Community News July 16

2nd Annual Beach Bash Cleanup


Rallying around the cry Viva la Riverlution, people of all ages will gather downtown along the Willamette River on Saturday, July 9 for the second annual Portland Beach Bash and Cleanup. It’s a kickoff to summer, presented by the Human Access Project (HAP), SOLVE, Chipotle and Maletis Beverage.

The day is the next step in Human Access Project’s grass-roots movement to bring attention and a new perspective towards the Willamette River.

Volunteers will meet at either Tom McCall Bowl, Poet’s Beach or Audrey McCall Beach at 10 am so pick your favorite beach and register for that one.

The goal is to take care of these three downtown beaches and get them cleaned up and ready for swimming and other public use.

Work includes picking up riprap rocks from the shore and placing them back on the bank (unrocking the beach), picking up trash, and weeding.

Removing the rocks from shallow water will help improve habitat for juvenile salmon. There will be rocks of every shape and size for all ages.

Following a few hours of beach cleanup, an after-party will commence with music, food, drinks and other treats plus free Chipotle food cards for volunteers.

Pre-register for the site you want to work at and register online at

Seeking senior mentors for students

A new program called AARP Experience Corps uses a collaborative approach of small teams of mentors aged 50+ and over to work in kindergarten through 3rd grade classrooms in support of the next generation of readers.

Metropolitan Family Service (MFS) provides mentors’ training prior to and throughout the school year on literacy tutoring, child development and well-researched methods to work with all kinds of learners.

Mentors share ideas and best practices with each other and MFS. and benefit immensely from this popular program too. They see and hear the difference they are making over the course of the year.

As one participant reported, “A first grader I was working with had been struggling with the very basics of reading. It was amazing to see his reaction to a new-found skill and to share the moment with him”

Mentors find contributing their time keeps them engaged, active and upbeat, giving them a new sense of purpose in retirement.

AARP Experience Corps serves many schools throughout Portland Metro Area, primarily in SE Portland. Some sites offer stipends for those able to commit to 8-10 hours per week.

If you or someone you love aged 50 or over would like to be part of this dynamic, effective program, contact Laura Heller at 503.688.1767,, or visit MFS’s website at

Save historic Belmont

A video to help Save Historic Belmont has just been posted at

In the announcement, activist,historian, researcher and producer Meg Hanson calls the history of the 3300 block of SE Belmont the story of the genesis of SE Portland.

“Before the turn of the Century, it was the very first residential main street market in all of East Portland.” She adds that the first streetcar line to cross the river had its terminus in what is now Sunnyside.

The loss of a 127-year-old building in the block would have devastating impact on Sunnyside’s historic character.

“The merits of preserving this historic resource far outweigh private development interests.

Residential infill meetings

Historic Kenton Firehouse

8105 N. Brandon Ave.

Wed., July 6, 6:30 – 8:30 pm

East PDX Neighborhood Office

1017 NE 117th Ave.

Wed., July 13, 6:30 – 8 pm

German American Society

5626 NE Alameda St. SandyBlvd)

Thur., July 14, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

SMILE Station

8210 SE 13th Avenue

Sat., July 30, 10 am- 12 pm

Note this final open house is hosted by United Neighborhoods for Reform.The group says it is critical the city get written comments on this proposal and that citizens speak to the mayor and City Council who will vote on a final version.


Recycling styrofoam

By Bonita Davis, Master Recycler and Sunnyside resident

Styrofoam. What do you do with the snow white molded pieces after you unpack your new purchase?  It isn’t easy to consistently find a place that will accept it for recycling.

The Dow Chemical petroleum-based product (coded #6) is made of Expanded Polystyrene Foam or EPS, and is actually 5% product and 95% air. It is an excellent insulator and packing material.

Concern about the chemicals used in the manufacturing process, the fact that it is not biodegradable, and that bits of it are often found in the mix of litter and debris along our roads and in the oceans raise objections to the product.

It can last virtually forever in landfills and it is estimated that by volume, it may be taking up to 30% of landfill space worldwide.

Banned by dozens of cities, including Portland, the shipping and handling costs of the bulky, lightweight material make it hard for recyclers to make a profit.

Often remanufacturing of densified styrofoam takes place in China where it is shipped back to the U.S. as new styrofoam or as other plastic products.

Shipping and handling costs and demand for densified recycled product affect the recycling market.

The best thing to do with styrofoam is reuse it. Break it into bits if necessary.

Offer it to others who are moving or doing a lot of mailing by using free on-line sites such as or Craigslist.

Consider alternatives such as air cushion packaging (plastic film air bags,) formed cardboard or paper.

Find out if a recycler is accepting styrofoam by calling the Metro Recycling Hotline at 503.234.3000.

See and search “styrofoam”.

Watch the recycling process on YouTube by entering Styrofoam Densifier in the YouTube search bar.

PORTLAND PARKS & RECREATION announces that renovations to Walker Stadium, located in Lents Park (SE 92nd and Holgate), are complete, and the field is ready for the Portland Pickles – Portland’s new college wood-bat team (part of the Great West League). Renovations were made possible by a public-private partnership between Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R), and the Portland Development Commission (PDC). The Pickles will play 33 home games this year, and are owned and operated under the direction of team owners Bill Stewart and Ken Wilson. The Pickles pay rent to the City, clean the stadium, and provide security during games.


