More stories from January's issue of THE BEE!


This is the first preliminary artists’ conception of this new project, coming to the eastern bridgehead of the Sellwood Bridge.
This is the first preliminary artists’ conception of this new project, coming to the eastern bridgehead of the Sellwood Bridge. (Courtesy of Milbrandt Architects)
Project planner, Laura Standridge, Principal of Standridge Inc., describes the preliminary design concepts during an online meeting of the SMILE Land Use Committee.
Project planner, Laura Standridge, Principal of Standridge Inc., describes the preliminary design concepts during an online meeting of the SMILE Land Use Committee. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Striking ‘Sellwood Gateway’ development at Bridge revealed

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

Ever since the new Sellwood Bridge reopened in 2016, neighbors and commuters alike have wondered what would become of the properties at the eastern Sellwood Bridgehead – the space on either side of S.E. Tacoma Street between the landing of the Sellwood Bridge and 6th Avenue.

The answer to this question began to take form on Wednesday evening of December 1, at an online meeting of the Sellwood Moreland Improvement League (SMILE) Land Use Committee.

And, those who attended this well-attended meeting seemed to be pleased, overall, with the proposed design of this “gateway to Sellwood” – as well as with the responsive and forthcoming attitude of its developers.

Will straddle SE Tacoma Street
As it stands, the proposed development, on a combined 1.77 acres of land, is a retail/residential concept intended to provide a total of 104 apartment units, in four separate buildings.

Two larger mixed-use buildings will face Tacoma Street; and the ground floor if each is to provide high-ceilinged space for retailers or restaurants, with three floors of apartment units above. At the back of each property segment will be two smaller buildings, also with four floors each.

Right now, a consignment boat sales lot and a gentlemen’s club occupy the property north of Tacoma, currently owned by North Block Property Owner, LLC. Where the new Sellwood Bridge’s construction offices were once located – it’s now vacant land – is owned by South Block Property Owner, LLC., according to City of Portland records. The “owner of record” of both these holding companies is Diana Richardson.

SMILE Land Use Committee Chair David Schoellhamer brought the December 1st ZOOM meeting to order, and introduced Laura Standridge, Principal of Standridge Inc., a firm that provides planning, civil engineering, and surveying services.

Having looked into this proposed development on either side of  S.E. Tacoma Street between Grand and 6th Avenues, Schoellhamer explained that the property is all zoned “CM2”, permitting commercial mixed use, with a maximum height of 45 feet – that’s about four stories.

Land use review not needed
There would be no land use review process or public hearing if the plans submitted satisfy the City of Portland Bureau of Development Services (BDS) “Design Checklist” – which, according to the preliminary plans, it does, observed Schoellhamer.

Also attending the online meeting were Pam Verdadero of Stanton Street Building Company, and Rick Tolleshaug from Milbrandt Architects.

The developers stressed that the plans they were showing at the meeting are very preliminary, and “would be refined, over time, to exceed BDS requirements, and meet construction plan needs”.

Complies with ‘Main Street Design’ guidelines
Showing the very preliminary illustrations of how the project might look, architect Rick Tolleshaug pointed out that these plans not only meet BES zoning requirements, but also comply with the “Sellwood-Moreland Main Street Design Guidelines Design Overlay Zone”.

“It’s doing more than is required; in this case, in addition to the required design standards being applied, it incorporates optional standards for context, public realm, quality, and resilience,” Tolleshaug pointed out.

“This project will incorporate the historical look of the area, and it be something that we all feel proud of,” Standridge chimed in.

During the almost hour-long question-and-answer period, attendees learned the preliminary plans call for about 70 resident parking spaces; but none for the retail or restaurant customers.

Neighbors ask questions
Although, by and large, the reaction of those attending the virtual meeting seemed impressed and favorable to the development plans, there were some concerns expressed.

With their highly-respected auto repair shop located immediately south of Tenino Street, adjacent to the southern development, Charles Letherwood, Outreach Coordinator for Tom Dwyer Automotive Inc., commented, “We’re not excited about the impending construction.”

In addition to losing parking on the stub of S.E. Tenino Street in front of their shop, Letherwood voiced concern about the potential for the street to be legally vacated altogether, closing off the public street’s right-of-way. “Will construction crews be blocking access to our business during the day?” Letherwood asked.

