The “dirty little secret” politicians hope you won’t learn –
and how you can become a better informed voter

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 – and actually vote. Word is, they don’t much care whom voters elect nor for what they vote in or out.

Think your vote doesn’t count?

In outer East Portland, there are huge pockets of non-voters. Did you know that if everyone (who was qualified) to vote here did so – we could elect anyone to office, or pass or defeat any measure?

Please – register now. Vote in the May Primary Election.

Meet the candidates

The East Portland Neighborhoods, Central Northeast Neighbors, Avenue of Roses Business Association and East Portland Chamber of Commerce are sponsoring tow Candidate Fairs in early May for East Portland residents and business people. Come meet, and question, candidates for City of Portland, Multnomah County and Metro positions.

These Candidate Fairs are scheduled the week voters’ ballots will be mailed. Come meet the people you will be selecting for government roles that will impact you and those around you in East Portland.

Monday, May 1, 2006 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Parkrose High School Student Center

12003 NE Shaver St. (west of NE 122nd Ave. @ Shaver St.)

Featuring Multnomah County and METRO Candidates

Thursday, May 4, 2006 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Fir Ridge High School Student Center

11215 SE Market St. (Corner of SE 112th Ave. @ Market St.)

Featuring Portland City Council Candidates, Positions 2 and 3

Questions from those attending will be added to questions from the event sponsors. Campaign information tables will be part of each event, as well as neighborhood association service information. Please use this opportunity to find out more abut these candidates before you send in your ballots. Thanks to Bonny McKnight and Aaron Minoo for coordinating these events.

Lents candidate “Open Mic”

Candidates for both seats on Portland’s City Council will get chance earn SE Portland votes at the Lents Candidate Forum to be held April 25th at the Kelly School Auditorium located at 9030 SE Cooper.

Each candidate will get the chance to share their own unique perspective and recommendation on such hot-button issues as education funding, local economies, and housing strategies.  In addition, candidates will be dedicated equal time at the podium to recap why they are running and why you should vote for them.

Doors will open at 6:30 p.m., with introductions at 7:15 p.m. There should be time for some post-forum mingling as well.  This event is brought to you by the Lents Neighborhood Association and the Kelly SUN Community School.  If you have particular questions you wish to be addressed at the forum, please e-mail them to  Otherwise, for more info, call 503-869-6398.  Voter registration cards will be available at the door.

2006 David F. Ashton ~ East PDX News

By David F. Ashton – April 11, 2006

In the vast expanse called outer East Portland, there is one – yes only one – good, old-fashioned parade every year.

That’s why nearly a thousand adults and kids line NE Halsey St. every May to see the Fun-O-Rama Parade.

The Floyd Light Band plays great marching tunes. David F. Ashton Photo

The high and low if it – unicyclists are a favorite along the parade route! David F. Ashton Photo

This parade usually has it all: Floats, marchers, bands, and the famous Keystone Kops’ antics along the route.

Commissioner Sam Adams announces the Fun-O-Rama Parade, and welcomes folks to the Fun-O-Rama Fair. David F. Ashton Photo

We’re told that Portland City Commissioner Sam Adams will again announce the parade as it passes the reviewing stand at 111th Square.

Those krazy Keystone Kops pull pranks for the crown in front of the reviewing stand at last year’s Fun-O-Rama Parade. David F. Ashton Photo

Getting this parade together takes a lot of time and effort. Pamela Colton, Nickel Ads, is the parade’s chair. She, and a dozen volunteers, starts lining up the parade north of NE 122nd Ave. early in the morning, before it starts down NE Halsey Ave. at 10:30 a.m., rain or shine. Have a group to march in the parade? Call Colton at (503) 252-7519 – but do it now! Spots are filling up.

The fun doesn’t end

Wait! There’s more! The fun doesn’t end with the parade. The Gateway Area Business Association presents the Fun-O-Rama Fair at 111th Square (at NE Halsey St. and 111th Ave.)

