Community Features

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

Sellwood Fire Station, horse drawn, Portland, Oregon
Here are the horses of Sellwood Fire Company #20, at the corner of 13th and Tenino (today the location of SMILE Station). Horses drew fire equipment to the fires until 1920, when they were replaced with motorized fire trucks. (Courtesy of the Historic Belmont Firehouse)

Animals and critters of Sellwood and Westmoreland

Special to THE BEE

No, the critters of Sellwood and Westmoreland were not all dogs and cats. We’re talking here about some of the more exotic animals that have shared their lives with folks in Inner Southeast Portland: Monkeys and Cheetahs and Parrots – Oh My.

Ever since the arrival of the first Europeans to our treasured part of the country, and going back further to times when Native Americans possessed the land, wildlife has been an important part of life here. The Clackamas People who hunted, fished, collected berries and roots, and lived around the northern tributaries of the Willamette River, were dependent upon the supply of salmon and trout that they hauled from the river – especially near the falls of Oregon City. 

Arrowheads, broken pottery, and small artifacts collected along the beach at Oaks Park by curious residents prowling the shoreline, suggest that Indian encampments may have been common there long before the nation’s oldest continuously-operating amusement park was built  in 1905.

When new settlers began building farms and houses, and starting fruit orchards south of what we now know as Sellwood, they too were fishing the Willamette River for their evening meal. In the 1920’s and 30’s fishing provided sport as hundreds floated out onto the Willamette River with lures and lines when fishing season was declared open.

In the early spring, those enthusiasts would find their favorite spots along the riverbank, or they’d row out onto the chilly waters of the north-flowing Willamette to make their catch. An annual fishing derby was begun by Peter Leipzig, owner of Sellwood’s Leipzig Café, who encouraged fishermen to bring their largest catches to be weighed on his 100 pound scale.

Gigantic salmon snared from the river were flung onto a safety line and hauled up the hill at Spokane Street to the café at 13th Avenue, where it still stands today. The winners were crowned and fetéd with prizes, free beer, and a hearty hurrah.

Sections of Westmoreland and Sellwood were in early days a wilderness of dense forest and underbrush, until the Eastside Lumber Company began cutting down some of the fine timber to process at the Lumber Mill. Cougars, coyotes, deer, and I’m pretty sure skunks, were scattered along the forestland in this part of Southeast Portland – but the arrival of the first incoming settlers from the East chased many of them off.

In 1882, the Sellwood Real Estate Company purchased 360 acres of pristine fir trees, and began clearing the land to make way for buildable lots, and houses for prospective buyers. As some of us can testify, if indeed they were once scarce here, the coyotes and skunks have certainly returned.

Roaming cows that trampled crops – and horses, dogs, and foxes – became a nuisance to some landowners, as they did to Sellwood’s early farmers, who were trying to build a “respectable town”. Residents were so insistent on the need to rid the area of the wild animals who ate their gardens or blundered haphazardly through their prize flowers, that they called upon city leaders to find a solution. Not the City of Portland mind you, but the City of Sellwood – where Mayor Raymond Bean and his five elected City Council members quickly enacted a law and sent the Sheriff off to make sure that foxes and stray dogs were impounded or killed.

Further, an ordinance was written that dairymen were required to build fences to keep meandering cows from destroying personal property, and off the main roads and railroad tracks. Citizens who didn’t comply with this law were assessed a hefty fine.

Once the statutes were enacted, and the local sheriff had rid the neighborhood of unruly critters and locked up any surly men along the way, the residents of Sellwood were able to settle down and enjoy a well-respected community – with their own domesticated pets!

As many Westmoreland and Sellwood neighbors know, Oaks Bottom, a section of wetland with a large seasonal pond just below the Sellwood Ridge, has long been home to many birds and reptiles. Tree frogs, beavers, skunks, red winged blackbirds, the occasional eagle, and ospreys have all roamed its land, flown through its sky, and fed from the water and reeds of this 168-acre wildlife refuge. In 1988, Portland Parks and Recreation declared Oaks Bottom to be Portland’s first Urban Wildlife Refuge.

Visitors to Oaks Bottom can view some 129 species of birds there; but shoppers who stopped in at Moreland Hardware on S.E. Milwaukie Avenue during the 1960’s and 70’s came face to face  with another type of feathered friend: The parrots of Henry Braunsten. Henry was an avid collector of parrots, and he brought his pets to work with him. Westmoreland residents Gordon and Donna Merseth are among those who can testify that during a visit to the store they were sometimes greeted by dive-bombing Braunsten parrots.

