Come on along on a sneak preview tour we were given, and see how this new addition to a key outer East Portland hospital may save your life someday …

In Adventist Medical Center’s new Pavilion wing, Cheryl Dorman, Project Manager for the NICI Group, explains some of the features in one of four brand new cardiac catheterization labs to surgical nurse Holly Brown, RN, educational coordinator for preoperative services Carol LeCarno, RN, and Clark College student nurse Keiko Dieken, during our sneak-preview of their new Northwest Regional Cardiac Center.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
On May 19, the doors will officially open for the Adventist Medical Center’s (AMC) new Pavilion building. The fact that a not-for-profit hospital built a three-floor, 181,000 square-foot expansion is itself newsworthy. But, if you have a heart attack – it’s vital to know that this new cardiac center could save your life.

Even though they were putting the finishing touches on the new building, AMC’s director of marketing and communications, Judy Leach, took time to guide us through this major addition to outer East Portland’s own award-winning hospital.

Starting in the lobby, we noted a large wall of windows letting in natural light. “We’ve taken care to design every part of the Pavilion to give patients, and their family members, a setting conducive to whole-person care,” Leach said. “This is because here, at AMC, we believe in whole-person care: Mind, body, and spirit. We want patients to have hope and healing from the moment they enter the building.”

Instead of the traditional institutional look, we noted the lobby was decorated in earth tones with wood accents. Instead of bank-teller-style registration windows, Leach pointed out touch-screen computer kiosks that allow patients to easily check into the hospital on their own. Or, patients can sit with a check-in specialist who will take them through the check-in process.

Northwest Regional Cardiac Center opens
A major portion of the Pavilion building is dedicated to the hospital’s cardiac care area. “It’s called the Northwest Regional Cardiac Center,” Leach said. “AMC is rated in the top 7% of hospitals nationwide for the care of heart attack patients.”

The reason for the high marks, Leach said, is their ability to rapidly respond to a heart attack, and then appropriately care for the patient. “We are committed to moving forward, and providing the finest cardiac care available to people here in East Portland.”

The Northwest Regional Cardiac Center includes in-patient treatment areas, pre-operative rooms, four catheterization labs,and surgical suites, Leach pointed out. The building also provides space for out-patient services, and a complete cardiac rehabilitation exercise facility.

Here’s a view few will see while standing up! This state-of-the-art heli-pad permits Life-Flight helicopters to land three stories above AMC’s new Emergency Room.

Emergency Room expanded
To help provide better care for trauma patients who can be flown by air ambulance to the hospital, the Pavilion features a new heli-pad atop the building. “It’s designed for all-weather access,” Leach noted.

From the heli-pad, a patient’s gurney will be wheeled into an elevator and delivered to the Emergency Room staff in seconds.

The expanded Emergency Room had been doubled in size.

“We’re doubling the size of our emergency center,” Leach pointed out as the elevator doors opened. “We will be going to 32 beds.”

She also pointed out their new ambulance emergency entrance. “It’s fully enclosed; patients and medical personnel will be out of the weather. It will accommodate six ambulances.”

In addition, the hospital is also ramping up a Rapid Medical Evaluation Center. “It’s in urgent-care area in which patients can be seen quickly, generally within 10 or 15 minutes.” Those patients with sore throats, ear-aches, or a broken arm – they have their own x-ray facility – can be seen rapidly, she explained, leaving emergency room staff free to deal with more acute level patients.

Operating room specialist, Tim Cambridge, RN., stands among the racks of high-tech equipment used for modern medical procedures in one of AMC’s new operating rooms.

New operating rooms come fully equipped
The Pavilion also houses the hospital’s new operating rooms. “The old operating rooms were too small,” stated the operating room nurse who showed us around, Tim Cambridge, RN.

“They must be larger because new technologies require more space racks of new equipment,” Cambridge said. “The ‘electronic operating room’ allows surgeons see medical charts, see visual images, or display EKG and life-sign monitoring technical information on any of the many screens that surround the operating table.”

As staff physicians advanced into other specialties, such as open-heart and neurosurgery, they require even more technologies, he added.

