Community Features

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

20th and SE Harold Street
At 20th and S.E. Harold, there’s a noticeable change in scale between the original gambrel-roof house on the left (1928), and the home next to it – recently-built, with an ADU behind it, sited on the lot which formerly held the large garden of the house on the left. The one-story house at the far right will soon be replaced by a three-story condominium complex, it has been announced. (Photo by Eileen G. Fitzsimons)

Local historian evaluates new homes built to address infill pressure

for THE BEE           

Concerns have been expressed in neighborhoods throughout the city – including Sellwood-Westmoreland, Eastmoreland, Reed, and other Inner Southeast neighborhoods – about the demolition of older homes and their replacement with new ones. 

The primary issue seems to have to do with size – the new homes sometimes contain three times the square footage of the originals – and “cookie cutter” style. That is exemplified by developers who repeatedly build the same “Genuine Craftsman” house, named after other places and neighborhoods. I hope, in the future, to drive into the Alameda neighborhood and see “The Sellwood” model home under construction! It would be interesting to hear from readers about the features and size of such a house.

Planning theories, and personal values, are struggling for resolution. Beginning with former mayor Vera Katz in the mid-1990’s we have been directed by planners to increase density inside our neighborhood boundaries. This makes sense if we want to retain the rich Willamette Valley soil outside the urban area that produces the wonderful food available to all of us. Why cover it with repetitive shopping malls and housing developments and then import food from out of state? 

But replacing a 1,200 square foot bungalow with a house twice the size does not increase density, unless additional people occupy all of the bedrooms. There can also be potentially negative consequences for the resident of a small house who is now literally living in the shadow of a larger new one.  

Reduction of privacy can also cause unease. Second-story windows that face the smaller of the properties can create feelings of “over exposure”. Last year, the neighbors on the north side of my property in Westmoreland put a two-story addition on their 1950’s ranch house, which now towers over my small back garden where I spend a lot of time.

However, its placement reflects additional heat into my mini orchard – and we shared the cost of a new six-foot high privacy fence. While I now see a big blue wall instead of their spring-flowering magnolia, the windows of their addition are too small and high for an easy view. Other homeowners may not be so lucky.

In architectural terms, I describe Sellwood-Westmoreland as a “checkerboard” neighborhood. There’s almost every style, size, and type of dwelling, including tiny cottages and commodious Four Squares, apartments and condominiums, floating homes, a retirement high-rise, public housing, and at least a dozen formerly mobile homes. In age they range from a small house built in 1876 and to ones that are still under construction.

While walking around the neighborhood, I have inspected the “new builds”, chatted with construction crews, and examined floor plans, to try to determine why some (not all) of the new houses are troubling.

A descriptive flyer from one developer confirms the size issue. Of the eight listed models, only one is as small as 2,500 square feet, which matches the square footage of an “average” old Four Square. The other five models pushed or exceeded 3,000 square feet. While this size house may sit comfortably on a 70x100 foot lot, it is just too big for a standard, 50x100 lot, when the existing houses are closer to 1,200 square feet in size.  

One of the problems appears to be a difference in setback – the space between the sidewalk and the front of the house.  Many of the new homes have front porches, but they are not very deep, and are often built close to ground level. The porch railings are open, rather than enclosed; and while this could appear “friendlier”, instead it feels to me as if the porch is intruding into the public walking space.  The porches of older houses are often elevated up and back from the sidewalk, creating an open but semi-private space.

The new porches are at ground level, because many of the houses are built on a slab, with a crawl space instead of a basement. This means that the laundry, workshop/craft room, and storage – traditionally subterranean – are now above ground. More rooms are added, and the new house becomes large, to accommodate these activities.

According to one contractor with whom I spoke, the cost of a full-height basement is “about” $16,000. The builder of a speculative house has to guess what features will attract a potential customer. Will it be a basement or a great room?  On the other hand, in the smallest of the eight model houses, “The Nehalem”, the site is excavated and the garage is under the house.  This is less common, but does reduce the height of the house and makes it more compatible with existing homes.

There also seems to be a trend for every bedroom to have its own bathroom, which also increases the square footage. Those of us born after World War II also have more “stuff”, and walk-in closets and double-car garages help us cope. Truthfully, how many double-car garages really shelter two vehicles, and are instead are used for storage?  If you attend an estate sale in a pre-1950 home, the size of the bathroom, bedrooms, and closets will make this increase in possessions very clear.

A final difference in the new houses seems to be a reduced setback from neighbors, which results in little space for plantings or trees on the sides or in front.  If Sellwood-Westmoreland has a defining characteristic, it is the presence and variety of trees, shrubs, front gardens and private, enclosed back yards.

The “cookie cutter” complaint can’t be sustained. Repeated house designs are not a modern phenomenon. Southeast Twenty-Third Avenue, between Tolman and Reedway Streets, has nineteen houses built in the early 1940’s from only two basic plans. They are not all adjacent to each other, and over the decades, varied paint colors and landscaping have blurred the repetition.  Perhaps in time this will happen with the new houses, but only if there is enough space for planting.

