Gresham In The News

  • OregonLive - News

  • Sam Barlow High School prom, 'A Night Under the Stars' rocks out in Portland

    "A Night Under the Stars," Sam Barlow High School's prom, rocked out at Portland's Left Bank Annex.

    Sam Barlow High School celebrated "A Night Under the Stars," Saturday night. The students were dressed in their finest and the dance floor spilled into the entire room at the Left Bank Annex in Portland.

    There were too many photos for one gallery, so I created a second gallery with more images from Barlow's prom

    As the DJs spun dance tunes, pounding the room with music and light effects, students didn't take long to fill the floor, and then some. Tight parking space found students walking a couple blocks from the Rose Quarter garage to the Left Bank Annex. A few limos dropped partiers at the door, but most kids walked. But the pictures says it all, so enjoy the gallery and check out my Instagram videos at mikelloydviz.

    Last year, Barlow held their 2013 bash at Portland State University's Smith Memorial Student Union Ballroom.

    The Stars theme must be on-trend, because the kids at Gaston High School kicked off our prom coverage last week with "A Night With the Stars".

    Parents, students and teachers can add their own photos via Twitter and Instagram using #ORprom. See all the photos with the #ORprom hashtag.


  • Backyard burning season in east Multnomah County begins today

    Gresham's interim Fire Chief Greg Matthews announced that the 2014 Spring Backyard Burning Season for the cities of Fairview, Gresham and Wood Village begins today. Burn hours last until 5 p.m.

    Gresham’s interim Fire Chief Greg Matthews announced that the 2014 Spring Backyard Burning Season for the cities of Fairview, Gresham and Wood Village begins today. Burn hours last until 5 p.m.

    Burning will be allowed 10 days during spring. The authorized burn days will fall on Wednesdays and Saturdays if the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) decides conditions are appropriate for burning that particular day. Residents must call the Gresham burn line, 503-618-3083, each Wednesday and Saturday to find out if it is an approved burn day in their city and what hours burning is allowed.

    The season will continue until a total of 10 allowable days have been met.

    Following are the regulations for backyard burning:

    • Burn piles must be no larger than six feet in diameter and three feet high.
    • Burn piles must be 25 feet from any combustible materials (houses, fences, etc.).
    • Burn piles must be attended at all times.
    • You must have a means to extinguish the fire if needed (energized garden hose, fire extinguisher, shovel, etc.).
    • Burn piles must contain only yard debris. No other material, such as garbage, tires, treated wood or building materials, is allowed to be burned.
    • Burn piles must be extinguished if wind gusts reach 15 mph.
    • Backyard burn piles are for residential locations only; no burning is allowed at commercial properties.
    • It is against the law to conduct any open burning that unreasonably interferes with the enjoyment of life or property, creates a public nuisance or is a hazard to public safety.

    Violations of safe burning regulations or air quality regulations are subject to citation and/or fines from the cities and DEQ. Property owners may be held liable for costs relating to firefighting or damage to neighboring property or structures because of unsafe burning practices.

    There are two burn seasons per year, spring and fall. Learn more about backyard burning and the types of burning that require a permit at Gresham’s website.

    -- Susan Green

  • 8 questions for Multnomah County Sheriff Dan Staton on why he wants to take over police duties in Fairview and Troutdale

    I sat down with Staton to hear more about his plans to contract with Troutdale to provide police services in the small city, as Fairview residents await details regarding a similar plan in their city.

    Multnomah County Sheriff Dan Staton will take his pitch for combined police operations to the Fairview City Council on Wednesday night.

    During the meeting, which starts at 7 p.m. at the council chambers on 1300 N.E. Village St., Staton will detail how he expects to save Fairview taxpayers money and improve services by contracting his agency's services out to the city.

    Staton made a similar pitch earlier this month in Troutdale. For more reading about the sheriff's plans in East County, read my colleague, Eric Apalategui's story.

    I sat down with Staton to hear more about his plans for Troutdale as Fairview residents await details regarding their city. Here's what Staton had to say:

    How did the proposed contract come about?

    Staton has been talking with Multnomah County's easternmost cities since he took office more than four years ago, when many local public safety agencies were responding to budget shortfalls.

    "We realized we needed to start saving money by working cooperatively. Nobody was going to give us an infusion of dollars to keep us stable."

