a-calendarThe Mount Tabor Park CalendaR is a 6-year personal project of photographer Andrew Haliburton celebrating Portland’s beloved park and open water reservoirs. The 2015 calendar focuses on the reservoirs. For over 100 years, the reservoirs functioned as the heart of the City’s drinking water supply, balancing the flow and pressure in a network of pipes delivering pure drinking water from Bull Run to Portland. This ingeniously-engineered system was powered by a renewable resource – gravity, and was operational by 1910. In 2014 the reservoirs were removed from service and disconnected from the City’s potable water supply. With the added capacity of replacement reservoirs at Kelly Butte and Powell Butte, the Water Bureau has no need for the Tabor open water reservoirs. Friends and neighbors enjoy the reservoirs and park to the fullest, knowing that they await an uncertain future. Mt. Tabor Park Calendars may be purchased at the Visitor Information Kiosk in the Park, by emailing info@andrewhaliburton.com or calling 503.319.8946. The cost is $20 and a percentage of sales is donated to Friends of Mt. Tabor Park.

Championing small businesses

By James G. Hill

 

Small business owners in SE Portland have another advocate in the neighborhood thanks to Portland Community College.

The college’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is part of PCC’s CLIMB Center for Advancement and they’ve opened a new location at the college’s SE Campus at 2305 SE 82nd (at Division).

This third SBDC office established by PCC is located in the heart of the Jade District – one of six city-designated Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative (NPI) zones. The zones aim to transform under-served business districts into engines of economic growth without displacing the communities who live and work there.

“The City of Portland has really focused its economic development efforts in SE and E. Portland, and we can leverage that momentum from the small business perspective,” Tammy Marquez-Oldham, director of SBDC said.

As part of PCC’s SE Campus, the newest SBDC is located in the only census tract in Multnomah County where people of color are in the majority (53 percent) and the greatest number of Asian residents live, according to U.S. Census Bureau.

In response, Marquez-Oldham has assembled a team of experienced advisors who are successful independent business owners and share language, ethnicity and cultural background with the community they serve.

Advisors are able to personally relate to a business owner’s experiences and challenges, and when needed, can communicate with them in their native language, such as Mandarin, Cantonese, Taiwanese, Vietnamese or Tagalog.

“For many immigrant business owners in the Jade District, English is their second language, and they may be unfamiliar with rules, regulations, licenses and permits required to operate a business in the City of Portland,” said Marquez-Oldham.

This is where an advisors’ expertise is critical and it reduces the learning curve helping to pave the road to success for some of the city’s newest entrepreneurial residents.

Advisors meet with business owners at their convenience, and in confidential one-on-one advising sessions, they discuss business goals, challenges and opportunities – capital to support growth issues, operations, sales, customer service or marketing.

Based on a review of the business owner’s goals, advisors may suggest tailored kinds of resources and support available such as the Capital Access Team, International Trade advising and education, social media marketing, or food entrepreneurship training.

For more information about business advising or training, contact the SBDC at sbdc@pcc.edu or 971.722.5081.

To learn more about the SBDC, visit: bizcenter.org/PCC.

 

Annual Meeting of Friends of Mt. Tabor Park

 

Mark your calendars for the Thursday, March 19, 7 – 8:30 pm,  for the Annual Meeting/Winter Program of Friends of Mt Tabor Park.

The featured speaker will be Kaitlin Lovell, who manages the Science, Fish and Wildlife Division for the Bureau of Environmental Sciences at the City of Portland. Lovell is co-author of the recently adopted Climate Change Preparation Strategy and its companion, the Climate Change Risk and Vulnerabilities Assessment.

She has a B.S in Environmental Science and B.A in Biology from Bucknell University and a J.D from Cornell Law School.

Don’t miss this interesting and informative presentation.Doors open at 6:30 pm at Western Seminary, SE 55th & SE Hawthorne Blvd., in the Chapel. The Annual Meeting begins at 7 pm followed by the presentation.

 

Recycling tip of the month

 

By Bonita Davis
Certified Master Recycler

 

Bags of empty bottles and cans stacking up after holiday entertaining? You are not alone.

Last year Oregonians recycled 25,000 truckloads of redeemable containers. Before thinking it might not be worth the nickel to redeem them, please think again.

Nickels add up. Donations totalling $46,000 was given to Portland Public Schools last year as a result of bottle and can collections at Portland area New Seasons Markets.

Since 2002, over $335,000 has been raised by drop-offs at their in-store collection bins.  Go to www.newseasonsmarket.com for more information.

Nickel deposits started in 1971 with Oregon’s Bottle Bill.  Redeeming bottles and cans not only get your nickel back, it helps reduce litter, conserves natural resources, such as aluminum, and contributes to  sustainable practices.

Over 70% of all redeemable containers are returned, and the other deposits go back to the manufacturer or distributor.

Learn more at the Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative, www.obrc.com / www.bottlebill.org.