Holding up a long tube, Cambridge pointed it was actually a high-resolution TV camera; the clear image it produced was on one of the many computer screens that surrounded the operating table.

“10 or 20 years ago, we used to do gallbladder surgeries for an example by making large incisions Cambridge explained. “Now, by using a camera like this, and other specialized equipment, it can be done laparoscopically; making three small holes about the size of a finger. The patient heals much more quickly”

Pavilion houses more clinics – and parking
Additionally, the Pavilion will house AMC’s radiation oncology [cancer] unit, Leach added as we wound down our tour. “We have a Wellness Services Center in this building.”

And, a welcome addition is a new multi-floor parking structure with a ramp that provides patients direct access to the oncology and cardiac centers.

In addition to the new technology wonders at AMC’s Pavilion, Leach concluded the she feels the project meets the aim of its design: “We want patients and family members to have an experience of hope and healing begin, the moment they enter the building.”

© 2009 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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See which church members spent a day packing up trash at this annual neighborhood event – and discover why they volunteered …

Jesten Arnold, Mike VanHook, Charles DeKar, and Pastor Scott Bradley, from the Parkrose Abundant Life Church, unload a pickup truck full of junk at the 2009 East Portland Neighborhood Clean-up.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Many neighborhoods stage clean-up days, during which folks can come drop off trash, broken furniture, yard debris, old tires, and such. But, the annual East Portland Neighborhood Organization’s area-wide clean-up day is a massive undertaking – it helps people living in all 13 neighborhoods in its neighborhood coalition get rid of trash.

“This effort helps improve the quality of life here,” explained this year’s organizer and Parkrose Heights Association of Neighbors chair, Carol Williams. “This clean-up helps, because it keeps junk – like discarded couches, mattresses and other big pieces of furniture – from being left in yards, or discarded on the side of the road. And, it gives people an economical way to discard yard debris that builds up over the winter.”

This year’s clean-up organizer, Carol Williams, keeps a close watch on the event, and answers questions while she helps coordinate the volunteers’ activity.

Not only does “getting the trash out” improve the looks of the neighborhoods, Williams added, it also helps keep down vector populations of rodents and mosquitoes.

Russell Neighborhood Co-Chair Bonny McKnight spoke up, telling us that Williams really took charge of the event this year. “Her name and phone number was on every flyer and ad; she took the drop-off reservations, and coordinated the neighborhood volunteers at the event. It’s wonderful having a great community volunteer like Carol Williams working with us on this project.”

Neighbor Marian Aleckson checks in with Hazelwood Neighborhood Association Chair Arlene Kimura at the clean-up event.

Volunteers pitch in pitching trash
About twenty neighbors from eight EPNO neighborhood associations pitched in, as did four Portland Police Bureau East Precinct Cadets. They helped unload trash and yard debris from cars, pickup trucks, and trailers – about 350 vehicles in all.

But what really helped move things along, Williams noted, were the 42 hard-working volunteers from a local church group.

Scott Bradley, the Campus Pastor of the Parkrose Abundant Life Church at SE 116th Avenue at SE Prescott Street, smiled, as he worked side-by-side with his parishioners.

“We believe that partnering with the community is the best way for us to reach out and demonstrate that we care,” explained Bradley. “We’re not just trying to attract people to church; we want to be part of the community and help out. We look for strategic partnerships. We value good relationships – the best way to create lasting relationships is to serve the community.”

David Douglas High School students Stoney Rose and David Long work hard at the event – pitching trash from truck to dumpster.

Dumpsters loaded to the brim
For hours, vehicles laden with trash of all descriptions came to the parking lot at NE 122nd Avenue and NE Halsey Street and, eventually, the debris filled more than a dozen industrial-size dumpsters.

“We also took in about 100 discarded tires today,” reported Williams after the event. She added that discarded-but-serviceable bicycles were set aside for needy kids.

Abundant Life Church volunteer James Scheetz is diggin’ in, at the yard debris dumpster.

By 2:30 p.m., the parking lot was swept clean, and the last of the dumpsters was being picked up. The event took in about $1,800, we learned. “In all, I’d say this was a very successful event this year. It went smoothly – people got in and out in about 10 minutes. We are grateful for the help of all of our volunteers,” noted Williams.