Usually the parrots were perched on the shoulders of the proprietor or his relatives, as they went about the store filling orders or guiding customers to desired products. But on more than one occasion, consumers left not only with their purchase, but also with a small white messy memento from the “Braunsten birds of prey”.

Returning in our narrative to a much earlier time, however, the Volunteer Sellwood Fire Department in 1907 received five professionally trained horses for the fire house near the corner of 13th Avenue and S.E. Umatilla Street. Before the arrival of this fine team of stallions, Sellwood’s early firefighters were young men specifically selected from the neighborhood – chosen for their strength, agility, endurance, and their ability to drag along a heavy hose wagon on foot while running to a fire.

They also had to pump water by hand from a steam engine, and scale burning buildings on their wooden ladder. So, when a team of firefighting horses was first introduced to the crewmembers, it was a welcome sight. A team of firefighting horses could handle the heavy work of these emergencies more efficiently and faster than men on foot.

Five or six horses were kept on hand at the station at all times, and it became the responsibility of the hired crew to feed, exercise, and train them throughout the year. The horses became a favorite among the local citizens – hundreds of them turned out to watch the galloping horses race through the streets of Sellwood when the alarm was sounded.

Once the fire was contained and the emergency was over, the horses needed to be watered and walked back to the fire station. Energetic young boys competed for the honor of leading the exhausted horses back.

Dogs also played an important role in the efficiency of a well-run fire station at that time – keeping the team of horses calm and under control during a calamity. These canines were bred and trained specifically to run ahead of the steam pumpers or ladder wagons to clear a path for the oncoming team of horses. Dalmatians were chosen specifically over other breeds; but when they weren’t available other breeds were chosen for the work. When the last team of firefighting horses was retired in the 1920’s, so too were these heroic canines. But now you know how Dalmatians became symbolic of firefighting.

Loading and unloading fire hoses, and training and caring for the horses and dogs, was a big part of the job for volunteers and paid firefighters. In 1910, Sellwood Fire Captain David Stokes took it a big step further, when he and his crew elected to care for a baby bear cub found abandoned in the forest. One of the forest rangers dropped off the singed bear cub at the fire station, and the crew members took turns feeding it, and named it Alice. THE BEE at the time reported that little Alice was drinking down over nine dollars of milk a month – at a time when the cost of a bottle of milk was between 5 and 10 cents each.

Mysteriously, THE BEE never later revealed what happened to Alice – if she were released back into the wild, or graduated to being featured in the national campaign against forest fires. Enquiring minds wonder – could Smokey Bear actually have been a lady bear named Alice…?

But Sellwood’s most famous celebrity animal was – and still remains, in memory – the tame cheetah of Dr. George Nickelsen. Schoolchildren sometimes glimpsed the fast cat on their way to school. Chewie the cheetah was kept in a fenced yard behind the doctor’s office at 13th and Sherrett. Though there were no reports of any students losing a finger, or in some other way being attacked by the African mammal – in fact, cheetahs are one of the tamer wild cats – local residents attending Sellwood School during this era might remember the time Chewie jumped the fence and roamed the streets before Dr. Nickelsen caught up with him.

Joan Blomberg, owner of today’s “American at Heart” antique store, at 13th and S.E. Tenino, recalls visiting the elaborate house of Dr. Nickelsen in her childhood years. It was furnished like an African hut, with grass mats on the floor, deer heads adorning the walls, and a stool made from an elephant’s foot. And, Chewie could often be found lounging across the sofa inside. Those who lived in the area at that time still remember the sight of Dr. Nickelsen driving his red convertible down the streets of Sellwood with Chewy proudly sitting on the back seat.

Clara Belle, donkey, Oaks Amusement Park, Missouri Mule Rides
A favorite attraction at Oaks Amusement Park in the middle of the Twentieth Century was “The Missouri Mule Rides”. In the winter, Oaks Park management encouraged the public to adopt and care for their animals until the park reopened for the summer. Here you see sisters Judie and Pennie Quinlin riding atop Clara Belle the donkey. (Courtesy of Pennie Quinlin and Judie Quinlin Bunch)

Since its inception in 1905, Oaks Amusement Park has offered family entertainment that has included everything from roller coasters to a carousel of leaping animals; trapeze acts to a contortionist; and balloon ascensions – along with one of the first airplane landings before a crowd of spectators, back in 1915.

Animal acts were also a huge draw at The Oaks during the 1920’s. Monkeys roamed the boardwalk, and lions and bears paced in cages where passing spectators could view them from afar. An ostrich farm and an aquarium also appeared along the grounds at one time.

