We’ve already added more events! We’re up to 89 listings so far — and add more as they come in during the month. Copy to a file – or print out – our Community Calendar and keep it handy! Or check back to sure you can enjoy great community events – and help your neighborhood.

Among these listings, you’ll find ways to get involved with your community, help the environment, participate in your government, learn valuable information – and have a lot of fun. Most activities are free!

Get your event seen by millions (actually about 66,000 readers per week) by sending your calendar information to David@eastPDXnews.com. Deadline? There isn’t a deadline! We update information during the month!

April 27
> Partners for a Safe & Livable Portland (PSLEP) – This group meets tonight from 6:30 until 8:30 pm at the East Portland Neighborhood Office, 1017 NE 117th Ave. Contact Arlene Kimura via e-mail at arlene.kimura@kraft.com for more information.

> Citywide Land Use Forum – This group meets from 7 pm until 9 pm downtown tonight at 1900 SW 4th Avenue, Room 2500B. For more information, contact Bonny McKnight at 503-253-6848 or bonnymck@comcast.net.

April 28
> Lents Neighborhood Association – Their general meeting starts at 7:00 PM at Lents Adventist Church Auditorium, 8835 SE Woodstock St. Contact their Chair, Damien Chakwin at damien@ilovelents.com or LNA Vice-Chair Wes Wolfe at weswolfe@uci.net for more information.

April 29
> East Portland Chamber of Commerce – “Good Morning East Portland” networking meeting is hosted by different chamber members each Wednesday morning from 7:30 to 9:00 a.m. Meetings are free and guests are welcome. Today’s host is Ken “Bear” Cole, Fishing With Bear at Warner Pacific College, 2219 SE 68th Avenue. For more information, see www.EastPortlandChamber.com or call (503) 788-8589.

> Lents Food Co-op – They’ll be planning for a public forum, from 6 until 8 pm at Pilgrim Lutheran Church basement, 4244 SE 91st Ave.

> Honey Bee Hikes at Leach Botanical Garden – This is a weekly event for preschoolers and parents to explore the garden and the creatures that live in it. Come any Wednesday, from 10 until 11am, through May 27. Cost is $2 per child. Contact Kate Sheridan at 503-823-1671 or ksheridan@leachgarden.org. Leach Botanical Garden is at 6704 SE 122nd Ave. – a long, winding block south of SE Foster Road.\

> Russell Neighborhood Association – Their meeting was postponed until tonight and it runs from 7 until 9 pm at Western States Chiropractic College, 2900 NE 132nd Ave. For more information, e-mail RNA Co-Chair Bonny McKnight writes, “This meeting is vitally important” — contact her at bonnymck@comcast.net.

> Pleasant Valley Neighborhood Association – General meeting starts at 7:00 p.m. at Pleasant Valley Grange Hall, 17115 SE Foster Road. For more information, contact PVNA Chair Linda Bauer at lbauerpvna@aol.com.

Look ahead at these events in May!

May 1
Last day to order DDHS Flower baskets Don’t wait until today! The David Douglas High School Class of 2009 is offering beautiful hanging baskets for sale! All proceeds benefit the Class of 2009 DDHS Drug and Alcohol Free Graduation Party. To order, go to http://hs.ddouglas.k12.or.us and click on “Spring Flower Order Form” at the top of the page.  Print out the form and mail your order with payment to: DDHS All Night Party, c/o David Douglas High School, 1001 SE 135thAve., Portland, OR 97233. Note: Prepaid orders for baskets must be received at the High School Main Office by Friday, May 1. Pickup information is located on the order form

Eastmont Church Women United – They meet this morning at First Church of Christ, Scientist, 1525 W. Powell Blvd., Gresham. The meeting begins at 10:00; program follows at 11:00 a.m. – it’s their May Friendship Day Celebration. Following the program at noon, is POTLUCK lunch, with salads and desserts. There will be a “Least Coin Offering” taken, and donations are for Human Solutions. Women of all ages, faiths or denominations, are invited and welcome to join them.

