You’re invited to the “fun, family fair” May 26‚ 28. Read this and discover all the reasons you should plan a visit this year‚

The magical Mother Goose will entertain kids of all ages at this year’s Multnomah County Fair at Oaks Park.

Story and archive photos by David F. Ashton
Against overwhelming odds, and without financial assistance from the county, the 101st edition of the Multnomah County Fair kicks off in late May at Oaks Amusement Park.

“‘We’re Still Kickin’ Get your kicks at the 101st Multnomah County Fair’ is our theme,” says the fair’s coordinator, Cheryl Jones.

The fair is a safe place for young people to learn how food gets from the farm to their table.

“It’s a great deal for families,” Jones tells us. “Admission and parking is free. People of all ages will enjoy the activities and events scheduled this year.” She adds that heaps of contests, prizes, exhibits, demonstrations, good friends and good times make this a popular and traditional gathering.
Pirate shows to musical acts

Those rascally “Pirates at the Beach” scallywags will be back this year in full costume, doing pirate shows.

Be sure to see Humphrey’s Farmyard Frolics‚ with the magical Mother Goose and a dozen farm-themed activities for the kids.

“We’ve booked musical and other entertainment acts,” Jones says.

A wide variety of food vendors cook up hot meals the whole family will enjoy.

Contests galore
Many categories for competition feature special awards for items designed around this year’s theme. In addition to arts-and-crafts judging, this year’s fair will include:

  • A professionally-judged rabbit competition and show;
  • The “Big Cluck” chicken cook-off hosted by “Mr. Barbeque“;
  • Cowboy Boot Contest — Grab your old cowboy boots and decorate them to win a trophy; and,
  • Weiner Dog races ‚Äì the winner gets a year’s supply of Hill’s Science Diet.

See craftspeople create beautiful works of art‚ right before your eyes.

Silent auction supports fair
In The Pavilion, check out some of the great items up for auction: dinner for 8, cooked by a chef in your home; wheelbarrows of gardening supplies; beach vacations; gift baskets and much more.

“The items will be on display on May 27,” says Jones, “and the bids close on May 28.

KXL’s “Mr. Barbeque” will host another “Big Cluck Chicken Cookoff” at the fair on May 26.

Fun and educational
The Multnomah County Fair is still an important institution, Jones explains, so city-dwellers can get a taste of country life.

She adds, “The fair is a place to learn and explore. Having a place where arts, crafts, agriculture and livestock can be judged encourages young people to participate in positive activities‚ arts and crafts.”

And, Jones reminds us, rides at Oaks Amusement Park are reasonably-priced‚ unlike the rides at traveling carnivals.

You can help
“We need community-minded people to help us produce the Fair,” says Jones. “You can contribute a little time or a lot. Please call the Friends of the Fair at 503-761-7577 and volunteer.”

Thrill rides at Oaks Park provide fun and excitement for the whole family‚ at an affordable price.

101st Multnomah County Fair
Saturday through Monday: May 26, 27, & 28, 2007
Hours: Noon – 7:00 PM
Oaks Amusement Park
7100 SE Oaks Park Way
at the foot of SE Spokane St., Sellwood.
For more information, see the Fair’s website: www.neighborhoodlink.com/org/multcofair

We’ll see you at the 2007 Multnomah County Fair!

© 2007 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

The beautifully-restored Montavilla movie palace was the perfect place for a “Fabulous ’40s” party supporting the Oregon Symphony. Take a look! We have a backstage pass‚

Beau escorts Rosalie Williams, Chair of the event, as they welcome guests to Oregon Symphony benefit party at the Academy Theater.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
When the Mt. Tabor chapter of the Friends of Oregon Symphony wanted to throw a 1940s-themed “Night at the Academy” party, they knew right where to go‚ the Academy Theater, in Montavilla.

“Can you think of a better place for our event than this beautifully-restored theater?” asks event chair Rosalie Williams when we meet her.

Sivia Kaye and Marcella Nandor toast the glamorous atmosphere.

“We’re volunteers who support the Symphony in every way we can‚ from ushering at youth concerts, to putting on benefits like this,” explains Williams. “It is important to have music and arts in our city. Fine music brings culture to our city, and adds to the livability.”

1940 newsreels are running in one of the theater spaces; “On the Town” with Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly, and Ann Miller play in another; and the “Two Sisters Trio” entertain in the third auditorium.

