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Cleveland High School, Rose Festival, Princess, Callie Krevanko
With the rest of her school’s court – Mae Graham, Addison Neher, and Naomi Tsai – is the 2014 Portland Rose Festival Cleveland High School Princess, Callie Krevanko. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Princess Callie Krevanko to represent Cleveland Warriors


After school on March 14, the Cleveland High School (CHS) Auditorium filled with students, faculty, and the family members of four young ladies, each of whom hoped to represent the Warriors for the 2014 Portland Rose Festival – and perhaps, to be named the celebration’s 100th “Queen of Rosaria”.

Candidates Naomi Tsai, Addison Neher, Callie Krevanko, and Mae Graham walked down the aisle, and up onto the stage, as the program began.

CHS’ 2013 Princess, Annalise Cummings, spoke. “Thank you so much for the wonderful warm welcome. A year ago, I stood on this stage and I shared that my dad had cancer.

“To finish the story, as you may know, my dad passed away,” continued Cummings. “I'm telling you this, because all of you gave me the opportunity to share priceless memories of my dad and my Rose Festival life. Thank you so much for this wonderful year.” She then prepared to crown the new Cleveland High Rose Festival Princess.

With tiara in hand, Cummings walked around behind the candidates – and placed it on the head of Callie Krevanko.

“Thank you. And, I appreciate the opportunity to represent Cleveland High, and I’m looking forward to all that will come in the future,” were the first publically-spoken words of 2014 Portland Rose Festival Cleveland High School Princess Callie Krevanko, after she regained her composure after being chosen.

While the Portland Rose Festival Foundation staff snapped photos, CHS Vice Principal Kevin Taylor was still smiling. “We’ve had good candidates in the past. This year’s candidates were truly some of our best. Any one of these young ladies could have represented Cleveland admirably.

“Callie has good grades, does volunteerism, and has a full-ride scholarship to Yale University,” Taylor told THE BEE. “Not only will she be a good representative for CHS, but our school may again have produced a Portland Rose Festival Queen.”

The pageant is more than a “beauty pageant”, reminded Portland Rose Festival Foundation President Todd Johnston, who attended the selection presentation.

The main categories in which candidates are judged are: Community service, academics, and their ability to effectively communicate in the interview process, Johnston said.

“They’re asked tough questions, and are required to give honest feedback. If you can navigate the waters of being able to effectively communicate and tell your story, this increases the possibility of participating in the Portland Rose Festival Court program.”

As her first media interview began, Princess Callie glanced at our media credential. “I love THE BEE; it’s a great paper,” she exclaimed. “Being selected means so much, because it means I’ll be the representative for my school. Cleveland and the Cleveland community have given so much to me for the past four years. I'm so honored to have the chance to represent them in the Portland Rose Festival.

“I’m really looking forward to all the great people.  I've heard it's a great opportunity to make life-long relationships. I’m looking forward to making new friends and new connections across the city.  And, I am proud to part of the Portland Rose Festival Court, when we represent our city as we travel around the region.”

18-year old senior Princess Callie has participated in numerous school activities, from Varsity cheerleading, to being the school’s newspaper Editor-in-Chief. After school, she enjoys playing piano, tumbling and gymnastics, baking pies, and working in the Sellwood Community Center’s After-School Program.

CHS Princess Callie Krevanko wants to obtain a degree in neuroscience and attend medical school. Her goal will get a boost from the $3,500 scholarship awarded her by The Randall Group that went with being named the school’s Rose Festival Princess this year.

Cheer on 2014 Portland Rose Festival Cleveland High School Princess Callie Krevanko on Saturday, June 7, when the selection of this year’s Rose Festival Queen’s Coronation gets underway at 8 am in Portland’s Veterans Memorial Coliseum, just before the Grand Floral Parade begins.

For more information, visit the official Portland Rose Festival website:

Isabella Rigelman, Franklin High School, Portland Rose Festival, Princess
2014 Portland Rose Festival Franklin High Princess Isabella Rigelman is seated, flanked by candidates Meggie Kirchner and Elana Wilson. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Franklin’s Rose Fest Princess introduced at lively assembly


During a special all-school assembly on March 17th, Franklin High School (FHS) student singers and actors and dancers lit up the stage with top-notch performances.

Undoubtedly, though, the highlight of the program was the announcement of who was selected to represent the Quakers as their 2014 Portland Rose Festival Princess.

Near the beginning of the program, FHS Portland Rose Festival candidates Meggie Kirchner, Elona Wilson, and Isabella Rigelman, were introduced to the audience and then walked back to the wings.

Then the FHS Performing Arts Department entertained the student body and guests with solo musical and dance performances. The entertainment segment ended with a spectacular full-stage ensemble dance piece, colorfully-yet-poignantly portraying love on a Paris street.

The audience enthusiastically welcomed their 2013 Portland Rose Festival Franklin High Princess, Alexandra Martinez, back to the stage. She told how she’d discovered horseback riding skills she didn't know that she possessed during her year representing the Quakers.

“All of this year’s candidates are very accomplished,” remarked Martinez, turning to whom she added, “None of your many achievements will mean any less than those of the candidate who has been selected. I hope you will remember this every day; life is too short to think otherwise.

