From The Editor

Demolition and development in Inner Southeast
Woodstock rotting house, Mollie Frey
This rotting house at S.E. 49th and Mitchell in Woodstock, has long had a hole or two in its roof – and only now has just been demolished after years of pressure by residents to bring it about. (Photo courtesy of Mollie Frey)

For quite some time there has been outrage voiced to THE BEE about demolition of existing homes – to build either larger homes, or more homes, on various Southeast properties.

Much, but not all, of this has come from Eastmoreland. But such development is occurring in all Inner Southeast neighborhoods to a lesser or greater extent – the result of the currently red-hot real estate market here.

But not all the outrage has been about developer demolitions. Some has been about the failure of developers to demolish!

Last month on page 2 we offered a photo of a long closed-up home, purchased to be demolished and replaced with a three-story apartment house, on the northeast corner of S.E. Insley and 18th. The nearby neighbors had been bedeviled by squatting on the deteriorating property for over a year, and they had been nagging the developer fruitlessly to proceed with demolition.

When that did not seem to work, they tried to apply pressure on him through the city, and also through the crime prevention expert at the Portland Office of Neighborhood Involvement (ONI). Evidently it finally worked, and after a week in which the Portland Fire Department was allowed to chop holes in the roof to practice “fire ventilation”, the house and garage came down and the property was cleared for the new development.

That was in Westmoreland. We have long heard from neighbors about a certain decaying property in Woodstock, which had apparently been occupied by its owner even after the roof began to fall in; our correspondent, who wishes to remain anonymous, commented to us at the end of July on “how difficult it has been to get rid of this terrible nuisance property. This kind of neglect causes rats and all kinds of problems. From what neighbors said, the homeless would not even go near the place, it was so bad!

“Many in the neighborhood have complained to several city/county services with absolutely no satisfaction. How did demolition finally happen?”

We do not yet have the answer to that question, but the offensive structure, at S.E. 49th and Mitchell in Woodstock, has finally been removed; we have received from our correspondent a couple of photos taken by its neighbor Mollie Frey showing what it looked like before – with a large hole in the roof, and inadequate blocking of an open entrance.

So, both points of view – “no demolitions!” vs. “please can we have a speedy demolition?” – in the end come back to the city and its policies.

When dealing with property owners, of course the city has to balance property rights and the established rules concerning property development with attempting to address quality of life. In the end, property rights are pretty well established in law, and it is understandable that builders would want to offer homes that sell at a high price. Furthermore, for its part, the city is on record as wanting to encourage more residential density.

We must comment that not all the new homes, even if they are larger than the old, are bad. On THE BEE’s street in Westmoreland there is a recently-built home, which replaced a small and undistinguished house. It is the largest on the block – and yet, by harmonizing with the design of other houses on the block, fits in perfectly.

Nearby are two two-story houses built where one single-story house had been, and they both fit in nicely also. And really, it should be in a builder’s interest to construct something that “fits in”, since doing so should draw a higher price.

In any event, as long as builders follow the rules of the city and the law, they are able to build what they want. Currently in the north end of Westmoreland, the city wants to “downzone” properties that had been upzoned to high density two decades ago – in response to a request from TriMet – because of the originally-planned MAX station near Harold Street, which has not been built.

But that change in zoning will take quite a while to work its way through to becoming effective, and until then developers can legally build to the current high-density zoning, which is resulting in new three-story apartment houses on individual residential lots, which will remain as non-conforming uses after the zoning has changed.

One of these is now nearing completion on the northeast corner of Milwaukie Avenue at S.E. Harold Street. Another will begin construction soon almost across the street from it, next to an older two-story apartment house; a third will be built at S.E. 18th and Insley, as mentioned above – and a fourth is planned for S.E. 20th just south of Reedway Street.

Plans announced over a year ago for a three-story, six-unit condominium on a residential lot on Harold Street a short distance east of 20th on the north side of the street seem to be in a puzzling limbo; for over half a year the empty house on the lot had a demolition notice posted prominently on the front door, but now the notice is long gone, and the house and yard continue to deteriorate. 

Directly across the street from that, however, two homes are to be built on a lot now occupied by a single story house. Additionally, a small house on S.E. 22nd between Ellis and Reedway was demolished at the end of July to make way for new construction. The hot real estate market continues to have an impact.

