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News Releases
Gresham's Most Popular Community Event Returns to Downtown - 07/17/14
MEDIA ADVISORY

GRESHAM, Ore. - Media representatives can capture the triumphant return of the Gresham Arts Festival - the City's biggest and best-loved event - on Saturday, July 19, as thousands fill the historic downtown to shop from top artists and enjoy live music and children's activities.

From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., about 125 artists will fill the streets along with 10 musical acts, two dance performances, a balloon artist, a face-painter, and a "children's corner" that provides free craft projects for kids. Visitors can browse and dine at more than 100 shops and eateries, and find fresh produce at the Gresham Farmers' Market. Kids can cool off in the new Children's Fountain, located right in downtown on the Arts Plaza at 401 N.E. Second St.

This year, for the first time, the City of Gresham is presenting the Gresham Arts Festival. The event had grown so large - last year it attracted about 12,000 - volunteers announced in January that they could no longer sustain it. Gresham Mayor Shane Bemis stepped in, offering the City as lead organizer. Gresham's business community rallied and 27 sponsors signed up, offering everything from cash to candy to craft supplies.

At the festival, reporters can interview the Mayor, artists, sponsors and volunteers who put on the City's most popular annual event, which draws thousands from around the region since 2001 to its charming downtown streets to meet with - and shop from - a carefully selected crop of Northwest artists and artisans: painters, potters, sculptors, glassblowers, jewelers, woodworkers, photographers, and more.

Date: Saturday, July 19
Time: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Place: Gresham Historic Downtown, Main Avenue, Gresham

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Contact Information:
Wendy Lawton, Communications Manager, day of event, 503-793-4167
Make A Splash: Gresham Celebrates Children's Fountain and Gathers 'RAD' Ideas for City's Future - 07/15/14
MEDIA ADVISORY

GRESHAM, Ore. - Media representatives can capture the laughter-soaked launch of the City's all-new Children's Fountain on Wednesday, July 16, from 6-7 p.m. at Gresham's bustling downtown Arts Plaza.

Since its unofficial opening on the Fourth of July, the Children's Fountain has served hundreds of happy families. Large crowds gather every day to frolic in this colorful downtown attraction - the first free splash park in East Multnomah County. The project was paid for, in its entirety, by federal grant funds given to U.S. cities and towns for community development.

Wednesday's event will also highlight the City's Rise Advance Dream (RAD) Gresham initiative. Gresham Mayor Shane Bemis and the City Council are asking the public to generate ideas for making Gresham an even better place to work, live and play - ideas like a free, colorful fountain for kids. Since September 2013, the City has received dozens of ideas for game-changing amenities, including a community center, a science museum, mountain bike trails, even a bridge to Washington state.

At the fountain launch, Mayor Bemis will share his vision for RAD, business and community leaders will talk about their hopes for the City, and residents can submit their ideas. There will be games, giveaways, and free sno-cones.

Reporters can interview the Mayor and City Council members, shoot footage of the fountain in action, and learn more about RAD and the City's plans to improve quality of life. To celebrate Gresham's bright future, free sunglasses will be given away to those who submit RAD ideas.

Date: Wednesday, July 16
Time: 6-7 p.m.
Place: Gresham Arts Plaza, Historic Downtown, 401 N.E. Second St., Gresham

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Contact Information:
Wendy Lawton, Communications Manager, 503-618-2247 or 503-793-4167
The Gresham Arts Festival attracts thousands each year to downtown Gresham
The Gresham Arts Festival attracts thousands each year to downtown Gresham
Gresham Arts Festival keeps downtown hopping with art and family fun (Photo) - 07/08/14
GRESHAM, Ore. - Celebrate creativity and community all day long on Saturday, July 19, as the City of Gresham and more than two dozen local sponsors bring the historic downtown to life with treasures from top artists, live music and children's activities.

