Community News December 2013

SMART seeking volunteers in SE


Are you looking to make a difference in the life of a child? SMART (Start Making A Reader Today) is seeking volunteers for the 2013-14 school year at the following sites in SE Portland:

• Arleta Elementary • Atkinson Elementary • Buckman Elementary • Creston Elementary • Grout Elementary • Lewis Elementary • Marysville School • Sunnyside Elementary • Whitman Elementary • Woodmere Elementary

Volunteer Readers spend an hour per week reading one-on-one with PreK through third-grade children, helping them build vital reading skills and develop a lifelong love of reading. One hour per week is all it takes to make a lifetime of difference in a child’s life.

Site Coordinators run SMART programs at a site, coordinating with teachers and volunteers and supervising reading sessions. The time commitment is between two and four hours per week.

More volunteers reach more children at risk of falling behind with valuable one-on-one reading support, mentorship and books.

To learn more, contact the local SMART office at 971.634.1616, or visit


L’Arche Christmas Tree Sale


L’Arche Portland’s 23rd annual Benefit Christmas Tree Sale runs daily through Sunday, December 22.

Locally grown, freshly-cut Noble and Doug fir trees will be sold in the Hollywood neighborhood lot located at NE 45th and Hancock (Grocery Outlet parking lot) and at the Montavilla neighborhood lot, at SE 82nd and Burnside (in the Hong Phat ex- Safeway, parking lot).

Santa will spread holiday cheer at the Hollywood lot Saturday, December 7 and 14 from 10 am -2 pm. Take home candy- canes, fun memories, and a beautiful Christmas tree.

Thanks to the hard work of volunteers, all sales proceeds go directly to support the L’Arche Portland community where people with and without intellectual disabilities share life in loving family homes creating rich and full lives for everyone.

The annual tree sale is one of the group’s primary fundraisers and helps raise much-needed funds. For information, contact Erin Weisensee at 503.839.4012 or

To learn more about L’Arche Portland visit


Sherlock Holmes Exhibition at OMSI


The Sherlock Holmes interactive exhibition begins its run at OMSI before it leaves to tour nationally and internationally January 5, 2014.

The exhibit mixes science with history and culture and bring the historic underpinnings of author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s great mysteries to life.

Museum visitors learn how Holmes, a scientific expert ahead of his time, used seemingly trivial observations of clues others missed to solve some of his era’s most mysterious crimes.

His practices and techniques were created in the mind of doctor-turned-author Conan Doyle, and changed the way police work was conducted then and still today.

The International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes features original manuscripts and period artifacts, investigative tools influenced and used by Holmes, and interactive crime-solving opportunities.

Guests will be transported into Sherlock Holmes’ London to solve a crime in a world filled with innovation and experimentation.

The exhibit gallery is one pop culture enthusiasts will enjoy. There is a large collection of all things “Sherlockian”, ranging from vintage Sherlock Holmes-themed card games, comics, and magazines, radio scripts, and movie and television show props and costumes–past and present.


Oregon Museum of Science and Industry,1945 SE Water Ave. 503.797.4000.


Sustainable shopping tips


By Bonita Davis, Certified Master Recycler, Sunnyside Neighbor


The beautiful  window display of my favorite shop in a popular SE Portland shopping district, made me realize it was time to kickstart my plan for holiday gift-giving.

Covering several blocks, I found many perfect gift ideas aligned with my ideas about being earth-friendly.

I thought a lot about:

Durability  Whether it is a tool, article of clothing, kitchenware, furniture or a toy, the higher quality item functions better, can be safer, looks better and lasts longer.

Recycled content on paper products Greeting cards, stationary, journals, or calendars with recycled papers were in most stores.

Upcycled items Well-made and clever, they make unique gifts. Found were shoes, handbags, home décor, garden art, and jewelry constructed from once discarded materials.

Used can be great when it refers to a hard–to-find book or record, antique, collectible or vintage garment.

• Tickets, coupons, and certificates for giving services and experiences.

• Bulk items such as the popular beer or wine growlers, herbs, spices, nuts and specialty foods.

Use  the “Find a Recycler” tool on  to find nearby resources for old string lights, wreaths, trees, packing materials, styrofoam, plastics and more. Included on the website: Sustainable Living Holidays, Waste-Wise Holidays and Waste Wise Guide, and  Ideas for a Resourceful Holiday.



Santa’s Reindeer Appear in SE


Dennis’ 7 Dees Garden Center, 6025 SE Powell Blvd. will host live reindeer for you to see close up. These magnificent magical animals will be at the Eastside Garden Center location on December 7. Santa will be there from 12 – 4 pm.

The whole family is invited to celebrate the holiday season as they host Santa’s reindeer for the fourth year in a row. These events are holiday fun for everyone with the opportunity for children to enjoy festive make-n-take activities, cookies, hot cocoa and cider. Bring a camera for a festive photo opportunity with Santa and his reindeer!

Visiting hours for seeing the reindeer for all dates and locations is 10 am to 5 pm.

