More stories from April's issue of THE BEE!


Naomi Tsai, Cleveland High School, Princess, Portland Rose Festival
Meet 2015 Cleveland High School’s Portland Rose Festival Princess, Naomi Tsai. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Cleveland High picks Rose Fest Princess Naomi Tsai

By DAVID F. ASHTON
for THE BEE

At the end of the school day, about 600 Warriors made their way into the Cleveland High School (CHS) on Monday, March 16th, to welcome the four candidates vying to represent their school during the 2015 Portland Rose Festival.

After students were seated, the nominees glided down the theater’s aisle, each dressed in a beautiful gown. Then Naomi Tsai, Michaella Joseph, Serena Gaines, and Claire Diller faced the audience, as the preliminary announcements and introductions were made.

2014 Portland Rose Festival Cleveland Princess Callie Krevanko returned to the school, telling the audience, “It’s good to be back. I can't believe how quickly time has passed since I was crowned last year. My journey as a Rose Festival Princess was filled with adventure, friendship, and experiences I never could have imagined!

“I’m proud to be a Warrior, and was proud to represent Cleveland in my travels,” the retiring Princess said. “Any one of this year’s candidates will represent our school well; the one selected is in for a great adventure.”

Unitus Community Credit Union Mentor for the 2015 Cleveland Princess, Tia Chenault, greeted each of the candidates, and gave each a memento of the occasion.

CHS Vice Principal Katy Wagner-West then announced the outcome of the contest – and named who would represent the school. Princess Callie placed her tiara on the head of Naomi Tsai.

After regaining her composure, 2015 Portland Rose Festival Cleveland Princess Naomi Tsai spoke to the assembly. “Thank you so much. I am so excited, and I am looking forward to this experience, and everything that it is going to bring. I’m happy that I’ve been given this chance to represent Cleveland in the Portland area, and beyond.”

Portland Rose Festival Foundation President Frank Chinn spoke with THE BEE, reminding us that the pageant is not a beauty contest. “It is not judged on physical appearance; the candidates are selected based on their poise, public speaking, and on one-on-one interviews, in addition to their academic record, and the votes of the students at the respective schools.”

Still looking elated about being selected, Princess Naomi met THE BEE, commenting that she’s a true local, having attended Woodstock Elementary, then Hosford Middle School, before spending all four years at Cleveland High.

“The community here at Cleveland is something special,” Princess Naomi smiled. “I remember I was in eighth grade, and came here to visit. A friend who was a student told me that Cleveland is unique, in that everyone can find a place where they belong; it’s an all-inclusive school.”

After participating in the Portland Rose Festival program last year, and not being selected, Princess Naomi reflected that she had had a difficult time deciding if she would try again. “It is a very intense experience; and I’m really glad I did.” 

In addition to being a swimming, track and field, and running athlete, Princess Naomi completed the Chinese Immersion Program, and is an Academic All-State, and Cleveland HS Scholar Athlete. “But I’m not all about sports, I’m also interested in the arts,” she said. “I’ve been in the Cleveland Jazz Band for three years, and have been taking ceramics this year.”

With the help of a $3,500 scholarship provided by The Randall Group, Princess Naomi plans to attend a four-year university, followed by medical school, to pursue overseas opportunities in health sciences.

Cheer on Princess Naomi Tsai at the Queen’s Coronation, to be held at 8:30 am at Veterans Memorial Coliseum, just before the start of this year’s Grand Floral Parade.

For more information on Rose Festival, visit the Portland Rose Festival Association’s official website: http://www.rosefestival.org.



Sierra Hosea, Franklin High School, Princess, Portland Rose Festival
2015 Portland Rose Festival Franklin Princess Sierra Hosea. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Princess Sierra Hosea to represent Franklin in Rose Festival

By DAVID F. ASHTON
for THE BEE

The last of the 2015 Portland Rose Festival Princess announcements was held at Franklin High School on the afternoon of Friday, March 20th.

