More stories from July's issue of THE BEE!


Scandinavian Festival, Oaks Park
The procession of flags from Scandinavian countries leads the men carrying in the Maypole in this year’s Midsummer Festival in June in Oaks Park. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Scandinavian Fest in Oaks Park intros summer season

By DAVID F. ASHTON
for THE BEE

Pacific Northwest Scandinavians this year continued their long tradition of celebrating the Summer Solstice with food, dance, music, entertainment, and the raising of the Majstang (Maypole). It all took place on June 12 – more than a week before the actual longest day of the year, June 21, which is the first day of summer. The scene again this year was Oaks Amusement Park in Inner Southeast.

“Here in Portland, this tradition has been celebrated for 86 continuous years, as the ‘Scandinavian Midsummer Festival’,” said new Scandinavian Heritage Foundation Executive Director Greg Smith. “We’re a nonprofit organization that coordinates Scandinavian events and information throughout the Pacific Northwest all year long.”

It’s looked forward to by many, Smith commented, because it’s always a fun, family-friendly day filled with games, dancing, food, and Scandinavian crafts.

Indeed, visitors to the amusement park saw many Scandinavians attired in traditional dress, and enjoyed the wafted odor of thin Swedish pancakes being cooked on the griddle by Harmoni Lodge #472 volunteers.

Danish juggler and physical comedian Henrik Bothe – now a Sellwood resident, and occasional “Sundae in the Park” entertainer – returned to the festival and made his audience of hundreds gasp, giggle, and  laugh, as he rode the high unicycle, juggled golf clubs, and presented his famous plate-spinning act. 

At 1:15 pm musicians led in a procession Scandinavians, dressed in the tradition of their respective countries, along with children, and twelve strong men who carried in the Maypole. After a few heaves-and-hos, the Maypole was erected, and the traditional line dances began.

“Events like this help connect people with where they come from, sharing the influences that have come to this country from so many other countries throughout the world,” Smith observed.

“I think we tend to get isolated in our 21st Century communities, and tend to miss out on the lessons and cultural richness from those who have come before us,” Smith reflected. “This includes their art, music, and ideas. This is a way to bring them all back together, and pass it on down to future generations.”

Find out more about the Scandinavian Heritage Foundation online: http://www.scanheritage.org.



Hit and run
Portland Police Bureau East Precinct officers question a man who they say was trying to flee after hitting a truck, but his vehicle stalled and he was stuck at the scene. He was uninsured. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Hit-and-run driver meets justice on Foster Road

By DAVID F. ASHTON
for THE BEE 

Several times every day, colored indicators light up a digital map provided to news organizations by the Portland Bureau of Emergency Communication showing the location of yet another hit-and-run accident. You’d be shocked just how many there are, every single day.

One such accident occurred at about 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 12 – on S.E. 66th Avenue, between Holgate and Foster Road. And this time, there was an indication that the driver of a hit-and-run truck was still at the scene!

Indeed, in the narrow street, a black Ford SUV towing a trailer loaded with what looked like scrap metal was parked on the wrong side of the street, facing south. A parked red Dodge RAM 1500 SLT that the Ford’s driver had hit was up near the corner of S.E. Holgate Boulevard.

It appeared as if the actual damage was slight, to both vehicles.

The guilty driver didn’t stick around, trying to find the owner – but his SUV had stalled out and wouldn’t start. “I originally considered giving the guy a jump-start,” said a neighbor who witnessed the crash while painting his porch. “That is, until the police pulled up and started questioning the driver.”

While one officer questioned the driver who had reportedly smashed into the parked truck, another officer talked to THE BEE about his experience with hit-and-run accidents. 

“In what I’d call a very non-scientific study,” the officer said, “the majority of hit and run drivers are not insured, which was the case with this driver. Another large percentage of hit-and-run drivers that are caught shortly after a crash are inebriated – with either alcohol or drugs. And, in very few cases, some drivers don’t realize they’ve struck something, or someone.” 

Ironically, the penalties for almost any of those illegal activities are substantially less than for performing a hit-and-run. It just doesn’t make sense not to stay at the scene…but people do hit, and then run, anyway; many times every day, all over the city. So drive carefully – and defensively.



Llewellyn Elementary School, carnival
An old-fashioned Tug-O-War at the Llewellyn Elementary School end-of-year carnival! (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Community supports fun-filled Llewellyn “Circus”

By DAVID F. ASHTON
for THE BEE

Other schools may have end-of-year carnivals, but the Llewellyn Elementary School event in Westmoreland on the evening of Friday, June 6th, was presented this year as a participatory circus!

The summer-like weather swelled attendance; the grounds were teeming with activity soon after the 5 pm opening, and the fun continued on into the evening with no signs of stopping.

As families checked in, the kids were each given a “passport” that encouraged a visit to the dozen or so fun and entertainment stations. Holders of “stamped” passports were awarded prizes, many of which were provided by Westmoreland and Sellwood merchants and restaurants.