Dumpster by dumpster – neighbors filled ’em up.

© 2009 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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Why were students from outer East Portland participating in a graffiti paint-out at an inner SE Portland park? All will become clear, as you read this story …

Students from outer East Portland’s Floyd Light Middle School “GREAT” class spend this day providing community service by removing graffiti at inner SE Portland’s Hazeltine Park.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Ever since neighbors helped the City of Portland turn vacant property on SE Flavel Drive into a city park – now named Hazeltine Park – residents have enjoyed the open space in which to picnic, run, plan, and take in the great southern view.

But, the fence along the eastern boundary of the park has become a target for taggers who insist on defacing the wooden slats with gangster graffiti.

6th graders Tamirah Moore, Danielle Wishart-McGinnis and Duran Herrera work together painting out graffiti that once defaced this fence, bordering Hazeltine Park.

GREAT class meets neighborhood need
On May 2, seventeen sixth-graders from outer East Portland’s Floyd Light Middle School responded to the problem – and piled out of vehicles, picked up paint rollers and brushes, and covered the graffiti with a thick coat of METRO’s brown outdoor paint.

“This group is part of our ‘GREAT’ class,” explained Portland Police Bureau Officer Chris Burley, who is also an instructor in the bureau’s “Gang Resistance Education and Training” program, for which GREAT is the acronym.

One of the main components of the GREAT program, Burley said, is a community service project. “A lot of kids in my classes this year said they have noticed – and are bothered by – a lot of graffiti in their community. They wanted to help get rid of some of the tagging.”

Because most of the graffiti near their school is along busy highways, Burley said that Marcia Dennis, Director of the City of Portland’s Office of Graffiti Abatement, suggested Hazeltine Park would be a good place for their class project.

The park’s namesake, Dick Hazeltine, says he’s pleased to see these young people out helping their community.

Not a ‘nice decoration’
One student, Danielle Wishart-McGinnis, agreed. “Graffiti is all over the place,” she told us. “We’re glad to help out in the neighborhood, to help make it look new and neat, not all old and messy. Graffiti is just gross. Graffiti is not a nice decoration.”

Another part of the event for the youngsters was meeting the man the park was named after, Richard Hazeltine. At first, Burley explained, some of the kids were surprised that the park wasn’t named after someone long-dead. “And, they were really happy and excited to meet him in person, and get to learn about the man for whom the park was named.”

Hazeltine, who grew up just a block west of the park, smiled, as the kids painted out the graffiti. “Speaking for myself, and on behalf of my neighborhood – I’ve lived here my whole life – we’re very grateful. The fact that they’re helping here, far from their own neighborhood, makes it all the more special. The graffiti has been here for more than three months; I’m glad to see it gone.”

Portland Police Bureau Officer Chris Burley, a “GREAT” program class instructor, watches his students’ progress with Portland’s “anti-graffiti czar” Marcia Dennis.

© 2009 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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Here’s an update on the new 35-acre park proposed for outer East Portland that enthusiasts say could become a “world class” mountain-biking attraction …

More than 100 people who came to hear the latest progress on the Gateway Green project, at this mid-April meeting, listen to co-sponsor Ted Gilbert share his enthusiasm for the proposed park.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Every day, thousands of cars drive by – or over – a 35-acre parcel of land that was once part of Multnomah County’s Rocky Butte Jail property. The property – now an Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) owned right-of-way, at the confluence of Interstate-84 and I-205 – is an island, cut off from Rocky Butte and from nearby neighborhoods.

“Creating a world-class mountain-bicycle park at Gateway Green creates an unparalleled opportunity for re-branding – creating something iconic – in outer East Portland, Portland itself, and the state of Oregon,” proclaimed developer Ted Gilbert, an enthusiastic proponent of the project at a meeting not long ago.

Pastor Brian Heron, of Eastminster Presbyterian Church, checks in as one of the 110 attendees at the April 14 meeting, held at the Gateway Elks hall.

