More stories from October's issue of THE BEE!

Franklin High School, renovation, reopened, ribbon cutting, Portland, Oregon
Wielding giant scissors, FHS alumni, staff, and dignitaries snip the ribbon – officially dedicating the renovated high school. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Alums host renovated Franklin High’s ribbon cutting


Although school had already begun a few days before, the “official” opening of the newly-refurbished Franklin High School (FHS) was held on the hot Saturday morning of September 2, in the school’s courtyard.

“Today is the capstone of all of the celebrations, and we’re looking forward to having a good new school year!” said Principal Juanita Valder.

“Staff responses been really positive to the state-of-the-art equipment, and the airy and light spaces in which to teach students,” Valder told THE BEE. “And our students are ecstatic, too; there’s no other word to describe their sheer joy and happiness, knowing they have been honored with the gift of the school.”

Quaker alumni abounded at the ceremony, including Betty (van Blaricon) Carter, Class of ’43, who said she’d lived the Lents neighborhood before the District built Marshall High School. “I just liked everything about going to school here, including the friends that I made, my teachers, and the classes.”

The Franklin High Alumni Association President, Class of ’65 Garry Lee, remarked that the alumni were rededicating a restored monument at the school.

“50 years ago, there was established a ‘Franklin Veterans Memorial’ to alumni who had died in combat,” Lee informed THE BEE.  “It was forgotten, untended, and unkempt. Then, about a year ago, a group of Franklin veterans got together and decided to build a pedestal, and put it up in a place of prominence at the foot of the new flagpole.”

During the program, Lee observed that the eldest alumni at the ceremony was from the Class of 1938, and the newest had graduated in 2016.

Portland Public Schools District Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero addressed the crowd: “We have challenges, and we should be able to move ahead because we have thriving school communities; such as the one we see here Franklin – it’s the families who make it ‘Franklin Strong’.”

A recent alum, 2015 FHS Rose Festival Princess Sierra Hosea, urged, “New students: you can create our future; this building is a huge jumping off point for our staff, our alumni, and our future students.”

Then, current Student Body President Kathy Nguyen presented a flag which had flown over the U.S. Capitol to Principal Valder.

With that, the group of dignitaries moved forward, scissors in hand, and cut the ceremonial ribbon, officially rededicating the updated but historic school.

Apartment fire, Brooklyn, Portland, Oregon
Firefighters “overhauled” the burned area of the Brooklyn apartment house, to remove charred materials. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Discarded cigarette is likely cause of Brooklyn apartment fire


A fire on the deck of a Brooklyn neighborhood apartment building brought Portland Fire & Rescue units to the intersection of S.E. 6th Avenue and Kelly Street at 6:37 p.m. on Monday evening, September 11.

In addition to the Engine Company from Westmoreland’s Station 20, rigs from across the Willamette River at Central Downtown Station 1 and University Station 4 came across the Ross Island Bridge to fight the fire.

With an abundance of firefighters in the area, crews filled a water line in moments and began shooting water on the northeast corner of the second floor, while residents evacuated the building.

The fire was out in minutes; firefighters then began removing siding and cutting away charred wood, looking for remaining embers.

The official cause of the fire has yet to be disclosed by PF&R Investigators, but officials at the scene said that all indications point to “carelessly discarded smokers materials” on that wooden deck. No injuries were reported.

Pribonw, Montessori, school
Nancy Pribnow, at left, retiring Head of School of the Whole Child Montessori Center, will be succeeded by Anna Langstaff, shown at right. This tree mosaic was a retirement gift to Nancy from the community of Whole Child. (Photo by Elizabeth Ussher Groff)

New leader at Woodstock’s Whole Child Montessori Center


After thirty-four years of tireless work and dedication to the school she founded and lovingly nurtured, Nancy Pribnow has retired from the Whole Child Montessori Center, a preschool and kindergarten at S.E. 40th and Knight Street, just north of Woodstock Boulevard. 

