Community Features

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

Sellwood history, SMILE
A truck from Sellwood’s Eastside Lumber Mill is shown delivering a load of Lumber on Spokane Street. John P. Miller is the passenger on the truck and the owner of the lumber mill. The house with the dormer in the background was once the Commerce Hotel. (Photo courtesy of SMILE History Committee)

The colorful history and people of S.E. Spokane Street

Special to THE BEE

Be they butcher, baker, or candlestick maker, those living along Spokane Street in Sellwood  can boast of some of the most important people and buildings that make Sellwood and Westmoreland  what they are today.

Since the early days, in the 1860’s, when Sellwood was a merely a frontier town growing along the east bank of the Willamette River, the various main streets of the community have competed with each other to hold the dominant business district.

At one time, believe it or not, Spokane Street was considered by some a major thoroughfare, challenging merchants with shops along 13th, Milwaukie Avenue, Umatilla Street, and 17th Avenue. In the end, Spokane Street settled on being one of the busiest residential streets in the community.

During early Sellwood history a partial list of occupants along Spokane Street included a variety of merchants and theater owners, four churches, two historic preservation buildings, a lumber mill, a ferry landing, movie theaters, restaurants, a boarding house, an hotel and fraternal organization, and a mayor.

While today it’s difficult to detail, house by house, who once lived there, we can give readers at least a glimpse of what was or still is located in their neighborhood. Perhaps we can entice homeowners to research their own property, or organize a get-together or barbeque with other residents and friends to share additional facts about the storied history of Spokane Street.

A current photo, and any data collected about the history of the house, from its homeowners today would be a welcome addition to the archives of the Sellwood Moreland History Committee – and the committee would copy and return any materials not directly donated to its archives.

During the early years, when the Sellwood area was a timbered hillside along the river, life and business in the village centered around Umatilla Street. Travel, supplies, merchandise, and freight to and from Sellwood relied on boat travel along the Willamette River. Oregon pioneer Henry L. Pittock and a group of interested investors changed all of that when they purchased 321 acres from Reverend John Sellwood in 1882.

Establishing the Sellwood Real Estate Company, they cleared the land, subdivided parcels into lots, and named the newly-laid-out streets to honor various people and institutions – including the tribes of the Spokane and Tacoma Native Americans. Their goal was to establish a flourishing residential district close to the merchants of Sellwood, and reap a small fortune with their endeavors.

Using a private ferry, “The Dolly”, to shuttle passengers from the west side of the river to the east and back again, potential buyers disembarked at the foot of the newly named Spokane Street, where waiting real estate agents and horse-drawn coaches and carriages guided them around the scenic terrain.

While investors rode the ferry free of charge, local residents like Captain William P. Short, who lived oat 15th and Spokane, were charged a small sum for each trip. Captain Short found passage aboard “The Dolly” quicker and the wait time shorter than any of the boats unloading supplies at the Umatilla Landing. As Captain of his ship “The Three Sisters”, docked at the Portland Wharves, time was of the utmost importance to him when departure time was near.

Outraged about the fares being charged both for riding the ferries and for crossing Portland bridges, east side residents called for public pressure on city officials to abolish these tolls. In 1904 the Sellwood Ferry Committee was organized, led by J.M. Nickum, who petitioned Portland Council members to purchase the ferry and thereafter allow riders free passage. A plank pier was built out to the river to assist in easier loading of wagons and freight, and Spokane Street became the major connecting point into Sellwood, replacing the unimproved docks at the Umatilla riverside.

For the next twenty-one years the ferry “John F. Caples” shuttled between the east and west banks of the Willamette River from Spokane Street on the east bank to the Staff Jennings moorage, once was located north of today’s Sellwood Bridge, on the west bank. The opening of the Sellwood Bridge in 1925 ended the Sellwood Ferry.

One of Sellwood’s leading employers, the Sorenson and Young lumber mill, was located on the Spokane street waterfront. Nils P. Sorenson and Jasper E. Young logged timber along east bank hillside, shipping lumber down the river to waiting clipper ships and steamships in the Portland harbor.

Some of Sellwood’s oldest houses probably still contain wood planed from the old mill, as discovered by Westmoreland resident and neighborhood historian Eileen Fitzsimons.  Current residents at 1507 S.E. Spokane uncovered rough-sawn timber cut from the Sellwood Mill when they were remodeling, and shared their find with Ms. Fitzsimons.

In 1902 the Eastside Lumber Company bought out the smaller Sorenson and Young sawmill, and began producing every kind of material to finish a house. Between 300 and 500 workers were employed by the Miller family – the new owners of the mill – and, during the height of its production, the mill sold everything from screen doors to windows, and from decorative trim to wood shingles.

Cords of wood or truckloads of unusable wood were stacked along neighboring streets, labeled as excess slab wood, and given free to residents by the lumber company.