May 2
Parkrose Farmer’s Market
— Today is their season’s GRAND OPENING! Come by from 8:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. and check out what’s new in the marketplace. It’s located in the Parkrose High School west parking lot on NE Shaver St., a block west of NE 122nd Avenue. While you’re there …

> Huge Parkrose Schools Rummage Sale – Come to their “Super-Fabulous” Rummage Sale, a fundraiser for Parkrose Middle School from 9:00 am until 3:00 pm. By the way, they’re accepting donations of “Gently Used” clothing, household items & small furniture. Drop off your items at the Middle School on Friday, May 1, from 1:30 pm until 5:30pm. Where’s Parkrose Middle School? It’s at 11800 NE Shaver St.; a block west of NE 122nd Avenue. For questions or more information, call Erica at (503) 408-2645.

> Trough Making Class at Leach Gardens – Come and make your own custom hypertufa planter. This class runs from 1 pm. until 3 pm today. Bring a box or rigid container (roughly the size of a dishpan) and rubber gloves. Dress for the weather; this class is taught outdoors. The cost is $20.00 or $17.00 for Garden Friends members. It’s at the Leach Botanical Garden Annex workshop area; 6704 SE 122nd Ave. – a long, winding block south of SE Foster Road. To register or for more information, contact Kate Sheridan at 503-823-1671 or ksheridan@leachgarden.org.

> Metro Dancers present Coppelia – The producers say this interpretation of Coppelia combines both great dancing but also great theatre. Coppelia is the comedic story of an eccentric inventor, the animated doll he creates and the havoc they cause in their small village. Music, costumes, sets and the dancers’ skill combine to make this a performance event you will not want to miss. There are two performances today, at 2 pm and 7 pm. Pre-Sale tickets are $10/Children & $15/high school students and adults; at the door: $12/Children & $18/HS & Adult. It’s at Portland Metro Performing Arts Center, 9933 SE Pine Street, in the Gateway area. For tickets or more information call (503) 408-0604; email at info@PDXMetroArts.org or www.PDXMetroArts.org.

May 5
> Inner SE Portland Combined Open Houses – Come by between 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and get updated on two timely, transportation topics: the Bicycle Master Plan Update project and the Portland Streetcar System Plan. Tonight’s open house is at Franklin High School Cafeteria (5405 SE Woodward St.). For more information, contact Ellen Vanderslice, project manager for the Bicycle Master Plan Update, at (503) 823-4638 or email ellen.vanderslice@pdxtrans.org.

May 6
> East Portland Chamber of Commerce – “Good Morning East Portland” networking meeting is hosted by different chamber members each Wednesday morning from 7:30 to 9:00 a.m. Meetings are free and guests are welcome. Today’s host is Kevin “Not your ordinary beancounter” Mincoff, CPA, LLC at their offices, high atop (Suite 250) the Gateway Washington Mutual branch building at 1515 NE 112th Avenue. For more information, see www.EastPortlandChamber.com or call (503) 788-8589.

> OUTER East Portland Combined Open Houses – Come by between 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and get updated on two timely, transportation topics: the Bicycle Master Plan Update project and the Portland Streetcar System Plan. Tonight’s open house is at David Douglas High School North Cafeteria, at 1500 SE 130th Ave. For more information, contact Ellen Vanderslice, project manager for the Bicycle Master Plan Update, at (503) 823-4638 or email ellen.vanderslice@pdxtrans.org.

May 7 – 8 – 9
> Shakespeare’s The Tempest at Parkrose High
– The spring offering of Theater Department and Parkrose Thespian Troupe #1783 is this early play by William Shakespeare. The TV series “LOST” has nothing on this show! See how a banished sorcerer uses his magical powers to punish and forgive his enemies when he raises a tempest that drives them ashore. This work has been called both a comedy and a romance story. It runs tonight and tomorrow at 7:00 p.m.; and there’s a matinee on May 9 at 2:00 p.m. The show also runs May 14,15 and 16; the curtain rises at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are just $8 Adults and $5 those under age 18 or over 65. All shows are in the beautiful Parkrose High School Theater, 12003 NE Shaver St., just west of NE 122nd Avenue.

