The "Events and Activities" for the month are beneath these featured stories!
|Billboards lining the approach to the Milwaukie Avenue off-ramp to Westmoreland, southbound on McLoughlin Boulevard in the early 1950’s. Looks like there was a little fog coming up from Oaks Bottom and the Willamette River on this particular day. (Courtesy of Oregon Historical Society)
Billboards, neon signs, and painted buildings – early advertising in Portland
By DANA BECK
Special to THE BEE
The words “Sellwood Sweet Shop” are still faintly visible on the brick façade of the “American at Heart” store on S.E. 13th Street at Tenino. An illustration advertising Gold Dust Washing Powder and two smiling children named Goldie and Dustie once adorned the walls below that. The Gold Dust Twins became one of the earliest brand-driven trademarks in American Advertising, but the illustration has faded away.
On the north side of the “On Point Credit Union” building a block north, on Tacoma Street, you can still make out what was once a company logo or perhaps a popular product used by consumers, now obscured by time. The painted sign might have been commissioned by officials of the Sellwood Bank, which had at one time occupied the same corner of S.E. Tacoma and 13th in 1927.
Vintage signs on storied buildings like these were once prominent in the neighborhood during the late 1900’s, and such signs can still be viewed around different sections of Portland – but you have to stop and take the time to find them.
Wherever people walked, shopped, traveled, or drove a car, they would be inundated with an array of advertisements. From extravagant paintings to bold printed words that ran along tall buildings – or on eye-catching electric signs along commercial storefronts to the numerous billboards along our major byways – advertisements are present everywhere.
As early as 1900, a new business was taking shape among the growing population of Portland and the outlying areas: The business of providing outdoor advertising. Merchants and shop-owners had products to sell, and to entice customers into their stores they needed more than just a wooden sign with the painted words General Store, Dry Goods Shop, or Meat Market hanging above the sidewalk.
The proprietors of these stores needed more than just the happenstance of someone walking by and looking their way to encourage consumers to stop in and buy their products. They wanted to advertise their wares to the masses, and crafty advertising salesmen were offering to pave the way for an upswing in business.
Foster and Kleiser, A.G. Ramsay, and Joseph P. Zirngiebel were a few of the earliest and most notable sign-makers and sign-designers in the Rose City, when signage was in its infancy here. They made their fortunes in, and dedicated their careers to, the advertising field.
When 28-year-old newspaper editor Arch Gibson Ramsay first arrived in Portland from Louisville, Kentucky, in 1911, he started out as a salesman for the Acetylene Light Company. He quickly rose to the top, and opened his own company – Ramsay Signs, specializing in the painted advertisements and gold leaf lettering used by banks and business on windows and glass doors.
During the 1920’s, brilliant and glowing signage called “neon” made its debut. A glass sealed tube, twisted to form letters, and filled with neon gas lit by electricity, mesmerized young and old alike. Merchants and shopkeepers could advertise their business name during the evening hours, and it quickly caught on.
Information collected from the Ramsay Signs website reports Arch Gibson’s interest in venturing into the neon technology – and he acquired the Brilliant Neon Company, and later the Brilliant Tube Company. Two of its most recognizable signs on the Westside were the Olympic Beer sign at Front and Morrison erected in 1947, and the famous White Satin Sugar sign built in 1940, overlooking the Portland waterfront.
Portlanders might recall this latter neon structure when its name was changed to White Stag and a legendary reindeer was added. In 1996, the sign was altered to advertise “Made in Oregon” stores. The sign was designated an historical landmark in 1978, and was donated to the city in 2010.
While A.G. Ramsay passed away in 1956, his company – Ramsay Signs – still operates as one of the Northwest’s historic sign-makers and restoration and repair specialists.
The popularity of neon and electric signs was not limited to Downtown. The radiant colors of brilliantly-lit electric signs brightened the dark streets of neighborhood business districts on the Eastside.
Westmoreland merchants, hoping to distance themselves from the old ways of advertising (as they saw it) to the south in Sellwood, embraced the neon era. Signs were erected along the brick façade of storefronts, and passing motorists slowed down at ByBee Boulevard to view the new signs of the Monarch Pharmacy, Westmoreland Drugs, the Tom Thumb 5 and 10 Cent Store – not to mention the 30-foot tower of neon along the front of the Moreland Theater.
Joseph P. Zirngiebel was one of Sellwood’s most prominent citizens, having accumulated his fortune by sign painting throughout the city. Established in 1882, his studio was located downtown on Second and Oak Street, while he resided on Umatilla Street in the business district of Sellwood. As advertised at the time in the Portland City Directory, Zirngiebel specialized in electric signs, carved signs, glass and card signs, wall displays, painted bulletins, and banners and sign painting on buildings.
Besides the advertising business, Zirngiebel dabbled in real estate field, buying and selling lots in the neighborhood, and starting one of the first art exhibits in Southeast Portland. At one time he was the Mayor of the Sellwood during the brief time it was an independent city located south of Nehalem Street.
His prize accomplishment was The Zirngiebel Building, built adjacent to the Sellwood Volunteer Fire House on Umatilla Street, facing the streetcar line that ran along 13th. It was the largest of the commercial buildings at that early time in the community. During the years that followed, Zirngiebel continued his dominance as a commercial expert, building one of the first brick structures on the corner of Tacoma and 13th street, years before the opening of the Sellwood Bridge.
In 1925, the new Zirngiebel building was the location of the “Bank of Sellwood”. Today the “On Point Credit Union” is in that space. His first two-story wooden building, the location of the well-remembered Black Cat Tavern, was torn down in 2014 and replaced by the “Madison at Sellwood” mixed-use apartment building.
The roaring 1920’s launched a new way of thinking among young Americans. They were more sophisticated, looking for a better quality of life than their parents. Owning a home, cars, and attractive clothes, and traveling for fun became prominent in that decade.
Social and business life revolved around automobiles. After World War I, and with the opening of the Sellwood Bridge in and the Ross Island Bridge in the mid-’20’s, billboards soon followed. Advertisers plastered the roadways with mammoth signs depicting family lifestyles with upbeat personalities enticing consumers to buy products.
