See the Parkrose High School thespians, as they work out one of the 35 music-and-dance numbers for this fun show, opening November 9 …

It’s easy making the gals swoon for Conrad Birdie (played by Kiet Tran). But, things are more difficult when Birdie gets in trouble with the law!

Story and photo by David F. Ashton
The young actors, singers and musicians at Parkrose High School are getting ready for a fun, musical, set to open next week.

Here’s the story:
The year is 1958. A hip-gyrating rock and roll superstar (think Elvis Presley), named Conrad Birdie, is about to be drafted into the army. Birdie’s agent wants to cash in on new song, “One Last Kiss” on live television, and give one lucky girl from his fan club a real “one last kiss”.

“But, Birdie is a little less than a spectacular person,” theater director, Ms. Zena told us. “The comedy comes from the disruption his visit causes both in the girl’s family ‚Äì and entire town ‚Äì of his actions, and the town’s new found fame.”

At the October Parkrose Business Association meeting, PHS juniors Julie Johnson and Steven Ennis (accompanied by the school’s choral director, Lesley Bossert) preview a musical number from “BYE BYE BIRDIE”.

Opens November 9
The Parkrose High School Thespians present “BYE BYE BIRDIE” on November 9, 10 and 11; and then on Nov. 16, 17 and 18. These evening shows have a 7:00 p.m. curtain time.

Or, see a special 2:00 p.m. matinee performance starting on Sunday, November 11.

We’ll see you at the Parkrose High School Theater, 12003 NE Shaver St (at the corner of SE 122nd Ave.) to see the fun unfold at “BYE BYE BIRDIE”.

Tickets are only $8 for adults and $5 for students. Call (503) 408-2718 for tickets or more information.

¬© 2006 David F. Ashton ~ East PDX News

See what progress has been made to turn Wake-Up Drive-Thru on SE Division St. into Atkinson/Tabor Community Commons; plus how long they expect the transition to take …

Kristin Heying, Caf?© au Play, and Southeast Uplift volunteer board chair Paul Leistner, here looking at plans for the new Atkinson/Tabor Community Commons.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Plans are moving forward to turn a one-time illicit-drug drive-through across SE Division St. from Atkinson Elementary School into a family friendly coffee house and community center.

On October 16, community members streamed into the Atkinson gym to learn about the project’s progress since taking ownership of the property in June ‚Äì and since the federal the Drug Czar’s award presentation in July.

Community members told us they were excited by the progress being made, and enjoyed the great presentation made by the architecture/design team of Jim Kalvelage and John Shorb with Opsis Architecture, and Mike Abbate and Tim Strand with Greenworks.

Design boards, a fully-constructed model, and a 3-D computer simulation that allowed community members to fly over and through the site and different proposed designs helped attendees get a better understanding of the improvements proposed.

Progress reported
Southeast Uplift volunteer board chair Paul Leistner started the meeting, telling the group, “We’re all very excited to be reviewing designs for the long-hoped for coffee house/community center. The project continues to receive valuable support from a wide array of local individuals, organizations, public agencies, and companies. This project is a testament to the power of community members to join together and accomplish great things.”

Sara Gilbert and Charles Heying, board members of Cafe au Play, the non-profit organization that will provide a kid/community friendly coffee house operation on the site, described their program.

Jacqueline Villnave announced that the City of Portland’s “Safe Routes to Schools Program” would bring traffic engineers to Atkinson Elementary School on Monday, October 30, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. to look at ways to improve pedestrian and bike safety at the 57th and Division crossing.

Jim Kalvelage and Mike Abbate then walked the group through the design options:

Phase 1: renovate existing building for coffee/house community center; and,
Phase 2: construct additional larger building on the site to house large community meeting rooms, kitchen and storage space.

Showing off a model of the proposed community center is Jim Kalvelage, partner in Opsis Architecture.

Key decisions made
The group decided to retain the existing building. The steel structure is in good condition, and ready to be renovated for use as a coffee house/community center to be operated by Cafe au Play.

