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July 2018 -- Vol. 112, No. 11
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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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Derelk Blum, Eastmoreland, Historic District, legal filing, Southeast Portland, Oregon
The yard of Derek Blum, who has just filed for a review of the decision that thousands of trusts filed by an individual for a single property could count as thousands of “no” votes for the Historic District in Eastmoreland, made the family’s position on the issue clear – while they participated in the Eastmoreland Garage Sale on June 23. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Review sought for Eastmoreland ‘Historic District’ ruling

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

Neighbors on both sides of the Eastmoreland Historic District (District) nomination controversy have found little common ground since the idea was proposed in May, 2016. But now, both proponents and opponents seem to agree that the process is flawed, and are both headed to court to have their objections heard.

When, on April 25, the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) revealed that it had determined that the opponents of the proposed District submitted enough objections to prevent listing the District in the National Register of Historic Places – due to some neighbors having created modified trusts by which individuals could cast 5,000 votes in opposition – those in favor of the district nomination were dismayed.

The SHPO “kicked the issue down the road” to Washington D.C. because, following federal guidelines, the SHPO had resubmitted the nomination to the National Park Service (NPS) for an official Determination of Eligibility’, and the official decision to list or not list the District in the National Register rests with the NPS.

Because the Historic District nomination issue apparently has yet to be settled, on June 19, Derek and Manda Blum, co-founders of “Historic Eastmoreland Achieving Results Together” (HEART), filed a legal document called a “Petition for Judicial Review, Pursuant to ORS 183.484”.

At the time of filing, THE BEE attempted to contact the SHPO’s officials regarding this development, and the current status of the nomination – but we found Chris Havel and Ian Johnson were out of town, at meetings.

Instead of attempting to characterize the 44-page Petition for Judicial Review, THE BEE spoke with petitioner Derek Blum about the requested legal action.

“We feel that the State of Oregon, and the SHPO specifically, hasn’t done their job properly regarding the Eastmoreland Historic District nomination,” Blum told THE BEE. “What it comes down to is how the State interprets counting property owners, [in] determining that some 5,000 trusts, created [by an individual] with the sole purpose of opposing the district’s nomination – was accepted by them [as 5,000 votes ‘no’],” Blum said. “Their rationale was based on guidance from Oregon Department of Justice, and we believe they misinterpreted this.”

His research shows, he said, that there is no reference to trusts in National Park Service National Register of Historic Places language, and in CFRs of the program run and administered by SHPO. “So, it is a matter of interpretation; but none of that guidance specifically referenced what has happened,” Blum commented. “What it comes down is this: We’re calling for a judicial review to straighten this out.”

In the meantime, he pointed out, the National Parks Service is still in possession of the petition, and will make the final decision at some unknown future date.

“I’m hopeful that on the state and federal levels, using trusts to circumvent the [historic district nomination] process can be avoided; [an individual] creating 5,000 objection trusts is wrong, not in the spirit of the process, and is a problem that should be fixed,” Blum remarked.

Those who favored Eastmoreland’s listing in the National Register could have used the same tactic of filing revised property trusts, acknowledged Blum. “But we feel it is unethical, and we’d rather follow the process, which is why we’re challenging the misapplication of the advice provided by the state.

“My position remains that the Oregon SHPO has been negligent in their administration of the program in Oregon, and aren’t appropriately doing their job. We’d hoped it wouldn’t have come to this, but this action is necessary to challenge their decision.” The filing can be accessed here – http://www.readthebee.com/blumfiling.html

Tom Brown, of the opposing “Keep Eastmoreland Free” organization, commented, “I’m glad to see that Derek and HEART are going after SHPO through a legal process, instead of by other means.

“Some called my lawsuit ‘scurrilous’; and now, I’m glad they’re shifting their focus to where it belongs, on SHPO. My suit about Historic District nomination rules is still pending,” Brown said. “It’s interesting that HEART is now trying to accomplish the same thing: Calling the rules into question.”

As a side note, National Park Service National Register of Historic Places Deputy Keeper J. Paul Loether, retired before Eastmoreland’s district’s nomination could be sorted out, leaving it to Acting Chief Julie Ernstein to deal with.



Springwater Trail, closed, Oaks Bottom, culvert, replacement, salmon, Army Corps of Engineers, Sellwood, Southeast Portland, Oregon
Bicyclist Steven Tuttle told THE BEE he appreciated getting the information about the July closure of the Springwater Trail, and will find a new way to get to work, down by OMSI. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Springwater Trail closes till October, through Oaks Bottom

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

Bicyclists and walkers along the Springwater Corridor Trail through the Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge started seeing sequential signs, starting in early June. They were not advertising Burma Shave, though they followed that familiar formula. . .

