Community Features

The "Events and Activities" for the month are below these featured stories!

Sellwood, 13th Avenue, 1940s, World War II, history, Sellwood, Southeast Portland, Oregon
A 1940s snapshot of the 13th Avenue and Tacoma Street intersection, looking north – showing how Sellwood looked then. Sellwood Motor Service is on the right, and the Leipzig Café in its second location is on the left. The electric bus (in the distance, powered by overhead wires) had replaced the streetcar that once ran north on 13th to Westmoreland. (Courtesy of SMILE History Committee)

Inner Southeast during World War II

Special to THE BEE

Few cities will be commemorating December 7th, 1941, this year, although that is a date that still “lives in infamy”, as President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared at that time.

The Fate of America was put into jeopardy on that day, when Imperial Japan dispatched a contingent of aircraft carriers with “Japanese Zero” aircraft, to the Hawaiian Islands and began bombing and strafing our military base at Pearl Harbor in Hawai’i. Over 2,400 serviceman and civilians were killed, and four battleships were sunk, in a single day that triggered the involvement of America in World War II, against Germany, Japan, and Italy.

While many of us don’t remember this time, since it was over 76 years ago, details are easy to find in history books, and there are still numerous documentaries about that fateful day and the war that followed.

What piqued my curiosity was what were the residents of Sellwood, Westmoreland, and elsewhere in Inner Southeast thinking and doing, when the United States entered a war that had already been underway for two years in Europe?

Most of the information I compiled about the time during the war is from THE BEE, and from past interviews of local residents who lived through the decade of the 1940’s here.

Before the war, Inner Southeast – like the rest of the nation – was still feeling the effects of the worldwide economic depression of the 1930s. Jobs were finally slowly becoming available, and residents found everyone, from the elderly to schoolchildren, happy to help each other. Young people, like the Bechold kids who lived on Sherrett Street, often volunteered to water their neighbors’ gardens, pick up an item for them at the store (only two blocks away, on the corner), or stack canned food at the pharmacy, in exchange for an ice cream cone or a simple thank-you.

There were people here still living in fear, out of work, with little if any money, and wondering where their next meal would come from – but neighbors held weekly potlucks to share with others what little they had. Those with plenty of food were able to offset the shortage from others.

Get-togethers for those who enjoyed singing, dancing, and playing card games occurred almost weekly, and many men joined one of the local social groups. Fraternal groups “for men only” then included the Masons, the Elks, the Redmans Club, and the IOOF. Ladies’ clubs included church groups like Dorcas, the Society, the Blackmars, the Rebeccas, and the Lavender Club. Playing cards and having tea and desserts were the highlight of every gathering.

Almost every student knew how to play an instrument, and Sellwood had its own band which could be hired out for special performances and summer events.

Life went on as usual in the city of Portland, as it did in many other cities around the nation. The Westmoreland Community Club and the Sellwood Commercial Club were making plans for their monthly dances and events to raise money for the community.

Portland Mayor Early Riley was preparing the city for a homecoming celebration for the military troops of the 41st Division in 1941, as reported on the front page of the THE BEE.

Nearly 6,500 solders, many from around Oregon, were expected to set up tents in a temporary camp on Swan Island. A huge barbecue was planned for the young men, with meat provided by the State Game Commission, to be prepared by various Greek restaurant owners in Portland. Besides a parade and free accommodations and food, the city also made arrangements for dancing, free admission to any movie theater, and free transportation from Swan Island to the downtown city lights.

Little did anyone know that within the next few days those preparations would be canceled after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The servicemen who planned on visiting Portland on their way to Camp Lewis in the State of Washington would be deployed immediately into military action.

Most of those living on the West Coast were unprepared and shocked when news arrived of the bombing at Pearl Harbor in December of 1941. News was slow to come, and the wait for it was agonizing for family members whose sons and fathers had enlisted in the military, and it took nearly two weeks before THE BEE could print a list the first local casualties.

Eighteen year old John E. Burges, who had attended Sellwood School, was killed in action aboard a ship at Pearl Harbor on that fateful day. His family was informed of his death by a cable from the State Department two days later. The parents of Burr McKinley were relieved when they found out that their son had survived the sinking of his ship, the U.S.S. Oglala – a vessel which had also served in World War I.

Much of the news sought so anxiously by local residents was delayed, however, due to government officials who feared giving out any information, even to the public, would comprise the nation’s security and reveal the weakness or strength of military operations.

Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Hall had to wait in agony for the whereabouts of their son Burson. His parents last heard from him when he was stationed in Hawai’i. The only reply they could get from the war department was that they didn’t know where he was, or even if he was still stationed at Pearl Harbor during the invasion.

It was such constant worry and concern that parents and loved ones would have to live through during World War II; the nation was on pins and needles listening to news updates on their radios. This was the first major conflict since radio had become popular, and network commentators like H.V. Kaltenborn and Edward R. Murrow, reporting from war areas overseas, became familiar voices in Southeast homes.

The fighting spirit and patriotic feelings of the citizens stayed strong during the war era. The people united by contributing to the war cause in many ways. At Sellwood and Brooklyn Schools, “Victory Gardens” were planted and maintained on or near school grounds, cared for by students, to grow vegetables in anticipation of food shortages.

So many men had rushed to sign up for military service that many farmers became desperate for laborers to help harvest their crops. Workers were in short supply in every industry due to all the enlistments, and rationing became a way of life for every American as industries geared up to supply the war effort.

War Bond sales and collection drives were begun, and every citizen was expected to pitch in and support the cause. The ladies of Sellwood had already started a Red Cross drive two months before the declaration of war, and they continued to meet regularly at the Sellwood Community House. A scrap-metal drive was started immediately, relying on children going door-to-door and collecting whatever metal anyone could contribute.