Standridge responded, in part, “Sixth Avenue is intended to be open during construction. Due to [the need to be] making utility connections, there will be ‘trench cuts’ made in the street; but, for the most part, we will be keeping our people off the street.”

Some neighbors voiced concerns about the four-story height of the main buildings

“[When designing buildings] there are competing requirements for zoning; one is mixed use and retail. We do need the four stories to accommodate this, and to be a viable project that meets all of the zoning requirements,” responded Standridge.

Several attendees pressed the developers for a construction timeline, including when the groundbreaking might take place.

“Just when the work will begin will depend on the length of time it takes to get a building permit from BES,” Standridge pointed out. “If we can get permits by the summer of 2022, for example, we’d expect to have occupancy about a year later, in 2023.”

Look for THE BEE to follow progress of this project. And, to learn about this, and other proposed development in the Sellwood-Westmoreland area, visit the SMILE Land Use Committee’s webpage at – http://www.sellwoodmoreland.org



Officers mark the location of spent bullet casings, at the edge of Mt. Scott City Park, before collecting evidence.
Officers mark the location of spent bullet casings, at the edge of Mt. Scott City Park, before collecting evidence. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Shootings at Mt. Scott Park way down, but not ended

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

Residents of the Mt. Scott-Arleta neighborhood say it’s been relatively quiet, since (as THE BEE reported in its November issue) the traffic control barrels the neighbors lobbied for were put in place a few weeks ago.

Statistically, the number of “Shots Fired” calls to which East Precinct officers have been dispatched near there have decreased by two-thirds, compared to earlier in the year.

However, on December 2, seven officers were again sent out on a report of shots fired at 8:28 p.m., at the southwest edge of Mt. Scott City Park, on S.E. Knight Street just east of 72nd Avenue.

After an initial assessment of the incident, four of the officers were released to take other calls in their respective districts.

The three remaining officers carefully documented the scene. There appeared to be a total of 15 yellow evidence markers that they’d placed, indicating where a spent shell casing had landed. The officers noted down the location of each casing, and preserved the evidence.

“No injured victims were found; however some bullets struck an apartment nearby,” Portland Police spokesperson Sergeant Kevin Allen reported the next morning.

Two days after the shooting incident, Nadine Salama, who spoke about gunfire incidents with THE BEE in our front page story in our November issue, said that the street restrictions have had a positive effect. “Since we last talked, we had 63 days of no gun shootings at all, in the six-block radius, after the barrels were placed by PBOT,” she commented.

“Then, during the day [of November 2], the barrel on S.E. Knight Street at 72nd Avenue moved away. We know these barrels don’t just ‘disappear’, people move them – so, we find them and have to put them back.

“I would say that ‘63 days of no shootings is a win’; I will take that! However, the incident on Thursday night [November 2nd] was disheartening and discouraging,” Salama conceded.

Members of the PPB’s Enhanced Community Safety Team is doing the follow-up investigation. If you can help by providing them with tips, email your information to crimetips@portlandoregon.gov; and reference Case No. 21-337178.



Marty Leisure, Woodstock Branch Library clerk, wants everyone to be able to enjoy books, such as this one he picked off the shelf.  A new “fine free” policy makes the library accessible to all, and he says, “It’s a great friendly approach.”
Marty Leisure, Woodstock Branch Library clerk, wants everyone to be able to enjoy books, such as this one he picked off the shelf. A new “fine free” policy makes the library accessible to all, and he says, “It’s a great friendly approach.” (Photo by Elizabeth Ussher Groff)

Is it fine for a library to have no fines? And what if you already owe?

By ELIZABETH USSHER GROFF
For THE BEE

Recently a question about late fees directed to a staff person at the Woodstock branch elicited the response that the library is now “fine free”. While some Multnomah County Library patrons in Southeast Portland may already know about this new policy, many do not – or they don’t know the details.

The fact of the matter seems to be that last July first, the library announced that it was waiving fines for overdue books and other materials during the pandemic – and beyond: “Multnomah County Library will permanently stop charging late fines on all library materials, clear all existing fines, and restore access to accounts blocked because of fines in excess of $50, effective immediately. [But] patrons will continue to be billed for unreturned materials.” 

