Community Features

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



This photo shows the Sellwood Sweet Shop, at S.E. 13th and Tenino, in the 1930s. Here you could buy a greeting card, order a Coca Cola, and buy candy. If that diet gave you a cavity, you could have it filled at Dr. F.A. Lowes Dentistry upstairs; and you could come back down to mail your greeting card at the U.S. Post Office next door. Sellwood, Southeast Portland, Oregon
This photo shows the Sellwood Sweet Shop, at S.E. 13th and Tenino, in the 1930s. Here you could buy a greeting card, order a Coca Cola, and buy candy. If that diet gave you a cavity, you could have it filled at Dr. F.A. Lowes Dentistry upstairs; and you could come back down to mail your greeting card at the U.S. Post Office next door. (Courtesy of Larry Clark)

SOUTHEAST HISTORY
The history behind Sellwood’s ‘American at Heart’


By DANA BECK
Special to THE BEE

Joan Blomberg faced a frightening decision in 1967. With only seven dollars and fifty cents in her pocket, she took the leap, and decided to pursue a new career.

With her trifling investment, she became a door to door Avon representative – and, from her proceeds in that business, she purchased woodworking equipment that would later be used to remodel her house, repurpose furniture, and eventually even get into the antique business.

It’s not easy to look back on our childhood and try to pinpoint exactly what inspired us to choose the career path we followed. Some of us know at an early age what profession we want to pursue – be it an astronaut, singer, nurse, or doctor – but others don’t begin even to think about it until they graduate from high school, or head off to college.

But, for Joan, I believe she was one who knew at an early age. While only seven or eight, Joan’s favorite pastime was visiting retail stores. A favorite was the Sellwood Five and Dime store on S.E. 13th Avenue at Umatilla Street. There she spent hours patrolling the aisles, looking at the assortment of merchandise – from biscuit cutters to paper dolls, miniature soaps to purses, and cheap jewelry. “I couldn’t afford to buy anything,” smiled Joan in our recent interview. “But I liked to just walk up and down the aisles to admire all of the treasures.”

What was even more impressive to a young girl like Joanie was the unique cashier system at the Five and Ten. The financial office was located on the second floor balcony of the building, and Joan watched in amazement as a customer’s cash or check was placed in a canister on the ground floor, and whisked upstairs on a wire to the cashier. A receipt for the customer’s purchase was placed back into the canister, and after its equally fast return trip downstairs, it was handed to the departing customer. 

Thirty years later, Joan would open her own version of a variety store in Sellwood – the “American at Heart” shop – but, with a grander style and wider appeal, even though it was located only 50 yards from the former location of that same Sellwood Five and Dime store that she remembered as a child.

Joan was raised by her parents, Earl and Rose Scofield, in Sellwood in the 1940s and 50s. When Joan’s father, Earl Scofield, was discharged from the Navy, he married Rose Webber – and, with her father lacking much money to find a house to rent, Joan’s grandmother Elizabeth graciously offered to let the couple and their daughter stay with her in her small bungalow near S.E. Bidwell and 13th Avenue.

Although Joan didn’t know too much about the struggles her grandparents had gone through to get into this country, she did know that her grandmother had escaped from Hungry in 1915, during the unrest in Europe which led to World War I.

Like many other immigrants who ventured halfway around the world for a new life in the United States of America, Elizabeth had been briefly interned at Ellis Island in New York, and after that she eventually made her way to Portland, where she settled and started a family. After the children grew up and left home, her husband died, and Elizabeth found Sellwood to be a peaceful place to retire.

These were the carefree times in Sellwood, explained Joan – when electric buses traveled down 13th Avenue, children hiked the “monkey trail” down to Oaks Bottom and Oaks Park, and young people spent their lazy summer days in the Sellwood Pool.

But, for the Scofields, times remained tight; they had little left over to spend on luxuries such as a bicycle or scooter for Joan. Rarely did she get the chance to see movies at the Moreland Theater, either; or to buy sodas at one of the local confectionaries, as her other friends did.