Geri Griffith, who attended Sellwood School, was curious about why suddenly all the teachers looked old. That was because many of the male teachers had signed up and been sent overseas as solders, so the school district had to hire teachers who had retired years before. Photos of the 1945 senior class at Commerce High School (it wasn’t until 1949 that it became Cleveland High) revealed just five boys graduating among the class of 105. Many of the boys had managed to join the military, even though they were under-aged.

Mobilization was quickly instituted in the neighborhood. Air raid warning sirens for use in blackout conditions were installed at the Sellwood Fire Department. Households were given instructions about keeping windows covered with black paper at night, to prevent lights showing which could alert any enemy aircraft to the location of the city.

Protection was demanded by residents and by local leaders. The Sellwood Fire Department, along with other neighboring fire bureaus, announced the distribution of free sandbags for homeowners who requested them. Between 50 and 100 pounds of sand could be provided to be stored in the attic of houses, as possible protection against any incendiary bombs that could be dropped by Japanese aircraft. (In the end, Portland did not experience any air raids.)

In 1941, just before the outbreak of the war here, the government contracted industrialist Henry J. Kaiser to develop a ship-building operation at Swan Island in North Portland. The Portland Airport had been located on Swan Island, but a new location for it near 40th and N.E. Marine Drive was completed in 1940. Within the next year, another shipyard was constructed in the St. Johns community along the Willamette River, and yet another across the Columbia River at Ryan’s Point in Vancouver, Washington.

Skilled workers and laborers were needed for wartime production, and many jobs were advertised widely. People flocked in from the South and the Midwest to fill them. By 1942, over 76,000 people had been recruited to the West Coast, and were kept busy locally working in these three shipyards. By the following year, over 97,000 men and women were working three different shifts around the clock in each one.

More than 10,000 workers in the Vancouver shipyards were women, and the Kaiser ship-building operation provided an opportunity for African Americans to become proficient at a skilled craft at a high wage that elsewhere they had not had access to before.

Housing for this huge influx of new workers was at a minimum, and residents of Sellwood and Westmoreland took to renting out rooms in their houses for them – or building new apartment complexes in the neighborhood. Six housing projects were built in the City of Portland to accommodate the increase, the most famous one of which being the ill-fated Vanport, and the Guild’s Lake Project in North Portland.

Locally, the Kellogg Housing Project, south of Sellwood and opposite Garthwick, in Clackamas County, was finished in the spring of 1942. The project included 100 single family dwellings that rented for from $7.50 to $12.00 per month. Limitations on applications were confined to families whose members were working in military institutions like the Kaiser Shipyards. The interurban trolley lines running through today’s Springwater Corridor alignment provided cheap and easy transportation to their workplace on Swan Island or downtown.

In 1942, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 to relocate Japanese Americans from the West Coast to interior sections of the U.S. First-generation Japanese Americans who were loyal to America were nonetheless forced to sell their property, furniture, and many personal belongings, and were sent to live in internment camps until the war ended.

Grace Yasamura Aoki, who was a prominent teacher in the Portland School District, was just 12 years old when her six siblings and her parents were interned in a camp at Merced, California. Like many others, she didn’t understand why they were being persecuted simply because of their nationality. Few newspapers mentioned that, the year previously, Roosevelt had signed Executive Order 8803, which barred racial discrimination in the war industry workplace.

Machinery, small parts, and engines were almost impossible for civilians in Inner Southeast to purchase, as factories that once manufactured small industrial machines were now used to produce military weapons and materials. An example of this was the Saunter Spray Company in the Brooklyn neighborhood: Unable to order any new paint sprayers for the coming summer, they were down to only one good paint sprayer that had to be shared among all of the other commercial and residential house painters in the area.

War news was on the minds of everyone here, and subscriptions to THE BEE – at the time, a paid-circulation weekly newspaper – reached an all-time high, as residents were anxious to stay abreast of local information coming from the worldwide war. Nearly eighty percent of the news printed in the local paper concerned which of our lads were headed overseas, and who was home on leave.

Other articles included friendly competition between who could grow the most vegetables from in their Victory Gardens, and updates on the rationing of gasoline, tires, sugar, butter, and other commodities and supplies. Schoolchildren and Boy and Girl Scouts were regularly praised for starting paper drives – and collecting metal and tin, or other strategic materials, for the American “war drives”.

Movie theaters in Inner Southeast were packed on the weekends, as people flocked to watch musicals like Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma” which, for the time they spent there, made them feels good during such distressing times. Also, newsreels about the war’s progress were also shown every week as part of the movie show, and viewers were anxious to keep up with current events.

For young folks, a visit to the Brooklyn Pharmacy or Livingston’s corner store at 13th and Umatilla were the perfect solution for a boring weekend. Besides buying a soda or a fistful of candy, they could read the latest in comic books that were popular at the time. Many of their favorites included “Captain America” and “Wonder Woman” comics; and if you couldn’t afford to buy them, you tried to read them in the store, until the disgruntled store clerk shooed you out the door for not purchasing anything.

Radio set sales were at an all-time high at the Sellwood Appliance Company, where RCA radios sold for $17.95, and everyone wanted to keep abreast of the latest news of the war, or follow the radio entertainment shows. Besides the national and local news, other radio shows – this was before television – included The Life of Riley, Jack Benny, Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy, The Lone Ranger, The Shadow, The Whistler, a variety of soap operas, Fibber McGee and Molly, live music remote broadcasts, and Your Hit Parade with Frank Sinatra, among many others.

Residents who attended the monthly Westmoreland Community Dances refused to be bothered that there were shortages of gasoline, of food, and even a shortage of men. Girls danced with each other, or with solders when they were on leave – dancing to the popular songs “Boogie Woogie Bulge Boy”, Duke Ellington’s “Take the A Train”, and the big bands – including that of Glenn Miller, who himself died during the war when his small plane plunged into the English Channel.

