More stories from July's issue of THE BEE!


Dougy Center, all-day walk, Tatyana and Richard Sundvall, Oaks Bottom bluff
After completing their all-day walk, Tatyana and Richard Sundvall celebrate atop the Oaks Bottom bluff by popping corks on bottles of bubbly. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Couple repeats dawn-to-dusk hike for Dougy Center

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

As a personal challenge which THE BEE told you about last year, Richard and Tatyana Sundvall spent the longest day of the year – the Summer Solstice – trekking around and across Portland. Their 36-mile urban hike ended at Sellwood Park, just as the sun set over Oaks Bottom.

A few days before making that journey a year ago, they decided to make also make that marathon walk a fundraiser for the The Dougy Center for Grieving Children and Families, on S.E. 52nd Avenue in the Creston-Kenilworth neighborhood, and raised $11,723 from family, friends, and colleagues.

One year later and another year older, the Sundvalls decided that they’d attempt to repeat the feat – on Saturday, June 18 – again to benefit the Dougy Center. They obtained pledges per mile and made their preparations.

So, at sunrise, 5:22 a.m., the hikers set out on their marathon walk in the South Park Blocks, downtown near Portland State University. During the nearly 16 hours of daylight, Richard and Tatyana crossed the city from west to east, and north to south.

Shortly before sunset, at 9:01 p.m., the couple walked north through Sellwood Park. “We did 40.5 miles this year, which means we added about four and a half miles this year – and we arrived two minutes earlier!” Richard exclaimed.

“The scenery was great, but what sticks in my mind is things like the friendliness of people walking their dogs along the Willamette Boulevard bluff in the morning, and saying hi,” Richard added.

“Now that it’s over, the best part for me was all the friends who came to support us along the way,” Tatyana chimed in.

Throughout their journey people joined in as “guest walkers”, Tatyana said. “It was like fresh blood was coming in to support us, and coax us along.”

They look forward to tending their blisters and resting, now that their long walk is over, Richard said.

“But it was more than just talking a long hike,” Tatyana explained. “The dawn-to-dusk walk, on one of the longest days of the year, is symbolic of those grieving. The loss of someone you love is truly one of the longest days of anyone’s life.”

The amount they raised for the Dougy Center?  Even more than last year – $12,190.

“We have suffered through losses in our own lives, and we love the work The Dougy Center does,” Tatyana said. “To help them, even in a small way, gives us satisfaction like we’ve never felt before and helped me with my own healing.”

Learn more about The Dougy Center online: http://www.dougy.org.



crashes, around one block, five, in Westmoreland
The fifth crash around this north Westmoreland block in less than a month and a half was also at S.E. Insley at 17th, and exactly one week later – when again a car ran the Insley stop sign and got T-boned by another. No injuries apparently at this one, but both vehicles were damaged enough to require a tow. (Photo by Eric Norberg)

Rash of crashes around one Westmoreland block

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

Now and then, for no apparent reason, a series of mishaps occurs in a very small area. That appears to be the case for a period of time this spring in North Westmoreland, centering on the block bounded by S.E. Milwaukie Avenue, Insley Street, S.E. 17th Avenue, and Harold Street. 

This microcosm of mayhem seems to have no common thread, but it began spectacularly with the head-on DUII crash at Harold and S.E. 17th, on April 29 at 10:10 p.m., which was reported in the June BEE. That one resulted in an arrest, and blocked 17th for hours.

Next came a mid-day crash on Wednesday, May 25, on the corner of S.E. Milwaukie Avenue and Harold Street; an SUV collided with a sedan, took out the street sign and stop sign, and leaked fluids on the street. In the BEE photo, both drivers were conversing while one cleaned out her trunk, so apparently no injuries were involved.

Most likely there was an injury in the next one, at the very same spot, in the midevening of Tuesday, May 31, when a northbound driver drifted to the right at the intersection and barreled into a parked car, squashing in the rear of the stationary vehicle. We have no police report on that one, but a driver who hits a static object at a substantial speed is likely to have banged him- or herself up a bit.

