More stories from June's issue of THE BEE!

Brick facade falls, Division Street, Portland, Oregon
Three businesses were temporarily closed, just east of S.E. 48th Avenue at Division Street, after façade bricks and parapet pieces showered down onto the sidewalk in front of them on May 3rd. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Falling façade showers bricks onto Division St. sidewalk


After a couple of summer-like days, Portlanders riding Ducati and BMW motorcycles were having their bikes tuned up at Cheshire Motorsports, at 4815 S.E. Division Street, on May 3rd – only to be endangered by falling bricks.

“It was our busiest day of the year,” remarked employee Jake Gellinger, as he and the shop’s owner looked out at the rubble on the sidewalk in front of the shop about 5 p.m. that evening.

“Two customers had just rolled their bikes out when we heard a loud rumbling sound,” Gellinger told THE BEE. “We glanced up, and couldn’t see anything other than a thick cloud of dust that that came rolling into the shop.”

Their concern for the customers melted away when they heard the nervous laughter of patrons. Amazingly, nobody had gotten hit by the unexpected fusillade of bricks. “We figured that they’re okay, but we were afraid to go outside the building to look, right away,” Gellinger recalled.

It all happened in a moment, just before 4 p.m. that afternoon. The Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) Structural Collapse Rescue Team was amongst the fire units called to assess rescue and medical needs, after as many as 200 bricks fell from the building’s façade and parapet, tumbling onto the sidewalk and out into the street.

“Given the amount of pedestrian traffic that was on the sidewalk, I am relieved that we didn’t have our teams scrambling to get people uncovered and transported to hospitals.” commented Battalion Chief Andy Ponce, surveying the scene with Tech Rescue team members.

The cause of the collapse has not been announced, but after a thorough inspection, the businesses in the building were allowed to reopen.

Boy Scouts, Troop 64, Westmoreland, Portland, Oregon, Eagle Scouts, Nicklaus Hart, Ian Legros, Tom Armstrong
On the night of their investiture as Eagle Scouts, Nicklaus Hart and Ian Legros flank Troop 64 Scoutmaster Tom Armstrong. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Two Cleveland High students reach Eagle Scout rank


Thanks to the dedicated efforts of the leaders and parents of Boy Scout Troop 64, this Sellwood-Westmoreland club continues to produce Eagle Scouts, the highest rank possible in the organization.

“This evening we’re holding an Eagle Court of Honor,” announced Troop 64 Scoutmaster Tom Armstrong on Monday evening, May 22, at the Troop’s regular meeting place, Moreland Presbyterian Church.

“Tonight, two young men, who have been in Scouts since first grade, are to be acknowledged for earning the rank of Eagle Scout, which is a very impressive accomplishment. Very few young men make it all away through the program this far.”

It was a special occasion for him personally, Armstrong said, because he’d worked with both young men from the time they began as Cub Scouts, right up to the present.

One of the two honorees, Cleveland High School (CHS) graduating senior Nicklaus Hart, revealed that he most enjoyed the utdoor scouting experiences. “Going out and hanging out in the woods with my friends; going on backpacking trips and camping; and just getting out of the city are what I enjoyed the most!”

His Eagle Scout project – a necessary requirement for attaining the Eagle rank is performing a notable act of public service – was assisting in the construction of benches and a shelter, and doing grounds maintenance work, at Gales Creek Summer Camp. Hart’s future plans, he told THE BEE, include attending the University of Oregon.

Ian Legros was the other CHS graduating senior honored with the Eagle rank that night; both he and Hart were together in scouting since first grade.

“It was great going to the National Jamboree, where I helped staff the largest skate park in the country,” Legros grinned.

His Eagle Scout project was gathering a group to plant trees at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Portland’s Hoyt Arboretum. Of his future plans, Legros said, “I’m taking a ‘gap year’ off, to work and save some money for traveling after graduation. I hope to travel, and go around the world a couple of times!”

Truck vs cop, DUII crash, McLoughlin Boulevard, Ross Island Sand and Gravel, Portland, Oregon
Traffic Division officers investigate a crash in which one of their own was hit from behind while stopped in a left turn lane on S.E. McLoughlin Boulevard in the Brooklyn neighborhood. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Oops: Impaired driver rear-ends motorcycle cop


It was a dark and rainy night, on May 2, when a Portland Police Bureau (PPB) Traffic Division Motorcycle Officer pulled into the left turn lane at Ross Island Sand and Gravel, on northbound McLoughlin Boulevard – and was hit from behind while stopped there.

More than a dozen police units responded to the scene, and shut down traffic along northbound S.E. McLoughlin at Holgate Boulevard.

