Bits 'n' Pieces: Scoutmaster makes like Spider-Man today

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If today finds you near Portland's second-tallest skyscraper, the U.S. Bancorp Tower at 111 S.W. Fifth Ave., stop and look up. You may see Wes Forgey descending from above.

Eighty Boy Scoutmasters from around the region will take part in what's called Over the Edge 2012; they'll all rappel nearly 500 feet down the side of the 42-story building (which is nicknamed Big Pink for its pleasing pastel hue). Over the Edge is a company that stages these special rappelling events for nonprofits. Forgey, a member of Cascade Pacific Council of Scouts, is the only Vancouver leader who summoned the nerve to step off the ledge and into the void. (No Scouts allowed; this is for leaders only).

No rappelling experience was required to sign up, and Forgey doesn't have any: "No, I'm a retired Air Force guy who's done some skydiving, had some adventures. I thought this would be fun," he said.

At 54, Forgey said, he's "old enough to know better but young enough to still try it."

Bancorp building management was "a little taken aback at first," Forgey said. But the Over the Edge website points out that the event will be supervised by a state-certified industrial safety team.

You can still sponsor Forgey and his cause, the Cascade Pacific Council, at http://cpcbsa.kintera.org/overtheedge/wesforgey.

Beyond raising bucks for Scouts, Forgey said the real point is fitness. "We want to demonstrate that Scout leaders lead by example and participate in the adventure," he said.

— Scott Hewitt

Latte Da Coffeehouse celebrates first anniversary

Scott Flury, owner of Latte Da Coffeehouse and Wine Bar, is inviting folks to stop by on Saturday and have a cup of coffee on him.

His popular coffeehouse in the Lincoln neighborhood is celebrating its first anniversary this weekend.

It's Flury's way of thanking his customers, largely folks from the surrounding neighborhoods, for embracing his establishment as their community gathering place.

"I had great aspirations for Latte Da," he said. "The community needed something like this. And they've responded."

The celebration begins tonight at 6:30 p.m. with Mayor Tim Leavitt cutting the ribbon on the Lincoln neighborhood bulletin board installed in front of the coffeehouse. Live music begins at 7 p.m. tonight on the patio near the cozy gas firepit.

The celebration continues Saturday with a day of free entertainment and fun.

Live acoustic music from 1 to 10 p.m. Saturday will showcase local talent, beginning with Dogs and Beer, an indie folk pop band, and culminating with Grammy-winning guitarist Doug Smith at 8:30 p.m.

Free food and drip coffee, as well as free chair massage, will be available.

Individuals and downtown and Uptown Village businesses have donated an array of prizes — including a beginner's golf set and a bicycle tune up — for a raffle to benefit Evergreen Habitat for Humanity's Women Build project. Raffle tickets are $1 each or 6 for $5 and can be purchased at the coffeehouse.

Latte Da Coffeehouse and Wine Bar is at 205 E. 39th St. For details, visit http://lattedacoffeehouse.com

— Susan Parrish

Bits 'n' Pieces appears Fridays and Saturdays. If you have a story you'd like to share, email bits@columbian.com.