May 8
> Family Friendly Friday concerts – This series of concerts, designed for the entire family to enjoy together, continues. These short musical programs, by popular local musicians, are designed for the entire family to enjoy music together once a month. Tonight’s program runs from 7:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. It features The OREGON RENAISSANCE BAND, directed by CMC faculty members Philip Neuman & Gayle Neuman, an 8 to 12 member ensemble dedicated to performing and recording music of the Renaissance, playing on faithful reproductions of historical instruments. Admission: $5 individuals/$15 families at the door only. A tip: Come early! These shows sell out quickly! CMC is located at 3350 SE Francis Street. For more information, visit www.portlandparks.org or the CMC website at www.CommunityMusicCenter.org, or call the Center at (503) 823-3177.

May 16
> Leach Garden Children’s Nature Faire – From 10:00 am until 3:00 pm today, bring your family to Leach for the day to explore the garden, meet local environmental groups and celebrate spring with hands-on activities and crafts! Suggested donation is $2 per child. Leach Botanical Garden is at 6704 SE 122nd Ave. – a long, winding block south of SE Foster Road. For more information, contact Kate Sheridan at 503-823-1671 or ksheridan@leachgarden.org.

> Rain Gardens 101 – Rain gardens are a great way to add beautiful landscaping to your yard and protect overloaded urban sewers and streams at the same time. Join us at this free workshop to learn how to build a rain garden on your property to keep our streams clean and healthy! It runs from 9 am until 1 pm at Portland Nursery, 9000 SE Division St. Advanced registration is required – AND SPOTS FILL FAST! Do NOT delay: register online at www.emswcd.org/workshops-events. For more information, call: (503) 935-5368.

Find out why these two rank-and-file members of their respective bureaus were selected to win the prestigious “Russ Lemmon” Award … Read the rest of this entry »

Come on by and check out the freshest foods at the season! – Here’s why …

Market Master Steve Voorhees welcomes everyone to the Parkrose Farmer’s Market. This is one of our favorite photos of him from last season!

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
The Parkrose Farmer’s Market is coming back, and ready to for another great season, says Market Master Steve Voorhees – as he and the vendors gear up for another season in the Parkrose High School south parking lot, starting Saturday, May 2nd.

“Come, and you’ll see a great variety of produce, fruits, and merchandise for sale every Saturday, from 8:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

This year’s lineup of vendors includes:

AR Moss Floral Design and Event Embellishment, Portland OR – Selling Nursery stock, small plants and seeds.

  • Be Bop Blooms – All natural tomato plants, 12 varieties of pepper plants, herbs and veggie plants ready for you take home!
  • Be Bop USA – Pet Products – Locally made dog and cat collars, leashes and specialty training aids. Benefits unwanted animals.
  • Bobs Elephant Ears, Portland OR – Selling Elephant ears for your tasting and cold beverages
  • Bridge Pottery, Portland OR – Makers of hand-crafted, original, wheel-thrown functional pottery creations, suitable for daily use or displayed as fine works of art.  All pottery is “food safe”, with lead-free glazes, and may be used in a microwave, dishwasher, or conventional oven.
  • Dig To Be Dug Nursery, Portland OR – Proudly growing plants with love, care, and attention
  • Four Winds Restorative Grounds, Portland OR – Offering therapeutic and relaxation massage
  • Gabriel’s Bakery, Portland OR – Selling whole-grain breads, bagels, French Pastries, Peruvian Pastries, cookies, etc.
  • Happy Return Flowers, Portland OR – Selling Cut Flowers and Produce
  • Kiyokawa Family Orchards, Parkdale, OR – Selling Fresh fruits and Produce
  • MAVDAV Farms “The Farm”, Portland OR – Offering Fresh Picked Fruit and Produce
  • Old Fashioned Caramel Corn, Happy Valley, OR – Get your Processed and Prepared foods here
  • Pd Farms, Elgin OR – PD Farms strongly believe educating the public about the health benefits of naturally-grown produce and beef; they say it is as important as growing and marketing their products
  • Sage-Works, Portland OR – See a variety of semi-precious and precious stones, hand-blown glass, bone, shell, swarovski crystals, and various other earthly materials in products including Leather and Hemp.
  • Shell’s Jewel’s, Portland OR – Buy high-quality hand-made glass, crystal, shell, and stone jewelry for women, men, and children.
  • Sturms Berry Farm Inc., Corbett OR – Berries include Straw, Rasp, Black, Blue, Marion, and Black Raspberry. Also selling Jams and Syrups.
  • Maryhill Orchards and Vineyards; Takahashi Farms – Get the best fruit and produce of the season, as well as honey and jellies.
  • Traveling Coffee Kids, Portland OR – Enjoy coffees and snack foods here.
  • Twisted Stitches, Portland OR – aCrafts Artisan.
  • Unger Farms, Cornelius, OR – This family has been growing strawberries for 63 years. “Quality fruit is what we bring to the market; sustainability is how we grow our fruit.”
  • Wan and May’s Fresh Bloomers, Portland OR – Fresh Farm Nursery cut flowers and vegetables.
  • Walchli Hermiston Melon Co., Hermiston OR – Fresh melons and fresh veggies.

