If you missed the event, see why so many people
came to this year’s event, held in Lents …

Jill Kolek of Portland’s Office of Sustainable Development, with Fix-it Fair staff members Wing Brabowski, Genevieve Joplin, Yvonne Garcia, and Ishah Ahumada. All, here, are welcoming folks to the fair.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
After 20 years of City of Portland sponsored “Fix-it Fairs”, one might think folks in East Portland might have tired, a bit, of the familiar event.

Not so, says the event’s organizer, from the City of Portland’s Office of Sustainable Development, Jill Kolek. “We have had a record number of visitors. We’ll see more than 800 participants today at our 21st annual Fix-it Fair. Our daycare room has filled up several times today.”

Parking was tight around Lent School on SE 97th Avenue, between SE Harold Street and SE Holgate Boulevard on January 12 – another testiment to the Fair’s success.

“The Fix-it Fair is important,” Kolek says, “because it makes great community resources available to all these folks.”

In addition to the 45 vendor booths set up in the school’s gym, two dozen classes about efficient water use, energy efficiency, the dangers of lead in the home, remodeling, gardening, recycling, and other topics are presented throughout the day.

“The whole idea,” adds Kolek, is to help direct neighbors to community resources that help them both conserve the environment – and also their money.”

Fix-it Fair photo album

Caron Kepic, Madine Lutes, Jimi Johnson talk with Rex Hollingsworth (Rex Heating & Air Conditioning) and Dave Lutes, at the Multnomah County Weatherization Program table. Hollingsworth is holding a cracked furnace heat-exchanger which allows carbon monoxide to leak into the airflow of the furnace. “It’s both inefficient and dangerous,” Hollingsworth says.

Caran Goodall, Master Recycler, at the “Remodel It Green” table, speaking with visitor James Graham. Graham commented, “The exhibits and information are really good. I’m glad I came.”

Nancy Weber, on behalf of the Oregon Construction Contractors Board, leads a seminar called “How to avoid mistakes when hiring a contractor”. How many mistakes can there be? Quite a few, it turns out. Weber handed out a thick booklet illustrating many disastrous outcomes.

Burgerville employees coming from all four outer East Portland restaurants are fixing some of the 1,000 cheeseburgers they’re handing out  – for free – at the Fix-it Fair. Jerry Otto, manager of the Burgerville at SE 122 Avenue & SE Stark Street explains, “Company-wide, we’re all about sustainability – helping the environment and giving back to our community.”

The 21st Annual Fix-It Fair season was sponsored by The City of Portland Office of Sustainable Development, as well as by Burgerville, Energy Trust of Oregon, Pacific Power, Portland General Electric, Portland Development Commission, and The City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services.

© 2008 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

Most fires can be avoided, Portland Fire & Rescue officials say.
See the devastating results of two such blazes …

After knocking down the fire, Portland Fire & Rescue firefighters move inside on the 10400 block of NE Morris St. to finish extinguishing the blaze that stared in the front-room.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
The stillness of the frigid night in Parkrose Heights was shattered late Friday night, January 18, by the sound of wailing and whooping sirens and flashing emergency lights a little after midnight.

Trucks and engines from Portland Fire & Rescue Stations 12, 2, 7, and 30 were racing to a house fire the 10400 block of NE Morris Street. “The fire was ripping so strongly,” a firefighter on the first-arriving truck told us, “you could see it lighting up the sky from NE 102nd Avenue.”

Firefighters, dressed in their heavy turnouts, haul saws up to the roof to cut holes for ventilation and to put out fire that extended to the attic.

Fire lights the sky
Portland Fire & Rescue Battalion Chief C4, Jay Olson, agreed, “The fire was going pretty good.  I’m sure the firefighters saw it from a long way away. The front part of the house was fully involved in flames upon arrival. The firefighters quickly knocked down the fire.”

Flames from the front of the house traveled to the back of the home, Olson told us on scene. “The smoke traveled throughout the entire structure.”

This fire presented a challenge Olson added. “Firefighters had to cut in to the roof, tear down ceilings, and go through walls to extinguish the fire.” Firefighters tended the ruins of the house until 5:30 a.m.

Fortunately, fire crews discovered all the occupants had escaped with their dog, said the Battalion Chief.

Although firefighters arrived minutes, one look at this photograph will show how intensely the fire ripped through this Parkrose Heights home.

Escapes midnight blaze
We approached people standing on the curb across from the smoldering home; firefighters suggested they were the neighbors who called in the alarm. We asked what they saw when the called in the alarm.

“Ah, well, actually, it’s our house,” said Josh Schrader. “We haven’t been living here all that long.”

Schrader continued, “My dog woke me up.  It let me know there was something going on in the living room. As I was making my way down the stairs I could smell something burning. I got to the living room and I could see that stuff we had in the living room was on fire. I turned around and got everyone out.”

Firefighters pull down the ceiling to make sure all of the fire has been completely extinguished.

The homeowner paused to look for their kitten, and said he couldn’t find it. “I didn’t think we had much time.” Schrader gestured to the woman wrapped in a blanket standing next to him. “Me and her, we made it out with what were wearing.”

Although we didn’t press Schrader, he volunteered, “One good thing is all my fishing gear is in the trailer in the driveway! It’s OK.”

Although the fire was put out quickly, crews remained on the scene looking for flair-ups until 5:30 that morning.

Lessons to be learned
Fire Investigators could not determine if there was a working Smoke Alarm in the home. The cause of the fire was a malfunctioning baseboard heater, which ignited nearby combustible materials.

About this fire, Portland Fire & Rescue spokesman Lt. Dave Centers asked us to remind readers: “Always give any heater or heating device (including hot water heaters) at least 16 to 18 inches of clearance.  Do not store or pile combustible materials (paper, clothing, wood, etc.) in these spaces.”

Friday Fire #2

As the other crews pull up, they find the fire was put out quickly by the crew of Truck 11.

A week later, on Friday January 25 – the report of another house fire, in outer East Portland, came in at 1:21 p.m. One minute after the call came in, Portland Fire & Rescue Truck 11 pulled up to the burning home in the 5100 block of SE 85th Avenue, a couple of blocks south of Eastport Plaza.

Pumping water directly from the tank in their engine, the Truck 11 crew rushed in and attacked the fire.

This is the charred room the firefighters saw when the looked in the window.

With minutes, units from Stations 25, 19, and 29 joined their comrades – but the fire was already out, and the damage was done.

The house didn’t look damaged when we arrived. “It looks like a bedroom fire,” said Battalion Chief C3, Pat Davies.

The firefighters removed a burned door and some charred furniture as they “overhauled” [looking for embers and removing burnt material] the bedroom. Burned material is at the feet of the firefighters.

A gentleman talking with fire officials at the home stopped and told us his daughter lived at the house. “I think my granddaughter was playing with matches or a lighter in the bedroom.”

