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October 2014 -- Vol. 109, No. 2

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!


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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!






Cleveland High School, sports field rental plan
Cleveland High athletes and supporters turned out to protest a Portland Public Schools plan to rent their field to other sports organizations during traditional school team practice times. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

CHS athletes to PPS: “Our field is not for rent!” 

By DAVID F. ASHTON
for THE BEE 

Just as the school year was getting underway, parents and coaches of Cleveland High School (CHS) outdoor teams say they were shocked to learn that Portland Public Schools (PPS) was planning to cut practice time availability – in order to rent out their athletic field. 

On September 2, Cleveland parent and CHS Booster Club President of the Hans Nolf told THE BEE he’d only recently learned about the situation. 

“It would appear as if PPS has developed a policy, ‘under cover of darkness’, that they are going to cut access to the CHS field for the use of the school’s student athletic teams. In the past, from the time school gets out until 9:00 pm, the field has been available for team practice and games.” 

The concern, Nolf said, came from memo dispatched by PPS Chief Operating Officer Tony Magliano on the morning of August 26, defending the District’s new “10 Great Fields Project”,which would, as the memo stated, “provide our schools and our communities with the opportunity to have updated new turf fields.” 

Magliano’s memo stated, “In order to be able to maximize the use of our new fields, and have funding necessary to replace them when needed, we must generate income from community use of the fields.”

Nolf pointed out that renovation of Cleveland High’s playing field was NOT paid for by the school district, “although PPS is acting as if it has a monetary investment in it.

“And, at the end of August, before our school year, the CHS Boosters and Alumni clubs worked on a weekend to clean up our field, and make it ready for the season,” Nolf added. “This wasn’t done by PPS workers.” 

The response to the district’s money-making “rent-a-field” plan was swift and strong.

On the evening of September 3, the Cleveland Warriors’ supporters showed up at the playing field to mount a protest. 

There, Cleveland Boys’ Soccer Board Member Kristin George agreed with Nolf.

“This plan was not widely publicized,” George said.  “It was kind of by accident that we found out about this.  We’ve learned more as we’ve gone along, and we’ve involved more people who know more people – and we try did make many more community connections.  We’ve been making calls, sending letters, sending e-mails – and it’s why we’re here today.”

About just who paid for the field’s last major renovation about six years ago, George concurred with Nolf. “This was paid for by community fundraising and partnerships, including alumnus Phil Knight. We’re happy there’s a Nike ‘swoosh’ on our field, because he contributed significantly toward the project.” 

Although he gets a paycheck for his part-time job as CHS Head Boys Varsity Soccer Coach, Scott Killen said he felt compelled to speak out against the new policy.

“I do need to watch my words a little bit, for sure,” Killen told THE BEE as his team warmed up on the field. “But, my number one job is to serve the community and these kids, as their soccer coach. This means advocating and standing up for what they deserve is part of the job, to me.” 

The district’s “rent-a-field” plan would have cost his team two practice days a week. 

“This would be nothing short of debacle, in terms of what we need – to get these teammates to be playing at the highest level in the state of Oregon at the varsity level,” Killen said. “We really need this amount of time to prepare by practicing on a high-quality field, not a rutted city park or grade school lawn.”

That evening, a posting on the PPS website indicated the schools’ field rental program was being put on hold. 

Midmonth, Killen told THE BEE what he’d learned. “It sounds we will not have our field time infringed upon for the season. So, the plan it won’t affect the time this year that we’ve had for the last seven years.

“But, I don’t know how that will affect next year,” Killen said. “This is a happy ending, for now.”



MAX, Inner Southeast Light Rail
Pulled down the new rails by a Brandt “high-rail truck”, the first TriMet Orange Line MAX train rolls slowly south from OMSI, toward the Brooklyn neighborhood. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

First MAX train rolls down new tracks into Brooklyn 

By DAVID F. ASHTON
for THE BEE 

Drivers on S.E. 12th Avenue surely did a double-take when they saw a TriMet MAX Light Rail train crossing Gideon Street on Monday morning, August 25. 

