Each day members of our community quietly celebrate milestones, achievements and accomplishments—big and small. This department is meant to showcase these triumphs to the greater community.

When you send submissions, please include all details that apply: full names of any individuals mentioned, details of the milestone and everyone impacted by the event, and a contact name and phone number or email address. Send a photo if you have one. Please identify each individual from left to right (large group shots can simply be identified by the group name) and provide the name of the photographer so we can give proper credit. Memo Pad submissions for the April issue are due Monday, March 16. For best results, e-mail Darlene Vinson at editor@midcountymemo.com. You can also mail submissions to 3510 N.E. 134th Ave., Portland, OR 97230. To leave a phone message, call 503-287-8904. The Mid-county Memo fax number is 503-249-7672.


Parkrose sends another delegate to U.S. Senate youth program

Parkrose High senior Reid Rubsam becomes second consecutive PHS representative to U.S. Senate Youth Program. COURTESY JULIE SALA

Parkrose High senior Reid Rubsam becomes second consecutive PHS representative to U.S. Senate Youth Program.

Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley announced the selection of Reid Rubsam, a Parkrose High senior, as one of two Oregon representatives at the 53rd annual United States Senate Youth Program. Held from March 7 through 14 in Washington, D.C., Rubsam’s selection follows on the heels of the selection of Max Denning, also from Parkrose, as a 2014 delegate.

According to U.S. Senate testimony, the program is designed “to increase young Americans’ understanding of the interrelationships of the three branches of government, learn the caliber and responsibilities of federally elected and appointed officials, and emphasize the vital importance of democratic decision making not only for America but for people around the world.” It also seeks to create a lifelong commitment to public service among its participants. Each of the 104 delegates, who collectively represent each state, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity, also receives a $5,000 undergraduate college scholarship with the encouragement to continue coursework in government, history and public affairs.

At Parkrose, Rubsam carries a 3.9 GPA and is vice president of the Parkrose chapter of the National Honor Society. He is an executive council member and community service coordinator for the Parkrose High School student government, a captain of the Constitution team and an attorney on that group’s mock trial team, and the trumpet section leader in the PHS band. He is also active in the Parkrose Civic Scholars Program and the Parkrose Future Business Leaders of America. He recently won first prize in the Portland Chapter United Nations Association Essay Competition and enjoys volunteering with the Parkrose Community United Church of Christ youth group.

Rubsam told the Memo that he is “thankful for the Parkrose School District teachers and community, who are committed to the growth and success of students.”


DDHS students win video contest
The Bonneville Power Administration Regional High School Science Bowl took place last month.

Competing teams were invited to submit a short video expressing the joy of science. The team from David Douglas High submitted one of four winning videos among the high schools that participated. They received a gift certificate for supplies for the DDHS science laboratory, and their coach was awarded an Einstein bobblehead trophy.


Special scholarship for PHS Seniors
The Nicole Holman Memorial Scholarship is available to Parkrose High students who will graduate in 2015 and plan to attend Mt. Hood Community College in the fall of 2015. Up to four $2,500 scholarships will be awarded.

These scholarships are offered in hopes of providing an initial stepping stone to students who may not be eligible for other scholarships that require high SAT scores or GPAs.

Successful candidates must demonstrate financial need to be awarded this opportunity to achieve his or her dreams of an education, a worthwhile career and a bright future. While there are no entrance exam score or minimum cumulative GPA requirements, the student must have a 2.75 GPA in classes considered to be of a college preparatory nature.

The funds will be applied to tuition at MHCC and will be distributed equally over three terms. Tuition above the offered amount, as well as fees and books, are the responsibility of the student. While enrolled at MHCC, the student must take at least 12 hours of classes for college credit and maintain a 2.0 GPA.

Applications are available at http://mhcc.edu/docs/Scholarships/HighSchool.pdf. In addition to the MHCC scholarship application, students must submit a brief statement that outlines their goal in attending MHCC and/or the course of study that could follow their attendance at MHCC; two letters of recommendation from PHS faculty; and one letter of recommendation from a non-family member familiar with the student. The latter individual could be a friend, coworker, church member or volunteer familiar with the student through his or her activities benefiting the community. Each of the references should be prepared to discuss why the student should be considered for the scholarship, noting why they think the student can do well in college and discussing the student’s character and demonstrated leadership skills.