Meanwhile, guests nosh on appetizers supplied by Yahala Restaurant, another Montavilla business, as well as by Flying Pie Pizzeria.

The main course‚ chicken strips, steak and mushrooms, prawns, salads, and fruit‚ is catered by Sayler’s Old Country Kitchen.

The Academy Theater’s host, Ty Dupuis, shows off one of his delicious pizza pies.

Ty Dupuis, part-owner of Flying Pie Pizzeria and the Academy Theater, is on hand to greet‚ and feed‚ the multitude of well-dressed guests who mingle throughout the building.

“This is a spectacular event,” confides Dupuis. “It brings the community together in a way you don’t see any more. I’m glad we could host this party.”

Even the event photographer, Rachael Kubik is fashionably dressed in vintage style.

About the theater, Dupuis comments, “We’ve built a place where friends and family can get together and have a good evening. It is wonderful to see how Montavilla is making real comeback. Now there are many reasons to come and visit our district ‚Äì Montavilla and South Tabor.”

Judging by the merry countenances of the nattily-attired guests, the Academy Theater may become the setting of more vintage-themed festivities in the future.

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

Look at these two totaled vehicles, one on its side, and you too will wonder how the occupants were able to walk away from this accident‚

Police say “careless driving” was the cause of this accident which totaled two vehicles in Hazelwood. Officers are talking with the occupants and witnesses at the scene.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Two vehicles collide‚ both of them are totaled, and one is on its side‚ but this accident on May 14 isn’t being blamed on bad weather, mechanical failure, or a drunk at the wheel.

Instead, police on scene tell us the wreck on NE Glisan St at 117th Ave. is a simple case of careless driving.

Everyone limped away from this wreck‚ police say all of them were wearing seat belts. You can see the deployed air bags in the SUV.

“It looked like the minivan was trying zip through traffic,” said eyewitness Jerome Jackmann. “It happened so fast; but it looked like the minivan was trying to cross Glisan St,. and pulled right in front of the SUV.”

Both the driver and passenger in the minivan, and the driver of the SUV, were treated for minor injuries at the crash site.

A traffic officer takes measurements and writes up his report – and ticket.

“No one is going to jail‚ or the hospital‚ today,” says an investigating police officer as he looks at his notes. “But someone is going to get a ticket for careless driving.”

© 2007 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

Inspired by a police officer, discover why an unlikely philanthropist hatched a plan that helps young students meet law enforcement officers on friendly terms‚

Kelly Elementary School principal Sharon Allen introduces the originator of “Kids, Cops & Pizza”, David Yandell.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
The Radio Cab driver who put together the company’s Thanksgiving turkey dinner drive, and hatched a bicycle give-away program for needy kids, has come up with a new project: Connecting kids and cops.

“An officer inspired me to do this,” explains David Yandell. Asked about his philanthropy, Yandell says, “Two years ago, Radio Cab created a foundation to help with my projects. I’m not part of the foundation. I don’t like to be encumbered by the ‘four walls’ of an institution‚ they can’t fire me!”

The idea behind his current project, explains Yandell, is helping to keep kids safe. And, at the same time, to help youngsters understand that the police are their friends. “We’re creating a positive context for them to interact. If the kids were ambivalent before this event, I promise you they won’t be after this day.”

Dishing up pizza is Sgt. Tom Perkins, School Police; Officer Dave Thoman, School Police; Officer Hank Hays; and Sgt. John Anderson, East Precinct.

Plied with pizza
We catch up with Yandell at Kelly Elementary School on May 1. Portland Police Bureau East Precinct officers are working the cafeteria’s food line, dishing up a perennial lunch favorite, hot pizza!

While the kids dine, Yandell talks with them. His message is simple: “Cops are your friends. Get to know them for yourself, and you’ll agree.”

East Precinct Officer Mike Honl gets the “movie star” treatment from Kelly School kids. At their request, he signs his autograph on the backs of their hands.

Event promotes community safety
As class after class of students file out to the playground to meet the officers and tour waiting patrol cars, Sharon Allen‚ Principal of Kelly Elementary‚ takes a moment to speak with us.

“It is important that we have safe community,” says Allen. “Our police are part of that. We want our students growing up knowing how to be safe‚ and how to access help when they need it. The first place they should go is our Portland Police. I love seeing our officers taking time out of their busy days to participate.”