Billboards featured pictures of happy family life and quirky sayings, and they seemed to appear on every busy street corner. Even along railroad landscapes, passengers aboard trains could view out the window big signs with little jingles like, “I’ve got spring time fever – and a Lincoln-Zephyr”, and “Cars seem to fly with Sunoco Gas”.
Jantzen Knitting Company set up billboards along routes traveled by families heading to the beach during the summertime. How many Oregonians can still remember the giant picture of a red-capped female swimmer diving into the water, presented with the slogan, “Jantzen – America’s Finest-Fitting Swimming Suit”.
In Sellwood-Moreland, residents might remember four large billboards standing on the north side of Tacoma Street as motorists exited from the Sellwood Bridge, or the three picture boards along the Milwaukie Avenue offramp from S.E. McLoughlin Boulevard [shown].
For those living in Brooklyn and the Hosford/Abernathy district, if you spent any time waiting at the train crossing at Powell and 17th Street, you would have had plenty of time to read billboard ads for Hamms and Blitz Beer. On both sides of the street, viewers were dazzled by the neon signs on restaurants or bars while drivers checked on the lowest price of gas on signboards at the local Richfield or Golden Eagle Service Stations.
Portland was inundated with glowing electric signs on every corner, and billboards bordered the freeways – leading the State Highway Commission to battle plans for advertising signs along the scenic Columbia River Highway. State Administrators demanded that all commercial advertising be kept off public and private roads, as they were considered a distraction to drivers and a blot on the landscape. Surprisingly, though, there wasn’t much objection when the State Tourism Department built six signboards, ten feet high and fifty feet long, at strategic points along the Oregon border. These beautifully-painted billboards exhibited colorful scenes of Crater Lake, the Wallowa and Blue Mountains, and viewing points along the Columbia River Highway as well as majestic Mt. Hood, with the intent to attract visitors to stop and tour the state.
Concerned citizens and conservationist groups campaigned to restrict the placement and size of billboards near residential districts, but in 1929 American companies spent nearly three billion dollars on advertising their products along the nation’s roads and highways, and they weren’t about to give into such demands. Sign painters and billboard companies fought many of the restrictions placed on them by city and state leaders. During the court battles that followed, advertisers asserted that restricting billboards would be a restriction on free speech.
Organized parental and conservationist groups continued campaigning to restrict the placement and size of sign boards near residential districts. And, tired of gaudy neon lights and billboards that “devalued family values with beer and cigarette ads” in the 1950’s, the City of Portland removed 130 signs from neighborhood streets. Others were grandfathered into an amortization permit program by which advertisers were able to promote their product for the next five or ten years until those signs, too, would have to be taken down.
In 1965 the then First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson, advocated the Highway Beautification Act in an attempt to remove all roadside billboards from the nation’s freeways. Alex Gibson hastened to add that the Columbus Day storm in October of 1962 tore down most of the gigantic signs left in Portland, and afterwards the city refused to allow new signs to replace them.
Since 1986, the Portland City Council has pursued a policy of making changes to sign codes, and steadily reducing the size and number of signs that can be built here.
For enthusiasts, or the curious, in the hunt for vintage nostalgia of the past, the Westmoreland Hardware and Jake’s Famous Crawfish neon signs installed by Ramsay Signs in 1927 are a must-see. Hidden treasures like the painted Hires Root Beer by the Brooklyn Pharmacy or the colorful signage on Holman’s Bar and Grill remind us of days of the past.
And of course there are mysteries still to be solved. Is there any evidence left of the standing billboards that we once drove by still around? At S.E. 7th and Powell stands one of Portland’s largest aluminum signs, once advertising the Aluminum Lock Shingle Corporation. Who built it, and what it looked like then, remain a mystery today.
|Dory Beermann learns the art – and the thrill – of collecting Easter eggs at the 2015 SMILE Easter Egg Hunt at Westmoreland Park. (Photo by David F. Ashton)
SMILE Easter Egg Hunt again draws crowds of kids
By DAVID F. ASHTON
for THE BEE
This year’s SMILE Easter Egg Hunt, held in the south end of Westmoreland Park on Saturday morning, April 4th, was an entertaining, if brief, family event again this year.
This Inner Southeast Portland tradition, underwritten by the Sellwood Moreland Improvement League neighborhood association, extends back longer than anyone present this year could remember. As usual, it was scheduled to begin at 10 am sharp.
By 9:30 am, the volunteers from the Oaks Bottom Lions Club, who run the egg hunt, had staked out and stretched orange tape – delineating the areas set aside for toddlers, and three age categories of older kids. Ten minutes before the Easter Egg “hunt” began, those areas were seeded with thousands of foil-wrapped milk chocolate candies.
“SMILE purchases the candy; our Lions Club continues to partner with them, as it has for years, to provide the ‘hands on deck’ for this event,” said the club’s chief organizer, Fran Shaw.
“In addition to helping our community,” Shaw said, “we use this as an opportunity to share with our neighbors our club’s goals and values, and what we do in the Lions Club. We also are collecting canned and packaged food for FISH Emergency Services.”
Volunteers agreed that seeing the delight on the kids’ faces makes the effort worthwhile. “And, we have back our wonderful Easter Bunny, who adds so much to the morning’s festivities,” Shaw smiled.
Again this year, Joellen Sweeney was the person in the bunny suit, presenting fresh carrots to the kids, provided by New Seasons Market. “I’ve graduated from Willamette University with a degree in theater, and am teaching at Northwest Children’s Theater, among other places,” she confided.
At 9:55 am, the volunteers started counting down the minutes; then encouraged the group to help them count down the last ten seconds before the “hunt” began.
In record time – THE BEE measured it at just four minutes and thirty seconds – the “older kids’ areas” were picked clean of candy. It took a few more minutes for the toddlers to finish scooping up their goodies.
Realizing that some parents don’t realize that the event is over, shortly after the posted 10:00 a.m. start time, volunteers sprinkled about candies they’d held out in their pockets, helping make the event memorably pleasurable for all.