The completed application, letters of recommendation, personal statement and PHS transcript must be received by MHCC by no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, April 3.

Parkrose High college and career counselors can respond to any questions applicants may have.

Editor’s note: As this issue goes to press, we have been advised by the Holman family that some of the information on the MHCC website and flyer regarding this scholarship may be incorrect. Interested students should verify all requirements and information about this opportunity with PHS college and career counselors.


Larson Vice-Principal of the Year

Duane Larson of alice Ott Middle School is Oregon Vice-Principal of the Year. COURTESY DAVID DOUGLAS SCHOOL DISTRICT

Duane Larson of alice Ott Middle School is Oregon Vice-Principal of the Year.

Duane Larson, Alice Ott Middle School’s vice principal, has been named the 2014-15 Oregon Vice Principal of the Year by the Oregon Association of Secondary School Administrators. A Portland native, Larson grew up in the David Douglas School District. He attended Cherry Park Elementary School and Floyd Light Middle School, and he graduated from David Douglas High School. He received degrees from George Fox University and Portland State University.

He began teaching as a 6th grade instructor at West Powellhurst Elementary School before spending three years at Floyd Light. He became an administrative intern and David Douglas Community Sports Coordinator before being appointed Vice Principal at Alice Ott, a position he has held for 12 years.

Larson and Principal James Johnston have been instrumental in the school’s achieving the Oregon Department of Education’s Model School status for three consecutive years. Johnston praises Larson as “a cornerstone to what we have been able to accomplish with student achievement.”


Rose Court finalists revealed
On Valentine’s Day, the Portland Rose Festival announced the finalists for the 2015 Rose Festival Court. Junior and senior girls from class 4A to 6A schools in the tri-county area with a grade point average of 3.0 or higher and 20 hours of verifiable community service are eligible.

Finalists from mid-county schools are Elli Simotas, Amber Penner, Olivia Stuart and Sarah Granberg from David Douglas High School; Alexandra Cato, Kayleigh O’ Neal and Amber Shakelford from Madison High School; and Lilia Bechtel, Jade Bradford, Cristell Gonzalez-Perez and Theresa Nguyen from Parkrose High School. Brianna Turner, a senior at Reynolds High School, is a Metro East finalist.

Each school will conduct a schoolwide vote to add to the judging results, and the winning princesses will be announced this month. Members of the 2015 Rose Festival Court receive a $3,500 scholarship.


New city proposed for east Portland
There is a small but earnest group of folks who live in the Portland neighborhoods east of 82nd Avenue who are calling for the area to secede from the city. Since annexation by Portland back in the 1980s, residents of what was largely unincorporated Multnomah County have seen their neighborhoods deteriorate as gentrification of inner-city neighborhoods pushed lower income residents east.

According to Hazelwood resident Collene Swenson, she and others are working on a ballot measure that will allow these East Portland neighborhoods to choose to sever ties with the city of Portland and create a new city with local control. She cites crowded schools, lack of sidewalks and paved roads, increased crime and lack of interest from city leaders as reasons to break away and create a more unified city with a shared vision.

To learn more or to join the cause, visit www.facebook.com/EastPortlandSecession or call 503-253-8094.
Furniture bank needs donations
Community Warehouse, located at 3969 N.E. MLK Jr. Blvd., is in need of kitchen items, linens and furnishings (dressers, end tables, mattresses, and dining tables) to help create homes for local families in need.

Program Director Tom Elston explains, “February is always a hard month for us. Donations typically stall after the holidays and before spring cleaning kicks in. We want the community to know how much we could use their help. Nothing is more challenging for us than meeting a family, looking down at their request list, and then looking up into an empty warehouse. A quick peek through your cupboards or linen closets could really help us and, more importantly, could help create homes for these people who really need a fresh start.”

Drop off your donations today. The warehouse is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. If drop-off is not possible, visit www.communitywarehouse.org to request a pick-up.