Other ideas were floated, including the addition of a terrace, space for farmer’s market and outdoor events, and perhaps space for a community garden.

Most on-site parking to be eliminated
Past community input showed a strong desire for the center to have a pedestrian/bike focus. The group learned that eliminating parking significantly broadens ways to use the site.

Community comments
Community member’s comments showed strong support for:

  1. A south-facing terrace along Division St., eliminating most of the parking;
  2. Phase 2 building on the west side of the existing structure;
  3. Constructing a storm water garden that would channel stormwater runoff from 57th St. through the site and into a water garden and flow-through planters along S.E. Division St.;
  4. Creating new on-street parking on Division by removing the existing driveways;
  5. Improvements to the crosswalk across Division; and,
  6. Creation of a “teaching circle”.

Next steps
During the fall and into the winter months, the group will designs based on input from the meeting, create a sustainable economic plan, continue remodeling the existing building and preparing to remove the unused underground fuel tanks.

According to Leistner, the Atkinson/Tabor Community Commons will be open for use late next summer.

¬© 2006 David F. Ashton ~ East PDX News

See how this service club is helping kids in the Philippines – and local organizations – by cooking up a storm …

A sign of good taste – and the chicken dinner tasted mighty good!

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
We could smell the delicious aroma of barbecued chicken as we drove along SE Stark Street a couple of weeks ago. Then, we noticed the sign — showing us the way to the Filipino American Association building at 8917 SE Stark St.

John Lewis, president of Montavilla Kiwanis met us at the door, and explained how this chicken dinner benefited the Mt. Hood Kiwanis Camp for Disabled Children and Adults. “Also, we’re helping an organization that supports a village in the Philippines.”

Bob Dimick, past president of the club, and former Lt. Governor of the district helped cook the chicken. Here, he shows off his handiwork.

Third annual event
It turns out they have practice putting on charity dinners – this was their third annual dinner. The dinner served was delicious barbequed chicken, salads, beans and homemade rolls.

“We sold around 100 dinners,” Lewis said. “We feel pretty good about this. And, some of our members made up some meals and took them to the Ronald McDonald house, to help the families there.”

An illustrious gathering of club officials were at the dinner, including John Lewis, president MK, Marilyn Schultz, Past Lt Governor of Division 62; and Dick Tracy, past Lt Governor, member of the Rockwood Kiwanis club; and Oscar Domingo, past president the Montavilla Kiwanis and Lt. Governor of Division 62.

Meet them in person
The Montavilla Kiwanis Club meets every Tuesday at 12:10 p.m. at Chinese Village Restaurant, at SE 82nd Avenue of Roses and Stark St.

¬© 2006 David F. Ashton ~ East PDX News

What is the building project on the triangle of land at the corner of SE 72nd and Woodstock? Read this and learn about the Arleta Triangle Project …

Helping build the Arleta Triangle project are Sarah Iannarone, Meghan Humphreys (behind black starwars shirt), Jerry Harmon, and Scott Bala.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
The small triangle of land at the corner of SE 72nd and Woodstock is a remnant of the old trolley system. About three years ago, a group of neighbors got together and decided to build an architectural wall there, and add a canopy overhead.

“I live in this neighborhood,” volunteer and neighbor Meghan Humphreys told us. “In addition to slowing down traffic a little, we’re also providing a space for people to gather together. And, I think it makes the corner much more inviting. We hope people will enjoy coming into our neighborhood as a result of this project.”

This fall, the “Arleta Triangle Project”, as they’ve named it, will adding an custom canopy. Artist Brian Borrello, who has created art for the Rose Garden MAX Light Rail station, is overseeing construction of the canopy. “This canopy is the most ambitious piece of this project – and this is where we need everyone’s help,” said Humphreys.

While the group has secured a grant from the Regional Arts and Culture Council for part of the work, the group needs to raise $4,000 ‚Äì and they need it now. “We’re hoping our neighbors in Southeast Portland will make cash donations, or perhaps give us donated materials.”

How to help
You can make a donation online, at Or contact them at (503) 774-3631 for more information. “Donations are 100% tax-deductible,” Humphreys said.