Then the action shifted around the block to the northeast corner of S.E. 17th and Insley Street for the last two crashes.

On Monday, June 4, two cars collided after one apparently ran a stop sign on Insley Street. The wreckage ended up on the northeast corner of the intersection. At 8:05 a.m., the responding Central Precinct officers were joined at the scene by Portland Fire & Rescue’s Bybee Boulevard Engine 20’s crew, and an AMR ambulance. “An officer helped the parties involved exchange information,” said Police Spokesman Sgt. Greg Stewart. “Because it was an information exchange, no accident report was written,” he added.

One week later, on Monday, June 11, the same thing happened again with two more vehicles – a green Honda and a black Jeep. In this case, a witness confirmed to THE BEE that the Honda sedan had indeed failed to stop at the eastbound stop sign on Insley and was rammed by a northbound vehicle traveling on 17th, and spun 180 degrees to face west.

Asked if a citation was issued for the failure to obey a stop sign, Sgt. Stewart looked up the call for THE BEE. “Again, an officer facilitated the exchange of information; there was no report filed,” he said.

Since there seems to be no one cause for all this, the laws of probability suggest it may be a while before this busy block experiences more smashups; but just in case, be alert while traveling these particular streets through north Westmoreland! In fact, that’s not bad advice when driving anywhere these days.



Recording Studio, Holgate Boulevard, Hallowed Halls
Most recording studios look like caves; the “Hallowed Halls” Studio A on Holgate Boulevard is bright and airy. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Recording studio hidden inside former Arleta Library

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

Earlier this year, people in the Mt. Scott-Arleta neighborhood, and in fact many people throughout the region, were delighted to learn that the Wikman Building – built in 1918 as the Arleta Branch Library – would be preserved, having achieved a listing in the National Register of Historic Places.

Indeed, today, the exterior of the brick Colonial Revival-style library remains unchanged. But inside, the hushed reading rooms have been taken over by a recording studio that’s named “Hallowed Halls”.

“After the new owners bought it, I came across this space with two other persons who were interested in building a recording studio in this part of town,” said well-known Portland recording engineer Justin Phelps of Justin Phelps Recording, who now manages the facility.

“They hired me to design the space,” Phelps told THE BEE.

“We started by ripping out all the cheesy 1980s office architecture and mezzanine that were added over the years, and restored the original atrium that was on the blueprint,” Phelps said.

“But, to preserve the interior walls in keeping with the National Registry, we didn’t take off even a single piece of moulding,” he said.

They liked the idea of light streaming in through the arch-top wood-cased windows, but needed a way to soundproof the room.

“We built isolation boxes around the windows, so we could reduce the outside sound level in the room, without disturbing the original windows and frames,” Phelps pointed out. “We didn’t know if it would work; but as it turns out, it’s very effective. In rush-hour traffic, with cars, trucks, and buses whizzing by, you can’t hear a thing inside.”

There are a couple other commercial recording studios on this professional level in Portland, Phelps said, but there aren’t any others of this size. “One has a ‘big room’ that’s comparable in square feet, but doesn’t have the high ceilings – and the windows.”

The best part about the space, for him, is being able to make more music albums, Phelps commented. “I wanted to have something that was as good as, or better than, some the best studios on the West Coast, or better, here in Portland.  I think we've achieved that. 

“This is a fantastic room that sounds great,” Phelps went on. “We've recorded a lot of acoustic instrument sessions in here, and everyone agrees it just sounds beautiful.”

It’s not just having a professional recording studio, Phelps says. With the help of his wife Deanna, who runs the “St. Frank’s Music” store also located in the building – the couple hopes to make it a community music center.

At the one location, you can buy instruments – primarily guitars – and take music lessons. Then, in the same building, budding musicians can record their songs, and even get help mastering and distributing their music.

“It won’t be long until people will see this building as a truly creative hub for our city,” Phelps smiled.

