This is the first in a weekly series introducing you to outer East Portland business organizations. You’ll be amazed to see all the good these folks do for our community‚

Whether or not a new business belongs to the East Portland Chamber of Commerce, the group’s Ambassadors will provide a welcoming and ribbon-cutting ceremony. Here, the ribbon is being cut, marking the opening of Riverview Bank–a new chamber member in the Gateway area.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Although it came into being only in 2003, the East Portland Chamber of Commerce (EPCC) has grown to a membership of 175. For many years, this organization was a committee of the Gresham Chamber of Commerce.

The EPCC serves businesspeople from the Willamette River east to Gresham. It serves to enhance commerce throughout the area, rather than to compete with other business districts that fall within its borders.

East Portland Chamber of Commerce President Greg Zuffrea.

Why the chamber was formed
We asked current president, Greg Zuffrea, why this organization was established, when greater Portland already has a chamber of commerce.

“An important role of the East Portland Chamber of Commerce,” Zuffrea told us, “is to be a voice for business throughout our East Portland community. The downtown chamber focuses on downtown Portland issues. The Gresham Chamber focuses on outer East Multnomah County issues.”

Traditionally, Zuffrea said, Portland city government is most responsive to issues affecting downtown Portland. “While the core area of the city is important to our region, it is also imperative that the specific needs and concerns of East Portland be addressed by city government.”

The East Portland Chamber has succeeded in bringing Portland’s elected officials and other government leaders out to East Portland, added Zuffera. “We’ve helped to focus their attention on eastside issues, ranging from crime, to better streets and public services. Obviously, everyone — residents and business people — benefit from this increased attention.”

The annual EPCC Golf Tournament is always a big hit. Here, the Chamber’s membership chair, Richard Sorem, gets ready to make his swing.

Helping East Portland prosper
The East Portland Chamber is important to the community, because its programs and activities enable small businesses to grow and prosper.

Small businesses are the economic backbone of east Portland. We learned that 95% of the 13,920 businesses in east Portland are small businesses. About one-third of them average 15 employees each , and, fully two-thirds of our small businesses are micro-enterprises, each averaging two employees.

“The health of the small business is directly related to the economic health of the community, through jobs, taxes, and volunteer time from business owners and their employees,” commented the Chamber’s Governmental Affairs Chair, Ken Turner. “That base of volunteers supplements and sustains the educational, social, cultural, religious, and recreational organizations and activities that sustain and enhance the quality of life in our community.”

The East Portland Chamber Cabaret and Minstrels groups put on fun shows to raise money for charitable causes.

Programs benefiting the community
The Chamber supports ongoing community charitable activities such as soliciting food donations from chamber members for Sno-CAP.

Additionally, a group of chamber members who call themselves the East Portland Minstrels provide entertainment to community organizations. They use their entertainment talents to raise money for charitable causes, such as the Mt. Hood Kiwanis Camp for Disabled Children and Adults.

The Chamber’s annual golf tournament provides a social setting in which local business people can mingle with political leaders and celebrities. The annual Chamber Golf Tournament for 2007 will be held at the Colwood Golf Course on June 15.

A goal of the chamber is to create a special event within the next year, to raise money for a local educational or charitable organization.

Featured businesses people
Classique Floors‚ Judith Huck, the owner of this well-respected outer East Portland business, has built her company by providing top quality counter and flooring solutions for decades. Anyone who has visited the beautiful new store at 14240 SE Stark has seen the wide variety of top-quality materials Classique Floors can supply.

Thus, Huck has created a firm that provides stable family-wage jobs for its employees. And, Huck and her staff give back to the community, helping with projects at Snow-CAP and Habitat for Humanity.

Chamber member Holly Moss kids around with Richard Kiely who donated this brand-new electric guitar to help raise funds for a community event.

Home Run Graphics‚ Richard Kiely provides quality lithography for businesses and other organizations all over the Portland area. But, beyond his business, Kiely is a tireless community volunteer, working with his neighborhood association, SE Works, and charitable organizations.

When he sees an un-met need in the community, Kiely steps up and leads the charge to fill that need. Right now, he’s sponsoring a “Hole-In-One Contest” at the Chamber’s June golfing tournament, at which a skillful (and lucky) duffer will drive home a brand new car from Gresham Ford–if they make the shot!

Come meet the Chamber
The East Portland Chamber of Commerce holds a free networking meeting it calls “Good Morning East Portland” every Wednesday morning from 7:30 a.m. until 9:00 a.m.  Neighbors are always welcome to attend.

At least once a month, a City of Portland official comes from downtown to listen to outer East Portland concerns. Because the meetings are hosted by different members, the location changes from week to week. Where’s it this week? Check their web site: www.eastportlandchamber.com!