¬© 2006 David F. Ashton ~ East PDX News

Look here and you’ll get the story about the Westmoreland Casting and Model Yacht Pond’s restoration. Will the “Milk Carton Races” come back? Read this story and find out ‚Ķ

Neighbors come to see the water spray into the Westmoreland Casting Pond as it fills for the first time in five years.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
For half a decade, the Westmoreland Casting Pond and Model Yacht Basin was dry.

And, for a time, it looked as if this unique water attraction, on which construction began 70 year ago in Southeast Portland, would simply be filled with dirt and forever lost.

But on September 29, we were on hand to see this historic pond refilled. Neighbors who watched the water spraying into the Casting Pond all said they were pleased, but for differing reasons

When he was a lad of 12, Fred Rigutto says he watched a vacant field being turned into a casting pond by an army of WPA workers ‚Äì and he’s glad it will again be filled with water.

Saw history being dug by hand
“I’d say it was 1937 when I saw them start to dig the pond,” recalled lifelong neighborhood resident Fred Rigutto, as he took a break from his morning walk.

“I must have been 12 years old. It was a WPA project. Some workers would dig, others would shovel dirt onto piles, others put it into wheelbarrows, and others shoveled it into trucks and drove it away. They kept a lot of people working here.”

Rigutto smiled as he recounted seeing the pond filled for the first time, watching casting contests and model boat enthusiasts captain their yachts. “In the winter, they’d drop the water level, it would freeze, and we’d go ice skating. It is truly unique. I’m glad they kept it; I don’t know of another like it in the country.”

Neighbor, and pond advocate, Neal Paddison dreams of running his model watercraft here once again.

Boater’s passionate dream restored
Neal Paddison couldn’t hold back his smile. He said he was born and raised in Eastmoreland, and now lives in Westmoreland, only blocks from the casting pond.

“We formed a neighborhood of people who were determined not to lose the casting pool.” Paddison explains, “I was appointed to the citizens committee working with Portland Parks & Recreation to develop a new master plan for the park.”

But his hobby, Paddison told us, “really, it’s my passion, is building radio- controlled model ships. The Pond is a ‘dream venue’ for model boating. The beautiful park setting, a calm, reflecting pool; you can’t beat it. There’s enough room for electric and steam craft to be running on one side of the pond, and model sailboat clubs to race on the other end.”

From a practical standpoint, Paddison added, the smooth concrete bottom allows captains to safely retrieve distressed watercraft wearing hip waders.

Teddy Roosevelt credited
“When they first lost the water supply,” Paddison related, “they talked about making this historic Portland landmark into a soccer field. The pond was completed in 1939; it will soon be 70 years old. I don’t know of any other urban casting pond, anywhere.”

Paddison said President Teddy Roosevelt was an avid fly fisherman. “We’r e told he personally made sure this particular WPA project would be built here in Portland.”

Rights to transfer water solves problem
“We are filling the pond ‚Äì without drilling a well ‚Äì by transferring unused water rights from Eastmoreland Golf Course,” explained Jeff Milkes, SE Services Manager for Portland Parks & Recreation, as he watched water flow into the pond.

He added, “We had to coordinate with the state fish and wildlife department to assure the whole ecosystem wouldn’t be interrupted by our using water from Crystal Springs.”

This 15 hp pump draws 200 gallons of water from the Crystal Springs creek every minute. In the spring, they’ll install a 40 hp pump to draw out water for irrigation, saving the city thousands of dollars in water bills, and keeping the pond free of stagnation.

Future irrigation use pays for pond plumbing
Because it will be used as an irrigation retention pond, this move will save citizens hundreds of many thousands of dollars in payments for city water, Milkes said, as he introduced us to the park bureau’s irrigation specialist, Mike Carr.

The water is being pumped out of Crystal Springs Creek, Carr said. “We have a 15 hp pumping system with a foot [intake] in the creek. A 4″ line brings water to the new pump station at the south end of the pond. The water is pumped into a 3″ line that takes the water to the north end of the pond.”