A retirement open house celebration was held on August 26th at which children, parents, staff, and alumni gathered to pay respects to Nancy, and to celebrate the continuation of this thriving school.

It was also an occasion for people to meet Anna Langstaff, the new Head of School since August 1st, who will be “working with the creative, innovative, and hardworking parents, Board Members, and staff” to help the non-profit Whole Child thrive for years to come.

Langstaff is inheriting a very strong and far-reaching school community.

“People think it might be a “family” school, because we have a family member on staff, [Nancy’s second daughter, Dana, has been Assistant Administrator and Enrollment Coordinator for six years], but it is not my school,” Nancy told THE BEE. “It is its own kind of being.”

“One of the Board responsibilities has been to safeguard the school, to make sure it is around for future generations,” observed Nancy. 

After so many years of “giving her heart and soul to the school”, as daughter Dana describes it, Nancy is retiring to spend more time with family – eight siblings, nieces, and nephews, in addition to those in her immediate family. 

But Nancy will stay involved as President of the Board of Trustees, helping to steer the school toward that vision of perpetuity, which Nancy says is foremost in her mind.Advocating for Early Childhood Education – early public education accessible to all children – is also something Nancy will do some volunteer work on, during her retirement.      

Dana has been steeped in a Montessori environment all of her thirty-three years, and passionately expresses what she has observed in her mother over the years: “Nancy’s love of children, her devotion to building community, her empathy and compassion, her untiring work ethic, her belief in Montessori, and passionate interest in supporting the growth and development of every child; her vision for peace through education, her energy and positivity, her humor and sense of imagination and wonder – all of these are woven into the fabric of Whole Child, and they will forever remain a part of what Whole Child is.” |

Anna Langstaff brings extensive Montessori experience to her new job, and is enthusiastic about leading Whole Child into a new era. To THE BEE she said, “I am honored to be here at Whole Child, and to be a part of this wonderful school community.  I look forward to continuing Whole Child’s long history of providing an enriching Montessori preschool and kindergarten environment.”

Splintered utilty pole, Brentwood Darlington, crash
A PGE “Eagle Crew” member evaluates the pole, smashed by the onrushing car. (Photo by David F. Ashton)
arrest, reckless driving, Troy Michael Siri
Although 28-year-old Troy Michael Siri will be facing multiple charges, a judge released him until his trial, on the very day of the smashup.

Fleeing driver splinters utility pole on SE 72nd


Electrical power went out to a number of homes in the Mt. Scott-Arleta neighborhood at about 5:15 a.m. on Friday morning, September 8, when a speeding white 1992 Honda Accord four-door sedan sheared off a wooden utility pole at the intersection of S.E. 72nd Avenue and Knight Street.

The vehicle was westbound on S.E Knight Street, and as it crossed 72nd Avenue, the driver left the street at high speed, and smashed the pole with such force that the vehicle’s airbags were set off

For details, THE BEE consulted Portland Police spokesman Sgt. Chris Burley: “An officer attempted to perform a traffic stop on a vehicle that was speeding through the neighborhood; the vehicle crashed as the officer attempted to stop it. After the car crash, the driver, later identified as 28-year-old Troy Michael Siri, attempted to depart. The officer pursued the subject on foot, and took him into custody.”

Mr. Siri was taken to a local hospital for medical assessment, because of severity of his crash with airbag deployment, but didn’t he stay there long.

At 8:17 a.m. the same morning Siri was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center (MCDC) on charges of Interfering with a Peace Officer, Third degree Escape, Failure to Perform the Duties of a Driver, Second Degree Criminal Mischief, and Reckless Driving.

After his arraignment in Multnomah County Court that morning, the judge set Siri free until his trial, “Released on his Own Recognizance”.

