Community News August 2017

Tagging on Division Street

Division Street has been experiencing an unprecedented increase in graffiti. In an article in Willamette Week, it was best explained that a graffiti artist takes delight noticing his/her tagging, especially if it has been around awhile. Taggers like to impress other graffiti artists on the longevity of their art remaining in the public eye as long as possible in order to obtain some sort of unspoken legitimacy.

Businesses and homeowners don’t always understand the philosophical reason this art form continues, since most of the damage is done to working class people. It begs the question: what would a tagger feel like if someone took a can of spray paint to their bedroom?

The only known cure is to paint over it immediately. Every time, all the time. No matter how long it takes. Eventually, taggers will give up and find better places to paint where their efforts won’t be wasted or go unnoticed.

Even when tagger finds an out of the way place to leave their tag, cover it up as soon as you see it. Eventually, you’ll see your place tagged less and less as word gets out. Like everything, tagging costs money and takes time. Most people don’t like to waste this money.

The City of Portland’s Graffiti Abatement Program supports neighborhood livability by decreasing graffiti in partnership with neighborhood and business associations, community partners and volunteers.

There are several ways to report graffiti to the City: call 503.823.4824, noting the location and your contact information in case questions arise; use the PDXReporter app on your smartphone to report location, email picture and location, or make a report online.

Contact Juliette Muracchioli, Graffiti Abatement Program Coordinator:, 503.823.9666

10th Annual Johnson Creek Cleanup

Volunteers are needed for for the 10th Annual Johnson Creek Clean-Up, Saturday August 26.

Community volunteers, local businesses, and nonprofits work together to enhance and protect natural riparian habitat and water quality by removing litter along seven miles of Johnson Creek.

The clean-up will be hosted at Mill Park at 6201 Overland St., in Milwaukie from 9 am – 12 pm. Meet at 8:30 am to be placed on a team.

Volunteers can expect to get up close and personal with Johnson Creek, so make sure to come prepared by bringing closed-toe shoes, quick-drying clothes and a towel. Everything else needed will be provided for the event. The first 100 volunteers to show up to the event receive a free, stylish cleanup t-shirt.

Johnson Creek depends on the hard work of thousands of volunteers every year who restore habitat for the plants and animals that call the creek home.

To thank volunteers for their hard work, a BBQ and celebratory awards ceremony will be hosted from 12 pm – 2 pm.

Johnson Creek is one of the last free-flowing streams in Portland, and the only tributary to the Willamette in the area that still supports the region’s iconic salmon populations.

Register for the event online at and sign up.

For questions, contact Volunteer Coordinator Courtney Beckel at 503.652.7477 ext 101. Hope to see you there.

Urban Forestry’s Tree Steward Program

Register today. Registration is now open for the 2017 Neighborhood Tree Steward (NTS) program scheduled for this fall by City of Portland Urban Forestry.

The focus of this year’s course is Equity and the Urban Forest. Learn about trees and how to care for them so they can care for you. Upon completion of this seven session course, you receive an NTS Certificate and the tools, skills and knowledge to speak for the trees.

Hands-on workshops and interactive presentations cover the basics of tree biology and tree ID; tree pruning and care; tree planting and establishment; pests and pathogens of the urban forest; the ways trees improve public health and the environment;a primer on the city tree code and how Tree Stewards can be a resource for neighbors Scholarships, childcare and TriMet vouchers are available upon request. To register, go to or contact:

SE Updates

Asian Fusion

Social media has been abuzz lately with news that H-Mart, an Asian/Korean specialty store, is moving into the old Zupan’s site at SE Belmont and 33rd.

The Belmont Dairy site has been marketed by Urban Works. Marketing Director Danny Martin says the store opening may happen in early 2018 for the 21,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space.

H-Mart, a New Jersey based chain, has more than 75 locations across the nation. It joins the new Market of Choice on SE Belmont about a mile down the street at 10th, where goats once roamed.

Ugly Fruit Comes to Town

What’s red, green and sometimes misshapen all over? Ugly Fruit from Imperfect Produce.

Now, in all its nutritious, delicious imperfections, Ugly Fruit has come to town via San Fran, Oakland, Berkeley and other communities that embrace sustainability and the value of fresh (if crooked and non-conforming) fruits and vegetables.

