Community Features

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

Knipe's Grocery, early Sellwood, history, Portland, Oregon
This was the earliest general store in Sellwood, John W.Campbell’s. It was on the south side of the street between 11th and 13th on Umatilla. Sellwood’s City Council (1887-1893) held regular meetings upstairs above the store. In 1906 Campbell sold his store to Hugh Knipe, who ran the store until 1929 when he became ill and died. Almost everyone in Sellwood at the time shopped at Knipe’s Grocery. (Courtesy of Oregon Historical Society)

Umatilla Street: First commercial district in Sellwood

Special to THE BEE

Have you ever watched one of those old “Gunsmoke” TV shows, where Sheriff Matt Dillon walks along a dusty street, and steps into the Long Branch Saloon for a drink?

Or when Bret Maverick saunters along a wooden boardwalk, headed for his horse, tied to a hitching post?

Well believe it or not, if you take such a mental walk down the middle of Umatilla Street in Sellwood, you will be seeing what the first settlement in this neighborhood looked like back in 1880’s.

Quite a lot has happened over the past 140 years. Umatilla Street was, at one time, the main commercial street for the town of Sellwood and its citizens. Grocery stores, hotels, shoemakers, bakeries, and even the first Post Office in Sellwood, lined both sides of the dusty road. Horses and wagons bustled up and down the slope from the river’s edge – as riverboats and sternwheelers unloaded supplies, people, and livestock, along the waterfront.

Umatilla was such an important road that townsfolk decided on building their first school on it, near 15th Avenue, in 1884. Umatilla was such a focal point that the Sellwood City Council held its sessions there, above Campbell’s General Store. That was where most of the town’s major decisions were made! You could call it a street of progressive thinkers.

Before the town of Sellwood was platted, the countryside was a scantily-inhabited forest of Douglas Fir and Cedar trees. Only a smattering of farmhouses and small dwellings appeared in the isolated area between Spokane Street south to Linn Street. The lifeline for these few inhabitants was the Willamette River. All of their supplies arrived by boat, and any products harvested or ready to sell had to be taken out by boat as well. Umatilla and Harney Streets had access to the best boat landings, so most of the roads leading east and west ended at the river’s edge near Umatilla.

It wasn’t until about 1886 that prominent businessmen like T.A. Wood and Henry L. Pittock got the idea that it might be a good investment to set up a real estate company and sell some land on the east side of the Willamette. That was when they approached the Reverend John Sellwood (who didn’t actually live in the area!) and convinced him to sell the 329 acres he had deed to, so that they could build a town on that land worth talking about. They would even honor the fine Reverend by naming it after him: The town of Sellwood.

Once the streets were graded (but not paved), the land cleared, and building lots advertised for sale in the Oregonian newspaper, a few fast-thinking enterprisers from the other side of the river decided maybe this would also be a good place to sell baked goods, fruit, and vegetables, or perhaps a book of stamps, thus giving birth to the business district of the new town.

As mentioned, Umatilla and Harney Streets ended with the only two waterfront landings available for boats and ships to easily tie up to. So, the most profitable place to operate a store was along the incline up from the river on Umatilla Street. While a few newcomers felt their shops should be built closer to the riverfront, the hub of the new business district was centered between 11th and 15th Avenues. And 15th was where the new Sellwood School was built in 1884.

According to local lore, Edwin L. Corner proclaimed himself as the first buyer of land from the Sellwood Real Estate Company; and, with broad shoulders and determination, he built a home at 7th and Umatilla, overlooking the Willamette River. For the next twenty-eight years he and his wife resided there, and Edwin became Sellwood’s first Postmaster.

The town of Sellwood was a city in name only – and, as new shopkeepers built stores, they became a little nervous about how to attract more people to settle in the tiny community.

Regularly scheduled steamboat service to the foot of Umatilla and Harney Street was not yet available, and local residents had to rely on the whims of steamboat captains who decided to pull their craft over and stop. If those captains were too busy hauling lumber from the town of Milwaukie, or transporting freight to Oregon City, or loading up fruit from the Luelling Orchards, why would they make a stop at the Umatilla waterfront? It would be even harder to convince prospective home buyers to settle here – or so it seemed.

Most vendors had to wait patiently until the horn from a passing steamboat announced a ship arrival, which prompted a race to the docks for the unloading of the cargo. Transportation by water was so sporadic, at that time, that sending freight to Portland required that the farmers, dairymen, and orchardists go to the river and wave down a passing boat to ship out their products.

It was ultimately the owners of the Sellwood Real Estate Company who came to the rescue of concerned merchants, and provided a private ferry service across the river.

With the advent of the ferry, the real estate company placed ads in the Portland area newspapers and distributed fliers around town announcing that lots were offered for sale for only $10.00 per month – and that patrons interested in purchasing property could board a private ferry, “The Dolly”, at the downtown Portland docks, where they’d be whisked down the Willamette River to disembark at Spokane Street.