Preparedness, earthquake, N E T teams, Woodstock, Portland, Oregon, KOIN TV
Woodstock Neighborhood Emergency Team Leader Mark Ginsberg was in his driveway when he laid out suggested disaster preparedness supplies and gave basic advice on a recent KOIN-TV news segment. (Photo by Elizabeth Ussher Groff)

Woodstock NET leader demonstrates disaster ‘preparedness’ on local TV


Houston’s recent catastrophic flooding has emphasized messages we’ve been hearing lately about “preparedness” in case of disaster – which prompted BEE news partner KOIN-TV News to look for a local NET leader to demonstrate what that means in our part of town, for an afternoon newscast on August 29.

“NET” stands for “Neighborhood Emergency Team”, and volunteers in most neighborhoods in Southeast have been trained by Portland Fire and Rescue experts on how to help neighbors in the event of disaster. You, yourself, could volunteer to be one of these NET volunteers.

Channel 6’s Lisa Balick chose Woodstock NET’s Mark Ginsberg for the demonstration.

In Oregon, that disaster could be fire, flood, wind, or the 9 to 10 magnitude “plate boundary earthquakes” that recur every 300 to 800 years. The last one took place in January of 1700, so it may already be overdue here, according to the geological record.

To demonstrate for KOIN-TV how to prepare – even for lesser disasters – Ginsberg laid out his supplies in his Woodstock driveway, and explained for the camera about the processes and provisions necessary.

“This preparation doesn’t have to happen all in one fell swoop,” remarked Ginsberg, gesturing toward the water, food, first aid kit, fire extinguisher, camping gear, “dry” toilet, and pet carrier he had assembled. “You can take it on a little at a time, acquiring as you can. 

“If you are pressed for storage space, then prioritize what you need, such as water and camping gear. It’s important to have [at least] three days’ supply of water – one gallon per person per day,” he explained. He himself uses seven-gallon jugs to store water but he pointed out that smaller containers – more easily lifted – may be more convenient for some.

“Change the water every six months. Remember to do that on a schedule of ‘Spring Forward, Fall Back’,” he advised, referring to seasonal clock changes. “Water your garden with the old water, and refill [containers] from a garden hose, or spigot.

“Food storage can include cans of beans, soup, tuna, and dry seasoned noodle packets.  But, in case you need to leave your residence, have some ‘grab and go’ food in your emergency backpack,” Ginsberg suggested. And he reminded that some dehydrated food has a twenty-year shelf life. When stockpiling dehydrated food, Ginsberg added that it is best to try it first, to avoid being stuck with a quantity of something that turns out to be undesirable.

For sanitation needs, the “dry” toilets can simply be two empty five gallon plastic buckets with lids and toilet seat covers – one for urine, one or more for solid waste – with sawdust or cat litter inside. 

For pets, a carrier and extra food can mean that you won’t need to stay behind because of a pet. A leash for cats as well as dogs is also suggested. A chip in the ear helps, in case pets are separated from owners – see your vet about that. 

For heating water, a propane canister stove or a two-burner Coleman stove is practical. A “Kelly Kettle” that can use newspaper or junk mail for fuel, and boils water in 3-5 minutes, is slightly more expensive. Sleeping bags and a tent can make it possible to camp out in the backyard or on a parking lot for as much as a month if necessary.  A flashlight, camping lamp, batteries, matches, and a steel striker, are essential.

Ginsberg advised putting home documents on a USB “thumb drive” that can serve as a backup in case of document damage or loss. And it’s very important is to have a “reunification plan” – an appointed place to meet family and/or neighbors after a disaster.  The one important thing Ginsberg forgot to mention? Toilet paper. Don’t forget that.