From the builders’ perspective, a repeated design helps predict cost and profit. When construction picks up, the costs of materials and labor begin to rise. If you build the same home, you know what those two expenses should be. Sometimes economies of scale help you get a better price on materials if you purchase enough for multiple houses. Changes to a design, unless it is a reduction in square footage, usually means a higher cost to the builder and buyer, because materials and labor have to be recalculated.

Restoration and remodeling is often more time-consuming and challenging than new construction. A company that builds new houses from the ground up can predict the costs more precisely. But the materials in an old house are usually of better quality than a new one: Why toss the materials from an old growth forest and replace them with glued-together chunks of wood? Adding on, maintaining or restoring an old house can engage the homeowner for a lifetime! We should all be grateful for those residents who have the patience and budget to do so. 

There is another way to increase density on a 50x100 foot lot, and that is by adding on to an existing house, or building an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU). Almost twenty years ago, when the city assisted Sellwood and Westmoreland in a “visioning” process for its future, the ADU was a new and generally disparaged option. As a participant in that eighteen-month long process, I heard many suspicions voiced that this would lead to tacky, ugly little “granny flats” at the end of the driveway that would be future slum dwellings. However, the ADUs were a new concept, and the city wrote very specific design guidelines for them. 

Consequently, these little buildings – usually two-stories, with an apartment or office above a garage – are successful. They are small, and repeat the exterior design elements of the main structure. They increase density, but usually allow space for a small back garden between the two structures. According to SMILE’s land use chair, Ellen Burr, until 2010 applications for ADUs were averaging thirty per year in the entire city. But when the System Development Charges were reduced (the costs to apply for construction and planning review), the number of applications rose to 200.

The waiver has been extended until July, 2016, and we should be seeing more of this small-scale infill. Perhaps neighbors in Eastmoreland will consider this option to help increase density. 

Finally, not every old house is structurally sound enough to merit rehabilitation. Sometimes the neighborhood gets lucky and a “tear down” is replaced by a new structure that enhances the streetscape. Following are a few examples of that…          

Two years ago, a tiny cottage on Southeast Fourteenth near Yukon Street reached the end of its lifespan. It seems that it had been built as a “temporary” construction shack when the surrounding bungalows were built in the early years of the Twentieth Century. While it had served as a rental, the floor finally rotted through, and bringing it up to current code was not feasible. It has been replaced with a modest, well-designed town house. 

The house on the north side of the former “Keana’s Candyland” on S.E. Milwaukie Avenue was another tiny dwelling. Built before 1910 at the very back of its slightly oversized lot, it was less than 700 square feet, with a low-pitched roof and full front porch. It was purchased by the Premiere Property group, a small firm that did a miraculous job of rehabilitating a derelict house at Southeast Seventeenth and Ellis Streets in 2012. They hoped to do the same with this small house on Milwaukie Avenue. 

However, when their contractor opened up the wall, he wondered why the house had not collapsed. It apparently was a do-it-yourself project and there were no 2x4s in the walls, only a rudimentary framework.  It was demolished and a new two-story house, of 1,620 square feet, was put in the same place. The original detached garage was rebuilt as well. The historic setback was retained, with a long new lawn and low fence in front. If the new owners turn into gardeners, there is plenty of space for a green oasis on Milwaukie Avenue. 

A final example is a property on S.E. Fifteenth near Miller Street, just north of St. Agatha’s Catholic School. The original house, built in 1965, was a small, plain ranch style of less than 900 square feet. The new owners, who were downsizing from a larger multi-story home, lived in the house for two years before deciding they needed a lot more light, and larger living spaces. They had the house deconstructed and built a new one, which is still one-story in height, but with more windows. The owners also extended the rooms toward the back of the lot to gain a private garden, and partially enclosed the entryway with a handsome split stone wall.

Change is difficult, especially when you have lived in a neighborhood for a long time, and have to adjust to new structures that look different from the accustomed ones. Some of the new houses, especially if reduced in size, could do more to enhance the character of the neighborhood. But there are remodeling jobs on older houses by long-term residents that could have been more sympathetic, as well. What is being built may not be compatible, but it is legal under current city code.  

One of the recommendations in the 1998 Neighborhood Plan was to develop standards for new infill buildings. No one has stepped forward to follow through on that recommendation. SMILE has a land use subcommittee with a hard-working chair, and she welcomes others who are willing to put in the time necessary to work toward positive change. This takes time and commitment, not just complaining at a SMILE meeting or putting a sign in your yard.

In the meantime, we suggest you maintain your own house and property, stay put, and if you make alterations to your own house, make sure you give it as much consideration as you hope your neighbors will.

Above all, volunteer some hours to make a positive difference!

Woodstock Farmers Market
Shane Stonemetz and Nick Bowden from ProFarm Produce from Selah, Washington, pitch their fresh baby asparagus during opening day of the Woodstock Farmers Market. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Woodstock Farmers Market opens fourth season in showers 


Rain may help crops grow, but the forecast for a wet Sunday on June 1 might have made a few shoppers reluctant to venture out and shop at the first Woodstock Farmers Market of the season. 

