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August, 2020 -- Vol. 114, No. 12
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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Portland SERT officer shields himself from a reportedly-armed intruder in a newly-built but vacant condominium near Sellwood Park
A member of the Portland Police SERT unit took shelter behind a tree in Sellwood Park, after an intruder with a pistol was discovered in a vacant condo nearby. (Photo by David F. Ashton)
Officers prepare to enter the vacant condo where an armed intruder was reported
Officers prepared to make entry into the new – unsold – condominium unit where a man, seen with a pistol, was hiding. (Photo A member of the Portland Police SERT unit took shelter behind a tree in Sellwood Park, after an intruder with a pistol was discovered in a vacant condo nearby. (Photo courtesy of Suzanne O'Gorman)

SERT nabs prowler with a pistol near Sellwood Park

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

Neighbors told THE BEE they’ve seen many cars driving up to, and into, the new development by Sellwood Condominiums LLC, tucked in just south of Sellwood Park at 9716 S.E. 6th Avenue.

But they were apparently just looking at the available new condos. Sunday, June 28, was different: A man was seen and reported inside one of the condos, bringing Central Precinct officers for a “premise check” at 2:24 p.m.

“When officers were checking the residence, a subject was encountered [apparently seen with a pistol], and one officer fired a handgun. The officers retreated to a position of safety, and called for additional resources, including ‘medical’, to respond,” reported Portland Police spokesperson Lieutenant Tina Jones. As many as 21 squad cars responded to that call.

“There was information to believe the involved subject may be armed, so the PPB's Special Emergency Reaction Team (SERT) and the Crisis Negotiation Team (CNT) units were requested,” Jones said. “A shelter-in-place order was put into place, for the safety of those in the surrounding neighborhood.”

Neighbor Barbara Criqui told THE BEE that, at first, only two or three police cars arrived on the street. “I went out in my backyard, and looked over my fence at the condos. Then a cop ran over and said, ‘Get in your house, and stay there – there is danger here’.”

Inside, and looking out her windows, she saw “a lot of guys in camouflage outfits”, along with an armored vehicle.


25-year-old Gray Tristan Stockton was arrested on multiple charges
Although this intruder, 25-year-old Gray Tristan Stockton, caused the SERT turnout and menaced officers with a fake pistol, and faced two charges, he walked free from jail the morning after the incident. (MCDC booking photo)

SERT and CNT used a robot to check inside the condo, before the man inside was safely taken into custody.

After it was all over, Criqui recalled, “[Police officers] talked to several of us neighbors; I thought they were very respectful.”

“The subject was checked by medical personnel at the scene, and it was determined there was no injury; and none of the officers on scene sustained injury,” the Police Bureau’s Jones said, after this two-hour ordeal for the neighbors had come to an end.

Precisely why an officer fired a shot remains unclear. But, Jones said that a realistic looking “Airsoft pistol” was recovered from the closet where the suspect was found to be hiding, in the vacant condominium.

The suspect, later identified as 25-year-old Gray Tristan Stockton, was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center (MCDC) at 10:19 p.m. that evening, on two misdemeanor charges – Menacing, and Second Degree Trespassing.

At his arraignment the following day, a judge set Stockton free, without requiring bail. Release Reason: “Released on Own Recognizance”.

This is the OPRD building in Salem, where any comments will be received, and eventually a decision will be made.
This is the OPRD building in Salem, where any comments will be received, and eventually a decision will be made. ("Google Maps" image)

Eastmoreland imbroglio sparks rule change; state seeks your input

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

Over several years, the proposed Eastmoreland Historical District nomination, for inclusion in the federal National Register of Historic Places Program, has been a subject of dispute in that neighborhood – and the process has had its twists and turns, as the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) changes and updates its administrative rules about how it administers this federal program.

In late January, the OPRD held the first of its “Rule Advisory Committee” meetings to review the agency’s proposed changes to those administrative rules; the last one was on March 10, as reported in the April issue of THE BEE.

“In the last several years, several high-profile and controversial nominations exposed problems with the National Register process, including determining owner consent and public involvement; proposed changes seek to establish a fair and transparent process in alignment with federal requirements,” announced OPRD Associate Director Chris Havel on July 17.

Ian Johnson, Associate Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer, added, “We’re moving to fix those issues, and refine the state rules to work better for Oregonians.”

OPRD held three “virtual” online meetings – two on July 23 and one on July 28 – to discuss the proposed changes.

