From The Editor

Rose Festival is back, in this ‘city of towns’

Your editor is not a Portland native, although I am now – by choice – a Portlander for life. I grew up in a small town in California, eventually getting college-educated near, and working in, the second largest city in the United States – which is also in California.

In 1975 when promoted by the company I was working for to a job here in Portland, one of the things I learned first, aside from the changeability of the weather (which I found a plus – and there were actually four seasons here), was that Portland had a remarkable attitude about itself, even though it was a major city! It didn’t take long to learn that it actually thought of itself as a small town. Or, actually, a collection of small towns.

The neighborhoods in this city all had distinctive characters, each different from others, and more often than not each had its own business district, history, and local traditions. But there was one tradition that united the whole city – the Rose Festival each spring.  In the state I came from, there was no such event or festival that so united people in towns or cities of any size. It still expresses, in a way even small towns don’t anymore, both a sense of history and a sense of this city as home.

And now, with the COVID-19 pandemic in remission – although this disease is now likely to linger amongst us always, as the flu does – the Rose Festival is fully back for us this year to participate in and enjoy.

One of the two simultaneous events that mark its official start in 2023 happened on April 29th – the “82nd Avenue of Roses Parade”, which starts at Eastport Plaza and ends up many blocks north. This year, the weather was sunny and clear, and very comfortable in the low 80 degree range. It was a delight to be able to enjoy a Portland parade without raingear and an umbrella! But it would have been great either way. 82nd Avenue in Southeast Portland marks the geographical center of the City of Portland. Did you know that?

And, notably, the very last official event of the Rose Festival each year also happens in Inner Southeast Portland – the Westmoreland Park Milk Carton Boat Races, starting at noon at the historic Depression-era “casting pond” in that park – this year, it’s on Sunday, June 25th. The event is put on by the Royal Rosarians, and it’s celebrating its 50th anniversary this year! As usual, THE BEE will be there covering it, and we hope you’ll bring yourself and the family and enjoy it too.

In between these events are two more major parades – the Starlight, in the evening downtown, on June 3rd; and the Grand Floral Parade on Saturday morning, June 10th, which currently does not even go downtown anymore – staying on the east side of the river, from its origin at the Memorial Coliseum at the east end of the Broadway Bridge, to its conclusion in the southeast corner of Lloyd Center.

There are many, many other events of all kinds, big and small, associated with the Rose Festival, and we hope you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy or get involved in many of them.

A City of Portland without the Rose Festival would just not be the same city, nor would it be Portland without its distinct neighborhoods – little villages next to each other, all over this city.

As a city, we certainly have had our problems recently; some with origins in the way the city is governed, and the voters of Portland have taken steps to improve that with an updated and more effective form of city government on its way.

But we are Portlanders, and we tend to nurture optimism – particularly with the return, each spring, of the Rose Festival! Get out there and enjoy it.

Letters to the Editor

Ghastly weed


Thanks for the reminder about the invasive weed known as "lesser celandine." It's the one with the [waxy] yellow flowers that are blooming now in nasty clumps next to curbs and sidewalks and in yards. It looks nice in the spring, but as soon as the weather warms it appears to die back, leaving dark patches of bare earth. Even then it is still working beneath the soil, spreading by tubers. As THE BEE pointed out, the only way to kill it is to dig it out.

It looks a bit like a dandelion but it is totally different. And there is no spray that will kill it. Dig it out and throw it in the garbage, not the recycling bin. And next year, do it again. This is not a one-time job – but this weed can be defeated.

Jim Wygant


I am definitely happy for your editorial about the invasive Lesser celandine plant  I found some inaccurate information in it, however. I have -- as have many members of the Bird Backyard Habitat group on Facebook – been fighting this noxious plant for several years. First, I want to make clear that the plant is not poisonous to the touch; maybe it is poisonous to wildlife – I have not seen any birds or animals insects eating it. Second, digging it makes it spread more, no matter how careful one is when digging it! Third, the city of Portland ask to put the plants in plastic bags and then in the garbage. I recently saw a video of an eradication study for this plant. What works best for eradicating it are strong herbicides or covering it well with black plastic. The black plastic will starve the bulblets.

