Gresham In The News

  • OregonLive - News

  • Medical marijuana dispensary moratoriums approved in Gresham, Fairview

    Troutdale City Council members appear poised to follow suit at their meeting next Tuesday, after supporting a similar ordinance during a first reading April 8.

    As expected, the city councils of Gresham and Fairview have adopted one-year moratoriums on medical marijuana facilities.

    The Gresham City Council on Tuesday afternoon approved the moratorium, recently allowed under state law, with a unanimous vote following no more discussion. The council had signaled its support last week during discussion at the ordinance's first reading.

    Fairview's council did much the same during a work session Wednesday night, unanimously passing an emergency ordinance after a public hearing with no testimony.

    Troutdale City Council members appear poised to follow suit at their meeting next Tuesday, after supporting a similar ordinance during a first reading April 8.

    Wood Village was the only east Multnomah County city where at least some council members seemed willing to consider allowing marijuana businesses. But the council ended up voting 3-1 last week for a moratorium. Like many cities and some counties across Oregon, Wood Village opted to impose a moratorium while legal issues are sorted out.

    Marijuana use remains illegal under federal law, but the Obama Administration has largely taken a hands-off approach in states that have legalized the drug for medical or recreational use. State lawmakers, meanwhile, so far are not allowing cities and counties to impose permanent sales bans.

    Previously, Gresham and neighboring cities blocked dispensaries through their business license rules or zoning ordinances that required business to comply with all state and federal laws.

    East county residents with a medical marijuana card still have ways of obtaining cannabis, including buying it from dispensaries already operating in Portland, which is among cities that have not tried to block sales.

    -- Eric Apalategui

  • East Portland audit examines neighborhood's history, documenting development woes, zoning challenges since annexation

    The latest report from Portland City Auditor LaVonne Griffin-Valade is a deep dive into the history books and development struggles of East Portland since the Rose City's largest neighborhood area was annexed to the city decades ago. Watch video

    The latest report from Portland City Auditor LaVonne Griffin-Valade is a deep dive into the history books and development struggles of East Portland since the Rose City's largest neighborhood area was annexed to the city decades ago.

    Released on Wednesday, the audit is the first in a series of public audits that will examine Portland neighborhoods, their history, and how well the city is serving them.

    East Portland residents, Griffin-Valade said in a release, "regularly rate many services lower than residents in other parts of Portland." East Portland is broadly defined as the region east of 82nd avenue and Interstate 205, and bordered by the Columbia River on the north, Gresham to the east and Happy Valley and Clackamas County to the south. East Portland is home to 13 of the city's 95 neighborhood associations.

    From a neighborhood park deficit to lack of sidewalks and crosswalks along major traffic arterials, the livability inequities facing East Portland are well-documented. For the past 20 years, residents of East Portland consistently said city government wasn't doing a good job.

    It's the city's most diverse neighborhood area, with minorities making up a larger percentage of East Portland's population "in every census racial category," according to the audit. Overall, the area is less educated than the rest of the city, but home ownership levels are relatively consistent with the rest of Portland.

    Contrary to public perception, the per capita crime rate and overall calls for police service are lower in East Portland than the city's overall rate, despite having fewer officers and sergeants assigned to cover the 29-square-mile area.

    Why has East Portland lagged behind the Central City? Auditors said the area developed "with far more suburban characteristics." Larger roads, longer distances between housing and other services, and a lack of abundant transit options continue to be an issue today.

    Zoning changes allowed and encouraged "rapid growth" in the neighborhood without the addition of necessary infrastructure and thoughtful planning. That's led to a hodgepodge of developments, and an abundance of "flag lots," properties with a long driveway that often result in houses stacked behind one another. This, according to the audit, causes concern for Portland Fire & Rescue officials.

    Auditors points out not all services are the responsibility of the city. Multnomah County is responsible for addiction and mental health services there. TriMet oversees public transit, which residents say is lacking, and Metro sets the regional land use and transportation goals.

     The audit also examined the East Portland Action Plan, the community plan funded by the city and adopted in 2009. EPAP is tasked with mitigating negative trends in the neighborhood, addressing equity, and building on the area's "assets and connections."