Community Warehouse is the region’s only nonprofit furniture bank that offers essential household items to over 7,000 neighbors in need each year. Partnering with 180 social service agencies, Portland public schools and local hospitals, the warehouse helps 150 people and their children each week turn their empty housing into more comfortable, functional homes.

To learn more, call Community Warehouse at 503-235-8786 or visit www.communitywarehouse.org.


Tobacco banned from city parks
Portland City Council is expanding the Portland Parks & Recreation smoking and tobacco ban throughout the entire parks system. Starting July 1, 2015, all city parks, natural areas, community centers, trails, golf courses, recreation areas and all other sites where PP&R park rules apply will be smoke and tobacco free.

“Expanding PP&R’s existing tobacco-free policy across the entire system sends a consistent message,” says Portland Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz, who brought the policy to council. “It helps to create healthy and safe environments within all of Portland Parks & Recreation—especially for children and youth. This policy aligns with PP&R’s focus of ‘Healthy Parks, Healthy Portland.’”

Prohibited smoking and tobacco products include, but are not limited to: bidis, cigarettes, cigarillos, cigars, clove cigarettes, e-cigarettes, nicotine vaporizers, nicotine liquids, hookahs, kreteks, pipes, chew, snuff, smokeless tobacco and marijuana. The expanded policy will also apply to events held at PP&R properties, with a provision for golf tournaments to allow smoking under permitted and certain conditions.

There will be a five-month grace period to inform and educate the public about the expanded smoke- and tobacco-free policy. While any violation of a city code is a misdemeanor which could lead to citation, beginning July 1, 2015, the primary method of enforcement will be education. Patrons who refuse to comply with the policy may also be subject to a parks exclusion. Enforcement will be administered by PP&R staff and other park officers with the authority to enforce park rules.


Safeguard yourself against scam phone calls
Recently, the Oregon State Police has taken reports from people who have been scammed out of money by people posing as law enforcement officers on the telephone.

Scammers have called, claiming to be members of a police department or sheriff’s department, to tell the victim that they missed jury duty, needed to pay outstanding fines or had a warrant for their arrest that could be taken care of over the phone with a payment. Callers may instruct the victims to purchase reloadable cards and call them back with the numbers. Similar scams have been reported in the past year where callers claim to be with a utility company or other government agency.

The Oregon State Police reminds you to be aware that:
• The Oregon State Police or any other legitimate law enforcement agency does not call community members seeking payment for outstanding traffic citations or warrants.
• The Oregon State Police does not call individuals and demand money from community members under any circumstances.
• Individuals claiming to collect debts may try to instill fear in potential victims to persuade them to forward money.

Tips to help avoid becoming a victim to this scam include:
• Never give personal or financial information to an unsolicited caller or email sender.
• Be suspicious of callers who demand immediate payment for any reason.
• Utility companies and government agencies will never contact you for payment by GreenDot, MoneyPak or Vanilla Reload.
• Remember that anyone who has the number on a prepaid card has access to the funds on your card.
• Never wire money or provide debit or credit card numbers to a stranger.

The Oregon Judicial Department advises that courts may use an independent collection service to collect unpaid monetary judgments and fines. If someone believes they are being scammed regarding an alleged unpaid traffic citation or other court-imposed financial obligation, they can:
• Ask the collector (caller) for information specific to the alleged warrant or unpaid traffic citation. The caller should have the court case number, date of ticket and vehicle license number.
• Verify the debt or confirm other details by calling the OJD collections hotline at 1-888-564-2828.
• Use OJD Courts ePay to directly pay money owed to state courts for most traffic citations, civil fees or criminal fines. (For more information, go to www.courts.oregon.gov/OJD/OnlineServices/ePay/Pages/index.aspx.)

If you receive a similar call, disconnect without providing any information or taking any instructions from the caller. Contact your local law enforcement agency. You may also file a complaint with the Oregon Department of Justice Consumer Protection Office via the Consumer Hotline at 1-877-877-9392 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or complete an online Consumer Complaint Form anytime at www.doj.state.or.us/consumer/Pages/complaint.aspx.