Look for signs, like these, pointing to the Parkrose Farmer’s Market on Saturdays, starting May 2!

The Parkrose Farmer’s Market is on NE Shaver St, a block west of NE 122nd Avenue – across the street from Parkrose Middle School.

For more information, CLICK HERE to see their website, or contact Voorhees at steve_voorhees@q.com

© 2009 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News


See how you can pick up a $1,000 in cash for helping cops find the guy who is suspected of robbing the Ace Tavern last summer in Parkrose … Read the rest of this entry »

Find out what steps the school board is considering to balance next year’s budget – and discover why Parkrose isn’t in as bad financial shape as some districts …

Read the rest of this entry »

Find out why this MAD Magazine writer brings his show, “The Joy of Censorship”, to outer East Portland – and, learn whether there was anything wasn’t allowed to say during this presentation …

Joe Raiola tells how his show, The Joy of Censorship came into existence.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
The title of his talk looked intriguing, so we squeezed a side trip into a busy news-covering evening in order to speak with MAD Magazine’s senior editor, Joe Raiola, at Midland Library on April 7.

Instead of doing a quick interview and moving on, we found Raiola – and his presentation – so fascinating, we missed our next two stories and stayed for his presentation.

Program started by accident
As people filled into the library’s Great Room, Raiola told us that his lecture started accidentally 18 years ago. “Many years ago, a librarian called the MAD Magazine office asking a speaker to come out and talk to young librarians.” The reason they gave: “MAD was the most-stolen publication from the library system.”

Having a background as a stand-up comic as well as being a comedy writer, Raiola said he agreed. “But I knew very little about censorship at the time, and I was woefully ignorant of MAD’s own history about being censored in the 1950s.”

The presentation at the library went well, word spread, and Raiola soon started getting calls for the show he named The Joy of Censorship. “It’s become my greatest commercial success – I’ve performed it in more than 40 states. It seems that I’ve found a niche. I’m presenting in the Pacific Northwest for the first time.”

Raiola says the words he uses during his presentation, will not be censored an any way.

A totally uncensored performance
When we asked Raiola what he liked best about touring his show, he was quick to answer: “It’s being able to be fully expressed. It’s having a forum where I can truly be uncensored. Libraries provide a great service to their community – and to me as an artist – by giving me carte blanche to do a provocative, frank, edgy, and hopefully a thought-provoking show, about ‘all things First Amendment’. And my audiences have been great, because I challenge them.”

It’s a very frank show, Raiola emphasized. “It’s a show that uses adult language. It’s ironic that, even in 2009, it’s a show I probably couldn’t do in a lot of comedy clubs. But amazingly, I’m thankful that libraries have provided a fantastic venue.”

Will the audience be shocked by Raiola’s reading from a book, banned in this country for decades?

Starts with a banned passage
The 57-year-old Raiola, now a 25-year veteran of MAD Magazine, briefly introduced himself and said, since the show was being held in a library, he’s start by reading from a well known book.

“When you are convinced that all of the exits are blocked, if you take to believing in miracles, or, you stand still like a humming bird, the miracle is that the honey is always there, right under your nose. Only that you were too busy searching elsewhere to realize it. The worst is not being deaf, but being blind – a blind to the fact that everything about life is in the nature of the miraculous.”

Lowering the book, Raiola’s expression turned to mock shock and said, “That’s pretty scary stuff, isn’t it?  It’s terrifying! This passage, this book, was written over a half-century ago. We couldn’t allow a voice this vulgar, and so subversive, to be fully expressed! It’s too dangerous; too smart – and without any socially-acceptable values!

