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  • Portland Metro Friday Traffic: Hawthorne Bridge closed in both directions for police investigation

    Expect TriMet lines that use the bridge to be heavily delayed and using the Morrison Bridge as a detour. Traffic will build on alternate bridges as well including the Ross Island and Broadway. Police are asking everyone to stay off the bridge.


    An early morning hit-and-run and shooting has the Hawthorne Bridge closed to ALL traffic Friday as Portland police and SERT conduct a crime investigation. The bridge is closed to pedestrians and bikes as well.

    UPDATE 9 a.m.; Bicyclists and pedestrians now using the Hawthorne Bridge. Police are still with the overturned car used by the shooter. Bridge still closed to motorized vehicles.

    ***

    Expect TriMet lines that use the bridge to be heavily delayed. TriMet reports lines 4, 6, 10, 14, 15, 30 are not crossing the Hawthorne. Traffic will build on alternate bridges as well including the Ross Island and Burnside. Police are asking everyone to stay off the bridge.

    UPDATE 7:08 a.m.; Search units are pulling back. Waterfront Park areas are reopening. HAWTHORNE BRIDGE remains closed.

    On Monday, July 4, C-TRAN provides special event shuttle service to the Fourth of July fireworks at Fort Vancouver. Festival attendees can park at the Vancouver Mall Transit Center (north side of the mall) from 6-8 p.m. and take a C-TRAN shuttle that leaves every 15 minutes.

    The shuttles will return to the mall following the fireworks show. The shuttle rides are free.

    Many state and local sheriff's offices are announcing enhanced patrols for the Fourth of July weekend. If you're going to drink, have a designated driver, arrange for a ride or use public transportation.

    Check back throughout the morning for the latest commuting updates and follow us on Twitter: @trafficportland (https://twitter.com/@trafficportland)

  • What's open and closed July 4

    Monday Federal offices and courts: closed Oregon and Washington state offices and courts: closed Multnomah, Clackamas, Washington and Clark county offices, city of Portland and Vancouver offices, Metro regional center: closed Transit: TriMet buses run on Sunday schedule (lines that normally do not run on Sundays will not be in service), MAX on Saturday schedule, WES no service, Street Car...

    Monday

    Federal offices and courts: closed

    Oregon and Washington state offices and courts: closed

    Multnomah, Clackamas, Washington and Clark county offices, city of Portland and Vancouver offices, Metro regional center: closed

    Transit: TriMet buses run on Sunday schedule (lines that normally do not run on Sundays will not be in service), MAX on Saturday schedule, WES no service, Street Car on Saturday schedule)

    C-Tran offers free shuttle rides to the fireworks event at Fort Vancouver. Get more information here.  Buses run on Sunday schedules.

    Multnomah County libraries and Fort Vancouver Regional Library District branches: closed.

    U.S. Postal Service offices: closed, no regular mail service

    Banks: closed, some in-store branches may be open

    Portland parking meters: not enforced (enforced in Washington Park and at the Oregon Zoo)

    Oregon Zoo: open


  • Advocates warn of a frightening weekend for pets who react to fireworks

    "We are afraid that people will start partying and exploding fireworks on Friday night and not stop until Monday night," said Deborah Wood, manager of Animals Services for Washington County and the Bonnie Hays Animal Shelter.

    Area shelters are gearing up for what might be a very busy and stressful holiday weekend for pets and their families.

    Animal advocates are worried it may be a record year for lost pets during Fourth of July because the holiday is at the end of a long weekend. "We are afraid that people will start partying and exploding fireworks on Friday night and not stop until Monday night," Deborah Wood, manager of Animals Services for Washington County and the Bonnie Hays Animal Shelter stated in a media release.

    With the City of Vancouver announcing 2016 will be the last year in which fireworks sales are allowed within the city limits, some fireworks fans may be stocking up and also shooting off illegal types in greater numbers in Oregon. Read more here about what types of fireworks are allowed in Oregon.

