Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Skate On!

Finally! Five years after Tigard youth suggested to then Mayor Jim Griffith that a skatepark be added to the city's park system, the dream has been realized. After Griffith's death in 2003, members of the Skatepark Taskforce asked that the proposed park be named in honor of Griffith because of his strong advocacy of the park and youth activities in Tigard. Current Mayor Craig Dirksen blessed the request and led the charge to secure funding for the Jim Griffith Memorial Skate Park.

The 15,000 square foot in-ground facility opened in October, much to the delight of the local thrashers. The design includes three bowls, along with common street features. Located in the northeast portion of the City of Tigard City Hall parking lot, the park, needless to say, is packed with skaters of all abilities who give it a big "thumbs up."

Good Lord, What a Gourd

The West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta held in Tualatin, Oregon in late October is an event that words alone fall miles short of providing one with a perspective of the event. Think about it. If you read that well bread, educated adults carve out pumpkins ranging between 500 and 1,200 pounds, then drop them into a lake, climb inside the gourd and proceed to paddle around a buoyed course all in the name of fun; do you think you would really "get it" without seeing it?

A few thousand people showed up at the Lake at Tualatin Commons to witness the event for themselves. For a fourth year, the Pacific Giant Vegetable Growers Association hosted the giant pumpkin regatta, which has become a popular Fall event in Tualatin. The growers donated the pumpkins and the community joined in the fun as event spectators were welcome, and encouraged, to don a life vest and kayak paddle. You can read about the event in the Tigard-Tualatin-Sherwod Times pre-race feature and post-race feature, but the pictures will surely complete the scene.

Friday, November 23, 2007

How Ironic

Pre-season assessments of Oregon's back-to-back state championship football team didn't have them as a clear favorite to three-peat, but as the Jesuit Crusaders started off their season by demolishing early foes, people began to think that Jesuit will surely be in the thick of the playoff race in late November.

Well, fate has its cruel side. During season play, Jesuit stomped on its Holy War rival Central Catholic with 60-0 drubbing in the second week of the 2007 season. It was an embarrassingly sad showing for the Rams. Then, a 27-13 win over Westview set up the Crusaders for its fourth Metro League crown and top seeding in the playoffs. But on the final week of the season, Jesuit dropped a contest against Southridge 28-27 in overtime, ending its Metro League season sharing the title with Southridge and Westview.

How could fate be even more cruel for the Crusaders? An uncharacteristic early dismissal from the playoffs in the first round with a 47-35 loss to Canby...this hasn't happened to them in 20 years. And cruelest fate? Central Catholic and Westview are both playing in the quarter-finals tonight for the OSAA Championship while the Crusaders are likely at home helping clean up after the Thanksgiving holiday. Talk about winning the battles and losing with war.

Jesuit 60 vs Central Catholic 0

Jesuit 27 vs Westview 13

Friday, November 09, 2007

Where Did The Summer Go?

I am supposed to be blogging weekly. Well, that hasn't happened for a while. Shooting...I've been doing. Writing took a back seat. So let's give you a quick highlight blog of some Summer assignments.

Little League Softball World Series
Umpires dancing to "The Chicken Dance" can only mean one thing. It's the Little League Softball World Series held at Alpenrose Dairy in Portland, Oregon. Teams were treated to beautiful weather, great softball competition, a first-class venue and a fabulous host...Alpenrose. The South team from Morristown, Tennessee edged out the Southwest 3-2 to claim the 2007 title.

Tualatin Crawfish Festival
The City of Tualatin has had a love affair with the crawfish for 56 years. It celebrates its anniversary every August by throwing a festival which includes a parade, live music, a crawfish cook-off and a slew of other events. Most notably is the famous crawfish eating contest. The record number eaten in the fifteen minute contest? 170...In 1970 by then 43 year old Cotton Scheckla. This year's winner was a far distance from Cotton's record, winning by downing 97 mudbugs.

Lake Oswego School District Alumni Bash
The Lake Oswego Alumni Association tried an experiment. They threw a party, inviting all alumni from the district's two high schools; Lake Oswego and Lakeridge. The first high school in the district was Oswego High (now Lake Oswego) built in 1951, followed by the addition of Lakeridge in 1971. Without knowing what to expect, organizers were pleasantly surprised when about 600 alums showed up for the bash held at Millennium Plaza Park. Event coverage was for the Lake Oswego Review.

Showing Patriotism in St. Helens
The Lions Club in St. Helens, Oregon volunteered to place flags on the town's main thoroughfares every legal holiday five years ago and, without fail, have lived up to their commitment. At dawn, club members spread throughout town and get the 218 flags set up and at sunset, the process is reversed. The South County Spotlight featured the event in their July 4th edition.