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reed magazine logoDecember 2010

Eliot Circular Continued

Last Call for the Lutz

After 63 years, the venerable Woodstock institution known as the Lutz Tavern served its final round on Thursday, September 30. Whether its demise was due to its reluctance to embrace cocktail culture (it never acquired a liquor license), Portland's smoking ban, or the toll of technology on social mores, it will be sorely missed.

Lutz Tavern

Photo by Vivian Johnson

To some, the Lutz may have seemed unremarkable—a working-class watering-hole with a juke box and a pool table and a clutch of grizzled regulars. But to Reedies of a certain era, the Lutz was something special. For many of us, it was the first bar we ever walked into. The first place we were (legally) served alcohol. On Thursday nights, Reedies by the score would make our pilgrimage up the hill to its comforting red booths, hot pickles, and cheap pitchers to escape our studies and to haggle over Hume. The Oregonian even credited the Lutz with resuscitating the popularity of Pabst Blue Ribbon.

On its last night, the Lutz removed some of those hallowed booths to accommodate the wall-to-wall crowd. Robin Tovey '97 and Mike Teskey, representing the alumni office, aimed to buy a round, but all bets were off when the tap ran out at 7:46 p.m. This seemed like the death knell (Auld Lang Syne was sung), but an emergency back-up keg arrived, then another… ultimately the diehards made do with Miller, then Coor's Light—desperate measures, indeed!

Details are blurry, but it seems that Mike Rosen '04 enjoyed the Lutz's final quaff at 9:56 p.m., when the last tap ran dry. The party continued, however—late arrivals included the Doyle Owl. True to tradition, the Owl was elusive and slipped away into the night, the Lutz shuttering (shuddering?) behind him before turning off the neon glow of its iconic sign for the very last time.

—Anna Mann

Restoring the Canyon

On Canyon Day, Reed celebrated the completion of an $850,000 initiative to restore the lower Canyon, replace a treacherous culvert, and "re-meander" the creek that connects Reed Lake to Johnson Creek and ultimately the Pacific Ocean.

For decades, the journey to the Canyon for anadromous fish such as salmon and steelhead trout has been somewhat perilous because of a gauntlet of unnatural hazards: a narrow culvert under SE 28th Avenue and a long trench leading through the Rivelli Farm property next door, which impeded passage with high water velocities and little opportunity for the fish to rest. With support from the City of Portland, Metro, the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, and the Jubitz Family Foundation, Reed has transformed the waterway from a miniature Erie Canal to something reminiscent of an Andy Goldsworthy project, with twisting turns, deep resting pools, and fallen timbers for shade.

No mere precipitation can dampen true Reed spirit. Ethan Linck '13 and Lacy Lackey '11 pause from their muddy labor on a well-moistened Canyon Day.

Replacing the culvert was a major operation that required shutting down traffic on SE 28th Avenue for three months. But the project will carry enormous benefits for anadromous fish, according to college naturalist Zac Perry.

The project caps a decade-long push to restore the Canyon, which has been made possible with the help of donors like Laurel Wilkening '66, Michael Herz '58, and emeritus trustee John Gray. Thanks to their support, the old outdoor pool was demolished and replaced with a fish ladder that now leads up to the lake. Invasive plant species have been removed (a constant battle), and a large pipe crossing over the east end of the lake has been helicoptered out. As a result of these efforts, wild species have begun to return to the Canyon, including salmon, steelhead, eagles, and coyotes.

—Matt Kelly

Check out video highlights of Canyon Day at The page also features video captured by our "fishcam," purchased with a special gift from Michael Herz '58, a long-time protector of endangered Atlantic salmon in the rivers of Maine.

For a video putting the canyon into perspective within the larger Crystal Springs restoration project, see:

Portland Reeds the Classics

This fall, Reed professors are sallying forth into Portland libraries on a fantastic mission—to bring the great books they teach at Reed to a wider audience. Sponsored jointly by the college and the Multnomah County Library, the initiative, known as Read the Classics, offers Portlanders the chance to read and discuss literature under the guidance of a Reed professor—for free!

Lena Lencek

Professor Lena Lencek (right) and MALS director Barbara Amen (left)bring Frankenstein to a Portland library. Photo by Vivian Johnson

The architect of the program is Portland librarian Tom French. "I started rereading a lot of these works four years ago," French recalls, "and I found myself sitting there thinking 'My God, this is hot stuff!' I had to do something about it." At first, French began by approaching Reed professors individually; now Barbara Amen, director of Reed's MALS program, helps to coordinate the classes.

The program features five tracks, each centered on a particular theme. Professor Sonia Sabnis [classics, 2006+] raves about the experience: "People of all ages came from all over Portland—they were so enthusiastic! It was a pleasure to let them go at the material, and a great way to spread awareness of Reed's conference-style learning dynamic." French adds that participants have a big impact on the level of discussion. "When we started the program, I'd picked relatively 'fun' books—Robinson Crusoe, that sort of thing—but when I saw the level of discourse these people were bringing to the table, I knew we could go bigger."

Authors run the gamut from Homer to Voltaire, Milton, Tolstoy, and Faulkner. Portlander Reuel Kurzet was thrilled by a discussion led by professor Lena Lencek [Russian, 1977+] on Frankenstein at the Belmont Library. "The reason it's so wonderful to come back to these books again and again is that you're never the same reader," she says. "Every time you're going through different things, dealing with different issues. It makes the text speak to you in new ways every time."

The Frankenstein class was particularly animated, with participants drawing on their differing perspectives and life experiences to explore the text.

Interest in the program is so strong that slots are generally filled a few hours after registration begins. Just goes to show that the thirst for great literature, once awakened, is never really slaked.

—Lucy Bellwood '12

Find out more at For more on Reed's MALS program,

reed magazine logoDecember 2010