For example:

Summer Springwater Closure / Oh yes, it’s true /

But don’t be too blue / There are options for you!

“It’s important for people to know that during the Oaks Bottom Habitat Restoration Project, the trail will be open up to the refuge, but closed as a through route,” said Portland Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) Environmental Program Coordinator Ronda Fast.

At the intersection of S.E. Spokane Street and Oaks Park Way, Fast and the BES “Street Team” were out answering questions from bike commuters and walkers bound northward on the morning of June 5.

“The trail be closed starting July 9, and will remain closed through October 31 so we can do the important work that will bring salmon back to the Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge,” Fast said.

The Springwater Corridor Trail goes directly over the old culvert that will be removed this summer, and replaced with a large open culvert – as well as directing water channels, and replanting thousands of trees and shrubs, Fast pointed out. “Our contractors are mobilizing heavy equipment for the culvert replacement by both SamTrak rail and barges on the Willamette River.”

An alternate route map features two main options for people on bicycle and other non-motorized travel:

  • The new Sellwood Bridge provides a connection to the west side Greenway Trail – a good option for commuters traveling to and from South Waterfront and Downtown – but speed on that trail is strictly limited to 10 m.p.h.
  • The nearly-complete S.E 19th Avenue Neighborhood Greenway in Sellwood and Westmoreland connects to 17th Avenue bike lane for those who want to stay on the east side, and return to the Springwater Trail at S.E. Mitchell Street.

With the advisory signage installed, Fast said, “Hopefully, everybody will know in advance about the trail closure, and can plan accordingly.”

The habitat restoration project in Oaks Bottom is intended to reopen the lagoon there to a direct connection to the Willamette River, and thereby to provide a refuge for young salmon on the way down the river to the Columbia, and eventually the ocean. It also should improve the mosquito problem near the pond.

The project is a collaborative effort between the City of Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services and Portland Parks & Recreation and the United States Army Corps of Engineers, which will manage the construction.

For more information, go online – https://www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/76508.



Morgan Vague, Reed College, research, bactereia, eat plastic, clean plastic waste, Eastmoreland, Portland, Oregon
Working in her lab at Reed College, Morgan Vague tests strains of bacteria that can break down plastic bottles. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Reed biology grad discovers plastic-eating bugs

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

“Actually, it’s naturally-occurring bacteria, not ‘bugs’, that we’re researching!” corrected Reed College bachelors graduate Morgan Vague with a smile.

What inspired Vague to go on the hunt for plastic-munching bacteria began in a class of her teacher, Jay Mellies, PhD.

“Internationally, there are about 300 million metric tons of plastic containers sold every year, and only 10% of that is recycled – an alarming statistic, to me,” Vague told THE BEE outside the lab where she works on the Reed College campus.

“Plastic is cheap, tough, and everywhere; and, I started wondering what else is tough, durable, and everywhere. I came up with bacteria,” she said.

Bacteria are capable of doing amazing things, Vague pointed out, including surviving in all kinds of extreme environments, by “eating” things that other creatures cannot.

“My discovery was finding three different strains of bacteria that show the ability to grow on, colonize, and degrade polyethylene terephthalate (PET) resin – the handy-dandy plastic that’s in most water bottles and single-use containers,” explained Vague.

To find the bacteria, she traveled to the heavily-polluted beach of Galveston Bay in Texas. “This ended up being the richest source of these ‘little bugs’ for me.”

Although getting bags of dirt through TSA screening at the airport was a concern, the student said she had no problem traveling with her biological samples. “I was ready to tell them that I’m just weird because I’m from Portland, but it was unnecessary.”

Back in the Reed College biology lab, she started putting the potential samples to the test, and found the three strains of bacteria that did, indeed, grow on and colonize and degrade PET plastic.

“We are hoping to develop a process to make this scalable, and speed it up to the point that it will have significant impact on reducing plastic waste,” she said.

No, they’re not hatching a plan to let loose a weird creature into the environment, Vague assured. “First, these are naturally-occurring bacteria, without any genetic modifications.

“Instead, we’d like to see an industrial-scale application to reduce the plastic pollution problem in some sort of industrial recycling facility where plastic waste is taken and is degraded into carbon dioxide.