“I didn’t think that trains on the [Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail] line would be running until next year,” marveled bicyclist Brent Berger, as he watched the train slowly go past the intersection.

“Today is a major milestone for the project,” explained TriMet spokesperson Mary Fetch. “It’s the first time a MAX train has been on the future Orange Line.”

Because the overhead electric catenary lines aren’t energized, Fetch revealed the train was being towed down the tracks at “walk speed” by a specialized light rail service vehicle, called a Brandt “high-rail truck” which is equipped to drive on both roadways and rails. (It could have towed the train down Milwaukie Avenue! But only with severe damage to the pavement.)

This outing wasn’t a joyride, Fetch told THE BEE. “They're looking to see the train clearance as it approaches the new stations, handrails, signage, and other things that are near the right-of-way.” 

The train started on the west side, and made its way over the new Tilikum Crossing bridge near OMSI, passing the Eastside Greenway Trail at S.E. Caruthers Street, and on through to the Gideon Street Station. 

By the end of September, crews are expected to complete welding the track on the southern end of the line, all the way down to the terminus in Milwaukie, Fetch said. “When that’s completed, we will do the similar test on the southern end of the line.”

The overall project is about 85% complete, Fetch pointed out. “Soon, we'll start training all the train operators, so we have a lot of work to do, still.  But it is coming along.”



Window smash, vandalism
Creston-Kenilworth neighbor Jason Kvanese says the vandal did hundreds of dollars of damage to his car to steal a hand full of change and a couple of work shirts. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Vehicle vandalism: This time it’s a window-smashing spree

By DAVID F. ASHTON
for THE BEE

Not too long after the latest Inner Southeast tire-flattening mass vandalism, recently reported in THE BEE, more destruction was inflicted on area vehicles.

Police first took notice of a widespread Woodstock and Creston-Kenilworth car window smashing spree when they were called to the 4700 block of S.E. Steele Street, just before midnight on September 8.

“Officers in the area located several vehicles with their windows broken out, and received additional calls on vehicle vandalism,” Said Portland Police Bureau Public Information Officer Sgt. Pete Simpson. 

“The only suspect information available is that it reportedly was a white male in his 30s on a bicycle,” Simpson added. 

The next morning, more than a dozen neighbors realized the full impact of the damage when they discovered their vehicle’s side windows cracked or shattered.

The first broken window spotted by THE BEE, as we arrived to report on the latest vandalism, was in the 4400 block of S.E. Cora Street. Then, driving along the 4600 and 4700 blocks of S.E. 47th Avenue, every vehicle parked on the street had side windows severely cracked or completely smashed.

“I didn’t hear anything during the night,” remarked Jason Kvanese, who lives on S.E. 47th Avenue north of Holgate. “And, I didn’t notice anything when I took my daughter to school.

“But, when I came back home, I saw the glass in the street, and noticed that someone had smashed in both windows in the car we parked on the street.” 

It wasn’t pure vandalism this time, apparently – there was a burglary element. “The suspect took about $2 in “parking change” and a couple articles of clothing,” Kvanese added. “To get that, they did hundreds of dollars’ worth of damage to the car.”

A few houses away, on the same street, Leonard Kosatka said he didn’t see or hear the damage being done to his van, either. “I did hear news helicopters hovering around in the morning. That’s when I came out and found out that I was part of the news they were covering!” 

Kosatka was sweeping up glass from a vandalized window that had disintegrated when he opened the passenger door of his van. He pointed to the window, and observed, “He must have used something small and heavy to punch it out, like a hammer or maybe the end of the tire iron.”

He resumed cleaning up, and added, “I don’t understand why someone would get joy from doing something like this.”

