Gresham In The News

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  • Party for rare western painted turtles, saved from threat of development at Gresham's Grant Butte

    After humans throw a celebration for the newly protected 33-acre Grant Butte Wetlands on Sunday, Sept. 14, a rare population of western painted turtles and many other native species will party on.

    After humans throw a celebration for the newly protected 33-acre Grant Butte Wetlands on Sunday, Sept. 14, a rare population of western painted turtles and many other native species will party on.

    The wetlands were spared from the threat of development this spring when MetroEast Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District and the city of Gresham paid $2.2 million for the site. The former dairy, farmed for 150 years, was gradually surrounded by suburbia in western Gresham.

    The patch of green sits along four-lane Northwest Division Street, across the street from a Grocery Outlet. The land is wedged between a forested butte and a house-studded ridge near the marshy headwaters of Fairview Creek, which is followed by the Gresham-Fairview Trail.

    The parcel three years ago appeared headed for development as commercial buildings along Division in front of hundreds of apartments on what today is empty pasture. Neighborhood groups fought the development plan and sought preservation.

    Plans to restore the parcel to a more natural state are in the early stages.

    "It's hard to argue with the fact that a lot of the wildlife would have been kicked out of the city if that had gone into development," said John Bildsoe, a neighborhood activist who lives in the area and helped organize the Friends of Grant Butte Wetlands.

                                        Threatened turtle, others

    The Fairview Creek drainage forms a marshy area between Division and Powell streets.

    Laura Guderyahn, the watershed restoration coordinator for the city of Gresham, first came across the western painted turtle population in this section more than a half dozen years ago.

    Grant Butte Wetlands celebration
    What: Celebration land purchase and preservation
    When: 2:30-4:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 14
    Where: Cascade Athletic Club, 19201 S.E. Division St, Gresham (near the property)
    Who: Open and free to the public

    State and federal wildlife officials consider it a species whose survival could be threatened if its numbers continue to decline, and the Gresham turtles make up one of just a few healthy populations of the species in the Portland area.

    Other native species such as red-legged frogs and Northwestern salamanders inhabit the upper drainage of Fairview Creek. Like the turtle, these species need need high-quality wetlands near natural upland areas like Grant Butte, said Guderyahn. They share the waterway with invaders such as non-native bullfrogs and red-eared slider turtles that today are threats in wetland areas throughout the metro area.

    Guderyahn said purchase of the former dairy farm protects the last large piece of wetlands in the upper Fairview Creek drainage, which forms a marshy area between Division and Powell streets. Most of Grant Butte also is in public hands and protected from development.

    Guderyahn hopes the public wetlands also can serve as an outdoor classroom where people will learn how to protect sensitive wildlife by preserving critical habitat and keeping invasive species at bay.

    Besides the amphibians and reptiles, more than 100 species of birds inhabit the wetlands and upland areas. These include the bittern, one of the smallest members of the heron family. Coyotes come down from the hill to hunt in the field. River otters work their way up Fairview Creek to catch crayfish.

    The wetlands have survived, but they are far from unscathed.

    The Grant family whose name is on the small butte settled on a land claim in the upper Fairview Creek area during the 1850s. Those early settlers drained the area's wetlands into ditches to create rich farmland, and the trees on the butte have been logged at least twice through the generations, although today the hill is deeply forested.

    "It was really good farmland in its day," said Kathy Majidi, Gresham's natural resources program coordinator.

    Nearly 100 years after the first white settlers arrived, Henry Gantenbein bought the 33 acres in about 1950 and operated a dairy there for about 40 years before switching to raising beef cattle in the 1990s and selling hay they trucked in from elsewhere in Oregon and Washington.

    In recent years, the milking parlor gathered dust. Only a horse named Monty grazed in the overgrown pasture, according to Dan Moeller, the natural areas land manager for Metro. The regional government is leading the property's transition to public ownership.

    "It's been dominated by a more agricultural use," Moeller said. "It's our turn to come in and restore some of that natural function to it."

