Community News December 2012

Advent Carol Service, Sunday, December 9 at 4 pm. Celebrate the season of Advent at Tabor Heights United Methodist Church, 6161 SE Stark St. Advent and Christmas carols with readings, brass ensemble, hand bells, choir, harp, organ and singing by the audience. The service includes the music of Praetorius, Bach, Brahms, Manz, and more. Free-will offerings accepted. For information, contact the church office at 503.232.8500 or their website .


The Biology of Poise: Getting out of your own way so your back quits hurting. A hands-on demonstration of what the Alexander Technique is all about presented by Peter O’Reilly. The workshop is scheduled for Friday, December 7 from 1 to 2:30 pm and Saturday, December 8 from 3:30 to 5 pm at TaborSpace,  SE Belmont at 55th. The cost is $20. (Wear loose clothes and bring a mat for floor work.) For more information: or 503.753.7648.


Leach Botanical Garden Annual Holiday Bazaar and Artist Market, Friday and Saturday, December 7, 8, from 9 am – 3 pm. This festive holiday event features freshly-made wreaths, swags, centerpieces, cut greens, baked goods and an Artist Market featuring work by local glass, ceramic, metal, wood, and fabric artists and more! Come experience the winter garden, sip hot cider in the historic Manor House, and enjoy holiday music while you shop. No admission or parking charge. 6704 SE 122nd Ave. (just south of Foster),


Taoist Tai Chi Beginning Classes offered in December beginning Tuesday, December 4  at 7:30 pm.  Another class begins Thursday, December 6  at 2:30 pm. The 90 minute Beginning Classes meet once weekly for four months and the complete 108-move Taoist Tai Chi set will be instructed. Start improving your health and well-being now. The Center is located at 2251 NE Glisan. For information call  503.220.5970 or go to .


Cub Scout Pack 351 Tree Recycling– Drop off at the corner of SE 45th & Powell Blvd. in the St. Ignatius Church parking lot. Trees $6, wreaths $5. Beginning Dec. 27, weekdays, 4 – 8 pm, weekends, 9 am – 8 pm,  Saturdays and Sunday, 12/29, 12/30, 1/05, 1/06, 1/12 (until 12 pm). Boundaries are North to NE Glisan and South to SE Johnson Creek Blvd, East to SE 82nd Ave. and West to the Willamette River. Call 503.477.5107 to arrange for pick-up.


Evening In December – More than 20 music and drama numbers make up a memorable “Evening in December” at Portland Central Church of the Nazarene when the congregation shares its annual Christmas program with the local community for two performances: Saturday, December 8, 6 pm and Sunday, December 9, 6 pm, The Church is at 9715 SE Powell Blvd. Tickets are available for $30 for a table of eight, or individual tickets $5 each.  The tickets can be purchased by calling 503.760.6272 or at In addition to the program, intermission will feature spiced cider and cookies for refreshment.

Anniversary of Curbside Composting


Last October, Portland began participating in a new Curbside Collection Service: the addition of food scraps along with yard debris in the green Portland Composts! roll cart and a switch to every-other-week garbage.

Over the past year, the City has been gathering data to see how the new service is going, and the results are impressive!

What have we learned over the past year?

•   Portland households are throwing away almost 40 percent less garbage.

•   The amount of yard debris plus food scraps collected for composting has tripled.

•   Nearly 80 percent of households are including food scraps in their green compost roll cart.

•   Portlanders continue to be fantastic recyclers. More than 85 percent of all recyclable materials are placed in the blue recycling cart.

Great work Portland!

The City has resources available to help manage waste and answer your questions. Visit and view the full one year report, find your collection schedule, sign up to receive weekly email reminders about your pick up day and more.



Christmas Trees for a Cause


L’Arche Portland, a non-profit providing lifelong homes to people with developmental disabilities, presents their 23rd Annual Benefit Christmas Tree Sale. Trees are sourced from a local farm and are cut fresh. From cute and tiny table-toppers to crowd-wowing giants, there is a wide selection of Noble and Douglas Firs.

These trees don’t only beautify the season for you and yours, they support an important and meaningful cause. All proceeds go directly to L’Arche Portland where caregivers live in community and share life with those with disabilities, creating nurturing, rich and meaningful lives for all.