Ginsberg also coordinates with four other surrounding Southeast Portland NET teams.  All of them, including the one in Woodstock, meet together on the first Monday of each month from 6:30-7:30. Locations vary.  For more information, e-mail:

For general information about NET, or to see about getting involved yourself to benefit your family and neighbors, go online to:

Double Hat Bandit, bank robberies, Woodstock, Portland, Oregon, arrest, Shayne Carson
This man was called the “Double Hat Bandit” because of his habit of wearing a stocking cap over a baseball cap in his bank robberies. He hit the Woodstock Wells Fargo branch twice this year. (FBI provided surveillance photo)

Woodstock bank robber subject of national hunt

Editor, THE BEE

The FBI is offering a reward up to $10,000 for information leading to identification, arrest and conviction of a serial bank robber whom they call the "Double Hat Bandit."  In addition, Metro Denver Crime Stoppers is offering a separate reward up to $2,000. 

The man, who wore two hats during his crimes, held up the Woodstock Wells Fargo branch in Safeway on two different occasions this year – January 23 and June 23; he held up a U.S. Bank branch on King Road in Milwaukie on January 19, and a U.S. Bank branch in Eugene on January 24.

The same man is believed responsible for at least 13 bank robberies inside grocery stores in Utah, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, and Idaho. On two occasions, he hit two banks on the same day, but the Woodstock holdups are his only repeat at an individual bank branch.

The bandit usually shows the teller a note, and during four of the robberies, he displayed a small handgun in his waistband.  He should be considered armed and dangerous.

On June 27, 2017, after a bank robbery in Spokane, the subject was seen in a grayish/blue Malibu style vehicle with New Mexico license plates. 

The “Double Hat Bandit” is believed to have started his string of holdups on December 19 of last year, and his first three crimes were in Utah, before he moved on to Washington, Oregon, and Utah again – then back to Oregon, and on to Spokane, Denver, and his most recently-reported bank robbery as this issue of THE BEE went to press was in Boise on July 22.

Numerous law enforcement agencies in Utah, Washington, Oregon and Colorado and Idaho are involved in this investigation. Bank robberies are federal crimes, because bank deposits are federally insured, and are investigated by the FBI.

UPDATE: The day after this issue of THE BEE went to press, the FBI announced they had arrested a suspect in these bank robberies: On Thursday, September 21, the Indianapolis FBI Violent Crimes Task Force, along with the Whiteland Police Department, arrested Shayne Carson, 54, who is believed to be the “Double Hat Bandit”. Carson was arrested without incident in the parking lot of a motel in Whiteland, Indiana.

Carson has been charged in a criminal complaint filed by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Salt Lake City with the December 19, 2016, armed robbery of the U.S. Bank in West Valley City, Utah. According to the complaint, he is also a suspect in 13 other bank robberies throughout Utah, Washington, Oregon, Colorado and Idaho from December 19, 2016 to July 22, 2017. In these cases, the robber wore two hats. Since then, Carson has also been identified as a suspect in additional bank robberies in Colorado, Iowa and Ohio. Those cases remain under investigation.

On Friday, September 22, 2017 at 1:30pm EST, Carson had his initial appearance and arraignment on the criminal complaint before the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. It is anticipated he will be transferred to Utah to face the bank robbery charge filed in Salt Lake City.

The FBI said it would like to thank law enforcement partners in Utah, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Iowa, and Ohio, who worked this case.

Jenn Arra, JCWC, Johnson Creek, clean creek, bag of trash
JCWC volunteer Jenn Arra hauls a bag of trash up out of Johnson Creek. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Volunteers clean miles of Johnson Creek in Inner Southeast


Volunteers working with the Johnson Creek Watershed Council (JCWC) went way beyond simply picking up garbage on the conveniently-reached banks of Johnson Creek, on Saturday, August 26; a total of 209 hearty creek helpers slogged out into the water to pull up a loads of trash that had gathered over the past year.

“This is our 10th annual Creek Clean-up; and there are teams working this morning, all the way from the  confluence with the Willamette River, south of Sellwood, out to Interstate 205,” said JCWC Board Chair Melanie Klym. “By far, we had the biggest volunteer turnout that we’ve ever had; all of the teams met their minimums, and we had extra volunteers heading out to each of the sites.”