“I thank everyone at Franklin,” Martinez concluded. “It means everything to me.”

In her last act as Franklin’s Princess, Martinez walked behind this year’s candidates, and with a flourish placed the tiara on Isabella Rigelman’s head.

Fighting back tears, the newly-crowned Franklin High Princess, Isabella Rigelman, stepped up and simply said, “Thank you all, very much.”

After the program, Princess Isabella Rigelman told THE BEE that applying to become a member of the Portland Rose Festival Court had been her mother’s suggestion.

“I decided to try, thinking that it could be a cool experience. If I didn’t make it through that process, no harm done; but if I did, then – cool – I would get to continue!

“I was happy to be one of the selected candidates,” said Princess Isabella. “The in-person judging was a fun experience. But then, giving my speech in front of the school was even more fun!”

She’s looking forward to representing the Quakers because, “Franklin High has done so much for me. I’ve grown into being a different, better person.”

Princess Isabella added that she looks forward to working with her Pacific Power mentor, Renee Halpern, as she represents her school.

The 17-year-old FHS junior participates in their Advanced Scholars Program, National Honors Society, MESA, and was a Junior Varsity soccer team captain for two years. She also has run Track and Cross Country.

The $3,500 scholarship awarded her by The Randall Group will help Princess Isabella Rigelman with her plans to attend college to train as a Biomedical Engineer, with a minor in Kinesiology.

Will 2014 Portland Rose Festival Franklin High Princess Isabella Rigelman be crowned the 100th Portland Rose Festival “Queen of Rosaria”? Find out on Saturday, June 7, when the selection of this year’s Rose Festival Queen’s Coronation gets underway at 8 am in Portland Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum, just before the Grand Floral Parade begins.

For details, go to the official Portland Rose Festival website:

Hash Cooking Fire, fire engine disabled
PF&R Truck 7’s crew waits, while a heavy wrecker prepares to tow this broken rig to the repair shop. (Photo courtesy of KOIN Local 6 News)

Illegal “Hash oil cooking” sets SE home ablaze


It might have been a typical house fire to which Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) responded on February 27, just before 11 am – but it wasn’t. There was something explosive and illegal going on in the basement.

As nearby PF&R firefighters from Woodstock’s Station 25 rushed to the house on fire at 8109 S.E. Lambert Street, they radioed their dispatcher that they were seeing a thick column of smoke coming from that location.

A neighbor pointed out to the arriving firefighters the home where he’d seen flames and smoke; crews began searching for trapped victims, and started pulling water lines.

“The fire was heaviest in the basement of this single-story structure,” said PP&R Public Information Officer Lt. Rich Chatman. “The fire had extended to the primary floor of the home.”

Only one person was at the house, Chatman added. “That person received burn injuries and was transported to Emanuel Hospital Burn Center. No specifics are known about those injuries at this time.”

Though there were no victims remaining in the house, what firefighters did find in the basement was “drug-making materials”, Chatman said. “Fire crews were withdrawn from the residence until PF&R's Hazardous Materials Team could investigate, and confirm that no further hazards existed.”

PF&R fire investigators and Portland Police Drugs & Vice investigators surveyed the scene, Chatman continued. “They determined that ‘hash oil’ was being produced in the basement. Fire investigators believe that the ‘hash oil’ production was directly related to the cause of the fire.”

“Hash oil” is distilled from cannabis plants. Officials would not say which distilling method was being used, but the most commonly-used method produces BHO, or Butane Hash Oil. It’s made by venting butane gas – the flammable fluid in pressurized cigarette lighters – through a glass tube that’s been stuffed with marijuana.

As the vapors rise out, because butane boils at 30.2° Fahrenheit, it leaves behind crystallized hash oil resins. But of course, butane is inflammable.

Regardless of the care taken by a “hash oil cook”, the volatile solvents used in the extraction make the process very dangerous. Several recent house fires in the area have been traced to this activity.

According to the Portland Police, Drugs & Vice investigators removed the marijuana remnants from the possession of the owner – who had an expired medical marijuana license.

Charges, if any, have not been determined by investigators.

“One firefighter experienced a puncture wound to his knee as he searched the building for possible victims,” Chatman said, “He was transported to the hospital and later released.

Wheel assembly pops off ladder truck
But another newsworthy aspect of this fire occurred before firefighters even got there: One of the rigs responding was PF&R Truck 7, traveling from S.E. 122nd Avenue near Market Street.

As the all-in-one, tiller-less ladder truck approached Lents Town Center, heading southbound on S.E. 92nd Avenue, it bounced through the S.E. Foster Road/Woodstock Boulevard couplet – where the entire driver’s-side front wheel assembly collapsed, sending a 500-pound wheel and tire rolling down the street.

Truck 7 finally ground to a halt, a long city block south of the couplet, at S.E. Tolman Street.

“The ladder truck’s driver was able to maintain enough control of the 65,000-lb truck to bring it safely to a stop without injury or damage to any occupants or other motorists,” Chatman said.

Later that day, Fire Chief Erin Janssens ordered an immediate inspection of all fire apparatus that similar to Truck 7. The rig had been in service for only about 18 months before this accident occurred, Chatman added.

