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World's largest Christmas choral festival right here in Portland, Ore.
Panel examines citywide neighborhood structures
Fall high school sports roundup
Hall of Fame coach joins Mat Club
Perlman's Potpourri:
East Portland hosts Portland Plan kickoff event
William “Bill” Winge succumbs at 91

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Memo Pad...

To fully serve the community, the Mid-county Memo offers this section to showcase upcoming special events, celebrations of milestones in our readers' lives, those seemingly small accomplishments that often do not receive the recognition they deserve, and everyday events that should be shared with friends and neighbors.

Memo Pad submissions for the January issue are due by Tuesday, Dec. 15. For best results, e-mail Darlene Vinson at Or mail submissions to 3510 N.E. 134th Ave, Portland, OR 97230. To leave a phone message, call 503-287-8904. The fax number is 503-249-7672.

PHS musicians receive honors
Congratulations to Parkrose High School choir and band members who have been selected to perform with the All-State Honors Choir and the All-State Wind Symphony at the annual Oregon Music Educators Association conference Jan. 15-17 in Eugene.

Honors choir students are Taylor Mura, Ciara Dines, Paris Mayhew, Shayna Jackson, Zach Baldwin and Jackson Singleton.

French horn player Shannon Webb will represent PHS in the wind symphony. They will travel to the University of Oregon where they will spend three days working with nationally renowned directors. The rehearsals will culminate in the All-State Gala Concert held at the Hult Center.

Josh Latter will join Baldwin, Mura and Singleton in Seattle March 10-13 for the American Choral Directors All-NW Convention. He, Singleton and Baldwin will perform with the men's choir; Mura has been selected to perform with the women's choir.

Elk's select letterman, honor student as Teen of the Month
David Douglas High School senikor Conner Hurley, flanked by his parents, Tim and Connie Hurley, is the Gateway Elks November Teenager of the Month.
He is a varsity letterman, a member of the National Honor Society, a volunteer youth coach, a leader and the November Gateway Elks Teenager of the Month. Meet Conner Hurley, son of Tim and Connie Hurley, a David Douglas High School senior who carries a 4.0 GPA.

While Hurley has played football and baseball for the Scots, he earned his letters in basketball and golf. He is a member of the Scots Pride Student Team; participates in STARS, where he mentors other students and is active in Young Life. He also works the sideline at DDHS football games and operates the scoreboard at soccer games.

According to Sean Betker, a counselor at David Douglas, “Conner demonstrates a high level of maturity and responsibility in maintaining a good balance of school, faith, family and friends. He has prepared himself to be a dynamic human being, filled with compassion, determination and loyalty.”

Family is an important part of Hurley's life. He enjoys watching movies and going out to dinner with his parents and younger brother. He particularly relishes family skiing and snowboarding outings. He has fond memories of living and traveling in Australia where his father, a physical education teacher, participated in a teacher exchange program during Hurley's third-grade year. In his free time Hurley likes playing sports, reading, hanging out with friends and spending time in the outdoors.

The Gateway Elks Lodge Teenager of the Month program is open to juniors and seniors from Parkrose, David Douglas, Madison, Portland Christian and Marshall high schools or Portland Adventist Academy. For more information about this program or the Elks in general, please contact the Gateway Elks Lodge, 711 N.E. 100th Ave., at 503-255-6535 or

Finding auction items a 'hoot' for active volunteer

Busy retired minister Charlie Ross devotes time and energy to securing auction items fo the annual SnowCap Community Charities dinner and auction held each February.
Courtesy Danni Mooney
From Hollywood to Hooters, Charlie Ross tells and sells the story of SnowCap Community Charities. His purpose is to secure items for the annual SnowCap Valentine Dinner and Auction, which raises money for SnowCap's vital community outreach. And, he's already at work on the agency's 2010 event scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 13 at Mt. Hood Community College.

“It's never too early to ask,” he said. “The deadline is early January.”

SnowCap Community Services is a philanthropic organization created to provide food, clothing, advocacy and other services to the poor in much of east Portland, Parkrose, Gresham, Troutdale, Wood Village and Fairview. Ross is its leading procurement specialist.

A retired minister, Ross has been active in SnowCap for many years. He was born and raised in St. Louis, Mo., and was educated in Chicago and at the Eden Seminary in St. Louis. His work with SnowCap began when he assumed the pastorship at Parkrose United Church of Christ in 1970. The church was one of the original charter supporters of SnowCap.

