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September 2016 -- Vol. 111, No. 1

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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Eastmoreland, historical plan, ENA, Tom Hansen
Newly-installed ENA President Tom Hansen explains how the neighborhood association is governed. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Petitioned special Eastmoreland meeting ends calmly

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

Called by a petition of fourteen neighbors, as allowed by the Eastmoreland Neighborhood Association (ENA) bylaws, a special meeting was held in a Reed College classroom on the evening of Wednesday, July 27. The subject was the proposed “Historical District” proposal current under debate in that neighborhood, and reported in a headline story in the July BEE.

As it got underway, the tone of the meeting was indignant; but after a long discussion in the standing-room-only facility, it ended on a conciliatory note.

As Tom Hansen, the newly-appointed President of the ENA, brought the meeting to order, he reminded that due to the provision in the bylaws under which the meeting was called, no motions would be accepted or votes taken at the special meeting.

In the room crowded with about 60 people, everyone identified themselves, and indicated whether or not they were on the neighborhood association Board. Then, the petitioners also identified themselves by a raise of hands.

Addressed in the meeting was ENA Board’s support for establishing an Historical District.

Five issues were on the agenda:

1. The authority of the ENA Board to make decisions, with two of the officers having exceeded their terms.

2. The nature of the “poll” to be taken regarding establishing a Historical District in ENA.

3. The AECOM (the contractor selected by the ENA Board to facilitate the Historic District process) contract, and its authority, timeline, and commitments.

4. The financial status of the ENA.

5. Making Historical District petitioners’ materials publically available.

About officers overstaying their terms, Hansen said that now-Past-President Robert McCullough and now-past-Treasurer Bill Nichols had exceeded their terms as officers – but not as Board members – of the ENA.

“The nominating committee made a mistake; we’re publicly saying that we are sorry for this error, and conducted an emergency Board meeting to deal with this,” Hansen said.

He added that McCullough didn’t vote on any issues during the month or so before the error was realized and he graciously resigned the post.

“I don’t think there was a harm or a foul; I’m glad that you have apologized and of said you’re sorry,” a neighbor responded. “The concern is that what may have been jeopardized in this ‘loose process’ [may have] created this kind of animosity. Let’s put the thing to rest, and say that they could’ve been done better.”

Polling problems
Asked about the Historical District’s “official” poll, Hansen said the Board had not set up the balloting process, and hadn’t decided if all ENA households would be polled, or only those within the  proposed Historical District’s boundaries.

“This is a very complicated issue,” Hansen said. “This is more than an issue of raising a hand. We, as a Board, are very concerned that it be fair, accurate, and not manipulated in any way – by us, or by anyone else.”

Several neighbors said that, because ENA money was being spent on project, the entire neighborhood should get a vote.

About how the questionnaire is worded and presented, one neighbor opined, “We may disagree on the outcome, but we should agree on how we will conduct the vote and abide by the outcome.”

Some at the meeting wanted assurances about how the polling would be done, and gave specific suggestions.

“I’m not going to promise anything that specific,” Hansen said. “And, I think the Board is dedicated to the idea that the majority must support [the Historical District] before proceeding.”

Turning to the timetable for the Historical District project, some neighbors expressed concern about what seemed to them to be a rushed timetable for advancing the project.

The contract with AECOM does provide flexibility, Hansen commented.

A neighbors suggested that the ENA Board not proceed with the Historical District project during the September meeting, “until there is a Board hearing to talk about whether or not to proceed at all.”

ENA’s fiscal status
Neighbors next expressed concerns about an “anonymous benefactor” that some had believed donated funds to the neighborhood association, specifically to help advance the Historical District project research and application.

Hansen said that the association’s financial statements are online, available to neighbors to examine.

It came out, in the discussion, that the funds referred to flowed from a prior legal settlement. A provision of the settlement was that the neighborhood association leaders – the Board members – could not reveal the amount of the monetary settlement. However, neighbors who looked up the financials of the Association, and couple that with information from the Board, believed that it was clear that this is where the money came from, and not from any monies collected from residents in the neighborhood.

Past Treasurer Bill Nichols explained that those funds were not earmarked; and much of it had been used for neighborhood activities and improvements, such as paying water bills.

The total needed to fund the Historic District project was believed to total about $60,000, neighbors learned.

“There is going to be a special fundraising for the Historical District,” Nichols said.