“This is concerning,” Chatman told reporters. “What I’m told by one of our maintenance managers, is that he has never seen or heard of something like this happening in his twenty years on the job.”

All similar fire trucks in the Portland Fire Bureau were then thoroughly inspected to be sure no others might fail in this way.

Oaks Bottom Overlook Park, Cristiano Coleman
Brooklyn Boy Scout Cristiano Coleman holds design plans for two cedar picnic tables to install at a new public “pocket park” on the curve where S.E. 13th connects with Bybee Boulevard. (Photo by Rita A. Leonard)

“Oaks Bottom Overlook” pocket park planned in Westmoreland


The Oaks Bottom Overlook project, developed by SMILE, the Sellwood-Westmoreland neighborhood association and supported by a number of local partners, has begun developing a new public greenspace on the outside curve at S.E. 13th Avenue and Bybee Boulevard.

Plans for the small underused area, under what in December is known as the “SMILE Christmas Tree” fir, include round picnic tables with attached benches, a split rail fence at the edge of the bluff, and a kiosk with information about the Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge below.

It’s intended that the area will provide a place for peaceful relaxation, family activity, and an educational opportunity for better understanding of local natural resources.

The Stewardship of Natural Amenities Committee (SNAC), a committee of the Sellwood Moreland Improvement League, has secured approval and financial backing from the SMILE Board for the project. Volunteer Coordinator Nanci Champlin is working on the project’s Master Plan.

The project began with a hunt for the owner of the land, adjacent to Wilhelm’s Portland Memorial. Some assumed Wilhelm’s owned it; others thought Portland Parks had jurisdiction. The initial concept was to provide a safer biking area on the turn, for kids going to and from Llewellyn Elementary School. Eventually, the project evolved into more of a park on the scenic corner.

As it turned out, it’s owned by the Portland Bureau of Transportation, and now it has given permit approval for the greenspace. SNAC is currently working on a grant from the Hardy Plant Society to secure funds for native plants to install. These should attract native pollinators, beautify the area, and provide some forage for local wildlife.

Local partners include Heiberg Garbage, which offered free garbage service; resident landscape architect Piper von Chamier, who is designing plans for the space; and fabricator Dean Hanel, who will design and build the informational kiosk.

Cristiano Coleman, a Brooklyn Boy Scout from Troop 351 who is working on his Eagle Scout Badge, coordinated the design and construction of the picnic tables. “The tables each seat 8 to 10 people,” he explains. “I spent several months planning and acquiring supplies and help. The tables and benches are all cedar construction, made with wood donated by Brown Lumber, McCoy Lumber, and Parr Lumber.”

Coleman says the tables and benches will be complete by the end of April, but will not be installed until later on. When planting and installation of amenities begins later in the spring, SNAC hopes that volunteers will step forward to help with work or funding.

The project is also supported by Joseph Galati, Llewellyn School Principal, and Natalie Whisler, Director at the Meyer Boys and Girls Club, which are both within walking distance of the site.

Those interested in commenting on the planned pocket park in Westmoreland should e-mail Nanci Champlin at:

Flavel pedestrian hit by vehicle
Paramedics stabilize the victim’s head and spine, moments after the accident took place. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Woman on Flavel survives being hit by a truck


People who told THE BEE that they saw the collision between a truck and a pedestrian about 5:45 pm on Thursday afternoon, March 20, didn’t agree about what happened.

But, they did concur that the result of the incident could have been worse.

The victim was crossing S.E. 72nd Avenue on Flavel Street, in the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood. A white GMC truck was stopped westbound on S.E. Flavel, waiting in the left-hand turn lane for traffic to clear. As the driver turned southbound on 72nd Avenue, he struck the victim, who was in – or near – the crosswalk.

One witness said the victim appeared to be wearing headphones; another contradicted that assertion and said she was carrying them, along with a notebook and a small grocery bag.

Witnesses also disagreed about whether the victim had accidently stepped into the path of the oncoming SUV, or if the driver was inattentive.

Police and AMR paramedics arrived on-scene almost simultaneously, quickly followed by Portland Fire & Rescue’s Engine 11. The victim was speaking and gesturing to emergency responders while being prepared for transport to Providence Medical Center’s Emergency Department, and did not appear to be seriously injured.

“It appeared to be a low-speed collision that knocked over the pedestrian,” remarked a Portland Police Officer at the scene.

The driver of the GMC stayed at the scene and spoke with officers; whether or not he received a citation has not been disclosed.

OMSI, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, food science, burning salts
OMSI Food Science Educator Hayley Mauck shows how dissimilar salts burn with different colors. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Food and science mix, at OMSI


The new hot ticket dining event in Portland isn’t a trendy west-side restaurant. No, it’s “Food Luminary Dinners” – monthly food-and-science events that take place in the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI)’s reborn cafeteria, called “Theory”.

“Tonight is the launch of what is now a monthly series called Food Luminary,” explained OMSI Marketing Director Tess Payne, as she and Events Manager Andrea Middleton welcomed guests to the January 22nd event.

“These programs bring in some of Portland's top chefs, from favorite restaurants, to demonstrate the scientific principles they use to create their famous dishes – in front of an audience that is hungry for knowledge, as well as for a good dinner,” Payne told THE BEE.

