More stories from November's issue of THE BEE!


Coffee With A Cop, Sellwood, Blue Kangaroo, Southeast Portland, Oregon
Officers Steve Sharp and Carrie Hutchinson listen to neighbors during an early October afternoon “Coffee with a Cop” informal discussion at Sellwood’s “Blue Kangaroo” coffee shop. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Sellwood’s Blue Kangaroo hosts ‘Coffee with Cops’

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

The afternoon of October 3, every seat was taken at Sellwood’s Blue Kangaroo Coffee Roasters on S.E. 13th, for “Coffee with a Cop” – providing the opportunity for residents to talk with and get to know neighborhood police officers.

“This kind of friendly and informal location is a good place for neighbors to voice concerns, ask questions, discuss problems – and, perhaps come up with solutions – with their local police officers,” explained the event’s organizer, Portland Police Bureau Central Precinct Acting Sergeant Jason Jones, who was also present.

After listening to several neighbors while sitting on one of overstuffed sofas, Jones, a member of the Bureau’s “Enhanced Crisis Intervention Training team”, told THE BEE of the subjects he’d heard about that afternoon.

“The top issue so far has been how homelessness affects the neighborhoods; followed closely by concern of how people experiencing mental health issues can spill into the everyday lives of neighbors,” Jones recounted. Other issues included property and other crimes, and then public safety concerns.

Asked what it was like to sit down with neighbors and just chat, Jones replied, “Talking to ordinary people is a breath of fresh air.

“Some people are curious about us and our professions; others have questions about law enforcement and how it applies to them,” Jones recalled. “The great thing is that they want to connect with us as human beings; and this is refreshing for us.”

Looking around the room at the other Bureau personnel present, Jones volunteered, “The people here have the ‘right stuff’ to be a cop; we’re interested in human behavior, and are often fascinated as we try to understand what drives people to do what they do.

“Through understanding an individual’s behavior, we can sometimes find people who are ready to make changes in their lives, and who will let us help them find resources to assist them in finding a pathway to recovery, health and personal success,” Jones remarked.

“Yes, we’re often surrounded by trauma, crisis, and sometimes unfortunate outcomes, but we’re in this profession because we love people, and care about people,” Jones concluded, turning to listen to another coffee drinker in Sellwood.



Chavez Community Garden, 39th Avenue, Woodstock, water, fundraising, Southeast Portland, Oregon
Lonnie Port and Conrad and Jennifer Rotter hold spaghetti squash they have grown here – and they add that “this garden is a wonderful ‘community’.” (Photo by Elizabeth Ussher Groff

‘Cesar Chavez Community Garden’ needs water; seeks funds

By ELIZABETH USSHER GROFF
For THE BEE

Community gardens make it possible for a diverse group of people to grow their own food. They also are a place where people experience a peaceful environment and get to know each other, socialize, and learn about gardening and conservation.

One community garden that now is in some trouble is in the Woodstock neighborhood. The 10,000 sq. foot “Cesar Chavez Community Garden” at Chavez Blvd (formerly 39th) and S.E. Ellis Street has 50 plots that have served the community well for twenty years, on a piece of land that a neighbor is allowing to be farmed in this way. In the past they have used water provided by another generous neighbor, but that source is no longer available.

For the past six years the garden has been under the supervision of “Grow Portland”, a nonprofit organization that specializes in making land available to people of all ages, ethnic backgrounds, and abilities. Before that, in the past, the land was used for market gardening, and was tended by a few different families over the decades.

Now that the neighbor’s donated water is no longer available, Grow Portland is hoping to raise $9,000 to install a water meter to provide on-site water for irrigation. This piece of land as a community garden is very important economically and socially to neighbors in a number of neighborhoods.

Jennifer Rotter, a single mother who lives in the Creston-Kenilworth neighborhood, has been gardening at the Cesar Chavez Garden for three years, and says, “I would hate to see it go. It provides me with a way to provide food for me and my son [who is ten years old], and it’s good to get out of the apartment and meet neighbors.”

Rotter says several refugee families garden there, and “grow interesting food that some neighbors have never seen before.” She describes this as a learning experience for herself, her son, who helps her garden, and for neighbors.

Lonnie Port, who has been a member of the garden for six years says, “I love the community here.  I have met people I would never have met anywhere else.”