A young marshal artist demonstrates her skills. David F. Ashton Photo

See representatives from local businesses. Each year, the Fair features entertainment like clowns, dance, music and martial arts demonstrations.

Steevie Weevie squeeks up balloon hats at the Fair. David F. Ashton Photo

Also, the “Gateway Citizen of the Year” is honored. We’re told “Father Jack” Mosbrucker is this year’s honoree.

Golf tourney on May 13

The annual Golf-O-Rama will again be held at Glendoveer Golf Course. Past proceeds have gone to support the organization’s scholarship fund for David Douglas High School seniors. Interested? Call organizer (and Snoopy’s friend) Karen Montez, Met Life, at (503) 252-6241 for more information of this fun event.

We’ll see you at the 2006 Gateway Fun-O-Rama!

© 2006 David F. Ashton ~ East PDX News

By David F. Ashton

Bars and mini-mart workers must know it’s wrong to sell booze to kids. A quick look at the ID of a young-ish looking guy or gal isn’t that difficult. Yet, during Spring Break, getting a swig of hooch wasn’t a problem for several underage youth.

Some of these young people who got served were on a mission ‚Äì and, that mission wasn’t go get drunk. These kids were Portland Police Cadets. They were working with the Oregon Liquor Control Commission to identify employees of businesses who sell alcohol to minors.

Portland Police Cadets Ryan Mele and Ryan Brown aren’t ready to “throw down a cold frosty one” ‚Äì they’re working a mission to see who is selling booze to underage drinkers without checking their ID.

The mission included 100 randomly selected businesses located throughout the city.Of the 96 businesses that were open, employees in 28 of those businesses sold alcohol to minors. By the way, the Cadet’s never carry fake ID ‚Äì they present their real Oregon Driver’s License when ‚Äì or in some cases, if ‚Äì asked for it.

Serve up another round? Sadly, employees at this East Portland establishment didn’t check the ID of Spring Break party people Ryan Brown and Andrea Ettlin. They’re under age. And, they’re East Portland Police Cadets, working a mission to curb booze sales to under-age drinkers.

During their eight-hour spree, some establishment employees did not ask to see the Cadets’ identification, while others did not check the identification closely enough. These careless employees were cited for Furnishing Alcohol to a Minor, which is a Class A misdemeanor.

© 2006 David F. Ashton ~ East PDX News

Noted restaurateur tells of her awareness mission at Parkrose Business Association

By David F. Ashton – April 2, 2006

She couldn’t help but noticing the young boys outside the porn shop on NE Sandy Blvd., said Eileen Stocker. “They were trying to see what was inside, behind the painted out windows.”

Seeing these kids, Stocker told us, fostered a question that kept running through her mind: “Should our kids be growing up in this kind of environment – believing that adult oriented stores and sex shops on every corner – is normal?”

Leah Sauer recipient Eileen Stocker shows her award to members of the Parkrose Business Association. David F. Ashton photo

Concerned about “Pornrose, OR”

It’s true. Drive through the Parkrose area – or any other main street in outer East Portland and you’ll see “lingerie modeling” parlors, adult merchandise stores and strip clubs on nearly every block. Some wags call the area “Pornrose”.

“I’ve been involved in lobbying City Hall to limit the number of these kinds of businesses that can be set up in a given neighborhood,” Stocker continued. “I’m not trying to eliminate them. We just think it is a good idea to limit their number. When goes out of business, new businesses can’t open.”

By resolution of the City Council, Stocker added, “they can limit the number of businesses in a given area, but they don’t want to. I don’t think they’re protecting citizens of Portland. Wouldn’t it be worth it to do a small [research] study [to measure the impact of adult businesses on neighborhoods]?”

Please, no shell game

“The people in Parkrose are so wonderful – both neighbors and regular business people. I love this area and want to protect it.

‚ÄúBut we don‚Äôt want to just shove [the sex trade] into another neighborhood. We don‚Äôt want another area to go through what Sandy Blvd has endured.”

