Stenographer alumni – and get in touch with your old school chums.

For those of you who forgot about your high school days at Commerce High or Cleveland High, here’s a brief history to bring back memories for you, thanks to the research of Nancy Carr, and her book….

From as early as when the first settlers arrived in Portland, the founding fathers of the city were firm believers in providing an education for the city’s children. Continuing education, at that time, was available only for children whose parents could afford the fees. Most all of the instructional courses for young folks were offered through private schools -- and the few public schools, mostly located west of the Willamette River. And, too, students had to find their own way to school.

By the 1900’s Portland was becoming a thriving city, and as the population doubled, so too did the business district. Factories, stores, manufacturing companies, lawyers, and transportation companies had plenty of openings – but there were few qualified workers. Owners were so desperate for experienced employees that could read, write, and think, that there was a strong push for public education for everyone.

And, there was such demand for services in accounting, bookkeeping, mathematics and clerical services, that a specialty school – the School of Commerce – was created.

 Located in the same building that housed Lincoln High School students downtown, new pupils were offered a choice.  They could continue with fellow classmates at Lincoln High, or become adventuresome and challenge their minds by learning the business world at the newly-established Commerce High.

The first years of Commerce High were an exciting time for its students as they became involved in new social clubs and activities. Everything was available – from Drama to Speech, and outdoor excursions with the Camera Club. There was even a History Club. A Spanish Club was popular with both girls and boys, as was the Glee Club and after-school Orchestra practice.

Each Commerce class wanted its own identity. And pupils who weren’t a member of any particular group could always attend the many dances, sport rallies, and games, or enjoy the entertainment of the school vaudeville shows organized each year.

Since Commerce was then still downtown, the “Eastside High School” (Washington High) was the only secondary school available for teenagers living on the east side of the Willamette. And, as it happened, the majority of families lived on the east side of town. That was to change by the next decade.

Business was booming in downtown Portland; and as more high-rise structures were built, private and public schools began to experience negative impacts from the encroachment of the business district. The disrupting sounds and noise from the streetcars, vendors, and delivery vehicles constantly traveling about the city streets also interfered with the study skills of the students.

School officials were challenged to find a spot for the High School of Commerce on the east side of the river.  The Clinton Kelly Grammar school, standing at 26th and S.E. Powell, was at that time vacant, and a logical choice. Clinton Kelly had officially closed in 1928, and its elementary children were relocated to a two-story brick structure on Holgate and 29th (now the Daniel Grout Elementary School).

The land along Powell at 26th was once part of Clinton Kelly’s farm, and had been deeded to the school district for educational purposes.  If there weren’t a school on the property, then the land would revert back to the heirs of the donor. That made the decision easy, and on June 1, 1929, the new high school was officially dedicated there. A handful of students marched from the old school downtown, across the Ross Island Bridge up the hill on Powell Boulevard, to their new school – the Clinton Kelly School of Commerce.

As described in the Centennial edition of “Commerce Cleveland High School”, by the start of school in January 1930 CHS students were offered classes in English, History, Law, Mathematics, Writing, Art, Spanish, Band, Orchestra, and Gym. A new library was available for students, with over 3500 books on hand to borrow, and a state-of-the-art cafeteria was opened to serve lunch to the school’s pupils.

The pride and spirit of the students shone brightly in 1930: The first Rose Festival Princess for Commerce High was chosen, and football and baseball teams began competing.

Commerce High  fielded many sports teams in both men and women’s athletics, but playing against such powerhouses as Jefferson, Lincoln, Benson, and Washington High proved a challenge. Especially since the school attracted students interested in business, few were recruited for athletic abilities.

Early on, Commerce High occasionally won a championship or two in various co-ed sports; but in 1930 the athletics outperformed the academics. Let’s just say, the 1930’s were the golden era for the boys of Commerce High. As the decade began, Commerce won its first men’s football championship, followed by city championships in men’s basketball and men’s baseball, for only the second time in the school’s history. Nobody was calling the fighting Commerce stenographers a bunch of pencil-pushers anymore. The theme was set for the decade.

On November 16, 1939, the men’s football team posted one of the most notable upsets ever in the Portland Interscholastic League (PIL) when they beat a highly-favored Grant Generals team 7 to 0. The “Stenogs”, as they were called back then, were not only predicted to lose by a large margin, but they beat Grant using only eleven players for the entire game, both defensively and on offense. This feat was so spectacular that they were thereafter referred to as the “Iron Men” of football.

In 1996, a group of those former athletes from the 1939 football squad started a scholarship program for chosen Cleveland High seniors. Over 75 scholarships have been handed out to graduating seniors since then, with between five and six $2,000 scholarships presented annually.