But, what little money the family did have was earned by her father – as a welder for the Pacific Chain Company in Scappoose. Most of his days would be spent at his job, and then there was the time spent traveling to and from work, leaving him limited time to spend with his family at home.

One of Joan’s biggest thrills during childhood was taking part in the Meier and Frank Christmas Parade in Downtown Portland. Young Joanie, dressed up as Little Bo Peep, marched in a costume obtained from the Sellwood Community Center; and her parents bought her a pull-along sheep toy to follow behind her over the entire parade route. “Gosh, I wish I had that toy sheep today! I loved that little toy,” she recalled recently to THE BEE.

During the 1950s, Portland’s Christmas Parade also included a visit to Santaland at that big department store downtown. The parade was held on the day after Thanksgiving, and those who were invited to be part of the celebration had to walk the three miles of the parade route.

That was quite a trek for a young girl her age, but Joan’s memories of the event were of the presents she received – more so than how tired her feet were after the parade.

Every child in the Sellwood area at the time had a favorite store from which to buy penny candy – be it the Soder Brothers convenience store across from the Sellwood Pool, Bartos Confectionary at S.E. 17th Avenue at Tacoma, or Harpers Confectionary next to the Moreland Theater on Milwaukie Avenue, just north of Bybee.

Farley’s grocery store at 13th and S.E. Miller Street was where Joan spent what little she had earned from babysitting. Later, when she was old enough, one of her first jobs included selling the then-weekly BEE newspaper door to door. An annual subscription cost customers $3.50 per year then, and the money she earned in this job usually went to purchasing chewy walnut caramels at Farley’s customer counter.

Her visits to Farley’s ceased when she unexpectedly received roller skates as a Christmas present from her parents. The Oaks Park Skating Rink became her new destination – a place to skate, and to socialize with new friends. Of course, during breaks from skating, she would deploy her nickels and dimes at the Oaks’ snack counter for candy, popcorn, and refreshments.

School days were spent at St. Agatha’s Catholic School, from which she graduated in 1956. And, while she wasn’t involved then with many sleepovers or shared time with other girls in after-school activities, nowadays she does gather for monthly afternoon luncheons with past St. Agatha classmates.

As we sat for our interview in the rocking chairs that grace the outside entryway of her American at Heart store, Joan excitedly recalled other notable events in the neighborhood. . .

McKernan’s Radio and Television Shop put a television set in their display window, and the store owner made sure it was turned on, to attract potential buyers walking by. Few people could afford a TV set then, and most anyone passing by would stop to watch the show being broadcast. “Their window display attracted a lot of residents,” recalled Joan with a chuckle.

After graduating high school from St. Mary’s of the Valley, Joan enlisted in the Navy, where she was a yeoman and ran the print room at the Naval Weapons Station Annex in Charleston, South Carolina. This was around the time of the start of the Vietnam War in 1964, and also around the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis. With the U.S. and the Soviet Union locked in a “Cold War”, hostilities escalated when the Russians attempted to set up a nuclear missile base in Cuba. President John F. Kennedy countered by establishing a military blockade around the island, and ordered the Soviet Union to dismantle and remove all the missiles, which they eventually with reluctance did.

The Naval Weapons Annex, which was in charge of handling guided missiles, was in total lockdown during the entire Cuban Missile Crisis, Joan explained, and none of the soldiers was permitted to leave the base until the emergency was over.

In 1969, Joan stepped into a new chapter of her life. She met her future husband, Ron Blomberg; and, after their honeymoon, they moved to the State of Washington, where Ron worked in the engineering department at Freightliner Trucks. Together they rented a dilapidated pioneer barn and house in Felida, an unincorporated community on the outskirts of Vancouver, Washington. The rent was seventy-five dollars a month.