“Each evening begins with hors d’oeuvres and beverages,” Payne continued. “Then, you’ll enjoy science demonstrations.”

In keeping with that particular evening’s theme, “Fire and Ice”, OMSI Food Science Educator Hayley Mauck offered the audience of 30 guests two demonstrations. The first was making ice cream – not using nitrogen, as is now typically done – but in the original manner, using salt and ice in containers. As guests shook the sealed containers at their tables, the ice cream congealed.

“For the ‘fire part’ of the demonstration, I’ll be lighting different salts on fire, and we’ll observe the different colors of flame they give off,” Mauck outlined.

At these OMSI events, before guests tuck into supper, the featured chef provides a cooking demonstration that reflects the theme of the evening.

“To wrap it all up, our guests are served full four-course meal,” Payne pointed out.

OMSI’s January “Food Luminary” was Chef Jenn Louis of Lincoln Restaurant & Sunshine Tavern. She demonstrated several ways that fermentation is used in cooking – primarily with salt, to pull out moisture, and to affect flavor and texture.

“It’s a great way to reinvent dining, bring our guests inside the kitchen, and keep food science at the forefront of the conversation,” Payne grinned as she sat down to dinner.

The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry is on S.E. Water Street, on the east bank of the Willamette River, just north of the Ross Island Bridge. Look for the big red tower under the Marquam Bridge. Learn more, or buy tickets, at OMSI’s event webpage: CLICK HERE.

Motorcycle down
Portland Fire & Rescue Truck 11 paramedics tend to a motorcycle rider, down in the road after sliding nearly a block along the hard pavement of S.E. 82nd Avenue of Roses. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Turn-lane-riding cyclist clips car at Lambert


As rush hour was winding down on Friday, March 7, S.E. 82nd Avenue of Roses was congested with traffic.

“It all happened in an instant,” exclaimed the driver of a four-door Volvo, as he gazed down at a large motorcycle lying in the southbound lanes of 82nd, nearly a block north of where his dented car had stopped at S.E. Lambert Street.

The car’s driver said he’d been traveling northbound on S.E. 82nd.  “I pulled into the left-turn lane just before Lambert Street, and waited for southbound traffic to clear.

“As I started to turn left, something flew past my car and sideswiped me,” the shaken driver told THE BEE. “When I looked around, I saw a big motorcycle sliding past me, on its side.”

The motorcycle, and its operator, slid nearly to S.E. Malden Street before they came to rest.

The cycle’s rider was wearing a helmet; witnesses said they’d heard him speaking with paramedics as firefighters stabilized him for transport to an area hospital for evaluation.

A police officer at the scene remarked that the motorcycle was likely traveling at a high rate of speed, going northbound in the left turn lane, when the collision occurred.

MAX, light rail, Inner Southeast, Portland to Milwaukie
Working in lift-truck buckets high above S.E. 17th Avenue, workers begin to install the catenary system that will power the MAX Orange Line light rail trains. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Inner Southeast MAX line now 75% complete


The Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Project hit another milestone in March, officials said, when construction passed 75% completion.

Along S.E. Mcloughlin Boulevard near the Tacoma Street Overpass, workers are busy laying track and installing wiring.

And, in the Brooklyn neighborhood – especially along S.E. 17th Avenue – progress is clear. A new section of road has opened, west of the rails on the southbound side, from S.E. Boise Street to McLoughlin Boulevard.

“The new traffic signals at have been installed at S.E. 17th Avenue at Holgate Boulevard,” pointed out TriMet Community Affairs Representative Jennifer Koozer. “This traffic signal will now allow turns in all directions.”

On a sunny day in March, THE BEE watched crews installing the overhead catenary system that powers the light rail trains.

“Readers should note that Southbound 17th Avenue will be closed from eastbound Powell Boulevard to Rhine Street from now through May,” Koozer said. “This closure extends two blocks south to Rhone Street in June.”

Northbound S.E. 17th Ave will remain open during this period however, including the ramp to westbound Powell Boulevard.

“And, the upper floors of remodeled TriMet Center Street Operations Building are complete, with staff moving in,” added Koozer.

Keep an eye out for temporary changes continuing in traffic patterns as the final part of the light rail line’s construction proceeds.

Nonie Ann Enyeart, hit and run
54-year-old Nonie Ann Enyeart was arrested in the dual hit-and-run on Powell Boulevard. (MCDC Booking Photo)

Driver hits two on Powell – and flees


Two elderly women were struck down by a minivan as they crossed S.E. Powell Boulevard at 80th Avenue at 1:40 pm on Wednesday afternoon, March 12.

Witnesses told police the impact of that collision dented the minivan and smashed its passenger’s-side window. They also said that the driver of the silver Dodge Caravan – described as female with a heavy build and blond hair, in her 50s – left the scene of the accident.

The victims, 71-year-old Mary Brooks and 76-year-old Juanita Miller, were treated at the scene for their injuries, and transported to a hospital.

Subsequently, police got a tip that the Dodge Caravan in question was in the vicinity of S.E. 88th Avenue – a block north of Holgate Boulevard, near Cora Street.