World War II came to an end first with an armistice in Europe, and then months later – after four years of America battling back to regain control of the Pacific – Japan surrendered officially in 1945.

Portlanders greeted their returning servicemen with open arms, and a new era of postwar prosperity began. While many of the hard times of the war years have gradually faded away and been forgotten, December 7th, 1941, remains a day and a lesson that Americans should always keep in our memories.

Moreland Monster March, Westmoreland, Halloween, Southeast Portland, Oregon
After a little rain, sunshine greeted participants of the Monster March by the time they turned west on S.E. Bybee Boulevard. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Whether rain or shine, ‘Monster March’ annually invades Westmoreland


A tradition started by two Westmoreland neighbors in 2001, conceived simply as an uplifting event after the “9/11” tragedy, the “Monster March” has become probably the largest Hallowe’en celebration in Inner Southeast Portland.

For years now, it’s been organized and by the Sellwood Moreland Business Alliance (SMBA), and this year it took place on Sunday, October 28.

The procession stages each year at the entrance to Llewellyn Elementary School on S.E. 14th Avenue, but families always add to the throng along the way. The parade grows as it travels east on S.E. Tolman Street, heads south on Milwaukie Avenue to Bybee Boulevard, pivots west to 14th, and returns north to the school again.

For years, the front end of the March arrives back at the school before the back end has finished departing.

Many stores and businesses along the route hand out candy and other treats; PDX Sliders gave coupons for free kids’ burgers.

Passing rain showers didn’t dampen the spirit of the revelers; all remained merry as they walked with family and friends during this unique annual parade. And when everyone had completed the circuit they were treated to refreshments by local merchants on the playground of Llwellyn Elementary School, still clad in creative and spooky attire.

Woodstock Halloween, Woodstock neighborhood, Southeat Portland, Oregon
Inside the Woodstock Community Center, the Jones family – Mike, Sarah, and Nyomi – pose at the photo backdrop. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Woodstock again lights up with Hallowe’en fun


Citing safety, and camaraderie with other families and kids, Woodstock parents and kids go trick-or-treating along S.E. Woodstock Boulevard each year, between the Library and the Community Center. And they did so again this year on October 31.

The fun starts at the “Not So Scary Storytime” at the Woodstock Branch Library, and continues at 22 participating businesses on the way westward to the Woodstock Community Center, just west of BiMart.

Woodstock Neighborhood Association events coordinator Justin Schmidt confirmed, “We’re having a good time throwing our annual Hallowe’en party for the community; a free event for kids and their families – with treats along the boulevard, and crafts, snacks, carnival games and live music here at the Community Center.”

The combined effort of the WNA, the Friends of Woodstock Community Center, and Woodstock Community Business Association, filled the sidewalks with families out for a fun evening, and the Community Center swirled with Hallowe’en-themed activities.

“This annual party encourages families in our area to come together, meet their neighbors, and be more involved with their community,” Schmidt told THE BEE. “With this event, it’s all about raising good community spirit!”

Trunk or Treat, Halloween, Brentwood Darlington, Southeast Portland, Oregon
John Matych’s “old west gambling parlor” won the “Trunk-or-Treat Theme” award, presented by Stryker Reed – who was about to enjoy his birthday party, which was also being held at the Community Center at the same time. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

‘Spooktacular good time’ in Brentwood-Darlington


Volunteers from the Brentwood-Darlington Neighborhood Association (BDNA) again held a Pre-Hallowe’en party at the BDNA Community Center on afternoon of October 27

“This is the “Spooktacular Trunk-or-Treat” we put on for our neighbors,” grinned the neighborhood association’s President, Chelsea Powers, as families flocked to participate.

This year, seven families parked their vehicles in the western lot of the Brentwood-Darlington Community Center for the event, and many set up canopies to shelter their themed decorations from the passing rain showers while they handed out treats from their trunks.

“It’s free event, geared more toward elementary-school-age kids; so it’s not as spooky, because is held in the daytime,” Powers explained. “And, we try to always offer both edible and non-food treats, so kids with food allergies can be included as well.”

This year, the organizers also invited families whose kids go to school in the area but are not necessarily neighborhood residents, Powers pointed out.

Powers said they were thankful that the Reed family, who had booked the Community Center for their child’s birthday party, shared the space to make the Trunk-or-Treat possible. “This helps to make better our neighborhood; it’s one of our favorite community-building activities. It started really small, and has been gaining in popularity every year!”

Dana Beck, post office, retirement, historial, Southeast Portland, Oregon, Manzanita
Recently-retired postal employee Dana Beck stands in front of some of the historic photos he has put on display at the Brooklyn Post Office; others are still on display of the lobby of the Sellwood-Moreland Post Office. (Courtesy of LynAnn Beck)

Southeast historian retires from day job in Post Office


If you are looking for Dana Beck, who was until recently counter clerk at the Sellwood-Moreland Post Office, now you won’t find him at the Brooklyn branch he transferred to, either. 

After forty years of service with the U.S. Postal Service, Dana’s final work day was Friday, November 2. Although is will no longer be in ZIP Code 97202 on a daily basis, he will continue to write for THE BEE, as he has “about 25 story lines” to pursue. In the meantime, he and his wife are downsizing before putting their Montavilla home on the market. Once it is sold they will move to Manzanita, on the Oregon coast.

An only child, Dana was raised by his mother in Spokane, Washington, before moving to Northeast Portland at the age of five. Their home was next to the line that divided two school districts; Dana recalls that the boy next door attended Parkrose High School, while he went to David Douglas. He has not moved far; he and his wife live just two blocks from his boyhood home.

Dana has always liked history, and took the subject every year in high school, although he only needed one year’s history credit for graduation. He mused that his interest may have been spurred by stories told by his maternal grandfather in Nez Perce, Idaho, where Dana spent his summers – as a roustabout, during the hay harvest!  

