Portland Veterans Day Parade
Portland's 36th annual Veterans Day Parade marched through the Hollywood district this morning, Nov. 11. Starting out at N.E. 40th Ave. and N.E. Hancock veterans and their supporters paraded to N.E. 48th at Sandy Blvd., to honor America's service men and women at a memorial flag raising ceremony will be held. Sen. Jeff Merkeley and City Commissioner Amanda Fritz were just two of the dignitaries in attendance.
This year, for the first time, 50 members of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America marched alongside marching bands, the historic horse-mounted Buffalo Soldiers Moses William Chapter of the 9th and 10th Calvary and military service organizations. Scout troops also took part.
Sponsored by the Ross Hollywood Chapel, parade organizers hope the mayor will recognize the parade as the official Veterans Day observance for Portland. Vernon E. Ross, the funeral chapel's owner and a veteran himself, founded this parade on Veterans Day 1974, to honor all Veterans, past and present, living and deceased. Veterans Affairs Sec. Eric K. Shinseki has designated Portland as a regional Veterans Day observance.
A presentation after the parade at Ross Hollywood Chapel included Edward Van Dyke, a claims manager with the Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs, who spoke about available veterans' benefits.
Veterans are also invited to attend a USO-style show following the presentation at the Hollywood Senior Center, 1820 Northeast 40th Avenue. Entertainer Tony Starlight, Tony Starlight's Supper Club and Lounge, will showcase music from the World War II years.
Plans For Memorial Coliseum To Be Unveiled Nov. 17
Mayor Sam Adams has announced that the plan to renovate the Veterans Memorial Coliseum (VMC) will be unveiled at Portland City Council next Thursday, Nov. 17. The planning team will ask city council to pass a resolution supporting the negotiation of a redevelopment agreement with Portland Arena Management and the Portland Winterhawks.
"It is appropriate that on a day when we honor veterans for all they have given on behalf of our country, we highlight the progress being made to renovate and enhance the historic building and gardens built and named in their honor," Adams said in a statement. "The VMC is the heart and soul of the Rose Quarter and I am pleased with the progress made to restore this iconic regional asset."
For more than two years, the city and the Portland Development Commission have been working with the community to determine the future of the building, which needs renovation and repair. About $30.5 million is available for the project, which includes more than $17 million in public funds.
The mayor's office says improvements to the Veterans Memorial Coliseum are likely to include:
Restored landscaping and enhanced memorials in the Memorial Gardens
Arena seat replacement and improved Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) seating
National Hockey League-sized ice rink
Remodeled concession stands including ADA accessible counters
Updated lighting and ADA compliant interior doors
Complete roof replacement
Upgraded emergency lighting system and building-wide fire alarm system
"More than $7.5 million in Oregon Convention Center Urban Renewal Area funds have been set-aside and will be directed toward the affordable housing goals within the URA in compliance with established City policy," the statement notes.
"The project will pursue LEED Gold certification and be subject to all PDC's workforce training, hiring and apprenticeship programs. Improvements to the VMC and the Memorial Gardens will expand opportunities for community use of the facility."
Attorney General John Kroger released the following resource list for veterans.
Employment Discrimination. It is unlawful to discriminate against service members in the workplace. Whether you have decided to enlist, are on active duty or have served in the past, if an employer denies you employment, retention in employment, promotion or accrued seniority or benefits because of your association with uniformed service, it may be employment discrimination. Contact the Oregon Department of Justice at 1-877-877-9392, or any of the other resources listed at the bottom of this email to get help. Learn more about veterans employment rights.
Consumer Protection. It is an unconscionable trade practice to knowingly take economic advantage of a deployed or disabled veteran or their spouse. If you are the victim of consumer fraud contact the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-877-877-9392 or file complaint online.
If you are called to active duty you may qualify for additional consumer protections such as reduced interest rates on consumer debt, delay of bankruptcy, foreclosure or other civil court actions, and protection from eviction. Learn more about consumer rights for veterans.
Child Support Services. The Oregon Child Support Program offers a range of free or low-cost services to support Oregon veterans and their families. If you are a veteran, current military member or a member of a military family with an open child support order, please tell us. For a veteran paying support, it may be possible to lower your out-of-pocket payments by applying a portion of your veterans' benefits toward your monthly child support obligation. For a family member receiving support, it may be possible to receive additional support if the service member is receiving veteran disability benefits. Our case managers can also help make sure your children have legal access to military benefits. Learn more about child support for military families or contact the child support office nearest you.
Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve (ESGR)
A federal Department of Defense organization staffed by local volunteers that takes employment discrimination complaints and attempts to work out negotiated solutions between employers and servicepersons. Contact the ESGR by calling 1-800-336-4590.
U.S. Department of Labor Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS)
To make a formal employment discrimination complaint under federal law call 1-866-4-USA-DOL.
Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI)
To make a formal employment discrimination complaint under state law (can be made in addition to a formal complaint to VETS) call 971-673-0764
Oregon State Bar's Military Assistance Panel
This program matches deployed servicemembers and their dependents with attorneys willing to provide up to two hours of legal advice at no charge. Contact the Military Assistance Panel toll-free in Oregon at 1-800-452-8260.
Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs (ODVA)
Explore the ODVA website to learn more about educational benefits, counseling services, long-term care for senior veterans, low-interest home loans, emergency assistance and other services available to Oregon military members.