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TRANSPORTATION

Trains pause for repairs

Buses will replace MAX trains during the day on Saturday and Sunday between the Gateway Transit Center and Portland International Airport to allow for track work.

Shuttle buses running every 15 minutes will ferry passengers to and from the Gateway station during the closure. Service will be back to normal at 8 p.m. both days.

Work crews will add gravel to the light-rail bridge approaches where settling is occurring. The work is being done under warranty, meaning there's no cost to Tri-Met.

The Red Line will continue to run between downtown Portland and Gateway on both days. MAX riders heading to the airport can take either a Red Line or Blue Line train to Gateway to meet the shuttle bus.

MAX line halfway there

The Interstate MAX line is half finished, on budget and ahead of schedule, so Tri-Met celebrated this week.

The 5.8-mile line is scheduled to open in September 2004.

Politicians, business leaders, neighbors and workers marked the event with a ceremony between the tracks at North Interstate Avenue and Portland Boulevard.

Attending was Jenna Dorn, an Oregonian who is now federal transit administrator. She presented a check for $63.3 million Ñ a ceremonial check, not a real one Ñ to Tri-Met, representing this year's congressional appropriation for the line.

The federal government is picking up $257.5 million of the $350 million cost. The remainder will be parceled out year by year, said Fred Hansen, the Tri-Met general manager.

Trucks overtake cars

A 'state of the region' report by Northwest Environment Watch predicts that Oregon will have more trucks than cars by the end of the year.

The Seattle-based environmental group counts all sport utility vehicles, vans, pickups and big rigs in its definition of trucks.

By the end of 2002, the study projects, Oregon will have 1.556 million trucks and 1.546 million cars. In 1990, Oregon had roughly twice as many cars as trucks.

'Oregon's seen a steady surge in sales of trucks in the '90s, while car sales have been flat,' said Alan Durning, the group's executive director.

Durning warned that the trend probably will make the air in Portland significantly dirtier.

The report also notes that Oregon has 89 vehicles for every 100 residents and more automobiles than licensed drivers.

For a copy of the 80-page report, which includes information on salmon, health, income and population trends in the Northwest, check www.northwestwatch.org.

GOVERNMENT

Black leaders gather

The National Forum for Black Public Administrators will play host to a town hall meeting on homeland security and racial profiling at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Oregon Convention Center, 777 N.E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Mayor Vera Katz is scheduled to appear on a session panel along with Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin, Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown and New York Secretary of State Randy Daniels. The session is free and open to the public.

The forum is a professional membership organization representing black government managers, corporate executives, graduate students, deans and faculty members at public administration schools. The town hall meeting is part of the organization's 2002 national conference titled 'Sustainability: Leadership That Makes a Difference.'

Registration deadline near

Oregonians must register to vote by April 30 to cast ballots in the May 21 primary election.

All registered voters are eligible to vote for ballot measures and nonpartisan candidates, such as judges, city councilors and county commissioners.

Only registered Democrats and Republicans are able to vote in their party's primary races. Independents and third-party voters cannot vote for partisan candidates until the November general election.

Vote-by-mail ballots will be sent to all registered voters by May 3. They must be delivered or mailed in time to reach county elections officials by 5 p.m. May 21, when the officials will count them and announce the results.

Voter registration forms are available from the Multnomah County Elections Office, 1040 S.E. Morrison St., Portland, OR 97214.

POLICE

Authorities dig through tips

Fox-TV's 'America's Most Wanted' will air a segment for the fifth time on the kidnappings of two 13-year-old Oregon City girls. The show will be broadcast at 9 p.m. Saturday on the Fox television network.

An FBI spokeswoman said there are no new developments in the disappearances of Ashley Pond and Miranda Gaddis, but investigators are working their way through 2,400 tips generated locally and nationally.

The girls disappeared from their Oregon City apartment complex two months apart, on Jan. 9 and March 8. Investigators believe that they were abducted by the same person.

Anyone with information should call 1-800-822-0962 or write to Find Our Kids, P.O. Box 1705, Oregon City, OR 97045.

Ñ Tribune staff