    Troutdale's police leaders were interested in combining operations, Staton said, but the sheriff and Chief Scott Anderson "couldn't' make a contract feasible at that point."

    "As I started running into succession issues in the sheriff's office, it became feasible. I've got vacancies, and he's got staff."

    If city councilors approve the contract, how would staffing work out? There was some concern about whether filling nine vacancies within the sheriff's office with Troutdale officers would lead to an overall loss of officers patrolling streets within the county.

    Many of Troutdale's patrol officers also work part-time on other duties, such as investigations and administrative tasks. Troutdale's caseload is small enough that sheriff's office units dedicated to those special tasks could absorb the work, leaving Troutdale's patrol officers free to patrol full-time.

    In addition to two officers patrolling Troutdale's streets full time, a supervisor currently works 70 percent of the time. The supervisor wouldn't be needed under the contract, because the sheriff's office already staffs supervisors around-the-clock in East County. Those supervisors would broaden their area to include Troutdale.

    Would Troutdale citizens notice any difference in the local police presence?

    Residents would notice more patrol cars coming and going in Troutdale, as sheriff's deputies working in East County begin using the Troutdale Police Department as a home base.

    For the contract's first year, Troutdale police officers would continue covering their old territory, wearing the same uniform with the subtle addition of a sheriff's office badge on the chest. In later years, as former Troutdale officers seek other posts within the sheriff's office, Troutdale citizens could notice some new faces patrolling the street.

    What about the police cars?

    Troutdale police cars would maintain the same appearance during the first year of the contract. After that, he said, the sheriff's office could seek public input about whether or not to change the vehicles' appearances.

    The vehicles would become the sheriff's property, and half of Troutdale's existing fleet will be sold, Staton.

    Who would pay for the $7.5 million police station that Troutdale voters agreed to fund 2010?

    The sheriff's office would lease the building from Troutdale. The exact amount of the lease has not been determined.

    What happens if, a few years down the line, Troutdale backs out of the agreement?

    All officers who work for Troutdale on the day the contract takes effect would revert back to their former jobs with the city. "Their jobs would be protected."

    Patrol vehicles and other assets that would become the sheriff's property for the life of the contract would be transferred back to Troutdale's ownership.

    If the city council approves the agreement, when would the contract take effect? Troutdale councilors requested a second work session on May 6 to discuss the proposed contract. If city councilors approve the proposal in time, the contract could take effect as soon as July 1, the first day of the 2014-15 fiscal year.

    How would the agreements affect county taxpayers?

    "The county is going to get greater efficiencies, more than a dollar figure savings." Combining the agencies' operations and housing some sheriff's patrols in the Troutdale police building could lead to faster response times for East County residents.

    --Kelly House

  • St. Mary's hoping to start another league title winning streak in Mt. Hood Conference girls golf this spring

    The Blues have won the first two tournament, led each time by medalist Alison Brennan

    St. Mary’s Academy has had the upper hand during the early stages of Mt. Hood Conference girls golf tournaments, winning the first two at Gresham and Rose City golf courses.

    Blues’ junior Alison Brennan has established herself as the player to beat, earning medalist honors both times. Brennan shot a 72 at Gresham to win that tournament. Girls who are chasing Brennan this season include two-time MHC champion Sophia Schiavone of Central Catholic and Barlow’s Shelby Hunt.

    Brennan tied for eighth in last year’s Class 6A state tournament.

    St. Mary’s is attempting to return to the top of the Mt. Hood standings this season after having the Blues lost the title for the first time since 2006 to Central Catholic last season. Four more MHC tournaments remain, plus the district tournament.

    St. Mary’s finished third at state last year, and Blues coach Dan Friedhoff believes the Blues could accomplish something similar this season.

    “If everybody shot their career-best round two days in a row, which has happened, we could contend for the state title. It’s not out of the question,” Friedhoff said.

    Twitter: @nickdaschel

  • Portland Trail Glazers: Buttermilk bar/doughnut round-up (map)

    I ate every buttermilk bar doughnut I could get my hands on in the Portland metro area and put them into a round-up just for you! See where you can find this sweet, tangy treat (map included!).

    It's nearly impossible to say "Portland" and "doughnuts/donuts" in the same sentence without mentioning Voodoo Doughnut, home to the iconic, pink-boxed, sometimes naughty, crack snacks that have taken tourism by storm. 