Eventually the Steamer “Bateman” also made daily landings at the foot of Umatilla for those people living in Sellwood who worked downtown. For residents needing to visit the doctor’s office, or to make a business transaction, or just to have the pleasure of shopping or enjoying entertainment downtown, that steamer provided a timely service.

For only a dime, passengers could board that boat and arrive at the Washington Street Docks on the west side of the river. The “Bateman” made six trips a day, but often passengers had to share space aboard the riverboat with light freight, farm animals, and restless horses.

Sellwood remained a town of simple means and services, with only three stores, one church, a school, and over 100 homes scattered around the area. In 1887, a turning point for the citizens occurred when Sellwood city leaders met for the first City Council meeting on March 12th. Board members were elected, and J.C. Cunningham was announced as the first Mayor of Sellwood. J.W Campbell, who ran a country store on Umatilla Street, offered the services of his upstairs for regular meetings.

The Sellwood city government lasted five years – until city leaders decided running even such a small town was too complicated for volunteers, and they opted to have the town become a part of the City of Portland in 1893.

Portland took over the responsibility of paving the streets, delivering clean water, and providing streetlights where needed. However, the local businessmen were not convinced that all the community’s needs were yet being met. The Sellwood Commercial Club was established to create committees and push for special needs, particular to merchants and shop owners of Sellwood.

In 1910 dues were collected, and an impressive four-square style structure was built along Umatilla street just east of 13th Avenue. The Commercial Club building was the perfect place for members to gather and socialize – playing cards, smoking cigars, and entertaining clients new to the area. 

Lodging was at a premium in the early years. Spectators arrived from downtown or elsewhere to attend horse racing or baseball games at City View Park (now Sellwood Park), but later in the evening when they went looking for a hotel, they found that very few were available.

Available accommodations included small one-story houses constructed by residents who intended to use their own homes as boarding houses, or just for extra rooms to rent.

Frederick Bundage had rooms to let, and Mrs. Mary Thomas offered meals and a bed at her residence – which she preferred to call the Sellwood Hotel. Randell’s Saloon and Boarding House was the best-known structure in the neighborhood, and had rooms available, adjacent to the veranda running the length of the building.

The only establishment that actually resembled a hotel in Sellwood at that time was the St. Charles Hotel, located at the end of 17th Avenue. This two-story wooden building served mainly the workers from the community of Willsburg, just a few blocks east of Sellwood. It also accommodated overnighters who had partied too long at the bars and taverns nearby.

When Mrs. Thomas took over the St. Charles a few years later, she renamed it The Sellwood Hotel. Of note, boarding houses served as restaurants, offering meals in a common room located on the main floor for an additional fee.

In the 1920’s, nurses from the Sellwood Hospital – then sited on Sherrett Street – were offered boarding during their nurse training in a small bungalow just east of 13th Avenue.

“Merchant row”, between 11th Avenue and just past 13th, was the business hub of the area. Residents flocked to shops such as the Sellwood Bakery, the Umatilla Meat Market, the Adams Candy Company, Martin Larson the Barber, or Hirschberg’s Shoe Shop. They could have their picture taken at Olen Royce’s photo hall.

Stores and shops changed names through the decades. Hugh Knipes took over Campbell’s Grocery, and it became a landmark there for the next thirty years.

To see what the old false-fronted business buildings looked like during this period, stop by today’s Portland Puppet Museum at 906 S.E. Umatilla Street. This structure was originally the Home Grocery Store, built in 1910 – and its modillion cornice, with bracketed hood, gabled roof, and horizontal siding, is just what many high-end storefronts used to look like along Umatilla Street.

J.P. Zirngiebel, who amassed a fortune by painting signs around the Portland, settled in the neighborhood, and built one of the first two-story commercial buildings here at 13th and Umatilla. Small businesses like Berlin Davis’ Shoe Shop, and Erickson’s Hardware and Repair, occupied the bottom section of the Zirngiebel building, while doctor and dentist offices were located upstairs.

Residents of Sellwood could now make appointments with Doctors Howard A. Young, R.S Sterns, or G.J. Fanning, to avoid travel by ferry to the west side of the river for such services. For dental needs, H.C. Fixott and H.M. Brown were available for new patients. Sometimes nervous patients were soothed by the music offered by Eugenia Brown, who taught music classes to young students just down the hall.

Charles Ballard came to Sellwood in 1906, and opened the first newspaper, which he called the Sellwood Bee. The name was probably inspired by the McClatchy newspapers in California – the Sacramento Bee, the Modesto Bee, and the Fresno Bee, all of which still exist today. The newspaper later had the names Milwaukie Bee, Sellwood-Moreland Bee, and since around 1991 – when its distribution increased to include much of Inner Southeast – just THE BEE.