“On March 14, officers located the van and seized it,” reported Portland Police Public Information Officer Sgt. Pete Simpson. “Portland Police Traffic Division Officers arrested 54-year-old Nonie Ann Enyeart in connection with this hit-and-run to two pedestrians.”

The description of the fleeing driver by witnesses at the scene proved to be amazingly accurate: MCDC records describe Enyeart as 5 ft 6 in tall, 238 lbs, with blonde hair.

Enyeart was booked into the Multnomah Detention Center (MCDC) at 3:20 p.m. the day of her arrest, charged with two counts of Failure to Perform the Duties of a Driver (Hit and Run) and Reckless Driving.

At her arraignment on March 17, however, Enyeart was “Released on Own Recognizance”. Her trial date has not been revealed to THE BEE.

Lee Kamrass, Brooklyn orchard, MAX
Lee Kamrass, Brooklyn Community Garden Coordinator, displays preliminary design for the proposed Community Orchard alongside the new Inner Southeast light rail line. (Photo by Rita A. Leonard)

Brooklyn plans community orchard near MAX line


An Orchard Planning meeting held March 10th in the Brooklyn neighborhood drew at least two dozen interested neighbors and professionals.

Brooklyn Community Garden (BCG) Coordinator Lee Kamrass organized the event to evaluate community interest in, and establish an Advisory Board for,  the planning, designing, and fund-raising for a proposed neighborhood communilty orchard. The intended site is a half-acre triangle bounded by S.E. 16th, 17th, and Pershing Streets, adjacent to the new Inner Southeast MAX light rail line now under construction.

Kamrass says she has hopes for a unified and sustained neighborhood project. “We need to begin creating a structural way to accomplish our mission and goals,” she announced. “We’ve been given a July 1 deadline by TriMet [owner of the property] to accomplish the specific goals needed to establish serious pursuit of the project.

“Volunteers for the Advisory Council will need to develop realistic plans for fundraising, designing, and the long-term maintenance of the orchard, as well as organizing harvest volunteers and coordinators who interact with our partners.”

Kamrass, and Aurora Lemieux (BCG Events Chair), drafted a mission statement for the proposed Orchard/Rail Garden. The site is envisioned as “A collective orchard and garden that serves the community by providing fresh produce, education, training, and a significant percentage of harvest for charity and low-income residents. It will be maintained by a core group of volunteer stewards and harvested by a larger group of volunteers. Rather than individually owned trees or garden plots (as in the Brooklyn Community Garden), gardeners will work together in planning, planting, maintaining and harvesting, and produce will be equitably distributed to gardeners and charity.”

At the March 10th meeting, eight volunteers stepped up to form the core of the Advisory Board, and the meeting proceeded with an open discussion of ideas, concerns and suggestions. Professionals contributing to the conversation included Leslie Pohl-Kosbau, Co-Chair of Friends of Portland Community Gardens; Andrew Land representing Friends of Trees; Mike O'Connor, Chair of the Brooklyn Action Corps neighborhood association; and TriMet representatives Paige Schlupp, Jay Higgins, and Jennifer Koozer.

O'Connor commented, “We’ve had a successful couple of years with the BCG, and hope this project will be well-supported too. The Portland Fruit Tree Project can help us design the orchard.”

Land advised that Friends of Trees could help select trees and train folks for necessary pruning tasks. He also cited information from a book on Food Forestry authored by a professor at Portland State University.

Pohl-Kosbau found the concept of an “orchard collective” fascinating, and also brought up the issue of water supply. While TriMet does have a water meter at the site, the neighborhood would need to purchase and install their own water meter, to separate the billing. Higgins observed that TriMet planned to install a fence, but there would be no taxes needed on the site, since TriMet is a government agency.

Kamrass pointed out that insurance would be paid through the non-profit umbrella of the BAC neighborhood association. The BAC, a major project partner, would also be eligible for non-profit grants, such as those already secured by the Community Garden at S.E. Franklin and McLoughlin Boulevard.

Schlupp said that TriMet is very interested in the orchard idea, since it would be a great model of sustainability and community interaction related to light rail design in the neighborhood.

The Orchard Advisory Board will meet at least twice a month to firm up design plans for TriMet's summer deadline. Interest and enthusiasm appeared high for this project.

Peoples Food Co Op, sleeping in dumpster, trash compactor rescue
It was soon back to business as usual at People’s Food Co-op Market on S.E. 21st Avenue, after a man was rescued from inside a cardboard recycling truck compactor at the store. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Sleeping man injured by compactor in recycling truck


The operator of a commercial cardboard recycling truck was shocked to hear somebody screaming inside the vehicle’s crusher at 8:15 am on March 14, in front of the People’s Food Co-Op market on S.E. 21st Avenue.

During a regular pickup, the operator had opened the gate beside the store, rolled out the cardboard-filled dumpster, and used the truck’s pickup tines to dump the contents into the compaction chamber of the vehicle. That’s standard procedure. What happened next was not.

“After the compactor was activated, the operator heard screams from inside the truck and stopped the crusher,” said Portland Police Public Information Officer Sgt. Pete Simpson.

