March 23, 2009

Remodeling people’s lives

Category: Community — admin @ 1:05 am

Some of the ReFit team at work

Some of the ReFit team at work

Larry Klobertanz has first hand experience as a witness to the strength of the human spirit.

He met a mom whose daughter was confined to a wheelchair, unable to move.  Mom, watched over her 24-hours a day, preparing special meals that had to be delivered through a feeding tube.

Then, there was the elderly couple who needed walkers to get around their home.

And the colleague who’s son was in a car accident, only to spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair.

But in everyone of these cases, and dozens more, Klobertanz has been able to make a difference.

When his colleague’s son suffered his accident, a team of remodelers banded together in Eugene to redo the young man’s fraternity house (which wasn’t fully accessible).  At no charge, they installed ramps and an elevator.

From that, Refit Portland was born.  A non-profit, volunteer-based organization, ReFit teams remodel the homes of families dealing wtih a disability to make things more functional.

The elderly couple had their bathroom fixtures replaced so they could get in and out of the shower with greater ease.

That mother, watching over her daughter every waking hour, had her kitchen redone so the massive wheelchair could move around more effectively.

The team has done everything from widen a door to redo an entire home, at no cost to the families.  The program is gaining huge momentum and is always looking for volunteers and donors (no, you do not need any experience).  Just click here for more info.

Teens land new duds for Prom Night

Category: Community, Uncategorized — admin @ 1:05 am


Steven Lane - The Columbian

Steven Lane - The Columbian

Walk through your local department store and check out the racks of prom dresses on display this time of year.  Then check the price tag.


Swallow your tongue?  Yeah, so did we.  Every girl should feel like a princess on prom night, but at a couple hundred bucks a pop (plus shoes, make up, hair, jewelry, dinner and tickets to the dance itself), Prom can wind up topping your monthly mortgage payment.

That’s why Operation Fairy Godmother is so cool (there’s a great write up on it here in The Columbian).

Girls from all over Vancouver can donate an old dress and pick up a brand new one in exchange.  At the annual dress swap, volunteers man sewing machines for on the spot alterations while experts offer make up and hair tips.

Now, if only they can come up with “Operation-free-college-tuition” or “Operation-free-reliable-safe-preowned-car” parents in Vancouver would be all set.

Custodian gets hero award

Category: Life Saver, Uncategorized — admin @ 1:01 am

A small piece of hamburger has earned Dave DeMastus a hero’s reception in Keizer.  DeMastus is the head custodian at Kennedy Elementary.  

Last month, a third-grade boy was munching on a burger in the cafeteria, when a piece of his lunch went down the wrong pipe and got stuck.  Staying calm, DeMastus jumped into action and Hemlich’d the piece of meat back out.

The kid was fine and went back to class while DeMastus went back about his day.  But the Keizer Fire District heard the story and awarded DeMastus their Bob Wickman Lifesaving Award.  

Dave DeMastus, we salute you!

FedEx plant ahead of schedule

Category: Jobs, Uncategorized — admin @ 1:01 am

The Outlook has an update on the FedEx plant in Troutdale.  It’s ALL Good News.  The 400,000 square foot plant is ahead of schedule and doors should be open by next summer.

The massive distribution center means jobs (over 1,000) pumping $24 Million into the community through payroll (doubling in the first five years).

Jim Clark - Gresham Outlook

Jim Clark - Gresham Outlook

‘Zags advance

Category: Sports, Uncategorized — admin @ 1:00 am


Jonathan Ferrey - Getty Images

Jonathan Ferrey - Getty Images

 The lead changed twice in less than 8 seconds, but in the end Gonzaga wound up on top of Western Kentucky 83-81 at the Rose Garden.

The tightly contested game came down to a furious close as Western Kentucky stole the lead, only to give it back on a driving layup with less than a second to go.

The Zags head to the Sweet Sixteen next week.

George Fox Wins National Title

Category: Sports, Uncategorized — admin @ 1:00 am

George Fox fans celebrate a 32-0 season and National Title

George Fox fans celebrate a 32-0 season and National Title

Thanks to a 60-53 beating of Washington University (Mo), George Fox University gets to hang a national title banner in their basketball arena.