Emergency first responders who were called to the area at 8:54 p.m. found that the driver of a Toyota Tacoma Pre-Runner truck had crashed into the rear of the motorcycle, knocking the officer and bike onto the pavement.

“The officer was alert and conscious at the scene, did not suffer any serious injuries, and was transported by ambulance to a Portland hospital for treatment,” reported Portland Police spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson. “The driver remained at the scene; and, based on observations by other officers at the scene, he was taken into custody on suspicion of impaired driving.”

A few hours later, the officer was treated and released from a hospital.

And, at 10:44 p.m. that evening, 62-year-old Robert John Kaleta was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center on charges of Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants (DUII), and Reckless Driving. Kaleta was released on his own recognizance the following morning, pending his trial on the charges.

Mick Scanlan, massage therapist, Skipper Wood, U S Navy
Mick Scanlan is massage therapist for ninety-two year old Skipper Wood. They have the Navy in common, and Wood says she still has a few old newspapers dating from her WWII service in the Waves. This one dates back to August 8, 1945. (Photo by Elizabeth Ussher Groff)

Massage brings two Woodstock Navy Veterans together


When 92-year-old Skipper Wood became a client of massage therapist Michael “Mick” Scanlan a year ago, neither one would have guessed they had so much in common.

First of all, they both live in Woodstock. Wood’s daughter found Scanlan’s massage brochure in the small box in front of his house last year – she tried it, and recommended it to her mom. And, both Scanlan and Wood were in the Navy – although many years apart.

Scanlan remembers, “I am not sure how we started a conversation about the Navy and found out how much we had in common. It began with a simple discussion, I guess.  She must have asked about my history, and when I told her I was in the Navy years ago [in the mid-eighties], she stated she was too, except her service began during World War II!” 

Wood recounted that she’d wanted to be a Navy Pilot, but in 1942 – when she was 17 years old – the Waves only trained women age 20 and above. She then went to Business College instead, got a job, and was bored. She quit the secretarial job and joined the Navy as a Yeoman from 1944 to 1946. She says, “It was my small way to contribute to ending the war.”

Scanlan recalls his own Navy experience: “I was in the Active Navy from 1983 to 1987, and then in the Naval Reserves until 1991. I was the Communications Officer on a guided missile frigate called the U.S.S. Crommelin (FFG-37).”

When asked how she’d gotten the name “Skipper”, Wood reports she was always a tomboy. Her given name is Priscilla – but when she was young, the boys she played with called her “Prissy” and “Silly”, so she asked her parents to change her name. After several months of thought, they chose Skipper, but never told her why. She says, “Skipper stuck with me, and I love it.”

Scanlan has found Wood to be a remarkable woman.  She drives weekly to his home office studio, “Woodstock Bodywork”, and she never misses a session. She says she has been getting massages for fifteen years, and claims “it makes a difference between night and day for me.”

Wood appreciates Scanlan’s empathy and compassion. He started as a massage therapist ten years ago after experiencing a lot of body pain in a job with Delta Airlines in which he was loading baggage, mail, and freight. He says, “I enjoyed it, but it took a toll on my body.  So I became a massage therapist because I knew pain. I suffered many and varied injuries while on the job. I knew I could empathize with many of my clients who came to see me with aches and pains.”

Scanlan says of Wood: “Skipper is not only a client of mine, but a friend. Actually, she is my hero! Not just because of her past, and how she continues to live her life, but the simple fact is that the job she is most proud of is being a parent and grandparent. That is yet another thing we have in common!” Wood has five children, three granddaughters, and one great granddaughter. Scanlan has two granddaughters.

“She is going to be 93 years old this summer, and is the oldest client I currently have. She is also the ‘youngest’ client I currently heart and mind!  She is always positive – and, she is still volunteering at Providence Hospital, texting, using a tablet, and reading mystery novels.”

Stolen car, hit and run, Westmoreland, Portland, Oregon
BEE READER DOCUMENTS WESTMORELAND CRASH. At about 7:40 p.m. on Saturday evening, May 8, dispatchers at the 9-1-1 Center sent police to the intersection of S.E. Milwaukie Avenue at Rex Street for a reported hit-and-run smashup. BEE reader Nate Alden was nearby, and documented the crash in this photo. He reports the officer believed that this car, with California plates, was stolen – and apparently its driver ran off. Portland Police have been unable to locate the incident report for us in two attempts, so we are left to guess what this car crashed into, or if the driver was ever caught and charged.
82nd Avenue of Roses Parade, Rose Festival, parade cancellation, cruise in, car show, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts
Leonard Waugh polishes up his ’52 Willys Wagon at the temporarily-new location of “82nd Avenue of Roses Cruise-In”. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Cruise-In keeps ‘Avenue of Roses Parade’ spirit alive


Threats of violence abruptly shuttered this year’s only officially-sanctioned Outer East Portland Rose Festival Event, the 11th annual 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade – but it didn’t stop hundreds of people from celebrating the “spirit of the celebration” anyway, 2.8 miles south of its planned location.

