Years ago, Dan Graham had a dream – to create a school that trained people for the construction trade. See how his dream became a reality on April 17

Hundreds turned out for the opening ceremonies of a college dedicated to teaching people building skills.

Story and Photos by David F. Ashton

How do you build things ‚Äì bridges, homes, office buildings and supporting infrastructure like water, sewer and electric power ‚Äì if there’s a shortage of trained workers?

The President of the new construction college, Dan Graham, speaks at the ceremony marking the opening of the new school in Parkrose.

While the TV cameras rolled at PDX and the downtown post offices, see why hundreds of people were thrilled they could drop off their tax return in outer East Portland …

All smiles ‚Äì People dropping off their income tax returns, just before midnight, were smiling because they were relieved to have their taxes done. And postal workers who stayed up late ‚Äì like Laurie Harms seen here in this photo ‚Äì seemed happy to provide late-night service on April 17. David F. Ashton photo

By David F. Ashton

Learn how NOT to get swindled: East Portland auctioneer Robert W. Mathisen is said to have stolen more than $1 million in goods and cash. Even worse, he robbed a community of trust …

Looking at a doll that was part of a truckload of merchandise Portland Police say was stolen ‚Äì then taken to Chicago ‚Äì is NRT Officer Michele Michaels, with its owner, West Coast Antiques’ Ann Smith. David F. Ashton photo

By David F. Ashton

Members of Portland’s antique and collectables community were shocked in late 2004 to find the Southeast Portland building, home of Robert W. Mathisen’s Professional Auction Group, empty.

Find out why, even though Rossi Farms is usually closed this time of year ‚Äì and it was raining sideways ‚Äì the Farm was packed with families on April 15 …

Sponsors Joe and Nick Rossi take a moment for a photo before the big Rossi Easter Egg Hunt gets under way on April 15. David F. Ashton photo

By David F. Ashton

As their ground rests, awaiting the spring planting, Rossi Farms on NE 122nd Ave. is usually closed this time of year.

See why their April celebration attracted Commissioner Sam Adams, along with many members old – and new …

Midway Business Association board member, Dr. Norbert Huntley, DC, shares a light moment with Portland City Commissioner Sam Adams at the April celebration. David F. Ashton photo

By David F. Ashton

For years, business people in outer East Portland – that is, south of Stark St. to Foster Rd., from I-205 to Gresham – have felt left out and left behind. A couple of years ago, a group of shop keepers, service providers and professionals got together and created the Midway Business Association.

People who deal with life-and-death situations daily “let their hair down” at this festive party. But, how much did this lavish event cost taxpayers?

Portland Bureau of Emergency Communications’ Lisa St. Helen, Supervisor of the Year and Nancy Wilson, Telecommunicator of the Year, take a moment to tell us why they love their jobs. David F. Ashton photo

By David F. Ashton

Some of the people most important to your personal safety are never seen. They labor, 24-hours-a-day in a bunker-like building in Lents. These are the men and women the “telecommunicators” of Portland’s Bureau of Emergency Communications (BOEC).

Why the Royal Rosarians ceremonially plant another bush between PCC and Bank of the West

With the aid of the Royal Rosarians, David Goldberg, Portland Community College District Director, Institutional Advancement and Paul Ellison, manager, Bank of the West, plant yet another rose bush as 82nd Ave. gets even rosier. David F. Ashton photo

By David F. Ashton

Looking dapper in their traditional white suits, the Royal Rosarians oversaw another rose planting ceremony on the misty morning of April 7 at SE 82nd Ave. of Roses and Division St.

The 23rd Annual Creative Ministries Conference was held at Gateway Baptist Church; more than 100 attend.

Magic with a Message: Pastor and entertainer Duane Laflin from Troy MT put on a free show for the community on April 6. It was big on laughs and surprises; it also presented a Gospel message. David F. Ashton photos

By David F. Ashton

If you didn’t know where the Gateway Baptist Church was, on NE San Rafael, east of 122nd Ave., you might miss it. But nearly 100 ministers of the Gospel – who use entertainment to spread the word of Jesus Christ – found the church in early in April.

The Pirates of Penzance at Parkrose High School is great! This is the last weekend to see the show and find out why we awarded ith with the PDX News HOT TICKET!


Jonathan Wheatfall and Margaret Drew perform delightfully as the lead actors in this production of “The Pirates of Penzance”. David F. Ashton photo


These “kops” provide moments of hilarious physical comedy in “The Pirates of Penzance” ‚Äì the show runs through April 29 at the Parkrose High Theater. ¬†David F. Ashton photo


Neighbors who attend their association’s meetings learn what’s going on; how to solve problems on their block.

Jack Vahey, acting chair, Powellhurst-Gilbert Neighborhood Association looks at the map with other neighbors as TriMet’s David Unsworth, Project Development Manager gives residents an update on the I-205 MAX line. He talked about the stations located in outer SE Portland and public art on display. David F. Ashton photo

By David F. Ashton

The “dirty little secret” politicians hope you won’t learn ‚Äì and how you can become a better informed voter at these two Candidate Forums

By David F. Ashton

Do you know why some neighborhoods and business districts seem to get all the “goodies” while others suffer with so little?

One reason is that some areas vote; others don’t. It’s just that simple.

The city is divided up into “precincts”. Elected officials and bureau staff members can easily check to see in which precincts citizens register ‚Äì and actually vote. Word is, they don’t much care whom voters elect nor for what they vote in or out.

See why the East Portland Chamber of Commerce is growing larger and better every week

By David F. Ashton

For a group that meets at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday mornings, the East Portland Chamber of Commerce (EPCC) sure has a lot of fun. While the group doesn’t have a “no grouches” policy, it seems to attract delightful business people who enjoy supporting both their business and neighborhood communities.

Chamber grows again

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