“The voice in this book would have to be silenced! At least, here in the United States.  So, for 30 years, it was – until the United States Supreme Court finally ruled in 1964, that this book – Tropic of Cancer – was not obscene, the passionate and uniquely American voice of Henry Miller was abandoned his own country.”

Raiola noted that in 1990, a movie about Miller’s life called Henry and June was rated “X” – a position successfully challenged by the film’s director. “They dropped the “X” Rating, yes, but came up with a new rating just for his movie called NC-17 – an admission it was not obscene – but the uptight [expletive deleted] were going to try to ban it anyway.”

[Editor’s note: While we weren’t offended by Raiola’s free and colorful use of language – and not repeating his exact statements feels like we’re committing the very censorship against which he rails – we feel compelled to not repeat the expletives.]

George Carlin’s 7 Dirty Words You Can’t Say on TV routine was one of his early inspirations for the show, Raiola says, as he repeats each phrase aloud.

An unrated, uncensored show
“Here we are, 20 years after that, we still censor movies – and not just movies – but also television shows and music!” Raiola started.

“Tonight, I’m proud to tell you, this program is completely un-rated. It is presented with no parental guidance, or no advisories of any kind.

“I’ll be using all language; I’ll not be censoring myself. I’ll use nouns, proper nouns, even conjunctions and split infinitives. I made dangle a participle or two.”

“My language will not be cleaned up, toned down, or sanitized for your protection,” Raiola says.

Controlling speech controls destiny
“Here’s why: Free speech must be free. If one can control one’s speech, one may be – just may be – able to control one’s own destiny,” Raiola postulated.

He noted that on pay cable television channels and pay satellite radio, any idea or concept can be voiced – using any word in the language. “Only in this country can you have free speech – if you’re willing to pay enough for it.”

Drawing on his experiences – starting in second grade and moving forward, Raiola railed against the fact that people “edit themselves” because they “do not want to suffer the consequences of free expression.”

Raiola tells how a yearbook editor airbrushed out the finger next to his index finger – although it was a key point in show called Almost Obscene he’d presented at a college.

During the remainder of his 90 minute show, he touched on censorship the FCC, the Patriot Act, Internet filters, flag burning, indecency, and the true meaning of obscenity, in one of the most outrageous, controversial, thought-provoking – and laugh-out-loud funny – presentations we’ve seen, anywhere.

If you have an open mind, believe in the First Amendment – and have the opportunity to see Joe Raiola live – then, don’t miss him.

For more information, CLICK HERE to visit his website.

© 2009 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

If you didn’t go – take a look, here, and see what you missed … Read the rest of this entry »

See exclusive photos of the SERT callout that shut down a large portion of Lents and Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhoods, and learn about the progress of the investigation …

We find every street blocked off, as SERT and district officers comb the blocks looking for suspects who officials say shot a Vancouver cop in the chest.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Not often does a crime that takes place in Vancouver, Washington, affect the lives of outer East Portland citizens.

But, on April 15, a good-sized portion of the Powellhurst-Gilbert and Lents neighborhoods were locked down as Portland Police Bureau district officers – and members of the Special Emergency Reaction Team (SERT) – searched for a gunman who they think shot Vancouver Police Sgt. Jay Alie in the chest about 9:30 p.m. that night.

According to Vancouver Police Department Public Information Coordinator Kim Kapp, the incident started in Vancouver Heights when a neighbor called 911 reporting several individuals hauling pillowcases full of loot from a home to a white, 4-door vehicle with Oregon plates.

“Sgt. Alie spotted the vehicle driving through the neighborhood at a high rate of speed,” stated Kapp, “and attempted a traffic stop.”

Illuminated by street lamps, and the lights from nearby convenience store, a member of the SERT team heads out to back up East Precinct district officers during the manhunt that continued throughout the night.

Suspected thief takes a shot
As he exited his patrol car, one of the passengers of the suspect vehicle opened fire, and shot Alie in the chest. Fortunately, he was wearing a bullet-resistant, ballistic vest, and the injury was minor.

The white sedan took off and headed south, into Oregon, on I-205.