Just four days before a year of planning would have led to the 11th annual 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade on April 29, threats of disruption leading to violence – made by multiple groups – led organizers to quickly cancel both the parade, and the Multicultural Celebration at Eastport Plaza that was to follow.

“We are deeply disappointed that the agendas of these outside groups have so regrettably impacted East Portland and the 82nd Avenue of Roses community,” remarked a representative of the 82nd Avenue of Roses Business Association.

“Speaking for myself, the cancellation of the parade is distressing,” Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish told THE BEE after hearing the news.

“The biggest losers in this madness are the working families in East Portland who love the parade and the carnival; it is outrageous that this parade was targeted,” seethed Fish, who has marched in several parades. “The parade must not die, and I hope it comes back next year – bigger and stronger than ever, and it has my full support.”

Celebration Cruise-In continues
Even though the parade and carnival had been cancelled, on the morning of Saturday, April 29, factions were gathering on N.E. 82nd Avenue of Roses near Glisan Street in Montavilla Park, exchanging harsh words and posturing, as they readied to take to the street in a protest, apparently of each other.

At the same time, thanks to last-minute arrangements by residents and businesspeople near S.E. 82nd, hundreds of people were enjoying the sunny day at the annual Avenue of Roses Cruise-In – hastily moved a half-mile into Clackamas County, in the Krispy Kreme Donuts parking lot.

“We have been putting on the car show as part of the ‘Multicultural Celebration’ at Eastport Plaza for many years,” reflected Kimberly Finlay, while her cruise-in impresario partner, Ted Finlay, was helping an entry.

Unlike in many other cruise-in events, many of these participants ride, as an entry, in the 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade, before they motor back to the car show, she said.

“The hard-working volunteers who put on the parade and celebration had no control over those negative outside groups,” Finlay said. “So, all of us in the cruising community felt that it’s really important to keep the spirit of this great community event going, honoring the 82nd Avenue of Roses.” 

Ted Finlay joined her, and said it was amazing that, on just a couple days’ notice, they’d been able to secure a new location; and that so many of the entrants – 160 at last count – had still come to the improvised new location.

“We’re so thankful for everyone who showed up, and for the wonderful support we’re getting from community,” he said.

As with their past car shows, the funds raised by this one went to support “Operation Safe Canine Animal Rescue” (“OSCAR”) dog rescue and adoptions, Ted Finlay reminded.

Meantime, up near N.E. Gilsan, those confrontational protesters met at the park, and then marched southward. While the fun family cruise-in at Krispy Kreme was taking place, Portland Police Bureau (PPB) officers were monitoring the opposing demonstration groups.

As the groups began to spill out of the park at 11:13 a.m., officers got them to separate on their walk on the sidewalks, one of them on the east side, and the other group on the west side of 82nd. By 11:17 a.m. the officers’ attempt to keep the groups separated broke down, and groups intermingled on the west side of street.

A man later identified as 44-year-old Luis E. Marquez, draped a colorful pumpkin costume, was arrested at 1:15 a.m. for Disorderly Conduct, and was found to be carrying a collapsible baton. After his arrest and booking at Multnomah County Detention Center (MCDC) at 12:57 p.m., he was “Released on his Own Recognizance” later that day.

A little after noon, officers were able to wind down the southbound strolling protest action on 82nd Avenue of Roses at S.E. Francis Street, just north of Eastport Plaza. “We offered TriMet bus rides back to Montavilla Park from Eastport Plaza for those interested, after the long march,” revealed Portland Police spokesman Sgt. Peter Simpson. “Some accepted, others declined.”

Just after 1:00 p.m., back at Montavilla Park, officers took two people into custody: 23-year-old Shayne Sellers, for Criminal Mischief II and Theft III; and 19-year-old Zoe McClain, on two counts Assaulting a Public Safety Officer. Sellers was booked and “Released on his Own Recognizance”, and McClain posted bail, and was released later that day.

Other than a lot of shouting and some pushing – with police confiscating some potential weapons, and making those three arrests – the disturbance ended as the protesters finally dispersed.