David Beller, Executive Director of Grow Portland, has over 15 years of experience in horticulture, agriculture, food policy and community food projects. He says he is dedicated to saving the garden: “We want to preserve this garden space. Without a reliable source of water, the land will be developed like so many other lots in our city.”

The person who now owns the land says that when she purchased it over twenty-five years ago, the wife of the late farmer who had tilled it for many years asked her to promise to never sell it to a developer.

She reports that it is very productive soil because of the years of farming, and emphasizes, “It does my heart good, because they’re using it well, and it makes me and a lot of people happy.”

All plots there are spoken for at this point, but some might open up in the future. Plot fees vary. They are a little less expensive for people who are on WIC, SSI, or SNAP. Fees will be published in the future.

Gardeners can reach the garden on TriMet bus lines 10, 17, 19, and 75. There is also some street parking.

To contribute as little or much as you wish toward the water meter fund, go online: https://www.gofundme.com/water-for-the-cesar-chavez-garden.

As this article goes to press, $2,568 has already been contributed in one month by 30 people, leaving $6,432 more needing to be raised by December 31st.



Just to the right of Portland Police Officer Jerry Higginbotham, a tense situation develops. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Hostage-taker shot in tense standoff at 82nd Avenue motel

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

When two men started scuffling in the 7-Eleven store on the corner of S.E. Flavel Street at 82nd Avenue of Roses, the clerk was alarmed and called the 9-1-1 center for help. That was at about 8:45 a.m., on Wednesday, October 10.

According to witness accounts, one man – later identified as 30-year-old Samuel E. Rice – pulled out a knife and tried to stab the other man before leaving the store and running across the street to the Del Rancho Motel, at 7622 S.E. 82nd Avenue.

More Portland Police Bureau (PPB) officers meantime were sent to another call – this one at that motel – at 9:11 a.m., in response to what was reported to be a potentially violent domestic disturbance.

Arriving officers learned that Rice was in a room at the motel, and was holding a woman hostage with a knife. “As officers attempted to contact the suspect, the suspect threatened the life of the woman inside the motel room,” recounted PPB Public Information Officer Sgt. Chris Burley.

The Bureau’s Special Emergency Reaction Team (SERT) and Crisis Negotiation Team (CNT) were activated, and came to the scene. S.E. 82nd Avenue of Roses was shut down to traffic as 28 police units rolled in.

Room by room, officers escorted other motel guests to safety, while the SERT officers set up around the building.

At some point in the negotiation with Rice, whom witnesses told reporters continued to threaten the life of the woman held hostage, a SERT officer fired at the suspect, dropping him to the ground.

With the hostage thus safely freed, and throughout the day, PPB Homicide Detectives, assisted by the East County Major Crimes Team – and later, representatives of the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office – investigated the incident.

“The Oregon State Medical Examiner's Office determined that Rice died of a gunshot wound,” Burley later confirmed.

“Investigators have learned the Police Bureau had previously contacted Rice multiple times, and recently the Police Bureau's Behavioral Health Unit attempted to link Rice and his girlfriend to services,” Burley said. “Officers have transported Rice to area hospitals on multiple occasions in the past for treatment of perceived mental illness.

“Although Rice had refused the Behavioral Health Unit's assistance, the officers did at the time provide Rice’s care providers with information about his recent behavior,” Burley reported.

As the investigation continues, the officer who fired the shot at the hostage-taker has been placed on paid administrative leave, as is standard procedure, until the conclusion of the investigation.

The incident is expected to be reviewed by a Grand Jury, tentatively scheduled to meet in mid to late November.



Diesel pollution, Brooklyn, forum, particulates, Southeast Portland, Oregon
As Beven Byrnes moderated, the panel of state Senator Kathleen Taylor, State Representative Rob Nosse, Multnomah County Commissioner Sharon Meieran, Metro President-elect Lynn Peterson, Metro Councilor Bob Stacey, and City Council Candidate Jo Ann Hardesty, responded to questions from the audience. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

‘Diesel Pollution Town Hall Forum’ held in Brooklyn

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

At the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in the Brooklyn neighborhood, on the evening of September 26, some 110 people attended what organizers called a “Town Hall Forum on Diesel Pollution”.