    For many pets fireworks are frightening and cause stress reactions.

    fireworks dogs.JPGA stressed dog goes back home with its owner after being gone three day as a result of running away from fireworks.  

    Wood says the Fourth of July week is the busiest week of the year for stray animals arriving at the shelter in Hillsboro. "People that honestly think their pets will be fine can face heartbreak when the noise and confusion of the holiday makes pets bolt from their homes," Wood reports.

    DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital sees a significant increase in emergency visits during the holiday weekend. Loud noises from exploding fireworks can cause dogs to jump fences or dig out of yards when they're left outside. DoveLewis veterinarians have also treated panicked pets who jumped through glass windows and door screens, despite being kept inside.

    Note that pets who have previously been calm during fireworks events might age into a fear or panic attacks. Watch your dogs and cats carefully for signs of stress.

    Here are some tips from DoveLewis to keep your pet safe:

    • Safely secure pets indoors while fireworks are going off. If you have to take your dog outside, make sure to use a leash.
    • If your pet is extra sensitive to loud noises, do not leave your pet alone for extended periods of time.
    • Keep all used and unused fireworks away from animals at all times.
    • Make sure your pet has an updated microchip and is wearing identification tags, so you have a better chance of being reunited in the event that your pet gets lost.
    • Talk to your veterinarian about whether the use of a mild sedative is appropriate.

    Other actions that might help ease some of the stress include taking your dog out for "last call" well before dark and NOT at times fireworks are exploding. Many nervous or stressed pets won't go potty if they're afraid anyway, so taking them out prior to dark should help them get their business done.

    Put on a loud movie, or action show on the TV and turn it up. It might not drown out all the explosions, but pet owners find this sometimes can buffer out some of the neighborhood noise.

    The Bonnie Hays animal shelter is extending its open times to 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday and Monday, July 3-4 (times when it would normally be closed) for people to bring in "found" pets from Washington County and for owners to pick up lost pets. The shelter is located at 1901 S.E. 24th Ave., Hillsboro. Phone: 503-846-7041.

    If you find a lost pet this weekend, contact your area shelter with a description of the pet. It can also help to take a quick picture and post flyers in your neighborhood to help get the pet home safely without a visit to a shelter. Social media can also be a big help to find a pet's home quickly through networking.

     

    -- Rosemarie Stein

    rstein@oregonian.com
    503-221-4376
    @trafficportland

  • Portland Metro Friday Weather: Clouds to start, plenty of sun later

    Saturday will be a repeat with maybe some heavier clouds in the morning and possible drizzle. Saturday's high will be 78.

    This soothing weather pattern continues into next week. Expect cloudy mornings followed by warm sun breaking through by lunchtime. Friday's high temperature should reach 80 degrees.

    Saturday will be a repeat with maybe some heavier clouds in the morning and possible drizzle. Saturday's high will be 78.

    We'll rinse and repeat for Sunday with even more morning cloud cover possibly sticking around until well into the afternoon.

    For Independence Day the clouds should break up by noon and leave us with a high of 75.

    The string of cloudy mornings with afternoon clearing should continue into next week.

  • Report: Office market races to add supply; Commonwealth Building sells for $69 million

    Responding to years of constrained supply, the Portland area is on pace to add 1.6 million square feet of new office space this year, a report found.

    Responding to years of constrained supply, the Portland area is on pace to add 1.6 million square feet of new office space this year, according to the latest quarterly report from commercial real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle. That's more than three times the 10-year average, thought it comes after six years of building below the average.

    It's also the first time in six years that new supply is expected to exceed net absorption, which is slated to reach 750,000 square feet in 2016. The pent-up demand from previous years is still causing rents to rise sharply, though - average asking rent is 10.4 percent higher than it was last year, the report found.

    The office vacancy rate ticked upward since the first quarter, to 8.8 percent, but it remains below where it was last year, at 9.1 percent.

    "Portland's very strong leasing fundamentals persist, making it a popular choice for domestic and foreign investors," the report reads. "High barriers to entry in primary markets continue to lead investors to hot secondary markets with solid metrics like Portland."