                                                    Restoration plan

    Guderyahn said purchase of the former dairy farm protects the last large piece of wetlands in the upper Fairview Creek drainage. Most of Grant Butte also is in public hands and protected from development.

    Guderyahn hopes the public wetlands also can serve as an outdoor classroom where people will learn how to protect sensitive wildlife by preserving critical habitat and keeping invasive species at bay.

    The new owners soon will tear down the half dozen dairy buildings and two old homes on the property but will take photos and preserve artifacts that tell the property's history, Moeller said. The property also will be fenced off to prevent vandalism or other unwanted activity. Restoration also will focus on controlling invasive plants such as Himalayan blackberries and canary reed grass.

    There is no timeline to develop a long-range plan for the property, including potential restoration of historic wetland areas and public access features such as trails, but the public will be involved in those types of decisions, Moeller said.

    "We're going to start asking people what the Grant Butte Wetlands mean to them," he said. "There is so much potential here. It will be fun to see what ultimately ends up happening."

    -- Eric Apalategui

  • Oregon man bitten by bat joins legions of animal attack victims

    Darrick Skou will have to have shots to prevent rabies. But several YouTube videos show much worse.

    Last weekend, Darrick Skou of Gresham was playing music with friends at a Clackamas County campsite. Suddenly, a bat swooped over his head, landed on his upper chest and bit him -- on the neck.

    It was all caught on video and posted to YouTube.com. (Warning, the video contains language that might be objectionable to some viewers).

    According to KATU News, Skou's friends shot the bat with a BB gun and brought it to the Multnomah County Health Department for testing. The test came back positive for rabies, which means Skou has to get multiple shots to prevent him from getting the disease, which can be deadly.

    Some of the readers of that story weighed in. Two had experience with those shots:

    hardtimes78 

    You don't have to be bitten to need the shots.  Bats excrete the virus in their urine.  One got into our house and I caught it, killed it and was exposed (potentially).  It was tested but the test was not conclusive.  The public health people said, "only about 5% of bats in this area (the NW) are rabid, so it is up to you if you want to get the shots."   I got the shots.  The doctor agreed it was the safe thing to do.   A series of three as described by another poster, and they are not painful. 

    Readymixer

    The rabies series does not hurt like hell. A bat had camped out in my Fairview houseboat one hot night this July and since I woke with a mysterious bite, I had to take the shots. One in the arm. 2 weeks later, one in the other arm and one in the seat. 2 weeks later one in the opposite arm again, a tetanus in the other arm, annnd, done. The painful part, should you not have any health insurance, is the $11,000.00 bill.

    guillemotster

    Concerning... I was camping at Davis Lake in the Cascade Lakes region a week ago  and in broad daylight around 11:00 AM a bat came by very close (inches from my head) before flutter-flapping off across the lava flow at the north end of the lake. Odd behavior (a bat out and about in the heat of the day) is noteworthy, rabies is also prone to arise in times of drought.

    Meanwhile, YouTube is littered with videos of animal attacks.

    Let's skip the amateur videos -- for now -- and go straight to the pros:

    Animal Planet breaks them down by animal – with helpful animations of the attacks.

    Sharks? Make that two -- in the same attack. And how about a polar bear trying to pull a tourist into its cage in an Alaska zoo? Lions? Yes. Kangaroos? What animal attack compilation would be without one?

    The Discovery Channel helpfully offers advice on avoiding animal attacks. It's dangerous out there. 

    So let's get back to those amateur videos. This one compiles attacks from this year. It's blurry but set to some cool jazz. 

    -- Sue Jepsen

  • Rabid bat swoops down, bites Gresham man camping in Clackamas County (video)

    Darrick Skou said the bat biting his neck felt like a cold dog nose against his skin.

    EPTESICUS FUSCUSView full sizeFile photo of a brown bat. It's unclear what type of bat bit Darrick Skou. 

    Darrick Skou was jamming on his guitar with friends at a Clackamas County campsite last weekend when suddenly a bat swooped over his head, landed on his upper chest and bit him -- right on the neck.