“Damage was extensive enough, to force the two adults and three kids to be displaced from the home,” reported Portland Fire & Rescue spokesperson Kim Kosmas. “The investigator determined that the fire was started by a youth playing with a lighter.”

A Portland Fire & Rescue fire inspector talks with a gentleman who identified himself as the father of the one of the residents of the house.

Lesson to be learned
“Kids are fascinated by fire,” Kosmas told us. “Parents must teach their children that fire is a powerful, destructive force. And, it helps to keep lighters and matches out the reach of small children.”

© 2008 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

Residents at this meeting, from Sellwood, Woodstock and outer East Portland, admitted that this fraud cheated them out of their home and savings. Read, and learn how to avoid this tragedy …

Portland Police Bureau Detective Liz Cruthers introduces mortgage fraud expert Richard Hagar

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Nationally, and locally, real estate and mortgage fraud is rising to unprecedented levels – according to Richard Hagar, a nationally-known expert on real estate and mortgage fraud, at an East Portland meeting a few weeks ago.

“This crime is affecting our local economy, and consumers need to be aware of its impact on home values in their neighborhoods,” said Portland Police Bureau Detective Liz Cruthers, as she introduced Hagar. “Fraudulent transactions by real estate professionals are also fueling foreclosure rates and the sub-prime meltdown.”

Hagar’s presentation exposed the seedy world of fraudulent real estate transactions, including foreclosure rescue and mortgage elimination schemes, predatory lending, adjustable rate mortgages with huge balloon payments, and other scams.

Think twice before calling a “stop foreclosure” expert – you’ll likely lose your home, credit and equity.

‘Foreclosure Rescue’ scams
“People who run ‘foreclosure rescue’ operations are the lowest of the low,” Hagar stated. “They offer an individual in dire circumstances false hope; and then, shaft them.”

Here’s how it works: A homeowner gets behind on mortgage payments. A “helpful” person comes along, claiming to be able to help them eliminate the foreclosure problem.

Gets deed for pennies on the dollar
The rescuer, Hagar said, tells the homeowner that the only to remedy the problem is for them to sign a “Quit Claim Deed” over to them. The rescuer gives the homeowner $5,000, offers to rent the house back to the homeowner, and, “gives them the option” to purchase the home back later. However, if the homeowner misses one rent payment, they’re evicted.

“The rescuer, the scammer, now has title to the home for pennies on the dollar – and a promise,” explained Hagar. “And, it is usually an oral – not written – promise.”

Hagar tells of a local widow who was emotionally distraught following the death of her husband. Because her late husband always had taken care of the bills, the widow didn’t make any payments for a couple of months; her mortgage payments fell behind, and the bank started foreclosure procedures.

Richard Hagar, a nationally-known expert on real estate and mortgage fraud, exposes current scams.

$300,000 house for $15,000
“One of these slimy stinkers got wind of the situation,” said Hagar as he told the horror story. “He offered to refinance the widow’s home for her, but never took an application. He then offered to sell the widow’s house for her; but he didn’t. He said he’d stop the foreclosure process himself; and then he did nothing.”

On the courthouse steps, Hagar went on, this scam artist purchased the property for the amount remaining on the mortgage – a mere $10,000. Out of the “kindness of his heart”, he gave the widow $5,000 “moving money”. Within two months, he sold the house for $300,000.

When Hagar asked if anyone in the audience had personal experience with this kind of fraud, a woman in the back of the room meekly raised her hand. She said her mother, who had a home in Sellwood, just lost her nearly-paid- off home to such a “foreclosure predator”.

Spotting the scam
Hagar said he’s been to classes taught by traveling instructors that instruct people how to become a “foreclosure rescue” expert. “I personally think this is evil behavior. It isn’t illegal, but it is evil.”

Common instructions for the “deals” which foreclosure-rescue students are taught, Hagar said, include:

  • Check foreclosure listings frequently – perhaps daily – to find “fresh” prospects;
  • Look for homes with high equities (value of a home over the mortgage);
  • Approach the victim homeowner early in the foreclosure process;
  • Delay the homeowner from taking any action until the very week of the foreclosure auction;
  • Describe the transaction terms orally – not in writing – to the homeowner;
  • Prepare documents that favor the “rescuer”, regardless of what was told to the homeowner; and
  • Induce the homeowner to sign incomplete or blank documents.

“These crooks take care to make sure that no specific step they take in their process is illegal,” stated Hagar. “Some foreclosure rescuers seem actually to think they are helping people. The real question is, at the end of the day, who gets the equity? The homeowner or the rescuer?”

Eliminating your mortgage
Addressing the flood of offers now seen on yard signs and Internet sites that offer to “eliminate your mortgage” – Hagar advised considering this concept carefully before taking any action.

“Realistically, there is only one way to eliminate a mortgage,” Hagar stated. “And that is to pay it off. If you sell your home to pay off your mortgage, you can’t live there.”

Flipping out
“There’s good flipping, and bad flipping,” Hagar continued. “A good flip is when you research and buy an undervalued house, fix it up, and sell it for an increased value.”

But, even instructions for “good flipping” – as glamorized by TV shows such as Flip That House — don’t mention, Hagar said, that flippers often get stuck holding the house and losing money.

But worse, Hagar informed his audience, is the “bad flip.”

“A scammer buys house at or below property value. They may make some cosmetic improvements, but don’t substantially improve the property. Then, they jack the price way up.”

With the help of shady real estate agent and mortgage loan originator – and an appraiser bullied into “passing” the home by the bank – the home is sold to an unsuspecting buyer, typically one with a poor credit history. “Buyers get stuck with a bad house, their credit is wrecked, and usually the bank gets stuck with a foreclosure.” (All this may help you understand some of the current “subprime mortgage meltdown”!)

Hagar displayed many reports to back up his warnings about real estate and mortgage swindles.

Consequences for consumer cheating
“People do tell lies to get a place to live,” Hagar stated. “People do commit fraud because they want property or cash.”

The biggest lie a cheating consumer will tell is overstating their income. “Don’t do it, even if originators tell you to do it. You’re the one breaking a federal law by lying; you’re the one who will face the consequences. More than losing your home and equity, you can go to jail.”

Other forms of dishonesty perpetrated by those trying to get a mortgage include providing false statement of assets or source of down payment, and inflating sales prices to cover non-real-estate items.

Hagar summed up his presentation: “Deals that seem too good to be true usually are! Read your documents, ask questions, and get legal help with real estate transactions when you need it.”

© 2008 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

The driver who hit the 68-year-old bicyclist stopped, offered help, information. He stubbornly but kindly waved her on, and then found he really was injured. Learn how his resulting hospital bill will get paid …

This is the intersection, known as “Bell Station Corner”, where 68-year-old Howard Dempsey was struck by a car while walking his bike across the street – on a green light – on January 20. He was walking south, the same direction as this biker is riding.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Because he says he likes exercise, 68-year-old Howard Joel Dempsey was out riding the Springwater Trail on Sunday January 20.

