Featured Stories



Wheelchair invention stolen in Sellwood


by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - This is what Mr. Hays stolen wheelchair attachment looks like. If you spot it, contact him or the police.On April 9, 2013, at about 3:15 pm, my prototype for a wheelchair attachment was stolen from outside New Seasons Market on Tacoma Street. I have left it there many, many times before with no problem, but when I came out, it was gone. We have searched the neighborhood with no success, and are appealing to our Sellwood neighbors to keep an eye out for it. I built it myself and used it daily to help me get around in my wheelchair. In addition, I have begun to market the product and this is my only prototype that looks good enough to present to others. Thanks for your help.

Carl Hay

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Distinguished past CHS grads honored


On Sunday, March 3, four graduates of Cleveland High School were honored as Distinguished Alumni at a reception at Waverley Country Club. This is the fifth year that the alumni association has honored highly accomplished alumni. The new honorees included screenwriter John Norville, best known for the “Tin Cup” movie starring Kevin Costner. The alumni association also recognized former Portland Mayor Tom Potter, who had previously served the city in the police department, retiring as Chief. Baseball standout Tom Trebelhorn, who was honored as Major League Manager of the Year by both Sports Illustrated and Baseball America, also became an inductee to “The Order of the Feather”. Kathy Sand Williams was singled out for being a “formidable volunteer force” in the Portland area and beyond, particularly in the areas of child health and education. These honorees were celebrated by about 100 people, including formerly designated Distinguished Alums: Dr. James Cereghino (internationally recognized epilepsy expert), David Manougian (CEO of the Golf Channel and head of Comcast SportsNet Northwest), and Kilong Ung (Cambodian refugee, author of Golden Leaf, and humanitarian). Some of the other former recipients of this honor include Phil Knight (CEO of Nike), Mel Blanc (source of many cartoon voices), Kathie Olsen (former Chief Scientist of NASA), Larry Christy (environmental lawyer with the United Nations), John Bryson (former CEO of Edison International and Secretary of Commerce), Alan Wasser (manager of many plays on Broadway), Curtis Olsen (biogeochemistry professor and department chair at the University of Massachusetts), and Anne Reifenberg (Pulitzer Prize Winner).

Cleveland High School is proud of its many accomplished alumni, in a variety of fields. Good teaching and leadership in public schools can lead to remarkable results. The alumni association is currently planning for next year’s recognition of outstanding alumni.

Julie Branford

via e-mail

Enjoyed the play

Editor, I am shocked, shocked, that your article about Cleveland High's production of “Hamlet” concluded with the sentence, “The subject matter of this play is not suitable for children.” Is this the writer’s opinion? Is it a warning from Portland Public Schools?

Any statement leading youngsters away from Shakespeare is unacceptable, stupid, and wrong. Incest, murder, ghosts, rebellion, interior dialogs, madness, grave digging; enough already. Shakespeare has it all, and encompasses life. None of that is going to harm a child (what is a “child”?), because he presents it so flawlessly.

The only problem for children might be the length: Cleveland directors cut about four hours to two, and that still might be enough to be harmful to a child's attention span.

PS: I saw the production, and was impressed, but then I haven't been a child for 60 years or so.

Keith Tillstrom

S.E. 24th Avenue

Clean-Up Day coming for Sellwood and Westmoreland

Editor, The Sellwood-Moreland Clean-Up Day this year is Saturday, May 18. It’s the 34th year – same time, same place as last year, 23rd and Nehalem at the south end of Westmoreland Park.

A couple dozen volunteers have been running this neighborhood event every year for 34 years. It's amazing. The first few years happened at the Boys and Girls Club location. No curbside recycling back then, and lots of traffic to manage. It was a blast! Flyers and posters for this year’s Clean-Up will be delivered door to door. There’s still time to get involved in this SMILE-sponsored event! Call 503/969-5061.

Last year we recycled 13.5-tons of yard debris, 26-tons of mixed waste, a 30-yard container of Styrofoam, scrap metal, tires, etc. Free Geek assessed and processed a bunch of E-Waste. Over 200-cars and trucks visited the Clean-Up site. With the generous support of our volunteers, we’re improving our neighborhood and environment.