There are two lots, one in the Hollywood neighborhood (NE Hancock St. & 44th Ave. in the Grocery Outlet parking lot) and another in the Montavilla neighborhood (SE 82nd & Burnside in the Safeway parking lot). Both lots are open through Thursday, December 20.

For information on tree lot hours and volunteering, visit


Upcoming shows with the Mazamas


The Mazamas mountaineering club at 527 SE 43rd offer Wednesday evening slide presentations that are free and open to the public. Topics highlight travel, mountaineering, climbing and hiking. All shows start at 7 pm.

Wednesday, December 5 – A Guided Climb of Denali; What to Expect, After seeing spectacular pictures of a once-in-a-lifetime climbing trip, the practical questions of cost, equipment, training, and myriad other details often temper our enthusiasm for trying a similar trip.

David Zeps MD summitted Mt. McKinley (Denali) in Alaska July 1 this year on a guided climb. His presentation includes photos of the spectacular Denali scenery, photos of day-to-day expedition activities and include specifics about the cost for guides, travel expenses, food and supplies.

Wednesday, Dec. 12 – Sacred Water Sites in Tibet and China; In remote areas near Lhasa, Tibet and Muli County, Sichuan, China, Lonnie Feather explored and assisted with the research and photographic documentation of sacred water sites.

Sponsored by Keepers of the Waters, a non-profit organization committed to the integration of art, science and community activism, she traveled with four others including a Tibetan filmmaker recording the stories of local people near natural springs, village wells and mountain headwaters.

Wednesday, December 19. Photographing and Climbing Mt. Hood and Beyond, Why do you climb Mt Hood so much? What’s with the tripod? Why do you lug around that bulky camera? Get the answers to these questions and more as Andrew Holman discusses the interplay between his two current life obsessions: photography and mountaineering.

Topics will include camera system selection (everything from lenses to filters to tripods), shooting philosophy, how to climb and shoot at the same time, photographing at night, and more.

There will be no program, Wednesday December 26.



Food for the hungry


Advantis Credit Union, Belmont Branch, 3010 SE Belmont St., launched its annual food drive to address the area’s critical need for emergency food donations for hungry families.

One in five Oregonians struggle with hunger every day, and Advantis joins forces with the Sunshine Division, a local food bank, to provide emergency food relief to the local community.

As a part of the campaign, they encourage credit union members and citizens in branch communities to help on this critical mission.

The Credit Union makes a difference by selling $1 cans of tuna in all their branches to donate to the Sunshine Division food bank. They plan to donate 5,000 cans of tuna, to fill the Sunshine Division’s high-protein tuna supply for a year.

Community members can also stop by one of Advantis’ locations to make a cash donation that goes directly to serving hungry families in their community.

“The number of families we serve directly at the Sunshine Division food store has doubled over the past three years. This month alone 1,200 families will access the Sunshine Division for free emergency food and clothing,” says Kyle Camberg, Executive Director of the Sunshine Division.

The food bank has a critical need for foods high in protein (like tuna and peanut butter), rice, breakfast cereal-both hot and cold, whole-grain pasta and pasta sauce.


Relocating  the SE Tool Library


The Southeast Portland Tool Library (SEPTL) has over 2,000 members, 1,200 tools, with 500 loans per month in inner Southeast. They’ve quickly outgrown its space that two and a half years ago seemed sufficient.

Growth is good as far as a tool library is concerned, but they’re now in need of a larger space.

St. David of Wales Church has provided a wonderful place for tool library to begin its work, and now the SEPTL Board of Directors feels the time has come to search for “new digs” to better serve the needs of the community.  An optimal space would possess these attributes:

• Approximately 1,000 sq. feet with an affordable, multi-year lease

• Good outside access for tool sharing and return

• A friendly space in southeast Portland that includes heat and natural light

These parameters may seem like a tall order, but SEPTL’s Board of Directors is counting on members, as well as the community at large, to recognize and appreciate the benefits of a successful neighborhood tool library.

If you have or know of a space that could fulfill these needs, contact Steve Couche at as soon as possible.