© 2007 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

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Of all the topics he covered, Commissioner Randy Leonard spoke out most strongly against proposed changes in how the City of Portland is run. Read this: After all, you’ll be voting on it in May‚

Portland City Commissioner Randy Leonard is welcomed to the podium of the Gateway Area Business Association by GABA president, Alan Sanchez.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Members of the Gateway Area Business Association (GABA) meet in March to network, hear plans of the upcoming May Fun-O-Rama events, and listen to Portland City Commissioner Randy Leonard’s address.

“I appreciate so much about the Gateway area,” Leonard began. “The Golf-O-Rama, Fun-O-Rama Parade, and Community Fair show the great community spirit alive here in this area. And, I’m glad to see that that Mike Taylor, Parkrose School District Superintendent, has been chosen to serve as Grand Marshall.”

He noted that Gateway-area businesses have been associated, in one form or another, since “two years before I was born.”

Leonard’s take on education
“Portland Public Schools has had financial problems; the City has stepped up, donating millions of dollars to help them bridge their gap,” said Leonard. “This is good; but I remind the City Council that there are five [school] districts in Portland, and all are important.

“I’ve been a ‘burr under the saddle’ to make sure all of our districts get the same funding, per capita. Our [outer East Portland] districts are models, in many ways, of how schools should function. I know, because I’ve worked with both Parkrose and David Douglas boards.”

Commissioner Leonard says he’s been a “burr under the saddle” to make sure outer East Portland schools and programs are funded.

Says he represents outer East Portland
GABA’s immediate past president, David Panichello, asked Leonard what the City Counselor thought was his biggest accomplishment.

“Before I got on the City Council, there was no discussion of issues east of 82nd Avenue. Our prior mayor was not happy with me asking for public assistance for East Portland programs. I’ve worked with Lents Urban Renewal. But, I grew up in East Portland; I graduated from Grant High School. I’m proud to advocate for outer East Portland.”

Leonard said his biggest challenge is “getting two additional votes” to pass issues in City Council. “I’ve worked on issues for working-class people. Worked on the towing industry, for example, helping to change regulations. We’ve capped the amount tow companies can charge you‚ and made it possible to pay by credit card.”

The commissioner also voiced his support for the East Portland Community Center swimming pool. “It’s always a challenge getting enough votes for east Portland projects, an area most folks downtown never see.”

Against changes in Portland’s City Charter
“Even if you like the proposed changes, you’d have to be offended on how it ended up on the ballot,” Leonard expressed, as he turned to this timely topic.

Leonard said that a special charter review commission met for 18 months before making specific recommendations. “Then, in one‚ just one‚ single  hearing, the City Council passed a measure to be put on the [May, 2007] ballot with no public input. No‚ public‚ input. Sten and I voted against it. I thought we should have had public input, and that it should be talked about. This measure represents a MAJOR change in how Portland is managed.”

Leonard gives examples of why he’s opposed to the measure to change the City’s Charter that will appear on the May ballot.

Leonard’s take on Charter changes
All of the City’s bureaus are currently administered by City Counselors.

Under the revised Charter, Leonard explained, all bureaus would be directly under the mayor’s control. Indirectly, a new city executive‚ a Chief Administrator Officer‚ would run the city on a day to day basis.

Leonard gave this example; he’s currently in charge of the bureau that issues permits. “Every day we get calls from people with the Bureau of Permits. I don’t just pass legislation, or talk about how the bureau should operate. The staff of that bureau works for me. I can call and get things ‘unstuck’. That [process] will all be lost.”

He gave an example how, when a destitute resident’s water service was cut off, he intervened with the Water Bureau‚ another bureau in his portfolio, to have it turned back on. “I told my people, ‘I want you to go to her house and cut the seal and turn it back on’.”

Another example Leonard gave was regarding an effort for Portland Parks Bureau to “sell Mt. Tabor land to Warner Pacific College. We got a document signed by the Parks Bureau that showed it would be sold on November 6th, even after months of denial. We stopped it. Now, four of five on the Council must agree to sell City property. Under the revised charter, the mayor, alone, can decide to sell public parks land. He [Mayor Tom Potter] defended this, saying it would make it ‘more efficient’.

“We have a strong tie to our parks. Think of Leach Gardens, donated to the city‚ it could be sold, with a stroke of the Mayor’s pen.”

Future of City Council
GABA board member Jon Turino asked what role the City Counselors would play under the proposed new system.

“We [City Counselors] would be relegated to City budgeting. But, all of the budget bureau staff works directly for the mayor. This means all of our questions would be answered by the mayor’s office. We wouldn’t even have our own budget people. The mayor suggests this is a check and balance. There would be no check and balance. Now, we frequently ask questions of one another, regarding our bureau’s budgets.”

In closing, Leonard promised to keep working for outer East Portland residents. “I’m as close as your telephone, or computer e-mail.”

Meet GABA members on April 12
You are welcome to come hear Portland City Commissioner Dan Saltzman speak at the April 12 Gateway Area Business Association general meeting, at JJ North’s Buffet, located on NE Halsey St. at NE 106th Ave. Networking starts at 11:30 a.m.; reservations are NOT required. For more information, go to www.gabanet.com.