“Ringmaster” Rachel Ginocchio and two other volunteer coordinators took a break from managing the event to speak with THE BEE about this year’s Llewellyn Carnival. 

“To me, the most important thing about having an event like this is ‘building community’,” Ginocchio said. “Look around; this is an amazing community event.

“It brings together parents, the school, and our neighborhood businesses,” Ginocchio smiled. “We’re bringing these three groups together to have a lot of fun. This helps strengthen our school, and the bonds it has within our community.” 

The Llewellyn Carnival was produced to reach out beyond those directly affiliated with the school, chimed in Concessions Coordinator Meg Asay. “We have welcomed families with preschoolers and even a few Duniway families here this evening. Kids who are a too young to be in the school are getting to come to see what Llewellyn is like.”

Graphic Design and Marketing Master Gavin Mahaley added, “We’ve also made a point of welcoming charter school and homeschooled children. Many times they feel ‘left out’ in the community. We’ve opened our arms to them, because we are their friends – and neighbors.”

In addition to more the some 100 volunteers who worked to produce this year’s carnival, Ginocchio said that more than 25 businesses “hosted” an activity. And more than 40 businesses provided other services, prizes, supplies, and discounts.

Although he didn’t have an “official” role in the carnival, Llewellyn Principal Joe Galati was clearly the “honorary mayor” of the temporary “carnival town”.

I never knew the something like this could be so outstandingly wonderful!” enthused Galati. “In my 27 years of education, this is a very special occasion for me

“When you look here, and you see the happy faces,” Galati said, as he was thronged with giggling kids; “Not only the kids, but also the parents are all smiling. This is evidence that the organizers – they call themselves the ‘carnies’ – have surpassed their ultimate goal for our carnival.”

After posing for a photo with students, Galati added, “The true collaborative spirit of this event is amazing.”

About his first year at as Principal at Llewellyn, Galati asked to speak directly to the community through THE BEE: “I say thank you to you all. I thank an incredible staff here. And, I continue to thank the parents who continue to ‘show me the ropes’; and I’ve learned a great deal.

“I couldn't ask for better year,” Galati said. “I can hardly wait to start year number two at Llewellyn in the fall!”



Powell Boulevard, motorcycle fatality
The smashed motorcycle on which 34-year-old David Henry Mitchell was riding before he died in a head-on crash lies in S.E. Powell Boulevard. (Photo courtesy of KPTV Fox 12)

Powell Blvd smash kills speeding cyclist

By DAVID F. ASHTON
for THE BEE

When emergency first responders rolled out at 2:00 am on Sunday morning, June 1, they thought they were on their way to help yet another pedestrian who’d been struck down on S.E. Powell Boulevard at 29th Avenue.

Officers and medical personnel learned at the scene, however, that the “victim down” from this crash was actually a motorcycle rider who had been thrown from his cycle and appeared to have died where he lay in the street.

The Portland Police Bureau Traffic Division’s Major Crash Team responded to the scene and conducted an investigation.

The following day, Portland Police Public Information Officer Sgt. Pete Simpson told THE BEE that the motorcycle rider killed in the crash had been identified as 34-year-old David Henry Mitchell.

“Investigators believe Mitchell was impaired by alcohol, and was driving at a high rate of speed prior to crossing the center-line and crashing head-on into a Honda Accord station wagon,” Simpson said.

The driver of the Honda, 53-year-old Brooks Brown, was uninjured in the crash, and cooperated with the investigation. “No citations have been issued in the case,” Simpson added.



Woodmere Principal Rene Canler, Woodmere School
Woodmere Principal Rene Canler spent some time examining historic photos taken over the past century of Woodmere School. (Photo by Rita A. Leonard)

Woodmere School celebrates 100 years with a carnival

By RITA A. LEONARD
for THE BEE

On Saturday, May 10, hundreds of neighbors gathered at Woodmere Elementary School, 7900 S.E. Duke Street, to celebrate the school’s historic hundredth birthday. This is the first year on the job for the current Principal, Rene Canler, who wandered about the carnival with a big grin, enjoying all the excitement and activity.

Food donated by community businesses was served by volunteers in the cafeteria, and students provided entertainment on the stage with dances and songs. Games, prizes, face painting, a raffle, a stilt-walking clown, and a bouncy castle were just a few of the activities that drew the neighbors.

Volunteer coordinator Damien Shows from the Woodmere Parent Group helped to organize nearly a hundred volunteers to assist in numerous ways. “We’ve had lots of help setting up the carnival from school staff, SUN (Schools Uniting Neighborhoods) volunteers, parents, and students – and everyone's excited about how well it has turned out,” he told THE BEE. He pointed to the cafeteria nearby, hung with dozens of various national flags, lending a multi-cultural aspect to the celebration.

