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May 2017 -- Vol. 111, No. 9

Memories of THE BEE's first 100 years!
In 2006, THE BEE celebrated its centennial of serving Southeast Portland!  A special four-page retrospective of Inner Southeast Portland's century, written by Eileen Fitzsimons, and drawn from the pages of THE BEE over the previous 100 years, appeared in our September, 2006, issue.
Click here to read this special retrospective!


The next BEE is our June
issue, with a deadline of May 25.
(The July issue has an ad and copy deadline of June 22.)


Want to subscribe to receive the PRINT version of THE BEE?
NOW -- subscribe securely, online -- by clicking

But, if you would rather not do it online, you can E-mail or telephone 503/620-9797 during weekday business hours. The 12-issue annual subscription rate is $14 per year for addresses located in Multnomah County, Oregon; and $24 for anywhere else in the U.S.(it's based on the differential postage rates for our class of postage). For international rates, inquire via that e-mail address just above!

Daily news!  The all-new daily PORTLAND TRIBUNE website  is updated throughout the day, every day, when news breaks out.  Click the banner at left to keep up to date on the banner news throughout the Rose City!

THE BEE has a second website -- it's searchable for past stories.  The content for the current month is similar to this one, presented in a different format.  To visit the other website, click the banner at right!

David Ashton, tree collapse, power outage, Brentwood Darlington, Flavel Drive, windstorm
The tree collapsing onto the power lines in front of the Ashton residence in Brentwood-Darlington took out the power for blocks around. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Wild spring windstorm downs trees, blacks out neighborhoods


The windstorm forecast for Friday, April 7, roared into the Southeast Portland earlier than predicted, and the gusts were stronger, too.

Weather forecasters had warned the day would be breezy, but no one expected sustained wind speeds of 44 mph, with gusts up to 56 mph, as recorded by the National Weather Service at the Portland Airport.

As the storm rolled in, all of THE BEE’s correspondents headed out to cover what Portland General Electric said was the strongest windstorm in the Portland area in over a decade.

At the Ashton residence near S.E. 52nd Avenue and Flavel Drive, at about 7:15 a.m., a thunderous “crack” was heard as the microwave oven cooking breakfast went silent and the lights went out. The reason for the power outage became clear: Two of the three stems of a tall fir tree in the front yard had snapped, and took down a 7,500 volt feeder line, and the telephone and cable lines nearby, as they fell into the road.

Calls to Portland General Electric to report power outages in Southeast Portland were fruitless; all of the attempts were met with a “circuits busy” recording, as the call center was swamped with outage reports from around the area.

“Falling trees caused by a combination of saturated soil and the strongest winds in more than ten years, caused the vast majority of the outages, with more than 1,300 downed lines reported,” said PGE spokesman Stan Sittser, after the storm.

A BEE tour of surrounding neighborhoods found trees down on S.E. 35th Avenue at Knapp Street, S.E. 13th Avenue at Rural Street, and S.E. Knapp Street just west of 45th Avenue, among many others.

BEE correspondent Becky Luening reported, “I woke up to windstorm noises that included something clattering around where we’re building an ADU, but I found that it was a plastic bucket that was being knocked around on an outdoor porch. Everything else seemed pretty well secured, or heavy enough to resist the wind.”

Heading out to take her niece to Portland International Airport at about 8:30 a.m. that morning, Luening saw traffic congestion near S.E. 60th Avenue and Woodstock Boulevard. “A tall conifer had been downed, and was blocking the entire eastbound lane, so I stopped to snap a photo,” she said.

Longtime correspondent for THE BEE Rita Leonard, based in Brooklyn, recalled, “I woke up to the sound of my dogwood tree clawing at the window. I heard the clattering of neighbors’ garbage and recycling bins being blown open or blown down, and looked out the window to see a ‘snowstorm’ of papers merrily spinning down the street.”