But in 1906, Charles had to convince the townspeople to subscribe to his newspaper. Money was tight, and for any newspaper to be successful it had to provide information worthy of paying for. As editor, publisher, and printer of the newspaper, Charles set up his printing press off of the front of his house along Umatilla Street, in the heartland of the merchant district.

Soon he began distributing the latest gossip and local news to the local residents. What better place to collect the latest scuttlebutt than where boats docked, freight traveled up and down the street, and farmers and locals gathered to eat, drink, and socialize. And, of course, the merchants of the locality would be the first advertisers. Consulting those early pages, we find ads for the era’s major businesspeople. . .

If you needed someone to move your furniture, or you needed to order a load of coal or wood to heat your home, William Copenhafer was the man to call. The Sellwood Transfer Company offered baggage freight, and also moved furniture and heavy pianos that could be transported from the ferry at the foot of the river and unloaded into your new residence. These are among the businesses that first advertised in the new newspaper’s pages.

During the height of the Sellwood housing boom, most of the heavy hauling was done by horse and wagon. In the 1920’s, a new cement garage was built to house the gasoline trucks that soon replaced the horses; these buildings also doubled as a storage place for residents who did not have a garage to shelter their car or boat.

Umatilla Street hit its peak when the new brick building of the Sellwood Bank opened on the corner of 13th and Umatilla, and just further down the block parents rejoiced when Sellwood’s first free public library was opened for students to use. It also became the city of Portland’s first branch library two years later.

In the 1920’s, Sellwood was bustling with activity as the nation’s economy reached an all-time high. Employment was plentiful, contractors were busy building new homes east of Milwaukie Avenue, and more stores were opening along 13th Avenue. Umatilla merchants also enjoyed the increasing sales the new era brought – but when the first Sellwood Bridge opened in 1925, while it indeed was a boon to the community, it signaled a downtrend for businesses on Umatilla Street – in what many now considered the “older district” of Sellwood.

Automobiles became the new means of transportation, and Tacoma Street – which had previously dead-ended above the river at the lumberyard, now connected to the new bridge and became the main thoroughfare for autos traveling to and beyond Sellwood. Stores and shops along Umatilla began contemplating moving north to Westmoreland where customers seemed more plentiful.

The Sellwood Bank, once a mainstay along Umatilla street, moved two blocks north to the corner of Tacoma and 13th Avenue (now the location of OnPoint Credit Union). Harry Gibbs, the new owner of the Sellwood Transfer Company, decided exposure would be better in the newer Westmoreland district, and relocated the company in 1930. Even the Sellwood Bee newspaper set up in a new office along 13th Avenue, abandoning its roots along Umatilla.

After the stock market crash in 1929, many of the retail stores and shops were forced to close because so many customers were out of work and couldn’t afford to buy daily items – or else they bought goods on credit, but weren’t able to pay those bills. Business along Umatilla picked up briefly with the start of the Second World War, but when most of the men of our nation enlisted in the armed services, there was nobody in Sellwood or Westmoreland to man the small merchant shops. More than 40,000 women were recruited to apply for high-wage jobs at the Kaiser shipyard in North Portland. That left local merchants unable to hire a qualified person of either sex to fill the empty positions at their shops.

The once-bustling Umatilla Street, originally full of activity with people coming and going, had turned into a quiet residential neighborhood by the late 1950’s. Only the screams and laughter of children playing or bicycling the streets could now be heard there.

Parents tending to their yards and gardens, or having summer outdoor get-togethers, were the sounds replacing the daily noise of delivery trucks, and the shouting vendors announcing the “special of the day” to passing patrons. Old buildings and storefronts, like the original Sellwood Bakery, opened in 1898 by S.C Lyle, were torn down.

While other false-front structures were replaced by modern stylish duplexes and new homes, a few small concrete buildings were built to house small businesses or mail order companies. The only sign of vibrant shops and stores left in Sellwood in 1960 were those operating at the major intersections of 13th and 17th. 

Gone today are the busy days along the Umatilla waterfront where the small settlement of Sellwood first began. One can now only imagine the sound of horses’ hooves drumming along the planked street of Umatilla Road, reminding us of times past – or the shouts and curses of teamsters struggling to bring wagonloads of supplies up the sloped road from the river.

For those living here now, one of the few sounds of that distant past still heard is the mournful steam whistle of the “Holiday Express” steam engine making its annual Christmas run up and down the Springwater Corridor between Oaks Park and OMSI.

The nostalgic sound of that whistle gives us a glimpse into our past, when the Bateman Steamer signaled its arrival into the little port of Sellwood, and merchants hurried to the Umatilla docks with wheelbarrows and empty wagons, ready to unload merchandise or get mail to sort and deliver at the post office.

However, some businesses open today do still have long roots into the past. Wilhelm’s Portland Memorial has been in operation for well over a century, Oaks Park (established in 1905) is now the oldest continuously-operating amusement park in the United States, and in your hands, as you read this, is the one of the two oldest neighborhood newspapers in the Portland region – THE BEE, publishing since 1906.

