More stories from September's issue of THE BEE!


On the Reed College Canyon trail on Sunday, August 2, Woodstock resident Dilafruz Williams was walking with her visiting son James and his family. James and his wife Mary Anne now live in California; James is now County Counsel of Santa Clara County near San Francisco. The Reed campus closed to the public the next day.
On the Reed College Canyon trail on Sunday, August 2, Woodstock resident Dilafruz Williams was walking with her visiting son James and his family. James and his wife Mary Anne now live in California; James is now County Counsel of Santa Clara County near San Francisco. The Reed campus closed to the public the next day. (Photo by Elizabeth Ussher Groff)
These signs were posted on the Reed College campus on Monday, August 3rd. The campus will remain closed to the public until further notice, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
These signs were posted on the Reed College campus on Monday, August 3rd. The campus will remain closed to the public until further notice, due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo courtesy of Douglas Yarrow)

Reed College’s campus and canyon close to the public

By ELIZABETH USSHER GROFF
For THE BEE

Reed College is currently planning to have students return to campus for instruction in the fall, as are some other colleges and universities in Oregon. Reed will have one dormitory – MacNaughton Hall – dedicated to providing quarantine to students who may become infected with COVID-19.

However, having students, faculty, and staff return in the fall has led the college to the decision to close its campus and canyon to the public.

As many in adjacent neighborhoods know, the college’s canyon is a 26-acre wilderness refuge with towering trees, a lake, a marsh, the headwaters of Crystal Springs Creek, and a myriad of birds and wildlife. It has always been a sanctuary for the many in the community who walk or jog its paths.

Especially now, during coronavirus pandemic and in a time of tumultuous local and national politics, the canyon – as well as the campus with its wide lawns and mammoth trees – is literally a breath of fresh air, providing refreshment for the mind and soul that sometimes can be found only in the peace and wonder of natural beauty.

In early July, Reed’s Director of Communications, Kevin Myers, sent a letter to residents in neighborhoods surrounding the college. It read in part: “Reed will be following the guidance of the Oregon Health Authority and the Higher Education Coordinating Commission, and closing the campus to public access beginning August 3.”

The letter informed the public that the closure pertains to the entire campus, including library and other facilities, parking lots, lawns, sports fields, canyon trails, and off-leash dog areas, and applies until further notice.

Myers stated that the reason for the closure is to reduce “campus density”, and thus lessen the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Since March, there have been two positive cases of COVID-19 on Reed’s campus among active community members. With no end to the pandemic currently in sight, he says that the college is concerned for the health and safety of all students, staff, and faculty when they return to campus.

Myers admitted that it has been a very difficult decision for the college to make, because Reed for one hundred years has welcomed the public to stroll its campus areas and attend campus events.

Responses have varied, but many neighbors have expressed disappointment not to have access to this wilderness area for an indefinite time.

Because signs advising of the closure were not posted on canyon paths or on campus until August 3rd – the day of closure itself – some who had not received a letter were walking in the canyon on Sunday, August 2, and were surprised to see a few handwritten fliers announcing the closing – and objecting to the restriction. The fliers urged neighbors to contact the President of the College and Director of Communications to express their opinions.

In fact, Dilafruz Williams, a Woodstock resident, PSU professor, and former Portland Public School Board member, was one of those enjoying the canyon wilderness on August 2nd with her son James and his family who had driven up from Santa Clara, California, the night before. She says she has hiked these trails in early morning hours for years. She was surprised to read the signs about the impending closure, and says she will miss it very much.

Michael Krueger, a Creston-Kenilworth neighbor whose wife works on campus, moved to allow six feet of distance for several other hikers to pass on the trail as he stated his opinion to THE BEE: “It’s a beautiful spot for many to come and commune with nature, but I support the decision to close the campus until the COVID-19 pandemic is over, to protect students and the public. And people don’t realize it’s private property [so the college can make that decision].”

One suggestion made by a Reed neighborhood resident is that the college have the canyon open to the public one morning a week, perhaps on Sunday from 6 to 10 a.m., when many students might still be sleeping!

With a modification or not, the college is hoping that the public will understand the need to protect health during the pandemic.  They are hoping everyone will respect the closure and the signage, and be patient. The campus will be open again once the virus is under control.