In the allocated three hours, the volunteers hauled out all kinds of trash – from candy wrappers to mattresses, from tires to furniture – filling several dropboxes placed at various pick-up points.

They mostly focused on “water quality hazards”, such as metal, paint cans, and things that pose a danger to wildlife – textiles, bits of plastic, and other debris that fish or animals might try to eat.

The result? “Doing a walk-through tour with team captains, we were seeing baby salmon, a lamprey, beavers, and ducks – so there is a lot of wildlife in Johnson Creek,” Klym reflected. “Taking out the trash will make it safer for them.”

5532 S.E. Cooper, house fire, renovated house, total loss, adjacent house, burned, Brentwood Darlington, Portland, Oregon
By the light of the following day, it was obvious that this newly-remodeled rental home had been gutted by the fire. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Two-alarm fire guts newly-remodeled Brentwood-Darlington home


When fire started showing in a Brentwood-Darlington house at 5604 S.E. Cooper Street on August 25, the residents and neighbors began calling the 9-1-1 Center at 2:58 a.m. to report the rapidly-growing blaze.

“Initial reports stated that one house was on fire, and that people were yelling and screaming, and trying to put the fire out at the back of the house with a garden hose,” said Portland Fire & Rescue Sr. Public Education Officer Kim Kosmas.

Arriving crews reported that the house was by then fully involved, and that the flames were extending to the neighboring house at 5532 S.E. Cooper, Kosmas reported. “Firefighters quickly confirmed that everyone was out of the first house, performed a primary search of the second home to be sure that the residents got out, and began an initial defensive fire attack on the first home.”

A second alarm was called by firefighters within five minutes of arrival, because of multiple hazards identified early in the incident. Not only were two homes on fire, but there was a downed and arcing power line, and a leaking gas line caused when the meter melted off the house.

Fires in both homes were extinguished quickly, but crews stayed for some time, dousing embers. “Three people escaped the fire from the first home; and one person, two dogs, and a bunny escaped the fire from the second home,” said Kosmas. The cause has not yet been reported.

As fire crews were leaving, Ed, a neighbor, told THE BEE, “I was awakened by shouts of people running around outside; they banged on the door of the house next to mine, but then I saw that the family was already out.

“The owners of the house with all the fire had just done a lot of work – maybe $50,000 worth – on it,” Ed said. “Now, it will likely have to be bulldozed.”

St Agatha, playset, Boys and Girls Club, transfer, developer
St. Agatha Catholic Church’s Father Nathan Zodrow blesses the play structure, with a sprinkling of holy water. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Boys & Girls Club’s playset goes to St. Agatha School


Because they’d heard their old playground equipment was being torn out during this summer, the students at Sellwood’s St. Agatha Catholic School were excited to see what was replacing it, when they returned to school on Tuesday, September 5.

“In fact, we’re all very excited to open the school year with new playground equipment; the old play set was at the end of its useful life, and really needed to be replaced,” smiled St. Agatha Catholic School Principal Chris Harris. “As it happened, the Fred G. Meyer Memorial Boys & Girls Club in Westmoreland was being torn down, and they had this wonderful playground equipment, in great shape; the development company didn’t want to see it be demolished and go to the landfill.”

Not only did the developer preparing to build apartments on that site donate the like-new play set to the school, the company – NBP Capital and Eastbank Development – also donated $8,500 toward the cost of removing it, transporting it to the school, and reinstalling it there.

“We think it’s a wonderful way to keep the playground in the community, for not only our students, but our whole neighborhood to enjoy,” Principal Harris commented.

Before the ribbon-cutting ceremony that morning, the parish’s pastor, Father Nathan Zodrow, blessed “the structure, and the generosity of those who made this possible, and all of the work by our Principal and volunteers to make sure all this happened.”

With a snip of the big scissors by three students, the play structure was open, and was enjoyed instantly by hundreds of students.