“The purpose of this forum, hosted by the Brooklyn Action Corps [neighborhood association], is raising public awareness about the dangers of diesel pollution,”remarked one of its organizers, Joe Hovey, who said he is with “Portland Neighbors Addressing Diesel Pollution”.

“Unless there’s a crisis people usually don’t react; so, with the messages presented by our speakers this evening, giving those who attend the opportunity to ask questions of some elected officials here tonight, we’re hoping to get honest answers from the politicians about diesel pollution,” Hovey said.

While he acknowledged that this issue wouldn’t be resolved that evening, Hovey remarked, “We’re looking at this as the beginning of a conversation, a dialogue; a way for us to all get on the same page, and talk.”

The program’s moderator, Beven Byrnes, revealed that she is the Principal/Executive Director at Bridges Middle School and, as a mother and educator “serving students with learning differences”, has an interest in the topic.

The first speaker, Dr. Patrick O’Herron, MD, Board President of a group called “Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility” began his presentation with, “I have way more slides than I have time to talk about in detail.”

In one of his first graphics, “Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)”, O’Herron mentioned that it is these PAHs in diesel pollution that contain a large family of organic chemicals including benzo(a)pyrene, dioxins, and naphthalene; and many are carcinogenic, estrogen receptors or genotoxic he opined. “These often enter the body in particulates.”

Speaking quickly as he flashed through his PowerPoint images, O’Herron pointed out that National Air Toxic Assessment by the Environmental Protection Agency is a study done every three years. “A lot of this information is based on modeling, and on known sources, and a few monitoring stations.

“There is potential for inaccuracy when you are relying on a lot of modeling, unless it’s based on air-testing stations,” O’Herron said as he pointed to a Multnomah County “Toxic Exposure Map” image dated 1996.

One of O’Herron’s major references was pollution benchmarks in California, commenting “It’s not good to breathe any of these particulates.”

The next speaker, Oregon Thoracic Society president and ICU doctor Erika Moseson, MD, began by saying, “The lungs are designed to take in air [and what’s contained in the air] from the outside world, and put it into our bloodstream – to take oxygen in, and release carbon dioxide out.

“Whatever we breathe and is going to get into our bloodstream. So, if you don’t want to ingest diesel exhaust into your veins, you shouldn’t breathe it.”

Moseson suggested that diesel pollution can be a cause of dementia and ADHD “because it’s in your brain, kidneys, other organs – in your entire body.

“In addition to causing diseases, the other thing to think about is how much all of [medical care] cost,” Moseson commented. “Although we don’t want to slow down the trucks or the construction, because that means jobs, I take care of a lot of people who are construction workers, and they are really suffering, including truck drivers.”

Making her message upbeat, Moseson continued, “It sounds dire, but there is good evidence of medical literature that we can make a difference – if we decrease the amount of carbon particles in the air.”

She went on, telling about studies in Washington and California in which school students became healthier when levels of pollution were reduced.

“Some people say that states like California and Washington can afford to reduce pollution, because they have stronger economies; but perhaps, they have stronger economies because they have cleaner air,” Moseson suggested.

The last speaker, “Northwest Environmental Defense Center” Executive Director Mark Riskedahl, began with the observation that there is an “incredible complexity in regulating” diesel pollution.

“There are several tricky categories; in ‘mobile sources’, 60,000 diesel vehicles are moving in Portland every single day; and 14,000 trucks are moving along the Interstate 5 corridor every day. That’s a lot of trucks spewing diesel exhaust.”

He praised the “legislative rigor” of California and Washington in getting the dirtiest and oldest vehicles off their roads. “[Oregon] is where these older, dirtier vehicles move, to ‘retire’ and live out their lives,” said Riskedahl.

What can help, Riskedahl said, was reduction in four key diesel emissions reduction categories:

  • Emissions reductions from existing heavy duty diesel vehicles
  • Emissions reductions from non-road diesel engines
  • Aggregate emissions reductions from indirect sources
  • Emissions reductions from the use and movement of vehicles

Elaborating on the last category, Riskedahl offered several suggestions, including limiting the hours that diesel delivery vehicles could operate within the Portland city limits.

