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November 2015 -- Vol. 110, No. 3

Memories of THE BEE's first 100 years!
In 2006, THE BEE celebrated its centennial of serving Southeast Portland!  A special four-page retrospective of Inner Southeast Portland's century, written by Eileen Fitzsimons, and drawn from the pages of THE BEE over the previous 100 years, appeared in our September, 2006, issue.
Click here to read this special retrospective!


The next BEE is our Thanksgiving/December
issue, with a deadline of November 12.
(The January issue has an ad and copy deadline of December 3; it's out a week before Christmas.)


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NOW -- subscribe securely, online -- by clicking

But, if you would rather not do it online, you can E-mail or telephone 503/968-6397. The 12-issue annual subscription rate is $14 per year for addresses located in Multnomah County, Oregon; and $24 for anywhere else in the U.S.(it's based on the differential postage rates for our class of postage). For international rates, inquire via that e-mail address just above!

Daily news!  The all-new daily PORTLAND TRIBUNE website  is updated throughout the day, every day, when news breaks out.  Click the banner at left to keep up to date on the banner news throughout the Rose City!

THE BEE has a second website -- it's searchable for past stories.  The content for the current month is similar to this one, presented in a different format.  To visit the other website, click the banner at right!

Fatal fire, Gladstone Street, two dead in fire
On the roof of the Gladstone apartment building, firefighters spray water into the attic to extinguish the fire in the apartment below. (Photo by Dick Harris, PF&R)

Gladstone Street apartment fire takes two lives


A fire in a Creston-Kenilworth apartment, reported at 7:15 a.m. on Wednesday morning, October 7, brought a swift response from firefighters to a one-story apartment building at 3953 S.E. Gladstone Street, a half block east of Cesar Chavez Blvd. (39th).

PF&R Hawthorne Station Engine 9 was first on-scene, soon followed by Woodstock Station Engine 25, and a large number of other fire apparatus from points around the city.

As the first responders pulled up, they reported to the dispatcher seeing flames and smoke pouring out of the back of the apartment building.

“Fire crews immediately began fighting the fire, while also conducting a search, since there were reports of residents possibly still inside,” said PF&R Public Information Officer Ron Rouse. “Shortly after entering the structure, firefighters found two adults, and carried them out to safety.”

It took firefighters about twenty minutes to knock down the blaze, but several crews stayed at the scene for hours, putting out hot spots.

Just after 9 a.m. that morning, a PF&R Fire Investigator arrived at the charred apartment, and quickly located the seat of the fire, in a bedroom.

After the investigation was complete, Rouse released the Investigator’s findings: “A disabled male in his 60’s caught himself on fire while smoking in bed. His male roommate in his 70’s tried to rescue him, and was overcome by the smoke. Both men were transported to area hospitals, where both later died.”

PF&R Chief Erin Janssens released a statement of condolence to the family and friends of the fire victims, whose names have not yet been made public.

“I am thankful for the passerby that stopped and notified all of the residents in the apartment complex to evacuate, and for the quick actions of our firefighters to stop the fire from spreading to the rest of building,” Janssens added.

The Red Cross Cascades Division volunteers assisted one resident and four pets who lived in the apartment next to the fire unit.

“Smoking is the leading cause of preventable home fire deaths. About one out of four fire deaths are caused by smoking materials,” Rouse advised. “Put out all cigarettes, cigars, or pipes before you leave the room, and never smoke in bed.”

Sunday Parkways, Sellwood, Westmoreland, Brooklyn
Many Inner Southeast streets were closed to motor vehicle traffic for five hours on September 27, to permit the first-ever Inner Southeast “Sunday Parkways”. ( Photo by David F. Ashton)

“Sunday Parkways” south of Powell for first time

|for THE BEE

“Sunday Parkways” concluded its series of five free community sojourns this year with an eight-mile route into Southeast Portland allowing folks to explore many of the pathways, sidewalks, ramps, bridges, and crosswalks that have been designed to make it easy to get from the neighborhoods of Sellwood, Westmoreland, and Brooklyn, north to the new Tilikum Crossing transit bridge.

The Sunday, September 27th, Parkways proved to be a big success – drawing the largest crowd of bicyclists and pedestrians of any Parkways since the program was begun by the City of Portland.