The pond holds 2.8 million gallons of water, said Carr. At 100,000 gallons a day, it took less than a month to fill the pond.

In early in 2007, park officials say they’ll install a second pump system that will supply up to 400 gallons per minute to the park’s irrigation system. “We’ll draw from the south end of the pond, instead of using costly city water. During our driest weather, we’ll be able water the entire park in an eight-hour period.”

An additional benefit of this system is, according to Carr, the clarity of the water. “By pumping water in to one end, and out the other, the water won’t have the opportunity to stagnate.”

No ‘Milk Carton’ races scheduled for 2007
“As far as we’re concerned, we’d love to see events like the Milk Carton Races return to the park,” Milkes told us. But it appears it won’t happen this next June at any rate.

Unaware that the Casting Pond was being refilled with fresh water, Rick Jarvis of the Portland Rose Festival told us, “There are no plans to revive the Milk Carton Races because of the efforts being put into the 100th year celebration. We haven’t closed the door for the future; we love have as many community- and business-sponsored events as possible.”

Milk carton races or not, thanks to the dedication of neighbors and the diligence of the parks department, it looks as if a unique Portland landmark is back–to bring visitors to Westmoreland Park for many years to come.

¬© 2006 David F. Ashton ~ East PDX News

Learn why the director of the state’s largest independent flu shot provider says why you should get your shot now ‚Ķ

Reporter David Ashton heeds the advice of Steve Allred, Nurse Practitioner and Clinical Director of, and takes his flu shot medicine.

Story and photo by David F. Ashton
Ouch! No one likes getting a shot! But medical experts say that the shot’s momentary discomfort can prevent days of illness, or death, when the flu bug comes to visit.

Flu immunization vaccine has been in short supply for the past three years. We checked in with Steve Allred, Nurse Practitioner and Clinical Director of, about this year’s supply.

“Vaccine outlook is good,” Allred told us. “We’ve already received a large shipment, and have launched our community flu shot clinic sessions.”

Both in Portland, and nationwide, Allred said, more vaccine than ever before will be available. “There aren’t the shortages we’ve had to deal with for the last couple of years. Anyone who wants a flu shot can get one.”

We asked about the quality of the vaccine. “We’ve always gotten top-quality vaccines,” he said. “The question in past years has been the quantity. Some of the manufacturers are slow in getting product out. Some providers won’t have vaccine until in November.”

Timing is right
October through December is the best time to get a flu shot, Allred explained. “But, the CDC says even in January, those who are not vaccinated can benefit from having a flu shot.”

Flu shots can be lifesavers
Influenza affects as many as twenty percent of the population every year.

“A flu shot reduces the likelihood of contracting Influenza by 70% ‚Äì 90%,” stated Allred. “Without it, healthy adults tend to be laid up sick for a week or so. Often, they pass it on to their kids, who take it to school and infect other families.”

But people with chronic health conditions, the clinical director said–such as diabetes heart disease–increase risk from complications including pneumonia and meningitis, which can lead to death. “Influenza is a nasty disease that kills about 35,000 Americans every year.”

Allred has studied influenza and vaccinations since the company started providing community vaccinations in the early 1990s, continuing every year. “It varies season by season, but I’d guess we give as many as 80,000 flu shots every year.”

One way to find a flu shot is to check for a clinic near you.

“Regardless where you get your flu shot, do consider getting vaccinated,” Allred concluded.

¬© 2006 David F. Ashton ~ East PDX News

Although their streets were crowded with motion picture production trucks, neighbors said they enjoyed watching “the stars come out” in Sellwood ‚Ķ

At the intersection of SE 11th Ave. and Marion St. in Sellwood, a crew sets up a motion picture camera next to an “Atlanta Business Chronicle” news box. Wait ‚Äì Atlanta? Yes; this is movie magic in action.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
A few blocks of east Sellwood became “Hollywood on the Willamette” during the first week in October.