Some of the Northwest’s finest harvested fruits and vegetables were packaged and shipped in wooden crates by the Eastside Box Factory located on Spokane Street.  Once the factory whistle blew, signaling break time or the end of the day, the working men of the east side mill ambled up the planked surface of Spokane Street for lunch, or to dine at the Leipzig Confectionary and Cafe on the southwest corner of Spokane Street and 13th Avenue. A cool drink offered a relief from the hard day’s work.

As the lumber mill drew more men to the area, and with the streetcar and interurban offering faster and more convenient ways of getting to Sellwood from the rest of the region, temporary housing was needed in the local area for the influx of blue collar workers and their families.  Lodging could be obtained at the private boarding house run by Mrs. Canburry near 13th and Spokane, and an elegantly-built Craftsman building called the Commerce Hotel had rooms available on the south side of Spokane between 13th and 11th Streets.

When Sellwood was an actual self-governing city between 1887 and 1893, Redmond Bean from – you guessed it – Spokane Street (Specifically, 943 Spokane) was elected its first mayor.  Historian Eileen Fitzsimons describes Mayor Bean as “A modest mayor of a modest town”, who once worked as a baggage handler (porter) at the train station.

Sellwood hosted a variety of fraternal organizations, and one of those was the Sellwood Masons, who held their first meetings on the second floor of W.H. Killbuck’s carpenter and cabinet shop, on the northeast corner of 13th, behind Carl Mordhorst’s residence and the Meat Market. Both buildings were only recently razed, in anticipation of a new mixed-use business and apartment complex being to be developed in the near future.

Spokane Street was also the landing point for the steamboats and launches that brought dashing young men and the elite class of people who traveled to gamble and partake of the horse racing at the City View Racetrack, located in the same general space as today’s Sellwood Park, as well as parts of the residential district from 7th to 11th Avenues. Young folks trekked up the hill bordering Spokane Street to view the races, while the more proper upper class citizens hired a coach and horse to travel up Spokane Street to their private box seat in City View bleachers.

In order to keep cussing lumbermen, rowdy sailors, and unruly townsmen, in line, religion had by then arrived on Spokane Street. Services for the Church of Nazarene at the corner of 9th and Spokane were held in a tent in 1908 while their church was being built. Needing a larger place of worship, they later moved further down the road to settle in on the southwest corner of 16th and Spokane (today, 8051 S.E. 16th).

J.A Melton, preacher at the Sellwood Christian Church, tired of holding meetings in local community houses and storerooms, and purchased the vacated Nazarene building in 1920. This became the Spokane Avenue Church of Christ, which later reverted back to the Sellwood Christian Church. Today the building is used for theater plays and wedding rentals.

The Bethany Baptist Church was established in 1904 and built on Tacoma Street at 11th. When a brick auditorium was added in the 1950’s, 11th and Spokane was the preferred spot for it.

One of Oregon’s oldest, and Sellwood’s first, National-Historic-Register listed buildings was the Oaks Pioneer Church, ferried down the Willamette to Sellwood from the City of Milwaukie; it now stands at the corner of S.E. Grand and Spokane.

This Gothic-style beauty was christened St. John’s Episcopal Church in 1851, and after serving the community of Milwaukie for over 100 years, it was slated to be torn down. But enthusiastic Westmoreland and Sellwood residents collected funds to save the church from destruction. On June 11th, 1961, the church was barged down the river to the old Sellwood ferry slip, then hoisted to its new location. It is now operated, and rented for weddings and special events, by the SMILE neighborhood association.

When the Lewis and Clark World Exposition opened in 1905 at Guilds Lake in Northwest Portland, the Oregon Water Power and Railway countered by building an amusement park just north of Sellwood. Travel to Oaks Park was provided by the Interurban railway built along today’s “Sellwood Gap” of the Springwater Trail, and while patrons could ride the daily steamer to the Oaks, Spokane Street was the only road by which you could access it by foot, auto, or delivery vehicle. 

A special stop of the Interurban railway was available at Spokane Street for residents who boarded to travel to downtown Portland for shopping, entertainment, and weekend jaunts.

Meantime, plenty of entertainment for Spokane Street residents was available farther east along 13th, where the east side streetcar was located. The opening of one of Sellwood’s first movie houses, the Star Theater, was a highly anticipated event, located on the southwest corner of Spokane and 13th. The short-lived Alpha Theater, and later the Isis Theater, were built on the northwest corner of Spokane and 13th, and the Sellwood Theater soon followed, presenting talking movies on the southeast corner of Spokane and 13th. This section of Spokane became known as “theater corner” to the community.

Two of the largest commercial buildings in Sellwood were constructed at this theater intersection: The Griessen building, at 13th and Spokane, now part of the Leipzig Tavern and Gino’s Restaurant, and the Strahlman building on the northwest corner of Spokane, long since torn down. 

Businessman William Strahlman lived at 1217 Spokane in an eight-bedroom structure behind his commercial building/Isis theater; and the Griessen family lived at 1224 Spokane Street, right across from their competitors. Once A.H. Griessen realized his house was sitting on prime commercial property, it was moved back about 50 feet from 13th Avenue, and the entryway was turned toward Spokane street, to allow the two-story Griessen building to be completed in 1910.