Afterward, during the question-and-answer period, while seated at the head table, State Senator Kathleen Taylor, State Representative Rob Nosse, Multnomah County Commissioner Sharon Meieran, Metro President-Elect Lynn Peterson, Metro Councilor Bob Stacey, and City Council Candidate Jo Ann Hardesty all seemed in agreement that diesel pollution is harmful and stated that they wanted it reduced.

During the presentations and the discussion, the presenters and politicians present spoke in generalities about diesel pollution throughout the greater Portland metropolitan area as a whole.

While the Eastmoreland, Reed, Brooklyn, Sellwood-Moreland, Creston-Kenilworth, and Hosford-Abernethy neighborhoods “frame” the Union Pacific Rail Yards, there seemed to be little local perspective concerning the amount or types of pollution resulting from railroad operations – nor how any might, locally, be alleviated. That may be on the agenda for a future meeting.



One marked and one undercover police car were present at the entrance of Creston K-9 School, when an armed parent was reported to have entered the school. The police later left without making an arrest. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Report of armed parent briefly causes lockdown at Creston School

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

School got off to a rocky start on Thursday morning, September 18, at Creston School, a kindergarten through ninth grade facility.

The school, at 4701 S.E. Bush Street, saw over a dozen Portland Police Bureau (PPB) squad cars swarming into the area.

Some officers closed off all the roads leading away from the school; others went inside to investigate what was originally dispatched as a “School Incident – With Weapon”.

However, by 9:30 a.m., all but three of the police units had left the area and gone back on patrol.

Later, Portland Police spokesperson Sgt. Chris Burley told THE BEE, “Preliminary information suggested a parent who was not authorized to pick up a student had arrived at the school, and was armed. But, investigating officers determined that – based on the information gathered in their investigation – there was not a danger to the community.”



Crews arrived to fight a reported house fire which turned out just to be a house full of smoke due to a closed flue damper in the chimney. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

‘Closed flue’ smokes up Brentwood-Darlington house

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

The arrival of chilly fall weather has many Inner Southeast Portland families thinking of lighting a warm, cheery fire in their fireplaces or stoves.

A family living on S.E. 72nd Avenue near Lexington Street made that decision just after 1 p.m. on Saturday afternoon, October 6.

But they forgot something! And within minutes, their home was filled with thick acrid smoke, prompting them to call the 9-1-1 Center.

“The family built a nice fire in the fireplace, but forgot to open the flue damper in the chimney, and it really smoked up the house,” Portland Fire & Rescue (PFR) Battalion Chief John Klum remarked to THE BEE.

Crews arriving from Woodstock Fire Station 25 didn’t need to pull in a water line; all it took to fix the problem was putting on an insulated glove, and a firefighter then reached in to open the flue damper – while other crewmembers set up portable high-velocity fans to air out the house.

“We are, indeed, coming into the season for warming fires,” Klum agreed. “But before you light your first fire this fall, consider having your fireplace or stove checked, and chimney cleaned – and, do remember to open the flue damper first.”



Play A Thon, Cleveland High School, band, fundraiser, streaming, Southeast Portland, Oregon
Leading one of the Cleveland High School concert bands during October’s 2018 fundraising “Play-a-Thon” was Director Gary Riler, who wore a T-shirt of a major sponsor, Westmoreland’s “PDX Sliders” restaurant. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

‘Music marathon’ raises thousands for Cleveland High’s bands

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

Although many students excel in the instrumental music programs at Cleveland High School, up until four years ago the bands had little financial support.

But that was before parents such as Eric Hill, the current President of “Friends of Cleveland Bands”, created that organization to raise funds – mostly with ‘Play-a-Thons’; and the most recent eight-hour concert took place on Friday, October 5.

“Actually, I’m ‘second generation band booster’, because my mom supported our bands back where I grew up in Houghton Lake Michigan,” Hill grinned. “This is important to me now, because one of my kids is a student – now a senior here at CHS; so, when the founder stepped down this year, I took on that role.

“Originally, a few ‘band parents’ got together with Gary Riler, the band instructor, and held our first ‘Play-a-Thon’ four years ago – and, to our surprise and delight, we raised $9,000. The second year’s event raised $16,000; and last year, we gathered $22,000 to support our bands!”