In 1940, students enrolled at Commerce still felt the aftershocks of the Depression Era. As in other schools around the country, families exited the Great Depression without much. Boys wore jeans and usually had two pairs of pants. One for high school and one for church; and if you couldn’t afford a new pair of shoes cardboard would have to be inserted in the soles of shoes to cover the holes worn into them.

For girls, middies and skirts with pleats were commonly worn, often made by their mother or themselves in a school sewing class.  A “middy” was a blouse that zipped up the front, usually worn with a sweater. The girls usually wore sailors’ collars with the middy on the outside of the outfit.

Just recovering from the Depression, the citizens of the country, along with the students at Commerce High, were stunned to hear in radio bulletins that U.S. soldiers and civilians had been killed by a sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawai’i, on December 7th, 1941, by Japanese aircraft.

Many of the boys enlisted right after the news was broadcast, lying about their age to support the cause – and many others went away to war after graduation, postponing a business career. In a 1945 school photo of the senior class, only five boys can be seen among the 105 girls who posed for the class picture that day. A plaque purchased by the students was dedicated to honor the thirteen boys and two girls from Commerce High who lost their lives serving their country in the Great War.

When World War II ended, and the young servicemen returned to the United States, a change in Portland public education was in the wind. Specialty schools – like Commerce High, which mainly offered classes in the business field, and Benson High, which provided training in technical and engineering skills – should be eliminated in favor of general education schools, many said. Such a change would also mean that students could no longer choose the school they wanted to attend in the Portland School District.

All of the academic Schools in Portland would be converted into comprehensive schools, leaving just two specialized schools. School boundaries were established by the School Board and teenagers living within a school’s defined boundary would have to attend that school.

Commerce High would continue to offer traditional business courses, but additional classes were added – French, Latin, Mathematics, and Science, plus a variety of Music and Drama courses. To conform to the established pattern of Portland High Schools being named after presidents, Commerce High was renamed Grover Cleveland High in 1948.

It might be noted that Benson High, named for civic leader and philanthropist Simon Benson, didn’t have to conform to these rules.

When the last students of Commerce High graduated in 1947, a new chapter began for the young people of Cleveland High School.

Next month here in THE BEE we will continue with Cleveland High’s history, and tales of the students and the classes from the 1950’s up to the present.

Meantime, if you ever attended this historic, century-old school, don’t forget to register for the October celebrations of Commerce/Cleveland High School. Call Nancy Carr at 1-916/202-7132 to do so, or contact through the Alumni website:

Arab festival, Oaks Park, Sellwood, Mahrajan, Said Fakih
Said Fakih, at right, owner of the Portland “Sesame Donuts” chain, with his son Yusuf – at the September 3rd Arab American festival called “Mahrajan” at Oaks Park. (Photo by Joseph Gallivan)

Oregon Arabs: ‘Think different’

The Portland Tribune

Special to THE BEE

Arabs and non-Arabs turned out under alternating blue skies and drizzle at Oaks Amusement Park, off S.E. Spokane Street in Sellwood, for an Arab American festival called “Mahrajan” on Saturday, September 3.

Arranged in a circle around a music stage and portable dance floor were ten commercial vendors, and tables for six nonprofits. The vendors were representing pan-Arab culture, as it is found in the Portland metro area.

They sold food such as shawarma (meat like a kebab), falafel sandwiches, sticky desserts such as baklava, and black coffee. Nonprofits included the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund, a national organization brings children injured in Palestine to the U.S. for treatment; and the Syrian American Medical Society, which helps treat victims of and refugees from the Syrian civil war.

Some people think of former Oregon Governor Vic Atiyeh, or former Reedie and Apple founder Steve Jobs, when they think of an American of Arab descent. But there are many other Arab-Americans who are part of the fabric of Portland.

Samar Fakih, 23, just graduated from the University of Portland, where she majored in Psychology and Spanish, and is now applying to medical schools. She is one of ten volunteer Board members of the Arab American Cultural Center of Oregon, which organized the festival. Being a board member is not particularly exclusive. “You don’t have to be Middle Eastern, but you definitely have to be for our cause, which is just promoting and celebrating the Arab American culture, the beautiful music, and food and dancing. As you can see here, everything is so colorful and exciting.”

Fakih loves OHSU, and has already job-shadowed there. But she doesn’t feel as if she entirely fits in, in Portland, long-term. She was born and raised in Tigard. “I feel more like a Southern California girl.” She visits family there a lot. “I’m not really one of the Keep Portland Weird people,” she says. “I don’t ride a bike, and I’ve never been on transit.” She was wearing a T-shirt that read “Yalla VOTE” which exhorts Arab Americans to register and vote.