    The largest slice of total demand - a full 25 percent - is coming from the tech sector, the report found.

    Commonwealth Building II.jpgThe Commonwealth Building, located at 421 S.W. Sixth Ave. 

    Nearly $500 million worth of office real estate has traded hands in the first six months of the year, with the second quarter's most significant sale being the real estate investment trust KBS' $69 million acquisition of the 14-story Commonwealth Building at 421 S.W. Sixth Ave., the report found.

    The Commonwealth Building sale hadn't been previously announced. The previous owner, Unico Properties, bought the tower for $41 million in 2014.

    Other major transactions included investment firm Griffin Capital's $45.5 million acquisition of the Evergreen Corporate Center in Hillsboro, the report found.

    The largest leases of the second quarter, according to the report, were Elemental Technologies' agreement to use 101,400 square feet in the former Oregonian building on Southwest Broadway and law firm Stoel Rives' lease for nearly 132,000 square feet in the recently completed Park Avenue West tower.

    -- Luke Hammill
    lhammill@oregonian.com
    503-294-4029
    @lucashammill

  • Child molester's lawyer says client not 'bad guy,' despite victims' mom saying so

    A defense attorney for former Gresham wrestling coach Wyatt Deremer said his client is trying to turn his life around after being convicted of sexually touching four boys.

    Shortly before a Multnomah County Circuit judge sentenced a former Gresham wrestling coach to 10 years in prison Wednesday for molesting four boys, the man's lawyer said his client has cried every time he's met with him to talk about the abuse.

    "I've gotten to know this man for seven or eight months now," said defense attorney Per Olson. "He is not a 'bad guy.' He might become a bad guy if he were to let his actions define who he is and continue onto the future, but he doesn't have to do it. And he has a choice."

    Olson's remarks addressed the words moments earlier of the mother of two boys who were sexually abused by Olson's client, 26-year-old Wyatt Deremer, after having met Deremer through the Gresham wrestling club he founded. The mother had walked up to the counsel table of the courtroom, sat 10 feet away from Deremer and described him as 'a bad guy' during a detailed statement that described her and her sons' deep pain and torment.

    The woman's older son, now a teenager, sat on a bench behind her, silently listening.

    "With all due respect to the court, I do not feel like justice is being served in this case," she said. Ten years in prison is "an awfully light sentence" for Deremer's crimes, she explained.

    Deremer's molestations of the four victims came to light after the woman's older son summoned the courage to speak up in 2015 as Deremer climbed the coaching ranks at his school.

    "He is a hero in my eyes," the mother said of her older son. "He did an amazing thing for our community to keep this bad guy off of the street."

    Deremer volunteered or worked for a long list of organizations that allowed him access to many hundreds or even thousands of children over the years. Some of them were developmentally disabled, and Deremer worked with them one-on-one.

    He coached through eight wrestling clubs, including the Eastside Elite Mat Club; was an assistant Boy Scouts troop leader; counseled children at the Shriners Children's Hospital; worked at the mental health clinic the Parry Center for Children; and was a home health-care provider for children with developmental disabilities through the Oregon Department of Human Services.

    Court papers filed by the prosecution describe Deremer's molestations as rubbing or touching over the clothes, an instance in which Deremer pulled open and peered down the underpants of one boy, and episodes where Deremer rubbed the inner thighs of his victims near their genitals. The boys were from 6 to 13 years old at the time of the abuse, from 2007 to 2013.

    Deremer admitted to police that while traveling in Finland, he victimized two other boys, who were sons of his friend, according to court papers. He was not charged in Multnomah County Circuit Court for those incidents.

    During Wednesday's hearing, the mother of two of the victims said her older son felt "heavily burdened" by the knowledge that his best friend was later victimized by Deremer, and her son was overcome "with guilt" and "blamed himself" for his friend's victimization.

    According to court papers, the woman's older son told police that Deremer rested his hand on his thigh near his genitals for most of a ride home from wrestling practice in Estacada when the boy was a member of Deremer's private wrestling club in sixth or seventh grade. The boy said he also saw Deremer do the same thing to his friend on another ride. Deremer later abused that friend more after inviting him to his house.