But there has been another concern we have not mentioned yet, which seems to have risen quite high as an issue of neighborhood discontent. In a recent survey taken by SMILE, the Sellwood-Westmoreland neighborhood association, it emerged as one of the top issues for residents in both halves of that neighborhood: The development of apartment houses with no space allowed for tenant parking.

This has already proven to be a critical problem around the three-story apartment house recently constructed on S.E. Tacoma Street, just east of 17th, in Sellwood. (That’s the one with the fake windows on the west side of the building.) The city does not require parking be provided; so developers are covering their property with apartments, and letting their renters who drive just park somewhere nearby on the street.

For this particular property, there is no street parking allowed on the north side of Tacoma at all – not even a loading zone is provided for those moving in and out! Tenants have to park at 7-Eleven next door to do that.

The city officially seems to believe that those renting in such places will not have cars, and in any event nobody should have cars, so there is no need to provide for tenant parking.

But look around. Car dealers are still doing a brisk business; new paper plates are visible in the rear windows of new cars around Inner Southeast; and for two or three blocks north of Tacoma Street and east of 17th residents are now finding curb parking dominated by the auto-owning tenants of that one particular apartment house.

The same problem will occur around the three-story apartment house coming to the northeast corner of 13th and Spokane, as well as with all those apartment houses coming to the north end of Westmoreland.

At some point, we hope that reason and reality will return to City Hall, and the City Commissioners will come to terms with the idea that many of their constituents still do own cars, and it is necessary for new apartment houses to provide some parking for their tenants. There is no excuse for the city being an accomplice in the creation of parking problems for homeowners in Inner Southeast neighborhoods!

However, we must conclude these thoughts with a tip of the hat to the Eastmoreland developer who constructed a three-story apartment house at the west end of the Tacoma/Tenino overpass at McLoughlin – and provided a substantial amount of tenant parking there, even though he didn’t have to!

Sometimes developers do the right thing, even if the city does not require it.

Letters to the Editor

Elderly pedestrian slammed into, by cyclist on trail


This is a letter written to the woman who ran into/over my father on the Oaks Bottom Trail Sunday, August 2nd. It is my hope that sharing what happened may increase the care that cyclists and pedestrians use, when sharing the same byways…

Dear Sunday Morning Cyclist, I know the Oaks Bottom Trail has an appealing downhill stretch of asphalt. I also know that you are required by an unenforced law to notify pedestrians of your intent to pass. How you could have possibly missed my six foot Dad (who is 74) is beyond me. So you crashed your bike into my Dad and left him bleeding, and in need of assistance.

My Dad is hard of hearing. And has had a stroke previously, but hikes the Oaks Bottom Trail almost daily. He did not hear your bell, and had no idea that you were coming at him until you slammed him to the ground.

He said that you insistently declared that you had rung your bell. People like you make me so mad! He said he was momentarily unconscious, and when he sat up, his nose was bleeding out of both nostrils, his lower lip and chin were significantly scraped, his leg had a giant patch of road rash – and his glasses had been knocked off.

He says he doesn’t really remember what you look like, but that you were an older woman. And you hung out for a few minutes and then LEFT without providing your contact information. You left, and two women who had nothing to do with the incident cleaned up my Dad and made sure he was OK enough to head home.

I just can't believe someone could be so stupid, and then so selfish to essentially “hit and run” a senior citizen. A Grandpa to my 9 year old. A former Professor at the University of Portland and Marylhurst.

Shame on you Cyclist. That trail is walked and run by many people every day. You were reckless, and should have done a better job of being a human.

Shannon Page
via e-mail

Save the sequoias


I live 1-1/2 miles from the three giant sequoias on S.E. Martins Street, but I visit them twice a week as part of my walking route. Gazing upward at their green magnificence inspires the prayer “long may you live”. Our city is working against itself by encouraging us to plant young trees in our yards and parking strips – but allowing mature heritage trees to be cut down.

We, who care about our environment, need to contact local organizations like the Audubon Society, the Nature Conservancy, the science departments of local schools, garden clubs, etc., to join the effort to save these trees.

Local schoolchildren could send “save our trees” cards to our city and the developer. Adults could give money in honor of deceased loved ones, making these trees a beautiful memorial to life. These trees are silent sentinels to the history of Portland long before any of us were born. This grandma hopes and prays they can continue to live for generations to come.

