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Just the Other Day...

Tax error cost Gresham $1.2 million in 1988
by: The Outlook files, Aunt Jemima visits Piggly Wiggly in 1948.

1918 - Multnomah County auditors released their semi-annual financial statement 90 years ago, showing 'a healthy state of finances,' The Outlook reported. Along with disclosing the balances in various funds, the paper found a property tax payment of $5,573 for Gresham High School to be 'one of the most interesting items for the past half year.'

1928 - Bad luck seemed to follow one Sandy resident into the new year 60 years ago. During the Christmas holiday, young Stanley Hall lost control of the sled he was steering and crashed into a barbed wire fence, severely lacerating one side of his face. Six months earlier, Stanley suffered a broken leg after being hit by a car in front of his house.

1938 - To encourage the use of electricity 70 years ago, the Electric Home and Farm Authority was offering low-cost federal financing to folks who purchased major home appliances. Customers could pick up refrigerators, electric ranges, 'waste disposal units' and 'ironers,' as well as farm equipment, for as little as 5 percent down and long term payments. At the time, an electric range cost between $50 and $90.

1948 - Who can resist pancakes, especially when they're served by Aunt Jemima? Piggly Wiggly Manager Bill Luther welcomed the southern grande dame of pancakes 60 years ago, for an all-day appearance and pancake tasting. Those unable to make the festivities could pick up a 10-pound bag of Aunt Jemima's ready mix for $1.19. (See photo).

1958 - Unlike today, city planners had a glut of available park land 50 years ago. Officials with Multnomah County were negotiating right of-way boundaries with residents on Blue Lake to create what they hoped would be a 'resort' park. Meanwhile, Snyder Bros. Realty of Gresham was offering a 15-acre site on the Sandy River near Troutdale known as Viking Park. The asking price? $57,000.

1968 - New digs for the new year from 40 years ago: the recently opened Shenandoah Garden Apartments featured one-, two- and three-bedroom 'luxury' units, with 'colored Frigidaire ranges, refrigerators and dishwashers,' fireplaces and 'plush' carpeting. Such amenities could be had for $115 per month.

1978 - Remember when banks rewarded new customers for making a minimum deposit? Thirty years ago, Oregon Mutual Savings Bank handed out silver plate and crystal hostess items to anyone who opened a new account with $200. Those with a few more bucks received a silver plate and crystal sugar bowl and creamer with tray for depositing $5,000.

1988 - Oops! A miscalculation in property tax revenue 20 years ago left Gresham's checkbook short by $1.2 million. The error occurred when city staffers failed to include the value of assessed real property value and utilities in the adjusted tax base for 1987-88, for areas that had been annexed into the city the previous year. Former City Manager Bonnie Kraft implemented procedural changes to prevent the error happening again.

1998 - After a decade of service, and saying she had accomplished everything she set out to do, Gresham Mayor Gussie McRobert announced 10 years ago that she would not seek re-election. In addition to coping with unprecedented population growth during her tenure, McRobert was credited with passage of cutting-edge land use and transportation rules, wooing hi-tech companies to Gresham, development plans for the Civic Neighborhood and completion of a new City Hall building. McRobert was succeeded by Chuck Becker in November 1988.

2007 - Reading was FUNdemental at this time last year. Students in Melinda Berry and Joanne Campbell's third- and fourth-grade classes at Pleasant Valley Elementary School were among 547,826 readers in 50 states and 28 countries to break a world reading record. The challenge was sponsored by Walden Media and required participants to read the same passage from the same book at the same time. Walden Media selected E.B. White's classic, 'Charlotte's Web,' as the chosen book. Forty-eight students in Berry and Campbell's classes took turns reading short excerpts from the book.