A booth set up by the Oregon State University Extension Service was set up adjacent to an historic photo exhibit in the hall. OSU volunteers distributed calendars and useful information on healthy snack food options. They also demonstrated how to make healthful strawberry smoothies with a blender powered by a stationary bicycle! Many students eagerly took a turn on the contraption to mix up “foot-pedal snacks” created by kid power.

Birthday hats, murals, and posters of all kinds decorated the scene, as residents, teachers, and students celebrated the value of the school to the community over the past century.

Keeping the event light was Cha Cha the Clown circulating in colorful garb with flashy green pants hiding stilts that made her as tall as the doorways. Kids crowded around as she welcomed visitors in the front hall, then sauntered off to the gym to create balloon animals for eager youngsters.

Other carnival activities, managed by Woodmere student volunteers, included a dice roll, a bucket toss, bowling, a basketball toss, and beanbag and ring toss games for the younger crowd. Game tickets could be redeemed for prizes, while raffle items and a jewelry booth in the hall offered options for other treats. A large circular mural on the north wall of the school provided a permanent symbol of this historic centennial occasion, as the events of the day wound down with the approach of dusk.

Brooklyn Action Corps, MAX light rail, Salvador Mollys
Rick Sadle and daughter Darielle Ruff, owners of the local “Salvador Molly’s” restaurants, showed attendees of the May BAC meeting mural designs for their new location, which opened in June on S.E. Milwaukie Avenue just north of McLoughlin. (Photo by Rita A. Leonard)

Brooklyn learns its light rail construc- tion is nearly done

By RITA A. LEONARD
for THE BEE

At the May 28 General Meeting of the Brooklyn Action Corps (BAC) neighborhood association, Jennifer Koozer, TriMet’s Community Affairs Representative for the Portland Milwaukie MAX Light Rail Project, reported that the construction is nearing its end in the neighborhood.

“The pedestrian underpass at S.E. 17th and Powell Boulevard is being cleaned up, and permanent lighting is scheduled for June,” she said. “The wood covering the artwork there will then be removed.

“The sculpted artwork consisting of weathered rowboat planters along S.E. 17th Ave will continue to be installed incrementally along with other final elements of the design. Southbound traffic from Powell Boulevard onto S.E. 17th Avenue has reopened.”

Koozer pointed out that work is still in progress on traffic signals in the area of S.E. 11th and 12th Avenues near Division Street, and TriMet is still taking feedback on suggested plans for the former Advantis Credit Union site at S.E. 17th and Rhine Street. TriMet is looking to work with neighbors and stakeholders, to incorporate sustainability principles, and to compliment the character of the neighborhood with whatever arises there. 

In addition, a TriMet open house is scheduled for June 23rd concerning bus route changes resulting from the opening next year of the MAX line.

In other matters at the monthly BAC meeting, Chairman Mike O’Connor introduced the recently elected Board members. “We are so pleased to welcome these volunteers,” he smiled. “It's been seven years since the Board has had a complete slate of eleven members. For the past couple of years, we've only had six or seven people step forward. It shows renewed interest in the neighborhood.”

BAC stalwart Marie Phillippi spoke of the Neighborhood Cleanup and Rummage Sale held on May 17. “This was our biggest year ever,” she reported. “We filled five dumpsters with over twelve tons of garbage and one ton of yard debris, recycled a ton of metal, and donated four bikes and two truckloads of items to Goodwill. We raised $1,437, which will completely fund this summer’s ‘Ice Cream Social in the Park’.” 

Two restaurants made an appearance at the meeting. Jared Boyce, new manager of what is now called the “Twilight Cafe and Bar” at 1420 S.E. Powell Boulevard, said he wants to bring back a community feel to the restaurant. He invited families to attend what he hoped would become an annual “Kick Off to Summer Block Party” on June 22, focusing on local craftsmen and a BBQ, with music, balloons, and a bouncy house for the kids.

“Hours of the event are noon to whenever,” he said. “We’re also planning to reintroduce a breakfast menu here, in hopes of attracting more families.” 

Also appearing were Rick Sadle and daughter Darrielle Ruff, co-owners of “Salvador Molly’s” restaurant in Hillsdale, who confirmed they would open a new Salvador Molly’s in the former Yummy Garden space at 4729 S.E. Milwaukie Avenue, just north of McLoughlin Boulevard, in June.

“We create international meals, blending Caribbean, African, and Asian flavors,” explained Sadle. “We also host monthly fundraisers for community and educational groups, and we ask for your suggestions for those. We’ve been remodeling the site with additional indoor seating, and a patio complete with fire pit and water feature.” Sadle showed samples of colorful murals being painted on three sides of the building.

Other events at the May Brooklyn community meeting included news that:

  • Jeff Lowery is the new Coordinator for the Brooklyn Community Garden on Franklin Street;
  • Don Stephens suggests that an old apple tree at S.E. Center Street at McLoughlin may be a historic remnant from Gideon Tibbetts’ original orchard;
  • Eric Wheeler, an architectural historian who designs and leads historic walking tours in the city through his business, Uniquely Portland, says that Dana Beck, history writer for THE BEE, has inspired him to create a Brooklyn Walking Tour.