As families were leaving, Shaw reminded that visitors are welcome to the Oak Bottom Lions Club meetings, on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at 6:30 am at Toms Restaurant at S.E. Caesar Chavez Blvd. (39th Avenue) and Division Street.
|An eager crowd awaits the signal for the kids to bolt in search of the plastic eggs spread across various age-appropriate areas of Brooklyn Park on April 4th. (Photo by Rita A. Leonard)
Brooklyn Park offers its second Easter Egg Hunt
By RITA A. LEONARD
for THE BEE
Baskets, boots and big grins were the order of the day at Brooklyn's second Easter Egg Hunt at 11 am on Saturday morning, April 4th, at Brooklyn Park. The event, sponsored for the second year by Mosaic Church, drew Brooklyn friends and neighbors together for fun, as kids gathered in anticipation of the wild scramble.
Matt McComas coordinated the egg hunt with the help of many willing neighbors. “We had great weather this year,” smiled McComas. “Everybody seemed to have a lot of fun.”
A crew had filled a thousand plastic eggs with candy and stickers the night before, and on Saturday morning helped set up age-appropriate search areas at the top of the Brooklyn Park hill. Three winning “golden tickets” hidden in the eggs provided the lucky finders with gift certificates to Nectar Frozen Yogurt in Westmoreland.
Some kids arrived wearing baskets on their heads as Easter bonnets. Others wore rain boots and Easter finery, or had their faces painted at the site by two volunteers. A spirit of exuberance was evident, with older siblings tending to youngers on the playground, sweet instances of kids sharing their bounty with friends, and excited cries of “Look what I found!”
A photo area set up near the gazebo and park shed in Brooklyn Park featured spring flowers, optional “bunny ears”, and a fuzzy bunny. After the egg hunt, which was quickly over, many folks helped empty the colorful eggs for future re-use, and then dispersed to enjoy the park’s playground equipment. Brooklyn Park is on S.E. Milwaukie Avenue, a couple of blocks south of Powell Boulevard.
|Eggs falling from the sky! Volunteers duck for cover, as a helicopter showers Brentwood Park with Easter eggs. (Photo by David F. Ashton)
Church showers Easter love, and lots of plastic eggs
By DAVID F. ASHTON
for THE BEE
Unlike last year, in which the Hopecity Church’s “Code Orange Easter Egg Drop” was hampered by gusty winds and heavy rain, this year’s egg event, held on March 28, was blessed with sunny skies in Brentwood Park.
Just north of Lane Middle School, in the expansive park, Hopecity Church volunteers arrived early to set up attractions, including inflatable bouncy houses and face-painting stations, and to bring in prizes for the drawings held throughout the event, all of them donated by local businesses.
Other volunteers were busy setting up the “Egg Landing Zone” – an enormous circle, divided into three segments – and distributing the orange plastic Easter Eggs to be gathered.
“The Easter Eggs already out [in the park] are just a few of the 21,000 Easter Eggs that we’ll have today,” said Hopecity Church Lead Pastor Brian Becker. “At 11 am today, a helicopter will fly overhead and drop thousands more Easter Eggs.”
To manage the anticipated crowd, the church had offered online registration for two weeks before the event. “We’ve had more than 1,000 kids sign up; and it looks like even more have come to the park,” Becker told THE BEE.
The eggs, prizes, and everything else involved at this annual egg hunt in Brentwood-Darlington are free to community members, the pastor remarked. “We’re back, in our fourth year producing this event, because we love being a part of our community, and supporting this neighborhood.
“We just had a grandmother come up to us with tears in her eyes,” Becker related. “She said that there are helicopters flying over this neighborhood – but for all of the wrong reasons. Today, when the helicopter comes here today, she said, people look up and see it and it will make everyone smile.”
A total of four “hunting zones” were divided out by age, and the start times were staggered by fifteen minutes – beginning with the toddlers, in a special fenced off area.
As the sound of the helicopter approached, kids gathered around the “landing zone” and watched as orange eggs rained down from the sky.
Then, at the appointed times, the kids rushed into their circle segments to scoop up the eggs.
“The eggs are empty,” Becker explained. “To make it fair, if a child gets one egg or a dozen, it’s all the same. They redeem their plastic eggs for a bag of candy.”
Asked why 125 volunteers, many of whom worked for weeks to produce the event, put forth the effort, Becker thought a moment before responding. “We love the fact that this event brings people of diverse backgrounds together. It’s a great way to have community pride, and to have some fun together, here in the Easter Season.
“And, ‘Code Orange’ in the medical and other fields means ‘top priority’,” Becker said. “We want kids to be our top priority in the neighborhood.”
Learn more about this congregation online at: http://www.hopecitychurch.cc .
|Built in 1906; 750 square feet. (Photo by Eileen G. Fitzsimons)
Celebrating our historic small dwellings
By EILEEN G. FITZSIMONS
for THE BEE
May is “Historic Preservation Month”, and in spite of the ongoing demolition of older houses, it is a good time to acknowledge the hundreds of historic buildings in our neighborhood that ARE being preserved. Please take the time to either pat yourself on the back (if you are the owner), or extend thanks to someone who is preserving a vintage structure.
There seems to be a house to suit every buyer, be it cottage, bungalow, or Four-Square; but this year I am focusing on the small house – those that are 800 square feet or less. I have not included basements or unfinished attics as usable living space; only the dimensions of the main floor.
Dozens of houses scattered throughout Sellwood-Westmoreland (and in other Eastside neighborhoods) meet this criteria. Many are on a standard 50x100 foot lot; but when the house is small, more space remains for gardening, landscaping, and outdoor activities.
If there is a one element that defines early Sellwood, it might be its gardens and the modest size of its homes.
In 1887, five years after building lots were offered for sale in the Sellwood subdivision, an Oregonian reporter made the three-mile journey upriver from Portland to describe the newly-incorporated town. In addition to a Methodist church, a school, and three stores, he estimated there were one hundred homes.
“All [of the buildings], with scarcely an exception, are neat and substantially constructed. Most of the dwellings are pretty little cottages of handsome architectural design and finish, generally surrounded by well-kept and orderly planned flower and vegetable gardens.”
Many of these cottages, which were built on into the 1920’s, are now approaching or have passed the century mark. There are some streets where they are to be found almost in clusters. For instance, there are many on the named streets (Miller, Lexington, Bidwell) between Sellwood Park and S.E. Thirteenth Avenue.
In the north end of the neighborhood there are several subdivisions as old as Sellwood (1882), and here and among the bungalows of Westmoreland you will find additional examples.