In the meantime, for those seeking a secluded walk in a natural environment, there’s always the Oaks Bottom Trail along the base of the cliff – accessed either from the bottom of S.E. Spokane Street in Sellwood, or from the parking lot on S.E. Milwaukie Avenue, at Mitchell Street, in Westmoreland.



Portland’s Rose City Rollers turned the outside of their sports facility – “The Hanger” at Oaks Park – into a drive-in movie theater for August and September (and possibly later), after the COVID-19 pandemic forced their league to close down indoor competitions.
Portland’s Rose City Rollers turned the outside of their sports facility – “The Hanger” at Oaks Park – into a drive-in movie theater for August and September (and possibly later), after the COVID-19 pandemic forced their league to close down indoor competitions. (Photo by Paige Wallace)

Rose City Rollers offer Drive-In Movie experience at Oaks Park

By PAIGE WALLACE
For THE BEE

Roller derby skaters are trained to shift direction quickly on a tiny set of wheels. Southeast Portland’s Rose City Rollers (RCR) made a similar maneuver to keep local fans engaged during the pandemic.

This new venture, however, involves much larger wheels – those on cars, SUVs, and pickups.

In July, RCR launched “Cinema Under the Stars” – which turned their skating venue, The Hangar at Oaks Amusement Park, into a drive-in movie theater! In a normal summer, RCR would have hosted several competitive roller derby events inside the The Hangar. However, physical distancing requirements due to the coronavirus forced those activities into hiatus.

Like other nonprofits, RCR has been brainstorming new ways to keep its members and its community engaged without violating pandemic lockdown rules. Those internal discussions led to the realization that people right now seem nostalgic for simpler times.

“I think it’s just the nature of everything that’s going on in the world,” RCR Marketing Manager Meg Patterson explained. “There’s a lot of interest in ‘throwback’ activities.” She said it made sense that people who like watching roller derby might also enjoy drive-in movies.

On July 25 RCR soft-launched “Cinema Under the Stars” for Rose City Rollers season ticket holders, with a screening of the roller derby documentary, “Hell On Wheels”. After that first crowd responded positively, the drive-in movie venture launched to the public at large on Thursday, August 6.

Since then, as weather allows, every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night as many as 50 vehicles can line up in front of The Hangar just before sunset. A 15-foot tall white screen hangs across the building’s expansive doorway. Upbeat party music plays through a large outdoor speaker system, as moviegoers settle into their bucket seats or beneath open hatchbacks. When daylight fades to dark, the screen lights up with the movie of the week.

“So far everything we’ve heard from people is that they’re really excited about this,” Patterson smiled.

On August 7 and 8, sellout crowds showed up to watch Rob Reiner’s “The Princess Bride”. The following weekend Cinema Under the Stars featured the 1998 family classic, “The Sandlot”. Upcoming movie titles are listed on RCR’s website – http://www.rosecityrollers.com – which is also where the driver of each vehicle planning to attend must sign up in advance to reserve their space, since there is that 50-car limit.

These screenings are considered fundraisers, so admission is donation-based, with a suggested amount of $45 per vehicle. However, the website offers options ranging from $0 to $65. Each driver can then bring as many people as can safely and legally fit inside their car.

Patterson said organizers opted for the sliding scale in a deliberate effort to keep the event affordable. “People are going through some really tough times right now,” she pointed out. “We wanted this to be accessible, and give people the opportunity to pay what they can.”

COVID-19 has forced some pandemic-specific rules upon these events. Organizers ask that people stay in their cars, except for bathroom breaks. Masks are mandatory once leaving the vehicle, and only ten people can be outside of cars at a time, including staff. The portable toilet on site gets disinfected after each use.

Their website states the goal to follow county, state, and CDC guidelines to keep everyone as safe as possible. All drivers must be over 18, and sign a waiver that extends to others in their vehicle, including minors.

RCR plans to show a variety of films from different genres, so there should be something to please a wide variety of moviegoers. Organizers hope to continue “Cinema Under the Stars” into September, and perhaps beyond – for “as long as we still have reasonable weather,” Patterson said.



