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THE BEE IS LOCALLY OWNED BY THE PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP

September, 2022 - Vol. 117, No. 1
Scroll down to read this issue!

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 the special centenary retrospective!


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After being assured that the power had been shut off, arborists and tree crew members began the long job of cutting up, and removing, the 15-ton branch that snapped off this century-old northern red oak tree, and fell into S.E. 34th Street in Eastmoreland, on July 31st.
After being assured that the power had been shut off, arborists and tree crew members began the long job of cutting up, and removing, the 15-ton branch that snapped off this century-old northern red oak tree, and fell into S.E. 34th Street in Eastmoreland, on July 31st. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Enormous ‘heritage tree’ splits; 15-ton branch falls

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

Air conditioning and lighting for many Eastmoreland residents suddenly stopped. The power had gone out, taking the Internet and telephone service with it – just a split second after they heard what was described as an “explosion” at about 11:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 31st.

Some nearby residents thought they’d heard an overworked Portland General Electric transformer exploding from an overload, in the sizzling summer heat wave. However, those who lived near 6824 S.E. 34th Avenue, and who stepped outside to look around, quickly beheld the real cause.

A giant branch (called a “ramus”, in botany) had failed and snapped off the main stem of a huge tree, with a mighty “bang” that had echoed widely through the neighborhood streets.

By great good fortune, the branch had fallen directly onto the street. The only causalities appeared to be all the overhead utility lines.

During the massive cleanup that got underway the following morning, some neighbors referred to the tree as a “200-year-old Heritage Elm”.

However, in consulting with the Eastmoreland Neighborhood Association Tree Committee Chair Jerry Beatty, THE BEE learned differently. “The original subdivision was largely treeless, since it had been the Ladd farm pasture,” he explained. The tree that failed, Beatty said, is not a native elm as some had believed – it’s actually a northern red oak – and is likely not much older than 100 years. But, after all, that’s still a century!

That age makes sense, since the home at that address was built in 1916, also just over a century ago.

The tree still seemed healthy, and had been regularly maintained – but arborists suggest that it may have just been a victim of the longest heat wave on record in the Portland area; it lasted a full seven days, in late July

With about a dozen tree workers brought in to begin to cut up the fallen branch and haul the pieces away, the work still took them the whole day, and further maintenance on the tree was still occurring days later. The lost limb is believed to have weighed some 30,000 pounds (15 tons).

Power was restored later the same day to most customers; and Internet, TV cable, and telephone service were back in a couple of days more.

Here's a brief BEE video, made at the scene as the cleanup began:

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Abby Mather, communing with Ukranian rescue dog Kiev.
Abby Mather, communing with Ukranian rescue dog Kiev. (Photo by Paige Wallace)
Store employee Ben Dunning meeting Ukrainian rescue dog Carolina (Cora).
Store employee Ben Dunning meeting Ukrainian rescue dog Carolina (Cora). (Photo by Paige Wallace)

Dogs rescued from Ukraine find new homes in Southeast

By PAIGE WALLACE
For THE BEE

Two dogs rescued from the war in Ukraine charmed customers at Sellwood Pet Supply on Saturday, August 6. The store, the dogs’ foster families, and a local dog rescue group organized the adoption showcase in hopes of finding a forever home for each of the homeless dogs.

Kiev, an adorably scruffy mid-sized black mix, greeted humans and dogs enthusiastically as they entered the store at 8334 S.E. 17th Avenue. The other dog, Carolina (and nicknamed Cora), mostly slept alongside a volunteer-staffed booth which was decorated with sunflowers and the Ukrainian flag. A few customers interacted with the pups, asked about their personalities, and took information about adopting them. But, there were more than two available!

Cora and Kiev were among ten pups evacuated to Portland by a coalition of U.S. dog rescue organizations. Meantime, Oregon Dachshund Rescue (ODR) is the longtime Sellwood-Moreland nonprofit involved locally, even though there were no dachshunds in the group.

All ten dogs were under a year old, and of mixed breeds; the animals were thought to have been living either on the streets or in bombed-out animal shelters in the Ukraine – which, as you know, Russia invaded in February and continues to attack on multiple fronts. Rescuers managed to get these dogs out of the country, and first took them to a Romanian shelter. From there the pups flew to Frankfurt, then on to Seattle. A caravan of fosters then drove them south to Portland on June 28th.