Stoll, the Western ally

One of the people whose help Stocker enlisted was that of Hollywood booster, Helen Stoll. “Helen’s been trying to stop prostitution along Sandy Blvd. for many years. We’re looking for support through churches and local organizations. More people need to voice their concern,” Stocker said.

Stoll told Stocker about the Oregon Association of American Mothers*. “I spoke to them and asked for their help. They understood our situation and have helped.”

Apparently, the organization thought so highly of Stocker’s efforts, they gave her their Leah Sauer Award – an award named after the organization’s first “Mother of the Year”.

Take action

“The best thing you can do is write the mayor if you think the sex businesses should be limited in Portland. Don’t you think it makes sense for the city to, at least, look at the situation,” Stocker concluded.

* According to their web site, the Oregon Association of American Mothers is an organization of women and men, married and single, parents and grandparents, dedicated to preserving the moral and spiritual foundations of the family in America. At a time when the return of family values has become a national priority, American Mothers, Inc. responds educational, cultural, and spiritual programs for mothers of all ages.

2006, David F. Ashton ~ East PDX News

The 3 a.m. fire at Portland Christian High School was perhaps the work of cowardly hoodlums, students surmise. David F. Ashton Photos

By David F. Ashton – April 3, 2006

The normally quiet of an early morning on NE San Rafael St. was shattered by the roar of fire engines and the wail of sirens early Monday morning. Firefighters sped along NE 122nd Ave. to answer a second fire call to Portland Christian School, within in the past two months.

Bureau officials say the 3 a.m. fire was at the school’s field house and coach’s office. The blaze, it appears, was started in two portable toilets located next to the grandstand structure, on the north side of building.

This fire was said to have caused $7,500 in damages. The fire about 60 days ago did $32,000 in damages to vehicles and buildings.

Officials say “racist and sexual graffiti” was emblazoned on the outside of a structure nearby the fire scene. Portland Police Bureau Bias Crimes Unit has been called in to investigate the case.

“The talk at school is that who ever did this probably doesn’t even know the meaning of a swastika. It’s the work of punks who want to seem tough,” is how a student who identified himself as Josh, put it to us, outside the school grounds that afternoon. “You notice that these cowards did this in the middle of the night – not when we’re out here.”

The culprit of this fire is subject to Felony Arson charges, officials say. Have information? Call Portland Fire & Rescue investigators at (503) 823-3791.

More on this story as it develops.

2006 David F. Ashton – East PDX News – All Rights Reserved

A Wednesday afternoon joy-ride for a 21-year-old ended abruptly at 4:00 p.m. on March 29 in outer East Portland. Police say Jennifer Leeanne Cogswell‚Äôs fun ended when she was found at the wheel of a stolen, black Acura — and arrested.

Cogswell was nailed near SE Powell Blvd. and 122nd Ave. by the Portland Police Bureau’s Auto Theft Task Force. The vehicle was reported stolen out of Hillsboro and used in the commission of a burglary in the Hillsboro area earlier on Wednesday.

Cops are looking for a male riding in the vehicle with Cogswell who escaped and has not been found. He is described as a white male, 5’6″, thin and approximately 25-years-old.

Facing a charge of Unauthorized Use Of a Motor Vehicle and one count of Possession of a Stolen Motor Vehicle, Cogswell was lodged in the Multnomah County Detention Center.

2006 David F. Ashton – East PDX News

Published March 24, 2006 ~ By David F. Ashton


Leaders from all of the neighborhoods that border 82nd Avenue of Roses gather for the event. Photo by David F. Ashton

A light mist in the air didn‚Äôt stop 100 neighbors, business people and rose lovers from attending the Royal Rosarians‚Äô official recognition of 82nd Ave. being renamed “The Avenue of Roses” on March 22.

Joann Superstore Ribbon Cutting

Flanked by the Royal Rosarians, neighbors and chamber members, Portland City Commissioner Sam Adams and East Portland Chamber of Commerce president Greg Zuffrea cut the ribbon signaling the opening of the new Joann Superstore at Eastport Plaza. Photo by David F. Ashton

The dedication was held at Eastport Plaza, in conjunction with the ribbon-cutting of the new Joann Superstore opening there. At the store opening, Portland City Commissioner Sam Adams quipped, “My mom has been hoping for a new Joann‚Äôs here for so long, I gave her the manager‚Äôs number to call to find out when it would open.”