“Should we have a discussion about how to spend our $60,000?” a neighbor asked. “That’s a lot of trees, that’s a lot of pruning, that’s a lot of elm inoculations, that’s a lot of watering for Reed College Place, and a lot of parade funding.”

Nichols responded, “At the time [the ENA Board began the project] everyone thought [the Historical District] would be overwhelmingly welcomed by the neighborhood to control the development. That’s why it was somewhat fast-tracked. I think there was a discussion about additional fundraising for an Historical District.”

Considerably calmer, opponents of the Historical District left the meeting still desiring to influence the polling process; the ENA Board says it wants fair polling to take place when it is appropriate. Opponents say they want to slow down the process; the Board would like to keep to their schedule, Hansen said.

In past years, the ENA Board has not met in August, due to a lack of quorum, so there has been no official Board meeting since this Special Meeting. Therefore, how the Historical District proposal will proceed – if it does – is as yet undetermined.



Movie, Eastmoreland, filming, Lean On Pete
Using this Eastmoreland home as a set for scenes in the film “Lean on Pete”, crews move equipment in and out the residence. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Hollywood comes to Eastmoreland to make a movie 

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

A row of trucks, with crews unloading equipment and supplies, lined S.E. 32nd Avenue, south of Woodstock Boulevard on Tuesday, August 16.

By the look of the gear being handled, scenes for another motion picture were being shot in the Eastmoreland neighborhood at 3131 S.E. Martins Street.

Inside the house, a bell rang, and crew members echoed the command, “All quiet”, as the film crew rolled another take.

The crew remained mum about the production – but on the transport vans and trucks, the title of the film was on display: “Lean on Pete”.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, it’s an adaptation of a novel penned in his Scappoose home by Willy Vlautin, about horse racing at Portland Meadows.

The film, adapted by writer-director Andrew Haigh, stars Travis Fimmel, Chloë Sevigny, and Steve Buscemi.

Buscemi isn’t a stranger to the city, having directed episodes of the TV comedy “Portlandia”. According to Vlautin’s website, Buscemi plays a brusque, over-the-hill horse trainer, working with an aging quarter horse named “Lean on Pete”.

Along comes a young boy named Charlie, and, “before long, Charley and Pete find themselves alone in an unforgiving landscape scattered with a vivid cast of characters, desperate situations, and glimmers of hope.”

The movie is slated for release in 2017.



Truck entrapment, double dump truck, Harold Street light, Westmoreland Union Manor
Officials say the steel chain link fence at Westmoreland Union Manor probably absorbed some of the car’s energy, helping it stop more safely. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Automobile sent flying, after getting caught in truck on McLoughlin

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

A most unusual two-vehicle accident occurred minutes past 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 18, on S.E. McLoughlin Boulevard, between Harold and Tolman Streets.

When THE BEE arrived where it all ended up, 30 feet south of S.E. Tolman, a Subaru Legacy Pzev had veered off McLoughlin, popped up and over the curb, flown over the highway’s right-of-way, had been slowed by the steel chain-link construction fence surrounding Westmoreland Union Manor, and finally come to a rest about ten feet from the building.

Portland Fire & Rescue’s Station 20 firefighter/paramedics were on-scene within moments, were able to extract a female driver from the smashed car, and helped her into a waiting AMR ambulance. She was said to be alert and conscious.

Both Portland Police Bureau Central Precinct and Traffic Division offers were puzzled, because the second vehicle involved in the crash was nowhere to be seen. Workers at the Manor told officers they believed a large dump truck with a trailer may have been involved in the accident.

About 10 minutes into the crash investigation, a big dump truck rig, towing a large dump trailer – both dumpers filled with sand and gravel – slowed while driving southbound on McLoughlin, and stopped just before Tolman Street.

It was the other vehicle, and he had looped around to return to the scene, bypassing the major culvert replacement project at the next exit. “I was going south, and I’d just passed the light at S.E. Harold Street, when I felt a ‘tug’ on my rig,” the driver of the North Fork Resources truck told THE BEE.

“Running heavy [with a full load], it takes a lot to jostle a big rig like this, so I checked my mirrors, and didn’t see anything,” the driver continued.

“Then, as I passed the construction area [at Tolman Street], I saw a quick flash of light in my left mirror, and though something might have happened.” he said. “I went down to the wide spot [near the Bybee Bridge] and waited for police to contact me.”

