Year in Review
As everyone looks ahead to 2018, The Post would like to take a minute to reflect on the happenings of 2017.
The year saw the opening of a new Cedar Ridge Middle School, the formation of several new businesses, including the already popular Timberline Meats, Goodwill and the Sandlandia food cart pod, and the anniversaries of local institutions like Sandy School of Dance and Sandy Actor's Theatre.
As a group of locals took an icy plunge into the new year with the Alstats at Eclectic Institute, a collective of women and men plunged into what would be the beginning of a year of pro-women activism.
Marching into 2017
The Women's March on Sandy on Saturday, Jan. 21, was a peaceful, law-abiding demonstration, organized not strictly in opposition to the inauguration of President Donald Trump, but as planner Lori Kuechler said, as a means of continuing the "momentum" of women's rights advocacy experienced in the last election cycle.
People from across the Portland Metro Area came out to the demonstration, amassing a march of about 175 people with pink hats, signs and plenty of passion.
Since then, several of the people who attended the march that day have kept in contact via a dedicated Facebook page, meeting throughout the year to discuss contemporary issues and political policy.
"It is about the future," Kuechler told The Post on that momentous day. "It's not about me. It's about the kids. And I think that resonated with our town ... And if it's about our kids, then we should make events where kids can be present."
Oregon Trail Academy rises
to international standards
Oregon Trail Academy had a momentous occasion of its own on Jan. 18. The school gained its accreditation as an International Baccalaureate World School after several successful years in partnership with the DongYuanLu Middle School in Xian, China, and of their Mandarin language program. As an IB school, former Director Ginger Redlinger said the school is "the first single campus K-12 IB World School in the Northwest offering all three programs," including the Primary Years, Middle Years, and the Diploma Programme.
This opened the door for many students to gain a greater education.
"We live in a big world," Redlinger said in her celebratory address. "We live in a world with other people ... Having a good education is good for the world ... You can graduate with a diploma from our school that is unique and can take you anywhere in the world that you want to go."
Boring Veterans Memorial
In an effort to honor local heroes, the Boring Committee on Memorials and Remembrance began its campaign to install a 7-foot high, 3-foot wide slab, black granite monument at Boring Station Trailhead Park. The slab will depict the names of heroes lost in the Vietnam War from Clackamas County.
"I experienced the American dream," Boring resident and committee chairman Steve Bates said. "I feel a debt since they gave up their American dream so I could have mine."
Though the group hoped to have the monument ready for Veteran's Day, funding has created setbacks. The committee is still accepting donations. At this time, the stone for the tribute has been ordered and the committee is working with contractors to decide its final resting place at the park. This is only phase one of the group's undertaking, and it was brought about through donations from the community.
There are three more phases to fund, and the committee is turning again to the community for help. The group hopes to raise $10,000 to illuminate the memorial, recognize donors, purchase signs and set up a fund to maintain the site.
Contributions can be sent to: Boring, Oregon Vietnam Memorial Project Fund, Boring, Oregon Foundation, P.O. Box 1448, Boring, Oregon 97009.
Contact Steve Bates at 503-663-6271 with any further questions.
Theater scene grows in Sandy
The Sandy Actors Theatre, 17433 Meinig Ave., celebrated its 40th year in business with the opening of "Heroes," a French play written by Gerald Sibleyras and adapted by Tom Stoppard. World renowned actor Tobias Anderson of Gresham directed the comedy of comrades.
The formerly dubbed Sandy Community Players arose in 1977 when a couple from Portland came to town with a desire to start a children's theater.
Anita Sorrel, who has directed many plays with SAT, sees the theater progressing well into the future.
"We're on a rebirth right now," she said. "Everybody's energized and ready to move forward."
In April, Sandy High School 1986 graduate Howard Bickle, Jr. brought a new theatrical enterprise to town.
"What I'm hoping is that as we get going we'll be able to cultivate relationships with the community theater and Nutz-n-Boltz," Bickle told The Post. "I'm really blessed to be here and be able to come back to my hometown and contribute in this way."
Wolf Pack Theater opened its doors at 39570 Pioneer Blvd. with Neil Simon's "Chapter Two," on June 1, and has successfully staged three plays in the six months it has been in Sandy.
Its latest production, A.R. Gurney's "Sylvia," runs through Jan. 7.