He and Deanna say they enjoy giving tours, to show how the building has been preserved and reused. It’s located on S.E. 64th Avenue and Holgate Boulevard.

For more information, go online: http://www.thehallowedhalls.com.

Killer Burger, burglary, Sellwood
Sellwood Killer Burger crew member Dan Rickey shows the now boarded-up back door that burglars kicked in to steal their safe – and the day’s proceeds. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Sellwood’s Killer Burger loses safe in burglary break-in

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

Getting a seat at the usually-raucous counter-service joint called “Killer Burger Sellwood”, serving burly burgers with toppings like peanut butter and Sriracha hot sauce along with local brews, can be challenging.

But, a small gang who came to the back door of the restaurant at 8728 S.E. 17th Avenue after it closed for the evening Saturday night June 11, had something else on their minds other than burgers and fries.

“Somewhere between 1 and 2 a.m. on June 12th, people smashed through the back door of the restaurant,” said crew member Dan Rickey as he showed THE BEE the boarded up door.

The metal-framed door with inset security glass had been punched out, allowing the burglars to enter the restaurant.

“The neighbors heard it and called it in,” Rickey said. “They reported seeing two or three people – and a white hatchback vehicle, when it was leaving – along with the safe from our office.”

Inside the building, he pointed out how a ventilation grill had been kicked in on the locked office door, offering the burglars access to the “pretty hefty” floor safe.

“It was somebody who knew exactly where to go, and what they were looking for, because they were in and out so very quickly,” observed Rickey.

At press time, police still reported no leads on this case.



Park to Park Path, Bradley Heintz, Sellwood
“Park-to-Park Walkway” advocate Bradley Heintz shows us the “missing link” in the project. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Sellwood’s “Park-to-Park” pathway pushing for completion

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

After several near-misses by vehicles while walking his kids from Westmoreland Park to Sellwood Park, a neighbor spearheaded the task of improving the pedestrian intersections along the way.

Bradley Heintz was on the Sellwood Moreland Improvement League (SMILE) Board when he proposed the “Park-to-Park Walkway” project back in 2009.

“I did this because I had young kids and I was pushing them and walking from one park to another, and it was difficult and dangerous crossing the busy streets,” Heintz told THE BEE.

With the support of many others in the community, the project received $130,000 in funding; and by now, most of the intersections along S.E. Bidwell and Lambert Streets have been completed.

“Now, we are focusing at one intersection, the crossing at S.E. 22nd Avenue and Lambert Street,” Heintz said. “At the least, we need the city to put down crosswalk-marking paint. Curb cuts there would be nice, also.”

Over the summer, by appearing at the Moreland Farmers Market and other public gatherings, Heintz said he’ll be collecting signatures, and “interest clicks” on their website, and will take the proposal to the Portland City Council this fall.

“With the Westmoreland Park Nature Play Area completed, and the TriMet MAX Light Rail stop on the Bybee Bridge, it’s a great time to finish this,” exclaimed Heintz.

Learn more, or “add your voice”, at the official website: http://www.twoparks.com.



Eastmoreland, demolition, remodel
As it undergoes a “major renovation”, all that remained of this once-classic Eastmoreland home was the front porch railing and fireplace chimney. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

“Wrecking-ball demolition” startles Eastmoreland neighbors

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

When the Eastmoreland neighborhood home at 7520 S.E. 35th Avenue was put up for sale in August of 2014, the real estate listing described it this way:

“Highly desirable tile-roofed Mediterranean on gorgeously landscaped 7500 SF lot. Stylish and delightful: pitch-perfect brick driveway and walkways.”

It was on the market for only a week, and sold on August 15, 2014, for $470,000.

Neighbors said they had no reason to think that this home was targeted for redevelopment – and weren’t aware that on October 22, 2014, the new owner took out a Residential Bldg/Trade Permit: Single Family Dwelling #3534213, that was approved on July 31, 2015 and activated on February 11, 2016.

