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

  • Multnomah County budget includes $1.1 million more for new programs than economist said is sustainable long-term

    Madrigal's proposed budget calls for spending $1.1 million more on ongoing programs than county economist Mike Jaspin predicted would maintain stability for five years, but still balances the budget for three years to come.

    NOTE: The body and headline of this post have been updated to incorporate the clarification appended below.

    Multnomah County Chairwoman Marissa Madrigal's proposed budget spends $1.1 million more on new, ongoing programs than the amount an economist said would keep the county financially stable for the next five years.

    Instead, Madrigal's budget focuses on making sure new expenditures are sustainable and the budget is balanced in the near term.

    "Given the backlog of needs we have, I felt a three-year balance was prudent and conservative enough," Madrigal said.

    Madrigal's proposed 2014-15 spending plan calls for spending $3.6 million of an $8.3 million surplus on new programs that will continue into the future.

    County economist Mike Jaspin last month predicted that spending any more than $2.5 million on new programs could force the County Board of Commissioners to make cuts within the next five years.

    Over that time, the surplus is expected to dwindle as revenues slow and expenses continue to creep up.

    But Madrigal said projecting revenues and expenses several years into the future is difficult. She felt the five-year prediction was too uncertain to serve as a basis for current budget decisions.

    "I can feel really good that these decisions will last for three years," she said. "When you balance for five, you may be being too conservative because so many things can change in the out years."

    Madrigal devoted the remaining $4.7 of the $8.3 million surplus to one-time expenses such as technology upgrades and construction projects.

    Much of the $3.6 million in new programs would go toward providing stable funding for several county programs that, in the past, had to compete for money during each yearly budget cycle. The programs' futures were in constant limbo, Madrigal said.

    Madrigal's budget would dedicate:

    -- $1.97 million to senior centers, rental assistance and after school programs for children;

    -- $943,000 for 10 existing SUN School sites – which turn schools into social service hubs -- and 10 new ones.;

    -- $235,357 for expanding the county's Veterans Services office

    -- $95,816 to hire a sheriff's detective to investigate human trafficking, vice and illegal drugs; and

    -- $212,635 to hire a coordinator in the District Attorney's office to focus on reducing repeat offenders and finding alternatives to jail and prison.

    "We're taking our resources and trying to match them up with the community's critical needs," Madrigal said as she unveiled the budget Thursday. "You have a proposal that attempts to make our community better."

    --Kelly House

    CLARIFICATION: Economist Mike Jaspin last month offered a prediction to the Board of County Commissioners on the level of new spending in 2014-15 that the county can sustain for the next five years. An earlier version of this story described this estimate as a recommendation on how much to spend.

  • Ad watch: Deborah Kafoury's first TV spot subtly jabs at Jim Francesconi

    First you saw Jim Francesconi talk about good jobs while watching welders work. Now, Deborah Kafoury stands in the sunshine while talking about he county's work.

    First you saw Jim Francesconi talk about good jobs while watching welders work. Now, Deborah Kafoury stands in the sunshine while talking about the county's work.

    Kafoury released her first television advertisement Thursday, which means it's time for another round of Ad Watch. Here's a point-by-point breakdown of Kafoury's ad. We'll keep our eyes peeled for more, and publish future editions of Ad Watch with each new TV campaign advertisement we see.

    Ad Title: "It's What You Do"

    Cast: Deborah Kafoury and her family, a domestic violence survivor, a formerly-homeless family, elementary school students, senior citizens

    Plot: Kafoury stands outside on a sunny day, talking about her accomplishments as a county commissioner while scenes depicting the county's key customers – vulnerable populations including the homeless, seniors and kids – flash across the screen.

    Target audience: Low-income people, seniors and parents, as well as voters who have heard Jim Francesconi's pitch that the county isn't doing enough to provide for people.

    The context: Kafoury's main competitor, Jim Francesconi, has criticized Kafoury and her colleagues on the Board of County Commissioners for not being more aggressive in tackling poverty and other issues. He has also pledged to expand the county's presence in East County, where government services have not kept up with increasing poverty, and promised to get the county more involved in economic development. In the ad, Kafoury subtly fights back, telling the viewer, "Here's what I know: It's not what you promise that makes a difference for people, it's what you do."

    --Kelly House

  • 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. 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 by the auditor's office 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 have consistently said city government wasn't doing a good job.

    It is the city's most diverse area, with minorities making up a larger percentage of the 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 29 square miles.

    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.

    Zoning changes allowed and encouraged "rapid growth" 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 long driveways that often result in houses stacked behind one another. This, according to the audit, causes concern for Portland Fire & Rescue officials.

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

     The audit also examined the East Portland Action Plan, the community blueprint funded by the City Council and adopted in 2009. EPAP organizers are 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 on topics such as transportation, economic development and parks.

    Drummond Kahn, director of audit services, said EPAP results have been mixed. Some action items were already in progress without EPAP's help, the audit said.

    But, Kahn said, the community group responsible for the action plan 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 organizing 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 and that some were unrealistic. 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 to the table.

