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May, 2022 - Vol. 116, No. 9
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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 the special centenary retrospective!


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Although the area experienced the warmest day of the year so far – at 77° – just the week before, it was a “Snow Day” for students at Woodstock Elementary School, and the rest of the Portland Public School system, on Monday, April 11.
Although the area experienced the warmest day of the year so far – at 77° – just the week before, it was a “Snow Day” for students at Woodstock Elementary School, and the rest of the Portland Public School system, on Monday, April 11. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Historic: A ‘Snow Day’ in April!

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

After we experienced temperatures in the upper 70s on April 7, it looked like summer would be arriving early in Inner Southeast Portland.

Even though local television stations posted reporters in the West Hills for snow flurries at higher elevations late Sunday evening on April 10, most folks in our area would have never guessed they’d wake up to snow on the ground on April 11.

Never before had Portland ever experienced more than a dusting of snow in April. First, PPS and other schools announced a two-hour delay – and then the unbelievable: Complete closure, due to snow. A “Snow Day” in April!

Elevation determines storm’s effect
During our early-morning our tour of Inner Southeast Portland neighborhoods, the streets were empty. The soggy, slushy precipitation which was underway by 4 a.m., although white and cold, didn’t yet lend itself to outdoor play.

Small differences in elevation made a considerable difference in how this snowstorm was experienced. In Sellwood, Westmoreland, and Brooklyn, the giant, wet snowflakes were slushy as they hit pavement and lawns, although the snow began to accumulate after dawn.

THE BEE traveled east up S.E. Woodstock Boulevard, carefully dodging large broken tree limbs in the street, from S.E. 28th to César E. Chávez Boulevard (formerly 39th) and into the Woodstock business district, where the scene had transformed into a winter wonderland, with snow piled deeply. Parks, streets and throughout the Reed, Creston-Kenilworth, Foster-Mount Scott, and Brentwood-Darlington neighborhoods looked like a full-on winter snowstorm, with a thick blanket of snow.

NOAA Meteorologist not surprised
“This weather event is unprecedented – having measurable snowfall this late in April! It’s clearly a first-ever event, according to records going back to 1940 at the Portland International Airport, and going back to the 1890s for downtown Portland,” said National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Meteorologist Colby Neuman.

“However, this was not at all a surprise to us,” Neuman told THE BEE. “As early as Saturday, we saw a pattern emerging that was favorable to producing snow – like we’d expect to see in January. Our only question was where it would happen.”

Meteorologists were tracking a low-pressure system, laden with moisture, moving east over the Pacific Ocean. “What was unknown was whether this ‘low’ would dip south, coming in over northern California and southern Oregon; or break north, become a blizzard in Seattle; or, do what it actually did – slide in, just south of the Portland area,” explained Neuman.

“Then, overnight, when cold, dry offshore winds [coming down from Canada, channeled east through the Columbia Gorge] met the moisture-laden low pressure front, that was a ‘perfect recipe’ for snow in the Portland area,” Neuman pointed out. “Interestingly, while we measured snow depths of 1.6” at the NOAA weather station in Parkrose and 2” downtown, the lowest temperature recorded at the airport was 33 degrees.”

As weather conditions lingered, Southeast Portland saw quite a bit of rain for several days afterward. “Some of it came in with graupel [a kind of snow]. Depending on elevation, one could see snowflakes mixed in with the precipitation,” Neuman acknowledged.

About the future, Neuman remarked, we should expect a “normal” spring season. “Here, our springtime weather is longer than in most places; it begins in February, and typically ends sometime in May.”

Storm exits with a bang
Although the snow melted off, for the most part, by the end of Monday, April 11, wintry weather for April continued for the rest of the week. Periods of clear skies and sunshine were followed by heavy downpours and occasional sleet.

After sunshine on Wednesday afternoon, April 13, that evening dark ominous clouds rolled in about 7 p.m. Amid isolated crashes of thunder and lightning flashes, a considerable amount of pea-sized hail pounded down, coating the ground in most areas.

Perhaps we’ll see “normal” spring weather now, until summer arrives!