Playground full of squad cars
As smiling youngsters swirl around, begging him to autograph scraps of paper‚ or the backs of their hands‚ Portland Police Bureau East Precinct Officer Mike Honl returns their smile.

The students squeal with glee as they race around, climb around, and sit in one of the many patrol cars parked on the school’s playground.

“With some of the events we deal with day in and day out,” Honl tells us, “It’s nice to see these smiling faces. This is a great way to connect with kids, letting them know their police officers are helpers and friends.”

He adds he thinks being a cop is a wonderful career. “You really help other people. I want kids to understand that.”

© 2007 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

Take a look at what you missed, if you skipped Leach’s big spring plant sale. And, learn about the Children’s Nature Fair on May 19 right here‚

Karen Young rings up plants purchased by Chet and Reagan Orloff at the Leach Gardens plant sale.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
The gym at Floyd Light Middle School was turned into a huge nursery showroom, not long ago, as the Friends of Leach Botanical Gardens held their annual spring plant sale.

“We are run by a nonprofit organization, even though the grounds are part of the City of Portland Parks system,” the garden’s executive director, Karen Young, told us. “We rely on special events and donations to support the garden and keep it going.”

At this event, Young said, they have 20 vendors who sell their plants and donate a portion of the proceeds to the organization. “But, many of the plants we sell‚ primarily those native in the Pacific Northwest, are raised in the nursery at Leach Gardens.”

Hundreds of horticultural plant-hounds scout out greenery of all kinds at the Leach Garden plant sale.

Young added that this event is the Friends’ major fund raising activity. “But more importantly, it directly represents what Leach Gardens is all about.”

Leach Botanical Garden Children’s Nature Fair
“On May 19, come to Portland’s only public botanical garden, for a day of fun and learning for the whole family,” invitedYoung.

“Visitors of all ages will have the opportunity to learn about pollinators, hear wonderful storytelling prepared just for Leach Garden, make wood ‘cookies’, origami flowers, and pine cone critters. You can take part in a ‘treasure hunt’ to learn about native plants and bird species in the garden. There will be ‘Lady Bug Walks’, Slug Races, and more.”

The event runs from 10 am until 3 pm. A $1/person donation requested. For more information, call Katie at 503-761-4751 or Nancy at 503-823-1671.

© 2007 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

Although Portland’s Urban Search and Rescue team is based downtown, see how their training might enable them to rescue you‚ anywhere in our area‚ when disaster strikes‚

USAR firefighter Wesley Loucks directs USAR team members as they shore up a concrete floor to prevent it from collapsing.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
As you conduct your business in one of Portland’s tall buildings, the floor beneath you starts to shake. You see light fixtures start to swing and plate glass windows burst.

In a heartbeat, the floor gives way, and you’re trapped in a dark, concrete-and-steel crypt.

Soon, you hear the reassuring voices of trained experts. They tell you how to protect yourself as they remove rubble and stabilize the partially-collapsed structure.

Coming to your rescue are the men and women who make up Portland Fire & Rescue’s elite Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) team.

Preparing for the worst
It probably won’t be a terrorist attack or jetliner crash that crumbles a large building in the greater Portland area‚ a catastrophic disaster will, most likely, be the result of an earthquake.

At Portland Fire & Rescue training facility, Station #2 on NE Sandy Blvd., we watch USAR team members sharpen the skills they’ll use to save hundreds of lives when disaster does strike.

“A number of years ago,” USAR firefighter Wesley Loucks tells us, “the City of Portland developed a program to have firefighters certified to help provide rescue assistance in major disasters, such as structure collapse.”

After calculating weight and load distribution, USAR team members pre-build shoring materials, before erecting them in an at-risk building.

In one area of the training yard, team members are building frames made of lumber to shore up unstable concrete floors.

“Several times a year, we hold exercises to hone our skills,” Loucks continues. “This training helps us keep our skills current. And, as new USAR information and techniques becomes available, we put it into practice.”

Inside the practice structure, USAR firefighters erect the shoring they’ve built.

During the drill we’re watching, team members calculate the overall weight distribution of a concrete slab floor, such as used in high-rise building construction.

Then, they design a “shore” to hold that amount of weight. They construct parts of the shore outside the collapsing structure, then bring it inside, setting it up and erecting it to stabilize the floor about them.

