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FEATURES: Intro | the Mt. Hood freeway | city hall of fame | architexture | rhymin' rogues | some of our favorite Portlanders | 25 years of statistics | what ever happened to...| Nike's marketing muscle | The Oregonian's big oh's


Whatever Happened To...?
They came, they saw, they vanished into thin air. Where are they now?

BY MATT BUCKINGHAM

  PENNY ALLEN
Portland filmmaker made her directing debut in 1977 with Property, a docudrama about a neighborhood's battle against gentrification, followed in 1982 by Paydirt, an action film about three Oregon winemakers who resort to growing pot to pay the bills.

Allen is now a free-lance writer living in Paris, where she recently discovered the long-forgotten grave site of early Portland feminist and John Reed protegée Louise Bryant.

BILLY RAY BATES
Blazer guard enjoyed a meteoric rise to stardom after signing with the team in 1979, dazzling fans with his thunderous slam-dunks and averaging a team-record 27 points per game in the playoffs.

Bates was released by the Blazers in 1982 and checked into a Portland hospital for drug treatment. He is now awaiting trial in New Jersey on armed-robbery and assault charges after he allegedly robbed a gas-station attendant at knifepoint in January 1998. The take from the holdup? Five lousy bucks.

DAVID DUNCAN
Portland author was long a bright star in the local literary firmament, with such novels as The River Why and The Brothers K as well as his short-story collection, River Teeth.

Duncan lives with his wife and three children in Lolo, Mont., where he is working on a new novel tentatively titled Letters from God, a comedy set in Portland. He also writes blistering op-ed pieces advocating preservation of Montana's Blackfoot River.

 

KATHERINE DUNN
Boxing writer and former WW Slice columnist put her name on the literary map with the 1989 publication of Geek Love, her disturbing novel about a family of sideshow freaks.

Dunn still lives in Portland, where she continues to write free-lance magazine articles about boxing and is working on a new novel. "I don't even want to talk about it," she says. "I'm too superstitious."

PENNY HARRINGTON
First woman to be appointed chief of a major metropolitan police force in 1985 was forced to resign when a special commission criticized her management style and job performance.

After wrangling with the city for years over her termination and disability pay, Harrington headed south, worked as assistant director of investigations for the California State Bar, and is now director of the National Center for Women and Policing in Los Angeles. Her autobiography, Triumph of Spirit, was published in October.

BOB HAZEN
Chairman of the Benj. Franklin Savings and Loan Association was a familiar face to Portland television viewers for much of the '70s, hawking toasters and other free gifts to woo new depositors to the institution his father started in 1925.

Hazen retired in 1980 but remained on Benj. Franklin's board until it was sold to Bank of America during the S&L crisis in 1990. When he isn't fund-raising for United Way or his alma mater, Whitman College, Hazen, 81, spends seven months of the year in Palm Desert, Calif., where he plays golf three days a week with Howard Keel, star of such Hollywood musicals as Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Show Boat.

 

RON HERNDON
Vocal leader of the Black United Front was a thorn in the flesh of the Portland Public Schools for much of the '80s, organizing school boycotts to protest racial inequality in enrollments and academic achievement in the district.

Herndon continues to call for better performance at predominantly black schools and seems to have found a more sympathetic ear in Superintendent Ben Canada. He is co-chairman of the Community Monitoring Advisory Coalition, a schools watchdog group, and director of Albina Head Start.

DAVE HERSH
Flamboyant owner and general manager of the Portland Beavers piloted the triple-A baseball team for five years before being called up to the Show in 1983 to manage the New York Yankees' farm system.

Hersh lasted only a few months in the majors, took a marketing job in his hometown of Philly and then moved south, where he became president of the double-A Memphis Chicks. In 1998, Hersh moved the team to nearby Jackson and changed its name to the West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx.

DAVID KAHN
Former WW contributor and Oregonian sportswriter left The Big O under a cloud in 1989 after being accused of sexism by three female copy editors. Kahn sued the daily and settled out of court three years later.

Kahn was named general manager of the Indiana Pacers in July 1998, three years after being hired away from a New York City law firm that represented the NBA and other professional sports interests. Kahn had gone to work for the firm after graduating from law school at New York University. Before that, he was a sports talk-show host for KGW Radio.

DON MCINTIRE
Gresham gym owner and vocal tax opponent was chief architect of Ballot Measure 5, the 1990 property-tax-limitation initiative that forever altered Oregon's political landscape.