If it still seems like a hassle to redeem them, ask around for a local school, church, or community group that collects nickel returns as a fundraiser.

Another option is Bottle Drop, a whole new system for redeeming bottles and cans in Oregon that makes redeeming containers and collecting a refund fast, clean and convenient.  It is also a great option for setting up a fundraiser.

The program is rapidly expanding although at this point,  the closest location to SE is at 12403 NE Glisan.

More information at www.bottledropcenters.com.

 

Century Link, was planning to string their new fiber cable down SE Hazel St.  without any advance notice by the company, or the City of Portland to the neighbors. They put up two poles to accommodate their heavy cable down the street parking strips, directly through the trees (which they already had branches trimmed).  Ladd’s Addition is a National Historic District and in the late 1890’s the original planning was to provide all services down the alleys which the other utilities follow to this day.

 

Ankeny upgrade

 

v One of the city’s first bike boulevards may be on its way to a quick upgrade. The plan is for SE Ankeny St. to get additional speed bumps and a new diagonal traffic diverter at 15th St.

The plan came together quickly this fall after Buckman-area residents active in BikeLoudPDX set a goal of winning Buckman Community Association’s (BCA) endorsement of a new traffic diverter between 12th and 20th avenues.

Restricting traffic in that stretch would prevent people from driving on Ankeny to avoid the Burnside-Couch couplet during morning rush hour.

“In the morning rush hour, if you stand at the intersection of 16th and Ankeny, not far from Buckman Elementary, you’ll see lots of cars whipping a left turn off Burnside, often at a high rate of speed,” wrote Chris Shaffer, a BikeLoud advocate and Buckman homeowner, in a September email to the BCA explaining the problem.

“They turn right on Ankeny westbound, heading toward Sandy Boulevard or 11th and points south.”

With the help of letters like Shaffer’s, another BikeLoud advocate and local resident, Soren Impey, secured a spot on the BCA’s agenda that month and presented city traffic data that showed the problem.

Impey, who works as a professor at Oregon Health and Science University, said there was “some skepticism” at first by some BCA board members, but that the BCA board also includes biking advocates and many who worry about safety on Ankeny in general.

Skepticism seemed to dissipate, Impey said, once residents saw that city data showed rising traffic even before this year’s removal of a westbound travel lane on E. Burnside in order to reduce crashes there.

The following month, Geller (a Buckman resident) attended the BCA meeting with more data. Geller said the street is currently engineered to be driven at 25 mph. Adding a few more speed bumps would bring this down to 20 mph.

A person hit by a car that’s moving at 30 mph has a 40 percent chance of dying. At 20 mph, that falls to 5 percent.

In the morning rush hour on Ankeny at 15th, 80 percent of all westbound vehicles in October 2014 were bicycles. For the full day, the figure is 68 percent.

Among Buckman residents, about one in five workers commute by bike, according to the U.S. Census.

After Geller’s presentation, BCA wrote him a letter saying that traffic volumes and speeds are both “too high” on parts of the Ankeny greenway.

BCA endorsed “advancing the idea” of a diverter at 15th and Ankeny so long as the city conducts adequate outreach to neighbors and businesses.

Geller said Monday that a diverter-speed bump project would cost about $30,000 from the city’s general neighborhood greenway improvement fund and the city’s “missing links” capital improvement fund.

In an email to Impey, he wrote he expects to start working on the project in February and make the changes this spring.

Impey said Tuesday that BikeLoud is planning to do its own outreach on the project, including to local businesses.

If you’d like to get involved with BikeLoud’s effort, contact him: sorenimpey@gmail.com.

 

New Tree Program and Regulations

 

 

The City of Portland’s Title 11 Tree Code regulations go into effect on Friday, January 2, 2015.  The Tree Project, including the new Code adopted by Portland City Council in 2011, is managed corroboratively by the Bureau of Development Services and Portland Parks & Recreation.

Tree Code regulations are intended to enhance Portland’s urban forest and designed to provide consistent and clear tree-related information, permitting processes for both contractors and the general public. The regulations will apply to permitting and construction-related activities, and also to tree removal and pruning on private property and in public right-of-way planting areas.

“Portland’s tree canopy is one of the factors that makes our city such a wonderful place to live, work, and play,” says City Commissioner Amanda Fritz, who oversees both PP&R and BDS.

“The Portland Tree project and the new regulations will help increase the number and health of trees, which will reduce air pollution and stormwater runoff, and increase home values while expanding wildlife habitat.  The key new information for Portlanders is, ‘Call before you cut!’  to find out how the new standards may affect your tree planting, pruning, or removal plans.”

For information, including specific tree regulations, visit www.portlandoregon.gov/trees

 Call 503.823.TREE or email trees@portlandoregon.gov for tree regulation and permitting questions, and to report fallen trees in city streets.