    The hair-raising incident was caught on video and posted to YouTube.com. (Warning, the video contains language that might be objectionable to some viewers).

    KATU News reported Friday that Skou's friends shot the bat with a BB gun, and brought its body to the Multnomah County Health Department for testing. The test came back positive for rabies -- which means Skou has to get multiple shots to prevent him from getting the disease, which can be deadly.

    "It was like a cold dog nose," Skou told the TV station. "...It was just a cold bite."

    The video shows Skou flinging off his guitar, clearly trying to figure out what had just happened. "It's a bat!" a woman can be heard yelling.

    Skou said he was thought twice about letting a friend shoot the bat.

    "I said 'Well, it drew first blood. And we need to take this thing in,'" he recalled in the news report.

    He was camping at Pinhead Creek.

    Skou, who lives in Gresham, could not be reached immediately for comment to The Oregonian.

  • Barlow's Speedy Sanchez wins The Oregonian's high school football honor roll

    Sanchez ran for 236 yards and one touchdown on 20 carries and returned a kickoff 79 yards for a score as the Bruins beat Corvallis 35-26 in Week 1.

    Barlow senior Speedy Sanchez was selected fort The Oregonian's high school football honor roll for Sept. 1-7

    Sanchez ran for 236 yards and one touchdown on 20 carries and returned a kickoff 79 yards for a score as the Bruins beat Corvallis 35-26. He accounted for all but 88 of the team’s rushing yards.

    Have an football player you would like to nominate or vote for as team of the week for Sept. 8-14? Check back here on Monday when polling opens up and submit your own nomination. Voting opens on the afternoon of Monday, Sept. 15, and runs through noon Saturday.

  • Silverton, Ashland win battles of top 10 teams; Ridgeview, Wilsonville both fall: Class 5A top 10 rundown

    How the teams in the OregonLive.com Class 5A top 10 poll did on Friday night

    Silverton will more than likely remain at the top of the Class 5A poll after their win against No. 6 Marist, and No. 2 Ashland thumped on No. 9 Dallas in matchups inside the 5A top 10. Here's how the Class 5A top 10 fared:

    1. Silverton picked up a 34-13 win over No. 6 Marist behind another big night from running back Sam Kuschnick.

    2. Ashland beat No. 9 Dallas 40-19 behind a 34-point second quarter.

    3. Springfield took out crosstown rival Class 6A Thurston 30-14 behind Daniel Wilson's big night.

    4. Mountain View didn't exactly slow down Central's Wesley Riddell, but still beat the Panthers 46-30.

    5. Wilsonville fell to Sandy 7-6 in a triple-overtime marathon.

    6. Marist fell to No. 1 Silverton 34-13.

    7. Parkrose unleashed its speed on NWOC newcomer La Salle Prep in a 58-29 win.

    8. Ridgeview took a lump against South Albany in a 27-7 loss.

    9. Dallas fell to No. 2 Ashland 40-19.

    10. Hermiston used four interceptions from Carson Morter to topple Washington power Kamiakin 28-7.

  • Taking stock of Oregon high school football: Week 2 analysis

    What to buy, hold and sell in prep football

    The Saturday morning review at Week 2 and beyond in Oregon prep football:

    Sure buys

    Friday Night Fun: Looks like you can’t miss buying a ticket to watch No. 6 Parkrose. The Broncos may not win every week, but they’ll entertain. Quarterback Jonathan Boland is off to a sensational start after throwing for 282 yards and four touchdowns in a 58-29 win over La Salle Prep. Through two games, Boland has passed for 710 yards and nine touchdowns, and led his team to back-to-back 50-point performances.

    No sophomore slump for North Medford: The Black Tornado jumped onto the radar screen in 2013 for the first time in several years. Ramped-up expectations haven’t slowed down North Medford, which already has a couple of nice wins over No. 7 Canby and Fortuna Union (Calif.). The Black Tornado probably won’t see another serious test until mid-October, when they travel to No. 10 Grants Pass.