The New Shoe Shop served local residents along Spokane at the rear of the Stralhman Building, and motorists of long standing in Sellwood might remember filling up their gas tanks at the Gard’s Flying A Service Station which replaced Strahlman’s Hall in the 1950’s. A barren parking lot is all that remains there today.

The Sellwood Community Center is the other building on Spokane listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings. Opened as a YMCA in 1910 at 15th and Spokane, its features included a gymnasium, a small swimming tank, and dormitory rooms upstairs. The Portland Park Bureau acquired the building in the 1920s and still schedules classes and events throughout the year.

One of Sellwood’s most prolific music instructors, Dr. Albert Schuff, led groups and bands at the Community House. He started the Progressive School of Music in Sellwood while residing just down the block on the northwest corner of 16th and Spokane.

Finally, a quick run-through of merchants living along Spokane street would include Oliver Applegate, who resided at 1677 S.E. Spokane; William and Dorathea Mordhorst, at 704 S.E. Spokane; and G.L. Thomas’ House movers, at 1014 S.E. Spokane.

And we could not end this Spokane Street retrospective without stopping at the intersection of Spokane and of 17th, where H E Hall opened Sellwood’s premiere breakfast café, Bertie Lou’s, in 1945, where it still remains today; and across the street is Jake’s Place, a neighborhood bar which was originally home to the Spokane Avenue Grocery in 1921, which later for a time was a McMarr chain food market.

This stroll down Spokane Street reminds us of the people who built Sellwood, and making this stroll yourself should be on your list.

For those who want to know more about the history of the neighborhood, and parts of Spokane Street, join historians Eileen Fitzsimons and myself, Dana Beck, on a tour of Sellwood in early July.  This historic tour is sponsored by the Portland Architectural Heritage Center, and interested parties must call 503/231-7264 to reserve a place.

David Johnstone’s teammate, Diana Jacobs from Los Angeles, throws her boule. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Portland: The nation’s “pétanque” capitol


Those driving by, or strolling in, Westmoreland Park may have noticed all the activity at the north end, near the dark green cinderblock clubhouse, on the weekend of June 13-14.

More than 100 people, clutching metal spheres, were playing pétanque – in graveled, rectangular marked “terrains” (also known as “lanes”).

“We’re again hosting the United States Nationals Doubles Championships,” exclaimed Steve Walker, President of Portland Pétanque Club.

“It seems that Westmoreland has become a Mecca for pétanque,” Walker told THE BEE.

Members from 22 clubs, from as far away as Maine, Illinois, Florida, California, and here in the Pacific Northwest, came to play the game they have come to love.

“Everyone loves to play in Portland because our ‘boulodrome’ facility and terrain is very nice. And, we have a long reputation for hosting very congenial competitions,” Walker pointed out. “And, it also helps that our players from around the country also enjoy Portland’s other amenities.”

It’s a relatively simple game, dating back to the sixth century, he explained. Each player uses three metal boules – hollow steel spheres each measuring between 70.5 and 80 mm, and weighing between 650 and 800 grams.

“The ‘jack’ is a small wooden ball officially called the cochonet (literally, Piglet), and the idea is to get your boule as close to the ‘jack’ as possible, while standing inside a circle with both feet on the ground,” Walker explained. “Part of the strategy is to knock other player’s boule away from the jack.”

Players young and old were involved in the tournament. Some competitors said they took up the sport only weeks ago; others have been playing for decades.

Joe Martin, one of the club’s founders in 2001, said the Portland club has grown from about a dozen members to about one hundred. “It's a wonderful experience. And, it’s a great game that you can play ’til the day before the day you die.” 

The game is easy to take up, but takes a lifetime to perfect, several players agreed. “We say that pétanque is the most popular game in the world of which few in this country have heard.”

You can find folks playing pétanque year-around – even in the snow of winter – at the Westmoreland Park boulodrome every Sunday and Wednesday, starting around noon.

“There is no charge to learn how to play, nor any pressure to join the club,” Walker entreated. “We even have equipment to loan, to get new players started.”

For more information on the Portland Pétanque Club, visit their website:

Medical Teams International, Mobile Dental Clinic, Woodstock, Southeast Portland
Providing free or low-income dental care in Southeast Portland neighborhoods, Medical Team International’s roving mobile dental offices earn the gratitude of patients. Loralee Henry, pictured here at All Saints Episcopal Church in Woodstock, tells stories of grateful patients. (Photo by Elizabeth Ussher Groff)

Dental clinics on wheels roll through Southeast 


Waiting at a table inside All Saints Episcopal Church, on S.E. 41st Avenue at Woodstock Boulevard, several people express their nervousness either verbally or through body language. They are waiting to see to a dentist.

If there is apprehension beforehand, it is gone by the time they walk out of the mobile dental van in the church parking lot.  They have seen a dentist, and almost without exception, they are happy and very thankful for gentle care – and often, an end to pain. 