The Gresham Arts Festival is the city's most popular annual event, drawing thousands from around the region each year to its charming downtown streets to meet with - and shop from - a carefully selected crop of Northwest artists and artisans: painters, potters, sculptors, glassblowers, jewelers, woodworkers, photographers, and more.

From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., about 125 artists will fill the streets along with 10 musical acts, two dance performances, a balloon artist, a face-painter, and a "children's corner" that encourages kids to unleash their inner artist by participating in free and fanciful craft projects. Visitors can browse and dine at more than 100 shops and eateries, and find fresh produce at the Gresham Farmers' Market. Kids can cool off in the new Children's Fountain, located right in downtown on the Arts Plaza at 401 N.E. Second St.

This beloved family event is free. So is parking at nine City-owned lots in and around downtown. There is plenty of street parking. Visitors can take TriMet's MAX Blue Line to Gresham Central Transit Center or bike the Springwater Trail Corridor to Main City Park and into historic downtown.

Patron sponsors include The Outlook/Pamplin Media Group, 101.9 KINK, and Gresham Ford.

This year, for the first time, the City is presenting the Gresham Arts Festival. The event had grown so large (last year it attracted about 12,000) that festival volunteers, led by local restaurateur and business advocate Judy Han, announced in January that they could no longer sustain it. Gresham Mayor Shane Bemis stepped in, offering the City as lead organizer. Gresham's business community rallied and 27 sponsors signed up, offering everything from cash to candy to craft supplies. Han and other volunteers, who launched the original Gresham Art Walk in 2001 with 28 artists, continue to participate in event planning.

"The Gresham Arts Festival is an important signature event for our community and there was no way we could let it fade away," Mayor Shane Bemis said. "I am proud of all of the businesses and community members who have stepped up to help continue this great tradition, bringing thousands of visitors to our historic downtown to support the local economy and giving Gresham families a fun summer event to remember."

Partner sponsors for the Gresham Arts Festival include Columbia Bank, Frontier Communications, the Gresham Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center, and Bill Bailey RE/MAX Equity Group.

For more information, including directions, a list of participating artists, a full sponsor list, and the entertainment lineup, visit GreshamOregon.gov/ArtsFestival/ A promotional video can be found here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4K3lsXgbZSo&feature=youtu.be

For information the day of the event, members of the media should contact Wendy Lawton, Communications Manager for the City of Gresham, at 503-793-4167.

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2014-07/1046/75597/DSC_0057.jpg
2014-07/1046/75597/DSC_0057.jpg
Make a July Fourth splash in Gresham's new Children's Fountain (Photo) - 07/02/14
GRESHAM, Ore. - The City of Gresham is giving a July Fourth treat to children of all ages: a new Children's Fountain in the city's historic downtown.

The Children's Fountain will splash to life Friday, July 4 at 7 a.m. and stay open all day long until 10 p.m. Kids can cavort in two fountains - one designed for toddlers, one for bigger kids - that are powered by 43 jets of cool, clean, chlorinated water. The fountain is built to surprise. Water is controlled by a computer program that makes the jets disappear - then leap to life - at random intervals for maximum fun. For daytime, the Children's Fountain includes two shade structures. At night, the fountain is lit by a subtly shifting display of 20 multi-colored LED lights.

The Children's Fountain is located at the Arts Plaza in historic downtown at 401 N.E. Second St. in Gresham.

This new parks amenity is free to users - the only no-cost splash pad in East Multnomah County - and was developed entirely with $1.5 million in federal funds awarded to the City of Gresham for community development.

"I am very excited to see Gresham add a great new place for our children and families, with the Children's Fountain opening just in time for some relief from these hot days," Mayor Shane Bemis said. "This strategic use of federal grant dollars will not only provide our kids a safe and healthy place to play, but it will help encourage economic activity in an important area of the city, and enhance one of our newest and most important public spaces."

On Wednesday, July 16 at 6 p.m., the public is invited to the Arts Plaza to celebrate the launch of the Children's Fountain.

