St. Matthew’s welcomes new pastor
It’s been nearly five years of transition and interim leadership at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, 11229 N.E. Prescott St. The congregation welcomed a new, permanent pastor in July. Josh Kingsley, a Parkrose resident, leads services Sundays at 10 a.m.

Kingsley is also a musician who brought regular concert performances by Portland Chamber Music to St. Matthew’s in recent years. He looks forward to a time of growth and new energy and invites the community to participate in a service or to merely stop in for a chat to learn more about his church.

He lives with his wife Macie and 17-month-old son Trajan.

Lodge seeks to bolster membership
Gateway Elks Lodge #2411, 711 N.E. 100th Ave., serves its community through benevolent programs, demonstrating that Elks care and Elks share. As Gateway Elks Lodge celebrates its 45th year, it is recruiting new members. “Our members join for many reasons. For some, it’s the privilege of joining a fraternity with no degrees of membership – everyone has the same rights and privileges. And for others, it’s about giving back to the community or helping those in need,” according to long-time member Gene Spina. He goes on to describe events that “range from picnics and dinners to dances, bingo and hamburger cookouts.”

Fundraising efforts support the Elks Children’s Eye Clinic at the Casey Eye Institute at Oregon Health Science University, Camp Meadowood in Pendleton and college scholarships for area high school students.

Readers are invited to call the lodge at 503-255-6535 or to drop in for a tour to learn more.

Mill Park medical marijuana dispensary marks two years with Two-fer offer
ReLeafTo celebrate its second year in business, ReLeaf, an east Portland medical marijuana dispensary is offering new and current patients a buy-one-get-one promotion during the month of September. Owner Dave Slack said he loves his Mill Park neighborhood location at 1034 S.E. 122nd Ave. “We support and love our community. We have gotten to know many neighbors who are now patients,” he said. “122nd Avenue is a great location for not only the neighborhood patients, but also very convenient for people to find us from all over Portland; just like our [business] cards say.”

Slack said his business, one of 71 dispensaries in Multnomah County— and183 in Oregon—that the state has licensed since March, underwent a three-hour inspection by Oregon Health Authority (OHA) inspectors in August; one of 58 conducted by the state since May, according to a recent report in the Oregonian. “They weren’t harsh, they weren’t mean, they weren’t rude about it,” he said of the inspectors’ procedure.

Asked what ReLeaf’s violations were, Slack demurred but said he submitted a written plan to correct them and will be in compliance with the letter of the law now that he has authoritative answers to many of his questions. “It was nice to finally get a lot of questions answered,” he said. “It’s not that that stuff is vague, there’s not a lot of detail in the way its addressing some of the items, which it’s ok.”

The inspections are part of the new law passed last year by the Oregon Legislature directing the OHA to draft rules of operation and create a dispensary registry and databank.

Tom Burns, director of pharmacy programs for the OHA, said in the Oregonian article that the agency’s three inspectors are taking a hard line when it comes to violations. He said some of the problems they discovered in dispensaries, from inadequate record keeping to a lack of written procedures, are expected for an industry just getting off the ground. “What it shows is when you build a brand new program that operated in a gray area for many years and you put it in a box and try to provide safety for patients and the public, there are going to be growing pains,” he said. “We went in with a white glove and checked the dust behind every crack and crevice to make it clear we are serious, and you really do need to bring your business up to the level that’s mandated by the legislature.”

Transportation service finds new home
Ride Connections celebrates the grand opening of its new headquarters at Glisan Commons, 9955 N.E. Glisan St., Wednesday, Sept. 10 from 1 to 3 p.m. Ribbon cutting at 1 p.m., building tours from 1:30 to 3 p.m.

Ride Connection is a non-profit that works with community partners to provide and coordinate transportation options for older adults and people with disabilities. This move to the Gateway Urban Renewal District brings more than 40 full-time, living-wage jobs to the neighborhood, with anticipated growth to 60 employees in the years to come.

Glisan Commons features commercial space at street level to house Ride Connections. The upper floors are housing for clients of Human Solutions, the non-profit dedicated to eliminating homelessness in east Portland.

Reynolds seeks volunteer to fill empty board seat
Reynolds school board member Heather Chao, position one, has resigned.

Reynolds School District Board of Education is looking for applicants willing to serve in the governance role in this position and will appoint a replacement to serve through June 30, 2015.

The school board meets the second Wednesday of every month. Additional meetings and workshops are typically held the fourth Wednesday of most months.

Interested community members who are registered voters and have lived within the Reynolds School District boundaries for at least one year are invited to apply by Sept. 30.

For an application, contact Board Secretary, Connie Philibert at or 503-661-7200 or go to

PCH welcomes new AD
Kyle CowanKyle Cowan hopes to inspire integrity and superior athleticism among Portland Christian High School (PCHS) athletes as he steps into the role of athletic director at PCHS. Cowan, who previously served as athletic director at Stanfield Secondary School in Stanfield, OR brings more than 13 years of teaching, administrative and coaching experience to the PCHS community. He also has big goals for the athletic program.

“As the athletic director I want to ensure that our athletic programs produce great character, competition, and development,” Cowan says. “In order to have great athletics you must find a way to produce these three aspects within the program.”

PCHS administrators are confident Cowan’s previous experience will help him accomplish this task and allow him to step seamlessly into an already top-tier athletic program–one that has produced multiple state championship appearances among PCHS teams.

Cowan not only has expertise behind the desk, but also on the court and field. After playing basketball at the collegiate level, he went on to coach numerous sports: boys and girls basketball, boys soccer, track and golf. In 2012, he was voted boys basketball Coach of the Year after leading his team to the state championship.