Join the Riverlutionted-and-willi

Mayor-elect Ted Wheeler diving and founder Willie Levenson jumping in.

(continued from cover)

The growing popularity of The Big Float is evidence that the tide is turning for increasing human access to the Willamette River. Last year, Mayor Hales included $300,000 in the city budget to explore alternatives for downtown beaches.

This year, Mayor-elect Ted Wheeler signaled his interest in the river by swimming across it with our River Hugger Swim Team. Citizens and city officials are seeing the value of embracing our river.

Along with live music, food carts, beer/wine garden, kids activity area and chair massages, TBF 6 will feature two Dragon Boat inner-tube taxis powered by the Wasabi Dragon Boat team will be available. These 20-person powered watercrafts will tow as many as 10 weary inner-tubers at a time. It may be the world’s first Dragon Boat inner-tube taxi service.

There’ll be two 100-foot slip ‘n slides too on the grass at Tom McCall Bowl and all ages can partake. There’s two floating stages so you can see a concert while reclining in your inner-tube or watercraft.

Musical acts this year include Charts, Ants in the Kitchen and Hit Machine. LoveBomb Go-Go will again lead two floaters parades to the launch point, like last year.

If you register for TBF 6 by July 3 the cost is only $5 for adults and $3 for kids. After that it’s $10 and $5. See

River Hugger Swim Team

The River Hugger Swim Team is a group advocacy swim open to anyone of intermediate ability or above. Swimmers cross the river and back – from the east bank just north of Hawthorne Bridge, to the west bank at Tom McCall Bowl, and back. It takes about 45 minutes round trip.

If you are concerned with keeping up with others, wear swim fins.

These “river lap” swims occur during the summer on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings (at 7 am) and on Thursdays after work (5:45 pm) June 15 through September. The cost is $3.

More on “The Riverlution” and how to get involved at

Portland Superfund Plan

Portland Harbor Superfund Clean Up Plan Recommendation is available for public review and comment.

Read the EPA recommended plan and alternatives at: Make your voice heard on this important issue by August 8, 2016.

Comments on the Proposed Plan may be submitted via email  to or ATTN: Harbor Comments, U.S. EPA, 805 SW Broadway, Suite 500, Portland, OR 97205

These two EPA meetings open to the public. • July 11, 11:30 am – 8 pm, University Place Conference Center, 310 SW Lincoln St. • July 20, 11:30 am – 8 pm, Ambridge Center, 1333 NE Martin Luther King Blvd.

Summer Coding Program for Students

The Franklin Summer Coding program consists of five workshops and weekly open lab sessions, teaching students how to design and develop mobile apps. It is open to all high school and middle school students of any skill level.

Each workshop will have its own theme and will be held at a different local tech company. Vacasa, Daimler, Uncorked Studios and Connective DX have signed on to host workshops throughout the summer.

After learning basic coding skills, the kids will split into teams and begin working on a project of their choosing that addresses a problem. The projects will be submitted to the Congressional App Challenge in the fall where they will be judged at a district and national level. The free program aims to garner interest from a diverse range of students.

“Many students are very interested in having the opportunity to build a real app,” says mentor Gage Choat. “This program gives them the opportunity to do that outside of the classroom.”

For more information about the Franklin Summer Coding program, visit the website: Questions and more information contact Choat at 503.250.1674 or


Dream, Design, Build



By Dave Bernard

So you managed to find a cute little bungalow in a great neighborhood. You move in only to realize that the dining room, designed for Ward and June Cleaver, doesn’t really work for life in the 21st century. How do you approach the problem? Do you hire an architect to sort it all out, or just tell a contractor to start knocking out walls?

How about the best of both? It’s called Design-Build, a specific approach to building projects offered by contracting companies who specialize in the process.

Under the standard approach, design and construction services are split into separate operations, separate contracts and separate work. With Design-Build, the builder works under a single contract, with the project owner, to provide design and construction services, including project management of every aspect of the job.

The Design-Build process aligns with the time-honored Master Builder approach of days gone by.

Teamwork and integration are a key component: the folks who helped with your design are the same ones working on the project.

Portland Design-Build Contractor Nick Weitzer says “It allows the client and design-builder to set parameters around budget and address issues related to design, engineering, site, or permit limitations, without the owner having to go through a designer or architect, an engineer and the contractor.

The most important benefit, says Weitzer, is the sense of collaboration it offers.

“We can stand in the house with you while you explain your vision. Maybe you don’t have it completely worked out; maybe it’s just a sense of how you want the space to function.”

Weitzer stresses that Design-Build contractors often work with architects and are preferred by them. This is because Design-Build companies have trained design professionals as part of their team, and understand the intent of the design and the methodology of building.

For people who can’t afford to hire an architect, have a smaller remodel, or just need to move fast, Design-Build can be a great way to go.

 Weitzer Company is a Portland Design-Build firm located in SE Portland. Nick Weitzer  and his company have been helping Portland residents dream, design and build for 25 years. 