Ottos Sausages, Woodstock blacked out, power outage, windstorm
William Kuhn grills sausages with Ottos’ owner Gretchen Eichentopf on the sidewalk in front of the popular store, despite Woodstock Boulevard being blacked out. She told THE BEE, “We can cook hot dogs and sausages, no matter what.” (Photo by David F. Ashton)

She picked up some of the swirling trash; “Then I decided that BEE coverage was more important. I grabbed my camera and headed out to see what damage the wind had wrought, and what a spectacle! Fire trucks with sirens speeding hither and yon, and a series of completely ‘re-landscaped’ streets.”

The Woodstock business district was blacked out, and the restaurants there were closed. However a hot lunch was to be found, as usual, in front of Otto’s Sausage Kitchen and Deli, where patrons lined up for hot-off-the-grill brats, sausages, and hot dogs.

At about 12:30 p.m. that afternoon, Woodstock Fire Station 25 firefighters took a break from “downed tree duty” to answer a residential fire call at 4922 S.E. 52nd Avenue.

Dave Monnie, tree down on Lexington Street, Sellwood, windstorm
At 9:45 a.m. on April 7, BEE reader Dave Monnie snapped and shared with us this photo of a tree down at 1014 S.E. Lexington Street in Sellwood.

“We called 9-1-1 when we saw smoke and fire coming up from behind the house,” a neighbor told THE BEE. The PF&R Battalion Chief said it was some type of propane-caused fire, perhaps a cooking fire, that caught the back porch of the house on fire.

Also recalling the storm was BEE correspondent and Woodstock resident Elizabeth Ussher Groff. “When our winds were 60 m.p.h., the force was strong enough to make me grab a small tree’s trunk to stay upright.

“A tree that fell at S.E. 37th Avenue and Steele Street had been so tall that it spanned Steele Street’s width, and forced my husband to find a different route to the gym,” she recalled.

Fire Station 20, tree down, Westmoreland, Oregon, windstorm, tree down
If a large cherry tree crashes down near your home, it’s a good thing that first responders from Westmoreland’s Fire Station 20 are right next door! (Photo by Rita A. Leonard)

As the winds subsided, PGE repair crews got busy restoring power – but there were so many localized lines down across Portland that even with crews brought in to help from around the state, as well as from California and Washington, it took more than three days for the last of the power outages to be resolved.

Murder, Motel 6, Powell Boulevard, Portland, Oregon, 52nd Avenue
Using a ladder to see over the top of the garage where the “person of interest” was captured, this Forensic Evidence Division member documents the scene. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Motel death investigation on Powell turns into manhunt


An attempt to stop a stolen 2009 green Ford Escape from leaving the parking lot of a Powell Boulevard motel at 8:26 a.m. on Friday morning, April 21, turned into a death investigation – and then a neighborhood-wide manhunt for a “person of interest”, not far away, later that day.

A Central Precinct police officer was the one who noticed the stolen green Ford Escape at the Motel 6 at 3104 S.E. Powell Boulevard, and tried to stop the driver – who, instead, took off eastbound.

The officer, seeing the stolen car being driven “extremely recklessly”, and believing the driver was endangering the safety of the public, called off the pursuit near S.E. Chavez Boulevard (formerly 39th), at Francis Street.

Meantime, something back at the Motel 6 caught another officer’s eye, which led to the discovery of a dead woman inside Room 229. The victim was later identified as 42 year-old Valerie Johnson.

District officers secured the scene, and members of the PPB Homicide Division, Forensic Evidence Division, the Oregon State Medical Examiner, and the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office responded to the motel and began a “suspicious death” investigation.

Not giving up on the stolen car, East Precinct officers prowled the area where it was last seen, and located the green Ford stopped between houses on S.E. 51st Avenue, three houses north of Gladstone Street.

The officers, with the aid of two Special Emergency Reaction Team (SERT) members and a K9 team, began a search for the occupant of the stolen vehicle in the surrounding neighborhood. “They did not locate any persons of interests during that search,” Burley reported, but they remained in the area.

