Gresham In The News

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  • Osa Odighizuwa of David Douglas optimistic about the Scots' 2014 season

    Scots' defensive lineman Osa Odighizuwa (6-2, 235) talks about his offseason and sets expectations for his junior year.

    The David Douglas High School football team completed their second day of fall camp on Tuesday

    The Scots are looking to bounce back in 2014 after going 0-10 last season under Dan Wood, who is entering his 25th season as head coach.  David Douglas will play at Forest Grove the first game of the year on Sept. 5th.

    In the video above, Scots' defensive lineman Osa Odighizuwa (6-2, 235) talks about his offseason and sets expectations for his junior year.

    --Jen Beyrle | @JenBeyrle

  • David Douglas coach Dan Wood previews Scots' 2014 season

    The David Douglas High School football team completed their second day of fall camp on Tuesday.  The Scots are looking to bounce back in 2014 after going 0-10 last season under Dan Wood, who is entering his 25th season as head coach.  David Douglas will play at Forest Grove the first game of the year on Sept. 5th.

    The David Douglas High School football team completed their second day of fall camp on Tuesday

    The Scots are looking to bounce back in 2014 after going 0-10 last season under Dan Wood, who is entering his 25th season as head coach.  David Douglas will play at Forest Grove the first game of the year on Sept. 5th.

    In the video above, Wood previews the Scots' season and gives an updated on the quarterback battle.

    --Jen Beyrle | @JenBeyrle

  • Portland street fee: Commissioner Steve Novick stages tour, stumps for maintenance and safety needs (video)

    Portland Commissioner Steve Novick toured a handful of areas Tuesday he said provide concrete examples of the need for more transportation money.

    Portland Commissioner Steve Novick staged a tour Tuesday morning to highlight four "concrete examples" of problem areas that could stand to benefit if the City Council approves a new fee for road maintenance and safety projects.

    Novick and Portland Bureau of Transportation officials took members of the news media and some community advocates on a bus ride, starting in east Portland and finishing in Southwest early afternoon.

    Novick said the handpicked tour offered a chance to "put some sort of meat on the bones" surrounding the contentious and months long debate about how, and whether, to raise millions of dollars annually for maintenance and safety projects.

    The commissioner, who's been leading the charge along with Mayor Charlie Hales, conceded that despite talking about the need for more money for months and holding public town hall meetings as far back as February, the issue is still vexing for many.

    "I don't think we've made it as easy as we should have to let people know about what we're talking about," he said Tuesday.

    Further adding to the confusion: the seemingly week-to-week revisions to the controversial monthly street fee plan that was pulled on the eve of a scheduled vote in early June.

    Novick and Hales said the city needs to raise as much as $53 million per year by 2018 to pay for street maintenance and safety projects around town. Both residents and business owners would share the bill, but the source is still uncertain.

    Novick and Hales set a November timeline for a return to City Council with a revised plan. In recent weeks, the plans shifted, with the potential of a combination of an income tax and flat fee on businesses helping to bring in the targeted revenue.

    The Portland Bureau of Transportation launched a new page on its website laying out potential maintenance and safety projects throughout the city in a bevy of maps. The collection includes the wish list of projects through the Safe Routes to Schools program, too.

    Novick said of Tuesday's tour, "This is about people in the neighborhood saying, 'This is what we need to have a livable neighborhood.'"

    Stop 1: East Portland, near David Douglas High School

    The tour started on Southeast 130th Avenue and Southeast Salmon Street, an area with sporadic sidewalks that pose a safety concern, officials said, once the state's largest school lets out each afternoon.

    Novick called David Douglas the epicenter of the neighborhood.

    Community advocates said the pedestrian and safety improvements are the top priority throughout east Portland.

    "They want to see crosswalks that are lighted and flashing beacons," said Loris Boisen, with the Division Midway Alliance. "They want to have sidewalks that are contiguous, that make it safer for pedestrians to travel."

    Boisen described her neighborhood as "the United Nations of Portland," with more than 70 languages spoken by residents. "Making them feel safe is one of our number one concerns," she said.

    Stop 2: Next to Mill Park School

    The second stop, on Southeast 117th Avenue, included a lengthy stretch of road that has no sidewalks and poorly marked crosswalks. According to the Safe Routes to School estimates from 2007, adding sidewalks and curbs as well as storm water improvements along just a half-mile stretch of road near the school would cost nearly $1 million.

    Unlike the 130th Avenue and Salmon sidewalks near David Douglas Southeast 117th is included in the East Portland Action Plan's list of desired neighborhood improvements. Dylan Rivera, PBOT spokesman, said east Portland is "awash in a sea of needs," citing the 58 projects listed on the community-led plan.