“The OPRD is accepting public comments on the proposed changes through 5 p.m. on August 14, 2020; comments can be made online, in writing, or via e-mail,” Havel said.

Before you comment, it’s important to actually read the full text of the proposed changes, which are available online. Then, go to the following webpage and scroll down to the “online comment” area of the page – http://www.oregon.gov/oprd/PRP/Pages/PRP-rulemaking.aspx

Or, you can e-mail your comments regarding a specific rule to –  OPRD.publiccomment@oregon.gov



A firefighter walks past the crushed van, its metal roof peeled forward to allow rescue crews access to the two people sleeping inside, after the limb was cut into pieces and removed.
A firefighter walks past the crushed van, its metal roof peeled forward to allow rescue crews access to the two people sleeping inside, after the limb was cut into pieces and removed. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Massive tree branch collapse hits van at Powell Park, kills one

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

A bizarre and deadly incident occurred just west of Powell Park, along S.E. 22nd Avenue, just south of Powell Boulevard after dawn on Thursday morning, June 25, when a huge branch of an oak tree failed, and smashed down across a brown Chevrolet Astro Van that had been parked beneath.

At 8:47 a.m., both Central Precinct police officers and firefighters and paramedics from Portland Fire Station 12 were dispatched to what was originally called an “injury accident”.

Complicating the rescue and recovery effort were the power lines that were directly over the crushed van.

PP&R Public Information Officer Lt. Rich Chatman told reporters at the scene that “two or three” people had been living inside of the van at the time the vehicle was smashed by the weighty tree limb. He later confirmed that one person, who a month later had yet to be officially identified, was pronounced dead at the scene.

A second person was taken to an area hospital with unknown injuries.

The investigation is ongoing.



It’s amazing that the 114-year-old “Taggart Outfall” sewer tunnel, constructed of bricks – visible here, down the work shaft – has held up for more than a century. At the bottom of this shaft are the steel tracks on which a remote-controlled locomotive will run, to install segments of new sewer-lining pipes.
It’s amazing that the 114-year-old “Taggart Outfall” sewer tunnel, constructed of bricks – visible here, down the work shaft – has held up for more than a century. At the bottom of this shaft are the steel tracks on which a remote-controlled locomotive will run, to install segments of new sewer-lining pipes. (Photo by David F. Ashton)
Staged in the Brooklyn neighborhood, along the TriMet MAX Orange Light Rail Line, these sewer-lining “pipes” are to be slid into 114-year-old brick sewer tunnel on Powell Boulevard to reinforce the old sewer.
Staged in the Brooklyn neighborhood, along the TriMet MAX Orange Light Rail Line, these sewer-lining “pipes” are to be slid into 114-year-old brick sewer tunnel on Powell Boulevard to reinforce the old sewer. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Large sewer project’s big pipe is parked in Brooklyn

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

In the northwest corner lot at the intersection of S.E. 17th Avenue and Holgate Boulevard – once used to stage TriMet MAX light rail construction materials, and before that a small shopping center – there is currently a large number of massive pipe segments.

BEE reader Steve Szigethy pointed them out, and said he suspected they might be part of a City of Portland infrastructure project.

He was right. The pipes – actually, they’re fiberglass-reinforced pipe lining segments – are to be used in the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) “Taggart Outfall Repair Project”, which is to take place just north, on S.E. Powell Boulevard.

The project finds BES repairing about 3,700 feet of the 114-year-old “Taggart Outfall” sewer tunnel, a large brick sewer tunnel measuring from 58 to 120 inches in diameter, and buried from 20 to 75 feet deep.

This is a challenging project – because the location is deep underground, and is close to TriMet MAX light rail tracks, the Union Pacific Railroad tracks, and Highway 26/Powell Boulevard. But, when it’s complete, it will increase the sewer's resiliency to earthquake damage; extend its service life for another 100 years; and help prevent sewage releases into buildings and streets should a major earthquake occur.

We found it fascinating how they’re “repairing” this sewer tunnel.

Earlier this year, crews built a 15-foot-diameter, 35-feet deep sewer access shaft on private property on S.E 13th Place at Powell Boulevard, just east across the street from the Portland Fire & Rescue Logistics yard.

In May, workers laid 2,725 feet of steel railroad tracks inside the existing sewer tunnel, and then lowered a small-yet-mighty electric locomotive and a pipe lining cart into the sewer tunnel, and placed them onto the tracks.