Rose City Rollers Special Events Coordinator Jennifer Miller checks skaters into the Oaks Amusement Park grounds.
Rose City Rollers Special Events Coordinator Jennifer Miller checks skaters into the Oaks Amusement Park grounds. (Photo by David F.Ashton)

‘Rollers’ host outdoor skate party at Oaks Park

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

With both nonprofit organizations closed to the public, due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, Portland’s own internationally-recognized flat-track Roller Derby team, the Rose City Rollers, hosted an outdoor “skating party” at the still-closed-for-the-time-being Oaks Amusement Park in Sellwood on Sunday, August 9.

The team’s headquarters and competition rink has been at “The Hanger” near the radio tower in Oaks Amusement Park, not far from the park’s own historic roller rink – but the organization has not been able to host Roller Derby exhibitions due to state- and county-mandated closures of such venues.

“Today we’ve opened up our ‘SkateMobile’, here at the front gate of Oaks Amusement Park, for socially distanced sessions of safe skating,” Rose City Rollers’ Special Events Coordinator Jennifer Miller told THE BEE, while checking in the guests to one of their skating sessions.

Starting in the mid-morning, they offered three two-hour sessions to a maximum of 25 guests – all of whom followed the rules by signing up in advance.

“You can skate all over Oaks Park, including the parking lots, and in the midway around the rides,” Miller enthused.

And so these folks did, enjoying a nice summer afternoon, on roller skates. It is one of many fundraisers the team is coming up with to help keep it going until the state allows the Roller Derby to resume. Another is a Drive-In Movie concept at the park; see the previous story, in this issue of THE BEE.

And, to see these activities, check their website – http://www.rosecityrollers.com



Waverly Surf Apartments resident Stuart Roy points to the heavy electrical vault cover knocked off by the falling branch.
Waverly Surf Apartments resident Stuart Roy points to the heavy electrical vault cover knocked off by the falling branch. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Large oak limb crashes down at Waverly Surf Apartments

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

When a major limb of a huge oak tree fell at Sellwood’s Waverly Surf Apartments, in the wee hours of Tuesday, July 28, everyone in the area heard it crash to the ground.

Damaged in varying degrees by the falling limb were three vehicles and an electrical power vault at the apartment complex – which is situated on S.E. Linn Street, just west of 8th Avenue.

“Fortunately, no one was hurt; probably because it crashed down about 1:45 a.m. in the morning,” remarked resident Stuart Roy.

“I heard a loud, prolonged cracking noise for several seconds, as the tree was splitting near the top,” Roy told THE BEE. “Then, I heard the crash of the limb on the ground – kind of like the cracking sound of lightning, followed by thunder during a storm!”

The loudest noise heard was when the heavy part of the branch smashed into an electrical vault cover. “That made an extremely loud ‘boom’, and the floor of my apartment shook!” Roy reported – as he pointed out that his apartment is the one nearest the electrical vault.

Later in the day, a tree service’s crew was hard at work, spending substantial time cutting up the mighty branch and transporting the pieces away.



Carmen Chasteen (third from left) has worked at Woodstock Safeway for 43 years. She is shown here with co-workers and friends, from left: Alonzo Hardin, Service Operations Manager; Barbara Tice, versatile clerk and file maintenance; Carmen; and Benny Quintanilla, the new Store Director.
Carmen Chasteen (third from left) has worked at Woodstock Safeway for 43 years. She is shown here with co-workers and friends, from left: Alonzo Hardin, Service Operations Manager; Barbara Tice, versatile clerk and file maintenance; Carmen; and Benny Quintanilla, the new Store Director. (Photo by Elizabeth Ussher Groff)

Longtime Safeway ‘essential worker’ adjusts, during pandemic

By ELIZABETH USSHER GROFF
For THE BEE

We know that the public has expressed tremendous appreciation for food store workers, among other essential and frontline workers, who have stayed on the job, serving the community, during the pandemic. But how much do we really know about the life changes and coping strategies needed by frontline grocery store employees?

After more than four decades on the job, Carmen Chasteen – today a Woodstock Safeway front end manager of self-checkout – is proud and happy to be a frontline worker: One of those who keep us supplied and safe, in spite of added responsibilities and concerns for their own health during the time of COVID-19.

Faithfully showing up at work for forty-three years, in many different positions, Chasteen began as a night shift checker at Woodstock Safeway in November 1976, and moved on and up into a variety of different positions over the years. But this past March when COVID-19 began to spread, she took a three-month leave of absence.