    Get the engraver out for Silverton: Oh sure, injuries are always a factor. But right now, No. 1 Silverton appears to be a prohibitive favorite to win the Class 5A state title. The Foxes’ defense dominated No. 4 Marist for better than three quarters Friday night, a week after shutting out Wilson. Ashland and Mountain View could provide challenges down the road for Silverton, but both will need sharp, polished offenses to compete with the Foxes.

    Bow down to Southwest Conference: The Three Rivers League may be the state’s best 6A conference in Oregon (see below), but there’s no league delivering a better 1-2-3 punch than the Southwest Conference. Sheldon, Grants Pass and North Medford are a collective 6-0, and each has a road win over a top-10 team. There could be some long bus rides for Portland-area teams come playoff time.

    Worth a long look

    Just win, baby: Because Sandy coach Joe Polamalu is the cousin of Pittsburgh Steelers’ defensive great Troy Polamalu, it’s probably a given the Pioneers would lead with their defense. Sandy posted its second consecutive regulation shutout Friday, though the Pioneers needed three overtimes to beat Wilsonville 7-6. Sandy has scored only 21 points this season, but is 2-0 because of a defense that won’t bend.

    Best 0-2 team in the state?Jesuit, duh. The Crusaders are 0-2, but came up short in the final seconds again to another top-five team, this time Sheldon. Jesuit might not lose again this season, even if it runs into another top-five team.

    Best team flying under the 6A radar: Could be Sprague. The Olympians are 2-0 after ripping West Albany and McKay in consecutive weeks. Sprague received only three votes in last week’s media poll, yet last year’s Central Valley Conference champs return a fair number of standouts, including offensive tackle Levi Long and linebacker Matt Kleinman.

    The opening week of Three Rivers League play: Sherwood at Tigard. Canby at Lakeridge. Lake Oswego at West Linn. That’s only the first week of league play next Friday. This goes on for the next seven weeks. It’s the best thing short of playoff football.

    Hold for now

    The 2-0 team with more to prove: If Jesuit is the best-of the 0-2 teams, Gresham is the 2-0 6A team with a some impressing yet to do. The Gophers are off to a nice start, with runaway wins over Century and Corvallis. Running back Sirgeo Hoffman is immediately off to player of the year consideration after a 394-yard performance against the Spartans. Gresham gets a chance to show it’s for real in weeks to come, with Barlow, Oregon City and Central Catholic among its next four opponents.

    Metro League staggered: Another so-so night for the Metro, which went 4-4 during week 2 of action. The Metro, usually one of the state’s strongest leagues, went 7-9 in non-league play, without a win over a top-10 team. One bright spot is Westview, the Metro’s only 2-0 club following double-digit wins over McNary and Tualatin.

    What to make of Hermiston: The No. 8 Bulldogs are 2-0, and they might be 5A title bound, or a first-round loser. It’s hard to know as Hermiston has yet to play a team from Oregon, instead opening the season with Washington opponents Hanford and Hermiston. No matter. We’ll know more next Friday when the Bulldogs play host to quarterback Trever Watson and No. 5 Springfield.

    Sell, sell, sell

    So much for the Oregon City hype: Would it surprise us if Oregon City makes a long postseason run? No. But after going 0-2, and frankly, getting steamrolled by Lakeridge, the Pioneers are going to have prove their worthiness. If there’s a coach who knows how to circle the wagons and prove everyone wrong, it’s Oregon City coach Randy Nyquist. But with No. 1 Central Catholic up next, he’ll need an industrial-sized shovel to dig out of this hole.

    League play can’t come fast enough for PIL: Another week of non-league, another series of crushing defeats for the Portland Interscholastic League. The league went 0-9 Friday, with only a couple close games. The PIL is now a collective 1-17 in non-league play. The good news is, league games begin next Friday. Whew.