At about 1:30 p.m., a Creston-Kenilworth neighbor called 9-1-1, reporting a “suspicious person” running through yards, heading south, along 52nd Avenue near Francis Street.

“Based on the description provided, responding officers believed the suspicious person was likely the driver of the stolen car, and a person of interest in the suspicious death at the Motel 6,” later reported Portland Police spokesman Sergeant Chris Burley.

Both Creston Elementary and Hosford Middle Schools went into lockdown at 1:38 p.m., as the manhunt got underway.

At 1:56 p.m., 33 police units had responded into the area, setting up a dragnet from S.E. Mall to Francis Streets, and from 52nd to 54th Avenues. Portland Fire & Rescue Woodstock Station 25, responding to a gas main rupture near SE Foster Road, was rerouted around 52nd because of the police roadblock.

Neighbors kept giving officers their updated sightings of the suspect; and by about 3 p.m. SERT and the Crisis Negotiation Team had found the suspect on the roof of a detached garage in the east property line of 4006 S.E. 52nd Avenue, and took him into custody.

Joshua Scott Carlson, motel murder, Portland, Oregon
31-year-old Joshua Scott Carlson is in jail – charged with Unlawful Use of a Motor Vehicle…and Murder. (MCDC booking photo)

“I didn’t hear any gunshots during the arrest,” neighbor Katie Hunt told reporters after the capture. Officers had told her to stay inside, and away from the windows, so Hunt said she hid under her heavy dining room table. “They borrowed a ladder from my neighbor; there were, like, 20 SWAT team members around in my backyard.”

About the “person of interest”, Hunt said, “He looked young – a skinhead, with a lot of tattoos. And, he looked really, really mad about being caught!”

Having recently moved to Portland from Detroit, Hunt commended the officers. “I’m really comforted by the [police] response.”

Sgt. Burley confirmed, “The person was taken into custody without incident.”

31-year-old Joshua Scott Carlson was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center (MCDC) at 11:55 p.m. that evening on charges of Murder and Unlawful Use of a Motor Vehicle. Carlson is currently being held without bail at MCDC on those charges.

The following day, Sgt. Burley reported that the Oregon State Medical Examiner determined Valerie Johnson died of strangulation.

Persons with information to offer about this case should contact Detective Brad Clifton at 503/823-0696 or – or Detective Bryan Steed at 503/823-0395 or  

Brooklyn Park, budget cuts, Portland, Oregon, Ben Tarne
Brooklyn activist Ben Tarne, wearing the hat at the table, spoke at the April 18 Southeast City Budget Hearing meeting to plead for retention of the Brooklyn Park Summer Program.

City threatens cancellation of Brooklyn Park summer program


In March, Craig Montag, the Park Director at Brooklyn Park for nearly 40 years, received notice from Portland Parks & Recreation that the 2017 Summer Playground and Free Lunch program might be eliminated, due to the low rates of free lunches (about 16) being consumed there. Loyal park-goers vigorously objected, remarking that since the Brooklyn neighborhood has no Community Center, no Library, or even a general neighborhood school, the 60-year-old Park Program offered a positive model and a safe place to hang out for generations of kids.

PP&R’s notice continued, “Playground programs are affected by a realignment of ‘Summer Free For All’ funds. We propose to align our Summer Playground program with sites that offer free summer lunches. Now that Brooklyn no longer qualifies as a free summer lunch site, we are also proposing to eliminate the playground program [there], along with four other non-lunch sites.”

Responses to a Facebook “Support Brooklyn Park!” site created by Jeremiah Johnson poured in. David Stalnaker said, “Some of my best childhood memories were because of this park. . .  It will be a huge loss to the community and its children if this program is discontinued.” Many former park-goers now even bring their children and grandchildren to Brooklyn Park to enjoy the same activities.