    EPAP has 269 specific "action plans," which include projects or policies that fall under a number of categories, such as transportation, economic development and parks.

    Drummond Kahn, director of audit services, said EPAP has produced a mixed bag of successes. Some action items were already in progress or initiatives by city bureaus without EPAP's help, the audit said.

    But, Kahn said, the community group does deserve credit for bringing "strategic vision" and attention to the long-standing problems that face East Portland.

    According to the audit, many of EPAP's goals are "too ambitious," and the group is narrowing down the 269 action items to 29 "priority projects" to pursue.

    Arlene Kimura, co-chair of the EPAP committee, said the city bureaus set the deadlines for each action items. "To do that many items and to do most of the in two-three years is unrealistic," she said. Kimura said a lot of the nuances of EPAP and its mission were not evident in the audit. She said EPAP has successfully brought a diverse group of residents in the neighborhood to the table.

    At a community budget hearing this week at David Douglas High School, Mayor Charlie Hales and the City Council heard passionate testimony to fully fund EPAP for another year. The council is considering a $300,000 one-time budget request for the 2014-15 fiscal year.

    During the hearing, Hales said council support was "unanimous" to fund EPAP's request.

    Afterwards, Hales said he'd seen the audit. "It shows both the challenge and the progress. We have made progress."

    Commissioner Fritz announced development plans for multiple long-promised parks in East Portland. State legislators helped secure funding for 18 pedestrian crossing beacons, and new sidewalks are being installed along Southeast 136th Avenue.

    -- Andrew Theen

  • Wildflowers nearing peak at east end of Columbia River Gorge; here's how to find them

    Word out of Columbia Hills State Park, which can be the most showy place for wildflowers in the entire Pacific Northwest, is that the arrowleaf balsamroot have been in bloom for two weeks and the lupines are just coming into their prime.

    The wildflowers are peaking about now at the east end of the Columbia River Gorge, one of Travel Oregon's 7 Wonders of Oregon, as well as elsewhere around the state.

    The Native Plant Society's event calendar shows the Glide Wildflower Show happening this weekend, April 26-27. Glide is about 30 miles east of Roseburg, in the beautiful North Umpqua River Canyon. Its show is followed by wildflower events at Ashland, Medford, Salem, Eugene and Sunriver. Here's the link to the NPS calendar:

    Word out of Columbia Hills State Park, which can be the most showy place for wildflowers in the entire Pacific Northwest, is that the arrowleaf balsamroot have been in bloom for two weeks and the lupines are just coming into their prime.

    This Washington state park is across the Columbia River from The Dalles. The park is in the process of finishing construction of a new trail system for hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians, leading up the lower gorge from the new Crawford Oaks trailhead parking lot along S.R. 14. This project is not complete and the parking lot is not open, but the park is accessible higher up via The Dalles Mountain Road.

    Word from Darryl Lloyd of Hood River is that the flowers are spectacular at Sevenmile Hill near The Dalles and on the Mosier highlands above the east-bound Memaloose Rest Area on Interstate 84. Though these areas are on public land, they don't have designated trails or parking areas, so they are difficult to describe and follow. I hope to check them out next Tuesday, then head on east to Columbia Hills State Park.

    Next Thursday I meet two employees of the Prineville BLM to check out a new trail network it has been building in the public lands between Sisters and Redmond in central Oregon.

    And what would wildflower season be without two new apps to help find them: check out and

    Here is my early March post with a half-dozen helpful links to finding wildflowers: Columbia River Gorge showing spring wildflowers; here's how to find them (links)

    And more links:

    My top 10 places to hike in Columbia River Gorge for wildflowers

    Columbia River Gorge scenic highlights, one of 7 Wonders of Oregon, mile by mile on I-84 (photos)

    -- Terry Richard

  • Danelle Woodcock of Barlow posts a state best in long jump, while Bruins sweep St. Mary's Academy and Reynolds: Mt. Hood Conference track and field recap

    Barlow takes over first place in MHC boys and girls standings

    Barlow took command of the Mt. Hood Conference’s boys and girls track and field team races during a three-way meet Wednesday against St. Mary’s Academy and Reynolds.