“GREAT” kids celebrated at Hosford Middle School

By DAVID F. ASHTON
for THE BEE

As the school year came to a close, there were various observances and celebrations at elementary and middle schools. One of those was at Hosford Middle School. 

On May 14, Portland Police Officers made their way into the school to honor students who had completed their “Gang Resistance Education And Training” (G.R.E.A.T.) program.

“About 150 students went through our 13-week G.R.E.A.T. training,” remarked the program’s coordinator and Youth Services Division Officer, Michael Paresa. “Here at Hosford, the students are six, seventh, and eighth graders.” 

The curriculum, Paresa told THE BEE, is about learning “life skills”.  “These are skills like anger management, good decision-making – and, too, staying away from drugs, alcohol, and gangs.”

In addition to administrating the program, Paresa said he enjoyed being with the students he instructed at Hosford. “For me, the best part is getting to know the kids, and seeing them get to know me as more than just ‘a uniform and gear’ – but as a real person.”

During the short ceremony, Officers Chris Burley, Kristi Butcher, and Mike Paresa – who had all taught classes at the school – thanked the students, and awarded small prizes to exemplary youngsters.

It wasn’t easy – especially on the hottest day of the year, to date – for the kids to sit still during the program, while they watched stacks of pizza boxes being brought in and placed on serving tables. But they did, and shortly were rewarded, because as always, the G.R.E.A.T. “graduation” ended with a pizza party!

It wasn’t long until the spicy slices disappeared into hungry kids. Officers hoped that lessons learned will help these youngsters grow up to be model citizens.

To learn more about the G.R.E.A.T. Program, contact Officer Mike Paresa at 503/823-2186, or e-mail him at: Mike.Paresa@PortlandOregon.gov.


Brooklyn Yard’s local rail history now on display

By DAVID F. ASHTON
for THE BEE

An exhibit illustrating the history of the Brooklyn Rail Yard was unveiled for the public on May 1 at the Oregon Rail Heritage Center, near OMSI.

The former home of Portland’s antique operating locomotives, the Union Pacific’s Brooklyn Yard is one of the largest rail yards in the region.

Maps and rare photographs showcase the early years of the “Car Shops” of the Oregon & California railroad in the 1870s, the Southern Pacific’s principal shop facilities in Oregon in the 1940s, and recently the Union Pacific Railroad re-purposing the facility into an important intermodal facility serving Oregon and southwest Washington.

In addition to seeing the three restored steam locomotives at the Oregon Rail Heritage Center, opening day visitors discovered the history of the rail yard, the types of activities which took place there, and the variety of locomotives and rolling stock which called the yard home over the years.

Go see for yourself! The Oregon Rail Heritage Center is located at 2250 S.E. Water Street, almost under the MLK Viaduct, and just east of the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.


Armed ATM robbery reported in Brooklyn

By DAVID F. ASHTON
for THE BEE

An armed robbery was reported at 1:40 pm on Sunday morning, June 15, in which a pedestrian was robbed at gunpoint after using the U.S. Bank Automatic Teller Machine on S.E. Milwaukie Avenue, just north of Franklin Street, in the Brooklyn neighborhood.

During this bold daytime stick-up, the victim told police that the suspect approached her from behind, after she used the banking machine, and demanded her money.

“The victim said she threw some money at the suspect, who then chased her on foot for a few feet before running away,” reported Portland Police spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson.

Several officers, including a Police K-9 Unit, searched the neighborhood, but did not locate anyone matching the bandit’s description.

“The suspect was described as a white male in his 40s, 6'2" tall, very thin build, blond hair, wearing some kind of black mask, with a black jacket, black jeans, and a black hat,” Simpson said. “The suspect was armed with a handgun.”

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Robbery Detail detectives at 503/823-0405.



GREAT program; Hosford Middle School
G.R.E.A.T. instructor and Transit Police Officer Kristi Butcher awards a student from one of her classes at Hosford. (Photo by David F. Ashton)
Brooklyn Yard, railroad museum
This visiting dad and son, Nate Sandvig and young James, get a close-up look at the Brooklyn Rail Yard display, a current exhibit at the Oregon Rail Heritage Center, near OMSI. (Photo by David F. Ashton)
Bank ATM robbery, Brooklyn
After withdrawing money from this Brooklyn neighborhood ATM, a customer was robbed at gunpoint by an older, “very thin” tall masked man. (Photo by David F. Ashton)
Winterhaven School, Carnival, Tom Bright
Time after time, students’ aim was on target as they hit the bull’s eye, causing a bucket of water to spill onto Winterhaven Sixth Grade Science Teacher Tom Bright. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Teachers soaked at Winterhaven end-of-school carnival

By DAVID F. ASHTON
for THE BEE

The playground of Winterhaven School, the arts and science magnet school in Brooklyn turned into a carnival on the afternoon of Friday, May 30. 

