Black Lives Matter centerpiece

Travis Stovall watched all 8 minutes and 46 seconds of the video out of Minneapolis, showing the killing of George Floyd at the hands of those tasked to protect him. 

“I’ve seen many things in my lifetime, but the situation with George Floyd has impacted me differently,” Stovall said. “We as Black men are feeling that could have been anyone of us. In that moment the officer was judge, jury and executioner.”

Parks Funding centerpiece

For Bradley, having a stable park in his neighborhood where he could play in a safe space allowed him to avoid pitfalls that tripped some of his peers. It was more than just a block dedicated to greenery and amenities, but the programming that made Unthank Park a special place. 

And now Bradley is just one of many voices calling for more robust funding for Gresham’s many parks.

“Our parks are woefully underfunded — we are not naive about that,” said Councilor Karylinn Echols.

Vacant House centerpiece

One neighbor has lived on this block for 50 years and calls himself a victim of the property, which has sat vacant for the past 20 years. He has seen opossums, raccoons and rats living in the house. Groups of squatters have moved in and out. Once he saw a shirtless, barefooted man leap from a second-story window after accidentally starting a fire. He is fairly certain the man was smoking crack upstairs.

“We don’t understand why the city hasn’t done anything,” says the neighbor, who wished to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation.

Police Response Time centerpiece

The next morning, many of the neighbors came together to clean up the street and yards after the night’s events. There were empty containers, foil wrappers associated with drug use and capsules all around, and some minor damage to the vacant home and yard.

“I blame the police department and our mayor, they need to get tough,” said Dieter Schreiber, a neighbor. “Things will just keep getting worse otherwise.”

Steve Prefontaine cover story

“Sometimes you wonder about what would have happened if he had not had that accident,” Mac Wilkins said.

Ricki Ruiz, Safe Community, feature centerpiece

Ricki Ruiz has a scar on his right forearm. It’s thin, faded over the years, and dances down the length of his limb.

The wound occurred during one of the many times he scaled an old chain-link fence that used to separate Ruiz and his friends from their soccer pitch of choice, an abandoned 28,000-square-foot roller skating rink in Vance Park on Southeast 182nd Avenue. It was the price to pay for playing.

Oldest African-American Church

The local First AME Zion Church, the oldest African-American church in the Pacific Northwest, is celebrating its 154th anniversary.

“All over, as African Americans, when we try to do better there is opposition,” says the Rev. George Whitfield, current pastor at First AME Zion Church. “Our brothers and sisters, ancestors, when they had opposition, they stood, feet firmly planted.”

Triathlon cover story

University of Oregon freshman Steven Kyker wears a blue wristband. It’s one of those plastic ones that gets you into venues, often times concerts. Usually it is cut off the moment you get home.

He left his on, both to win a bet and serve as a reminder.

“I don’t like to live in the past,” Kyker said. “But there are some things you have to look back on as motivation.”

Northwest Parking Permits

Alba Rouse has been in Northwest Portland for 30 years, and until recently she never thought she would have to create a parking petition.

But Rouse lives on Northwest Overton Street and is suddenly one block outside a permit zone that requires cars to have paid stickers on their windshields if owners want to avoid heavy fines for parking all day. This system was created to prevent long-term parking in the neighborhood as commuters were using the streets as places to stash their vehicles.

Carbon Footprint

Many institutions, such as the university itself, also waste plenty of electricity. Small changes are being made to fix that, such as constructing LEED certified buildings and the installation of occupancy sensor lights, but problems still exist.

“You walk into Columbia 150 any day of the summer and it’s totally unoccupied and the air conditioning is going full blast,” Gregory Bothun said.

Study Abroad

Our group continued, casting a trio of shadows that climbed up the red brick buildings, clawing toward the white frames of the windows on the second floor. My escorts were young men, guns well oiled and gleaming in the light. As we turned toward our destination, a pair of tall oak doors bordered by cannons, I reached up to wipe the sweat beading at my brow.

NCAA Championship

Wednesday night Edward Cheserek lived up to his billing. The Kenya native sprinted down the final straightaway alone after dropping the rest of the competition. The fans were on their feet as he crossed the line in first place with a final time of 28:30.18.

The victory for Cheserek marks the first time a freshman has won the 10K at the NCAA Championships since 1979.

Rugby Concussions

Oregon men’s club rugby coach Pate Tuisue stumbled across an article that opened his eyes to something he already identified with.

The article, written by Phil Gould of The Sydney Morning Herald in April, 2014, examined Alex McKinnon’s collision with Jordan McLean during a National Rugby League match in New Zealand.

Oregon Defensive Coordinator

Three games into the season, nothing disastrous has occurred so far. As the year progresses, the kinks will continue to be worked out. As for the players missing their coach on the sidelines during the game, he’s only a phone call away. 

“He said if we ever need to talk with him, just pick up the red phone,” DeForest Buckner said.