His SnowCap services over the years have ranged from interested participant to full-time scrounger. He has served on the SnowCap board of directors off and on for more than 30 years and has been on the auction committee since it was created seven years ago. He has also served on the board of the Daybreak Family Shelter Network, a volunteer organization that finds temporary living quarters for low-income families and Ross is active in Russellville Kiwanis.

While the SnowCap auction committee starts to get active before the holidays season each year, Ross admits to working on prospective donors and sponsors almost year round. His most unusual SnowCap auction acquisition resulted from an article he read one Sunday a few years ago in the Oregonian's Parade Magazine supplement. “The story was about popular television actor John Ritter's efforts to help the hungry,” Ross said. Ross wrote a letter to Ritter outlining SnowCap's mission and its upcoming dinner and auction. He heard nothing from Ritter. “Frankly, I forgot about it. Then one day I received in the mail an autographed copy of Ritter's first script of '8 Simple Rules,' the popular television show on which he was appearing at the time. Sadly, John Ritter died unexpectedly a week after he sent the document.”

And Hooters? Charlie Ross has told the SnowCap story in some interesting places. On a chance stop, Ross asked the management at the Mall 205 Hooters to donate a couple of meals for the very first auction, and they did. In fact, Hooters donated two dinners for several years. “Dinner at Hooters was one of our more popular items,” Ross said with a smile.

The SnowCap Auction Committee is currently accepting auction items and table sponsorships. Individual tickets are $50; a table of eight is $400.

Information is available by contacting 503-674-8785, ext. 17, or

Mid-county resident seeks sheriff's position
Bruce McCain, a retired Multnomah County sheriff's captain and area resident, is running for Multnomah County sheriff.
Submitted photo
Long-time Mid-county resident Bruce McCain is running to become the next Multnomah County sheriff. McCain is a recently retired sheriff's captain who has lived with his family in the Parkrose Heights and Wilkes neighborhoods since 1983. All three of Bruce and Kathy McCain's daughters played softball for Parkrose Little League, where Bruce served as coach and umpire for many years.

McCain is running on his extensive experience in the corrections part of the MCSO, which today accounts for more than 70 percent of the agency's $115 million budget. While jails remain the primary job of the county sheriff, McCain says he will maintain the long-standing police contracts with Maywood Park and Wood Village, which do not have their own police departments.

McCain said the nature of the agency has changed dramatically since the 1980s, when Portland and Gresham annexed large swaths of unincorporated Mid-county. That loss of patrol territory severely reduced the sheriff's traditional policing role, while corrections continued to grow. McCain said voters should remember one thing next spring: “We are not electing a county police chief, but a professional manager of the state's largest local correctional system.”

McCain's campaign can be reached at 503-944-9200 or

Multnomah County Library receives five-star rating again
In its second annual assessment, the national library publication “Library Journal” has again awarded Multnomah County Library a five-star rating - the highest ranking possible.

The LJ Index of Public Library Services ranks libraries based on four per-capita output measures: visits, circulation, program attendance and public Internet computer use. When compared with other large urban library systems in the U.S., Multnomah County Library was ranked number one in circulation per capita once again, based on data compiled by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

“Multnomah County Library's five-star rating shows that the library is well used by the community and continues to be an important and much needed resource, especially in this challenging economy,” Library Director Vailey Oehlke said.

PP&R acquires three new Mid-county properties
Portland Parks & Recreation has recently acquired three new properties, all located adjacent to existing park properties; this includes nearly a half acre that will provide Leach Botanical Garden with much needed expansion space. The other acquisitions are adjacent to Knott Park in Northeast Portland and Gates Park, a property in outer east Portland which, though yet undeveloped, recently underwent significant enhancements to expand its recreational use.

“We are steadily moving forward with our commitment to acquire park properties east of I-205,” Parks Commissioner Nick Fish said. “These new acquisitions will add to our existing parks, including the beautiful Leach Botanical Garden, and enable us to offer more recreational opportunities to residents in this part of our city.”

Leach Botanical Garden is located in a woodland hollow carved by Johnson Creek in Southeast Portland. This botanical garden specializes in preserving the original John and Lilla Leach collection, as well as introducing northwest native plants through educational programs, conservation and community involvement. At less than 16 acres, the garden has not had the room needed to expand its collection or its education programs. The acquisition of an immediately adjacent .45-acre parcel, located at 6604 S.E. 122nd Ave., will provide much needed additional space. It has not yet been determined how the new property - particularly a house situated on the lot - will be used. PP&R will work with the Leach Garden Friends to determine the best use of the house.

The purchase price for the property was $175,000, funded by a partnership which combined Park System Development Charge acquisition funds and Portland's share of Metro's voter-approved 2006 natural areas bond measure funds.

