Biggs Antiques Building

Bigg's Antique Shop

Seeing buildings of the past is one of the reasons why I love vising central Oregon. Not all building can endure the test of time and weather. Some old buildings are lost to fires.

Back in February, 2013, I photographed a small white and brick building east of Spanish Hollow Creek in Biggs Junction, Oregon. The structure with its to marquis, one displaying “Antiques,” sat along the side of the old U.S. 30. below a rock wall. I shot a photograph of the structure from across the street with a dead-on perspective.

Bigg's Antique Shop

Sadly, that same building succumbed in a fire two-and-half years later. On June 10, 2015, a fire broke out in the abandoned motel west of the former antiques shop. Strong winds helped fuel the fire, reaching the abandoned motel and nearly three miles of hillside grass. The Oregonian reported a discarded cigarette outside of the abandoned motel started the fire.

Equal love now available in all fifty states

The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling 5-4 to allow same-sex marriages in all fifty states throughout the United States is a victory for equal love. There is so much to celebrate right now, but it’s also clear in the 5-4 ruling that work still needs to be done in terms of acceptance as a nation. The next step is to end discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Preview Ride

Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Preview

Tilikum Crossing

TriMet’s Portland-Milwaukie light rail “Orange” line is happening. I took my first trip on the line between Park Avenue to SW Moody. Despite my public opposition of the project in the past, I have to say I’m quite impressed what I have seen so far. The stations, the Tilikum Crossing, and the routes are quite impressive.

Park Avenue’s park and ride is beautiful. They have done a good deal of work with the reed appearance, public art, and interaction with the Trolley Trail. It’s funny that some of the conversations I overheard were about that one possible public art from the past that was scrapped: the baby-face deer.

I had my interest on the Tacoma Street/Johnson Creek station. This station is within the Ardenwald-Johnson Creek Neighborhood boundary on the Portland side. We were heavily involved in the station design process through the Citizens Advisory Committee and the Creek Committee that helped get the boardwalk installed. The station was still under construction. I’m a but disappointed that the pedestrian stairs next to the pedestrian bridge were cut, forcing walkers from Ardenwald to walk extra distance.

Then there’s Tilikum Crossing. I’ve watched this bridge go from a coffer dam to taking the first trip over it today. It’s a beautiful cable-stay bridge. It’s location on a popular bike and pedestrian path makes it one of the most photographed bridges in Portland now. It’s also the newest bridge crossing the Willamette River, but for a short time until the Sellwood Bridge is completed in 2016.

The preview ride made me appreciate a few things. The future, however, may tell another story, especially after opening day on September 12, 2016.

Mark this day: June 25, 2015: my first Orange line ride.

Ride Notes: Bike Milwaukie tour Crystal Springs Creek

Bike Milwaukie Reed Canyon 062115

Bike Milwaukie riders gather on a new Crystal Springs Creek culvert at SE Tacoma St.

With our newly elected mayor Mark Gamba and Bike Milwaukie ride leader Greg Baartz-Bowman leading the way on Father’s Day, nine riders headed off to tour Crystal Springs Creek, the freshest clearwater creek in the Portland area. The ride met at Milwaukie City Hall with an announcement the bike repair station reached it Kickstarter goal and will be installed this summer.

The rode to the source of Crystal Springs Creek at Reed College.Apparently, Greg already made use of the bike repair station at Reed College.

Reed Canyon restoration specialist Zac Perry rode with us. He talked about the history of the creek and the restoration project. We also toured the headwaters near SE 37th Ave. Other points of interests were Westmoreland Park and Johnson Creek Park. The ride ended at Klein Point Overlook at Milwaukie’s Riverfront Park where we observed a couple of coho salmon navigating up the shallow Johnson Creek.

While you’re at it, check out Greg and Mark’s Straw Bale Film’s documentary, “Crystal Clear.”

Trading Places: Milwaukie mayor and councilor swap seats

Council Swearing In

Milwaukie city attorney Dan Olsen administering the oath to the incoming mayor Mark Gamba.

Inside the Milwaukie City Hall on Tuesday night, a sitting council and mayor swapped positions. Here is how it went:

Mayor Wilda Parks called the city council to order with the Pledge of Allegiance then onto the first agenda item, administering the oath of office. Prior to the oath, Council Position 3 councilor Mark Gamba announced his resignation. Gamba was then administered the oath of office by city attorney Dan Olsen.

Former mayor Parks handed over the gavel to mayor Gamba. Council went on to the next item, to fill the vacancy for Position 3. The council discussed the procedures for appointing an interim councilor. Several councilors had the idea of appointing Wilda Parks to Position 3 as a way to save time in searching for a new candidate, and Parks already has the background knowledge on proposed city code changes.

Council Swearing In

Milwaukie city attorney Dan Olsen administers the oath to former interim mayor and now interim councilor Wilda Parks.

The council discussed and made a motion to appoint Parks to Councilor Position 3. Mayor Gamba and councilors Lisa Batey and Karin Power voted yea. Councilor Scott Churchill, who expressed concerns that the position should be publicly announced to allow other public members a chance to fill the interim position, abstained. City attorney administered the oath to Parks.

Mayor Gamba will serve the remainder of the mayor term to the end of 2016. Councilor Parks will serve until after the 2015 elections.

Council Swearing In

Very little change on the Milwaukie City Council.

This was a very smart move on the council’s behalf. With big projects involving planning and code changes, it was best to retain the people with the knowledge, despite a change in the position. I certainly approved the decision of the council tonight. Milwaukie is definitely moving forward.

Congratulations to Mark Gamba and Wilda Parks!