Joel Leib, Kim Borcherding, SMILE, brick fundraiser, Sellwood Moreland Improvement League, neighborhood associaition
SMILE Board Member and Fundraising Chair Kim Borcherding and Board President Joel Leib show sample engraving on a brick, as they roll out the “Get a SMILE Brick” campaign.

Bricks on SMILE Station’s new front path now ‘on sale’


“Give the gift of eternity! – By having an engraved brick in the new SMILE Station front path,” encouraged SMILE Board President Joel Leib, trying out a marketing slogan for the new fundraising program on September 5.

As the old Sellwood Bridge’s railing fragment was installed in front of the meeting house owned by the Sellwood Moreland Improvement League neighborhood association, Leib told THE BEE that a suggestion was made to add a brick pathway, leading from the sidewalk on S.E. 13th Avenue at Tenino Street, up the front lawn to the monument, and continuing to the front steps.

“It took a year to happen, because some people were not initially for it,” Leib told THE BEE. “But now, the path has been installed, and the next step is to start the fundraiser, encouraging people to ‘buy a brick’ and have it engraved.”

The funds raised will help liquidate the cost of the project; excess funds that might be generated will be used for other neighborhood needs, according to Leib. More than 500 bricks can be thus memorialized, as well as about 40 larger 12” x 12” pavers.

“We’re offering the bricks and pavers for 10% discount through the end of 2017; $90 for regular size brick, and the larger pavers go for $450 each, Leib said. The bricks are to be engraved without removing them by “On the Rocks Engraving” of Milwaukie, in April or May of next year.

For complete information, including how to purchase, after the first of October visit the new website at –;  or after October 1 go to –, and look for the “Buy a Brick” link.

Reed neighborhood, picnic, Reed Neighborhood Association, Michelle Maida
Working the grill at the revived Reed neighborhood picnic were Conor MacLeod and Haley Holenstein, both of them life-long Reed residents. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Reed neighborhood picnic revived


It had seemed as if the Reed Neighborhood Association (RNA) had given up having a summer picnic and block party. But RNA Board Members didn’t want to see it go, and revived it on Sunday, September 10, holding it at the Reedwood Friends Church playground area on S.E. Steele Street.

“When our Board Members changed, somehow holding a summer picnic didn’t come up for a year or two,” admitted RNA Vice President and Treasurer Michelle Maida. “But with a new Board, and some members returning, the first thing we said was we wanted have the picnic again!

“A past Board President, Mark Gossage – although he’s no longer on the RNA Board – agreed to be on the committee to help put this picnic together,” Maida explained. “This was put together in less than a month – with not enough time to get a grant, and get the street closed. But one of our Board Members is affiliated with the church, and here we are!

“It’s so fun getting your neighbors together,” observed Maida. “It helps create a sense of community when you get to know who they are, and they get to know each other. That encourages neighbors to get involved, with the result being a better neighborhood.”

Footbag, Westmoreland Park, Portland, Oregon
In tournament action at Westmoreland Park, and using only his feet, the player in blue spikes the footbag over the net (you see it airborne, just to the left of his head). (Photo by David F. Ashton)

‘Footbag’ champs converge on Westmoreland Park


After a two-decade absence from the very metropolitan area where the sport began, the outdoor portion of the 38th annual World Footbag Championships came to Westmoreland Park on Monday August 7.

Championship meet coordinator Ethan “Red” Husted admitted that many casual players refer to the object of their sport as a Hacky Sack, which is a trademark of Wham-O Inc. of Carson, California – but, to avoid complications, it’s simply called a “footbag”.

“This competition is been all over the world, including in San Francisco, Helsinki, Paris, Berlin, Copenhagen, Prague, Montreal, Warsaw – and now, it’s here in Westmoreland Park!” Husted exclaimed to THE BEE.

Countries represented at the competition this year included the United States, Canada, Spain, Czech Republic, Japan, China, Finland, Switzerland, and Venezuela, just to name a few.

After starting to footbag, in 1994, he began to pursue excellence. “With my kind of obsessive personality, I wanted to be one of the best, and kept practicing, then trained with professionals,” Husted recalled. After being a footbag star athlete for many years, Husted said he “retired”, to teach and run the tournaments.

With that, he introduced John Stalberger, who, with a partner, Mike Marshall, actually invented the original Hacky Sack product in 1972 in Oregon City.

“Most people believe that the sport is limited to standing around the circle, kicking the footbag, and laughing,” Stalberger reflected. “But the actual sport is played over a badminton net, and can be played singles or doubles, using only your feet to kick, and spike it over the net.”

He went on to say that there is also a “Freestyle” division of competition, in which a panel of judges grade the difficulty of the kicks and the moves the players are performing – without dropping the footbag.

Stalberger then introduced native Portlander Kenny Shults, whom he referred to as the “Babe Ruth of Footbag”.