As soon as he could get a work permit, he found after-school employment at the Dairy Queen on San Rafael Street, which he recalls at the time was the “only drive-in DQ east of 82nd Avenue”.  That, and the nearby Taco Bell, were hot spots on Friday and Saturday nights for students from both Parkrose and David Douglas High Schools. Muscle cars cruising 82nd Avenue was a weekend activity, he observed from behind the counter.

Following high school graduation in 1974, he stepped onto the bottom rung of the Post Office career ladder – sorting letters by typing ZIP Codes onto the mail.  After four years on a keyboard, he was ready to “break out, and be with humans”. Although not a stamp collector, he became  “Mr. Philatelic”, organizing and staffing specialty stamp shows. Leaving that position, he was able to become a temporary relief clerk at branch offices. 

“Some people are better at operating machinery and not dealing with people; I wanted to work at the counter because every day is different”, Dana commented.

Accepting temporary assignments was a good way to become familiar with the dynamics at each post office, and he spent time at Oak Grove, St. Johns, Midway, and Sellwood-Moreland. At this last station he found that both fellow workers and customers created a congenial atmosphere, and when an opening occurred there, Dana bid for the position. In 1992 he began his 21-year run at S.E. Bybee Boulevard and 16th Avenue.

That time marked the beginnings of the internet, and at the time it was a very busy postal station, with eight employees (four at the counter, and four more in sorting packages and mail, and performing other tasks). There also was a crew of mail carriers.

In 1996, the carriers were shifted to the brand-new Detached Carrier Unit at S.E. 17th and Ochoco Street, and as First Class mail continued to dwindle, so did staff at the Sellwood-Moreland Post Office. Finally, in 2013, number of personnel at Bybee were reduced to two employees, and Dana decided to try for a job at the Brooklyn Post Office, at S.E. 14th and Powell, facing the 17th Avenue eastbound offramp. And that is the office he has just retired from.

So how did Dana begin writing on neighborhood history for THE BEE?  Over the years, he heard tidbits of history from his customers, who he confesses he often remembered not by name but by their stories. In addition, he began volunteering for special events through SMILE, the Sellwood and Westmoreland neighborhood association, coordinating the music for “Holidays in Sellwood” for three years, and for “Sundae in the Park” for five years. He also acted as Master of Ceremonies (the man behind the microphone) at Sundae in the Park. 

Dana spent his time at Sundae in the Park, when not on stage, in the SMILE History Committee booth, with this writer and others. When he was elected to the SMILE Board, he often proposed story leads to SMILE Secretary and BEE editor Eric Norberg, who encouraged Dana to follow up and submit the stories himself.

Subsequently, Dana spent his lunch break, evenings, and weekends, developing his articles. His research included reading past issues of THE BEE, which is now 112 years old, on microfilm at the Sellwood library, and delving into other resources (especially City Directories, maps, and photo collections) at the Oregon Historical Society and Central Library. When he had any free time on weekends, he attended antique malls and expositions, seeking additional historic photographs. He shared his discoveries by putting framed prints with captions on the walls of both the Sellwood-Moreland and Brooklyn postal stations.

His first story described the history of the Staff Jennings Moorage at the west end of the old Sellwood Bridge. Dana learned that the 75-year old business was closing to permit the construction of the new Sellwood bridge. When he retrieved the original (1960’s) mail box application, he found that Jennings was required to have two neighborhood residents testify that the applicant was “reputable”. He followed through with an interview, and in his story revealed that Staff had begun as a lawnmower mechanic, living above his business on Macadam Avenue.   When people began purchasing power boats and needed mechanical help, he expanded his skills to service them. The family also loaned historic photos for the story.

Asked which stories gave him the most pleasure, Dana mentioned one that involved the Gottschalk family, who opened and operated the café and tavern by that name a century ago at the corner of 17th Avenue and Umatilla Street. When the story appeared he got a call from one of the descendants, who said that their mother was very thrilled to see her family written about.

One of his most elusive subjects was Chester Keller, who at age 100 died in the house in which he had been born, at S.E. 13th & Marion Street. Dana knew that Chet must have had a lot of stories to relate, but he evaded giving a formal interview. After his death Dana had to talk to a lot of neighbors in order to tell the story of Chet’s century in Sellwood, but he felt honor-bound to do it. “Some people do not realize how their ‘ordinary’ lives contribute to a community’s history, but the stories always help build a bigger picture,” he explained. 

In Dana’s quarter century in the SMILE and Brooklyn neighborhoods he has been more than a friendly face and efficient Post Office employee. He volunteered a lot of his non-work time to the benefit of its residents – through SMILE, and later, through his stories about its history.

If we have benefited from his years with us, he also did so personally. In his bachelor years he ventured to the foot of Tacoma Street for an evening of dancing at the Rockin’ Rodeo bar and dance club. He was soon approached by an attractive woman who asked if he would like to dance. Happily he did, and he ended up marrying LynAnn!

Although they will both be moving to the Oregon coast sometime in the near future, for the present Dana will continue to work on his stories for THE BEE, and he and I will continue to lead walking tours of the neighborhood for the Architectural Heritage Center in the summertime. 

And finally, now that he is retired, he and I will both have time to begin work on our History of the Sellwood-Moreland neighborhood.

Sciencepalooza, Lewis Elementary School, Woodstock, Southeast Portland, Oregon
“Loose Screws”: Wilson High juniors Rachel Weirnick (center rear) and Rispa Vranka (right) share their award-winning robot with Lewis School students and parents. (Photo by Elizabeth Ussher Groff)

‘Sciencepalooza’ delights – at Lewis Elementary School


How often do we have a chance to touch a human brain? On October 19th, at Lewis Elementary School in Woodstock, students had that opportunity, at a new Lewis PTA sponsored event – “Sciencepalooza.”