Her father, Said Fakih, runs “Sesame Donuts”, which has six locations in the Portland area. He explains that he was one year from graduating college in California. Being the oldest, he had to abandon his studies at that point to take on the donut shop, to support his six siblings, in 1997.

His path to Portland is unique. His parents were Lebanese. They moved to Sierra Leone in West Africa, where he largely grew up. “I went to the British Consul in high school, and I remember sitting on the floor in the library reading a National Geographic about the Pacific Northwest – about the Redwoods and the Cascades and the ocean – and I told my dad I wanted to go there. Dad said no. His grandfather sent his son his bride, a redheaded, freckled Lebanese girl, and their arranged marriage took place in Sierra Leone.

Said and his (arranged) wife made it to relatives in California, and eventually to Portland. Said has two girls and two boys. One, Yusef, was working the donut stand during the day at Oaks Park. He changed out of his Nike T-shirt and Nike ball cap to put on his dad’s traditional costume, a sherwel, of harem pants and waistcoat. He is learning the folk dances, and gearing up to show off his moves.

Fakih is well known in the Lebanese community – but is also known to many new refugees form the Arab diaspora – more recently, Iraqis settling in Beaverton. One of his workers is one: A polite young man who came over during our interview to hand over the keys to the truck and take off.

Attorney Hala Gores, former Chair of the Arab American Cultural Center of Oregon, is a Palestinian American, born in Nazareth, who came to the U.S. when she was 10. She started the organization with six members meeting around her Portland dining table in 2006.

“What we grew up with was seeing Arabs and Muslims portrayed as they are on the news, in a very negative way, always negative. And it’s become more so after 9-11.”

Gores says the first Arabs in Portland were Christians coming from Syria and Lebanon, who settled in Outer Southeast from S.E. 120th to 160th Avenues. (The Syrian Lebanese American Club is at 11610 S.E. Holgate Boulevard, and the Lebanese restaurant “Ya Hala” is at 8005 SE Stark Street.)

“Our newest immigrants are mostly coming from Iraq and Syria, and live in Beaverton and Tigard. We wanted to start a free event where Oregonians could see and meet Arab Americans, see the positive aspect of who we are and what we do. Music, food, dance, lawyers, doctors and business owners.”

Some of the nonprofits at the Oaks Park festival were a reminder of the life and death struggles in the Arab world. Hisham Bismar of the Syrian American Medical Society is orthopedic doctor at Kaiser Permanente. (He appears in the documentary “50 Feet from Syria.”) SAMS began in 2007 as a professional organization – a way for Syrian doctors to network in the US. But with the horrors of the Syrian civil war, where hospitals are blown up and medics targeted by snipers, it has morphed into a relief effort, a mini Doctors Without Borders.

The SAMS Foundation is a nonprofit humanitarian organization established in 2007. Its volunteer physicians deliver direct medical care in Syria, Jordan, Turkey, and Lebanon.

220,000 people in Syria have been killed so far, and there are 3.8 million refugees. It sends medics to Syria, and also helps with refugees in surrounding countries, offering physical and mental healthcare and nutritional instruction. Bismar said he is not optimistic about Syria's recovery. “There used to be rules of war. Now there are no rules there.”

Suzan Khouri, a fundraiser and event planner for the Portland chapter of the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund, was there to raise awareness, and raise money at an upcoming gala. She wore a diamond cross around her neck. “PCPF is for children who have no hope of being helped, back where they come from,” she explains, before talking about children who have been fitted for artificial limbs, pro bono, here in the USA and then returned home.

“The local chapter was launched a year and a half ago. It’s a very clean, very transparent organization,” said Khouri, who works in advertising at Portland’s Hispanic TV station KUNP, channel 47. “We’re very proud to have it here.” Khouri’s mother was from Gaza and her father from Nablus. “I was born in Kuwait and baptized in Palestine, then I went from Kuwait to Portland State University for my education.” She has been in the USA for 33 years.

Another Palestinian, Hala Barghouty of Lovemenation, was selling T-shirts with patterns on them, in iron-on Swarovski Austrian crystals. One was of a cartoon boy facing away, known as Handallah. He was the signature of cartoonist Naji Al-Ali, who was killed in 1987. The shirts were a kind of “Real Housewives meets the Gaza Strip”, and they were popular. Barghouty says they are also available on Etsy.

The day at Oaks Park ended with a substantial crowd of Portland residents more acquainted with the Arabs, and Arab culture, in the Rose City.