His outing ended painfully at 10:50 a.m. when he was by struck by a car – the driver ran a red light – where the popular trail intersects with SE Johnson Creek Boulevard and Bell Avenue.

Recovering in his home, Howard Dempsey was presented with a gift of reading material to help pass the time during his recovery by the driver who struck him, Amanda Willard.

Motorist offers aid and information
As Dempsey sprawled on the pavement, his bike going flying, the driver did the right thing: She pulled over and ran to Dempsey’s side.

“Witnesses on-scene confirm that the driver tried to aid the injured cyclist,” reported Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) spokesman Detective Jim Strovink. “This driver was very concerned for the welfare of Dempsey, and did what was compassionately expected and required by law.”

However, as Dempsey struggleed to his feet, he reportedly refused to accept any insurance and contact information the driver eagerly attempted to provide. “Reportedly,” Strovink added, “Dempsey continued to exclaim he was going to be just fine, and intended to just ‘walk-it-off’.”

Amanda’s dad, Michael Willard, says their family is just “trying to do the right thing”.

Fractured hip and no insurance
“After the responsible driver exhausted numerous attempts to have Dempsey accept her information, she departed the scene,” said Strovink.
But, a short time later, Dempsey discovered he couldn’t mount his bicycle, and fell to the pavement in pain.

Thanks to a 9-1-1 call from a bystander, CCSO Deputy Dave Willard arrived on-scene, and summoned medical personnel to examine a still-reluctant Dempsey. The victim was taken to Providence Milwaukie Hospital, where clinicians found Dempsey was suffering from a seriously fractured hip, requiring extensive surgery.
During the investigation, Deputy Willard discovered Dempsey is a nearly- full-time volunteer in this very hospital – and, unfortunately, doesn’t have medical insurance.

Because those on the scene described the woman whose car struck Dempsey as appearing very genuine and conscientious, Strovink put out press releases asking for the driver to come forward. “We hope this is the case, and that she is courageous enough to step forward, at this most difficult time,” it said.

Lars Larson to the rescue
Less than four minutes after he heard local radio talk show host Lars Larson mention that the Sheriff’s Offices hoped the driver would step forward, Michael Willard (no relation to the CCSO Deputy) called the CCSO and reported that the driver for whom they’re looking is his teenage daughter.

The Deputy visited the Willard home on January 23, obtained insurance and driver’s information, and filled out an accident report. Because the daughter, 19-year-old Amanda Willard, is insured under the family policy, Dempsey’s medical bills will be covered

Driver and victim reunite
At an unusual meeting on the evening of January 24, the Willard family visited Dempsey, who was now at home recovering from an operation that included placing three steel pins in his damaged hip.

Amanda, a dental assistant student at Concordia University, walked in with a stack of books – tied with a ribbon and bow – for Dempsey to enjoy while he recuperates.

Dempsey’s kitty, Muffins, looked bemused by the media crews and equipment that filled his living room.

“It’s nice the way it’s worked out,” Dempsey admitted, “but I hope it never happens again.”

Asked how the accident will change his life, Dempsey replied, “It’ll probably be a couple of months before I can get back to my volunteer work at the hospital. I volunteer a lot. I like being around other people.

“It’s better than being here by myself,” added the recently widowed gentleman.

“I’ll go back to riding my bike when I get better; I’m not to let this shut me in. I’ll ride 30 to 40 miles on a weekend. It gets me out of the house.”

Howard Dempsey says he looks forward to, once again, volunteering at Providence Milwaukie – the same hospital that repaired his shattered hip.

Dad faces the press
Amanda didn’t want to speak on camera, so her dad, Michael Willard, met the assembled media.

“As soon as Amanda came home, as soon as she came right in the door, she told us what happened. She did get kind of emotional, at that point.”

At the time, her father recounts, they didn’t think the man struck was seriously injured. “Had we thought so, we would have filed a report the next day.”

The young lady’s dad continued, “I went to lunch at work on Wednesday afternoon, I always listen to the Lars Larson Show during my lunch break. I called the Sheriff’s Office, was put through to Deputy Dave Willard (again, no relation), and found out it was indeed the incident. Because it’s my daughter I was a little hesitant to say I know what’s going on, but everything matched up.”

East PDX News asked Willard why he thought his daughter did the right thing at the scene.

Willard replied, “When we put her on our insurance, she studied the course the insurance company gave her. And, she’s a responsible girl.  She did what she thought was right. When I heard they needed to talk with Amanda, I picked up the phone. I try to do the right thing too.”

Bewildered by media blitz
Confiding that he is somewhat bewildered by all the media attention, Willard asked, “I’m wondering, am I the first person, or the only person in the City of Portland, who has come forward in a situation like this? I was a little concerned about coming out, meeting Mr. Dempsey, doing this interview.”

To the question, “What do you say now that you’ve met him?” Willard said that Dempsey was very nice.

“I try to be as nice as I can,” Dempsey piped up.

Asked how he has spent his days since returning home, Dempsey answered, “It’s not something I wanted to do, but the operation [to repair his shattered hip] was something I had to do.  The doctor said to stay sitting as much as possible while it heals. My daughter comes by to take care of me. I watch the news and shows on TV.”

Howard Dempsey and Amanda Willard shake hands before she departs.

A perky news gal piped up, “You watch Channel 2, right?”

“No, no,” Mr. Dempsey answered, without missing a beat, “I watch the news on Channels 6 and 8.”

The laughter that filled the room broke the tension of the situation as news crews packed their gear.

Interestingly, despite the blown red light, no citations were issued in this case, Strovink said. But, his headline on his final press release about the incident summed up his view of the situation: “Well, yes, we do have compassionate and extraordinary citizens amongst us!”

© 2008 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

State Senators Rod Monroe, Brad Avakian and Portland City Commissioner Randy Leonard hosted the event – see what we learned when we stopped by …

State Senator Rod Monroe explains the intricacies of funding state highway improvement – such as outer SE Powell Boulevard.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Billed as a “Livable Communities Town Hall”, co-hosted State Senator Brad Avakian and Portland City Commissioner Randy Leonard, the event was scheduled to touch on issues ranging from land use to water resources, and renewable issues to public safety and emergency response.

Senator Brad Avakian had little to say – but surprise guest State Senator Rod Monroe wasn’t shy about speaking up, at the January 15 meeting held at the David Douglas High School library.

Randy Leonard spoke enthusiastically about the promise of bio-fuels, and how this new industry would help the state economically while reducing auto pollution.

Rod Monroe talked about the “Special Emergency Session” to be held by the Oregon legislature in February, calling it “an experiment” in annual sessions – currently prohibited by law in the Oregon State Constitution.