Annie L. Lind
S.E. Nehalem Street

Eastmoreland sequoias may not be 150 years old


I am writing in response to the debate about the giant sequoias on S.E. Martins Street. I wanted to point out that the age estimate of 150 years is probably not correct. I walk by this site often, and if a person looks at the layout of the former house (built in 1922, and now demolished), the easternmost edge of the former foundation is directly against the side of one of the trees. My grandparents live in Tigard, and when their house was built in the 1950’s, they planted a sequoia on their property. That tree is huge, and at only 60 some years old, is comparable in size to the ones in jeopardy in Eastmoreland. I have a hard time believing that in 1922, when the trees are estimated to have been over 50 years old, and also taller than any house around, that any builder would have poured a foundation so close the edge of the tree. Not only that, but you would have had to cut a large portion of the tree’s root system to make room for the foundation. My guess is that the trees were planted after 1922, and maybe not until the ’40's or ’50's.

Rosalie Wampler
via e-mail

EDITOR’S NOTE: We wondered about that too, since these trees would have had to be planted in a row next to each other randomly in a meadow or forest where Eastmoreland is now, shortly after the Civil War, for their reported age to be correct. Who would have done that then, and why…? Your reasoning seems credible.


Welcome to MAX on September 12!


Pretty soon, we will be celebrating the opening, much less using, the Orange Line, the latest addition to the Portland area's light rail transportation network. That it was built at all is a testament to the hard work and advocacy of citizens in Southeast Portland and Milwaukie, as much as any other single factor.

In 1998, the proposal was to build a light rail line from Clackamas Town Center through Milwaukie and Southeast Portland to North Portland, to begin operation in 2004. A property tax measure to pay for bonds supporting construction was defeated, however. Afterwards, regional officials were prepared to abandon this light rail line altogether, but residents of the Brooklyn, Reed, Eastmoreland, and Sellwood-Moreland neighborhoods were unprepared to accept that result. Along with the help of business partners like Fred Meyer, they pressed the case to Tri-Met and Metro for light rail in this corridor.

These citizens initiated the conversation with residents of Milwaukie to find out what was thought to be fundamental opposition to light rail was instead concerns about issues that were not addressed by planners. The issues were met. Local officials realized they had the support. They came up with the financing plan and got it built. More than a decade later, we get to ride the Orange Line thanks to the dedication of this unheralded work by your neighbors. 

Kevin Downing


Dog lovers causing problems at Sellwood Middle School


We are writing to communicate our concerns about off-leash pets at Sellwood Middle School. As much as we love animals, we would like to convey that our [athletic] field is not a dog park, yet it is being used daily as such.

There are signs posted in every corner explaining the “Leash Pets/Scoop Poop” law, yet they are usually disregarded by visiting pet owners. We have tried talking with owners politely and this has not gone well.

Even with security personnel coming out, owners continue to allow their dogs off leash. Each day we deal with dog waste, dog fur from grooming, and sticks and balls left over from pet owners. Our students are constantly stepping in animal waste, tripping on balls and throw-sticks – and this summer our custodians have even been met with attacking dogs not on leash as the law demands.

Our school is very important to us, as is the safety of our students and staff. This law (violation of which can carry a $150 fine) allows dogs during off-school hours – but only as long as they are leashed.

There is a dog park within blocks of our school, and we would encourage pet owners to go there to run their dogs instead of our school grounds. Again, we all love pets and would deeply appreciate the neighborhood support. The web site to visit for more information on this is: Thank you. 

Brian Anderson, Principal
Sellwood Middle School

Taking a right from McLoughlin onto 17th


There appears to be some confusion how to treat a new traffic light. The new Right Hand arrow on Southbound McLoughlin at 17th. Can this light be treated as a stop sign? Meaning, can I make my turn after stopping when the [arrow] light is red. Or is it to be treated as a true right hand turn light?

I treat it as a stop [sign], but I have waited in line while the driver ahead of me waits for the green light. I have written to the city’s Bureau of Transportation and State without a response.

Jon Anderson
S.E. 17th Avenue

EDITOR’S RESPONSE: We did an editorial on this subject a while back. Oregon law is contradictory on that point. I suggested as a solution that a red arrow be treated as a stop light, and a flashing red arrow be treated as a stop sign. By adding the word “flashing” to the statute that permits the turn, the contradiction in Oregon law would be erased, and driving would become safer: Nobody has to explain to anyone what a flashing red light means.