Brooklyn Park, Brooklyn Action Corps, Ice Cream Social, 911 memorial
A memorial to “9-11” victims on the 15th anniversary of the devastating terrorism attacks in New York, Washington DC, and Pennsylvania, took center stage at this year’s Ice Cream Social in Brooklyn Park – while kids enjoyed the Bouncy Air Castle in background. (Photo by Rita A. Leonard)

Brooklyn’s 14th ‘Ice Cream Social’ held on September 11


Fun and frolic were key words for Brooklyn's end-of-summer “Ice Cream Social” at Brooklyn Park on Sunday, September 11.

After 14 years, the September afternoon has become a well-organized tradition, sponsored by the Brooklyn Action Corps (BAC) neighborhood association, and assisted by volunteers. Folks look forward each year to reconnecting with friends and neighbors, and playing in a picnic setting.

BAC board member Mark Romanaggi told THE BEE, “The business community was amazingly generous this year, providing some 25 donations of adult raffle items. The BAC Board itself also bought nearly 40 toy prizes for the kid raffle.”

Former BAC Chairman Marie Phillippi revealed, “This year again the 25-cent ice cream bars are free. Our mystery donor from last year returned with $200, and told us: ‘I want everybody to have free ice cream here.’ A mystery no more, we’re pleased to credit Gabe Matthews of Con Cor Design for this generous gift.”

Nearby, Father Bob Barricks and volunteers from Sacred Heart Parish gave out treats. “Today, we’re supplying free balloons and Tootsie Pops, and lots of Love,” smiled Barricks.

Excited kids flocked to the Polar Bear Bouncy Castle, as well as the Rock Climbing Wall provided by Portland Parks & Recreation. Music by the Yamhillbillies wafted across the park. Nearby, a display by Artist & Craftsman Supply delighted kids and adults alike with Nature Prints, and a variety of bubble-making toys.

Volunteers from the Thelma Skelton “Meals on Wheels People” Center on S.E. Milwaukie Avenue sold hotdogs, sausages, chips, and drinks to those present. Colorful Biff the Clown created balloon sculptures next to Shawna Faye from Earth Fairy Entertainment, who did face painting while dressed as a woodland fairy.

Tables nearby provided information on Brooklyn History, the Youth Progress nonprofit, and the disaster preparedness program, “Brooklyn Prepared” (which can be contacted at:

Jocelyn Mueller from the “Know Thy Food” neighborhood grocery co-op sold fresh-cut watermelon. She also described a fundraiser (online at: to improve the Milwaukie storefronts of Hazel & Pear, Warehouse Café, and ARJ businesses. “Metro will match donations dollar-for-dollar, so donate now and double your impact,” she urged. Donations must be in by October 10.

In addition, given the date of this year’s annual ice cream bar celebration, there was also a memorial display in Brooklyn Park – with American flag, and flowers – in reminder of the over three thousand victims of 2001’s 9-11 attacks in New York City, Washington DC, and Pennsylvania, on this fifteenth anniversary of the terrorism.

Brentwood Darlington, Learning Gardens Laboratory, Farm Stand
Brentwood-Darlington resident Leslie Ireland stocks up on her fresh produce for the week at the Learning Gardens Laboratory’s “Farm Stand”. Here, she’s buying from Coordinator Shea McWhorter. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Brentwood-Darlington ‘Farm Stand’ still offering fresh produce


Some neighbors hope that the word doesn’t get out about the Learning Gardens Laboratory “Farm Stand”, located across the street from Lane Middle School. Too late – it’s now in THE BEE!

“I come here every Wednesday from the day they open until their last market of the season in the fall,” grinned Brentwood-Darlington resident Leslie Ireland, as she completed a mid-August purchase.

“The best part of it, for me, is looking at what fresh produce is here, and deciding what I’m going to have for dinner tonight,” Ireland told THE BEE. “Whatever it is, I know because it’s local, and it will be fresh and delicious.”

“Farm Stand” Coordinator Shea McWhorter remarked that she’d actually like a few more people to know about this weekly mini farmers market.

“This farm stand is part of the Learning Gardens Laboratory,” McWhorter said. “We work with students from Lane School in our demonstration gardens, and they help grow the produce.

“Then, during the summer, when it’s really abundant, we want to get the produce back into the community,” explained McWhorter. “We sell at below-market prices, making sure that this fresh produce is accessible to lots of different kinds of people from different walks of life in Inner Southeast who might be ‘food insecure’, or who might not have access to fresh produce.”

Any perishable produce that isn’t sold is given to volunteers, and also donated to the school’s food pantry, which is part of the Oregon Food Bank system. 

The “regulars” who’ve supported the market through the past seasons tend to come when it opens, right at 3:30 p.m. each Wednesday, to buy freshly-picked produce.

“You can tell that they really appreciate having us here; we have built good relationships over time,” McWhorter said.