“When the pandemic hit in March, the public officials said ‘stay home, stay safe’, and [under] doctor’s orders I stayed home from March 20 to July 5th, until more was known about the virus, and how to work and be safe,” explained Chasteen, who is over 60. 

Chasteen remarks that the Woodstock Safeway employees were a lifeline for her while she stayed home to remain safe. After forty-three years, it was not easy to be away and isolated, and they kept her in touch. “They kept me in the loop on the condition of the store, and how they were all coping with work during this time. Barbara Tice, a loyal and very versatile employee and friend of mine, was an especially big help keeping me informed on how to be safe when coming back to work.”

Now working four days a week instead of five, Chasteen comments, “The first two weeks it was hard to get used to wearing the mask, but I figured it out – how to adjust it so I can breathe a little better – and I also wear a [plastic face] shield for extra protection. I now feel safe enough to be in the workforce of the pandemic world.”

Chasteen continues as a front end service clerk, and gives credit to her loyal customers for her receiving recognition, over a number of years, as a Safeway Presidential survey award winner. She reports with a smile, “Alonzo (Service Operations Manager) calls me the Golden Goose, because of my high scoring on the surveys.”

Her motivation for working for so many decades, and now continuing during the pandemic, has been to faithfully serve her customers and to create an enjoyable life for herself and her family.          

“After I started as a checker in 1976, I worked a few years from 3 p.m. to midnight, so I could buy a new house in Sandy, Oregon, for my two small children and me.”

These days Chasteen arrives at work at 7 a.m. and helps get the store ready following the pandemic protocols. “I clean down all self-check stands before opening that area for customers, and then clean with disinfectant every chance I can. The whole store is cleaned before opening the doors for customers. The safety of our customers and ourselves is our first priority.”

Currently, protective masks are required for all employees and customers. Customers who arrive without one will be given a mask, although they are encouraged to bring their own.

When a customer approached Alonzo Hardin, Service Operations Manager, expressing how grateful she was for the store now making a big effort to follow pandemic protocols, Hardin said her comment gave him goose bumps, and remarked, “The store is really turning around [regarding coronavirus protocols]. And, we appreciate this press coverage [from THE BEE].”

Paramedics arrived to check out the drivers of two cars that collided in the intersection of S.E. 52nd and Flavel Drive.
Paramedics arrived to check out the drivers of two cars that collided in the intersection of S.E. 52nd and Flavel Drive. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

No injuries in ‘T-Bone’ smashup in Brentwood-Darlington

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

Two late-model vehicles appeared totaled, after a grinding side-impact crash that took place on Tuesday afternoon, July 28, on S.E. 52nd Avenue at Flavel Drive, in the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood.

Paramedic/firefighters crewing Woodstock Fire Station’s Engine 25 were dispatched to the accident at 4:13 p.m. When they arrived, they found that the drivers of both vehicles were apparently uninjured – and up and walking around in the intersection. The paramedics stayed to perform precautionary examinations on both, however.

It appeared that the BMW X5 hatchback had been southbound on S.E. 52nd Avenue, and was cresting the hill just as the driver of a Subaru Forester, westbound on Flavel Drive, had started to drive across 52nd, and the BMW smacked into the Subaru.

As a result of the impact, the Subaru slid southward, knocking down the steel street and stop sign post on the west side 52nd Avenue, and coming to rest 40 feet beyond the intersection. The BMW stopped at the curb.

The drivers exchanged information, and both vehicles were later towed away.



Gino Accuardi, of Gino’s Restaurant and Bar, says he’s looking forward to the “European atmosphere” to be created by the planned weekend “Main Street Plaza” in the road, on S.E. 13th in Sellwood. (The postal carrier in the background is greeting BEE readers – he’s one of the dedicated crew who bring you your BEE each month!)
Gino Accuardi, of Gino’s Restaurant and Bar, says he’s looking forward to the “European atmosphere” to be created by the planned weekend “Main Street Plaza” in the road, on S.E. 13th in Sellwood. (The postal carrier in the background is greeting BEE readers – he’s one of the dedicated crew who bring you your BEE each month!) (Photo by David F. Ashton)

PBOT’s ‘business plazas’ bloom in Sellwood and Westmoreland

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

Businesses in Sellwood along S.E. 13th Avenue have taken the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) up on their “Healthy Businesses Permit” project, so that they can use some side-street pavement for outdoor seating, pickup areas, and queuing zones.

