June 2015 edition posted

by on Jun 4, 2015 | 0 comments

The June 2015 edition of the Mid-county Memo posted online. Links to stories and departments are below. With nine-month-old daughter Molly in tow Hazelwood resident Jake Herbst often strolls to the Goodwill and Salvation Army stores near his home to shop. Herbst, a 2003 David Douglas High School graduate said he is looking forward to his first Father’s Day. This month’s front page features a Happy Father’s Day wish for not only cover subject Jake Herbst, but to fathers everywhere. June’s features include a story about Lore Wintergreen—the city’s advocate for the East Portland Action Plan–and whether or not she accused at least one volunteer of racism for requiring EPAP grantees to fill out IRS forms. East Portland activist Collene Swenson is interviewed to find out what her next move is after the attempt to get a ballot measure to de-annex east Portland failed; now it’s city commissioner’s election by geographic representation. David Douglas School District educator Kevin Topolski was named Teacher of the Year by OnPoint Community Credit Union. Marking the Memo’s 30th anniversary, we sample what the paper covered in its first edition and provide updates. In addition, we publish Bruce McCain’s, Gloria Ross’s and Marjorie Bean’s obituaries. In addition to the feature stories, our monthly departments are: Meals on Wheels monthly menu, Memo Pad, Memo Calendar, Business Memos Furthermore, we have Oregon Lottery and Multnomah County Health Department restaurant inspection results. Happy reading.  ...
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Did East Portland Action Plan’s director call volunteers racist?

by on May 29, 2015 | 0 comments

Publisher’s note 1: Over the years, the Memo has spoken to many highly cynical individuals who have been involved with East Portland Neighborhood Office‘s system. Did East Portland Action Plan director Lore Wintergreen, right, call volunteers racist for requiring EPAP grantees to fill out IRS forms before receiving taxpayer funds? According to original meeting minutes taken by Alesia Reese, middle, she did. There’s a way the system is supposed to work, and then there’s the way the system actually works. If you haven’t had any interaction with the system, it’s easy to believe everything happens the way it’s supposed to. The minute you get a taste of it—the minute squatters move in next door; the minute a development threatens your livability; the minute speeders nearly run your kids over; the minute a strip club opens on your street—you see the system close up, but see it in a completely different way. This is not to say neighbors’ problems aren’t ameliorated. In time, some are. You just understand the way the system actually works and how much it differs from the way it’s supposed to work in theory. To some readers, the incident described in this article might seem trivial, but it’s an example and symptom of the East Portland Neighborhood Office’s systemic problems—problems which make it less effective at bringing needed infrastructure improvements to east Portland neighborhoods and less relevant to the overall community it was meant to serve. East Portland Action Plan Advocate Lore Wintergreen, right, poses with EPAP co-chair Arlene Kimura at an EPAP-funded event in 2010. Wintergreen, who makes $130,000 in salary and benefits is not only the highest paid city employee in east Portland, but also EPAP’s only chair since it was created in 2009. If volunteers who try to follow the law, doing what they believe, and been told what they’re supposed to do, are bullied, intimidated, and even accused of racism, how long before those citizen volunteers refuse to continue to serve? The following incident is one example of why the city’s neighborhood association system in east Portland becomes less effective every year. Furthermore, as it becomes more and more removed from the original intention of representing every individual in the neighborhood, the system devolves to representing small groups, individuals and their pet projects. While infighting ensues, east Portland neighborhoods crumble. Article: Kathi Holmes had had enough. The vote to scrub the minutes was the last straw for the longtime neighborhood association volunteer; after more than a dozen years with the East Portland Neighbors, Inc., October 2014 was Kathi Holmes’ last EPN board meeting. After the meeting, Holmes submitted her resignation as treasurer of the group. According to Holmes, EPN may be paying...
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Car thief rams police cars during east Portland chase