Many of the people present talked about their own personal concerns – the environment, low spending on education, and the upcoming elections. We were surprised to see a contingent supporting national candidate Lyndon LaRoushe espousing his fiscal policies. And, much of the conversation revolved around national issues, like the debt, spending, and foreign investment.

At times, the Town Hall sounded more like a political rally, as the trio blasted the Republican Party on the Oregon Kicker law, among other topics. Many of the state’s ills were blamed on Republican politicians.

Powell Boulevard concerns
A neighbor from the Centennial Neighborhood asked why SE Powell Boulevard, from I-205 east to Gresham, was still a two-lane road without sidewalks.

Senator Monroe took the question, and said he’d work with the City of Portland, until he was reminded that Powell Boulevard is a State highway.

“The problem is funding,” Monroe then explained. “There are a certain amount of federal dollars coming in; those dollars are minimal. The truth of the matter is, the amount of taxes and fees that are paid on each auto in the states of Washington or California. And our gasoline tax has not gone up for many years.”

Monroe went on, saying that Washington State has doubled the amount of money it collects – per cars driven, not population – than has Oregon, in the past few years. “You’ll notice a lot of work has been done in the state of Washington, but not in Oregon. We’re looking for ways to get projects going. They’re right at the top of my list. I’ve lived here all of my life and yes, [SE Powell Boulevard] is an absolute bottleneck.”

Portland City Commissioner Randy Leonard spoke enthusiastically about alternative fuels, and gaining greater financial support for outer East Portland schools. Senator Brad Avakian, a panelist, mostly listened.

Sees support for schools
Because we could attend only a portion of the session, we later asked Commissioner Leonard what he felt were the main issues that came up.

“What I took away from the meeting the other night,” Leonard replied,  “was the overwhelming public support of the work Commissioner Sten and I are partnering on, to come up with the money to build David Douglas a new grade school using downtown urban renewal dollars.

“Both Senators Monroe and Avakian said they would support legislation in Salem next month to clear the way for us to give the David Douglas District the money needed for the school.”

© 2008 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

One of the unique treats Portland offers during the holiday season is a ride on the Holiday Express, from Oaks Park to Portland. But, read this, and learn why this piece of history may slip away …

Providing a total of 10,000 passengers a trip back into another era, the Southern Pacific 4449 roared to life at Oaks Park again this past Holiday season.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Standing seventeen feet tall, on 80-inch-high wheels, the massive, 100-foot long Southern Pacific 4449 steam locomotive is an impressive sight.

As the engineer released the brakes and the steam hissed from the pistons, the ground trembled, and the 4449 began another “Holiday Express” run from Oaks Amusement Park to OMSI and back.

Engineer George Lavacot releases the “Johnson bar”, and applies the throttle inside the Southern Pacific 4449, as another load of riders are off on a riverfront journey on the Holiday Express.

For two weeks in December, the Holiday Express allowed visitors – some traveling from as far away as Seattle – the opportunity to step back in time, and ride the rails to the chug, chug, chug sound of a steam locomotive.

As riders traveled Dick Samuels’ Oregon Pacific Railroad Company tracks along the east bank of the Willamette River, they took in unique views of the downtown Portland on one side, and the serenity of the Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge on the other.

After being donated to the city in the 1950’s, when diesel-electric locomotives replaced steam locomotives, the SP-4449 sat outside on public display at Oaks Park for many years.

Riders of the Holiday Express get amazing views of Oaks Bottom and the Portland skyline while chugging along the tracks.

Members of the Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation refurbished the locomotive, and continue to maintain and run the locomotive for the love of it. It eventually drew the “Bicentennial Train” around the United States in 1976. However, it burns about 10 gallons of fuel and uses 100 gallons of water per mile – an expensive ride.

“The Southern Pacific 4449, and other working steam engines here, don’t have a permanent home,” stated Jonathan Kromer, Director of the Holiday Express program for the Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation (ORHF). “The Holiday Express is the primary fundraising activity of the ORHF to further its mission.”

ORHF was founded in 2000, we learned, with the mission of establishing a permanent home for these three city-owned historic steam locomotives, as well as to save the Brooklyn Roundhouse, and to build a rail and industrial heritage museum. This would create a place where these mechanical marvels could be put on display for generations to come.

The problem is that the Union Pacific, which has been donating the space to house the locomotives in the old, crumbling roundhouse just north of the S.E. Holgate viaduct over the Brooklyn train yard, now needs the space to meet its own needs. It has asked that the historic locomotives and other antique railcars at the same site be moved somewhere else.

One possibility is a spot of land with rails on it just east of OMSI on the Willamette’s east bank. But, though the railroad, which owns the property, seems positive about such a use of that location, the money needed to accomplish the dream at that site has yet to be raised, and time is running out.

Without a destination, these unique, working artifacts of the nation’s past, owned by the City of Portland, may have to be parked somewhere to rust in the rain and get tagged by graffiti vandals.

New this year were rides being offered on “speeders”. These small rail vehicles once zipped workmen to remote sites along the tracks.

At this point, there is no evident solution to the problem. But if one is to be found, money will be needed. And the ORTF did make some money again this Holiday season – in all, some 10,000 tickets were sold during the train’s annual run.

To make sure you’re on their list for 2008, or to learn more about this new holiday tradition, or learn how you can support ORHF, the check their Internet website at: www.TheHolidayExpress.org.

All aboard? Maybe not for long! It’s up to you. Let City of Portland, METRO and Multnomah County leaders know you want to keep these mighty locomotives here!

© 2008 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

Discover who was awarded certificates and medals
by the Portland Police Bureau – and why …

The Portland Police Bureau’s Honor Guard starts off the awards ceremony.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Officers and citizens in Portland Police Bureau’s East and Southeast Precincts took away honors at the Horner Performing Arts Center at David Douglas High School on January 16.

Many officers were given awards. Here are some of the award presentations, as read by the Bureau’s spokespersons – Sgt. Brian Schmautz and Officer Catherine Kent:


Acting Sergeant Michael Gallagher receives the Portland Police Bureau’s Achievement Medal.

Acting Sergeant Michael Gallagher – Achievement Medal
Officer Mike Gallagher is a dedicated employee of the Portland Police Bureau, who in addition to his regular assignment, volunteers thousands of hours to the East Precinct Cadets and the Bureau’s PEER support team.

Over the years, Gallagher has been a respected leader and advisor for the East Precinct Law Enforcement Cadet Post, which affords youth the opportunity of exploring the field of law enforcement. Officer Gallagher’s mentorship and guidance has greatly assisted youths in their career development, and he leaves a marked impression on youth of service, and dedication to duty and to the community.

Officer Gallagher volunteers numerous administrative hours in maintaining required documents, statistics, and finances.  He also provides direct supervision, coordination, instruction, training, and guidance to the youth involved in the program. He is directly involved in detail functions, recruiting, and fundraising, and provides continued education to the cadets.