The permit was for a “whole house remodel”, including completely reconfiguring the main floor, expanding the footprint, with new stairs up to a new second floor, and a master suite, two bedrooms, and family room.

When the demolition crew showed up on June 17, neighbors were caught off guard.

“That day, the Portland Development Review Advisory Committee (DRAC) Demolition Subcommittee issued a Stop Work Order for the demolition,” said Eastmoreland Neighborhood Association Chair Robert McCullough.

“No one has any idea if they checked for asbestos or lead paint – it was built in 1925 – and there were no neighborhood notifications,” McCullough told THE BEE.

DRAC is tasked to review these kind of actions, McCullough said.

“It was illegal for them to proceed on Friday, but between Saturday and Monday, the project was redefined and was updated,” said McCullough. “The measure of the impact of the DRAC was to delay this ‘bulldozer remodeling’ by a couple of days.”

Bureau of Development Services Inspection Services Residential Combination Inspections Section Manager told neighbors on June 20 that he’d rescinded the “Stop Work Order” because the permit for the “major remodel” had been issued before the current rules regarding demolition went into effect.

By June 22, all that was left standing of this “highly desirable tile-roofed Mediterranean” house was the fireplace and chimney.

“And so falls another classic home in our neighborhood,” McCullough commented gloomily.



Richmond groper
Police are looking for the man in this forensic sketch, whom they say attacked a woman taking a walk in her neighborhood just north of Powell Boulevard. (PPB suspect sketch)

Central Precinct officers search for “Richmond Groper”

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

A woman taking an evening stroll on Monday, June 6, in the usually-quiet Richmond neighborhood just north of Powell Boulevard, was startled by a stranger approaching her near S.E. 35th Avenue and Woodward Street.

It was about 10:00 p.m., the 46-year-old female victim told police, when the man made a lewd comment, then lunged at her, manhandled and attacked her, and wrestled her over a small retaining wall.

“As the suspect was holding her down, the victim kicked, punched, screamed, and fought with the suspect, who released her and ran away northbound on 35th Avenue,” reported Portland Police Spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson.

The victim described the suspect as a white male, approximately 50 years old, 5'8" tall, with sandy blonde hair and a receding hairline, a ponytail, no facial hair, wearing dark-colored cargo shorts and a white T-shirt.

Portland Police later released a drawing of the suspect, prepared from the victim’s description by a forensic sketch artist.

Anyone with information on the identity of this suspect is asked to contact Officer Michael Bledsoe by e-mail: michael.bledsoe@portlandoregon.gov.

Mural, elk, SE 17th, Holgate, Pardee, D&H Flagging
Artist Stefan Ways painted this mural of native Pacific Northwest species on the side of a business building in May, near S.E. 17th and Holgate Boulevard. (Photo by Rita A. Leonard)

New elk mural greets drivers and MAX riders in Brooklyn

By RITA A. LEONARD
For THE BEE

A new mural has been painted on the east wall of “D & H Flagging”, at S.E. 17th and Pardee Street in Brooklyn. The mural faces the MAX tracks, is clearly visible to westbound drivers on Holgate Boulevard, and features a cluster of blue calypso orchids, ferns, and an elk.

The large arching fern that spans the scene serves as a stylistic “backbone”, linking the elk to its Pacific Northwest habitat.

The artist, Stefan Ways, completed the mural in May. “I'm originally from Maryland, but had an artist's residency here in 2014, loved the area, and decided to stay,” he tells THE BEE. According to a D & H Flagging representative, “He just wanted to get his name out there. We’re glad people are noticing the mural. Our next job is to cut down the weeds in front, so it can be seen better.”

Ways was given free rein in the design. “I like to activate dead space as a way to express myself,” he explains. “I love nature, and wanted to celebrate some of the native species out here.” He completed the mural mostly with paint rollers, adding a few touch-ups with brushes and spray paint.

“Most of my murals are larger than this,” Ways remarks. He has a background in animation, but the mural designs are all his own. For those interested in contacting the artist or seeing more of his work, go online to: http://www.stefanways.com.