The school’s cafeteria was packed with students, parents, and guardians. The gathering encouraged participants to explore science together.

Nonprofit organizations, science professionals, parent scientists, Lewis alumni, middle school students, high school and college students, and representatives of scientific governmental organizations had all been invited to present fun and informative hands-on exhibits to Lewis students of all grades.

Human brains, robots, infrared technology, math games, earthquake engineering, slime, interactive exhibits on watershed restoration, environmental and veterinary science, and electricity were among the topics and activities that evening.

Lewis parent Susan Rosenkranz was the organizer and coordinator of all of the participants. She described it as “a celebration of the sciences — an evening of curiosity, creativity, and critical thinking.”

The evening was also called a “STEAM” (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) night. The hands-on activities by professionals and students in STEAM fields included art, and opportunities for creative problem solving. The collaboration across art and STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) especially appealed to Rosencranz, who has a degree in both graphic arts and medical anthropology.

“STEAM intertwines science and art. There is even a growing body of research documenting improved retention of content and long-term learning, when the arts are integrated into the classroom,” explained Rosencranz.

At the table for the nonprofit “NW Noggin”, volunteers explained brain functions to the students. Aaron Eisen, a PSU student and NW Noggin volunteer, said that donated human brains are obtained from registered organ donors, and are incinerated unless they are used for teaching or research, so they take them along to exhibits.

A few tables away were two Wilson High School juniors, whose “Loose Screws” robotic team had created a robot that made it to an international competition in Houston in April of this year. They were busy demonstrating the robot to students and parents.

Rosencranz reported that every individual and organization that she asked to participate had responded positively. “We reached out to the local science community, and received an enthusiastic response. They were excited to share their passion for the sciences and creativity with our school.”

Rosencratz acknowledged Reed professor Presence O’Neal and Reed science students for their participation and their ongoing educational outreach to Lewis. She also thanked Wilson High School students, Sellwood Middle School, PSU students, the Johnson Creek Watershed Council, Oregon Health & Science University, NW Noggin, Saturday Academy, DEQ, and Metro for their exhibits.

Rosencranz was grateful to the Lewis parents who collaborated with her on Sciencepalooza. In particular, she mentioned Anja Stadler, Janel and Dan Sabota, Mark Rosencranz, Matt Stevens, and Karen Doersam; and parents who had exhibits – Jessica Kleiss (Lewis & Clark professor of Environmental Studies), zoologist Tara Lilley, and engineer John Wolf.

“I was thrilled with the turnout and the interest in science. Other scientists, and Lewis parents and students as well, have already expressed interest in getting involved and facilitating activity tables next year.

“I’m thrilled by the positive feedback and desire to keep Sciencepalooza going. I can’t wait to see what form it takes next year.”

Furthermore, Rosenkranz is happy to talk with anyone from other schools who might seek organizing details about creating a similar event which shares science exhibits from the Portland community. E-mail her at –

Harvest party, Foser Powell, paved community garden, Powell Boulevard, Southeast Portland, Oregon
A popular family activity at the Foster Powell Community Garden “Harvest Party” was decorating pumpkins, donated without charge by the Garden to its visitors that day. (Photo by Rita A. Leonard)

Foster-Powell Community Garden ends season with Harvest Party


Scores of visitors showed up for the end-of-season Harvest Party at the unique Foster-Powell Community Garden, on Saturday, September 22.

In spite of intermittent showers that day, attendees enjoyed the potluck while exploring the harvest bounty in the unusual garden site S.E. 62nd and Powell Boulevard, built on an asphalt pad, formerly the site of a gas station. Consequently, raised garden beds are a hallmark of the garden.

Gardeners have tried planting fruit trees with some success, but the blistering heat this summer killed some of those off. “We're still learning how to handle tree root balls,” remarked Garden Director Stacey Keller. “It’s a learning experience, but we'll try again. During summer, garden members met weekly for ‘Watering Wednesdays’, but this Harvest Festival is our last big event of the year.” 

Keller added, “We had about 25 gardeners this year for our 16 raised beds and community areas. Many folks brought their kids to help, and to learn where their food comes from. We had many new gardeners; some even signed up today. They’re excited to learn about fall and winter crops.”

Indeed, many vegetables were still on the vine during the party – including squash, eggplant, and many varieties of tomatoes, including black and “mini-tomatoes”, which are even smaller than cherry tomatoes.

Garden representative Nicole Obog stepped to the microphone to thank donors, including those who brought potluck items and desserts: “Dave and Kristie from Bamboo Grove Hawaiian Grille brought hot trays of rice, chicken, and yakisoba; Rocio’s Restaurant donated chips and salsa; and some folks just donated money. Thank you all! By the way, we’d really like to develop a Garden Board, since we're working to fund a new fence along S.E. 62nd Avenue.”

Activities at the party included the raffle of a terrarium, face-painting, self-service pumpkin painting, and apple-stencil wall hangings. Sarah Jean of “Face Scapes” created detailed face paintings for kids and adults. Pumpkins donated by the Garden were free for decorating, as were small treats for kids. There was live music, too, performed by the group “Huge Manatee”.

If you haven’t noticed the “garden on asphalt” while driving by on Powell Boulevard, keep an eye out for it next time you pass 62nd Avenue.

Hazeltine Park, nature spot, upgrade, Brentwood Darlington, Southeast Portland, Oregon
The revitalization of Hazeltine Park looks nearly complete on this sunny day, as students from Woodmere Elementary put in new plants. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Hazeltine Park ready for December 1 reopening


After being out of service for most of the summer while getting a makeover, Hazeltine Park, in the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood along S.E. Flavel Drive, will officially reopen on Saturday, December 1.

