See who was roasted and who was toasted, at the 3rd Annual “Taxpayer Academy Awards” program held in outer East Portland

Comedian Mike Jenkins was the sidekick this year for KPAM’s Victoria Taft as they presented the 3rd Annual “Taxpayer Academy Awards” program at the Portland Airport Sheraton Hotel.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Members and guests of the politically conservative, “less-government-is-better”, Oregon Executive Club are anything by stodgy.

On January 11, the club convened at the Portland Airport Sheraton Hotel for an evening of raucous fun, as they hosted their third annual “Taxpayer Academy Awards” program.

We call it “the blizzard that never came” ‚Äì but see why careless or unskillful drivers in the Wilkes area kept colliding with one another anyway ‚Ķ

With sleet falling at the Portland Airport Sheraton Hotel the night before, covering cars with a blanket of white, we guessed a blizzard was on the way on January 11.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Gazing out the back window of our office, it looked as if January 11 would bring Portland the promised, hoped-for, dreaded major winter storm. Thick fluffy flakes fell, then stuck to trees, sidewalks, and vehicles.

Saying he “feels at home” in outer East Portland, Portland City Commissioner Randy Leonard pitches his “cell phone tax”, chides the PDC, and pumps the Water Bureau in his own unique way. Read here what he had to say ‚Ķ

Never shy to speak his mind, Portland City Commissioner Randy Leonard did so frankly, before members of the East Portland Chamber of Commerce last month.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Catching up to date with the East Portland Chamber of Commerce, they’ve been providing networking opportunities for businesspeople, endorsed the “Small Business Bill of Rights”, and held conversations with public officials.

Giving a novel twist to the City of Portland’s budgeting process, Commissioner Sam Adams talked with outer East Portland folks BEFORE the budget was set. Read this, and you’ll discover what he learned ¶

Saying he wanted to hear directly from outer East Portland citizens, Portland City Commissioner Sam Adams lets folks at the Parkrose forum speak their minds about roads, sewers, and the arts.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Most Portlanders complain that their government officials only listen to them after key decisions – like budgeting – have been made.

This wreck looked pretty bad. Yet, everyone walked away from it …

Fortunately, a tree and the bushes slowed down this car enough so it didn’t quite get to the Centennial neighborhood Safeway store.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
The police radio crackled, “car into a building on SE 162 east of Division”. Police and Portland Fire & Rescue were dispatched to the scene. We drove out to take a look.

It didn’t help that Jan. 8 was a heavily overcast day, and a heavy mist was falling. “It may have contributed to the accident,” the officer on scene told us.

See why traffic cops gave nine East Portland drivers a “$242 reminder” to yield to pedestrians at intersections ‚Ķ

Ignoring traffic laws, drivers whiz past PDOT’s Sharon White. She’s working with Portland Police’s Traffic Division to make drivers more mindful about stopping for pedestrians along Portland’s third most dangerous avenue ‚Äì for those on foot.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Those who drive along SE 82nd Avenue of Roses often don’t pay attention to pedestrians. In fact, on December 27, we witnessed several occasions in which those on foot ‚Äì walking within marked lanes, with a green light ‚Äì almost became another accident statistic.

Read this story to learn the first words spoken by Multnomah County Chair Ted Wheeler to a reporter, as he vows not to neglect East Portland …

Multnomah County Ted Wheeler, as he is sworn in by Tina Velasquez of SE Works. His wife and newborn child stand with him, at the podium at Parkrose High.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
For the first time anyone can remember, newly elected and re-elected Multnomah County officials were sworn into office in outer East Portland.

Although there was little advance publicity, Parkrose High School was teeming with activity on January 2.

If you haven’t seen ‚Äì and heard ‚Äì this band, read this article and find out why you should look for their next performance ‚Ķ

Under the baton of co-conductor Fev Pratt, the Portland Metro Band starts off the second half of the evening’s program.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Many people love good, live, orchestral band music – but hate the high-ticket prices charged for downtown performances. Nor are they thrilled with fighting for a parking place, after battling traffic to get there.

You might be surprised to see what happened on New Year’s Eve when we went on patrol with one of Portland Police Bureau’s finest ‚Ķ

Officer John Billard, a three-year veteran at Portland Police Bureau East Precinct, checks a driver’s identification and writes Traffic Safety Notice to a driver ‚Äì his first one for the new year ‚Äì in the early hours of 2007.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
To most people, New Year’s Eve is an occasion to go on the town, raise the roof and party heartily, or celebrate the New Year at home.

Officials say this serious accident could have been avoided …

The victim’s shoes were all that remained at the scene when a woman and baby were struck on New Year’s Eve crossing SE Foster Rd. west of SE 82nd Avenue of Roses.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
For all the partying going on across outer East Portland on New Year’s Eve, most folks here were behaving safely.

Early in the evening, however a woman and a baby were seriously injured when they were hit by a car about 8:00 p.m. on December 31.

They don’t know what started the fire ‚Äì but, thanks to quick response, residents and pets are safe ‚Ķ

After finding their way through thick smoke into the basement of this home, firefighters from four companies quickly extinguished the fire.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
An early afternoon house fire broke out January 4 and closed down NE 102nd Ave. at Fremont St. for several hours.

“I was just up the street, and saw a lot of smoke coming up,” is what next-door neighbor Tina tells us. “I thought it was from my house. By the time I got home, I could see it was my neighbor’s house.”

Take a look, and see the award-winning,
dazzling displays right here …

The home of Mark LaFerte, on NE Broadway St. in the Wilkes Community Group, took first place.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
The day before Christmas, judges combed the Wilkes neighborhood, in search of holiday-decorated homes.

According to Ross Monn, chair of Wilkes Community Group, the winner was Mark LaFerte for their home on NE Broadway St.

The Swanbergs won the second place with their classically-decorated home and yard.

Second place, Monn told us, went to the Jim Swanberg family on NE 150th Place.

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