After receiving a footbag for Christmas in 1977, Shults said he, too, became “obsessed” with it. By age 12, Shults recalled, he began to travel the nation, and later the world, demonstrating the Hacky Sack for the manufacturer. “I fit the profile as the kid to take to shopping malls and sporting goods stores, to show people that it’s not very difficult; that even this little kid can do it,” he grinned.

Shults eventually succeeded at his goal: Making it into the Guinness Book of Records. “My record has been superseded – all records are made to be broken – but I’ve got my Guinness Book on the bookshelf for my grandkids to see.”

The organizers then turned to introducing the participants in this year’s competition, who went on to demonstrate their prowess with a footbag.

“Be it the ‘aerial jousting’ of footbag net competition; or the riveting, acrobatic art of freestyle competition; or just kicking with friends – footbags provide great fun,” Husted assured us.

Latino Festival, Portland Mercado, Foster Road, Latinoamérica’ festival, Portlland, Oregon
Not only is this a fun family event, says Community Coordinator Shea Flaherty-Betin, the festival also supports Latino business development. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

‘Taste of Latinoamérica’ fest delights, at Portland Mercado 


Kicking off the start of National Hispanic Heritage Month, which officially began September 15, the Portland Mercado in the Foster-Powell neighborhood hosted their third annual “Taste of Latinoamérica” on Saturday, September 9.

“The Portland Mercado, a Latino culture and small business development hub, puts on this one-day festival every year to promote economic opportunity, culture, art, and the diverse flavors of Latin American regions, as well as to support Latino entrepreneurs,” explained its Community Coordinator, Shea Flaherty-Betin. “Here, we have vendors originally from Mexico, all the way to South America.

“Special today, visitors will find Guatemalan and Venezuelan food, in addition to our usual regionally-recognized Colombian, Cuban, and Puerto Rican fare,” Flaherty-Betin pointed out. “Also there are artisans, some of whom have come all the way from Mexico to sell products, in addition to local artisans offering handmade items.”

Kids’ activities at the Portland Mercado included face painting, and crafts led by artisan women from El Salvador. “And, we have live music all day, and on into the evening,” Flaherty-Betin observed.

“Events like this one support entrepreneurship in the Latino community, and create jobs and build assets,” he said. “Portland Mercado not only brought some $35,000 in economic activity to the neighborhood last year, it also promotes Latino culture!”

With the beautiful late summer weather, as many as 5,000 visitors were estimated to have come through the event. To learn more about the Portland Mercado, visit their website:

Duniway Elementary School, 90th anniversary, Eastmoreland, Lucille (Harris) Pierce, Joan (Crystall) Cutting, Portland, Oregon
Inaugural Duniway Elementary students of 90 years ago, Lucille (Harris) Pierce and Joan (Crystall) Cutting, spend a reflective moment with Principal Matt Goldstein. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Duniway Elementary School celebrates 90 years


Soaring temperatures didn’t hinder the turnout at Duniway Elementary School, August 28, when staff and families met on the grounds for a special event.

“We’re calling it ‘Duniway’s 90th Birthday and Back-to-School Picnic’ celebration,” grinned Duniway PTA Board Member, and the event’s organizer, Jeannine Walker. “We wanted to have a couple of different things happen at this before-school gathering.

“The first part was holding a back-to-school event at which kids, their parents, and teachers could mingle, and get to know one another before school begins,” Walker told THE BEE. “The other was to celebrate Duniway’s 90th birthday, and we’ve invited back past students and staff.”

With the school’s history thus presented, its birthday grew more inclusive; “It’s really a celebration of our entire Eastmoreland community, a way to bring everyone together,” Walker said.

Historian Joanne Carlson was in the “History Kiosk” telling about the scrap books, articles, and photos, on display – including a picture of the school’s namesake, suffragette Abigail Scott Duniway.

“I started working with the PTA and neighborhood association to create a 50 year history for Duniway School back in 1977,” Carlson recalled. “Since then, I’ve added to it over the years, with the help of people who brought me interesting things.”

Attending were two of the students who started their education on the very day the school first opened – Lucille (Harris) Pierce, and Joan (Crystall) Cutting,

“We hadn’t had kindergarten, so it was a big deal going straight to first grade,” said Pierce. “On the first day of school, I remember I was standing out in front of the building, seeing the flagpole, and watching them raise the flag.”

As for Cutting, “What impressed me the most was that we were taken to see the Music Room, where they pointed out that it had an ‘acoustical ceiling’ that was said to be modern, and very expensive.”

Returning to the present, and about to start his fifth year as the head of the school, Duniway Principal Matt Goldstein told us he expects a great school year. “I’m really looking forward to having almost our entire teaching staff returning; and, we’ve added a twenty-first classroom, as our school continues to get a little bit bigger – we now have over 500 kids.”