Rita A Lyons
via e-mail

EDITOR’S NOTE: The various sources quoted at the end of the editorial agreed that touching the plant may have the same irritating effect on the skin as touching poison oak, as we said. Of course not everyone is sensitive to poison oak, and that may be true of this plant also. They also seemed quite definite that any animal eating the plant (including people) would be risking serious liver damage and death. The sources also advocated digging the entire plant up, including all roots and bulblets, and putting it in the garbage, since leaving ANY of the bulblets and roots in the ground would simply regenerate and spread the plant – and there was also the sense that conventional herbicides do not work against it. Covering the plant with black plastic (or concrete!) might work, but if the root system is able to spread beyond the edge of the cover before it dies, the plant would endure. Everyone, including this reader, is in agreement that this invasive plant must be eradicated before it continues to spread.

Park lighting removal


Until I heard about the hammock-lamppost accident, which prompted the city to remove the lampposts, I never would have guessed that tying a hammock to a lamppost could cause it to topple. I know we’re a little frustrated about the sudden removal of the lampposts, but that doesn’t give us license to not show empathy toward the person who was injured when the lamppost to which they tied their hammock broke. That’s not the Portland I know and love.

Rachel Weisshaar

“Medical warning for travelers”


I am writing to you today to alert your readers to a potential inconvenience (or worse) if and when they travel out of Oregon, and during that time need to communicate with their doctors back home.

Recently my wife and I traveled to Mexico for an extended vacation. We both have medical doctors in the Portland area from whom we receive care and advice on several different matters. In particular, I had had major surgery about a month before we departed on our vacation.  Everything was fine in that regard – fortunately.

But, while we were away, a matter unrelated to my surgery came up, and I reached out to my primary care physician. To my surprise, when the doctor’s office learned that I was in Mexico, I was told that neither my doctor nor his staff could communicate with me while I was away, because, “Our doctors are not licensed to practice medicine in Mexico.” To be clear, I was not asking them to write a prescription to be filled in Mexico, or to send me something in Mexico. I just wanted to speak with my doctor or his staff to ask a few questions about one of my existing conditions for which they had already been treating me. My doctor and his staff said they were prohibited by this provider (which, in my case, is Providence Health Care) from having ANY communication with me while I was in Mexico.

My American friends in Mexico as well as several Mexican doctors told me they had never heard of such a prohibition. (For what it's worth, neither had the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City.) I subsequently learned that others of my Portland medical providers don’t impose such a restriction. That was a relief. And fortunately, I had not experienced any complications or issues regarding my pre-travel surgery.

So, my point to your readers is that they might be wise to check with their own medical providers before they make a trip outside Oregon, to learn whether their providers will be free to communicate with them about issues that may arise concerning their existing medical treatment wherever they may be going. 

William R. Meyer 
via email

Volunteers wanted


All Saints Episcopal Church in Woodstock is seeking volunteers to work in the Hot Meals program and Woodstock Pantry in the month of June. We have shifts every Friday and Saturday. Please contact Kristen via email – – or call 503/777-3829. Thank you.

Kristen Mägis
via email



On Satirday,May 6, at Milwaukie Covenant Church, a Celebration of Life was held for Glenn Forayter, the former letter carrier for over three decades ion the Woodstock neighborhood. Some of the forty people at the celebration talked about Glenn’s good character and authenticity, but not much mention was made of his caring for neighborhood dogs. So here is a thank you, to our beloved late letter carrier, written for our dog Lulu to present to him, expressing how much dogs loved him, because he welcomed every one of t hem with treats:

Glenn, Bow Wow what a year! Hardy and I hope that 2021 will be gr-r-r-reat. No bones about it, we look forward to a better year and all those treats. Hardy said to bark a thank you from him too. He’s my cheweenie cousin that sleeps over once in a while. I had mom and dad scamper out to get you a little something you might enjoy. I am just too small to do it myself. You know, 5 pounds and 4 tiny paws just doesn’t get you too far on the streets anymore (doggone it). So I paws at this special Christmastime of year and howl about what a grr-r-r-reat mail carrier you are. I know you have miles on those shoes taking care of all of us in the neighborhood. Thank you and Happy Holidays! – Lulu

He enjoyed it, and we truly enjoyed him.

Pam Mitchell
Lulu’s mom
S.E. Ramona Street

Letters to the Editor may be submitted via e-mail by clicking HERE.

All letters to the editor are subject to editing for clarity and available space, and all letters become property of THE BEE.


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