Knott Park, Northeast 117th Avenue and Knott Street, is currently a 12.4-acre park with several features, including ball fields and disabled access play areas. To expand the park, PP&R has purchased an immediately adjacent .46-acre property at 11510 N.E. Knott St. The purchase price was $170,000, funded by Parks SDC acquisition funds.

Gates Park is currently a 7.5-acre site, located on Southeast 136th Avenue between Holgate Boulevard and Mall Street, which was acquired over a period of several years in order to provide a future park in the Powellhurst Gilbert neighborhood. Starting in December 2008, several enhancements were made on the property, including the removal of invasive plants, site grading and the installation of basic features such as soft paths, open lawn, signage and seating areas. These have made the park much more accessible for the neighborhood. The purchase of an immediately adjacent 1.5-acre property at 13915 S.E. Holgate Blvd. will enable PP&R to eventually enlarge the park. There are currently two houses on the property that may be rented out in the short term, but which may need to be demolished as Gates Park is more fully developed. The adjacent property was purchased for $379,000, funded by Parks SDC acquisition funds.

Receive $50 for your old fridge or freezer
During the holidays, homeowners often look to that second fridge in the garage to stow their turkey or keep extra drinks cold. But keeping an older fridge humming away can be a big drain on the household budget.

Refrigerators or freezers from 1993 or earlier could be wasting up to $200 a year in energy costs when compared to today's more energy-efficient models that cost about $40 per year to run.

To help persuade busy homeowners to unplug and save this season, Energy Trust is offering a limited-time, increased cash incentive of $50 to customers who sign up to recycle their fridge and freezer by Dec. 31. After that date, the incentive returns to $30. Pickup is free.

“Most homeowners are quite surprised when they learn how much energy they might be wasting to run their older fridge or freezer,” said Kendall Youngblood, residential sector manager of Energy Trust. “Recycling is a quick, easy way to make a positive impact on the monthly energy bill and if you need a replacement, we encourage a switch to today's more energy-efficient models.”

Purchase of a new refrigerator is not required to participate. However, homeowners can receive an additional $50 cash incentive from Energy Trust, and up to $90 in state energy tax credits, when purchasing a new Energy Star® qualified refrigerator or freezer.

So far this year, Energy Trust has recycled more than 10,000 refrigerators and freezers, saving Oregonians over 9 million kilowatt hours of electricity. That equals approximately $700,000 in energy costs or enough to power 900 homes for a year.

Energy Trust works with JACO Environmental, which picks up the refrigerators and freezers and takes them to its facility in Portland, where 95 percent of the components are recycled - keeping them out of landfills and the environment.

To schedule a free pickup, call 1-866-444-8907 or visit

To qualify, the refrigerator or freezer must be between 10 and 30 cubic feet and in working condition. Oregon customers of Pacific Power and Portland General Electric are eligible to participate. A check is mailed within six weeks of pickup.

Homeowners can calculate the annual cost to run their old fridge or freezer at

Musical scholarship auditions open
Young musicians in Washington, Oregon and Idaho are invited to vie for a scholarship and a chance to perform on stage at Benaroya Hall during the third annual Ten Grands concert on May 21. The once-in-a-lifetime opportunity is part of the grand prize that awaits the winner of 98.1 Classical KING FM's Ten Grands Young Artist Awards.

The competition, presented in collaboration with Ten Grands Seattle and the Snowman Foundation, is open to musicians between the ages of 6 and 18. Nonprofessional acoustic instrumentalists, vocalists or ensembles of up to six people are eligible to submit an audition recording and entry form until Jan. 31. Acceptable submissions are YouTube clips lasting no more than five minutes.

“Ten Grands is a sensational evening for music lovers and people who share a passion for making music accessible to children. We created this program to honor young, up-and-coming artists as an outlet to celebrate their talent and hard work,” Bryan Lowe said, program director at 98.1 Classical KING FM.

Twenty semi-finalists will be showcased for public voting online from Feb. 8 until March 1 at Half will advance as finalists and will perform together at the May 21 Ten Grands event. The grand prize winner will perform solo and be presented with a $1,000 scholarship from KING FM.

Official contest rules and entry forms are online at

Dictionary gives kids word power
Student teacher Lauren Monroe - who will graduate from Concordia College in December - gives Shaver Elementary third-graders Alonso Muros and Samantha Jaimes tips on how to look up words in dictionaries donated by the Northeast Rotary Club of Portland. Besides Shaver, the annual dictionary distribution encompasses Russell Academy as well as Sacramento and Prescott elementary schools in the Parkrose School District.
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