Acquired by Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) in 2001, it is one of the most inexpensive parks to improve they’ve had, thanks to labor contributions. Work began to upgrade the park, which is named in honor of Brentwood-Darlington’s “honorary mayor” Dick Hazeltine, back in May.

At one of the “planting parties” on the morning October 15th, dozens of fourth- and fifth-grade students from Woodmere Elementary School were on hand to help to plant some of the 3,000 native species being installed as part of the upgrade.

“This park is in the final stages of completion; we’ve been transforming the park from an open lawn by adding ‘Nature Patch’ areas – and beautiful split-rail fencing, to define the planting beds and paths that we’ve created,” smiled PP&R’s “Ecologically Sustainable Landscapes Program Coordinator”, Eric Rosewall.

“Adding ‘Nature Patches’ is a new program of the Parks Bureau, used in underutilized park spaces, bringing more value – for habitat, pollinators, and the people who visit them – by bringing a little slice of nature back here, close to home, to where people live and play,” Rosewall told THE BEE.

Some parents came along that day with the school’s teachers, to help the youthful green-thumbs dig and plant.

“I jumped on the opportunity for us to come; this provides kids with hands-on experience of planting, using tools, and understanding the difference between native plants versus invasive species,” remarked their teacher, Emily Kinney. “And, we all think it’s pretty cool to be out helping improving the neighborhood, and community where they live!”

Ribbon Cutting on December 1
PP&R, the Brentwood-Darlington Neighborhood Association, and the Johnson Creek Watershed Council have joined to invite everyone interested to come for yet another “planting party”, plus the official ribbon-cutting celebration, from 9:00 a.m. until noon on Saturday morning, December 1.

Woodstock Farmers Market, KeyBank, Woodstock Boulevard, Woodstock neighborhood, Southeast, Portland, Oregon
On the last day of the season, there was a good turnout at the Woodstock Farmers Market. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Woodstock Farmers Market: 2018 a banner year


When a forecast rainstorm didn’t materialize during the last weekly market of the 2018 season, a bumper crop of shoppers showed up for the Woodstock Farmers Market to buy prepared foods, late-season vegetables, and tree fruits.

Since it was the weekend before Hallowe’en, many of the kids present were dressed in costume, as they shopped with their parents.

“This is the close of our eighth season here – and it’s wonderful to see so many families and kids come out today,” smiled Market Manager Emily Murnen. “Our season was really great; which included having two new farms join, and stay with us throughout the entire season.”

A full complement of as many as 33 vendors interacted with a weekly average of 1,800 adult shoppers, she said. “It’s so good that people come out and support our Woodstock Market and its vendors; we feel really honored to be so accepted, here, by our community!

“We’re very appreciative of Woodstock KeyBank, our Presenting Sponsor which provides us with this great space [on their parking lot].

“And, each week, some twenty volunteers help with set up, run our token, SNAP, and kids’ programs – and then, tear down at the end of the day,” commended Murnen. “We could not do this without the help of our wonderful volunteers – many of whom have been with us from our first market.”

According to their end-of-season vendor survey, the Woodstock Farmers Market should see 90% of their vendors return next year.

To keep up with market’s activities off-season, you can always go online –

Shayla Mazer, head in a jar, jar head, Halloween, costume, Woodstock, Southeast Portland, Oregon
At the final weekly Woodstock Farmers Market of the year, fifth grader Shayla Mazer delighted everyone with the unique Hallowe’en costume she’d made herself. Her mother, smiling in the background in a pink Hallowe’en wig, said Shayla had a great time posing for photos that day. (Photo by Elizabeth Ussher Groff)

In Woodstock: Best Hallowe’en costume ever…?


On October 28th, the last day this year for the weekly Woodstock Farmers Market, many children and parents came to the market in Hallowe’en costumes. In a week of national tragedies, it was a joyfully distracting sight to see so many children and adults enjoying each other’s creativity, colorful costumes, and occasional quirkiness.

One unique costume had dozens and dozens of people stopping to take pictures, all the while smiling widely. 

Shayla Mazer, a 5th grader whose mother has the vendor stall Sandy Bluff Farm, was seemingly separated from her head. Yes, she appeared to be carrying her head around in a large plastic jar!

When asked about the costume, she raised her voice to be heard through the plastic jar.

“My mother bought the [big blue] coat at Goodwill, and we went to WinCo to get the cheese balls jar,” she reported. (According to her younger brother, Gus, the whole family had enjoyed emptying the 28-ounce jar by eating the soft cheese balls.)

When asked if the costume was her idea, she said yes – but that she had been aided by a search for sample costumes on the Internet. “I never really get store-bought costumes,” she remarked.  “I usually make my own. Store-bought costumes are almost always lower quality, and they’re kind of flimsy.”

Shayla’s mother, Melanie Arthur, confirmed that her daughter is creative. After all, a fifth grader carrying her head around in a jar is not to be sneezed at. (Particularly not when inside a jar.)

Shayla’s final comment on her costume was, “It’s kind of like an optical illusion.” 


Southeast Events and Activities
“Nutcracker Cracked” returns to nonprofit Puppet Museum:
Portland Puppet Museum in Sellwood revives its wacky send-up of the beloved Nutcracker Ballet. “You’ve never seen a version quite like this. Imagine – the entire ballet in 38 minutes – what a time saver!! It’s a miniature satire of epic proportions, with Tchaikovsky's enchanting music, and 84 rod puppets. It came out wild and crazy - and oddly enough appropriate and fun for children as well.” Shows are 45 minutes long. Suitable for the whole family. 2 p.m. today at the museum, 906 S.E. Umatilla Street. Also shows 2 p.m. tomorrow, 2 p.m. on December 22 and 23, and 2 p.m. December 29 and 30. On Friday, December 28, it’s a Family Night Out performance at 7:30 p.m., which includes hot chocolate and cookies. Tickets $8 in advance, and $10 at the door.