“But my ultimate dream is developing a ‘home plastic degradation kit’, kinda like a composting kit, that everyone could use.

“When it comes to attacking the problem of waste PET plastic, I believe the bacterial solution is the most viable,” Vague concluded.

The only thing standing in her way is obtaining funding for more research. To help this work go forward, contact Reed College’s Dr. Jay Mellies, PhD, at jay.mellies@reed.edu, or call 503/517-7964.



Portland Pickles, baseball team, Lents Park, West Coast League, semi pro, season opener, Portland, Southeast, Oregon
Pitcher Alex Roth, a junior at Western Oregon University, fires a fastball for Inner Southeast Portland’s own “Portland Pickles” baseball team. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

‘Pickles’ open third baseball season in Lents Park

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

The third season of Portland Pickles baseball – Portland’s collegiate team in the West Coast League – at Charles B. Walker Stadium in Lents, kicked off on Saturday evening, June 2.

The stadium looked sadly empty only an hour before game time, but soon long lines of ticket holders were snaking through Lents Park just off Holgate Boulevard near S.E. 92nd, waiting to get in. By the time the game got underway, more than 2,500 fans had filled the seats, bleachers, and grassy rim areas.

Pickles team management said they were disappointed that, even though they’d invited Portland’s Mayor and other governmental elected officials to the home opener, all of them who had chosen to respond just sent regrets – including Portland Parks & Recreation leaders.

Before the game began, Portland Pickles official field announcer Robert Jones introduced each member of the home team, and then of the visitors – the “Port Angeles Lefties”.

“We want you to think of this place as your summer habitat,” Jones told the crowd. “This is where you can come, and find an oasis every night – to enjoy the sunshine, the baseball, and your friends, here in the wonderful Lents neighborhood.”

Members of Portland’s Royal Rosarians then took the field, and escorted the current Rosarian Prime Minister, Adam Baker, as he stepped to the mound, and threw out the first pitch of the season.

Lines for hotdogs, French fries, and beer grew long, as the game began; the spectators soon settled in for a good time.

While Pickles lost this home opener 3-2, they went on to win the next two of the three-game home stand, with scores of 6-1 and 2-0.

The team did well on the road, but high winds and rain sweeping through the area cancelled their next home visit, June 8 through 10. (That was Grand Floral Parade weekend – always a dodgy time for good weather.)

But, according to a recent announcement by the team’s management, “Baseball at Walker Stadium is officially here to stay”: The Portland Pickles have now officially signed a 13-year extension with Portland Parks & Recreation, allowing them to use Walker Stadium as their home field for at least that long.

“Walker Stadium has seen many improvements in the short existence of the Portland Pickles – such as the fan seating sections; like the Dugout Dens, and the Ford Party Deck – and this extension will allow for potentially more upgrades to the stadium, to help make the fan experience even better,” remarked team co-owner Bill Stewart.

Find out more about the Portland Pickles, and get your game tickets online, at their official website: http://www.portlandpicklesbaseball.com – and learn more about the league they play in, here – http://www.westcoastleague.com.



Marshall High campus, Grant High School, Barak Rosen, shooting, death, track, Southeast, Portland, Oregon
The body of 30-year-old Barak Rosen was found here, on the track, near the grandstands. (Photo by David F. Ashton)
Barak Rosen, murder, track, Marshall High campus, Lents, Southeast Portland, Oregon
Crime Stoppers is offering a reward to help arrest the killer of this man – a newcomer to Portland with no known enemies, Barak Rosen. (Courtesy of Portland Police Bureau)

Man found murdered on Marshall Campus track

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

So much is unknown about the death of 30-year-old Barak Rosen, found shot to death on the track of the former Marshall High School, across from the grandstands, just east of S.E. 82nd Avenue of Roses. He was probably killed at about 11:30 p.m. on Saturday night, June 16; it is not known why he was at the track, and with whom.

The exact time of the homicide hasn’t been determined; 9-1-1 Center dispatchers sent East Precinct officers out on a “Shots Fired” call at 11:29 p.m. that evening; they responded to the 4200 block of S.E. 87th Avenue.

That city block doesn’t actually exist; maps place the dispatched location near the theater complex behind Eastport Plaza – several hundred feet west of the Marshall Campus track, which is being used this year by Grant High School, while Grant is being remodeled.

Recently Marshall was a temporary home to Franklin High, while that campus was being refurbished.

