Here's where each month BEE readers have their say on events and issues in Inner Southeast Portland

Clarified: Memories of Sellwood


Loved Dana Beck's article [December BEE] on the confectionaries in Sellwood. I have fond memories of the root beer floats, and even better – if you had enough money from your paper route or from picking berries during the summer ­– the rich chocolate milk shakes.

I do have some contrary information regarding the Leipzig Confectionary, as my deceased mother, Genevieve Leipzig Hainley, was the daughter of the owners and worked at the confectionary, along with her three brothers – where she learned her pie-baking talent from a Mrs. Courtney, which she then passed on to all ten of her children.

First off is that Grandpa's business was never at the current location of the Leipzig Tavern. As noted in the ad accompanying the article, it was "Catty Corner Sellwood Theatre", which would put it on the N.W. corner of Spokane and 13th, which jibes with my Uncle Bob Leipzig's recollection of card games accompanied by some bootleg Prohibition beer in the dirt basement of the building that occupied that corner, prior to its conversion into a Flying A gas station, which was what was there in my growing-up days in the 50's and 60's. Grandpa Pete's lunch counter/confectionary moved from that location to the current location of the Reflections Hair Salon during the war years and then, after Grandpa Pete died and his business was sold, the new owners moved it to its current location and converted it to a tavern – much to the displeasure of my Uncle Frank, who was the bishop of the diocese of Baker, Oregon, and did not like the Leipzig name being associated with a drinking establishment.

Pat Hainley Sellwood

DANA BECK RESPONDS: That was great information from Pat. I knew The Leipzig was at the corner of 13th and Spokane – but I didn't know the rest of the story, or its second location before it became a tavern. The nice thing about writing an article on history is that it sparks readers to write in and correct any misinformation before our own history disappears completely.

Supermarket prices


I felt compelled to follow up on Tom Hoff's letter to the editor about advertised Safeway sale prices not showing up on the receipt. I can confirm his concern. I shop at the Woodstock Safeway all the time as I live within walking distance. Over roughly the last two years, I've had to bring this issue to Safeway personnel no less than six times.

Entering my Safeway card number is second nature to me. Each time I've brought the discrepancy to someone's attention, it was confirmed that the sale price was not entered into the system. This even happened to me twice on the same product within a couple of days. They still had not entered the sale price on the subsequent purchase.

I have previously voiced the issue to management. Now I always check my receipt before leaving the store to avoid making another trip. I would recommend that others do the same.

Greg Larson

via e-mail

Concerned about city retrofit mandate's effect on historic buildings


Thank you for being a welcome voice of reason in regards to Portland's proposed earthquake retrofit program.

I cut my teeth in the early '80's in construction doing earthquake retrofit on buildings like the New Market Theater. In many old structures there is a limit to what can be done at any price. The idea that a broad brush requirement that antique buildings meet anything close to modern standards is absurd. Any honest engineer will tell you that. If we value at all what historical structures provide us, we must reconcile this fact with our need to maintain and preserve what is left of what is a vital part of our human experience in living here. These places are our legacy – the legacy from the generations that have gone before us as well as our own. The quality of our community and no less than the quality of our humanity itself is, in the end, measured not in dollars but in who we really are. The richness of the living history that resides in these places is an essential part of that humanity. That richness is simply beyond the reach of even the most talented architect or urban planner. Without that actual history it simply is not the real stuff. The idea that these old buildings can or should perform in the same way as newer buildings is therefore preposterous, period. Worst of all, the way things are going around this town lately

Raises the question, "who is in charge in this town anyway?" Is it the city government that we, the people, elected to serve us – or do these so called city leaders have other voices whispering in their ears who have a stake in making old buildings unaffordable to own. Someone assure me that this is not the case please. But the degree of impracticality suggests that there are other motivations beyond public safety. I am of the opinion that the apparent attitude these days at the city would have spelled doom for the New Market Theater, The Dekum Building, and others that I worked on as a young carpenter. In their place would have been a new tower designed by some firm with no allegiance to what has made this community a key part of the center of our lives. Owen Steere

Via e-mail

Neighborhood's tree lights paid for by donors; thanks

Editor, We did it! We raised $7,000, and purchased new LED lights for our neighborhood's Christmas Tree [on the Oaks Bottom Bluff, on the 13th-Bybee curve]. A huge thank you to the almost 100 donors who made the new lights possible. Thanks also to all the businesses that helped, including our heavy hitters: Heiberg Garbage & Recycling, Wilhelm's Portland Memorial, Rumpus Events, Smith Crane, Red's Electric, and Treecology Tree Service. Also, a special thanks to the Edwards family, who recently purchased the property where the tree is located, and who agreed to let us continue to decorate the tree, hopefully for years to come.