Offices, in railcars, Dick Samuels
Driving up S.E. Water Avenue past the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, north of the Ross Island Bridge, it’s easy to spot these brightly decorated railcars – which are now the offices of three marketing agencies. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Companies show off “offices on rails” near OMSI

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

Three Portland-based communication agencies joined forces to create a collaborative agency partnership – and are located in a cluster of permanently parked, renovated 1950’s railcars, parked along S.E. Water Avenue – across the street from OMSI.

The railcar offices, parked on a spur owned by Dick Samuels’ Oregon Pacific Railroad Company, a half mile north of the Oregon Rail Heritage Center, provide a unique view of the Tilikum Crossing Transit Bridge.

“Instead of seeing these railcars languish, we decided to buy and renovate them, and use them as our offices!” said Cascade Web Development founder Ben McKinley, who purchased the cars after renting them for some five years.

They share the space with marketing agencies ECHOS Communications and Foghorn Labs, McKinley said.

Some of the upgrades McKinley singled out to THE BEE included new interior furnishings, computer hookups, and modern air conditioning.

“Here, we have the option of working in a creative space in Inner Southeast, near downtown – where we can create all sorts of partnerships,” McKinley said.



Joshua Hines, explosion, small bomb, Foster Road, Fred Meyer Store.
26-year-old Joshua Hines faces felony charges, including First Degree Arson, in the explosion of a small bomb in the Foster Road Fred Meyer Store. (MCDC booking photo)

Freddy’s bombing suspect nabbed

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

There was a call for “help on Aisle 13” in the Foster Road Fred Meyer store, at the intersection of S.E. 82nd Avenue, just before noon on May 21, after a small bomb went off in the “travel toiletries” department – as reported at the time by THE BEE.

That kicked off an investigation, followed by a “Crime Stoppers” request to help catch the man who set off the device.

“Numerous tips to Crime Stoppers, as well as information learned on social media, were essential in identifying the suspect and leading to an arrest,” Portland Police Spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson told THE BEE.

26-year-old Joshua Hines was arrested and booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center (MCDC) on Saturday, June 11, at 2:09 a.m. on charges of Arson in the First Degree, Manufacturing a Destructive Device, and Possession of a Destruction Device.

At his arraignment later that day, the judge formally charged Hines for the three felonies; he remains in Inverness Jail in lieu of $260,000 combined bail. 

Portland Police also released a security recording image of a victim in the bombing case. Anyone with information on the identity of the victim is asked to contact Investigator Rick McGraw at 503/823-3797, rick.mcgraw@portlandoregon.gov – or Detective Joe Luiz at 503/823-3408, joseph.luiz@portlandoregon.gov.  



Bike, crash, parked car, Milwaukie Avenue, Westmoreland
Police and fire units arrive at the scene of a bicycle crash on S.E. Milwaukie Avenue. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Westmoreland bike vs. car wreck sends rider to hospital

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

Emergency first responders were dispatched to S.E. Milwaukie Avenue near Reedway Street on Sunday, June 19, at about 1:00 p.m., with a “car versus bicycle” call.

Walking to the scene, a neighbor said he was out on his patio when he heard the crash occur. “I thought a car or truck had hit a bicyclist really hard; there was a loud smashing noise, and then we heard a rider hit the payment with a thud.”

Within minutes, the crew of Westmoreland’s Fire Engine 20 pulled up, shortly followed by an AMR ambulance crew – and found a male bike rider on the ground, in obvious pain.

While paramedics tended to the injured biker loading him into the ambulance, other riders talked with police.

One of the man’s friends told THE BEE what had happened. It turns out it was not car vs. bicycle; it was bicycle vs. parked car. Riding on the narrow street around cars parked at the curb, the bicyclist had clipped the back of red Toyota Camry.

“I didn’t see it happen, but we heard it and looked back”, his friend commented. “He took a massive tumble, had a gash in his leg and, we think, a broken collar bone.”