In 1909, a couple was married inside a cage with two lions there, apparently without mishap – and as late as 1950, an elephant on roller skates was a highlight at evening events. The practice of harboring wild animals ended when management found it cumbersome to care for the amusement park animals during the winter months. Caretakers experimented with keeping the monkeys on Ross Island when the park was closed during the winter; but eventually the lions, monkeys, and bears were turned over either to a local zoo, or an entertainment promoter, or a circus.

And, what young girl who grew up in the 40’s didn’t dream of owning her own pony?  Judie and Pennie Quinlin, who lived on a farm in Southeast’s Lents neighborhood, did have such aspirations. Both of the girls spent their early childhood raising rabbits and chickens, but they were always wistfully hoping for the opportunity to ride a pony every day.

One of the more popular events at Oaks Park for small children at that time was called “The Missouri Mule Rides”, in which for only a dime city boys and girls could ride a pony and envision themselves in “country America”. Once the season came to an end, though, the horses were sold – or, preferentially, were passed out to people who could care for them during the winter.

When the Quinlin girls heard their father say that Oaks Amusement Park was giving away free ponies, they begged him to pick up one for them. The whole family, including the next-door children, hopped into the family car for the long journey from Lents to Sellwood – but when they arrived, all of the ponies had been claimed. The only available animal still without a home was a donkey named Clara Belle.

Mr. Quinlin knew this would be a good time for the girls to learn the responsibility of caring for a larger animal – but the Quinlin family didn’t have a truck or trailer. The neighborhood kids were all squeezed in the front seat, and Clara Belle sat in the back with Pennie and Judie beside her for the return trip.

For the rest of the winter Clara Belle the donkey spent her days on the Quinlin farm in Lents until the summer began, when Clara Belle was to resume her part in the “Missouri Mule Ride”. Clara Belle riding in the back seat of the car made such an impression on the family that, in 2008, Judie Quinlin (now Judie Bunch) published a coloring book featuring the girls’ favorite friend, Clara Belle, and that memorable ride.

And of course, there are the wild birds. Just like the pioneers a hundred years and more ago, residents can glimpse the return of the Great Blue Heron to Oaks Bottom Refuge – or feed the Canadian Geese at Westmoreland Park. (We must point out, though, that feeding the geese, who are not really wild anymore, is discouraged by the Parks Department; it just gives the birds extra incentive to stay in Portland instead of migrating, and to create messes in the park.)

Animals remain part of the experience of Inner Southeast Portland. The cackle of hens can be heard here and there in the early morning hours even today, as families once more are raising their own chickens. (Fewer of those are being raised for dinne, than there used to be, though.)

Family cats and dogs along Sellwood Waterfront Park have replaced the wild foxes and braying billygoats of Annie’s goat farm – both of which were once part of the scene in Sellwood. But Clara Belle, Chewie, and the rest, remain in memory – as part of the colorful history of Inner Southeast Portland.

Peace Pole, Southeast Portland Rotary Club, David O'Connor, Joel Fields, Atkinson Elementary School, Portland, Oregon
THIRD “PEACE POLE” PLANTED IN SOUTHEAST. Rotary International has been promoting world peace for a long time, and currently sponsors the placing of “Peace Poles” in communities. Southeast Portland Rotary planted its first at Westmoreland’s Fire Station 20, its second at Southeast Uplift, and its third – shown here – on May 23rd in front of Atkinson Elementary School on S.E. Division Street. Shown representing the club, from left, are incoming Club President David O’Connor, outgoing President Joel Fields, Stephen Bache, Bill Meyer, and Dan Johannsen – together with four Atkinson third graders. (Photo courtesy of David O’Connor)
Llewellyn Elementary School, Westmoreland, biking, Portland, Oregon
S.E. Tolman Street was crowded with bike riders during the Friday, May 5, “Bike Train” to school, as part of the May “Walk + Roll Challenge” at Llewellyn Elementary School. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Llewellyn students turn out for ‘Walk + Roll Challenge’


The fact that May had been designated as “National Bike Month” didn’t escape members of the Llewellyn Bike Club, who arose to the “Walk + Roll Challenge” by hosting a massive ride to school on Friday, May 5.

During the Challenge, school coordinators tracked the number of students biking, walking, skating, and scootering to school – not only that day, but throughout the month. At the end of the Challenge, prizes were to go to schools logging the most active transportation trips.