One of the unique features of that house was the dirt basement underneath it – it was filled with three to four feet heaps of dead flies which had accumulated there over the years. The couple had the house jacked up, the flies removed, and a new foundation poured. Using Joan’s wood-crafting equipment, walls were torn down, windows were replaced, and the salvageable wood inside the house was sandpapered, stained, and polished. The sales she’d made from her Avon business helped pay for the remodeling bills.

In the refurbished home, Blomberg family life centered on raising son Patrick and stepson John, and it was during this time that Joan began collecting furniture, lamps, rugs, and other antique household goods that she could resell at annual collectors’ shows. Her first antiques business, called Country Living Antiques, was begun with the large inventory of furniture she’d accumulated at the farmhouse until she was ready to set up a booth at the Christmas bazaars, the summertime antique events, and at indoor mall shows across the Northwest

On the weekends, Joan was away from the farmhouse attending shows or buying additional antiques at garage and estate sales in the area – and during the weekdays she tended to the garden, fixed meals for the boys, cut back the thickets of blackberry bushes, and raised calves. She was definitely a décor lady during the day, and a hustling and herding cowgirl in the evening.

Using her creative skills and resourcefulness, Joan would saddle-up her Volkswagen Bus and head out to the nearest farm auction to buy a calf or two. The passenger seat had to be removed to make room for the livestock, and Joan boasted that both calf and driver arrived back at the Felida farmhouse safely, with no unfortunate incidents inside or out. Blomberg calves were raised in the pasture at their farm, and later sold profitably. A picture of one of her favorite bovines, Jeremy, can be found at the entrance to the bathroom door in her “American at Heart” store to this day.

But, on one occasion, there was an unfortunate incident. Joan had been asked by a neighbor to look after one of his prize bulls while he left for the weekend, and Joan figured it should be as simple as babysitting children during her early Sellwood days. Joan wasn’t counting on the bull getting loose in the farmer’s field, which it did. When she attempted to retrieve the stray animal and herd it back home, the bull had other ideas, and Joan ended up being dragged through blackberry bushes before the bull finally started back towards its barn. The Blombergs slowly ended their calf-raising career after that.

After fourteen years, the constant strain and demand of setting up and breaking down at trade shows, and traveling hither and yon, became tiresome – and Joan began looking for a store in which to showcase her home décor. In 1986 she found the perfect spot – a small brick storefront with 1,000 square feet of space for rent, which used to host a wicker shop, in the heart of the Sellwood’s antique district. It was located at a reasonable commute from her Washington home, where she and Ron still live.

This structure, at the corner of S.E. Tenino and 13th Avenue, built in 1910 during the streetcar era, was distinguished by its history of past owners. For six years, Archie G. Woolworth ran a confectionary on this corner, until he decided that moving to the Brooklyn neighborhood would attract him more customers.

F.H. Maulding and J.G. Noble were next to take over the Sellwood candy store, and it became widely known by every child in the community as the Sellwood Sweet Shop. Everything from candy to ice cream, cool refreshments to sandwiches, and even greeting cards, could be bought at the Sweet Shop. Fine cigars and tobacco were also available for the older patrons.

But time marches on, and once soft drinks could be bottled and ice cream sold in pints and quart containers, shoppers  began to get them at the corner grocery store, and fewer and  fewer people paid a visit to the neighborhood candy shop. Hard liquor and mixed drinks replaced candy and soft drinks, and taverns and cocktail bars began showing up in the community. In 1943, the Cozy Club Bar opened up for business in the Sellwood Sweet Shop’s space, and later it was renamed the Cozy Tavern.

Times continued to change, and by the 1960s small markets and grocery stores along 13th Avenue were being replaced by antique shops, second hand stores, and furniture refinishing establishments. It wasn’t long before 13th Avenue was crowned the “Antique Row” of Portland.

By the 1980s, the barstools, cheap beer, and rowdy customers of the Cozy Tavern were replaced by wicker furniture, bamboo bedroom sets, and hanging rattan chairs. And in 1986 the wicker store gave way to Joan’s “American at Heart” store, which still stands there today.

