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Pictures of the Year

Carolyn Shaffer is on the construction crew installing rail for TriMet's Interstate MAX light-rail project. An employee of contractor Stacey and Witbeck and a member of Laborers General & Construction Local 320, she was one of the workers celebrated in our Labor Day issue Aug. 30. She was carrying a rubber slab used to patch holes in rail insulation in preparation for the pouring of concrete.

For Tribune photographer Jim Clark, Shaffer was perfect for illustrating the story. 'She was upbeat, positive, chatty and not afraid of the camera,' he said. 'Combine that with the fact that she was a woman working on a male-oriented job, and you couldn't lose.'

The light-rail project, now 85 percent complete, is about three months ahead of schedule and should be finished next spring, says Bill Bruce, project manager for Stacey and Witbeck. As for Shaffer, she was working last week on the North Interstate light-rail segment near North Skidmore Street, Bruce said.

Glow in the park

Kyle Green

Oct. 11: Park Lanes in Hillsboro is one of the bowling alleys attracting a new generation of customers with cosmic bowling, featuring bright lights, fog machines and booming disco music.

Since then: Bowling got even hipper when Democratic gubernatorial nominee Ted Kulongoski won the Nov. 5 election. His victory party, staged at Grand Central Bowl in Southeast Portland, was called the 'Rally at the Alley.'

About the photo: 'This picture shows two teenage girls bowling during a cosmic bowling night in Hillsboro,' Green says. 'The story idea was that bowling alleys, shunned by an earlier generation, were attracting a whole new set of younger clientele. When I got to the alley, there were only a couple of young people there, and the light, while very brightly colored, was only on the pins and alleys. I decided to just expose for the bright lights and silhouette the girls É and when one girl threw up her arms while waiting for her friend's ball to strike the pins, I had the shot.'

Power plays

L.E. Baskow

Aug. 30: Peggy Fowler, chief executive officer of Portland General Electric, makes a point during a City Council debate about the possibility of a civic takeover of the beleaguered utility.

Since then: The City Council hired Goldman Sachs Group to examine the financial aspects of acquiring a $2 billion company. Parent Enron Corp. says it will consider all bids for PGE in late January before deciding to sell. Fowler continues to fight a city purchase.

About the photo: 'Fowler and the mayor were at odds that day, and there was an exchange of words back and forth between the two of them,' Baskow remembers. 'I wanted to capture Fowler's skepticism.'

Branch office

Jim Clark

May 24: Aaron Bays of Clear Creek Distillery hangs a bottle around a pear bud in an orchard near Hood River. This is the first step in the Portland-based distillery's artful process of creating its award-winning pear eau de vie.

Since then: Clear Creek employees have harvested their crop of 1,800 bottled pears and surrounded the enclosed fruit with brandy.

About the photo: 'This was taken in the Hood River Valley on a simply gorgeous day,' Clark says. 'Aaron had to find the right kind of bud, carefully insert it into a bottle and suspend it in place with twine. But the bright sun made for a problem with shade under the trees. I had to frame from below, hand-holding a strobe Ñ with my assignment sheet as a reflector Ñ off to the side, balancing the two light sources, all the while trying to keep up with Aaron, who continued to work at his regular pace.'

Hands down

L.E. Baskow

Nov. 19: Manzana Rotisserie Grill employees submit to a quick inspection from dining room manager Mike Nelson.

Since then: Manzana employees have had their hands full serving a steady stream of customers since the restaurant opened Nov. 19 in the Pearl District. Sales 'are exceeding our expectations,' says Al Fleenor, president of Pacific Coast Restaurants Inc. Earlier this year, the company opened Portland City Grill on the 30th floor of the Unico-U.S. Bancorp Tower in downtown Portland also to rave reviews and a consistently full house.

About the photo: 'In spending several hours looking for images that say 'new restaurant,' I made all of the usual images,' Baskow says. 'As the servers were about to stage a 'dress rehearsal,' a final inspection of their uniforms followed by a look at their hands was conducted. The moment had a sense of attention to detail combined with a bit of humor.'