City of Gresham
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News Releases
City of Gresham lifts Boil Water Notice for Gabbert Hill area - 10/19/14
GRESHAM, Ore. - This morning, the City of Gresham lifted a limited Boil Water Notice, effective immediately, for Gresham Water customers served by the Gabbert Hill Reservoir - about 130 homes near Gresham Butte on the City's south central side.

These residents can now drink tap water, and use it for consumption purposes, without boiling it first.

Yesterday, the City of Gresham issued a Boil Water Notice to the south central neighborhood served by Gabbert Hill Reservoir. The notice was issued because a pump at the site failed, causing homes to lose water pressure. A lack of pressure could allow contaminants into the system, so the City issued the Boil Water Notice strictly as a precaution.

No other Gresham Water customers were affected.

This morning, results from water quality tests confirmed an absence of bacteria, so the Boil Water Notice is no longer in effect. No actual contamination was detected during the weekend incident.

The City took every precaution to protect residents. The Boil Water Notice went out to the media, and was posted to the City's website and to social media. City staff went door-to-door yesterday in the Gabbert Hill area to deliver notices and answer questions, and opened phone lines to take public calls. In addition, City emergency operations personnel sent alerts to affected residents by phone or text, and sent an alert through, the private social media network for neighborhoods, to the Gresham Butte Neighborhood Association.

By 9 a.m. yesterday, the City had fixed the pump and restored water to the Gabbert Hill area.
For more information, see or call 503-618-2626.

City of Gresham issues limited Boil Water Notice for Gabbert Hill area - 10/18/14
GRESHAM, Ore. - This morning, the City of Gresham issued a limited Boil Water Notice, effective immediately, for Gresham Water customers served by the Gabbert Hill Reservoir - about 130 homes near Gresham Butte on the City's South Central side. These residents must boil their water until further notice.

Customers in the affected area are instructed to not drink water, or use it for consumption purposes, without boiling it first.

No other Gresham Water customers are affected.

To find out if your home is affected, go to
The affected area is served by the Gabbert Hill Reservoir, which provides water to approximately 130 homes. Early this morning, a pump at the site failed, causing homes to lose water pressure. Water is not known to be contaminated. But because a lack of pressure could allow contaminants into the system, City of Gresham is issuing the Boil Water Notice as a precaution.

Gresham is taking every precaution to protect customers and has already restored water to the Gabbert Hill area. Members of the City's Water Division staff are going door-to-door today to deliver notices and answer questions. Gresham Water is testing water in the affected service area, and will have definitive results by 8 .m. on Sunday, Oct. 19. The Boil Water Notice will be lifted once samples confirm the absence of bacteria.

Instructions for Boiling Water

Customers should:
? Bring water to a rolling boil for 1 minute
? Allow the water to cool before using
? Store the cooled water in a clean container with a cover
Customers should use boiled water that has cooled or bottled water for:
? Drinking
? Preparing baby formula and food
? Brushing teeth
? Washing fruits and vegetables
? Washing dishes
? Making ice

Please share this information with people in the affected area, and direct all questions to Gresham Water at 503-618-2626. Staff members will be on hand to answer calls until 5 p.m. today.

Visit to view the Boil Water Notice and get more information. General guidelines on ways to lessen the risk of infection by microbes are available from the EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791.

Attached Media Files: Map of Gabbert Service Area
Gang prevention grant brings opportunity to at-risk youth in Gresham - 10/08/14
GRESHAM, Ore. - Late-night basketball and gang intervention programs to boost youth education and employment are coming to the City of Gresham thanks to a state grant.

The $100,000 grant from the Oregon Youth Development Council will allow the City to launch early-intervention programs. They include:

* Basketball every Friday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at H.B. Lee Middle School, located at 1121 N.E. 172nd Ave. in Gresham's Rockwood neighborhood. Supervised games, with coaches and referees, will target at-risk Gresham middle and high school students. The program is a partnership with Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center, which will organize and promote the sessions.
* An 18-week counseling and mentoring program designed to teach at-risk students communication skills, coping mechanisms and conflict management. The program is a partnership with the Portland alternative high school Rosemary Anderson High School and the Portland nonprofit Peace in Schools.
* A youth education and employment program, in partnership with SE Works, that features weekly meetings to help young people identify - and achieve - their career and education goals by creating a resume, earning a food handler's card, developing a career plan and either getting a job, staying in school, or enrolling in the Portland Community College Career Pathways Program.