Joan had been a rental tenant in the building for a decade; but in 1996 she was able to buy the entire building, allowing her to display additional merchandise upstairs, after the upstairs tenant – a massage parlor – moved across the Willamette River. She next expanded her business into the rest of the downstairs, when her ground-floor tenant one day just up and disappeared. She knocked down the wall between the two storefronts to give herself more floor space and easier access to the upstairs section of the store.

Today, shoppers can find objects in “American at Heart” that can’t be found in other parts of Portland. Her store is stacked with arcane memorabilia – tavern signs from Virginia; porcelain eggs from Texas; cinnamon-scented rose hips; and canning crocks and Shaker furniture – many such items usually only available in the east.

You can even try luscious walnut caramels in her shop – in remembrance of the candies she once bought at Farley’s Grocery in Sellwood in her childhood.

If you have never been to the “American at Heart” store, take a stroll down 13th Avenue to Tenino Street, and stop at the storefront where the American flag is flying. You’ll know Joan right away – she’ll be the lady waving from the front of her store, sitting in a high back rocker, with an infectious laugh that you’ll always remember.

Half of Woodstock’s large Bi-Mart parking lot was filled with people keeping their distance from each other while waiting for service from the “Good Neighbor Vet” mobile clinic. Southeast Portland, Oregon
On a gray Saturday morning in late May, half of Woodstock’s large Bi-Mart parking lot was filled with people keeping their distance from each other while waiting for service from the “Good Neighbor Vet” mobile clinic. (Photo by Elizabeth Ussher Groff)

‘Mobile vet clinic’ visits Woodstock, even during pandemic

By ELIZABETH USSHER GROFF
For THE BEE

The rain held off all morning while people with their pets lined up in a circle – physically distancing – in the south portion of the Woodstock Bi-Mart parking lot. 

It was the last Saturday in May, and the “Good Neighbor Vet” van was holding its monthly mobile clinic.

For five years the van has been coming to the Woodstock Bi-Mart parking lot to provide pet exams, microchips, vaccines – as well as flea, tick, and heartworm prevention – and medication, too, all at affordable cost. No appointment is necessary, and it is always on a first-come, first-served basis.

This mobile licensed veterinarian service, now fourteen years old, has expanded over the years, and now has clinics in 104 locations in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho – which includes 38 in Oregon. A spokesperson later conceded to THE BEE that a few locations have been closed during the COVID-19 pandemic.   

Getting back to our late-May tableau in that Woodstock parking lot, Jess Ford, who is “Brand Manager” for Good Neighbor Pet, later said that they provided service to twenty-five pets that day.

We were there, and a woman from the Lents neighborhood said it was her fourth time to come for care for her dog, after she’d heard about the clinic from a friend. Michael Cosgrove, new to the Reed neighborhood from California, chimed in, “Everywhere I’ve ever lived, there has been a portable clinic that makes if affordable. I just found this one online. A man from the Woodstock neighborhood said it was his sixth time to visit the mobile clinic, and he was going to have his thirteen year-old cat’s nails trimmed and have a general checkup.     

Also present was the Gritz family from the Cully neighborhood in North Portland with their Chihuahua, which was waiting for a nail trim. A woman from the clinic came over to get their information, and returned with a muzzle and gently put it on the dog so it wouldn’t nip them during the nail clipping.

“This is my third dog, and I’ve been coming to these clinics for vet care since they started. They’re awesome,” stated a member of the Gritz family. “I heard about them when I went to the Humane Society and saw a brochure. Then I just told everyone I knew who had an animal and needed vet care.”  When asked why they’d come all the way from the Cully neighborhood to Woodstock, she said, “We follow them wherever they go, and that way we get to know different neighborhoods.  When we leave here we’ll go for a walk in Eastmoreland!” 

THE BEE reached out to several permanent veterinarian clinics or hospitals in Inner Southeast for comment, and all said that sometimes they refer people to the mobile Good Neighbor Vet clinic for a convenient vaccination, or a more affordable service.