People in extreme dental pain often head to the Emergency Room of a hospital, but ERs are poorly equipped to provide the kind of care necessary, and patients often can’t pay.

Medical Teams International – better known for its relief work overseas for than its good deeds locally – has a Mobile Dental Program in Oregon and Washington which is based on a dozen 38-foot converted mobile homes that serve as dental clinics.

Once a month, one of these vans parks in the back lot of All Saints Episcopal in Woodstock, where it provides free or low-cost services to low-income patients who lack dental insurance or any other way to pay for dental treatment.

Patients mostly receive extractions or fillings from the licensed dentists and hygienists, all of whom volunteer their time. The mobile clinics are busy four to five days a week, each day in a different location. On the parking lot at All Saints, a recent clinic served eight people, two of whom got extractions – one, of five teeth, and the other six.

Mobile clinics in the parking lot of All Saints have been helping patients for over twenty years. Jen Schaefer and her husband Warren, a retired dentist, have volunteered for twenty years.

“Our primary purpose is to help people in pain,” says Mrs. Schaefer.  “And it is fulfilling to see people gain a smile that they can use for employment,” she added.

During the past fourteen years, Loralee Henry, a member of the church, has been greeting patients and keeping records.  She has her own stories of dental patients’ gratefulness.

“There was the Russian man.  He was probably six-three or four, a very muscular young man, sweating bullets. He was very fearful.  When he was done, he had a mouthful of bloody gauze. He came over to where we were and said, ‘In Russia, two big burly men sat on my arms.  Doctor have no pliers – used hammers and chisel.  No nowakane, not even wodka.’ “He put his hand over his heart and added,   ‘I loff America.’”  The mouth full of gauze distorted his speech, but didn’t stop him from expressing profound appreciation.

Loralee tells a second story of a young man – a methamphetamine addict – who had to have all of his teeth pulled.   That and the restoration, done elsewhere, took seven or eight visits.  Loralee recounts, “A couple of months down the road, between services at church, he appeared and motioned for me to sit in a chair. 

“He then dropped to his knees and opened his mouth to let me see his teeth. He said he had looked for employment for six months, but it wasn’t until he had good teeth that he was able to find a job. With a smile, he told me he had a girlfriend, his job, and best of all, his teeth.  He said thank you and then left.

Everyone who works with these dental patients remarks on the gratitude expressed by them.  And Loralee says that sometimes, two or three months after they receive care, patients will return to the church with $20 or $40 to contribute to Medical Teams International in thanks for their dental work.

Meantime, that rolling dentists’ office continues to come through Southeast Portland. Call All Saints Episcopal Church in Woodstock for its next appearance there.

Llewellyn Elementary School, tiny floats, study of the U S A
Students watch, and learn, during the Llewellyn Elementary “Parade of States”. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Tiny floats at Llewellyn Elementary portray all 50 States


A most unusual and educational parade took place on the morning of Thursday, June 4, at Llewellyn Elementary School in Westmoreland.

“In a few minutes, we will see the results of what our students have been studying for the last few months,” said fifth grade teacher Madeline Mininger. “Part of the fifth grade curriculum is learning about the states that compose the United States of America.”

Each of the students selected a state to study, including its history, symbols, industry, and special events and locations. Then, the students made a shoe-box sized “mini-float” that depicted some of that information.

There are 96 students in all of the fifth grade classes, Mininger pointed out, which is why most of the states had two floats – driven, pulled, or carried around the outdoor play area to show the younger students.

At 10 am, their teachers queued up their students, and minutes later, the miniature parade began. As each student entered the display area, they handed Mininger a card telling facts about the State their float represented.

A fun, and unique, learning experience at the end of the school year.

Community Music Center, Southeast Portland, Portland Parks and Recreation
These young students show their musical skills during the Community Music Center’s Performance Festival in Reed College’s Kaul Auditorium. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Southeast’s Music Center celebrates 60 years of tunes


For years, situated in a renovated firehouse in the Creston-Kenilworth neighborhood, the Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) Community Music Center this summer is celebrating providing music education for six decades.

And, on June 7, the Music Center held a “Performance Festival” on the campus of Reed College. A highlight was the afternoon Children’s Concert performed in Kaul Auditorium.

“Today we are celebrating and showcasing the universality of music education in our community,” remarked CMC Executive Director Gregory Dubay, backstage at the festival. “Music education connects families with community in a special way.”

This music education program was started by Dorothea Lynch, the City’s “Recreation Director” at the time, Dubay told THE BEE. “She was a visionary when she started the music program in 1955. She believed that, as she put it, ‘recreation is more than balls and bats’.

“Lynch thought that music, and performing arts – as well as physical and cultural activities – were important to our city,” Dubay said. “This has been a guiding light for Parks and Recreation.”

The event was a showcase for both the Community Music Center organization, and for the accomplishments of its students. “The students have been looking forward to this as a way to celebrate the music that they’ve learned and rehearsed, either in group lessons or in private classes,” Dubay explained.