    Barlow upended previously unbeaten St. Mary’s 89-55, and also defeated Reynolds to move to 4-0 in MHC meets. The Bruins handily beat Reynolds 87-58 in a battle of the MHC’s two unbeaten boys teams.

    Barlow is now 3-0 in MHC boys.

    Reynolds’ girls also defeated St. Mary’s, winning 82-64.

    Barlow’s Danelle Woodcock set a state best in long jump with a mark of 18 feet, 11 inches. Woodcock, the defending Class 6A state champion in 100 meters, also won the 200 in 25.74 seconds.

    St. Mary’s Lacey Conner was also a double winner, taking the 800 (2:25.08) and 1,500 (4:54.63).

    In boys, Barlow’s Kobie Ham won two events, taking the shot (50-11 ¼) and discus (136-4), as did Reynolds’ Hutu Spencer, as he won the long jump (20-6) and triple jump (41-8).

    Twitter: @nickdaschel

  • East Portland budget meeting draws vocal support for SUN schools, pedestrian safety improvements: Portland City Hall Roundup

    If a Tuesday night group photo is any indication, at least one of the many requests for general fund dollars facing the Portland City Council is all but a done deal.

    If a Tuesday night group photo is any indication, at least one of the many requests for general fund dollars facing the Portland City Council is all but a done deal.

    Four of the five members of the council joined supporters of the VOZ Workers' Rights Education Center on Tuesday night for a picture. The nonprofit, which operates the day laborer center on Northeast Everett Street between Northeast Grand and Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, is asking for $30,000 in special appropriations in the coming budget year.

    Only Commissioner Dan Saltzman missed the group photo shoot on Tuesday at David Douglas High School.

    But that's just $30,000, and the City Council will likely have $6 million in discretionary spending to divvy up.

    Portland's revenue and spending plan for the next fiscal year kicks into high gear in May, and the scrambling to divide the $6 million in anticipated discretionary funds is already underway. The 2014-15 budget year, which begins in July, is a "stabilization budget" and a welcome relief from last year, where council had to cut roughly $21 million.

    The VOZ picture came after the second community budget forum held by the City Council this year. The first meeting was in Southwest Portland. Tuesday's event took place at David Douglas High School in East Portland.

    Andrew Scott, city budget director, gave a primer on the 2014-15 budget to the attendees on Tuesday. Here are a few snippets, as well as a link to the PowerPoint presentation:

    - $410 million: Projected General Fund budget (revenue largely from property taxes, business license fees)
    - $6 million: Estimated surplus the City Council will decide how to allocate, although Scott said that number will "likely change."
    - Priorities: Mayor Charlie Hales set his priorities as "emergency preparedness, homelessness and hunger, complete neighborhoods and critical needs."
    - What can be added: Requests to add funding must fit into one of Hales' priorities.

    The Requests (information from city PowerPoint)
    Emergency Preparedness:
    - Sears Facility, $2.9 million
    - Restore Fire Positions, $2.6 million
    - BOEC staffing increase, $800,000

    Complete Neighborhoods:
    - Convert seasonal parks workers to full-time, $1.1 million
    - SUN school investments, $700,000
    - East Portland Action Plan, $300,000

    Homelessness & Hunger:
    - Permanent housing, $1 million
    - Prevent youth homelessness, $500,000
    - Housing investment, $3 million

    Some takeaways from Tuesday's testimony:

    - East Portland Action Plan: Oregon State Rep. Jeff Reardon kicked off the evening asking the council to approve the one-time $300,000 request for the East Portland Action Plan. "I think it's been extremely helpful," he said of the community-led effort. Hales said, "I think it's unanimous among the council," to approve the funding request. Several more speakers also asked council to fund EPAP for another year.
    - SUN Community Schools: The Multnomah County "Schools Uniting Neighborhoods" were another top priority on Tuesday. Several principals from around the David Douglas School District testified asking for the city to follow thorough on making the community-based program district-wide. There were also requests to help finalize the early childhood learning center at Earl Boyles Elementary School.
    - Pedestrian safety: Several speakers said sidewalks and crosswalks remain a huge concern for residents in East Portland. One speaker lauded the announcement earlier on Tuesday from state legislators that 18 new pedestrian safety beacons will be built at dangerous intersections, but the speaker described that as "a drop in the bucket."
    - Tree Code: Portland still hasn't enacted the citywide tree code, which was approved in 2011. The comprehensive code dictates tree policies throughout the city.
    - Housing: Some Bhutanese refugees testified about the issues facing immigrant communities, including the insufficient amount of transition housing assistance.

