Community News

Volunteers Help Children Read

Volunteers, age 50 and above are needed to serve as tutors and mentors for children in local schools for the 2015-16 school year.  Many children need a little extra attention to thrive academically.

This is where AARP Experience Corps comes in, matching volunteers, age 50+, with kindergarten through 3rd graders in need of help.

Working in small groups or one on one, mentors provide the support and attention for students to succeed.

No formal experience is needed, but mentors must be able to commit to four or more hours per week throughout the school year. Those able to commit to eight to ten hours may receive a monthly stipend.

Applications for the 2015-16 school year are being accepted.  A limited number of positions are available, and potential volunteers are encouraged to apply early.

AARP Experience Corps is an award-winning,  national non-profit program housed locally at Metropolitan Family Service.

For more information, contact 503.688.1782 or email


Small kiosks for community


Small Community Kiosk Day was Wednesday, June 17 proclaimed by Portland City Council  that every residential block in the city may install at least one community-built, interactive installation without getting a permit or notifying the city of its installation.

City Repair is working with Portland Bureau of Transportation to distribute design guidelines to the communities of Portland.


Recycling tip


By Bonita Davis, Certified

Master Recycler


Planning to travel this summer? Don’t forget that home recycling effort while on vacation.  With just a little planning, we can continue to reduce consumption and recycle when away from home.

Here are tips to keep recycling efforts on track during vacation:

Pack along reusable coffee mug, water bottle, and reusable grocery bags.

Snack on healthy foods packed at home in durable containers. Refill from bins at local markets, farmers’ markets and roadside stands.

Make your trip one big picnic by bringing along a picnicking kit: eating utensils, cutting board, cloth napkins, durable plates, bottled condiments and tablecloth. Include a small dishpan and soap from home for clean-up.  A one or five gallon water jug makes this easy to do on car trips.

Pack it out. Look for recycling bins when you travel at a hotel, campground, nearby grocery or big box store. If necessary, store recyclables in a bag or box to sort later at home.

Enjoy dining at local cafés and eateries that serve food on durable plates and use flatware.  For fast or festival foods, search out vendors low or zero waste, serving foods on foil which is easily recycled.

Ask at the hotel/motel desk for available in-room or lobby recycling.  A green lodging rating system is available at

Hotels with a “green” or “eco-friendly” option have programs to reduce water and energy usage by having fewer towel and bedding changes.   Skip those tiny one-time use hotel shampoos by bringing your own personal care products.

Traveling by plane? Pack your own snacks, headphones and your own rolled garment or pillow to use as a neck rest.

Find out what you can recycle in any state, by calling 1.800.RECYCLE(732.9253).  The information is based on the state where the call is placed. Other options: see and 1.800.CLEANUP(253.1687)

Happy travels!



Housing Policy


Portland Housing Bureau (PHB) and Portland Development Commission (PDC) are working on a process to review and update the City’s Set Aside policy for affordable housing.

Established by Portland City Council in 2006, the Set Aside remains the largest and primary source of financing for affordable housing programs in the city.

The policy is reviewed for necessary updates and changes every five years, with the last review completed in 2010.

The Housing Bureau and PDC have scheduled three public meetings to gather input from stakeholders and the public before making recommendations to City Council.

For information, contact Matthew Tschabold, Policy and Equity Manager for the Portland Housing Bureau, at or by phone at 503.823.3607.

All meetings take place during Housing Advisory Commission meetings at Portland Housing Bureau, 421 SW 6th Ave., Suite 500, Portland OR 97204.

The first Public Hearing will take place on July 9 from 4 to 5 pm. It will be an overview of current policy and initial discussion on needed changes.


Montavilla Food Co-op receives grant 


Montavilla Food Co-op (MFC) has been awarded a significant and highly competitive grant from Food Co-op Initiative (FCI), a national organization that supports start-up co-ops across the United States.