Arriving Portland Fire and Rescue paramedics, officers, and medical personnel pulled compacted cardboard from the truck until they reached 27-year-old Liam O’Grady. He was taken to a Portland hospital with “serious, but not believed to be life-threatening” injuries.

“Officers learned that O’Grady likely climbed into the cardboard recycling dumpster the previous night to sleep, and was then dropped into the crusher when the truck was retrieving the recycling materials,” Simpson said.

By the luck of the Irish, perhaps, the incident was not fatal to O’Grady – who may have learned something useful about the hazards of sleeping in dumpsters.

Franklin High School, redesign
Facilitator Karina Ruiz shows the difference between “distributed” and “departmental” teacher planning areas. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Franklin High “Design Workshop” uncovers concerns about school’s upgrade


Facilitators were probably pleased to see so many parents, students, teacher, and community members piling in to the Franklin High Schematic Design Workshop held at “TaborSpace” on S.E. Division Street just north of the school, on the morning of March 8. But it did not go as smoothly as expected; the upgrade of the Inner Southeast school appears to be a cause for worry, for some.

During the three-hour session, about 100 attendees commented on the Franklin High modernization project – from site-planning to schematic design, and the layout of educational spaces and common areas.

Under the proposed schematic design, teachers would no longer have their own office in a given classroom. Instead, instructors teaching similar subjects would be gathered in a “Home Base” area. Before their class would begin, they’d then walk to the appropriate classroom – much as in a college setting.

The reason for this proposed change in educational space was to utilize the classrooms as closely to 100% of the time during the day as possible – instead of having to substantially enlarge the footprint of the school to add numerous additional classrooms, many of which would be empty for part of the day.

But, instead of the expected planning exercises and group discussion, many of the participants stood up to testify against the overall proposal – not accepting that the “Home Base” educational design concept assumption was beneficial.

Several teachers at the workshop objected to the proposed arrangement, saying they’d spend their days “running from classroom to classroom”, instead of spending time with students. A secondary objection was that, in a “Home Base” arrangement, there’d be a lack of privacy for students or parents coming to talk to their teachers.

Franklin High School Modernization Designed Advisory Group facilitator Karina Ruiz, an employee of the DOWA-IBI Group, commented, “One of the things we are talking about is trying to maintain like-for-like teachers ‘pushing in’ the classes. That is, a math teacher would be ‘pushing into’ a math classroom.

“About the opportunity for students to talk to teachers, part of it would be developed in Learning Neighborhoods, small conference areas in the teachers’ space,” explained Ruiz.

“We knew that there would be times when teachers would need to have a private conversation with parents or have a private conversation with students – or have a private conversation with one of their colleagues – while in the open office configuration.  So we have created spaces, to the best of our ability.”

Ruiz continued, “Will we solve all of the issues?  I doubt it. It is really important for us to hear these voices, and hear this information, and for us to address it to the best of our ability.”

A Franklin High student testified, “Walking into a ‘Home Base’ area to speak with a teacher would be one of the most intimidating situations that I feel I could ever put myself in, because there will be other students and teachers in there.”

Another student said she believes that “students’ voices are getting lost in this process. Sometimes we feel intimidated about speaking out. I think it is important that students’ voices get heard.”

Wrapping up the meeting, Ruiz told the group, “These conversations are going to continue throughout the development of this process.  We’ll continue to have Community Workshops, and have meetings with teachers, and administrators, and with students as we have during the previous process.”

Flavel Street, house fire
Firefighters remove “overhaul” from the burned room – that’s debris that could contain embers sufficient to reignite the fire. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Brentwood-Darlington house fire quickly extinguished


A fire broke out in the bedroom of a small Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood home just after midnight on Thursday, March 13. 9-1-1 Center dispatchers relayed information, informing firefighters en route that “smoke and flames” had been seen coming from a ceiling lighting fixture in a bedroom.

Dispatchers also let the fire crews know the house was actually at the back of a “flag lot” – and not facing the street.

Moments later, Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) crews from Lents Station 11 and Woodstock’s Station 25 rolled up to the house, at 7711 S.E. Flavel Street.

As they arrived, the lieutenant from Engine 11 reported seeing “light smoke” coming from the eaves of the structure, as the crew went in to investigate – and to make sure the occupants were safely evacuated.

The crew from Woodstock Ladder Truck 25 stood by, ready to cut open the roof, if the fire had reached the attic.

“Firefighters made sure electrical power was disconnected from the house,” reported PF&R Public Information Officer Tommy Schroeder. “Then, pulling a smaller ‘booster hose’ from a reel on Engine 11 into the structure, and using water in its onboard tank, the crew quickly extinguished the fire.”

As some crewmembers carried out a couple of loads of broken ceiling and insulation, a firefighter told THE BEE that the fire had been contained near an electrical fixture.

“I’m sure glad they got here right away,” remarked a neighbor standing nearby and watching the operation. “Our houses are pretty close together. A big fire might have burned our house, too.” 

Fire investigators have not yet released the official cause of the blaze, and the damage estimate is unknown.

Sewers, Woodstock, Eastmoreland
A deep shaft is dug into the intersection of S.E. Knapp Street at 37th Avenue, as workers install new sewer pipes. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Woodstock and Eastmoreland getting new sewers


Traveling through southern residential areas of the Woodstock neighborhood, and eastern sections of Eastmoreland, can be challenging these days.

Drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians face countless “Street Closed” barricades blocking their usual routes, as the City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) Eastmoreland-Woodstock Sewer Repair Project is in full swing.

The project area is bordered by S.E. Woodstock Boulevard on the north, S.E. 28th on the west, S.E. 45th Avenue on the east, and Crystal Springs Boulevard on the south, according to BES Community Outreach staffer Debbie Caselton.

“It’s part of a project to repair or replace about 40,000 feet of severely-deteriorated sewer pipes, many of them older than 60 years,” Caselton said.

Open-trench construction, THE BEE was informed, takes about three weeks per block to complete. During that time, the street is closed to vehicles during work hours, but “local” pedestrian access is allowed.

A crew working on S.E. Knapp Street at 37th Avenue permitted THE BEE to peer into a large excavation in the middle of the intersection. At the bottom of a 16-foot-deep shaft, workers were working in a relatively dry and odor-free environment.

The construction company supervisor explained that crewmembers tap into the sewer line above the area where they’re working. Then, sewage is rerouted through hoses, either by gravity or by pumps, around the work area.

The Bureau of Environmental Services expects construction to be completed by summer 2015. By that time a previously-announced similar project will have been well underway in Sellwood and Westmoreland as well.

Learn more about this particular project online at

Scott Adams, police recognition
After the award presentation, civilian Scott Adams proudly shows off to reporters his award from the Portland Police Bureau for stopping a bank robber on S.E. 82nd Avenue of Roses. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Cops and civilians honored for bravery and compas-sion


The Portland Police Bureau (PPB) honored their own, and some civilians as well, at an awards ceremony held at David Douglas High School on January 23. Three of the presentations focused on events that occurred in Inner Southeast Portland.

With Mayor Charlie Hales out of town, his Chief of Staff, Gail Shibley, attended on his behalf. “These awards [reveal] an amazing tapestry of people in our city. These folks ‘had someone’s back’ and I’m glad that, today, we can give them a very public and sincere ‘thank you’.”

Then, starting by saying that “no one has ever complained if my speeches are brief,” PPB Chief Michael Reese began his remarks. “Today we come together in celebration of exceptional efforts by the men and women who serve in the Portland Police Bureau – and also, our community partners who work beside us, building a safe community and neighborhoods. 

“I am proud to be a Portland Police Officer,” Reese continued. “It is an honor and a privilege to wear this uniform, and to have served this community.”

PPB Public Information Officer Sgt. Pete Simpson then stepped to the podium, and told why each of those who would be called to the stage was being honored.

Motel 6 “life savers” honored
A story that made the front page of THE BEE last May, now led to a squad of nine PPB officers being brought up to the stage. Sgt. Simpson told how Detective Todd Gradwahl, and Officers Aaron Sparling, Dennis Wilcox, Gabi Hertzler, James Hurley, Joshua Faris, Thomas Snitily, Chad Gradwahl, and Nicholas Frankus, had responded to the Motel 6 on S.E. Powell Boulevard just east of Cleveland High School in the early hours of April 22, 2013.

They learned that a man in a guest room was wanted on a parole violation warrant for murder and assault with a firearm – and refused to surrender.

The PPB Crisis Negotiators Team “point person” was in contact with the suspect for hours, before he told them he wasn’t going back to prison, had been using heroin all day, and that “today was a good day to die”.

An officer saw the man pour lighter fluid on the floor of the hotel room; and observed that he was armed with a hatchet. When police breached the front door, the man came out of the unit’s bathroom long enough to throw the hatchet at the officers. He sprayed lighter fluid on the floor, wall, and furniture of the motel room, and then set the room ablaze.

Fighting through intense heat and thick black smoke billowing from the unit, officers pulled the suspect to safety.

“The officers involved in this incident took substantial risks in trying to help a suspect who knew he was going back to prison, was armed with multiple weapons, and showed a willingness to use those weapons against the officers,” Simpson summarized, as the officers were awarded the Portland Police Lifesaving Medal.

“Shop with a Cop” duo honored
Lt. Larry Graham and Amy Jacobs of Fred Meyer were summoned to the stage to receive Distinguished Service Awards, introduced by Sgt. Simpson:

In 2002, Lieutenant Larry Graham developed a partnership with Brooklyn-neighborhood-based Fred Meyer stores and other social service providers to begin the “Shop with a Cop” program, which pairs children in need with police officers to shop for school supplies and clothing at the beginning of the school year.

In addition to the children obtaining these needed items, they were able to spend some positive time with a police officer.  The cost of the items purchased was covered by a combination of donations and crime prevention funding. 

Through Lieutenant Graham’s leadership, this event has continued to grow, with hundreds of officers over the years volunteering their time to participate.  In addition, Amy Jacobs of Fred Meyer Stores has been pivotal in ensuring this program continues. 

Amy Jacobs has worked tirelessly to obtain funding and support from within the Fred Meyer organization. Her leadership and encouragement has attracted many to volunteer and support this program. Amy works with store managers and purchase agents to ensure the store is overstocked with kids clothing on the day of the event so they have a large selection to choose from.