After introducing the afternoon’s speakers, Walker mused, “The best part of it for me is, honestly, seeing so many come together as a community. I think we’re very lucky to live in Eastmoreland, and very lucky to have the school in our neighborhood.”

Arab festival, Arabian, Oaks Park, Portland, Oregon
Central Precinct Police Officer Caroline Greulich meets the author of the book “The Traveler” – who is also a musician, and a Palestinian from East Jerusalem, Mohammad Bader – as also does Officer Michael Greenee. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Oregon ‘Arab Festival’ celebrated at Oaks Park


From all over the Portland metropolitan area, celebrants came to historic Oaks Amusement Park for the 2017 “Mahrajan”, an event in Arabian culture meaning “a cross between a concert and a party”, all day on Saturday, September 2.

Centered in the south section of the park, along the Willamette River, this fair – hosted by the Arab American Cultural Center of Oregon (AACCO) – proved to be a fun and family-friendly day filled with games, dancing, music, and food and crafts from around the Arab world.

This was the seventh annual such festival, and the second time it was held at The Oaks, said AACCO Board President Rima Ghandour. “Here, we welcome everyone to participate. This is the celebration of Arab-American heritage and culture!”

“It is an Arab-American community event, to help get people together – not based on race, or religion – just to get everybody out here from all 22 Arabian countries, including newcomers to the United States, refugees, and people who of immigrated here decades ago. All come together to celebrate our rich culture,” Ghandour explained.

“Just as important is that this gives us a delightful way for us to interact and meet the greater community here in Portland, helping them learn about us, our art, food, and other cultural activities.”

To escape the heat, a crowd of people listened to live music, followed by a demonstration of folkloric dancing. Others toured a bazaar of Arab-American businesses, while yet other guests took in art and cultural artifact exhibits at the festival.

The freshly-cooked culturally-specific food was enjoyed by many at Oaks Park, as were beverages – including Turkish coffee.

“Please let your readers know how much we love the welcoming attitude of people here at The Oaks,” Ghandour smiled. “The best part of this for me is seeing how our Portland community comes together with our Arab-American community to find commonality, and love.”

Learn more about the Arab American Cultural Center of Oregon by visiting their website:

Llewe3llyn Elementary School, Westmoreland, Portland, Oregon
Playing with Legos at the school picnic were the Grants – Michael, mom Jennifer, and Taegan. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Llewellyn PTA again hosts back-to-school picnic


Following a long-standing tradition, the Llewellyn Elementary School PTA held its annual “Back to School Picnic” on the school grounds on Friday evening, September 8.

“To this casual event, we invite all of the students and their families – both new and returning – to come and have a picnic dinner together, and get to know new faces and meet their past friends,” explained Llewellyn PTA Hospitality Coordinator Erin Hughes.

Hughes, the mother of a second-grader at the school, told THE BEE that the “PDX Sliders” restaurant nearby brought in a mobile kitchen to assist families choosing not to pack a picnic dinner, while members of the PTA set up a concession stand selling beverages, chips, and ice cream, to help support their programs.

“It’s important to the health of the school to have an event like this – getting to know your neighbors, and your sons’ or daughters’ best friends. It’s a great way for our community to help raise all of our children,” Hughes remarked.

Another outcome hoped for, she added, was to introduce new families to the PTA, with hopes they’ll join in to help support the school.

She told us she particularly enjoys the new kindergarten families coming in. “It’s interesting that the kindergarten parents are just as wide-eyed as the kindergartners themselves!”

Llewellyn Principal Joe Galati was roaming the picnic, handing out stickers. “What better way to bring community together at the start of school, than to have an event such as this; it’s well attended; they come in, and leave with smiles.”

Brooklyn neighborhood, ice cream social, Portlland, Oregon
Liam, 9, and Layla, 6, received balloon sculptures created by Laura Panda and clown Gentle Biff. (Photo by Rita A. Leonard)

Brooklyn’s annual ‘Ice Cream Social’ closes summer


Brooklyn's Sept. 10 Ice Cream Social in the Park, organized by the Brooklyn Action Corps, ended summer on September 10 with a celebration of 15 years of community fun.

Although the summer park program had been canceled this year by Portland Parks & Recreation, the grassy square of Brooklyn Park on S.E. Milwaukie Avenue is still considered the neighborhood's public living room. Ben Tarne reported that the Friends of Brooklyn Park was accepting donations through PP&R, and is still working to structure a program for next summer.

Since PP&R withdrew funds for this year’s Brooklyn Park summer program, the popular Rock Climbing Wall was also not available to the Ice Cream Social. An aerial yoga hammock from Sensational Play LLC proved to be a popular substitute for active kids.

The Brooklyn Action Corps (BAC) neighborhood association, the sponsor of the social, sold a variety of ice cream treats, while neighborhood restaurant Upside Down sold tacos and sodas to hungry visitors. The “Yamhillbillies” entertained musically.

