People Watching


Stratton honored as everyday hero

Leroy Stratton, a resident of Boring was one of seven people honored as 'Everyday Heroes' for their unselfishness in coming to the aid of victims of elder financial and physical abuse and neglect.

The event coincided with a proclamation by Gov. Ted Kulongoski declaring Oct. 18, 'Everyday Heroes Working to End Elder Abuse Day.'

Stratton's 82-year-old mother was a victim of Troy Gallagher. She lives alone and one man cared for her yard. One day, that man and Troy Gallagher showed up at her house and convinced her they could do some repairs to her home. She paid them $4,300 for repairs.

When Stratton learned about the repairs, he inspected the areas they claimed to have fixed and found no evidence of any completed work. He then hired a professional plumber to inspect the work who also found no evidence of work having been done.

Stratton contacted the police and the Better Business Bureau. The case was included in the successful prosecution of Gallagher by the Multnomah County District Attorney's office.

Financial and physical abuse of the elderly is one of the fastest-growing crimes in America. Reports of elder abuse, neglect and exploitation increased 19.6 percent from 2000-04 with nearly half of those reports being substantiated.

While some studies estimate that between 3 and 5 percent of the elderly population have been abused, the Senate Special Committee on Aging estimates that there may be as many as 5 million victims every year.

Oregon Attorney General Hardy Myers said that less than one cent of every federal dollar spent on victim abuse goes to help the elderly even though older adults make up approximately 17 percent of U.S. population.

'It has been only in recent decades that abuse of elderly and disabled adults has been widely recognized,' said Myers, who presented the awards. 'Some studies say elder abuse may be as common as child abuse. And now enter the 'Baby Boomers,' a huge group of older Americans just beginning to retire and who will be in need of additional assistance to remain safe.'

Sergeant is welcomed home

Official Demobilization Ceremony for the 41st Personnel Services Company and 37 Oregon National Guard soldiers was held at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 24, in Salem. Included in the ceremony was Sergeant Karissa Smith of Gresham.

Government representatives and dignitaries were present to welcome home the unit from their 18-month tour of active duty. The unit spent one year in Kuwait.

Realtors hold fund-raiser

Each year, East Metro Association of Realtors holds an event designed to bring members together for an entertaining evening that raises money for a worthy cause. In September they held a casino night to benefit My Sister's House, a local non-profit serving women in need. Members tried their luck at gaming tables, bid on gift baskets in a silent auction and enjoyed great food.

The evening raised almost $3,300 for My Sister's House.