    "The happy-go-lucky best friend he knew was no longer," the mother said. "He watched in sadness as his best friend became broken."

    That friend turned to drugs and alcohol and failed in school, she said.

    "Ultimately, those same demons overcame my son as well," she continued. "He also turned to drugs and alcohol to self-medicate."

    She said her son isolated himself from her and others and had inexplicable outbursts. She couldn't pin down the source of his pain.

    "It was not the typical teenage angst," she said. "Not only did he victimize him when he touched him, he continued the victimization ... to keep him quiet for over four years."

    The mother said her son regularly complained that Deremer, as one of his school's wrestling coaches, was picking on him and being mean to him. But "this bad guy told me my son was defiant, disobedient and disrespectful," she said. 

    The mother said in retrospect, she can see that Deremer fit the profile of a child molester by gaining access to so many children through the youth organizations.

    "He was everywhere all of the time," she said. "There was a significant pattern here, one that I'm ashamed I missed."

    She said she's so proud of both of her sons for persevering.

    "My sons are no longer victims," she said. "They are survivors, warriors and heros. ...Nicely done, boys. Nicely done."

    During a hearing earlier this month, Deremer pleaded guilty to three counts of first-degree sexual abuse and no contest to one count of first-degree sexual abuse.

    Wednesday, he hinted about "a secret" that he said has plagued him since he was a young boy.

    "I will forever carry the guilt for what I've done, putting these boys in the same dark hole that I was in, a fate I would not wish on my worst enemy."

    He said he's glad the boys talked to police.

    "This experience has truly changed my life and others like me ... who were carrying a secret like I was and were able to take the chains off of their necks."

    Turnage is concerned that there may be more victims. He asked that any additional victims call him at 503-618-3136.

    -- Aimee Green

    agreen@oregonian.com

    503-294-5119

    o_aimee

  • Oregon City native Matt Lindland, former UFC star, leads USA wrestling into Rio Olympics

    Oregon City native Matt Lindland is ready to lead USA wrestling to Rio.

    GRESHAM -- The sounds of gloves popping against bags, coaches barking instructions and workout music blaring overhead blend together at just past 6 p.m. inside Gresham's Team Quest MMA gym.

    Sweat splotches the blue mats covering the floor in the smaller of the gym's two main rooms as a beginning kickboxing class is underway. In the other room, the front room as coaches call it, submission wrestling techniques are being taught.

    As the classes continue, it's just past 5 a.m. where the gym's owner is -- 6,500 miles away.

    Matt Lindland is in Azerbaijan doing coaching of his own, not for his Gresham gym, but for Team USA. Lindland, a former Olympic silver medalist and decorated MMA fighter, was named the USA Greco-Roman wrestling coach in 2014.

    "It's like being a CEO of a major corporation with all the different hats you have to wear," Lindland said. The Oregon City native organizes travel and decides which qualifying matches to send his wrestlers to all while trying to coach his philosophy.

    Lindland and four wrestlers are training with the Azerbaijan national team before heading to Brazil for the 2016 Rio Olympics. Azerbaijan, it turns out, is a great training partner, having claimed the 2015 Greco-Roman World Cup and boasting two world No. 1 wrestlers.

    Bus ride in Baku after training it's been great training here in Azerbijan

    A photo posted by Matt Lindland (@mlindland) on

    Despite competing for his country as an athlete and gaining coaching experience after his wrestling career, the call to lead the American wrestling team was still a surprise for Lindland.

    "It's not like the NBA where there are 30 coaching spots open," Lindland said. "There's only one coach per country to lead their sport."

    Although the position with Team USA is based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and takes him across the world, Team Quest is a reminder of Lindland's roots.

    The gym, nestled beside a McDonald's and across from a drive-thru Mexican food restaurant in Gresham's Rockwood neighborhood, opened in 2001. But that wasn't the original plan for the building. Lindland opened the white-sided structure as USA Auto Wholesale a year after he took home the silver medal in the 2000 Olympics.