    I'm convinced that's why Portland International Airport smells like vanilla; the dozens on dozens of Voodoo doughnuts that are being smuggled across the world are actually perfuming the air with their deep-fried, sugar coma odor. 
     
    But with the barrage of more unusual shapes and flavors -- "Tangfastic," topped with your favorite powdered space juice from the '50s and the Nyquil Glazed (R.I.P) -- nothing satisfies quite like the classic buttermilk bar. 
     
    And, you're in luck, because between Captain Crunch-topped fritters and the go-to bacon maple bar, even Voodoo Doughnut serves up a pretty tasty, lightly glazed, golden brown buttermilk bar. 

    Buttermilk bars are simple, timeless, elusive at times and wholly underrated. A cake doughnut with the addition of buttermilk in the batter gives these doughnuts a certain je ne sais quoi. They're light, fluffy, soft, slightly tangy, crunchy, sweet, complex, have a great crumb and are my personal favorite doughnut variety of all time.

    Unlike other doughnuts, buttermilk bars are quiet and shy, taking a back seat to the often tried-and-true chocolate glazed or the mysterious jelly-filled varieties (it's a surprise!). Grab one and a cup of coffee and you're about to have the best day ever. 

    And thanks to Portland's numerous doughnut outlets, they're pretty easy to find, too. 

    Annie's Donut Shop

    annies.JPG

    Floating amidst the hustle and bustle of the strange six- to eight-corner intersection (depending how you count) of Sandy meets Fremont meets 72nd in Northeast Portland is the isle of decadence otherwise known as Annie's Donut Shop. The small roadside atoll looks like a coffee shop straight out of the early days, waiting to be immortalized by a few brushstrokes from the late Edward Hopper, with its green corrugated roof, classic, retro sign and yellow fluorescent lighting. 

    Annie's buttermilk bars have a crisp exterior that melts away into a heavy vanilla, cakey center. Feeling adventurous? They also come in maple and chocolate varieties.

    Do they run out: Sometimes. Best bet to snagging one is going in the morning, but they occasionally don't make them every day.

    3449 N.E. 72nd Avenue, open from 5 a.m. - 11 p.m., Monday - Friday, 5 - 1 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. Phone: (503) 284-2752

    Coco Donuts

    Coco Donuts
    This multi-locationed doughnut spot around Portland can bring a tear to your eye if you're on the hunt for a buttermilk bar. Their pillowy, light, slightly gooey and tangy glazed bars are hard to lock down, even for a super sleuth. After several tries at various hours, I struck out at their downtown location, but was victorious at the Northeast Broadway location on the first try.
     
    If you see one, order it. It won't be around for long. The lavender lattes are pretty good, too. 

    Do they run out: Yes. I was unable to get one from the downtown location. The Northeast Broadway spot, however, had several glistening on the top rack.

    2735 N.E. Broadway St., open Monday - Friday, 6:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., 7 a.m. - 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, phone: (503) 477-9824; 814 S.W. 6th Ave., open Monday - Friday, 6 a.m. - 5 p.m., 7 a.m. - 3 p.m. Saturdays, phone: (503) 505-4164; 709 S.W. 17th Ave., open Monday - Friday, 6:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., 7 a.m. - 3 p.m. Saturdays, phone: (503) 360-1456

    Delicious Donuts

    deliciousdonuts.jpeg
    It's easy to walk/drive/bike/MAX right past this family-owned, strip mall doughnut shop on (barely) Southeast Grand. Tucked into a corner next to a Plaid Pantry, Delicious Donuts has been frying up breakfast and doughnuts when you really want them, serving up sweet, late-night, and very early morning bites, since 2005. The shop is nothing special to look at, but the service is friendly and the doughnuts are fresh. 

    With very early/late hours, I missed the window of snagging a buttermilk bar and ordered an old-fashioned, what would be considered its closest relative, instead. The cake was dense, with a light, lemon-y aftertaste and crispy exterior. Old-fashioneds lack the quintessential tang and complexity that comes with buttermilk bars, but the chewy cake inside and crisp crust outside make a satisfying doughnut, nonetheless.

    Do they run out: Yes. With very early (or are they late?) hours, securing a buttermilk bar from here might be better after a night out than for an early morning. 