Talking to us near a roadblock on S.E Holgate Boulevard near SE 112th Avenue, Portland Police Bureau spokesperson Detective Mary Wheat filled us in on what happened next. “Our officers followed up on information that the suspect vehicle might be in the area of S.E. Portland. They spotted the possible suspect vehicle in the area of SE 114th Avenue and Pardee Street. Two possible suspects fled on foot from the vehicle.”

The suspected thieves and cop-shooter didn’t get far; Wheat said two subjects were taken into custody a few minutes later, and detained.

Despite the arrests, police kept the neighborhoods quarantined until they removed their roadblocks about 6:30 a.m. on April 16. We learned from an official who was at the scene that police were looking for additional suspects; whether or not they were located was left uncertain.

The neighborhood was in “lockdown” until dawn of the following day.

Suspects’ identity remain a mystery
“The two individuals have been arrested and booked on charges unrelated to last night’s incidents in Vancouver,” Kapp told us at deadline. “Charges regarding the burglary and shooting will be referred to the Clark County Prosecutor’s Office for review. Due to the ongoing nature of the investigation, the names of those individuals are not being released at this time.”

Officials say the crooks took a shot at this man, Vancouver Police Sgt. Jay Alie; he has been released from the hospital, Kapp said, and did not sustain serious injuries because of his bullet-proof vest.

Wheat added, “Detectives continue to process evidence, and several search warrants are being served related to this ongoing investigation. The Vancouver Police Major Crimes team is working closely with the Portland Police Bureau. No further information is available.”

© 2009 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

Come on out and see bands, Portland Rose Festival Princesses, classic cars and much more during the 9 AM parade – and enjoy the Eastport Plaza Carnival that follows …

Here’s how last year’s parade looked as it began and headed north on 82nd Avenue of Roses. Organizers say this year’s parade will be even bigger, better, and more exciting.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
After working all year long, the committee behind the 2009 82nd Avenue of Roses Grand Parade says they’re ready to have a great time during this year’s edition – scheduled for Saturday, April 25, at 9:00 a.m.

“We’re thrilled that the event grows every year,” proclaims Ken Turner, president of the 82nd Avenue of Roses Business Association, “and this year’s parade will be better than ever.”

Parade starts at Eastport Plaza
The 2009 82nd Avenue of Roses Grand Parade begins at Eastport Plaza, just north of SE Holgate Boulevard. It marches north on the Avenue of Roses, and finally disperses in the Montavilla Neighborhood area, Turner tells us.

New this year will be a reviewing stand at Eastport Plaza, in addition to the bleachers and public announcement area, just north of SE Division Street – hosted by Portland Community College’s Southeast Center.

Help by volunteering as a “street monitor”, like these two did last year.

Worlds’ largest ‘standing’ marching band
One of the highlights of this year’s parade will be the “One More Time Around Marching Band” – “the world’s largest standing musical organization” – regularly featured in Portland Rose Festival parades and events. Kell’s Irish Pipes & Drums Corps will also enliven the parade this year.

The parade will be led by members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1442 color guard.

You’ll see the Portland Rose Festival Court Princesses in their first official group appearance – accompanied by the dapperly dressed Royal Rosarians, and members of the Portland Rose Society.

All kinds of specialty vehicles, from antique military trucks to classic cars, will cruise up 82nd Avenue.

“Many other unique, colorful individuals and groups are making arrangements to march in this lively parade. In all, about 50 entries will grace the parade this year,” Turner adds.

Check out Carnival Days after the parade at Eastport Plaza and make a fun day of it!

Community Carnival and Bike Rodeo after the parade
Several after-parade events are scheduled at Eastport Plaza and the Montavilla/South Tabor Business District.

From April 23 through 26, Eastport Plaza hosts “Carnival Days”, featuring FUNtastic amusement rides and games. “But after the parade, we have a ton of things happening here on April 25 in addition to the thrill rides,” reports Eastport Plaza’s Sadee Daniels. They include:

  • Clown balloon artist and juggler;
  • Stilt walkers;
  • Pony rides;
  • Caricature artist and face painting;
  • Live music with The Carolina Pump Station, Trash Can Joe, Get a Life Marching Band, and a Strolling Barbershop Quartet;
  • KGON 92.3 will broadcast live, and will provide a chance to win a Ford F150 and a Harley Davidson “Rocker”; and,
  • There will be informational booths staffed by community service providers and civic groups.

