Photo archive (partial)

Buy prints, downloads, or license images from our archives:

Welcome to Rip City! Friday, June 29, 2007

Thousands of Trail Blazers fans cheer June 29 as the franchise introduces Greg Oden to the city. Oden, who was selected first overall in the NBA draft, arrived at Pioneer Courthouse Square for the midday event by MAX train with Portland Mayor Tom Potter and members of the Blazers executive.

When I came to Portland a year and a half ago, the Trail Blazers were in the middle of one of the worst seasons they have ever had. They lost three games for every one they won. The players all wanted out. The fans wanted out. Even owner Paul Allen wanted out.

In the off season, they made a number of moves, including the acquisition of Brandon Roy, who would become the 2006-07 Rookie of the Year. The Blazers still finished well below .500, and well off the pace in the competitive Western Conference, but they did increase their win total by 50% over the previous year.

Then, about a month ago, the miracle happened: Though they only held a 5% chance of doing so, Portland won the NBA draft lottery, and would have the first selection in one of the highest rated draft classes in recent memory.

Blazermania kicked into full gear in the Rose City, with billboards proclaiming "Oden—honk once. Durant—honk twice."
The Blazers say season ticket sales have shot up in the past four weeks. And, about 6,000 fans went to the Rose Garden yesterday just to watch a guy in New York stand at a podium reading names.

Now, before anybody gets too excited, we should remember that Oden is just 19 years old. And remember, too, that back in 1984 Portland used their second overall pick to select Sam Bowie, instead of some guy named Michael. Charles Barkley and John Stockton were also in that class.

Nevertheless, the 2007-08 season—and, if they can keep their squad together, those that follow—should be an exciting one for Portland. Rip City, here we come!

Brews, Blues & BBQ's Festival Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Stevenson, Wash., celebrated the 14th annual Brews, Blues & BBQ's Festival last Saturday. There are a lot of brewers in the Portland area, and a lot of brew fests. There are also a number of blues fests. Stevenson's version is fairly small on either of those lists. But it is, as far as I know, the only one that combines brews and blues, and then adds BBQ's on for good measure.

About 10 different brewers from Oregon and Washington participated, including Stevenson's own Walking Man Brewing. (There was a table reserved for Portland's Amnesia Brewing, but apparently they forgot to attend.)

Each brewery represented at the festival was serving two types of malty beverage. Most of the beers were very good. Pretty much every style of beer was represented, but on average they were leaning toward the lighter side (not too many porters or stouts), which is probably appropriate given the time of year. More interestingly, there were not as many IPA's as I've seen recently. Perhaps the IPA fad has reached its zenith. If that's true, it must mean lagers are coming back!

(right) This is what happens when you give someone else your camera.

North beats South in Les Schwab Bowl Monday, June 25, 2007

(left) Quarterback Drew Hubel of Corvallis High School (no. 16) fakes a handoff Friday night in the third quarter of the Les Schwab Bowl in Portland. North beat South 45-14 in the 60th edition of the high school All Star Game.

(right) Colby Prince of West Albany makes sure to keep both feet in bounds as he hauls in a pass on the 10 yard line. Gregory Carradine Jr. of David Douglas forced him to the sideline.

(below, both) QB Jake Haberly of West Albany punches into the end zone Friday night to get South on the board at the Les Schwab Bowl in Portland. Haberly fumbled the ball on the play, but the referees ruled he had broken the plane before losing control of the ball.

Another one bites the dust

A squirrel lies dead on a transformer atop a power pole in NW Portland Monday morning. Local residents were awakened with a bang June 25 when the animal apparently caused an explosion at about 6:30. A PGE crew was on the scene within an hour.

I woke up i
n rather a hurry this morning, when I heard a loud bang and saw a bright blue-yellow flash outside. I knew instantly that it had been an explosion of some kind.

Adrenaline pumping, I peered out my window, but could see nothing. So I put my glasses on and looked again. There was a bit of bluish smoke in the air to the northwest, the only direction I can see from that window.

The noise seemed to have come from a bit up NW Flanders St. from my apartment. I went into my living room for a different view. I saw a couple of pedestrians walk down Flanders without any unusual reaction.