Imperfect Produce’s website says 1 in 5 fruits and veggies that fail to meet cosmetic standards wind up as waste. In California alone, some 6 billion pounds. of food is thrown out annually.

On Hawthorne St. one hot summer’s day, fruit looked crisp and green as Aaron Choate pitched the concept of fresh food that saves money, fights food waste, promotes healthy eating and protects the livelihood of local farmers.

Imperfect Produce is an outgrowth of the nonprofit Food Recovery Network. It currently supplies some 125 million pounds of ugly produce to food banks within California. See

Spirit Awards

Call for nominations for the 33rd Annual Spirit of Portland awards closes Monday, August 28th, 2017. If you know of an individual or group who has helped make Portland a better place to live, work, study or play, please nominate them for one of the 2017 awards.

Nomination forms are available at or by contacting Marco Mejia, at 503.823.3093 or

PBOT street grants program

The Portland in the Streets Community Grant Program supports creative community projects to make neighborhood streets, sidewalks and trails safer, more beautiful and open to all.

Portland community and neighborhood groups are eligible to apply for up to $20,000 to finance their initiatives. A total of $100,000 in grant money will be available.

“Promoting safety, mobility and transportation access for all Portlanders is central to PBOT’s mission,” said Transportation Commissioner Dan Saltzman. “We created this program because small changes can make a big difference.”

“I want to empower Portlanders with this grant program. They know best how their streets can serve them differently and better,” said Portland Transportation Director Leah Treat.

“They know best how their streets can serve them differently and better.”

“I know there is a lot of creative and innovative energy out there, and we’re very excited to see the proposals.”

PBOT is seeking proposals for community-driven projects that are focused on transportation safety, equity, innovation and placemaking.

Portland residents are encouraged to submit proposals for small-scale transportation safety projects in support of Vision Zero, creative community infrastructure projects, events in city streets, urban trail projects and initiatives that support innovative community engagement.

Grant applications are due on August 31. The application form, can be found at:

Groups that have applied for other community grants, such as the Metro Community Placemaking Program, are encouraged to apply for the Portland in the Streets program.

Programs keep seniors living at home

Whether it’s to shop and prepare a meal, walk the dog or help with personal care such as bathing and dressing, Providence has a new solution for seniors who want to stay living independently in their own homes. Optimal Aging connects older adults with trusted and affordable caregivers who can assist with day-to-day tasks.

“We know that as people get older, they can lose drive or the ability to do the things they once loved – such as cooking and gardening,” said Marika Rausa, director of operations. “Optimal Aging is a one-stop shop for advice and personalized support services to help with these tasks.”

With one phone call, the Optimal Aging team offers support with personal care, meal services, home chore assistance and transportation services. Seniors can request a free in-depth review of their needs or a specific service. Then the Optimal Aging team will reach out to trusted partners to fulfill the request.

“No one should have to move into an assisted living facility, adult family home, or nursing home just because they need a little extra help around the house,” said Rausa. “Our services are tailor-made to help older adults remain independent, active, and dignified to the level that they are most comfortable with.”

Optimal Aging is available to any senior living in the Portland area. Consultants can be reached at 503.215.2500.

Business Beat

Beginning Calligraphy classes in the South Tabor neighborhood. Private and group classes are forming now. Children and adults are invited to learn the versatile art of Italic lettering. Various day and evening classes are available. Call or text 503.432.1021 for more information and to register.

Cooking Classes for groups or individuals from Oh Honey Cookery. Hands on relaxed classes around SE Portland. Gumbo 101 and fresh pasta making classes and more forming now. Enjoy the fruits of your labor. Fun family or social activity. Customize your own class. Newbies are welcome. Call or text Bonnie at 503.432.1021 to get cooking.

Mt. Tabor events

Get Your Rear in Gear 5k – August 5, Saturday, 9 am. Join the Colon Cancer Coalition’s grassroots movement to raise awareness and screening rates for colon cancer. Details and registration at

Friends of Mt. Tabor Park Picnic – August 8, Tuesday, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm. Meet the Friends of Mt. Tabor Park at their annual potluck picnic; learn about what they do and how you can help keep this beautiful park clean and safe. Meet at Picnic Area A next to the main parking lot, bring a dish to share. Drinks and utensils will be provided.