    At a community budget hearing this week at David Douglas High School, advocates urged Mayor Charlie Hales and city commissioners to fully fund the action plan for another year. The council is considering a $300,000 one-time budget request for 2014-15.

    During the hearing, Hales said council support for EPAP funding was "unanimous."

    Commissioner Amanda Fritz announced development plans for multiple long-promised parks in east Portland. State legislators recently 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

  • Deborah Kafoury, Jim Francesconi raise more than $500,000 combined in Multnomah County chair's race

    Corporate interest, labor and political groups have all opened their checkbooks, leaving both candidates with large war arsenals. As of Wednesday, Francesconi had raised $226,424 while Kafoury has raised $339,023.

    In the race to become Multnomah County's next chair, money matters— and it's coming in droves from some deep-pocketed donors.

    Corporate interest, labor and political groups have all opened their checkbooks, leaving both candidates with large war arsenals.

    As of Wednesday, Francesconi had raised $226,424 while Kafoury has raised $339,023.

    Coca-Cola has emerged as one of Kafoury's top donors at $5,000. Kafoury also accepted donations from the American Beverage Association ($1,000) and the Dr. Pepper Snapple PAC ($250). The contributions, originally reported in Willamette Week, are notable given recent county-led initiatives to tell citizens about the health hazards of sugary soda pop, and past pushes to tax sweetened drinks in Multnomah County.

    "In the future, we'll see a lot more big political fights on this issue, and soda companies are starting to take note," said Mel Rader, co-director of Portland's Upstream Public Health.

    Such fights are already happening in places such as New York City, where then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg banned the sale of large sugary drinks. Portland Mayor Charlie Hales joined 17 mayors from across the nation last year in signing a letter asking Congress to ban the use of food stamps to buy sugary drinks.

    Kafoury said she asked Coca-Cola for the endorsement because the company is a major local employer, with a syrup facility in Portland and facilities in Wilsonville. She said the endorsement won't sway her vote on issues surrounding sugary drinks if she wins the chair's seat.

    "They know I don't make campaign promises in exchange for endorsements or financial contributions," she said.

    Coke spokeswoman Anna Arodzero told the Oregonian that Francesconi also approached her looking for an opportunity to talk to "Coca-Cola and our local employees" about his campaign.

    Both candidates have spoken in the past about the need to raise money to reach voters in a race that's not expected to inspire high turnout.

    For Francesconi, the cash dash is tempered by a commitment not to repeat the 2004 mayoral race, when he admits to taking too much money from "downtown" contributors to reach $1 million in donations. That strategy, Francesconi says, left a poor impression with voters and probably contributed to his loss to Tom Potter.

    "It was my biggest mistake," he says.

    For Kafoury, Francesconi's demonstrated fundraising skills in past elections heighten the sense that she needs to raise enough money to win.

    "The county has four districts, so you have four times as many people to target," she said.

    Here's a closer look at top contributors to each candidate:


    1. Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters: $5,500

    2. Oregon AFSCME Council 75: $5,000

    3. Multnomah County Employees Local 88 AFSCME: $5,000

    4. Robert Gootee of Health Services Group: $3,000

    5. Individual donors Cary Jackson, Carolyn Loacker and Ross Leinhart: $2,500


    1. Coalition for a Healthy Oregon PAC: $10,000

    2. Oregon Nurses PAC: $5,500

    5 (tie).Slayden/Sundt: $5,000

    Rockwood philanthropist Robert Quillin: $5,000

    Coca-Cola: $5,000

    Kafoury & McDougal Law Firm: $5,000

    Leland Larson: $5,000

    Local 48 Electricians PAC: $5,000

    United Food and Commercial Workers, $5,000

    Top 5 Businesses:


    1. Zidell Companies, a Portland industrial company and landowner: $2,000

    2. Real estate firm American Industries, Inc.: $1,500

    3. Insurance company Health Services Group: $1,500

    4. Graffeo Chiropractice Clinic: $1,500

    5 (tie). Harvey's Restaurant and Lounge, Picoco LLC, Ziba Design, Veber Family LLC, Metropolitan Land Group: all $1,000


    1 (tie): Slayden/Sundt (the lead contractor on the Sellwood Bridge), Coca-Cola, Kafoury & McDougal law firm: all $5,000

    4: Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative: $3,000

    5 (tie): Broadway Cab, Russell Fellows Properties, Day CPM Services, LLC: $2,500

    Labor Organizations:


    1. Service Employees International Union Local 49: $7,950 in-kind

    2. Pacific Northest Regional Council of Carpenters: $5,500

    4 (tie): Oregon AFSCME Council 75 and Multnomah County AFSCME Local 88: $5,000

    5: Oregon Nurse Anesthetist PAC: $1,000


    1.   Oregon Nurses Political Action Committee: $5,500

    3 (tie). United Food and Commercial workers, Local 48 Electricians: $5,000

    4: Iron Workers District Council of the Pacific Northwest: $1,000

    5: Northwest Oregon Labor Council: $250

    --Kelly House

  • 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