OHSU Richmond Opens to More Patients


Southeast area residents who need primary health care services now have more access to OHSU Family Medicine at Richmond clinic at 3930 SE Division.

The clinic has expanded its staff and has become an official federally-assisted Community Health Center, meaning it is open to all people in its service area, and the service area has expanded.

With a sliding-fee scale based on family income, it works with uninsured patients to be sure they get the care they need. It has its own community-based governing board, with more than half of its members being patients at the clinic. Last year the clinic was designated by the Oregon Health Authority as a certified “Patient-Centered Primary Care Home.”

The service area now extends from the Willamette River on the west to parts of 82nd Ave. on the east and bounded on the north by Stark St. and south almost to Johnson Creek Blvd.  Boundaries zig and zag a bit, so a call to the clinic will clarify the specifics.

Any uninsured low-income patient within the area is eligible, as are patients who have insurance. Medicare and Medicaid patients may be from inside or outside the area.

Additional physicians have been hired to work in the clinic, as a result of the federal Community Health Center grant, opening up appointment slots for current and new patients. It is anticipated in late spring an additional clinic will be opened to accommodate walk-in patients, in collaboration with Cascadia Behavioral Health at 43rd and Division Street.

For further information, call 503.418.3900 or 503.418.3344.  Clinic hours of operation are 8 to 8 on Mon-Fri and 9 to 1 on Saturday.


Taborvilla Little League


The merger between Mount Tabor Little League and Montavilla Little League has been completed. The two leagues are now known as Taborvilla Little League.

These leagues have had long histories in serving the families of the SE baseball and softball communities. A program has been put together to will move forward in providing a stronger alliance in support of the finest traditions of Little League sports.

Registration for teams of boys and girls ages 4-18 begin in January. Visit www.taborvillall.com for more information. The website is new too so for other info call 503.453.6382.


Tackle the Toilet


We are in the middle of college bowl season, with the Super Bowl not far behind. As you prepare your home for game-day parties, you might want to think about another bowl: The Toilet Bowl.

According to the EPA, 10 percent of homes in the U.S. have leaks that waste 90 or more gallons of water day. Toilets are one of the most common culprits – and also one of the easiest to detect and fix. Oftentimes, the most common problem is a worn flapper valve that needs to be replaced. This is a simple and inexpensive fix.

Use these “Four Rs” to tackle your toilet and start saving water and money inside your home this winter:

REMEMBER: Remember to check your toilet for leaks twice a year. To check for leaks, add 10 drops of food coloring inside your toilet tank. After 10-15 minutes, if your toilet bowl water changes color, you have a leak.

REPAIR: Learn how to fix leaks. Most leaks can be fixed by do-it-yourselfers by installing inexpensive replacement parts. Visit the Regional Water Providers website to view a short how-to video on repairing a leaky toilet: www.conserveh2o.org/how-to-videos-water-conservation

RETROFIT: If purchasing a new toilet is not possible, you can retrofit an older toilet (those that use 3.5 gallons of water per flush or more) so that it uses less water each time it flushes. Two options include installing a toilet tank displacement bag or a fill cycle diverter; many local water providers offer these to their customers for free.

REPLACE: Replace older toilets with a WaterSense high-efficiency toilet. Older toilets use up to four times more water per flush.

If you live in the consortium service area and would like to request a free kit, send an email after February 1 to RWPCinfo@portlandoregon.gov with your mailing address and the name of your water provider.


SE Updates


PDC sells Bridgehead land for development


The Portland Development Commission last month approved the sale of Block 67, part of the Burnside Bridgehead, to the Key Corporation for creation of a 12-story tower. The building will contain 290 market rate rental housing units, 11,000 square feet of ground floor retail space, and 175 underground parking spaces, staffer Eric Jacobson told the PDC board.

Block 67 is bounded by NE Second and Third avenues, Couch St., and the Burnside Bridge. It is part of the four square block Burnside Bridgehead, where PDC once hoped to create a mixed-use development comprising more than one million square feet. However, Opus Northwest, which the agency selected as lead developer for the project, pulled out in 2008, and it has languished since then except for Beam Development’s efforts to rehabilitate the Convention Plaza office building a block to the north.

