Strike 1: Live without a working smoke detector. Strike 2: Leave a big pot of cooking oil on the stove – set to high temperature – and leave the room …

Now renting? We think not. The two-alarm fire, caused by a careless cook, gutted this apartment building, chasing 21 people out into the cold, spring night.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Just before 1:00 a.m. on May 7, most people in the apartment building on SE 124th Avenue, just north of Division Street, were deep asleep. Little did they know they would soon be leaving their homes – in the dead of night, with only the clothes on their backs – never to return.

Nearly every bureau from the city and county set up an exhibit. Was this event a waste of time and money? See for yourself …

Dustin, Misty and Meg Steppers look at an aerial map of Lents to find their home, while visiting the Lents Resource Fair.

At his exhibit, Tim Liszt with PDC shows Portland City Commissioner Sam Adams crime mapping software, available online.

Sampling the food is Mary Davis (“Mmmmmm”), cooked by chef Kjeld Peterson

Learn how turning the calendar back 100 years at the Portland Water Bureau is part of Portland City Commissioner Randy Leonard’s plan to shift this bureau’s focus from “water, and only water” to also being a land steward ‚Ķ

Portland City Commissioner Randy Leonard tells Friends of Powell Butte why he’s adding bureaucracy within the Portland Water Bureau to insure its properties are maintained, or turned into parks.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Note to current and future mayors of Portland: If you want a Portland city bureau to eschew change and stay the same ‚Äì don’t put it in Portland City Commissioner Randy Leonard’s portfolio.

High fashion in the ‘burbs? Read (and see photos) that explain why 27 young ladies dressed up in Roaring-20’s fashions ‚Äì and, why hundreds came to see them ‚Ķ

Posing in garments they created, 27 models (and students) in David Douglas High School’s Interior and Fashion Design department gather for a group photo after their first-ever fashion show and design display.

Photos and story by David F. Ashton

In high school, if you aren’t in team sports, theater or music, there is a good chance no one may ever see your accomplishments.

While planting roses along the 82nd Avenue of Roses is a new event for many businesses and homes, learn which outer East Portland school has had this tradition since 1955‚ and why‚

Standing with her court, Jalah Reid, Jaimie Taber and Brittany Ades, Rose Festival Ambassador Katrina Holland poses for photos with the Royal Rosarians before planting a rose bush at Madison High School.

Photo and story by David F. Ashton

Seeing members of the Royal Rosarians in their dapper suits and jackets has become a more common site along 82nd Avenue of Roses these days.

In a startling announcement, METRO, our “extra” government, said people should take old cans of paint, insecticide, and other household products classified as “hazardous” to a place of worship ‚Äì or a grade school! Read why ‚Ķ

If you don’t know where to take “hazardous household wastes” ‚Äì here is an event for you! Frankly, we’ve never been to the METRO Recycling Center, and have wondered how to safely dispose of some old house paint.

Free household hazardous waste collection events take place almost every weekend (except  Labor Day weekends).

The owners of Truax Builders supply watched their showroom burn to the ground. See how this family-owned company has bounced back …

After the Thanksgiving Day fire a couple of years ago, there wasn’t much left of the company, except a bit of the awning.

Standing in front of a case containing “accidental sculptures” —  aluminum extrusions that melted during the intense 2004 Thanksgiving Day blaze — Truax Builders Supply president Joe Sidey is company 11-year veteran, Dan Piluso.

Story and Photos by David F. Ashton

Read how this unique event in Lents brings more than 800 people to see all kinds of birds, and learn about them from their breeders

The Bird Festival has grown into a large, lively event. If you want to know about birds, from the small to the largest – people from all over the Pacific Northwest say this is the show to attend. Free admission and parking makes it easy for everyone to join in the fun.

Story & Photos by David F. Ashton

Can’t sit still during an entire, long, drawn-out play? With one-act plays, the evening really moves along! Check out this festival of short plays, directed by David Douglas High seniors and acted by the school’s Thespian troop, on May 3 through 6 ‚Ķ

What’s up here? These students didn’t go nuts ‚Äì they’re working out their parts for their play, “A MAD CLASSIC”, written and directed by David Douglas students Mia Allen & Bryan Oliver. You can see it on stage on May 4 or 6.  David F. Ashton photo

By David F. Ashton

See what happens when two David Douglas High School seniors take charge of a project that brings out hundreds of kids to learn about the environment on Earth Day …

DDHS Seniors Sarah Wolff and Amanda Kraus organized this Earth Day educational outing for the district’s fourth-graders on April 21.

Story & Photos by David F. Ashton

Learning about bugs, weather, plants, and electric cars, 800 fourth-grade kids swirled, in orderly groups, around Lincoln Park, on SE Mill St., as they visited Earth Day learning stations.

Years ago, Dan Graham had a dream – to create a school that trained people for the construction trade. See how his dream became a reality on April 17

Hundreds turned out for the opening ceremonies of a college dedicated to teaching people building skills.

Story and Photos by David F. Ashton

How do you build things ‚Äì bridges, homes, office buildings and supporting infrastructure like water, sewer and electric power ‚Äì if there’s a shortage of trained workers?

The President of the new construction college, Dan Graham, speaks at the ceremony marking the opening of the new school in Parkrose.

While the TV cameras rolled at PDX and the downtown post offices, see why hundreds of people were thrilled they could drop off their tax return in outer East Portland …

All smiles ‚Äì People dropping off their income tax returns, just before midnight, were smiling because they were relieved to have their taxes done. And postal workers who stayed up late ‚Äì like Laurie Harms seen here in this photo ‚Äì seemed happy to provide late-night service on April 17. David F. Ashton photo

By David F. Ashton

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