“We host a ‘bike train’ every Friday; but today, the turnout was very good – and included Principal Galati,” grinned Edward LeClaire, a member of the grade school’s club, pointing out that there were 75 riders to school that morning.

“It’s important to get more people biking, because when we have a bunch of people biking together, more people want join in and bike, too,” piped up his friend Alec.

His dad added, “It’s fun to get kids out biking, and when they find out how fun it is when they’re young, hopefully we can create lifelong habits and more healthy kids, who have more fun in life.”

Arbor Day, Portland, Oregon, Friends of Trees, Garry Oak
The Ortiz family spends a moment with the Friends of Trees mascot, “Garry Oak”. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Arbor Day celebrated in Southeast Portland


By the time the rainstorm had passed, on Earth Day, April 22, people from all over the area were already on their way to the Mt. Scott-Arleta neighborhood to celebrate Portland’s “Arbor Day 2017” in Mt. Scott Park.

The festivities, organized by Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R), featured bucket truck rides, hot food vendors, live music, an ecological scavenger hunt, tree climbing, and other family activities.

“During my tenure, Arbor Day has always been celebrated in the South Park Blocks, near Portland State University, among our wonderful big trees there,” remarked PP&R Director Mike Abbaté. “But now – by having the event this year here, in Mt. Scott Park, we’re getting out the message that we have significant trees everywhere in the city, while enticing people to come and visit this beautiful Southeast Portland park,” Abbaté told THE BEE.

“And, we really do have reason to celebrate,” Abbaté grinned. “For the 40th consecutive year, Portland has been named a ‘Tree City USA’, which illustrates the importance of the trees to all of our residents here.”

Families were clearly having a great time at the free multicultural festival, participating in activities underneath towering Douglas Fir trees and learning from community organizations such as Friends of Trees, the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services, World Forestry Center, and the Portland Bureau of Planning & Sustainability, all of whom exhibited at the fair.

“We hope people take away from this a renewed appreciation for trees, and all that they do for us,” commented the day’s chief organizer, PP&R Urban Forestry Botanic Specialist Nik Desai. “This is what Arbor Day is all about; people celebrating community and gaining greater awareness and understanding about the wonderful things that these magnificent organisms do for us.”

Lane Middle School, parents, cleanup, Portland, Oregon, Brentwood Darlington
Hard at work, clearing out the overgrowth along the Lane Middle School north fence, are volunteers Dave Messenheimer, Bryan Buck, and Andy Tobin. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Lane Middle School families again tidy up the place


With the aim of making Lane Middle School more attractive, inside and out, a hearty band of volunteer’s with the school’s Parent Teacher Association (PTA) held a work party on Thursday morning, May 6, in the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood.

“We have volunteers here cleaning up along the northern fence, along the front of the school, and new this year, we’re cleaning up the area and putting new plants and pathways in the two indoor atrium areas,” remarked Lane PTA Treasurer Jenna Jay. “Including kids, about 30 volunteers were working on the clean-up project, across the campus.”

Lane PTA Secretary Esther Crowell-Duncan remarked, “The atriums haven’t been used in years, and are overgrown; now they’re beautiful spaces where both teachers and students can go to relax for a little while.”

“It’s important for the school to look nice and be presentable,” Ms. Jay explained. “These improvements help our kids feel better about the school; in fact, all of us feel better about a school that looks better!”

Classical Ballet Academy, Sellwood, Portland, Oregon, Man of La Mancha
Pausing for a group photo, some of the 120 cast members of the May production of “Don Quixote” are shown in rehearsal at Sellwood’s Classical Ballet Academy. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Hundreds, trained in Sellwood, dance in spring ballets


Dancers from what has become greater Portland’s nexus of ballet – the Classical Ballet Academy – performed in a series of shows over several days in mid-May.

While the performances were held at Portland State University, countless hours of rehearsal had previously taken place at the renowned Inner Southeast Portland studio, at the convergence of S.E. Milwaukie and 17th Avenues, in Sellwood.

“For one of our four programs, ‘Don Quixote’, they’ve been working on their performances since the end of January; some of them doing so up to five days a week, and also coming in weekends on rehearsals,” said the studio’s Director Sarah Rigles. “A couple of them are missing the first part of their high school prom tonight to be able to go to rehearsals; that’s a real sign of dedication!”

“Don Quixote” is a comedic ballet: Fun, fast-paced, and all set in Barcelona, Spain. “Our choreography comes from the classical notes, with some restaging – while keeping the integrity of the original choreographer, Marius Petipa. It is performed by the academy’s advanced, ‘pre-professional’ students,” Rigles remarked. “The dancers rose to the occasion of doing the original choreography, which is oftentimes more difficult.”