When no one showed up, the driver said he drove his rig back through the neighborhood, and again approached the accident scene. “I’ll never leave the scene of an accident,” he added.

Looking at the front, left corner of the rear trailer, the driver and a police officer surmised that the car’s driver had turned right on a red light at S.E. Harold Street, thinking she was pulling in behind the passing truck – and got wedged between the truck and the trailer, which were separated by a long tow bar. Stuck between the two halves of the truck, she was yanked down McLoughlin, until she was ejected at Tolman.

The editor of THE BEE has long advocated that drivers waiting to turn from Harold Street right onto McLoughlin Boulevard should face a “No Turn on Red” sign, because, he says, it is impossible to see 45 mph traffic approaching around the blind curve; and, since McLoughlin southbound narrows from three to two lanes right at Harold, those driving southbound in the right lane are looking to their left preparing to merge, and may not even notice a driver pulling out from Harold on a red light.



Providence, Bridge Pedal, Sellwood Bridge
With the morning sun to their backs, bicyclists start up the incline of the new Sellwood Bridge, during the Providence Bridge Pedal. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

“Bridge Pedal” brings thousands across Sellwood Bridge

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

In this, the 21st year of the “Providence Bridge Pedal”, the bicycle riders who signed up for the “Fremont Express” and “10-Bridge” routes were crossing the new Sellwood Bridge on Sunday morning, August 14.

In past years, the thousands of participants dodged barricades and were funneled into one westbound lane of the old bridge, next to the narrow sidewalk – used by those who wished to stop to take photos or selfies. 

Although the riders were still routed around the work area at the new bridge’s east approach, their ride then opened into a spacious surface, and a capacious sidewalk, on which to stop and soak in the skyline view of the city.

“We live in Westmoreland, and we’ve been looking forward to doing the Bridge Pedal over the new bridge for years,” smiled Becky Masterson, while pausing to take a selfie at the center of the bridge.

David and Jennifer Cleary of Southwest Portland commented, “We’re thrilled to be on this ride, touring this new bridge by bicycle.”

These riders, along with some 7,000 others, enjoyed the early morning ride on the brand new bridge in the cool air preceding a warm summer’s day.



Wallace Books, Westmorland, robbed, handgun, Julie Wallace
Just as Westmoreland’s Wallace Books – Inner Southeast Portland’s smaller alternative to Powell’s Books – was closing, on August 15th, it was robbed by a ski-mask-wearing woman with a handgun. (Photo by David F. Ashton)
Hilary Leah Bishop
No longer allegedly wearing a ski-mask disguise, and facing multiple armed robbery charges involving Wallace Books and two other Southeast businesses, is 44-year-old Hilary Leah Bishop. (MCDC booking photo)

Wallace Books’ armed robbery suspect caught, jailed

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

Westmoreland is known as a family-friendly, walkable neighborhood – not as a hotbed of crime.

So, when a stocky masked woman walked into Wallace Books on S.E. Milwaukie Avenue at five minutes before closing time on August 15 – armed with a handgun – it was a surprising circumstance.

“Lynn was working at the store at closing time, that evening,” owner Julie Wallace told THE BEE.

“She was concerned when she saw the woman was wearing a ski mask, and holding a gun in her hand,” Wallace reflected. “She’s never seen a gun up close, so she didn’t take a note of what kind it was.”

The bookstore worker quickly complied with the armed robber’s demand, and handed over some cash.

At first, all Portland Police Bureau (PPB) Central Precinct officers knew about it was that there had been an armed robbery, and the suspect left with money, and had been observed by a witness getting into a vehicle. But there was more to come.

“A good Samaritan neighbor saw the robbery go down,” Wallace revealed, filling in the story. “He watched the suspect get in the car, and take her ski mask off; then he wrote down the license plate, and the make and model of the car.”

“Officers canvassing the area located the suspect vehicle driving on S.E. McLoughlin Boulevard, and eventually stopped the vehicle at S.E. 31st Avenue and Holgate Boulevard,” reported police spokesman Lt. Pete Simpson.

After that, the suspect was taken into custody without incident.

PPB Robbery Division detectives booked 44-year-old Hilary Leah Bishop into the Multnomah County Detention Center (MCDC) at 11:46 p.m. that evening, on charges of Robbery in the First Degree (two counts), and Robbery in the Second Degree (three counts).