    Rating the 6A leagues

    1. Three Rivers: Six legitimate state quarterfinal teams, with just as many title contenders

    2. Southwest: Already a Three Rivers killer, thanks to North Medford and Grants Pass

    3. Mt. Hood: Led by the King (Central Catholic), could have some sneaky quality in Gresham and Barlow

    4. Metro: Early OSAA rankings have five of the league’s eight teams ranked 24 or lower.

    5. Greater Valley: Not much of recent successful playoff track record, but top teams are intriguing

    6. PIL: League co-favorites Grant and Roosevelt are combined 0-4 and outscored 206-55

    Twitter: @nickdaschel

  • Gresham's Sirgeo Hoffman, Sunset's Willy Pflug, West Salem's Cade Smith highlight Friday's football top performers

    Hoffman averaged nearly 27 yards per carry in Gophers' win over Corvallis

    Friday night was Sergio Hoffman's night, undoubtedly.

    The speedy Gresham running back went berserk in the Gophers' 45-19 win over Corvallis, racking up 394 yards on just 15 carries Friday.

    Hoffman scored on runs of 80, 35, four and three yards, and was just simply unstoppable for the Gophers to earn this week's distinction as the top performer in the area.

    The Sunset duo of quarterback Willy Pflug and running back Caden Carter helped the Apollos win a shootout for the ages, 55-49. Pflug threw for 391 yards and four touchdowns on 22 of 38 passing, and Carter rumbled for 213 yards on 22 carries, and also had four touchdowns.

    West Salem quarterback Cade Smith continues to do it all of the Titans, rushing and passing his squad to a resounding 55-20 win over Forest Grove. Smith threw for 234 yards with three scores on 10 of 15 passing, and ran for three more scores on just seven carries for 104 yards.

    Summit's John Bledsoe, son of former NFL great Drew Bledsoe, torched Franklin in a 52-6 Storm victory. Bledsoe completed 21 of 29 passes for 351 yards and four touchdowns to help lead the Storm (2-0) into next week's showdown with Ashland, also 2-0.

    North Medford's Nick Janakes rushed for 160 yards and three touchdowns in the Black Tornado's 35-21 win over Canby, and keeping it south style, Grants Pass quarterback Javan Appling threw for 358 yards on 16 of 23 passing. Appling had three touchdowns and two interceptions.

    Putnam's Brandon Culp helped the Kingsmen past Milwaukie 59-24 with 236 rushing yards on 18 carries and four touchdowns. Molalla's Isaiah Bilbrey pushed his squad past Stayton 41-14 with 211 rushing yards on 23 carries.

    South Salem's Gabe Matthews, in his second varsity start, led the Saxons to a 49-24 win over McMinnville. Matthews threw for 208 yards on 11 of 15 passing with three touchdowns, and he ran for 74 yards on 14 carries and three more scores. Oh, by the way, he also booted seven extra points.

    Parkrose's Jonathan Boland led the Broncos past La Salle Prep 58-29 with 282 passing yards on 22 of 38 passing with four touchdowns. He also ran for 83 yards.

    Defensively, Hermiston's Carson Morter had four interceptions to help the No. 10 Bulldogs past Washington power Kamiakin 28-7.

    In a week full of playmakers, who else had an exceptional night on the gridiron? Sign in and share your favorite player's night in the comment section.

  • Parkrose's speed overwhelms La Salle, as No. 6 Broncos earn 58-29 victory: Recap

    With less than a minute remaining in the fourth quarter, the sprinklers on the field at Parkrose High School came on and drenched the Parkrose sideline. It was far too late to cool down the Broncos offense, though, as No. 6 Parkrose sprinted out to a big early lead and routed La Salle Prep, 58-29, in Northeast Portland.

    With less than a minute remaining in the fourth quarter, the sprinklers on the field at Parkrose High School came on and drenched the Parkrose sideline.

    It was far too late to cool down the Broncos offense, though, as No. 6 Parkrose sprinted out to a big early lead and routed La Salle Prep, 58-29, in Northeast Portland.