Jacobson said Key will pay $1.65 million for the property, and will receive no grants, loans or other assistance from the agency. Key has identified funding sources for the $62 million project but, Jacobson said, has not secured it all. However, Key principal Jeff Pickhardt said, “There are other funding sources available if this doesn’t work out”.

PDC board chair Scott Andrews said, “It’s great to see momentum continue in that neighborhood”.


Council votes “close the loop”


Portland City Council approved the sale of bonds to raise a total of $5.4 million to “close the loop” for the Portland Streetcar.

They, plus an expected $2 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration, will pay for a series of improvements that will allow the car to go from its current east side terminus at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry across a Willamette River transit bridge now under construction and connect to existing track downtown.

This will create a continuous loop around the Central City, and make it practical for people to use the Streetcar to travel between downtown and Portland State on the west side, and OMSI and the Central East Side on the east.



$1,000 grants available for AWESOME ideas


SE Portland residents love their communities and are always working to make Portland better. Awesome Portland, a new grassroots foundation, invites you to join the quest to make this city an even more fun, artsy place to live.

Do you have a great, low-cost idea that will inspire laughter, energize your neighbors, generate creativity, produce amazement or bring people together? Submit ideas to the website by completing a simple application process.

Awesome Portland is a group of locals who donate $100 every couple months to collectively award $1000 to a project to make Portland even more vibrant and creative. That original, whimsical, fun, impactful idea that elicits a “WOW. That’s AWESOME!” response from the foundation.

Check out past winners and find the grant schedule, upcoming award parties and other info at www.awesomeportland.org.


EarthTalk: a  different tourism


Q: What is Geotourism?


A: “Geotourism” describes tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a given place, including its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage and the well-being of local residents. The idea is that tourism can be a positive force that benefits both travelers and local environments and economies.

National Geographic Senior Editor Jonathan Tourtellot coined the term in 1997 to distinguish it from “ecotourism” or “sustainable tourism,” both which more narrowly focus on travel’s ecological impacts.

In addition to a “do-no-harm” ethic, geotourism seeks to enhance prospects for sustainable development based on the specific character of a given place rather than on standardized international branding, generic architecture and food, etc.

In other words, a geotourism tour won’t involve sending you to an exotic locale only to put you up at a Hilton or Marriot and give you discount coupons to Taco Bell and McDonalds.

“Today the world’s great destinations are under assault as visitor numbers rise exponentially every year,” says the non-profit National Geographic Society.“The result is damage to the sites, overcrowding and erosion of the local culture and environment.”

The Society hopes to reverse these trends with geotourism.

Its Center for Sustainable Destinations (CSD) helps local communities, governments, tourism bureaus and private businesses enhance and sustain their distinct character while harnessing the power of tourism for positive impact:

“Residents discover their own heritage by learning that things they take for granted may be interesting to outsiders,” reports CSD. “As local people develop pride and skill in showing off their locale, tourists get more out of their visit.”

Several places have offered “geotourism”-worthy travel for years. Costa Rica’s Rio Tropicales Lodge takes visitors white water rafting, horseback riding, hiking and on rainforest excursions. It hires and trains locals to manage operations and teach guests about local cultures first-hand.

The Lodge has launched reforestation efforts and an education program to teach elementary students across Costa Rica about the importance of protecting the rainforest in their backyards.

Another organization is 3 Sisters Adventure Trekking in Nepal, which trains local women to be tourism professionals and trekking guides. The group, which promotes low-impact treks in the Himalaya region, has trained 600 women as ambassadors to the outdoors across Nepal and beyond.


CONTACTS: See: travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/sustainable; Rio Tropicales, www.riostropicales.com.



EarthTalk® is written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss and is a registered trademark of E – The Environmental Magazine (www.emagazine.com). Send questions to: earthtalk@emagazine.com. Subscribe: www.emagazine.com/subscribe. Free Trial Issue: www.emagazine.com/trial.