Many expressed outrage that their park program would be decimated, just because the minimum of 50 free lunches per day consumed was not reached. Some said they would be happy to go and eat a free lunch there just to maintain the program, if that’s what was needed, although that would be a ridiculous way to assure the Playground budget.

A special meeting of the Brooklyn Action Corps neighborhood association (BAC) and the nascent Greater Brooklyn Business Association held on April 12 to discuss the matter with Portland Parks drew some fifty people. While many had thought the meeting was to brainstorm ideas to save the program, the 3 PP&R reps attending made it clear that the cuts were in progress, and that they were there merely to explain why and how – a decision which was made strictly by the lunch numbers.

Neighbor Darryl Phillippi remarked, “When quizzed as to the cost of the program in Brooklyn Park, they gave a number of $10,000. One neighbor asked, if a check could be written for $10,000, would that save the program. The answer appeared to be, NO.” Neighbor Denise Chapman said, “This is [Brooklyn kids’] summer camp. Not everyone can afford to pay for camps all summer long. If Pioneer Square is the city’s living room, this park is Brooklyn's family room...It’s the heartbeat of our neighborhood, and without it, you will have just another park for the homeless to hang out in, and dog owners to use. The children are becoming an afterthought.”

Brooklyn neighbors, businesses, and the BAC are ready to raise funds to support the program, but would need to work with the City for use of the park. Neighbors were directed to attend yet another meeting – a Public City Budget Hearing at Mt. Scott Community Center, on April 18 – to voice their support. That meeting drew over two dozen Brooklyn neighbors waving pro-park program signs. Ben Tarne spoke eloquently to save the program, citing its importance in focusing neighborhood spirit. 

BAC Chair Eric Wieland received notice from Commissioner Amanda Fritz April 14 saying in part, “Many community members have written . . . to express their concerns with this issue. I am working with Parks staff to asses all possible options that would mitigate negative impacts...and also address budgetary needs. I will provide a final response once we have reviewed this issue more thoroughly.”

Montag is also in communication with the superintendent who sent the notice, indicating that the neighborhood is not in need of a lunch program – just the playground program, which began in 1957. Many youths visit the park in off-lunch hours specifically to enjoy crafts, games, leadership, and the famous summer water-slide that attracts visitors from all over the city and has often been featured in newspapers and on TV for the delight that it brings the community on 90+ degree days.

Those interested in maintaining the Brooklyn Park Program are urged to contact City Commissioner Amanda Fritz ( and Mayor Ted Wheeler (, or call 503-823-4127. You can also contact the Director of Portland Parks, Mike Abbate (

Brooklyn has already offered to provide some funding for Brooklyn’s Summer Program, as long as it survives under the aegis of PP&R.

FIRST Robotics, Team 1432, Metal Beavers
The “Metal Beavers” Team 1432 members stand by, waiting for the next match to begin. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

‘Metal Beavers’ score high at robotics competition


Because the FIRST Robotics Competition District Tournament was moved north, from Philomath to Lake Oswego this year, THE BEE was given the opportunity to see our area’s teams compete.

As you may recall, the scrappy robotics club, FIRST Robotics Competition Team 1432 – known as the “Metal Beavers” – was ejected from Franklin High School in 2010 for reasons that even today are completely obscure, but the nonprofit youth program has continued on, in the basement of Knights of Pythias Ivanhoe Lodge #1 in the Lents neighborhood.

Thanks to the efforts of their small-but-mighty team and its mentors, the Metal Beavers started the whirlwind six-week “build season” in January – amid blizzards and ice storms – and competed successfully during the District competition held in Wilsonville in early March, then performing well in the Lake Oswego tournament that began on March 31.

While building their remote-controlled robot, the Metal Beavers gave time and resources to a new rookie club – Team 6437, “The Pacific Quakers” – sponsored by their original home base, Franklin High School.

