Yesterday afternoon, Portland Police officers took a teenage boy into custody near SE 92nd Avenue and SE Stark Street after receiving reports of an armed former student threatening violence at Creative Science School. Just before 4:00 p.m., May 15th, East Precinct officers were dispatched to the 1231 SE 92nd Avenue school. Nearby, they found the 13-year-old suspect wearing a tactical vest, helmet, and goggles. The juvenile also possessed a convincing replica handgun. The responding offices took the child into custody, transporting the suspect to the Donald E. Long Juvenile Detention Center and detaining them on charges of Menacing with a Firearm and Disorderly Conduct.
A KATU report of the incident said Portland Public School (PPS) previously banned the former student from the middle school. On Monday, staff escorted him off the property prior to the reports of a gun. After hearing about a possible weapon, School administrators followed established protocol during the event, putting the school into lockdown and contacting 911.
A gun threat near a school is an alarming event. Fortunately, students and PPS staff were not in physical danger during this situation. The threatening behavior of this individual exposes an unaddressed issue within the local education system. This recent situation is an example of a former student using the threat of violence to express their feelings towards a school and community. In a country with the highest number of deadly school shootings, this event is a rare opportunity to evaluate our social systems without first having to lose a life.
Promotion: Help keep independent news accessible to the community. Montavilla News has a Patreon account. We invite those who can contribute to this local news source to consider becoming paid subscribers or sponsors. We will always remain free to read regardless of subscription.
Update – United States Postal Service (USPS) staff will return two recently removed mail collection boxes within the next week. USPS Strategic Communications Specialist, Ernie Swanson, explained that each collection box suffered extensive damage last month. A lack of suitable replacement boxes delayed the reinstallation of each unit. However, postal staff expects to return those locations to service by next week.
Swanson said the unit at 1208 SE 76TH Ave was again vandalized by persons attempting to steal mail from the blue collection box. USPS investigators could not identify the cause of damage to the collection box at 7937 SE Stark Street. Swanson commented that a vehicle likely struck the Stark Street box, but the Postal Service has no details on that incident.
The boxes are still missing from the USPS Locations map but should return when replacement boxes become available again. Keep an eye on the USPS website to see when they return to service. Until then, postal customers can use the two other Montavilla collection boxes at 7100 NE Glisan Street and 9100 SE Stark Street.
As 2021 comes to a close, crews from the United States Postal Service (USPS) removed two of Montavilla’s mail collection boxes. Six months ago, postal staff similarly eliminated a mail-drop site on SE 92nd Avenue. Now only two blue mailboxes serve the neighborhood.
This summer, the number of USPS blue collection boxes in Montavilla dropped from five to four. In July of this year, postal employees removed the collection box at 1231 SE 92nd Ave, leaving a sizable gap in the neighborhood for outbound mail-drop locations. That removal was not the first disappearance of this collection box in 2021. In January, thieves broke into this box to steal mail and rendered it unusable. Crews replaced it a week later.
A few days before the end of the year, USPS staff removed the blue postal collection boxes from 1208 SE 76TH Ave and 7937 SE Stark Street. The unit on SE 76th Avenue in front of the St. Andrews Memory Care facility previously suffered damage due to vandals, being replaced twice in 2020.
Unlike the other two sites, the unit on the northwest corner of SE 80th and Stark Street did not suffer from abuse. Removal of that collection box surprised one reader who relied on that location to send outgoing mail and wrote to Montavilla News looking for information. A mail-drop in that general location has served Montavilla’s postal needs for over a century. In 1901, postal workers installed the first locked mailbox to collect outgoing mail on the northeast corner of Base Line Road (now SE Stark) and Hibbard Street (now SE 80th Ave). Since 1891, Montavilla town has had a Post Office, contract post office, or collection box within a few blocks of this corner. Now that this mailbox is gone, people will need to adjust their habits and find a new location.
USPS’s collection box directory no longer lists the removed units and only displays two locations in Montavilla, indicating these are long-term changes. The reaming boxes at 7100 NE Glisan Street and 9100 SE Stark Street are further out from the center of Montavilla Town but easily accessible on major roads. Make a note of your new closest mail-drop and plan for a slightly longer journey to send out your letters.
Promotion: Montavilla News has a Patreon account. We invite those who can contribute to this local news source to please consider becoming a paid subscriber or sponsor. We will always remain free to read regardless of subscription.
This summer, the number of United States Postal Service (USPS) blue collection boxes in Montavilla dropped to four. In July of this year, postal employees removed the iconic blue collection box at 1231 SE 92nd Ave, leaving a sizable gap in the neighborhood for outbound mail-drop locations.
This recent removal was not the first disappearance of this collection box in 2021. In January, thieves broke into this box to steal mail and rendered it unusable. USPS crews replaced the damaged unit within a week. Unlike last time, criminals were not responsible for its permanent removal. Instead, budget cuts and declining use sealed its fate.
A year before the collection box’s removal, national controversy surrounded the reduction of postal services ahead of the presidential election. USPS staff reportedly focused blue box elimination on “redundant” units and not single boxes. None of Montavilla’s five boxes fit that profile and were deemed safe. Ultimately, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy postponed changes to the postal system until after the November 2020 elections, further reducing public concerns. However, the cost-saving efforts resumed in 2021 and progressed without much attention, leading to the box removal from SE 92nd Ave.
Montavilla’s distribution of blue collection boxes has historically skewed towards SE Stark Street and NE Glisan Street. However, two locations south of SE Washington Street provided acceptable coverage for residents. This latest removal has created a much wider gap between places where people can deposit outbound mail. Although these reductions are driven by declining use, citizens expect a reasonable distribution of mail services. Securely sending mail from a home address has increasingly become difficult due to theft and other logistical challenges.
The same area targeted by this USPS collection box reduction will become the location for greater housing density within a few years. Several apartment projects are underway or proposed close to SE Division Street, and new residents would have used the 92nd Ave location.
Admittedly, few people consider proximity to a collection box when deciding where to live. However, USPS blue box placement is one aspect contributing to the walkability of an area. Portland leaders are building the city to encourage car-free activities, and reducing postal boxes is just one small change that will push back against that initiative. With luck, a new box location will arrive at some future date and fill in the gap felt in southeast Montavilla.
Construction on updated curb ramps along SE 92nd Ave is nearing completion. The project replaced existing ramps in three areas near the Creative Science School. These ramps provide crosswalk access for SE Main Street and SE 92nd Ave.
Although the intersection had existing ramps, they did not have modern accessibility features. The old corners used a center ramp design that sloped into traffic. Moving the ramps to the side and adding one for each crossing makes the ramps slope in the direction of travel. The older design required users to transition to the street level and then turn 45-degrees before crossing the street. On the west side of 92nd Ave, the sidewalk now slops down in the direction of travel along the sidewalk. This ramp design makes a level waiting area for the transition between the crosswalk and sidewalk. On the ramp edges, new yellow truncated domes complete the ADA upgrades.
Although the updates look minor to many, some users of this intersection will appreciate the safety these changes provide.
Neighborhood news site focused on buildings and changing businesses