At the CMC building on S.E. Francis Street, the organization provides music education for about 1,000 students a week, and for another 1,000 students a week in other locations. 

At the June 7th concert’s end, current and past students were invited to participate in a “Galactic Twinkle” – a large group performance of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”. Its tune and variations are part of the “Suzuki Method” of teaching beginning students.

As an alumnus of PP&R's Community Music Center – having taken violin lessons there as a child – Multnomah County Commissioner Jules Bailey led the ensemble in the “Galactic Twinkle”.

“Music unites all people and all Portlanders,” smiled PP&R Director Mike Abbaté. “We expect CMC will continue striking a chord with the community for years to come.”

Woodstock Farmers Market
Serena Jaspera bought from Katy McDonald of “Big B” Farm in Aurora. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Throng greets opening of Woodstock Farmers Market


When the opening bell for the first Woodstock Farmers Market of the season rang at 10 am on Sunday, June 7, shoppers were standing by, ready to meet returning vendors and greet the newcomers.

“We’re certainly off to an exciting start for our fifth season,” grinned Woodstock Farmers Market Manager Emily Murnen.

“The neighborhood was ripe and ready for a farmers market when we first opened,” Murnen observed. “Every year, we get larger crowds, new people coming in to shop – and more vendors as well.”

Part of the market’s success, she said, is from the many shoppers who come back season after season, year after year.

“Unlike other markets, a lot of people are walking in from neighborhood streets with baskets over their arm and pushing a stroller,” Murnen said. “We have a lot of bike parking, but now, just minutes after we’ve opened, our bike parking lot is completely full.”

80% of the market’s past vendors returned this year, including all of their farmers and many of their hot food stands. “I’m excited that we now have a hot food vendor selling Middle Eastern cuisine. And, we have a new gluten-free bakery this year,” the manager commented.

New Seasons is the market’s sponsor for the SNAP (“Oregon Trail Card”) program. “And, we also are grateful to Key Bank for being so generous as to lend us their parking lot every week,” added Murnen. “They’ve been a great support from the very beginning.” The address of the market is 4600 S.E. Woodstock Boulevard.

The market is always on the lookout for volunteers, Murnen told us. “Some of our volunteers have helped out every season, from the very beginning. They say that they're excited to be able to give back to the community.”

Every Sunday midday through October, look for this lively bazaar that brings together neighbors, vendors and volunteers. “This is a true community market,” Murnen concluded.


Woodstock Farmers Market
10 am until 2 pm every Sunday through October
KeyBank Parking Lot

4600 S.E. Woodstock Boulevard

Llewellyn Elementary School, Carnival, Joe Galati
Llewellyn Principal Joe Galati congratulates sixth grade student Connor Soingerland for winning a pie eating contest. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Llewellyn Elementary hosts neighborhood- wide carnival


It was “come one, come all” when the Llewellyn Elementary School “Old Fashioned Carnival” opened in the early evening hours of Tuesday, May 5.

Again this year, visiting kids were given a “passport” that, when stamped at all of the stations, made them eligible for prizes, many provided by Westmoreland and Sellwood merchants and restaurants.

Throughout the playground areas, art projects, physical field activities, midway games, and a rock-climbing wall gave everyone lots of choices, as the early-evening “party for the neighborhood” got underway.

“In a way, this is a ‘year-long project’ of our PTA, when it comes to planning it,” said this year’s new “Ringmaster”, Meg Asay. “I inherited this event from Rachel Ginocchio, the past Ringmaster. We’re all doing our best to honor her by making sure the event, on which she worked so hard, continues to be successful.”

Some school carnivals are fundraisers. “The Llewellyn Old Fashioned Carnival is special, in that we just see it as a way to celebrate our entire community,” explained Asay. “We invite in preschoolers, welcome homeschooled kids, and students from private schools.

“We want to have everyone from our neighborhoods to feel included, and to come together in this neighborhood-wide celebration,” Asay added.

Asay praised the more than 100 volunteers who plan, set up, run, and then take down the carnival. “My ‘Thank You’ list would be fantastically long. I love how this community has stepped forward to help put on this event.

“This includes businesses associated with the Sellwood-Moreland Business Alliance,” Asay went on. “They stepped forward and been so supporting and so welcoming. It’s clear they love the children of the neighborhood.”

The soundtrack to the carnival was provided by the Sellwood Middle School is Jazz Band, and later, their Marimba Band. And, local food vendors served up all kinds of fare, from light snacks to full meals. 

Llewellyn Elementary School Principal Joe Galati smiled and greeted family and kids, and they responded to him much as they would to a beloved mayor of a small town during a festival.

“Now that I’ve had my second year here, I could not ask for a better community,” Galati told THE BEE. “I couldn't ask for kids that are more excited about learning; teachers who are so willing to give of their time so freely to help the students learn; and parents more willing and able to be involved.

“When we get together, we celebrate beautifully as a community,” Galati reflected. “I’m so grateful for our PTA and Foundation for putting this carnival together, with the collaboration of our neighborhood businesses. I could not ask for more!”