“This year’s challenge is called ‘FIRST Steamworks’, in which two alliances of three robots compete to deliver cut-out ‘gears’ to teammates, launch balls – and finally, get their 120 lb. robot to climb ropes for additional points,” explained Oregon Robotics Tournament Outreach Program Executive Director David Perry at the competition held at Lake Oswego High School.

“These 30 teams, from Oregon and Washington, are competing to gain points with the hopes of being invited to the Pacific Northwest District Championship,” Perry said.

Metal Beavers score highly
Between rounds, Metal Beavers team member Caleb Eby reminded us that their four-member team continues to be sponsored by the Ivanhoe Lodge in Lents, and the Southeast Portland Rotary Club which meets at the Eastmoreland Golf Clubhosue, among others.

“This is my second year of being with our team,” Eby said. “I like it because I’m really interested in computer programming, electronics, and I like driving the robot.”

A sophomore at Franklin High School, Eby said the robotics club enhances his educational experience. “Sometimes, it’s difficult to apply what we learn in class in a competitive situation. When I see our robot out on the field, it makes me feel good, especially when we’re getting as many points as we can.”

After a tie score for the last team to be invited to the regional competition, and a fateful coin flip to resolve it, the disappointed Metal Beavers didn’t move on to the finals – but they ended what they called their “best ever” season by ranking in 7th place out of the 30 teams, with a total score of 58.

Franklin High sponsors new club
One of the newest clubs in the league is Team 6437, known as “The Pacific Quakers”, hailing from and sponsored by the Franklin High School (FHS) Marshall Campus, which currently is also in the Lents neighborhood.

“We are a brand-new rookie team this year,” grinned their driver and spokesman, FHS senior Cooper DeLay. “Building our robot was really fun, and we’re grateful for help we got from other teams, the Metal Beavers and the [Cleveland High] Pigmice.

“I think a lot of students would find this program very rewarding; there is some pressure, but the reward is worth it,” DeLay added.

While they didn’t compete in the Playoff Matches, the Pacific Quakers ended their season ranking 19 out of 30, and gathered a total score of 33 points, including a 10-point “Rookie Year Bonus”.

Cleveland High’s Pigmice still rolling
Hailing from Cleveland High School (CHS), Team 2733 – “The Pigmice” – originated in 2009, led by students who won the FIRST Lego League robot competition while at Winterhaven School in Brooklyn.

Pigmice membership has waxed and waned over the years, reflected CHS senior Jaden Berger, a four-year member of the team.

“Being mainly on the mechanical side of robot building has kept my interest,” Berger said. “The last two years, I’ve been team captain, so I’ve been learning leadership skills, and helping teach everybody else the skills that I have. Doing this, I can apply physics concepts to actual things that help me learn better – and, at the same time, it’s really fun!”

Some of their robot’s parts were malfunctioning, but the CHS team worked to solve problems by reprogramming their robot, and making other changes. Due to the unforeseen malfunctions, however, The Pigmice ended their season ranking 26th out of 30 teams, with a total score of 22.

To learn more about the Oregon FIRST Robotics Tournament Outreach Program, go online – To visit Team 1432 online, click on the picture at the top of this article.

Sellwood, cut through traffic, Sellwood Bridge, Portland, Oregon, PBOT
This Florida-plated Mercedes Benz was one of six vehicles turning illegally from northbound 6th Avenue to westbound Tacoma Street in less than ten minutes – after the traffic signal cycle had been changed. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Sellwood cut-through traffic problems persist


Although the new Sellwood Bridge project has been completed, figuring out how to tame vehicle traffic near the east end of the bridge is still an open question – and, with some neighbors, a sore subject.

At what the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) called a “Scoping Meeting” held at the SMILE Station the evening of March 22, neighbors gathered to discuss the problem.

Before the meeting began, neighbor Brad Nostrand, who lives at the corner of S.E. Umatilla Street and 6th Avenue shared his concerns with THE BEE.