The dancers also put up a contemporary modern jazz show called “Visions”; a ballet version of “Beauty and the Beast”; and, with their youngest students, a program called “Petite Carnival of the Animals”. That adds up to about 450 dancers during those four performances.

Although the students put in long rehearsal hours, and give up some of their social lives, many of them are Honor Roll students in their academic school.

“In addition to learning dancing, students gain a whole bunch of poise, confidence, and time management that they will carry forward in their lives – as well as learn discipline, which will help them as adults,” Rigles commented.

With students ranging from three years old into their 70s, classes are offered for people of all skill levels, Rigles obeserved.

To find out more, visit their website:

Woodstock Plant Sale, funding, maintain Woodstock Community Center, Portland Parks Department, Oregon
Shelly Keach, at left, explains how to make the hypertufa pots that she fills with sedums. In April, Woodstock volunteers pitched in to make these artificial stone garden pots, which last for many years. (Photo by Elizabeth Ussher Groff)

Woodstock ‘plant sale in the rain’ another success


In spite of the pouring rain of Saturday morning, May 13th, at 9 a.m., people braved the moisture to be there in force for the start of the annual plant sale outside the Woodstock Community Center, overflowing into the parking lot for attorney Diane Sykes’ office, where hundreds of plants were on display for sale.

By now, many neighbors have learned that the pre-Mother’s Day annual plant sale sponsored by the Woodstock Neighborhood Association (WNA) and the Friends of the Woodstock Community Center (FWCC) is a place to find quality plants at a bargain. The funds raised help keep the Community Center open for local residents all year.

Last year, sunscreen and sun hats were required; but this year – in one of the wettest years in the city’s history – the rain was not unexpected, and it was instead slickers and umbrellas that made it possible for people to browse and buy.

It takes dozens of people to put on a plant sale where two thirds of the plants come from neighborhood gardens.  Extras, divided plants, vegetable and flower transplants – all are integral for the sale.

Generous plant donors abounded this year. In addition to the many Woodstock-based gardeners who contribute annually, Karen and Larry Krettler (also longtime donors) drove 252 tomato plants in from Oregon City; and a new donor, Ted Berry, a/k/a  “Farmer Ted”, contributed tomato and pepper plants from his farm in Oregon City as well.

Lents resident Bill Boggs contributed Asiatic Lillies and premium shrubs from his backyard nursery; and a number of businesses donated plants that were greatly appreciated.

The plant sale is a very popular community builder in addition to its importance as a fundraiser, but it would not be possible without the dedicated help of dozens of volunteers. A new volunteer, Dawn Haecker, was enthusiastic about the sale and all the work that made it possible. “I just want to thank everyone for all the hard work and camaraderie that went into making today a success. Yes, we made money. But we also had fun, beautified the neighborhood, made new friendships, and deepened old friendships. As a new member of this community, it filled my heart to be a part of it all.”

Merrilee Spence, another stalwart volunteer, commented after the sale, “I’d especially like to recognize some other Woodstock volunteers. Sandy Profeta’s help was invaluable with pre-event organization, and Terry Clements expertly guided the set-up process Saturday morning. Thanks to the morning's volunteers, we were ready in time for the early birds who inevitably show up!”

Kitsy Brown Mahoney drove to Oregon City to pick up plants.  And Shelly Keach once again contributed her popular hypertufa pots. Plant sale coordinator Terry Griffiths was roundly praised for the tireless hours she put in.  

And afterward, at 5:45 p.m. Saturday afternoon, after it all was cleaned up and everyone had gone home, Pete Adams – financial manager for the Friends of Woodstock Community Center – e-mailed the good news that the sale had netted the second highest plant sale proceeds to date.

Grout Elementary School, playground, Creston Kenilworth, Portland, Oregon
Having a new playground equipment at D.A. Grout Elementary School to replace the aging structures will help spruce up the school. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Ice cream social promotes new Grout School playground


The D. A. Grout Elementary School community gathered for a fun evening called an “Ice Cream Social” on Friday, May 19; but the party had a more serious purpose: Kicking off a fundraising campaign to replace the school’s 30-year-old play structure on S.E. Holgate Boulevard in the Creston-Kenilworth neighborhood.

“We all kind of know each other, but we don’t often have a chance to socialize,” reflected Grout Elementary PTA President Natasia Chan.

“This is what we love best: To be able to come out here in nice weather, have some ice cream, hang out with each other, and let the kids play,” Chan told THE BEE – as music played, and kids participated in a skateboarding clinic, and drew with sidewalk chalk on the north side of the school.