Additionally, Gallagher has been involved in the PEER assistance program for more than nine years. He helped create the first PEER support team in the Portland Police Bureau, and continues to function as the PEER support coordinator. He spends thousands of volunteer hours making sure that fellow Portland Police Officers remain healthy and on the job.

Gallagher displays great passion for others, and he does it with a smile and deep concern for the safety and welfare of citizens and Bureau members.

(Editor’s note: Mike Gallagher has been helped appreciated by many outer East Portland neighborhoods and business associations because of his assistance and support.)

Lieutenant Tim Sessions receives the Portland Police Bureau’s Achievement Medal.

Lieutenant Tim Sessions – Achievement Medal
Lieutenant Tim Sessions has made a significant contribution to the development and training of Bureau personnel in the multiple disciplines of Radio Communication Systems, Mobile Digital Computers, and the Computer-Aided Dispatch systems used by the Portland Police Bureau.

In 1994, the Computer-Aided Dispatch systems came on line.  Lieutenant Tim Sessions, (who at that time was still an officer working night shift) became one of the first CAD/MDC training instructors, writing the training manual and providing initial training to other instructors.

(Editor’s note: Sessions was a great East Precinct sergeant before his recent promotion to lieutenant and his transfer to Southeast Precinct. He worked with many neighborhood outreach programs, including the Summer Cop’s Ice Cream Program with Madison South Neighborhood chair Ruth Hander.)

Sgt. Deborah Steigleder and retired officer Dan Thompson receiving the Portland Police Bureau Life Saving Medal.

Sgt. Deborah Steigleder and retired officer Dan Thompson – Portland Police Bureau Life Saving Medal
On May 21st, 2006, Sergeant Deborah Steigleder and Officer Dan Thompson were dispatched to a residence in Southeast Portland on a report of a Domestic Dispute.

Prior to their arrival, officers received information from police dispatch that the male occupant had tried to strangle the female occupant and that the male occupant had a knife and was about to stab himself.

Steigleder and Thompson knew that the woman inside the residence was likely in grave danger. They entered, made their presence known, and got the endangered female safely out of the house.

The male was in the kitchen area, stabbing himself in the stomach. Sergeant Steigleder and Officer Dan Thompson were too far away from the man to use their less-lethal taser. They gave commands to drop the knife and then approached him. Steigleder’s taser shot stopped the suicidal man’s actions, and they were able to take him into custody without further harm to the himself or to others. Their decisive actions undoubtedly saved several lives.

This large group of officers were honored for the actions they took during the September 6, 2007 family murder and suicide on NE Glisan St.

Police Medals to Officer Todd Christensen, Officer Carlos Pagan, Officer Spencer Sheldon; Achievement Medals to Sergeants David Golliday, Erin Smith, Robert McCormick and Officers John Billard, Lacey Sparling, Heath Kula, Christopher McDonald and Michael Gallagher

On the night of September 6, 2007, East Precinct Officers were dispatched to check on the welfare of a family who resided in Northeast Portland.  Police Dispatch had received a call from a concerned friend. The friend had received an e-mail which suggested that the one of the family members might be intent on committing suicide.  This was the only information the officers received prior to their arrival.

Officers Todd Christensen, Carlos Pagan and Spencer Sheldon arrived at the location and observed a vehicle idling in the driveway. Officer Sheldon noticed a hose connected to the vehicle exhaust. The hose was being used to transport exhaust fumes from the car into a sealed bedroom in the home.  Officer Sheldon immediately disconnected the hose while the other two officers attempted to make entry into the home.  Officer Christensen found the back door unlocked and all three officers entered the home, which was now completely engulfed in exhaust fumes. During their search, the officers were increasingly overrun by the exhaust fumes and ported several windows in order to ventilate the home. The officers searched the home for possible survivors and found three people: A father, mother and five-year-old child in one of the bedrooms. Officer Pagan immediately removed the child from the toxic home and began to administer CPR.  Officer Christensen assisted in providing CPR to the child until he was later relieved by arriving AMR personnel.

Within minutes, more uniformed personnel arrived on scene, and without hesitation entered the gas-filled home and assisted with ventilating the home, removing victims from the home and providing CPR to the victims.  Sergeants Dave Golliday and Robert McCormick, along with Officers Sheldon and Gallagher removed the adult male from the home. Sergeant Smith, Sergeant Golliday and Officer Sparling removed the adult female from the home.  Officer Pagan and Officer McDonald helped perform CPR on the adult victims.  Officer Kula assisted with the care of the adult victims.

The sergeants’ and officers’ efforts were described by AMR personnel as extraordinary, and the shift lieutenant praised their selfless actions, indicating he had never witnessed such heroic efforts to preserve life.  Unfortunately, the duration of the exposure to the toxic gas caused the eventual deaths of all three victims.

Above and beyond
After the ceremony, Commander Michael Crebs commented, “I’m very proud of each and every one of our people.  They do good work. They all go above and beyond the call of duty and are committed to the community. You have the finest people serving the citizens of East Precinct.”

SE Precinct Awards

Citizen Susan Kuhnhausen is awarded the Civilian Medal – Heroism.

Citizen Susan Kuhnhausen – Civilian Medal – Heroism
On September 6, 2006, Susan Kuhnhausen, an emergency room nurse, arrived at her Southeast Portland residence to find an armed intruder awaiting her inside the home. The police investigation later revealed that the armed intruder had been hired to kill her. Armed with a hammer, the intruder violently assaulted Ms. Kuhnhausen. Even though she was struck several times, Kuhnhausen kept fighting and never gave up. She wrestled the hammer away from the intruder and hit him on the head. She escaped to a neighbor’s home, and called police.

Her sheer determination to survive this encounter has provided reassurance to crime victims everywhere that anything is possible. Ms. Kuhnhausen has a peace-loving demeanor, and has possessed a very calm and assured composure throughout this arduous event.

Officer Robert Pickett accepts the Commendation Medal for himself and the Certificate of Appreciation for his absent partner, Officer Robert Quick.

Officer Robert Pickett – Commendation Medal; Officer Robert Quick, Certificate of Appreciation
Officer Robert Pickett has been the catalyst to ensuring the success of the bicycle patrol. In addition, Officer Robert Quick has greatly assisted in the overall mission of the bicycle patrol. Their primary mission is to reduce crime and the fear of crime, improve the quality of life in the neighborhoods, improve community and police partnerships and provide an increased police presence in Southeast neighborhoods. The bicycle patrol has accomplished and often times exceeded this mission. They have worked alongside the community to identify problem areas that were negatively impacting the neighborhoods.  The identified problems included: homelessness, inebriated subjects panhandling and trespassing, graffiti, car prowls and the lack of visible police presence.

Area residents have not only expressed their gratitude to the bike officers, but have written numerous letters praising the officers for their work.