“When the Sunday Parkways team got the go-ahead from our partners at TriMet that we would to include the Tilikum Crossing bridge in our September event, we looked at the map to determine what routes would show off some of the best of the neighborhoods, and highlight the great destinations that people can bike and walk to every day,” said City of Portland Bureau of Transportation Active Transportation Division Programs Manager Linda Ginenthal.

Motorized vehicles were banned on dedicated streets for five midday hours, making Sunday chores difficult for some neighbors when they found they couldn’t drive the typical routes in their neighborhoods.

But, the some of the estimated 28,000 participants in the event who stopped by, or rolled past, Sellwood Park appeared to be gleeful that they had many streets to themselves as they walked, biked, and rolled their way around the Inner Southeast using what officials call “active transportation”.

Looking for a good spot to host an “activity zone and marketplace”, Ginenthal said considered Sellwood Park to be a “terrific match. The park is beautiful with amazing views. It also reduced the amount of traffic control that was needed, as it only has intersections (for the most part) on one side of street.”

Asked why Everett Custom Homes’ booth was not evident at the Sellwood Park marketplace, Ginenthal responded, “Everett Custom Homes is a season-wide Sunday Parkways supporting sponsor. They have been at all the events with their bike decorating stations and talking with people. I got a call from them a week or so before the Parkways. They had double-booked themselves for another event that day, so couldn’t attend.”

The September finale of this year’s Parkways was a marked success, Ginenthal said. “Some of our food vendors, not anticipating the huge numbers of participants, ran out of food. We had lots of participation from community organizations at this park, and [at the] Sellwood-Moreland Library, and at the Community Music Center.” Also drawing a big crowd was the “Salmon Celebration” at Westmoreland Park (see separate story).

For hours the bike traffic was so heavy that some residents had problems simply crossing the affected streets; but at about 4 p.m. that afternoon, the Sunday Parkways wound down, and the affected streets again opened to all transportation users. With the huge crowd drawn by the route south of Powell, don’t be surprised if the City of Portland tries it again – perhaps as early as next summer.

Salmon Celebration, Westmoreland Park
A youngster gets a quick lesson on the salmon life cycle, at the Westmoreland Park Salmon Celebration. (Photo by Rita A. Leonard)

“Sunday Parkways” leads visitors to Westmoreland Park celebration


The first-ever extension of the Portland “Sunday Parkways” into the neighborhoods south of Powell Boulevard drew the largest number of participants ever, on Sunday, September 27. The route included the Brooklyn, Westmoreland, and Sellwood areas.

Many of the hordes of bicyclists and pedestrians passing through that afternoon stopped at the second annual “Salmon Celebration” at Westmoreland Park – a multicultural affair celebrating the restoration of Crystal Springs Creek as an urban pathway for spawning wild salmon.

The festival, which also commemorated the second anniversary of the completion of the Westmoreland Park reopening after reconstruction at its north end, was free to the public, and included a Native American blessing, salmon bake demonstration, games, crafts, story-telling with Ed Edmo, inter-tribal activities, and outdoor skills presented by Trackers Earth NW.

Dignitaries participating in the festival included members of the Crystal Springs Partnership (CSP), Portland Parks & Recreation, and Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services. The day was partly organized by SMILE’s S.N.A.C. committee as well. Portland Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz said, “I hope the re-establishment of salmon back into the center of our city gives kids and parents alike a renewed appreciation for the natural world around us.”

The celebration of nature and community introduced visitors to such things as a Native American tea made from cedar, rose hips, and Douglas fir; and tastes of baked salmon, lamprey, and fish head stew.

A craft activity provided by the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians of the Northwest demonstrated bracelets symbolizing the salmon life cycle. Chippewa Indian Bryan Hemkin handed out Salmon Activity books from the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, while Klamath Tribes Indian Savahna Jackson explained how to make acorn flour, and weave with braided cattails and red cedar bark.

Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services Commissioner Nick Fish pointed out, “Crystal Springs Creek has brought nature back to the city. The stream restoration project, in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, was a key part of our responsibility to recover endangered salmon and trout species.”