© 2007 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

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The once-forlorn stretch of SE Stark St, from I-205 west to Mt. Tabor, is coming back to life. Why? See what Portland City Commissioner Sam Adams learned, when he visited the area

Meeting at Why Not Wine, METBA businesspeople Tarah Schuler, Kay Kirkham, Greg Bunker, Kristin Schuchman, Jacose Bell, and Ariana Dixon enjoy the association’s first social event.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
It looks like downtown Montavilla is, once again, beginning to thrive — thanks to business people have chosen to open stores, restaurants‚Ķand yes, the Academy Theater.

Banding together under the banner “Montavilla/East Tabor Business Association” (METBA), these outer East Portland entrepreneurs say that supporting one another increases the likelihood this area will again flourish.

Mix and mingle
For their first networking and social event, they met on February 28 in Montavilla at Why Not Wine, a wine bar serving light appetizers.

“I, like many of our members, want to get our association to percolate. So, we started this network event to help businesses support and learn about each other,” says Kristin Schuchman, a member METBA.

“I’ve lived here for eight years, and work as a marketing consultant as owner of Mixed Media LLC,” continues Schuchman. “I’ve hoped for more retail and restaurant establishments to come in, to give it the ‘village’ feel you get on Hawthorne or Belmont. It looks like my wish is coming true.”

About 25 guests filled the wine bar at this inaugural networking event.

Planning Montavilla Farmer’s Market
At the event, we met Kay Kirkham, one of the forces behind a proposed Farmer’s Market.

“The market will be on SE Stark St.,” she said, “at SE 76th Ave., in the vacant lot next to the Veterinary Center. They’ll let us use if for a minimum cost. We plan to be open on Sundays starting late in May.”

Interested in being a vendor? Contact her at: katherinekirkham@yahoo.com.

Portland City Commissioner Sam Adams meets with METBA members to hear their concerns.

Commissioner Sam comes to town

The first business group visited by Sam Adams after he became a Portland City Commissioner was the Montavilla/East Tabor Business Association. Adams vowed to return.

After a mid-afternoon get-together at several locations, Adams told us what he’s seen and learned at Flying Pie Pizzeria on SE Stark St.

“Businesspeople are feeling good; the district is definitely coming back. They’re getting more customers. New investment is coming into the district.”

Sam Adams votes Montavilla and East Tabor as the place you are most likely to find great pies – both kinds.

Adams: ‘Best pies in town’
“It is good to see the vitality,” Adams continued. “Since I last visited, it’s great to see the area really flourishing. And, in all of Portland, some of the best pizza ‚Äì at Flying Pie and Stark Street Pizza ‚Äì and fruit pies, especially the peach ‚Äì  homemade by Bipartisan Caf?© ‚Äì are here in Montavilla!”

Commissioner Adams tells us that business folks would like to see money dedicated to help with pedestrian safety; for things like bubble curbs and curb extensions. “I wish I had more money in the transportation budget for infrastructure improvements.”

Adams added that he felt a sense of “continuing frustration that ODOT raised the speed from 30 to 35 mph, right here in the middle of the district. While that is their prerogative, it makes no sense to me.”

Other concerns, says the commissioner, are regarding the up-tick of prostitution and drug dealing around SE 82nd Avenue of Roses, and on Stark St. to SE 78th Ave.

Takes a break during budgets
We asked Adams why he’s taking time away from the office during the budget process in City Hall.

“A commissioner who sits in City Hall all the time,” replied Adams, “and who doesn’t make outreach efforts, can’t stay in touch. It’s easy to think the world is one way, while the reality, on the street, is quite different. And, as Transportation Commissioner, I am concerned with traffic issues. I’ll do my best to help, given the budget constraints.”

President is pleased
While driving Alema McCrea, president of METBA, the short distance back to her car she left at Stark Street Pizza, where Sam Adams’ journey began, we used the opportunity to ask how she felt about Adams’ visit.

“I thought we got a lot of good information from him about how to proceed with our traffic issues. We also learned how we can deal with ‘green’ issues, like putting bio-swales in. Sam really listens, and tries his best to take care of things.”

Additionally, McCrea told us, “both this networking event, and the commissioner’s visit gives members the opportunity to talk together and share concerns.

“The association is growing,” she said. “We’re adding new members ‚Äì come join with us.”

© 2007 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

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See the East Portland Chamber of Commerce continues to grow, as members take part in formal and casual events …

East Portland Chamber of Commerce members welcome a new business to the area – Zuffrea & Associates – with a ceremonial ribbon-cutting on January 23.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
The East Portland Chamber of Commerce has, over a few short years, become a strong voice for Portland businesses east of the Willamette River.

They’re perhaps best known for their “Good Morning East Portland” networking meetings held at different locations every Wednesday morning.

But, other chamber activities include public affairs programs, educational seminars, annual golf and bowling tournaments, and social activities.