The policy change reflects a growing nationwide emphasis on removing barriers to people to use public libraries.  Patrons will not feel the need to avoid library usage because of late fines, or fear of having a conversation about debt.

Director of Libraries Vailey Oehlke told THE BEE, “We have watched closely as a growing body of research has shown that late fines don’t work – that a large percentage [of the fines] can never be collected, and that ending the practice doesn’t increase the number of late returns. This change will help Multnomah County Library truly serve its community in a free and equal way.” 

Several cities in the country had already adopted a no-fine policy even before the pandemic. Saint Paul, Minnesota, stopped charging fines for overdue books and other items back in 2018. Currently, nearby cities such as Vancouver and Seattle have also dropped any late fees.

We discovered that the New York City Public Library system has gone the same route.  Tony Marx, president of that system says, “Almost all the books come back anyway, because people – if they are treated with respect and trust – respond in kind,” he said, in October of this year.

As for the Multnomah County Library system, their July 2020 statement continued, “Library materials will still have due dates, and patrons are encouraged to return their library materials within the checkout period. Items will automatically renew if there are no ‘holds’ on the item. For items that are not automatically renewed, if materials are not returned 49 days after the due date, patrons will be charged replacement costs. Those fees are cleared, if the items are returned.”

Marty Leisure, who has worked in the Multnomah County Library system for 35 years, and is in his tenth year at the Woodstock branch, says he is in favor of the no-fine policy. “It’s a great library-friendly approach. The goal is to have people read and enjoy books.  And, especially for low-income people [who may owe fines they can’t pay], the policy encourages them to come back and use the library.”

Martha Flotten, a new Regional Manager for Multnomah County Library adds, “There is also [a new policy of] no paying for printing [copying] in our libraries. Especially with the pandemic, we are doing whatever we can to help people. And much of the printing [done in libraries] is for shipping labels, or resumes.”

If you’d like even more information about this new Multnomah County Library policy, Call the library at 503/988-5123, or go online – http://www.multcolib.org



“This is the third time that someone has driven into Sellwood Park and ripped up lawn, turning ‘donuts’,” a disgusted neighbor says.
“This is the third time that someone has driven into Sellwood Park and ripped up lawn, turning ‘donuts’,” a disgusted neighbor says. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Vandal spins ‘donuts’ in car on grass in Sellwood Park; arrested

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

It’s happened more than once lately, say neighbors near Sellwood Park: Vehicles driving up on the lawn, skidding around in circles, ripping up the turf, and then speeding off.

One such occurrence was on Wednesday evening, November 24, a little after 10:21 p.m. A neighbor, who asked not to be identified said he’d witnessed the incident. “I was driving home along S.E. 7th Avenue and noticed this jerk driving around in the park, turning ‘donuts’, spinning around, tearing up the grass in Sellwood Park.

“I saw the vehicle exiting the park, drive over the sidewalk and skid sideways on 7th Avenue at Bidwell,” he continued. “I followed the car, and snapped a picture of the back of the vehicle, including the license plate, at the corner of Tacoma Street and 13th.”

Apparently, another neighbor also videoed the same event, and put the recording on social media. The two neighbors both contacted the Portland Police Bureau and provided photographic evidence.

Because the Portland Police Bureau is short-staffed, and because “turning donuts in the park” could be considered a low-level crime, the neighbors didn’t expect an arrest.

However, a neighborhood Central Precinct officer did take on the case, and the culprit was fingered, according to police spokesperson Lt. Nathan Sheppard. “We won’t be releasing the subject’s name, due to the subject’s age.

“However, I can confirm the subject was cited for Reckless Driving and Criminal Mischief,” Lt. Sheppard said. “He was cooperative with the investigation, showed remorse, and has offered to pay for the damage he caused to the park.”

Take heart, neighbors! Reporting incidents like these do help reduce crime, and perhaps may cause some perpetrators to mend their ways.