The festival focused on humans’ connection to natural systems and a healthy environment. Intercultural learning touched on the history and experiences of Native Americans, and invited participation in the stewardship of the creek through participation in the Crystal Springs Partnership, online at:  

The CSP used local knowledge and agency expertise to develop a national model for stewardship and restoration of urban watersheds, focusing on community collaboration, education, and advocacy. Mary Ann Schmidt, CSP Co-Chair, remarked on the day as a unique opportunity to share the restored urban creek and the return of wild salmon along with the thousands of bicyclists from the Tilikum Crossing Sunday Parkways event. While passing out volunteer T-shirts, she reflected, “Through this festival, we continue our outreach to the community, and provide fun, educational activities for all.”

Franklin High School, demolition
The demolition claw of an excavator removes a thick iron pipe from the Franklin High Boiler Building. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Franklin High demolition done; rebuilding begins

for THE BEE  

After more than two years of community input and design planning, changes at the “original” Franklin High School are well underway.

“Right after school let out this spring, work began,” said Portland Public Schools Bond Projects Communications Manager David Mayne, as he toured the site with THE BEE.

The demolition excavators held back for a week or so while teachers moved their materials and supplies over to the Marshall Campus, where the students are this year,” Mayne said. “Then, soon after, the contractors started putting up construction fences, and began demolition.”

By mid-October, it was clear to see that most of the major work of clearing the school buildings had been completed. “The old gymnasium is gone, and new plumbing has already been put in the ground for the new classroom that will take its place,” Mayne pointed out.

“On the south side of the school, the area that people would commonly think of as the main entrance, the old classroom building on the southwest side has been removed, and the area has been excavated, ready to begin foundation work for the new Performing Arts Center,” Mayne said.

And, during the tour, workers were in the final stages of dismantling equipment in the school’s Boiler Building. “Built in 1915, this was one of the original structures on the campus,” remarked Mayne. “Over the years the boiler went from burning coal, to oil, to diesel fuel, and finally to natural gas. The original tall smokestack was removed quite some time ago.”

Walking behind the school, he showed how the footprint of the sports field, between the main building and S.E. Division Street, is being transformed, and is being reoriented 90°. “They’re beginning to put up the retaining walls for the sports field, and the north side of the gymnasium foundation is being poured,” Mayne commented.

A cursory glance at the site from outside the construction fences may make it appear as if little work has yet taken place. But up close, it’s clear the project is moving smartly along.

“The schedule is looking great,” Mayne commented. “We are definitely on time and on budget here at Franklin. There is a lot of progress being made here.”

Tofu theft, Safeway, Creston Kenilworth
Police located this delivery truck just hours after it was stolen – but it was found empty. All that tofu was gone. (Courtesy of Portland Police Bureau)

Tofu truck stolen in Creston-Kenilworth; contents missing


It’s still unclear if the R & K Foods delivery drive only left the key in the ignition, or actually left the truck running, while he delivered to the loading dock of the Creston-Kenilworth Safeway store. The truck was full of tofu and organic beverages.

“At 9:22 a.m., on Tuesday, October 6th, Portland Police Bureau (PPB) East Precinct officers responded to the Safeway store, located at 3930 S.E. Powell Boulevard,” said PPB Public Information Officer Sgt. Pete Simpson.

“The driver told police that he was in the store for approximately twenty minutes,” Simpson said. “When he came out, his truck was missing.”

The box delivery truck, registered in Washington, disappeared for four hours – until the empty truck turned up at S.E. 85th Avenue and Lafayette Street, just north of Eastport Plaza. But it was empty.

“A resident called in the report an abandoned box truck on the street at 1:15 p.m. this afternoon,” Simpson confirmed.

“Officers confirmed it was the truck stolen from the Safeway store,” Simpson said. “The contents of the truck, tofu and organic drinks, had been removed and are currently missing. The witness reported seeing a white male and a white female leaving the truck.”

Somebody has a whole lot of tofu on their hands. Do you know where the stolen food went? If so, contact the Police Non-Emergency Line at 503/823-3333, reference case number 15-347035.

Sellwood Bridge, rebar
Looking west from the center of the new Sellwood Bridge, we see that the rebar is all in place, ready for the concrete decking pours to take place in sections, starting at the west end. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

New Sellwood Bridge: Ready for concrete decking


With its tens of thousands of bolts now all in place, and after acres of rebar were installed, crews are now starting to pour the concrete deck surface on the new Sellwood Bridge.