“This structural collapse scenario is something our team is likely to face in a disaster,” Loucks says. “It could be from a terrorist attack‚ or, most likely here in Portland, an earthquake. Whatever the cause‚ we’re ready to save lives.”

© 2007 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

Some folks say we should give our kids healthier foods. See how this Centennial-area school is growing fresh snacks for students‚ and neighbors‚ to enjoy‚

budding arborists Alex Pereira, Jack Ollenbrook, and Wiliam Ollenbrook help Patty Hicks, Centennial Neighborhood Association board member, prepare the soil in which grape plant starts will be set.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Thanks to the work of a school, volunteers and a neighborhood grant, a “feast for those on foot” will soon be growing along the fence at the Franciscan Montessori Earth School, just off SE Division St. on 148th Avenue, in the Centennial neighborhood.

“We’re calling this the ‘Eatable Schoolyard/Eatable Sidewalk,’ Project,” explains the groundskeeper, Marc Boucher-Colbert.

Talia and Kaya Koida-Jeffrey help Marc Boucher-Colbert dig the holes for the new grape plants.

“The idea is to promote a sense of community. In a couple of years as people are walking by, they’ll be able to reach out and grab a healthy snack. And, students will be able to come over and graze of a few grapes, too. We’re joining together with our community to promote healthy eating,” says Boucher-Colbert.

He says he first got the idea when he learned of an “Eatable Schoolyard” project in California. “We have so much property here‚ and a kind of ugly chain-link fence. It made sense to grow some grapes!”

They’re growing six varieties of table grapes, both red and green seedless varieties. The plants, provided by a nursery in Molalla, were chosen because they thrive in Portland’s climate.

Marc Boucher-Colbert says six varieties of seedless table grapes will grace the school’s sidewalk.

Neighborhood coalition funds project
East Portland Neighborhood Office’s Richard Bixby is on hand to watch the planting.

Bixby explains how it was funded, telling us, “The city has provided for a neighborhood grant program this year. It supports community-building projects like these. The grants are approved for projects that are designed to gather people together, around a common effort, to improve their community.”

Franciscan Montessori Earth School
holds ‘Earth Carnival’

Duncan Tharp and mom Teri at the Toilet Bowl Toss.

“Welcome to our Franciscan Montessori Earth Day Carnival,” greets Edie Chomajan, chair of the event.

“We have all kinds of things here. Our carnival games are all earth-preservation minded. But the main focus is on having fun,” Chomajan adds. “We chose this theme because we are the Franciscan Montessori Earth School‚ a great way for us to tie in with one of our founding themes.”

Megan and Roy Wagner enjoy the tunes of banjo player Paul Silveria.

The Burgerville kitchen crew is Trevor Stanner, Kristin Knight-Stanner, manager Joe Tharp, Christina Duplantis. Back working the grill is Steve Cox.

The aroma of Tillamook Cheeseburgers, hot off the grill, signals that Burgerville is partnering with yet another non-profit organization. “What we’re doing is providing meals today,” Joe Tharp manager of 92nd & Powell Burgerville says, “and donating all the proceeds back to the school.”

Dewayne Hatcher and daughter Sarah have fun at the Coin Toss.

In addition to providing Earth-Day-themed fun, Chomajan says the event is great way for students, families and the community to come together.

© 2007 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

Individuals from Parkrose neighborhoods, businesses, and schools are hatching a “Master Plan” for their community. Learn why they’re doing it‚ and what they hope to accomplish‚

Leading off the Parkrose Community Workshop, Parkrose Neighborhood Association Chair Marcy Emerson-Peters welcomes the diverse group of outer NE Portland citizens who came to have a part in planning their area’s future.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
While the participants of the Parkrose Community Workshop, held at the high school on April 24, came from all walks of life, they all agreed that to succeed in the future, the community needs to plan, now.

Welcoming people to the well-attended meeting, Parkrose Neighborhood Association chair, Marcy Emerson-Peters told the group why she’s involved: “I grew up here and returned to Parkrose after school.”

Because residents and business people believe Portland’s planning bureau hasn’t made a real plan for the future of Parkrose, Emerson-Peters said it is up to community members to plan for their success.

“Do we need all the porn shops? Do we need more motels? Do we need businesses that bring in family-wage jobs?” Emerson-Peters asked. “We’ll discuss these questions, and more, tonight.”

Portland Planning Bureau’s Barry Manning introduces the PSU study team.