PDX Adult Soapbox Derby – August 19, Saturday, 9:30 am – 4 pm. The popular annual spectacle of adults careening down the slopes of Mt. Tabor in homemade carts offers thrills, chills and plenty of spills. Note: This event draws upwards of 5,000 spectators to the park and may not be suitable for dogs or small children. As usual, all dogs MUST be leashed while in the park. Visit for details.

FREE Tree I.D. Walk – August 20, Sunday, 2 pm. 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 rain or shine.

Weed Warriors Habitat Restoration – August 26, Saturday, 9 am – noon – The last Saturday of the month from May–October Weed Warriors restore health to the park by removing invasive plant species. Meet at the Visitor Center by the main parking lot, and wear durable long pants and long sleeve shirt. If you have heavy-duty gardening gloves and supplies, bring them; otherwise, loaner items are available. Plan to come 5-10 minutes early to sign-in. If you arrive late, there’ll be information at the sign-in table regarding the group whereabouts. Join the Weed Warriors on facebook.

Recycle tips August 2017

By Bonita Davis, Master

Recycler and Sunnyside resident

Cleaning out the clutter sounds like such a good idea, and simple to do, but letting some things go isn’t always so easy. Resistance can set in and the process can slow down, or even halt.

A big one for me was the brown Collegiate Schwinn bike I held onto since High School.  It was a special gift, took me everywhere and held many memories. Hard to let go.

Guilty that it now resided in the crawlspace and had been replaced by a series of hybrids, I had thoughts of refurbishing it, even joining the other proud Schwinn owners happily showing off the fun they were having on vintage bikes in a local parade.

No parade for me; I just didn’t refurbish the bike.

Motivation to rehome the Schwinn came when I learned I could put it (or its parts) into the hands of a young person earning their own bike through a program of refurbish-to-own in the after school Bike Club Program at Community Cycling Center (

Problem solved. A great place for the Schwinn to go.

I still have my memories, am guilt free and some young person has a great bike and can create their own fun times and memories.

Supporting a good cause now guides my donation decisions, just as it does when making a financial gift to an organization.

Whether it is the desire to support veterans, environmental concerns, or animal welfare, it is easier to let go of items when it goes to a great cause.

Where to do you find a place to donate items?  According to Percy, one of our great MCPL librarians, keeping a master list of places that accept donations can be possible to do, but really difficult to keep updated. Things just change too fast.

If you are holding onto special items, here are a couple of ways to find a place to donate:  Type in Metro’s Find-A- Recycler on your browser, and click on the Reuse tab to search for organizations that might want you have to donate.

Call the Metro Recycling Hotline at 503.234.3000 and chat with an expert for ideas. Three other online resources include Great, Donate.pdx and

Before making a donation, call or check the website to make sure the organization can accept and use what you have to offer.

At the end of summer, before tucking away toys, bikes, clothing for next year, consider if there aren’t some things that could be passed on to someone who could really use what you no longer need.

FREE spay/neuter services for stray and feral cats in August. The Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon (FCCO) offers this as part of their Summer Spay Spectacular special. Kittens weighing 2 pounds or greater qualify for the special. If you’re feeding outdoor stray or feral cats or know someone who is, this is for you. In addition to being spayed/neutered, cats receive vaccines and treatment for fleas, earmites and tapeworms. The clinic is in SW Portland and all surgeries are provided by licensed veterinarians. Live traps and trapping instructions are available. They offer a Sunday clinic during this special for convenience. Appointments are required and fill up quickly. Call 503.797.2606 or visit to book an appointment today!

ECLIPSE GLASSES SALE TO BENEFIT RICHMOND SCHOOL – Protective eclipse viewing glasses for watching the eclipse coming on August 21 are now available at Portland Eye Care for $3 a pair. All proceeds from the sale of these glasses are being donated to the Richmond Elementary School Foundation. Portland Eye Care is located at 4133 SE Division St., open from 8:30 am – 5:30 pm Monday-Friday and 9 am – 2:30 pm Saturday. These protective glasses are certified for safe solar eclipse viewing and available only while supplies last. Check out directions for safely enjoying the eclipse and more information at

Everything Old is New Again – Sunnyside Swaps for the School Year

by Samantha Fisher

This will be the twelfth year that parents and neighbors and friends clean out closets before the start of school year to bring in bags of clothing, books, toys and school supplies to the Sunnyside Back to School Clothing Exchange.