While volunteer organizers wait for PBOT approval for the “Main Street Plaza” that would actually close off S.E. 13th Avenue from S.E. Tacoma Street as far north as Lexingtom on weekends, the local coordinators are still looking for a replacement for the project’s placeholder name, “Sellwood Square”.

“Now, we are asking our community to select the new name for the Main Street Plaza, and that poll will be available on our website  http://www.sellwoodsquare.com,” said Media Engagement Coordinator Erika Richter on behalf of the project’s volunteer committee and leaders, including Ayomide Nikzi, and Carman Vannieuwkerk.

“Of course, our website’s URL will be updated to reflect the new name, once we have gathered input from our community,” observed Richter.

“Our general awareness campaign is going well,” Richter commented. “Businesses and neighbors are responding with full support. We recently met with the SMILE [the Sellwood-Westmoreland neighborhood association] to provide an update last week, and we’re grateful for their support.

“To that end, we're working diligently to figure out how to expedite the approval process with PBOT, so that we can get S.E. 13th Avenue closed [up to four blocks north of Tacoma] on the weekends. This is critical,” said Richter.

Current proposed site plans for the “Main Street Plaza” include:

  • Business shared spaces
  • Parking; both 5 minute and 30 minute pickup zones
  • Emergency Access Corridor
  • Micro Enterprise Spaces
  • Public Activity Spaces

“Our plans have been submitted to PBOT, and we have almost unanimous support from the local business owners, and more than 80 residential neighbors respondents who have signed on to our petition of support,” Richter pointed out.

‘Business Plazas’ open in August
The first Sellwood “Side Street Plaza”, on Nehalem Street, running to about 100 feet west of S.E. 13th Avenue. Grand Central Bakery, was the first Side Street Plaza to be approved. Tea Chai Te, and Milieu, among others, are to be featured in this space. These plazas will be open daily, from noon until 9 p.m.

Looking forward to the opening of the “Side Street Plaza” on Spokane Street was Gino Accuardi, of Gino’s Restaurant and Bar, at 8051 S.E. 13th Avenue – under the historic “Leipzig Tavern” sign.

“We already have a ‘Parking Plaza’, and being able to expand, while we still have nice weather, will allow us to staff up a little more and safely serve customers,” Accuardi told THE BEE.

“This, and the ‘Main Street Plaza’, if approved, will help bring people some fun, and the feeling of a little normalcy while social distancing,” Accuardi said. “I’m looking at it as a fun social experiment; it’s kind of a European feel that’s just right for an Italian restaurant, other local businesses, and micro-pop-up venders.”

Another “Side Street Plaza” will be along S.E. Lexington Street, next to Blue Kangaroo Coffee Roasters – a business that currently also has a “Parking Plaza” permit and outdoor seating.

“It’s lovely that we can stay open and serve the community,” said Blue Kangaroo’s Sheema Shariat.

It’s very important that we can continue to safely serve our community, that we dearly love; and, with the larger space we’re sharing with the food cart pod, have a nice place to visit here in our neighborhood,” Shariat added.

Although no “Main Street Plaza” street closure is planned for Westmoreland, a number of merchants – especially restaurants – have taken advantage of the opportunity to set up “Parking Plazas” along S.E. Milwaukie Avenue and Bybee Boulevard, and more likely are coming.

Learn more about this PBOT-promoted project as it develops, online – http://www.sellwoodsquare.com


Autumn forecast: Rain returning to Portland earlier, this year

By ERIC NORBERG
Editor, THE BEE

Each fall Oregon forecasters produce a “What Will Winter Be Like” forum at OMSI; if social distancing precludes it being done at the museum’s auditorium this year, we hope that it will at least take place online.

But this year, THE BEE has also received a forecast for Autumn along the West Coast – from the national “AccuWeather” private meteorological company. Of interest is their statement that the “La Niña” weather pattern seems to be returning to the central Pacific Ocean, which suggests a wetter, and possibly earlier, winter here than last year.

In early August they sent out this summary of their expectations for this fall on the West Coast:

Residents across the West Coast will face an elevated risk of wildfires heading into the new season, but the fire danger will be short-lived for the [northern] part of the region.