While there were fewer booths along the eastern fence line of the park this year, Artichoke Music made their first appearance at the event. Neighborhood volunteer Ed Rosney offered to “Teach mandolin lessons in five minutes” as an introduction to upcoming music classes at Artichoke's new site, 2001 S.E. Powell Boulevard.

Volunteers from Sacred Heart Church handed out information, free balloons, and bubble stuff, adjacent to displays by the Brooklyn Historical Society. Neighbors chatted about the changing look of the neighborhood caused by new construction and traffic problems.

Face painting and balloon sculpture stations were popular with children, as was the Polar Bear bouncy castle. One table sold handmade jewelry, and the Brooklyn Community Garden displayed garden books and a video of the popular site. Volunteer Coordinator Barbara Mohl commented, “Folks interested in securing a plot at the garden can visit my Facebook page and check ‘Brooklyn Community Garden Portland’.”

The traditional raffle supported by BAC and local businesses provided toys for kids and 32 local gift certificates for adults. BAC Treasurer Mark Romanaggi remarked, “Brooklyn businesses have been extraordinarily generous this year with their donations.”  Marie Phillippi added, “Fred Meyer also contributed generously to our purchase of ice cream.”

The 16th annual “Brooklyn Ice Cream Social” will return to Brooklyn Park early next September – once again, to ring down the curtain on summer in Inner Southeast.

Southeast Events and Activities

“Woodstock Apple Festival” today:
The third annual “Apple Festival”, benefiting the Chinese Immersion Program at Woodstock Elementary School, takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today in the parking lot of the Chase Bank, as well as in that block of S.E. 47th Street between the Chase and KeyBank parking lots (while the Woodstock Farmers Market is taking place in the KeyBank lot). Several problems which affected last year’s Festival have been resolved, according to organizers, and they’re ready for “a big crowd”.

Pray for Las Vegas: Bring your hearts and hands together tonight -- at a prayer gathering for the victims of the recent Las Vegas mass casualty tragedy. Holy Family Church will hold a short service at 7:30 p.m. in the church at 7525 S.E. Cesar Chavez Blvd. (39th), to pray for the victims, the community, the first responders, and all who are touched by violence. "Please join us to shine the light of hope and love of Christ in our world."

Rain Garden Workshop:
Today, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., at Trinity United Methodist Church, 3915 S.E. Steele Street, learn how to build a rain garden! A rain garden is a sunken garden bed that captures stormwater, and allows it to soak into the ground naturally. You will learn step-by-step details on how to plan, design and build your own rain garden. Register online – – or call 503/222-7645 for information.

“Blessing of the Animals” at Our Lady of Sorrows: Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church is welcoming animals of all kinds for a blessing in honor of St. Francis of Assisi at 11 a.m. this morning. The animals (even including stuffed animal toys) and their owners will gather in the courtyard area between the church and school buildings on S.E. Woodstock Boulevard, just east of 52nd. (Pets are also welcome at the 10 a.m. Mass, closing out the Our Lady of Fatima commemoration.) For animal safety, please use cages, leashes, etc., so that everyone is safe and happy. Everyone is welcome. For more information call Evelyn Brush at 503/775-6731, extension 102.

Going Batty at the Sellwood Library: This morning, 11-noon, explore the intriguing world of bats, and learn the truth about one of the most misunderstood and beneficial creatures on Earth. Learn about bat diversity, echolocation, and diet. Practice using a mist net, the tool field biologists use to capture and study live bats before releasing them back into the night sky. Topics include adaptations, bat biology, and the physics of sound. Free. For kids, teens, and families – but space is limited, so come early to be sure of a seat. The Sellwood Branch Library is on the corner of S.E. 13th and Bidwell Street.

Fall Party for Families at Woodstock Library this afternoon: Celebrate the season with all things fall and an awesome positive parenting community! 2 to 3 p.m., enjoy crafts, games, and activities along with positive parenting and mindfulness tools dedicated to loving life, your family, and the autumn season. Free. The Woodstock Branch Library is on the corner of S.E. 49th and Woodstock Boulevard.

Lunch today at St. Anthony’s:
St. Anthony Church offers its fall luncheon today at 11:30 a.m., the cost of which is $7, and includes lunch and bingo, with great prizes. Open to all. It’s a fundraiser for the church, which is at 3720 S.E. 79th, two blocks south of Powell Boulevard. For information, please call 503/504-1204.

Holiday Bazaar at Southeast VFW Post:
Today from 10 to 5, and tomorrow from 11 to 5, you’re invited to the fourth annual Holiday Bazaar, held at – and benefiting – the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4248, 7118 S.E. Fern Street. Handmade decorations for fall, Hallowe’en, and Christmas, will be on sale – along with lots of gift items. Come early on Sunday only, and enjoy the VFW monthly breakfast, 9 to noon, including all-you-can-eat pancakes, or biscuits and gravy, for $5 – and stay for hot dogs and nachos for lunch. There will also be a bake sale. For information call 503/775-4844.

