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Here's a look back at what made some of the bigger headlines on The Sandy Post's website in 2019.

PMG FILE PHOTO: BRITTANY ALLEN - Sandy High School freshman Cinthya Bautista won the state-level contest to design a Google Doodle this year.

The year 2019 had its highs and lows, like every year, but in the Sandy area, the overall theme once again seemed to be growth.

Besides the progress, which occurred in many city projects, several new businesses moved into Sandy, Boring and the Mount Hood communities.

Here are the businesses The Post featured and welcomed to the area during 2019:

• Brady's Burgers and Brats

• PNW Tattoo Collective

• The Beauty Room

• Chester's Pub

• Cooper's Wine Bar

• Lucky Finds

• The Northwest Bigfoot Center

• Ascent Physical Therapy

• Mt. Hood Center

• Black Sheep Yarn Co.

• 4Hearts Kombucha

A few businesses have also announced their intentions to locate in Sandy, including Le Happy Creperie and Bar, which will be in the former Chariteas Tea Shop, and Dutch Bros coffee. 2019 also saw the return of longtime eatery Paola's Pizza Barn, when Denise Overton leased and reopened it. But the end of the year also marked the closure of the local classic, Calamity Jane's.

Milestones for charity

In the Sandy nonprofit world, Sandy's Helping Hands had a banner year, celebrating its five-year anniversary in February, and in April, commemorated the launch of its new affiliate charity — Sandy's Helping Paws. In June, the Sandy Community Action Center purchased a new refrigerated van with the help of local donations and grant funds, which has helped the center more efficiently provide fresh food to those in need in the area. The Sandy Grange, a local fraternal and charitable organization, also celebrated its 110th year with an open house in September.

Making the grade

In the world of academia, Oregon Trail schools have inspired a number of headlines as well. The district was not without its hardships in 2019, with a lawsuit coming to light in October. Mother Kimberly Lacey, filed a tort claim asking for compensation for "physical injury, emotional trauma and harm, pain and suffering loss of enjoyment of life, and other damages," amounting to $450,000, after her daughter, who has "significant cognitive and behavioral disabilities" was allegedly sexually assaulted in a school bathroom by another student in 2017. That lawsuit is ongoing.

In February, the school-based health center welcomed a new nurse to replace outgoing nurse Kim Tinker, and later in the year Sandy High School said goodbye to long-time assistant principal Sally Tripp and hello to new administrator Sarah Dorn.

May brought the statewide effort to go "Red for Ed." Oregon Trail teachers answered by keeping kids in school that day, but rallying after hours on the corners of Bluff Road and Highway 26 to show support for the Student Success Act and their peers demonstrating to protest a lacking of funding for education. Sandy Grade School had reason to celebrate, earning the title of national model school this year. School leaders were invited to speak at a national conference, encouraging and educating other educators.

Sandy High School freshman Cinthya Bautista received high praise this year as well, when she won the state-level contest to design a Google Doodle.

Bautista already received a Chromebook, a certificate of recognition and a T-shirt featuring her design.

The theme of this year's contest was "When I grow up, I hope ...." Bautista's design featured a young girl reading about saving endangered species while surrounded by colorful animals.

"This represents how I hope that one day in the near future we can save our endangered species from extinction because they are beautiful and deserve to live," Bautista said. "The reason there is a child is because they are the key to our future: and it won't matter what gender, ethnicity or color."

Looking ahead

Like Bautista, many of Sandy's leaders are already looking to the future and planning for how to help make Sandy a successful and thriving community in 2020 and for years to come.

Big news for the city this year included the hiring of new City Manager Jordan Wheeler, the appointment of a new city councilor, Bethany Shultz, as well as the renovation and repainting of City Hall. The City Council also faced an unpopular decision back in March to close the Olin Y. Bignall Aquatic Center in May, with the promise to revisit a means of reopening.

In 2019, Sandy City Council also approved a 98% increase in wastewater rates to take effect in 2020, with the purpose of helping fund the renovations and additions to the wastewater treatment operations. It also voted for the establishment of a public safety fee, which hit utility bills in August. Sandy City Council approved implementing the monthly fee to help fund the Sandy Police Department on July 15. Proceeds went to hire two police officers to bring department staffing levels back to where they were before a contract with the city of Estacada was established.

In relation to the city, the new Arts Commission celebrated its first public art projects with a "No Rain Down the Drain" chalk art contest in May and restoration of the Roger Cooke mural, "Peaceful Vistas," on Meinig Avenue in July.

The city, in partnership with AntFarm and the Mt. Hood Farmers Market, also hosted the Portland Trail Blazers for a Rip City Rally in August, bringing hundreds out for an evening of fan-tastic fun in downtown Sandy.

In terms of city growth, the population of Sandy now sits at approximately 11,149, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

To accommodate that growth, the city has several projects in the works, including an updated plan for the wastewater treatment plant, exploration into funding sources and community needs as related to the proposed community campus and the Olin Y. Bignall Aquatic Center, a parks master plan, a bypass viability study, a transit master plan, a transportation system master plan and more. Most projects are still years out when talking about completion, but city officials have been working to engage the community in the process.


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