The Learning Gardens Laboratory “Farm Stand”, on S.E. 60th Avenue across from Lane Elementary School, is open on Wednesday afternoons from 3:30 until 6:30 p.m., continuing through the middle of October.

Seth Johnson, mosaic mural, Tilikum Transit Bridge, Woodstock Elementary School.
Woodstock School Principal Seth Johnson, at left, says he is proud of this student-made mosaic mural of the Tilikum Transit Bridge at Woodstock Elementary School. (Photo by Rita A. Leonard)

Woodstock Elementary School features new mosaic of Tilikum Bridge


The staff and students of Woodstock Elementary School were greeted this fall by a new mosaic mural in the school’s front hall. The mural is thirteen feet wide and four-and-a-half feet tall, and was created by last year’s fifth grade class. “The Tilikum Bridge” mural is part of a “bridge studies” theme at the school. Also decorating the main hall are clay tile mosaics of the Fremont and Broadway Bridges.

Principal Seth Johnson tells THE BEE he is very proud of the students’ artwork. This mural was completed last spring under the direction of an Artist in Residence instructor. It’s well-known that students learn through a multitude of modalities, he observes, and this mosaic combines elements of both art and engineering.

The decorative columns bounding the mural display a subtle sense of light and dimension. The bridge itself features a MAX train in the center, while trees, flowers, river, clouds, Mt. Hood, and Portland city lights add substance to the scenery, and an impressive highlight to the entrance of the school, located near Woodstock Park.

Tucker Maxon School, ice cream, Lake Oswego Lions Club, Opera a a Carte
“Opera à la Carte” singers baritone Erik Hundtoft and soprano Catherine Olson perform their duet, “Papageno/Papagena”, from Mozart’s “Magic Flute”, for the students and parents of Holgate Boulevard’s Tucker-Maxon School on September 9th. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Lions Club hosts Tucker-Maxon ‘ice cream social’


An activity featuring music and ice cream was the after-school activity at the Reed neighborhood’s Tucker-Maxon School on Friday, September 9.

It happened for the cultural enrichment of the students and families – as well as a fundraiser for the Lake Oswego Lions Club’s project of building outdoor tables for the Holgate Boulevard school’s patio.

“Activities like these meet the goals of our organization, because our outreach is focused on speech and hearing,” the club’s vice president, Dean Surface, told THE BEE.

“We’ve formed a really good relationship with the school,” Surface said. “One of the students enrolled here accompanied us for our Fourth of July parade in Lake Oswego!”

The entertainment portion of the activity was provided by Portland Opera’s “Opera a la Carte” outreach program, inspired by Portland’s food cart culture, with a new mobile performance truck that brings opera directly into the community in pop-up performances.

“It’s awesome to have an organization like the Lake Oswego Lions Club supporting our school,” smiled Tucker-Maxon School Principal Linda Goodwin.

“This relationship gives a real community feel, to have them come out and support our school,” Goodwin commented. “It’s good for the kids to see some older people who are involved in life, having fun, and enjoying weather with the kids, and the Portland Opera.”

Under the shade of the school building and trees, some 60 children and parents enjoyed the pop-up opera show – and the ice cream.

Gleaners, Woodstock Farmers Market
Woodstock Farmers Market vendor Frank Battilega donates stacks of boxes of leftover produce to Neighborhood Gleaners. Jen and Heather Keislerfornes, founders of Neighborhood Gleaners, help haul the contributed food to low-income families and seniors. (Photo by Elizabeth Ussher Groff)

Where farmers-market leftover produce goes


If you have been to a farmers market, you know that no matter how busy the vendors are, at the end of the market day there is always leftover produce.

Where does all that produce go?

At the Woodstock Farmers Market, the nonprofit Sunday market is helped in that task by “Neighborhood Gleaners”, who see that the leftover food is distributed to seniors and low income families in the area.

At the end of each market day, Neighborhood Gleaners give one or more bins to each vendor to fill with unsold fruits and vegetables.

Neighborhood Gleaners started six years ago, when Heather and Jen Keislerfornes began working as volunteers with the Hollywood Senior Center. Neighborhood Gleaners is now a program of the Senior Center. Their purpose is to get leftover farmers market produce to low-income families and seniors.

And, last year the Woodstock Farmers Market also began partnering with Rose Community Development. Carly Poe, site manager for the Gleaners at the Woodstock market, was at that market on September 11th, and answered questions about how they operate.

“We deliver produce to Rose City’s low-income apartment complex at 72nd and S.E. Flavel. Every time we donate to the people there, they are so grateful and excited to get it. Without us, they otherwise wouldn’t have physical or financial access to fresh produce.

