Parkrose School District Votes Monday on Contracting for Transportation

Dear School Board Members,

You’re in luck. I am unable to come and talk to you Monday evening, because I will be supervising Girl Scout cookie sales. However, I did want to express my opposition to contracting out for transportation services.

I have reviewed the cost analysis, and understand that if this is accurate it may restore 2 or 3 days of school to the calendar.

I don’t see this as a sufficient savings for the district. I also notice that the savings basically comes from not having to pay any PERS costs and from a reduction in health benefits costs, which I’m guessing means a reduction in health benefits and/or an increase in costs to the employees.

Yes, I want good schooling for our kids, but not at the expense of shrinking benefits to employees. Those employees are also tax-paying members of our community. In addition, a company that offers lower pay and benefits is less likely to attract quality employees who will take good care of our children. First Student (where my husband works as a bus driver) seems to have a fairly high rate of turnover.

I’m also concerned about safety and customer service issues between First Student and other districts (Molalla is a good example right now).

I urge the board not to contract out for transportation services at this time.

Kathleen McDade

If you want to chime in, here is the school board’s contact information. Or, attend the board meeting on Monday, February 24 at 6:30 p.m. at the district office.

News Links for August 23rd, 2013 through October 6th, 2013

Here’s the news from the Parkrose/Gateway area for August 23rd, 2013 through October 6th, 2013:

Parkrose Fire Station Changes Equipment, Loses Staff

logoPortland’s fire department unveiled a new piece of equipment Monday at the Parkrose Fire Station (4800 NE 122nd Avenue). It’s called a quint, and it combines the functions of a fire engine and a ladder truck.  Firefighters will now respond with one vehicle instead of two (calling in more help if needed, of course).

This also means a reduction in crew at the Parkrose station. Previously, there were eight crew members per shift; now there will be four.

This station serves the Parkrose and Argay neighborhoods as well as the city of Maywood Park. According to the fire department, they received 2304 calls for service from 7/1/2009 to 6/30/2010.

The nearby Gateway station, at 13313 NE San Rafael, is a smaller station, which was already equipped with just one engine and no ladder truck, and four crew members. This station received 2,695 calls for service in the same year, and serves the Parkrose Heights, Russell, Wilkes and Woodland Park neighborhoods.

The nearest station with the traditional ladder truck and engine appears to be the Mill Park station at 1500 NE 122nd Avenue.

Fire station information is listed on the fire department’s website.

What do you think? Is this a reasonable cost-cutting measure, or a dangerous safety risk?

Parkrose Back to School Information 2013

Start dates:

Parkrose elementary students return to school on Tuesday, September 3.

Parkrose Middle School 6th graders start on Tuesday, September 3, but then have Friday, September 6 off.

Parkrose Middle School 7th and 8th graders start on Wednesday, September 4.

Parkrose High School freshmen start on Tuesday, September 3.

The rest of Parkrose High School starts on Wednesday, September 4.

New school hours for Parkrose schools:

Elementary Schools: 8:40 a.m. to 3:10 p.m. (students should not arrive before 8:30 a.m.)

Middle School: 7:55 a.m. to 2:35 p.m.

High School: 7:50 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.

Back to School Nights:

Elementary Schools: Thursday, September 19 (times vary)

Middle School: Wednesday, September 4, 5:30-6:30 p.m.

High School: Back to School Carnival, Wednesday, August 28, 4:00-8:00 p.m.

More information and supply lists.

News Links for August 11th, 2013 through August 20th, 2013

Here’s the news from the Parkrose/Gateway area for August 11th, 2013 through August 20th, 2013:

Medical Marijuana Dispensaries – Your Thoughts?


Photo by Torben Bjørn Hansen from Flickr. Used via CC BY 2.0.

The Mid-County Memo newspaper has an article on their site about an effort by Mary Walker, a longtime member of the Parkrose Neighborhood Association, to shut down a (legal) medical marijuana dispensary in Parkrose.

In an email, Walker notified members of the Historic Parkrose Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative that she is contacting local and federal authorities in an attempt to disrupt, even close the business and asked for their help.

This reminded me that I’ve seen several dispensaries opening shop in the Parkrose/Gateway area in the past year or so. We’ve had one near NE 105th and Glisan for a quite a while, but now there are a couple on NE Halsey, one near NE 122nd and Burnside, and the one Walker wants to shut down near NE 103rd and Sandy.

I keep wondering whether this is a sign that medical marijuana is a profitable business, or that their customer base in this area has grown, or what.

I’m also interested in what you think about this. Is an OMMP dispensary just another business? Or is it bad for the neighborhood? Please leave a comment below.

Bicyclist Crossing I-205 Struck By Vehicle

Yes, seriously, they were crossing the actual freeway lanes. Editorial comment: DON’T DO THAT. Here’s the Portland Police Bureau press release.

Bicyclist Crossing I-205 Traffic Struck by a Vehicle – Traffic Division Investigating
This morning, Thursday August 15, 2013, at 10:23 a.m., East Precinct and Traffic Division officers responded to the report of a bicyclist struck in the northbound lanes of I-205 underneath the Killingsworth overpass.

Officers and medical personnel arrived and located the adult male bicyclist suffering from traumatic injuries. He has been transported to a Portland hospital for treatment and his condition is not presently known.

The driver who struck the bicyclist has remained at the scene and is cooperating with investigators.

Preliminary information indicates that the bicyclist was attempting to cross the freeway when he was struck.

Presently the left and center lanes of northbound I-205 are closed as investigators process the crash scene.

Updates will be provided when they become available.



Construction at Sacramento Elementary

Sacramento Elementary has been under construction all summer. Here are some pictures of the progress thus far, including an additional covered area surrounding the covered bike rack, and the new office and hallway in the front.

IMAG0491 IMAG0490 IMAG0489 IMAG0488

Sacramento does have an office open for registration and other needs at the Parkrose School District office, 10636 NE Prescott St.  School is scheduled to re-open on September 3, 2013, although some of the construction will not be finished until December 2013. For more information about the bond construction, visit the bond information web page.

News Links for August 6th, 2013

Here’s the news from the Parkrose/Gateway area for August 6th, 2013:

National Night Out, Where Are You?

Tonight is the annual National Night Out, in which neighborhoods across the U.S. come together to celebrate, ostensibly as a way of fighting crime in the neighborhoods.

My family has attended National Night Out in Knott Park for several years. This event was previously put on by the Parkrose Heights Association of Neighbors, assisted by Parkrose United Methodist Church. I know there have also been prior events at Argay Park and in the Woodland Park neighborhood. But this year, unless the events aren’t being publicized or registered with the City of Portland, nothing is happening. And I’m curious. What happened? Is it because of budget cuts in the city’s Office of Neighborhood Involvement? Or did everyone simultaneously lose interest?

I wish I’d remembered about National Night Out before today. We just moved recently (although we are still in Parkrose Heights), and we might have organized something for our apartment complex.

The nearest events this year are at Ventura Park (tonight) at 6:00 p.m. and at Glenfair Park on Wednesday, August 7 starting at 5:00 p.m.