Jesse Lee Brockner, bank robbery, car theft, pursuit, arrest
31-year-old Jesse Lee Brockner was arrested on various charges and, after treatment for a minor wound, was jailed. (MCDC booking photo)

Portland Police arrest Aloha bank robber spotted near Powell

Editor, THE BEE

An officer-involved shooting occurred near 55th Avenue and Burnside on August 30 when officers attempted to perform a traffic stop on a stolen vehicle, when it was spotted by officers at S.E. Chavez Boulevard (formerly 39th) at Clinton Street, not far from Cleveland High School.

The suspect sped off when officers tried to stop the stolen turquoise Chevrolet Blazer he was driving. The suspect led officers on a pursuit, before crashing into a parked vehicle on Burnside. The stolen vehicle was associated with a bank robbery at a U.S. Bank Branch on S.W. Farmington Road in Aloha around 9:30 a.m. that morning.

According to Portland Police spokesman Sgt. Chris Burley, an officer fired his gun after the suspect didn’t comply with officers’ commands and the officer suffered an injury in the confrontation. The suspect was transported to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, while the officer was treated at the scene.

The suspect, subsequently identified as 31-year-old Jesse Lee Brockner, is believed to be involved in two other incidents earlier the same day – a burglary in Yamhill County around 7 a.m. at which he stole the turquoise Blazer, and then the robbery at the bank.

According to witnesses, the suspect entered the bank with a handgun, demanded cash, and left with an undisclosed amount of money. Witnesses also said the suspect was a white male, and he left in turquoise Blazer. Brockner was treated for non-life-threatening injuries and released from a local hospital the same day, and lodged in the Multnomah County Jail.

The involved officer was Officer David Staab, a 24-year veteran. Officer Staab was placed on paid Administrative Leave, which is standard procedure during an officer-involved shooting investigation.

The FBI has taken the lead in the Aloha bank robbery and did not release any additional information regarding the incident. BEE news partner KOIN-TV assisted in this report.

9 11, PF&R, Chief Mike Myers, Portland, Oregon
PF&R Chief Mike Myers addressed the somber gathering. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Firefighters commemorate 9/11 in Southeast


As the Bureau has done on September 11 for a decade and a half, Portland Fire & Rescue held a remembrance gathering on the east bank of the Willamette River at Station 21 on that date again this year.

“This is an awesome opportunity for the Fire Bureau and civilians to get together and honor those we lost on 9/11 some 16 years ago,” remarked Portland Fire Fighters’ Association Secretary and Treasurer, Firefighter Travis Chipman, before the service began.

Firefighters aren’t daredevils, Chipman said. “I like to say we take calculated risks; the people we serve expect a certain level of dedication to their lives and property, and we’re willing to take those risks when the time arises.”

When he arose to address the outdoor assembly, PF&R Chief Mike Myers commended firefighters who had come from Portland and other cities, to help save Multnomah Falls Lodge from flames in the massive Eagle Creek Fire in the Columbia Gorge.

“Firefighters develop the courage, to without question, go in, and stand that ground, and save that property, and save lives,” Myers said.

Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish commended the association for hosting the somber event. “Today, we remember those who lost their lives while being so brave and selfless on 9/11, and in the days that followed – never putting concerns for their own personal safety ahead of their duty to their job. All the firefighters sacrifice.

“On behalf of a grateful city, I also acknowledge all the firefighters serving us here in Portland,” Fish said, adding that he hopes to see the “David Campbell Memorial” to fallen firefighters erected before he leaves public service.

After a moment of silence, the memorial service was over. Chief Myers told THE BEE what he hopes all who attended take away from remembrance: “We want to make sure the people have the opportunity to remember 9/11; it’s an important day for firefighters. At the same time, our own firefighters are always there, doing the same type of things.

“But if you boil it down to the simple actions of firefighters, those take place 24 hours a day, every day of the week, here in Portland. As the Fire Chief, this is my opportunity to stand before them and thank them for it.”