    That's just a sampling of the testimony from the two-hour hearing Tuesday. If I missed something, share it in the comment section.

    But first, there's a lot to catch up on in Portland City Hall News. Check out the links below.


    The Oregonian: Portland's Mt. Tabor urination saga continues as 38 million gallons not all flushed

    The Oregonian: Fact of Fiction: A look at the Portland Public Water District ballot measure.

    The Oregonian: Portland street fee can't be 'seen as tax' PBOT's Leah Treat says

    The Oregonian: Trader Joe's says goodbye to Northeast Portland, perhaps for good

    Willamette Week: Talking Bull - a look at the "unfiltered truth" behind the water district measure

    Bike Portland : Maybe this is why you can't afford to rent in the central city

    -- Andrew Theen

  • Pet Talk: Kitten care 101: What to do if you come across a litter

    If you come across a litter of kittens, resist the urge to take them home with you or you put the kittens and their mother at risk.Wait until they're old enough to be brought to a shelter or try to find homes for them on your own.

    Pet-Talk-04.25.14-Kitten-pics-from-CAT.jpgThis mother cat, named Maybelle, was brought into Cat Adoption Team with her three kittens when she was just a kitten herself at seven months old.

    If you come across a litter of kittens this season, exercise some caution before getting caught up in the cuteness.

    “The first instinct is to scoop them up and take them away,” says Ann Potter, community outreach manager at Multnomah County Animal Services. “But most of the time that’s probably not the best action to take for the kittens, especially if they seem content and have a decent weight.”

    Instead, look out for their mother or return in several hours, because mama cat is likely either out foraging for food or watching you from afar.

    If the kittens are tiny, their eyes are still closed and they’re not running around, they probably haven’t been weaned yet.

    Removing them from their mother at this stage puts the mom at risk for a painful and potentially fatal condition called mastitis, says Kristi Brooks, operations manager at Cat Adoption Team in Sherwood.

    Bringing home a pre-weaned litter also means you’ll be tasked with bottle-feeding them with kitten milk replacement, a significant commitment.

    If you do think it’s necessary to take them in, ideally you can bottle-feed them yourself rather than take the kittens to a shelter.

    Shelters welcome any help the community can provide during the busy “kitten season,” typically between late spring and early autumn, when they get crowded with cats.

    Last year, MCAS took in 1,250 kittens, most of which came in between the end of May and October, Potter says.

    Unless you believe they’re in danger or orphaned, wait until they’re old enough to separate –around six or eight weeks – then try to find the mother and arrange to get her spayed.

    Cats can go into heat while they are still nursing, so it’s important to spay the mother as soon as the kittens are weaned in order to prevent future pregnancies.

    In the meantime, you can provide a makeshift shelter by flipping a cardboard box upside down and cutting a doorway to allow the mother to enter and exit, Brooks suggests.

    You can also offer food and water, but make sure to keep it away from the kittens and pick up all traces of it at night to prevent predators.

    If the mother cat seems friendly, you may opt to bring all of them inside your home. Set up shop in your bathroom and provide them with food, water and a litter box.

    This is a good opportunity to start socializing them. Even very young kittens can be handled by humans, as long as it’s done carefully, Brooks says.

    If you have young children, she suggests sitting on the floor and having your child sit down on your lap with the kitten to ensure the child doesn’t inadvertently hurt it.

    By about four weeks old, the kittens can start the weaning process and should be able to eat a slurry of wet food softened with water.

    Once they can eat dry food comfortably - about six to eight weeks old – they can be taken to a shelter, where they’ll either go into foster care or put up for adoption.

    Better yet, try to find a home for them on your own. Post flyers and ask around to see if anyone you know is looking for a kitten or two.