The bicycle officers rescued one suicide jumper from the Sellwood Bridge and arrested a prolific sex offender who was harassing women as they jogged in inner SE Portland. The bicycle patrol has made a positive imprint on Southeast Portland.

Officer West Helfrich accepts the Life Saving Medal for himself for his absent partner, Officer Tim Lowry.

Officers West Helfrich and Tim Lowry – Life Saving Medal
On June 9, 2006, Officers West Helfrich and Tim Lowry were dispatched to a residence in Southeast Portland on a report of a suicidal subject.

On their arrival, the officers observed a distraught man leaning out of a fourth-story window with more than 30 pounds of weightlifting weights tied around his neck and chest. Officer Helfrich heard the man state: “I might as well get this over with”!  Recognizing the immediate danger, Officer Helfrich distracted the man by yelling to him, “Hold on a minute, I have something to give you.”

This action allowed the officers to buy valuable time. Officer Helfrich ran up four flights of stairs to the man’s apartment. Officer Lowry engaged the man in conversation, which was successful in delaying any attempts by the man to jump from the window. Locating the man’s apartment, Officer Helfrich quietly snuck up behind the man, grabbed him by the belt line and collar and dragged the man off the window ledge.  The man indicated that he was depressed and suicidal. The officers then transported the man to a hospital to receive medical treatment.

SE Precinct Commander Derek Foxworth wasn’t available at the event to comment on the awards in his precinct.

© 2008 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

Because his name is Ashton, we had to find out if this musician was related. Was he? – Read this and discover the answer – and why Jeffrey Ashton’s music is so well received …

Amid the stacks at Woodstock Branch Library, Jeffrey Ashton plays classical music for the enjoyment of library patrons.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
People at the Woodstock Branch Library seemed enthusiastic that a fellow by the name of Jeffrey Ashton was performing a few weeks ago.

When we met Ashton as he set up for his performance, we found he was a man of few words – but not a direct relative.

Listening to him play, we also discovered that Jeffrey Ashton is a very talented classical guitar artist; a world-class musician. Some members of his audience came because they read about his performance in our Community Calendar. As he continued to play, folks who came to the library for other reasons pulled up a chair and listened to the spirited performance of this musical artist.

The artistry of Ashton (the guitarist, not your writer) can be heard in every song he presented.

We wanted to rise and shout, “Bravo!” But, being in the library, we restrained ourselves, and now offer our tribute, quietly, in print.

From his friends at Portland Classic Guitar, we learned that Ashton has been playing guitar for over 30 years. He is an active performer, teacher, composer, recording artist, writer and arranger.

Born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1955, he began to play the guitar at the age of 10. He lived in Europe, staying in Germany, Elgin, Switzerland, in Austria, Italy and England. We’re told that this immersion into these cultures gave him a deep appreciation of early and Renaissance music.

Ashton moved to Portland in 1982, where he lives with his family and teaches at the University of Portland, as well as Portland State University, the Community Music Center, and Portland Classic Guitar.

By the way, you can enjoy Ashton’s music anytime by picking up a copy of his CD, entitled “1536“. We’ve enjoyed the copy since we purchased it!

© 2008 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

See how the latest medical technology gives expectant mothers (and family members) more than a sneak-peak at their soon-to-arrive new stars …

Jessica Fantroy shares with us her first experience of seeing her newest baby girl – weeks before she’s to be born. Rebecca Cunningham is operating the Phillips 4-D Ultrasound, as Chief Sonographer Tina Fery looks on.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Medical ultrasound imaging has been around for years. But, the blurry, grainy image – useful to medical experts – usually just looks like a blob on the screen of an electronic device.

But this week, thanks to Adventist Medical Center, we were invited to preview the miracle of life as East County resident, Jessica Fantroy, got her first glimpse of the live-action image of her third child, a soon-to-be born baby girl.

“This is my first time doing this,” Fantroy said as she saw a realistic, three-dimensional image of her unborn baby.  “I always wanted to see what the baby looks like when it’s still inside me. It’s so clear. This is really nice.”

As sonographer Rebecca Cunningham moved the probe around the expecting mom’s tummy, we saw different views of the unborn infant as it stretched, curled up, and at one point, seemed to smile – long before its early April birth date. “This gives us a three-dimensional image,” commented Cunningham; “the ‘fourth dimension’ is motion over time.”

Vast improvement in imaging
“When I first started doing ultrasounds ten years ago,” added the ultrasound technician, “the two- dimensional images were really poor. This new technology is simply amazing. You can look at an organ – or in this case, Jessica’s baby – from many different perspectives.”

Cunningham pointed at the large, high-resolution color screen. “You can clearly see the umbilical cord going across the baby’s face.”

“Look, she’s sucking on the cord!” Fantroy exclaimed.

Unborn movie star
Cunningham pressed a button, and the machine – a Phillips IU-22 4-D Ultrasound – took digital photos and movie clips which can even be burned to a CD for the patient to take home and share.

“Grandma is waiting at home,” Fantroy told us. “She can’t wait to see these pictures. It’ll be fun to show everybody.”

With a stretch and a yawn, Baby Fantroy stars in her first movie.

Pictures promote bonding
We asked the clinic’s Chief Sonographer, Tina Fery, about the medical applications for this new technology.

“Moms always could feel the baby moving all the time,” Fery replied. “This now gives dads, and the family’s children, the opportunity see the baby as clearly as if they were looking at it in a bassinette. They’re able to connect, and bond, with the baby on a whole different level.”

Fantroy agreed, “Oh yeah. I can so clearly see my move. I can feel her move, and it’s really fun and interesting to see here in me.”

A medical benefit, Fery pointed out, is that practitioners can now clearly see the orientation of the baby. If it’s a problem pregnancy, they can better view abnormalities that will need medical attention when the baby is born.

Technologists say new moms love the new 4-D ultrasound technology.

A medical procedure
Although ultrasound imaging is not an invasive process, it is still a medical procedure, Ferys pointed out. “In our case, when a physician orders an ultrasound imaging session, the patient gets the benefit of this new technology. It doesn’t cost any more than we used to charge for a 2-D ultrasound.”

Currently, both Adventist Medical Center and Gresham Imaging Center are offering “4D ultrasound imaging”.

© 2008 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

Sho Dozono drew on his East Portland heritage as he kicked off his bid to be Portland’s next mayor. Learn why this businessman says he’s the man for the job …

At Woodstock Wine & Deli, Sho Dozono poses for a photo with fellow members of the Cleveland High School Class of ’63.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
It had been looking as if Portland City Commissioner Sam Adams’ bid for Mayor might not be seriously challenged. But on January 12, that scenario changed, as hundreds of supporters flocked to greet businessman Sho Dozono – at Woodstock Wine & Deli.

Although not a tall man, Sho Dozono was easy to spot, as he energetically worked the room like a man on a mission. He was wearing his white Cleveland High School letter sweater – and was constantly in motion, greeting one person, hugging another, and shaking the hand of yet another supporter.