Teachers were getting drenched with water every time students hit the bull’s eye, kids were playing in and sliding down bounce houses, families were enjoying treats, and everyone was having a good time at the end-of-school event.

“The community works very hard here, to make this an excellent school,” remarked Winterhaven PTSA President Fawn Lengvenis. “This is our way to say ‘thank you’ for a year of hard work, and the participation of all our teachers, administration, support staff – and especially, our parent volunteers.

“We all come together and support our children and give them a good education,” Lengvenis said, observing that about 100 volunteers pitched in to make the carnival a success. “We appreciate them all.” 

While the kids had the chance to “let loose” for the afternoon, parents and neighbors were invited to browse items in a silent auction. 

“Our community voted this year that proceeds from the silent auction are going toward helping to fund support staff for Kindergarten through Eighth Grade instruction,” Lengvenis pointed out. “And, we’re also doing a matching fundraiser that will go toward [obtaining] technology for the Kindergarten through Third Grade classrooms.” 

In the background, Winterhaven Sixth Grade Science Teacher Tom Bright could be heard taunting kids to try to hit the bull’s-eye, which would have the effect of dumping a bucket of water on him.

The teasing was unnecessary; the aim of these kids was deadly. Mr. Bright became the star of the carnival, as he was soaked repeatedly.



Auto over side, Oaks Park Way
An unidentified adult looks into the ambulance that’s about to transport a teenager hurt in the crash to the hospital. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Car dives into Oaks Bottom while leaving Oaks Park

By DAVID F. ASHTON
for THE BEE 

One young person was injured on the afternoon of Tuesday, June 10, when a car driven by another youth unexplainably swerved off S.E. Oaks Park Way and dropped into a ravine in the south end of Oaks Bottom, just north of Sellwood Riverfront Park.

Westmoreland’s Fire Engine 20 responded at 2:40 pm to the crash site, a few hundred feet south of Oaks Amusement Park.

As sightseers wandered about a top the embankment, a Portland Police Bureau officer declared the area to be a “crime scene”, when THE BEE arrived on scene to report the story. 

From a distance, several adults were seen coming to the scene, and speaking with Portland Police officers.

It appeared the injured young man was not severely hurt; he walked to the back of the ambulance and stepped up inside without much assistance. Further information is not available at this time.



Arleta School, Make It Faire
Steve Spears, retired PPS teacher, helps Arleta School students Jeremiah Fowlkes get ready to blast off his rocket – using air compressed with a tire pump. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Arleta School hosts a “Make It Faire”

By DAVID F. ASHTON
for THE BEE 

Students at Arleta School looked excited on June 12 – as they well might, because it was the day before school let out for the summer.

But this particular enthusiasm came from the opportunity to participate some of the many activities being offered that day at a “Make It Faire”.

“My mission for this event is get students thinking about becoming inventors, engineers, designers, and creators,” said the organizer, Arleta School Teacher-Librarian Melinda McCrossen. “The ‘Maker Culture’ is based on the sharing of ideas.”

Her goal was to find an engaging way to teach STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) content, especially on the last few days of school. “The idea came about from well-known ‘Maker Fair’ national events held in San Francisco and New York City, as well as a regional event held at OMSI every year.” 

At a conference, McCrossen said she met Ben Jones of “PDX DIY”, whom she recruited to bring in volunteers and procure supplies.

The stations at the faire included:

  • Awesome Chemical Reactions – Creating silly sludge from glue
  • Makey Makey Rock Band – Making musical instruments with fruit, play-dough, and cardboard
  • Game Designer – Create a video game using Pixel Press
  • Squishy Circuits – Using play-dough to conduct electricity
  • Papercrafter – Making amazing shapes with origami
  • Rocketeer – Building and launching rockets with compressed air

The Faire was a success. Every room was filled with kids having a lot of fun, while playing with math, science, and technology. And the following day, school was out till September.



Burglar busted
Eight days after police say they caught 23-year-old Barrett Michael Stoffer red-handed after a burglary, he was set free by the court. (MCDC booking photo)

Police pounce on Foster-Powell burglar

By DAVID F. ASHTON
for THE BEE

Homeowners in Inner Southeast neighborhoods recently hit by burglaries might be gratified to learn that a suspect has been caught in the act – and arrested. However, the news is not all good.

A homeowner in the 4500 block of S.E. 78th Avenue was surprised when she confronted an intruder in her basement at 11:30 am on Thursday morning, June 5. 

“The suspect fled the residence with some of the owner’s property, and was located several blocks away by East Precinct officers,” Portland Police spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson later told THE BEE

“The victim positively identified the suspect, and her stolen property,” Simpson said.

The man placed in handcuffs and taken off to jail was 23-year-old Barrett Michael Stoffer. At 1:24 that afternoon, Stoffer was processed into Multnomah County Detention Center on a charge of Burglary in the First Degree – a Class A Felony – with bail set at $50,000.