Adults – make a warm hat this afternoon at Sellwood Library: This afternoon, 2-4 p.m. join this class to sew yourself a warm hat for this winter! Artist LeBrie Rich will bring five sewing machines, along with hand-sewing supplies. For this free session, there will be patterns and fabric ready for you. Extra hats that made this afternoon will be donated to those in need. “Let's craft together! No experience necessary.” Free, but registration is required; register in the library or by calling 503/988-5123. The Sellwood Branch Library is on the corner of S.E. 13th and Bidwell Street.

11th Annual Oregon Music Hall of Fame: This annual Induction into the Oregon Music Hall of Fame, and Concert, takes place this evening at 7 p.m. at the Aladdin Theater, just south of S.E. Powell Boulevard on Milwaukie Avenue. The concert will feature Floater; a tribute to Jimmy Boyer, featuring the Freak Mountain ramblers; Fernando; Bingo Richey, Turtle Steele; Peter Dammann; Dan Balmer; and more. There will be a live auction of autograph guitars from Chicago, Ry Cooder, Culture Club, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, Steve Miller, and Weezer. Proceeds from this nonprofit event help support Oregon music education and scholarship programs. Tickets ($25 in advance; $30 at the door) are on sale at and at the Aladdin Theater box office. VIP tickets also available.

Fall Bazaar today and tomorrow in Woodstock:
  Our Lady of Sorrows’ Fall Bazaar takes place today, 9 to 5, and tomorrow from 9 till 2. Homemade crafts, gifts, jams and jellies, sweet treats, “and much more!” The location is on the northeast corner of S.E. 52 nd and Woodstock Boulevard.

“Sugar Skull Face Painting Workshop” for teens: Are you ready for an awesome transformation? Come to the Sellwood Branch Library this afternoon, 3-4:30 p.m., to join Celese, local makeup artist and face painter extraordinaire, as she teaches you skills and techniques on how to make yourself or your friends into amazing sugar skulls. Water based makeup and accessories will be used to make the transformation complete. Just in time for Dia De Los Muertos and Hallowe’en, this class will be one that you'll never forget! For teens in grades 6-12. Free – but space is limited, so come early to be sure of a seat. The Sellwood Branch Library is on the corner of S.E. 13th and Bidwell Street.

Weatherization Workshop this afternoon at Woodstock Library:
Anyone can make weatherization improvements at home – whether you own or rent; whether you’re in an apartment, mobile home, or house – make basic improvements to make your home more comfortable by saving energy and money. Learn how to implement simple measures to lower home energy use by installing effective weatherization materials, using basic tools such as scissors and a screwdriver. Each participating income-qualified Multnomah County household receives a free kit of materials. The kit includes reusable vinyl storm window kits, door weatherstripping, pipe insulation, rope caulk, and more. No charge. Register online for this workshop, taking place 5:30-7:30 p.m. today, at the Community Energy Project website – – and then be at the class at the Woodstock Branch Library, on the corner of S.E. 49th and Woodstock Boulevard.

Second annual “Haunted Fun House” in Sellwood:
This evening, 6:30-9:30 p.m., nonprofit Rogue Pack presents a “Haunted Fun House” by teen girls from Boys & Girls Aid. “Come hear gory stories and mysterious tales of the Sellwood Playhouse and support at-risk young girls. Written and presented by girls 10-17 in the foster care system. Writing and performance facilitated by Ann Singer and Danielle Pecoff.” All ages welcome for the Fun House walk-through of gore and mystery. Music and treats included! It’s in the Sellwood Playhouse, 901 S.E. Spokane Street. $5 per person at the door (includes the treats).

Poetry writing workshop this afternoon at Woodstock Library:
Poetry is not the domain of just a few. It’s as natural and accessible as heartbeat and breath. Writing poetry requires nothing more than a love of words and a willingness to let your pen move across a page, following language wherever it takes you. Join Paulann Petersen 2-5 p.m. this afternoon in a workshop devoted to generating new poems. Using innovative springboards that include notable poems, it’ll be an exhilarating plunge into language. Free; for teens and adults – but registration is required. Register in the Woodstock Branch Library, or by calling 503/988-5123. The Woodstock Library is on the corner of S.E. 49th and Woodstock Boulevard.

“Moreland Monster March” at 3 p.m. today:
The Monster March is on, rain or shine, once again this year on the last Sunday in October – the 29th – starting at 3 p.m. sharp at Llewellyn Elementary School in Westmoreland, S.E. 14th at Tolman Street. The route goes east to Milwaukie Avenue, south to Bybee, west on Bybee Boulevard to 14th, and then north back to Llwellyn, where merchants of the Sellwood Westmoreland Business Alliance will be providing free refreshments to one and all. Anyone in costume, young and old, is welcome to march, and everybody else is invited to line the streets and cheer the monsters on.


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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!

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