But, the cool weather and the clouds threatening showers didn’t keep either the vendors – or hundreds of shoppers – from coming out to kick off the fourth season of the outdoor market on S.E. Woodstock Boulevard. 

“It’s a crazy-exciting market here today!” exclaimed Market Manager Emily Murnen. “It's so nice to see so many people, so soon after we open for the season. It shows we have great continued community support for our market.”

Eventually, patches of sunshine did shine through the clouds, leading even more families to make their way into the market to shop from among a full complement of 35 vendors. “Many of our vendors return season after season; and, we’re welcoming some new ones also, which is always fun,” Murnen told THE BEE

Even with all the stalls filled, there was still plenty of room for people to walk around, sit down to eat, and have a place for little kids to dance in front of the music, Murnen pointed out. 

Both she, their Board members, and their vendors are still a little amazed at the “instant success” that the market has achieved, Murnen said. “Woodstock was definitely ready for a farmers market. Since our first opening day, there's been continued support, and growth ever since. It's really nice.” 

Over the years, shoppers have been able to establish long-term, trusted relationships with their farmers, producers, and prepared food vendors, observed Murnen. “And, it’s so much fun to come out and see your neighbors who, during the winter, tend to ‘hibernate’ inside.” 

The manager made a point of thanking their board members and volunteers – as well as their “host”, KeyBank, for the continued use of their parking lot each Sunday.


Woodstock Farmers Market
4600 S.E. Woodstock Boulevard
Every Sunday, June 1 – October 26
10 am until 2 pm

Multnomah County Library
“Gabby the Librarian” is the host of the Library Sesquicentennial Celebration, aided by puppeteer Penny Walter, seen here at the Sellwood Branch Library. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Sesquicentennial puppet show teaches County Library history

for THE BEE 

Teaching youngsters about the Multnomah County Library system’s “sesquicentennial” is as difficult to say as it is to explain.

So, Penny Walter – of Penny’s Puppet Productions – simplified the topic, on a spring afternoon, she explained as she was setting up for her presentation at the Sellwood Branch Library.

“Instead of talking about the library’s Sesquicentennial Celebration, we just say we’re having a ‘birthday party’ for the library. Everyone, no matter how young, can understand that!”

The library system commissioned Walter to write and produce the show that she, and her cast of hand, rod, and marionette puppets are presenting to audiences at a dozen branch libraries this year.

“We talk about William Ladd, a banker and supporter of having a public library,” Walter told THE BEE. “They also learn about the first head librarian of the Library Association of Portland, Mary Frances Isom – we call her ‘Miss Isom’ – who transformed what is now the Multnomah County Library system into a major community asset.”

Even though she has to carry in and set up a full puppet “stage” for every show, Walter said she enjoys her work. “My favorite part is being with the kids, and laughing. It’s all about having a fun time with the families, and inspiring young people.”

At the start of the program, she “warms up” her audience using a colorful marionette, acquainting the youngsters with the idea that “creatures” will be coming out to talk and play with them.

She launches into her little history lesson, wrapped up like a birthday party, and soon the kids are singing, dancing, and celebrating along with Walter and her zany characters.

Share-It Square, Sherrett Square
A painted fir tree with a “door to imagination” commemorates the recent loss of a 150-year-old fir at the intersection. (Photo by Rita A. Leonard)

Another year, another street design, at “Share-It Square” 


For the 18th year, neighbors around S.E. 9th Avenue and Sherrett Street in Sellwood came together to create a new street painting to celebrate “Share-It Square”.

The May 31st event was coordinated by Sarah Heath, and this year’s design was developed during a series of spring potluck meetings, reflecting current interests of the community. The design features trees important to the area, and whimsical flying houses on the backs of birds. The design was sketched out by Frances Michaelson and Naomi Kinnaird. 

“We kept a celestial design in the center, similar to last year's painting,” says Heath, “But we touched up the moon, stars, and planets there. Doors in the four trees painted at the corners – fir, apple, walnut, and dogwood – represent our interest in different cultures, and a sense of wonder in exploring our world.

“The circle is surrounded by a line of prayer flags, and we also repainted the brick design and the four white chevrons that flare out on the streets indicating the four compass directions.” 

Share-It Square was one of the first experiments in community place-making envisioned by neighbor Mark Lakeman, with the assistance of the Village Building Convergence (, and so far the longest-lasting one.

Since its inception, the VBC has helped other Portland neighbors come together to create a sense of place with collaborative murals and neighbor-built cob structures. Share-It Square features such structures at each corner: An information station, a “Little Free Library”, a hot tea stand managed by neighbors, and an open-air kids’ playhouse.

Lakeman comments that he is thrilled to learn that the “Little Free Library” at the corner is considered to be one of the first such in the world. That movement is rapidly expanding to other states and neighborhoods, helping to promote reading and shared literature. The other street corner structures at the square promote creative community interests and provide resting spots and an open-air “community center” for all to enjoy.

Last year, development of a corner lot into 2 town-houses caused some community concern with the removal of a 150-year-old fir tree and several adjacent orchard trees. However, Heath reports that the new neighbors have become great supporters of the community. 