In the meantime, take a few minutes to “Ride along with THE BEE” through the streets of Southeast Portland amidst our historic April snowstor, below!

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OHA Public Health Toxicologist David Farrer explained the findings of the report, in the online public meeting conducted via ZOOM.
OHA Public Health Toxicologist David Farrer explained the findings of the report, in the online public meeting conducted via ZOOM. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Oregon Health Authority gives Bullseye Glass a passing grade in new report

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

On Tuesday evening, April 5, the Oregon Health Authority’s Environmental Health Assessment Program hosted an online public community meeting to discuss the Public Health Assessment Draft Report for a Brooklyn neighborhood business, Bullseye Glass.

The meeting, scheduled to begin at 6 p.m., was delayed for 25 minutes due to technical issues. Then, Oregon Health Authority (OHA) Environmental Public Health Section Manager Gabriela Goldfarb served as a facilitator for the meeting, which had 35 attendees on the ZOOM platform. First was a presentation of the report summary, followed by question-and-answer period.

“You have been waiting for a long time to get to this stage in the public health process; it took longer than it should have,” Goldfarb admitted to the attendees.

OHA Program Manager Julie Sifuentes then commented on “how stressful this has been for so many neighbors, leaving them feeling unsafe [when] breathing the air at home in and in their neighborhood.” She added that the wish for herself and OHA coworkers was to help “bring closure” to those who live and work in the Brooklyn neighborhood.

Sifuentes recalled how the investigation began in 2011, and continued through 2016 “when media made it more widely known”.

If you’d like to read the Bullseye Glass Public Health Assessment report for yourself, you can download it at this web address – https://bit.ly/3EgYhzh

Next, the report’s author, OHA Public Health Toxicologist David Farrer thanked those who served on a study committee from May of 2016 until the present, attending a total of eight meetings.

Farrer then stepped through the “Bullseye Glass Company Public Health Assessment Summary Factsheet”, page by page, beginning with pointing out the location of the manufacturer, and its proximity to parks and schools.

According to the Summary Factsheet:

  • There is not enough information about conditions before Bullseye’s emissions were reduced
  • (February 2016) answering community questions of whether long-term past exposure  to the air around Bullseye Glass could harm or might have harmed people’s health
  • Levels of metals measured in the air around Bullseye Glass in October 2015 were NOT high enough to harm the health of people who only breathed it during that one month
  • Had emissions from Bullseye Glass not been reduced and levels of metals measured in October 2015 been allowed to persist, long-term exposure to that air might have harmed the health of people breathing it
  • Based on the October 2015 air monitoring data, the contaminants that posed the greatest risk around Bullseye Glass were cadmium and arsenic
  • Exposure to soil, garden produce, and air, since February 2016, around Bullseye Glass will NOT harm health
  • Interventions to reduce emissions from Bullseye Glass reduced current and future cancer risk over 50 times, and non-cancer risk over 100 times

Additional analysis

  • Urine tests produced uncertain results. Results of urine cadmium tests reported to OHA have too many uncertainties and scientific limitations to draw any health conclusion in this assessment
  • No elevated rates of key cancers are associated with exposure to Bullseye-related metals
  • OHA found that lung and bladder cancer rates in the three census tracts around Bullseye Glass, from 1999-2013, were not higher than expected
  • Eating homegrown produce is OK. Produce harvested around Bullseye Glass is unlikely to harm the health of adults or children
  • No further action is needed to reduce exposure to emissions from Bullseye Glass

During the Q&A, John Karabaic, who identified himself with the Brooklyn Action Corps neighborhood association asked about sensors.

“We had an air quality sensor installed in our public garden at Southeast Franklin [Street] and McLaughlin [Boulevard], which I didn't see on your sensor map. Is it because it was part of a different sensing effort, or is it something that was left out of [the report]?” Karabaic asked.

Farrer responded, “I am aware of those data. I don't know if DEQ is ready to talk about them. From what I have seen and was described by lab folks, the levels of metals measured at those monitors are similar to what we found in the 2016 monitoring.”