Brad Heiberg Westmoreland

Celebration honors retiring teacher



On June 14, a jewel of a teacher at a gem of a school will retire. We invite the Woodstock neighborhood to join us in celebrating her positive influence on hundreds of lives.

Deborah Swan has taught at Lewis Elementary School for 25 years. She has instilled a love of learning in her second-graders – and, some years, first-graders as well – while nurturing creativity and self-confidence. Year after year she has created a magical place of kindness and respect, starting with the first day of school and continuing to the last.

In addition to her students, Ms. Swan has many dozens of parents and grandparents among her fans. As one mom commented, “I loved volunteering in Ms. Swan's class because she made me want to be a second-grader again!”

Ms. Swan's current and former students, and their families, are invited to celebrate her retirement at a neighborhood open house on Saturday, June 15, 2-5 pm at Woodstock Community Center, 5905 S.E. 43rd Avenue, just north of Woodstock Boulevard and just west of BiMart.

We encourage readers of THE BEE to share information about the celebration with Lewis School families, and to stay up to date (and view class pictures from almost every year between 1988 and 2013) on this Facebook page: Deborah Swan's Neighborhood Retirement Celebration.

Sarah Cooper and Katie Essick


via e-mail

Southeast siblings move south, make movie


My name is Zachary Ray Sherman, and I come from a long line of Portlanders. I grew up in Southeast Portland – my first ten years near Mt. Tabor, and eleven more in the Eastmoreland/Woodstock area. My sister Sarah and I now live in Echo Park, an eastside Los Angeles neighborhood rich in the arts and community. We are making our first feature film, “Two Dogs”; THE BEE was always in our house growing up, and I thought it would be very cool if our story could be shared with our former neighborhood.

Sarah wrote the screenplay, and shortly after she finished we filmed a trailer of the film to present as part of our Indiegogo fundraising campaign. Our page has been live for not even a week and we’ve already garnered over $5,000! We’re extremely grateful for the support we’ve received so far but still have a long way until we reach our goal.

Over the course of five years I acted as a guest spot on a CBS crime episodic, was cast in a pilot for Nickelodeon’s teen channel “The N”, and eventually landed a recurring guest star role on the CW’s “90210” (all of this happening while I was bussing tables, serving frozen yogurt, spinning advertising signs on street corners, telemarketing, etc. to pay the bills.) Nine months ago we embarked on the arduous but exciting journey of trying to get Sarah’s first screenplay, a drama set in New Mexico in 1985, funded and produced. We are so thrilled to be doing this project. Anyone interested in learning more about it can go online to: www.indiegogo.com/projects/two-dogs.

Zachary Ray Sherman via e-mail

Thanks, and Incredible Edibles


A big shout out of thanks to BEE readers, Lorraine Fyre (SMILE Station Coordinator), and the Sellwood-Moreland Improvement League for supporting the Multnomah County Master Gardeners Early Spring Edibles Plant Sale which was held at the SMILE Station, on Saturday, March 30. The sun came out for the event, and so did a multitude of Sellwood and Westmoreland community members. Arms, backpacks, and wagons were loaded with organic early spring veggie seedlings, so customers could get their kitchen gardens off to a great start. We greatly appreciate being able to hold our event in such a supportive community.

With warmer temperatures heading our way, we are gearing up to host the Incredible Edibles Plant Sale on Saturday, May 4th, at Our Lady of Sorrows, 5329 S.E. Woodstock Boulevard, from 10 am to 3 pm. Once again, we will be offering lush, organic, locally-grown vegetable starts, herbs plus pollinator-attracting annual flowers grown by our Community Demonstration Garden crew. This sale will include all the heat loving vegetables…tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, basil and more! The vegetables offered are varieties that have been specially selected for their ability to thrive right here in our Pacific Northwest climate.