Then I noticed a dead squirrel on top of a transformer that hangs not 50 feet from—and almost level with—my bedroom. It looked pretty fresh and I couldn't remember seeing it before. Upon further inspection I could see that the switch leading to the transformer was disconnected. The power was still on in my apartment, but surely someone was left in the dark.

Naturally, I grabbed my camera and took a few photos. Then I called PGE (whose emergency number—503-464-7777—is surprisingly difficult to find on their website), and they had a truck out working on the problem within 45 minutes of my call.

Pump it! Friday, June 22, 2007

The top high school football players from 5A and 6A schools in Oregon met tonight at PGE Park in Portland for the 60th annual All Star Game. Previously the Shrine Game, the Les Schwab Bowl raises money for the Oregon Athletic Coaches Association. I'll post some images from the game in a couple of days, but if you're really anxious to see something, buy a copy of Saturday's East Oregonian.

I did want to post this image, though, to give you an idea of the preparation some of the athletes undergo before playing. The question is, is she taking something out for safekeeping, or filling a void?

Street of Dreams ... getting close now Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Portland's 2007 Street of Dreams is getting close to completion. The finish carpenters are hard at work installing cabinets and trim work. Electricians are installing the switches, receptacles and faceplates. Interior decorators are putting the final coat of paint on the walls.

The builders will be moving furniture into the houses in about a month. The show opens to the public July 28.

Homestead Images can document your home's construction or renovation, too! Click here for details.

Sports Shooter update (again) Friday, June 15, 2007

I don't have any new images to post today, but I did update my Sports Shooter page with images from the curling and croquet events I shot earlier this week. Check it out at

And here is an image that I didn't have enough room for in my member gallery.

Peren Bjork calls the sweeping for Alex Paauwe (left) and Nick Williams June 12 during a reenactment of an 1847 curling match played at Fort Vancouver.

2007 International Croquet Invitational Thursday, June 14, 2007

Reg Bamford of South Africa checks the angles as he sets up a "tea lady" shot June 10 in the International Croquet Invitational at The Resort at the Mountain in Welches. Bamford, the top-ranked croquet player in the world, was beaten 2 games to 1 in the championship match by world no. 2 Robert Fulford of England.

Ten of the world's best croquet players—including all of the top five—made the trip to The Resort at the Mountain last week for the 11th annual International Croquet Invitational. The last two winners, Reg Bamford and Robert Fulford—currently ranked first and second—met in the final.

(right) Robert Fulford smiles June 10 in spite of the rain after winning the 2007 International Croquet Invitational tournament in Welches, Ore.

Bamford, who lives in England but plays for his native South Africa, started the finals on the wrong foot by playing the wrong ball. That gave Fulford a bit of a break to start the game. But Bamford was able to hit the tea lady shot left by his opponent, a likelihood of about 10% in the estimation of commentators Danny Huneycutt and Trevor Bassett.

Bamford finished out game one of the best-of-three match with a triple peel (+19TP).

In game two, the South African was well on his way to becoming the first ever to win back-to-back titles at The Resort until missing a short shot near hoop 1.

South Africa's Reg Bamford stares in disbelief after missing a short shot in the second game of the championship match. The miss proved to be the turning point in the match.

Fulford took over from there. He finished game two with a triple peel of his own (+20TP).

Game three was all Fulford, who completed a sextuple peel for the win (+24SXP).

It was Fulford's second win at the Invitational. He won the Quaich Cup in 2005, and finished second in 1998, his only other appearance in the tournament.

The weather played a role in Sunday's matches. It varied from bright sunshine to drizzle to pouring rain, making the grass, balls and mallets wet. The biggest concern for the players, though, was getting cold. Several commented that once you get wet and then sit out for 30 minutes while your opponent plays, it is hard to play again on your turn.

(below) England's Robert Fulford lines up his balls for a croquet stroke in the pouring rain.

Final Results

Championship match:
R. Fulford (Eng.) def. R. Bamford (S. Africa) -19TP, +20TP, +24SXP

Consolation match:
C. Clarke (Eng.) def. J. Stark (USA) +26TP, +26TP

Standings, Final (Country, World ranking):
1. R. Fulford, 16 wins (Eng., 2)
2. R. Bamford, 14 (S. Africa, 1)
3. C. Clarke,13 (Eng., 3)
4. J. Stark, 10, +68 net points (USA, 44)
5. D. Huneycutt, 10, +66 (USA, 18)
6. A. Westerby, 9 (NZ, 5)
7. P. Landrebe, 8, -23 (Aus., 16)
8. D. Maugham, 8, -40 (Eng., 4)
9. J. Williams, 5 (NZ, 37)
10. T. Bassett, 2 (Aus, 85)

You can read more about the tournament in the Sandy Post, or online at Croquet World Online (search for "2007 Resort Invitational"). You can also see some of my photos from last year's event here.