by on Jan 17, 2015 | 0 comments

Suspected car thief Brandon Boik was arrested and booked into the Multnomah County Jail Friday after leading police on a pursuit, which included the suspect ramming police vehicles to get out of a dead-end street. Brandon Boik, 26, was arrested and booked into Multnomah County Jail Friday after allegedly stealing a vehicle  and ramming police cars. His bail is set at $250,000. Friday evening, around 5:30 p.m., East Precinct officers responded to the report of a suspicious person first rummaging through, and then stealing a car in the 15000 block of Northeast Pacific Street in east Portland’s Wilkes neighborhood. As police were en route, one officer spotted the vehicle westbound on Northeast Glisan Street. Several other officers responded to the area and attempted to stop the vehicle on a Irving Street dead-end, just east of 128th Avenue. The stolen car’s driver turned the vehicle around and began ramming police cars, eventually getting through and speeding out of the dead end street. After turning their vehicles around, police pursued suspect Boik until he stopped the car in the 1600 block of Northeast 120th Avenue. Suspect Boik ran from the vehicle, but was quickly caught by police in a foot chase. The vehicle’s passenger, a 20-year-old female, was taken into custody by other officers who arrived at the scene. She was subsequently interviewed and released without charges. Boik, 26, was charged with two counts of assault in the second degree; bail was set at $250,000. Police located and seized two handguns as part of this investigation. Additional charges may be added later, police...
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Amphibians and Reptiles in Your Neighborhood

by on Nov 18, 2014 | 0 comments

Join the Wetlands Conservatory as they present an evening of speakers talking about common and rare species of amphibians and reptiles found in outer Northeast Portland and Gresham neighborhoods.   The Wetlands Conservatory present an evening of speakers about common and rare species of amphibians and reptiles found in outer east Portland and Gresham neighborhoods Wednesday, Nov. 19 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Gresham City Hall Council Chambers, 1333 N.W. Eastman Parkway.   Amphibians and reptiles tell much about the health of a community. Gain a basic understanding of amphibian life history and identification at the presentation. Understand the impacts of restoration, invasive plant species and development on reptiles and amphibians. Learn how backyard landscapes can support these species and many more. The free event is Wednesday, Nov. 19 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Gresham City Hall Council Chambers, 1333 N.W. Eastman Parkway in Gresham. RSVP to The Wetlands Conservancy at 503-227-0778 or...
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Car Crashes into Columbia, one dead

by on Oct 8, 2014 | 0 comments

This morning, around 6:30 a.m., police responded to reports that a vehicle crashed into the Columbia River off Marine Drive at Northeast 166th Avenue in the Wilkes neighborhood. A witness told the dispatcher it appeared the driver was trying to get out of the car, but went under water. The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office responded with two boats and, at approximately 7:00 a.m., recovered a body from the river. Police said divers are checking the vehicle for other occupants. The East County Major Crash Team is responding to conduct an investigation. Traffic on Marine Drive is affected; drivers are encouraged to use Northeast Airport Way as an alternate route. Police said they will release more information as it becomes...
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August 2014 Mid-county Memo

by on Aug 9, 2014 | 0 comments

The August issue of the Mid-county Memo posted online this week. This month’s feature stories are: The Halsey-Weidler corridor Working Group got a pleasant surprise when Portland Development Commission representatives told them money for improvements tripled; obituaries on Dr. Leo J. Freiermuth and Joel Caldera; an east Portland pools free-swim guide; after more than five decades, Parkrose tire king Bob Brown retires, and finally this month, a Parkrose Heights brain tumor survivor walks for a cure. In addition to this month’s feature stories, August Departments–Memo Calendar, Memo Pad, Business Memos, and the Meals on Wheels monthly menu, are full of news about east Portland. Furthermore, east Portland Oregon Lottery retailers monthly take and rake, and east Portland restaurant ratings from the Multnomah County Health Department. If you’re looking for history, click here for the Memo’s online archives dating to...
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May 2014 Mid-county Memo posted online

by on May 6, 2014 | 0 comments

The May 2014 issue posted online. This month’s feature stories and Departments are: A Parkrose home illegally occupied by squatters is in presale: Mayor Charlie Hales and Commissioner Steve Novick discuss the new street maintenance fee with business owners at a forum; the Beech Street Community Garden is underway in Madison South neighborhood; results of a study by Civilis Consultants for the Portland Development Commission  on the Gateway-Weidler couplet, from 102nd to 112th avenues were presented to property owners; Glenfair neighbors appeal a housing development in outer Northeast; City Home Improvement Office Manager Pat Dragowsky retires after more than three decades at the Parkrose remodeling firm; and the Gateway Fun-O-Rama returns in May. Oregon Lottery retailers monthly take and rake in Mid-county. Monthly restaurant ratings from the Multnomah County Health Department May’s Parkrose High School athletic schedule May Departments: Calendar, Memo Pad, Business Memos, Meals on Wheels Monthly Menu, and Letters to the...
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February 2014 edition posted online

