To tell the truth, that portal has always appeared a little off-putting in my experience. It's not so appealing at this time as it is just walls of text in boxes. It might work, I believe, however it would want a change. Ideas:
1) Use small alterations in background colour/hue to seperate such things as head lines in the actual body of posts in news reports section. This makes it simpler to browse instantly. Also, just refer to it as News rather than "Latest threads from your news forum".
2) Pimp a few of the more active projects (Like SoL or Erectile dysfunction) around the top of the page, by having an image associated each. This'll help escape from the wall of text feel. This can possibly go lower the best side underneath the active threads box after some box of their own for every major project.
3) Within the active threads box, eliminate everything however the thread title to really make it shorter. To create room for that project pimping.
4) Eliminate unused boxes like top referrers and top downloads. They create the website look inactive.
5) Give a connect to the primary page towards the top of the forums. The main one at the end is simple to overlook.