    12 S.E. Grand Ave., open Monday - Friday, 3 a.m. - 12 p.m. and Saturday - Sunday, 3 - 11 a.m. Phone: (503) 233-1833

    Donut Day

    donutday.jpeg
    It's hard to argue with a doughnut shop whose slogan is, "Everyday is a donut day." You know what? You're absolutely right. Every day IS a doughnut day, and you can be sure that if you're doin' it up with a bomb-diggity doughnut, Donut Day has got you covered. Of all the doughnuts I ate, Donut Day's was the most atypical of all the buttermilk bars. Their very sweet bar offers more of a sugary crunch than the usual cakey chew, almost melting like a praline in your mouth.  

    Do they run out: A 7:45 a.m. phone call to the shop told me they had 28 bars left. An 8:30 a.m. arrival showed several less than earlier reported. Get in early, if you can. No guarantees for the later hours of the day. 

    18295 S. W. Tualatin Valley Hwy, Beaverton, OR. Open Monday - Sunday, 6 a.m. - 5 p.m. Phone: (503) 356-1089

    Donut Nook

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    A nook is somewhere that makes you want to curl up with a cup of tea, a small snack and in the company of a good book. The Donut Nook, tucked into a corner on a one way street in the Minnehaha neighborhood of Vancouver, offers wood-paneled walls, lived-in sofas, a coffee counter with pleather seats and an eclectic collection of art that could make any case of doughnuts feel comfortable, especially with the company of one of their buttermilk bars. The soft, chewy and slightly gooey doughnuts aren't too much to look at, but paired with a cup of joe, can make anyone feel right at home. 

    Do they run out: Hard to say. I visited in the morning, around 8 a.m. on a Saturday and there were plenty left. Weekdays may be different.

    4403 N.E. St. Johns Rd., Vancouver, WA, 98661, open Monday - Friday, 5:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. and Saturday - Sunday, 6 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Phone: (360) 695-5775

    Donut World

    donutworld.jpeg
    Inside a red, wooden, barn-like building on East Burnside in Gresham, Donut World is frying up simple sweet treats and breakfast bites in the glory of Mt. Hood (on a clear day). This eastern suburb doughnut shop is as straight forward as it gets -- quick and friendly service serves up their dense, vanilla buttermilk bars with a smile.

    Do they run out: At 11 a.m. on a weekday, there were still plenty left. As always, though, earlier the better for scoring the doughnut you want.

    720 N.E. Burnside Rd., Gresham, OR. Open Monday - Saturday, 5 a.m. - 6 p.m., and Sunday, 6 a.m. - 5 p.m. Phone: (503) 665-3791

    Heavenly Donuts

    heavenlydonuts.jpeg
    Varied clientele of all ages and background sit and enjoy a sweet bite, cup of coffee and the morning paper at this classic, far-east doughnut shop just off the corner of Glisan Street and 102nd Avenue. The buttermilk bars here are equally as classic -- slightly sponge-y with a touch of vanilla -- and available whenever you want them, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

    Do they run out: Who can say? As one of the three 24-hour shops on this list, they're constantly being cranked out.

    504 N.E. 102nd Ave., open 24/7; 1915 N. Lombard St., open 24/7. Phone: (503) 253-4439

    Helen Bernhard Bakery

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    Walking into Helen Bernhard Bakery feels a little bit like taking a step back in the 1920s, if the 1920s had modern electricity. Inside a quaint house on the corner of Northeast Broadway and 17th, the pastry cases of the bakery are filled with beautiful and timeless cakes, hand-decorated cookies and classic doughnuts. Chefs clad in white behind the counter busily prep and ice confections, taking a moment here and there to write special messages on cakes, if need be. 

    Among the old-fashioneds, crullers and sprinkle-topped cake doughnuts, the buttermilk bar was sadly not present. The lady behind the counter informed me that they are typically found in the case on Fridays, but not every Friday. I order an old-fashioned instead and was met with a pleasantly light, sponge cake-like and crisp doughnut. I can only assume the buttermilk bar would be equally delicious, as well.

    Do they run out: Yes. And they're also sporadically made. The woman behind the counter told me they make them on Fridays, but sometimes not every Friday. Keep your eyes peeled.

    1717 N.E. Broadway St., open Monday - Saturday, 6 a.m. - 6 a.m. and Sunday, 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. Phone: (503) 287-1251

    Sesame Donuts

    sesamedoughnuts.jpeg
    Housed in what looks to be a former Dunkin Donuts, the S.W. Beaverton Hillsdale Highway location of Sesame Donuts is still frying up sweet treats, but with a little more oomph. This multi-locationed doughnut shop offers all the classics with a couple more atypical flavors, too, namely, the sesame (of course they have one) and the chocolate honey dip. Their buttermilk bars are fairly standard -- gooey, rich, and chewy, with a hint of vanilla -- but still satisfying.