“This is a super opportunity for the young ladies who make it to this point,” remarked FHS Principal Juanita Valder, waiting for the program to start. “Both of this year’s candidates represent our brightest and best community-minded students.”

After recognizing Portland Rose Festival Foundation dignitaries present, an ensemble from the FHS Intermediate Dance Class performed an example of their own choreography, entitled “Waves”.

Franklin High Princess candidates Sierra Hosea and Lynn Dao then made their way to the stage, where they greeted the audience.

As her last official act, the 2014 Franklin Rose Festival Princess Isabella Rigelman smiled, “It’s been an amazing year. I’ve learned so much about myself and about my community.

“Because of this, I been able to accomplish many things that I would not have been able to do before.  For example, I got into my dream school, Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, studying bio-medical engineering.”

She had only one simple piece of advice for the Princess who will be next to wear her tiara: “Just be yourself!”

With that, the winning candidate was announced, and Isabella Rigelman passed her tiara to the 2015 Portland Rose Festival Franklin High School Princess, Sierra Hosea.

The 18-year-old Franklin High senior said she was happy and proud to be a Quaker.

“My freshman year, I learned how inclusive our students and campus can be when many of the Marshall High School students moved here,” explained Princess Sierra. “And, I’ve been involved with the bond issue to remodel our school, since my sophomore year. Now, it’s finally coming about.”

Princess Sierra is involved in the Franklin Student Union, the Franklin High School Design Advisory Committee, and the We the People Constitution Team, to name only a few of her school activities.

“But the time and effort it takes to be involved in the Rose Festival program is well worth it,” Princess Sierra afterward told THE BEE. “It presents an amazing opportunity to work with mentors, and make all of these new connections. So, it's been a very valuable experience so far, and it will be into the future.”

What surprises many people about herself, Princess Sierra said, is that she’s an avid rock climber.

Attending a four-year university, followed by Graduate School to pursue a career in the Chemical Engineering or Emergency Medicine field, is the goal Princess Sierra is be closer to realizing, since she is now the recipient of a $3,500 scholarship, provided by The Randall Group.

Rose Festival Foundation President Frank Chinn smiled when he heard that Princess Sierra looks forward to her first time riding in a parade.

“We work to preserve our history, and at the same time, to bring in new ideas,” Chinn said. “This, our 101st Portland Rose Festival Court, is a way we honor our past by helping talented young women prepare for their future.”

Chinn reminded BEE readers that attending the Queen’s Coronation, to be held at 8:30 am at Veterans Memorial Coliseum, just before the start of the 2015 Grand Floral Parade, is a good way to support 2015 Portland Rose Festival Franklin Princess Sierra Hosea, as well as all the other young women named ambassadors for their schools this year.

For more information, go online to: http://www.rosefestival.org.



Linn Street, traffic islands, Sellwood, Springwater Trail
Looking south along S.E. 17th Avenue, new concrete traffic safety islands have been installed at SE Linn Street. Once motorists have gotten used to the new mid-street curbing, the red warning markers will be removed. (Photo by Rita A. Leonard)

Springwater Trail safety concerns result in traffic islands on 17th

By RITA A. LEONARD
for THE BEE

Southeast 17th Avenue in Sellwood, south of Tacoma Street, is a busy conduit for drivers from and to Clackamas County, especially in commuting hours. This heavy traffic has led to concerns not only for the safety of pedestrians seeking to cross it south of Umatilla’s pedestrian signal, but also for bicyclists using the Springwater Trail in what is referred to as the “Sellwood Gap”.

This gap extends from S.E. 13th east to 17th, a space in which S.E. Linn Street currently serves as a bypass.

The Portland Department of Transportation has responded by installing twin safety islands in the middle of 17th at Linn Street. These should also benefit pedestrians seeking to pick up packages at the U.S. Postal Station on the east side of 17th there, and also parents heading across the busy street to bring kids and strollers to and from Johnson Creek Park. Also, TriMet buses turn onto Linn from 17th at the same spot.