    Stop 3: Hawthorne Boulevard

    After visiting Mill Park, the entourage moved on to Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard at Southeast 36th Avenue. Steve Townsen, a PBOT engineer, said this section of the busy commercial corridor might not be in the worst shape but would benefit from preventative maintenance work before it falls into further disrepair.

    Stop 4: Novick's place

    The tour concluded at Southwest Capitol Highway and Southwest Garden Home Road. A few blocks from Novick's home, the area has a long swath of busy road with no sidewalks.

    Don Baack, a Southwest Portland resident, said sidewalks serve just 15 percent of Southwest neighborhoods. "We really have a huge amount of needs," Baack said.

    Adding sidewalks to the area is a top priority, according to the neighborhood association's wish list posted on the city's website. Adding sidewalks on a one-mile stretch of road in that area would cost $21 million, PBOT officials said.

    That estimate included expensive storm water improvements, and city officials and neighborhood leaders are examining lower cost alternatives.

    -- Andrew Theen

  • Gresham police report 4 DUII arrests, 40 citations during Fourth of July weekend

    Gresham police ramped up their enforcement of impaired driving as part of a campaign to help get impaired drivers off the road.

    Gresham police reported arresting four people on suspicion of driving under the influence during a four-day crackdown running from July 3 to July 7.

    Gresham police ramped up their enforcement as part of a campaign to help get impaired drivers off the road.

    In addition to the four DUII arrests, police issued 40 citations for suspended licenses, seat belt and uninsured motorist violations. 

  • David Douglas Scots: 2014 Oregon high school football preview

    Scots can only move forward after last season disastrous 0-10 year

    David Douglas Scots

    Class 6A, Mt. Hood Conference

    2013 record: 0-10

    Play time: The Scots will line up in the pistol formation and spread the field with four wide receivers, typically.

    Who's back: Osawaru Odighizuwa, a second-team all-MHC selection at defensive end his sophomore year, will be back on the defensive front this year, and coach Dan Wood is going to try to keep offenses guessing by moving him along the defensive line so teams don't get comfortable running away from him. Odighizuwa won a national championship over the summer on the wrestling mat, and he said the 285-pound Cadet freestyle title was a nice way to head into the gridiron season, and he said his confidence is as high as it has ever been. Jesse Cetz will return to help solidify the offensive line, and receivers Stanford Toloke and Brock Jackson should provide stability along the perimeter.

    Who's new: A battle for quarterback isn't necessarily against two new guys, but one guy is new to the position completely and the other is new to it at the varsity level. Senior Hunter Davis, who Wood said has an edge right now, is a converted wide receiver but has taken well to the new spot. Junior Brian Romero, who started a game for the Scots last season, is also in the hunt for the starting quarterback gig. 

    Glass half full: There is, quite literally, no where to go but up for the Scots. Wood and Odighizuwa agreed that morale this season as been higher than in the past, and the team chemistry is better since "they have been through quite a bit," as Wood put it.

    Glass half empty: Not only did the MHC get bigger, it got better. The additions of Clackamas and Oregon City made an already tough conference road that much tougher.

    Coach said: "I'm really feeling good about our guys this year. We've got some guys that are starting to embrace the mantra of leading by example." -Head coach Dan Wood

    --Billy Gates | @GatesOnSports

  • Gresham volleyball begins the slow healing process following death of assistant coach Matt Hartner

    Gophers' first practice was Tuesday, a day after Hartner's funeral

    GRESHAM – Fifty some girls showed up Tuesday morning in a steamy Gresham gymnasium to take their shot at becoming part of the Gophers’ volleyball program.

    It was the first day of tryouts, with the usual opening-day schedule: measuring heights, vertical leaps, simple drills. But it was far from a usual opening day for the Gophers.

    The coach, who players say always walked into the gym wearing a blue t-shirt and backpack and holding a Diet Coke, wasn’t there.

    Matt Hartner, a Gresham assistant coach since 2010, died in his sleep last Wednesday.

    “If he was here, he’d probably be telling us to stay low, get your feet there, hustle to the ball, talk and make the gym loud,” Gresham junior Maddie Huff said.

    The loss of Hartner, 30, rocked the Gresham program and local volleyball community, and particularly Gophers coach Lori Anderson-Cook, who has known the Hartner family back to her Gresham playing days during the late 1980s.

    Anderson-Cook calls Hartner a “co-coach,” saying “we did everything together. He was the head coach of this team. He was every bit their motivation and heart and soul of this team. He gave them youthfulness, the drive. When I couldn’t talk, he talked.”

    Anderson-Cook talks slowly, as she tries to hold her emotions together.

    “It’s been kind of a role reversal here, as the kids have kind of given me support. They’ve been around a lot, helping me through it,” Anderson-Cook said.

    There are several handwritten posters regarding Hartner in the northeast corner of the gym. Team tryouts started a day late, as Monday was Hartner’s funeral, where about 800 attended at St. Henry’s Catholic Church in Gresham.