Curling reenactment Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Dressed in period costume, Evergreen Curling Club member Sean Henry delivers a stone Tuesday at the Lloyd Center during a reenactment of a curling game played at Fort Vancouver in 1847.

On a winter day 160 years ago, Hudson's Bay Company employees at Fort Vancouver played a game of curling against sailors from the Modeste, which was docked there at the time.

One of the HBC employees made a note of it in his log. According to his note, the sailors won the game by quite a margin.

Two weeks later, the sides squared off again, but there is no known record of the result.

Apparently this is the first known example of a team sport played in the Northwest. Tonight, with the assistance of the National Park Service, Evergreen Curling Club members challenged sailors on the Hawaiian Chieftain and Lady Washington tall ships to reenact the game.

Becky Horn (left) of the Hawaiian Chieftain and Tara Horn (no relation) of the Lady Washington sweep a stone Tuesday during a reenactment of a curling match played at Fort Vancouver in 1847.

Fort Vancouver supplied period costumes for the curling club participants. The players from the tall ships, which are in town for the Rose Festival, had their own costumes.

The participants played the game in the manner it would have been played in the 1800s, albeit on artificial ice in a shopping mall. They used corn brooms and threw the stones from a standing position without sliding from the hack.

Read more about the reenactment on the Evergreen Curling Club website. Check their links for even more information.

Everything you need to know to plan a commencement ceremony Monday, June 11, 2007

Are you organizing a graduation ceremony? Don't know how? It's easy to do if you know how!

Here is the order of events:

i. Everybody mills around outside the event hall. Graduates are all done up in their Sunday best and take as many photos of each other as they can while simultaneously trying to avoid the photos their parents are trying to take.

ii. Grads collect their caps and gowns from a back room somewhere, try to get the zipper to work, and argue about which side of the cap the tassel is supposed to be on.

iii. Some low-level administrator tries to get the grads
attention, and asks them to line up in alphabetical order, quietly and quickly.

1. The school band/orchestra strikes up Pomp and Circumstance. They do the best they can without the entire clarinet section, who are all gr
aduating. Parents jostle for photographic positions as the grads start walking down the aisle furthest from their loved ones.

2. The grads march to their seats, one aisle too quickly, the other too slowly
. The band repeats P&C twelve more times.

3. The grads sit down.

4. The student body president, acting as emcee for the event, asks everyone to stand up for the national anthem, sung by a member of the graduating class.

5. The student body president gives the following monologue:

Good evening everybody, thank you for coming to the commencement ceremony for the [school] CLASS OF [YEAR]! Yeah, that's right, guys, it's GRADUATION! How cool is that?

Four years ago, we came to this school as freshmen who didn't know our heads from a, uh, hole in the ground. But we quickly bonded together as the class of [year]. Since then we've worked together, played together, laughed together, and even cried together. And the memories ... ahh, the memories. Remember when Westheimer fell asleep in Mr. Simmons' math class—twice? Or how about Jen-Jen going head-over-heels down the stairs at the homecoming dance? She gave us a bit more of a show than we expected! And who can forget Brooksie's leap into the stands after the [sport] team won state this year? Yeah, that's what I'm talkin' about!

But before we go on, we should thank the people who helped get us here. Let's have a round of applause for our teachers and principals—and the janitors, and of course Ms. Fitzpatrick (to whom, I just have to say: yes, I promise I'll pay my library fines). Yeah, thanks guys. And perhaps more importantly, let's have a round of applause for our parents, who have put up with us for all these years and helped us become who we are today, the [coolest/most fun/awesomest] class in the history of this school! Thank you!

I'm going to keep this as short as possible, so you can all get on to whatever "extracurricular activities" you have planned for tonight. So without further ado, let me introduce the senior choir, who will sing [inspirational song-du-jour].
6. Choir sings an uplifting song.