Tales from the streets of Lents

By Midge Pierce

In her intriguing debut novel, The God of Sno Cone Blue, Marcia Coffey Turnquist proves you can go home again.

It’s especially true when you plumb for deep life experiences in an unpretentious corner of SE Portland where your parents are still living in your childhood home.

Many of the memorable characters in her book are drawn from Turnquist’s interactions on a street in Lents that is little changed in 50 years.

“I come from a large family of eccentric characters,” she laughs. A houseful of sisters, a devoted mother and police officer father provided the kind of solid grounding Turnquist draws on for plot twists that pull troubled young Grace through the anger and despair of her mother’s death and father’s deception.

A series of letters left by her mother lead Grace on a journey both life-altering and life-affirming. As Grace unravels family secrets weaving through three generations, the emotional tug makes it an ideal bookclub read. In fact, the success of her book has been largely through word of mouth.

A former KOIN-TV reporter, Turnquist left broadcast to become a mother. “My children were my inspiration. I wondered what kind of letters I might leave behind if I had a life-threatening illness.”

It took Turnquist 10 years to complete her novel. The seasoned journalist pared 1,000 pages to a tight 300 and the result is a story as rich and deep as her Portland roots. The self-published book, has won the IndieBRAG Medallion; the gold standard for independent books.

Her second novel is still in progress. Skipping the Light, ventures beyond Portland to a landscape reminiscent of palisades near Madras where her family vacations. She’s halfway through a plot that time travels to a dystopian society of the future.

Turnquist offers advice for first-time authors – write, write and rewrite. Retrace, edit and rearrange. Find a trusted friend or writer’s group to critique your work.

“Trading chapters is a must. I resisted it at first because it’s such a personal thing, but you have to get over that to get honest feedback.”

Sometimes you also have to turn off your inner editor to let your imagination flow.

“It’s hard,” she admits. “My inner editor is my friend, but if you want to write, writing streams of thought – a lot – helps stories emerge.”

With the new year, Turnquist will release her debut novel through a distributor.  This means The God of Sno Cone Blue may one day grace the windows of Powells in her SE hometown.

No need to wait until then though. To order her book now, go to marciacoffeyturnquist.com.

Community Summit “In It Together”

The City of Portland’s Office of Neighborhood Involvement, in collaboration with their community partners, announces the 2015 Community Summit will be held Feb. 27-28.

The Summit theme “In It Together” focuses on addressing real challenges and engaging our diverse city.

Join neighbors, friends, activists, and community and neighborhood groups to work together to impact public policy, strengthen relations and build capacity.

Attend a variety of workshops and dialogues on issues impacting residents all over the city. Find out how to engage on current issues and hear success stories and connect.

The Welcome Reception to kick off the Summit is Friday, Feb. 27, 6 pm – 8 pm at Portland City Hall, 1221 SW 4th Ave., accessible on the Green and Yellow Max lines and downtown bus mall.

The Summit itself takes place the next day, Sat., Feb. 28, from 8 am to 5 pm, at Ambridge Center located at 1333 NE MLK JR Blvd., accessible on the Green, Blue and Red Max lines, CL Streetcar lines and bus lines 6, 8, 17 and 77.

The Summit is free. Pre-registration is required for lunch. For information and to pre-register call 503.823.3093, email inittogether2015@portlandoregon.gov or go online to www.portlandoregon.gov/oni/inittogether2015. Buckman Elementary SUN School is seeking tutors and classroom volunteers in its after school program. Commitment is one hour a week from 3:30 – 4:30 or 4:30 – 5:30 pm, beginning Jan 12 and ending March 20. Help students develop math and or reading skills in a fun supportive environment. Contact Bobbi at barrillaga@impactnw.org for more information

 

Portland Sings! Community sing-along. A casual, fun group-singing opportunity for anyone wanting more singing in their life. Sunday, January 18 from 3 -5 pm at TaborSpace, 5441 SE Belmont St. Sing folk, pop, blues, country, Motown, soul, and anything else that strikes your fancy. For a free digital lyric book, go to www.PortlandSings.com. Sliding scale $5-10.

 

join Senator Ron Wyden at his upcoming 2015 Multnomah County Town Hall: Multnomah County Town Hall, Saturday January 3, 2:30 pm, PCC Southeast Campus, Mt. Tabor Hall 2305 SE 82nd and Division. Free parking located will be located in PCC’s lot off of 82nd Ave. No permit required. For questions, contact Senator Ron Wyden’s office: 503.326.7525.

 

 

aa-Fran-and-Poles-Gone-018Century Link, was planning to string their new fiber cable down SE Hazel St.  without any advance notice by the company, or the City of Portland to the neighbors. They put up two poles to accommodate their heavy cable down the street parking strips, directly through the trees (which they already had branches trimmed).  Ladd’s Addition is a National Historic District and in the late 1890’s the original planning was to provide all services down the alleys which the other utilities follow to this day.