“One of them has even installed a poetry pole on the parking strip that we call ‘The Rumination Station’,” she says. Currently it features a poem entitled “The Man in the Meadow” written by 7-year-old Bram Allahdadi. Adjacent to the poetry pole are a stone bench, wind chime, cherry trees, blueberry bushes, strawberries, and day lilies.

The annual community street painting was completed this year under sunny skies, supplemented with make-your-own peanut-butter-sandwiches at the kids’ playhouse station. A donation jar was available there for those who wished to donate to the fund for colorful traffic marking paint, which Heath says is added to every year.

Throughout the day, nearly 150 painters of all ages wielded paintbrushes to add their own special touches to the street mural that will characterize their neighborhood for the coming year.

Lisa Gunion-Rinker and Betty Fulmore have a quiet moment between buyers, at the annual Hearty Plant Sale in the Ardenwald-Johnson Creek neighborhood, raising funds to support the development of Balfour Park. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Ardenwald-Johnson Creek: Plant sale to develop park


For the past several years, volunteers from the Ardenwald-Johnson Creek Neighborhood Association have been holding fundraisers, such as plant sales, with the objective of raising money to develop Balfour Street Park.

Their efforts are paying off, smiled Lisa Gunion-Rinker, during this year’s ‘Hearty Plant Sale” – again held at her family’s home, on June 8, almost directly across from the proposed park.

“We now have money to have the park’s Master Plan Design created this summer,” Gunion-Rinker, told THE BEE. “The Request for Quotations have gone out, and we will soon have them back in. Then, we decide which organization will be given the task of creating our Master Plan Design.”

Once that is completed, they can apply for grants, Gunion-Rinker added, to augment the money they’ve already raised to develop their new park.

She estimated the two-day sale began with an inventory of 1,200 plants. “They were donated by people in the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon, and from Master Gardeners,” Gunion-Rinker explained. “Also from many of our neighbors.” She expected they’d have raised about $1,500 by the time it was over.

“Our neighborhood is under the ‘Southeast Uplift’ umbrella, so that makes us a 501(c)3 donation. You can donate to Southeast Uplift, write them a check to donate, and make sure to put ‘Belfour Park’ on it when you send in a tax-deductible donation. Mail to Southeast Uplift, 3534 S.E. Main Street, Portland 97214.” 

The Balfour Park property is located at 3103-3109 S.E. Balfour Street, with a Milwaukie address – Ardenwald being a neighborhood located in two cities, as well as two counties.

Woodstock Boulevard, cleanup
Enthusiastic volunteers tackled all kinds of jobs at this year’s Woodstock Boulevard Cleanup – including the partial weeding of this parking strip at S.E. 43rd Avenue and Woodstock. (Photo courtesy of Jessi Even)

Woodstock Blvd Cleanup draws lots of volunteers


Do we take our neighborhoods for granted? By some global standards, Portland neighborhoods are “squeaky clean”, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t need some pickup and sprucing up from time to time.

On Saturday, May 24th the Woodstock neighborhood rallied dozens of enthusiastic volunteers to take part in the third annual Woodstock Boulevard Cleanup.

“We had the biggest turnout ever. Usually we have 50 or 60, but this year it was over 80,” exclaimed Angie Even, who headed up the event. Even is former owner of The Flower Shop, and current organizer of the Woodstock Stakeholders, a group of Woodstock Boulevard property owners affiliated with the Woodstock Community Business Association.

“It was by far the most intense and diligent group of volunteers we have ever had,” said Even.

Volunteers of all ages from Woodstock, as well as neighborhood business owners and employees. pitched in to sweep sidewalks, pick up litter, and plant flowers donated by BiMart in the eighteen flowerpots on Woodstock Boulevard.

Due to the large number of volunteers, Even says they got things done that weren’t considered during past cleanups.

“One group said, ‘Can we tackle that corner at 43rd and Woodstock?’ They got weeds out of there,” Even recounted, referring to the parking strip west of Nudi’s Restaurant.

A large dumpster situated at the northwest corner of the Woodstock Community Center (WCC) was the repository for garbage and litter. 

“We recycled every recyclable,” Even claimed enthusiastically. During the morning three volunteers posted themselves at the WCC collection point to sort through everything that was picked up for possible recycling.

The Friends of the Woodstock Community Center were very appreciative of a volunteer crew that weeded and mulched the grounds in an effort to prepare for a hot summer. 

Rick Faber, Woodstock resident and Portland City Forester, volunteered his time and pruning expertise to trim the trees on the Woodstock Boulevard median islands. 

Safeway provided pastries, Papaccino’s donated coffee, and Otto’s gave each volunteer a coupon for a hot dog at the end of the morning.

For the first time, this year’s cleanup was an official SOLVE event, with all materials donated by SOLVE. The Woodstock Community Business Association, local businesses, and Reed College provided monetary contributions to help pay a landscaper to weed and mulch the median islands and tree wells. Photos can be found on Facebook under “2014 Woodstock Beautification and Cleanup”.