It was learned that the multiple criminal counts stemmed from Bishop also having been charged in connection with robberies at Palio Espresso in Ladd’s Addition on August 7, and Clogs & More in the Hawthorne District on August 15.

During her arraignment in Multnomah County Court the following day, the judge “released” Bishop from the three counts of Robbery in the Second Degree; but she remains in MCDC in lieu of a combined bail of $500,000 as she faces two Robbery in the First Degree charges.

“I’m really glad this person is off our streets, and I have only positive things to say about working with Portland Police,” Wallace concluded. “I’m really glad they are here, but I hope we don’t need their services, in quite this way, ever again.”

She is also very appreciative of her Good Samaritan neighbor. Wallace Books celebrates its anniversary in mid-September.



Fire Station 20, Westmoreland, Bybee Boulevard, Glenwood, culvert replacement, Crystal Springs Creek
Between calls, a Fire Station 20 lieutenant watches the work being done on the Crystal Springs Creek Restoration Project on three sides of the firehouse. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

SALMON WILL LOVE IT, WE’RE TOLD
Bybee Boulevard culvert replacement snarls traffic

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

Although the project was announced in THE BEE two issues ago, many people who drive, bicycle, and walk along S.E. Bybee Boulevard, just west of the Bybee Bridge, have been surprised by the long waits while construction crews work.

Even when flaggers aren’t stopping traffic, the lanes zigzag around open pits at the intersection of now-one-way S.E. 23rd Avenue, which currently only connects with southbound McLoughlin Boulevard.

To learn more about the project, THE BEE again teamed up with City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) Environmental Coordinator Ronda Fast, who provided information regarding Crystal Springs Creek Restoration project.

Starting in 2010, the restoration project has completed six projects:

  • S.E. 28th Avenue Culvert Replacement
  • S.E. Tenino to Umatilla Culvert Replacement;
  • Union Pacific Railroad Culvert Replacement Project
  • S.E. Tacoma Street Culvert Replacement Project
  • The extensive Westmoreland Park Restoration
  • The Eastmoreland Golf Course Culvert Replacement

“Six years ago, BES, along with many partners, began an effort to replace nine culverts that impede fish passage – especially for juvenile salmon and trout species, which rely on cool and consistent stream flows for rearing and spawning throughout the year,” Fast remarked.

“These two culverts under S.E. Bybee Boulevard and S.E. Glenwood Street, just south of Westmoreland Union Manor, are the last to be replaced along Crystal Springs Creek,” she said.

“Many people didn’t know that the creek flowed south from the Manor through two old and undersized culverts [adjacent to Westmoreland Fire Station #20] into Westmoreland Park,” Fast explained. “The constricted creek water flow prevented fish from traveling upstream. The project will enhance conditions in the creek, to benefit fish and wildlife and improve water quality.”

The project started in earnest at the beginning of the “in-water work window”, when creek flow is low, in late June – with the major work wrapping up around August 31, just in time for this issue of THE BEE to reach readers.

Those stopping to look down into the cavernous ditches noticed they are bone-dry as construction continues. “During the in-water work window, the contractor uses pumps at the Manor, diverting Crystal Springs Creek into a temporary 18” pipe, extending south to Westmoreland Park,” outlined Fast.

Specifically, this last part of the Crystal Springs Creek Restoration Project is replacing existing four-foot culverts with fourteen-feet-wide bridge spaces at S.E. Bybee Boulevard and Glenwood Street. “Contractors are also removing the concrete curbs along the banks of the creek, and replacing them with a new stream bed and banks comprised of large wood, gravels, cobbles, and small boulders.

In September and October, workers will rip out invasive plants in the project area, and new riparian plantings will put in to improve habitat for native birds, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals, and also reduce water temperatures.

The City of Portland got funding assistance for this through grants from Metro – and from the East Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District, which contributed $170,000 toward construction. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service contributed $50,000 toward project design.

Surprisingly, the fire trucks from Station 20, surrounded by the big dig, have not been impeded. “When the flaggers see us rolling out on a call, they stop the traffic in both directions and let us though,” reported a lieutenant on duty in the station.

By the time this article is read, traffic will likely be flowing smoothly again through the intersection. And, below the street, native salmon should be finding their creek much more inviting. Certainly much more so than the temporary 18” pipe between the Manor and the park that they have had to navigate all summer!





Holy Family Church Oktoberfest
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