And, on the north end of the parade, members of the Montavilla/South Tabor Business Association host a Bike Rodeo and safety clinic on S.E. Yamhill Street – where the parade disbands.

Don’t let this year’s parade pass you by! Make plans to come out on April 24 at 9:00 a.m.!

Not too late to volunteer
If you’re not content to sit on the sidelines watching a parade pass you by, consider volunteering on the day of the parade. “We need volunteers to help, by briefly closing off side streets as the parade passes,” said Johnni Jones, the event’s volunteer coordinator. “It’s easy – and you get to watch the parade!” Contact her by e-mailing: johnni.jones@gmail.com.

Registration for the parade begins at 7:30, and closes off at 8:30 am; the parade begins promptly at 9 am, Turner smiles, “Come out and enjoy the day, at this great family community event.”

© 2009 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

Why police won’t ticket him …

When Marvin Price fired up his hand-built racer for us, the deep-throated rumble of the powerful engine could be heard for blocks. David F. Ashton photo

By David F. Ashton

The low growl the racecar’s powerful engine attracted the attention of everyone around. Was the car’s driver about take a reckless spin around Inner Southeast Portland?

No, it was just Marvin Price, and his partner Tom Hanna, tuning up their pride and joy ‚  a bright red, 1974 “sprint car” racer.

“It was built by Grant King in Indianapolis, Indiana,” Price told us. “It was driven by, among others, Tom Sniva–who went on to win the Indy 500, become a CART champion.”

Price, a Westmoreland resident, told us he is currently the president of West Coast Vintage Racers. “Our motto is, ‘If you don’t run ’em, why have ’em?’ We race vintage oval track cars.” The league, he said, holds races up and down the west coast, from northern California to Washington.

“I always wanted to be a race car driver,” said Price. “I never had the funds to be one. A few years ago, my friend, Tom Hanna, and I were at the races and got all ‘juiced up’ hearing, watching, and smelling the races. We decided no one would hire us to drive their car. We’d have to get one of our own.”

What started as a fix-up hobby grew from there, Price told us. “It wasn’t built for show, but it really is show quality. We run it and race it.”

Depending on how it is geared, on a one-mile track, Price reported the open-wheeled racer can run as fast as 180 MPH. “Without a windshield, it would be uncomfortable at that speed,” he added. It qualified at 146 MPH on a half-mile oval.

© 2006 David F. Ashton ~ East PDX News

When gubernatorial candidate Ron Saxton toured outer East Portland this week, see what other specific comments he made about our area ‚ and why his audience seemed to like what they heard ‚

Candidate for Governor Ron Saxton, being introduced to East Portland businesspeople by Ken Turner, the East Portland Chamber of Commerce Governmental Affairs chair, and manager of Eastport Plaza.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Amidst criss-crossing the state, gubernatorial candidate Ron Saxton asked to meet with members of the East Portland Chamber of Commerce and neighbors during a stop in outer East Portland on October 31. “I came to listen to your concerns,” he said.

The theme of his remarks was that the state of Oregon has enough funds to substantially improve education and public safety and education. “A great deal of the problem is how funds are allocated.”

Saxton said the way you improve schools and services is by growing the economy, not by growing taxes. “I love Oregon, and I want to build up the state,” Saxton said. “My job as governor is to be a partner with mayors, county commissioners, and others who want to help make the economy grow.”

Ron Saxton, explains his positions to East Portland businesspeople Becky Wehrli, CLTC; Paul Ellison, Bank of the West; Dan La Grande, La Grande & Associates Public Relations; and Bill Bitar, William Frank Bitar & Associates.

Praises local schools
Parkrose and David Douglas are two districts working hard to manage their expenses and still provide a good education, Saxton said. “These two districts operate more efficiently than most, while providing a good education. Other districts could learn from them.”

There are 11 school districts, he continued, in the metro Portland area. “Each one does its own payroll and purchases its own supplies. The duplication is enormous. Without giving up local control, think how much money they could save if all the districts worked together, in a coordinated way, to save money. And, with ‘The Chalkboard Project’, all Oregon schools could pool their purchasing power, saving millions.”