Third Sunday of Advent at Moreland Presbyterian:
Part of the worship at 9:30 a.m. will be the Chancel Choir performing “And Peace On Earth” by Bob Chilcott. Open to all. The church is situated at 1814 S.E. Bybee Boulevard in Westmoreland.

Christmas Cantata at 10 this morning: Hear and enjoy a taste of the Christmas Season this morning at 10 a.m., when the Community Choir at Mt. Scott Presbyterian Church will perform during a service of music, worship, and fellowship. Open to all. The church is situated at S.E. 73rd and Harold Street. Call 503/771-7553 for more information.

Live Christmas songs and melodies at Reedwood Friends Church: 7 p.m. this evening, enjoy an evening of instrumental and vocal Christmas music with piano, guitars, reeds, brass, and percussion. “Eclectic Christmas” offers Holiday tunes in a variety of musical styles from jazz to folk to pop to bluegrass, with Nathanael Ankeny, Nate Macy, Aaron Pruitt, Nolan Staples, Melissa Thomas, and Frank Verhoorn. Please bring canned food donations for the Oregon Food Bank. CD’s available for purchase.

Blood drive today in Woodstock:
The American Red Cross will be hosting a blood drive at Woodstock Bible Church this afternoon from 2 to 7 p.m. The church may be found at 5101 S.E. Mitchell Street. To schedule your appointment, or for more information, please visit; Sponsor Code: Woodstock. Walk-ins are also welcome, and are accommodated as the schedule permits. Thank you for donating.

Three-day Lego STEAM Camp at Woodstock Library:
For those in grades 6 through 12, today through Thursday 2-4 p.m., build amazing in-depth Lego creations that move and respond using RC motors, Power Function, and Technic parts. Free, but registration is required. Register in the library, or by calling 503/988-5123. The Woodstock Library is on the corner of Woodstock Boulevard and S.E. 49th Street.

Make a Winter Bird Feeder today:
At the Sellwood Branch Library, this morning there is a free class for kids and families to learn how to create a bird feeder for wintering birds. It’s fun and it’s free; 11 a.m. to noon today. The library is on the corner of S.E. 13th and Bidwell Street.

For kids and families – the story of Ebenezer Scrooge: At the Woodstock Branch Library, this morning 11 a.m. to noon, Traveling Lantern Theatre Company presents the classic tale of a miser's redemption. Ebenezer Scrooge is a nasty, mean, snarling old geezer, with no care for anything other than his money. His one and only friend visits him as a ghost, and starts him on a journey that melts his icy heart and teaches him the joys of caring for and giving to others. Free. The library is on the corner of S.E. 49th and Woodstock Boulevard.

Fourth Sunday of Advent at Moreland Presbyterian:
At 9:30 a.m. “Worship with Bells”. Wassail Party following. Open to all. The church address is 1814 S.E. Bybee Boulevard.

Christmas Eve at Moreland Presbyterian:
At 4 p.m. everyone is invited to “Intergenerational Family Worship”. The “Candlelight Communion Worship” is at 11 p.m., and also open to all. The church is situated at 1814 S.E. Bybee Boulevard.

“Bachxing Day” celebrated on Powell Boulevard:
Nonprofit “Classical Revolution PDX” is inviting musicians to perform today at its annual “Bachxing Day” celebration at “Artichoke Music”, 2007 S.E. Powell Boulevard, 7-10 p.m. “This will be a concert of ‘any Bach instrumentation, any interpretation’!” They are putting together a fun program featuring soloists and small ensembles who want to perform their favorite Bach-related pieces. As in years past, they also organize one large ensemble piece, and invite you to play in the group; this year it will be Brandenburg Concerto No. 3, and you don’t have to be a string player to join in. To be a participant, send the following information by e-mail to, – (1) Name, instrument/voice, and piece. Should be 5 to 15 minutes; (2) List any collaborators, or indicate you would like help finding additional musicians; (3) Indicate if you plan to participate in the large ensemble as well. (Artichoke Music has a baby grand piano and a sound system.) Not participating? Come and listen!

Recycle your Christmas Tree today, and benefit Cub Scouts:
Cub Scout Pack 351 this evening opens its annual Christmas Tree Recycling lot at St. Ignatius School, S.E. 45th Avenue at Powell Boulevard. Drop off your tree starting at 5 p.m. this evening, or on any day through January 12th. Hours are 5-8 p.m. weekdays, and weekends 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fee is ten dollars for trees, and seven dollars for wreaths and garlands. Or, if you wish, they will come pick it up from you! Call 503/912-4108 to schedule your convenient pick up! All funds raised go to providing the scouts the opportunity to go to summer camp.

Page-by-Page Art Journaling for adults at Sellwood Library:
Join writer and creative facilitator Anya Hankin to jump-start your creativity in the New Year, and explore intention-setting through the practice of “art journaling”. In this hands-on workshop, participants will be introduced to unique art-journaling techniques, such as inspiring writing prompts, mixed-media collage, stamping, and pen and ink illustration. Learn how to utilize your journal as a place for imagination and vision to unfold. Please bring your own blank journal; all other materials will be provided. It’s free, this afternoon 12:30-2 p.m., but registration is required. Register in the Sellwood Branch Library, S.E. 13 th at Bidwell, or by calling 503/988-5123.

Tech help for adults at Woodstock Library:
Do you have technology questions? Today, or any Monday this month except January 21, come to the Woodstock Branch Library for a free “one-on-one for 30 minutes” with a friendly, knowledgeable Tech Helper who will help you find answers to questions about mobile devices, websites, downloading, e-readers, getting started with tech, and more. If you need help with a smartphone, tablet or laptop please bring it with you. Remember to bring any usernames and passwords you might need. It’s free, but registration is required; register in the library, or by calling 503/988-5123. The sessions each day are scheduled between 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. The library is on the corner of S.E. 49th and Woodstock Boulevard.