The busy traffic at Linn Street is complicated further by the nearby railroad crossing a block south, at S.E. Ochoco Street; the entrance to the Garthwick section, just south of that; and the connection of 17th to Highway 224 and S.E. McLoughlin Boulevard at the north end of the City of Milwaukie.

The traffic islands are not intended as a final solution to the “Sellwood Gap” problem – planning is still in progress on that matter – but they should improve safety, and perhaps slow traffic a bit, at the south end of Sellwood.



Oleg Stepanovich Plyushchev, stolen bikes, Craigslist
Oleg Stepanovich Plyushchev is facing trial for selling stolen bikes. (MCDC booking photo)

Sellwood stolen bike listed on Craigslist; recovered by police

By DAVID F. ASHTON
for THE BEE

Many stolen bicycles are never recovered, or if they are found by police, it can take months – provided that the serial number is on file.

Probably Sellwood-Westmoreland resident Dannelle Stevens thought she’d never see her bike again, after her garage was burglarized in mid-February.

But, when another bike theft victim saw his own two-wheeled ride, stolen in November and listed for sale on Craigslist, he called the police about it on March 1st.

“Detectives then made contact with the seller, and arranged to buy the bike, along with a second bike he had for sale,” said Portland Police Bureau Public Information Officer Sgt. Pete Simpson.

“Detectives learned that that second bike was also stolen – from Dannelle Stevens – after checking the serial number with police records,” Simpson added.

So it was that on Tuesday, March 3, Portland Police detectives arrested 18-year-old Oleg Stepanovich Plyushchev in connection with the stolen bikes, and then linked him to an on-going, Outer East Portland “stolen goat” investigation.

Plyushchev was booked in the Multnomah County Detention Center (MCDC) on three counts of Theft in the First Degree, and Computer Crime.

After being released from custody “On His Own Recognizance” the following day, Plyushchev spoke with reporters and asserted his innocence. The court date for his trial has not yet been set.

You, too, can prevent bike theft: See the official police webpage: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/police/66825



Having aced a regional competition, the memberClassical Ballet Academy, Gongfu, Youth American Grand Prix
Having aced a regional competition, the members of Classical Ballet Academy’s ensemble Gongfu now heads for national competition at the Youth American Grand Prix in New York City. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Sellwood ballet dancers head for NYC competition

By DAVID F. ASHTON
for THE BEE

Eight young dancers rehearsing at the Classical Ballet Academy in Sellwood looked as composed and self-confident as dance professionals twice their age, when they greeted THE BEE on March 7th.

“We are ensemble dance group called ‘Gongfu’,” grinned their spokesperson, Sophie Marcus from Eastmoreland. “What’s special about this group is we’ve all known each other for a long time. It’s such a great experience, that we can all dance together.”

After receiving high honors at the Youth American Grand Prix recently at the Las Vegas regional competition, the ensemble now will travel to the New York City finals, April 10-15, and perform at Lincoln Center, said Sarah Rigles – Gongfu choreographer, and Classical Ballet Academy Director.

“These dancers worked for more than ten months on this dance,” Rigles told THE BEE. “Even though all of the dancers are young, they scored higher than some of older dancers in the competition.”

The others in the Gongfu ensemble smiled and nodded their heads in agreement when Marcus said they look forward to performing before esteemed judges in the ballet world.

“We’ll also get to watch other amazing dancers perform,” Marcus added. “And, we’ll be able to take classes from amazing dancers we read about in magazines. It’s a great experience, and a real blessing. I’m really happy we get to do it.”

Rigles smiled as she said, “I am very proud of their dancing and hard work. I know these young dancers will enjoy every minute on the stage in New York City.”