OMSI, Eurekafest, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
Melissa Tran, a student at Meadowpark Middle School in Beaverton, shows her team’s award-winning design for a prosthetic hand; hearing about it is Boy Scout Troop 230 member Ian McClain. It was all part of OMSI’s EurekaFest. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Youthful inventors shine, at OMSI’s “EurekaFest”


This year’s “EurekaFest” at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI), just north of the Ross Island Bridge, on May 16th, brought young inventors from all over the state for a day of hands-on, minds-on activities.

“At this EurekaFest, we have several of our ‘JV InvenTeams’,” explained Lemelson-MIT Program Executive Director Joshua Schuler.

“This program, funded by the Portland-based Lemuelson Foundation, builds teams of ninth and tenth graders in schools that traditionally do not have a lot of activities in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) enrichment activities,” Schuler said. “We provide funding, and modules of activities.”

Milwaukie High School sophomore Gabrielle Petkovich was at the event, showing the results of a module that taught her the creation of shoe soles.

“It’s a four-step process,” Petkovich explained, as she showed us materials from her project.

“First, you make a clay model, about the size of a shoe,” Petkovich said. “Then you put VytaFlex® mold material around the clay model, and let it sit for about a day. When you take out the clay, and fill the mold with VytaFlex®, that gives you a new shoe sole.”

Students were showcasing with Columbia Sportswear and Stanley Black & Decker, so they were working with inventors and people in fields they were learning about, which could lead to a career someday.

Hands-on STEM enrichment, coupled with hands-on inventing, is important, Schuler remarked. “Our nation’s economic competitiveness comes from programs like these.  They’re meant to encourage young people to understand that they can be inventive, and solve problems through invention.”

A good way to get young people excited about science and technology is to give them practical problems to solve, Schuler emphasized. “And, it’s not just for the students, it’s also exciting for the educators to put ‘real-world’ practical training in their classrooms.”

Throughout “EurekaFest”, young people were encouraged to use their creativity and problem-solving skills. Kids of all ages visiting the science museum that day participated in design challenges and hands-on activities that include an LED Origami Wall, Airplane Golf, Taco Drop, and Wind Turbines.

OMSI is on S.E. Water Street, next to the Willamette River, under the east end of the Marquam Bridge, and a little north of the Ross Island Bridge.

Events and Activities

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.

Sellwood Riverfront Park Concerts begin this evening.
The annual summer series of five live, free concerts in Sellwood Riverfront Park, at water’s edge just north of the Sellwood Bridge just off S.E. Spokane Street, get underway at 6:30 pm this evening with a performance by Chervona, described as “Eastern Euro Carnival insanity”. Sponsored by SMILE, the Sellwood-Westmoreland neighborhood association, and by Portland Parks and Recreation.  Overflow parking available at nearby Oaks Amusement Park. Hands-on activities for kids start at 6:15 pm.

Encore performance by famous LADYBUG THEATER!
Ping Pong's Pint Size Puppet Museum in Sellwood provides a venue for Ladybug Theater to return for an encore performance! The show is “Baby Bear and the Adventures of Red Riding Hood”; Steve Overton and Michelle Earley recreate the zany antics of Baby Bear, as he tells his one and only version of the beloved fairy tale one more time. Reserve early, since this is the only performance. It’s this morning at 11 am, $8 per person, appropriate for all ages, from two to one hundred and two. Ping Pong’s Pint Size Puppet Museum is at 906 S.E. Umatilla Street in Sellwood; reserve your seat(s) by calling 503/233-7723.

National choir sings in Woodstock.
Tonight at 7 pm, Woodstock Bible Church hosts the ACC National Youth Choir. “64 voices from across the country will be excited to share the Good News of the Gospel Message in song.” Admission is free; donation of a canned good for the Oregon Food Bank would be appreciated. The church is located at 5101 S.E. Mitchell Street. Everyone welcome. More online, at:

Tree Inventory near Mt. Scott today – volunteers welcome.
Join the Mt. Scott-Arleta Tree Team and PP&R Urban Forestry to map, measure, and identify every street tree in that neighborhood, today from 8:30 am till noon, on the first of four summer Saturdays for this project. Volunteers from everywhere welcome; no experience necessary. You will be paired with a trained Team Leader who will teach you inventory protocol. Together you will measure trees, recording data on trees and the site.  An inventory is the first step in expanding, diversifying, and protecting our street trees. Meet this morning at 8:30 am at Mt. Scott Community Center, S.E 72nd and Harold Street, if you would like to join in the inventory.