Bring in new or a gently-used clean blankets, jackets or pillows to donate to Human Solutions (, who need warm clothing this winter for their Family Winter and Daybreak Shelter. These families come to the shelter with little to nothing to keep them comfortable and warm and these goods are important and as the winter months get colder, the shelter attracts more families.


Dennis’ 7 Dees has been a local family-owned and operated landscape contractor and garden center in Oregon since 1956. They offer residential and commercial landscaping and maintenance services from the Oregon coast in Seaside to the Portland metro area. Visit


Troop 351 trees


Christmas trees and wreaths will be sold at the SW corner of St. Ignatius parking lot, 3400 SE 43rd Ave. and funds Boy Scout and Venture Crew summer camps and activities for the entire year.

Dates are Sat. Nov. 30 through Mon. Dec. 23. Open weekdays 5 to 9 pm. Weekends, 9 am to 9 pm. Call the Tree Lot Trailer phone number 503.775.2848.

The Cub Scouts Recycle Tree Lot will be open on Dec. 27 through Jan. 11; weekdays from  4 to 8 pm and weekends from 9 am to 8 pm.


Nature park opens in March


The Portland Water Bureau must postpone the re-opening of the new Park Center at Powell Butte Nature Park until March 2014. It was scheduled to open in October 2013.

The contractor and several of their sub-contractors on the bureau’s Powell Butte Reservoir 2 Project have requested more time to complete work on the much anticipated Visitors Center (which includes classroom, interpretive displays and restrooms), the main parking lot and improvements to the multi-use trail system.

The park remains open to the public during posted visiting hours. Alternate parking locations are available at SE Holgate Blvd. and SE 136th Ave.; the Bowling Center parking lot at SE Powell Blvd. and SE 164th Ave., and at 14424 SE Center St. at the Vivian Pump Station lot.

Park users are reminded to keep out of the fenced, hazardous construction areas.

PWB appreciates the public’s patience and cooperation with the publicly-required park improvements.


Mt Tabor Reservoir Q & A


The citizens who use Mt. Tabor Park are concerned about the empty reservoirs so The Southeast Examiner asked Portland Water Bureau the following questions concerning the Mt. Tabor Reservoirs and the new storage tanks.

The questions were answered by Sonia Schmanski, Policy Director, Office of Commissioner Nick Fish and by David Shaff, Administrator, Portland Water Bureau.


• How much does it cost to maintain them when filled even if they aren’t being used? Say for a year.

I understand that the cost associated with refilling the reservoirs is primarily the staff time associated with cleaning them, which has to happen regularly (a few times a year, probably) in order to keep the water from getting too grimy. Water that isn’t circulated as part of the regular distribution system will, of course, degrade in quality more quickly. This cost is somewhere in the neighborhood of tens of thousands of dollars per year for the one reservoir, but would be very hard to nail down exactly. SS


What is the status of the potential for refilling them so they don’t look so bleak?

Commissioner Fish has asked the bureau to estimate the approximate cost associated with putting some amount of water back in Reservoir 6, and is considering the possibility. We have heard from neighbors that the empty reservoir is considered a neighborhood eyesore, and can certainly understand their desire to see it re-filled with water. The Commissioner will have to make a decision that balances the desires of the neighborhood against the fact that there is a cost associated with re-filling the reservoir. SS


What is the increased storage potential when all the work being done at Kelly Butte and Powell Butte and anyplace else is done?

With the completion of our overall LT2 compliance projects in 2020, we will have reduced our overall in-town storage by approximately 53 million gallons. We are building 50 million gallons of new storage at Powell Butte and are getting an additional 15 million gallons at Kelly Butte (going from the 10 we had to 25). We will be eliminating 93 million gallons of storage at Tabor (the combined volumes of Res 1 & 5 plus the 1/2 of Res 6 that we were using when the rule was finalized).

We will be replacing the 34 million gallons of combined storage in Reservoirs 3 and 4 with a total of 15 million gallons in the new Reservoir 3 when it is completed in 2020. We have also completed the Westside Header project which is intended to provide us the operational ability to move water more efficiently from North and South on the West side of the river.

Although it was not an LT2 project, it gives us more operational flexibility to make sure we have enough water to serve the west side and increases our ability to reliably supply the west side during the construction of Reservoir 3.

We are also currently building additional storage (Forest Park Low tank) that is unrelated to LT2. DS


August Wilson monologue competition


Applications are now open for the August Wilson Monologue Competition. Participants compete for the opportunity to fly to New York City to perform alongside competitors from around the country at the August Wilson Theater on Broadway.

The competition is open to all 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students. Along with the trip to New York, the winners of Portland’s Competition will receive cash prizes, professional training and exposure to the local theatre community.

Portland Actors Conservatory will award the eligible regional winner with a full academic, two-year scholarship valued at over $21,000.

Those interested in learning more will find all competition information, including applications, rules, eligibility requirements and dates at or by emailing

For teachers, educators, mentors, community leaders and youth advocates, now is the time to reach out and engage students.


Christmas Eve Service, Dec. 24, 7 pm,  Presbyterian Church of Laurelhurst, 935 NE 33rd. All are welcome. Wheelchair accessible. 503.232.9129.