The Chamber Ambassadors will help any East Portland business’s grand opening by performing their official ribbon-cutting ceremony ‚Äì whether or not the business is a chamber member.

For example, there was a good turnout a couple of weeks ago as the East Portland Chamber of Commerce welcomed Zuffrea & Associates. This firm helps other businesses market more effectively through advertising specialties and special promotions.

Group socializes after work
Some activities provide members and guests with activities to just have fun.

“Chamber After Hours” gets underway at Micky Finn’s Restaurant and Pub in the Woodstock area. The host of this event was (near left) Richard Kiely, the owner of Home Run Graphics.

In late January, members poured into Micky Finn’s Restaurant and Pub in Woodstock for a fun social evening. The host of the event, Richard Kiely, the owner of Home Run Graphics, made it clear that this event was indeed to be purely social.

Over chicken wings, onion rings, and other pub snacks, members and guests mixed and mingled in the casual surroundings.

Meet the members
Come to a “Good Morning East Portland!” next Wednesday, February 14, from 7:30 to 9:00 a.m. Meetings are free and guests are welcome. The host will be Brian Newsom, at DeWhitt Appliance Center, 12518 NE Airport Way.

The East Portland Chamber of Commerce is an independent organization dedicated to serving the interests of businesses on Portland’s Eastside ‚Äì from the Willamette River to Gresham. The chamber keeps members updated through a weekly newsletter and an interactive website: www.EastPortlandChamberofCommerce.com. For more information, check it out, or call (503) 788-8589.

© 2007 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

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This business association isn’t basking in its past achievements! See how these Parkrose business people are finding new ways to serve their community ‚Ķ

Incoming Parkrose Business Association president Mark Eves, of the Eves & Wade LLP Law firm, is welcomed to the podium by outgoing president Wayne Stoll, of Argay Square.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Not long after the turn of the year, Mark Eves, incoming president of the Parkrose Business Association, took over the leadership role of the organization. “Our focus this year,” Eves told the group, “is three ‘M’s’. They are membership, meetings, and mission.”

Membership chair Jon Turino said their committee will be dedicated to showing more Parkrose business people the benefit of joining the association. “Together, our voices are better heard downtown. When you meet someone in Parkrose, ask them to come have lunch with us at Steamers on the third Thursday of the month.”

Kyle Ziegler, program chair, told about the lineup of speakers planned. Also, she said their committee actively seeking ways of “tuning up” their already successful meetings.

Eves spoke directly to his third “M”, saying, “We’ve created a ‘dream team’, chaired Gail Bash. We are setting goals, both short and long term.”

Bash commented, “Mark said to set our goals high. As a pilot, I want to rise above 5,000 feet — we’re set on the 10,000 level. With the help and support of this group, we can so many things.”

“We celebrate the successes of all of our members,” Eves concluded.

Anita Tabayoyon of A.R. Moss Florists uses a colorful chart to document the kinds of gifts people like most to receive.

One feature at the noontime meetings is the “Member Moment”, in which one person highlights their own business. At this meeting, it was Parkrose florist A.R. Moss, who told of “floral design and event embellishment”. Anita Tabayoyon said that, in addition to the flowers, their shop stocks many other kinds of gifts. See her online at www.armoss.com.

State of the PBA
Outgoing president Wayne Stoll is famous (or infamous) for always starting off with a joke. “Leaving my post as president reminds me of the man who was fired from the M&M¬Æ factory for throwing out all the ‘Ws’,” he quipped.

“It all hasn’t been ‘guns ‘n’ roses’,” Stoll continued. “Our [PBA] board is great. In addition to getting stuff done, we got it done with a lot of fun and humor. My job was to not screw things up. Gordon Boorse and other presidents before me, and their boards, put us on a track to success. Get involved in our organization. Join in. Help us get new, fresh ideas from your input.”

Stoll reported that the association’s coffers contain $19,600.

Current projects include renovating the traffic island at the divide of NE Sandy Blvd and Portland Road. “If there is one thing the city can improve on us how they treat businesses in the city. PDOT has made it difficult, to complete the project: a beautifully landscaped in an Italian garden motif,” he said.

Stoll also pointed to the success of the association’s scholarship program for graduating Parkrose High School seniors. “Thanks to the support of our community at the Rose Festival Parkrose Cruise-in ‚Äì and the hard work of all our volunteers ‚Äì we’ve gone from giving one scholarship, to providing four of them ‚Äì fully funded for this year.”

Stoll admonished the group, “I hope people join PBA not only for the business we gain from members. Joining the PBA makes you a part of the area, as a whole. Being involved will help your business. People who do business here don’t necessarily have their business located here. Invite them to join.”

Meet the PBA
Come on February 15 at 11:30 a.m. and meet this group of fun, energized business people. This month: Rick Harris, CPA, gives timely tax tips! The Member Moment will be Daniel Woods of SPOTMASTER. You’ll get the best business lunch at town at Steamers Restaurant, 8230 NE Sandy Blvd. (east of NE 82nd Ave.); NO reservations required. For more information, see www.parkrosebusiness.org.