The many small homes have survived because their size suits the needs of their occupants – not everyone wants to live in and maintain a 2,500 square foot house with multiple bathrooms. If these cottages are sound and taken care of, there is no reason why they should not continue into a second century (or more).
According to newspaper and magazine articles, Portland is today part of a movement to build new small houses. Dignity Village in North Portland is approaching its 14th year as a community established by formerly homeless citizens. Technically a campground, the shelters range from permanent tents to tiny dwellings of 250 square feet or less, built of recycled materials for approximately $3,000. The cost is low because cooking facilities, showers and toilets are communal.
At the opposite end of the scale are the dwellings of the “tiny or small house” movement. Sometimes built on wheels so they can be moved, these houses are often intended for two people, and contain kitchens and bathrooms. Every square inch of these custom-built houses is planned and utilized. Averaging 325 square feet, they can price out at $30,000 to $40,000. By comparison, our original vintage small homes could be considered gargantuan!
The accompanying photograph shows just one of the small houses in Inner Southeast Portland. The year of construction and square footage on the main floor is provided, but not the street address. That’s left out on purpose, to encourage you to enjoy the fine spring weather and take a walk, and see how many such small houses you can discover for yourself.
|Musician and muralist Michael Burge Smith, here shown seated, has created another mural for the Woodstock neighborhood; it appears on the west outside wall of Papaccino’s Coffee Shop on S.E. 44th at Woodstock Boulevard. (Photo by Elizabeth Ussher Groff)
Muralist creates another one, on a Woodstock wall
By ELIZABETH USSHER GROFF
for THE BEE
Michael Burge Smith says he believes in “the magic of music and murals”.
He paints murals – and he is a musician. So maybe a little of that magic is what enables him to travel internationally with his band, while also leaving time for him to paint large murals during the nighttime hours, in neighborhoods throughout the Portland region.
Smith’s most recent neighborhood mural is a “picture” of Woodstock, painted on the outside west wall of Papaccino’s Coffee Shop, at S.E. 44th and Woodstock Boulevard.
Last year, as BEE readers may remember from a previous article, he created that German Alps mural you see on the east wall of Otto’s Sausage Kitchen, also in the Woodstock neighborhood.
Painting a mural of a neighborhood can be more complicated than you might imagine. Smith tells us he began that project by walking the streets of Woodstock and taking pictures.
Once he started painting, requests began to roll in. Gene Dieringer, who owns the Papaccino’s building and most of the rest of that block had commissioned the mural, and there were certain businesses he hoped to see represented. Someone else suggested including Lewis Elementary School.
Smith listened attentively to the suggestions he received, but in the end he says the mural is his own mix of imagination and reality.
Off to the left, he painted a few images of the Willamette River and west side of Portland, and then – closer to Woodstock, in his mural – there is a castle. “Mike thought it was fascinating that somewhere in the world there is a ‘Castle Woodstock’,” explains Dieringer.
Overall, most of the buildings depicted on that wall are actual local establishments and houses along Woodstock Boulevard, and south to Lewis School.
“I said to Gene and his wife, ‘Let’s do the neighborhood from a bird’s-eye view’, and his wife loved the idea,” remarks Smith.
The painter splits his time, fifty-fifty, between music and murals. This summer he will play with his band, “MDC”, in twenty-five U.S. cities – and then they’ll head to Europe where the band will play in seventeen countries.
But Smith has painted many more murals than just the two in Woodstock – in between his music tours. To see more of his work, do an Internet search for “mad mike murals”.
|Until its recent repair, erosion along a lagoon walkway interrupted the gentle curvature of this path at the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden, just west of Reed College. (Photo by Rita A. Leonard)
Repairs add beauty to Rhododendron Garden near Reed College
By RITA A. LEONARD
for THE BEE
Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden, on S.E. 28th Avenue just north of Woodstock Boulevard, has dozens of natural springs seeping from the ground. While these help irrigate the charming botanic garden, sometimes excess runoff can cause minor landslides. If visitors explore off the designated pathways, damage can also occur to garden plantings. Volunteers repair these problems artistically as they arise.
This spring, a 16-foot-long portion of the walkway along the lagoon slid into the water.
Paths beside the lagoon have been firmed up with cement chunks from City sidewalk repair, and a mini-pool has been created there near the junction of two walkways. While this new slide has been temporarily shored up with wood beams and steel posts, plans are underway to convert the spot into another mini-pool.
Visitors can still use the nearby path and low curved bridge to safely access the fern wall and the peninsula beyond, and soon this gentle water feature will blend in naturally with the scene.
Plantings on the hillside overlooking the low wooden bridge to the island have been damaged by visitors taking shortcuts off the recommended pathways.
In spite of cautionary signs to please stay on the graveled paths, some of the more delicate plants have been trampled. Consequently, a new lattice-work fence is under construction there. The delicate new openwork fence of wooden posts and vertical bamboo stalks gives the impression of a gentle Japanese-style barrier that will also enhance the waterfowl viewing area nearby.
Volunteers and garden planners work diligently to maintain the beauty of this enchanting City of Portland Park. Such repairs have increased both the safety and integrity of this Eastmoreland public garden. If you would like to volunteer at the Rhododendron Garden, e-mail to: CSRGvol@me.com – or find information at the Garden entrance.
|George Armantraut describes daffodil characteristics at this year’s Portland Daffodil and Early Rhododendron Show in Inner Southeast. (Photo by Rita A. Leonard)
Daffodil and Early Rhododendron Show held in mid-April
By RITA A. LEONARD
for THE BEE
Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden scheduled its annual Daffodil and Early Rhododendron Show on April 11-12 this year – the same dates as the national competition in Williamsburg, Virginia.
However, due to the unusually warm March weather we experienced this year in the Pacific Northwest, the blooming season for daffodils was three weeks early, and most local daffodils had already bloomed and gone. Consequently, the judged show became instead an Educational Exhibition, with no ribbons awarded.
Woodstock resident George Armantraut, an amateur daffodil hybridizer, reflected, “This year we couldn’t have a judged competition because it was too hard to find specimens still in bloom. Some of our entrants actually refrigerated their daffodils for two weeks to delay blooming!”
Armantraut and Theresa Fritchle, both members of the Oregon Daffodil Society, would have been judges at the show – but, instead, they simply chatted with visitors, explaining elements of bulb growing and bloom judging. “In spite of the lack of available flowers this year,” said Fritchle, “we were still able to fill 11 of the 13 show divisions with good daffodil specimens.