The injured rider’s friend said a group of them were finishing up 44-mile bike ride, and were only a half-mile away from their destination.

Due to federal privacy laws, the injured bicyclist’s name and condition are not available.



L O L, Bean Sprout Troupe, Cleveland High School, off campus
Rehearsing roles in their early-June production of “L.O.L.”, Wanda (played by Emily DeMaderios), and Dean (Harry Melanson), find they are oddly attracted to one another – after she shot a staple into his chest. Mel (Ella Devito) and Fletch (Zoe Kass) find it amusing; but actually, they find quite a bit to laugh at in life. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

CHS thespians mount off-campus show

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

Last fall, a group of Cleveland High School students involved in theater, improv, and/or choir – calling themselves the “Bean Sprout Theater Troupe” – decided to produce and star in a theatrical production on their own.

“We wanted the opportunity to take our arts and performances away from the school system,” said William Balmer, co-director of the show, “LOL (A MODERN COMPUTER FARCE)”.

‘We thought it would be a good opportunity to prove and show to ourselves – and to the greater community – what younger artists can do,” Balmer told THE BEE at a mid-May rehearsal.

The original production of their show ran in October, 2015, presented at the school.

“We sold out every night of the performances, even while competing for audience members with the Homecoming Dance and football games,” Balmer remarked.

“Immediately after the close of the show, my co-director, Jonah Leidigh, a senior at Cleveland, and I began brainstorming how we'd be able to bring the performance to a larger audience,” Balmer added. “Many friends and family members didn’t get the opportunity to see the show; many folks got turned away at the door during the original run.”

Through fundraising efforts, including coffee house improv comedy shows and an online fundraising campaign, the budding dramatic company raised about $800 to mount a theater production of the show.

With funds in hand, the producers contacted theaters in the area, finally settling on renting the Shoebox Theater at S.E. 10th Avenue near Grant Street for a three day-run, June 2nd through 4th.

Response suggests area audiences are looking forward to more productions from the “Bean Sprout Theater Troupe” in the future.



Franklin Breakers, Franklin High School, Z Man
The “Franklin Breakers”, representing Franklin High School in the annual “Z-Man Scholarship” talent show, present their hip-hop dance skills.

Franklin break dancers compete in area-wide talent show

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

High School students from all over the greater Portland area converged on the main auditorium of City Bible Church on Friday evening, May 20, to compete in a talent contest sponsored by the “Z-Man Scholarship Foundation”.

After his death in January 27, 2008, the community work of highly-regarded Portland Police Bureau officer Mark Zylawy has been carried on through that foundation, explained Sgt. Hank Hays, coordinator of the fourth annual “Talent Within” competition.

“This is the best talent we have ever seen,” said Hays, as he watched the dress rehearsal on the evening before the show.

“We have acts from 15 schools in the metro area, competing for a total of $8,000 in college scholarships,” Hays told THE BEE

The winner of each school’s talent show goes on to participate in this competition, Hays said. “The schools are really excited about this program; and, we’re excited about the opportunity to help a student go to college, and perhaps pursue a career in the performing arts.”

By winning the Franklin High School talent show, a hip-hop dance group called the Franklin Breakers represented the Quakers at the competition.

“We get here by commitment and hard work,” grinned their spokesman Alvin Do, the only sophomore in the otherwise all-freshman group – otherwise comprised of Jimmy Le, Xavier Lancaster, Martin Pham, and Ricky Trieu.

“At our school’s show, there were other acts with dancing, singing, and instrumental performances,” Do said. “I think we were chosen because of our creativity, and our devotion to this type of hip hop dancing.

“We’re hoping to get the scholarship, but it’s also about performing with my friends, and having fun,” Do added.

“I’m glad I don’t have to pick the winner,” Hays said after watching all of the acts. “It’s going to be difficult for the judges to select the winners this year.”

While this stylish hip hop dance team didn’t win, but their performance drew a strong positive reaction from the audience, and applause.