© 2007 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

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See what business folks and neighbors learned when a tax expert came by to share information that can reduce your total tax bill …

Tax consultant Elaine Elsea tells people at the Midway Business Association how to legally pay lower taxes this year.

Story and photo by David F. Ashton
Folks who come to the Midway Business Association do more than network – they get timely information that helps them run their business more efficiently.

Members at Midway are also involved with their community. President Donna Dionne told the group how a city grant is helping them fund boundary signs that define the group’s service area ‚Äì and the neighborhoods it serves.

Tax tips provided
January’s guest speaker was Elaine Elsea, of Portland Rose Accounting and Tax Service. “There are new things going on this year with taxes,” she began.

One can deposit up to $4,000 in an IRA savings account this year, she said. If one is over 50, they can deposit an additional $1,000. It applies to ROTH IRAs as well.

“Be sure to check for all eligible deductions,” Elsea continued. “Tuition, sales tax (if paid in another state), educator expenses (teachers) deduction ‚Äì these all add up.”

Be sure to ask your tax preparer about the way leasehold improvements are depreciated, she said. “They’ll stay 15 years. These were about to sunset; the President signed a bill to restore the deduction.”

Energy credits are back. If one insulates — puts in new storm windows or doors — they can take a 10% credit. The credit, she said, also applies to improvements such as a new energy-efficient furnace.

Work Opportunity and Welfare-to-Work credits have been restored.

Medical savings plans have also been extended. Also, one can make a one-time roll-over from IRA into a health savings account without paying income tax and a penalty.

In 2007, if you are required to have mortgage insurance, it will now be deductible as mortgage interest.

Thinking of buying a new car? “There are nice credits for hybrid vehicles available; but only for the original buyer of a new vehicle. These credits can be has high as $3,000 ‚Äì and it’s not a deduction but a credit,” Elsea explained.

These are just some of the wide variety of tips offered at the meeting.

Come by on February 13
If you have a business in the southern portion of outer East Portland, consider joining the Midway Business Association. You’ll get to know your business neighbors, join in a cooperative marketing effort, help our local community and schools, get more clout at City Hall, and promote and improve Outer Southeast Portland.

Join them for lunch on Tuesday, February 13 11:45 a.m. at Pizza Baron, 2604 SE 122nd Ave. (just south of Division St.).

© 2007 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

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Read what Portland City Commissioner Sam Adams had to say, before grant checks were given to the Gateway Area, Midway, Division/Clinton, 82nd Ave. of Roses, and Woodstock business associations …

Portland City Commissioner Sam Adams meets and greets leaders of neighborhood business associations, at the grant awards celebration held on January 22.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Leaders of many East Portland business associations celebrated and dined for good reason on January 22 – they were picking up a grant checks totaling $82,125.

The event was the Alliance of Portland Neighborhood Business Association’s (APNBA) grant awards, at the Ambridge Conference Center.

Patrick Donaldson, APNBA president, the event’s master of ceremonies, greets the assembled business leaders from across the city.

After a buffet dinner, the program began. Portland City Commissioner Sam Adams was on hand to greet the grant recipients.

Adams addresses APNBA
Addressing the group, Adams told the attendees, “Not taking anything away from neighborhood associations, it seemed to me that we also need to support our business districts. In addition to these grants, we have secured a grant, from the City of $250,000 to help support the operations of the APNBA.”

Portland City Commissioner Sam Adams commends neighborhood business association leaders for helping small enterprises to grow and thrive in Portland.

Adams said that, for 14 years, citizens and politicians have tried to change the City’s business tax structure. “We were told businesses do not need tax relief. But, thanks to members of the APNBA and other members of the business community, nearly 14,000 businesses will pay lower fees, starting in about a year an a half.”

Concluding his remarks, Adams commended the business people saying, “You have stood with one another. You have shown what happens when you work with one another.”

Then, as he distributed the grant checks, APNBA president Patrick Donaldson called representatives of each group up, and recognized their projects.

82nd Ave. of Roses collects $9,500
First up, from East Portland associations, was Ken Turner, representing 82nd Avenue of Roses Business Association.

Two grants were received on behalf of their organization by Ken Turner, president of 82nd Avenue of Roses Business Association.

Turner told us, “One grant, for $5,000, will help us continue to install sign caps along 82nd Avenue to distinguish it as ‘The Avenue of Roses’. We’ve installed 66 sign caps so far ‚Äì this grant will go a long way to helping us cap all the signs.”

Their other grant, for $4,500, was “seed money”, Turner said, to help them organize an Avenue of Roses Parade on April 28, in conjunction with the Portland Rose Festival’s 100th anniversary. “In all, these grants help us gain positive recognition for our area as neighbors and business people work to improve the quality of life along the avenue.”

Division/Clinton Street Fair scores $3,500
Jane Baker was called up to receive a check on behalf of the Division/Clinton Business Association, over which she presides.