7. Student body president thanks them and introduces the class valedictorian(s).

8. Valedictorian gives the following speech:
I could stand here and recite the same old cliches about the world being ours to conquer, the future being in our hands, seize the day, live what you believe, et cetera, but I won't. I could simply read from Dr. Seuss' "Oh the places you'll go," but I won't.

Instead, I want to tell you a story about someone who inspires me. This person came to our school four years ago, the same time as most of you. [Insert story of someone who had to overcome some kind of adversity to become the class valedictorian.]

So that's my message for you today: be your own inspiration. Follow your own path. Challenge yourself. Shape your own destiny. Be all that you can be. Take chances, respect yourself, and strive for something more. Listen to your doubters and prove them wrong. Exceed expectations. Take what you are given, and turn it into something more. And above all, believe in yourself. Thank you.
9. The head guidance councilor addresses the class as follows:
Thank you, [Ashley/Ashleigh] for that inspirational speech. This is my fourteenth commencement speech at this school, and I gave three others at the school before that. In preparing for tonight's address, I looked over the speeches I've given in the past—yes, I do still have a copy of all of them—but I looked them over and realized one thing: they're not very good! So rather than try to come up with something original to say, I thought I'd turn to the one man who very nicely summed up all of my thoughts, Dr. Seuss. So, if you'll allow me ...

[proceed to read "Oh the places you'll go" from start to finish.]
10. The Principal/President of the school presents awards to the class. To heighten the drama, big awards like "Gates Millennium Scholarship, $100,000", should be left until last. Start with the standard prizes like the "Maud Bailey Memorial Bursary for Athlete Scholars pursuing studies in Neo-Natal Education, $50" or the "Saul Kowalski Prize for Community Service in the Namibian-American Comminity, $17.50." To appropriately honor all of the recipients of these prestigious awards, the full title of the prize, a description of the winner's qualifications, and a detailed summary of their personal life history should be read.

11. Principal continues, inviting the graduates to move to the side aisle and introducing the school superintendent or chancellor who will present the diplomas to the grads.

12. After whispering their name to the announcer, the grads walk across the stage from left to right. The announcer manages to get Ilea Ashitoma Ululagua's name right, but inexplicably uses a French accent for Jason Phillip Williamson.

13. After 13+ years in the school system, a full
17% of the class still doesn't know which hand to shake with. An additional 9% attempt to hug the presenter instead, causing a delay in the proceedings as the two parties use their best non-verbal negotiation skills to come up with a compromise position.

14. At least three other school administrators that the grads have never seen before should be on stage to congratulate them.

15. Ten percent of the ladies in t
he class fall on the stairs after receiving their diplomas because they are, for the first time, wearing heels that would not be allowed through security at the airport. Jen-Jen does a spectacular double flip in the pike position in homage to her acrobatics at the homecoming dance.

16. Despite the stately nature of these affairs, the audience should always feel welcome to shout at the graduates as they cross the stage. "We love you Nicky!" and "Way to go Tracy!" are appropriate, as are "Bergman, YEAH!" and the ever popular "Woohoo!"

17. After the last diploma has been handed out, the principal or president heads back to the podium. He/she tells the grads they may now move their tassels to the other side of their cap. The grads look at each other in confusion, because they still don't know which side it's supposed to be on, and half of them moved it after they received their diploma anyway. The principal/president then announces, "Ladies and Gentlemen, the class of [year]!"

18. The grads stand and cheer, and throw their caps in the air, but not more than a foot above their heads, because they don't want to lose something in the arena that would be better lost at the bottom of a box as soon as they leave home.

19. The grads file out of the auditorium as quickly as they can to the tune of "Wipeout," the only other song that the band can play without a clarinet section. The irony is lost on Jen-Jen, who stumbles as she waves to her parents in the upper balcony.

20. As quickly as possible, the graduates strip off their gowns, caps, and any other trappings that might tie them to what is now their former school, and mill about with their friends and family. After the obligatory photos with every combination and permutation of parents, brothers, sisters, and grandparents, dogs, and cousins, they give their dorky hats to their parents, and split. Then they spend 45 minutes waiting to get out of the parking lot.

That, my friends, is everything you need to know to plan a commencement ceremony.

Graduation day(s)

Centennial High School's class of 2007 listens to Principal Mark Baier's address June 5 during their graduation ceremony at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in downtown Portland.