This graph charts Oregon’s summer high temperatures, starting with 1895, and continuing up through this past August. Despite lots of variations, year by year, the overall trend is clearly upward.
This graph charts Oregon’s summer high temperatures, starting with 1895, and continuing up through this past August. Despite lots of variations, year by year, the overall trend is clearly upward. (Courtesy NOAA)
These four graphs show long-term trends for four different variables in causing Oregon’s climate: The ENSO sea surface temperature at the equator; the periodic volcanic eruptions that can emit aerosols that temporarily cool the Earth; the output of the sun, which does vary over time; and the level of manmade “Greenhouse Gases” in our air.
These four graphs show long-term trends for four different variables in causing Oregon’s climate: The ENSO sea surface temperature at the equator; the periodic volcanic eruptions that can emit aerosols that temporarily cool the Earth; the output of the sun, which does vary over time; and the level of manmade “Greenhouse Gases” in our air. (Courtesy of Dr. Phillip Mote, OSU)

Southeast Rotary Club gets answer from expert: Oregon’s climate trend

By ERIC NORBERG
Editor, THE BEE

The Southeast Portland Rotary Club, of which your editor is a longtime member, had the same question most residents here had after our 116 degree temperature reading on June 28: Is our climate really changing, or are we just having occasional drastic exceptions to the norm? And if it really is changing, what is causing it?

The club sought a local meteorologist to discuss it, and those consulted pointed to a nationally-recognized expert on the topic at Oregon State University in Corvallis: Dr. Philip Mote, Vice Provost and Dean of the Graduate School at OSU, and active in the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute (OCCRI) and the NOAA-funded Climate Impacts Research Consortium (CIRC) for the Northwest. He agreed to address the club via ZOOM on Monday, October 11, at noon.

Dr. Mote proved an engaging speaker, and he brought with him a variety of graphs to make absolutely clear what is going on with our weather – and why until recently did it not seem to be changing rapidly.

One graph he presented, reproduced here, was courtesy of the National Weather Service, and it showed the temperature trend of the last twelve decades of summers (June through August) here in Oregon. On that graph, the “mean” temperature of the whole period – all the monthly high temperatures averaged over the entire time period – was a horizontal line down the middle.

Overlaid on that line was a second line showing the annual summer average temperature trend across those 120 years, averaging the annual temperatures of each month of each year: It starts below that horizontal line in 1895, and continues through this August, in 2021, rising to its highest point. The annual monthly maximum temperatures vary, and make a climbing series of jagged up-and-down tracks, but the trend is clearly warmer.

So, in Oregon, there has been a steady trend of warming. How do we know what is causing it? And how can we know whether it is just long-term weather variations, or whether it is real and will continue?

There was a graph for that, too. In fact, four graphs on one slide! Starting in 1900 and continuing through 2020, three of the graphs showed little substantial change over the entire period. These were the ENSO trend, which measures the equatorial sea surface temperatures that influence our weather; it was pretty level, with some recent spikes, but currently actually cooler than average. The “Volcanoes” chart showed how volcanic activity around the world periodically threw aerosols into the atmosphere that could cool the Earth down temporarily. The third chart, “Solar Irradiance”, measured how much energy from the sun we received over the years – the sun does vary in its output over the years; there is a mild uptrend over this period of time, but relatively little variation, in output percentage terms.

And then there is the fourth chart – which measures “Anthropogenic GHGs” in our Oregon air: That is, man-made “Greenhouse Gases”. This chart answered both of the club’s questions: These gases were rising here slightly from 1900 to 1940, then dipped slightly for a few years, and then – starting around 1965 – started climbing sharply, right up to the current day.

Drawn from a published report, “Working Group: Contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change”, co-authored by a large number of scientists from countries around the world, here’s the worldwide temperature trend – for the last two millennia on the left; and for the 1850-2020 period on the right.
Drawn from a published report, “Working Group: Contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change”, co-authored by a large number of scientists from countries around the world, here’s the worldwide temperature trend – for the last two millennia on the left; and for the 1850-2020 period on the right. (Courtesy of Dr. Phillip Mote, OSU)

Consequently, through the 1960s and probably even the 1970s, it didn’t seem to most of us as if there were any major effects taking place on the Oregon climate, leading some to think that Oregon was escaping “global warming” that was reported elsewhere.  But, since then, we have been experiencing our own definite warming trend, and it continues today, attributable mostly to manmade “Greenhouse Gases”. Those include carbon dioxide, methane, hydrocarbons, other industrial gases, as well as whatever emerges from our auto exhaust pipes.