“On June 17 at 4:42 a.m., officers responded to the temporary Grant site, at 3905 S.E. 91st Avenue, on a report of a deceased man on the track with an apparent gunshot wound,” reported Portland Police spokesman Sgt. Chris Burley.

Officers and medical personnel determined that the man, later identified as Barak Rosen, was in fact dead, Burley said. “The Oregon State Medical Examiner's Office conducted an autopsy, and determined Rosen died of homicidal violence as a result of multiple gunshot wounds.”

During the investigation at the crime scene, Burley observed, investigators did find evidence of gunfire. “There is no suspect information, and no known reason why Rosen would become a victim of violence,” Burley remarked.

Not long after being notified of their son’s death, Jerry Rosen, his wife Z'ava, and daughter Danya, traveled to Portland from their home in California, and appeared at a Portland Police Bureau press conference.

Family members said Rosen had recently relocated to Portland to start a new job. “He was an avid hiker, and mountain biker – he enjoyed being outdoors, and was enjoying his new opportunity here in Portland,” reflected his sister, Danya.

“The person who committed this crime is a coward,” declared the murdered man’s dad, Jerry Rosen. “We feel horrible, we’re grieving, and are on pins and needles; it’s important for us to know that our son is getting justice.

“We love our son very much and we want everyone in the community to know that,” Jerry said, adding. “Please help us find the killer.”

Crime Stoppers of Oregon offers cash rewards of up to $2,500 for information, reported to Crime Stoppers, that leads to an arrest in any unsolved felony crime – including this one – and, tipsters can remain anonymous.

Submit tips online at the Crime Stoppers webpage – https://www.p3tips.com/tipform.aspx?ID=823 – or, call 503/823-4357.



Meals On Wheels, cutback, move location, Sacred Heart Villa, Moreland Presbyterian Church, Westmoreland, Thelma Skelton Center, Southeast, Portland, Oregon
Korean War Veteran Bruce Wickward told THE BEE he has enjoyed the meals and company he found while dining in the now-closed Meals On Wheels Center in Brooklyn; standing with him is a resident of Sacred Heart villa, Priscilla Manning. (Photo by Rita A. Leonard)

‘Meals On Wheels’ moves back to Westmoreland from Brooklyn

By RITA A. LEONARD
For THE BEE

On July 2, the Meals On Wheels lunch program for seniors moved out of its recent Sacred Heart Villa quarters, at Milwaukie Avenue at S.E. Center Street in Brooklyn.

Communications Director Julie Piper-Finley announced that since most recipients preferred not to eat at the Center, home delivery for the Thelma Skelton service area moved to back the Moreland Presbyterian Church at 1814 S.E. Bybee Boulevard in Westmoreland, where it had originated in 1971. Program Manager Jody Grant told THE BEE, “We are grateful to them for now hosting us for essentially $25 a month.”

Grant continued, “After careful examination of community needs and rising costs, [we are] transitioning some of our services in all of the areas we serve. In order to provide high quality service, focused on individual needs, we are investing in expanding our home delivery support and outreach to under-served and vulnerable populations.”

About a hundred volunteer drivers were told in early June that delivery route order and assignments would remain unchanged in the Monday through Thursday time frame. “We will no longer be delivering on Fridays, so if you are a Friday delivery driver, we would like to explore options for your continued involvement in the program,” invited Grant. “Check with me at: jody.grant@mealsonwheelspeople.org.”

Grant explained further, “We’re facing rising costs across the board, especially in food and labor. Additionally, we have had our Multnomah County funding dramatically cut. This transition helps save us over $200,000 – the cost of on-site dining programs is very expensive. We do have other dining rooms that participants from [Brooklyn’s] Sacred Heart Village are able to attend. We plan to serve older adults, regardless of their income or housing status.”

About those other dining rooms: The Meals On Wheels downtown location at 1032 S.W. Main Street, is “a bus ride and a few blocks distant.” The Belmont location, at 4610 S.E. Belmont Street, is “less than a four-mile drive away.”

Grant added, “We will work with individual participants who eat at Sacred Heart Villa to find another meal access, including possible delivery to the building. This way the community can continue to serve the most vulnerable and isolated with minimal disruption.”