Another question put by an attendee was, “Did Bullseye know they are being monitored; and, had there been any change of operations or might they have changes to operations if they were aware of that?”

Attendee Jim Jones, President of Bullseye Glass replied, “We were notified by DEQ that the monitor in October 2015 was going to be installed. And, no, we didn't change our operations at that time.”

Others questioned the methodology behind the study, and how the long-term health risk projections were established.

After the meeting, we asked what Bullseye Glass’s President, Jim Jones, and the company’s owners thought of the report.

“OHA’s Public Health Assessment verifies that operations at Bullseye Glass do not pose a public health concern, and confirms that the emissions control systems installed in 2016 are effective,” he replied. “We agree with OHA that air quality data collected near Bullseye Glass in 2015 was flawed and inadequate to evaluate potential health risks.

“We continue to be responsive to any concerns neighbors or DEQ might have. Ongoing monitoring confirms that our operations remain safe.”



Oregon Music Hall of Fame President Terry Currier holds a guitar, signed by rocker Rick Springfield on April 3, when he played the Ilani Casino Resort. On the bench next to him is the re-donated guitar signed by Willie Nelson, and the guitar played by Motörhead lead man, “Lemmy”.
Oregon Music Hall of Fame President Terry Currier holds a guitar, signed by rocker Rick Springfield on April 3, when he played the Ilani Casino Resort. On the bench next to him is the re-donated guitar signed by Willie Nelson, and the guitar played by Motörhead lead man, “Lemmy”. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Police recover a stolen Oregon Music Hall of Fame signed guitar

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

As reported in the March issue of THE BEE, irreplaceable guitars, signed by internationally-famous musicians, were stolen during a burglary of a storage locker rented by the Oregon Music Hall of Fame on February 20.

After weeks of what they called “exhaustive investigation”, on March 15, Portland Police Bureau officials said that they’d obtained search warrants that they believed had recovered the purloined guitars and other merchandise.

But after Oregon Music Hall of Fame leaders examined those recovered guitars, hopes were dashed – a large collection of nice-looking guitars were indeed recovered, but they weren’t theirs. The ones stolen are highly collectible autographed and unique guitars, which they auction off at their gala concert held every year in the Brooklyn neighborhood at the Aladdin Theater, on the first Saturday in October (it’s October 8, this year), to raise money for music scholarships for deserving students.

Fast-forward to April 7, when the Central Precinct Neighborhood Response Team (NRT) Officers, along with members of the Special Emergency Reaction Team (SERT) and East Precinct NRT and Detectives served a search warrant in the 100 Block of N.E. 117th Avenue – just north of East Burnside Street – related to this investigation.

There, investigators recovered one signed OMHoF guitar, along with other stolen items. Local news media had reported that two stolen guitars had been recovered, but in fact there has only been one so far, as we confirmed with Hall of Fame President Terry Currier when we spoke with him in his office in Music Millennium.

“That guitar is still being held in evidence; but, just looking at the photo, the guitar looks a little beat up,” Currier observed with regret. “We are still hopeful that more of these guitars will be located – and hopefully, in good enough condition to be used to raise funds for our OMHoF Music Education programs.”

Some replacement guitars donated
The good news, Currier disclosed, is that they’ve had three guitars they’d previously auctioned off donated back to their organization.

“One of them, a guitar signed by Willie Nelson, is pretty special for several reasons,” Currier said. “Willie’s 89 years old now; and he’s truly one of the biggest artists that’s still playing. This guitar was signed by Willie when he played at Edgefield Manor a couple summers ago.

“The guitar was auctioned, and raised a great deal of money for the Oregon Music Hall of Fame. The gentleman who purchased it, Rob Ayres, heard about the stolen guitars, and donated it back to us for an upcoming auction. His gesture of kindness and generosity is amazing.”

Currier also told THE BEE that another person who’d bought at auction a guitar signed by k.d. lang has also decided to donate it back to be re-auctioned. “It’s clear that our work with music education and scholarships for the kids really hits a positive heart-string with many people out there,” observed Currier.