Surprisingly however, when Stoffer was arraigned in Multnomah County Court on June 13, charges were apparently dismissed by the judge, and he walked free later that afternoon. 

So, take a good look at his mug shot. If you see a 5 foot 5 inch, 140-pound Caucasian man with brown hair and blue eyes surveying your street – you, too, could be in danger of allegedly meeting Mr. Stoffer in your home.



Trackers, archery
“Trackers Earth” has bought this building, on Milwaukie Avenue just south of Holgate, to convert it into a new archery range, coffee shop, and outdoor gear store. It’ll be open to the public. (Photo by Rita A. Leonard)

“Trackers Earth” opens archery range on Milwaukie Avenue

By RITA A. LEONARD
for THE BEE

Trackers Earth, the outdoor survival skills school at 5040 S.E. Milwaukie Avenue, just south of McLoughlin Boulevard, is developing a new archery range nearby.

Owner Tony Deis purchased the former Barbo Machinery Co. building at 4617 S.E. Milwaukie Avenue, and is converting it into a new archery range, coffee shop, and outdoor gear store. The 18,000-square-foot space is three times larger than Trackers’ current indoor range.

Trackers has been teaching students the arts of wilderness living, homesteading, and primitive skills related to nature and land restoration, for ten years in the former PPS Vocational Village building. Among the classes are wild plant identification, blacksmithing, and hide tanning basics – and boat-building, archery, and outdoor shelter skills. Classes also address hunting, food gathering, and learning to respect the land. Classes are held after regular school hours, and during school breaks. 

Says Deis, “We offer camps and outdoor programs for all ages through innovative education and authentic outdoor skills. Our purpose is to create a connection to the land, and we have been recognized with several awards for our creative programming. Our setup is organized into four guilds: Rangers, Wilders, Mariners, and Artisans.”

The archery range will be open to the public during evenings and weekends, with all ages welcome. Deis continues, “There will be classes for making bows, including longbows, at the range. Other classes that will be available will be camps (our primary programs), blacksmithing, woodworking, fiber arts, and other ‘folk school’ programs.

“The opening of the building coincides with the release of our new book, which teaches outdoor survival skills to kids.”



Woodstock Montessori School
Among those at the 30th anniversary celebration of Whole Child Montessori Center in Woodstock were: (back row from left) Dana Pribnow, former students Nathan and Lincoln Holmes; (front row from left) founder Nancy Pribnow, former teacher Ginni Sackett, and teacher Shirley Harmon. (Photo by Elizabeth Ussher Groff)

Woodstock school celebrates its anniversary – and its founder

By ELIZABETH USSHER GROFF
for THE BEE

On Saturday May 31st, people of all ages were elbow-to-elbow in the garden and classroom of the Whole Child Montessori Center in Woodstock, celebrating the 30th anniversary of this pre-kindergarten-kindergarten school, and honoring its founder, Nancy Pribnow.

Under sunny skies, over one hundred students, alumni, and families were mingling and happily reminiscing about days past; catching up on details of children now in high school, or fully-grown with families of their own.

The preschool was started in 1983 in the family room of Nancy and David Pribnow’s Westmoreland home. While the school is nationally-acclaimed in the Montesssori community and beyond, Pribnow remains a humble woman, generous in spirit, hard-working, and enthusiastically dedicated to enriching children’s lives.

The story of this preschool reflects Pribnow’s vision and ability to create an environment where children learn, flourish, and become passionate about their school.

Three decades ago, the preschool – then the first Montessori program in Southeast Portland – quickly outgrew its family-room classroom. As word spread about the quality education that children were receiving through the instruction and care of Nancy and her principal co-teacher Shirley Harmon, the school moved into a bigger classroom space in the basement of All Saints Episcopal Church at 41st and Woodstock. Parents pitched in to paint, lay new flooring and serve on an advisory board created to support the staff.

After four years, a further need to expand the school inspired the Pribnow family to purchase the lot and condemned house on it just west of All Saints Church. Today, the school, its garden, and the home built above the school, are a far cry from the once abandoned and neglected lot.

“The whole garden reflects the work parents have done on it,” remarks parent Ed Nieto, referring to a lush children’s garden filled with intriguing small spaces, beautiful plants, sculptures, and rocks. Over the years parent involvement with the garden and many aspects of the school has been an integral part of the school’s development and success.

Today Shirley Harmon is still teaching, celebrating her thirtieth year along with Pribnow, who has transitioned from teaching to doing mostly administrative work. Forty-nine children ages 3-6 are taught in two beautiful and well-appointed classrooms. Two of Nancy and David Pribnow’s three daughters are also involved with Montessori teaching and administration.

Pribnow’s love for the school and its students was visible on this particular Saturday afternoon, as she hugged teenagers and young adults who had returned to celebrate some of the best academic years of their life.