“Each Sunday we usually collect between 600 and 2,000 pounds. If it is more than the southeast apartment complex can use, the rest is delivered to the Hollywood Senior Center.”

Heather Keislerfornes, Program Coordinator of Neighborhood Gleaners, also speaking to THE BEE on September 11, remarked that almost all of the Woodstock market vendors do contribute leftover produce, but the biggest donor is the Woodstock farm stand of Frank Battilega’s Aurora Big B Farm.

Every Sunday at the end of market Battilega’s vendors, in the southeast corner of Key Bank’s parking lot where the market is held every Sunday midday, load up boxes and boxes of leftover produce. Neighborhood Gleaners are ready with a hand truck to haul it all to their van.

Battilega told us how he began donating to Neighborhood Gleaners. “One day I took a load to the Hollywood Senior Center, and I have never seen a group of people so happy to see worn-out vegetables. It’s just the right thing to do.”

Heather Keislerfornes says that there is an ongoing need for:

  • Volunteers on Sundays 1:45-3 p.m.
  • Union 76 or Chevron gas cards to feed the van
  • Donations of reusable brown paper bags with handles

If you would like to volunteer with Neighborhood Gleaners, or to support them in any way – including with the options above – call Heather 503/475-4943, or e-mail her at:

Oaks Park, carousel, dragon seat
This ride-able green dragon is a fixture on the carousel at Oaks Amusement Park. (Photo by Rita A. Leonard)

There Be Dragons – in Inner Southeast


October is the month of Hallowe’en.  What better time to speak of dragons…?

Myth and fairy tales stylize dragons as powerful, fire-breathing reptiles. Some are winged, some are more snake-like, indicating life on land or sea.

For centuries, Asian cultures have celebrated dragons as symbols of strength associated with water or rain. China’s “Year of the Dragon” occurs once every twelve years, and global warming may reinvest the creatures with the power of rainstorms. Today, though, dragons are more decorative, as can be seen around Inner Southeast Portland.

A dragon figure on the carousel at Oaks Amusement Park is notable for its bright green color, fangs, claws, and small red wings. The brave child who chooses to mount that creature can feel like a conquering hero – at least, for the brief ride. A dragon weather vane on S.E. Clatsop Street, flying above the roof line, is reminiscent of the friendly creature featured in the Walt Disney movie, “Pete’s Dragon”.

In the Brooklyn neighborhood, a tree planter features two decorative dragons. (Photo by Rita A. Leonard)

Another Sellwood dragon, also on Clatsop Street, is a fierce and convoluted stone creature, guarding a front porch behind a lavender bush. In Brooklyn, a large tree planter at S.E. 14th and Rhine Street features two dragons, curled protectively around an ocher ceramic pot.

A mural at the Trader Joe’s grocery store, 4715 S.E. Chavez Blvd. (39th), features a colorful dragon boat along the Willamette River. Portlanders can often spot similar dragon boats and their crews along the river, practicing for Rose Festival Dragon Boat Races.

Today, dragons still symbolize water and the weather – certainly an appropriate image for the rainy Pacific Northwest climate.

Southeast Events and Activities

Today and tomorrow – St. Philip Neri Church rummage sale.

The annual fund-raising rummage sale at St. Philip Neri Church Hall, accompanied by a craft fair, takes place today and tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The address is S.E. 16th and Division Street, just north of Powell.

Reed College annual “FUNd RUN/WALK” this morning.

This morning brings the annual Reed College “FUNd RUN/WALK”, 9-11:30 a.m. (Registration starts at 8.) The 5K run/walk starts at 9 from the Reed College Quad; then, 9:30-11:30 a.m., there is a free Bon Appétit pancake breakfast, campus tours, kids’ activities, and the award ceremony. One hundred percent of the registration fees and sponsorship dollars are donated by Reed College directly to Portland Public Schools, including Duniway, Grout, Lewis, Llewellyn, and Woodstock Elementary Schools. For more information or to register online, go to:

Holy Family Church “Oktoberfest” this afternoon.
Holy Family Church, at 7425 S.E. Chavez Blvd. (39th Avenue) presents a family-friendly Oktoberfest from noon until 8 p.m. today, with carnival games and crafts, music and live entertainment, food from Otto’s Sausage Kitchen, and beverages from Woodstock’s new Double Mountain Brewery and Tap Room. Prizes will be awarded for the “best Oktoberfest dressed” adult and child. Admission is free, and food, beverage, and carnival tickets will be available for purchase. For more information, go online:  

Classes start for Beginning Shen Lao Style Tai Chi Chuan.

