Washington County’s GREEN CARD

As part of a 10-year plan to end homelessness, Community Connect is a valuable new tool for organizing nonprofit assistance
HILLSBORO TRIBUNE PHOTO: TRAVIS LOOSE - A homeless man sleeps on the bench in front of Premier Community Bank in downtown Hillsboro. Residents and business owners are encouraged to give out the lime-green Community Connect contact card to any person found panhandling or sleeping on the street.

HILLSBORO TRIBUNE PHOTO: TRAVIS LOOSE – A homeless man sleeps on the bench in front of Premier Community Bank in downtown Hillsboro. Residents and business owners are encouraged to give out the lime-green Community Connect contact card to any person found panhandling or sleeping on the street.

Tom doesn’t want to panhandle, but he’s out of choices.

For a few hours every week, after filling out job applications from his home computer, he routinely stands near either entrance to the Safeway in Forest Grove with his cardboard sign and asks for help.

“I’d rather have a job,” Tom said bluntly. “And I look for work every day.”  Continue reading

Colorful fiesta brightens up rainy Sunday

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The 12th annual Latino Cultural Festival drew thousands of people to downtown Hillsboro Sunday.

Music, food, futsal and dancing underscored an all-day event that attracted nearly 100 vendors — more than any previous year, according to Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce Director of Special Events Cindy Crowder.HILLSBORO TRIBUNE PHOTO: TRAVIS LOOSE - Prior to the festival, Washington County kids aged 5 to 12 years participated in a futsal tournament in the Civic Centers parking lot. Twenty teams made up four divisions playing for their shot at trophies provided by Hillsboro Futsal. It was the tournaments fourth year at the festival.

“We had really positive feedback from our vendors,” Crowder said. “They all agreed that we wish the weather cooperated a bit better, but everyone agreed that it didn’t take away from the event. They still loved being able to be involved in the Latino celebration.”

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Recovery All-Round

Struggling to fight their addictions, members of the Forest Grove Recovery Club want to save their building, as well

NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: TRAVIS LOOSE - For 13 years, this home on 19th Avenue has housed the Forest Grove Recovery Club, a safe haven for people struggling with addiction, which one member calls a powerful and baffling disease.

NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: TRAVIS LOOSE – For 13 years, this home on 19th Place has housed the Forest Grove Recovery Club, a safe haven for people struggling with addiction, which one member calls a powerful and baffling disease.

“My name is Tira Karlen. I have been a sober alcoholic since June 1, 1999.”

“My name is Marianne O’Neill-Tutor. I have been clean since Oct. 1, 2006.”

“My name is Victor Hada … I was able to get clean from all substances on Dec. 26, 1989. This is the date I entered treatment in Forest Grove … this place saved my life.”

At 2722 19th Pl. in Forest Grove, there sits an algae-covered house.

Inside, near a gash in the ceiling paint, a damaged chandelier dangles awkwardly — two of its four lights burned out.

Several other light fixtures, switch panels and outlets have no covers. Missing chunks of drywall expose wooden beams. Water drips into the kitchen and pools on countertops when it rains. Single-paned windows have been sealed shut to improve insulation, but their framing is gone, so it hardly helps.

This is the home of the Forest Grove Recovery Club (FGRC), a nonprofit that provides a safe place for recovering addicts to meet and talk about their lives, their addictions and their hopes for the future.

For 13 years, the building has served as a safe haven for everyone from homeless people to doctors and lawyers who all have one thing in common: the determination to rebuild their ruined lives and to help others trying to do the same thing.

Now the building itself needs some help. Continue reading

All the buzz at Bruce’s

Created on Thursday, 31 March 2016
Proprietor at downtown Hillsboro barbershop has been cutting hair — and cutting up with customers — for more than three decades

HILLSBORO TRIBUNE PHOTOS: TRAVIS LOOSE - Barber Joe Celaya (standing left) cuts Conner Heltons hair while shop owner Bruce Reedy (standing right) works on Richard Gaumone Saturday, March 26.  Every barbershop in town has its unique clientele, Celaya said. We get the rest.

HILLSBORO TRIBUNE PHOTOS: TRAVIS LOOSE – Barber Joe Celaya (standing left) cuts Conner Helton’s hair while shop owner Bruce Reedy (standing right) works on Richard Gaumone Saturday, March 26. “Every barbershop in town has its unique clientele,” Celaya said. “We get the rest.” 

For many men, a visit to a proper barber offers more than just a cheap haircut.

Within the confines of an old-fashioned barbershop, a man can let loose and run his mouth a little. He can talk about family and work life without worrying who hears him. He can share self-deprecating stories from his past, gripe about his future or tell jokes that would never be appropriate anywhere else.

Unsurprisingly, these relics of a bygone time — where red, white and blue barber poles turn outside to attract clients inside — are fading.

Bruce’s Barber Shop at 355 E. Main St. in downtown Hillsboro is one of few that remain. For charging the same prices at the same location for the past 31 years, that’s a fairly impressive feat.  Continue reading

Homeless guests at Forest Grove severe-weather shelters have had to fend for themselves since early March

Created on Wednesday, 16 March 2016 11:52

~ For Doug ~

NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: TRAVIS LOOSE - Ruben Serna, his wife, Sasha, and their two young sons, Bentley and Ruben Jr., were living out of their car in Cornelius until two church shelters in Forest Grove offered them a warm place to sleep for three nights a week. Now those shelters have closed for the season.