The eight dancers on their way to compete in New York are: Natalie Cheechov and Annabel Kaplan, Winterhaven School, in the Brooklyn neighborhood; Calla Lichtenwalter and Ruby Staczek, Clackamas Web Academy; Devin Lyon and Sophie Marcus, Northwest Academy, Portland; Etta Partridge, Aliance Charter Academy, Oregon City; and Megan McEntee, Athey Creek School, West Linn.



Jason Aaron Goss, serial burglar, Sellwood
The accused serial burglar, Jason Aaron Goss, was arrested in the apartment under his parents’ Sellwood home – where he was found keeping company with what’s described as a “large amount of stolen property”. (MCDC booking photo)

Rash of burglaries leads to Sellwood man’s arrest

By DAVID F. ASHTON
for THE BEE

A number of break-ins and burglaries apparently were solved in late February, when the Portland Police Bureau sent in its Special Emergency Reaction Team (SERT) to arrest a 35 year old Sellwood man, who had reportedly been living in his parents’ Bidwell Street basement.

According to Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Ross Caldwell, Jason Aaron Goss is believed responsible for at least three crimes, and perhaps more.

On November 14, Goss is accused of breaking into the detached garage of the Inner Southeast Portland home of retired Portland Police Capt. John Hren – and making off with jewelry valued at more than $15,000, plus Hren’s police badge and a safe containing two guns.

Deputy District Attorney Caldwell also said that last Christmas, Central Precinct officers interrupted a break-in at the Eastmoreland Golf Clubhouse on Bybee Boulevard, in which a suspect or suspects dragged an ATM across the floor, toward a parked U-Haul truck. Documents show that the U-Haul truck was rented to a woman in Clackamas County, who told officials that she had rented it at Goss’s request.

And, Caldwell also linked Goss to another attempted ATM burglary at a Rite-Aid store that was closed overnight, at 2440 S.E. Chavez Blvd. (39th), on December 27th. Surveillance video showed a vehicle smashing through the store’s doors.

When SERT officers served the search warrant at 1136 S.E. Bidwell Street, during the pre-dawn hours of Wednesday, February 25, they reported finding Hren’s police badge in the garage, and clothing that matched what the burglar was seen wearing in the Rite-Aid surveillance video, Caldwell reported – in addition to a “large amount of stolen property” in the basement.

“Goss was booked into the Multnomah County Jail on charges of Burglary in the Second Degree (four counts), Forgery in the First Degree, and Theft in the First Degree (By Receiving),” Portland Police Spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson told THE BEE.

Goss was arraigned on February 26. Court documents show that, when questioned by police, Goss denied committing burglaries.

According to Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Lt. Steve Alexander, Goss was released to “Pretrial Release Supervision” on March 5. “He is awaiting trial on his charges,” Alexander said.



Saint Patricks Day, Saint Agatha School, Parade, Sellwood, Westmoreland
Here comes the Sellwood Middle School Band, up S.E. 13th Avenue northward in Sellwood. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

In March, spirit of St. Patrick returns to Sellwood

By DAVID F. ASHTON
for THE BEE

Clearly, few who participated in the parade or carnival were Irish. Many of the participants and observers weren’t even associated with St. Agatha Catholic School. Nonetheless, a delighted throng was caught up in the “spirit of St. Patrick’s Day” throughout the Sellwood area on Saturday, March 14.

“Welcome to our 17th Annual Sellwood-Moreland St. Patrick’s Day festivities,” grinned this year’s organizer, Heidi LaValley.

Having been on the committee for several years, LaValley said she was selected to lead the 150 or more volunteers who put on the events of the day.

“We all work together on the parade and festival,” LaValley told THE BEE, “because it’s a great celebration for both adults and kids. By being involved, we show our children the importance of contributing to our community.”

Months of planning pays off for her on the day of the event itself, LaValley remarked. “It’s a time when we celebrate with friends, greet neighbors, and have a fun time.

“To see the smiles on kids’ faces when they march in the parade, and play the carnival games, makes it a wonderful day for me,” LaValley added.