The women’s team set NCAA history as the first team EVER to take the title west of the Rockies, and did it in dominating fashion, carrying an undefeated record through the final game of the Div 3 tournament.


Donors kicked in to pay for limos to ferry the players from PDX to the Newberg campus on Sunday.

March 16, 2009

Happy Monday!

Category: GoodNewsPDX — admin @ 1:06 am

Welcome to Monday morning!  If you missed today’s Good News Update on NewsRadio 750 KXL - AM there’s a recap below titled (Starlight Star Bright).  Also, don’t miss some of the other gems we found (including some great economy news AND the dumbest drug story you’ll hear all week).

Don’t forget to sign up for the News You Can Use e-mail service . . . traffic changes, weather alerts, big votes by local government, even head’s up on traffic stings . . . all delivered right to your inbox . . . just shoot us a note at

Enjoy your week!


Starlight Star Bright

Category: Entertainment — admin @ 1:05 am

Tony Starlight, The man, The Myth, The Legend

Tony Starlight, The man, The Myth, The Legend

The building at 37th and Sandy has not been a successful spot to start a business.  Lots of restaurants  have tried to make something special at the Hollywood District location, but until a couple years ago, it almost seemed to be cursed.  Past owners chalk it up to no foot traffic and not enough parking during the daytime.




But one man had a vision. 

“It started when I was a child watching Lucy on TV,” says Tony Starlight, owner of Tony Starlight’s Supper Club and Lounge.   “I thought Ricky had the coolest gig in the world.”  That childhood vision came to fruition on the east side of town.

These days, Tony Starlight’s is packed every night, thanks to a unique business plan.  Rather than banking on good food with entertainment as an afterthought or showcasing entertainment while serving snacks as a side, Starlight dreamed up an old-school entertainment destination.

Guests of all ages flood to the Hollywood District after dark (when parking’s aplenty) to catch the latest local entertainment and dine on top quality dishes.  Music satisfies all tastes, ranging from Jack Benny to Sinatra to Neil Diamond.

“There aren’t venues like this,” adds Starlight.  Beyond being a successful business (with sales growing every month), Starlight’s provides an outlet for local singers and performers who otherwise wouldn’t be able to showcase their talents.  It’s a classic win-win-win.

To check out the latest happenings at Tony Starlight’s click here.

Bernanke to banks: Lend more and get us the heck out of this mess!

Category: Government — admin @ 1:04 am

Ben Bernanke, Chairman of The Fed

Ben Bernanke, Chairman of The Fed

You may have spotted  Fed Chief Ben Bernanke on 60 Minutes Sunday.  If you missed it, the top-dog in the financial world basically said that we COULD come out of this recession by the end of the year, provided banks start lending more.



Even better, Bernanke believes that we’ve passed the point where this whole economic upside down thing could turn into a depression.  In his eyes, it’s going to stick as a recession (granted a real BAD recession, but only a recession). 

If you’re wondering why we’re so excited about this, experts all say this is the most optimistic they’ve seen Bernanke since things went haywire in October.  If he’s had the market cornered on doom and gloom and now he says there’s potential light at the end of the tunnel, that’s a good thing.

Whoops! Sorry, officer, I seem to have dropped my half-pound of cocaine

Category: Justice — admin @ 1:04 am

Luciano "I forgot the cocaine was in my lap" Ramirez

Luciano "I forgot the cocaine was in my lap" Ramirez

From the GNPDX really dumb criminal file, we pull this gem.  Two illegal aliens, Alfredo Lugo-Velez and Luciano Ramirez, get pulled over on a traffic stop near NE 191st and Glisan.  Luciano puts his hands up and tries to get out of the Taurus.  Here’s the problem.  He forgets about the half-pound of cocaine in his lap. 





When he stands up, the drugs (with a street value of about $100,000) flop onto the pavement, right in front of the officers.

Both men are locked up and, when the justice department is all done, the team down at Immigration has some questions as well.