Dr, Mote, having demonstrated the local climate trend in Oregon, concluded with a graph showing the worldwide temperature trends of the last 2,020 years (to provide a little perspective!) – side-by-side with a graph of the global temperature trend from 1850 to the present day (showing the projected temperature trend without human emissions superimposed over the trend with human emissions included).

The very recent sharp rise is particularly striking – especially on the 2,020-year graph, much of which is derived from geological findings of temperature over these two millennia. It appears that it hasn’t been as hot on Earth as it is right now since the time of the dinosaurs, 100,000 years ago! (There is a temperature range to the left of the first chart, showing that.)

So, the facts do seem to speak for themselves, as Dr. Mote suggested. As to what to do about this – that’s another topic, and is currently the subject of worldwide debate. But at least the answer sought with the Rotary Club’s two questions, concerning Oregon, seems clear – things are indeed really getting warmer here, and it’s mostly due to the recent rise in “Greenhouse Gases”.



A PPB officer inspects this totaled Toyota Tacoma -- apparently stolen -- after it smacked into a TriMet bus on of S.E. McLoughlin Boulevard at Holgate.
A PPB officer inspects this totaled Toyota Tacoma -- apparently stolen -- after it smacked into a TriMet bus on of S.E. McLoughlin Boulevard at Holgate. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

McLoughlin smashup crumples stolen pickup, dents TriMet bus

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

A collision between a pickup truck and a TriMet bus partially closed the southbound lanes of McLoughlin Boulevard at S.E. Holgate on Friday evening, November 26. Three “Transit Division” units, including one attached to the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, were dispatched to the scene at 9:29 p.m. – along with one Central Precinct officer.

Near the center of the street, officers were focused on the demolished front end of the Toyota Tacoma pickup truck, as well as the contents of the vehicle.

While officers were directing traffic around the wreck on S.E. McLoughlin Boulevard, workers wearing TriMet garb were inspecting a city bus which was stopped at the curb, facing eastbound, on Holgate Boulevard, across from 12th Avenue. It appeared that the driver-side rear end of TriMet bus had been damaged in the accident.

At 10 p.m. an ambulance pulled up by the wrecked Toyota and its paramedics checked in with officers. It then turned on its emergency lights and drove over to where the bus had stopped.

“The person who caused the crash turned out to be driving a stolen pickup, which is likely why there were so many units at this accident,” later said Portland Police spokesperson Lt. Nathan Sheppard, after checking the police reports.

“That driver, 21-year-old Dariyan Crews, was transported to a local hospital with what doesn’t appear to be any major injuries,” Lt. Sheppard told THE BEE.

Although he was released on his own recognizance, and was not booked into jail, Dariyan Crews was nonetheless charged with:

  • Failure to Perform the Duties of a Driver (Hit & Run)
  • Reckless Driving
  • Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle.

As a wrecker towed the smashed Toyota out of the street, the TriMet bus was also released by police, and drove off under its own power.



At this session of “Coffee with a Cop”, East Precinct Sergeant Craig Andersen (left) turned the discussion about shootings over to East Precinct Sergeant and acting-Lieutenant Michael Pool (at right).
At this session of “Coffee with a Cop”, East Precinct Sergeant Craig Andersen (left) turned the discussion about shootings over to East Precinct Sergeant and acting-Lieutenant Michael Pool (at right). (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Coffee with A Cop: Police discuss issues with neighbors

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

From time to time, neighbors coordinate with the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) for an informal gathering called “Coffee with a Cop”. One such meeting was held on Wednesday morning, November 10, at Mocha Express on S.E. 82nd Avenue.

About half of those attending were from Inner Southeast Portland. As many as 39 people were present; some came after it had started, while others departed before it was over, since the conversation continued well past its 9:30 a.m. scheduled conclusion.

Homeless and quality-of-life issues
Taking part in the discussion were neighbors, business owners, and a church pastor who asked about ways to deal with those encamped on streets, rights-of-ways, and sometimes encroaching on private property.

“In our case, some of the homeless block the sidewalk at our church,” the pastor commented. “They cut your hedges and put up plywood barriers; acting as if it’s their spot. And, some of the homeless people started a fire near our church!”