The day’s steady rain this year might have discouraged some participants from joining the parade, which travels through a good part of the neighborhood. But many intrepid marchers showed up in rain gear – and even broke out umbrellas – to take part in the procession.

St. Agatha Catholic School Principal Chris Harris told us he was enjoying this local tradition for the first time. “In fact, this is the event to which I've been most looking forward. There is a tremendous amount of work that goes into preparing for the festival and the parade, and I’m seeing that effort pay off.”

Impressive to him, Harris reflected, is that it is truly a community event. “We’re delighted that the Sellwood Middle School Marching Band turns out in force, and it’s wonderful to see all the different organizations and groups that come together to be part of this celebration.”

In the main festival tent, the Clackamas Fire Fighters’ Pipes & Drum Corps kicked off the day. The main stage offered revelers plenty of live music and Irish dance demonstrations.

Highlights of the carnival, held in the school’s gym, were once again the “Cake Walk”, and green cotton candy floss – in addition to the many carnival games of chance and skill.

After participating in these activities, many families availed themselves of the food, which was themed for the occasion. 

The day is also a fundraiser, LaValley pointed out. “This helps us provide special events for our students, and fund our arts programs and other departments. So, it’s having fun, and raising funds – a good combination.”



Standoff, mental, Westmoreland, police
The incident drew many officers, including a Police Supervisor. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Police calm distraught Westmoreland neighbor – and depart

By DAVID F. ASHTON
for THE BEE

What would ordinarily be a quiet evening for neighbors along S.E. 19th Avenue was disrupted, when Portland Police Central Precinct officers started coming into the area a little after 9:30 pm on Friday evening, February 27.

Before long, police dispatchers were calling for “Enhanced Crisis Intervention Training” (ECIT) officers – who have received forty hours of crisis intervention training – to respond to a mid-block residence on S.E. 19th Avenue, between S.E. Rex and Lambert Streets.

Because the individual was thought to be armed, the PPB Special Emergency Response Team (SERT) was also activated and brought into the area, as were police K-9 teams. The street was blocked off to traffic; as many as 24 officers maintained a perimeter around the incident.

Neighbors told THE BEE they heard police loud-hailing, “Tracy, we know you're in the back yard. You’re not in any trouble, we just want to talk to you; please come out with your hands up”.

At one point, a woman walked the driveway, and then turned to face officers who commanded her to stop. She did not comply, but instead walked back to the house.

“We were very impressed at the restraint shown by the police officers, especially when she walked out, but didn’t do what they told her to do,” said neighbor Barry Emmerling.

What neighbors perceived to be a “standoff” continued until about midnight. After the person somehow convinced officials that she was not a threat to herself or others, the build-up of police presence quickly evaporated into the night by about 12:30 am.

“We were surprised, and a little worried, that police left the person sitting in an SUV, by herself,” Emmerling told THE BEE. “She eventually went back into the house, and apparently spent the night there. She left on Saturday morning about 8 am.”

PPB Public Information Officer Sgt. Pete Simpson commented on the matter to THE BEE, saying that SERT responded “because the person was armed with a handgun, in the yard of a home.

“This created an unsafe environment for the neighborhood. Officers came to safely attempt negotiations with the person,” Simpson told us. “In this case, the person went back into the home they were staying in, and we walked away.”

The incident was a major subject of conversation in that section of the Westmoreland neighborhood for days afterward – and, for the many who were wondering what was going on there that night, now you have it.



Trackers, Camp Fair, archery, Brooklyn neighborhood
Inspired by “Hunger Games” character Katniss Everdeen, Montana State University student Kelsey Martin learns the basics of archery at Trackers, on S.E. Milwaukie Avenue, a half block south of Holgate Boulevard. (David F. Ashton photo)

“Camp Fair” highlights Trackers Earth activities in Brooklyn

By DAVID F. ASHTON
for THE BEE

One of the most unique educational organizations ever, “Trackers Earth” celebrated its tenth anniversary by holding a “Portland Camp Fair” at their new facilities in Southeast Portland -- on Milwaukie Avenue a half block south of S.E. Holgate Boulevard – on Sunday, March 8.