Recycling fundraiser takes things other cleanups do not.
The Oregon Greyhound Adoption nonprofit, a 501c3, is holding a Community Recycling Day today at 9 am in Woodstock, open to everyone – featuring document shredding by AccuShred NW, recycling for any obsolete electronics, recycling household batteries, and recycling of block and sheet Styrofoam! A $5 donation is suggesting for each item or for each two bags or boxes of documents – and you can use cash, check, or credit cards for this. Additional donations are welcome and tax deductible. The Community Recycling Day is from 9 am to 1 pm at Our Lady of Sorrows Church, on the corner of S.E. 52nd and Woodstock Boulevard. For more information on the organization, visit online:

Puppet Museum presents “Around the World”.
“Around the World with Puppets”, performed by The Olde World Puppet Theatre, is the show this afternoon at 2 pm, and again tomorrow afternoon at 4 pm, at Ping Pong’s Pint Size Puppet Museum in Sellwood. “Nobody knows for sure just how old puppetry might be. Come along with us on a fascinating journey through time and space, as our puppets present the historical and fun-filled facts of the worldwide story of puppetry. It’s fun, it’s historical, it’s educational, it's musical, it’s entertaining, and it’s also hands-on interactive. Admission is $8 per person; suggested ages from 4 on up. Ping Pong’s Pint Size Puppet Museum is at 906 S.E. Umatilla Street in Sellwood; reserve your seat(s) by calling 503/233-7723.

Portland Bridge Swim starts at 7:30 am in Sellwood.
You’re invited to be there as the annual Portland Bridge Swim gets underway at 7:30 am at Sellwood Riverfront Park, just north of the east end of the Sellwood Bridge – with the swimmers enroute to Cathedral Park, where the first-arrivers are expected around 11 am, and all finishers must be done by 3:30 am. Swimmers and spectators will gather in Sellwood Riverfront Park this morning starting as early at 5 am, so you’re welcome to come early, if you want.

Sellwood summer concert series continues this evening.
The annual summer series of five live, free concerts in Sellwood Riverfront Park, at water’s edge just north of the Sellwood Bridge just off S.E. Spokane Street, continues at 6:30 pm this evening with a performance by Ural Thomas and the Pain, described as “Portland’s Pillar of Soul”, and sponsored by Windermere Moreland Real Estate. Overflow parking available at nearby Oaks Amusement Park. Hands-on activities for kids start at 6:15 pm.

“Heroes: From Robin Hood to your older sister!”
This lively program of interactive stories and songs, 1-1:45 pm this afternoon at the Sellwood Branch Library for kids and families, will inspire audiences to remember heroes who have shaped their own lives. Story Troupers Anne Rutherford and Norm Brecke are master storytellers who perform traditional and modern tales and songs in action-packed, interactive programs. They love to get audiences singing (and acting) along! Free tickets for seating will be available starting at 12:30 pm. The Sellwood Library is on the corner of S.E. 13th and Bidwell Street.

Digital Media Production Camp at Woodstock Library. Led by Emmy-Award winning Writer/Director/Composer Philip Pelletier, starting today and every Tuesday through August 11th, 1 to 2:30 pm each of these days, this digital filmmaking workshop is designed to give teens a complete overview of production for digital media. Each of the five hands-on sessions will focus on a different aspect of digital filmmaking: Screenwriting, shooting digital video, editing and post-production, music production, sound design, and audio mixing. At the end of the series, participants will have a finished digital movie that can be posted online and shared through social media. It’s free, but registration is required; register in the library or by calling 503/988-5234. The Woodstock Branch Library is on the corner of S.E. Woodstock Boulevard and 49th Street.

“Breakfast Forum” examines work systems.
The monthly “Breakfast Forum”, organized and hosted by Reed neighborhood resident Ann B. Clarkson, takes place for July 7:30-8:30 am this morning in the Mt. Tabor Presbyterian Church Library, 5411 S.E. Belmont Street. The subject this month is “Is there a better way to organize work?” and Breakfast Forum will use Richard Wolff’s book “Democracy at Work” as a point of discussion. “The Breakfast Forum is an informal group whose members meet monthly to learn about and discuss political issues in respectful ways.” Free. No registration required.  For information, call 503/774-9621.

Peter Pan puppet show in Sellwood this morning.
“Peter Pan & Tinkerbell Story Time” is the puppet show today at Ping Pong’s Pint Size Puppet Museum in Sellwood, performed at 11 am by the Dragon Theater Princesses. “Their story is about Neverland, pirates, Wendy and the lost boys. Captain Hook is out to stop the boy who never wants to grow up, while Tinker Bell faces losing her best friend! Only their friendship can save their friends – and each other.  A highly interactive show for all ages. Suggested for age 4 on up. Admission $8 per person. Ping Pong’s Pint Size Puppet Museum is at 906 S.E. Umatilla Street in Sellwood; reserve your seat(s) by calling 503/233-7723.


Sellwood summer concert series features jug band music.
The annual summer series of five live, free concerts in Sellwood Riverfront Park, at water’s edge just north of the Sellwood Bridge just off S.E. Spokane Street, continues at 6:30 pm this evening with a performance by Mary Flower and the BBQ Boys, described as “Legendary guitar picker meets Jug Band”, and sponsored by OnPoint Community Credit Union in Sellwood. Overflow parking available at nearby Oaks Amusement Park. Hands-on activities for kids start at 6:15 pm.