In the case of that particular new red arrow light in both directions at 17th, the need for such a stop there is evident, since the red arrow is keyed to the green pedestrian light across 17th (and, northbound, to the possible presence of a MAX train in the intersection). Usually when the red arrow eventually turns green (after the pedestrian light turns red), it stays green for turns for a time after the southbound McLoughlin traffic goes red (since a right turn from McLoughlin is safe when the 17th Avenue traffic gets its left turn light).

Recently, our spouse was stopped there for the red arrow – and somebody behind roared out into the next traffic lane, pulled around, and sped right onto 17th southbound without any pause or stop – which would have nailed any pedestrian in the crosswalk, and was completely illegal in any event.

Remember – there is NO obligation to turn right on any red light if you don’t want to. It is a privilege, and one frequently abused – and NOT an obligation!


The Vaux’s Swifts are coming to a chimney near you


I work for Portland Audubon as a bird surveyor, and we are soon to begin our annual monitoring of the amazing Vaux’s Swifts. Each September, thousands of Vaux's Swifts begin their long migratory journey to southern Central America and parts of Venezuela. Audubon Society of Portland has been monitoring Vaux’s Swift roost sites in chimneys for a number of years, part of a larger effort to track swift population trends up and down the west coast. Vaux’s Swifts typically nest and roost in old growth forests in hollow tree “snags” (i.e. dead trees).

Because of dwindling old-growth forest stands, Vaux’s Swifts have begun substituting chimneys for snags. The largest roost in Portland is at Chapman Elementary School in Northwest Portland, which can attract over 10,000 birds in a single night. A number of smaller roosts occur all over the metro area. Many of these roost sites are persistent: swifts will often return to the same chimney year after year as long as conditions are favorable. But when a chimney is demolished or capped, the birds need to find an alternate. We’d love BEE readers’ help in locating larger roost sites: If you notice a large congregation of swifts in your neighborhood, please contact Joe Liebezeit at Audubon Society of Portland at 971/222-6121! We'll add the site to our database, and if the population is large enough, we’ll include it in our monitoring regime. And if you are lucky enough to draw the birds into your own chimney this season, please consider hosting the birds for the season.

This means delaying starting a fire in your fireplace, or having your chimney swept, until after the birds have left the area – usually by around the 1st of October. Visit online: – for more information on living with Vaux’s Swifts.

Candace Larson
via e-mail

A bigot in Westmoreland…?


My son and his fiancée have been visiting me for a few days at my home across the street from Westmoreland Park. This morning [August 17] they found a note on their car windshield, which read: “Please go home, you're changing our city – Portland”. I was aghast and ashamed that someone in my neighborhood would express such a sentiment, anonymously, to someone they have never met. My son’s car has California license plates, which I suppose is what aggravated the note writer. (He, by the way, is a native Portlander.)

Of course Portland is changing! Change is part of living! There are ways to express our opinions about how that change should be directed. Excluding people is not the solution.

Kathy Parker

Eastmoreland: Another one bites the dust?


The demolition delay period has ended for the beautiful older home at 3030 S.E. Rex Street in Eastmoreland. In spite of significant efforts by the neighbors, the developers would not even set a price to avoid the demolition of the home.

Portland’s quality of life has suffered recently from a shift in city policies away from trees and livability towards a development-at-any-cost philosophy. A new city ordinance allows neighbors to petition for a sixty day delay in order to buy threatened homes from development. BUT, the law does not require that a price be set! This is the first case where demolition will occur with the developer refusing to even accept a substantial payment to avoid destroying homes with historical merit.

At the hearing two months ago, a panel of lawyers, architects, and historians argued persuasively for the chance to save this 1920s home on a gently sloping lawn. One major issue has been Portland's departure from protection of the urban tree canopy. The new development will eliminate much of the lawn and the trees to build two tract homes.

A second important issue is that the older owners of the property had responded to a cash sale mailing. The sale was below market price, and while the promise was made to preserve the structure and the trees, it was not [made] in writing. Such deceptive practices are common in the area – apparently directed mainly at older homeowners who may not understand property values or their legal rights.