The money raised helps pay for sheet music, and subsidizes students’ uniforms, and their expenses in traveling to competitions and to events, said Hill. “For example, it was an honor to be invited to play in the Portland Rose Festival Starlight Parade, but transportation just to downtown and back for the band cost about $800; these expenses add up quickly.”

While one of their three concert bands was playing in the background, Hill explained that, instead of selling tickets to the ‘Play-a-Thons”, they now stream it live on YouTube  and on their GoFundMe fundraising site pages. “Money is coming in while we play!” Hill enthused.

While a CHS jazz combo took the stage, CHS Director of Bands Gary Riler looked tired but pleased – both by the music his students had played, and by the mounting fundraising total it had generated.

“It’s been an amazing journey; we started with two parents, and the program just keeps getting larger and more successful,” Riler said. “We’re very grateful for the support of our parents, the business community, and friends who grab onto the passion and jump on board; it affirms what we’re trying to do with our band programs!”

When the marathon concert finally came to its end at 11:45 p.m., Hill put this message of thanks of the website: “Thanks for your amazing support. We hit our stretch goal, and raised over $12,000 tonight. CHS Play-A-Thon 2018 – signing off.”

These funds were in addition to money donated in advance of the event, and even more came in after it ended, which brought their total (as of when THE BEE went to press) to $28,460.

But even now, it’s not too late to contribute. You can do so at the CHS Band fundraising website: https://squareup.com/store/chs-pta-friends-of-cleveland-bands.



Stabbing, ice pick, bias crime, Powell Park, Southeast Portland, Oregon
After a woman was stabbed here, in scenic Powell Park – reportedly with an ice pick – the incident is being investigated as possible a “bias crime”. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Powell Park stabbing called a ‘bias crime’

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

The report of a stabbing at Powell Park, at 3549 S.E. 26th Avenue, brought Portland Police Bureau officers to the area at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, September 17. Officers were directed to the Portland Food Mart, directly across the street from the park, where the adult female victim had gone for help.

“The victim suffered minor injuries, and was treated at the scene by emergency medical personnel, but did not need to be taken by ambulance to an area hospital,” Portland Police spokesperson Officer Natasha Haunsperger told THE BEE.

“During the investigation, officers learned two suspects approached her,” Haunsperger said. “One of them hit the victim with a stick, and the other stabbed her with what was described as an ice pick.

“During the assault, the suspects made derogatory comments about the victim's sexual orientation,” Haunsperger commented. “Investigators believe this may be a bias crime related to the person’s sexual orientation.”

Officers searched the area but didn’t find the suspects – described as two black males in their mid to late teens. One of them was wearing blue jeans and a white T-shirt, and the other wore blue jeans and a red hooded sweatshirt.

The PPB Detective Division's Bias Crime Detail is still pursuing the investigation. Those with information, or with video surveillance footage of this incident, are asked to contact Detective Paul Dolbey at 503/823-0451, or e-mail – Paul.Dolbey@portlandoregon.gov.



Whitman School, Walk or Roll to School, Brentwood Darlington, Southeast Portland, Oregon
On a Portland Police Traffic Division motorcycle, Sergeant Ty Engstrom helped Aubreecy Dobson to sit in the saddle, while Grandma Wendy Marringer looked on. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

‘International Walk + Roll to School day’ celebrated at Whitman Elementary

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

The City of Portland’s celebration of ‘International Walk+Roll to School Day’ took place this year in Inner Southeast’s Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood.

It centered on Whitman Elementary School, early Wednesday October 10, in a caravan to school set up by the Portland Bureau of Transportation.

“Families, staff and volunteers are actively organizing and encouraging families to walk or roll to school,” exclaimed the Bureau’s spokesperson, John Brady.

Before participating in the safety exercises and fun activities in the Whitman schoolyard, families were encouraged first to walk or “roll” to school, gathering at several locations in the neighborhood to travel together.

At one of those spots, the Mount Hood Little League Field at S.E. 72nd and Tenino Street, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and Police Chief Danielle Outlaw were on hand to meet with families, before a scheduled six-block walk north to the school.

THE BEE was waiting for Mayor Wheeler to arrive at the school on S.E. Flavel Street, but he wasn’t with the group; a participant told us that after the gathering on the ball field he’d gotten into a car and driven off.