"In Gresham, we have a strong law enforcement approach to gangs, and we are rapidly increasing our prevention and intervention efforts," Gresham Mayor Shane Bemis said. "To reduce gang violence in the future, we need to have a hard focus on law enforcement and an equally strong focus on prevention. As a community, we need to address the root causes of gang involvement, such as unemployment, the drop-out rate, and the hopelessness, anger and boredom felt by some urban teens."

The City has recently added a Gang Prevention Policy Advisor to its ranks, helping focus energy on grant opportunities such as this, and coordinating with regional law enforcement and prevention partners. In May, the City held a Gang Prevention and Enforcement Summit that brought together local leaders to outline a multi-agency approach to gang prevention and enforcement in Gresham. This past June, a countywide gang assessment was released, which provided a snapshot of gang activity, community perceptions, and service gaps affecting gang-involved youth. A copy of the assessment can be found at

Gresham students caravan with a cop for International Walk and Bike to School Day - 10/07/14

GRESHAM, Ore. - Media representatives can capture students from Dexter McCarty Middle School as they ride bikes to school with Gresham Police Officer James Leake and Dexter McCarty teacher Michael Mann on Wed., Oct. 8.

The "bike train" will depart at 9:30 a.m. from Main City Park at the Springwater Trail spur.

The ride celebrates International Walk and Bike to School Day, with more than 4,000 events planned in the U.S. to promote the health, environmental and community benefits of walking and biking to school. In Oregon, 222 events are planned to mark the day, according to Oregon's Walk +Bike program,, a partnership between the Safe Routes to Schools National Partnership, a public-private partnership that promotes safe walking and biking to school, and the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, the Oregon pro-cycling nonprofit.

At the Gresham event, media can shoot footage of the nearly one mile, 10-minute ride, and interview City of Gresham transportation staff, City of Gresham police officers, Metro Councilor Shirley Craddick, as well as educators and biking advocates.

Gresham's events are sponsored by the City of Gresham Transportation Department,; Metro,; and Safe Routes to Schools,

Along with the Dexter McCarty ride, Gordon Russell Middle School in Gresham will provide students with safe route tips, giveaways and refreshments.

Date: Wednesday, Oct. 8
Time: 9:30 a.m. ride start, 9:15 a.m. meet-up
Place: Main City Park, Springwater Trail Spur, 219 S. Main Ave., Gresham

Gresham's climate change prize goes to local nonprofit - 09/30/14
GRESHAM, Ore. - Tomorrow morning Mayor Shane Bemis will bestow winnings from the 2014 Mayors' Climate Protection Awards - a national environmental innovation award from The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) - to Friends of the Children, the Portland nonprofit opening a Gresham office next year.

Mayor Bemis and the City of Gresham won the Climate Protection Award in June at the USCM annual conference. The awards program recognizes mayors and cities for innovative programs that increase energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Bemis was recognized for Gresham's energy management program, which aims to quickly reduce the energy use of the City's top consumers in order to reach the City Council's ambitious energy reduction goals.

In addition to the distinction of being the 2014 winner, the City has the opportunity to direct a $15,000 gift provided by Walmart to a local nonprofit whose work intersects with sustainability.

Bemis and the City of Gresham selected Friends of the Children to receive the award in recognition of the efforts the nonprofit is making to employ sustainable building practices and energy conserving technology, including solar panels, in their new location in Gresham. Friends' programming incorporates sustainably-focused teaching that includes gardening and cooking with local, healthy foods.

Friends is a Portland-based nonprofit that provides 12.5 years of professional mentoring - from kindergarten entry to high school graduation - to children facing difficult financial, family or personal challenges. Friends of the Children is expanding in East County because need for the program is growing here. Friends' staff and supporters are raising $5 million to fund the renovation project.