Robert McCullough. President
Eastmoreland Neighborhood Association


More from “burgled while home” writer


I would like to respond to your reply to my letter regarding our recent burglary. I should have mentioned that we have lived in our home for two years. In that time, not only have I had my purse stolen while we were home [the subject of the previous letter], but we have had our bikes taken from our back porch, a drunk man passed out in that same area, and our cars have been broken into countless times. If it were just one incident, I am not sure I would be quite so alarmed.

Sarah Waldron

Thefts from cars also a problem


I'm sure this is not new news to anyone in the community, especially after the home robbery at S.E. 19th and Harney mentioned in the last BEE, but I thought I would make people aware of a few car burglaries that have happened in the area of S.E. 26th and Holgate in the last month.

A couple weeks back, a neighbor in our six-plex knocked on our door and said her car had been rifled through, though nothing was taken (including an iPod). We were especially careful after this to make sure our car doors were locked, but unfortunately, on the night of Sunday, August 2nd, my partner accidentally left my driver side door unlocked with all our camping gear in it. We live at the Home Court Apartments with off-street parking on the northeast corner of 26th and Holgate.

The next morning on the way to work, my partner found random bits of our camping gear strewn northbound on 26th. What he didn’t find was his new, fairly expensive North Face backpack. In an interesting turn of events, his co-worker at Fred Meyer HQ on S.E. 22nd overheard my partner talking about the camping gear missing and mentioned he saw a post about a found North Face backpack on the Portland Reddit homepage. We tracked it down and met up with the lovely lady that rescued the backpack. She mentioned she found the pack on S.E. 24th just south of Gladstone, minutes from our apartment. We walked the most likely route and found all his dirty camping clothes on the curb where the backpack was found. A young woman ran up to us and asked if we were the ones with the orange backpack--we were. She said her car window was left down a crack and someone rolled it down and grabbed her school bag full of text books, but she wasn't able to find anything nearby.

The weirdest part about all of this is we were able to recover everything – including a tent, air mattress and pump, clothes, backpack, water bladder, water bottle, a couple beers, and a handle of vodka, the last two being the oddest of all. Perhaps the person was looking for cash for drugs, but why would they also ditch a half handle of HRD vodka or a couple beers? In light of that, we wondered if it could have been a kid burglarizing for fun. Either way, it's just a strong reminder that we must all remain diligent about locking our car doors and rolling up our windows.

Special thanks to the woman who found our backpack, posted it online, and kept it safe!

Caitlin Smythe
via e-mail

Thank you’s to all – from “Sundae in the Park”


Does this neighborhood know how to throw a party or what? Once again, "Sundae In The Park," organized by SMILE, as a neighborhood celebration, was a fantastic success! It couldn't have been, though, without a "cast of thousands!"

Musical entertainment arranged by Dana Beck, featured "Horsenecks", "Blow Frogs", and "The Noted", and was complimented by the high-energy shenanigans of "Frogtown". NWAVP provided the sound system.

Kim's Tae Kwon Do offered a demonstration of their students' impressive martial arts skills. "Giggles the Clown" fashioned balloon animals for the kids, while the Meyer Boys & Girls Club staff painted their faces.

Other activities were provided by area nonprofits – such as Sellwood Community Center, Christ Church-Sellwood, Concorde College Nursing Students, Multnomah County Library, Beth Whiting (Butterfly & Bird Lady), Violet Garden Waldorf Preschool, Oregon Psychological Assn., American Red Cross, Multnomah County Emergency Mgmt., the SMILE History Committee, and the SMILE S.N.A.C. Committee.

Non-dessert foods & drinks were sold by the Meals on Wheels People (MOW) and Westmoreland Papa Murphy’s Pizza, as well as DeMolay.

The Southeast Portland Rotary Club, assisted by FIRST Robotics Team 1430, worked on their upper arm strength by scooping over 1,500 ice cream sundaes!

We added a "Cupcake & Coupon Walk" that was fun for kids and adults. This year's day-long raffle was "Big, Big, Big!" with four categories, including one for "Dogs and Cats." These events, and an all-comers Bingo, were only possible thanks to 22 local businesses that generously donated gift cards and prizes given out throughout the day.