Kill A Watt energy monitor available


By Lisa Scholin


From the entertainment center in the living room to the fridge in the kitchen or clothes washer in the basement, electronics and household appliances compete for hundreds of energy dollars at home. Knowing which ones are the biggest culprits is a great first step to making changes to save on the monthly energy bill.

To help Oregonians discover savings opportunities in their own homes, Energy Trust of Oregon teamed up with the Oregon State Library in 2010 to provide Kill A Watt energy monitors that can be borrowed, like a book, at more than a hundred libraries around the state.

Now, the popular offering has expanded to 21 additional locations, including libraries in central, eastern and southern Oregon, on the coast and around the Willamette Valley area.

The Kill A Watt is simple to use: plug it into an electric socket, then plug the electronic device to be measured into the Kill A Watt. The monitor shows how much energy the device is using in kilowatt hours, the same measurement used on electricity bills. Those numbers can be calculated to show energy costs by hour, day, month or year.

Using the results from the device, households can make adjustments to reduce their overall energy use and lower monthly utility bills.

Monitors can help identify older appliances that may be costing a bundle to keep around or reveal hidden energy wasters like electronics that still draw power even when they are turned off. This “phantom power” can be 5 to 15 percent of a home’s electricity use and can often be prevented by unplugging a device or using a power strip to cut power completely.

A complete list of participating libraries and more information about the Kill A Watt monitors can be found at www.energytrust.org/checkoutsavings.

Libraries within Energy Trust’s electric service territories, which are served by PGE and Pacific Power, are eligible to take part.

Energy Trust of Oregon is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to helping utility customers benefit from saving energy and tapping renewable resources.

Services, cash incentives and energy solutions have helped participating customers of Portland General Electric, Pacific Power, NW Natural and Cascade Natural Gas save more than $1 billion on energy bills.

Learn more at www.energytrust.org or call 1.866.368.7878.


Following the Journey of St. Francis



Following the Journey of St Francis is a weekly Wednesday nights series, January 16 through February 6 at Colonial Heights Presbyterian Church 2828 SE Stephens St. The program begins at 5:30 pm each night.

Ms. Shirley Tormey, local writer and spiritual pilgrim provides mid-week reflection opportunities blending one part travel log, one part educational study, and an inspirational conversation looking at an early spiritual reformer who humbly and practically offered a witness to life in the likeness of love.

Tormey will be sharing her learning from a trip to Italy last spring with a study group who walked in the footsteps of St. Francis of Assisi.

The public is invited to contemplate the journey of Francis as he sought to follow the path that Jesus walked in care of the poor and love of all creation.

The church is at the corner of 28th and SE Stephens and their phone is 503.236.2430.


Grout Elementary Volunteers Install Language Mural


Handmade tiles by more than 300 children from D.A. Grout Elementary were installed in a tile mural celebrating the community’s language diversity and school gardens. Affixed to a northwest corner, Grout the Language Garden Tile Mural will be visible to the public on 31st Ave. just south of Holgate Ave.

Because the bright and whimsical tile mural will be a backdrop to the school gardens, it is comprised of tiles that celebrate natural elements. Children created tiles in the shape of fish, birds nests, faces, flowers, insects, leaves and many other animated elements.

A prominent portion of the mural will be a sun mosaic made of tiles that depict the word for sun in English, Spanish, Maay-Maay, Karen, Vietnamese, Russian, Somali, Cambodian, Nepali, Swahili, Burmese, Albanian, Oromo, Amharic, Cantonese, Japanese, Lao, Telugu, Thai, French, Malayalam, Ichishkiin, Hawaiian, and Swiss German.

The mural incorporates languages that Grout children speak or hear at home. Working with children and their families, volunteers gathered words that mean sun, flower, river, tree, leaf, insect and bird. Children carved these words into clay or painted them with glaze.

Children in all K-5 grades have formed and glazed clay tiles for the project, which began in 2009. Some children created poetry included on some tiles. This past summer, children in the Grout SUN Community School Art & Nature Class (directed by Jamie Moos-Benjamin) also made tiles, as did children in the the Kateri Park Recreation Program (directed by Elisabeth Gern). Families participated in the project during the Grout Elementary Harvest Festival.