Through their commitment to the program, Jacobs and Graham have helped more than 2,000 local kids in need obtaining a total of more than $650,000 worth of back-to-school clothing and supplies. For their efforts, they were each awarded the Portland Police Distinguished Service Award.

After the ceremony, Graham remarked to THE BEE, “While it’s nice to get an award like this, it’s especially good to see Amy recognized for the work she’s done over the years.”

Looking at his framed commendation and medallion, Graham added, “This award is also for all the officers and command staff that show up, on their own time, to help with ‘Shop with a Cop’ every year. They’re the real stars.”

Civilian thwarts Southeast bank robber
Also as reported in THE BEE at the time, an accused bank robber held up the Bank of the West branch on the corner of S.E. Division Street and 82nd Avenue of Roses on August 19, 2013 – only to be stopped by a punch from a construction worker.

In presenting the “Portland Police Civilian Medal for Heroism”, Simpson told how Scott Adams, a roofer on the Portland Community College construction project in progress at the time, heard someone yelling that the bank nearby had just been robbed.

After the ceremony, Adams recalled for THE BEE, “I knew it was the robber, when he ran into the job site. He had red paint on his hands [from the dye pack enclosed with the bank funds].

“I ran after him,” Adams continued. “As I caught up to him, he stopped to confront me, saying that if I didn’t ‘back off’ there would be ‘big problems’. I didn’t say a word, but when he started to walk around me, I blocked his way.”

The suspect took a swing at Adams. “I knew I had to take him down.”

As Chief Reese applauded and presented the commendation, Simpson said, “Mr. Scott Adams, for your selflessness and bravery to stop a felon, thereby putting your own personal safety at risk, you are hereby awarded the Portland Police Civilian Medal for Heroism.”

Winterhaven School
In the Brooklyn neighborhood, students at Winterhaven School are studying permaculture, with a Native Plant Garden at the north side of the school. (Photo by Rita A. Leonard)

At Winterhaven School, part of the curriculum is outside the building


Once known as Brooklyn Elementary School, Winterhaven K-8 School is a magnet school, focusing on “math, science, technology, and community volunteerism”, drawing from around the Portland Public School District.

And the science taught there is not all inside the classroom. For example, fifth graders at Winterhaven School have been studying nature systems, by developing a native plant garden at the north side of the school.

Their teacher, William Thompson, says the native plant garden is complementary to the “Food Forest” garden at the south end of the building. “We plan to use this site as both a learning garden and a community sanctuary,” he explains. “It’s like an outdoor science lab, where we can observe interaction with native insects and birds as well.”

Thompson reveals that the site was begun last fall as a vegetable garden, but has since been expanded to feature native plants. “We’ll still have some compost hills for potatoes this year though,” he says. “Parent Cindy Hayford is our Garden Coordinator as we add new plants to the site. Friday work parties have spread bark mulch paths for walkways, and we may install an openwork metal fence around the border.

“We’ve already planted ferns, Oregon grape, native blueberry and huckleberry bushes, elderberry, currants and lupine, with red twig dogwood as a safety zone along the sidewalk.”

The fifth graders are studying permaculture as a system to regenerate the landscape. After it’s well-established, the garden should take care of itself as a natural landscape, similar to other open patches of land. “The fifth graders have installed bird feeders and a birdbath out there to encourage wildlife, and a park bench was recently added,” continues Thompson.

“Our Principal is very supportive of the project. The second and third grade classrooms adjacent to the garden often check for wildlife out their windows.

“We’re trying to introduce ‘systems thinking’ as a way of understanding the interconnectedness of all living things on our planet.”

Southeast Precinct, Shred Day
Portland Police Central Precinct Cadet Mitchell Chung, Central Precinct Sgt. Willie Halliburton, and East Precinct Cadet Isabelle Beaver, dump bundles of documents into a roll cart for shredding. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Cops and Postal Inspectors team up for SE “Shred Day”


In observance of National Consumer Protection Week, members of the United States Postal Inspection Service and members of the Portland Police Bureau sponsored a document-shredding event at the recently reactivated Southeast Precinct, on the morning of March 15.

United States Postal Inspection Service Supervisor Dennis Fernald reflected, “Why are we here today?  We are working with other law enforcement agencies, like the Portland Police Bureau to get out into communities, and help citizens get rid of some of the personal information they might otherwise have a difficult time disposing of.

“This is an annual event for us, in the second week March.”

Along with the postal inspectors and police officers, Portland Police Cadets turned out at Southeast Precinct on E. Burnside to help unload boxes and bags of documents from neighbors’ cars, and deposit them in roll carts that were then emptied into an industrial paper-shredding truck.

In addition to the public shredding offering, Fernald said their inspectors travel throughout the community, giving talks at retirement facilities.

This year’s topics have included:

  • Increasing the awareness of older Americans and their caregivers about the dangers of foreign lottery schemes. See
  • Giving consumers information about protecting their assets from fraudsters.
  • Providing information about the central location where consumers can report suspected fraud.

 “By helping neighbors safely destroy their out-of-date documents, and providing them with information designed to help prevent them from being scammed, we’re aiming to help prevent people from becoming victims of criminals,” Fernald said.

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