If you have a chance, when you shop, please take the time to thank these businesses for their support: Cloud Cap Games, Sellwood Flower Co, Wells & Verne, Real Deals Home Decor, Bellagio’s Pizza, Reverend’s BBQ, A Cena, Unique Antique, Oodles 4 Kids, Pretty Paws and Claws Cat and Dog Grooming, Feel Good Feet – Portland’s Foot Spa, New Seasons Market, Tilde, Powell Veterinary Clinic, Wallace Books, Sock Dreams, Blue Kangaroo Coffee Roasters, Mike’s Drive-In, Laurelwood Brewing Co, Sellwood Pet Supply, Shesurpent Ceramics, & Z-More Beauty.

Most of the proceeds from Sundae in the Park are donated to the Meals on Wheels People (MOW) senior food program. Sponsors for the MOW food booth included Sky Heating & Cooling, Zowie Production & the Zowie Couch Live, Elayne & Karl, Pacific Food Distributors, Childers Meat, Inc., Duck Delivery, and Portland Customs.

The following individuals volunteered their time and energy to staffing the MOW food booth: Chuck King, Steve & Cathy Eckberg, Sallie Lorenz, Janeen Rundle, Elayne & Karl, Jan Hainley, Fran Shaw, Gus Straub, Mary Rose Navarro, Ethan Livermore, Jordan Livermore, Jeff Livermore, Jim Michenor, and New Seasons’ Emily Pinkstaff & Marah Anderson. Other vendors included Ken Purcell from Papa Murphy’s Pizza, and DeMolay.

The unsung heroes of these large events are the organizers, the set-up and the clean-up crews! For 37 summers, volunteers and agencies have worked & coordinated to put this event together!Tons of thanks go out to Pam Orser for Permits, Gray Whelan for Graphics, Eileen Fitzsimons & LynAnn Beck at the History table, Nanci Champlin (Board member) & PDX Recycling, and neighborhood volunteers, for their help with recycling. Kudos also to Heiberg Garbage & Recycling, Portland Parks & the Sellwood Park crew & supervisor, Betsy Redfearn, and Adsideo church for the morning setup.

The following individuals stepped up and helped with set-up, raffle, bingo, and cleanup: Kathy Aune and her grand-daughter Alyssa, and Sara Christensen, Corinne Stefanick (SMILE President), Kate Loggan, Kelli Fritsche, Gary Stalick, our local Papa Murphy’s store staff with flyer distribution, and the staff at QFC who so willingly store the extra ice cream for the weekend!

The Sellwood Westmoreland Business Alliance (SWBA) sponsored the Movie in the Park following the daytime events, and the movie, "Frozen, the Sing-A-Long version", drew over 1,000 people to Sellwood Park at dusk. It was an exciting and fun-filled day!

Sundae in the Park was organized by SMILE’s Committee: Nancy Walsh, Eric Norberg, Dana Beck, Gail Hoffnagle, and Colette Livermore. If you would like to participate in next year’s event as entertainment, a nonprofit group, church, social service agency or school, or even just as a neighborhood volunteer helping it happen from behind the scenes, please contact a committee member. Online: If we have forgotten to list someone, please accept our apologies!

Nancy Walsh
Chair, SMILE Sundae in the Park Committe
Board member, Sellwood Moreland Improvement League (SMILE)

“Village” services to Inner Southeast seniors begin


“Eastside Village PDX”, which began development in the summer of 2012, will begin delivering services to members on September 30, 2015. “Villages” are neighbors helping neighbors: They are networks of support and reduced-cost professional services, developed by neighborhood residents in order to make it possible for older adults and people with chronic illness & disabilities to remain in their own homes for as long as they choose.

Eastside Village is a community-based volunteer organization operating as a program of Villages NW, a 501c3 nonprofit, which serves as the Hub for a network of seven community-based Spoke Villages in development across the Portland metro-area. Eastside Village is the first of the Spoke Villages to open its doors, but expects to be closely followed in 2016 by three more Spoke Villages: NE Village PDX, Viva Village, and Village Without Walls.