Promises to encourage job growth
“As governor, I’ll work with existing businesses to help them grow ‚Äì instead of standing in their way. I’ll work with the city to encourage them to work in a more business-friendly way. I want to be a partner with people who want to help themselves ‚Äì be they in associations, companies, or municipalities.”

Saxton listens to a story told by Richard Sorem, of Stewart & Tunno Insurance Agency, Inc.

In summary Saxton said “A lot of the things that frustrate you are the same things that frustrate people across the state. Instead of widening the urban/rural divide, I’m trying to help people get together. Oregon is a fabulous state. But we’re not remotely living up to our potential here. I’m a private sector guy who is frustrated with the way things are going ‚Äì but I have optimism that we can do better.”

¬© 2006 David F. Ashton ~ East PDX News

While weather forecasters hem-and-haw, the ‘surprise’ snow storm closes schools and businesses, but not most East Portland streets …¶

Mom, Gail, and big brother Neal help little sister Jill Budde experience her first big snowstorm by trekking through their white-blanketed neighborhood in SE Portland.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Last week’s promise of a big winter storm fizzled out. But this week’s winter weather came as a surprise to many ‚including city and county road officials.

It’s easy to blame the TV weather folks for missing our “blizzard”. But, NOAA’s National Weather Service January 15 “weather discussion” was indecisive. They guessed there wouldn’t be much snow ‚Äì but pointed out that their computer-simulated models indicated we should prepare for a white winter event.

Looking south from the offices of East Portland News Service, seeing the clean blanket of snow made us want to sip hot cocoa by the fireplace. Instead, intrepidly, we bundled up, headed out, and covered the winter storm.

All of our area’s school districts (except for Reynolds High) cancelled classes; many businesses didn’t open or closed early, and essential transportation and safety providers scrambled to chain-up the tires on their vehicles.

Outer East Portland landmarks, like 111th Square, were blanketed by the snow that came, to many, as a surprise.

As the snow fell throughout the morning of January 16, there was an amazing amount of traffic braving the snowstorm.

Slickness and snow slows traffic
Carefully motoring out SE Powell Blvd., we saw Tri-Met busses, creeping along at 20 MPH ‚Äì without tire chains in place. When the busses stopped at SE 92nd Ave. to pick up passengers, starting up again, their rear tires whined as they slipped on snow–now packed into ice.

Car and SUV drivers illustrated various levels of skill as they slipped, slid, and skidded along the flat terrain of outer East Portland.

The driver of this Bronco, bustin’ into the Castellano Custom Furniture on NE Halsey at 107th Ave., had more confidence in his 4-wheeler than skill, cops said at the scene.

Much of the highway havoc on our streets, according to the observation of Portland East Precinct officers, was due overconfident pilots of 4-wheel- drive vehicles.

“Just because people own 4-wheel-drive vehicles makes them think they’re invincible,” an officer quipped as she looked at a vehicle that had plowed into the front of a retail business in the Gateway district.

Out in the neighborhood, enjoying the “snow day”, are Glenn Parris, Una Kim and sledders Lana and Yena with Tickles the Snow Dog.

By early afternoon, the steady fall of large, fluffy snowflakes diminished, but the winter storm had produced enough snow to make yards, parks and streets winter playgrounds.

Kids of all ages used anything on which they could slide to take advantage of gravity, on even the slightest inclines. While others engaged in foolhardy behavior – like snowboarding behind a tire-chained pickup truck – few injuries were reported in outer East Portland.

Traffic kept moving – albeit slowly – along I-205 throughout the day, as de-icing and sand truck crews worked diligently to keep the freeway and ramps open. But, slick ramps at the west end of I-84 caused a traffic jam that extended to Gateway.

Sub-freezing temperatures kept the snow around on the ground days longer than expected. Many schools stayed closed as a precaution, and most all banquets, neighborhood functions, and government events were cancelled.

However, as the daytime temperatures continue to creep back into our normal 45-degree range, the only reminders of The Winter Storm of ’07 will soon be the sand on the streets ‚Äì and longer-than-usual lines at the auto-body repair shops.

¬© 2007 ~ David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

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