Gilbert joined East Portland parks advocate Linda Robinson in what seemed like a quixotic effort to reclaim this unused property for public use. (See our past coverage of their efforts; search our site for “Gateway Green” to read those articles.)

“We went to the Oregon Department of Transportation,” Gilbert related, “and let me make this clear – they have made absolutely no commitments at this point. They have said they like the idea; they think it’s potentially do-able. But, it will take lots of [political] process, and a lot more hurdles to jump through.”

Ted Gilbert enthusiastically talks up the Gateway Green project.

Noticing ODOT officials in the room, Gilbert went on, “I can tell you, and I’m not saying this because they’re here in the room, that I could not ask for a better partner. You’ve heard stories about how difficult it can be to work with government and big bureaus. But they’ve been fabulous, absolutely fabulous, to work with. They agree, in principle, that this property should be put to a higher purpose.”

Park of many uses
Early studies indicate, Gilbert said, that the potential uses of Gateway Green are many, from walking, hiking, and picnicking – but the most immediately attractive, he went on, is off-road bicycling. “If we could do something that demonstrates Portland’s commitment to sustainable energy, water quality, and air quality, we could have something really visible and iconic.”

Because there’s so much excitement around bicycles in Portland, Gilbert continued, many people in the bicycling business have gotten onboard.

Where’s Gateway Green? This graphic indicates the location clearly.

Mountain bike heaven
The International Mountain Bicycling Association’s Jill Van Winkle stepped up and furthered Gilbert’s assertion saying, “Gateway Green has the possibility of becoming a world-class bicycling facility, because it could offer traditional cross-country bicycling, BMX riding, and gravity riding. It could accommodate an entire range of skills – from novices to highly skilled riders.”

The idea, she explained, is to keep the center of the park as open space, and put the bicycle trails around the perimeter. “There’s considerable demand for single-track facilities, especially in this part of the city,” Van Winkle told the group.

Chris Bernhardt, a natural surface trail expert with Alta Planning, showed a PowerPoint presentation charting demand for this type of park. “The bottom line is that 22.6% of the population here trail-rides about 19 times a year. We feel this park would be very well used.”

Powellhurst-Gilbert neighbor Jim Chasse, Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish, and his Community Liaison, Emily Hicks, listen to the Gateway Green presentation.

Gilbert, Robinson, and volunteers with Friends of Gateway Green are currently working to secure grants and other funding sources that will allow them to move forward with the studies required by ODOT and other municipal agencies.

To learn more, check their official website: CLICK HERE.

© 2009 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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If you’re still wondering about the difference between a labyrinth and a maze – or why one was built in Parkrose – this is the article for you to read …

Volunteer Jose Maras sweeps pavers at the Parkrose Peace Labyrinth, helping to ready it for their Earth Day celebration.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Though their plans to spruce up the Parkrose Peace Labyrinth had been rained out weeks before, volunteers again gathered in the week before Earth Day to prepare it for visitors.

A crew of more than a dozen students and neighbors came together to replace sand that had washed out, to straighten and level the pavers, and to remove grass that had grown. “The winter weather was a bit hard on the labyrinth,” noted the prime mover behind it, Sharon DeWitt.

The following Saturday was the “second birthday” for the peace monument, located at Parkrose High School, in the southwest corner of the property.

Parkrose High senior Laura Giraldo, an exchange student from Columbia (South America), paints a decorative rock as part of the Earth Day celebration.

Earth Day rocks at labyrinth
When we returned on April 18, we saw students like Parkrose High senior Laura Giraldo, an exchange student from Columbia, painting decorative rocks at the Parkrose Peace Labyrinth’s Earth Day celebration. “I like doing this; it is fun, and a new experience,” Giraldo said, as she returned to her artistry.

Sharon DeWitt greeted us, reminding that the day was the second anniversary of the groundbreaking for the Parkrose Piece Labyrinth. “By painting rocks, volunteers get to leave a colorful mark at the labyrinth.”

DeWitt reminded us that they’d started the project in honor of Earth Day.

During the 2009 Earth Day celebration, Parkrose Peace Labyrinth organizer, Sharon Dewitt, takes a moment with the high school’s AmeriCorps Community Connections volunteer, Erica Martin, before serving delicious cake.