Anyone who would like to be notified of this annual cleanup next year is invited to send Angie Even an e-mail. Address it to:

Franklin High School, Arts Alive
Before students head over to the Franklin High School Theater for the ARTS ALIVE! performance, Franklin High School Dance Department Director Julana Torres makes a “Head to Toe Inspection”, to ensure the performers are properly groomed, dressed, and ready to go on stage and perform “like the professionals they are becoming”. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Arts programs flourishing at Franklin High


In its second year, Franklin High School’s ARTS ALIVE! Festival showcased its students’ finest accomplishments in creative and performance art on Labor Day weekend, May 24 and 25. 

ARTS ALIVE! is a collaboration that began last year, to bring all of the school’s art departments together for a public presentation at the end of the school year, explained Franklin High School Dance Department Director Julana Torres.

“It features dance, drama, live music, and a fine arts gallery,” Torres told THE BEE before the Sunday matinee show. “The gallery features all kinds of fine arts, from drawing and painting to sculpture and ceramics. And, here in our theater, it brings together our finest actors, musicians, and dancers. ARTS ALIVE! is a showcase for the efforts of our talented students.” 

On the performance side, some 200 students were involved in the two-day festival, she said.

“There has been a huge resurgence in art education at Franklin; the program has been growing immensely for the past two years,” Torres explained. “We’re trying to continue inspiring our students and to keep them engaged in the arts.”

Arts constitute more than just “fun and easy” classes, Torres said. “The arts can be a powerful tool to get and keep students involved in school. These programs reach kids who haven’t been touched before. After all, not everyone’s involved in sports. And, arts programs are a way to reach and engage non-traditional learners. 

“Some of the students have come into an arts class thinking that it’s going to be an easy grade, or else something they won’t enjoy,” Torres went on. “But now they’ve found their love and their heart within the arts. When they feel the success in this area, it transfers on to other areas of the study, and into their lives outside the school.”

Moments before Franklin High Drama Instructor Josh Forsythe stepped on stage to welcome the audience, he paused to agree with Torres that the showcase is important, because it’s an opportunity to celebrate the work they’re doing throughout the year.  “It gives the greater community the opportunity to see the progress of our writers and actors.” 

Some of our student actors in the showcase were performing self-written monologues, or solo shows, that they had created as part of the “Visions and Voices” playwriting program, Forsythe added.

“As a school, we are growing, and wanting to become known as the school that offers a good performing arts program. We do have good creative programs, and during ARTS ALIVE! we share them with the world.”

Reed College
Before her workshop “Hidden Voices of Renaissance England”, Reed Visiting Scholar Dr. Kerry McCarthy shows a facsimile of 16th century sheet music for “Visita quaesumus”. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

“Dangerous music” played at Reed College 


During the English Renaissance, not all of the music composed was allowed to be performed in public. But this didn’t stop groups of primarily women in the Elizabethan Catholic Church from performing some of these works – such as “The Mass for Three Voices” by William Byrd, and other motets and sacred songs.

This is what a hundred people learned when they attended a workshop in the new Performing Arts building at Reed College, on the afternoon of Thursday, June 5.

The instructor for this special program was Byrd scholar Dr. Kerry McCarthy, a Reed Alumnus (class of 1997), who has returned to the school as a two-year “Visiting Scholar”, teaching music history.

“Today's workshop is about music from the English Renaissance; music from the time of Shakespeare,” McCarthy told THE BEE.

The music she was discussing and would be performed by the group “In Mulieribus” (the Latin word for “women”) and was written in post-Reformation England, which made the sheet music politically sensitive documents at the time. So much so, that anyone caught with the music would likely be arrested.

“This is why the music they we are doing today is music that people sang behind closed doors and shuttered windows, in the privacy of their living rooms, not in cathedrals,” McCarthy said. “So, this is ‘music for normal people’; this is something I want to bring back to the community.”

The free workshop coincided with the school’s Alumni Weekend, which drew many former students. But, current students and members of the community were also invited to attend.

“This workshop is open to anyone who can read music. And, I’m doing something special at the end of the workshop,” McCarthy said as she held up unusual-appearing sheet music. “At the end, we will be reading the original music notation preserved from the 16th century.  So in a sense, we’ll be doing a little bit of musical time travel.” 

As attendees came in and filled the combined classroom and rehearsal hall, each was given a syllabus, and sheet music.

Reed Professor of Music Virginia Hancock opened the workshop, welcoming the attendees. But first, instead of diving into the lecture, McCarthy joined the seven-woman professional group, “In Mulieribus”, to perform examples of English Renaissance music.

Then, McCarthy began her talk, “Hidden Voices of Renaissance England”.  She explained how music, such as Boyd’s, was quietly and discreetly published in “partbooks”, on a single sheet of paper. This sheet music was distributed through friends among the nobility and gentry in the Elizabethan Catholic community, to be sung at clandestine Mass celebrations.

It wasn’t long until the group was led by the soprano and alto singers through a rehearsal of Boyd’s “Three-Part Mass”, led by “In Mulieribus” co-founder and Artistic Director Anna Song. After the workshop returned from dinner, “students” of this master class rehearsed singing Byrd's “Visita quaesumus Domine”, a fifth-century hymn. 