Community pillars take on retirement
This past spring the city and school district saw the retirement of some long-time champions of change. Nancy Enabnit, community service director of 30 years, stepped down from her position in April. Over the course of her career, she was responsible for the construction of 13 parks in Sandy.
She is still managing the project to restore Meinig Memorial Park in her retirement, but Tanya Richardson has since stepped in as community services director, and is leading the charge in renovating the former Cedar Ridge Middle School into the Sandy Community Campus.
Terry Lenchitsky, former Oregon Trail School Board chairman and 35-year member of the board of directors, retired from his Zone 5, Cottrell/Bull Run position at the end of the 2016-17 school year.
Lenchitsky was a champion of career technical education in his tenure, and was recently honored along with 30 other board members around Oregon, including his successor Chairman DJ Anderson for completing the Oregon School Board Association's (OSBA) Leadership Institute. Lenchitsky received a bronze reward on Nov. 11.
Pioneers pay tribute to 100 years of Sandy High School graduates
On May 20, several generations of Sandy High School graduates and community members came together in the gymnasium at 37400 Bell Street to celebrate the centennial of the school. The Sandy band and choir performed, distinguished alumni spoke and the Sandy Historical Museum hosted an exhibit of SHS memorabilia for all to explore and appreciate.
"It's great," School Board Director DJ Anderson told The Post. "It's been fun talking to all of the past generations that went to the old school. There have been great comments about the new school and how it was needed. (The new school) has changed the attitude of the kids, (and) there's a certain amount of pride."
Many of the alumni who came back had not seen the new facility and were offered tours by current students.
Eclipse brings community together
On Aug. 21, several community members and city staff came together to watch the 99 percent total solar eclipse. Sandy Public Library staff provided viewers and refreshments, and enjoyed an exciting morning with their community.
"The last eclipse was in 1979, and I was on the East Coast, so I didn't get to see it," City Councilor Lois Coleman told The Post. "This was my first, and my last. I won't be around in 159 years. It's fun though. I was really surprised by the number of people who came out for this."
Rep. Mark Johnson resigns
In November, former Rep. Mark Johnson formally resigned as representative of Oregon House District 52.
Johnson accepted a job as executive director of Oregon Business & Industry, a business advocacy group. In this new position, Johnson will oversee the union of the Oregon Business Association and Associated Oregon Industries groups to which collectively form OBI.
On Nov. 29, commissioners from Clackamas, Multnomah and Hood River met and interviewed Stan Pulliam, R-Sandy, Erick Haynie, R-Hood River and Jeff Helfrich, R-Hood River to replace Johnson.
Helfrich was unanimously appointed as representative of House District 52. A longtime public servant, Helfrich served on the Cascade Locks Planning Commission and City Council, the Mid-Columbia Economic Development District Board, in the Air Force during the Gulf War and as a Portland police sergeant.
"I understand the needs of my community well as both leader and member," he said in a letter sent out before his appointment. "Upon appointment to Representative for House District 52, I will continue and expand upon the work of (former) Rep. Mark Johnson to improve economic growth, transportation and other infrastructure planning and development that support it; education and workforce development; environmental stewardship and emergency preparedness; and health and human services."
Cedar Ridge Middle School breaks in new home with room to grow
The students of Cedar Ridge Middle School were able to move into the renovated Pioneer campus on Nov. 27.
"I am thrilled with the new campus," Principal Nicole Johnston told The Post on the school's first day. "It has really come together beautifully and provides a number of programming and growth opportunities for our kids."
With 23 classrooms, the new school allows for student population growth as well as for teachers to expand their curricula. The school has 400 students, close to if not beyond the capacity of its old campus on Pleasant Street, while the former high school's first story alone can house 650 students.
There is an open house scheduled for 6:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 11, for the community to tour the newly renovated middle school.
Blockbuster rolls end credits
The infinite opportunities available on the internet finally led to the closing of Sandy's own Blockbuster video rental this year. The location is expected to be officially out of business by the end of the year after a 12-year run.
"There's just so much content now they can get in many different formats," co-owner Andy Anderson said. "There were a lot of things that contributed. (Revenue has) been declining for a while (and) the customers' tolerance for cost increases was (negative). We're sad to go. We've been fortunate to hang on for as long as we have. We wish we could hang around for another five years."