Adams continued, “This is a great company; you will be a success here. Thank you for your investment, and the jobs you are bringing to SE Portland.”

“We are pleased to be here,” Kevin Kneeshaw, Joann Regional Team Leader responded, “helping with the revitalization of the area. I did the easy part, siting the store here. But we have a great staff who got this store together to the community. As the store grows, we‚Äôll hire even more than our current 54 coworkers.”


Members of the East Portland Chamber of Commerce (, including president Greg Zuffrea, were on hand. The Chamber’s Holly Moss handed off the giant Golden scissors to Sam Adams and Zuffrea, photos were taken ‚Äì and the ribbon cut ‚Äì signaling the opening of this great new store.

Another rose in East Portland grows

At the Royal Rosarian‚Äôs official ceremony dedicating 82nd Ave. as the “Avenue of Roses” on March 22, Eastport Plaza manager Ken Turner, Portland City Commissioner Sam Adams, Marilyn Schultz, Royal Gardener of the Royal Rosarians plant the rose “We Salute You” as Eileen Curtis, Portland Rose Society, is ready to perform the official watering. Photo by David F. Ashton

The rose planting ceremony, presided over by Harvey Collier, Lord High Sheriff of the Rosarians, gave many their first opportunity to witness the dignified service.

“At the express command of Queen Caitlin,” Collier intoned, “it is our duty to present and plant this official rose today for the official dedication of 82nd Avenue being renamed the Avenue of Roses; and on behalf of Joann Superstore, and their decision to plant their business here on the newly named Avenue of Roses.”

Royal Rosarian Chaplain and Scribe, John Creegan, told the gathering that the groups official planting ceremonies pay tribute to “a particularly honorable place or event. We plant this rose in recognition of the men and women that have caused 82nd Avenue to be named the ‚ÄòAvenue of Roses‚Äô. We plant this rose as a living testimonial of the truth and honor, which is the sworn duty of our sir knights and dames to uphold.”

Marilyn Schultz, Royal Gardener of the organization, added, as she set the rose in the prepared soil, “By this planting, we show the high regard with which the Royal Rosarians hold for good works. We are planting the rose, ‚ÄòWe Salute You‚Äô, named in honor of the firefighters and police who lost their lives on 9/11.”

Eileen Curtis, Portland Rose Society, administering the Official Watering, said, “As I water the rose, let it be the start of many, many new rose gardens of that will bloom along 82nd Avenue of Roses.”

John Creegan, Royal Chaplain and Scribe gave the invocation. “They shall rejoice and blossom as a rose. The heavens shall declare the glory of God, and the ferment show His handiwork. In the presence of Him who created the flora of the world, and spread it out as a glorious carpet across the world, and in the presence of these Royal Rosarians and their friends we ask His blessing upon this queen of flowers, and this spot from which it shall spring forth in ever increasing beauty, fragrance and purity.”

Lord High Sheriff Collier ended the ceremony adding, “Around the world, Portland is known as the Rose Capitol of America. Around the globe goes our phrase, ‚ÄòFor you a rose, in Portland grows.‚Äô May a rose ever grow in your garden, and may a rose grow, forever, in your hearts.”

2006 David F. Ashton – East PDX News

Published March 26, 2006 ~ By David F. Ashton


In an effort to isolate the problem, a PGE engineer opens a massive switch at the Johnson Creek Substation just as a power serge comes through the system. The result is this massive arc. No one was injured. Photo by David F. Ashton

 Standing outside the fence at the massive Portland General Electric (PGE) electric power sub-station on SE Johnson Creek Blvd., at Flavel Drive., one can hear a loud, deep, resonant hum as the giant electric transformers pass electricity to homes and businesses throughout East Portland.