“Into the Wild”, a major studio motion picture, is being directed by Sean Penn, and it stars Emile Hirsch, Vince Vaughn, Marcia Gay Harden, William Hurt and Catherine Keener. The movie is being shot in several Oregon locations, including Astoria, the Cascade Mountains, and yes – even Sellwood.

Marcia Gay Harden stops outside her dressing trailer to give a fan her autograph.

Trucks, trailers, generators and transportation vans clogged SE 11th and 13th Avenues, along SE Marion and Linn Streets, when we visited the movie’s outdoor set.

Frank Hildebrand, a producer of the film, took a moment to speak with us about his project. “I thank the neighbors for cooperating with us; everyone has been extremely friendly. We’re thrilled to be able to make this motion picture here in Oregon.”

Packed with trucks carrying production equipment and supplies, SE Marion St. looked more like a Hollywood back lot than a residential street.

The principal actors were seen only for the brief moments when the cameras were rolling. However, the streets were filled with technical crew members and “atmosphere people”, the local “extras” one sees in the background of some shots.

Brush with stardom
Neighbor Bill Bahrenburg, tipped us off about the production’s location ‚Äì something which producer Hildebrand confided to us he’d wished had been kept secret.

Bahrenburg had a front-row seat; William Hurt’s “star coach” was parked in front his home on the 1100 block of SE Linn St.

“It is pretty exciting,” Bahrenburg told us, “to have a major Hollywood production filmed here in our sleepy little corner of Sellwood.  The fact that we can’t park by our house is an inconvenience, but it is outweighed by the opportunity to see the Hollywood machine in process.”

Neighbor Bill Bahrenburg snapped this photo of Sean Penn as the director scurried about his Sellwood set.

It’s not every day that one walks out his front door, he said, and sees William Hurt coming out of a trailer. “Or spots Sean Penn directing a scene just around the corner, or hears Marcia Gay Harden screaming that her wardrobe isn’t in her trailer. It seems surreal. It took them hours to set up a scene that will probably get 10 seconds on the screen.”

An unexpected pleasure, Bahrenburg said, was meeting and chatting with many of his neighbors where were watching the production. “I got to meet so many people I’ve seen when walking the dogs, but never spoken with. This production was good for community building.”

Waiting to be called into action, area resident and “background player extraordinaire” Jennifer Gill is in costume, ready for her next assignment.

Production moves to Reed
When shooting ended in Sellwood, a giant construction crane on the Reed College tipped observers to the next “location” filming. The crane held up part of a set used in the production. What looked like a massive structure from the camera’s point of view was, in reality, a flimsy two-dimensional set suspended from a rope.

Hundreds of students and faculty members from the college served as “extras” on the set of this particular shoot.

Within a day, the crew had moved on. But, the memories left by the production will linger for quite some time, we suspect.

¬© 2006 David F. Ashton ~ East PDX News

You may be surprised to learn that Mayor Tom Potter has called for bringing all Portland schools into one district; that he’d like the city’s surplus funds set aside in savings; and, read his promise that he’ll look into ways to limit the growth of porn in Parkrose ‚Ķ

Portland Mayor Tom Potter, a member of the Lions Club, listens to concerns of a Roseway Lion at this October meeting.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
It isn’t often that the mayor of a major city, like Portland, schedules an address to a civic club.

But, members of the Roseway Lions Club were pleased to hear the mayor deliver a “state of the city” address. And several members looked surprised by his proposal to combine all Portland-area school districts at the October 24 meeting at Steamers Restaurant and Lounge in Parkrose.

Club president, Lion Melinda Palmer got their meeting underway, and Lion Ron Huddleston introduced the mayor.

Lion Ron Huddleston introduces Mayor Tom Potter to club members meeting at Steamers Restaurant in Parkrose.

“Overall,” began Mayor Tom Potter, the city has been doing well.”

Parading Portland’s awards
“We’ve been awarded as the ‘Most Dog Friendly’ city in the US. The ‘O’ celebrated this by creating a graphic, putting my head on the body of a dog.”