The grant includes a $5,000 cash award, mentoring, a site visit from a co-op development expert and other cooperative development resources.

The food co-op will use the funds to commission a market study and develop financial projections.

The mission of the Montavilla Food Cooperative is to connect the east Portland community to healthy food, support local farmers and producers, build community wealth and advance sustainability initiatives all within a centrally located, cooperative grocery.

For more information on how to get involved, see


An exhibition of sacred 

Buddhist relics


An exhibition of ancient and sacred Buddhist relics will visit Portland  July 24-26 during the Maitreya Loving Kindness Tour, a free to attend public exhibition of relics of the historical Buddha Shakyamuni and 44 other Buddhist masters from India, Tibet and China currently touring the world.

“People are deeply moved when they come in contact with the relics… There are so many stories. The relics have incredible benefit to the world. People want them very much…and there is greater and greater benefit now….” Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Spiritual Director said.

In all there are 3,000 relics in this collection including those offered to the tour by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, more than 2,600 years old; a collection from the Sakya Reliquary in Tibet and also from Meiktila Museum in Burma.

Many of these relics resemble multi colored pearl-like crystals that in Tibetan are called ‘ringsel’ and in Sanskrit they are known as ‘Sarira’.

It is believed that these relics embody the spiritual qualities of compassion and wisdom of a master and are deliberately produced at his death. The crystal relics were found among the cremation ashes of these masters.

The tour was founded by Lama Zopa Rinpoche in 2001 and has has visited 68 countries. 2.5 million people have viewed them to date.

The public can view them at the Buddhist Henjyoji Temple, 2634 SE 12th Ave. July 24, 25 and 26. The opening ceremony will be Friday, July 24 from 6 – 8 pm, Saturday, July 25, 10 am – 7 pm and Sunday, July 26, 10 am – 5 pm.

For more information please contact Brian Hochhalter at: or at: 503.349.4159.

For images and more information visit:


Campaign to end traffic fatalities


The City of Portland approved the Vision Zero transportation safety goal. Mayor Hales and Commissioner Steve Novick announced they have taken a Vision Zero pledge to support the global campaign to end traffic fatalities and serious injuries.

In East Portland, PBOT plans to install 24 rapid flash beacons in 2015, more than double the 20 beacons operational there as of 2014.

PBOT officials will seek permission from the Oregon Speed Zone Board to expedite the process for setting speeds on city streets, taking into account how and when pedestrians and cyclists use the road.

While that request is pending, the City has successfully reduced speeds on SE Division and Burnside, both classified as High Crash Corridors.

PBOT has been supporting House Bill 2621, which would allow Portland to install fixed photo radar safety cameras to reduce speeding on the City’s High Crash Corridors.

The 10 designated High Crash Corridors make up just 3 percent of the City’s roads, but account for more than 50 percent of pedestrian fatalities in Portland.

SE Portland has one of the highest concentrations of bicycle-car crashes in the city, according to a review of roughly 1,600 reported incidents from 2009 through 2013.

During the five-year period, SE Division St. had the most bicycle-car crashes, 59, followed by NE Broadway St., 49; SE Hawthorne Blvd., 42; SE Powell Blvd, 37; E. Burnside St., 35; NW Broadway St., 31; SE Stark St., 30; SW Capitol Highway, 28; SE Holgate Blvd., 27 and SE Foster Rd., 26.


Southeast watershed projects


Environmental stewardship and education are the goals of southeast Portland projects this summer funded by Community Watershed Stewardship Program (CWSP) grants. Portland City Council has approved CWSP grants totaling $100,000 to 13 community groups for watershed health projects.

Here in inner SE $10,000 was awarded to Depave for a project at Saint Peter & Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church to remove 800 square feet of parking lot, add a rain garden, install native plants and work with church leaders, neighbors and English and Spanish speaking congregation members along SE 82nd Avenue.


Future science and technology leaders


Mariko A. Locke junior, the daughter of our local State Farm Insurance agent Mariko Locke, was nominated to attend the Congress of Future Science and Technology Leaders in Boston, Mass this summer.