The proceeds from the Incredible Edibles Plant Sales assist our Multnomah County Master Gardener Chapter in its mission to support the OSU Extension Service Master Gardener Program and the Chapter’s community outreach programs. Heidi Nichols, President

Multnomah County Chapter Oregon Master Gardeners Association Traffic calming on Tenino Street

Editor, Many thanks to the large number of residents who helped engage in the process to give feedback to SMILE and PBOT on Tenino Street traffic and safety. The diverter proposed by PBOT at S.E. Tenino and S.E. 15th streets received support from SMILE, and addresses a safety “hot spot” on S.E. Tenino between 13th and 17th. Furthermore, this multi-year public process has encouraged SMILE to advocate that PBOT look more comprehensively at cut-through traffic in the neighborhood. As we know from working and living in the neighborhood, these cut-through patterns are neither new nor simply temporary impacts from bridge construction. These patterns are longstanding, and addressing them is part of fostering a more safe and livable community. I thank PBOT staff for all their work on this and other traffic and safety issues. We encourage you to finalize and install the project in 2013. Heather Koch S.E. Tenino Street via e-mail

Lead an issue for kids


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that currently, “at least 4 million households have children living in them that are being exposed to lead.” Further, there are about half a million U.S. children under five that have blood lead levels that are too high. With spring upon us, many people are preparing to remodel or paint an older home. Have they asked themselves: Was the home built before 1978? Are there children living in the house or nearby? Is the contractor doing the work certified and licensed to work on older homes with lead-based paint? Lead poisoning is a serious issue nationwide.

Please join the Multnomah County Environmental Health program for a free screening event from 10 am to 1 pm on Friday, May 10, at the Sellwood Community Center, 1436 S.E. Spokane Street. County health specialists will provide free, finger-prick blood lead testing for children and pregnant women. In addition to the testing, we will have information and referrals to additional resources on preventing lead poisoning – especially in children.

Perry Cabot

Program Specialist, Lead Risk Assessor

Multnomah County Environmental Health Sellwood Garden Tour is May 19


The Sellwood Garden Tour returns Sunday, May 19, for its 16th year. The Garden Tour is Sellwood Middle School’s largest fundraiser, and once again six gardeners in Sellwood, Eastmoreland, and Garthwick have opened their stunning gardens for you to explore. The gardens range from a cottage garden to a Vietnam-inspired backyard oasis. A garden tour favorite, the late Dulcy Mahar’s garden, is once again included, with Ted’s blessing and Doug the Wonder Guy’s skill and knowhow. The tickets for the tour are $25 and are already on sale at Dennis Seven Dees at Powell Boulevard, Lake Oswego, and Cedar Hills; Chrisman Picture Frame and Gallery, 8002 S.E. 13th Avenue; New Seasons Market at 1214 S.E. Tacoma Street; at Duniway Elementary School; and at Sellwood Middle School. For more information, or to purchase tickets online, go to: www.pps.k12.or.us/schools/sellwood

Shirley Macmillan and Kathy Gustafson

Sellwood Garden Tour Co-Chairs via e-mail

Local tree inspires poem

Editor, I was recently visiting Sellwood Park for a nice walk and visit. I encountered a strange and beautiful thing and put it into words. My friends thought I should share:

TREE OF TEARS: Sellwood Park

I see a patch of water on the path in front of me.

See a drip hit the walk.

I stop confused. It’s not raining.

There is no structure or building above me with an overhang, so what is dripping?

I’m standing below branches of a beautiful old tree.

A historic one actually.

One of the oldest in the city.

I see a limb has been recently pruned.

It is from this cutting that the water falls.

Like tears.

A steady drip, drip, drip.

The branch is covered in moss

and has tiny fern branches growing from it.

This tree stores a lot of water.

I notice several more branches have moss and ferns.

I find two more pruning that are also crying tears.

This makes my heart weep.

I return the next day.

There is no reduction of tears from the weeping tree.

The same three spots still splattering the pavement below.

But this is a hearty tree.

It has stood a long, long time.

I know this will not be the last of its tears.

There will always be men with pruners.

But I also hope there will always be a river of life

flowing through this tree as well.

Tracy Lee via e-mail

CORRECTION: The Letter to the Editor, in the April BEE, entitled “Effort to make tribute to late CHS grad”, was attributed to Debra Hardy, who was also mentioned in the letter as a bank contact for donations – however she reports she did not write the letter, although she says the facts in it are correct. In reviewing our notes it appears the letter may instead have been submitted by Natalie Wasserberger, who is the person who submitted the accompanying photograph. We regret the error.

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