The southern boundary of Eastside Village was originally Powell Boulevard, but after merging this past spring with the Village in formation south of Powell (formerly known as RISE Village), Eastside Village now serves 23 Portland neighborhoods and extends from:

• On the west: The Willamette River

• On the north: I-84 (west of I-205) and NE Halsey Street (east of I-205)

• On the east: 122nd, but juts out to 133rd and then in to 112th, to follow the neighborhood boundaries of Mill Park and Lents

• On the south: The southern boundaries of Portland

Eastside Village regularly hosts membership presentations, which are the perfect way to learn about the benefits of becoming a Village member. Upcoming membership presentations are on Saturday 9/5, 3-4:30pm at 3315 S.E. 43rd (private home/space limited); and on Wednesday 9/9, 7-8:30pm at 3848 S.E. Gladstone (Rally room of “Shut up and Eat” restaurant). Presentations are free, but reservations are required. To reserve your space, e-mail: – or call 503/866-0571.

Fran Daggett
via e-mail

Islamic call to prayer heard in Sellwood…?


Monday July 27, I was sitting on my front porch, as was my neighbor across the street. We live on S.E. Lambert Street between S.E. 9th and 11th. It was just before sundown. Both I and my neighbor heard what seemed to be a megaphone broadcasting Islamic prayer. It lasted about three or four minutes. We could not be sure which direction it came from, but, since my neighbor is younger and hears better, I would go with his guess that it came from the direction of the Bluff or Oaks Bottom. It is less likely, but I thought it could have come from one of the local churches between S.E. 13th and Milwaukie. I later occurred to me that since it was Monday, it might possibly have been connected with this summer's Monday concerts down at the Sellwood Riverfront Park.

Do any BEE readers know anything about this megaphone Arabic prayer? Was it an interfaith gathering or something else? It was beautiful, but strange to hear in Sellwood.

Eric Collison
via e-mail

Sarah’s Haiti Project


My daughter Sarah Koch is a 12-year-old St. Agatha student with a huge heart. She was born in Croix de Bouquet, Haiti, and I brought her home when she was 18 months old.

After the devastating earthquake in Haiti in 2010, Sarah and her biological brother Santo started a penny drive at Llewellyn Elementary School and made over $3,000. Most of it was sent to the orphanage they lived in in Haiti, the rest went to Mercy Corps. THE BEE ran an article on the kids and their penny drive in the March 2010 issue.

Five years after the earthquake, the kids’ birth family still doesn’t have a permanent home. For the past few years Sarah has been raising money to build them a house by selling hats and scarves she sewed herself, an all-natural housecleaning product she made, bake sales, extra chores, etc. Two weeks ago she withdrew her money from the Umpqua Bank and sent it to Haiti so that her birth father could purchase some land he found for the house.

Now Sarah’s raising the money to build the house! She made a video with another Westmoreland resident, videographer Paul Manda, and it was posted to GoFundMe on Friday night, August 14. Three days later she had over $900. Anyone who has heard Sarah’s story is impressed with her compassion and hard work, especially for being just 12 years old.

Sarah hasn't seen or spoken with her birth family since she went into the orphanage at 9 months, and she cannot wait to travel to Haiti to build the house alongside her birth parents and siblings.

Here is a link to Sarah’s video:

Kim Callahan
via e-mail

A challenge to city leaders


Do not judge your neighbor until you walk two moons in his moccasins.

With this Native American Cheyenne Proverb in mind, in August I invited Mayor Hales and Commissioner Dan Salzman to set up camp for 24-hours at [the proposed homeless encampment near OMSI] S.E. 3rd Avenue and S.E. Harrison Street, where they could then prepare meals – [with] no running water – and sleep on the oil-drenched soil, listening to interstate freight traffic speeding down the Marquam Bridge, and blaring locomotive train whistles. [And then] just before sunrise search for a user-friendly (unlocked) honey bucket.

Did I fail to report, when HAND Representatives and CEIC members proposed the Portland Historic Firehouse, located at 3rd Avenue and N.W. Glisan Street, and argued for it quite stoutly, that neither the Mayor of the Commissioner committed to do anything significant to follow up on it. Given a choice, I’d prefer walking two moons in the Mayor’s moccasins, and rest assured R2Dtoo would not left hanging out to dry...

Mary Ann Schwab
via e-mail

About “Dutch Elm Disease” article


In the Rita Leonard article about Dutch Elm Disease in Eastmoreland, the article incorrectly states the number of elms in Eastmoreland to be “nearly one hundred”. Not counting the DED-resistant varieties that have been planted to replace American Elms that have been removed due to DED, wind storms, or other issues, there are still about 250 American Elms left out of the roughly 300 that were planted in 1917.