    Do they run out: Who can say? As one of the three 24-hour shops on this list, they're constantly being cranked out.

    6990 S.W. Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy, Portland, OR, 97225, open 24/7, phone: (503) 297-8175; 11945 Pacific Hwy, Tigard, OR, 97223, open 24/7, phone: (503) 430-1827; 2850 N.E. Brookwood Ave., Hillsboro, OR, 97123, open 24/7, phone: (503) 640-3818

    Tonalli's Donuts & Cream

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    A dessert outpost on Northeast Alberta, Tonalli's Donuts & Cream offers not only cases filled with drool-worthy doughnuts, but over a dozen flavors of ice cream, shakes and blended drinks, as well. It's a parent's nightmare in real estate form.
    The buttermilk bar from Tonalli's is my favorite in Portland. It's borderline gooey, with a big crumb and slight coconut flavor. Order a cup of coffee, or a milk. You're gonna need it. It also comes plain, and maple and chocolate-glazed. 

    Do they run out: They haven't yet. After several visits at various times on different days, those babies should always be around. 

    2805 N.E. Alberta St., open seven days a week from 7 a.m. - 12 a.m., phone: (503) 284-4510; 12321 N.E. 4th Plain Rd., Vancouver, WA, 98682, phone: (360) 944-7925

    Voodoo Doughnut

    Voodoo Doughnuts
    The best way to describe how the buttermilk bar from Voodoo Doughnut tastes is by walking into one of their locations and taking a deep breath through your schnoz. That's it! It's the edible version of how Portland's most famous doughnuteria smells. There's a hint of vanilla, a breath of fryer oil and then comes the wave of sugar. It's denser than some of the other doughnuts on this list, but still satisfying with a soft, glazed exterior and chewy, cake-y middle. It's pure Voodoo.

    Do they run out: Who can say? As one of the three 24-hour shops on this list, they're constantly being cranked out.  

    22 S.W. 3rd Ave., open 24/7, phone: (503) 241-4704; 1501 N.E. Davis St., open 24/7, phone: (503) 235-2666

    Looking for a buttermilk bar near you? Take a look at our map:

    -- Samantha Bakall

  • Suspension-riddled Central Catholic battles Centennial to the end before losing 11-9: Oregon baseball game recap

    The Rams had eight players serving a one-game suspension as a result of a benches-clearing incident at Jesuit last Thursday

    No. 7 Central Catholic paid the price Monday for its involvement during last week’s home-plate altercation against Jesuit when eight players were suspended for the Rams’ Mt. Hood Conference opener against Centennial.

    The result was game with wild swings of momentum, one where Centennial ultimately pulled out an 11-9 decision after scoring three runs in the top of the seventh inning at Concordia University. Braden DuKart and Bobby Craswell delivered consecutive run-scoring extra-base hits to lead the Eagles’ seventh-inning rally.

    The Rams (8-3, 0-1 MHC) looked more relieved that their five-day roller coaster ride had ended, rather than despondent over a last-inning loss.

    “There’s always the next day,” said Central Catholic pitcher Cole Stringer, rocked for five runs during the first inning.

    Eight players served an automatic OSAA one-game suspension as a result of being ejected from last Thursday’s game against Jesuit. Although the OSAA allows suspended players to watch the game from the dugout wearing street clothes, Central Catholic doesn’t allow those suspended to participate or watch the game.

    Central Catholic’s starting lineup included five regulars and four players who typically play junior varsity.

    The dugout “was much quieter,” Rams coach Dan Floyd said. “We didn’t lose anything physically with our bottom four players. But we lost leaders. You can have young guys show up and play, but they’re not ready to lead. That’s the lesson we learned today.”

    The Rams’ first-time starters – Steven Erickson, Jeff Vinson, Carson Spitznagel and J.J. Chicoke – were arguably the team’s best hitters Monday. Combined with another rare bat in reliever Nick McAllister, the bottom part of Central Catholic’s order went 5 for 13 against three Centennial pitchers.