“The Mayor had to leave for City Council, so unfortunately he wasn’t able to complete the walk [because the Portland] City Council starts at 9:30 [a.m.], and he needed to be prepped beforehand,” the Mayor’s Senior Writer & Press Coordinator, Sophia June, told THE BEE. “But he had a great time at the event!”

PBOT staffmembers provided activities at several stations in the school’s playground; Police Bureau Chief Outlaw and Traffic Division officers greeted arriving parents and kids.

Then, the first school bell of the day rang – and the students were off to their classrooms for another day of education.



Powell Boulevard, Motel 6, party, shooting, Southeast Portland, Oregon
After daylight, police continued their investigation of the overnight shooting incident on Powell Boulevard that left two men wounded. (Courtesy of KOIN-TV News 6)

Two injured in Powell Boulevard ‘party’ shooting

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

During what was called a late night party, shots rang out, and one man dropped to the parking lot of the Motel 6 at 3104 S.E. Powell Boulevard, just before 3 a.m. early Saturday morning, September 22.

“Emergency medical personnel arrived and provided the man medical aid and transported him to a Portland hospital, while officers searched the area – but didn’t locate anyone believed to be a suspect in this shooting,” reported Portland Police spokesman Sgt. Chris Burley. “As officers canvassed the area, they did locate evidence of gunfire in the parking lot; also, officers also found a vehicle believed to be associated with people involved in this shooting that had been abandoned in the motel parking lot.”

While detectives and forensics staff investigated the incident, word came in that another man had checked himself into a hospital, arriving by private vehicle. “Investigators believe he suffered the gunshot injury during the shooting at the Motel 6,” Burley said.

Members of the PPB Gang Enforcement Team assumed the investigation, and came to believe that a group of people associated with a room at the Motel 6 were having a party when a disturbance occurred, and during the disturbance there was gunfire.

The gunshot injuries suffered by both men were believed to be non-life-threatening; the suspect or suspects are still at large.

Anyone who witnessed the shooting or has video surveillance footage are asked to contact Detective Brian Sims at 503/823-2079, or e-mail to: Brian.Sims@portlandoregon.gov.



Weather, trends, autumn, Southeast Portland, Oregon
Autumn transformed these yellow ash trees at S.E. 58th and Rhone Street. (Photo by Rita A. Leonard)

Southeast’s weather was ahead of itself all year…so far

By ERIC NORBERG
Editor, THE BEE

It’s been a while since we sat down to give you an update on our weather year in 2018 so far. Was it a long hot summer? Yes. And it’s been a pretty dry year so far, too, although not yet uniquely so.

But, in looking through our daily readings, we have been struck by a pattern we have not seen here before, in the close to two decades that we have been keeping these detailed daily records of weather in Inner Southeast Portland: This year has been out of synch with itself from the very beginning!

By that we mean that January’s weather was more like what we see in February. February’s weather was more like what we get March. March was more like April usually is, and so forth.

The heaviest rain all year – the only day we had more than an inch – was April 8, when 1.84” fell in Inner Southeast Portland. Generally, we have several over-an-inch days in our normal rain years – and usually those few days contribute significantly to the whole year’s total. May was our second driest May ever, said the Weather Bureau, and with the warmest average daily temperature for the whole month of May actually the highest ever. But neither statistic would have been as notable, had they instead happened in June.

We had no Portland snow at all this year, except for a light morning dusting on February 19. We had three 80-degree days in a row starting April 24 – and hit 90 degrees for the first time at the Portland Airport on May 13 (although it only reached 89 degrees in Inner Southeast that day). We had four days over 90 degrees in June. None of that would have made as much news, had they had happened one month later.

Legend has it that the rain ends for the summer around July 5th each year. This year, June was the month that turned out that way – with the last significant rainfall before September 11 being the .11 inch on June 18. Only a grand total of .15 inch fell between June 19 and September 10 – and half of that, .07 inch, fell on August 27.  That was the week that it began to feel like autumn here. (The leaves on deciduous trees were beginning to change color!) It seemed that fall had begun almost a month before it normally would! September ended with .96 inch of rain – on the dry side; but again, not unprecedented for September.

Only one weather event all year happened exactly as it always has, and probably always will. That it happened on the very same day as in every other year makes the annual Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade a force of nature that even the weather itself cannot change.