Although some involved with the decade-old “82nd Avenue of Roses Parade and Carnival” expressed fears that the celebration could not survive its abrupt cancellation this year, the community spirit found a way to put on the car show anyway. Combined with the supportive comments from the police, city officials, and residents of East Portland, that left hope that there might indeed be another parade and carnival on S.E. 82nd Avenue next year.

Spelling champ, spelling bee, Llwellyn Elementary School, Westmoreland, Portland, Oregon, Claire Dolan
Llewellyn Elementary School fourth grader Claire Dolan won first place at the Regional Elementary Spelling Bee in Hillboro on April 28th. (Photo by Rita A. Leonard)

Llewellyn fourth grader wins regional spelling championship


Llewellyn Elementary School fourth grader Claire Dolan, age 10, won a first place ribbon and certificate at the recent Regional Elementary Spelling Bee competition in Hillsboro.

The Westmoreland student competed with about thirty third to fifth graders at the April 28th event, which “was like a giant spelling test of about thirty-five words, instead of an oral Spelling Bee,” she explained to THE BEE.

The contest was sponsored by the Oregon Association of Talented and Gifted Students. “The best part,” she said with a mischievous smile, “Was that I got to skip part of school that day!”

As a Regional Champion, Claire now goes on to the State Match, which will be held on September 2nd at the Oregon State Fair.

Impressively, Dolan didn't study for the contest. “I just read a lot,” she confided. “I’m a real bookworm. My favorite topics are any type of fiction.”

And, Claire’s favorite part of school is Art. She also attends an after-school sewing class taught by the Llewellyn Librarian. When we asked if she was nervous about the competition, she revealed, “Only during the scoring process. We had to wait twenty or thirty minutes while they scored the tests. I was squeezing my water bottle as a sort of stress relief.”

Claire’s parents acknowledge that their daughter does read a lot. “Sometimes it’s hard to get her to put her book down and come to the dinner table,” remarked her Mom. “But it's really a great way to learn how to spell,” Claire reflects.

“You just learn the proper spelling by reading the words over and over, and it gradually sinks in.”

Andrew Jackson Scott
25-year-old Andrew Jackson Scott is being held on numerous charges, after he tried to elude police in a stolen car south of Foster Road. He was tracked down by a police K-9. (MCDC booking photo)

Hunted car thief ‘treed’ on 57th Avenue rooftop


A man, deep asleep, slumped over the steering wheel of a stolen car, got the attention of a an East Precinct officer on patrol along S.E. Foster Road near 58th Avenue at 4 a.m. early Thursday, May 25. He called for backup, and other officers boxed in the stolen car.

But all the flashing emergency lights awoke the snoozing suspect, and he began ramming the police cars blocking him in.

“The driver was able to ram his way out of the box-in and speed away,” reported Portland Police spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson.

Within a few minutes, officers again found the car – this time, abandoned 14 blocks away, near S.E. 66th Avenue and Raymond Street.

Perhaps the slippery suspect, who’d taken off on foot, thought he made a clean getaway; but the keen nose of a police K-9 picked up his scent, and a foot pursuit was on – through yards, over fences and scaling rooftops.

“He eventually attempted to hide on the roof of a building near S.E. 57th Avenue and Boise Street, as the officers and the K-9 closed in on him,” Simpson said.

Officers used a ladder provided by Portland Fire & Rescue to access the suspect, and take him into custody.

25-year-old Andrew Jackson Scott was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center (MCDC) at 6:04 a.m. that morning, on charges of Unlawful Use of Vehicle, Unlawful Entry into a Motor Vehicle, Failure to Perform the Duties of a Driver (Hit and Run – three counts), Attempt to Elude by Vehicle, Reckless Driving, Recklessly Endangering Another Person, and Criminal Mischief in the First Degree.

Scott is also being held on a previously-issued warrant for Burglary in the Second Degree.

After his arraignment later that day, the judge upheld the charges, and Scott remains in jail pending trial, in lieu of a combined $35,000 bail.

Moreland Farmers Market, Wilhelm's Portland Memorial
Market Volunteers at the Information Tent, from left, are Camilla Muldrow; Kristen Eberlin; Hazel Burke, age 9; Jessica Johnson; and Lisa Smillie. (Photo by Rita A. Leonard)

Moreland Farmers Market begins 12th season, making plans to move


The first sunny day in May – Wednesday, May 3 – was the perfect start for the 12th annual Moreland Farmers Market, in what will likely be its last season at the S.E. 14th Avenue and Bybee Boulevard site across from Wilhelm’s Portland Memorial.