Pageturners Book Group for adults at Woodstock Library:
Read “Born a Crime – Stories from a South African Childhood” by Trevor Noah, and then come to the Woodstock Branch Library this evening, 6:30-7:45  p.m., for conversation about books – and get to know your neighbors. Sponsored the by Friends of the Library. The location is on the corner of S.E. Woodstock Boulevard and 49th Avenue, and it’s free.

“Creating Life Inside” on stage at Rogue Pack:
“Creating Life Inside” is a stage presentation based on stories by young men aged 15-17 in Juvenile Detention at Donald E. Long. A Fertile Ground event in Sellwood by nonprofit “Rogue Pack”; Talkback and Reception after all shows. It starts tonight at Sellwood Playhouse, 901 S.E. Spokane Street, and runs tomorrow night and on February 1 and 2. All shows at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are free, but a donation of $20 would be welcome to support the theater. More information online –

“Micah and Me Family Dance Party” at Sellwood Library
: Kids and families are invited to enjoy “Micah and Me” with highly danceable music, plus an instrument petting zoo at the end of the dance party. It’s this morning, 11 to noon, at the Sellwood Branch Library, S.E. 13th at Bidwell Street. Free, but come early to be sure of getting into the party.

“Bollywood and Bhangra” dance workshop at Sellwood Library:
  Teens, you saw them in the Moreland Monster March and in THE BEE. Now, imagine being part of a Bollywood musical, with multicolored costumes coupled with high energy song and dance. Charismatic performer Prashant's dance workshops transport students into a world full of possibilities and big smiles, complete with the authentic Indian Head Shake. Teens at every skill level are welcome! It’s at the Sellwood Branch Library, on S.E. Bidwell at 13th Avenue, 6:30-7:45 p.m. this evening. Free.

“Affordable Child Care Conversation” for local residents:
Woodstock’s Trinity United Methodist Church offers three hour-long conversations – the first one is this evening, at 7 p.m. – about working together to find solutions for the challenges facing local families, including the issue of affordable child care in Inner Southeast Portland. Anyone interested is welcome. Children are welcome, and care will be provided at no cost during these sessions. There are two more besides tonight – February 4th at 7 p.m., and February 21st at 7 p.m. The location is at the church, 3915 S.E. Steele Street.

Brooklyn Cooperative Preschool open house this morning:
Today, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., you’re invited to stop by and learn more about the nonprofit Brooklyn Cooperative Preschool, in the Reed neighborhood – situated in the back of Reedwood Friends Church, 2901 S.E. Steele Street, just north of the Reed College Campus. The open house offers prospective families to visit the school, see the classrooms, talk with current members, and meet the teachers. Kids can explore activities and play in the three classrooms, while parents learn more, and consider joining the co-op.

Crab fundraiser for All Saints’, in Woodstock: Tickets are already available for the annual “Crackin’ Crab Feast” at All Saints Episcopal Church in Woodstock today. Two seatings are available, 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., at the church hall at 4033 S.E. Woodstock Boulevard. “Each year this has been a big hit for those who love crab and like to have a good time with family and friends, and advance tickets make for great presents at or after the Holidays!” At $40, the meal comes with all-you-can eat fresh crab, coleslaw, and bread. Tables can be purchased at a discount. A cash bar will be available as well, and children 6 and under eat free with a Mac and Cheese option. All proceeds support All Saints’ outreach ministries for weekly Hot Meals and a Dental Van providing free or low-cost dental care. For tickets or more information, go online – – or call Nancy at 1-916/202-7132.


     Useful HotLinks:     
Your Personal "Internet Toolkit"!

Charles Schulz's "PEANUTS" comic strip daily!

Portland area freeway and highway traffic cameras

Portland Police

Latest Portland region radar weather map

Portland Public Schools

Multnomah County's official SELLWOOD BRIDGE website

Click here for the official correct time!

Oaks Amusement Park

Association of Home Business (meets in Sellwood)

Local, established, unaffiliated leads and referrals group for businesspeople; some categories open

Weekly updates on area road and bridge construction

Translate text into another language

Look up a ZIP code to any U.S. address anywhere

Free on-line PC virus checkup

Free antivirus program for PC's; download (and regularly update it!!) by clicking here

Computer virus and worm information, and removal tools

PC acting odd, redirecting your home page, calling up pages you didn't want--but you can't find a virus? You may have SPYWARE on your computer; especially if you go to game or music sites. Click here to download the FREE LavaSoft AdAware program, and run it regularly!

What AdAware doesn't catch, "Malwarebytes" may! PC's--particularly those used for music downloads and online game playing--MUST download these free programs and run them often, to avoid major spyware problems with your computer!

Check for Internet hoaxes, scams, etc.

Here's more on the latest scams!

ADOBE ACROBAT is one of the most useful Internet document reading tools. Download it here, free; save to your computer, click to open, and forget about it! (But decline the "optional offers" -- they are just adware

Encyclopedia Britannica online

Newspapers around the world

Stain removal directions

Convert almost any unit of measure to almost any other

Research properties in the City of Portland

Local source for high-quality Shaklee nutritionals

Note: Since THE BEE is not the operator of any of the websites presented here, we can assume no responsibility for content or consequences of any visit to them; however we, personally, have found all of them helpful, and posted them here for your reference.


Local News websites:
The news TODAY

Local News

KATU, Channel 2 (Digital/HDTV broadcast channel 43)

KOIN, Channel 6 (Digital/HDTV broadcast channel 40)

KGW, Channel 8 (Digital/HDTV broadcast channel 8)

KPTV, Channel 12 (Digital/HDTV broadcast channel 12)

KRCW, Channel 32 (Digital/HDTV broadcast channel 33)

KPDX, Channel 49 (Digital/HDTV broadcast channel 30)