The inner Southeast Portland Tool Library is an all-volunteer library of home and garden tools that may be borrowed free of charge by inner southeast Portland residents over the age of eighteen.

Just like a library, they lend saws, hammers, rakes, ladders, and seeds!  All tools are hand operated or electric. Gas powered tools are not available.

A community resource that provides tools needed to perform simple home maintenance, property enhancement, and various other small construction projects in a sharing community of friendly neighbors interested in a sustainable future, SEPTL is one of several tool libraries in Portland with others in the planning stages around the region.

If you would like more information about the southeast tool library please visit .



Healthy kids learn better



Cheryl McClure, the new Physical Education (PE) teacher at Bridger K-8 in SE Portland, started the year with a great idea.

Seeing a need to re-vamp some equipment for PE at Bridger, she inspired the community to rally for the health of their kids by submitting a proposal for a SPARKS Healthy School Makeover grant.

Over September and October parents, teachers and community members worked their connections and networks to get enough votes to become one of the ten schools in the nation in competition for the $45,000 makeover.

Applications are judged on interest in improving health and wellness, defining the problem and solution, the opportunity for implementation, the innovation of the application, and the overall coordinated approach to school health and wellness.

Bridger will find out on December 10 if they were selected for the Makeover. The parents and teachers and supporters of the school will continue to pursue opportunities to improve the health and academic achievement of our students through community partnerships and volunteer assistance whether or not they do.

Volunteers are needed to read with students and coach after school sports teams. Funding needs range from balls (kick-ball, soccer, basketball) to a sound system for school music performances.

There is a link between physical activity and academic achievement – kids who are physically active during the day learn better in school and do better in school. The Bridger community is grateful that Cheryl saw the need, and helped put it into words.  “Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action.”  (William James)

For information on volunteering or working with Bridger, contact Deborah Lynn Dimoff, Bridger PTA Community Connection Liason, at

For information on volunteering with Portland Public Schools go to the PPS website at



December’s Solar Saturday Snacks


Attend a free Solar Basics seminar with Sunlight Solar Energy and Umpqua Bank. Learn more about how solar energy works for Oregon homes and business. Information is available about how solar electric and solar hot water systems work while providing an overview of how solar is paid for in PGE and PacPower utility areas.

Bring your questions and leave knowing more about how solar could work for your family. The event is scheduled for December 15, from 2 – 3 pm at the Umpqua Bank on Hawthorne, 3557 SE Hawthorne Blvd.

Snacks and Beverages will be provided. RSVP by emailing or call 503.705.9550.


Commune life book review

By Gayle Marechal


Being from the same generation as Mt. Tabor resident Tony Cole, aka Tuna Cole, I never experienced living in a commune as he did. So, I was drawn to reading Voyage of the Yellow Submarine: A Multi-Voice Chronicle of Life in a Commune of life in a Eugene commune between the years 1968 to 1970.

The memoir is “multi-voiced” with Cole as the main one in this episodic and uniquely structured book.

Although some of the book plays out chronologically, the story Cole has to tell is best told in vignettes that give the reader a sense of what it would have been like to live the life as a resident of the  commune known as Yellow Submarine.

Along the way the reader learns about how the group came together, what the living conditions were like, the economics of communal living, as well as the social, psychological, and emotional drama that such living arrangements can bring.

The setting is Eugene, Oregon, in the late 1960’s and Cole doesn’t flinch from telling readers about the drawbacks as well as the joys of the type of existence he chose during a formative period in his life.

The book is divided into two distinct parts. The first is the actual story of the commune, told mostly in the first person by Cole.

A shorter second part consists of the personal recollections of commune members who chose to contribute.

Cole concludes that although the commune did not contribute “substantially to the so-called Greater Good”, the experiment in communal living was ultimately a success.

Members learned valuable life lessons at the commune, and those lessons have extended even to the writing of the book.

For an interesting and unique window into a now long-ago time, Voyage of the Yellow Submarine is a worthwhile read.




Note: In addition to the this book, Cole has written two others: Ragnarok, A Plausible Future and Shards – A Life in Pieces.  All three are available at Powell’s on Hawthorne and downtown.



Community News December 2012

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