“As playground projects go, This is a relatively small one; but it’s still challenging to raise $60,000 for it,” Chan said.

The Portland Public School District priority is its aging infrastructure, not the playgrounds, Chan observed. “Unfortunately playgrounds are not a priority, from my understanding. All playgrounds have to be funded from outside sources.” 

“Having a new playground here, well, it means everything to me,” observed Grout Principal Annie Tabshy. “Kids need to get their energy out, in a constructive way, so they can sit down and learn.”

It’s easy for you to help the kids at this “Title 1” elementary school, which serves the diverse community of Inner Southeast Portland: Just go to their website to learn more –

SMILE, neighborhood cleanup, Selwood, Westmoreland, Kris Heiberg, Heiberg Garbage, METRO, Westmoreland Park, Portland, Oregon
Volunteers Billy Judge and Brian Bawol helped Sellwood and Westmoreland neighbors pitch their trash and recyclables into dropboxes at the south end of Westmoreland Park. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

SMILE’s annual neighborhood ‘Clean-Up’ reaps tons of trash


As they have for more than three decades, Sellwood’s Heiberg family headed up the annual SMILE Clean-Up for Sellwood and Westmoreland on the Saturday morning before Memorial Day Weekend – this year, May 20 – at Westmoreland Park.

Neighbors lined up for several blocks to drop off bulky waste and hard-to-recycle items – depositing refuse in several large commercial drop boxes in the park’s south parking lot.

“We have about twenty volunteers here, helping out our neighbors,” remarked Kris Heiberg, between checking in trash depositors. “It’s a good way for people to discard household items for a reasonable price. We’re also providing a way for people to rid of appliances, so they can be recycled as metal; and, we’re recycling Styrofoam and yard debris as well.”

In addition to ridding themselves of rubbish, many neighbors dropped off good reusable items to be offered to other neighbors.

Long before the City of Portland or Metro established the neighborhood clean-up programs, Heiberg Garbage & Recycling started this program for SMILE, the Sellwood-Westmoreland neighborhood association. “It was a good idea when we started, about 35 years ago, and continues to be,” Heiberg grinned.

Lewis Elementary School, Meriwether Lewis, Woodstock, Earth Day, Portland, Oregon
Sara Bell, Sarah Barsotti, and Rebecka Amodei sell plants at the Meriwether Lewis Elementary School “Earth Day Fair”; the money will fund school activities. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

‘Reuse’ the theme of Lewis Elementary’s Earth Day Fair


In the Woodstock neighborhood, many families arrived for the Meriwether Lewis Elementary School Earth Day Fair on Saturday, April 22.

In the paved area behind the school, volunteers were selling plants and starts – many of them donated by parents and community members – and were offering vegetables and flower baskets to eager buyers.

Inside the gym, the Sellwood Middle School Jazz Band was playing, providing a musical soundtrack for the rummage sale underway there.

“And, we also have a recycling event taking place here today, too,” remarked the day’s organizer, Lewis PTA President Ellen Kotler. “We have traditionally had a garden fair every spring, and it tends to happen around Earth Day; this year we decided to combine the two, and make it an entire day about recycling, and reusing, and plants.

“I love seeing families from all over Portland participating in our event. It helps make new connections between our school and the community at large,” she added

Rummage sale volunteer Zicra Lukin told THE BEE that visitors were finding great deals on clothing, toys, and knick-knacks. “But when it’s over, organizations such as Transitions Projects volunteers come and pick up the remaining clothing, so it’s all put to good use, and not thrown out if it doesn’t sell.”

The organizers thanked everyone for supporting a fair that helps them fund art education, music, their learning garden, literacy programs, and underwrites field trip scholarships.

Southeast Events and Activities
Red Cross Blood Drive in Woodstock:
The Red Cross is hosting a blood drive this afternoon, 2-7 p.m., at Woodstock Bible Church, 5101 S.E. Mitchell Street. You can register to donate at:, or call the Red Cross at 1-800/733-2767. Thank you for donating the gift of life.

For adults – “Be your own publisher”: This free workshop, 6:30-7:30 p.m. today at the Woodstock Branch Library, provides authors the tools and guidance necessary to become their own successful publishers. Included are aspects of professional editing and design, logistics and distribution, and publicity and marketing, the goal for this presentation is to offer enough details to make writers “publishing professionals”, with an insider’s knowledge of the business and unique manners of approaching the marketplace. Free, but registration required; register in the library, or by calling 503/988-5123. The library is on the corner of S.E. Woodstock Boulevard and 49th Street.