The check Jean Baker is accepting will help their association continue to produce their mid-summer event.

“Every year, our Division/Clinton Street Fair continues to grow,” Baker said. “This grant will help us do even more to help our business district promote our community.”

GABA gets $4,000 Fun-O-Rama map bucks
Allen Sanchez was invited up as the grant to the Gateway Area Business Association was announced.

GABA president Allen Sanchez collects their organization’s grant check for their business map project.

“In addition to our annual May Fun-O-Rama,” Sanchez told us, “we have a new project this year. We’ll be using these funds specifically to help businesses in our area put ‘their names on the map’, literally ‚Äì with a new area-wide promotional map we’re developing. We at GABA are all very happy about this. We’ll be more connected with the community ‚Äì and our customers ‚Äì thanks to this grant.”

Midway sign project awarded $1,250
Donna Dionne, president of the Midway Business Association, was next up, accepting their group’s award check.

Accepting the money for her group is Donna Dionne, president of the Midway Business Association.

“It is a great opportunity for us to showcase our association,” Dionne told us. “Our sign project also lets us work with our neighborhood associations, Centennial and Powellhurst-Gilbert, so we can better solidify the identity of our area. So, this grant means a lot to us.”

Woodstock gets online with $2,500
As Jane Glanville, president, and Barry Evans, VP, of the Woodstock Community Business Association (WCBA) came forward, Donaldson described how the funds would help the association better communicate among its members and the public.

Jane Glanville, president, and Barry Evans, VP, of Woodstock Community Business Association, pick up their grant award from APNBA president Pat Donaldson.

After the program, Jane Glanville told us, “This is a fantastic opportunity. These funds will allow us to start a Woodstock Business Association website. This project will connect everybody. It will help promote our parade and Woodstock Festival this summer. We hope it will allow everyone to participate in building a better Woodstock area.”

This association also serves the western half of the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood as well.

© 2007 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

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See how the songs and stories of these volunteer entertainers brightened the holidays for some of East Portland’s elderly ‚Ķ

Kevin Minkoff–the producer, MC, and entertainer–was joined by Forrest Palamountain, Nancy Chapin, chamber president Greg Zuffrea, and Frank Ryan, as they performed holiday favorites for CherryWood residents.

Story and photo by David F. Ashton
A volunteer group of entertainers from the East Portland Chamber of Commerce–The East Portland Minstrels–took the stage at Cherrywood Village on December 16.

The show’s producer, CPA Kevin Minkoff (not your ordinary bean counter), was the master of ceremonies; he also sang Christmas tunes, and kibitzed with the other performers.

Nancy Chapin, of The Support Group, expressively performed a reading giving convincing reasons to believe that why, yes, there is a Santa Claus. The Chamber’s president, Greg Zuffrea, of BC Graphics, told the story of how the Grinch couldn’t steal Christmas from the citizens of Whoville.

Also telling stories and singing songs was the incomparable raconteur Frank Ryan, of NW Senior & Boomer News. His tales and tunes left smiles all around.

And, adding some real class to the program was violinist Forrest Palamountain, son of chamber member Jill Palamountain, who is with Action International. This young man’s dedication to music showed brilliantly in his flawless performance of classical music.

Want to learn more about the East Portland Chamber of Commerce? Check out their web site: www.eastportlandchamber.com.

¬© 2007 David F. Ashton ~ East PDX News

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Operate a business southern outer East Portland? See why you might consider dropping by the next Midway Business Association meeting on January 9 …

APNBA president Pat Donaldson came by to tell the group about new grant programs available to help business districts grow and prosper.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
More and more business people, located in the southern portion of outer East Portland, are making their voices heard by supporting Midway Business Association.

But, this association isn’t just about taking. Come to their next luncheon meeting and you’ll probably learn something you can use in your business.

At their last meeting, for example, members got an update on their business district sign program from president Donna Dionne. She said they were working with both PDOT and ODOT to get the boundary signs, identifying their service area, in place.

Funds for the signs, she said, came through a grant program designed to help people more closely identify their business district with the neighborhood.

Association news
Patrick Donaldson talked about the Affiliation of Portland Neighborhood Business Associations’ (APNBA) new grant program, and helped the Midway business people formulate plans to utilize a second round of grants provided by the city. “My organization,” Donaldson related, “the Hollywood Boosters, face the same challenges as Midway.”

Donaldson said the, APNBA, the umbrella association for neighborhood business groups across the city, hopes to grow. “We plan to be self-sustaining within the next three to five years,” he said.

Telling members how domestic violence hurts businesses as well as individuals, Jill Rachel shares information gathered from her work in the field for the past 20 years.

Quelling violence
Jill Rachel, with the Multnomah County Family Violence Council, spoke regarding domestic violence.

Rachel said one in three women will be a domestic violence victim. “I was a victim. It is a prevalent problem. But, many people don’t talk about it.”

Physical violence, such as being punched, choked, or having hair pulled is typically reported. “But often the ongoing emotional abuse, which can be worse, never makes it into the statistics.”