Ongoing classes start this morning at 10 a.m. in Beginning Shen Lao Style Tai Chi Chuan, at All Saints Episcopal Church, 4033 S.E. Woodstock Boulevard. This form of Tai Chi was designed for all levels of physical ability and ambition. The class will be ongoing, by donation, and taught by Sifu Jann E. Jasperse (503/312-4933).

Eastmoreland “Historic District” information meeting.

At 7 p.m. this evening there will be an Eastmoreland Historic District Information Session, at 7:00 p.m. at Holy Family Celebration Hall (Chavez/39th and S.E. Flavel). It will include speakers from Portland Planning Bureau, the City of Portland’s Design and Historic Resource Review Team, and the Irvington Historic District, to answer questions on the pros and cons of neighborhoods being designated “Historic Districts”. [This meeting is sponsored by a group of Eastmoreland neighbors.]

FREE Sustainable Landscaping workshop.
Explore the benefits of gardening with Native plants. Discover Portland's most common native plant communities; learn which species do well in similar growing conditions, and get tips to help them thrive. It’s free in Southeast this evening, 6:30 to 9 p.m., at Sunnyside Community House, 3534 S.E. Main Street. Register online at: – or call 503/222-7645 for more information.

“300 Family Estate Sale” today and tomorrow at the Manor.

The residents of nonprofit Westmoreland Union Manor announce a “300 Family Estate Sale” today and tomorrow – 9 a.m. till 2 p.m. each day. Collectables and boutique; home décor; linens; kitchen items; Holiday ideas; crafts; jewelry; tools; electronics; furniture; books; media. Continental breakfast and lunch available. The Manor is at 5404 S.E. 23rd Avenue in Westmoreland, between Bybee and Tolman; street parking only. Possible detour required; watch for signs.

Fundraising lunch and bingo at St. Anthony’s Church.
St. Anthony Church’s Fall Luncheon is this morning at 11:30 a.m., at 3720 S.E. 79th Street, two blocks south of Powell Boulevard. $7 cost includes both lunch and bingo, with the latter offering “great prizes”. For more information, call 503/504-1204.

FREE Sustainable Landscaping workshop.

Learn how rain gardens add beauty and color to your yard while helping restore the health of urban streams at the same time. You will get step-by-step details on how to plan, design and build your own rain garden. Where possible, workshop includes a short tour of a nearby rain garden. It’s free, and in Southeast this morning – from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Sunnyside Community House, 3434 S.E. Main Street. Register online at: – or call 503/222-7645 for more information.

Holiday Bazaar at VFW Post.
Today and tomorrow, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., it’s the third annual Holiday Bazaar held at, and benefitting, VFW Sellwood Breakthrough Post 4248, at 7118 S.E. Fern Street. “Beautiful Fall and Hallowe’en decorations, as well as Christmas. In addition to handmade items we will have a Bake Sale as well as hot dogs and nachos.” For more information, call 503/775-4844.

Oregon Music Hall of Fame induction and concert tonight.
The tenth annual Oregon Music Hall of Fame induction ceremonies and concert take place this evening at 7 p.m. at Brooklyn’s Aladdin Theater, a half block south of Powell Boulevard on S.E. Milwaukie Avenue. To be inducted tonight: Brian Berg; Duffy Bishop (who will perform); Pete Krebs, Fernando Viciconte, and Paul Brainerd (all of whom will perform), Sleater-Kinney, Tim Ellis, Dave Cutter, and Bart Day. 3 Leg Torso will also perform. Tickets are available online at – or at the Aladdin Theater Box Office. The evening is a benefit for the nonprofit Oregon Music Hall of Fame.

For adults: Becoming Your Own Publisher.

This free workshop at the Sellwood Branch Library, 6:30-7:30 p.m. this evening, provides authors the tools and guidance necessary to become your own successful publisher. Includes aspects of professional editing and design, logistics and distribution, and publicity and marketing. The goal for this presentation is to offer enough details to make writers “publishing professionals” with an insider’s knowledge of the business, and unique ways of approaching the marketplace. Free, but registration is required; register in the library at S.E. 13th at Bidwell Street, or by calling 503/988-5234.

For teens: “Anime, the Easy Way”.

Love anime and manga cartoons, but don't know how to draw them, or want to improve on what you already know? The Sellwood Branch Library this afternoon, 1-3 p.m., offers you a free opportunity to learn tricks and techniques for drawing your favorite characters and designing your own. Use professional bristol paper and ink to do line work. For teens in grades 6-12; any experience level welcome. It’s free, but registration is required; register in the Sellwood Library, S.E. 13th at Bidwell Street, or by calling 503/988-5234.

“Gifted Options”: Tools for schools and families.