When we strolled on top of a vast expanse of honeycombed rebar in mid-October accompanied by Mike Pullen – the project’s spokesman – workers were carefully checking for construction debris, and pulling out any they found with grippers or magnets. After that cleanup was finished, the pour would begin.

The first decking concrete pour was slated to take place just as the November BEE was going to press. Pullen explained, “They’ll be starting on the west end of the bridge.”

To assure even weight-loading on the new structure, they won’t be pouring a continuous ribbon of concrete all the way across the bridge, Pullen remarked. “It will be poured in sections. There will be at least one deck-pour each week through early January, depending on the weather.”

Pouring the deck is a major milestone in the project, Pullen pointed out, “Because we’re shooting to get the bridge opened to traffic in late March of 2016, just five months away.”

Then, as we descended to the work bridge below, more of the bridge piers in the center of the river were visible; crews had removed the steel sheets and piles around the two cofferdams. “It’s another sign of progress,” Pullen smiled.

Although other media outlets have focused on that fact that the project is going “over budget”, this is hardly news – BEE readers have been made aware all along that there has been expected and normal upward pressure on the total, since the project’s original 2012 price tag of $307.5 million was announced.

“Late last year, we hit that amount, and forecast that the project would come in about 3% more than the original budget estimate – about $317.5 million – due to unexpected site-related issues,” Pullen confirmed. “The project’s budget is currently just below the estimated increase.”

Oregon Music Hall of Fame, Storm Large, Brooklyn neighborhood
OMHOF President Terry Currier presented Storm Large the Oregon Music Hall of Fame’s “Artist of the Year” award. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

In Brooklyn: Oregon music awards taken by “Storm”


The ninth annual edition of the combination concert, awards ceremony, and fundraiser benefitting music education in Oregon, again rocked Brooklyn’s Aladdin Theater on the evening of October 10.

The Oregon Music Hall of Fame (OMHOF) program started at 7 p.m., with supper club owner and entertainer Tony Starlight again serving as Master of Ceremonies – and the evening kept on rolling until 11:30 p.m.

“To be eligible for the Hall of Fame, an artist must have been born in Oregon and worked professionally in the music industry for at least 20 years – or have worked professionally in the music industry for 20 years after moving to Oregon,” explained OMHOF Co-Founder and Education Chair Janeen Rundle.

“This year, we’re honoring nine Oregonians who significantly influenced the world of music, from here in Oregon,” Rundle added.

The Album of the Year award winner were The Delines, for their album “Colfax”. After being presented their trophy, The Delines elegantly performed in their “Country Soul” style, clearly delighting the sold-out crowd with their three-number set.

Oregon Music Hall Of Fame, Janeen Rundle, Aladdin Theater, Southeast Portland Rotary
Oregon Music Hall of Fame Co-Founder and Education Chair Janeen Rundle held up the “Big Check” – representing the $168,000 that the organization has directed to music education in Oregon. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Also inducted in categories such as “sidemen”, performers and bands were Dave Caaptein, John Chassaing, Brian Foxworth, Bill Rhodes, Ellen Whyte, Jerry Joseph, “Heatmieser”, Marc Baker and “Neo Boys”.

Before intermission, the OMHOF Artist of the Year, Storm Large, was inducted for her nationally-recognized musical talents – both as a solo artist, and as a member of Pink Martini. She recently released a new album, “Le Bonheur”, named after her band.

Although she started her career in the San Francisco area, Large and her band rocked the theater. Large brought audience members to their feet cheering her bigger-than-life performance of “Call me Crazy”, among other songs.

Then 15 guitars, autographed by such music stars such as The B-52’s, the Doobie Brothers, and Emmylou Harris were auctioned off, raising funds to support the Oregon Music Hall of Fame’s “Music in the Schools” educational programs.

During the funds appeal, Rundle told the audience, “Southeast Portland Rotary believes in music education, and supports our work. And they paid for the banner that you see here tonight, which is used in all of our schools and educational performances.” Rundle is a member of the club.

The musical act closing the show constituted a special tribute to the late Jack Ely of The Kingsmen – the informal group was called “The Kingsmen and Friends”. The set, and the evening, ended with all musicians returning to the Aladdin stage for a jam session based on the international hit record from 1963, recorded in Downtown Portland, “Louie Louie”.

To support the Hall of Fame’s music education effort, or to learn more about the organization, visit their website:

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