More stories from October's issue of THE BEE!

Sellwood, Little League, team, awards, Southeast Portland, Oregon
The coaches and players of Sellwood’s awarded Little League team are: Back row, from left: Harry Hanna, Ryan Kullberg, Matt Herman; third row: JP Brock, Tino Flores, Sims Cronen, Will DeMonte, Wills Pinaire, Arlo Copony; second row: Charlie Chipps, Ben Herman, Tate Kullberg; front row: Luke Demonte, Noah Karoli, Evan O'Neil, Joey Brock, Luke Hanna. (Photo courtesy of Meeka Kullberg)

Sellwood Little League team wins State Sportsmanship Award


On Sunday, August 12, the Sellwood Little League boys’ “Warriors” team celebrated its accomplishments at the Eastmoreland residence of Coach Ryan Kullberg, his wife Meeka, and their sons Tate and Derek.  

The baseball league team of fourth and fifth graders – which sometimes has girls, but not this season – had a great summer of winning tournaments. In addition to coming in third in state – plus first in Sherwood, and second in a few others – they received the state sportsmanship trophy.

In keeping with good sportsmanship, at the Eastmoreland backyard celebration Coach Kullberg called each boy up to hear praise for his leadership, attitude, technique, or general comportment. In turn each boy praised some other teammate, and gave him a homemade award – including one boy’s poem of praise.

“It is important to hear from each other, and be supportive of one another,” said Kullberg. “And this is a good opportunity for them to speak in public.”

Kullberg expressed appreciation to the players’ “great parents” and their support of the team. Working together as a community was a key component of the boys’ successes, he remarked.

Kullberg acknowledged assistant coaches Matt Herman, J.P. Brock, Harry Hanna, scorekeeper Sunny Herman, and major all-around supporter Meeka Kullberg.

“Parent Brian Pinaire did all the online scorekeeping through the ‘Gamechanger’ app so that parents and family members could follow the games’ play by play, even if they could not be present [in the stands]. It was an amazing way to keep families connected and involved with the team throughout the season,” observed Meeka.

The boys come from a number of Southeast Portland and Milwaukie elementary schools – Lewis, Duniway, Abernethy, St. Agatha, Holy Family, and Ardenwald. Many have played since age four or five, and will go on to join the Cleveland High School Warriors or another high school team. (Llewellyn Elementary in Westmoreland does participate in this league, but did not happen to have players on this particular team.)

Always in the dugout with the boys throughout the season was the Kullberg’s dog, Clyde, a Great Pyrenees/Anatolian Shepherd mix, adopted from the Great Pyrenees Rescue Society.

“Clyde was about a year old when the season started. ‘Pyrs’ are wonderful loving dogs. They are incredibly kind, and adore kids. Clyde’s favorite days of the week were baseball days,” commented Meeka.

After the backyard awards ceremony, the boys went to the front yard to slither down a giant water slide. Clyde the dog tried desperately to participate, but could not quite get up the ladder to go down the slide.

All the team’s trophies are on display in Sellwood at the business of the team’s sponsor, Moreland Ale House, which was formerly known as The Skybox, situated on S.E. Milwaukie Avenue, just north of where that street converges with S.E. 17th Avenue.

Harley, motorcycle crash, Westmoreland, Holgate Boulevard, into pole, Southeast Portland, Oregon
A Harley Davidson motorcycle smashed right through a utility pole on Holgate Boulevard, after striking a VW Golf. Here, an officer documents the crash. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Motorcycle smashes clear through Holgate utility pole


The violent crash on the border of the Woodstock neighborhood, which snapped a power pole on Holgate Boulevard, was caused by a motorcycle – and remarkably, its rider was not seriously injured in the wreck.

A Portland Police Bureau (PPB) East Precinct officer at the accident explained to THE BEE that a green Volkswagen Golf had been westbound on S.E. Holgate Boulevard from 52nd Avenue, when the operator of a Harley Davidson motorcycle pulled out from 51st Avenue onto Holgate, also heading west.

An instant later, the Harley came in contact with front passenger side the VW Golf; the bike rider lost control, and smashed through the wooden utility pole on the north side of the street.

The Harley rider was transported to a local hospital for evaluation and treatment; the car’s driver stayed at the scene and cooperated with police.

Afterward, looking up the case for THE BEE, Portland Police spokesman Sgt. Christ Burley reported, “The injuries appeared to be not life-threatening, and no citations were issued.” The pole had to be replaced.