Gas line break, Southeast Portland, Oregon
A gas company worker uses a “sniffer” to determine the travel path of escaping natural gas. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Gas line ruptured at 62nd Avenue sewer repair project


The Portland Bureau of Environmental Services Powell Sewer Repair project hit another snag at 2:51 p.m. on September 13. Actually, it was more than a snag.  It was a natural gas line.

Contractors digging in the intersection of S.E. 62nd Avenue and Boise Street ruptured a half-inch natural gas pipe. It was buried deep under the pavement; gas could be heard whistling from a block away, as it vented into the air.

Due to the depth and nature of the rupture, NW Natural called in crews with special equipment to examine the break, while rigs from Woodstock Fire Station 25 stood by in case the flammable fuel ignited.

Within two hours, gas company workers stopped the flow, and work continued on the project. It was one of a number of recent gas line breaks in Southeast, and throughout the city, due to both private and public construction projects.

Eastmoreland ‘Historic District’ still legally mired


Whether or not a large portion of the Eastmoreland neighborhood will become designated an Historic District, through the National Parks Service’s National Register program, remains stalled.

“We’re still waiting to hear from the Oregon Department of Justice regarding questions raised by the legal filings,” Oregon Parks & Recreation Historian Ian Johnson told THE BEE.

“And, on September 12, the National Parks Service National Register program provided us with copies their administrative records, gathered from May 15 through June 30, so we can cross-check them against ours,” reported Johnson.

“We’re not doing a recount of objections, but instead, just reconciling the records,” explained Johnson. “They should all match, in theory; but during the ‘Consideration Period’, we were in a legal ‘stay’, so there is a possibility that the records may not match – even though we requested that parties send the same information to us and to the National Parks Service.

“Additionally, we asked the National Parks Service for a specific counting process to make sure we’re using the correct procedure,” Johnson added. “And finally, we have told both [the Oregon D.O.J. and National Parks] that a prompt response would be appreciated.”

Rollover, crash, Mt Scott Arleta, Portland, Oregon
Firefighters tried to keep the peace, while the two drivers squabbled about the wreck. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

T-bone crash upturns pickup truck on SE 68th Avenue


No one was injured in a two-vehicle smash-up in the Mt. Scott-Arleta neighborhood at 8:42 a.m. on Thursday, September 14 – but the collision left the drivers standing and squabbling in the street.

The driver of a green Ford Envoy SUV said she’d been westbound on S.E. Mitchell Court, had no stop sign, and was proceeding through the intersection at the speed limit when the collision occurred.

And, the driver of the green four-wheel-drive Ford pickup truck she smacked into claimed he had been northbound on S.E. 68th Avenue, and had come to a complete stop before attempting to cross Mitchell Court, where he was broadsided by the SUV.

After being T-boned, the pickup truck ended up on its side on the sidewalk; the SUV stopped not far along the street.

Woodstock Fire Station’s Truck 25 and Lents Station’s Engine 11 arrived, by which time the occupants had freed themselves from their wrecked vehicles.

When the discussion between the drivers became heated, a crew member of Engine 11 advised, “This won’t be settled here; just exchange information.”

When asked for his insurance certificate, the driver the pickup truck responded, “Good luck finding it”, as he gestured toward the debris spilled out of his vehicle. 

Portland Police did not respond to this accident, since no injuries were reported and it was considered a civil matter, so no citations were issued. Tow trucks arrived to take away the damaged vehicles.

The respective insurance companies will have to figure out who was at fault in this one.

Moreland Woods, Portland Memorial, Llewellyn Elementary School, Westmoreland, Portland, Oregon
Instead of development on this property, volunteers hope it will become a public park. They are calling it “Moreland Woods”; it’s on S.E. 14th, overlooking Oaks Bottom. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Neighbors rally to save what they call ‘Moreland Woods’


It’s not a large woods, dark and deep – it’s just the two-acre parcel located just north of Wilhelm’s Portland Memorial Mausoleum on S.E. 14th Avenue in Westmoreland. It’s for sale – it has been, for a while – and it shouldn’t be sold to developers, neighbors say.

