Published March 20, 2006 ~ By David F. Ashton

Seen here nursing a baby bird back to health, “The Bird Doctor”, veterinarian Pamela A. Burke will give free advice at the East Portland Bird Festival on April 8. David F. Ashton Photo

Veterinarian Pamela A. Burke is known in the greater Portland area as “The Bird Doctor”. From little tweety-birds to mighty Macaws, Burke‚Äôs passion is for winged creatures. On April 8, Dr. Burke will give free advice at the East Portland Bird Festival.

Asked why one should seek out the services of a bird “specialist”, Burke tells us, “We‚Äôre like any medical specialist. Because I‚Äôve spent my career caring for birds, I‚Äôm able to quickly diagnose problems and recommend treatments. Would you want horse vet trying to save your cat‚Äôs life?”

Dr. Burke says it takes specialized knowledge to do even simple procedures correctly. “Take a wing trim, for example. I only cut enough rachis feathers to provide a controlled descent to the ground. Cut too many feathers and the bird will fall like a stone and injure themselves. There is both art and science to trimming both wings and nails properly.”

2 keys to happy birds

“The two things that make the biggest difference between a sickly bird, and one that is happy and healthy is the environment and nutrition,” Burke explains “If their environment and nutrition are right, a bird will hardly ever get sick.”

Owning the ‚Äòright‚Äô kind of bird is so important, Burke tells us. “There are bird breeds for almost everyone.”

For example, Dr. Burke says people who want a talking bird frequently choose African Greys. “But these are very smart birds and won‚Äôt tolerate being put on a shelf. An Amazon might be a good choice for someone who wants a ‚Äòtalker‚Äô but doesn‚Äôt want to handle the bird.”

Want companionship without much handling? “Little ‚Äòtweety birds‚Äô like budgies or finches provide a lot of company and entertainment for older folks,” Dr. Burke explains. And, they can live from seven to nine years.”

People often ask her why feathered friends act as they do. “As much as we try to tame them, they are wild, not domesticated, animals. They have a lot of wild behaviors. I help birds‚Äô owners understand their needs.”

At the Bird Festival, Dr. Burke will also provide on-site avian clinic services like wing and nail trims, DNA sexing, and health certificates for a modest fee. A nail trim is just $10, for example.

Come learn about a wide variety of birds from their breeders at the Bird Festival on Saturday, April 8, 2006. Hours are from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Come see it all at the Bird Festival!

At this show, put on by breeders across the Pacific Northwest, visitors said they were amazed to see the large variety of breeds being shown — more than they typically find at a “big” bird show!

From brightly-colored, lively finches — to large, talking macaws, the Bird Festival makes a fun, Saturday destination. Birds on display include Finches, Ringnecks, Parakeets, Cockatiels, Canaries, Love Birds, Cockatoos, Macaws, African Greys and Quakers.

Come hungry! Volunteers for David Douglas Softball League will be grilling up inexpensive hamburger and hot dog lunches as a fund-raiser!

Birds will be for sale, directly from their breeders. This free show is being put on by the breeders in the warehouse of Quality Cage Co., 5942 SE 111th Ave., Portland, OR. From I-205, exit on Foster Road. Go East (toward Gresham – Mt. Hood). Turn north at the light at SE 111th Ave. Go one long block and turn into the parking lot. Look for the “A” Frame signs!

For more information, see

2006 David F. Ashton – East PDX News

Published March 26, 2006 ~ By David F. Ashton

To raise money for their program, SE Police Cadets Nicholas Kienle, Eli Fernley, Channa Thol and Justin Brill — among others — taking freezing belly-flops and crawling to center ice before a Portland Winterhawks at the Rose Garden. David F. Ashton Photo

What sane person would lay down – on ice – at the Portland Winterhawks goal line and crawl on their bellies to center ice at the Rose Garden?

Southeast Precinct Portland Police Cadet Justin Brill says he considers himself a rational, but explains why he‚Äôs doing this irrational act: “The money we raise helps us support all of our activities at the SE Cadet Post. This isn‚Äôt fun; but we do whatever it takes to support our program.”

Portland Police East Precinct Cadets gather for a group photo before taking their icy slide. David F. Ashton Photo

East Precinct NRT Officer Michael Gallager adds that the group was disappointed that bad weather prevented the Cadets from making their icy “Polar Bear Plunge” canceled weeks earlier because of dangerous conditions on the Columbia River.

So, on March 10, before the hockey game, these youth take to the ice, belly first, dressed in T-shirts and swim gear.

“This is kind of crazy. But we are making good our pledges. I came into the program because I‚Äôm interested in being a police officer,” is how Cadet Nicholas Kienle explains why he‚Äôs taking the icy belly-flop.

Making good on his fund-raising pledges, Portland Police Cadet Channa Thol shinnies across the ice before a Portland Winterhawks at the Rose Garden on March 10. David F. Ashton Photo

On “Go!”, cadet Channa Thol drops to the ice and skitters to the arena‚Äôs center. Afterward, he tells us, “In the Cadet program, we learn the skills necessary to be a police officer. We don‚Äôt carry weapons, of course, but we learn how to patrol, do traffic stops, traffic control. We are proud to serve the community with hundreds of volunteer hours. These missions free up sworn police officers to directly protect and serve our community.”