The funeral home had graciously allowed the Market to use its parking lot, but recently Wilhelm’s was sold, and although Wilhelm’s will continue to operate just as it has, under the same local management, the new owners decided two parts of the property were superfluous to its mission and has sold one of them – that parking lot. (The other is the wilderness area that separates the Mausoleum from the Llewllyn Elementary School grounds.)

Market Manager Lannie Kali explained, “This lot has been sold to a developer, who kindly let us remain here this year. We have a couple of ideas for a new space so far, but are looking for other local options. By the way, we still have two openings on our Board of Directors for interested volunteers. And, we can always use more set-up volunteers; set-up time is between noon and 2 p.m.”

As the 2017 Market got underway, vendors and market regulars were offering a variety of wares and services. There were plenty of free samples – even from the wine and soup vendors. An old-fashioned ice cream wagon, “Lickety”, sold frozen treats on a stick. Wayne Huisman, owner of Esotica Pasta, offered flavored pastas along with recipes.

As THE BEE wandered through the Market, Dawn Swindell, owner of Berry Bliss Bakery, was offering free samples of fresh-baked muffins – In flavors such as honey-lavender, apple-cinnamon, and chocolate raspberry. “This is my very first Farmers Market,” she said. “I donate 10% of my sales to Oregon Wild, and obtain all my ingredients from local sources which are listed here.”

Market Volunteers at the Information Station passed out “Double-Up Food Bucks”, free pet gift bags for dogs or cats (sponsored by Westmoreland’s Natural Pet Food Solutions), and water.

Kids who came to the “Power of Produce Kids’ Club” tent received nutrition education, and a chance to plant vegetable seeds to carry home. “We host more hunger-reduction and nutrition education programs here than any other market in the state,” smiled Kali. “Our ‘Power of Produce Club Passport’ is sponsored by Sellwood’s Tom Dwyer Automotive Services. Every week we teach kids how to grow, select, and prepare organic foods.

“We also sponsor a Senior Nutrition Program, teaching seniors how to stretch food dollars by adding organic vegetables to their diets,” she added. “Our Double-Up Food Bucks program offers a $10 SNAP match for dollars spent here. Last year, we gave out over $10,000 in our programs – both to market shoppers, and to support local produce vendors. A Double Win for organic nutrition!”

For more information on the Market, or to volunteer, contact Lannie via E-mail: The Market is open each Wednesday from 2 until 7 p.m. through October 18th, while the Volunteer Board meets at 6:30 p.m. on the third Monday of each month throughout the year.

Jonathan Lee Lathrop, chainsaw bandit
For holding up a Woodstock convenience store with a chainsaw, 34-year-old Jonathon Lee Lathrop was sentenced to nearly seven years of hard time. (MCDC booking photo)

Woodstock ‘Chainsaw Bandit’ sentenced to seven years in jail


The clerk on duty at the Woodstock Plaid Pantry store at 11 p.m. on September 18th of last year will likely never forget being held up by a 6'1" armed robber brandishing a knife – and wielding a chainsaw. We reported that story last fall.

Police quickly located the suspect outside the store, seized his chainsaw as evidence, and booked 34-year-old Jonathon Lee Lathrop into jail on counts of First Degree Robbery and various weapons charges. No one was injured during the bizarre hold-up.

It took some time, but Lathrop finally had his day in court, where he pleaded guilty to charges of second-degree robbery and first-degree robbery before a Multnomah County Court judge on April 28.

Lathrop was sentenced to nearly seven years in custody for his crime, and was incarcerated at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility on May 1. He’ll be eligible for release in July, 2023, when he’ll still face three years’ post-prison supervision.

Brooklyn Park, Friends of Brooklyn Park, Summer Playground Program, cancelled by city, Portland, Oregon
The Brooklyn Park Summer Playground Program for 2017 has officially been canceled by PP&R. The neighborhood now hopes to finance it itself through a new nonprofit, “Friends of Brooklyn Park”. (Photo by Rita A. Leonard)

Brooklyn fights to start up its own Summer Playground Program


Under the leadership of neighbor Ben Tarne, Brooklyn residents tried hard to prevent the historic Summer Playground Program at Brooklyn Park from being cut by the city due to budget concerns. However, in a May 15 letter from Portland Park & Recreation’s Community Relations Manager Elizabeth Kennedy-Wong, those hopes were dashed.

Ms. Kennedy-Wong advised, “We agree that our Playground Program is one of the most important services PP&R provides to our community. These cuts are hard [but] we need to make sure that our resources are maximized. The number of children living in Brooklyn has declined, and there are fewer children who are low-income.