Throughout the afternoon of March 19, there was a quite different sound. Every few minutes, a low toned, resounding “thuang” noise growls from the power station transformers. “That‚Äôs the sound of a ‚Äòhit‚Äô somewhere in the system,” a PGE worker, who asked not to be identified by name, tells us. He says this means something, somewhere is shorting out Portland‚Äôs east side main, high-voltage power system.


A PGE Crew members uses test equipment, trying to locate the problem on the power grid that shut down Precision Cast Parts on March 19. Photo by David F. Ashton

In homes and businesses, from inner SE Portland to western Gresham, this “power anomaly” — as the electrical works describe it ‚Äì happens repeatedly, from early afternoon through the early evening hours. The lighting go brown, appliances groan to a stop, then the power goes completely out for a few minutes.

These repeated blackouts, followed by a power surge as the juice came back resulted in blown surge-protectors, but no real damage, at our home office. Because it is a Sunday afternoon, homeowners found the on-off-on power cycle more of an annoyance than anything else.

Cost to Precision Cast Parts: $1 million

We drive the few blocks to the Johnson Creek Substation late in the afternoon to learn more. Shortly after arriving, we meet two men who identify themselves to PGE crew as the Johnson Creek Precision Cast Parts (PCP) Information Technology and Plant Engineering managers.

“Our entire, nationwide computer network is down,” complains the PCP IT manager. “Every time we reset our network, another power glitch shuts us down. We‚Äôre a seven-day-a-week business.” The PGE crew listens sympathetically. But until they isolate the “fault”, they tell the computer manager, they can‚Äôt predict when it will be repaired.

Another “thowang” emanates from the substation. It seems the events are coming more frequently now; each one sounding louder.

“We‚Äôre working to catch up on orders,” says the PCP plant engineer, “and that means we‚Äôre scheduled to turn out as much as $1 million worth of parts today. We‚Äôve had to shut down the plant. This is serious, costly problem.”

Arcs and sparks

“Thowang” ‚Äì again, the power grid takes a “hit”, as the PGE workers call the event.

“We‚Äôve ridden the lines from Sellwood to Gresham and everything looks good,” crackles a report to the two-way radio of a PGE crew member standing near us. “The Midway Substation is OK. So is Sellwood. We‚Äôre looking at the Gresham end.”

A PGE worker disarms the inner electric fence at the power substation. He releases an immense, chest-high lever. The lever is hooked to a thick pipe that travels upward, operating a gigantic power switch located high atop the power station.

At 6:22 p.m., he pulls the switch ‚Äì “thwang” another power hit ‚Äì and the switch contacts arc with a blinding blue light that lasts for at least five seconds. The air crackles loudly as a colossal amount of current jumps from one open switch contact to another. We try to take a photo, but it takes six seconds for our camera to fire up; we catch a shot the final surge, as the switch contacts explode in an orange fireball. Molten metal showers the area, filling the air with a sent of both ozone and an electrical fire. The blast was so loud, it attracted onlookers from blocks around.

The workers are visibly shaken. But they, and the bystanders, are unharmed. “We took inner SE Portland off the grid from this side, just as we took a ‚Äòhit”,” he explains. “But their power is on; they‚Äôre getting electricity from the other end of the grid.” We‚Äôre comforted to learn PGE has built redundant fail-safe systems into our power grid.

Isolating the problem

As the smoke clears, evening is falling. We notice the mighty transformers are now nominally humming. They’re taking no more hits.

About 6:30 p.m., PGE crews isolate the problem ‚Äì a “jumper” power regulation device at SE 190th Ave. and Powell Blvd., Ariana White, PGE Communications Specialist, tells us. It was failing intermittently throughout the afternoon, she added, but the problem wasn‚Äôt identified until it completely failed.

“While we repaired the jumper power regulator,” White says, “we had to temporarily turn off service to some customers, resulting in phased outages from 6 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. Those without power for periods of time, during the repairs, numbered¬†8,000 to 10,000.”

2006 David F. Ashton – East PDX News

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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