    Stringer, Central Catholic’s top pitcher, admitted he tried to do too much at the outset. Stringer walked four batters and hit another during the Eagles’ five-run first inning. Stringer eventually left the game after three innings, with the Rams trailing 7-2.

    “I definitely was overthrowing. I think not having all my normal guys behind me rattled me a little,” Stringer said.

    Central Catholic eventually pulled even at 7-7 with a four-run fifth inning, then tied the game again at 8-8 in the sixth. But Centennial (5-6, 1-0) didn’t flinch, as DuKart bashed a run-scoring triple to right, followed by Craswell’s double to left-center. The three-run hole was too much for the Rams to overcome in their half of the seventh.

    DuKart said despite all the suspensions, Centennial was ready for Central Catholic’s best shot.

    “We didn’t underestimate them. We were prepared. Even when we got up 5-0, I wanted to keep battling,” DuKart said.

    Central Catholic returns to full strength Wednesday when the Rams play the Eagles at Centennial, the second of a three-game series this week.

    Twitter: @nickdaschel

  • Liberty's Ryan Kaser throws a no-hitter in 7-0 win over Parkrose: Northwest Oregon Conference rundown (and other links)

    Northwest Oregon Conference action that's been in the news the last few days.

    Northwest Oregon Conference action that's been in the news the last few days:

    Liberty's Ryan Kaser is nominated as the Hillsboro Argus Athlete of the Week. Vote here for The Oregonian's high school athlete of the week for April 5-12.

    Jerry Ulmer writes that Milwaukie is closer to fundraising goal for hitting facility project.

    Liberty junior Ryan Kaser throws no-hitter with 14 strikeouts in 7-0 win over Parkrose.  Oregon baseball recap.

    Sandy bats come alive during the seventh inning in a 3-2 win over Central Catholic. Oregon softball game recap.

    Sunset shuts out Sherwood 5-0 in non-league finale. Oregon 6A softball recap. Photo gallery from Miles Vance.

    Wilsonville girls golf placed second, behind Liberty, in the the Northwest Oregon Conference tournament at Stone Creek Golf Course in Oregon City.

  • Best photos from Sam Barlow High School prom 2014

    The 2014 Oregon high school prom season continued Saturday night as Sam Barlow students celebrated prom at Portland's Left Bank Annex.

    The 2014 Oregon high school prom season continued Saturday night as Sam Barlow students celebrated prom at Portland's Left Bank Annex.

    Photographer Mike Lloyd was there to capture the festivities with more than 70 photos of students celebrating "A Night Under the Stars."

    Check out our favorite photos from Barlow's prom and stay with us for more coverage of Oregon high school proms over the next two months. Here's a full schedule of our prom coverage:

    Sam Barlow Prom 2014FULL GALLERY: View more photos from Barlow promPORTLAND, OREGON -- April 12, 2014 -- Sam Barlow High School's prom, "A Night Under the Stars," was a night of fun at the Left Bank Annex in Portland. Michael Lloyd/The Oregonian
    • Gaston High School, April 5 (photos, video)

    • Sam Barlow, April 12 (photos)

    • Rex Putnam, April 19

    • Franklin, April 26

    • Lincoln, April 26

    • Wilson, April 26

    • Beaverton, May 3

    • Lakeridge, May 3

    • Sunset, May 3

    • Aloha, May 10

    • Clackamas, May 10

    • Liberty, May 10

    • Sherwood, May 10

    • Tualatin, May 10

    • Westview, May 10

    • ACMA, May 17

    • La Salle, May 17

    • Milwaukie, May 17

    • Merlo Station, May 17

    • Grant, May 30

    • Century, May 31

    • Glencoe, May 31

    • International School of Beaverton, May 31

  • Cup stacking teen from Gresham heads to Junior Olympics, aims for 'unbeatable'

    Now 16, Joey Cooksey can claim to be the fastest cup stacker in Oregon, thanks to a second place finish behind a Washington girl at the World Sport Stacking Association’s Northwest Regional competition in Auburn, Wash., on March 8.

    Joey Cooksey was 3 or 4 when she told her mother that she wanted to be in the Guinness Book of World Records.

    “You’ve got to figure out something you can do,” her mother responded, adding that Joey would have to be better or faster than the world.

    More than a decade later, the Gresham girl stumbled onto a YouTube video demonstrating an unusual sport: competitive cup stacking.

    “I think I found it,” she told her mother.