Both veteran Trackers campers, and those new to the organization, experienced hands-on activities, such as woodcarving, homesteading projects and animals, fiber arts, knot tying, fishing and casting demonstrations, archery, blacksmithing, and more.

Trackers Earth founder Tony Deis said he ditched high school to go live in the woods like a hermit when he was 14 years old. He explored and trained in the wilderness, later returning to school and earning a college degree.

“But I took with me what I learned out there: Awareness, forest craft skills, primitive skills, and tracking,” Deis reflected.

“When I compared my experiences in the woods as a teenager, to what was being presented at more conventional camps at which I worked, I noticed that there was a distinct contrast,” Deis told THE BEE.  “My experience was more wild and woolly, and seemed truly more connected to what is real.

“To give this experience to kids – teaching real and authentic skills – was the reason we started Trackers,” Deis remarked.

Their classes and camps provide outdoor-oriented experiences for both kids and adults, explained Trackers Earth Marketing Director Dan Clark.

“We teach life skills through outdoor experiences,” said Clark. “This could be wilderness survival skills, learning to think creatively through role-playing, or learning craft skills like blacksmithing. It’s also about teaching a sense of responsibility, and creating the desire to always learn something new, in a new environment.”

They’ve established camps with a variety of themes, Clark observed. Both “Realms of Cascadia”, a medieval-themed camp, and “Zombie Survival Camp” teach basic Ranger Camp survival skills, such as building shelters and fire making. “There are a lot of ways to teach outdoor and leadership skills.”

This first-time offering of “Camp Fair” looked successful: Adults and kids filled the facility, experiencing medieval, ninja, secret agent, and craft classes, to name only a few.

Trackers Earth offers more than just summer camps, Clark said. “We offer some ‘Skills Night’ classes on Thursdays that are as inexpensive as $5. Outdoor weekend classes range from $40 to $70, and more immersive experiences start at $200, depending on how involved you want to be in this universe.”

Learn more about Trackers Earth online: http://www.trackersearth.com.



“Get in the van” man reported by Ardenwald Elementary students

By RAYMOND RENDLEMAN
The Clackamas Review

Special to THE BEE

On Wednesday, March 4th, Milwaukie police took a second report in less than a month about a man in a white van approaching a student at Ardenwald Elementary School. Ardenwald is the northernmost neighborhood of the City of Milwaukie, located along Johnson Creek Boulevard, and is a neighborhood that is partly in Mulnomah County.

The student making the report to police had been walking alone to school that Wednesday, when the man in the van allegedly said, “Get in the van”; but the student safely made it to school without further incident.

The student described the driver as having short brown hair, brown eyes, and tanned skin. There are no other details about the suspect available.

The school’s Principal Karon Webster alerted staff to increase visibility, and asked teachers to remind students of the importance of following safe routes to and from school.

In a letter to parents, “We are notifying you so you can respond in a responsible manner for the care of your children,” Webster wrote. “Please use the opportunity to reinforce how you expect your students to respond to strangers in all situations.”

No suspects have been identified.



82nd Avenue of Roses, Parade, Rose Festival
These volunteers, who are behind the 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade (and this year’s banner), say they hope you’ll reserve Saturday, April 25th, for their ninth annual march. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Volunteers prepare “Avenue of Roses Parade” #9

By DAVID F. ASHTON
for THE BEE

The spring season is just beginning, but a group of dedicated volunteers have been working and planning all winter, getting ready for one of the largest outdoor annual events held in Southeast Portland: The 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade.

“This grand community event – this will be our ninth year – was started by one man with an idea, Ken Turner,” said 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade Chair Dianne Gill at a late March planning meeting.