Although the management and policies of the venerable local funeral home have not changed, its relatively new owners – “Foundation Partners” of Orlando, Florida – listed the vacant property for sale when they acquired it as part of their purchase.

“It is a beautiful asset for the community, because it has open space that is connected with Oaks Bottom,” explained Westmoreland neighbor Amrita Vatsal, who was leading a meeting on the site, on Wednesday, September 13.

“It’s right next to Llewellyn Elementary; it’s a roosting space for bald eagles and osprey; and it could be a wonderful place for people to come and enjoy the open space and the twenty mature conifer trees on the site.

“We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make this lot a park for Westmoreland, and create potentially an asset for Llewellyn Elementary School in the future,” said Vatsal.

In this case, there is a “willing seller”, Vatsal observed, and perhaps they could be motivated to sell it for such a use in the neighborhood for perhaps $1 million.

“We’re asking people to contact their elected officials, Portland Parks & Recreation, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, and Metro, to let them know that there is significant interest in the community to purchase this property – and the community will work with them to make that happen,” said Vatsal.

Interested people can learn more at the Facebook group or Google Group called “Moreland Woods”, Vatsal told THE BEE.

Brooklyn, Portland, Oregon, car crash, MAX
A rear-end car crash at S.E. 17th and Pershing near a MAX crossing sent one driver to the hospital. (Photo by Rita A. Leonard)

Rear-ender in Brooklyn sends one to hospital


On Tuesday morning, August 29, a rear-end crash between two compact cars at the intersection of S.E. 17th Avenue (northbound) at Pershing Street in the Brooklyn neighborhood sent one man to the hospital.

The 10 a.m. crash occurred at the point where the Orange MAX light rail line’s safety bar descends to block drivers from proceeding north when a MAX train is approaching or passing through. It appeared that one car had stopped for the bar, and the car behind didn’t manage to stop in time.

Portland Fire and Rescue’s Engine 9, plus an AMR Ambulance and nearby Tri-Met personnel, joined police in quickly responding to evaluate the accident and treat the injured driver. After information was exchanged, the driver of the vehicle that was hit was placed on a gurney and taken to a hospital by ambulance.

We were unable to determine if the other driver had been cited in the mishap, which did not interfere with MAX service.

Drug turn in, Portland, Souteast Precinct
Portland Crime Prevention Program Coordinator Jenni Pullen displays discarded medications in one of the 44 boxes gathered during the event. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Police collect discarded prescriptions for destruction


It’s not unusual to see Portland Police Bureau PPB officers piling up boxes of discarded, expired, or unused pharmaceuticals received from neighbors at their periodic events.

They’re not packaging the spoils of a raid; instead, these prescription drugs were dropped off by residents on earlier this year as part of another Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) nationwide drug turn-in, held in Portland in the past few years at the former PPB “Southeast Precinct” building on East Burnside.

“We’re also raising awareness that safely disposing of unused or expired medications helps keep our groundwater and waterways clean, and keeps these out of our landfills,” pointed out City of Portland Office of Neighborhood Involvement Crime Prevention Program Coordinator Jenni Pullen. “People going through their medicine cabinets and removing these medicines helps prevent teen and adult drug abuse, too.”

“We’re also shredding documents; we encourage people to shred old bills, invoices, tax documents – anything with information on there that could be used for identity theft and fraud,” Pullen said.

The collection and destruction of papers and drugs is a partnership among Portland ONI, the Police Bureau, DEA, United States Postal Inspection Service, and the PPB Sunshine Division. And, volunteers also collected donations of clean clothing and canned food for families in need from the arriving residents.

By the time the turn-in was over, two industrial paper-shredding trucks were filled, and 44 boxes – 1,760 pounds – of drugs were boxed up, ready to be incinerated.

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