Community News July ’17

Improve the places you love


Have you noticed invasive plants like Ivy and Blackberry bushes popping up along your favorite trails, and rivers? Have you seen discarded cups, cans and other trash covering your favorite beaches and parks? We have a solution.

This fall, on September 23, thousands of Oregon volunteers will come together for the SOLVE Beach & Riverside Cleanup, presented by the Oregon Lottery.

They’re ready to help out at a hands-on project, removing litter and invasive plants from neighborhoods, parks and natural areas.  SOLVE is ready to help you plan an event to improve the part of Oregon you love best.

The group provides free training, free supplies and even small grants to help support coordinators. They’lla assist with project planning and volunteer recruitment.

Enjoy the outdoors while making a difference this fall as a SOLVE leader at the Beach & Riverside Cleanup, presented by the Oregon Lottery on September 23.

Submit your project application by July 20 using this link: or by contacting SOLVE at 503.844.9571 ext. 317 or emailing

Street camping and park camping


In regards to a neighbors concerns about street camping by Laurelhurst Park, Georgia West, Sr. Administrative Specialist Portland Parks & Recreation provided the following information.

Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) does not have jurisdiction over City streets or rights-of-way, such as those near Laurelhurst – their purvey only extends to areas in the actual park. PBOT does have such jurisdiction. Here is PBOT’s info page for you to send any future concerns regarding them:

Portland Park Rangers visit Laurelhurst Park daily, on a given day this time of year, there are around eleven Rangers on duty citywide. There are more than 200 parks and natural areas covering more than 11,000 acres.

If you see instances of park rule violations (in the park itself), make a report to the Portland Park Ranger hotline at 503.823.1637. Specific to issues around homelessness, use the Mayor’s One Point of Contact system:, noting that it is helpful to have very specific location information, not just photos. For emergency situations, such as a crime in progress, call 911.

PP&R (as well as the City of Portland as a whole) is impacted by many issues with people who are experiencing homelessness. Many people are living in one of PP&R’s properties. None of the parks or natural areas are designed for people to live or camp in.  The great number of parks, and their acreage and accessibility makes them appealing to visit, yet challenging to patrol.

People move on from living in a park or natural area, only to return or relocate nearby a short time later. The first thing Park Rangers do when they conclude someone is living outdoors is to offer to connect them to social services so they can get needed help.  Enforcement is one resource Rangers have at their disposal, but education and assistance are very helpful tools too.

As Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz and Portland Police have repeatedly noted, enforcement alone is most definitely not a long-term solution. This is an ongoing issue and is expected to remain so; camps appear, they are addressed. People living there may leave but often soon return. The City continues to try to figure out a more sustainable solution to the issues around camping on public lands.

Please note that unless a camp is hazardous, that by law, City staff must issue notices to people living on public lands to vacate; but are required to wait between 24 hours and seven days to enforce action.

This is a fact not many folks are aware of; and they may wonder why a camp is not taken down immediately after being encountered.

WRITE AROUND PORTLAND workshops at HOTLIPS Pizza, 2211 SE Hawthorne Blvd. You can simply drop in or register beforehand online at to let us know you’re coming. Workshops are held 3rd Thursdays and most last Sundays from 9 -11 am. Upcoming July workshop dates: Thursday, July 20, Sunday, July 30. A sliding-scale workshop fee of $10-$30 helps support our free traditional workshops in partnership with social service agencies and other organizations throughout the year.

Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability reports unique artwork is surfacing on public trash cans in the Jade District. The art was revealed at the recent “Make Jade Glitter, Pick up the Litter” celebration.

“With a ceremonial toss of the first soda can into the recyclables compartment of a new public trash can — Jade District leaders, SOLVE and staff from the City of Portland celebrated the new Public Trash Can pilot project in this diverse East Portland neighborhood,” posts BPS.

The cans feature art inspired by the Jade District Vision Plan and created by Hamilton Rodriguez, a neighborhood artist. The event featured a litter cleanup activity and a storytelling session by BPS’ Alfredo Gonzalez, a native of Peru, on the importance of a clean community environment. – MP

 PP&R Summer Free for All

The PP&R program includes 35 Summer Lunch and Playground sites where they expect to again serve more than 110,000 free lunches across the city helping to fill the summer meal gap for children who get free and reduced lunches during the school year.