The tile mural is made possible through grant funding from the City of Portland and SE Uplift’s Neighborhood Small Grants Program.

For information on Southeast Uplift Small Grants contact Kelly Fedderson, Community Outreach Coordinator, 503.232.0010 x 312 or kelly@southeastuplift.org.


MULTNOMAH COUNTY MASTER GARDENERS BEAUTY AND THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER PROGRAM is January 8 at 6:45 pm at the Mt. Tabor Presbyterian Church, 5441 SE Belmont. Parking is on SE 54th Ave.. As a custom garden designer, Laura Crockett has found her true inspirations come from sources close to home. Share a pleasant journey through the garden design process and hear simple truths Laura has learned about making special places for her clients. Her work has been featured in Pacific Horticulture, Portland Spaces, Horticulture, Garden Design, The Oregonian, Fine Gardening, as well as many other garden design magazines.  Laura has gained a reputation for designing unique garden elements, many of which she credits to the collaborative process she uses with her clients.


SOLAR SATURDAY WORKSHOP – January 19, from 2 – 3 pm at Umpqua Bank on Hawthorne, 3557 SE Hawthorne Blvd. Free workshop on the Basics of Solar, the Solarize SE Project and the Green Street Lending Program. Food & Beverages provided, please RSVP! Learn more about how solar energy works for Oregon homes and business. Topics to be covered: solar electric and solar hot water systems, an overview of how solar is paid for in PGE and PacPower utility areas. and the Green Street Lending Program! Bring questions and leave knowing more about how solar could work for your family. Snacks and beverages provided. RSVP by emailing kaleen.boyle@sunlightsolar.com or call 503.705.9550.


THE THIRD ANNUAL MADISON LIBRARY BOOK SALE in the school cafeteria on Saturday, January 26 and Sunday, January 27 from 11 am to 3 pm. Fantastic bargains on books from every genre – fiction, history and children’s books – as well as DVDs. Saturday, hardback books go for $2, paperback and children’s books for 50 cents, oversized books for $3, and DVDs for 50 cents. Sunday, everything is half price. All proceeds go to buy new books for the library. Madison is located at 2735 NE 82nd Ave. Call 503.916.5220 for information or to donate books.


BIRDS OF MT TABOR PARK–Mark your calendars for the March 19 Annual Meeting/Winter Program of the Friends of Mt Tabor Park.

7 – 8:30 pm. Featured speaker will be well known birder Gerard Lillie who leads the Audubon-sponsored  April-May birdwalks in the Park.


NATIVE PLANTING OPPORTUNITY: Join the Friends of Mt Tabor Park Weed Warriors for an exciting native planting service project Saturday, January 26, 10 am – 1 pm. For more information visit www.taborfriends.com and click on Weed Warriors (also check out the Weed Warrior Facebook). You may sign-up via Hands On Portland and SOLVe.


GOAL-SETTING ESSENTIALS – Thursday, Jan. 10, 6:30 pm.  You made a resolution, but will you stick with it? It depends on what you were thinking BEFORE you set that goal. Learn how to set goals you’ll follow through on. Free and no registration is required. Just drop in (no food or pets, please). Classroom opens at 6:15 pm. Class starts promptly at 6:30 pm. 1235 SE Division St., #207. More info at www.TinaGilbertson.com/free_events.html.


WEATHERIZATION WORKSHOPS – Free workshop, participants learn to install basic weatherization materials with simple tools like a hammer and screwdriver. A great option for renters and homeowners and qualified participants receive a free kit of conservation supplies worth over $100. See www.communityenergyproject.org for information. The next workshops take place at Earl Boyles SUN School, 10822 SE Bush St., Wednesday, January 9 from 6 – 8 pm. Arleta SUN School, 5109 SE 66th Ave., Tuesday, January 29 from 6 – 8 pm. To register, call 503.284.6827 x108, email energy@communityenergyproject.org .