Fun-O-Rama Awards given, alternative energy pitched, in Gateway

Who took top prizes in the Gateway Area Business Association’s Fun-O-Rama Parade? Will “alternative energy” work here in Oregon? Find out the answers by reading this article‚

The award for being the “Best Overall Participants” in their May Fun-O-Rama Parade went to The Parkrose Posse. The trophy is being accepted by Joe Rossi.

By VM Wells; David F. Ashton photos
Awards were given, and alternative energy sources were discussed at the Gateway Area Business Association’s June meeting.

Saying that being partial to Gateway’s Keystone Kops had nothing to do with it, GABA president Alan Sanchez awards the Fun-O-Rama Parade “President’s Award” to the Keystone Kops.

Fun-O-Rama Parade “Best Commercial Entry” award went to Cascade Athletic Club, accepted by Scott Dobson.

Answers to pollution and energy needs presented
Wind and sunshine are answers to the world’s twin problems of getting more energy and having less pollution: This message was left with the 50 members attending the June luncheon by Diane Zipper, spokeswoman for the Renewable Northwest project.

First, Zipper outlined the dark side‚ 47 percent of the electricity generated in the Northwest comes from water power. That source can not be increased, she warned, because the dams are wiping out the fish population.

Diane Zipper, spokeswoman for the Renewable Northwest, pitches the positive attributes of solar and wind electricity generation.

Coal is responsible for much air pollution, she said, charging that it is part of the “electricity generation trio” responsible for a third of America’s air pollution: Coal, gas, and oil. Transportation is responsible for another third of pollution; industry, homes and the like the remaining third, she added.

Touts solar power
Sunshine is one of the best answers, Zipper advocated. She pointed to Germany as the world’s leading generator and user of sunshine-generated electricity. But she said the Willamette Valley actually has better possibilities than Germany.

Zipper says solar energy is actually more viable here in Portland than in Germany, where this form of power generation is more widely used.

She explained that Oregon, in spite of its rain, has more sunny days than Germany‚ and “better solar resources, which have not been developed yet.”

Further, she pointed out, sunlight generates electricity at the time when most electric power is consumed. And sunshine-generated electricity which is not used where it is made, can be fed back into the power network to lower the monthly bill for the homeowner whose solar generator produced it.

Praises windy power solutions
She also praised windmills that generate electricity. The turbines are roughly 250 to 350 feet above the ground, and ideally stand away from the flyways used by migratory birds.

Federal and state tax incentives are available for users of wind-powered and sunshine-generated electricity, Zipper added.

Generators using wind and sunshine “strengthen the economy, help the rural economy and improve the environment,” she concluded.

Meet the Gateway business folks
On July 12, the Gateway Area Business Association meets again‚ Networking starts at 11:30 AM. Visitors are welcome to attend this long-established group. And, it’s a good networking opportunity. This month, hear Pegge McGuire, executive director, Fair Housing Council of Oregon speak at JJ North’s Buffet, 10520 NE Halsey St. Reservations NOT needed. For more information, go to

© 2007 East Portland News Service ~ and VM Wells

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