    “The funeral was what it was supposed to be. It was the Hartner way, go big or go home,” said Brad Cook, Lori’s husband and assistant coach.

    Anderson-Cook says the Gresham bench will feel empty without a Hartner this season. Jim Hartner, Matt’s father, is a former Gophers’ assistant coach. Matt’s older sisters, Jamie and Julie, played volleyball at Gresham with Anderson-Cook as coach.

    “They were the perfect coaching pair,” Brad said of his wife and Hartner. “They always knew what the other person was thinking. When she wasn’t on that day, he was on. When she needed something, he had already done it or said it.” Matt Hartner, who players say “was like a brother,” was young but growing in the game. Hartner was head coach at Mt. Hood Community College in 2008, then spent a year as a volunteer assistant at Oregon in 2009 before returning to his high school alma mater.

    There are many plans to honor Hartner this season. Anderson-Cook says they’ll have a special ceremony before the team’s first home game, and they’re in the process of designing a memorial patch that the girls will wear on their uniforms. The team is also going to design t-shirts, with one of Hartner’s pet sayings, which they’ll wear as warm-ups.

    Gresham junior Kuwi Akina says one Hartner quote stands out above all others.

    “One thing he would always say is ‘What’s behind you does not matter.’ I live for that one,” Akina said.

    Twitter: @nickdaschel

  • Robert Redford scholarship puts Portland Tibetan refugee one big step closer to filmmaking dreams

    The budding filmmaker was born in Lhusa, the capital of Tibet, and escaped the Chinese-ruled country with his uncle when he was 10 years old.

    Lobsang Tenzin recalls climbing out of a second story window and down a pipe at a boarding school for young Tibetan refugees located in northern India, all in pursuit of a film.

    It happened several times. Tenzin and a handful of friends – "The lesser the merrier; more caused trouble" – snuck off campus and walked three miles to a small theater. They paid about $5 each to watch a movie on the television inside.

    Tenzin was entranced. He dreamed of being an actor or filmmaker, but only in the sense that average Americans dream of flying or dating an A-list movie star.

    Two decades later, it's become a realistic ambition.

    Lobsang TenzinLobsang Tenzin's t-shirt says: "Have you heard anything about Tibet?" 

    The outer Southeast Portland resident is one of two students who will start classes at Santa Fe University of Art and Design this fall on a full scholarship courtesy, in part, of Robert Redford.

    The renowned actor and director supports the university's Robert Redford/Milagro Initiative Scholarship and helps select winners.

    Tenzin, 36, leaves Sunday for Santa Fe, a major step in his exploration of the United States and in his pursuit of a career. He's come along way: from Tibet to Portland, via India and the East Coast. But, in his mind, he still has a long way to go.

    The budding filmmaker was born in Lhusa, the capital of Tibet, he said, and escaped the Chinese-ruled country with his uncle when he was 10 years old. He was housed and educated at a Tibetan Children's Village in northern India, where he snuck out with friends to see films.

    His parents were activists in Tibet, he said, and during his high school years he spoke out against Chinese sovereignty in the once-independent region. He burned a Chinese flag in front of the nation's embassy in New Delhi, he said, and spent five nights in prison.

    As a child and teen he was artistically adept, he said, but the culture didn't promote or even recognize art as a career option. Children were encouraged to be doctors and engineers.

    Tenzin moved to New York City after school—a move he hadn't planned. He received a sixth-month visa after serendipitously waiting in line with a friend in India seeking his own travel papers. He applied for asylum in the U.S., and was granted indefinite stay in June 2001.

    He took jobs as a waiter, valet, dishwasher and maintenance worker and slowly made his way to Chicago. When a friend in Portland offered him a free room if he'd move and attend college, Tenzin jumped at the chance.

    Tenzin now has been in Portland for six and a half years, he said. He took courses at Mt. Hood Community College in preparation for a radiology career, figuring it could pay for his artistic hobbies. But ultimately he switched to media studies.

    He's produced a handful of short films, and recently played the leading role in a film co-produced by the Sowelu Theater and Nsite Pictures.

    "The scope of his skill and talent is broad and very evident in anything he touches and anything he makes," said Barry Hunt, the artistic director at Sowelu Theater.

    Hunt, who mentors young artists, was the one who introduced Tenzin to the Robert Redford/Milagro Initiative. The program's Unique Voice Scholarship covers tuition, room and board and base fees for an applicant who "brings forth the voice of indigenous people from the United States and the world."

    Alhough Tenzin can't safely re-enter Tibet, he hopes to create documentary-style films that tell his people's stories—tales based in both fact and fiction.

    "If I don't step it up and tell those stories, they could be lost," he said. "It's the people with wrinkles that have the stories."

