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Volunteer at the 2009 World Handball Championships

The 2009 World Handball Championships is seeking volunteers to help with the event on October 4-11. Learn more and sign up at http://www.handball09worlds.com/volunteer.html.

Volunteers who work two 4-hour shfts get a Columbia shirt with the 2009 World Handball Championships logo. Contact Tom Wenrich for additional volunteer information at 503-789-7608.

NCAA basketball tournament to return to Portland in 2012

When the Oregon Sports Authority spearheaded an effort to get the state to eliminate the Sports Action lottery games in 2005, the aim was to get the NCAA Basketball Tournament to become a regular event in the state.

The plan will take another big step in 2012, when March Madness returns to Portland’s Rose Garden for a subregional. Four first-round games will be played on Thursday, March 15, and two second-round games will be held on Saturday, March 17.

This past March, the tournament was played in Oregon for the first time since 1983, and the event quickly sold out, with Pacific Northwest teams Washington and Gonzaga drawing large partisan crowds for their games.

Soon after the subregional, the Oregon Sports Authority and its partners — the University of Oregon (which served as host school), the Rose Quarter and Travel Portland — began assembling a bid for the next block of available dates. The NCAA bids out three years of the tournament at a time, and in June the Oregon group submitted bids for subregionals and regionals in the 2011-13 block.

“It was highly competitive,” said Drew Mahalic, the Oregon Sports Authority’s chief executive officer. “We heard that there were 70 bids from all over the country. To be able to be chosen among that kind of competition is something that we all need to be really proud of in Oregon.”

— Excerpt from OregonLive.com, September 21, 2009

eUpdate – Beavers to Beaverton, Marathon and Race for the Cure

In just a few short weeks, the Oregon Sports Authority’s campaign to bring the Portland Beavers to Beaverton has received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback and support. At a Beaverton City Council meeting earlier this week, Oregon Sports Authority CEO Drew Mahalic presented a report on the substantial progress made by the campaign thus far. He detailed the extensive support documented from both individuals and businesses, as well as the impressive amount of positive feedback sent in to City Council. The response to the campaign reflects…

Click below to view the entire Oregon Sports Authority eUpdate.

Bring the Beavers to Beaverton – Campaign Update

Last night, Oregon Sports Authority CEO Drew Mahalic presented to the Beaverton City Council a report on the substantial progress made thus far by the campaign to bring the Beavers to Beaverton. He detailed the extensive number of individuals and businesses that have endorsed the campaign, as well as the impressive amount of positive feedback received by the City Council. Drew also delivered to the council letters from the mayors of Reno and Oklahoma City discussing the important role that Triple-A ballparks have served in generating economic development in both of those cities. Several other examples of stadiums serving as a major economic catalyst were presented to the council as part of an extensive report by city consultants.

Click below to view the entire campaign update.

Schools try to reduce playground conflicts

Recess at many public schools isn’t what it used to be.

Many schoolyard games – such as tag – have been discouraged because kids play too rough and the conflicts carry over into class time afterward, educators say.

“We haven’t played tag for a long time,” says Tamala Newsome, principal at Rosa Parks School in North Portland. “If someone gets pushed down, it’s not intentional but you can’t spend time resolving it. … They’re missing their instruction time. That’s just not OK.”

Now, tag and other schoolyard games have a chance to make a comeback.

Rosa Parks and seven other Portland Public Schools are hiring a full-time recess coach through a national nonprofit called Playworks, which aims to put the play back in playground.

The program places a coach in each school to lead students in games at recess, teach conflict management and leadership skills on and off the playground, run sports leagues after school and pop into classrooms during the day to get kids moving and focused back on learning.

“It’s the power of play,” says Jonathan Blasher, a Eugene native who recently moved from California to oversee the rollout of Playworks’ debut in Oregon. “It’s not just silly games, but it can teach a lot of important social skills and is used to improve education.”

— Excerpt from the Portland Tribune, September 10, 2009

Rumors swirl about moving Triple-A baseball to Beaverton

Unconfirmed speculation is still the rule of the day when it comes to the proposed Triple-A baseball stadium in Beaverton – and it doesn’t seem like the council meeting on Monday will do much to change that.

Though rumors are swirling around about a council agenda item regarding moving forward on the condemnation process for land near the former Westgate Theater site, Amy Miner, public information manager for the city, said that the topic would not be an agenda item for the meeting.

What will be happening, she said, was another presentation on downtown redevelopment from the Leland Consulting Group and a discussion of survey results from city residents gauging public opinion on the proposed stadium.

— Excerpt from the Beaverton Valley Times, September 10, 2009

There’s no crying over Portland-area baseball sites

Minor league baseball in Beaverton or Clackamas County?

Portland Beavers owner Merritt Paulson may get to choose.

On Thursday, Clackamas County officials confirmed they have approached the Triple-A baseball team’s owner to discuss relocation options along Interstate 205 and the soon-to-open light rail line. But those talks are preliminary, county leaders say, and thus far have not generated as much buzz as efforts in Beaverton.

Clackamas County’s interest is the latest curve as Paulson looks to move his baseball team, which needs a new home for 2011 because PGE Park will be remodeled to accommodate Major League Soccer.

Beaverton didn’t wait for negotiations to finish in Portland before lobbying the team. And now, Clackamas County officials haven’t paused to see how things play out in Beaverton.

“If they had told us, ‘Thanks, we’re not interested in talking,’ we would have respected that. But we haven’t heard that,” said Steve Wheeler, Clackamas County’s acting administrator. “Until they settle on one, I think it’s fair game.”

Paulson on Thursday declined to comment about Clackamas County. But his public relations firm released an artists’ rendering for “Beaverton Stadium,” an 8,600 capacity ballpark that is not site-specific.

“We remain excited about the possibility of Beavers baseball in Beaverton,” Paulson said in a statement tied to the rendering.

— Excerpt from The Oregonian, September 4, 2009