Each day members of our community quietly celebrate milestones, achievements and accomplishments—big and small. This department highlights these triumphs for the community.
If you’re sending a submission, include all details that apply: individuals’ names, details of the milestone and a contact name and phone number. If you have photos, send them. The submission deadline for February is Friday, Jan. 15. For best results, email firstname.lastname@example.org or mail submissions to 3510 N.E. 134th Ave., Portland, OR 97230. Call 503-287-8904.
Students advance in national essay contest
Four Portland Christian eighth-graders learned they have advanced to the regional competition of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Patriot’s Pen essay by virtue of their placement at the competition hosted by VFW Gresham United Post 180.
Patriot’s Pen is an annual, nationwide contest sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars and is open to students in grades 6, 7, and 8. This year’s essay theme, chosen by the VFW commander in chief, was “What Freedom means to Me.” Students were judged on clarity of presentation, knowledge of the theme and theme development. PCS students advancing in the competition are Wynn Clarke, first place, Madeline DeLucia, second place, and Megdelena Perkins, third place. The essay submitted by Lucas Wobig also received a qualifying score, and he has advanced to the next level of the competition as well.
Clarke, DeLucia and Perkins received cash prizes ranging from $150 to $75.
Sometimes you can beat city hall
A coalition of Parkrose residents scored a victory in City Hall, convincing Portland City Council to reconsider a proposal in the Comprehensive Plan that would have increased freight traffic along Northeast Sandy Boulevard. The proposal to increase the freight traffic status of Sandy from major to priority contradicted the Comprehensive Plan’s aim to cultivate Sandy Boulevard in Parkrose as a neighborhood center, residents argued.
Historic Parkrose District Manager Mingus Mapps, Parkrose Neighborhood Association Chair Annette Stanhope and Rev. Josh Kingsley of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church led the coalition. They mobilized community members to attend the Comprehensive Plan Hearings at City Hall, Nov. 19, and Parkrose High School, Dec. 10. In addition, they spearheaded a letter-writing campaign that resulted in Parkrose community members submitting more than 120 letters to City Council.
According to Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability East District Liaison Chris Scarzello, the council has moved the freight route designation change off the table, pending further analysis.
For information, contact Historic Parkrose District Manager Mingus Mapps at email@example.com.
Reynolds develops partnerships to provide meals for students in need
Reynolds School District is a 2015 Summer Sunshine Awards winner. The school district received the award for its successful and innovative community partnerships.
With funding from the United States Department of Agriculture’s School Meal Programs, low-income children in Oregon have access to free and reduced-price nutritious meals when school is in session and throughout the summer. For some children, the USDA-funded Summer Meal Programs provide the only meal they receive each day. To recognize the efforts of the organizations and individuals who administer the program, the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service’s Western Regional Office established the Summer Sunshine Awards.
School and summer meal programs help the USDA work with partners like the Reynolds School District to realize a shared goal of ending hunger and improving nutrition in America.
Jessica Vega Pederson seeks commissioner seat
Saying she’s ready to build on her strong record of progressive accomplishments in Salem, State Representative Jessica Vega Pederson is running for Multnomah County Commissioner, District 3. Commissioner Judy Shiprack, who currently holds the seat, cannot seeking re-election due to term limits.
“I’ve worked with neighborhood associations and public officials at all levels of government,” said Vega Pederson. She plans to support a living wage for families, affordable housing and programs for seniors and veterans.
Vega Pederson currently represents east Portland’s House District 47. She was the first Latina elected to the Oregon House. As chair of the Energy and Environment Committee, Vega Pederson was instrumental in passing the continuation of Oregon’s controversial Clean Fuels program to reduce pollution and advance the renewable energy sector.
Prior to her work in the Legislature, she worked in the tech sector helping start-ups and small businesses.
Vega Pederson and her husband, Aaron, live in east Portland’s Hazelwood neighborhood with their two young children.
PHS grad nets scholarship for martial arts study
Cosmina Ioanas, Parkrose High class of 2015, is studying martial arts at Choi’s Taekwondo Academy. After six years of study and training, she earned her first-degree black belt.
Ioanas, in her first year at the University of Oregon, was honored by the Academy as its recipient of a $1500 scholarship. She plans to become a pediatrician. “I started from a general interest (in the art of Taekwondo),” says Cosmina. Asked what the classes instilled in her, she said, “self-discipline, as well as the ability to manage my time better.” Patrick Fleskes of the Academy adds, “Overall, this modest young lady has become more assertive and productive from her time at the academy, and all her classmates and teachers wish her the best of luck on her bright future.”
Choi’s Taekwondo Academy, 11702 N.E. Halsey St., has been a fixture in the Parkrose/Gateway area since its founding in 1973 by Tae Hong Choi, and it is the area’s oldest established school.