“Many of our Willamette Valley bulb growers are back east at the national show right now,” she continued, “although hybridizer Steve Vinisky from Cherry Creek Daffodils in Sherwood did attend here for a while. He brought a rare species of Narcissus abcissus to display. Due to severe winter storms on the east coast, daffodils there are blooming late, so they have a good selection of flowers.”
Meantime, the exhibit hall where the rhododendrons and azaleas were judged was decorated with colorful umbrellas hanging from the ceiling. Tables filled with flower trusses were admired and photographed by visitors, while show winners and their trophies were displayed at the side.
At the Sales Area, CSRG volunteers assisted shoppers, transporting heavy shrubs by electric car up to the parking area.
If you'd like to volunteer at the Portland Rhododendron Garden, just north of S.E. Woodstock Boulevard on 28th Avenue, e-mail to: CSRGvol@me.com. To find out more about the American Daffodil Society, go online to: http://www.daffodilusa.org.
Grout Elementary School PTA Plant Sale. From 9 this morning until 2 this afternoon, it’s the annual Plant Sale of the Grout Elementary School PTA, and the day also celebrates the completion of the school’s Rain Garden Project begin three years ago. In addition to the sale of plants donated by the community, there will be baked goods, hot dogs, and snacks for sale. The event helps fund the maintenance of the Rain Garden and the Teaching Garden, helps purchase classroom supplies, and helps buy books for students.
Square dancing for funds in Woodstock. It’s square dancing to raise funds for nonprofit “Southside Swap & Play” this afternoon, 4-6:30 pm. The featured entertainment is a concert by Caroline Oakley, 4:30-5:30 pm. There will also be a puppet theater, parachute games, a craft sale, Bro-Dogs hot dogs, wine and Migration beer on tap, as well as the square dancing. Southside Swap & Play is located on the corner of S.E. Woodstock and 52nd Avenue at Our Lady of Sorrows – 5239 S.E. Woodstock Boulevard. Access is through the rear parking lot on the north side. Cost for this fundraiser is $7 per person.
Having many a blast at Reed College. At approximately 9 pm this evening, as Reed College heads into commencement season, “Renn Fayre” means it’s time for celebratory fireworks. Neighbors are welcome to join Reed students and faculty for the on-campus fireworks show.
Red Cross Bloodmobile in Woodstock. This afternoon from 2 until 7 pm, the Red Cross Bloodmobile will be at Woodstock Bible Church, 5101 S.E. Mitchell Street. Registration to donate blood can be done online at: http://www.redcrossblood.org, or by calling the Red Cross and mentioning the location – Woodstock Bible Church. By registering beforehand you can guarantee a time slot of your preference. Thank you for donating.
“Hatching Your Child’s Potential with ‘Chirp!’” Chirp! is a family-based early childhood music program for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers of all abilities. The program focuses on healthy brain development, deepening bonds and the magic of creative self-expression through music, movement, and creative play explorations. At this presentation this morning, 11-11:45 am at the Sellwood-Moreland Branch Library, expect singing and instrument play, finger-plays, movement and lap bounces, books, props, and a lot of fun. Free tickets for seating will be available 30 minutes before the program starts at 11 am. The library is on the corner of S.E. Bidwell and 13th Street in Sellwood.
Legos @ the Woodstock Library this afternoon. Kids aged 5 to 11: Bring your mad Lego skills to the Woodstock Library this afternoon, 3-4 pm, and let your imagination flow. Each time, you’ll build a new structure to put on display. Bricks and supplies provided. Donations welcome. No charge to participate.
SMILE annual Board election. The Sellwood-Moreland Improvement League (SMILE) neighborhood association’s monthly General Meeting is on the first Wednesday evening of each month. And in May, its highlight is the annual Board election. All officers and half the at-large Board seats are up for election – and if you don’t want to run for one, at least come and vote! The meeting starts at 7:30 pm this evening at SMILE Station, S.E. 13th Avenue and Tenino, and should be over by 9 pm or so. Open to all.
First of three May plant sales today at “Green Thumb”.
Today, 9 am to 2:30 pm, the Portland Public Schools Green Thumb Community Transition Program presents the first of its three May fundraising plant sales. There’s a wide assortment of ornamental plants, flowers, flower baskets, and a few organic vegetable starts for sale, at bargain prices. If you can’t make it today, the remaining two dates in May are the 21st
, 9 to 5, and the 22nd
, 9 to 2:30 pm. The location is 6801 S.E. 60th
Avenue, between Duke and Flavel. For more information, call 503/916-5817.
Reed College’s “Spring Dance Concert”. Tonight and tomorrow night, at 7 pm on the Greenwood Performance Stage, the Reed College dance department invites students and the general public alike to enjoy an evening of performance by students and faculty, and by guest choreographers Alexander Dones, Laura Haney, and James Healey. Tickets are from $1 to $3, and will be available at the door beginning at 6 pm.
Woodstock Community Center plant sale. Today from 9 am to 3 pm, it’s the annual Woodstock Community Center Mother’s Day Plant Sale. Proceeds benefit the neighborhood’s use of the Community Center, which is where the sale is – at 5905 S.E. 43rd Avenue, a half block north of Woodstock Boulevard, facing the west side of Bi-Mart’s parking lot. Generous gardeners from the community donate most of the plants being sold. Plant varieties include a large assortment of perennials, ground covers, ornamental grasses, native plants, and small trees and shrubs, as well as tomato plants, herbs, and other edibles. Hyper-tufa designer Shelly Keach will display and sell her sedum planters along with a variety of Abutilons. Woodstock metal artist Jill Torberson will be offering her welded sculpture garden art. Proceeds from this Plant Sale benefit the Woodstock Community Center Maintenance Fund.
Eastmoreland Garden Club annual Mother’s Day Plant Sale. Today from 10 am to 2 pm in the Eastmoreland Garden, at S.E. Bybee Boulevard at 27th, the Eastmoreland Garden Club offers a plant sale with a large variety of perennials, herbs, native plants, and organic tomato starts. Kids can pot up their own free Mother’s Day gift in the children’s gardening corner while adults browse the great plant selections. Proceeds benefit local community gardens, horticultural education, and food-aid programs.