What started as one single mom’s solution to a tight budget for the new school year, has grown into a neighborhood tradition open to all who want to trade what they already have and don’t need for what they do.

On Friday August 25th The Sunnyside Community House Dining Hall (SE 35th and Yamhill) will open up from 6-9pm to take in community donations from near and far of gently used items with plenty of life left – those jeans that don’t fit any more, a lunch box or back pack that has cleaned up just fine, sports gear, art supplies and outgrown story books, anything and everything in good, usable condition that another adult or child would enjoy having for the start of the school year.

Donating continues on Saturday August 26th from 8:30am-7:30pm for a  community swap open to all.  Everyone who brought in items in advance gets a free ticket to come back in for the swap. Everyone who comes during the Saturday swap event, without donating in advance, needs to have items with them to share and pays a $2 per family entry fee.

Every family is asked to donate as much or more than they take home, leaving plenty of donations at the end of the swap to share with families in need.  Clothing items that remain at the end of the day are bagged up for the Portland Public School’s PTA Clothing Center that clothes Portland school children all year long.

Adult and kids’ clothing comes in throughout the swap so, while it’s great to be there at the beginning when volunteers have well organized the tables by gender and size, there is always a great selection throughout the day.  Families that need more than they have to bring in in trade can take what ever they need in the last hour of the swap.

Volunteers needed and get into the event for free!

Find more info on FB – 12th Annual Back to School Exchange

 Oregon’s Only Obon Festival – A Memorial and Celebration of Local Heritage takes place on August 5, 3 pm – 9 pm at Oregon Buddhist Temple, 3720 SE 34th Ave. There has been a growing interest in this truly American celebration: Obon. In particular, the festival’s community folk dances: bon odori – have drawn people from different backgrounds and ages. This year, in addition to attending the festival, participants have additional opportunities that will help better understand the cultural significance of this event. Families and individuals are welcome to join the free bon odori dance classes at the temple prior to the event. These community Japanese folk dances classes prepare attendees for the Obon Festival. Classes are Tuesday and Thursday evenings, August 1 and 4, 7 pm – 9 pm, at the Oregon Buddhist Temple.

The Next R (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle …Recover) has recently opened a volunteer-operated resale and consignment shop at 5600 NE Glisan, Suite A. All proceeds from this shop support NorthStar, a mental health recovery program in the same building that was in jeopardy of losing space due to funding shortages. Cleaning out your garage or have leftover yard sale items? Leave a message at 971.231.4875 and a volunteer will return your call to answer your questions. Do not leave unattended donations when the shop is closed. Volunteers are needed to keep the shop open. When you make purchase, your good deal becomes a good deed.

Modernized Franklin HS opens August 30

By David Mayne

The final finishing touches are underway on the renovations of 102-year-old Franklin High School as it gets ready to open on August 30.

Hallways are being waxed, furniture dusted, final inspections are being approved and the return of students and staff is eagerly awaited.

Furniture for students and staff has been assembled and placed throughout the school buildings. Building security and fire monitoring systems are in place and soon to be operational.

Work on the Franklin community partner areas include Headstart, SUN and Multnomah Health Clinic and are nearing completion.

Landscaping and site work is underway. Grass seed has been planted throughout the site and plants added in bedding areas.

Walkways and sidewalks are nearing completion and new site fencing and vehicle access control gates are currently being installed.

As part of the modernization process, the environmental health and safety concerns that have been found in schools throughout the District, including those involving lead, asbestos and radon, will be completely remediated at Franklin.

The school will be fully accessible and has been brought up to current seismic code.

The Franklin High School Field Opening Ceremony is planned for Friday, September 1 at 6 pm.

Cheer the Franklin Quakers as they inaugurate their brand-new field and track during their first home game that night.

Franklin is the final Portland Public High School to receive an all-weather turf field and a new track.

The project marks the completion of the Ten Great Fields Project which PPS has done in tandem with NIKE, and financial support from the City of Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon Sports Authority, local soccer clubs, and a host of community partnerships.

The Franklin High School Grand Opening, is planned for the next day, September 2 from 10:30 am – 2 pm.

Alumni, students, staff, community members, and public officials will commemorate the renovation of Franklin High School with student led tours and refreshments.




The event is free and all community members are welcome to celebrate this historic occasion made possible by Portland voters who passed the 2012 School Building Improvement Bond.


Community News August 2017

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