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.

You don’t need to fight for a parking place, as you might in the Pearl, when you take in the SE Area Artwalk. Take a look and see who we met on our stroll‚

Annie Meyer, of Studio 2507 on SE Clinton St., shows us her unique, artistic tiles.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Southeast Portland artists flung open their studio doors the first weekend in March as they participated in their fourth annual ArtWalk. From SE 9th Ave. to 41st Ave., 75 artists amazed visitors with their works of art.

Discover what volunteers are doing to improve this hidden natural spot‚ located on the land apex between our two outer East Portland watersheds‚

Neighbor Mike Harrison and Cole Miller, a student volunteer from Parkrose Middle School, and his dad, Bob Miller, all spend the morning cleaning out invasive plants, and planting native greenery.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Although the weather was what one would expect from a typical winter morning on March 10, 14 volunteers converged on the naturally-wooded area west of the Glendoveer Golf Course in Hazelwood.

See Madam Chaos in action! This off-kilter instructor grabs kids’ attention, from the first moment of her lecture.

Madam Chaos mixes a color-changing potion to the delight of her young students at Midland Library.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
The tall woman in a white lab coat prepares her apparatus as we approach her. Because she’s in character, she states, “My name is Madam Chaos. You may call me  either.”

Ms. Chaos explains why she’s at Midland Library, saying, “It gets kids very excited about science. After our session, kids run to find and check out all the science books they can find.”

Get ready for lane closures where SE Stark and Washington streets intersect with the freeway starting April 2. It’ll be torn up through May. No, this isn’t an “April fools” joke‚

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
No one said constructing the light rail line along I-205 from Gateway to Clackamas Town Center would be without disruption.

Starting April 2, look for one (or two) traffic lanes to be sliced off on SE Stark and Washington streets for about four months.

Read how Canadian marijuana growers team up with
lawless locals to farm “BC Bud” in quiet, upscale neighborhood homes‚
maybe, in a house next door to you! Finally, we can tell this shocking
story‚

 When they raided a massive indoor pot farm
in this Argay home in January, officials from three anti-drug agencies
asked us to “hold” the story. Now, this shocking tale can be told.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
On
January 22, a tip from a reader leds us to investigate odd activity at
a nice looking home, still festooned with holiday lights, at 13510 NE
Freemont Court, in the Argay Neighborhood. As we rolled up on scene, we
saw what appeared to be many law enforcement vehicles, both marked and
unmarked.

Two men weren’t fighting about money, drugs, booze‚ nor woman‚ word is, they were beefing over an apartment complex parking space. See exclusive photos here‚

Distraught friends and family members gather outside the complex shortly after the incident.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Even though it’s bitter cold, relatives and friends of 39-year-old Robert Duerksen gather in the darkness on the north side of SE Division St., just south of SE 130th Avenue.

Some were crying, others shrieking, still others comforting and calming those distraught by Duerksen’s sudden death. “It’s not right,” a young lady loudly cried out, “you can’t just kill someone like that.”

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.

CRIME STOPPERS: Look at this story‚ let’s see if we can find these gambling-machine busting thugs, and put them behind bars‚

As they stroll into the gaming room, authorities say, these guys don’t depend on luck ‚Äì they crowbar-open the machines, and steal the cash inside.

Story by David F. Ashton
Two guys have taken megabucks from lottery earnings‚ but it isn’t because they have stupendously good luck. Instead of relying on good fortune, they use a crowbar.

Check their brazen MO
During business hours, with customers and staff in the building, these two thieves walk into restaurants or bars, and take a seat at the lottery machines.

This family didn’t think they needed a professional arborist to cut down at tree at their house. Read about what happened next, that sent two men to the hospital‚

In an instant, a family tree-cutting party turns into a tragic event, as a limb pins two family members to the ground. After freeing them, Portland Fire & Rescue workers stabilize the two victims.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Because members of the homeowner’s family had successfully trimmed away the branches and smaller limbs, it seemed like the rest of the tree removal job would be a snap. Actually, it was louder than that, and more painful.

Why would more than 400 volunteers tromp around Johnson Creek on a dismal winter day? Read this article, and you’ll discover why this waterway is so special to so many‚

Westmoreland residents Christine Steele and Joe Liedezeit are doing their part, cleaning the banks of Johnson Creek.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
The invitation to this party read, “Be sure to bring your bad weather clothing and boots”. But the drippy, dreary weather on March 3 didn’t keep the more than 400 volunteers from slopping around, as they worked to improve the health of Johnson Creek.

Neighbors confess they feel a mixture of relief and concern about the changes being charted for wetlands surrounding the creek …

Lents neighbor Chris Bodine is about ready to mark the location of his property with a push pin, as he talks with Marie Johnson, BES, Program Coordinator Johnson Creek Watershed program

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Most of the people coming to the Johnson Creek Wetlands open house at Lent Elementary School a few weeks ago were neighbors whose property abuts the proposed work sites.

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