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Farmland to become parkland
Ikea to open July 25
Northeast Rotary Club celebrates 50 years of ‘Service above Self’
2007 Portland Christian Athletics: best year ever
Shaver takes innovative ESL project to streets
Student vision exercise complete, Parkrose takes over
Cash for student essay contest presented

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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 August issue are due by Monday, July 16. For best results, e-mail Darlene Vinson at Or mail editorial 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.

Mill Park boasts librarian of the year
Deb Wheelbarger, teacher-librarian at Mill Park Elementary School in the David Douglas School District, has been selected Oregon 2007 Elementary Teacher-Librarian of the Year by the Oregon Association of School Libraries, the professional group for school librarians and media specialists throughout the state. Wheelbarger was selected from numerous highly-qualified candidates who were nominated by their school principals or other school personnel. This is the highest award given by the OASL, which each year honors one exemplary elementary teacher-librarian, one secondary teacher-librarian, one school library paraprofessional, and one school or district administrator.

Wheelbarger stood out over other candidates with the depth and breadth of her school library program at Mill Park. She incorporates reading promotion, research skills instruction, technology use and collaboration with classroom teachers while running an exemplary school library. Wheelbarger will be honored during a banquet Oct. 13 at the OASL Fall Conference in Seaside, Ore.

Ainslie returns to retirement
Parkrose High School’s energetic ASPIRE program developer, Teena Ainslie, has stepped down or is “re-retiring” as she likes to joke. Thursday, June 14 was Ainslie’s last day on staff.

Ainslie has served ASPIRE for four years. She served as an AmeriCorps member stationed at PHS for two years before joining the College & Career Center as a part-time assistant for an additional two years. “The grant funding for her position has evaporated,” said Meg Kilmer, her supervisor, “and it will be challenging to continue the program without [Ainslie’s] leadership.”

ASPIRE, the statewide college prep mentoring program, is well-known in Mid-county because of Ainslie’s press releases and public speaking efforts. Ainslie has recruited, trained and supported dozens of ASPIRE advisors as they coached college-bound youth of PHS. Students and mentors alike will miss Ainslie’s dedication and commitment to this program.

Thesis final step to chemistry degree
Buck Taylor (Parkrose High, class of 2002) celebrates earning a bachelor of arts degree in chemistry from Willamette University.
Photo Credit: Meg Kilmer
Buck Taylor, a member of the Parkrose High School class of 2002, graduated cum laude from Willamette University in June. Taylor earned a bachelor of arts degree in chemistry with a minor in biology and national recognition for his senior thesis research. His noteworthy project, “Synthesis of Novel Neomycin-Doxycycline Conjugates,” led to Taylor’s nomination as one of 12 finalists for the 2006 Frank and Sara McKnight Prize in Undergraduate Chemistry, awarded by the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

Taylor’s senior project began by focusing on neomycin B, the primary ingredient in the topical medication Neosporin. Taylor came up with the idea of attaching a different antibiotic, doxycycline, to neomycin B in hopes of creating a new, more effective antibiotic.

Taylor will begin his doctoral studies in chemistry at the University of California at Irvine this summer. He aims to become a college professor. He enjoyed working as a tutor and laboratory assistant in organic chemistry at Willamette.

Taylor is the son of Julie Taylor, who is employed in the transportation department of the Parkrose School District.

Local grad earns degree and commission
Longtime Parkrose residents Cathy and Bob Weatherford share graduation day with son Grant (center). Weatherford earned a bachelor of science degree in chemistry and a commission as a second lieutenant from the Virginia Military Institute in May.
Submitted Photo
In May Grant Weatherford, Parkrose High class of 2003, graduated from the Virginia Military Institute with a bachelor of science degree in chemistry. By maintaining a GPA above 3.0, Weatherford graduated with distinction and earned a commission as a second lieutenant in the United States Army. He will begin his service in October at Fort Sill, Okla., home of the army field artillery.

When Weatherford entered VMI in 2003, he was one of 440 cadets. Only 270 of that number graduated with the class this spring.

Weatherford is the son of Bob and Cathy Weatherford of Parkrose.

Local congregation sends message of inclusion
At a recent congregational meeting, members of Parkrose Community United Church of Christ voted overwhelmingly to declare the congregation open and affirming to gays, lesbians and others often marginalized in society.

Following is the official position adopted by the church:
“In Galatians 3:28 we are reminded that despite our differences we are all ‘one in Christ Jesus.’ Therefore, we, the people of Parkrose Community United Church of Christ, declare ourselves to be open and affirming. With God’s grace, we seek to be a congregation that includes all persons, embracing differences of sexual orientation, gender, marital status, age, mental and physical ability, as well as racial, ethnic, religious, political or [socio]-economic background. We welcome all to share in the life and leadership, ministry, and fellowship, worship, sacraments, responsibilities and blessings of participation in our congregation. This is God’s church and no matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here.”

The General Synod of the United Church of Christ adopted a resolution in 1985 asking congregations to prayerfully consider becoming open and affirming. The church has defined open and affirming to mean “that it has publicly declared that gay, lesbian, bisexual people and those of all sexual orientations are welcome in its full life and ministry,” according to the United Church of Christ Web site,

“To say that a setting of the UCC is open and affirming means discrimination is real and our church should make it clear that in God’s church, all are welcome. Sadly, we need to be intentionally inclusive in our language because so many other religious bodies are exclusive. Gays and lesbians in particular are often turned away by churches,” wrote Church Council President Blair Loudat and other council members in a letter to the congregation preceding the vote.

“By declaring our congregation open and affirming, we have reaffirmed our belief that Jesus has called us to be reconcilers in a world torn apart by hate and discrimination,” said the Rev. Chuck Currie, interim minister of Parkrose Community United Church of Christ. “This vote offers hope that a broken world can be put back together with the grace of God.”

Parkrose Community United Church of Christ is located at 4715 N.E. 106th Ave. To learn more about the church, visit or call 503-253-5457.

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