Denny Stenzel
ENA Elm Inoculation Coordinator

RITA LEONARD REPLIES: “I received the info from Mark Ross (PP&R) on June 30. Apparently I misread the phrase ‘one-third of the nearly 100-year-old American Elm trees in the neighborhood’. I regret the error about how many elms there are in Eastmoreland.”

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Willard Luethe
Willard “Allan” Luethe, 1947-2015. (Photo courtesy of Duyck & Van DeHay Funeral Home)

Past SMS and Duniway Principal dies at age 67


A veteran Principal for various Portland Public Schools – notably including both Duniway Elementary School in Eastmoreland, and Sellwood Middle School – has passed away.

Willard “Allan” Luethe had retired from PPS while Principal of Jackson Middle School in 2000, and passed away at the age of 67 on July 19, with a memorial service held July 27 at the Christian Church of Hillsboro. “Allan had a powerful impact on a whole lot of folks in Portland Public Schools,” said Ben Keefer, a former Skyline Principal. “He will be missed.”

Luethe was born on September 10, 1947, and grew up in the Portland area, the youngest of five children born to Brooks and Virginia (Folkenberg) Luethe. He attended Lincoln High School and Portland State University, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree and a Masters in School Administration, going on to teach after graduating.

He married his high school sweetheart, Tawnya Satchell, in 1970, and together they raised sons Marc, Samuel, and Jeremiah, on the family farm west of Portland.

In addition to his career as teacher and administrator for Portland Public Schools, Luethe enjoyed gardening, raising goats and chickens, and being outdoors. He was also known as a good cook, specializing in desserts.

He is survived by his wife Tawnya and their three sons; by his siblings, Donna Pfister of Hillsboro, Mallory Luethe of Scottsdale, Arizona, Larry Luethe and Bill Luethe, both of Portland; and by five grandchildren, Gabrielle, Bailey, Lucy, Wyatt, and Jacob Luethe. Services by Duyck & Van DeHay Funeral Home.

Florence Faye Kinish
Florence Faye Kinish, 1918-2015

Florence Faye (Harvey) Kinish
January 16, 1918 – August 13, 2015

Florence Kinish, at age 97, died peacefully at home on August 13, three days after suffering a stroke.

Faye was born in the family home in downtown Portland on January 16, 1918, the only child of Perry and Minnie Harvey.

She spent most of her childhood in Sellwood, attending Sellwood Grade School and Commerce High (now Cleveland High). She remembered when the whole student body was marched down to see the opening of the Sellwood Bridge in 1926. Faye had hoped to see the opening of the new bridge.

After high school, she did office work. But when World War II started she began working in the shipyards to earn more money. She started as a helper, dragging the cords around for the welders, but she hated that job, and became a welder herself. Because of her small size she was sent to work in the small dark areas of the ships.

Faye used her welder earnings to buy grapes from California, which she stomped herself and made into wine. Not all her money went to the grapes, and Faye and her mother decided to buy a house together at the end of S.E. 11th Avenue, which the family still owns.

At about this same time a co-worker, Ross Kinish, introduced Faye to his brother Tony. They were married on September 5th, 1945. Tony eventually retired from NW Iron Works, and died in 1989.

Faye and Tony bought a farm in Wamic, Oregon, where Faye enjoyed her many chickens. By 1954 they had adopted their only daughter, 6 month old Ruth Ann. Faye then began a career as a medical transcriber in the cancer ward of the Veteran’s Hospital.

Faye loved animals. She is survived by five cats. Many know of her love for a certain Black Cat in Sellwood.

Faye enjoyed travelling and took several trips to Hawaii as well as Mexico, the Panama Canal, and Alaska, as well as Arizona to visit her daughter and granddaughter. Just last November she took an inter-island cruise with Ruth Ann and their friend Diane Baseel.

In her last week she was blessed to have food brought in from DeNicola’s, her favorite restaurant; friend Al Morales came and sang to her, and she spent time with all five cats.

Faye is also survived by her daughter Ruth Ann Konell, Arizona; grandsons Jason, Jon and R.J. Konell; and great-grandchildren Alexander and Taylor-Ann.

Services were held at St. Agatha’s Church. Interment was at Willamette National Cemetery.


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