By mid-July, crews had already begun installing the fiberglass-reinforced pipe – called a “slip lining” – inside the sewer tunnel. Using the electric remote-controlled locomotive, crews began pushing several of the 330 segments of 8-foot-long straight pipe, and 36 segments of joint pipe.

To accommodate the bends in the tunnel, workers also were assembling new “Tunnel Liner Plates” made of steel.

Then, every 100 feet, workers are pumping high-strength grout between the liners and plates and the aging brick walls of the tunnel.

“Putting in the slip lining is a tight fit, but this process is working very well,” a worker at the site commented to us.

In the end, crews are essentially constructing a new sewer inside the old brick sewer. It’s a needed infrastructure upgrade which, when it’s completed in late September, most folks won’t even know took place. Unless they read THE BEE!



A Central Precinct officer examined the damaged northbound car which struck a pedestrian who was crossing S.E. McLoughlin Boulevard – by clambering over the high median “Jersey Barrier” near the Bybee Bridge.
A Central Precinct officer examined the damaged northbound car which struck a pedestrian who was crossing S.E. McLoughlin Boulevard – by clambering over the high median “Jersey Barrier” near the Bybee Bridge. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Sedan strikes pedestrian crossing McLoughlin Blvd

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

Police and medical emergency first-responders were alerted at 1:52 p.m. on Tuesday, July 14, to what was described as an injury accident on S.E. McLoughlin Boulevard, just north of the Bybee Boulevard Bridge into Eastmoreland.

It appeared that a person had run eastward across S.E. McLoughlin Boulevard, had jumped the tall concrete Jersey barrier into the northbound lane, and had been struck by an oncoming northbound car.

Westmoreland Fire Station 20’s Engine Company paramedics, their station just a half-block from the accident location, were almost immediately at the scene, and were soon joined by an ambulance. Police closed McLoughlin Boulevard between Tacoma and Harold Street for the investigation.

At 2:05 p.m., the AMR ambulance, parked southbound on S.E. McLoughlin Boulevard, left the area with lights and siren activated. Although official details of the accident were not yet available at THE BEE’s press time, that would normally be an indication that the victim had survived the crash, but was in urgent need of immediate treatment at a nearby hospital.

The front window of the car involved in the impact was badly smashed and caved in, and its female driver appeared to be distraught, as she spoke with investigating officers. It is unlikely that any citations were issued under the circumstances.



These seats “flew” into position, just before being attached with sturdy bolts to the bottom of the pendulum.
These seats “flew” into position, just before being attached with sturdy bolts to the bottom of the pendulum. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

New ‘over-the-top’ thrill ride constructed at Oaks Amusement Park

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

It looked like a well-choreographed ballet of burly men and massive machines – as riggers and contractors from WBF Construction began assembling the new thrill ride, “Atmos-FEAR”, at nonprofit Oaks Amusement Park on Tuesday and Wednesday, July 7 and 8.

With massive cranes parked and braced along the midway – and major parts laid out on the ride’s pad – workers began hoisting, bolting, and building this major attraction which weighs in at 116,160 lbs. That’s 58 tons!

The first day, the largest crane at the site lifted and dangled the pendulum, the part that will swing in the exact center of where the ride was being constructed. Then, one by one, crews lifted and set into place each of the four legs, bolted to the pendulum mechanics above, and to the reinforced pads below.

On day two, crews installed the “gondola” – actually, a circle of outward-facing seats – to the bottom of the pendulum, attached the counterweight atop the ride, and installed the signs and maintenance platforms.

Watch it being built!
To see our exclusive time-lapse movie of the AtmosFEAR being put together from the ground up, go online – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYq39nlhwy0

Having test-ridden a similar model of the 75-foot tall ride at another theme park before authorizing its purchase, Oaks Park Association CEO Brandon Roben described his experience of the 360° “over the top” mode for THE BEE in one word: “Terrifying!”

“But, our guess is that, most of the time, it will operate in the 180° mode, which will still offer a very thrilling experience,” commented Roben.

The Oregon Zoo, along with other select indoor and outdoor entertainment such as museums, outdoor gardens, drive-in theaters, and raceways, received statewide authorization to reopen in early June, regardless of what reopening phase the county each was located was then designated for.

“But, all other indoor and outdoor entertainment venues, like Oaks Park, must now wait until ‘Phase 2’ to reopen,” Roben explained. “Once Multnomah County moves into ‘Phase 2’, we do anticipate reopening shortly thereafter.”

To keep an eye on their progress, check the park’s website – http://www.OaksPark.com





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