Travis and Emily Motter, Portland Picnic, wine tasting, Westmoreland Park, Southeast Portland, Oregon
Pausing for a BEE photo were the Portland Picnic’s organizers, Emily and Travis Motter. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

‘Portland Picnic’ becoming a Westmoreland Park tradition


From all over the greater Portland area, people streamed in to the southern section of Westmoreland Park on Saturday, September 8, to enjoy the second annual “Portland Picnic”.

While it may already be is Portland’s largest outdoor wine festival, from its beginnings last year, its organizers created it to be a totally family-friendly event.

Under a 75-foot tent in the center of the festival, 100 wines from around the world were selected for the tastings by the Picnic’s planners, Travis and Emily Motter, of the Portland Bottle Shop in Sellwood.

But, in addition to the live music, kids’ activities, local food vendors, and the wine tastings, it was planned to help promote a good cause, Emily Motter told THE BEE.

“In addition to the store, I also work with a great organization called ‘Ride Connection’, a private nonprofit that provides free ‘scheduled transportation’ for older adults, and for people with disabilities, as well as for low-income individuals and general public.

“We were looking for a big way to promote Ride Connection – and, with our great connections through our bottle shop business, and decided to put on a wine-tasting event, where families would want to come spend a few hours, or come for the whole day,” Mottter smiled.

“And, it really was very important to us that our festival be family-friendly; we have two little kids ourselves, and we wanted to make it something we’d enjoy attending with our family.”

In addition, the organizers also offered space to many community organizations and businesses. “Our presenting sponsor, TriMet, loved the idea of its being less than a half mile away from two MAX Light Rail’s Orange Line stations – at Bybee Boulevard and Tacoma Street,” Motter remarked.

“It’s really exciting and gratifying to see the people want to come and support this community event, as well as spend time with neighbors and friends – and make new friends at the same time!”

Soon, she and Travis were on the run, helping vendors and greeting neighbors well into the evening. To learn more about the benefitting nonprofit, Ride Connection, go online –

Beaver deceiver, Errol Park, beaver dams, flooding, Brentwood Darlington, Southeast Portland, Oregon
This is the newly-installed “Beaver Deceiver” along Errol Creek, which allows the critters to keep on building dams, while mitigating the flooding problems. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Living with the ‘Beavers of Errol Heights’


Along S.E. Harney Drive, just east of 45th Avenue, at the southern edge of Errol Heights Park, a family of beavers resides.

Although they’re not seen, there is evidence they’re there – such as good-sized trees felled by chewing, and beaver dams along Errol Creek.

Another confirmation was the flooding of the Errol Creek wetland this summer – even in a low-water-flow season – which caused water to rise above the walkway behind the Franz Bakery Outlet shop nearby.

Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) “Land Stewardship Division Natural Resource Ecologist” Christian Haaning agreed with the evidence. “We believe there is a family of beavers at the site; most likely a mated pair of adults, and this year’s offspring – with upwards of six in a litter – most likely with a few females from last year’s litter.

“The current beaver activity in Errol Creek is relatively recent – estimated at around ten years,” Haaning told THE BEE. “But given the topography of the landscape, and the hydrology of the springs, this area has most likely been home to beavers for countless years before development begin in the Johnson Creek Watershed.”

Beavers stay in this relatively populated area, near commerce and manufacturing, because they are nocturnal in nature, Haaning explained, which may account for their relative tolerance of development.

Also, waterways and wetlands favored by beavers have been altered by human development – such as culverts under roadways, channelized streams, storm water quality facilities, and wetland mitigation projects.

“These modifications provide ideal locations for beavers to build dams; and beavers are highly adaptable animals that create their own habitat in many urban landscapes,” Haaning remarked.

Of course, PP&R doesn’t hunt or trap these neighborhood critters; instead, they’ve come up with ingenious ways to help beavers coexist with their human neighbors.

Enter the ‘Beaver Deceiver’
Recently, staff from Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services and PP&R temporarily breached the beaver dams to install a “Beaver Deceiver” at the lower beaver dams in Errol Heights Park

“A ‘deceiver’, in this case, is a contraption designed to allow the dam to stay in place – but also allow the water to flow, and not block a culvert and cause a flood,” Haaning clarified. “In this case, we used a pipe through the dam, and a cage contraption which allows water to continue to flow downstream. It allows the beaver to still maintain its dam, while the culvert remains unblocked, thus managing the water level at the site.”