And to top off the workshop, they all sang “Visita quaesumus”, but this time, as promised, from a facsimile of the original sheet music. 

In the end, McCarthy said that the workshop was important to her for more than intellectual reasons. “It is essential to involve people in performing this music. Many people in Portland go to attend concerts. We have an active arts community, and many professional performers.

“But, I think it’s so important to involve the community in making music,” McCarthy continued. “Not just to consume it. Music is something for more than which you just buy a ticket. Music is something you make. That’s really the point behind this workshop.”

Learn more about “In Mulieribus” by visiting their website: .

Duniway School parade
Mrs. Debbie Munoz’s kindergarten class is all set to march in the end-of-school Duniway Parade. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Kids’ parade again marks end of school at Duniway 


Hundreds of parents and neighbors came out to witness the annual end-of-school observance, as 650 kids, teachers, and staff from Duniway Elementary School in Eastmoreland marched up and down S.E. Reed College Place on Friday afternoon, May 30. The Duniway Parade stepped out promptly at 2:15 pm.

“It's been a great year for me here at the school,” commented the school’s new Principal, Matthew Goldstein. “There been many exciting events in the spring; this is a highlight event to which the kids really look forward.  And, it’s a perfect day today for a parade.”

For it being her first year of coordinating the parade, volunteer Heather Austin looked confident. “The past parade coordinator, Michelle Albert, made up and passed on to me a wonderful checklist,” Austin told THE BEE. “That, along with her cell phone number, which were both very helpful! I really appreciate how she shared the information she’d collected from coordinating the parade for so many years.”

The best thing about the annual parade, Austin remarked, is all the smiles on so many faces. “It really highlights the community spirit of our school. Having the band play, and the parade led off by the Station 20 fire engine – it looks to be a wonderful time for everyone.”

There was no particular parade theme this year; but each class chose their own theme, as they have in years past. “Our fourth graders have just returned from an overnight at the Organ Trail, so we’ll see a lot a pioneer clothing on them.

“And, a class from each grade has been at the Portland Timbers today, so you'll see a lot of Timbers gear, too.”

Grade by grade, the parade assembled in the shade of the Linden trees in front of the school. At the appointed time, members of the Portland Police Bureau Traffic Division closed down streets and provided a safe escort for the parade.

Portland Fire & Rescue Engine 20 from Westmoreland led the parade, as in years past – followed closely by the Duniway Marching Band. Without a hitch, the parade headed north to S.E. Woodstock Boulevard, and then back to disband at the school. It was family fun for everyone.

Steven Overton demonstrates how the three dragons in one of the puppet show stories swoop down and out the front of the puppet theater stage. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Czech puppets play Sellwood in nonprofit “museum” 


There’s been big excitement in Sellwood’s nonprofit Ping-Pong’s Pint-Size Puppet Museum since its current display and show opened last month showcasing puppetry from the Czech Republic. 

“One of the oldest marionettes here was made in 1780,” remarked curator Steven Overton. 

The collection is primarily that of Dennis J. Strachota of Bend. “He traveled in military service, and wanted to bring the fairy tales of the Czech Republic to the United States,” Overton explained. 

Strachota started collecting the marionette puppets – and began putting on shows using a simple cardboard stage. “We helped put up the Tendrak Theater stage, named after his ‘wise dragon’ character,” Overton said. “Now, through July 17, it, and about 60 Czech puppets, are on display here at our museum.” 

In addition to seeing the collection, Overton said they’re performing shows using some of the Czech puppets and “theater” that measures 8 feet tall and 9 feet wide, featuring scenery and lighting.

“This miniature Czech marionette production, by Tendrak Theatre, shows how the incantations and machinations of Godmother Marcella and Mage Chytry work to ensure that ‘true love’ triumphs,” Overton smiled. “The stories behind these Czech fairy tales date back several hundred years.”

Museum tours are free at Ping Pong's Pint Size Puppet Museum, situated at 906 S.E. Umatilla Street. Visit their website for puppet show information: .


Preschool and Bible School registration open in Sellwood. Open enrollment at Immanuel Lutheran School, and Vacation Bible School (Aug. 4-8) registration opens today at the church at 7810 S.E. 15th Avenue. Please call for registration information to schedule a visit with the teachers and check out the classroom: 503/236-7823.

Summer Movie Days begin in Sellwood.
“Summer Movie Days” start today on the big screen at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 7810 S.E. 15th
Avenue in Sellwood -- continuing every Thursday at 9:15 am throughout the summer. Movies are free and family-friendly. Bring your own refreshments and get ready for some fun. Call to find what’s playing each week: 503/236-7823.

Charity clothing sale in Sellwood. A “Vintage ‘Clothes-Out’ Sale” takes place this morning through Sunday at “The Living Room by Adsideo” on the southeast corner of S.E. Spokane and 13th in Sellwood. Sale is 8 am to 4 pm today and tomorrow, and 12:30-5 pm on Sunday. Come early for best selection. “All items name brand, new and secondhand, and grand! Great deals on everything!” Includes boots and shoes of all sorts, jackets and coats in great variety, and many “odds ’n ends” including motorcycle clothes, Hawaiian shirts, western hats and fedoras, camping stuff, new Freestyle Watches, briefcases, handbags, collectibles, sports items, and more. Major credit cards accepted.