The cycle of domestic problems
Rachel said that most violent relationships don’t improve on their own. “There is a cycle: People are happy, then tensions build, violence breaks out, and then comes apologetic behavior.”

Most men abuse women for a number of reasons, she told the group. Sometimes it’s due to alcohol drug or anger issues. “But it boils down to this: People who abuse other people lack self control of their own lives. They feel like the gain control of their own lives by controlling another person.”

Workplace repercussions
“75% of women work. Many women, who are in an abusive relation, report that they are harassed at work. Domestic violence causes increased business healthcare premium costs, loss in productivity and absenteeism. This can reduce the productivity of other staff members.”

Chance of being killed higher if they leave is hire than if they stay. Afraid, scared, ashamed. Most of the guys can act charming. They get away with it.

Rachel suggest employers develop a domestic violence workplace policy. “Using posters and flyers, try to be understanding and supportive, letting workers you know that domestic violence a crime.”

Other actions employers can take is to refer affected employees to services designed to help the victims.

Make life less taxing
Come on January 7 and learn how to minimize your taxes in 2007!  Stop by Bill Dayton’s Pizza Baron on SE 122nd Avenue at Division Street at 11:45 a.m. to network, learn and support your local business district.

¬© 2007 David F. Ashton ~ East PDX News

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See what a great time Parkrose Business Association members had at their annual Holiday Party while they raised money for their causes. And, meet their award winners and new board …

Introducing the 2007 PBA Board of Directors: Wayne Stoll, immediate past President, Argay Square; Kyle Zieglar, Director, Castle Gate Realty, Inc.; Amy Salvador, Director, Rossi Farms; (behind Amy) Michael Taylor, Director, Parkrose Public Schools; Jon Turino, VP/Director, Farmer’s Insurance; Mary Brown, Secretary, Bob Brown Tire Center; Mark Eves, 2007 President, Eves & Wade, LLP; Marsha Lee, Treasurer, Copy Express Printing & Graphic Design; David Ableidinger, Director, Parkrose Hardware; Gail Bash, Director, Jackpot; Candy Bafus, Director, West Coast Bank; and, Terry Brier, Director, Davey Organicare.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
The business folks in Parkrose work hard to raise money for scholarships and other worthy causes during the year. But, come December, they LOVE to party!

The banquet room at Steamer’s Restaurant was packed, wall-to-wall, with merrymakers on December 7 for the annual Parkrose Business Association holiday event.

The evening started and ended with a silent auction to benefit the association’s work.

There was a skit loaded with inside jokes, as “The Official President” (aka Gail Bash) and several PBA members presented a hilarious parody.

Even St. Nick made a surprise appearance. He gifted many folks with “Fresh Reindeer Nuggets” that looked suspiciously like dried prunes; and, a little something to help out the next morning. “They’re Sani-licious,” said Santa.

What else happened? Well, see the fun and festivities yourself, depicted in these photos:

Members and guests of the Parkrose Business Association enjoyed a festal board of gourmet taste and proportion prepared by Chef Edgar and presented by Hostess Eileen Stocker at Steamer’s Restaurant and Lounge.

The Parkrose High Debutants entertained with traditional and unique Christmas carols and holiday songs at the event.

Incoming president Mark Eves presents the President’s Gavel to his predecessor, recognizing the service of outgoing PBA president Wayne Stoll.

The Carl Lind Award ‚Äì is given to recognize an individual who lives and works in the community and provides volunteer service, demonstrates integrity and honesty, and is known for professionalism in business. Gail Bash (left) was this year’s recipient, seen here being honored by past president Goron Boorse.

Artie Johnson Award – is bestowed on a PBA member who has demonstrated faith, generosity, integrity, and care for others. This year, the award went to Mary Brown; Gail Bash makes the presentation.

President’s Pinnacle Award — an award created by outgoing PBA President Wayne Stoll — was given to the group’s treasurer (and Cruise-In “spark plug“), Marsha Lee.

Additional President’s Awards went to Alison Stoll, Gordon Boorse and Amy Salvador.

Meet them on January 18
If you have a business, or would like to do business in the greater Parkrose area, come this great group of folks at the next PBA meeting, and hear outgoing President Wayne Stoll deliver “The State of the PBA” meeting. Networking starts at 11:30 a.m., at the place at which you’ll get the best business lunch at town ‚Äì Steamers Restaurant and Lounge, 8030 NE Sandy Blvd. (east of NE 82nd Ave.); NO reservations required. Info: www.parkrosebusiness.org.

¬© 2006 David F. Ashton ~ East PDX News

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Hold an ice cream social in December? Why not? See how Gateway area business people celebrated the holidays at this event …

On the menu at this holiday party was ice cream: Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream ‚Äì and everything needed to make delicious sundaes.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Guests and members of the Gateway Area Business Association held their holiday celebration on December 8 at St. Therese Parish’s social hall ‚Äì with an out-of-the-ordinary menu: Ice cream.