Still outspoken on tax issues, McIntire lobbied the Oregon Legislature earlier this year to limit state cigar taxes. The cigar aficionado estimates he spends $2,000 a year on out-of-state stogies to avoid paying the Oregon tax.

 

HARRY MERLO
Mercurial chairman and CEO of Louisiana-Pacific Corp. ruled the wood-products company with an iron fist for 22 years before trouble with federal pollution laws and lawsuits over his treatment of female employees drove him out in 1995.

Louisiana-Pacific recently agreed to pay a record $37 million to settle pollution violations committed under Merlo's reign. Merlo still lives in the million-dollar executive mansion, which he purchased from the company, but he keeps a low profile, continuing to do philanthropic work through the multimillion-dollar Harry Merlo Foundation.

GERRY PRATT
Natty chairman of Fred Meyer Savings & Loan and first host of KATU's Town Hall program cut a swath in local banking as well as television, offering better interest rates than his competitors and stirring the cauldron on his public-affairs show. When Fred Meyer Inc. fired Pratt in 1980, he sued, accusing the company's top brass of taking secret pay bonuses, shaking down suppliers for political contributions, and hiring their relatives. FM settled five months later, if only to shut him up.

Pratt, who lives in Vancouver, Wash., never returned to Fred Meyer but dabbled in several high-tech venture capital projects including Lattice Semiconductor. He continues to serve as a trustee for the Meyer Memorial Trust.

 
 

DAN REED
Portland rock musician led the Dan Reed Network to national semi-stardom in the late '80s with a Mercury Records recording deal, a European concert tour and gigs opening for such acts as the Rolling Stones and David Bowie.

Reed now owns and runs Ohm, a nightclub he converted from the former Key Largo space in Old Town. He also wrote the music for Artists Repertory Theatre's critically acclaimed 1999 adaptation of Molière's The Misanthrope.

RICHARD ROSS
Longtime news anchor for KGW-TV sent shockwaves through the local television industry when he defected to rival KATU in 1975. Two years later, Ross admitted he had been an FBI informant in the '50s; he was asked to report on the political leanings of his news colleagues.

Ross retired from KATU in 1986 and took a PR job promoting the Oregon Lottery for two years. The Lake Oswego resident is now a trustee of a tax-free trust fund for Oregon cities and counties and continues to serve on the executive committee of Goodwill Industries of Oregon. (The Rose Festival coronation will never be the same without you, Dick.)

MARV AND RINDY ROSS
Portland couple, both former school teachers, formed Quarterflash in 1980 out of two existing bands, Seafood Mama and Pilot. The first of Quarterflash's four albums went platinum, selling more than 2 million copies. The group's biggest hit, "Harden My Heart," reached No. 3 on the charts in 1982.

Although Quarterflash played its last concert in 1995, the Rosses continue to perform together as part of the Trail Band, created by Marv in 1993 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Oregon Trail. When not performing, Marv runs his own production company and Rindy is a mental-health therapist for Providence Health Systems.

PHIL STANFORD
Oregonian news columnist was required reading from 1987 to 1994, mixing humor with a hard-news sensibility that often angered his editors and put the rest of the daily's news staff to shame.

Stanford lives in Portland and is working on a screenplay about his misadventures as a Miami private eye. He co-wrote a screenplay based on events surrounding the 1989 murder of Oregon corrections supervisor Michael Francke. The movie, Gathering Evidence, was made in 1993 but never released. Stanford remains convinced that Frank Gable, the man convicted of the murder, was railroaded.

TRES AND BEN
Music entrepreneurs Tres Shannon and Ben Ellis introduced a generation of young Portlanders to the nightlife at their all-ages club, the X-Ray Cafe, which closed in 1994.

Shannon now schedules musical acts for Berbati's Pan and recently organized a benefit concert to raise $2,200 for knee surgery for his Labrador retriever, Irie. Ellis is in Portland filming a documentary about the X-Ray.

NORM WINNINGSTAD
The H.G. Wells of Oregon's fledgling high-tech industry predicted 20 years ago that the Silicon Forest would one day replace the real thing in economic importance to the state. Winningstad's Floating Point Systems was hailed as the high-tech startup company of the future until the company's stock took a nosedive in 1986.

Winningstad continues to prognosticate on the future of technology and serves on the board of CenterSpan Communications (formerly ThrustMaster), a Hillsboro company specializing in online communications. He maintains homes in Beaverton and Newport and commutes between the two in a private helicopter, which he pilots himself.

 

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