by on Feb 6, 2014 | 0 comments

The February 2014 edition posted online. This month’s feature stories are: Commissioner Amanda Fritz annouced two new east Portland parks to be fully built by 2017; Parkrose School District is one step closer to outsourcing its bus service, letting 19 employees go and selling its bus fleet; the house occupied by alleged squatters moves closer to foreclosure, pleasing neighbors; with an overwhelming majority of registered Democrats in Oregon House District 45, their primary decides who wins the seat; the Memo took a tour of the construction at the new Parkrose Middle School’s construction site, and completed work at Shaver and Sacramento elementary schools; a Wilkes man who inspired a homeowners bill died; the February Parkrose High School athletic calendar; the latest Multnomah County health inspector’s ratings for east Portland restaurants; and the area’s Oregon Lottery retailer monthly results. Memo Departments–Memo Pad, Memo Calendar, Business Memos and the monthly Meals on Wheels People menu–teem with listings of events, reunions, activities, local business news, special events, fundraisers, achievements and milestones reached and passed. Doing east Portland research? Mid-county Memo archives go back to 2001. If you are interested in having your message reach more than 15,000 households, click here for Mid-county Memo display advertising rates and circulation...
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Wilkes man who inspired homeowner bill dies

by on Feb 3, 2014 | 0 comments

Wilkes resident Jim Crockford had been battling to stay in his home for his remaining years. In the end, he got what he wanted. On Jan. 14, Mid-county Memo publisher and friend Tim Curran found the 85-year-old Crockford dead of a heart attack in his home. The county coroner estimates Crockford died three days earlier. Before his death, for roughly three years, Crockford fought what looked like a losing battle with his mortgage holder and the state of Oregon to stay in his home. However, his motives were largely personal, his singular desire to keep his house earned Crockford a legacy well beyond Parkrose. As the Memo reported last month, starting in January 2014, homeowners previously excluded from the Oregon Property Tax Deferral for Disabled and Senior Citizens program were allowed to reapply. According to lawmakers and activists who helped push for the Oregon bill that made this possible, Crockford was a big reason this happened. “[Crockford] was able to inspire something that will help a lot of people into the future. So that’s a great legacy to have,” said Oregon State Representative Jessica Vega Pederson. Vega Pederson, who represents Oregon House District 47, said Crockford and other homeowners in her district inspired her to create Oregon House Bill 2510, which has allowed the homeowners to reapply. The Oregon Property Tax Deferral program helps low-income and disabled senior citizens stay in their homes by allowing them to defer their county income taxes. These taxes are then paid by the state through what is, in effect, a loan with the homeowners’ houses used as collateral. In current session of the Oregon legislature, Vega Pederson will be cosponsoring Oregon House Bill 4148, which has been introduced by Representative Nancy Nathanson and is designed to change the interest charged these homeowners from a compound six percent to a simple six-percent interest rate. In an interview with the Memo in December, Crockford said he turned to the deferral program after both he and his wife got ill and their combined medical expenses nearly lost them their home. Unfortunately, the program has not always done the best job of taking care of homeowners like Crockford. The tax deferral program was created in1963. It ran successfully for years. Then it ran into tough times. The problems began with the housing crisis and recession of the late 2000s. The economic downturn and the way the program’s funds were being managed made the program financially unstable, according to a comprehensive 2012 Oregon State University (OSU) analysis. Lawmakers responded to the program’s teetering finances by passing HB 2543, which instituted a series of new rules. As a result, roughly half of the program’s 10,500 participants were dropped, according...
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December edition posted

by on Dec 9, 2013 | 0 comments

The December 2013 edition posted online last week. Feature stories include: Parkrose squatters make poor neighbors; Twenty-six facts about the 26th annual Christmas Festival of Lights at The Grotto; Parkrose Farmers’ market moves to a new home in Gateway; a report on the Synergies project community meeting. Synergies is a project tracking why Parkrose middle school students’ interest in science, technology, engineering and math drops off; a roundup of the area’s fall high school athletic and scholastic achievement; looks like it’s back to the drawing board for Hazelwood Plaza developers; the latest county health inspectors report and ratings for east Portland restaurants; and, a new feature: area Oregon Lottery retailer monthly results. Memo Departments–Memo Pad, Memo Calendar, Letters to the Editor, Business Memos and the monthly Meals on Wheels People menu–teem with listings of events, reunions, activities, local business news, special events, fundraisers, achievements and milestones reached and passed. Doing east Portland research? Mid-county Memo archives go back to 2001. If you are interested in having your message reach more than 15,000 households, click here for Mid-county Memo display advertising rates and circulation...
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