An honors only program for high school students who are passionate about science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM), the event directs the top students in the country aspiring to be scientists and technologists, to stay true to their dream and to provide a path, plan and resources to help them reach their goal.

Locke was nominated by American hero and astronaut Buzz Aldrin, Science Director of the National Academy of Future Scientists and Technologists to represent Dominus Lux, her high school, based on her academic achievement, leadership potential and passion for science and technology.

During the three-day Congress, Locke will join students from across the country and hear Nobel Laureates and National Medal of Science Winners talk about leading scientific research; be given advice from deans of the world’s top tech universities; be inspired by fellow teen science prodigies; and learn about cutting-edge advances and the future of science and technology.

America needs more nimble-minded and creative scientists and technologists who are prepared to engage in a rapidly changing future

Congratulations Mariko!


Buckman pool makeover


By Christine Yun


Even though Buckman Pool is closed for the summer, while Portland Public Schools replaces the school’s roof, the Friends of Buckman Pool, a group of committed pool users who want to promote water exercise for all, will be active throughout the summer at various events in the community.

Join the group in celebrating the pool at the Division Street Parade Saturday, July 25, or stop by their table at the National Night Out party and picnic in the Kerns neighborhood at Oregon Park, at 30th and NE Oregon St., on Tuesday, Aug. 4, from 6 to 8:30 pm.

Friends of Buckman Pool will also be tabling at the Buckman Community Association’s annual picnic at Colonel Summer Park, at Southeast 20th and Belmont Street on Sunday, August 9 from 4 – 8 pm.

Saving the best for last, the grand re-opening of Buckman Pool takes place Tuesday, Sept. 8. Watch this newspaper for more information about that special event.

Because Buckman Pool is the only year-round pool in the rapidly growing inner-Southeast area and a hidden gem of the Portland Parks Department, the group wants to promote it to surrounding communities.

If you are a parent of a student at Buckman School, or if you have secretarial, graphic design, public relations, or web/e-mail management skills, the group needs you.

If you would like to join in any upcoming tabling activities as a volunteer, or to join Friends of Buckman Pool, contact Christine at The group is always on the lookout for more like-minded people to join, as we work towards non-profit status.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the BiPartisan Café, 7901 SE Stark St. Peter and Hobie Emmerson started pouring coffee and serving up pie in Montavilla ten years ago, June 2015. “I loved this little stretch of Stark,” Peter says. “It’s such a cozy self-contained street. We could not imagine the Bipartisan Cafe in any other neighborhood.” The BiPartisan Café will celebrate their birthday properly, at the Montavilla Street Fair in August. Watch for details.


THE LIBRARY TRIVIA CHALLENGE hosted by the Belmont Library, 1038 SE Cesar E Chavez Blvd.   Saturday, July 11, from 6:30 – 8 pm. The Challenge will be patterned off of the popular trivia nights taking place in restaurants across the country. Do you have a head full of seemingly useless knowledge? Do you like to show off your immense brainpower to your friends? The Library Trivia Challenge is for you! Teams of up to four will compete for bragging rights and a special “mystery trophy.” Categories include entertainment, music, sports, general knowledge, and more. Snacks will be provided. 503.988.5382


PREVENT LEAD EXPOSURE IN YOUR HOME with a free workshop. Great for households with children or pregnant women in housing older than 1978, or those concerned about lead exposure. Qualified participants receive a free kit of safety and testing supplies. Register for the workshop at or call 503.284.6827×109. Tues, July  7, 6 – 7:30 pm – Community Energy Project –  2900 SE Stark St, Suite A.