Portland was also cited as being the “Cleanest City in America”, Potter added. “We take pride and effort to make sure it is clean, and the most environmental city in the U.S. We have decreased the hydrocarbons by 13 percent since 1990. We encourage people to use public transportation. 24 percent of the city’s power is wind power. In five years it will be 100%. And, we endorse sustainable building practices, like disposing off storm water on-site instead of letting it flow into the rivers.”

Calls for Portland “Rainy Day” fund
Turning to finances, the mayor reported, “We’re in good financial situation. The city has an $18 Million surplus,” he said. “We’re having a discussion on how to spend the money. My hope is that we’ll save some if it for a rainy day. Every government entity needs a rainy-day fund.”

The city’s population is growing, Potter informed the group. Unlike Los Angeles, Portland has grown by five percent while LA has lost by the same percentage. The city has been most successful in attracting those age 18-35, Potter added. “Creative types, like industrial designers and people involved in the arts.”

Wants to help 1,000 homeless
During the past 18 months, the mayor reported getting 900 homeless people off the streets and into permanent housing. But, he added, there are still 1,000 who need permanent homes.

“Most people are not homeless because of what they’ve done. 60% of our homeless have some kind of mental disorder or problem. Some self medicate with street drugs. We’ll be a better city if we can get them off the street rather than letting them wander around.”

Mayor Potter delivering a “state of the city” address to the Roseway Lions club.

Housing prices shift city’s population
Turning to affordable housing, the mayor decried that, for many working people, housing is unaffordable. “What we’ve seen in the past ten years is a migration from inner- to outer-Portland. Many people, including minorities, are moving out to the suburbs looking for housing they can afford.”

Potter pointed out that Portland has six school districts. Only one of these, Portland Public Schools, is seeing a drop in students. He noted David Douglas, Parkrose, Reynolds and Continental are all growing, due to the population shift eastward.

“In these districts, we’re asking for school-building funds on the November ballot. You may not have children in schools, but you did once. Your district needs your support.”

Kids “Bill of Rights”
“My top priority is children. If we don’t take care of our children, they won’t be able to take care of the city in the future.”

The city’s top executive outlined four pillars of his Children’s Bill of Rights:

  • Roof over their head ‚Äì “One major reason children don’t succeed in school is because their families don’t have stable housing. They fall behind when they change schools.”
  • Full stomach ‚Äì “We need to make sure they have enough good, wholesome food to eat. As we’re here [at this Lions Club meeting], we’re eating our lunches. But one in five children will go to bed hungry in Oregon.”
  • Quality Education ‚Äì “Our children need the best education possible to prepare them for life. By helping them succeed at the start of their life, it increases the chance they’ll succeed later in life. From my experience as the Police Chief, I know that when kids graduate from high school, they’re less likely to get into crime or go on welfare.”
  • Caring Adults ‚Äì “During my first year after retiring, I ran a homeless youth shelter. I met the kids who live on the streets. I realized they committed criminal acts to survive. 80% came from abusive families with parents who were addicted to drugs, alcohol and tobacco. They, and their children, had a lot of medical problems. Caring adults give our community good, caring children.”

A city, or a society, the mayor concluded, should be measured by how well they take care of their very young, their very old, and people who can not care for themselves.

Suggests combining Portland school systems
When Mayor Potter asked for questions, a member said he was confused by the “school situation”, asking, “Why are some of our schools closing; yet we’re being asked to pay for a bond to build new schools?”

Members of his audience raised eyebrows and shuffled in their seats when Potter floated the idea of combining all of Portland’s school systems into one. Club president, Lion Melinda Palmer, listens intently.

The mayor explained that Portland has six school districts. “We’re starting talks on consolidating our school districts. [Districts] gaining population need money to build schools. The districts losing students and closing schools need money to pay their teachers. Some facilities close because of age or asbestos; others close because of lack of students.

“We need to cut down on overhead of operations.

“This idea [of school district consolidation] will not go over well with the districts. They are independent political bodies, their boards are elected. We cannot tell them what to do. But we can bring it up before the citizens.”