Red Cross blood drive today in Westmoreland:
The Red Cross “Bloodmobile” will be at Moreland Presbyterian Church this afternoon from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., and your donation will help the Red Cross continue to catch up from the lingering critical shortages when the weather caused cancellations of blood drives this year. Walk-ins accepted as time allows, but it’s best to make an appointment – call 1-800/733-2767. Or, go online to:, and enter sponsor code MorelandPresbyterian.

Celebrate the Centennial of Eastmoreland Golf Course: The Eastmoreland Golf Course turns 100 years old today, and the newly-formed “Eastmoreland 100 Historical Society” invites all interested Southeast Portland residents to a free celebration late today, 4 to 9 p.m., in the Eastmoreland Golf Course Clubhouse, next to the north-side parking lot on S.E. Bybee Boulevard, just east of the Bybee Bridge.

The tragedy of Pompeii told in new OMSI exhibit
: Now underway at OMSI, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, experience the city of Pompeii, frozen in time, by the catastrophic eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in Italy. The new exhibition examines life in the doomed city both before and after the eruption in 70 A.D. that not only destroyed it, but preserved it in time for over 1700 years. The exhibition features nearly 200 precious artifacts on loan from the unparalled collection of the Naples National Archaeological Museun in Italy. The exhibit runs now through October 22; tickets to the exhibit include General Admission to the science museum. OMSI is on the east bank of the Willamette River, just north of the Ross Island Bridge, on S.E. Water Street. Learn more online –

Fireworks Fourth of July at historic, nonprofit, Oaks Park:
Historic Oaks Amusement Park in Sellwood, officially a nonprofit organization, opens its gates at 10 a.m. this morning – staying open until midnight tonight. Celebrate the U.S.A. with a day of family fun on the midway, a summer BBQ in the picnic areas, live entertainment from local performers, and Portland’s traditional fireworks display at dusk! All picnic areas are first come, first served. Carnival rides open at noon. Gate fees apply to all today – age16 - 61 years old, $6.00; 15 and younger, $3.00; 62 and older, $4.00. Everyone entering the park today must pay the gate fee. Attractions sold separately. Parking FREE. Alcohol and personal fireworks strictly prohibited; bags and coolers will be checked. Enter the park by turning north from S.E. Spokane Street, just west of the railroad tracks near the Willamette River.

Annual Sellwood Riverfront Concerts begin:
Each year on Mondays in July, the Portland Parks Department in cooperation with SMILE and local sponsors presents a series of free live concerts in Sellwood Riverfront Park, at the foot of S.E. Spokane Street. The first of four Monday concerts is this evening – and features Redray Frazier, offering “smooth and smoky rock and roll”.

Annual Eastmoreland Neighborhood Cleanup:
The 19th Annual Eastmoreland Neighborhood and Duniway School PTA Clean-up will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. today at the northwest corner of Duniway Elementary school. Neighbors will be able to take advantage of this event to dispose of household and yard clutter. Accepted – Yard Debris, Waste Wood, Bulk Waste, Scrap Metal, Reusables, Tires, and Styrofoam (Polystyrene No. 6). Also available – secure on-site paper shredding. Cost: $30 - $50, depending on load size; additional fee for tires. NOT accepted – Contractor loads, rock, brick, sod, sand, gravel, dirt; no Metro-prohibited materials, including but not limited to food garbage, plaster, dirt, concrete, sheet rock, batteries, construction/demolition materials, or hazardous waste; no paint, aerosol cans, liquids, etc. (but paint cans with lids off and dried paint are okay). NO MATERIAL POSSIBLY CONTAINING ASBESTOS. Questions? Please call, text or e-mail: Matt, 503/453-4289;

No-sew recycled T-shirt crafting for kids and teens: Turn an old T-shirt into a useful shopping bag or book bag, then use the leftover recycled fabric scraps to make necklaces, bracelets, headbands, wrist cuffs, or hats. It happens this afternoon 1-3 p.m., at the Sellwood Branch Library. Make all these items with no sewing required! Bring an old T-shirt, if you have one you would like to transform; there will also be T-shirts available for you to use. For teens in grades 6-12. Free, but registration required; in the library or by calling 503/988-5123. The Sellwood Library is on the corner of S.E. 13th and Bidwell Street.