Solutions such as these, she says, are a good example of how beavers can coexist peacefully with humans. “Since the beaver arrived, the ecological uplift to this area is immeasurable and dramatic. The intention of both Bureaus is for the beavers to continue to thrive at this location, and also to protect adjacent properties and infrastructure.”

And a little beneficial deception should help.

Hood to Coast, relay race, Westmoreland, Bybee Boulevard, Milwaukie Avenue, Southeast Portland, Oregon
In Westmoreland’s business district, this trio of Hood-to-Coast runners crosses S.E. Bybee Boulevard at a brisk trot. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Hordes of ‘Hood to Coast’ runners jog through Westmoreland, Brooklyn


Because of the temporary closure of the Springwater Corridor Trail through the Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge, while restoration work is taking place there, each of the 12,600 runners in the 2018 “Hood to Coast” relay race had to detour through the Sellwood, Westmoreland, and Brooklyn neighborhoods on their way to the ocean, on Friday, August 24.

This year’s “Mother of all Relays” – as its organizers call it – began as the first wave of runners stepped off at 5:00 a.m. at Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood, on their way to the destination late that evening – the beach at Seaside.

The runners arrived in the metro area via Gresham, taking the Springwater Corridor Trail into Inner Southeast Portland – stopping at Exchange Point 11, in the Ardenwald-Johnson Creek neighborhood, at S.E. 45th Avenue and Johnson Creek Boulevard, before continuing west across McLoughlin Boulevard.

Because this year’s detour route took them along the residential streets of Sellwood, then north along S.E. Milwaukie Avenue, most people didn’t take much notice until groups of participants ran through the Westmoreland business district.

At S.E. Bybee Boulevard, several patrons sitting outside Nectar Frozen Yogurt and Kay’s Lounge cheered on the athletes as they jogged past.

Passing S.E. Holgate Boulevard, they turned west to 9th Avenue, running along the sidewalks and streets of the Brooklyn neighborhood, before crossing the pedestrian bridge over S.E. Powell Boulevard, north toward their next exchange point at the east side of the Hawthorne Bridge.

As the last of the 12,600 runners jogged over that bridge into the Hosford-Abernethy neighborhood, life south of Powell returned to normal on August 24.

Joshua Scott Carlson, first degree manslaughter, guilty plea, Powell Boulevard, Southeast Portland, Oregon
After pleading guilty to First Degree Manslaughter in the crime committed on Powell Boulevard a year ago April, 32-year-old Joshua Scott Carlson has just been sentenced to 15 years in state prison. (MCDC booking photo)

Powell Blvd’s ‘Motel 6 strangler’ takes plea deal


On April 21 of last year, an apparent murder in a guest room at the Motel 6 on S.E. Powell Boulevard, near 31st Avenue, led to a brief suspect chase, and then a neighborhood manhunt. You read about it at the time in THE BEE.

That morning, Portland Police Bureau (PPB) officers spotted a stolen SUV in the motel’s parking lot, and then watched as the suspect drove off in it. Officers briefly pursued the fleeing vehicle, but soon ended the high-speed chase due to safety concerns.

However, a short time later, officers found the vehicle 30 blocks east of the motel; a dragnet eventually cornered the suspect as he hid on the roof of a residence near S.E. 52nd Avenue and Francis Street, and police took 32-year-old Joshua Scott Carlson into custody.

After Carlson appeared in Multnomah County District Court on August 30 of this year, Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill announced that he had pleaded guilty to “manslaughter in the first degree” in the strangulation death of Valerie Johnson in that motel room.

The family of Ms. Johnson appeared at the hearing by phone, and indicated that they were supportive of this case resolution.

Then on September 7th, Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Christopher Marshall sentenced Carlson to 15 years in prison. And on September 10 he entered Coffee Creek Correctional Institution. Case closed.

JCWC, Johnson Creek Watershed Council, recliner in creek, cleanup, Southeast Portland, Oregon
Yes, that’s a discarded recliner that Clean-up volunteers Nathan Melton and Mark Beirwagen were muscling up and out of Johnson Creek. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Volunteers pull tons of trash from Johnson Creek


Each summer, when the water level is low, a small army of volunteers go wading in the water – not for recreation; but instead to pull trash and debris out of this urban waterway during the annual “Johnson Creek Clean-up”.

This year, Saturday morning, August 25, was when folks who’d signed up with the Johnson Creek Watershed Council (JCWC) for the 11th annual cleanup gathered in Mill Park, where they were dispatched to many areas of focus – from outer East Portland down to the Willamette River.