“The idea first came to me when I was working at the high school, and noticed how busy everyone seemed to be,” DeWitt recalled. “Everyone was rushing from one place to another, talking on their cell phones and texting messages and tuning into their music. It seemed like nobody was taking a few minutes for themselves to just – and stop – and be ‘present’ with themselves.”

A labyrinth isn’t a game, like a maze, she pointed out; it is a simple, easy-to-follow pathway that encourages meditation. “No matter why you choose to walk the path, whether meditatively or energetically, you take about 15 minutes away from your busy, chaotic day. You can see everyone out here walking the labyrinth today – that’s exactly what they’re doing.”

A main reason for locating the labyrinth near the corner of NE 115th Avenue and NE Shaver Street, near as the tennis courts, was to allow community access. “The gate welcomes the community to come in and enjoy the labyrinth. And, on a clear day, you can see both Mt. Hood and Mt. St. Helens. It’s a beautiful spot.”

For more information see their website: CLICK HERE.

Instead of just casually tossing down their individualized rock, volunteers walk the labyrinth and choose the ideal location to place their painted stone.

© 2009 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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Discover what people at the Foster Area Business Association learned – what it takes to get a loan or line of credit, these days ….

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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 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 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

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 or LNA Vice-Chair Wes Wolfe at 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 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 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

> 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

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 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

> 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 or

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

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 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

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 or the CMC website at, 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

> 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 For more information, call: (503) 935-5368.

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Multnomah County health officials say the Avian Flu is undoubtedly coming. There’s no vaccine for it. People will die from it. And there’s nothing the government can do to help you. Read and learn what steps you must take to protect the life and health of your family ‚Ķ

Jessica Guernsey Camargo, MPH, Project Supervisor, Pandemic Influenza Community Engagement, telling a SE Portland group there is no cure, nor prevention, for the coming Avian Flu. “The fact is, the only real way of managing the pandemic is through citizens taking personal responsibility.”

Story and photo by David F. Ashton
Those listening to the project supervisor of Multnomah County’s Pandemic Influenza Community Engagement center, Jessica Guernsey Camargo, MPH, looked stunned when she said that there is little government can do if Portland is struck with a pandemic of Avain Flu.

Speaking calmly, Camargo was in SE Portland on June 6, sharing information about Avian Flu, the county’s preparation, and how people can protect themselves.

The good news: its not here … yet …
At this time, nowhere in the world, is there an area yet experiencing a epidemic of Avian Influenza ‚Äì known as H5N1scientifically and “Bird Flu” commonly.

Right now, the H5N1 bird flu strain is commonly carried by wild birds. It does spread to domestic birds like chickens and ducks, Camargo told us. When the virus mutates so it can transfer among humans, we’ll have a pandemic. “There is no H5N1 bird flu in our country; but we do expect it to arrive at some time. We don’t know when.”

Currently, bird flu rarely spreads from person to person, she said. “When it does spread to humans, it is from very close, ‘beak to cheek’ contact. People who work with birds, or are in close contact with them, have a higher likelihood of infection.”

Thus far, the reported cases of the virus transferring from human to human have centered in Indonesia. “But, if something changes, there is a potential for a serious pandemic or plague.”

Pandemic defined
Camargo said “pandemic influenza” is a worldwide epidemic of flu. “Pandemics result from new flu strains emerging, rapidly spreading around the world, and infecting large populations very quickly. The most severe pandemics have been in 1918, 1957, and 1968.”

The reason the health department takes this so seriously is because, in humans, H5N1 progresses rapidly into organ and respiratory failure. And, the virus mutates as it gets passed person-to-person.

Health Department preparations offer little personal aid
“Our 2006 assumption is that we can’t prevent it,” continued Camargo. “It can’t be avoided. Vaccine for the virus is unlikely to be available in adequate supply. Antiviral drugs will have a limited role in easing the epidemic.”

Before and during the pandemic, she added, there will be open, continuous, and uncensored media coverage, because managing a flu pandemic will require broad community involvement.