The high school performers who did win this year:

  • 1st place, $5,000, Lara Evans from Lincoln High for her original song, singing and piano;
  • 2nd place, $2,000, the smooth, professional jazz combo “Soulstice” from Gresham High; and,
  • 3rd place, $1,000, for an original yo-yo act synchronized to music by Odon Alberto Jr from Tualatin High.

We expect more entries from Cleveland and Franklin High Schools next year in this scholarship-based area-wide contest. Learn more about the “Z-Man Scholarship Foundation” by visiting its official website: http://www.zmanscholarship.org.



Henrik Bothe, American citizen, parade, Sellwood
At a surprise party celebrating his new United States citizenship, Entertainer Henrik Bothe is “crowned and robed”, and sent to lead a parade around his block in Sellwood. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Parade celebrates Sellwood’s famous Dane as new American citizen

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

For Sellwood’s most famous Danish resident, entertainer Henrik Bothe, May 28 was just another working day – having journeyed north to perform his physical comedy show around noon at an event in Port Angeles, Washington.

After the long drive up and back, Bothe was hoping to unpack his props from the minivan, and relax with his family.

“But, when I drove up my street, I saw a sea of red, white, and blue smoke near my driveway, and Oregon legal fireworks going off!” Bothe told THE BEE.

Greeting him were about 40 family members and friends, decked out in all-American clothing and colors, waiting for his arrival to celebrate his new United States citizenship.

“I am now a man with both American and Danish citizenship,” Bothe said. “Since September, Denmark has allowed dual citizenship. Even though I’ve been here since 1988, I've just now become eligible to become an American citizen.”

He said he wanted American citizenship for a long time. “Why? I want to vote, are you kidding? That's really the only thing I could not do before, was vote.  And of course I was just a hair late to be able to vote in the primary election,” Bothe observed.

Before the potluck party began, Bothe was wrapped in an American flag themed robe, given a patriotic hat, and the group of well-wishers set out on a parade, down S.E. Lambert Street to Sellwood Park and around the block. Neighbors came out with quizzical expressions; some joined in the merry throng.

After arriving back at their home, Bothe said, “This is the best surprise party I've ever been to – mine or anyone else's! I had no idea.”

If you haven’t seen Bothe perform yet, you’ll have your chance between 1:15 and 2:15 p.m. on Sunday, August 7, when he will be a featured performer at “Sundae in the Park”, in upper Sellwood Park.  You won’t have to pay a thing to enjoy the show, because Sundae in the Park is the annual party thrown for the neighborhood by the Sellwood Moreland Improvement League (SMILE) neighborhood association, noon till 11 p.m.

The day ends this year with a showing of last year’s hit “Jurassic World” movie, starting at dusk in the park and sponsored by the Sellwood Westmoreland Business Alliance.



knife robbery, Sellwood Riverfront Park
It was along this path along the Willamette River, between Sellwood Riverfront Park and Oaks Amusement Park, that a knifeman was reported as trying to rob a woman walking her dog. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Man with knife reportedly robs Riverfront Park trail hiker

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

The trails around Oaks Bottom are dark and can feel dangerous at night, but most people feel safe walking around Sellwood Riverfront Park in the daylight hours.

On any day, dogs run and cavort in the designated “dog park” area, as their humans toss balls, playing fetch.

But, a morning of fun turned serious on June 21, when an 18-year-old woman was walking her dog on a trail in the wooded area along the river, northward towards Oaks Amusement Park, and reported being robbed by a knife-wielding thug.

Portland Police Bureau (PPB) officers were called to the area at 10:01 a.m. that morning, and began their investigation.

“Coming out of the bushes, a man surprised her, and demanded her property,” reported Portland Police Spokesman Sgt. Greg Stewart.

“The suspect grabbed her arm, then displayed a pocket knife, while demanding her property,” Stewart said, scanning the police report. “The victim did not have items of value on her person, and ran away from the suspect, back towards Sellwood Riverfront Park, then to a nearby friend's house to call 9-1-1.”