The nonprofit organization, long known as “Loaves and Fishes”, officially changed its name to “The Meals On Wheels People” in the recent past.



bottle drop centers, bottles and cans, redemtion, changes, Southeast Portland, Eastport Plaza, Oregon
The BottleDrop Center parking lot at the intersection of Linwood and King Road has dozens of cars coming with huge bags of cans and bottles to be redeemed, and leaving with refunds. Another one is opening at the Eastport Shopping Center, on 82nd, just north of Holgate. (Photo by Elizabeth Ussher Groff)

Can and bottle redemption service to leave Woodstock Safeway

By ELIZABETH USSHER GROFF
For THE BEE

For many years, the can and bottle return service at Woodstock Safeway has been a welcome source of income for some – and a pain in the neck for the store.

According to Safeway administrators and employees, the bottle return created mess, and the machines were often out-of-order. One Safeway employee recently remarked, “This is really hard work, because the machines are broken down so often. Today I hand-counted a couple thousand. I can’t wait for the change.”

As of April 1, 2017, when the redemption rate went from five to ten cents a container, “business” at the collection centers of the various Safeway stores became even more brisk, and problems increased.

Now – this summer, or early fall – the can and bottle redemption center at the Woodstock Safeway, beloved by some and hated by others, will be terminated. After the change people will need to travel to 4616 S.E. 82nd (near Holgate Boulevard), or Linwood at King Road, to get cash or credit for their returns – at an indoor, staffed BottleDrop Center.

The BottleDrop Centers have been created and are run by the Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative (OBRC), a member-owned cooperative corporation. Member owners are Oregon beverage distributors and grocery retailers. In Oregon, the OBRC takes care of the logistics for recycling nearly 100% of all containers redeemed in the state. OBRC is not government-owned, and uses no tax dollars.

Why the change? OBRC has been picking up cans and bottles from grocery stores for decades, but now is in the process of opening more independent BottleDrop Centers instead. To ease the transition, OBRC is making an effort to inform the public about the centers and how to use them.

Joel Schoening, Community Relations Manager for OBRC, says that the organization recognizes that recycling cans and bottles at the supermarket is convenient, but they now believe these centers will make it even easier – if you find it convenient to go to one.

“These are staffed, indoor, cleaner facilities. If you have containers the machine won’t read, you can take them up to a staff member, who will help.”

Schoening also explained the various options for redeeming at the centers:

  • HAND COUNT: If necessary, staff at the BottleDrop Center can hand-count the containers for you, if there are fifty or fewer.
  • SELF SERVE: The reverse vending machines make it possible to return up to 350 bottles and cans per person per day. Your refund is received at the on-site pay station.
  • BOTTLEDROP ACCOUNT: Green BottleDrop bags are available at the redemption center for you to fill with bottles and cans to be dropped off at the BottleDrop Center, with the refund credited to your own personal account, which you can set up in the center.

There is also an option to donate your return to a nonprofit of your choice. There is a list of 779 “BottleDrop Give” nonprofits you can give to. For the list, go online to – http://www.bottledropcenters.com/Give   

And for answers to questions about how this whole system works, you can check – http://www.bottledropcenters.com/About/FAQ

Gene Dieringer, local owner of the Woodstock Shopping Center, which comprises both the Bi-Mart block and the Safeway block, tells THE BEE he uses the BottleDrop Center at Linwood and King Road. He says he likes it because it is cleaner, faster, and more reliable than grocery store centers. He drops the green bag into a chute; the sticker on the bag is scanned automatically; and the refund is deposited into his BottleDrop account. There is usually no need to stand in line if you have an account, he says.

For those who cannot make it to these outlying BottleDrop Centers, there is an outside small “BottleDrop Express” in the northeast corner of the Hawthorne Boulevard Fred Meyer parking lot, and a new small redemption machine on the east, sidewalk, side of the Westmoreland QFC Market on S.E. Milwaukie Avenue. There is also a store redemption center outside Trader Joe’s, on S.E. Cesar Chavez Blvd. (former 39th) just south of Holgate, that takes up to 144 containers per person per day.

The Woodstock Safeway’s own redemption center will stay open two weeks after the new Bottle DropCenter opens on S.E. 82nd at Holgate Boulevard; the exact date for the change will be announced later in the summer. Look for signs to be posted in Safeway.

At the July 11th Woodstock Neighborhood Association (WNA) meeting, Joel Schoening, the OBRC Community Relations Manager, will be present to explain how the BottleDrop Centers work, and to answer questions.

Although WNA meetings are usually on the first Wednesday of the month, because of the Fourth of July being on the first Wednesday this year, the meeting will be the second Wednesday, July 11th. The meeting is at the Woodstock Community Center, 5905 S.E. 43rd Avenue, a block north of Woodstock Boulevard and across the street from BiMart.





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