The launch will showcase the interactive fountain and promote Rise Advance Dream (RAD) Gresham, a City initiative aimed at partnering with residents to dream big. Mayor Bemis and the Council are asking the public to brainstorm transformative ideas for Gresham's future - ideas like a free, colorful fountain for kids. Since September 2013, the City has received dozens of ideas, ranging from a community center to an OMSI East campus, through the RAD online forum at GreshamOregon.gov/RAD. At the July 16 fountain launch, Mayor Bemis and the City Council will celebrate RAD along with business and community leaders, and residents can submit their ideas to improve life in Gresham. There will be games, giveaways and free sno-cones.

After its holiday debut, the Children's Fountain will be open seven days a week, from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Because the fountain does not hold water, no lifeguard will be on duty. However, all children must be supervised. Children who are not toilet trained must wear swim diapers, and swim clothing is required. For a list of fountain rules and etiquette, please visit GreshamOregon.gov/ChildrensFountain/

The Children's Fountain is a project of the Gresham City Council, which made design and construction a 2013 priority as a way to boost the Arts Plaza and drive business activity and private investment in the City's downtown. The Department of Environmental Services managed construction of the fountain, and Parks and Facilities Division staff will operate it. For more information, call Parks and Facilities at 503-618-2300.

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Attached Media Files: 2014-07/1046/75597/DSC_0057.jpg
Annual Drinking Water Quality Report Now Available: Multiple options available to residents for viewing the annual report - 06/30/14
GRESHAM, Ore. - As required by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the City of Gresham produces a water quality report each year. The report summarizes the water quality test results for the year of 2013 and provides other useful facts about Gresham drinking water.

Rather than mail the full report to every water customer as previously required, the EPA is allowing the report to be published electronically. Gresham residents can obtain the report three ways:

1. View the report online: http://greshamoregon.gov/wqr/
2. Pick up a paper copy at Gresham City Hall, 1333 N.W. Eastman Parkway.
3. Call to request a copy at 503-618-2525.

"We're proud to deliver high-quality drinking water and hope that people will want to learn more about it by reading the water quality report," said Water Manager Brian R. Stahl.

The City of Gresham has been producing the Water Quality Report since 1998 and has met all drinking water requirements set by the EPA each year. For more information about your drinking water, visit GreshamOregon.gov/Water

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Longtime Gresham design expert hired as Planning Director - 06/25/14
GRESHAM, Ore. - David Berniker, the former vice chair and a founding member of Gresham's Design Commission, has been hired to lead the City's Urban Design and Planning department.

As Director of Urban Design and Planning, Berniker oversees a staff of 12, who work with elected officials and citizen groups to shape the vision for Gresham's growth and provide the tools to realize that vision through land use and development projects. He began work June 16.

City Manager Erik Kvarsten said Berniker was a stand-out for his planning and design expertise, his public engagement skills, and most importantly, his deep connection to Gresham.

"David knows Gresham," Kvarsten said. "He has helped shape the built environment here for years, and he knows city leaders and the community. David also has an appreciation for design and development, and its strong and direct effect on quality of life."

Berniker is trained as both an architect and a planner, and has more than 20 years of experience in the public and private sectors. He comes to Gresham from the City of Hillsboro, where he worked as an urban design planner. Prior to that, Berniker ran his own design and planning firm, and, as a consultant, helped Gresham create its first design standards for multifamily housing. For the past six years, since its inception, Berniker served as vice chair for the Design Commission, a professional citizen group appointed by the City Council to review and approve major new development projects. He holds a Master of Arts degree in architecture from the University of Oregon, a Master of Arts degree in urban planning from University of California Los Angeles, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in environmental studies from University of California Santa Barbara.

"I believe in Gresham," Berniker said. "It has a vibrant downtown, a gorgeous natural landscape with the buttes, and an extensive system of trails and parks. It's a great community with a lot of potential. I'm excited to work with the people who live and work in Gresham to help the city grow."

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