The police agree; in fact Crime Stoppers is now offering a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information, reported to Crime Stoppers, that leads to an arrest in this case, or in any unsolved felony, and you can remain anonymous.

Leave a Crime Stoppers tip online at: http://www.crimestoppersoforegon.com/submit_online_tip.php – or text: CRIMES (274637), and in the subject line put 823HELP, followed by your tip – or call 503/823-4357, and leave your tip information. 

Sellwood Bridge
Workers look tiny – next to this massive, nearly-completed Sellwood Bridge arch. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

New Sellwood Bridge’s “big steel” is readied 

By DAVID F. ASHTON
for THE BEE

Little visible work took place on the east end of the new Sellwood Bridge project during the last few weeks.

But, just north of Portland, in buildings once used by Kaiser Shipyards at Ryan Point in Vancouver, more than 75 workers were busily building significant parts of the new bridge at Thompson Metal Fab.

Multnomah County project spokesman Mike Pullen arranged for THE BEE to visit this “bridge factory” in early September.

Like adult boys working with a giant Erector set, employees were constructing enormous steel arches that will hold up the bridge spans between the “bents” that support them in the river.

At Thompson Metal Fab, they don’t make steel. Instead, they fabricate structures from steel, explained its President, John Rudi. “Most of it comes from the east coast by rail; but we do get some pieces from EVRAZ, formerly known as Oregon Steel Mill.” 

Not all the steel sheets and “shapes” they order – like I-beams for example – are the same composition. There are different “grades” of steel specified for different parts of the bridge structure, Rudi explained. Different grades offer different qualities that are desirable for various applications. 

“When it comes in, we first test its chemistry and specifications to make sure it matches what that the owner – in this case, Multnomah County – has specified for their bridge code.”

The blueprints for the project generate a “cut list” for the flat pieces or shapes. “We lay out the pieces in the computer, the shop processes them and cuts them either with a saw, with flame, or with a plasma CNC [Computer Numerically Controlled] cutting table.

“Those individual components are put together in subassemblies,” Rudi continued. “The subassemblies are taken to another bay, where we build up the entire fabrication.”

To join the cut metal pieces together, workers use “sub-arc” or “core weld” techniques.  Some of it is done using a semi-automatic welder with the machine, and some of it is done by hand.

Although the spans are constructed with a bowed shape, the cross-section of each arch is rectangular. Every few feet inside the arch box, up to three-inch steel reinforcing plates are welded, to increase its strength.

When welding on an end plate – it attaches the span to an “angel wing” – workers keep the thick sheet of steel from warping, cracking, and distortion, while welding by using an oversized space heater to keep the plate at 350° during the process.

“The welding on this project is very challenging and stringently inspected,” Rudi said. “All the welds are inspected ultrasonically; and in some cases, such as the spliced joints, also by X-ray.”

The span structures are so large – even though they are fabricated in buildings where warships were once built – that the finished end of one arch protrudes out the door of the welding bay. 

Mark Knieriem, a Multnomah County project manager, was on site inspecting the fabrication. “This might be the most complex public works project in Oregon at this time,” he said.

Pointing to holes through which huge bolts will pass when the bridge is assembled, Knieriem explained, “The bolt holes have the 16th of an inch tolerance. Not only must the pieces be strong, they must be made with precision.”

Outside, between the shop and the Columbia River, a nearly completed steel arch span rests on its side, on height-adjustable supports.

“We pre-assemble the three separate segments of each arch, lying down on its side,” explained Thompson Metal Fab Project Manager Steve Williams. “Once we get it fully assembled, we take it apart, and rotate each segment up, the way they’ll be shipped, by barge, to the Sellwood worksite over the Willamette River.” 

Timed to the project’s construction schedule, the eighteen major arch segments will be carried in five different barge loads to the construction site, Williams remarked. 

Looking at the nearly-completed arch, Rudi acknowledged, “This is a very tough fabrication. It’s a very unique structure. And, this bridge will be quite an accomplishment for Multnomah County.”