    The used car lot doubled as a gym in the evenings. Lindland and UFC legend Randy Couture pulled a mat into the detail station, the same room where the submission class was being held Monday, to train. Lindland's Olympic days were over but his MMA career was just picking up pace. Soon, clients were asking to train with Lindland.

    "The MMA became more popular than the car lot and it didn't take long for us to move the whole thing to a gym," Angie Lindland, Matt's wife, said.

    Today Team Quest offers classes in boxing, kickboxing, submission wrestling and straight wrestling -- 14 years since the Lindlands transformed the used car lot into a full-time gym.

    "When I sit back and think about why I do this, it's because the community in Rockwood needs it," Lindland said. "We could be a lot more successful moving it to Portland or Beaverton, but we've kept it in Rockwood to inspire people."

    --Joe Mussatto
    jmussatto@oregonian.com
    @joe_mussatto

  • Portland Metro Thursday Traffic: Northbound ramp to Hawthorne Bridge from Naito closes tomorrow for the Blues Festival

    The ramp is closed each year for safety, due to the volume of pedestrians around that area. Drivers who need to access the bridge can take the ramp from Southwest Madison Street.


    It's going to be a busy weekend downtown with the annual Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival taking up the bulk of south Waterfront Park. The Hawthorne Bridge often becomes a default viewing spot for pedestrians and also a well-used route to the festival for east side fans.

    As a result, the northbound on ramp to the Hawthorne Bridge from Southwest Naito Parkway will be closed Friday-Sunday, July 1-4 for the Blues Festival. The ramp is closed each year for safety, due to the volume of pedestrians around that area. Drivers who need to access the bridge can take the ramp from Southwest Madison Street. Also expect police to close the bridge to motor vehicles during the fireworks display on July 4.

    ***

    BEAVERTON 7:58 a.m.; Westbound crash on the shoulder of U.S. 26 between Bethany and 184th Avenue. Watch for slowing.

    ***

    DUNDEE 7:48 a.m.; Injury crash reported on Highway 99W near Southwest 11th Street south of Dundee. This tends to be a congested area in any case. Expect slowing this morning.

    ***

    DONALD 6:45 a.m.; Crash I-5 southbound near the Donald exit (south of Wilsonville) has traffic backing to Arndt Road.

    ***

    BUXTON 6:20 a.m.; An overturned log truck is blocking Highway 47 south of Johnson Road, and north of Stub Stewart State Park.

    Up to two lanes in either direction of I-205 between Mill Plain Boulevard and SR 500 will close from 8 p.m.-6 a.m. nightly through Friday, July 1. Workers will grind, pave and stripe the freeway in that area throughout the week. Also concrete barriers are being removed. Expect some slowing and watch for workers through Friday morning.

    Many state and local sheriff's offices are announcing enhanced patrols for the Fourth of July weekend. If you're going to drink, have a designated driver, arrange for a ride or use public transportation.

    Check back throughout the morning for the latest commuting updates and follow us on Twitter: @trafficportland

  • Portland Metro Thursday Weather: Another round of morning clouds, afternoon sun

    Thursday's low marine layer might bring a few sprinkles to the Portland area (and most certainly will to the coast) and keeps us cool for the morning hours.

    If you're in the pretty good-sized pack of people who are loving this "cool mornings/sunny afternoons" weather you're going to be a happy camper yet again.

    Thursday's low marine layer might bring a few sprinkles to the Portland area (and most certainly will to the coast) and keeps us cool for the morning hours.

    Later the sun will burn off the cloud cover, much as it has all week, and we'll see a high of 78 degrees.

    This pattern continues into next week. The long holiday weekend will feature low clouds and some sprinkles in the mornings, clearing in the afternoons and highs hovering in the high 70s to low 80s. Really nice stuff.

    Currently the forecasters at the National Weather Service don't see any disturbances in our near future to knock us off this trend. Most forecasters are predicting similar weather patterns through most of next week.

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