“This year, we are going to have an early-fall wildfire season in the Pacific Northwest,” according to Paul Pastelok, a senior meteorologist who has been with AccuWeather for nearly three decades.

Pastelok pointed out that September is likely to be the most active month for wildfires across the Northwest, from about Eugene northward – an area where pockets of severe drought have developed. This has left brush and potential fuel drier than normal, one of the ingredients for destructive wildfires.

However, the active start to the wildfire season in the Northwest will last for only a few weeks, he says, before a wet pattern begins to set in by October, helping to put a lid on the larger fires that ignite in September and to shorten the overall length of the fire season.

“Definitely look for a shorter wildfire season in the Northwest, but still a strong one from places like eastern Washington, and mid-Oregon down into Northern California,” Pastelok added.

Meanwhile, farther south in California, he says that it will take a longer time for the onset of the rainy season to arrive with storms being few and far between until the tail end of autumn and early winter. As a result, the fire season in Central and Southern California may well last quite a bit longer than it will in the Pacific Northwest.

October, in particular, is forecast to bring several Santa Ana Wind events, making it the busiest time for wildfires in Southern California – an area that has recently been scorched by huge late-season wildfires – and also an area where a huge fire in Riverside County was out of control even as that AccuWeather forecast was being issued.



PBOT workers are involved in the process of installing underground utility improvements near Flavel Park, as part of the “Springwater Connector Neighborhood Greenway” project.
PBOT workers are involved in the process of installing underground utility improvements near Flavel Park, as part of the “Springwater Connector Neighborhood Greenway” project. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Springwater Corridor ‘connector’ project begins

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

Beginning in the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood, preliminary work got underway in August for the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) “Fixing Our Streets-funded project that’s called the “Springwater Connector Neighborhood Greenway”.

“When completed, the project will allow Portlanders to travel on a neighborhood greenway – a street designed especially for biking and walking – between the Springwater Corridor in the south, out to the ’80s Neighborhood Greenway’, and the future ‘70s Neighborhood Greenway’, which will be constructed in 2021 and 2022,” explained PBOT Capital Projects Communications Coordinator Hannah Schafer.

The $2.1 million project will completely refurbish two gravel streets, one of them in Inner Southeast Portland along S.E. 75th Place, between Lambert Street and Crystal Springs Boulevard.

“The gravel streets, often rutted and full of potholes, will be paved, and sidewalks will be built as part of the project. PBOT’s contractor will also construct a paved path along the eastern edge of Flavel Park; new crosswalks on S.E. Flavel Street at Flavel Park and 78th Avenue, and traffic-calming along the ‘70s Greenway’ route on 75th Avenue, Harney Street and 77th Avenue,” outlined Schafer.

When finished later this year, users can expect to find:

  • A paved multi-use path with lighting along the east edge of Flavel Park
  • Safer crossings at S.E. Flavel Street at Flavel Park and at 78th Avenue
  • Pavement markings for bicyclists called “sharrows”
  • Bicycle wayfinding signs
  • Speed bumps
  • New Trees planted

This project is expected to be completed in January, 2021. For updates, and to see a map of the project, visit the PBOT project’s webpage – http://tinyurl.com/y5qt3gna



Paramedics load the shooting victim into an ambulance near 67th Avenue, after a car-to-car drive-by shooting on Holgate Boulevard near S.E. 82nd.
Paramedics load the shooting victim into an ambulance near 67th Avenue, after a car-to-car drive-by shooting on Holgate Boulevard near S.E. 82nd. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Drive-by shooting on SE Holgate injures passenger

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

Apparently no one saw the shooting that took place on August 6, just after 6 p.m., on S.E. Holgate Boulevard, just west of 82nd Avenue of Roses – when suspects in one car fired gunshots at another car, striking it.

East Precinct officers were dispatched at 6:47 p.m. – but not to that intersection, because the victim automobile had already left the scene of the shooting.

“The victim vehicle ran off the street near S.E. 67th Avenue along Powell Boulevard; one of the passengers inside it had been shot in the shoulder by a suspect in the other vehicle,” explained Portland Police spokesperson Officer Melissa Newhard.

“The victim was transported to an area hospital; condition is unknown. The suspect vehicle is still outstanding; but, given the circumstances of the incident, there appears to be no threat to the community.”