Celebrate New Years – All are invited to welcome in the New Year. Bring your friends and enjoy an elegant evening of dinner and dancing to the John Bennett Orchestra at the historic Laurelhurst Club Ballroom, 3721 SE Ankeny St. just north of Laurelhurst Park. Dinner & social time begins at 7:30 pm, dance band plays 9:30 pm-12:30 am. Black tie/dark suit for men & formal/ party dress for women. $100 per couple, make your reservations now as dinner dance is limited to 50 couples. For info call Cynthia Marechal at 503.281.4127 or .


THE DICKENS CAROLERS will be appearing at Holy Cross Lutheran Church, located at 8705 E. Burnside at 12 noon, Dec. 17. They’ll be hosted by OpenHandsOpenDoors blind and sight-impaired ministry.  The half hour concert has refreshments following the concert. Please RSVP at 503.254.8705.


Sing Along Messiah–December 8, 6:30 pm at Reedwood Friends, 2901 SE Steele St. Everyone is welcome to sing through Handel’s famous work The Messiah. The composer’s work celebrates the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus. People of all singing abilities are welcome. There will be copies of the music on hand. Feel free to bring your own copy too. Light refreshments served. 503.234.5017,


Call to Artists:This coming year’s annual Mt. Tabor Art Walk will be May 17 and 18, 2014 showcasing the many artists who live in the Mt. Tabor neighborhood and a limited number of guest artists too. For details, and to complete an application, visit Applications, fee, and images for jurying are due January 3 for Early Birds and January 15, 2014. Note that the deadline is firm.


Applying for Affordable Care–The Richmond Walk-In Clinic on 42nd and Division has a trained Cover Oregon Assister on Mondays and Tuesdays and there is a trained Assister available at Family Medicine at Richmond on SE 39th and Division on Wednesdays through Fridays.  The Assister is available to give information by phone or in person on a drop in basis, but actually filling out the multipage application can take 40-90 minutes depending on the size of the family and the complexity of the current insurance and income sources.  For that reason, we do ask that applicants make an appointment for assistance in filling out the application.  Applications are also available in English and Spanish if the applicant just wants to pick up an application and fill it out without assistance.


Bagdad Remodeled


McMenamin’s Bagdad Theater underwent a major remodel this past month. The reopening took place on November 17 and the business is once again open to feed and entertain with new and improved services and amenities.

Chief Operations Manager Lars Raleigh gave The Southeast Examiner a tour of the theater a few weeks before they reopened. It seemed as though there were miles to go before they finished, but contractors pulled it off in time.

Technical improvements include a 50 percent larger screen;  the latest Christie Solaria 4k prime projector–making the large projection booth obsolete; a Datasat 16-channel D-Cinemas sound system that provides 20,000 watts of “kick-ass” power; Klipsch 4-way screen speakers and subwoofers as well as JBL surround speakers and personal captioning deavices for the hearing and sight impaired.

On the main floor, 313 seats have been replaced with 24’ and 38.5” wide comfy seats with cupholders, retractable arms and some tables. On the balcony. the 228 seats are 24” and extra-wide 44” with tables in front of all of the seats. The carpets and curtains have all been replaced too.

“The  projector and sound system upgrade makes the film downloads more environmentally conscious because there is no plastic. Plus the acoustics are better so the volume doesn’t have to be as loud,” Raleigh said.

The renovation has also included a total housecleaning that according to Raleigh hadn’t been done since it was built. It’s no easy task to reach up and dust 45 foot ceilings.

The Bagdad Theater opened in 1927. Its parent company, Universal Pictures, spared few expenses to create what was considered “a triumph of artistry and craftsmanship”.

McMenamin’s is preserving this icon of Hollywood’s golden years. The essential look with the grande-colonnade and Middle-Eastern styling will remain, but amenities will make a movie-goers experience easier, more comfortable.

The revamped concession area has more service windows to speed things up. They will continue to serve pizza and burgers as well as McMenamins ales, wines and cocktails. Delivered orders are available on the balcony. Candy, popcorn and soda are still available in the front lobby.

Raleigh said much of the interior furniture is being reused. The curtains and old seats are being donated to the Clatskanie Foundation, which is in the process of building a 180 seat vintage theater from scratch.

The draperies are donated to non-profit and low-income theaters in California.

The Backstage Bar is behind the scenes with a fifty foot high ceiling and all the levers and pulls for raising and lowering the sets. It’s a charming place that at one time was a small theater, but the bar with the backdrop of the original art, chandeliers, pool tables and speakeasy feel is a great use of the space.

For moviegoers’ convenience, all ten exits have been opened to speed up departure. Before everyone entered and exited through the main entrance except in an emergency. Now the newly-carpeted, cleaned and painted exits add another note of charm to the old buildings mystique.


Starting in late November showtimes are 11:45 am, 3:15 pm, 7 pm, and 10:45 pm, 3702 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503.467.7521, movie line: 503.249.7474, For more great history




Community News December 2013

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