“Specifically, we’re increasing public information–how you can prepare yourself. We’re working with hospitals to prepare their facilities for a large increase in seriously ill patients.”

No vaccine available
“We’re trying to increasing community education and dialog because we don’t have a vaccine for H5N1. We will most likely not have one early on in a pandemic. When we do, It will be given to responders, police and health care workers first,” Camargo warned.

Asked about using face masks, she replied, “We’re not endorsing using any kind of mask to prevent illness.”

Watchful waiting
“Right now, we are doing disease surveillance. We work with the state labs in Alaska; they are the entry point for birds on the Pacific flyway through Oregon,” Camargo explained.

Short notice warning
“We’re also doing emergency response exercises with our community partners and official responders, to prepare for when pandemic strikes.”

How long a notice will we have once such a pandemic arises? “A few weeks”, she predicted. “Most people will just think they have a cold, and won’t realize how ill they truly are. They’ll spread the illness.”

Our best hope:
Community-level prevention programsIf a pandemic were to strike now, the health department official said, “Local response would rest, largely, on community-level prevention programs.”

Specifically, help your family and community by:
> Covering your face when you cough;
> Wash your hands regularly;
> Protect others by staying home when sick;
> Use medical prevention and treatments appropriately.

If a pandemic worsens to the level of requiring community-level intervention, Camargo said the officials will begin to “enforce ‘social distancing’ such as patient isolation, focused contact notification, quarantine of small groups, cancellation of specific events, closure of specific facilities, communitywide “slow downs” — stay at home days; as well as broad closure of businesses, schools, events, and transportation; finally, strict communitywide quarantine.”

Be aware and prepare
We asked Camargo for her bottom line on surviving the Avian Flu.

“Multnomah County is helping people prepare for it; we’re doing all we can to prepare for it from the governmental side. But people put too much reliance on vaccines and medication. The fact is, the only real way of managing a pandemic is through citizens taking personal responsibility.I urge everyone to set aside an evening with their friends and families to begin to prepare for the possible pandemic.”

Instead of getting scared — get prepared!For more information, see, or call (503) 988-4454 for a recorded message.

¬© 2006 David F. Ashton ~ East PDX News

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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

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See why you should get to this great show, put on by the Metro Dancers at Portland Metro Performing Arts – right here in outer East Portland …

Seeing double – and triple!  Because the Metro Dancers are performing several shows at different venues, Scott Trumbo and James Holstad both play the male lead role of “Franz”, and Lorianne Barclay, Emily Sevy, and Krista Bennett all play the female lead, “Swanilda” – not at the same time, of course, but in different shows!

Story and photo by David F. Ashton
When we stopped at Portland Metro Performing Arts (PMPA) to check in on the progress of the Metro Dancers’ upcoming production, Coppélia – we thought we were seeing double and triple!

“We have several performances,” explained PMPA’s Executive Director, Nancy Yeamans. “The ladies will be dancing the part of the Swanilda, and the gentleman will be dancing the part of Franz.

“No, David, there won’t be ‘dueling Swanildas’ in the show!”

This production of Coppélia blends great dancing and great theatre, Yeamans said. “‘Coppélia’ is the comedic story of an eccentric inventor, the animated doll he creates, and the havoc they cause in their small village.”

About the story:
Swanilda is engaged to be married to Franz. The day before their wedding, Franz starts flirting with a mysterious young lady. Swanilda and her friends decide find out more about the mystery girl, and break in to the house of the mysterious Doctor Coppélius. What they discover is a real doll!

After twists and turns in the story, Franz and Dr. Coppélius are left both amazed and confused.

  • Will Swanilda and Franz get back together?
  • Can Dr. Coppélius ever find happiness by being part of the village?

Find out, while you enjoy this wonderful ballet performance at PMPA!

Shows on April 25
See how the music, costumes, sets, and the dancers’ skill all combine to make this a performance event you will not want to miss.

There are two performances on April 25 – at 2 pm and 7 pm. Pre-Sale tickets are $10/Children and $15/high school students and adults; at the door: $12/Children, and $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 to, or get information online at

© 2009 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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© 2005-2019 David F. Ashton East PDX News™. All Rights Reserved.

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