    Jonathan Boland competed 22 of 34 passes for 282 yards and four touchdowns for Parkrose (2-0), which has scored 114 points in its first two games.

    Don’t expect Boland to get too cocky, though, as he remembers what happened last year when the Broncos also got off to a 2-0 start.

    “We went on the road at Wilsonville and got our heads knocked off,” he said. “We’re trying to not repeat history.”

    Boland also rushed for 83 yards Friday and distributed the ball to a number of speedy targets, like receivers Vincent Vy, Marshawn Edwards and Andre Johnson. Boland did throw two interceptions, though, which didn’t sit well with him after the game.

    “La Salle has some very good athletes and a lot of our passes didn’t work, but we showed them about Parkrose football tonight,” said Boland. “We still have to step it up more; I can’t throw any more interceptions and things like that.”

    Parkrose coach Maurice France said earlier in the week that the Falcons hadn’t seen the kind of speed the Broncos would bring to the field, and he felt his team proved its dominance in that aspect Friday.

    “I knew our speed was going to be a difference maker tonight and in every game we play,” France said. “I think it dictates the game, and we were effective in running our offense and taking what they gave us.”

    Falcons coach Aaron Hazel said it was “impossible” to replicate Parkrose’s speed in practice.

    “We did everything we could,” Hazel said. “They have a good team, and (Boland) is a pretty special kid.”

    Boland threw a touchdown pass to Edwards and ran for a score in the first quarter as the Broncos built a 16-7 lead.

    They poured it on in the second quarter, with Vy catching touchdown passes of 14 and 70 yards. Tucker Perry’s six-yard run near the end of the half gave the Broncos a 38-7 halftime lead.

    Edwards returned an interception 45 yards to the end zone early in the third quarter to give Parkrose its biggest lead, then watched La Salle pull as close as 52-29 in the fourth quarter before Johnson’s 63-yard touchdown run closed the scoring.

    “We started off great tonight on both sides of the ball, but then we got lazy,” France said. “All week our motto was ‘finish’ but our defense got lazy.”

    La Salle (1-1) got a solid rushing effort from sophomore Quentin Pearson, who carried 20 times for 114 yards. Senior Nash Lisac ran for 63 yards on 17 attempts.

    “As soon as we start believing in ourselves, we’ll be successful,” said Hazel. “We started playing with some confidence in the second half.”

  • Gresham's Sirgeo Hoffman runs wild in 45-19 win over Corvallis

    Gophers outscore Spartans 28-6 in second half to pull away for win

    Get out of Sirgeo Hoffman's way.

    The Gresham running back went berserk against Corvallis on Friday, rushing for 394 yards on just 15 carries in a 45-19 win in Corvallis.

    Hoffman scored on runs of 85, 30, 4 and 3 yards and simply could not be stopped by the Corvallis defense. He averaged 26.3 yards per carry on the night.

    Gresham quarterback Ben Chittock threw for a score and ended with 71 yards passing.

    Corvallis' Hunter Mattson ran for 105 yards on 26 carries. Lance Peterson completed 16 passes for 164 yards, but threw two picks, for the Spartans.

    -- Billy Gates | @GatesOnSports

  • No. 8 West Linn takes care of David Douglas, 49-26: Recap

    West Linn got off to a hot start versus the unranked Scots.

    No. 8 West Linn (2-0) ripped off 21 points in the first quarter, setting the pace to an eventual 49-26 win over David Douglas on Friday night at David Douglas (1-1). 

    Tim Tawa got the Lions rolling early with a long touchdown strike to Connor Berggren for 73 yards in the first quarter. Berggren hauled in two touchdown passes on the night. 

    A fumble recovery and an interception return pushed West Linn out to its 21-0 margin before David Douglas responded with a touchdown from Darrion Wedge's 65-yard run. 

    West Linn traded scores with David Douglas the rest of the way until scoring twice in the fourth quarter.

    West Linn plays Lake Oswego next week; David Douglas plays Clackamas. 

    -- Erik C. Anderson | @ErikCAnderson

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