It rained on the parade – .52 inch! – on Saturday, June 9. That was the heaviest rain day between April 17 and when the November issue of THE BEE went to press – and somehow, that’s no surprise. Fortunately, folks here are used to that, and the turnout downtown for the parade was as good as ever. Just take an umbrella when you go!

So, other than that, the pattern we see in the weather record this year is that every month was like the next month normally would have been – at least, going into September.

The big question now becomes – so, are we in for an early winter too?

Nobody knows at this point, but it’s something you might want to keep in mind. If it does turn out that way through the end of the year, will that same strange pattern continue right on into 2019?

Or – are we due for two “Januarys” in a row at some point, to catch up with the calendar?



Bare bones, skeletons, Halloween, display, Ardenwald, Portland, Oregon
MEXICAN TAKE ON HALLOWE’EN IN ARDENWALD. The three-day Mexican holiday known as “Day of the Dead” – as recently depicted in the hit Pixar/Disney movie “Coco” – celebrates the lives of family and friends who have passed on, to support their memories and spiritual journeys. The holiday, celebrated at the end of October and the beginning of November, dates back to old Aztec festivals, and today is often combined with Hallowe’en activities. The front lawn of a home on S.E. 32nd Avenue in Ardenwald this year was thus composed (of, hopefully, simulations) of several human and animal skeletons – in an amusing display that honored favorite friends and pets. (Photo by Rita A. Leonard)


Biker bumped, collision, Brentwood Darlington, Southeast Portland, Oregon
A police officer helps the van’s driver and the bumped bike rider exchange information. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Van topples bicyclist at Woodstock intersection

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

Although police and medical responders were dispatched to what was reported as an injury accident between a van and a bicyclist at S.E. 52nd Avenue at Mitchell Street, the rider’s injuries appeared to be minor. The mishap took place at 5:04 p.m. on Tuesday, October 2.

After checking out the biker, paramedics on Woodstock Fire Station’s Engine 25 headed back to the station.

The rider may not have been hurt, but his bicycle was certainly damaged in the crash. How the accident occurred is unclear; there were no witnesses at the intersection.

An officer helped the van driver and the bicyclist exchange information; no citations were issued.

The lesson for drivers: Watch out for bikes, especially as the days grow shorter!



Mobil gas, station, holdup, Westmoreland, McLoughlin Boulevard, Southeast Portland, Oregon
Officers obtain information about the robbery from the attendant at the Westmoreland Mobil gas station, shortly after the business was held up by a masked gunman. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Man with gun robs Westmoreland Mobil station

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

Located on a well-lit corner on of one of Inner Southeast Portland’s most traveled thoroughfares, the Mobil Gas Station facing McLoughlin Boulevard at 5124 S.E. 17th Avenue seems a bit too well-observed for a robbery; but, on September 16, Central Precinct officers were called there at 8:10 p.m. by a station attendant who had been held up.

“Officers learned that a suspect come to the location, and demanded the money from the employee, while brandishing a handgun; then, after obtaining cash, the suspect left the location southbound in a white sedan on S.E. McLoughlin Boulevard,” reported PPB Public Information Officer Natasha Haunsperger.

As officers spoke with the employee on duty at the gas station, an additional dozen units spread out to look for the vehicle, including the Bureau’s “eye-in-the-sky” Air Unit. “Officers did not find anyone matching the suspect’s description or vehicle,” Haunsperger said.

The suspect’s description was vague, because the 6'2” man was wearing a black mask with sunglasses, and a gray hoodie. No surveillance images were made available.

The case file is still open, and anyone with information about the holdup is asked to contact the Portland Police Bureau Detective Division's Robbery Detail at 503/823-0405.




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Note to readers: At some point in the future, this, our original Internet website, will probably be replaced at this web address by our new website, as part of the Community Newspapers group. At that time, you will still be able to access this older, but still operative, website, if you save this address:  www.southeastPDXnews.com.  Right now, it leads you to our new website. Eventually, it will lead you back to this old one! Both will be up to date and current, and you'll still have your choice of which one to visit!

READY TO MOVE ON TO THE EDITORIAL, AND THE "LETTERS TO THE EDITOR", ON PAGE 3?   CLICK HERE!