As you may know, I've been shooting a lot of graduation ceremonies recently. If they paid me a nickel for every time I've heard Pomp and Circumstance in the past week or so ... it wouldn't be worth it, even if you consider that they are required to repeat it ad nauseum until all the grads have entered the site. (Fortunately, OHSU had pipers playing something else.) This week will be even more intense: seven grads over six days.

Most seem to be
at either the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall or Memorial Coliseum. "The Schnitz" is probably the nicer venue for the participants and their guests, but it is a bit of a pain for a photographer—parking is limited or expensive, the hall is quite dark and difficult to move around in, and they have a 30-minute "lockout" window about an hour before the ceremony when you can't be in the hall. Apparently it's expensive to book, as well. All of the high schools in Gresham will be holding their ceremonies next year at the Convention Center across the river. Portland Public Schools are all moving to the Coliseum next year.

The Coliseum is somewhat brighter to shoot in, and is a lot easier to move around in. It's not as fancy, though, as it was built for basketball games, not theater.

Victoria Tasbaltayeva (left) celebrates after receiving her diploma June 7 at Gresham High School's 101st commencement ceremony.

(right) Mandy Lindsey hugs teacher Shawn Daley after receiving her diploma.

Gresham High School's class of 2007 sit in neat, orderly rows as they listen to Class President Miguel Montoya speak June 7 at their graduation ceremony at Memorial Coliseum in Portland.

Pick up a copy of The Outlook for more photos from these Centennial and Gresham HS ceremonies.

Canadian navy sails into Portland Wednesday, June 06, 2007

HMCS Saskatoon sails under the Burnside Bridge Wednesday to dock at Tom McCall Waterfront Park in downtown Portland as part of the Rose Festival Fleet. Canadian warships have been participating in the Rose Festival since 1924.

I don't know if it was a race, but the Canadians got here first.

Four Canadian warships are in downtown Portland this week for the Rose Festival's Fleet Week, ahead of U.S. Navy vessels expected to arrive tomorrow.

The 100th annual Rose Festival is a month-long celebration of ... well, just about everything. Anything that's going on in northwestern Oregon between May and July—from the Oregon River Festival to the Salem World Beat Festival—is part of it. Even next weekend's Champ car race counts. Lots of parades and fireworks. You can read all about the festival on their website.

The Canadian part of the fleet includes the Halifax-class frigate HMCS Vancouver, as well as three Kingston-class coastal defence vessels: HMCS Nanaimo, HMCS Saskatoon, and HMCS Brandon. The fleet will be in Portland through Monday morning.

Bottomless teapot Sunday, June 03, 2007

Stacey Johnson sticks her hand in a fountain built into the wall of a building at SW Yamhill and 15th in downtown Portland.

I didn't have time today to look around the building for a description of this artwork, nor could I find anything online. I'll try to find out something the next time I walk past it, but until then, does anybody know anything about it? Leave me a comment.

The land of make-believe

A self-described "rivet counter," Gary Lee shows off his garden railroad May 28 at his home in Corbett, Ore. Built to "G scale," where 1/2" equals about a foot, the fictitious Baker & Grande Ronde Railroad is set circa 1890 in the Blue Mountains of eastern Oregon. Lee has been working on the model for four years.

Like SimCity in real life, over the past four years Gary Lee has been building a world of his own in his backyard. Starting with several dump truck loads of rock, he has literally moved mountains for his subjects, albeit on a 1/2" scale. The Baker & Grande Ronde Railway now covers a plot some 110 feet by 30 feet, with more to come.

A passenger waits for the train at Whiskey Creek Station.

Of course, he hasn't been alone. His father, Odell Lee (who runs the Odell & Hazel line in his backyard) helps with the buildings and other details. Gary's wife, Jonette, and mother, Hazel are railway gardeners, taking care of the miniature plants and trees that make the landscape look real.

The Baker & Grande Ronde and the Odell & Hazel railways will both be featured in the Rose City Garden Railway Society's 2007 summer tour on June 16.

The Baker & Grande Ronde Railway runs through tunnels, and over trestles in Gary's back yard. Every little tie was laid by hand.

You can read more about the model railroads in the June 2 edition of the Gresham Outlook, and on the RCGRS website.