    Now 16, Joey can claim to be the fastest cup stacker in Oregon, thanks to a second place finish behind a Washington girl at the World Sport Stacking Association’s Northwest Regional competition in Auburn, Wash., on March 8. Her win earned her a spot at this summer’s Junior Olympic Games in Des Moines, Iowa.

    Joey, a sophomore at Sam Barlow High School, doesn’t plan to stop there. In her quest for world domination in the sport, she practices obsessively — from two to five hours per day, she said.

    “I’ve always wanted to be known for something,” she said.

    Gallery preview

    Cup stacking, also known as sport stacking, requires speed and consistency. Competitors stack and unstack specially designed lightweight plastic cups in established sequences, various combinations of pyramids of three, six or 10 cups. Stacking happens on soft fabric mats laid atop tables. Timers built into the mats keep track of the seconds ticking by.

    If the sport sounds easy, it’s not. The goal is to stack the cups as fast as humanly possible without dropping or knocking over any cups, a misstep known as scratching. Cup stackers move their hands so quickly that videos of competitions sometimes appear to be stuck on fast forward.

    “Some of them, it’s just a blur of color,” Joey’s mother, Lynda, said.

    The Portland area has a track record of producing top cup stackers.

    Rachael Nedrow, a graduate of Oregon Episcopal School, shot to Internet fame a few years ago after posting a video on YouTube that showed her emotional response to setting a cup stacking personal record. The 2008 video — 7.00!!! OMG!! NEW PB! OMG!!! OMG!!! SO CLOSE TO SIX!! OOMMGG!!! — today has close to 4.5 million hits. Nedrow also appeared on NBC’s America’s Got Talent.

    Nedrow, now 18, has followed Joey’s budding career as a stacker.

    “She’s improved a lot,” Nedrow said.

    The pair met up at a Portland park last August after Joey reached out to Nedrow, who won the title of second fastest girl in the world in 2013.

    “I know she really loves it,” said Nedrow, who is a student at Duke University.

    Cup stacking isn’t only for young people, although the sport’s culture thrives on YouTube and other social media sites.

    John Ansotigue, 62, runs the World Sport Stacking Association’s Northwest United States tournament. He said the sport appeals to people of all ages and builds.

    “You don’t have to be tall,” he said. “You don’t have to be strong. You just have to have a desire to participate and be the best you can.”

    Will it last? Or will cup stacking have the same life span of other short-lived pursuits?

    “It’s going to go the way of the hula hoop,” Ansotigue said. “And you know what? The hula hoop is still around.”

    Joey, for one, is already hooked. She’s hoping to raise $1,500 to help pay for her trip to the Junior Olympics in Iowa. But she’ll keep practicing no matter what happens at the games, she said. She wants to keep getting better.

    “So I’d be unbeatable,” she said.


  • Multnomah County Monday roundup: Commissioners talk PERS, county candidates debate, Fairview considers police contract

    Good morning, Multnomah County readers. Here's what's on the agenda for the coming week.

    Good morning, Multnomah County readers. Here's what's on the agenda for the coming week.

    On Tuesday, the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners will receive a briefing on the anticipated effects of recently enacted reforms to the Public Employee Retirement System, or PERS. Last year, state legislators reformed the PERS system to reduce its costs to government employers.

    On Wednesday, Sheriff Dan Staton will visit the Fairview City Council to outline his proposal to contract the city's police functions out to the sheriff's office. As my colleague Eric Apalategui and I wrote earlier this month, Troutdale is also considering a contract with the sheriff. When Staton met with Troutdale's city council April 2 to reveal more details about his proposal, he estimated contracted police services could save the city $800,000 in the first year.

    On Thursday, commissioners will meet in their weekly voting meeting, where they'll decide whether to donate a tax foreclosed property to Community Vision, an affordable housing nonprofit. If the donation is approved, it will be the second property the county has donated to Community Visions in the past month. I wrote March 27 about the first one, a vacant lot in Lents.

    On Friday, candidates vying for the District 1 and District 2 seat on the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners will meet at a City Club-sponsored debate at the Sentinel Hotel, 641 S.W. 11th Ave. I wrote last week about the District 2 race, and I'll be publishing profiles of District 1 candidates Jules Bailey and Brian Wilson later this week.

    Do you think something's missing from the list? Know of anything else I should be covering this week? Email me at khouse@oregonian.com or comment below.

    --Kelly House

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