Best-selling author Susan Winebrenner is the keynoter for today’s 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Talented and Gifted Students conference, open to all, and held at Reed College. In addition to the keynote and more than 12 different breakout options, there will be an exhibitor and vendor fair. Prices start at $59 (for members of OATAG), and include lunch. Register online, or get more information, at:

Red Cross blood drive this afternoon in Woodstock.

From 2 until 7 p.m. today at Woodstock Bible Church, the Red Cross will be on hand for blood donations from the community. The church is located at 5101 S.E. Mitchell Street. Sign up online at: (and type Woodstock in the blue box), or call the Red Cross (1-800/733-2767).  Walk-ins are welcome, but registering beforehand helps prevent long waits. Thank you for donating and helping to save lives.

Ladies and gentlemen, shred your documents!

Have your discarded documents shredded, free, 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 7810 S.E. 15th Avenue in Sellwood. Safe document shredding done professionally on-site today. Completely free, but any free will offering would be appreciated.

“Great Pumpkin” designing, for kids and families, in Woodstock.
Design a pumpkin stencil with tape on a white canvas bag, and then add some paint to make your jack-o-lantern glow! In this free workshop at the Woodstock Branch Library, 2-3 p.m. today, kids will listen to fun music by Charles Schulz as they create Great Pumpkin carriers with “Puppetkabob”.

“Scrabble at the Library” in Sellwood.

Attention word lovers of every age: Have fun while exercising your brain, improving your vocabulary, and making new friends – by playing Scrabble. Beginning, intermediate, and advanced players are all welcome. Bring your own set, or use one of the Sellwood Branch Library’s. It’s free, and it’s this afternoon, 2 to 4 p.m., at the Sellwood Library, on S.E. 13th at Bidwell Street. Come a little early; space is limited.

For teens: Create your own “Franken-animal”.
With Hallowe’en looming, it’s time to create your own Franken-animal or creature, by hacking apart stuffed animals and reclaimed materials, then putting it all back together, using needle, thread, and hot glue. For the final touch, add in animatronics to make it one of a kind. It’s free, and it’s for teens in grades 6-12, this afternoon 1-3 p.m. at the Woodstock Branch Library, S.E. Woodstock Boulevard at 49th.

15th Annual “Moreland Monster March”.

The yearly “Moreland Monster March” Hallowe’en Parade, started by parents in 2001 shortly after the 9-11 terrorism attacks in New York, Washington DC, and Pennsylvania, to bring cheer back to the community, continues to be a huge draw for kids and parents, thousands of whom participate in costume in this short but fun parade. The parade forms in front of Llewellyn Elementary School on S.E. 14th at Tolman Street, and sets off east to Milwaukie Avenue promptly at 3 p.m. The parade then turns south to Bybee Boulevard, west to 14th, and then north back to Llewellyn Elementary School – where the merchants of the Sellwood Westmoreland Business Alliance (SWBA) will have treats and drinks for all. The whole thing takes an hour or so. It’s fun. Come one, come all.

Hallowe’en Party in Woodstock.
The Woodstock Neighborhood Association again presents its Hallowe’en Party for families and kids at the Woodstock Community Center, on S.E. 44th just north of Woodstock Boulevard and east of BiMart, 4:30-7 p.m. First, following “Not So Scary Stories” at 4 p.m. at the Woodstock Library, kids are welcome to Trick Or Treat their way to the party down Woodstock Boulevard at participating merchants, who are denoted by the “Treats Here” signs in business windows.

Haunted House in Sellwood: “Spooky Stories from Teen Girls”.
Nonprofit youth organization Rogue Pack creates a site-specific theatre piece at the “Haunted” Sellwood Playhouse! Receive a tour around Rogue Pack's new home and find out its mysterious history. Featuring Rogue Pack girls 10-17 in the DHS / foster care system from Boys & Girls Aid. For children 10 years and older. The Sellwood Playhouse is at 901 S.E. Spokane Street in Sellwood, and the event takes place 6:30-8:30 p.m. this evening. Tickets are $5, and include treats. Reserve tickets at: – or call 971/344 0155.

St. Anthony Church Bazaar.

Actually, it’s a Bazaar, Bake Sale, and Raffle – an annual fundraiser for St. Anthony Church, at 3720 S.E. 79th, two blocks south of Powell Boulevard. Hours today are 9 to 5; continuing tomorrow 9 to 3. Tables are available; contact 503/774-7411. 


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Charles Schulz's "PEANUTS" comic strip daily!

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Multnomah County's official SELLWOOD BRIDGE website

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

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

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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, "Malwarebytes" 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!

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Research properties in the City of Portland

Local source for high-quality Shaklee nutritionals

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