Supported by Portland Planning Bureau
Barry Manning, Portland’s East District Planner, has helped-along the group’s process.

“I got involved in the Parkrose Vision Committee,” Manning told us. “The idea is to figure out how to make Parkrose a more successful place. Sandy is the main street of Parkrose. We’re working to discover how this area can best meet the current, and future, needs of its citizens.”

Manning enlisted the aid of Portland State University students. “They are providing technical analysis to help the community move forward.”

Wearing their green T-Shirts, PSU Masters Degree planning students listen as Todd Johnson, far right, tells how they’ve worked with the Parkrose Vision Committee and describes the activities planed for the workshop.

Student planners pitch in
Todd Johnson was the spokesperson and lead facilitator for his fellow students in PSU’s Urban and Regional Planning educational track. He, as well as the other five team members, completing their Masters degrees.

“Our ‘final assignment’ is to conduct an urban planning project in the Portland area,” commented Johnson.

He said the group of Masters-degree candidates was looking for a project that required multiple disciplines and talents. “Our group has diversity of skills, talents and interests. This community lent itself to this kind of project. It is a good fit.”

Presentation is followed by planning tasks
During a brief PowerPoint presentation, members showed the group their statistical research findings.

  • Demographics – Neighborhood population has grown an average of 2% a year over the past two decades. Age distribution indicates residents of Parkrose are slightly younger than in other areas of Portland. The median annual income is slightly lower in Parkrose; about $34,000, versus $40,000 in most other neighborhoods.
  • Economics‚ Much of the commercial property along the main business corridor, NE Sandy Blvd., is priced between $10 and 15 dollars per sq. ft. This rate is lower than in St. Johns or Alberta ‚Äì and much lower than in the Hollywood district.
  • Transportation‚ Streetscapes have been improved, as investment in turn lanes and other features have been added. The average daily traffic count is 12,000‚ not much higher than other major Portland boulevards.
  • Main Streets‚ Sandy Blvd is considered a “main street” ‚Äì this allows for business development. The area is public-transportation-friendly.
  • Truck Solume — Along the Columbia corridor, Sandy Blvd. isn’t considered a main freight route, as is NE Airport Way or Marine Drive. Yet, a significant amount of truck freight moves along Sandy Blvd.

Neighbors, business people and other interested citizens sit around tables in small groups and ponder three questions regarding the future of Parkrose.

After the presentation, the workshop attendees participated in a small-group exercise, answering three questions:

  1. What would bring you to Sandy Blvd. more often?
  2. Ten years from now, what would you like other people to think of Sandy Blvd.?
  3. What three things would make Parkrose better?

The participants’ answers were aggregated; then attendees ranked each concept by importance.

Earl DeKay (four generations of his family have been educated in Parkrose schools) and Joe Rossi look over the “Parkrose Assets Map” being used in the planning project.

Also, participants were asked to write and post comments on an “asset map” of Parkrose‚ and along a hallway-long panorama of Sandy Blvd.

Results unveiled on June 5
Johnson told us the final result of the project will be a document. It will include goals and recommendations for the use of the Parkrose Vision Committee members.

If you are interested in discovering their findings, come to Parkrose High School on June 5 at 7:00 pm.

© 2007 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

With homes now ringing Powell Butte, wildfire management at this natural park is more critical then ever. See what officials are doing to reduce the danger, and to improve the natural habitat‚

Mart Hughes, Portland Parks and Recreation, shows Powell Butte neighbors Jim Kreipe and Tom Rush the plans to improve the native habitat and reduce the risk of wildfires on Powell Butte.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
With its great views of downtown Portland, the Columbia River, and Mt. Hood, Powell Butte is a great place to hike, ride bikes, and to ride on horseback.

But when a fire gets started, the rugged terrain makes firefighting difficult‚ even for 4-wheel drive “brush rigs”.

“We’re here talking about the work we started September,” says Gay Greger, a public relations staff member of Portland Parks & Recreation. “This is part of a three-year FEMA grant that targets Powell Butte, the Willamette Escarpment (Willamette Bluffs and Oaks Bottom area), and Forest Park.”

This project, Greger continues, allows the bureau to consider the ecological health of Powell Butte. “At the same time, we’re reducing the risk of wildfire. This is for both the butte itself, and the natural resources it represents. We also take into account what this means for the neighbors that live adjacent to the butte.”

Along with the staff from the parks bureau, Portland Fire & Rescue representatives are also on hand at that April 21 open house.