“There are other areas of the city where the number of children is increasing, and the need for programs based on economics is greater. This data led PPS to determine we would no longer offer the Free Lunch Program at Brooklyn Park. PP&R staff recommended that we prioritize providing the Playground Program in parks that also provide the Free Lunch Program. . .consistent with our commitment to equity [in] providing services to areas of the city that have traditionally been under-served for decades.” 

Consequently, Brooklyn Park’s 2017 Summer Playground Program was canceled, along with those in four other city parks. The letter continues, “There are ways in which the neighborhood could organize activities for neighborhood kids. If you are interested, let Chariti Montez know, and she will coordinate within PP&R to determine how that can move forward. She can be reached at 503/260-5928, or at”

Consequently, on May 4, Brooklyn Park Program Director Craig Montag asked to meet City Commissioner Amanda Fritz for a personal tour of “the program that has been legendary in the community since 1957.” Montag added, “The program is a very important part of this Inner Southeast community. All other close-in park programs have been cut in recent years: Westmoreland, Sellwood, Kenilworth, Powell, Woodstock, Abernethy, Clinton, Berkeley...only Brooklyn survives.”

A May 22 reply from Fritz’ office explained, “The decision to end city-funded summer activities for Brooklyn Park is not a reflection of how the program is valued by PP&R or by me. . . Your leadership and passion for the program is clearly evident through the amount of e-mails and letters of support I have received. ‘Summer Free For All’ has relied on supplemental ‘one-time’ General Fund [infusions] for several years. Council this year decided to size the program to match available ongoing resources.”

Fritz’ letter continued: “At the Brooklyn Action Corps neighborhood meeting, many individuals indicated a capacity and willingness to support the program financially. While it will no longer be a program of PP&R, recreation staff leaders are willing to discuss how we could make access to the park available to support such an effort.” 

Ben Tarne continues to work on the issue by establishing a nonprofit program, “Friends of Brooklyn Park”, to fund the Playground Program through private donations.

“We are hoping that the Summer Playground Program will occur later this year, possibly with reduced hours,” he said on May 24.

Those interested in assisting the nonprofit project are urged to contact Tarne at 971/772-6578.

Pit bull, dog shot, rampage, Brentwood Darlington, Portland, Oregon
This dog attacked neighbors in Brentwood-Darlington, and is now under treatment for a gunshot wound while authorities seek its current owner. If found, the owner could face criminal charges. (Witness photo, courtesy of KOIN News 6)

Disturbed dog, menacing kids, subdued by cops


A loose white pit bull went on a rampage, causing Brentwood-Darlington neighbors considerable concern, at about 8 a.m. on Thursday, May 11.

As Portland Police Bureau (PPB) East Precinct officers were responding to the area of S.E. 60th Avenue and Nehalem Street on the report of the dog making a woman scramble into a truck to elude the animal, more calls came in – reporting that the dog had attacked and bitten two people.

“As an officer arrived at the scene, the dog was attacking children at a bus stop, and was biting a woman who was protecting her nine-year-old son and other children,” PPB Public Information Officer Sgt. Pete Simpson told THE BEE. “As the officer approached the dog, it let go of the woman's leg and charged at the officer, who fired a single shot striking and injuring the dog.”

“It’s more traumatizing than a physical problem I think,” Dierdra Shows told BEE news partner KOIN News 6, who had protected the kids from the dog. “My son’s upset, it’s really hard from him. I have to talk to him about how it’s not really the dog that’s the problem, it’s the person that raised the dog.”

“They looked like people were trying to stay away from the dog,” witness Amanda Meeker said. “And it looked like it was charging, and trying to bite at people.”

The dog also bit a man in the shin; he was treated by medical personnel at the scene. The woman and her son did not suffer any injuries.

The dog survived the gunshot wound, was taken into custody by Multnomah County Animal Services, and was taken to a local animal hospital for treatment.

The microchip in the animal didn’t help locate the owner because, an Animal Services worker reported, it’s still linked to a previous owner who lives in Spokane.

When the dog’s current owner is found, he or she could face criminal charges.

Nonpartisan party, Eastmoreland, Portland, Oregon
Retired Woodstock Library Children’s Librarian and bassist Peter Connor Ford musically accompanied Bert Sperling’s musical alter ego “Hank Sinatra”. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Eastmorelanders pause ‘historical district’ conflict to host nonpartisan party


On May 13, amidst a pelting hailstorm in the afternoon, several neighbors who question the Eastmoreland Historic District process put aside that issue for a party they called “Fun for a Change” at 3616 S.E. Knapp Street, inside – out of the weather – in the building formerly known as the Eastmoreland Market.