The Summer Lunches + Playgrounds program  includes NINE mobile playground sites; bringing lunches and recreation to children at apartment complexes, in neighborhoods where there aren’t yet enough parks and playgrounds. This is the first year that the Mobile Playgrounds program will offer free lunches.

37 Concerts in the Park

40 Movies in the Park

Free swimming lessons

Recycling tip–summer beverages

By Bonita Davis, Master

Recycler and Sunnyside resident

July!  The true start of summer in Oregon, and time to play hard while the sun is shining.

Hiking, biking,sports, beach time, festivals all lead to consuming more beverages.  On-the-go, these cans, cups and bottles can pile up.

This summer, we can change that by focusing on the first two “R’s” of Reduce, ReUse and Recycle. It is as simple as bringing along a durable cup or bottle when leaving home.  Reuse, is even more energy efficient than recycling because we save on the costs associated with transportation and reduce the energy required for processing and new packaging. Please continue to Recycle, but add Reduce and ReUse to the mix.

Reusing your own water bottle or coffee mug can result in impressive savings. For example, one to-go coffee drink per person per day can lead to 23 lbs of non-recyclable plastic coated paper cups in the landfill. One travel mug can stop that.

In the U.S., we go through about 50 billion water bottles per year, with some 38 billion of those not even recycled, but finding their way into the waste stream to the landfill.

It’s easy to stay hydrated while enjoying our much anticipated warm weather.

Here are some ideas:

  • Start with your own refillable water bottle. Fill it at home with filtered water if that is a concern, and figure out some easy ways to remember to bring it along. Mine stays next to my house keys.
  • Invest in a to-go travel coffee mug, thermos, or cup. New or used, they can cost from less than $1 to more than $25. Keep several ready with your bike gear, backpack, bag or car console.
  • Visit coffee shops that give a discount for BYOC (bringing your own cup). Use durables for dine-in service. Recycling Advocates, a local non-profit dedicated to creating a sustainable future through local efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle, is locating these shops. Find a location near you at: Put that good idea into an action by signing up for their Coffee Cup Pledge and move closer to being part of the solution.
  • Ask for your drink, “for here.” Any coffee; hot, cold, plain or fancy, can be served in a durable glass or ceramic mug, or in your travel container in most coffee shops. Consider actually taking a break to sit back and relax. Say no to straws and lids if you don’t need them.
  • Beer and cold brew coffee can be purchased in refillable, reusable growlers, reducing the number of containers.Try out having your wine bottles refilled at some local wine shops.

Enjoying the summer activities while going easy on our natural resources, are a good pairing.

Think of the difference a simple action or two can make!

Business Beat

 ABBASI FINE RUGS – Owner Omar Abbasi and his partner, Alexandra Brennan Abbasi, have opened a Persian Rug shop, 3150 SE Belmont St. Omar’s mission is to set prices so that they are attainable and you can have something unique and timeless. Omar’s family lineage traces back to the Abbasi dynasty in ancient Persia and there’s even a popular motif named for them. Abbasi Fine Rugs is open Tues – Sunday from 10 am– 6 pm. Stop on in and say hello.


ARCADIA RETIREMENT is opening a new assisted living building in the SE Portland area. The community is located at 13031 SE Foster Rd. Contact them for their move in specials at 503.206.8930 to make appointments for more information and tours of the new building.


BEGINNING CALLIGRAPHY CLASSES forming in South Tabor. Learn the versatile art of Italic lettering in a small class setting. Morning classes 7/25 and 8/1 from 10 am – 1 pm. Evening classes 7/26 and 8/2 from 6 – 9 pm. Please call or text 503.432.1021 for more information and to register.


HANDS ON COOKING classes by Oh Honey Cookery. Fun, relaxed classes around SE Portland. Specializing in New Orleans cuisine using quality ingredients. We will enjoy the fruits of our labor! See website for more information or call Bonnie at 503.432.1021.