Speaking to the issue of the unhoused and camps was PPB East Precinct Sergeant Craig Andersen.

“As you are likely aware, due to reduced staffing, we do not have officers flooding the streets who are able to work all these calls,” Sgt. Andersen began. “Like dealing with homeless issues, I can arrest somebody who has less than 2 grams of methamphetamine, but all I can do to a homeless violator is give a citation – like a ‘speeding ticket’ and a warning – but we cannot take them to jail.”

Depending on their activities, officers may be able to get a trespasser off private property. “But, this won’t necessarily get them out of the area,” pointed out Andersen.

Dealing with ‘campers in campers’
A neighbor told about the growing mound of debris around apparently inoperative motor homes, and trucks with camper tops. “I’ve seen these RVs towed and ‘dumped’ on our street, where they become permanent fixtures,” she said.

Andersen responded, “In this case, it’s a Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) issue. It comes down to the Portland Bureau of Transportation, if it’s a vehicle or RV issue – it is not a policing issue. On the other hand, pbot has the same staffing problems as the PPB.”

Unlike the rules and limitations that clearly define how officers are to respond and react in domestic-violence incidents and other violent crimes, misdemeanor crimes present the challenge of prioritizing time, the sergeant commented. “Our officers are constantly having to decide if they’re willing to be tied up dealing with a low-level drug or property crime that will end up with nothing more than a citation – or to prioritize dealing with violent crime.

“Also, when our ‘hands get tied’ with rules we must follow, we don’t expect our officers to put their own careers on the line to give you the help that many would argue that you very much deserve,” Andersen observed.

Catalytic converter theft
Several neighbors said that they, or their neighbors, had had vehicles disabled due to the catalytic converter having being cut out of them and stolen – sometimes even in the middle of the day.

“Although this is a property crime, it is a real problem,” agreed Andersen. “Even though it costs the victim thousands of dollars to repair, the criminals are getting maybe $30 for the theft from a ‘scrapper’ who will buy catalytic converters from anyone, no questions asked.

“We want to track down these criminals, and to go after the buyers of catalytic converters. Yet, with Portland having more than 1,100 shootings so far this year, and experiencing violent crime in which people are injured or die, we have to have a dividing line for our priorities,” Andersen said.

Shootings a major concern
Turning to the topic of criminals shooting guns, a Brentwood-Darlington neighbor commented, “It’s gotten so bad in my area, I’m afraid to go out and walk my dog, even in the daytime.”

Taking up the topic of shootings was East Precinct Sergeant, and acting-Lieutenant, Michael Pool.

“To address these shootings, with the resources we have, we’re freeing up officers – like Sergeant Andersen talked about – from going on lower-level misdemeanors, to let them ‘stay free, and stay active’ to pursue violent crime,” Lt. Pool conceded.

He pointed out two officers present in the room, and reported that during a “traffic stop” just that morning, they had taken a gun from a person who was not allowed to possess it.

The PPB’s Focused Intervention Team (FIT) is taking shape, Pool said. “Because of the political nature of this position, it took officers a long time to feel comfortable volunteering for the team. “It’s not that they don’t want to do that work. Instead, it is the fear of being under the microscope, with every move one makes being ‘second guessed’ and criticized.”

Those concerns notwithstanding, he reported that at least 40 officers have applied to be on the FIT, with the volunteers ranging in experience from veteran officers to rookies.

THE BEE asked if the constant, daily fusillade of shootings – causing officers to race from one “Shots Fired” or shooting call to another – has had any effect on the officers.

Pool responded, “I’ve been doing this for 26 years, and I don’t like the frequency of the shootings. It used to be when you get a shooting call, you’d feel the blood pressure rise. But now, it’s like, ‘oh no, not again’ – and I don’t mean to devalue these calls, because some of them are actual shootings, with lives on the line.

“So, we try not to become ‘numb’ to the number of shooting calls,” continued Pool. “But one of the hazards of going on so many shootings, and shots-fired calls, is that we have to remember to be careful and vigilant as we pull up to each one.”

Many reasons for increased shootings
Asked why there has been such a dramatic uptick in shootings, Lt. Pool pondered the question before answering.

Some of increase in Portland he believes to be a consequence of the shutting down of the Gun Violence Reduction Team, in combination with more restrictive “pursuit” policies.