With bags in hand, 249 volunteers of all ages, many of them organized by 14 community groups, scrubbed the creek’s banks, while others waded into the water fishing out tires, sleeping bags, a recliner – and even a waterlogged laptop computer.

“This ‘Clean-up’ is different from our springtime ‘Watershed Wide Event’, which focuses on creek side restoration, planting and mulching. Today, our sole mission is picking up refuse when the water level is low, the trash is more visible, and the creek is more traversable by volunteers,” explained JCWC Volunteer coordinator Courtney Beckel.

The clean-up is as important as is restoration, for two reasons, Beckel remarked: “First, Johnson Creek is ‘the backdrop’ for many of our communities; when we see trash in our precious natural resources, it degrades the way we feel about this place so many of us love.

“Secondarily, while beatification is one factor, another is that when a lot of the trash degrades and breaks down, it’s bad for the water quality.

“Refuse with elements containing copper and lead, for example, can leach into the water and bio-accumulate to toxic levels which can destroy a salmon’s sense of smell, and thus, prevent them from finding and returning to this native stream.”

Along the Springwater Corridor Trail, PP&R Johnson Creek Watershed Stewardship Coordinator Susan Hawes gave instructions to 25 volunteers from the US Army 671 Engineer Company, stationed at Camp Withycombe.

“The JCWC is one of our important partners in the watershed,” Hawes said, after briefing the soldiers. “While Portland Parks actually manages about twenty properties along Johnson Creek, we rely and depend on the help of volunteers who help keep the properties well-maintained for the public’s enjoyment and safety.”

By early afternoon, the volunteers had removed 5.3 tons of trash from the Johnson Creek, and had returned to Mill Park for a celebration party, put on by a dozen partners that supported this year’s cleanup.

Learn more about JCWC by visiting their website –

Brandi Alyse, cat burglar, drug user, indecent exposure, Brooklyn, theft, Inner Southeast Porrtland, Oregon
Facing a variety of charges, ranging from felony burglary to indecent exposure, is 30-year-old Brandi Alyse Anderson. She couldn’t pedal away fast enough from the scene of the crime. (MCDC booking photo)

Brooklyn ‘cat burglar’ busted


A Brooklyn family was startled when they awoke in the wee hours of August 23 to find a stranger in their third-floor apartment at S.E. 11th Avenue and Franklin Street.

One of the residents caught the burglar “rummaging through the refrigerator” in the kitchen – and shooed her out. The cat burglar fled the apartment; but the residents got a good look at the woman, and called 9-1-1 at 2:55 a.m. that morning to report the nocturnal intrusion.

Central Precinct officers responded to the report, and spotted a woman who matched the suspect’s description blithely pedaling her way out from behind the apartment building.

“Based on information learned during the investigation, officers believe the suspect entered the apartment by climbing a fire escape to a bathroom window, where she pushed a fan out of the window and entered the apartment,” later reported Portland Police spokesman Sgt. Chris Burley.

The suspect, identified as 30-year-old Brandi Alyse Anderson, was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center (MCDC) at 4:17 a.m. that morning on charges of Burglary in the First Degree, Possession of Methamphetamine, Theft in the Second Degree…and Indecent Exposure.

That last charge stemmed from a previous incident, when she was reportedly taken into custody after being found naked in the lobby of a public pool on July 12. The judge hearing that charge assigned her a bail of $0, but that crime is as yet un-sentenced.

At Anderson’s arraignment on the Brooklyn break-in charges on August 24, Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Elisabeth Waner filed an “Affidavit of Probable Cause” that recounted how the burglary victims shouted out “That’s her!” when beholding the suspect trying to ride her bike past the responding officers.

Court documents say that three arresting officers struggled with Anderson as she was “actively fighting, biting, and kicking the officers for several minutes” before they were able to take her into custody.

Multnomah County Circuit Court Shelley Russell did find “Probable Cause” for the charges presented. Consequently, Anderson will face charges of Burglary in the First Degree, a Class A Felony; Resisting Arrest; and Possession of Methamphetamine.

She remains in jail at MCDC in lieu of $57,500 combined bail.