Mayor vows to ‘look into’ proliferation of adult-oriented businesses
Lion Eileen Stocker asked the mayor why the city can’t limit the number of Sandy Blvd. corridor sex shops.

“The number of sex shops and strip clubs in our neighborhood keeps growing,” Stocker said. “We already have too many, and we’ve just added another one ‚Äì a block away from an elementary school. Can the City Council develop a program to help keep the number of sex businesses from growing? Our kids grow up thinking this it’s normal to have sex shops on every street.”

The mayor said he’d driven around Parkrose before the meeting and observed the proliferation of adult-oriented businesses.

“I agree with you on this. The city did pass an ordinance regulating these businesses, regarding location, signage, and so forth. But, the Oregon Supreme Court threw it out, citing the first amendment of the state’s constitution. They’ve given this wide latitude.”

A member piped up, “Another honor you could add to your list is, I believe, we’re the only city in the country to have live sex acts on stage.”

“You have a good point,” Potter responded. “I will go back and make sure the neighborhood associations are sent up-to-date information about the current law. I don’t know if they can do it or not, but I’ll recommend the License Bureau look into it.”

Meet the Roseway Lions
Interested in being of service to fellow Oregonians? If you live or work in the greater Parkrose area, Roseway Lions invite you to meet them at one of their noon meetings on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month.

You’ll get a great lunch for a reasonable price. They meet at Steamers Restaurant, 8030 NE Sandy Blvd. (east of NE 82nd Ave.).

¬© 2006 David F. Ashton ~ East PDX News

Person after person slipped money to Multnomah County Sheriff’s deputies, but they weren’t trying to bribe these public safety officials. Go ahead! Read this article and find out what this was all about ‚Ķ

Serving the Searls family are Multnomah County Sheriff’s deputies Scott McDowell and Jonathan Zwick, along with Red Robin crew members Krisi Davis, Stacey Schuurmans and Tiffany Radmacher, as Deputy Joshua Zwick supervises at the “Tip-a-Cop” event.

Story and photo by David F. Ashton
On any other day ‚Äì and on any other occasion — slipping a sheriff’s deputy a few bucks will land you in jail for bribery.

But, at the Mall 205 Red Robin Restaurant on Sept. 30 – and other locations throughout the city and county – giving an officer a couple of extra bucks was a good thing on that day.

Official explains
“Deputies, command staff, and sergeants from Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office are waiting on tables,” is what Jason Gates, the new public information officer for Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office told us.

“We’re working hard, alongside the Red Robin staff, to help serve their patrons and, hopefully, get good tips. All the proceeds go to the Oregon Special Olympics. Even though we’re in uniform, all of us are here as volunteers, on our time off.”

“Tip-A-Cop” is an official fundraiser, Gates told us, for the Law Enforcement Torch Run, the largest grassroots fundraising effort for Special Olympics.

Gates said that he and his co-workers like supporting organizations like the Special Olympics. “They do so much to help our disadvantaged youth. Also, it gives us a chance to do something for the community beyond our work. We love our community, and we stand ready do more than just enforce laws.”

¬© 2006 David F. Ashton ~ East PDX News

See why these volunteers work so hard to help keep their neighborhood clean …

John and Judy Welch, coordinators for the Lents Neighborhood Clean Up take a break from helping the metal-recycling dumpster.

Story and photo by David F. Ashton
For years, Lents residents John and Judy Welch have worked to make their neighborhood a better place in which to live. So, heading the neighborhood “clean up” on October 14 wasn’t anything new to them.

“Why we do it is simple,” said Judy Welch, former chair for the neighborhood association. “These events get refuse and garbage out of the neighborhood. It looks better here when you drive through. When we make it easy for people to get rid of their junk, they do it. And, all of us can drive down our streets and feel more pride about where we live and work.”

Her husband, John, works at her side. “This time, we have 12 drop boxes,” John told us. “We’ve filled all of them ‚Äì and these drop boxes are 40 yards each. That’s a lot of yards of junk we get out of neighborhood yards.”