“Even though we’re two blocks south of Tacoma Street, we probably see more of this cut-through traffic than anybody,” Nostrand reflected. “The increased traffic going off Tacoma Street and through the neighborhood is been ‘off the charts’, both east and westbound, depending on the time of day.”

Suggestions that Nostrand was bringing to the meeting included putting in a stop sign at 6th Avenue and Umatilla street, putting in a couple of speed bumps to slow traffic, and perhaps an “illegal left-turn” ticketing camera at the Tacoma and 6th intersection.

Neighbor Steve Decker said that although he lives near S.E. Marion Street and 15th Avenue, his family is concerned about vehicle drivers who continue to make the illegal left hand turn from northbound S.E. 6th Avenue to westbound Tacoma Street, heading across the bridge.

“We’ve had multiple occurrences where, for those riding bikes [on northbound 6th at Tacoma], cars are already in, or start inching into, the ‘green zone’ Bike Box, forcing bike riders out of their way,” Decker said.

One solution Decker proposed was putting in cones, pylons, or some kind of traffic diverters, to prevent vehicles from entering the Bike Box, and keeping cars from darting from side streets onto Tacoma Street, filling up the left-turn lanes waiting to cut into traffic.

The day before the Sellwood meeting, PBOT changed the signal timing at S.E. 6th and Tacoma, said the Bureau’s Senior Engineering Associate Andrew Sullivan.

Instead of being a “split-phase signal” that gave a green light to northbound traffic, then to southbound traffic on S.E. 6th and Tacoma, explained Sullivan, “We removed the split-phase, so both the north and south phases operate simultaneously.

“In theory, the northbound traffic making the illegal left hand turn would have to yield to oncoming traffic, and as you know there’s a considerable amount of traffic that comes out of the north lane of 6th Avenue as well,” Sullivan continued. “We’re hoping that the extra ‘friction’ from the yielding process makes it inefficient enough that people decide not to make that illegal left hand turn onto Tacoma anymore.”

However, when we revisited the intersection, retiming of the traffic signal clearly didn’t help the situation. One vehicle after another made that illegal left hand turn, after driving through the Bike Box.

SMILE Transportation Committee Chair Scott Kelly said he’d called the Sellwood meeting because of neighbors’ passionate concerns about cut-through traffic and the new signal at 6th Street.

“Helping PBOT prioritize our concerns is our first step,” Kelly said.

Some of the concepts to be considered include:

  • Reducing traffic backups on Tacoma Street
  • Providing safer and more comfortable bike and pedestrian mobility
  • Engineering neighborhood streets to discourage cut-through traffic
  • Reducing the number of motor vehicle trips through the area, overall

“These aren’t always mutually exclusive goals, but they can be,” Kelly observed. “Tonight we’re not here to propose solutions, but instead, help PBOT map out areas of the most concern.”

On hand at the meeting was PBOT Capital Improvements Project Manager Rich Newlands – no stranger to addressing Tacoma Street problems – to help focus the discussion. “We are primarily here to make sure that we understand the problem of cut-through traffic, so as we move forward into doing traffic data collection, we can be sure we are getting the data that we need.”

Capturing cut-through traffic data can be complicated, Newlands explained, because the traffic manifested in the impact area comes from many different sources over a wide area, and a variety of different sources of traffic. The study should include looking at local traffic versus nonlocal traffic.

For example, on most weekday mornings, westbound traffic is backed up from the foot of the Sellwood Bridge east over the S.E. McLoughlin Boulevard overpass. And many of the “cut-through drivers” are actually neighborhood residents taking their most direct route to Tacoma Street.

“So, we need to better understand the neighborhood’s perception of ‘cut-through’ routes, how they might relate to the [6th Avenue and Tacoma Street] signal operation,” said Newlands.