PEOPLE’S CO-OP EVENTS, 3029 SE 21st Ave. three blocks south of Clinton St. on SE 21st and Tibbetts. Everyone is welcome. Kitchen Medicine – Tuesday, July 14, 7 – 8:30 pm. Most people are familiar with herbs as a form of flavor enhancement for food, but there are so many more uses for these common herbs that our kitchen spice rack is more like a medicine cabinet than we realize. Suggested donation $10, call People’s to register. Division-Clinton Street Fair – Saturday, July 25. Come by after the parade for organic veggies and Tofurky dogs grilled to perfection in the People’s courtyard. BBQ starts at noon, while supplies last. The Down and Dirty: Soil Building Secrets for Greener Gardens and Farms – Sunday, July 26, 2:30 – 4:30 pm. How do you grow more productive, greener, and healthier gardens and farms, with less time and money? The secret is soil – healthy, living soil, that is. Join soil scientist, the Building Soil: A Down-to-Earth-Approach author, and former OSU Small Farms instructor, Elizabeth Murphy, for a 2-hour workshop unlocking the secrets of living soil. Learn how to recognize healthy soil, feed and nourish the soil food web, and build fertility using natural strategies and techniques that come from getting down to the ground. A soil-eyed view that will change the way you grow.  $5 payable to the instructor.  Call People’s to register, 503.674.2642.


Scientists recruit public to study “The Blob”

By Mark Floyd


A huge mass of unusually warm water that scientists have dubbed “The Blob” has lurked off the West Coast for much of the past two years and speculation is growing that it may be connected in some way with the drought plaguing West Coast states.

So researchers are planning to run a series of studies to see whether The Blob may be responsible for the parched conditions in California, Oregon and Washington – and they are looking for your help.

A research team plans to run hundreds of variations of computer models aimed at calculating the influence of The Blob on West Coast climate.

The amount of data that creates is staggering and could require as many as three supercomputers to generate. Instead, the team will rely on thousands of citizen science volunteers to let researchers run simulations during idle times on their personal computers.

It is part of an umbrella project originally launched by Oxford University in 2003, and joined by researchers at Oregon State University (OSU) in 2010 to use the combined power of thousands of individual computers to run climate modelingsimulations.

This latest project is supported by Climate Central, an independent organization of leading scientists and journalists researching and reporting on changing climate.

Persons interested in participating in the project may sign up or get more information at

“It takes about a week to run a year-long unit of climate data and the program is set up to automatically feed the results back to the scientists,” said Phil Mote, director of the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute at OSU and a principal investigator on the project.

The West Coast drought has ranged from pesky to severe. In California, it has lasted four years and is the most severe dry spell during the record, dating back to the late 1800s.

Much of the state has suffered a double-whammy of near-record high temperatures and extremely low precipitation. Gov. Jerry Brown declared a drought state of emergency in January.

Oregon is in its second year of drought, and in both years, the issue has been very low snowpack because of warm, mild winters. Almost every county in the state has had governor-declared droughts at some time during the two years.

Is “The Blob” the culprit in the West Coast drought? No one seems to know for sure. This large patch of warm water – about 4 degrees (F) warmer than normal – has appeared during the last two late winters/early springs and lingered for months.

“Four degrees may not sound like much, but that kind of anomaly in the ocean is huge,” said Mote, who is a professor in OSU’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences. “It has many implications, from physical processes in the ocean to biological impacts.”

In mid-June, thousands of red crabs washed ashore in southern California – a phenomenon attributed to The Blob.

Oregon and Washington are in the throes of a shutdown on shellfish harvesting, due to domoic acid accumulation. Caused by toxic algal blooms, the spike in domoic acid is thought to be caused by some kind of physical stress to the plankton, though it is uncertain if it is related to The Blob.

By running hundreds of computer models with slight variations, they hope to be able to determine what impacts The Blob and its swath of warm water have had on West Coast climate.

“Since we began involving citizen science volunteers, we’ve been able to address a wide range of climate-related issues throughout the world,” noted Myles Allen of Oxford University.

“The public has a great opportunity to help researchers find out if there is a connection between The Blob and the West Coast drought.”




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