Southeast Portland Tool Library offers sharpening today. Today from 10 am to 4 pm, as a fundraiser for this nonprofit tool-lending-library, the Southeast Portland Tool Library is offering a tool and knife sharpening event. It’s at 2800 S.E. Harrison Street (in St. David’s Episcopal Church parking lot). Sharpening fees start at $6.25 for garden tools, and $7.50 for kitchen knives. For more details, go online to: http://www.septl.org/2015/04/04/tool-sharpening-may92015.
Mother’s Day Rhododendron Show and Sale. The Portland Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society presents its annual judged rhododendron show in the exhibit hall at Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden today and tomorrow, and a big plant sale in the parking lot, on S.E. 28th Avenue, just north of Woodstock Boulevard and at the west edge of Reed College. You can enter your own rhododendron trusses in the show – bring them to the Exhibit Hall 6-9 pm May 8, or 7-9:30 am today. The show and sale is noon till 5 pm today and 9 to 5 tomorrow. Master Gardeners will be on hand in the sale yard to help you with answers about rhododendron care and culture.
Computer class: Introduction to Spreadsheets. At the Sellwood Branch Library this evening, 5:30-7:30 pm, this free class will introduce you to Microsoft Excel 2007 and other spreadsheet products. You will learn how to create, edit, format, and save a workbook. This class is for beginners, or for anyone who has used older versions of Excel and wants to find out about new features in 2007 and later versions. To take this class, you must be comfortable using a keyboard and a mouse. Free, but registration is required – in the library, or by calling 503/988-5234. The library is on the corner of S.E. Bidwell Street and 13th Avenue in Sellwood.
CHS anti-rape group holds public seminar. “SAFER”, a student-founded anti-rape organization at Cleveland High School received a grant from the Multnomah County Youth Commission to hold a summit to raise awareness on dating violence. That summit is today, from 5:30 to 8 pm, at Cleveland It is open to the public and the organization also hopes to draw teens from other high schools, and adults from the community.
Reed Neighborhood Assn. annual election.
Tonight, the General Meeting of the Reed Neighborhood Association includes the annual Board election, and all those elected will be volunteers from the neighborhood. Perhaps that would include you? The meeting is 6:30-8:30 pm in the Tucker Maxon School Gym, 2860 S.E. Holgate Boulevard. All board positions are open for election – and if you don’t want to run, come and vote. The meeting will also include the neighborhood crime report, land use report, and a report on S.E. 28th Avenue proposed bike use and parking changes. For more information, call 503/703-1896, or go online to: http://www.reedneighborhood.org
Annual SMILE neighborhood clean-up. Drop-off hours today are 9 am to 2 pm; volunteers are welcome to come help out at the site, which is at the south end of Westmoreland Park – at S.E. 23rd and Nehalem Street. Proof of residency in the Sellwood or Westmoreland neighborhoods is required for accepting your debris (driver’s license or a utility bill). Mixed waste, yard debris, appliances (extra charge for Freon), and Styrofoam are accepted. Goodwill Industries will be on-site to accept good and reusable household items (furniture, clothing, etc.). E-waste accepted from households only! Prices for dumping your refuse vary according to the size of the load:
- $7-13 small cars, sedans
- $13-20 small trucks
- $20-30 full-size pickup
- $30 and up for larger loads
But, not accepted: Construction materials (plaster, sheet rock, concrete, etc.), dirt, food garbage, or any hazardous materials. Curbside collection is available for seniors and disabled individuals – call 503/794-8212 to get on that list; you will pay the volunteer driver who picks it up for your load.
At Sellwood Library: “3D Printing 101”. From prosthetics to pizza and organs – 3D printing is all over the news. How does it work? What is being done today with 3D printers? At the Sellwood-Moreland Branch Library this afternoon from 1 till 2 pm, you’ll see a variety of prints, as well as a printer in action. Bring your questions and thoughts to this open-ended free session, and leave with a 3D printed reminder of what you learned. The library is on the corner of S.E. Bidwell Street and 13th Avenue in Sellwood.
Sellwood Middle School Community Appreciation Day. At 11 am the Sellwood Middle School Band, dance team, and students, will parade through Sellwood and Westmoreland, celebrating all the support the school receives from the community. Meantime, all day long, many local businesses will be donating a portion of their sales for the day to the Sellwood Middle School Foundation. Participating businesses will have a poster with a big red apple in the window.
“Believe It Or Not” exhibit opens today at OMSI. “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not” opens today in the Featured Hall at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. “What’s more amazing that Robert Ripley's legendary compendium of oddities, anomalies, and fantastic feats? The science that underlies them! This 6,000 sq. ft. highly interactive feature exhibit is an adventure through the remarkable realms of scientific discoveries and real artifacts from Ripley's Believe It or Not! Go places you've never imagined, and explore the real science behind the unbelievable. Experiments, challenges, touchable specimens, real artifacts, computer interactives, and multimedia experiences.” OMSI is on S.E. Water Street, beside the Willamette River, just north of the Ross Island Bridge and the McLoughlin-to-Grand Avenue viaduct.
Wooden Train Playtime at Woodstock Library. Children ages 2 and up (with a favorite adult) who enjoy trains can put together and run wooden trains in the Woodstock Branch Library this morning, for free – from 10 am till 10:45. This fun-filled program connects junior train fans with creative and imaginative play activities. The library is on the corner of Woodstock Boulevard and S.E. 49th Avenue.
Multnomah County Fair time at Oaks Park! From noon till 7 pm today, tomorrow, and Monday, it’s everything a County Fair should be – and it’s free! Plenty of parking, and no admission charge. Bring the family and have a great time, any or all of these three days. The 109th annual nonprofit Multnomah County Fair takes place at The Oaks Amusement Park, at the foot of S.E. Spokane Street in Sellwood, just north of the Sellwood Bridge. Take Oaks Park Way north, just west of the railroad tracks. Make a day of it.
For adults: Make felted beads this afternoon! Learn the ancient craft of feltmaking by making beads using only raw wool and hot soapy water, this afternoon 2-4 pm, at the Woodstock Branch Library. You will felt a “cane” of layered wool that will be cut into slices of millefiori-style beads. In this workshop, you'll get to make a nice collection of beads that can be strung into bracelets, necklaces, and garlands or used as buttons. Because the wool beads must dry overnight before being strung into jewelry, this class covers just bead-making, not jewelry creation. Free, but registration is required; register in the library, or by calling 503/988-5234. The Woodstock Library is on the corner of S.E. Woodstock Boulevard and 49th Avenue.