In 1992 the school incorporated as a 501(c)3 non-profit, charitable organization. Several years ago the school became steward of an area in the Johnson Creek watershed, involving the children in removal of invasive species and planting native plants.

And for the past thirty years, the school has been involved in neighborhood tree plantings, litter patrol, and graffiti cleanups. Its annual food and clothing drive has contributed to Portland’s disadvantaged population. The school explains that children making connections with the natural world is an integral part of this thriving Montessori community of students, parents and educators.



Quarter ton of drugs collected in Southeast 

By DAVID F. ASHTON
for THE BEE

Portland police officers were stationed outside the Southeast Precinct building on April 26, taking handfuls of over-the-counter and prescription pharmaceuticals from Southeast Portland residents as they drove in with them.

“We are here at another drug turn-in day, in cooperation with the DEA who sponsors this twice-yearly event,” said City of Portland Office of Neighborhood Involvement Crime Prevention Specialist Jenni Pullen.

They were taking unused prescription drugs – but also vitamins and remedies and pet medications too, Pullen said.

“The idea is to encourage people to clean out their medicine cabinets, turn the unwanted drugs in, and let disposal professionals incinerate them, including the containers,” Pullen said. “It keeps these chemicals out of our landfills – where they would be, if disposed of in the trash; and it also keeps them from being flushed down the toilet, and perhaps getting into our waterways.”

More important than the environmental benefits, she added, “Cleaning out your medicine cabinet can keep teenagers from accessing prescription medications at home, at their grandparents’ homes, and their friends’ homes. 

“Unfortunately many youngsters experiment with these drugs, thinking ‘it's safe because it was prescribed by a doctor’,” Pullen explained. “The fact is, that some medications, if used other than as prescribed to the patient, can be lethal.”

You need not wait for the next event if you missed this one. Secure “drop boxes” are located in the lobbies of all Portland Police Stations, and are available during their regular office hours.


Time Capsule vault found and restocked, at Winterhaven School

By DAVID F. ASHTON
for THE BEE

As a morning elective class at Winterhaven School in Brooklyn this year, parent volunteer Barbara Linssen taught students about the architecture of their school.

As students combed through the blueprints, dated December 14, 1924, Linssen said they discovered something interesting in the “Cornerstone Detail” on the west wall of the school’s gymnasium. It was called a “Document Recess”.

So it was that standing in the gym on May 30, Linssen pointed up behind a basketball backboard at what appeared to be a piece of plywood covered with burlap.

“Not sure how it was attached up there, last time they put it back up – which, in all honesty, was probably 5 to 10 years ago,” Linssen told THE BEE. “Hopefully it pops off without too much struggle, and we can see what’s inside.”

Linssen said that she didn’t expect the original 1930s contents still in there, and believed those to have been donated to the Brooklyn neighborhood at some point. 

Her husband, Peter Linssen, mounted a ladder, pried off the cover, and felt around inside the brick-lined cavity.

Having prepared students and parents for the eventuality, no one seemed particularly let down when he reported that the “Document Recess” was empty.

But, with the help of her students, Linssen gathered current items of interest – including a school photo, a ceramic tile from an art project, a DVD of the school play held that year, and other suggested memorabilia.

With these new artifacts in a O-ring sealed plastic container, on June 13th Linssen placed this new “time capsule” in the recess. “This time, we will put a sign on the outside of the cover, with the date, so future Winterhaven kids know it’s there, and will know when they should open it next – 30 years from now.”



Drug turn in
Portland Police East Precinct Neighborhood Response Team Officer Rob Brown, and City of Portland Office of Neighborhood Involvement Crime Prevention Specialist Jenni Pullen, receive unused medications from a Southeast resident. (Photo by David F. Ashton)
Winterhaven School, time capsule
Parent volunteer Barbara Linssen shows the blueprint that suggests a “time capsule” from the 1930s might be hidden in the brick wall of Winterhaven’s gymnasium. (Photo by David F. Ashton)
Bureau of Emergency Services, BOEC, awards
Family, co-workers, and friends gather as the annual BOEC Awards and Dinner gets underway in Inner Southeast.

9-1-1 Telecommunicators honored at Southeast banquet

By DAVID F. ASHTON
for THE BEE

National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, from its origin in 1991, has been a time to celebrate the work done by staff members who work around the clock in 9-1-1 Centers.

The Portland Bureau of Emergency Communications (BOEC) again held an awards ceremony and banquet – this time on April 5 at Madison’s Ballroom in Inner Southeast Portland.

“Tonight, we’re celebrating our people who come to work every day,” said Operations Supervisor (night shift) Kris DeVore. “This event highlights the special things our people do, the care they take, and the training and support they provide.”

Theirs is a unique calling, DeVore reflected, in comments to THE BEE. “It takes a unique person to work in our profession. When people call us, they’re often having the ‘worst day of their life’. By the nature of what we do in emergency services, we’re talking to people experiencing high-profile incidents that are affecting their lives in negative ways.”