Longtime Oregon Dachshund Rescue volunteer Carolyn Kofahl got one week’s notice of the need to round up local foster families, but she was 100% committed to the cause, no matter how difficult it might prove to be. “I’d been trying to find a way to help the Ukraine. When this opportunity came up I was, like, ‘this is my jam’. This is what I can do,” she explained.

The store’s event and outreach coordinator, Aileen Kwang-Valadez, was thrilled to host the adoption event and share these dogs with customers. “It’s a great way to help animals, promote rescues, and connect with our community,” she reflected. “We’re big supporters of adoption, and we’re happy to help facilitate that any way we can.”

Kofahl called Kiev a “happy boy” and “a really good dog for a senior person”. Abby Mather, who is fostering Cora, said the dog “will love getting spoiled” and being “somebody’s only little Ukrainian princess”.

Despite hosting 17 foster dogs to date, Mather’s Ukrainian rescue dogs have been her most challenging – and most rewarding. She explained how one had hidden in his crate for days after arrival – and she cried tears of joy when he first jumped up onto the couch beside her. She believes these animals had never been inside a house before coming to Oregon. Kofahl said her foster pups didn’t know how to eat out of a bowl, or to go for walks.

Mather wants adopters to understand that these pups will require plenty of patience. “I think we’re all excited that we can have a dog that has a place in history, or that we can help a dog that’s coming from a very difficult situation,” she explained. “But just be committed to that dog, and know that they have special needs, because of what they’ve gone through.”

She choked up when asked if this fostering experience has shaped her perspective on war. “The dogs didn’t ask for it, and they don’t understand it,” Mather lamented. “So all they know is loud noises, and [that] people they did know and trust had disappeared.”

To see Cora, Kiev, and other adoptable dogs that ODR has helped bring over from Ukraine, as well as their local available dachshunds, go online – http://www.odr-inc.org/adopt



This is where the pursuit of the miscreant driving the stolen truck ended, in a private yard in the Sunnyside neighborhood.
This is where the pursuit of the miscreant driving the stolen truck ended, in a private yard in the Sunnyside neighborhood. (Courtesy of Portland Police)
PURSUIT: Man with drugs and fake ID flees Foster-Powell in stolen truck; crashes

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

Sunday morning, August 14, a man signaled to pull over instead led East Precinct officers on a 2.7 mile pursuit, starting in the Foster-Powell neighborhood, and heading north.

The traffic stop was initiated by officers who had spotted a stolen bright red “king cab” pickup truck near S.E. Powell and 74th Avenue at 10 a.m. The driver hit the gas, and at one point officers successfully deployed a “spike strip”, deflating at least two of the truck’s tires.

However, the fleeing driver pressed on, until he crashed through the yard of a house in the Sunnyside neighborhood, on S.E. Taylor Street near 45th Avenue. The driver was still inside the smashed truck when officers caught up with him; but – desperate to get away – he threw it into “reverse” and smashed into a patrol car.

The suspect then bolted from the truck on foot. After an extensive search, officers discovered that the man had broken into a home a block south, on S. E. Salmon Street, and was hiding in the basement crawlspace.

Officers took 36-year-old Joshua Frank Farrell into custody, and booked him into the Multnomah County Detention Center on 34 charges.

Farrell was booked on five counts of Identity Theft, one count of Attempted Assault, one count of Attempting to Elude Police by Vehicle, one count of Attempting to Elude Police on Foot, one count of Trespass, one count of Impersonating a Police Officer, 20 counts of Possession of a Forged Instrument, one count of reckless driving, one count of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, one count of Unauthorized Entry of a Motor Vehicle and one count of Possession of a Stolen Vehicle.

At his arraignment, however, a judge chose to dismiss all of the 34 charges against Farrell – but let stand a Parole Violation charge, for which bail was set at $15,000. At last report, he remains in custody at the MCDC in lieu of bail.