Big LEGO display at Oregon Zoo today and tomorrow. Once again, the advanced LEGO Physics students of Oregon Episcopal School are presenting their year’s worth of original constructions, highlighted by the computer-controlled LEGO Logo Board, today 9 am to 7 pm, and tomorrow 9 to 5, in the Skyline Room at the Oregon Zoo. The large exhibit is led by the students’ instructor, Westmoreland science teacher Jane Kenney-Norberg. The theme of the Logo Board this year tells the story of “Zuri the Rhino Travels the World”. Since the Skyline Room is beneath the Cascade Grill just inside the Zoo gate, which is before the Zoo ticket collection point, it is not necessary to pay Zoo admission to enjoy this exhibit.
Strawberry and Book Festival on Steele Street today. Trinity United Methodist Church once again this year is serving strawberrues and whipped cream on angel cake today for only $3.50. There will also be assorted used books available for voluntary cash donations. It'sd on the northeast corner of S.E. Steele Street and Chavez Blvd (39th Avenue). For more information, call 503/777-3901.
“Ripley’s Believe It or Not” exhibition open at OMSI. Just open, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry’s new exhibition, “The Science of Ripley's Believe It or Not”, will continue through September 7th. It’s described as “an extraordinary collection of intriguing objects and astonishing artifacts which showcase the science of the extreme and unexpected. This highly interactive featured exhibit allows visitors to explore the real science behind the seemingly unbelievable, and is designed for people of all ages to enjoy.” It’s supported and funded in part by the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation. OMSI is situated on S.E. Water Avenue, beside the Willamette River, under the east end of the Marquam Bridge, and just north of the Ross Island Bridge. For more information go online: http://www.omsi.edu
“Llewellyn Old Fashioned Carnival”. The Llewellyn Elementary School “Old Fashioned Carnival” is this evening, 5:30-8pm, rain or shine. Celebrate the end of the school year with lots of games, activities, entertainment, and food. Tickets are $5 per child (adults play for free), and everyone can play as many games as often as they wish. Local food vendors will collect cash for the food. Wear closed toe-shoes for safety (e.g. rock-climbing wall), bring a bag for your prizes, and carry a water bottle to stay hydrated. Visit online at http://www.llewellynpta.com/carnival – then walk, run, bike, or carpool to Llewellyn Elementary School, 6301 S.E. 14th Avenue, in Westmoreland.
Oaks Park’s 110th Birthday today. Nonprofit Oaks Amusement Park, accessed on Oaks Park Way from the foot of S.E. Spokane Street in Sellwood, celebrates its 110th birthday today from noon till 7 pm. Deluxe ride bracelets are just $8.00 courtesy of KGW-TV (no coupon necessary!) – plus have a free piece of birthday cake and balloons (while supplies last).
For adults: Make a Japanese Stab-Bound Pocketbook. Learn how to bind books with Japanese stab binding. This non-adhesive binding makes gorgeous decorative patterns on the spine of the book. This free class at the Woodstock Library will go over four different styles and techniques, and you’ll leave class with four little notebooks handmade by you! Registration required; register in the library, or by calling 503/988-5234. The class runs from 2 to 5 pm this afternoon at the Woodstock Branch Library, S.E. 49th at Woodstock Boulevard.
Woodstock Farmers Market’s Opening Day. For four hours starting at 10 am today, the nonprofit Woodstock Farmers Market begins its fifth season with an Opening Day celebration. Bring the whole family for live music, delicious food, and free kids’ activities, including a balloon twister, face painting, crafts, and more. Don't forget to bring your market bags to pick up some fresh produce, cheese, meat, and more from the 30+ vendors. The market is held every Sunday, midday, through the season, in the KeyBank parking lot at 4600 S.E. Woodstock Boulevard. Online at http://www.woodstockmarketpdx.com – or call 971/208-5522. No charge to be there!
Milk Carton Boat Races today in Westmoreland! An officially-sanctioned Rose Festival event, and a longtime favorite in Inner Southeast Portland, the Milk Carton Boat Races take place today on the Westmoreland Park Casting Pond, starting at 11 am. It is free to attend; and with great food, giveaways, and entertainment, it again will be a fun event for all ages. The Royal Rosarians and Oregon Dairy “Princess-Ambassadors” will be on hand, and the Oregon Food Bank will accept donations of cash and canned food to support the “Northwest Farmers Fighting Hunger” campaign.
Community Music Center celebrates 60th Anniversary – at Reed College. The Community Music Center in Southeast Portland is operated by Portland Parks – and today it’s celebrating its 60th Anniversary. However, the celebration takes place not at the Center, but at Kaul Auditorium at Reed College. It’s a Performance Festival, a Community Event, and a “Galactic Twinkle” – a giant audience participation performance of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”, intended to demonstrate the universal value of music education – and which also might even establish a record for number of people playing "Twinkle" at one time. Stop in anytime between 1 and 9 pm, and stay as long as you like. It also includes a silent auction, refreshments, and other activities. Admission: A suggested donation of $10 to benefit the Community Music Center. As for Reed College, it’s on Woodstock Boulevard east of S.E. 28th. Park free in any of the three Reed College lots during this event.
Sellwood Library shows authors how to be their own publisher.
A free community workshop tonight, 6:30-7:30 pm, provides authors with all the tools and guidance necessary to become their own successful publishers. Included are 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 manners of approaching the marketplace. The workshop is purely informational, including a half-hour presentation on the ins and outs of contemporary publishing, followed by an audience Q&A. Free, but registration is required; register in the library or by calling 503/988-5234. The Sellwood-Moreland Branch library is situated at S.E. 13th
and Bidwell Street.
Brentwood-Darlington Farm Stand opens for season. Beginning today, every Wednesday from 3:30 to 6:30 pm, the second annual Brentwood-Darlington Community Farm Stand will be open at the Learning Gardens Laboratory (at the Green Thumb site, 6801 S.E. 60th Avenue). The stand will offer a variety of fresh and affordable produce, organically grown by both PSU and Lane Middle School students. With family-friendly activities, community-building ideas, and a chance to try new produce, there is something for everyone. All farm stand proceeds are considered donations to PSU's Learning Gardens Lab, and will be used on site for garden-based education programs.