“While some people scoffed at the thought thousands of people coming out to watch a parade on 82nd Avenue, many business, neighborhood, and community leaders accepted the challenge,” Gill told THE BEE. It is now officially the first major public event of each year’s Portland Rose Festival.

The first year, they started out with a couple of floats, some cars, and a few dozen marching entries. “Last year, there were more than a thousand parade participants, and as many as 4,000 spectators lining the streets,” Gill pointed out.

The parade, followed by a Community Fair, has grown in size and scope every year, Gill, said “because it is a multi-cultural event that reflects our community, and brings everyone together. This is one day when we can ‘all get under one umbrella’ to enjoy a fun, family experience.”

But, based on metrological history, umbrellas won’t be needed – not more than a sprinkle has fallen during their past parades.

82nd Avenue of Roses Business Association President Richard Kiely reminded that the parade also highlights the diverse business community along the thoroughfare.

“By the way, sponsorships are still available,” Kiely said. “With Human Solutions as our 501(c)3 fiscal sponsor this year, donations and sponsorships can be a tax-deductible donation.”

Because the parade is produced by an all-volunteer committee, getting help from the community before – and especially on – parade day, this year April 25, is vitally important.

“It takes about 150 volunteers to help form the parade, act as ‘street monitors’, and help out in other ways, remarked Johnni Beth Jones, who has served as Volunteer Coordinator since the inception of the parade. “E-mail me, and we’ll find a place for you: Johnni.jones@gmail.com.”

Participating in the parade is free! Just sign up in advance. Or, plan to come out with your family and friends and cheer on 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade entrants, starting at 9:30 a.m., as it heads out from Eastport Plaza northward to Montavilla.

For more information, including registration forms see their website: http://www.discover82ndave.com



Gang shooting, Bybee Boulevard
Behind police-line tape, officers and detectives begin investigating this shooting. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

No injuries reported from Bybee Blvd “gang shooting”

By DAVID F. ASHTON
for THE BEE

Brentwood-Darlington neighbors poked their heads out, looking for the source of what they believed to be gunshots on S.E. Bybee Boulevard, between S.E. 72nd and 74th Avenues, at 6:24 pm on Thursday, March 5.

Living a few houses west of the location, neighbor John Williams said, “We heard what sounded like several gunshots coming from up the street. We called 9-1-1 right away, and they told us it had already been reported.” 

The Portland Police Bureau Gang Enforcement Team rolled into the scene, as well as criminalists, as an investigation began.

Another neighbor, who asked not to be identified, said she was “concerned about the stuff going on at that house”, but declined to elaborate. “I think it was a white Ford that got shot at,” she said.

An officer at the scene confirmed that, as far as he knew, no one was injured in the shooting, but there was property damage. The case is still under investigation.



BROOKLYN BACKSTOP – CRUSHED; REPLACED.

The tree-smashed metal backstop on the baseball field at Brooklyn School Park, maintained by PP&R, has finally been replaced. Portland's Bureau of Parks & Recreation assigned a contractor to complete the job. On a sunny Wednesday, March 18, a crew from Pacific Fence & Wire came to the site at S.E. 16th and Center Street with a supply-filled truck and a "Skyjack" cherry-picker. Supervised by Crew Chief Peter Rowe, fencing was securely attached to the metal framework, and temporary protective fencing was removed – in time for Little League Baseball to begin there. (Photo by Rita A. Leonard)


Brooklyn School Park, baseball backstop, crushed by tree, repaired
Lunar New Year, Asian celebration, Holgate Library
Drum performers from Wisdom Arts Academy bring these “Good Luck Lions” alive, to the delight of the crowd. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Holgate Library hosts 2015’s Chinese New Year celebration

By DAVID F. ASHTON
for THE BEE

The “year of the sheep” or “year of the goat” – depending upon whichever Asian tradition you choose – began on the evening of Thursday, February 19, as “Nián Jié” – loosely interpreted as “New Year Festival” – began.