Mt. Tabor Park events

Wednesday, July 5 – Evening Bicycle Circuit Races. The last race in River City Bicycles and Oregon Bicycle Racing Association’s popular annual racing series. The first race is at 5:45 pm. For a complete schedule, visit

Tuesday’s Evening Summer Concerts – Tuesday evenings starting July 11 (no concert on 4th of July). Kids’ activities start at 6 pm, concerts start at 6:30. Parking is limited! Lots of bike racks. Purchase dinner at one of the many local food vendors. Alcohol is allowed (in moderation) in the caldera only. Dogs are allowed in the canine balcony only. Free.

Sunday, July 16 – Tree I.D. Walk. Join Bob Rogers on the third Sunday of every month as he leads visitors on a tour of some of the park’s most notable trees. Meet at the Visitor Center at 2 pm rain or shine. Free.

Saturday, July 29 – Weed Warriors Habitat Restoration, 9 am –noon. Join Mt. Tabor volunteers on the last Saturday of the month from May–October as they restore health to the park by removing invasive plant species. Meet at the Visitor Center by the main parking lot. Wear durable long pants and long sleeve shirt. If you arrive late, there will be information at the sign-in table regarding the group’s whereabouts.

Saturday, July 29 – Moana , Free Movie at Warner Pacific College. Movie begins at dusk with live music and pre-movie entertainment beginning at 6:30 pm, including free popcorn.

Loss considered shameful

By midge Pierce

With so much development shunted to Southeast Portland, dismay runs high over the City’s failure to exercise its rights to purchase 1.31 acres of inner SE park space. The property adjacent to the former Washington School site in the Buckman neighborhood is currently owned by Portland Public Schools. The purchase option expired at the end of May.

Longtime parks advocate Christine Yun says it’s especially shameful to lose parkland in light of the fact that the Buckman Pool, the only Parks and Rec resource for inner SE, was closed by PPS. Yun was a member of the now defunct Friends of Buckman Pool as well as a member of three committees on the disposition of the Washington High property and master planning for a proposed SE Community Center on part of the property.

“I believe that as surplus property, the disposition of the 1.3 acres needed to go through a public process, which it did not.” PPS has signed another first rights purchase agreement with a developer who has yet to exercise his option. If the property is sold it will be zoned high density, multi-dwelling allowing more than 125 housing units.

Yun points out there are  millions of dollars of Parks system development charges that have been collected from development in inner SE. “We are being told that this is not enough to build even Phase 1 of the planned community center at the Washington High.”

Four-plus acres have long been set-aside for that promised but never-delivered community center that would include swim facilities. The nearest pool is nearly five miles from inner Southeast. With Buckman pool closed and no nearby alternative in sight, families with children and residents with physical therapy needs are left high and dry.

Irate citizens suspect a $12 million set-aside for the project has been shifted to East Portland instead. “They’re getting the parks, but we’re getting the density,” said a resident who calls the inner Eastside “park deficient”. He says parks in the area have been lacking for 30 years and the situation will only get worse as development continues.

Citizen estimates of unspent SDCs run as high as $60 million, much of which they believe has been generated by massive growth in Southeast. “SDC money should be spent where it has greatest impact,” said a weary activist. “Southeast needs breathing room as the City gets denser.  I don’t understand why they say they don’t have the money when they do.”

The possibility that the City will revisit the issue is remote.  Neighbors holding hope for reconsideration believe that continued pressure matters.

One says the loss of the 1.31 acres may raise awareness of how little open space the Central Eastside retains.

CHRISTMAS IN JULY 2017 AT TABOR HEIGHTS CHURCH at 6161 SE Stark St. to celebrate. Bring a salad or desserts to share at the Potluck, singing Christmas carols around the Christmas tree, playing games in the field, joining in the liquid snow ball fight and having a merry visit with your neighbors. Sunday July 16 after church around 12:30 pm.  Free to bring a canned food donation for SnowCap–a Local Food Pantry ministry.

FOR A FUTURE TO BE POSSIBLE: THE WISDOM OF INTERBEING –  A talk with Anh-Huong and Thu Nguye, August 2 at 7 pm at the Unity of Portland, 4525 SE Stark. How do we keep our hearts open during these challenging times, grow our loving kindness with so much division, and be true to ourselves during a time of turmoil? Mindfulness practice and the insight of interbeing are the basis for transforming ourselves and creating harmony. Mindfulness relieves suffering because it is filled with understanding and compassion. Anh-Huong and Thu Nguyen have been practicing mindfulness in the tradition of the Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh for 30 years. They have led mindfulness retreats in the United States since 1988 and in 1992 were among the first students to be ordained as meditation teachers by Thich Nhat Hanh. In 1998, the couple moved to Woodstock, Vermont to help start the first Mindfulness Practice Center in Plum Village tradition. By the end of 1998, after returning home in Northern Virginia, they founded the Mindfulness Practice Center of Fairfax.  This is their first visit to the West Coast.