Showing a burgundy solid-body guitar, Currier said it was originally played by leader of Motörhead, Ian Fraser Kilmister – better known as front man “Lemmy”, who passed away in 2015. “The band toured through Portland regularly; so, this is going to be a desirable guitar in the auction.”


Police say that this guitar, flanked by recovered Yeti coolers, is one that was stolen from the Oregon Music Hall of Fame.
Police say that this guitar, flanked by recovered Yeti coolers, is one that was stolen from the Oregon Music Hall of Fame. (Photo courtesy of PPB)

Suspect still in custody
The main suspect in this case, 40-year-old Eric Michael Lamberton, was moved to Inverness Jail, where he remains in custody in lieu of  $275,000 combined bail – even after dozens of charges against him were “released” by the court.

If you know something, you can send an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers of Oregon – and perhaps receive a reward of up to $2,500 cash – for information submitted at their website – http://www.p3tips.com/tipform.aspx?ID=823# .

And, for more information about the Oregon Music Hall of Fame, go online – http://www.omhof.org



This issue has been contentious for half a decade now.
This issue has been contentious for half a decade now. (Courtesy of David F. Ashton)

Eastmoreland Historic District application to be resubmitted

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

The Oregon State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) intends to resubmit the nomination for the proposed Eastmoreland National Register Historic District to the federal National Park Service (NPS), with a request to list it in the National Register of Historic Places, in June 2022.

That’s the word THE BEE received from Ian P. Johnson, Associate Deputy State Oregon Historic Preservation Officer on April 14, as the years-long, deeply-contested, and surprisingly-tortuous process continues.

“Our office is in the process of contacting the Eastmoreland Neighborhood Association – and those opposed to the application – letting all know that the proposed Eastmoreland Historic District nomination is being resubmitting to the NPS for consideration,” Johnson said.

“The State Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation adopted most recent rule revision at their April 13 meeting, and it will be filed with Secretary of State shortly, becoming effective once that is done, and being posted on May 1.” Johnson revealed to THE BEE. It’s Item 9b of a document found online at -- https://tinyurl.com/3w47t6x5  

The NPS will consider the nomination for up to 45 calendar days before making a final decision; SHPO is currently accepting public comments.

Original statements of objection must be mailed to Oregon State Historic Preservation Office Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, Oregon State Historic Preservation Office, EASTMORELAND HISTORIC DISTRICT, 725 Summer Street N.E., Suite C, Salem, OR 97301. Owners who previously submitted a statement of objection do NOT need to resubmit their form, unless contacted by the SHPO.

More information about the nomination process and how this may affect property owners, a copy of the nomination, and forms for property owners to object to the nomination, are available at – https://bit.ly/eastmorelandhd



This was Tigger, seen here alongside his “kitty condo”, constructed by the team of cat caretakers known as the Cat Posse. Tigger lived a long life in a managed feral cat colony along Southeast Portland’s Springwater Corridor near the Ross Island Bridge. The tabby was well-known to hikers, runners, and bicyclists who used the popular trail. He was the last cat from the original 18 kittens.
This was Tigger, seen here alongside his “kitty condo”, constructed by the team of cat caretakers known as the Cat Posse. Tigger lived a long life in a managed feral cat colony along Southeast Portland’s Springwater Corridor near the Ross Island Bridge. The tabby was well-known to hikers, runners, and bicyclists who used the popular trail. He was the last cat from the original 18 kittens. (Courtesy of Gary Quinn)

Final goodbye to the feral cats of the Springwater Trail

By PAIGE WALLACE
For THE BEE

For nearly two decades, users of the Springwater Corridor have walked, run, or biked past a colony of cats living near the Ross Island Bridge. They’ve seen the feral felines playing on the hillside beside the railroad tracks, and resting in their kitty condos. Last month, that managed colony lost its final member, Tigger. The 17-year-old tabby died on March 19 following a serious injury and a cancer diagnosis.

Tigger was part of several litters of kittens born or dumped in the area in 2005. They were too old to be fully tamed, so volunteers humanely trapped, neutered, and returned them to the area (a practice known as TNR).