“We wanted have a party to bring everyone together and learn from each other,” Chen told THE BEE. There were no posters, flyers, Notary Publics, or lawn signs campaigning for or against the proposed historic district there. “We’ve invited everyone to the party, and everybody is welcome here!

“We’re not even talking about the historic district,” he added. “What we’re really talking about this afternoon is whether or not to have another ice cream and hot dog.”

About the venue, Chen said that when he purchased the former business building, he wanted to see his “front room” space, where he keeps his historic printing presses, be a space where the community could come together.

So, he and his friends divvied up tasks; some got hot dogs from Otto’s Sausage Kitchen, others made arrangements for ice cream, and others secured entertainment.

“I set the type for the posters and printed them, and with neighbors I hung them all over the neighborhood, and it’s been just a lot of fun,” Chen grinned. “I’m just tickled pink that so many people came together, and we’re having a good time.”

Gardent thief, plant thief, Brooklyn neighborhood, Portland, Oregon
Empty flower plant holes, along with a sign from the owner: “You are a common thief and a coward!” (Photo courtesy of Geneva Riley)

Thieves stealing garden plants in Brooklyn


Thieves find things to steal the year ’round, but now that the growing season is here, they’re digging up plants right out of gardens.

Lately, brazen plant thieves have begun to dig up decorative plants from Brooklyn neighbors' yards. This goes beyond the occasional flower picked for someone's hair or for a teacher – and, while frustrating, it also discourages those who try to brighten up the neighborhood. It’s also vandalism, and against the law.

In April, Carol Wittwer planted five flowering lithodora plants on her south slope, hoping to naturalize them. Less than a week later, someone sneaked in during the night and dug them all up, leaving only holes and the plastic stakes. Wittwer posted a sign at the site: “Whoever stole our plants is a common thief and a coward!” Realizing that nothing much could be done about it, she later commented wryly, “Well, whoever took them, I hope they’re watering them.”

Another Brooklyn neighbor, Guita Andersen, had three plants stolen from her front parking strip. “We had just had it landscaped, and then someone came and stole a small pine tree and a large decorative succulent,” she said. “The next night, they stole a daphne bush. You can still see the hole there; I'm keeping it there to remind me. We were just trying to make our home look nicer.”

In early May, Brad Hamilton posted online: “Today someone dug up five shrubs from my front yard and stole them! I think it happened in daylight. Two weeks ago, three shrubs were dug up and stolen from the front of our house.” His wife Julie elaborated, “First, it was missing ferns and a holly bush. More recently, five nandina plants were taken.

“We’ve reported this information to the police, and we now have a security camera.”

In prior years, geranium thieves struck so frequently in the planter boxes in front of the Columbia Meat Market on Milwaukie Avenue that employees stopped planting new blooms there. Some night owls hearing noises in the dark have seen thieves come right into back yards – such as into the garden area behind Sacred Heart Villa on S.E. Milwaukie Avenue. There, someone even stole a heavy planter, along with its contents.

The frustration and loss from ornamental theft is hardly new, but the brazenness of plant thieves residents find very upsetting. “We teach our kids not to pick others' flowers,” said Andersen, “But now they know this sort of theft can happen.” Even this BEE correspondent has lost plants, and has begun to replace them with fake silk flowers. Most of those are still “blooming”.

Benjamin Franklin High School, Portland, Oregon
With historic Franklin High School’s revitalized buildings in the background, Portland Public Schools Interim Superintendent Robert McCain stands with student Michelle Jaramillo, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, and FHS students Kristina Strommer, Lucy Shadburne, and Sage Trepanier. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Students preview renovated Franklin High, set for fall reopening


A number of Franklin High students, all of whom were freshmen at the “old” Franklin High School (FHS), and for the past two years attended at the Franklin “Marshall Campus” in Lents, looked amazed, awe-struck, and generally pleased as they toured the mostly-renovated campus on May 2.

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler joined in exploring part of the campus with the students, along with FHS Principal Juanita Valder. They started their excursion in the nearly-completed Gymnasium/Biomedical/Culinary Arts (GBCA) building.

“So far, I am impressed, and I really mean it,” smiled Mayor Wheeler after visiting all three floors of the new building. “You walk into this new [GBCA] facility and look out at the panoramic view – the first word that comes to mind is ‘wow’! This shows real confidence in the future of our education.”

Also all smiles was FHS junior Sage Trepanier, after seeing the new gymnasiums – yes, there are two of them in the complex.

