Oath room named for Ryley

Several local dignitaries, including Forest Grove Mayor Pete Truax and Fire Chief Michael Kinkade, attended the Jan. 11 dedication of the Enlistment Ceremony Room inside the Military Entrance Processing Command office in Portland in memory of Forest Grove High School graduate and Navy hospital corpsman Ryley Gallinger-Long.

The room is the very one in which Ryley Gallinger-Long, who was killed in action in Afghanistan on Aug. 11, 2011, took his U.S. Navy induction oath. A plaque now hangs on the wall listing Gallinger-Long's service dates as Aug. 10, 2010 to Aug. 11, 2011.

Zack Gallinger-Long of Hillsboro, Ryley’s older brother, accepted the honor on behalf of his family. Also present at the ceremony was U.S. Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici, who represents Oregon's 1st District, including Washington County.

$10,000 reward offered in Gaston incident

The United States Postal Inspection Service is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever was responsible for setting a fire inside the blue collection box outside of the Gaston Post Office. The arson occurred between 5 and 6 a.m. Monday, Dec. 24, and destroyed U.S. mail items. People with tips about the arson should call 1-877-876-2455 and select Option 2. All information will be kept strictly confidential.

Local-transit grant requests approved

Forest Grove is $242,000 closer to a citywide public-transportation system after last Thursday, when TriMet's board approved two grant requests from Ride Connection, a nonprofit that aims to make transportation accessible to underserved populations. With the grants approved, Ride Connection can budget for two 14-passenger mini-buses and start planning to operate a local shuttle route inside Forest Grove, said Lydia Corran, outreach specialist for Ride Connection. The nonprofit is applying for a third grant that would be decided this spring.

Cornelius gets a new sandwich shop

Cornelius will soon add a Korean sub sandwich shop to its list of restaurants.

The shop will be built on the same property as Quaker State Oil, 736 Baseline St., and share a driveway with neighboring Wilco.

The City of Cornelius approved the site design for the project. Once the appeal period is over, owner Insung Lee can move forward with the building process.

The restaurant will be 1,910 square feet, one story and will have a drive-through.

Forest Grove in good fiscal health

Forest Grove fared better than many other cities in fiscal year 2011-12, the city auditor told the city council Monday night.

"That’s a sign of good fiscal management by the city," said Brad Bingenheimer of the auditing firm Boldt, Carlisle and Smith. Bingenheimer reported the city's net assets for fiscal year 2011-12 were $100 million ($111 million in assets minus $11 million in liabilities), which was a $1.7 million increase from the previous year.

“Which in this current economic environment is not all that common,” Bingenheimer said. “I’ve noticed a lot of cities having slight decreases."

The city’s General Fund ended FY 2011-12 with $4.7 million, an increase of $330,000.

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.

Citizens patrol Cornelius

The City of Cornelius and Cornelius Police Department have started citizen patrols aimed at eradicating graffiti, abandoned vehicles and other violations of city ordinances.

The program, initiated by the Community Oriented Policing Citizen Advisory Board (COPCAB) and the police department, utilizes specially trained citizens operating a plainly marked patrol vehicle. Armed only with a clipboard and camera, the volunteers patrol city streets documenting issues that affect the quality of life in the city.

Billie Crowder, Board Chair of COPCAB, said the program is the brainchild of a group of civic-minded citizens looking for a way to give back to their community.

"This is all part of our mission of providing quality police services to our community in a fiscally responsible manner,” said Interim Police Chief Ken Summers.

For more information, visit or call Crowder at 503 359-1881.

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 brief 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 is available at or at

More room for cars in Forest Grove

The City of Forest Grove has opened a new free public parking lot downtown, on the northeast corner of A Street and 21st Avenue. The parking lot was part of the Times Litho property recently purchased by the city. The 20-space lot will be available around the clock.

Barbershop contest tickets on sale

Tickets to the annual All Northwest Barbershop Ballad Contest, set for March 22-23 at Forest Grove High School, are on sale at Dave Roher of Gaston, who helps organize the competition, said the website is the only venue for tickets this year.

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