For questions about the mobile van’s services, or to find locations where it is appearing, go online – https://www.goodneighborvet.com – and enter your ZIP Code. Or, call toll-free 1-888/234-1350 for current sites and dates. Dates and times may change during the pandemic crisis, of course.



The improvised Bybee Community Garden begins at S.E. 37th and Bybee Boulevard in Eastmoreland, Southeast Portland, Oregon
The improvised Bybee Community Garden begins at S.E. 37th and Bybee Boulevard. (Photo by Rita A. Leonard)

Bybee Community Garden: A tucked-away treasure

By RITA A. LEONARD
For THE BEE

Community gardens in Inner Southeast Portland come in all shapes and sizes; most are official.  Here’s one that has just spontaneously appeared to brighten up unused PBOT land.

The Bybee Community Garden, as it’s known informally, is a small easily-overlooked treasure that follows an extension of S.E. 37th Avenue from Bybee Boulevard two blocks south to Ogden Street. The land belongs to the City of Portland as a street right-of-way, but is not in use. The community garden there is neither overseen nor maintained by Portland Parks & Recreation.

According to neighbors, the garden has existed for a bit over a half decade. A home-owner next to the undeveloped land, Savai Bennet, decided to clean up an area that had become a dumping spot. She and another neighbor, Lee, cleaned up the trash, and Lee rototilled it. Bennet, who has since moved, organized the land into plots for a community garden. A stone labeling the spot was installed two years ago. It is unclear whether PBOT even officially knows their unused right-of-way is being used this way.

After the garden was set up along the footpath from Bybee Boulevard south to Ogden Street, a group of Portland State University students worked on the extension north from Bybee to nearby Berkeley Park. The students worked on a permaculture project there to encourage natural vegetation. They planted Asian pear trees, gooseberry bushes, and other native plants. However, that site has pretty much gone back to nature, unless someone decides to trim the overgrowth.

Neighbor Donna Giguere revealed that a professional landscaper helped design the garden; and another neighbor, Armin Hinterwirth, helps by attracting Mason bees. Garden plot minders have come and gone, depending on their levels interest. Water must be hauled in to the site – that’s a labor-intensive commitment.

The unpaved footpath features plots and trees on either side, and there’s a small rest area under more trees. Some lush crops remain from last year; and newly-prepped plots sport neat borders and upright vine climbers.

The footpath leads travelers past features such as discarded plant stakes, a plastic owl, wandering bumblebees, and a pesticide-free sign. Such details add personal touches to this narrow path to Eastmoreland’s very unofficial Bybee Community Garden.

Welcoming back neighbors at the first Woodstock Farmers Market of the season was volunteer Peggy McCafferty, at left – shown with the market’s Onsite Coordinator Grace Littig, and its Board President Karena Gruber; Southeast Portland, Oregon
Welcoming back neighbors at the first Woodstock Farmers Market of the season was volunteer Peggy McCafferty, at left – shown with the market’s Onsite Coordinator Grace Littig, and its Board President Karena Gruber. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Woodstock Farmers Market’s reopening cheers up neighborhood

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

Amid the difficult times in which we currently live, a bright spot for many was the season opening of the Woodstock Farmers Market on Sunday, June 7.

A longtime supporter, and now the Board President of the nonprofit market, Karena Gruber, told THE BEE she recalls when then-mayor Sam Adams attended the very first season opening, ten years ago. “And here we are, at the same location, and still going strong, with 20 vendors here today – even though things are a little different now!

“We’re creating a welcoming, safe, and still-fun experience of coming to the market, despite some of the changes for social distancing required by the COVID-19 crisis,” said Gruber.

Shoppers arriving at the Woodstock Farmers Market this season need to be aware that the “entrance” is now on the S.E. 47th Avenue side of the KeyBank parking lot; the “exit” is on 46th Avenue. “We’re taking steps to make sure the market does not get too crowded at any given time; and now our vendors are picking produce for customers to reduce handling,” explained Gruber.