Counterfieting
37-year-old Curtis Allen Purdy, left, remains in custody on a United States Marshall Service “Hold” related to the alleged counterfeiting operation. 26-year-old Brittney Ann Caudle, right, was arrested for possessing counterfeit U.S. currency – and is being held on a Federal warrant. (MCDC booking photos)

Counterfeiting operation busted in Inner Southeast

By DAVID F. ASHTON
for THE BEE

The circumstances that led up to a man and woman, accused of extensive criminal activity, being taken into custody on August 31, started in the woman’s restroom of the Foster Fred Meyer store at about 7:30 that evening. 

Portland East Precinct officers were called to the store at S.E. 82nd Avenue of Roses and Foster Road, after employees called 9-1-1 to report “a woman who was acting erratically in the bathroom,” said the Bureau’s Public Information Officer, Sgt. Pete Simpson.

Inside the restroom, officers found the woman, later identified as 26-year-old Brittney Ann Caudle.

What the erratic activity was, was not disclosed. But the officers quickly learned Ms. Caudle had a Federal warrant, and had previously been involved in a Portland-area bank robbery in 2010. “Caudle was taken into custody without incident,” Simpson said.

The investigation then led officers to Caudle’s boyfriend, 37-year-old Curtis Allen Purdy, in a nearby hotel room – along with two other subjects.

When officers looked around that room – at the Best Value Inn, 3310 S.E. 82nd Avenue – they were surprised to spot evidence of a U.S. currency counterfeiting operation. That’s a federal crime.

At 10:15 that evening, Caudle was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center (MCDC) on eleven counts of Possession of a Forged Instrument in the First Degree. 

Caudle remains lodged at MCDC, with combined bail set at $55,000 – but she is also being kept in custody without bail on a United States Marshall Service “Hold”.

And her companion Purdy was booked into MCDC at 12:37 am on September 1, charged with twenty-one counts of Forgery in the First Degree, five counts of Possession of a Forged Instrument in the First Degree, Possession of a Forgery Device, and Furnishing False Information to Police.

According to updated MCDC records, all of Purdy’s charges were “Released”. However, he continues to be lodged at Multnomah County Inverness Jail on a United States Marshall Service “Hold” for counterfeiting.



Oreo, Eastmoreland Dog Show
The 2014 Eastmoreland Dog Show’s “Best of Show” winner was Oreo, a female Maltese poodle, shown off by Duniway student Amalia Hinchliffe – and by her brother Michael, who attends Winterhaven. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Poodle mix is Best-of-Show in Eastmoreland

By DAVID F. ASHTON
for THE BEE 

Unlike stuffy, upper-crust canine exhibitions, judges at this year’s “second annual” Eastmoreland Dog Show – held in the Reed College Quad on September 20 – awarded a Maltese-poodle mix as “Best-of-Show”. Her name is Oreo. 

Eastmoreland Neighborhood Association (ENA) President Robert McCullough presided as the ebullient Master of Ceremonies, while Dog Show Committee Chair Kimberly Koehler shepherded six categories of pooches – and their owners – on and off the stage.

“We’re going to make this an annual event, because it is really fun to get together on something together other than land-use or other difficult issues,” Koehler said. “Our event is all about neighbors getting together. “We all love dogs, and this is just pure fun.” 

Eighty one dogs participated in the show. “The most popular grouping was ‘Mutts’,” Koehler told THE BEE. “It had so many entries; we gave three awards in this category.”

Eastmoreland’s Amalia and Michael Hinchliffe said they were happy that their mutt, Oreo, was the one who took the top prize. 

“As a neighborhood organization, we see the positive response we've had for the show,” Koehler said. “This is now becoming an annual event.”

Last year, a drenching rain shower punctuated the dog show; this year it took place on one of the hottest days of the year – the mercury hit 92 degrees in Inner Southeast Portland; it reached 94 degrees at the Portland Airport.