Dozono dialogs
When we asked the vivacious candidate why he chose Woodstock to kick off his campaign, Dozono replied, “I went to Cleveland High School – I’m the class of 1963. I went to Buckman Elementary and Hosford Middle Schools; I am an Eastside product. I’m very proud of my roots here.

Newly-minted Portland mayoral candidate Sho Dozono stops to talk with supporters Margy Christy and Peter Hamilton.

“It feels good to have so many friends, not only from this neighborhood but from throughout the city of Portland and suburbs, here to support my campaign. They want me to be successful; they’re gathering signatures so I’ll ultimately be elected Mayor of Portland on May 20th of this year.”

A ‘public funding’ candidate
The signatures to which Dozono was referring are those needed, along with a $5 donation, to allow the candidate to quality for public funding for his campaign.

“We need to gather 1,500 signatures and donations before January 31 to qualify,” said his daughter, Stephanie Dozono. “Before today is over, we may be half way toward reaching our goal.” The day following this reception, Dozono’s campaign manager told us they had, indeed gathered 750 signatures within just the first week of the campaign.

Sees hunger for change
“I think there is a hunger for change in Portland City Hall,” Dozono went on. “The City can use a breath of fresh air and new leadership – not from an insider. The work that career politicians and insiders do, many who have worked there for years, is very important, but sometimes a fresh perspective is important too.”

Dozono moves briskly around the room, shaking hands and thanking supporters.

Dozono said he’s been a businessman for 30 years. “At the same time, I’ve not been a bystander. I’ve been engaged in civic involvement. I’ve worked for six Mayors and five Governors – without any break. They’ve asked me to lead commissions, or chair committees.”

His civic involvement, Dozono said, has given him an opportunity to show how his leadership does get things done. “When I am elected Mayor, I intend to bring that collaborative spirit, especially between government and the private sector, into City Hall.”

Ready to make a statement for TV? You bet! Dozono seems to enjoy the early stages of his run for the mayor’s seat.

For more information, see his web site at www.shoformayor.com.

© 2008 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

It wasn’t due to loud protests; it wasn’t that they filled the room at the meeting – read why Portland’s top cop changed her mind about moving the ‘hood to NE Precinct …

Portland Police Bureau Assistant Chief Lynnae Berg explains why the Bureau wants to make changes to both district and precinct boundaries.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
In an exclusive story we brought you last week – we told you how, under Portland Police Bureau Chief Rosie Sizer’s direction, a diverse group of internal and external stakeholders is convening to examine the district configurations of each precinct and make recommendations to more equitably balance the call load within the precincts.

Chief Sizer said she asked the committee to consider common-sense precinct boundary and district realignments, instead of making broad changes.

Bureau makes their case
At a December 15 meeting held at the Banfield Corporate Office, on NE 82nd Avenue of Roses, Sizer attended the meeting, but Portland Police Bureau’s assistant chief, Lynnae Berg, was the one who laid out the “how’s and why’s” about the city wanted to change districts [patrol areas within police precincts] – and the boundaries of two precincts themselves.

“We’re working to equalize the top call loads between 5 and 10% for each district within the precinct,” Berg explained.

Berg recounted the number of calls in various districts. Citizens at the meeting said they understood, for the most part, the value of moving district loads to increase police response time.

Moving Madison South Neighborhood to NE Precinct
Members of the Madison South neighborhood Association took exception, however, to their district, 920, being moved to Northeast Precinct.

“One of the challenges we all have in making recommendations,” said Berg, “is the neighborhoods in 920 are very involved in community at policing in East Precinct. The change in precinct alignment, and some other relationships, is one of the challenges we talked about.”

East Precinct Commander Michael Crebs says he appreciates all of the citizens who contribute to community policing.

Commendations and introductions
East Precinct Commander Michael Crebs spoke up: “Regardless of the outcome of this meeting tonight, community policing in East Precinct will continue to thrive. We appreciate all of our citizens who contribute so much to community policing here in outer East Portland.”

Chief Sizer then broke in, commenting, “Commander Crebs is a very capable commander. We all appreciate the work that he is doing there.”

Introducing the new NE Precinct Commander, James Ferraris, Sizer added, “He’s starting on Monday, so I thought it was important for him, because he will be potentially impacted by any precinct boundaries changes, to know who the new commander is, and be able to ask him questions.”

Ferraris spoke up, saying, “I know this is a real struggle for people to consider change. I grew up in East Portland, my mother lives here.”

To the many Madison South neighbors present, he added, “If we make these boundary changes, you will be welcomed in Northeast precinct. I will use Mike Crebs as a role model to develop the same partnerships with you that he has in East Precinct. Our doors are open to you.”

Questions and nose counts
The police brass was asked about changes in response times if the changes were made to the precinct boundaries.  The response: Commander Crebs aligns how officers are assigned to small sections within each precinct, called a district.

Assistant Chief Berg asked for a show of hands of how many of those attending the meeting were from the Madison South Neighborhood.  Almost all the hands in the room and went up.  When she asked how many of those in the room were from the Hollywood neighborhood, there was no response.

“This feels a little bit like being at the Iowa caucuses,” quipped Chief Sizer.

Neighbors learned the Northeast Precinct offices are located at Martin Luther King Boulevard at North Killingsworth Street. This raised questions about response times to District 920 – especially near shift-change.

Chief Sizer commented that when call loads are equalized and go down in any given district, the opportunity for the officers to self-initiate problem-solving goes up.  “This is why were working to equalize the call load within our districts.”

East Precinct Block Captain chair Dave Smith, also a Madison South Neighborhood resident, eloquently states why residents in their area feels strongly tied to East Precinct.

Mr. Smith speaks for neighbors
Dave Smith was recognized when he asked to make this statement:

“I’m a member of the Madison South Neighborhood Association.  Like many of us I became involved in the neighborhood association because of my interest in the viability of my own immediate neighborhood.

“Many of us in Madison South have become involved with the Portland Police Bureau through our association with the officers and staff at East Precinct.  We’ve not only worked to secure the safety and security of Madison South, we also extend ourselves to the greater community that comprises the precinct.

“Our neighbors are volunteers for the foot patrol, block watch, apartment watch, and the commander’s community advisory committee.  And we have a block captain coordinator, community advocates who worked to improve the lives of East precinct citizens through education, and exposure to the positive values of the Portland Police Bureau.

“Community policing is an important philosophy for the Bureau.  Community policing entails more than the police being friendly to the community.  I would suggest that the concept of community policing is the interrelationship between the community and the police working together to ensure safe and viable neighborhoods.

“Madison South is a good example of that sought after relationship.

“We and the officers of East Precinct are authentic members of the same community.  You will have to decide how to best read district the Portland Police Bureau.

“There are two primary considerations to be evaluated. One is a simple and arbitrary geographical boundary. The other is the personal, relational community oriented one, that is community policing in action.