CREATIVE WRITING CLASS FOR WOMEN – Explore the depths of your imagination and memory. Write from prompts that may lead to new poems, stories, personal essays and other creative pieces. All experience levels are welcome to join this encouraging group. Mondays, July 3 – August 7, TaborSpace, 5441 SE Belmont. $12 to drop in for a class or $60 for all 6 weeks. Taught by Pushcart-nominee Linda Ferguson. For information, email

CELEBRATE SHABBAT and the beauty of the Portland summer. For the  sixth year in a row, Rabbi Ariel Stone and Congregation Shir Tikvah invites everyone to bring a picnic and to enjoy live music, challah and dancing. There are two family friendly opportunities to enjoy: Laurelhurst Park on July 7 at 6 pm and  Fernhill Park on August 11 at 6 pm.

HAWTHORNE DIABETES GROUP – How to Build a Power Salad – July 20, 7-8:30 pm, 2828 SE Stephens St. July is the heart of salad season. Gardens and markets are overflowing with fresh produce. Salads can have a bad rap as being boring and not filling though a “power salad” meal can be delicious, nutritious, and satisfying. Melissa Olson, MS in Nutrition, demonstrates how to make customized power salads using greens, beans, grains, and more. She’ll discuss various salad dressing recipes as well as purchasing and storing techniques. This is an evening of hands-on learning and tasty samples you won’t want to miss. $15 donation requested (to cover the cost of supplies). No one will be turned away. RSVP through or by contacting Julia Hanfling at / 503.504.5050

PODCAST about proposed Eastmoreland Historic District – Resident Amy Rosenberg started this podcast to provide both sides of the situation. The upcoming deadline is August 3. The podcast series can be found at

WALKING TOURS – The Architectural Heritage Center, 701 SE Grand Ave., presents walking tours of historic and architecturally significant neighborhoods and sites around Portland. Throughout much of the year you can find AHC tours on Tuesdays, Thursdays, or Saturdays. They are able to provide private group walking tours. Be advised that all of the scheduled tours run rain or shine. Knowledgeable, trained, volunteer guides welcome you to learn more about our area’s history and architecture. Check the schedule at or call 503.231.7264.


Keep on the Sunnyside Mural Project

By Tiffany Conklin, Director of the Portland Street Art Alliance

Portland Street Art Alliance (PSAA) is a local non-profit that activates public space and engages with communities by creating, documenting and promoting vibrant art in the streets.

In 2015, PSAA restored the iconic Art Fills the Void! banana mural at SE 12th and Division. PSAA has managed the annual Sunnyside Piazza repaint event for the past two years.

This summer, with the support of SE Uplift’s Small Community Grants Program, the group will organize a local team of artists to design and paint a new mural to honor the rich history of the Sunnyside Neighborhood and Belmont District.

This mural will be over 100 feet long and include 10 panels, each representing significant pieces of Sunnyside history, from its early Native American and pioneer histories, its historic built environment, unique transportation history, iconic local landmarks, prominent businesses and places of worship, and its dynamic cultures of art and sustainability.

See for a documenting of Sunnyside’s history, and the process of creating this community mural.

PSAA wants to hear from you too. Do you have unique stories about Sunnyside or Belmont history, have old photos or artifacts? visit the project’s website or email PSAA (

While the majority of this project is supported by a SE Uplift grant, PSAA needs the community’s help raising money to pay for a protective clear coating for the mural wall, to ensure it is resistant to vandalism and UV fading.

Consider supporting the project, by donating to the GoFundMe ( or contacting PSAA directly. All donations are tax-deductible!

The Mural Project culminates with a mural celebration event, where the community can come together to celebrate its proud history as Portland’s first streetcar-era development and its bright future as a neighborhood dedicated to strong social ties, sustainability, and colorful streets.



Community News July ’17

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