"Friends of the Children is making an important investment in Gresham's youth, and we're pleased that we can connect them with this award from Walmart and the U.S. Conference of Mayors," Bemis said. "The City of Gresham believes strongly in supporting children and families, and we welcome Friends of the Children to our community."

Bemis and representatives from Walmart and USCM will present the $15,000 gift to Jonathan Sewell, a Gresham resident and member of the Friends' Ambassador Board, at 11 a.m. at the nonprofit's future East County site, located at 424 N.E. 172nd Ave. in the Rockwood neighborhood of Gresham.

"Friends of the Children is honored to partner with the City of Gresham to better serve the most vulnerable children of East County," Terri Sorensen, president of Friends of the Children, said. "We make a long term investment in our children, and we are thrilled to make a long term investment in Rockwood. We are committed to weaving sustainability into our new building, from green architecture, to gardens, to healthy cooking classes. Every aspect of this project is focused on building a strong future for our kids and our community."

Gresham awarded $250,000 federal community policing grant - 09/30/14
GRESHAM, Ore. - The City of Gresham was notified this week that it has been awarded a $250,000 Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grant through the U.S. Department of Justice. Funds from this grant will be used to hire two roving school resource officers, one focused on gang issues, and another focused on truancy.

The grant award represents a growing strategic relationship between the City of Gresham and the U.S. Department of Justice. Gresham has received two other federal COPS grants, one in 2009, and another in 2011.

"We have worked tremendously hard to build relationships with agency officials at the Department of Justice and to share with them Gresham's unique challenges with law enforcement, and opportunities to work together," said Gresham Mayor Shane Bemis. "This is a perfect example of the federal government working closely with a local agency to pursue shared goals, and the COPS program has been a tremendous success."

Gresham received the largest COPS grant award in Oregon during this wave of funding, at over twice the amount of the next closest agencies. With one of Oregon's lowest permanent property tax rates, Gresham relies heavily on state and federal partnerships to tackle critical law enforcement issues.

News of this latest round of COPS funding is well-timed, given Gresham's efforts to combat and prevent gang activity. The East Metro Gang Enforcement Team, funded through the Oregon Legislature, continues to make progress in gang enforcement, and their work has been supported by the addition of dedicated civilian gang outreach workers from the Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center, who are funded by the Gresham Police Department this year. In addition, Gresham held its first Gang Prevention and Enforcement Summit last May, coordinating a multi-agency approach to gang activity ahead of the summer months.

"The COPS Office is pleased to assist local law enforcement agencies throughout the country in addressing their most critical public safety issues," said COPS Program Director Ron Davis. "Funding from this year's program will allow many cities and counties to focus newly sworn personnel on issues related to violent crime, property crime and school safety."

Gresham's COPS grant was supported by U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., and U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., who all petitioned the agency to consider Gresham's request.

Teddy Bear Parade marches out a well-loved Gresham tradition - 09/26/14

GRESHAM, Ore. - The Teddy Bear Parade, a classic Gresham event sponsored by Soroptomist International of Gresham and attended by thousands of teddy-bear clutching children and their families, rolls out for its annual celebration of warm-and-fuzzy wonderfulness in historic downtown Gresham on Saturday, Sept. 27.

Beginning at 10 a.m., parade entrants will wind their way through the charming spectator-lined business district, including marching bands, floats, brigades of civic and community organizations and members of the Gresham City Council. Ambassadors for Rise, Advance, Dream Gresham (RAD Gresham), an outreach initiative of the Gresham City Council, will stroll through the crowd - decked out in bright blue RAD Gresham T-shirts - talking to people about RAD and directing community members to an online forum where they can submit their "RAD ideas" for desired community amenities and rate the ideas submitted by others. Learn more about RAD at

This year, parade organizers are asking attendees to bring a new or gently used children's book - suitable for ages 5 through 12 - for donation to East County schools.
Parade-goers are also encouraged to check out the Gresham Farmers' Market; Gresham Saturday Market; and the City's Transportation Safety Fair and Bike Rodeo that will run from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on the Arts Plaza, 401 N.E. Second St.

View the parade route and other information at

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