“I would challenge you to make an exception to your proposed boundary redistricting, and leave Madison South Neighborhood in East Precinct.”

Asking for the Chief’s indulgence, East PDX News requested to see how many Madison South neighbors, by a simple show of hands, supported Smith’s statement.  All hands went up.

Portland Police Bureau Assistant Chief Lynnae Berg, Chief Rosie Sizer, East Precinct Commander Michael Crebs and incomming NE Precinct Commander James Ferraris listen as Madison South neighbors advocate for staying within East Precinct.

Questions non-transferable relations
Chief Sizer asked, “Are these relationships non-transferable?”

Smith responded, “Close to four years ago, Commander Greg Hendricks asked me to coordinate the Block Captain program. When I started I had a pronounced sense of “us and them”.  Initially it was very frustrating to work with officers.”  Over time, he said, we broke down that barrier and earned their respect.  “I don’t know if I have the energy to start over.”

Smith concluded, “We have something unique with East Precinct.  I would hate to see this fall by the wayside.”

Around the room several Madison neighbors said their feelings about community policing were based upon the good relationships they’ve developed with the officers and leadership of East Precinct.

Before the meeting ended, Chief Sizer came to a decision, without feeling the need for an additional meeting in the area regarding the topic of moving Madison South to the Northeast Precinct.

Madison South Neighborhood chair, Ruth Hander, is pleased to hear their district will remain in East Precinct.

“Members of the Madison South community have developed strong ties with the officers and command staff at East Precinct.  Their reasons for remaining in East Precinct were compelling,” Sizer stated.

© 2008 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

Flash! Bang! See how many suspected drug dealers – and a meth lab – were busted during early-morning Centennial and Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhood missions …

Doesn’t look very inviting, does it? Oregon State Police say they found what they suspect is a meth lab in this trailer – and a bunch of seedy-looking folks they suspect were making drugs, dealing or using and/or theft suspects. OSP photo

Story and some photos by David F. Ashton
The Flash-Bang Grenades that disturbed neighbors in the Centennial and Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhoods in the early hours of Jan. 18 was like, as one described it, waking up in a war zone.

“I thought I was being bombed by terrorists,” says Harold Jestings, a resident in the trailer park at SE 118th & SE Division St. in the Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhood.

It was, in fact, members of the Oregon State Police Meth Initiative Team (OSPMIT), with OSP troopers, serving a search warrant on the trailer in space #9.

State Police say they suspect this equipment and these supplies were used to manufacture methamphetamine. OSP photo

“A total of nine people were taken into custody without incident. Evidence of a methamphetamine manufacturing operation was found at the scene including chemicals and glassware,” reports OSP Lieutenant Gregg Hastings.

“An investigation by OSPMIT detectives led to the arrest of nine people Friday morning in SE Portland on multiple charges,” Hasting continues. “The arrests stemmed from a joint investigation in Tillamook County earlier this month and included an arrest of a Pendleton-area woman wanted on an escape charge.”

In addition to the drug charges, Hastings adds, two of the women were arrested on theft charges after they were found in possession of a stolen coat and cell phone. The theft victim contacted detectives at the scene about the theft and the connection was made when the female suspects had possession the stolen property described by the victim.

The following nine people were taken into custody and will be transported and booked at Multnomah County Jail:

Suspects Beldon Dewing,   Duane Dodson          and Justin James Young

Beldon (Toby) Avery Dewing, age 49, from SE Portland

  • Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance – Heroin
  • Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance – Methamphetamine
  • Unlawful Manufacturing a Controlled Substance – Methamphetamine
  • Conspiracy to Manufacture a Controlled Substance – Methamphetamine
  • Frequenting a Place Where Controlled Substances are Used
  • Possession of Precursor Substance with Intent to Manufacture Controlled Substances
  • Multnomah County Warrant – Fail to Appear for Drug Treatment

Duane Oliver Dodson age 53, from SE Portland

  • Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance – Methamphetamine
  • Unlawful Manufacturing a Controlled Substance – Methamphetamine
  • Conspiracy to Manufacture a Controlled Substance – Methamphetamine
  • Frequenting a Place Where Controlled Substances are Used
  • Possession of a Precursor Substance with Intent to Manufacture Controlled Substances

Justin James Young, age 18, from SE Portland

  • Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance – Methamphetamine
  • Frequenting a Place Where Controlled Substances are Used

Suspects Kristina Warrilow,  Nathan Camerino       and Mandi Malone

Kristina Marie Warrilow, age 18, from SE Portland

  • Frequenting a Place Where Controlled Substances are Used

Nathan Anthony Camerino, age 39, from SE Portland

  • Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance – Methamphetamine
  • Frequenting a Place Where Controlled Substances are Used

Mandi Jo Malone, age 29, from Pendleton

  • Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance – Methamphetamine
  • Frequenting a Place Where Controlled Substances are Used
  • Theft in the Second Degree
  • Umatilla County Warrants – Escape in the Third Degree, DUII, and Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance

Suspects Tracy Young,     James Ray               and Shea Rickerd

Tracy Leann Young, age 47, from SE Portland

  • Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance – Methamphetamine
  • Conspiracy to Manufacture a Controlled Substance – Methamphetamine
  • Frequenting a Place Where Controlled Substances are Used
    Probation Violation

James Douglas Ray, age 57, from Tualatin

  • Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance – Methamphetamine
  • Frequenting a Place Where Controlled Substances are Used

Shalina (Shea) Marie Rickerd, age 24, from SE Portland

  • Theft in the Second Degree
  • Frequenting a Place Where Controlled Substances are Used

Portland Police stage raids in Centennial

A squad of heavily-armed officers stormed this home, and the travel trailer behind it – and two other homes – as they executed search warrants in the Centennial Neighborhood.

Also, before the dawn broke on Jan. 18, Portland Police Bureau SERT with the assistance of tactical teams from Washington County and Oregon State Police executed search warrants three other residences.

“Teams were at residences in the 16000 block of SE Powell Blvd., 16900 block of SE Powell Blvd., and the 7300 block of SE Harney St. on behalf of the Drugs and Vice Division who were conducting a long term narcotics investigation,” stated Portland Police Bureau’s Sgt. Brian Schmautz.

Schmautz adds that members of the US Marshals Oregon Fugitive Task Force also assisted in the execution of the warrants.

Investigators arrested 44-year-old Jose Barragon-Garcia and 43-year-old Rosa Reyes-Inda and charged both with one count of Distribution of a Controlled Substance and one count of Possession of a Controlled Substance.

26-year-old Edwardo Ochoa-Reyes has also been taken into custody on a US Marshals narcotics related warrant.

“Information regarding the specific items seized during the warrant aren’t available at this time, Schmautz adds.

© 2008 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

© 2005-2020 David F. Ashton East PDX News™. All Rights Reserved.