    Keep in mind, the kittens should be spayed or neutered, which will be done upon intake at a shelter. This can be done between the time they’re two months old or weigh at least two pounds and four months of age (cats can get pregnant as young as four or five months old).

    They should also be vaccinated and examined by a veterinarian to make sure they don’t have any diseases or parasites.

    If the kittens are feral

    If the mother cat is feral, leave food out at set times in the morning and evening, which will make it easier to trap her and get her spayed, says Leah Kennon, operations director for the Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon.

    Feral kittens need to be socialized by the time they’re eight weeks old. Miss that window, and it significantly decreases the chance that they’ll be adoptable.

    Ultimately, the more you can do to help prevent cat overpopulation, the better chance felines will have to survive and thrive.

    If you want to help: Fostering kittens is a great way to help area shelters this summer. Most of the shelters offer kitten fostering programs and provide training and support.

    Visit the “volunteer” section on your local shelter’s website to find out how you can help.

    Free spay and neuters for strays:

    The Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon is offering a “Spay Your Stray in May” special, with free spay and neuter surgeries and vaccines for stray and feral cats throughout the month of May. Visit or call 503-797-2606 for more information. You can also call the organization for information about trap-neuter-return and taming feral kittens.

    For help determining a kitten's age: Visit the Alley Cat Allies website for week-by-week photos of kitten progression.


    --Monique Balas;
  • Joshua Kellebrew of David Douglas could be one of the stars at Saturday's Centennial Invitational

    The Scots junior is the current state-best leader at 400 and 800 meters

    David Douglas junior Joshua Kellebrew is emerging as one of the state’s top track athletes this spring.

    Kellebrew is the state leader in 400 and 800 meters. Last year’s Class 6A runner-up in 800 ran a 1 minute, 53.5 second clocking at the Laker Classic earlier this month. During last week’s dual meet against Centennial, Kellebrew ran the 400 in 49.34 seconds, a state-best time he shares with South Salem’s Janzen Aguilar-Nelson.

    David Douglas coach Cameron Cross said “something clicked” for Kellebrew last spring after spending two seasons of cross country and a year of track and field searching for success. Cross says he now sees a bright college future for Kellebrew, one that could include competing in decathlons.

    Kellebrew gets his biggest test of the season Saturday at the Centennial Invitational, where he’ll face some of the state’s best in the 800. In preparing for big races this season, Cross said during one practice, he had the entire team stand and watch Kellebrew run an 800 race.

    “I said to him, people are coming to watch you now. I asked him how he liked having everyone watch him, and said, ‘It kind of freaks me out.’ But it was helpful. Now at meets, he takes care of business,” Cross said.

    Cross said Kellebrew will definitely compete in the 800 and 1,600 relay during postseason meets, while the 400 in a possibility.

    Twitter: @nickdaschel

  • Portland's Mt. Tabor urination saga continues as 38 million gallons are moved but not yet flushed

    The city of Portland decided not to flush the entire 38 million gallons of "contaminated water" in a Mt. Tabor reservoir after all

    UPDATE: 10:50: This story was updated with the estimated amount of water diverted. It was previously updated with additional context from the Portland Water Bureau. PWB said they started draining the "contaminated" reservoir last Wednesday, but then started diverted to Reservoir 6 on Monday of this week.

    Turns out, they didn't flush it all.


    More than an hour into a community budget hearing at David Douglas High School in East Portland Tuesday night, Commissioner Nick Fish responded to a neighbor's question about Mt. Tabor's future with an off-topic, but important update on the city's recent internationally famous public urination episode.

    "We will keep the water in Reservoir 6 for now," Fish said.

    The water, is the so-called "contaminated water" that made national headlines last week
    thanks to a Portland area teen.

    The Portland Water Bureaus started draining Reservoir 5, the crime scene of the alleged urination, on Wednesday of last week. But draining 38 million gallons takes days, and by Monday of this week, just 2-3 million gallons had been drained into city sewers.

    Water officials started to divert the remaining 35-36 million gallons of water to Reservoir 6 on Monday morning. "The rate of draining Res 5 was slow," said public information officer Jaymee Cuti, "and we wanted to get it back into service."