Library summer reading program begins today. The annual summer reading program of the Multnomah County Library starts today and runs through August 31. Read for fun and prizes this summer. Babies, kids, and teens are all welcome to play the “Summer Reading Game”, supported by gifts to the Library Foundation. Get details at the Sellwood-Westmoreland Branch Library or the Woodstock Branch Library, or go online to: http://www.multcolib.org/summer-reading
Petanque National Doubles Tourney at Westmoreland Park. Today and tomorrow, you’re invited to watch the Portland Petanque Club’s hosting of the Federation of Petanque USA National Doubles Tournament. Players come from across the country to compete. The public is invited to watch at no charge. While access to the court area at the north end of Westmoreland Park is reserved for players, the games may be viewed from the walking path in the park, and PPC members will be on hand to explain the game.
“Greece situation” is subject of “Breakfast Forum”. The monthly “Breakfast Forum” organized and led by Reed Neighborhood resident Ann B. Clarkson will be this morning, 7:30-8:30 am, at Mt. Tabor Presbyterian Church Library, 5411 S.E. Belmont. The speaker this month, Richard Lancefield, an attorney, will present information about the political history of Greece, including the recent rise of the political party “Syriza”. Given this party’s revolutionary origins and anti-austerity platform, the stakes are broader than just a budget default (non-payment of a euro-denominated debt). Understanding what has happened in Greece will not be easy. The Breakfast Forum is an informal group whose members meet monthly to learn about and discuss political issues in respectful ways. Free to attend, and no registration is required. For more information call 503/774-9621.
Historic ceremony at 10 am today. “Commemorating the Forgotten,” a ceremony and program to dedicate new gravemarkers for nine war veterans, will be held this morning at 10 am, just south of Garthwick, at “Milwaukie Pioneer Cemetery”, S.E. 17th Avenue and Waverley Drive. Two of the men – NoahHubler and George Washington Wills – fought in the Yakima Wa, and the remainder – George Franklin Batchelder, George Boyer, JohnBurns, James M. Jackson, Elihu Morgan, William Lockhart and LazerusRobertson – fought in the Civil War. This free program is open to the public. Military honors, Taps, and a musket salute will be performed by the Sons of Veterans Reserve Honor Guard in full Civil War uniform. Bagpiper Ogden Kimberly, the Patriot Guard Riders, the American Legion, and other civic organizations will participate.
All Saints’ four-day Vacation Bible School starts today. All Saints’ Episcopal Church, S.E. 41st at Woodstock Boulevard, holds its annual Vacation Bible School today through the 25th, for a minimal charge of $10. The class is from 12:30 to 4 pm each of the four days – this year “exploring Anti-Bullying themes and the Labyrinth”. For information or to register, call Laura Axon at 503/775-6998.
“Wake Up Robot” performs in Woodstock Library. Wake Up Robot is a drum and ukulele duo who combine songs, storytelling, puppetry and out-of-this-world dance moves, to provide an opportunity for kids to engage in fun and frolic. Equipped with catchy tunes and a contagious sense of wonder and enthusiasm, Wake Up Robot is full of opportunities for kids to participate in sing-alongs, dance-alongs and laugh-alongs. Free tickets for seating will be available 30 minutes before the program starts at 1 pm, today at the Woodstock Branch Library, S.E. 49th at Woodstock Boulevard. (Also performs at noon tomorrow, June 25, Sellwood-Moreland Branch Library, S.E. 13th at Bidwell Street, where free tickets will be available at 11:30 am.) The show lasts 40 minutes.
Benefit event at Mehri’s Bakery today. Today is the day for the big garage sale to benefit the Portland Food Project, held at Mehri’s Bakery & Deli Cafe, S.E. 52nd at Bybee Boulevard, from 9 am until 4 pm. Offered will be quality clothes for all ages, and household items. Donations of canned goods are very welcome – please contact Mehri at 503/788-9600 to arrange to drop them off, or bring them in during the café’s open hours. The sale is today only.
“Paint Your Own Van Gogh” at the Sellwood Library. You needn’t have painting experience to emulate techniques of the Masters, especially the clean lines and bold colors of modern art. Vincent van Gogh’s art is notable for deep colors, clear brushstrokes, and a sense of movement. In this free guided workshop, learn acrylic paint skills and a little art history while creating your own version of Van Gogh’s iconic landscapes. Leave with a completed 11x14-inch canvas, and introductory skills in color mixing, composition and layering. Free but registration is required; register in the library, or by calling 503.988.5234. The class is 2 to 4 pm this afternoon at the Sellwood-Moreland Branch Library, S.E. 13th at Bidwell Street.
Bloodmobile is in Woodstock today.
Bloodmobile is in Westmoreland today. The latest American Red Cross Blood Drive at Moreland Presbyterian Church, 1814 S.E. Bybee Boulevard, is 2-7 pm today, inside the church in the Fellowship Hall. Both whole blood donations and double red cell collections will be available. To make your appointment, call 1-800/733-2767, or go online to: http://www.redcrossblood.org – and use sponsor code: MorelandPresbyterian.JUNE 30
The American Red Cross is hosting a blood drive this afternoon from 2 until 7 pm at Woodstock Bible Church, 5101 S.E. Mitchell Street. Walk-ins are welcome, but you can guarantee your choice of time by registering online at http://www.redcrossblood.org
– or by calling 1-800/733-2767.
22nd Annual Eastmoreland Parade. The annual Eastmoreland Fourth of July Parade starts at 11 am at the corner of Reed College Place and Rex Street, and after winding its way through the neighborhood, it ends up there as well – followed by complimentary food and drink.
Oaks Park celebrates Independence Day. Nonprofit Oaks Amusement Park, accessed on Oaks Park Way from the foot of S.E. Spokane Street in Sellwood, will have its usual diversions today – but at dusk, one of the largest Portland fireworks shows takes place there.
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Multnomah County's official SELLWOOD BRIDGE website
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Oaks Amusement Park
Association of Home Business (meets in Sellwood)
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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!
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