Comic Con for Kids at Woodstock Library this afternoon.
4 till 6 pm this afternoon, design your own superhero mask, cuffs and cape in a workshop with Puppetkabob. Meet other super artists, take a snapshot as you soar through a cityscape photo booth, and check out some amazing comic book art. Free, but registration required; register in the library, or by calling 503/988-5234. The Woodstock Branch Library is at the corner of S.E. 49th and Woodstock Boulevard.

Sellwood public memorial event this evening. “The Compassionate Friends” invites the community to an environment-friendly “Floating Flower Memorial” at 7 pm this evening at Johnson Creek Park in Sellwood. TCF (a national organization that supports parents, grandparents, and siblings, after the loss of a child), holds a yearly summer event to remember and honor the lives of those they have lost. Live a-capella music by WITHOUT APOPLOGY. Flowers provided. Bring finger treats to share, and lawn chairs if you like.

Vietnam Memorial Wall replica on display.
In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, a half-size replica of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, DC, will be available for public viewing 24 hours a day from today through Sunday the 26th. The location is the Milwaukie High School Athletic Field. During this event, there will be military and veterans bands performing, as well as special ceremonies and interpretive events. American Legion Post 180, of which there are many members in Inner Southeast Portland, is one of the sponsors for the local appearance of this replica Wall. Donations to help cover the considerable expense of bringing the Wall here are welcomed by Post 180.

Woodstock “Movie in the Park” this evening.
The Woodstock Neighborhood Association joins with Portland Parks and Recreation to present this year’s “Movie in the Park” this evening at dusk – this year, featuring the 1984 family adventure epic, “The NeverEnding Story”. It will be preceded with live music and entertainment, all at no charge, sponsored by neighborhood businesses and individuals.

Watercolor class at Reed – no experience required.
The Crystal Springs Partnership is presenting a Watercolor Workshop in the Reed College Canyon, today from 9 am to 4 pm. The cost for the course is $50. This is a one-day workshop on the use of watercolor painting and pen drawing to record observations of the natural environment. This will be a relaxed workshop environment, and no art experience is required. It will be a day spent focused on the joy of art and enthused observation, while enjoying the natural beauty of Reed Canyon. The workshop will be led by local resident and environmental scientist Heather Brunelle.

Sellwood summer concert series features New Orleans music.
The annual summer series of five live, free concerts in Sellwood Riverfront Park, at water’s edge just north of the Sellwood Bridge just off S.E. Spokane Street, continues at 6:30 pm this evening with a performance by Roseland Hunters, described as “New Orleans funk”, and sponsored by SMILE, the Sellwood-Westmoreland neighborhood association and by Portland Parks and Recreation. Overflow parking available at nearby Oaks Amusement Park. Hands-on activities for kids start at 6:15 pm.


“Amazing Arthropods” twice today at Sellwood Library.
Experience the incredible world of insects, spiders, and their relatives! The “Bug Chicks” are two entomologists who teach about these exciting animals in a fun and interactive way, using preserved specimens and live arthropods. This workshop explores the biology and importance these animals have on us and our environment, while promoting STEM education and encouraging curiosity and respect of the natural world. Free tickets for seating will be available 30 minutes before each of the two programs: Noon till 1 pm, and 1:30 to 2:30 pm, at the Sellwood Branch Library, S.E. 13th at Bidwell Street. Seating is limited, so come early to avoid disappointment.

“Sundae in the Park” noon today at upper Sellwood Park.
For a third of a century, the SMLE neighborhood association for Sellwood and Westmoreland has been presenting its “thank you” celebration for the neighborhood on the first Sunday in August, which this year is today – starting at noon, when the 75-cent ice cream sundaes begin serving, and when the live music and entertainment all afternoon begins. After the ice cream runs out – usually around 5 pm or a little later – the rest of the day is presented by Portland Parks and Recreation, with more live music and entertainment, leading up to a showing starting at dusk of the Oscar-winning movie of 2013, Walt Disney’s “Frozen” – the Sing-a-Long edition – sponsored by the Sellwood-Westmoreland Business Alliance business association. Food will be available all afternoon, so bring a little cash for that and the ice cream. Grab the whole family and spend the day in upper Sellwood Park, on S.E. 7th in Sellwood, just north of the swimming pool!

Final 2015 Sellwood Riverfront Concert this evening.
The annual summer series of five live, free concerts in Sellwood Riverfront Park, at water’s edge just north of the Sellwood Bridge just off S.E. Spokane Street, concludes at 6:30 pm this evening with a performance by Catarina New and the Brazilian Touch”, described as “Saxafriendly Latin Rhythms”, and sponsored by the Sellwood-Westmoreland Business Alliance business association. Overflow parking available at nearby Oaks Amusement Park. Hands-on activities for kids start at 6:15 pm.


     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

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Convert almost any unit of measure to almost any other

Research properties in the City of Portland

Free marketing ideas for businesspeople from a Southeast Portland expert

Local source for high-quality Shaklee nutritionals

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


Local News websites:
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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