    Fish, who oversees both the Water Bureau and Bureau of Environmental Services, said just last week that flushing the 38 million gallon reservoir was the "conservative but correct" call. The decision made national headlines, from the Huffington Post to NPR to blogs and wire services across the globe.

    But on Tuesday, Fish said the "urination incident gave us an opportunity" to "test drive" and see whether the city could indeed keep water in the open air reservoirs even after the covered reservoirs at Kelly Butte and Powell Butte come online. Portland is required by the federal government to retire its open air reservoirs, despite years of fighting.

    Shifting the remaining water also has "the added benefit" Cuti said of making the vacant Reservoir 6 "more attractive." Cuti did not immediately have figures or estimates of the amount of contaminated water that was drained prior to Monday's about-face.

    Fish said there's no timetable for when the city may flush what remains of the contaminated water.

    Portland stopped using Reservoir 6 for drinking water in October 2010, according to Cuti. She said the reservoir was "valved off" for the past few years because the city didn't need the added storage capacity.  
    City surveillance video showed Portland teen Dallas Swonger allegedly urinating in Reservoir 5, one of Mt Tabor's three open air reservoirs.

    On Tuesday, Fish's comment got lost in the tide of neighborhood advocates pushing for early childhood education funding, better pedestrian safety infrastructure and a slew of other issues near and dear to the hearts of the dozens in attendance at the East Portland high school.

    But after the meeting, Fish and Commissioner Amanda Fritz said the city decided to divert what remained of the water to Reservoir 6 rather than flush it as planned after careful consideration.

    The city couldn't flush all the water at once anyway, Fish said, because that would overload the system. So, they apparently settled on shifting the water to nearby Reservoir 6.

    A map of Mt Tabor ReservoirsView full sizeA map of Mt. Tabor's reservoirs.
    The reservoir sits parallel to Southeast 60th Avenue, while the kidney-shaped Reservoir 5 is more on the "western flank" of Mt. Tabor, according to city documents. Both open reservoirs were built in 1911.

    "It's partly an experiment," Fish said Tuesday, calling it a "no brainer" to maintain the historic feel of the reservoirs.

    Cuti said the decision also gives the bureau the opportunity to "see how water does for long periods of time" in the static reservoir.

    The chief way to do that is to keep water in them. "I think that's going to be one of the ideas," he said.

    Reservoir 6 has a fountain, Fritz said, and could be activated in the future.

    She said it's unclear how long the "contaminated water" will remain. "But certainly for a while," she said, "so that the visitors can enjoy it at no additional cost to the ratepayers."

    -- Andrew Theen

  • East Portland: State Representatives Fagan and Vega Pederson secure $1.9 million for 18 new pedestrian safety crossings

    Eighteen dangerous intersections in East Portland will be a lot safer thanks to $1.9 million in news pedestrian crossing beacons, state legislators say. Watch video

    Oregon State Representative Shemia Fagan, the first-term Democrat representing a large chunk of East Portland and beyond, said she's already attended "multiple vigils" for pedestrians run down on busy thoroughfares in her first term.

    Just this year, Fagan said, three residents were killed in the span of weeks in East Portland.

    On Tuesday, Fagan and fellow State Rep. Jessica Vega Pederson announced a $1.9 million "down payment" to address the worrisome trend of pedestrian safety issues in East Portland.

    "Too often, Fagan said from Ventura Park in East Portland, "News out of this part of the city is sad, or scary, or downright tragic." But Fagan and Vega Pederson said they secured $1.9 million in state general fund dollars to start making real change happen immediately.

    Working with Portland Bureau of Transportation leaders, the state legislators identified "the 18 most dangerous" pedestrian crossings in East Portland. Construction will begin this summer on installing flashing pedestrian beacons on the first of those 18 problem areas.

    "I'm proud to stand with my colleagues and neighbors today, as we continue to deliver on the promises we made to East Portland," Fagan said.

    The state funding comes as PBOT officials, Mayor Charlie Hales and Commissioner Steve Novick make a push to invest more money in maintenance and transportation across the city.

    Fagan said the $1.9 million is really cost savings from another $5 million planning project in East Portland. The 2013 legislative session included a $5 million study to look at what transportation and safety improvements are needed on Powell Boulevard. Fagan said that project came in under budget. Fagan and Vega Pederson had a "sense of urgency" to see something happen immediately and pushed to use the excess planning money in East Portland as soon as possible.