Keeping within the guidelines, the market this year doesn’t have a dining area, and they ask the hot prepared food you purchase not be eaten at the market, but be taken home to enjoy. They ask that shoppers wear face masks or coverings while in the market.

“New for us this year is that you can ‘preorder’, and pay for your farm-fresh produce and other products from many of our vendors, using the ‘WhatsGood’ app – and we’ll have it ready to pick up when you come by.”

So, stop by; your neighborhood Sunday Woodstock Farmers Market is open and brimming with fresh, minimally handled food, from vendors you trust.

                Woodstock Farmers Market

  • Every Sunday through October 25
  • Open 10 AM – 2 PM
  • Behind KeyBank, between S.E. 46th and 47th Avenues
    www.woodstockmarketpdx.com

OMSI Feature Hall Assistant Manager Jennifer Powers at the reopening of the latest “BODY WORLDS” exhibition; Southeast Portland, Oregon
OMSI Feature Hall Assistant Manager Jennifer Powers told THE BEE she’s enthusiastic about the reopening of the latest “BODY WORLDS” exhibition. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

OMSI reopens ‘Body Worlds’, as well as submarine tours

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

After its grand opening on March 7 – and closing down only a week later, due to COVID-19 coronavirus concerns – the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) reopened the Pacific Northwest debut of the Gunther von Hagens’ exhibition “BODY WORLDS & The Cycle of Life” on Saturday, June 20.

“OMSI is reopening to the public, employing the same guidelines for Zoos, Museums, and Outdoor Gardens, as issued by Oregon Health Authority,” announced the museum’s Communications Manager, John Farmer.

“To meet state requirements and to help limit the spread of COVID-19, OMSI has implemented safety adjustments throughout the museum – including timed entry admissions, heightened cleaning guidelines, and a limit on the number of people in the ‘BODY WORLDS & The Cycle of Life’ exhibit hall – and also for the USS Blueback submarine tours,” Farmer said.

About the exhibit
This version of BODY WORLDS is different from the previous exhibitions hosted by OMSI – back in 2007, and again in 2011 – remarked Feature Hall Assistant Manager Jennifer Powers.

“This ‘Cycle of Life’ exhibit presents completely new material and specimens, with the theme being walking visitors through the life cycle of a human being, from prenatal development through old age,” Powers told THE BEE.

More than 100 specimens were curated for this exhibition, showing individual organs and systems, as well as full-body “plastinates” in various poses – including football players and gymnasts in action.

“This is a new way to explore human anatomy, and our lifecycle as human beings; and, it promotes personal introspection of our health, and our own life cycle as well,” Powers reflected.

The exhibit is still scheduled to be at OMSI through September 13.

Tickets to see the Body Worlds exhibit are additional to the museum’s own admission fee. “We strongly suggest guests buy tickets online in advance, to avoid disappointment at the box office, and to provide and touch-free ticketing,” recommended Farmer.

For hours, ticket prices, and more information, go online – http://www.omsi.edu 

Community Music Center Executive Director Greg Dubay presents a certificate of appreciation to 40-year instructors, Gayle and Phil Neuman; Southeast Portland, Oregon
Community Music Center Executive Director Greg Dubay presents a certificate of appreciation to 40-year instructors, Gayle and Phil Neuman. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Community Music Center teachers celebrate 40 years

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

The auditorium of Portland Parks & Recreation’s Community Music Center (CMC), in the Creston-Kenilworth neighborhood, was filled with some 60 people – including guests and musicians – shortly before the coronavirus crisis descended on Inner Southeast. They were there for a concert, and also to celebrate the 40 years of teaching by two of its instructors.