The next step, Greger adds, is for the bureau to finalize its project list. “Based on the feedback we get today, others we receive through the comment period, we’ll start implementing these projects this summer.”

Tamra Dickinson, co-president, Friends of Powell Butte looks at both the progress and plans made for Powell Butte.

Butte ‘Friends’ enthusiastic
It’s great seeing so many people caring about Powell Butte, and coming to see what’s happening,” co-president of Friends of Powell Butte, Tamra Dickinson says.

“We’re concerned about wildfire. Beyond that, there are other important things to be accomplished, like removing non-native species of plants, and habitat management. It’s really important that we keep views open. It’s is really a great thing for Powell Butte.”

Details the plan
Mark Wilson, project manager for the FEMA Wildfire Hazard Reduction Project for the greater Portland area, is also on hand.

Wilson point out that the project has multiple goals:

  • Reduce wildfire hazards;
  • Reduce populating of non-native plants, focus on flammable plants;
  • Improve wildlife habitat;
  • Maintain scenic views; and,
  • Maintain grass over existing and proposed water facilities.

“Part of this work we’re doing is creating a project that is maintainable over time,” Wilson adds. “This is a 50-year project; we’re taking the first steps today.”

Resources:
Join the Friends of Powell Butte. They meet every third Thursday at 7:00 p.m. at the old Powell Valley Water building‚ now the home of Human Solutions‚ at 123rd and Powell Blvd.

Read more about the project online by going to: www.Portlandonline.com/wildfire.

© 2007 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

See why we’re surprised that “Flawed Genius” is playing in SE Portland‚ instead of a large, downtown theater‚ and why you should plan to attend this weekend,

The “Flawed Genius” portrayed by Barnaby King isn’t a baggy-pants comic‚ instead, he takes his audiences on an emotional journey that is entertaining and oddly moving.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
After traveling the world, and presenting his one-man show at festivals across Canada, Barnaby King — a most unusual entertainer — has come to settle in Portland.

Barnaby is a clown. Please read on‚ he doesn’t blow up balloons or do birthday parties!

We meet Barnaby in a rehearsal studio as he prepares to present his show, “Flawed Genius”, this weekend in SE Portland.

“When most folks think of a clown, they envision baggy-pant, pie-in-the-face, pratfall-taking circus clown,” begins Barnaby.

“Circus clowns performances are geared for huge spaces; thus they broadly play out larger-than-life gags. My performance is theatrical. It is based partly on a Native American concept of clowns: Facing all directions of one’s self at the same time and laughing at the beauty of one’s own ridiculousness.”

This English chap says he heard about an instructor in Toronto, Canada, who was teaching this concept. “Susan Morrison helped me develop this show, based on European clowning.”

Barnaby, an entertainer described as “The thinking man’s clown”, emotes at his magical piano.

In this show, he continues, he conveys emotions most people don’t wish to express. “Through this show, I hope to help audience members get in touch with what it means to be human. I share this in a unique and intimate way.”

Because he draws “on the moment”, Barnaby says each show is different and unique. “I want to inspire people; move them in some way.”

After his Canadian tour, Barnaby says he came to Portland, and met Molly, the love of his life. “We’re being married this fall.”

See “Flawed Genius” May 11-12
In his show, you’ll see Barnaby with the full sized piano that he plays and climbs over, and from which he extracts the battered paraphernalia of his life. The show runs two days at Performance Works Northwest, 4625 SE 67th Ave, just off SE Foster Rd. Tickets at the door; show time is at 8:00 p.m. For ticket information, call (503) 777-1907.

Resources:
To learn more about Barnaby, his show and workshops he leads, click HERE.

© 2007 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

Wonder why southbound traffic on I-205 was at a standstill, midday, on May 5th? The victims are still wondering, too. Read their story here‚

These two cars were too damaged to drive‚ and a man was sent to the hospital‚ because, on May 5, police say that one person was driving recklessly.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Imagine traveling south on I-205, just after noon, on a delightful sunny Saturday.

You’re driving in the inside lane, allowing motorists to enter and exit the freeway as you pass under the E Burnside St. viaduct.

From nowhere, a speeding car cuts off traffic, and smashes into your vehicle‚ sending it spinning into the guardrail.

When you come to a stop, you’re dazed and injured.