“Everybody knew them,” remarked Westmoreland resident Anne Fischer, one of the cats’ regular feeders. “They had quite a following!”

Fischer and Gary Quinn, who lives in Ladd’s Addition, cared for the colony alongside a group of other cat lovers who met on the trail. They named themselves the “Cat Posse” once they started the daily feedings. They coordinated their schedules to ensure the cats had food each morning. They also filled plastic tubs with hay to create kitty condos that kept the cats warm and safe at night. The Cat Posse provided basic veterinary care, and rehomed tamer cats which showed up unexpectedly.

In late February of this year, Tigger began limping badly. Quinn tried luring him into a humane trap to take him to a vet, but couldn’t catch the wary feline. Over the next few weeks the injury seemed to be healing. Then, on March 19, Tigger suddenly became lethargic. Quinn easily caught him this time – a bad sign – and rushed him to Dove Lewis Emergency Animal Hospital.

There, a vet diagnosed Tigger with multiple infected wounds, and suggested that a larger animal had attacked him. Just as tragically, a blood test revealed he was also suffering from end stage kidney disease. So that night Quinn, and another cat posse volunteer. stood by Tigger’s side as he was humanely euthanized.

“It was a terrible day,” Quinn sighed. Fisher chimed in, “But I’m grateful he was inside and surrounded by people who cared about him.”

The cat posse gathered on the trail the next day for a small funeral, remembering Tigger as a feline Huck Finn who lived out a grand adventure. They buried Tigger alongside his colony-mates Bumper and Shadow, who had passed away in 2014 and 2018, respectively. All three graves are marked by wooden crosses, which Quinn constructed. Attendees left flowers on the fence as a tribute. Trail users have since added to the impromptu memorial.

Alongside the bouquets, Quinn posted a note to the public. It told of Tigger’s death and described him as a beacon of hope – a tribute that had been shouted out by a runner one day as he jogged past Quinn and the cat. “This feeding station is being permanently closed,” the note concluded.

Meanwhile Fischer announced Tigger’s death to Inner Southeast Portland residents via social media. "It was so important to put that notice in NextDoor," she explained. “Hundreds of people, trail users, have watched those cats for 17 years!” More than 150 people responded with reactions or comments.

“Thanks for posting this. Always happy to see him on my bike rides. RIP Tigger,” commented Diane Lozovoy, who lives in Eastmoreland.

“I loved that colony of cats; I used to stop and pet some of them one my way to work,” wrote Aliza Earnshaw of Sellwood-Moreland. She observed that the wary cats only occasionally let her make such contact.


Feral cat caretakers Anne Fischer and Bruce Wayne – members of the “Cat Posse” – pause in front of the site where for years they fed and protected a colony of neutered feral cats near the east end of the Ross Island Bridge.
Feral cat caretakers Anne Fischer and Bruce Wayne – members of the “Cat Posse” – pause in front of the site where for years they fed and protected a colony of neutered feral cats near the east end of the Ross Island Bridge. (Photo by Paige Wallace)

Members of the Cat Posse, who are mostly retired, said they’ll now spend more time nurturing their already tight friendships with each other. “It started out with us all loving cats,” Fischer recalled, but it quickly became much more personal. “It’s the camaraderie that keeps going; the bond you have,” added Bruce Wayne, another of the cat caretakers.

They’ll also have a little more change in their pockets. Since 2005, the Cat Posse has paid for all of the colony’s food and veterinary care. Occasionally a trail user would stop and hand them $20 to help out, Wayne said, but the financial responsibility ultimately fell to the members of the group.

 

In the days to come, Fischer, Quinn, and Wayne are concerned about people dumping cats at the site. They want to make it clear that the colony is over, and unwanted animals deserve a better life. “How meticulous we were for 17 years, to make sure no other cats joined them. We’re not doing that anymore,” Fischer said firmly.

For Quinn, protecting the Springwater Corridor feral colony has been a life-altering journey. “Those cats…” Quinn trailed off as he pondered Tigger and the other ferals that let only a few special humans into their wild world.

“Those cats and I got old together,” he added, finally.






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