Anyone with information about this shooting incident – and who has not already been contacted by investigators – is asked to call the Portland Police Bureau’s non-emergency number, 503/823-3333.



After a shooting in the Creston-Kenilworth neighborhood, policed search for evidence to identify the assailants.
After a shooting in the Creston-Kenilworth neighborhood, policed search for evidence to identify the assailants. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Surging East Portland gun violence creeps west into Inner Southeast

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

While most of the recent large increase in gun violence has taken place in Outer East Portland, residents in the Creston-Kenilworth neighborhood say they’re disturbed by a shooting on Tuesday evening, August 4th, along S.E. Francis Street near 35th Avenue.

Dispatched at 9:39 p.m., Central Precinct officers responding to a “shots fired” call could not, at first, find the victims.

“The two victims had left the immediate area, and had reported the incident from a safe location. They told officers three people had fired shots at them,” reported PPB Public Information Officer Melissa Newhard.

“The victims were not hit by gunfire – however, their vehicle was struck several times,” Newhard said. “However, given the circumstances of the incident, there appears to be no further threat to the community.”

Neighbor Norah Jefferies watched as police investigated the shooting. “I know that [the number of] shootings went way up in July; but now, having a ‘shoot-out’ right here; well, it’s really troubling,” Jeffries told THE BEE. “I guess nowhere in Portland is safe from shootings, now.”



Workers are installing steel and concrete pilings to support the new elevated Oaks Bottom Viewing Platform being constructed on the Springwater Trail near Oaks Park.
Workers are installing steel and concrete pilings to support the new elevated Oaks Bottom Viewing Platform being constructed on the Springwater Trail near Oaks Park. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Oaks Bottom ‘Viewing Platform Project’ nears its end

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

A finishing touch for the “Oaks Bottom Habitat Enhancement Project”, erecting the Oaks Bottom Viewing Platform, is underway. This city project started in July of 2018, led by the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services (BPS) together with Portland Parks & Recreation, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Positioned along the Springwater Corridor Trail, just east of historic Oaks Amusement Park, this “all-abilities” accessible platform is designed to provide environmental education opportunities for interpretation of the wildlife refuge’s wetland.

“Between July 23 and August 10, our contractor, Faison Construction, is installing construction posts and crossbraces, and installing slope stability measures, for the viewing platform,” said BPS community outreach spokesperson Stefanus Gunawan.

“The Springwater Corridor Trail will remain open at all times during construction, but those using it may experience delays in or near the work area,” Gunawan commented, asking those on the trail, “Please slow down in the construction zone, and use caution.”



Flames belch out of a conduit at the top of a utility pole, after a squirrel chewed through insulation and shorted out the cables headed down the conduit. Alas, the hapless rodent did not survive.
Flames belch out of a conduit at the top of a utility pole, after a squirrel chewed through insulation and shorted out the cables headed down the conduit. Alas, the hapless rodent did not survive. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Duke Street utility pole fire blacks out neighbors

By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE

It was an unusual sight, on Tuesday afternoon, August 4 – flames shooting up from the top of a conduit, running the full height of a wooden utility pole, on the north side of the 5300 block of S.E. Duke Street – across from the Apostolic Faith Church campus.

Woodstock Fire Station 25’s Engine and firefighters were dispatched at 4:06 p.m., and verified the claims of startled neighbors who had reported the fire vigorously shooting up from an electrical pipe.

After the fire crew had arrived and was fighting the flames, at 4:21 p.m. there was a loud bang – sounding like a shotgun blast – from the top of the conduit, at which point the fire and smoke became more intense. Before long, however, firefighters managed to get it extinguished.

“I’ve done some research into this outage,” reported Portland General Electric (PGE) spokesperson Andrea Platt, “and found that the incident involved a squirrel, which circumvented some of the protections we have in place.

“Unfortunately, the squirrel happened to ‘form a circuit’ between wires,” Platt told THE BEE. “This affected a protective fuse, which when overloaded cuts the flow of power – as planned. So when a powerful spark crosses the gap that’s been opened, the result is a loud pop or bang.

“The protective fuse helps protect the rest of the system from damage,” she explained. However, it did not protect the squirrel itself, which did not survive the incident.

PGE crews were soon on hand to reset the fuse; and, after repairs, the six-hour outage ended for the affected three homes and the church building.






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