     The crossing beacons produce a flashing effect once activated by a pedestrian. The first five projects could be finished by the time school begins this fall.

    Each intersection is different. Some need a pedestrian island in the median, others don't. Cost estimates run from $80,000 - $100,000 for each construction project.

    Vega Pederson said "too often" East Portland is left behind. "It's about giving East Portland the basic infrastructure it deserves to keep our communities safe and to grow our businesses," she said. In 2013, Vega Pederson said, seven out of 10 pedestrian deaths happened east of 82nd Avenue.

    PBOT officials said the investment is "huge" compared to the typical year. On average, PBOT assistant director Greg Jones said, the city can construction five crossing beacons, citywide in a given year.

    Jones acknowledged other parts of the city need pedestrian safety improvements as well, but East Portland is a particular concern. "We will be continuing to work for funds in other parts of the city," Jones said.

    Last summer, Fagan also helped pull in $3.6 million for sidewalks along Southeast 136th Avenue in the wake of the February 2013 death of 5-year-old Morgan Maynard-Cook. Work on those sidewalks, part of a larger $4.8 million effort, is already underway. Fagan said she never thought she'd be so moved by slabs of concrete. "These sidewalks are one of the most gorgeous things I have ever seen," Fagan said.

    PBOT officials helped identify the intersections, and the list was prioritized based on proximity to schools, churches and parks.

    Fagan called the investments a "down payment on the long overdue debt" to East Portland residents.

    Here's a full list of intersections (11 are near a church, school or park, according to the legislators)

    - SE Foster Rd. & 120th Ave.

    - NE Halsey St. & 106th Ave.

    - NE Weidler St. & 106th Ave.

    - NE 122nd Ave. & Oregon St.

    - 122nd Ave. & NE Stephens St.

    - NE Glisan St. & 141st St.

    - SE Powell Blvd. & 168th Ave.

    - NE Glisan St. & 117th Ave.

    - SE Stark St. & 113th Ave.

    - NE Halsey St. & 136th Pl.

    - SE Division St. & 105th Ave.

    - 122nd Ave. & NE Stanton St.

    - SE 122nd Ave. & Boise St.

    - SE Division St. & 165th Ave.

    - SE Stark St. & 142nd Ave.

    - NE Halsey St. & NE 140th Ave.

    - SE Stark St. & 151st Ave.

    - NE Glisan St. & 130th Pl.


    -- Andrew Theen

  • Gresham will kick off bike month today

    Gresham is gearing up to celebrate May’s National Bike Month and will host a kickoff event for the Bike Commute Challenge from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday at The Hoppy Brewer, 328 N. Main Ave.

    Gresham is gearing up to celebrate May’s National Bike Month and will host a kickoff event for the Bike Commute Challenge from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday at The Hoppy Brewer, 328 N. Main Ave.

    The event will include free pizza and door prizes, as well as information about how to join the Bicycle Transportation Alliance's Bike Commute Challenge as part of the Gresham League. During the May challenge, participants compete to see who can commute the most days or the longest distance, logging trips on the BTA’s challenge website. Gresham will give its own awards at the end of the challenge.

    The city has scheduled a variety of free community activities to get children and adults involved. There will be a community bike wash and lube event April 30 at the loading dock at City Hall and a bike safety booth, with free helmet giveaways, at the May 10 farmers market in downtown Gresham. There will also be bike appreciation breakfasts and group bike rides. See the complete list of events and volunteer opportunities at

    Throughout May, volunteers conduct bike counts on local trails. There are more than 117 miles of bike lanes and trails throughout Gresham, including the Springwater Corridor, Gresham-Fairview Trail and Main City Park Spur Trail.

    "In 2010 the League of American Bicyclists named Gresham a `Bicycle Friendly Community' for our extensive network of bike-friendly routes," Katherine Kelly, the city’s transportation planning manager, said in a news release. "Gresham has earned this honor four years in a row by continually improving cycling infrastructure and providing activities for cyclists."

    -- Susan Green