Portland Fire & Rescue medics stabilize Brandon Shaver‚ a victim of the accident‚ before transporting him to the hospital for an evaluation.

“I didn’t know how badly I was hurt,” Brandon Shaver, driver of the car into which the speeder smashed, told us after he got out of the hospital this week.

“It was scary,” adds his wife and the vehicle’s passenger, Carmen Hunt Shaver. “One minute you’re going along, and then, smash! A car is crashing into you.”

Traffic on I-205 is backed up across the river into Vancouver, as rescue crews clear the crash site between E Burnside and SE Stark Streets.

Says “Asleep at the wheel”
As we watch Brandon being whisked away in the waiting ambulance, we notice a young man being questioned at the scene.  He is taken away in handcuffs.

“The driver charged with the accident,” says Portland Police Bureau’s Sgt. Brian Schmautz informs us, “is 22-year-old Kiroll Zibrov.”

Police say Kiroll Zibrov claimed he was sleepy — but Portland Police Officers take him in in cuffs, arrested on a charge of Reckless Driving.

According to accident reports, Schmautz says, “Zibrov’s speed is estimated at 80 mph; he was driving all over the road. He lost control of vehicle, swerved and skidded into the victim’s vehicle. It is noted that he told officers he fell asleep while driving.”

Zibrov is under arrest for Reckless Driving, Schmautz adds.

© 2007 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

Get a glimpse of the “first day on the job” in Parkrose — for Portland’s fire and rescue workers — by taking a look at this one‚

Directing a stream of water at flames at Portland Fire & Rescue’s “burning room” are newly-minted firefighters Chris Ivester and Stephen Scott.

Story and Photos by David F. Ashton
“Is there anybody here,” firefighters call, as they enter the pitch-black, smoke-filled room on the third floor of an apartment building. They’re looking for fire victims. They pause, silencing their respirators, to listen for a response.

Today, there is no real structure fire. We’re watching‚ thanks to infrared cameras‚ recruits McKenzie Handley and Matthew Jensen drill on the third floor of Portland Fire & Rescue’s training tower, located just north of NE Sandy Blvd., on NE 122nd Avenue.

Although you can’t recognize them from their images in this infrared photo, firefighter recruits McKenzie Handley and Matthew Jensen are feeling their way around a blacked-out room, practicing rescue techniques they learned in the classroom.

Firefighters hired job-ready
For most people, the first day on a new job is the beginning of a career-long learning process.

But, when Portland Fire & Rescue hires a firefighter, they’re bringing on a recruit who already has attended a six-month training academy, practiced firefighting and emergency rescue drills hundreds of times, and has passed the academic portion of their training.

At another area of this complex, south of the “Towering Inferno”, the “burn room” is ablaze. Recruits Chris Ivester and Stephen Scott quickly quench the fire.

“They’ve just graduated from our Training Academy,” Training Lt. Charles Keeran informs us. “This is their first day at Station 2. We’re doing some simulated fire calls to test their skills. We’re evaluating how well their training has prepared them for working in live situations.”

Ivester, Scott, and their teammates performed well on this drill. But soon, Keeran initiates another scenario: Momentary confusion ensues, but the drill is successfully carried out.

“But, like on the first day you’re on any new job,” explains Keeran, “you’ve got to work out some of the kinks. We practice and drill until procedures become second nature.”

Firefighter Paramedic Specialist Krista Schade (looking down as she takes notes) evaluates the recruits’ performance moments before they go into service on their very first day as firefighters.

Evaluations aid learning
Firefighter paramedic specialist Krista Schade is working with the soon-to-be firefighters. “I’m doing their evaluations. We’re getting ready to go into operation.”

Schade tells us that her role in these exercises is to take detailed notes on the drills. “Afterward, we review their performance. They get immediate feedback about what they did well, and also on the skills on which they need to improve.”

We asked how much longer it would be until these hard-working recruits would be considered to be PF&R Firefighters.

Keeran smiles and answers, “About thirty minutes. When they pass this evaluation, we’ll put the rig in service, and they’ll be available to respond on calls.”

Taking a breather, Portland Fire & Rescue firefighter Stephen Scott wipes his brow and says, “Working for the bureau is amazing. There is lot to learn‚ I love this work. I hope it’s like this for the rest of my career.”

Resources:
Do you have what it takes? Contact Portland Fire & Rescue to learn if you have “the right stuff” to make their team. Click HERE to learn more!

© 2007 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

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