Our Christmas Tree tradition began in the 1960's with Dent Thomas, a longtime Sellwood businessman, along with PGE, and SMILE. The tree went dark for a while, from 1974, until it was re-lit in 1989 with the help of a handful of neighborhood businesses and families – some of the very same ones who were instrumental in supporting and lighting the tree this year. This time around, we had over 100 people contributing money, equipment, and services. The lighting of the tree has truly become a community celebration.

Mark your calendar for Saturday November 17, 2018. We'll be hanging the lights that day and installing the star (which we promise to get straight). We will light the tree on Thanksgiving Day at 6 pm.

On behalf of the Sellwood-Westmoreland neighborhood, thank you again to everyone who contributed. We look forward to the new lights shining for years and years to come. Happy New Year!

Matt Hainley (a/k/a the guy in the crane)



As a member of Southeast Portland Rotary, I would like to let people in Southeast know that MADD [Mothers Against Drunk Driving] invites anyone who is impacted by an impaired driver to reach a Victim's Advocate on our local Victim's Hotline, 503/908-1509. Individuals seeking further Information about the MADD organization can go to its website –

Kathy Stromvig

Former President

Southeast Portland Rotary Club

Upset about plans for Foster Road homeless shelter

Editor, Monday 12/18/17 the Foster-Powell Neighborhood Association was informed that a low-barrier homeless shelter was to be placed on 6144 S.E. Foster Road. They gave no formal notification and e-mailed the neighborhood association mid-holiday season. Previously told this was not a "done deal", we were informed last night that it would continue regardless of our concerns and input.

The city officials we met with had not done their research on the area. It boasts the shelter is near social services, but the closest ones are approximately 20 blocks away. No grocery store, pharmacy, police, or medical services nearby. It is, however, close to three public schools, across the street from an alternative high school, and down the street from a YMCA and day care. They stated that our neighborhood had a large population of homeless individuals, yet they would be bringing people from other shelters here.

The offered explanation for this location: cost effective rent and two bus lines. In addition to their lack of knowledge regarding the neighborhood, the panel's demeanor was aloof, at best. Marc Jolin, Joint Offices of Homeless Services Director, stated that he had no knowledge of the crime statistics related to the recently opened shelter in Sellwood. .

As for Mayor Wheeler, he offered no insight as to how he plans to make the area surrounding this shelter any different from others in Portland. . . As a neighborhood and city, we deserve more from our elected officials and those in positions of power. . . At a time when I'm worried about the fate of my neighborhood, you have at least given me something to look forward to, and that is the next election. Addison Rutter

via e-mail EDITOR'S NOTE: There seem to be some misconceptions here, and the facts might be reassuring to this reader. One, this is NOT a City of Portland project; it is a Multnomah County project, although the city does endorse it. Two, the existing shelter mentioned – in Westmoreland, rather than in Sellwood – is a reservation-only shelter for women and couples, with no services for those without reservations; is subject to strict rules; and provides services within – including showers and clothes-washing, lockers, computer services, job assistance, rehoming assistance, and meals. The Westmoreland shelter has been in operation for quite some time, is adjacent to residential housing, and is within a block of a major facility for children – and, since THE BEE is located about four blocks from it, we can say with some knowledge of the facts that it has so far posed no problem in the north Westmoreland community. Police calls to that location have been few, and then mostly relating to people coming up to the Springwater Trail trailhead across the street. In fact, residents in Westmoreland have been donating clothing, and volunteering to prepare meals for the residents. Since the new Foster shelter will be operated in the same general manner, and run by the same nonprofit organization, we would not expect problems from the new shelter in the Foster-Powell neighborhood either.

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

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