¬© 2006 David F. Ashton ~ East PDX News

If you’re a small business person who’s “had it” with paying the city’s high “license fee”, Sam Adams wants to hear from you at a special Town Hall meeting. Read this, and plan to come ‚Ķ no reservations required ‚Ķ

Portland Commissioner Sam Adams listens to the concerns of a Portland business person. He wants to hear what you have to say about the city’s licensing fees at noon, on Nov. 2, at JJ North’s in Gateway.

Story and photo by David F. Ashton
Oregon law allows Multnomah County to levy a “business income tax” ‚Äì but the City of Portland is prohibited from authorizing a tax on businesses. So, the city calls their tax a Business License Fee.

“Portland’s small businesses are paying too much in their Business License Fees,” Portland City Commissioner Sam Adams told us. “I’m addressing this problem by working on license fee reform. I want to hear from East Portland business owners before I make a decision on a reform package.”

Town Hall set for Nov. 2
To facilitate the conversation, the East Portland Chamber of Commerce set up a meeting at which Adams will pitch his reform ideas and listen to citizens.

“This is an opportunity for businesses and residents in East Portland to talk directly with Commissioner Adams and let him know their opinions on the impact of business tax and license fees on our Eastside community,” said Ken Turner, chairman of the government affairs committee of the East Portland Chamber.Turner added, “We’re pleased that this significant session with Commissioner Adams is being is also supported by the Gateway Area Business Association, Parkrose Business Association, 82nd Ave. of Roses Business Association, and Midway Business Association.”

No reservations; come early
The meeting starts promptly at 12 noon on Thursday, Nov. 2 at J.J. North’s Restaurant, 10520 N.E. Halsey, in the Gateway District.

The full buffet lunch is $8.50. Reservations are not required, but plan to arrive early to be assured seating.

For more information about the chamber or its events see: or call (503) 788-8589.

¬© 2006 David F. Ashton ~ East PDX News

If you didn’t come and enjoy a complete dinner while being serenaded with live music at this benefit, see what you missed ‚Äì and how you can help this worthy cause ‚Ķ

Volunteers serving up the meals at the 7th Annual Benefit Turkey Dinner for Loaves & Fishes Center are Seth Young, Angie Boyd Stephen Pletka, and Randi Holberg.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
About to take our friends to dinner on October 8, we remembered it was time for the Benefit Turkey Dinner for Loaves & Fishes Center.

We headed over the East Portland Community Center and tucked into a traditional turkey dinner, with all the trimmings.

“You can have ‘seconds’ if you want,” our volunteer server, Jennifer Lewis, told us. We were hungry, and took them up on their generous offer. Our meal was made complete with servings of pumpkin pie for dessert.

We were joined at dinner by Bruce and Margery Davis who moved here in 1952. They told us fascinating stories about outer East Portland, long before it was developed, then annexed into Portland. That’s our wonderful, cheerful volunteer server, Jennifer Lewis.

After dinner, we spoke with the lady who sold us our dinner tickets.

“We’re having this turkey dinner as a fundraiser,” explained Tamara Rochester, Center Manager CherryBlossom Loves & Fishes, Meals-on-Wheels.

“All proceeds from this community event will go to help feed our seniors. Much of the food was donated, the balance of the food and supplies were provided, at cost, by their vendors.”

She said 25 volunteers cooked, served and cleaned up after serving 250 dinners. The effort raised about $1,500 for their organization.

“We love our volunteers,” Rochester said. “They are great. Many of our volunteers here today help us provide hot, nourishing meals to seniors in their home, and here, at the center.”

Serenading the diners with her keyboard styling on the piano is Kay Robbins. She told us, “I get pleasure for playing for those who enjoy my music. It makes it more festive. I can communicate the music I love with the people who come and enjoy the event at Loaves & Fishes.”

You can help
This center serves 225 seniors in their homes, and 120 more in the dining room, Rochester said. “We always are looking for drivers. But we can use kitchen help as well.”

To learn how you can help, contact the center directly at (503) 736-6325 or the citywide number, (503) 256-2381 or see their website

¬© 2006 David F. Ashton ~ East PDX News

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