“Some of the shooting comes from homeless camps but, as well, we’ve had some homeowners who ‘crank off rounds’ at people who are in their yards – which is questionable, because a person is supposed to be ‘in fear of their life’ to shoot a weapon,” said Pool.

Wrapping up the conversation, Pool said, “Our job, as sergeants, is to support creative policing – but, at the same time, to make sure that our officers are doing so within the guidelines.”



Although firefighters quickly knocked down the fire that appeared to be concentrated in the front room of this duplex. The fire is out but smoke still arises; a crew member wets down the roof.
Although firefighters quickly knocked down the fire that appeared to be concentrated in the front room of this duplex. The fire is out but smoke still arises; a crew member wets down the roof. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Fire chars Southeast apartment; no one injured

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

When a fire broke out on one side of a duplex – one of several duplexes in a development at the corner of S.E. 47th Avenue and Clinton Street – on Friday afternoon, December 3, the response was rapid.

While callers were still ringing 9-1-1 Center dispatchers, Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) crews were already on their way to the fire. The duplexes in the group are owned by the Housing Authority of Portland.

“Woodstock Station 25’s Engine Company was just pulling out of their building, when they noticed the column of smoke, not far away,” PF&R Public Information Officer Lt. Laurent Picard told THE BEE at the scene. “As they rolled out, and called it in to dispatch, Station 25’s Ladder Truck Company responded right behind them.”

Because the development consists of closely-spaced, single-story duplexes, within minutes a PF&R Battalion Chief called for a second alarm. Soon after, a total of 24 fire trucks and engines were arriving at the scene, in the Richmond neighborhood.

“We had reports -- first that one person was trapped inside the burning unit; then a report of a second person trapped in the adjoining unit,” said Picard. “As it turned out, the person in the fire-involved apartment had exited the structure before crews arrived; firefighters were able to help the person in the other unit safely get out. So, both ambulances were dismissed.”

With the fire quickly brought under control, the incident was soon reduced to a single alarm; the other responding firefighters were returned to their respective stations.

Lt. Picard wouldn’t speculate at the scene about the extent of damage at this fire, the cause of which remains under investigation.


The burglar is shown ringing the doorbell with a package – before deciding nobody’s home and breaking into the home. Do you recognize him? Let the police know!
The burglar is shown ringing the doorbell with a package – before deciding nobody’s home and breaking into the home. Do you recognize him? Let the police know! (Courtesy KPTV Fox 12 News)

Daylight burglar victimizes Eastmoreland resident

By DAVID F. ASHTON
for THE BEE

When Central Precinct officers were dispatched on November 18 at 2:39 p.m., it was to a routine “Premise Check”, to see if everything was alright at an Eastmoreland home in the 3100 Block of S.E. Woodstock Boulevard, facing Reed College.

But, everything was certainly not alright for the family of Erica Hetfld, which was not in the house at the time. After being sent a security notification from the front door video doorbell system, Hetfld told reporters, she was shocked to see a man – dressed in black, wearing a cap and mask; and comfortably attired in slippers – bringing an unwrapped package to the front door.

Then, she saw the man grab a pole, with a swatch of blue painter’s tape stuck to the end, and disappear around to the back of her house. Seconds after that, the video security camera lost its image and the picture turned blue – and Hetfld got a message from her alarm monitoring company with a break-in notification.

She called the 9-1-1 Center to report a burglary in progress – but mentioned that she’d waited for on hold for five minutes to speak with an operator. By the time officers came, ten minutes after that, the burglar was gone.

Hetfeld said that she felt violated, because the thief made a beeline for her bedroom and stole all of her jewelry, including a gold heirloom given her by her grandmother. After he rummaged through the bedroom, she was incensed to find that the crook also turned upside down her toddler’s bedroom.

The homeowner placed the blame for crimes like these on the shoulders of elected officials who, she said, all but give criminals permission to steal – because they likely won’t be prosecuted, she asserted.

But that’s not a foregone conclusion! If you recognize this burglar in the security camera photo, help PPB Burglary Division investigators solve this crime by e-mailing your information to – crimetips@portlandoregon.gov – and pleased reference Case No. 21-323123.



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