“Although I was a music student here at CMC when Gayle and Phil Neuman started teaching here in 1980, I didn’t take classes with them, because they teach adult classes only,” recalled the Center’s Executive Director, Greg Dubay. “They teach Renaissance music – including that played with recorders, and a whole bunch of stringed instruments and wind instruments with somewhat crazy names, like ‘the racket’ and the ‘sausage bassoon’, as well as the crumhorn or sackbut – that one was a brass musical instrument that, by the 1750s, was developing into the modern trombone!”

Officially, the event was the quarterly “CMC Recorder, Renaissance Song, and Wind Band Classes’ 40th Anniversary Concert”. But before the music began, Dubay presented a certificate to Gayle and Phil Neuman.

Dubay called the couple, “National treasures of the Community Music Center, having inspired hundreds of adults from the greater Portland area in the art and practice of playing early music together.”

He pointed out that in addition to teaching classes at the center, they also teach music history at Portland State University, Linfield College, and other institutions. And, together, they have both performed music used in motion pictures and television shows.

The honored couple graciously accepted the award, and then the scheduled concert began.

Portland’s venerable Community Music Center is situated one block south of S.E. Powell Boulevard, at 33rd Place.



Chelsea Mier at her “Bridges Child and Family Therapy” office in the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood, at S.E. 65th and Duke Street, for three years.
Chelsea Mier has had her “Bridges Child and Family Therapy” office in the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood, at S.E. 65th and Duke Street, for three years. (Photo by Elizabeth Ussher Groff)

‘Virtual Counseling’ easing minds during the COVID-19 pandemic

By ELIZABETH USSHER GROFF
For THE BEE

The emotional and psychic pain resulting from the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, which is experienced by many people, is not to be underestimated. Just when folks need more than ever to talk with someone about how they are feeling – being isolated, or quarantined – it is not possible to meet in person with a counselor, simply because of the demands of physical distancing.

One local psychologist, working from his Eastmoreland home, is Nick Kreofsky, who is holding “virtual online sessions” with clients. He has worked in counseling for forty years, both at Kaiser and in the Providence medical system.

“Most of the people I’ve seen [during my recent practice] have had some physical disability (Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, other physical challenges), as well as challenging life transitions,” he tells THE BEE in an e-mail. “This current situation has increased their stress, because often they have limited access to or physical contact with family members, and with the significant others who love them and provide comfort.”

Kreofsky says that using “virtual” technology for counseling is helpful, allowing clients to communicate face-to-face online. But, he says, “For me the virtual therapy is both more challenging (that is, it requires greater concentration), and is also less intimate. It provides more opportunity for distraction and less sensitive perceptual acuity.”

He is grateful, though, that there is the opportunity to give clients much-needed reassurance and encouragement during this difficult time, even though it is via an online session.

Another therapist, Chelsea Mier, counsels children (of all ages, including teens) and families from her office at S.E. Duke and 65th Avenue. Her practice, “Bridges Child and Family Therapy”, has been situated in the large blue “Portland Insight Meditation Center” building on Duke Street for three years.

At this time, because of physical distancing required right now, Mier holds virtual appointments using the telehealth program “Simple Practice” – which is a form of “Zoom” that is HIPPA compliant. It offers secure audio and video for both patients and doctors.

“I am surprised how most folks want to continue to participate [face-to-face] online. It took families a couple of weeks to find stability and routines before contacting me again. It is such a shock for parents to do so much work at home, while managing three things at once – home schooling, parenting, and working from home!”

Mier adds that now, after some time adjusting, families are getting a grip on what they can afford. Because of some people’s difficult finances during this time, she has begun charging on a sliding scale. She takes just a few appointments each day, Monday through Friday, so she can concentrate on being fully present for her clients while not becoming overloaded. She adds that, of course, there is always paperwork to take care of, too.

She says sometimes there are technology challenges with virtual counseling sessions, but overall she is very pleased with how it is working. “Surprisingly, even very young kids like ‘virtual’ sessions. It is less of a burden to do it at home, in a space where people feel comfortable. And kids like to share their [home] space with me.”