It was served up by crewmembers of the Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream store in downtown Portland, operated by New Avenues for Youth.

Kim Cottrell, in the New Avenues for Youth program since July, says the he’s learned to be a stronger, more self-reliant individual from it.

Enterprise manager for New Avenues for Youth, Fred Krug, told the group, “For every $1,000 we raise, we can train another individual.” They’ve trained 80 people through their Ben & Jerry’s store so far, he said.

The social event attracted community members, neighborhood leaders, and business people.

The GABA Holiday Event in photos

GABA member Frank Ryan sings a medley of holiday carols and tunes.

Portland Police Bureau’s Gateway NRT Officer, Michael Gallagher, thanks the group for their support, and passes the hat for a needy family in the area. Gallagher also showed images from GABA events.

Parkrose Public Schools board chair Katie Larsell, and superintendent of David Douglas Schools Barbara Rommel, present a memento of appreciation to Parkrose Schools Superintendent, Michael Taylor, who says he plans to retire at the end of the school year.

Meet GABA members
On January 11, come to JJ North’s Buffet, 10520 NE Halsey St. starting at 11:30 a.m. and meet with these fine business folks. Reservations are NOT needed. For more information, go to www.gabanet.com.

¬© 2006 David F. Ashton ~ East PDX News

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The East Portland Chamber of Commerce continues to be “the voice for business in East Portland” ‚Äì read this and you’ll see why you should attend ‚Ķ

Meet the 2007 officers for the chamber: Norm Rice, First Class Properties, treasurer; Greg Zuffrea, BC Graphics, president; Ken Turner, Eastport Plaza, VP; Jill Critchfield, Pacific HR, Secretary; Dan La Grande, La Grande Public Relations, board member; Rich Sorem, Stewart and Tunno Insurance, board member; Pam Olson, Farmer’s Insurance Agent, Ambassador chair; Jeff Bennett, Warren Allen, LLP, board member and advisory council; Monty Knittel, Adventist Health, board member. Not available for this photo was board member Tim Brunner, Axis Design.

At their November meetings, the East Portland Chamber of Commerce announced its new board members, heard about transportation issues from PDOT’s executive, and gave a donation to Kiwanis.

Making Portland move

Portland Office of Transportation’s Sue Keil runs down the budget numbers for roads and forecasts street building and repair activities at a “Good Morning East Portland” networking meeting in November.

What’s happening to our roads ‚Äì and why ‚Äì was the information brought to the chamber by Sue Keil from the Portland Office of Transportation (PDOT) on November 15.

Talking first about revenues, she said that funds supporting road maintenance, signals and streetlights come from gas tax and vehicle licenses, and are distributed by the state. Portland, Keil said, gets $197.7 Million in the 06/07 budget year. “The only growth has been from increased parking meter revenue.”

“Our budget isn’t growing,” Keil told the business people. “Revenue has slightly declined as a result of more fuel efficient cars. The tax is still fixed at $0.34 a gallon. However, the cost of cost of construction has increased substantially. And, health care costs have increased among our 750 employees.”

Of their budget, the PDOT executive said, about $50 Million that goes for general operations and activities.

“Transportation is the largest asset in the city ‚Äì it’s about $5 Billion worth of streets, sidewalls, curbs, signals and lights. The largest portion is pavement. And, the condition of a lot of our pavement is deteriorating.

The problem, Keil said, is a shortfall of $3,400,000 needed to keep pavement at its current condition. “To bring it up to the proper level would cost nearly $9.5 Million.”

Keil credited Portland City Commissioner Sam Adams ‚Äì the “traffic commissioner” ‚Äì for helping to structure requests for the city’s needs over the amount budgeted for maintenance.

This request for one-time general fund resources – a program to run through the end of 2008 – was detailed on a printout given to attendees.

Under the maintenance section, the request indicated $500,000 going for the Pothole Hotline repair pilot program.

Looking over the “Safety” budget items, we noticed that bicycle and pedestrian safety programs were budgeted at $900,000; yet vehicle safety improvements at “high crash intersections” was only $1,200,000.

We asked why, when vehicles pay for road improvements through fuel taxes, biker and walker safety issues were funded at nearly the same level.

Keil said that at budget meetings, the bicycle lobby attends in large numbers. If vehicle drivers and business people came to such meetings, she suggested, perhaps the budget allocation outcome might be different.

Chamber members help Kiwanis Camp

Kiwanis Mt. Hood Camp for Disabled Children and Adults director Todd Thayer is about to accept a check from Russellville Kiwanis president Jason Goodwill and East Portland Chamber Cabaret producer, Kevin Minkoff.

As you may recall, last year, members of the chamber performed two shows to raise funds for the Mt. Hood Kiwanis Camp.

At another meeting, Past Russellville Kiwanis Club President, Jason Goodwill, thanked all the participants in the $1000 fund raising effort.

¬© 2006 David F. Ashton ~ East PDX News

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