BREAKFAST FORUM TOPIC: RACISM – SUBTLE OR OPEN; DEFINED, MANIPULATED –July 21, 7:30 – 8:30 am at Mt. Tabor Presbyterian Church Library, 5441 SE Belmont . Examine in others, and ourselves, the contradictory beliefs and behaviors around race, sex, religion, and other issues. Psychologists have found ways to define, measure, and manipulate racism. Reed neighborhood resident and psychologist Ann B. Clarkson, Ph.D. will talk about this at the monthly meeting of the Breakfast Forum, an informal group which discusses political issues in respectful ways.  Free. No registration required. For information call 503.774.9621.

HAWTHORNE DIABETES GROUP – Want to live well to 100? What are the qualities of living a long, happy and healthy life? Stable blood sugars are part of living well into old age. The recommendations for diabetes strengthen the steps to keep you vital for decades to come. Explore what lasting health is all about at the July Hawthorne Diabetes Group gathering Thursday, July 21, 7 – 8:30 pm at Colonial Hts. Presbyterian Church, 2828 SE Stephens St. $10 donation requested. No one will be turned away for lack of $.
RSVP through  More info at:

LEAD-SAFE HOME PROJECTS WORKSHOP – Before any demo, scraping, sanding, or remodeling in pre-1978 housing, take this class. Great for people who want to do a small project that may involve exposure to lead paint, such as sanding down an old window frame or a reused door with potential lead paint, or a small construction project in an older home. Register for the workshop at or call 503.284.6827 x109. The class is Thurs, July 14 at Community Energy Project, 2900 SE Stark St, Suite A from 6 – 7:30 pm.

LAST SATURDAY WEED WARRIOR SERVICE PROJECT is July 30 from 9 am – 12 noon. Join the Weed Warrior effort to restore a healthy habitat at Mt. Tabor Park. Weed Warrior Stewardship Coordinator and volunteer crew leaders will share their knowledge of the natural habitat, demonstrate how to remove non-native vegetation, and help keep it all organized, safe and motivated. Wear comfortable clothes appropriate for working in natural areas: long pants, long sleeves, brimmed hat to protect from sun/rain, and closed-toe sturdy shoes. Bring a water bottle. Warriors provide tools, gloves and snacks. Activities include: Invasive Plant Removal, Litter Cleanup. Meet at the kiosk near the main parking lot adjacent to the amphitheater in the park. Plan to come 5-10 minutes early to sign-in or register online:

CHRISTMAS IN JULY – Join us at Tabor Heights Church, 6161 SE Stark St. to celebrate Sunday July 17 after church around 12:30 pm. Bring a salad or desserts to share at the potluck. Why have Christmas only once a year?  Let’s sing Christmas carols around the Christmas tree, play games in the field, join in the liquid snow ball fight and generally make  merry visits with neighbors. Bring a canned food donation for Snow Cap-a Local Food Pantry ministry.


Representatively Speaking

By State Representative Rob Nosse


Lately it seems that Oregon, long touted as progressive when it comes to the environment (we are the state that launched the bottle bill), has faced one environmental disaster after another.

First it was heavy metals in our air, then the oil trains, and now lead in our schools. As a Portland Public Schools parent, I share the concerns of my neighbors about the health of our children.

Like many of you, I am anxiously awaiting the independent investigation and report to the school board. In the meantime, we know that the status quo is unacceptable, and needs to change.

Long-term exposure to lead is harmful, especially to young minds that are still developing. I’m thankful the House and Senate leadership announced they would ask the State’s Emergency Board help schools pay for lead testing. While this doesn’t solve the problem, it will help us to see the full scope of the problem, and how it impacts Oregonians statewide.

Unfortunately, many of Oregon’s public schools are housed in old buildings, constructed during a more lenient era for building codes at times when we knew a lot less about the harmful effects of lead than we do now.

Additionally, after the recession hit in 2008, Oregon had to make hard choices about what we could fund. Building maintenance and improvements are typically paid for by passing bonds, and it was difficult to move projects like that when money was so tight statewide. As a result, renovations for buildings were put on the back burner, leaving environmental issues in our schools to get worse.

Testing will show that we need renovations and that they need to happen, soon.  The cost will be significant in some cases.

There is a mechanism in place to secure the funding we need for needed improvements; Initiative Petition 28.

The Initiative is a gross receipts tax that will apply to businesses that make more than $25 million per year in Oregon sales including businesses like McDonalds, Bank of America, and Comcast, that can easily afford a modest  increase in their tax burden.

This tax would generate approximately $2.5 billion dollars over the next biennium, with the promise that those funds would be used for education and health care funding.

That’s money that could make a huge difference in fixing the pipes in our old school buildings statewide, as well as making other improvements to protect our students. You can learn more about IP 28 at

While Portland Public Schools were the first to uncover lead in their drinking water, we’re already seeing this in Eugene and in other districts around the state as they start to test as well.

We need to come together and properly fund necessary improvements to get these metals out of our drinking water.  That way our kids can attend school safely and develop into capable young adults.


Community News July 16

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