NEWS-TIMES PHOTOS: TRAVIS LOOSE – Ruben Serna, his wife, Sasha, and their two young sons, Bentley and Ruben Jr., were living out of their car in Cornelius until two church shelters in Forest Grove offered them a warm place to sleep for three nights a week. Now those shelters have closed for the season.

Four nights a week, the Honda Accord sat in a darkened corner of the Cornelius Walmart parking lot, its windows fogged from the breath of four people sleeping inside.

Ruben Serna, his wife Sasha and their two young sons, Bentley and Ruben Jr., are homeless, and see no likelihood of that changing anytime soon.

“All we’ve been doing is saving money for a place,” said Ruben, who recently started working at a car wash in Cornelius. “We’re trying to find an apartment but I only make minimum wage.” Continue reading

We’ll miss you, Doug.

A collection of thoughts concerning Douglas Keith Bonham (3/31/1985 – 3/4/2016):

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Thanksgiving 2015 at the Bonham residence in Silverton

While the big news story is how Doug  died, his family is collecting thoughts and memories from those who knew him to show how Doug lived.

A memorial site for his passenger, Matthew Albrecht, can be found here.

For Doug, send your submissions to travis.loose@gmail.com, include any photos you’d like attached.*

We all loved Doug very much. He is going to be greatly missed.

A service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Dayspring Fellowship in Keizer, Ore. The public is welcomed.

Continue reading

Mayoral hopefuls hold initial (non)-debate

Steve Callaway, Aron Carleson appear at ‘Meet the Candidates’ chamber forum.

Created on Thursday, 03 March 2016 13:35

The two candidates running for Hillsboro mayor this year have a lot in common.

Steve Callaway and Aron Carleson both have served on the city council — where their voting records are mostly aligned. They’ve both volunteered their time to several city committees and commissions. And they’ve both spent years in different capacities improving the lives and educations of the city’s youth.

So when city residents vote in November 2016, how should they differentiate between two candidates who have such similar political experiences?  Continue reading

Going to INTERVIEWNIVERSITY

Hillsboro students build their resumes, find job and volunteer opportunities through specialized program

Created on Thursday, 03 March 2016 00:00

 

HILLSBORO TRIBUNE PHOTOS: TRAVIS LOOSE - (clockwise from bottom left) City Manager Michael Brown, at left, and Hillsboro Hops General Manager K.L. Wombacher interview Miller-West senior Sam Denniston during Interviewniversity at the Civic Center Feb. 25.

HILLSBORO TRIBUNE PHOTO: TRAVIS LOOSE – (clockwise from bottom left) City Manager Michael Brown and Hillsboro Hops General Manager K.L. Wombacher interview Miller-West senior Sam Denniston during Interviewniversity at the Civic Center Feb. 25.

If Sam Denniston was nervous, she didn’t show it.

Seated before Hillsboro City Manager Michael Brown and Hillsboro Hops General Manager K.L. Wombacher, Denniston answered questions about her strengths and weaknesses, and about her dreams for the future.

“Where do you see yourself in five years?” Brown asked.

“When you think of any dream job you could have, what comes to mind?” followed Wombacher.

The windowed walls of the Civic Center’s south side conference room provided Denniston no protection from peering eyes, which only added to the stress of the situation. Continue reading

Porter Road bridge on replacement fast track

Created on Wednesday, 02 March 2016 10:54
COURTESY PHOTO - The Porter Road bridge north of Forest Grove is more than twice as old as its original life expectancy. Its being replaced this summer.

COURTESY PHOTO – The Porter Road bridge north of Forest Grove is more than twice as old as its original life expectancy. It’s being replaced this summer.

Two years ago, plans to replace the Porter Road Bridge to the north of Forest Grove were at the bottom of Washington County’s maintenance priority list.

Following a recent inspection, the Department of Land Use & Transportation recommended the county’s Board of Commissioners move that project up the list and fast-track the bridge replacement project — which will now begin this summer.

An open house last week provided information on the project.

Built from timber in 1950, the current Porter Road Bridge has seen several patch jobs to keep it standing despite an original life expectancy of only 30 years.

Continue reading

Roundabout arriving two years after fatal crash

 


Open house offers info on upcoming roundabouts and a road extension

Created on Wednesday, 02 March 2016 10:48
NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: TRAVIS LOOSE - Lyle Spiesschaert (far right) and other farmers ask about the potential for losing access to their farmlands and for their farm vehicles to destroy new sidewalks on the David Hill Road extension. County staff explained that only David Hill's south side will have sidewalks, giving farm vehicles the room they need, and that access roads to farmlands will still be available to the north.

NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: TRAVIS LOOSE – Lyle Spiesschaert (far right) and other farmers ask about the potential for losing access to their farmlands and for their farm vehicles to destroy new sidewalks on the David Hill Road extension. County staff explained that only David Hill’s south side will have sidewalks, giving farm vehicles the room they need, and that access roads to farmlands will still be available to the north.

 

Between 2007 and 2014, three people died at the Verboort Road and Highway 47 intersection just north of Forest Grove.

After two Pacific University freshmen died in an April 2014 crash, 85 people gathered in Forest Grove’s community auditorium to tell a lineup of government officials that the unsafe intersection needed to change.

Nearly two years later, improvements are finally being made with the installation of a roundabout.  Continue reading