Woodstock hosts “Up With People, Jr” summer arts day camp:
Starting today, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and running each weekday through the 28th, a two-week coed performing arts day camp for children ages 8 to 11 will take place at the All Saints’ Episcopal Church Parish Hall, S.E. 40th at Woodstock Boulevard – the nonprofit “Up With People Jr” performing arts summer camp. For more information or to register, go online –  

Vacation Bible School for ages 3 to 8: This morning through this Thursday morning, July 17 through 20, from 10 a.m. until noon, Trinity United Methodist Church offers Vacation Bible School for kids aged 3 to 8, with crafts, music, games, and stories. Noon lunch included. Pre-registration NOT required. It happens at the church, S.E. Steele at Chavez Blvd (formerly 39th). For more information, call Barbara Garrett at 503/954-6729.

Sellwood Riverfront July Concerts continue: In the second of four Monday evening free live concerts at Sellwood Riverfront Park, at the foot of S.E. Spokane Street, the performance tonight features Orquestra Pacifico Tropical – with “electrifying infectious South American Cumbias”. 

For Families – Scales, Claws and Expanding Jaws
: In two hour-long sessions at the Woodstock Branch Library this afternoon, kids slide, slither and hop into herpetology, the science of reptiles. They’ll get up close and personal with live snakes, lizards, and turtles in order to study the features which make this class of animals unique. Discover that snakes are smooth and dry, lizards have no earlobes, and geckos can lick their eyeballs! Free, but plan on being a bit early, as space is limited. The two sessions this afternoon are 1-2 p.m., and 2:15-3:15 p.m., at the Woodstock Library, S.E. 49th at Woodstock Boulevard.

Sellwood Riverfront July Concerts continue:
This evening, the third of four Monday evening live and free concerts in Sellwood Riverfront Park, at the foot of S.E. Spokane Street, features “Ashleigh Flynn and the Riverters”, performing “Americana”.

Sellwood computer class – “Word Processing One”:
This morning, learn the basics of Microsoft Word. This free class will cover how to create a document, how to format and edit text, and how to save a document. This class is for beginners, but you must be comfortable using a keyboard and a mouse. Free, but registration required; register in the library or by calling 503/988-5123. It’s this morning, 10-noon, at the Sellwood Branch Library, S.E. 13th at Bidwell Street.

Last day to apply for Northwest Oboe Seminar:
The 24th annual Northwest Oboe Seminar takes place at All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Woodstock on Saturday, August 19, for intermediate through advanced oboists, devoted to all aspects of oboe performance, and culminating with a public performance. The participant fee for this one-day seminar is $100 and includes T-shirt, minor instrument repairs, dinner, and accompanist. Auditors pay $40 to observe the focus session and receive a concert ticket. TODAY is the last day to submit an application to participate in the seminar; applications can be found online at – or call 1-360/696-4084. Participation is by application only (except for auditors).

At Woodstock Library – “Light-Up Stuffed Alien” (Camp for Teens): Learn about the amazing world of e-textiles by fabricating a stuffed alien monster, complete with an illuminated eyeball in a week-long 1-1/2 hour camp, you’ll start by choosing from an assortment of thread and fabric colors to customize a simple monster design. Using a variety of hand-stitching techniques, you’ll fabricate a 10-inch tall alien monster. You’ll learn how to construct basic circuitry using light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and coin-cell batteries to sew into our monster for a glowing eyeball. Upon completion, each participant will leave with a cuddly monster companion that lights up. Free. But come a bit early due to limited space. It’s 1-2:30 p.m. today through Friday, at the Woodstock Branch Library, S.E. Woodstock Boulevard at 49th.

Final Sellwood Riverfront Park July Concert this evening: The last of the four musical Monday nights of free live music in Sellwood Riverfront Park is this evening, featuring Teresa James and the Rhythm Tramps and their “soul-drenched blues”. The park is situated at the bank of the Willamette River at the foot of S.E. Spokane Street.

38th Annual “Sundae in the Park” in Sellwood:
SMILE, the neighborhood association for Sellwood and Westmoreland, hosts its annual entertainment-and-ice-cream family fun day at upper Sellwood Park, along S.E. 7th Avenue. From noon until 11 p.m.! Free live entertainment, and games and activities, for kids and adults until 5 p.m., with lunch available for moderate prices from the Meals On Wheels People, and inexpensive ice cream sundaes served by members and friends of the Southeast Portland Rotary Club (proceeds benefit Meals On Wheels). After 5 p.m., the live entertainment continues, presented by Portland Parks; and the evening climaxes with last year’s family animated comedy, “Storks”, presented free by the Sellwood Westmoreland Business Alliance business association.


     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)

KPAM 860 News Radio