Those coming to the meeting hoping for a “quick fix” may have been disappointed to find that no solution can be developed until all the details of the problem have been documented. But a start has been made, and THE BEE will continue to monitor the city’s progress in resolving this issue.

Biftu Amin, Cleveland High School, Portland, Rose Festival, Princess, Oregon
Here’s 2017 Portland Rose Festival Cleveland High School Princess Biftu Amin. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Meet Cleveland’s Rose Festival Princess: Biftu Amin


On Friday, March 17, students turned out for the assembly to reveal who would represent Cleveland High School (CHS) at the 2017 Portland Rose Festival.

As the students and staff were filing into the auditorium, CHS Principal Tammy O’Neill smiled, “Our court this year is a group of strong, dynamic young women. Once again, I’m so proud of the leadership opportunity that this event offers them.

“The competition is about service and academics,” O’Neill pointed out. “Their commitment to their community, and how each of these women focuses on making the world a better place in which to live, is wonderful.”

Members of this year’s CHS Rose Festival Court – Biftu Amin, Megan Millan, Sydney Toops, and Abbey Wilusz – were welcomed to the stage.

After the introductions, 2016’s Cleveland Princess, Katlyn Gaines, addressed the assembly.

“Good afternoon Warriors!” she began. “As I look back on my year as Rose Festival Princess, I cannot help but be filled with emotion. It was a period of a lifetime, and I couldn’t have been happier to experience it!”

Turning the new CHS Court, Gaines declared, “Remember this feeling you are having at this very moment. Know that the Cleveland community respects each and every one of you so much. It takes immense amount of courage to come on stage and do what all four of you’ve done so far, and with such grace.”

Then, Princess Katlyn announced her successor for this year’s Rose Festival – 18-year-old CHS senior Biftu Amin.

“Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for selecting me to represent our school,” Princess Biftu exclaimed to the audience, who were still applauding her selection. “It means the world to me that I was chosen to represent Cleveland High School.”

Shortly afterward, in her first interview in her new role, Princess Biftu told THE BEE that, although she was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, she was actually a “local girl” – having been educated at Grout Elementary School and Hosford Middle School, before embarking on her four years at CHS.

When she heard her name spoken, Princess Biftu said she felt excited, anxious, happy, and honored, all at the same time. “All of the Court members were very deserving of this, so I feel so honored to be representing them and my community.

“I want to be an inspiration to every woman out there, and especially women of color, who may look up to me now,” Princess Biftu added. “I’m really honored to be in this position, and to have the honor of representing Cleveland High in my city.”

A $3,500 scholarship provided by The Randall Group will help Princess Biftu realize her ambitions of attending college to study pre-law and business.

You can cheer on Princess Biftu at the Portland Rose Festival Queen’s Coronation on June 10 at 8:30 a.m., in Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum, just before the beginning of the Grand Floral parade.

And, to learn more about the Portland Rose Festival, visit their official website:

Hit and run, suspect sought, Portland Police, Oregon, reward
After a woman was sideswiped and seriously injured by a truck as she was leaving her car on S.E. Division Street, officers examined the area looking for evidence. Today, they are still looking for the felonious driver, and they could use your help. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Reward offered in Division Street felony hit-and-run


On February 25, at 9:08 p.m., 48-year-old Andrea Saffaie-Castro was seriously injured when – after parking her car on the north side of S.E. Division Street and stepping out of it – she was struck by a westbound truck.

As reported in the April issue of THE BEE, the driver didn’t stop, or even slow down.

“The suspect vehicle is described as a white, newer-model extended-cab pickup, lifted, with a chromed rack behind the cab, and towing an open utility trailer,” said Portland Police Bureau spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson.

Saffaie-Castro was been hospitalized, and is recovering from traumatic injuries. Meantime, Crime Stoppers of Oregon is offering a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information, reported to Crime Stoppers, that leads to an arrest in this, or any unsolved felony crime.

Call 503/823-4357, or report online – – and you can do so anonymously, if you wish.

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