Fuzzy Boo, van, KBOO, FM, radio, Insley Street, Westmoreland, Portland, Oregon
FUZZY VAN PASSES THROUGH WESTMORELAND. This unusual vehicle, “The FuzzyBoo”, used for remote broadcasts and promotional appearances by nonprofit community FM radio station KBOO, spent time recently on S.E. Insley Street between 17th and 18th Avenues. A station spokesperson explained, “The van is taller than most garages allow, so until a regular spot is found for it, various staffmembers have had turns parking it at their homes.” By mid-September it appeared to have moved on, and nothing fuzzy remained most garages on Insley Street. (Photo by Rita A. Leonard)

U Haul truck, crash, 52nd Avenue, Southeast Portland, Oregon
When the steering wheel somehow “slipped” from the driver’s hands, this rented U-Haul truck smashed into a parked Dodge Caravan and a parked Buick on S.E. 52nd Avenue. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

U-Haul truck smashes two cars on SE 52nd


With a mighty crash, a rented U-Haul box truck, headed southbound on S.E. 52nd Avenue, sideswiped one car before plowing in the back end of another. It happened at 1:17 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon, September 4th, in the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood.

“My neighbor said she heard the engine speed up as the truck came closer and sideswiped her car – then ran into the back of my Caravan,” remarked a neighbor, as he sat in front of his house in the 6900 block of 52nd Avenue. “That U-Haul truck hit my car so hard that my Bluetooth speaker, clipped to the sun visor, flew all the way to the back of the car.”

Both the front end of the truck, and the rear end of Dodge Caravan, sustained substantial damage; the side of the Buick was scarred from front to back and its side mirror was snapped off.

Although it was originally reported as an injury accident, East Precinct officers checked on the truck’s driver, and found no injury. And, an officer told THE BEE that the other two cars were unoccupied.

Asked about the suspected cause of the smashup, the officer said, “The driver of the truck told us that, that somehow, ‘the steering wheel slipped out of her hands’.”

Because there were no injuries, no citations were issued in the accident.

Bybee Circle, painted intersection, Eastmoreland, touchup, Southeast Portland, Oregon
Many Eastmoreland neighbors took turn painting, while other took a break to talk with each other, during the annual repainting of this section of S.E. Bybee Boulevard. (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Eastmoreland block party celebrates ‘Bybee Circle’


Since Eastmoreland neighbors first created a street mural in 2012 in the “Bybee Circle” along Bybee Boulevard – where S.E. 37th Avenue would cross if the street were improved – they’ve held an annual block party to celebrate the community street mural.

“We also get together to refresh our mural, which symbolizes Portland – with [elements of] Mt. Hood, salmon going up and down the river, our environment, and how much we care about keeping things beautiful here,” explained artist Collin Murphy at this year’s outing, held on Saturday, August 11.

Murphy also hopes that keeping the street mural neatly painted with vivid colors has the effect of slowing down the traffic that “comes charging down the street” from S.E. Chavez Boulevard (formerly 39th), Murphy said.

“We haven’t made many changes; we have added features and other things,” Murphy told THE BEE. “For example, we’ve extended some of the waves to the bottom, because the little kids were painting it and they got carried away! And, it looks like a big wave of blue “water” splashed along the curbs.”

As many as forty Eastmorealand families support the project, she said, and contributions pay for the paint and supplies.

“This is a great group of neighbors that gets together for an annual street party and potluck; we all care about each other, and this annual gathering helps us be better neighbors,” Murphy reflected. “And, for one day of the year, kids can spend the afternoon playing in our traffic circle without worry about traffic on this busy street!”

Astro Gas Station, Gladstone Street, robbery, 39th Avenue, Chavez Boulevard, Creston Kenilworth, Southeast Portland, Oregon
Officers check the neighborhood along S.E. Gladstone Street, looking for the man who held up the Astro Gas Station on Chavez Blvd (formerly 39th Avenue). (Photo by David F. Ashton)

Robber hits Astro Station on SE Gladstone Street


The Creston-Kenilworth neighborhood Astro Gas Station was robbed at 11:35 p.m. Saturday night, September 1, by a man believed to be armed. The amount stolen has not been disclosed.

“The suspect demanded money from the attendant, while implying he possessed a weapon,” reported Portland Police spokesman Sgt. Chris Burley.

After taking cash, he walked west on Gladstone Street from Chavez Blvd (formerly 39th Avenue), where the gas station is located.

“Responding officers searched the neighborhood, but did not locate anyone matching the suspect's description,” Burley said, adding that the suspect is described as being 20 to 30 years old, a white male, 5'6" to 5'8" tall, with a medium build, short brown hair, and a “scruffy beard”.

Anyone with information is asked to call the PPB Detective Division's Robbery Detail detectives at 503/823-0405.

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