The new route for approaching the Sellwood Bridge for this year’s Providence Bridge Pedal had riders going under the bridge, shown here, and then turning east on S. E. Umatilla Street at the Sellwood Harbor entrance – to circle around onto the south side of the bridge sidewalk, heading west, as visible in the background.
The new route for approaching the Sellwood Bridge for this year’s Providence Bridge Pedal had riders going under the bridge, shown here, and then turning east on S. E. Umatilla Street at the Sellwood Harbor entrance – to circle around onto the south side of the bridge sidewalk, heading west, as visible in the background. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Providence ‘Bridge Pedal’ bikers again swarm over the Sellwood Bridge

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

Starting early on Sunday, August 14, Portland’s 26th annual celebration of bicycling – the Providence Bridge Pedal – sent riders on a tour of Portland and most of its Willamette River bridges.

Of the about 10,000 participants, almost half of them took either the “Main Ride” or “Fremont Express” routes which brought riders south of Portland proper, along the Springwater Corridor Trail, and across the Sellwood Bridge.

Having started as early as 6 a.m. that morning, the first riders arriving at the Sellwood Bridge crossing showed up at 7:14 a.m.

“As past participants noticed, we changed how riders approached the Sellwood Bridge,” event organizer Rick Eauman told THE BEE afterwards.

“Transitioning from the Springwater Trail via S. E. Grand Avenue, a dead-end street in Sellwood, and then out through the curb cut, was really difficult, and caused the flow of riders to stop,” explained Eauman. “This year, riders continued south on the trail, and turned east at the base of S. E. Umatilla Street, and then, onto the bridge.”

Because of this, riders headed over the Sellwood Bridge on its south side, riding westbound, mostly on the wide sidewalk, facing the eastbound traffic, and the bridge did not have to be closed to motorists.

“Because we were taking over two blocks of S. E. 6th Avenue, where there are apartments and residences, we hired a certified flagger to get their occupants through the bike traffic,” Eauman said.

Although, traditionally the downtown “Family Ride” is the largest event, Eauman told THE BEE, “Maybe because of ‘conditions downtown’, that group has gotten smaller – and the ‘Main Ride’ participation has increased.”

And about the weather that day, Eauman mused, “I wish we could ‘bottle’ the weather and save it for next year; we had a beautiful sunrise and great weather, making this the best Bridge Pedal ever!”

And he promised all bike riders, “See you on August 13, 2023!”

Here’s a brief BEE video made near the Sellwood Bridge –

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Based on this aerial image of the house illegally occupied by squatters, the new owner of this house will have some cleaning up to do.
Based on this aerial image of the house illegally occupied by squatters, the new owner of this house will have some cleaning up to do. (Online real estate image, source unidentified)

‘SquatterHouse’ in Brentwood-Darlington has sale pending

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

Soon after the owner of the house at 5256 S. E. Flavel Street left for a brief period of time in January, his Brentwood-Darlington home was broken into and taken over by squatters.

In telephone interviews with reporters, the owner said that when he returned and asked the illegal occupants to leave, they threatened with bodily harm. Fearing for his safety, he didn’t go back, but continued to pay his mortgage on the property.

The owner said that, after numerous calls to City of Portland bureaus, he had still received no help in getting the unauthorized inhabitants out of his house

Several nearby neighbors, after being threatened by the squatters for talking with television news reporters about their experiences with the occupied property, declined to be identified when speaking with THE BEE.

“We can see what’s happening there, but I just keep to myself and stay out of their way,” one remarked. “They’re a pretty rough bunch,” another nearby neighbor commented; “There seem to be a lot of ‘very brief’ visits to the house, at all hours.”

On May 31, Nathan Jones of “Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices NW Real Estate” listed the property at $330,000 for the three bedroom, two bathroom, 2,224 sq. ft. residence, originally built in 1940.

Part of the online posting read:

Unfortunately there are squatters on the property, and seller does not have resources to remove them, and is willing to negotiate the price for a buyer to take the risk of closing.

But, unlike other “zombie properties” in Inner Southeast Portland – those with absent owners, and are now occupied by squatters – this saga may soon be coming to an end.

“Now, after 69 days on the market, we’ve negotiated a pending sale on August 9, and have a [real estate] contract on this property,” Realtor Jones told THE BEE in a telephone interview, shortly after posting the pending sale. “I can understand why the neighbors would be happy about this – but no one is happier than the owner!”





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