Eastmoreland 4th of July Parade this morning.
The traditional Eastmoreland 4th of July Parade starts at S.E. Rex at Reed College Place at 11 am this morning – and in the parade can be you and your family! “Decorate your family, your pets, scooters, bikes and trikes” and join the parade. The parade will proceed to Bybee Boulevard, where it turns and returns to where it started, on Rex Street. Afterward there’ll be free hot dogs, provided by Otto’s, and 25-cent sodas. For information, contact Steve Baker at 503/254-9230.

Celebrate the Fourth at Oaks Park! Nonprofit Oaks Amusement Park has activities all day today from its opening, and at sunset they’ll present the Inner Southeast’s biggest fireworks show. Bring the family and spend the day. Gates Open: 10 am to Midnight. Rides, Mini Golf, Games, Go Carts, all open at noon. Roller Skating is: 1 to 5 pm and 7-10:30 Ppm. Fireworks start at dusk (approximately 9:55 pm). Gate Fee: Adults 16-61 years old, $5.00; Kids 15 and younger, $2.00; Seniors 62 and over: $3.00. “Oaks Park’s annual 4th of July Spectacular, presented by Pepsi, features Portland’s best fireworks display and a full day of fun on the midway! Stay and play after the fireworks... all ride bracelets valid noon until midnight and include a FREE roller skating session. Live entertainment throughout the day on the Comcast Stage, fireworks at dusk. All picnic spaces are first come, first served; outside food, BBQs and non-alcoholic beverages welcome. Alcohol and personal fireworks prohibited; bags and coolers will be checked.” For more, go online to: .

Vacation Bible School has “Treasure Island” twist. This week only, starting this evening 6:30-9 pm, “Set Sail for ‘SonTreasure Island’ Vacation Bible School in the Lents Activity Center, Lents Seventh-Day Adventist Church, 8835 S.E. Woodstock Boulevard.” 

“Reel Science” at OMSI tonight. Watch and learn at the Empirical Theater (formerly OmniMax), as this series from the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry brings the science of your favorite movies to life on the big screen. Perfect for science and film lovers alike, this series combines the best of Science Pub with the fun of movie night, bringing in experts to amplify your movie-watching experience. Tonight’s movie, starting at 6:30 pm – “E.T., the Extra-Terrestrial”. Cost: $7 for non-members and $6 for OMSI members. OMSI is on S.E. Water Avenue at the edge of the Willamette River, and just north of the Ross Island Bridge – under the Marquam Bridge. Look for the big red tower.

Family puppet show in Sellwood. “The Magic of Kindness & Kolaches” by Tendrak Theatre performs this afternoon at 2 pm and tomorrow afternoon at 4 pm at the nonprofit “Ping Pong’s Pint Size Puppet Museum” at 906 S.E. Umatilla Street in Sellwood. “This miniature Czech marionette production demonstrates how the younger brother, Honza, who cares about others and tries to do his best, is successful. His older brother Lukas, who is self-seeking and lazy, has a much more difficult time finding meaning in life. See how they both go about trying to find the magic waters to save their father’s life.” Show Tickets are $7 for ages 3 to 99. For information or reservations, call 503/ 233-7723. Online at: .

Movie in Woodstock Park this evening. The Woodstock Neighborhood Association and Portland Parks presents live entertainment in Woodstock Park on S.E. Steele just west of 52nd starting at 6 pm tonight, and then at dusk the 1986 sci-fi/fantasy classic “Labyrinth”, starring David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly, and directed by the late Jim Henson and executive-produced by George Lucas, will show on the large outdoor screen. Free. Businesses are invited to help sponsor the evening, however.

“Breakfast Forum” discusses PPS Special Education. The monthly morning discussion series established by Woodstock resident Ann B. Clarkson this month features Barbara B. Fletcher, experienced special education students’ parent, who will discuss what parents need to know about the system before they have an appointment with the school. The Breakfast Forum is an informal group meeting monthly to learn about and discuss political issues in respectful ways. Members choose both topic and speakers. Free. No registration required. 7:30-8:30 am in the Mt. Tabor Presbyterian Church Library, 5441 S.E. Belmont. For information call 503/774-9621.

CHS Cheer Team's fundraiser all day today. A giant rummage sale, car wash, bake sale, and more, fundraiser for the Cleveland High School Cheer Team is 9-5 today in the CHS parking lot behind Burgerville on S.E. 26th, just north of Powell Boulevard. Remaining items on sale cut to half price 4-5 pm. Donated items for the sale gladly accepted 7:30-8:45 am. For more information, call Kathleen at 503/230-1028.