In Inner Southeast Portland, the Holgate Library was filled to capacity with celebrants of the Lunar (Chinese) New Year. This “New Year” party wasn’t a bit late – this particular celebration actually runs through the Lantern Festival, which this year was observed on March 5th.

This centuries-old celebration was traditionally a festival during which deities and ancestors were honored. Nowadays, it is an opportunity for families from many Asian countries to gather together for an annual reunion dinner, and to “sweep away any ill-fortune” and clear the way for incoming good luck.

Just before this year’s Lunar New Year festivities began, Holgate Library Administrator Victoria Oglesbee and her staff announced that they were happy to welcome the throng that filled the building.

“At our library, we serve our patrons with diverse national backgrounds,” Oglesbee told THE BEE. “There is a large Asian community in this area, and it is only fitting that we have a Lunar New Year celebration here, with and for them.”

Our interview was loudly cut short, as drummers from the Wisdom Arts Academy, nearby on S.E. Powell Boulevard, pounded out a rhythmic beat to bring forth the “Good Luck Lions” to begin the celebration.

Side tables were available, dedicated to Lunar New Year themed crafts. However, most of the attention was focused on the traditional dances and martial arts demonstrations in the central area of the library. These captivated some 100 children and adults of all nationalities.

While celebrants had to forgo the custom of lighting firecrackers after the entertainment, participants did receive red paper envelopes containing “lucky money” – in this case, foil-wrapped chocolate coins.

Chinese language scholars say that the word “shānyáng” refers to goats, sheep, rams, and even yaks. So, choose your favorite critter, and have a happy, peaceful Lunar New Year!



Sellwood crash, vehicle overturned, 17th and Tacoma Street
The intersection of S.E. 17th Avenue and Tacoma Street in Sellwood was closed for a time on Saturday morning, March 7th, while first-responders tended to the injured, and police investigated the severe crash. (Courtesy of Valerie Lyons)

Victim pulled from Saturday morning Sellwood smashup

By DAVID F. ASHTON
for THE BEE

The usually-busy intersection of S.E. 17th Avenue and Tacoma Street in Sellwood is generally fairly quiet on Saturday mornings.

But, at 8:22 am on March 7, Valerie Lyons told THE BEE, her leisurely breakfast at Bertie Lou’s Cafe, a block north of the intersection, was interrupted by the sound of a “big grinding crash”.

“The crashing, scraping sound seemed to last forever, because it looked as if a car hit a van, which then slid to where it stopped,” Lyons told us.

She and others walked south to find a smashed car still in the intersection, and a van on its side. She took pictures and sent them to THE BEE.

“The black car’s front end was totally smashed up,” Lyons recalled. “But, I didn’t see anyone near that car, and it had just happened.”

The condition of the person the trapped in the van that came to rest on its side was more serious, Lyons added. “To get her out, firefighters dropped a tarp in front of her, then smashed out the windshield with a fire ax. They took her out from there.”

People at the scene, Lyons said, speculated that one of the vehicles had run a red light, causing the accident.

Portland Police Bureau Public Information Officer Sgt. Greg Stewart checked the records of the incident and reported, “It does not look as if any enforcement action was taken.”



Dog dies in boat fire in Ross Island Lagoon

On Tuesday, February 24th, in the noon hour, Portland Fire and Rescue was dispatched to the Ross Island Lagoon in the Willamette River opposite the Brooklyn neighborhood after a report of a boat on fire.

Firefighters found a thirty-foot sailboat tied to a floating dock in the middle of the lagoon, with an active fire in the sailboat’s cabin. The blaze was extinguished and an investigator was called to determine the cause.

The fire investigator discovered that a small pet dog had been aboard, and had died in the fire. The investigation revealed that the owner of the boat had left a portable propane heater running in her boat when she left in the morning, and the flames arose from the heater making contact with clothing.

The fire was ruled an accident, and the damage from the fire was estimated at one thousand dollars.


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