As strange as it may have seemed at first, it is apparent that the virtual world of the Internet can provide a lifeline for many people. We are discovering that there are lessons learned, and silver linings arising, from our experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dan Hoffa at the food pantry begun in 1968 at Holy Family Church in Eastmoreland; Southeast Portland, Oregon
Dan Hoffa has been volunteering for two decades at the food pantry begun in 1968 at Holy Family Church in Eastmoreland. Shelves are stocked with quality non-expired food every week by volunteers. During the COVID-19 crisis volunteers have been delivering the food. (Photo by Elizabeth Ussher Groff)

Holy Family food pantry benefits from donations during pandemic

By ELIZABETH USSHER GROFF
For THE BEE

Persistent food insecurity and hunger has grown as a problem in Inner Southeast during the COVID-19 pandemic. With the plunge in the economy and many people losing jobs, being able to buy enough food has become difficult for many.

So when Lisa Revell’s “Better Bones and Balance” exercise class that had been meeting two times a week at Trinity United Methodist Church began instead to have virtual classes on “Zoom”, Revell suggested that class members donate their class fees to a local food pantry rather than paying her.

This gesture of community generosity did not surprise class members, since Revell spends a month each year organizing a feeding program in northern Ghana. But it raised awareness of the need for food in our local communities.  Some class members decided they would send the class equivalent fee of $30 per month to the Portland Food Project – which BEE readers may remember was founded eight years ago by the late Richard Nudelman, a Woodstock resident and passionate jogger who tragically died of a heart attack in the neighborhood one day while running.

But, at present in the pandemic, the PFP “green bag” food collection has been suspended. PFP is asking people who usually give non-perishable food every two months to instead send money to food pantries, and one of them in this area is Holy Family. PFP asks their monetary donors to put a memo note, on their check, that it is from PFP contributors. So for Revell’s students, the answer presented itself.

The Holy Family Church pantry is on S.E. Knapp and 37th Avenue. Dan Hoffa, an Eastmoreland resident, has been an organizer at the Holy Family food pantry for two decades, and is currently Co-President. Who receives food from this food pantry?  Hoffa says, “95% of food recipients have no ties with the church. We [church volunteers] give our time and money, because our faith puts a huge emphasis on assisting those who are less fortunate, and live in poverty.”

In a phone interview, Hoffa explained to THE BEE how the Holy Family food pantry usually operates in pre-pandemic times: The pantry receives 600-800 pounds of non-perishable food items every two months from the Portland Food Project, in addition to weekly donations from the Oregon Food Bank. Hoffa says their overhead is only 3% (some money is earmarked for food not donated) and they serve approximately 30 to 35 families each month.

Each week half a dozen volunteers stock the pantry shelves on Tuesday morning and now – in COVID-19 times – volunteers DELIVER food boxes every Friday to people who qualify for food relief within the area they serve, which is McLoughlin Boulevard to S.E. 72nd Avenue, and Woodstock Boulevard to Johnson Creek Boulevard.

If you’d like to help, send a check to Dan Hoffa, made out to “Holy Family/SVDP” [“St. Vincent de Paul”] at 3666 S.E. Claybourne Street, Portland, 97202. Alternatively, online donations can be made with a credit card at – http://www.birchcommunityservices.org/give



THIS IS WHERE USUALLY WE HAVE A LIST OF COMMUNITY EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES FOR THE MONTH.  FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, DUE NO DOUBT TO THE COVID-19 CRISIS, THERE WERE NONE REPORTED TO US.  WE HOPE FOR SOME NEXT MONTH!



SCROLL DOWN FOR THE LIST OF COMMUNITY HOTLINKS -- AND USEFUL, AND JUST PLAIN FUN HOTLINKS -- IMMEDIATELY BELOW!

     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

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 Daily.com

KATU, Channel 2 (Digital/HDTV broadcast channel 24)

KOIN, Channel 6 (Digital/HDTV broadcast channel 25)

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)