“Disaster-preparedness kit building” at OMSI today.
From 10 am to 4 pm today at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, you’ll get free professional help putting together your home’s “disaster preparedness kit” – in the Turbine Hall and in OMSI’s North Parking Lot. “Did you know that less than 15% of Americans are prepared for a disaster? The Allstate Foundation and ‘Hands On Greater Portland’ are teaming up to change this, by encouraging and assisting families in building disaster preparedness kits.” OMSI is on S.E. Water Avenue at the edge of the Willametter River, and just north of the Ross Island Bridge – under the Marquam Bridge. Look for the big red tower.

YMCA “Arts and Eats” benefit today. The Y Arts Center of the YMCA at 6036 S.E. Foster Road (at Holgate) presents its “YMCA Arts and Eats” fundraiser today from 11 am to 3 pm – to benefit the YMCA Child Care and After School Programs. “Create a clay sculpture, eat something yummy, listen to music, and create your own art!” Open to all.

Trinity UMC Vacation Bible School.
Trinity United Methodist Church, on the corner of S.E. 39th
(Chavez) and S.E. Steele, begins its one-week summer Vacation Bible School today, 6-8 pm, “outside on the lawn”. The children will go back in time to the year 30 AD to experience Biblical times; the focus is on pottery, lamp making, Prayer Shawl, Mezuzah & Phylactery, musical instruments, paper-making, and scrolls. For more information, call the church, at 503/777-3901.

“Pinocchio” puppet show in Sellwood. “No, No, No, Pinocchio”, it’s called – and you’ve never seen Pinocchio told quite like this. At nonprofit Ping Pong’s Pint-Sized Puppet Museum at 906 S.E. Umatilla Street, and staying close to Carlo Collodi's original Italian story, jewel-like marionettes to tell their own very Italian version. The puppets even enlist the aid of the puppeteers to play some of the roles. “It’s madcap comedy romp through the land of Pinocchio, Gepetto, Lampwick, and a Blue Fairy who has to be seen to be believed.” Shows are 45 minutes long. Suitable for the whole family. Plays this evening at 7:30 pm, tomorrow at 2 pm, and Sunday at 4 pm. Show Tickets are $7 for ages 3 to 99. For information or reservations, call 503/ 233-7723. Online at:

Charity walk this morning at Oaks Park. The Children’s Tumor Foundation is hosting a NF (“neurofibromatosis”) walk – a three-mile walk starting and ending at Oaks Park, starting at 10 am this morning (registration starts at 8:30 am). Registration is $20 for adults, $10 for kids. This is a community fundraiser, open to all. In addition to the Walk, there’s a raffle, food, music, break dancers, and a hula hoop competition, so bring the whole family. Access Oaks Park from the road north from the foot of Spokane Street in Sellwood, just west of the railroad tracks.

Court Dedication for Alex Rovello Memorial Project. This morning, starting at 11 am at Berkeley Park in Eastmoreland, there will be the Court Dedication at the tennis courts – S.E. Bybee Boulevard at 39th (Chavez Blvd) – and included in the celebration are music, games, tennis exhibitions, and fun for all ages, continuing until 5 pm. Donations to the project, which will require more funds for completion, may be made online at: 

Last day to apply for admittance to oboe seminar.
The 21st annual “Northwest Oboe Seminar”, Victoria Racz, Director, is accepting applications through today only for this annual seminar, which includes a solo master class, ensemble playing, dinner, and an evening concert featuring all seminar participants. The participant fee for this one-day seminar (held August 16 in Woodstock) is $100, and includes a T-shirt, minor instrument repairs, dinner, and accompanist. Auditors may pay $40 at the door to audit the seminar and will receive a concert ticket. Participants can apply, through today, online at – or can call toll-free: 1-888/627-8788.

Charity walk this morning at Oaks Park. The Children’s Tumor Foundation is hosting a NF (“neurofibromatosis”) walk – a three-mile walk starting and ending at Oaks Park, starting at 10 am this morning (registration starts at 8:30 am). Registration is $20 for adults, $10 for kids. This is a community fundraiser, open to all. In addition to the Walk, there’s a raffle, food, music, break dancers, and a hula hoop competition, so bring the whole family. Access Oaks Park from the road north from the foot of Spokane Street in Sellwood, just west of the railroad tracks.

Court Dedication for Alex Rovello Memorial Project. This morning, starting at 11 am at Berkeley Park in Eastmoreland, there will be the Court Dedication at the tennis courts – S.E. Bybee Boulevard at 39th (Chavez Blvd) – and included in the celebration are music, games, tennis exhibitions, and fun for all ages, continuing until 5 pm. Donations to the project, which will require more funds for completion, may be made online at:

Last day to apply for admittance to oboe seminar.
The 21st annual “Northwest Oboe Seminar”, Victoria Racz, Director, is accepting applications through today only for this annual seminar, which includes a solo master class, ensemble playing, dinner, and an evening concert featuring all seminar participants. The participant fee for this one-day seminar (held August 16 in Woodstock) is $100, and includes a T-shirt, minor instrument repairs, dinner, and accompanist. Auditors may pay $40 at the door to audit the seminar and will receive a concert ticket. Participants can apply, through today, online at – or can call toll-free: 1-888/627-8788.


     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:
The news TODAY

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