SE Precinct Police Sgt. Kim Keist didn‚Äôt make the frigid foray, but was there to cheer on her Cadets. When she became a Cadet in the 70s, “it confirmed my decision to make law enforcement my career.” Keist explained that the annual pledge drive provides the funding for this unique program It helps pay for uniform, training and equipment for the youth, 16 to 21 years of age, who become Cadets.

“Our Cadets get invaluable experience,” the Sergeant adds. “Whether they are going into law enforcement as a career or not, the Cadet Program is a great environment in which to learn life skills that will serve them as they become adults.”

For more information regarding the Portland Police Cadet program, contact Officer Heather Rippe, (503) 823-2236.

2006 David F. Ashton – East PDX News

ublished March 24, 2006 ~ By David F. Ashton

Neighbors packed in Parklane Church to hear Portland City Commissioner Randy Leonard speak to outer East Portlanders. David F. Ashton Photo

It isn’t often when a Portland city official comes to meet with residents in outer East Portland. 50 people attended the joint Centennial and Powellhurst-Gilbert association meeting at Parklane Church on SE Main St. on Feb 18 to hear, and question, Portland City Council member Randy Leonard.

Commissioner Leonard starting by saying he didn’t support Mayor Tom Potter’s tax idea, because it would provide outer East Portland schools with lower benefits than those given the Portland School District.

“We have fewer City parks, east off 82nd Ave.,” Leonard said, “than in the rest of the city. We‚Äôre turning some Water Bureau properties into parks.”

By July 1, Leonard continued, EPNO will move into the Hazelwood Water District building. “And, we‚Äôll take down the fences, and put in a small park.” He added this park will have a small water feature.

Fire Station 45

Will Fire Station 45 stay open?

“[Centennial vice chair] Ron Clemenson is crafty,” Leonard said, as he pointed out that Portland Fire & Rescue‚Äôs Chief Dave Sprando and Gresham‚Äôs Fire Chief had been invited to the meeting and were in the audience. “I‚Äôve fought to keep it open. We need the fire station. I don’t care if the station is relocated. But we must have firefighters in the outer East part off Portland.” Both chiefs indicated keeping Station 45 open is a priority on which they‚Äôre working.

Powell Butte filtration plant

Asked about the impending federal mandate to filter Bull Run water to prevent Cryptosporidium from being in our water supply, Leonard said it wasn‚Äôt necessary. “Human beings and cattle are the sources. Our counts show zero. Spending $400 million to solve a problem we have is out of line. He said the city was filing a court challenge the filtration rule. “If we have to build one, it will not be on Powell Butte,” he added.

Crime and drugs

“Community policing is the responsibility of all bureaus,” Leonard said regarding crime. “We‚Äôre working on an ordnance to create a task force comprised of police, fire, housing, and nuisance, to target drug houses and places where other illegal activities goes on. We focus on them one at a time until we clean them all up.”

Portland Police East Precinct Commander Michael Crebs added, “So far this year, crime is down 19%. Our CRU (Crime Reduction Unit) hammers for consent searches; we‚Äôre training officers too recognize meth users, and drug houses.”

Neighborhood livability

The question was asked, “What can Powellhurst-Gilbert residents do, along with the help of the city, to become more proud of our area and reduce crime?

“My Chief of Staff, Ty Kovach, lives in Powellhurst-Gilbert,” Leonard replied. “He bought a ‚Äòchallenged‚Äô house and cleaned it up. Encourage your neighbors to start taking pride in their homes. Politely ask people to clean up their yards. Don‚Äôt give up; the city has tools to help clean up the worst yards.” He added that graffiti appears more frequently in places where people don’t care about their area.

Housing infill

Asked about infill housing, Leonard said, “This is a maddening issue. On one hand you have people with single family homes, balanced with more people moved into the area. We also need affordable housing. We’ve set up design standards so these new houses look more like classic Portland homes.”

2006 David F. Ashton, East PDX News

Published March 22, 2006 ~ By David F. Ashton

Explaining how first-time home-buyers can benefit from land trust programs is Kelly Caldwell, speaking to a group at the Holgate Street Library. David F. Ashton

Apartment dwelling families can easily pay $1,000 per month in rent. With houses costing upwards of $200,000, home ownership today seems, for many, an impossible dream.

However, one program, Portland Community Land Trust, is making homeowners out of renters.

Using this program, the Land Trust takes ownership of the land on which the house sits. “This reduces the purchase price to the new owner of the home by up to a third,” explained Kelly Caldwell to a group at Holgate St. Library. “We are helping families move into homes today ‚Äì and at the same time, creating a base of permanently affordable homes.”

Owners of a home purchased with help of the Portland Community Land Trust get their full equity, plus a portion of the appreciation value of the home when they sell it. The balance of the appreciated value returns to the Land Trust, allowing them reduce the selling price to the next buyer.

“In outer Southeast Portland,” Caldwell continued, “we have a buyer-initiated program. At the time of closing, we bring in funds to reduce the amount of the buyer‚Äôs mortgage.”

Comparing a land trust home sale to a conventional property, Caldwell informed the group their rate of return would be a bit lower. “Yet, the profit one could realize is still a significant amount of money, considering one gets no return from paying rent. If one can‚Äôt qualify financially to get into a home using conventional strategies, this makes sense.”

Interested? Learn more about Portland Community Land Trust by calling (503) 493-0293 or go online to

2006, David F. Ashton, East PDX News

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