A fancy meal and great door prizes doesn’t come inexpensively, but taxpayers don’t pay a dime for the awards dinner, DeVore reminded. “Many companies and organizations help support this, and our employees do year-around fundraising – with bake sales and selling T-shirts, for example. We’re proud this event is self-supporting.”

Four categories of awards were presented; DeVore introduced each of the 2014 recipients…

2014 Telecommunicator of the Year: Karen Champ

Karen Champ, a Senior Emergency Communications Dispatcher, has been with BOEC for eight years.

“I wanted to have a position where people approach me for help, and work behind the scenes,” Champ said, about why she chose BOEC for a career. “I wanted to be able to provide a valuable service, and not sell a product or service.

“More than that, I want to be proud of what I do, and provide a necessary and valuable service,” Champ added.

About her award, Champ commented, “It’s like a stamp of approval from my co-workers.  This includes the person who nominated me, and it is some validation and recognition for the work I do every day.”

2014 Supervisor of the Year: Steve Mawdsley

A BOEC veteran of nine years, Steve Mawdsley said he was humbled to be nominated, and more so to be selected for the honor.

“It is an unusual job choice,” Mawdsley said. “But I really enjoy the ‘community and family’ that I find among my co-workers.  They’re inviting, welcoming, and very supportive.”

2014 Coach of the Year: Anne Hamburg

Senior Dispatcher Anne Hamburg said two co-workers nominated her for the award.

“It’s wonderful to be appreciated; I guess I'm doing something right!” Hamburg smiled. “I've been here for 26 years, and have been a coach most of the time.”

This Southeast Portland resident said she enjoys coaching for many reasons. “First, trainees ask a lot of questions, which helps me keep up on all of the latest policy and procedure changes.

“And, because I live in our response area – as do my family and friends – I want to make sure our people are well-trained when they respond to calls.”

2014 Outstanding Team Member: Lisa St. Helen

Her responsibility, as Assistant Operations Manager on the Operations Floor, Lisa St. Helen said, is substantial. “It’s a great challenge.” 

In fact, after 19 years on the job, St. Helen said the daily challenges are why she enjoys coming to work every day. “The people on the Operations Floor, both the operators and dispatchers, have a very tough job sometimes.  The ability to go in there and try to make their job better, easier, more rewarding – it’s just something I like doing.” 

With the buffet banquet, the awardees, co-workers, friends, and family celebrated the awards – and their unique jobs of serving their community in a most unique and necessary way.



Sellwood Junior Baseball, Softball
Olivia Jones pitches with intensity for Sellwood’s Red Devils during the first game of the day, against the North Clackamas Blue Tornadoes, in the Sunday, June 15th, tournament play. (Photo by David Ball)

Sellwood Softball ends season on a high note

By DAVID BALL
Pamplin Media
Special to THE BEE

The Sellwood Red Devils finished their softball season with a win in the 10U Silver bracket at North Clackamas Park on Sunday, June 15.

Sellwood’s toughest test came in its opening game – an 11-10 comeback win over the North Clackamas Blue Tornadoes. The Red Devils stayed within reach by holding North Clackamas to a single run in the third inning, sending the Tornadoes spinning back to the dugout after catcher Ryen Herman tracked down a loose ball at the backstop and tossed to home plate where pitcher Allyson Hyde applied the tag for the third out.

Sellwood trailed 10-6 heading into the bottom of the third, but reached the five-run limit to pull in front. Kora Dillon connected for an RBI-single to second base to bring across the winning run.

“That one was a little bit nerve wracking. We had to squeak out that win,” Sellwood coach Nate Hyde commented.

The Red Devils avenged a pair of regular-season losses to beat the North Clackamas Wild Fillies 8-2 in Saturday, June 14’s, semifinals to earn a spot in Sunday’s championship round.

The team arrived at the park for a title game rematch against the Tornadoes, only to have a rainstorm hit the field shortly after the coin toss at home plate. A twenty-minute downpour soaked the field, and the championship games were cancelled.

“That was kind of a bummer. We had our best warm-up of the year, and were ready to go,” Hyde said. “But that’s what can happen in Oregon, even though we’ve only had a few rainouts all season.”

But the rainout was not really bad news – Sellwood earned the title based on being 2-0 in earlier games, and coming out of the winner's side of the bracket. “We weren’t sure how they were going to settle it, but when they brought the trophy over, the girls were happy – all smiles,” Hyde said.

The Red Devils also won a West Linn tournament during the regular season.

Other members of the championship team include Sofia Maykut, Peyton Stephens, Holly Davidson, Kristina Shenson-Collins, Olivia Jones, Madison Brown, and Maya Hausman, along with assistant coaches Matt Herman and Chris Maykut.

For more information about Sellwood Junior Baseball and Softball, go online to: http://www.sellwoodbaseball.com .




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!