Although several officers searched the area, the suspect was not to be found in the wooded area. 

“The suspect is described as a white male in his 20s, six feet tall, skinny build, possible goatee or beard, light brown hair, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, black cargo pants, a black mask, and black shoes,” Stewart said.

Anyone with information on this crime or identity of this suspect is asked to call the Police Non-Emergency line at 503/823-3333, and reference case #16-197641.



Crosswalk enforcement, 82nd Avenue, Brentwood Darlington
Although this casually-dressed Portland Police Officer is already in the crosswalk, the driver of an SUV steps on the gas to zoom by. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Crosswalk enforcement in Brentwood-Darlington rings up lots of tickets 

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

Because it was installed by the Oregon Department of Transportation, and not the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), the pedestrian crossing on S.E. 82nd Avenue of Roses at Cooper Street isn’t marked with broad black-and-white stripes.

The crosswalk, located between traffic signals at SE Duke and Flavel Streets, does have a pedestrian median island, though, and signs alerting drivers that it is an official crosswalk.

“We’re holding a ‘crosswalk education and enforcement action’ here today,” observed PBOT Public Information Officer Dylan Rivera, on Tuesday, April 26.

“S.E. 82nd Avenue is one of ten ‘High Crash Corridors’ that PBOT has prioritized for stepped-up education, enforcement, and safety improvements,” Rivera told THE BEE, as he watched a plain-clothes Portland Police Bureau (PPB) officer dodge cars and trucks as he crossed the thoroughfare.

These “police actions” involve a designated pedestrian crossing at a marked or unmarked crosswalk, while nearby officers monitor how well people who are driving, bicycling, and walking, adhere to the traffic safety laws,” Rivera pointed out.

“Drivers who fail to stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk, and pedestrians who fail to follow Oregon traffic laws, may be issued a warning or citation.” 

On this day, it was difficult for PPB Traffic Division officers to keep up with the need for “education” – during almost every attempted street crossing, a vehicle or two swooshed past the “designated walker” with impunity.

After the enforcement action, Rivera reported, “Portland Police wrote 36 citations and eight warnings for traffic violations.”

The citations issued:

  • Failure to stop and remain stopped for a pedestrian: 27
  • Seatbelt violations: 2
  • Passing a stopped vehicle at a marked crosswalk: 1
  • No Operators License: 1
  • Driving While [License] Suspended: 3
  • Expired registration: 1
  • Failure to Carry Proof of Insurance: 1

Warnings issued:

  • Failure to stop and remain stopped for a pedestrian: 8

Under Oregon law, every intersection is a legal crosswalk, whether it is marked or unmarked, Rivera reminded.

 “Vehicle drivers must stop, and stay stopped, for people walking when the pedestrian is in the travel lane or in the adjacent lane,” Rivera said. “People walking should make sure oncoming traffic has adequate stopping distance, and make sure vehicles have stopped, before they enter a travel lane.”



Harold Street, tree breaks, Portland, Westmoreland
WHAM, WELCOME TO SUMMER! Less than an hour after the official start of summer, on Monday afternoon, June 20, an apparently-healthy tree in Westmoreland lost a high limb – which fell onto and broke off several lower limbs, all of which fell neatly between two parked cars, causing serious damage to neither – but partially blocking S.E. Harold Street east of 18th. The temperature was not excessive, the breezes were light, and there was no apparent cause. City foresters quickly responded to remove the broken limbs. (Photo by Eric Norberg)


Comments? News tips? Click here to e-mail us!

Note to readers: At some point, this, our original Internet website, will be replaced at this web address by our new website, as part of the Community Newspapers group. At that time, you will still be able to access this older, but still operative, website, if you save this address:  www.southeastPDXnews.com. Right now, it leads you to our new website. Eventually, it will lead you back to this old one! Both will be up to date and current, and you'll still have your choice of which one to visit!

READY TO MOVE ON TO THE EDITORIAL, AND THE "LETTERS TO THE EDITOR", ON PAGE 3?   CLICK HERE!