The Eastmoreland Dog Show is open to everyone, not just people in Eastmoreland. See you there next year!



Christopher James Poole, Wells Fargo Bank, robbery
44-year-old Christopher James Poole – was arrested for parole violation, as well as for holding up the Westmoreland Wells Fargo Bank. (MCDC booking photo)

Westmoreland bank robber quickly nabbed 

By DAVID F. ASHTON
for THE BEE

A bank robbery at 9:15 am on Monday, August 18, went as planned for the suspect who strolled into the Westmoreland Wells Fargo Bank at 6646 S.E. Milwaukie Avenue. 

The 6 foot, 2 inch, alleged bank robber presented a “demand note” to a teller, received some cash, and ran out of the bank and into the neighborhood without incident. After that things did not go as well for him.

“Witnesses provided a description of the suspect to investigators, and officers searched the neighborhood,” reported Portland Police spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson. “It didn’t take long to locate the suspect and take him into custody. 

“Officers recovered evidence from the suspect linking him to the bank robbery.” That would be the money.

As a result, just after noon that same day, 44-year-old Christopher James Poole was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center (MCDC), on an initial charge of parole violation.

Poole remains in jail, without bail, and will also face pending federal Bank Robbery charges brought by the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Woodstock Safeway robbed; suspect sought 

By DAVID F. ASHTON
for THE BEE 

Portland East Precinct officers responded to the Woodstock Safeway at S.E. 45th and Woodstock Boulevard, at 12:56 pm on August 22, after a report that it had been robbed by an armed suspect. 

“I saw a guy with a hoodie, and something over his face, run out the door and head [north] toward Woodstock Park,” Josh Porter told THE BEE. “I don’t know if that was the guy, but he looked suspicious, and in a hurry.” 

Nothing has been officially revealed about the crime to date. However, an officer at the scene did confirm to THE BEE that an armed robber took money from the Safeway store itself, and not from the Wells Fargo Bank branch within the store. 

If you have information about this robbery, contact police at the non-emergency number, 503/823-3333.



Broken gas lines
In the trench, workers investigate a gas line, broken while digging up S.E. 32nd Avenue to replace Eastmoreland sewer pipes. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Sewer work busts natural gas lines – twice in a week

By DAVID F. ASHTON
for THE BEE

In September, the City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) was still working on its replacing about 40,000 sewer pipes in Woodstock and Eastmoreland neighborhoods. (The project is about to move west into Sellwood, and Westmoreland south of Reedway Street.)

Replacing Eastmoreland’s severely deteriorated sewer pipes, many of which are more than 60 years old, hasn’t been a simple process. 

“Projects like these are challenging,” remarked BES Public Information Officer Linc Mann. “They can be especially challenging when workers are excavating trenches in neighborhood streets.

“And, working underground in older neighborhoods can be tricky, especially when contractor crews find something that didn’t show up when they ordered ‘utility locates’ in the project area,” Mann told THE BEE

Work along S.E. 32nd Avenue, north of Tolman Street, came to a stop twice in the same week, when natural gas lines were severed. 

“On September 5, at about 9:30 am, the construction crew was excavating a trench on S.E. 32nd Avenue to install a 21-inch sewer main,” Mann said. “They were digging to a depth of about nine feet, when one of the trench walls caved in and hit a one-inch gas service line to one of the properties on that street.”

NW Natural and Portland Fire came to the area and restored service to the residence at 10:10 am that morning. 

Then, four days later, on the 6200 block of S.E. 32nd Avenue on September 9, a backhoe operator excavating a trench for a new sewer line hit a natural gas line. “Crews followed the protocol of immediately notifying NW Natural and Portland Fire,” Mann said.

“In this case, though, we did know the gas line was there, and it was simply hit by accident,” Mann added. “At our safety meeting the following day, our staff emphasized utility awareness, and taking greater care to avoid accidents like this in the future.”



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