    He envisions traveling the world creating National Geographic-style documentaries about culture and nature. He speaks five languages, he said, and figures that talent alone might endear him to established filmmakers.

    A member of the local Tibetan Youth Congress, Tenzin said he hopes to inspire Tibetan young people to pursue their passions instead of money.

    "I want Tibetan kids to be jealous of me," he said, laughing. "In a good way."

    Here's one of Tenzin's short films:

    -- Melissa Binder

  • Gresham coach dies, top gridiron guys countdown, Forest Grove football: The Oregonian's high school sports top 5

    The top 5 sports stories from Monday, August 18

    With the prep football season on the horizon, readers have been enjoying The Oregonian's player rankings and countdown to kick off the upcoming year. The countdown, which was done largely in part by Nick Daschel, covers positions rankings and features a preseason poll, along with what the rankings as voted on by readers.

    Here are the top five stories/posts from Monday, August 18:

    1. High school football countdown

    2. Gresham assistant volleyball coach Matt Hartner passes away

    3. Oregon high school top players, Northwest Oregon Conference preview and more: The Oregonian's HS top 5

    4. Forest Grove football: Five storylines as the Vikings begin practice in 2014

    5. Central Catholic and Oregon City: Oregon's top 2014 high school football team countdown

  • Southridge football under the radar; Payton Pritchard's busy summer: Oregon high school sports news (links)

    Sprague coaches take ice-bucket challenge; Beaverton's Gigi Stoll wins LPGA qualifier

    A glance at high school sports coverage across the state:

    Football: The Dalles Chronicle takes a look at the start of practice for The Dalles, Dufur and Sherman County
    Football: Sprague’s coaching staff accepts ALS ice bucket challenge (Statesman Journal)
    Boys basketball: West Linn guard Payton Pritchard stays busy during the summer (West Linn Tidings)
    Football: Under-hyped Southridge lying in wait for Metro League (Beaverton Valley Times)
    Football: Reynolds looks to take next step in second season under coach Dustin Janz (The Oregonian)
    Girls golf: Beaverton’s Gigi Stoll earns spot in LPGA’s Portland Classic by winning qualifier (The Oregonian)

  • Stung by 0-10 season, David Douglas football eager for redemption in 2014

    The Scots are coming off their first winless season in 32 years

    A year ago, the David Douglas football team finished 0-10, the worst record in school history and the Scots’ first winless season since going 0-9 in 1981. Coach Dan Wood, entering his 25th season, talked about how his team is looking to bounce back this year.
    On how last season motivated his players during the offseason: “Hopefully the experience our kids went through last year can be a positive, and so far I really believe it has been. It’s kind of brought them together a little bit. They’ve embraced hard work. Their work ethic has gotten better. I really like the way our kids embraced the offseason. I feel really good about our guys. We’re at a point now where I feel like we have to build on toughness and confidence.”
    On how last season played out: “It was just a whole myriad of things that went on. We were so young. At the end of the day, I think it was an experience that made us all a little bit better. And hopefully it’s going to pay dividends for us this year.”
    On junior defensive lineman Osa Odighizuwa (6-2, 235), a state wrestling champion who was second-team Mt. Hood Conference as a sophomore: “We’re probably going to play him at multiple spots on the defensive front because we want people to have to figure out where he’s at. We don’t want to just line him up in one spot and have people be able to run away from him. He has a chance to be pretty special for us.”
    On the college prospects of Odighizuwa, whose brother, Owamagbe, is a senior defensive lineman at UCLA: “He’s starting to get inquiries. Nothing really hot and heavy, but there’s been people calling. The Beavers and Ducks. Portland State. Montana came in and expressed a huge interest in him.”
    On how seniors Shakur Gross and Dwyea Dweh and junior Darrion Wedge can replace the graduated Andre Reasno at running back: “We have three or four kids that I feel are pretty darn good. All three are in the hunt and all three bring a different kind of skill set. They’re all very athletic, they all can run really well.”
    On his expectations for the season: “Certainly to be in the upper half of our conference. I feel really good about the kids we have. We’re going to have an opportunity to surprise some people.”
    Notes: Senior Hunter Davis, who spent most of last season at receiver, is the leading candidate at quarterback. He is battling with junior Brian Romero. … Sophomore Tyrone Abraham, a second-team Mt. Hood Conference tight end last year, should provide a lift at inside linebacker. … Senior Jesse Cetz (5-9, 220), is back to anchor the offensive line. He also will start at linebacker. … The team will have some big targets at receiver in seniors Stanford Toloke (6-3, 180) and Brock Jackson (6-4, 180). Both play linebacker. … Junior lineman Nate Lampert is back after starting every game at left tackle as a sophomore.

    -- Jerry Ulmer | @jerryulmer

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