“I’m really looking forward to being a senior here next year, partly because I play basketball and run track,” Sage told THE BEE. “The new gymnasium is really cool; it makes me super excited when I walk inside. And the track look looks more spacious – and since they turned it around, it looks even more cool. I’m very excited about going to school here next year1”

FHS Principal Juanita Valder didn’t even try to suppress her big smile as the group walked through both new and historic parts of the building.

“From what it was, to what it is now, the changes amazing,” Valder said. “We’re now upgraded for the 21st Century and beyond, and are able to offer quite a few more educational opportunities than we have in the past.

“Our new equipment and learning spaces will help our students be academically prepared to go on to college, but also, have skills and opportunities to be able to research different types of careers,” remarked Valder.

FHS junior Michelle Jaramillo commented, “It’s fun walking through our new school. I think learning in this new facility will really improve my education and my senior year. I think it encourages students to open up and try new classes and new things it’ll probably help make my life better.”

Another junior taking the tour was Lucy Shadburne, who told THE BEE that what she’s looking forward to the most in her senior year is “everything! – it will make our learning experience a lot easier.”

The last stop on the informal tour was the new PHS Performing Arts Center, facing S.E. 52nd Avenue – designed to serve as the gateway to the new campus. The new two-story, glass-and-chrome lobby will become the new home for the school’s beloved wooden Benjamin Franklin sculpture. In addition to two theaters, the wing houses a new band room and a dance classroom.

Kristina Strommer’s face really lit up as she explored the new main theater in the FHS Performing Arts Center. “I think my new school is spectacular; and it’s beyond my wildest dreams of what I’d expect here. When I visit a university, this is what it looks like – it is of that caliber.

“I’m most excited to see the theater,” Strommer went on. “It’ll be a big improvement over what we had before, where the acoustics were a little funky, and the room was huge and a little old-fashioned.”

Having been an actor in many Quaker productions, including playing Grace in this year’s spring musical, “Annie”, Strommer said she’s looking forward to the upcoming school year. “To be a senior performing in the school musical next year, with a professional theater complete with an orchestra pit, and a new sound board and light board, it is going to be a dream, an absolute dream!”

Shortly after school lets out for the summer, instructors and staff will start the process of moving back out of the Marshall High campus and back into their new, modern Franklin High School.

Number of Eastmoreland homeowners in proposed ‘historic district’ questioned


While proponents of the Eastmoreland Historic District call it a “bump in the road at most”, the Oregon State office in charge of such nominations recommended against the listing due to “procedural problems”.

On May 15, the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) sent the National Register of Historic Places nomination document for the proposed Eastmoreland Historic District to the National Park Service (NPS), with a recommendation not to list the District due to procedural problems related to counting the total number of property owners and, separately, objections.

The actual number of owners is important, stated information from Oregon SHPO, since federal application requirements allow the nomination process to stop if more than 50% of the owners object. “Without a total count of owners, it isn’t possible for the Oregon SHPO to know whether more than 50% of them object,” said the agency in a press release.

According to Oregon SHPO, the number of owners appeared to drop throughout the state’s 90-day evaluation period, and now stands at 2,074. Owners who object were to send in a notarized statement, and as of May 12; so far, 925 had done so.

According to a Portland Tribune article by Lyndsey Hewitt published on May 15, “The recommendation follows a lawsuit filed against the state office [in early May] by Eastmoreland resident Tom Brown, which says that the state agency would be violating neighborhood residents' rights under the Oregon Administrative Procedures Act and questions SHPO’s authority to run the entire program.”

Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer Christine Curran wrote, in information published on their website, also on May 15, “While the submitted owner list represents our best efforts to date, concerns about it have been raised, and unsettled ownership issues remain.

“As a result, we do not have confidence that the list is indeed complete and accurate,” continued Curran. “I therefore do not recommend that the Eastmoreland Historic District be listed in the National Register of Historic Places at this time.

“Should the National Park Service concur with my finding, the Oregon SHPO asks that the nomination be returned to our office with guidance on how to resolve the procedural requirements issue,” Curran added.

“Listing on the National Register of Historic Places needs to be done correctly and without ambiguity, and since this one is so close to the 50% mark, we need to resolve the ownership issue cleanly before proceeding,” Curran stated.

The National Park Service can take up to 45 days for its review and response.

Public comment, and any new objections, should be submitted to the National Park Service, addressed as follows:

Attn: J. Paul Loether, Deputy Keeper
National Park Service
SUBJECT: Eastmoreland, Portland, Oregon
National Register of Historic Places
1849 C St. NW, Mail Stop 7228
Washington, D.C. 20240

Responders should also send a copy to the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office via e-mail to –

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