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Portland mayor reaches out

Charlie Hales is scheduled to become the first Portland mayor in anyone's memory to address the monthly breakfast meeting of the Westside Economic Alliance on Thursday Jan. 24. The public-private membership group is primarily made of governments and business in Washington and western Clackamas counties. Many of them have traditionally been wary of Portland's dominance of regional issues, something Hales wants to overcome.

"The mayor of Portland ought to have a regional role that's constructive, built on good relationships," Hales recently told the Portland Tribune. "If you don't have good relationships, when the tough issues come up, you don't have anything to draw on except the tough politics of the moment."

Hales also said he met Hillsboro Mayor Jerry Willey and Beaverton Mayor Denny Doyle on the campaign trail, and recently spoke with Tualatin Mayor Lou Ogden. Hales plans on attending the informal monthly meeting of regional mayors that Odgen started last year — something former Mayor Sam Adams did not do.

Banks, Gaston reduce parking fines

Illegal parkers may get a break in the next few months.

The cities of Banks and Gaston are taking the next steps to reduce parking fines for minor violations.

Currently, the lowest parking ticket Washington County officers can issue in Banks is $110.

The Banks City Council will likely review a first reading of an amendment to the current rule in March. Deputy Todd Hanlon of the Washington County Sheriff's Office said he often holds off on leaving $110 tickets for minor violations, such as parking on the wrong side of the road or parking more than one foot from the curb. “It just seems a little excessive,” he said.

Washington County Sheriff’s Deputy Steve Hedin patrols Gaston and is “cleaning up ordinances that are out of date.” Hedin said he will work to remove current rules that are now illegal, such as issuing a warrant for arrest for unpaid parking tickets.

Gaston Fire looks for feedback

The Gaston Rural Fire District is kicking off its centennial celebration with a public opinion survey.

Gaston Fire, founded in 1913, has two full-time firefighters and a part-time paid chief. Volunteers are a staple for the district, which covers 55-square miles in Washington and Yamhill counties, stretching from Hagg Lake to the top of Bald Peak.

The survey, which is created and maintained by volunteers, seeks to gauge community satisfaction with the district's service. The survey also seeks comments or suggestions for improvement.

The brief survey is available at gastonfire.org or at facebook.com/GastonFireDistrict.

Banks gets grant for street repair

The City of Banks recently received $50,000 from the Special City Allotment Grant Program, an Oregon Department of Transportation grant, to help fix Devonmoor Avenue between Oak Way and Buckshire Street.

The city has been waiting for the means to make these improvements for several years.

The project will include new street overlay and 10 feet of curb repair.

Relay for Life kicks off in Forest Grove

A kickoff party for the 2013 Relay for Life event in Forest Grove is set for 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24 in the Mt. Jefferson Room at Jennings-McCall Center, 2300 Masonic Way. All previous attendees, as well as anyone interested in finding out more about Relay For Life is invited.  

Relay For Life is the largest fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, This year's theme is "Over The Rainbow, There’s No Place Like Hope!"

Leaders of the meeting will serve a light snack, present information about participating in Relay, assist with signups for new teams and team members and provide information about sponsorship opportunities. Forest Grove Relay For Life raised more than $90,000 last year, and this year's goal is $110,000, said Brenda Kintz, a longtime Relay participant.

For details about the kickoff party, email Kintz at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .




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