Community News September 2017

Automobile Recycling

By Bonita Davis, Master

Recycler and Sunnyside resident

Cars really do come to the end of their road. That is what led me to Metro Metals in NE Portland to learn what metal recycling is all about, specifically for an automobile.

Metro Metals Northwest, Inc. is the largest industrial-based scrap metal company in the region. Surrounded by massive bins of neatly sorted metals, ferrous and non-ferrous (aluminum and copper), I was struck by the enormous scale of the metal recycling operation that covers some 25 acres and 75,000 sq. ft. at the Columbia Blvd. site alone.

Oversized cranes and specifically designed machinery moved everything from piping, fencing, automobiles and appliances to their next processing station.

Thanks to a guided educational tour with Charlie Neal, Metro Metals Northwest Buying Manager, I was able to follow an automobile through the shredding process. An impressive 99% of steel in a car is reused, and recycling is more environmentally friendly than extracting ores.

The process begins with making sure all documentation is in order, and all fluids drained from a vehicle. Fluids are safely contained for reuse, recycling and transport. Vehicle parts such as radiators, catalytic converters, etc., are removed, flattened, baled and grouped.

Next, flattened vehicles and other scrap are transported to Vancouver where they form a huge mound of scrap metal. The blue car I was following was dwarfed, hardly noticeable as an object in the enormous pile of metal that was ready for shredding.

Specialized cranes with oversized claws and huge magnets made quick work of scooping up the car and everything else around it and delivering it to an oversized conveyor system that dropped it into the shredder.

In less than 10 seconds, the shredder literally tore the metal into fist sized pieces creating a mountain of valuable metal destined for domestic markets, SE Asia or India.

Sorted from the metal and forming a smaller mountain was a greyish ASR, or Automotive Shredder Residue from the non-metal parts of the car included plastics, foam, upholstery, etc.  Referred to as “fluff,” this material is used as 6” cover material for landfills. The blue car was now new manufacturing material.

Time to part with a car?  Sell it, trade it in, scrap it or consider the benefits of donating to a local non-profit that accepts all forms of vehicles and craft.

Some may use the donation for their program, recondition it for resale, sell it auction or scrap it. Your favorite non-profit may advertise that they have a car donation program, or a quick internet search will produce at least 3 dozen local charities that will accept your car.

The process is simplified by the provision of towing, help with the DMV paperwork, and assigning a donation value amount for tax purposes.

Learn more at The IRS has a helpful site, at that guides how you assess a charity asking for the donation, determine if you qualify for a tax benefit, how to set the value of your vehicle, and your responsibilities  as a donor.

Go to to see video of the car recycling process.

Learn more about Metro Metals Northwest, Inc. at, 5611 NE Columbia Blvd., 503.287.8861

LWV discuss Oregon’s budget

The League of Women Voters of Portland’s kick off the Civic Education Program for 2017-2018 with a panel discussing how Oregon will thrive in the current fiscal environment, despite the defeat of Measure 97 last November.

The panel includes: Michael Dembro, Oregon Legislative Senator SE/NE Portland; Jeremy Rogers, Oregon Business Plan (;  and someone from Oregon Department of Administrative Services. Barbara Dudley, League member and Adjunct Professor, Hatfield School of Government, Portland State University, will moderate.

This free and public meeting will be held on Sept. 12 at 7 pm at the Multnomah County Boardroom, 501 SE Hawthorne Blvd. The program will be recorded for rebroadcast and online streaming by MetroEast Community Media, shortly after the panel presentation, at League office 503.228.1675,

Laurelhurst Park

Friends of Laurelhurst Park will be sponsoring four work parties in concert with City Parks and Rec to beautify and care for the park by pruning, weeding, mulching, planting as needed and removing invasive species such as ivy and holly.

The events are opportunities to have garden fun and make new friends. During the fall months work events will occur from 9 to noon on September 13 and October 11. 23 and 28.

There have been significant new developments at the park over the past several months:

After several serious incidents earlier in the year, City enforcement has reduced camping in the park and car camping on the adjacent roads. With risk reduced, there are lots of people at the park again. Picnic, play or run your dog in designated dog park areas.

As a result of FLP advocacy following several injuries, handrails are scheduled to be installed on the brick stairs into the park from Ankeny St. The design will match the era and style of the park and contribute to the safety of park visitors.

There is good work to be done and friends to meet. So all are invited to join in FLP work parties .

Find them on Faebook at LaurelhurstPDX.

Dahlia Festival

This year’s Old House Dahlia Festival will be held on September. 9,10 and 16,17 from 10 am – 5 pm, 11600 Highway 101, 8 miles south of Tillamook. Make a day of it and come to the beach. Walk around the four acres of Dahlia Trails in the beautiful Tillamook County coastal valley close to the Munson Creek Waterfall, a must see in the area.

The fest features 200 varieties of dahlias, and a display garden and sunflower fields. Pre-order your tubers for 2018! Mark will be serving Pelican Beer, Blue Star Coffee and lots of space for a picnic.

Call Mark 503.741.8543

Occupied vehicles

In addition to increased reports of abandoned vehicles, PBOT has experienced a significant increase in the number of occupied vehicles reported by residents or encountered by the bureau’s Inspection Officers.

It is important for the public to understand that the handling of these cases require different tools and approaches than those used for unoccupied abandoned vehicles.

One of the key differences is that state law (ORS 811.195) prohibits towing of vehicles that are occupied. In cases where there is personal property in or around the vehicle, Inspection

Officers legally do not have the authority to remove or otherwise handle this property and there are separate procedures and responsible parties for cleaning the public right-of-way.

PBOT Inspection Officers follow different procedures when encountering occupied vehicles. PBOT’s approach is to balance the needs of people living in vehicles who may be in need of social services or other support services with the desire of residents to address safety and neighborhood livability issues that may be associated with these vehicles.

If there is an immediate or imminent threat to public health or safety, Portland Police will be called to address the situation.

The Police Bureau is able to tow vehicles in very limited circumstances, to address any immediate safety and health threats to the community created by a vehicle. These are known as Community Caretaking tows.

If there isn’t an immediate public safety or public health concern, but instead a concern about the vehicle inhabitants, or if the vehicle is creating nuisance or livability issues, PBOT’s Inspection Officers will refer the case to One Point of Contact, who then coordinates with social service providers. One Point of Contact will coordinate the clean-up of trash and belongings around the vehicle.

For information about PBOT’s abandoned auto program, go to:

The number to call to check on the status of a previously reported abandoned autos complaint (not to re-report) is 503.823.6814.

PBOT staff remind complainants that all issues relating to public safety should be directed to the Portland Police Bureau either via their non-emergency line at 503.823.3333,

Business Beat

 THE MUSICALITY NETWORK is a local network of music teachers who come to your home for lessons. Open to all ages and all instruments are available. Visit for more information and arrange a free lesson at 971.227.4222, or email

BEGINNING CALLIGRAPHY CLASSES – Rock Paper Calligraphy offers classes in South Tabor beginning in September. Learn the versatile art of Italic lettering and Modern Calligraphy in a small class setting. Morning and evening class times available. Good handwriting not a requirement. Three  2-hour classes. $85 which includes all supplies. Please call or text 503.432.1021 for information and to register. Look for the October 21 one-day workshop at Artist & Craftsman Supply. Learn to make fresh pasta by hand. September 9 from 10 am – 1 pm. Call for details and to register.

Volunteers needed for Tour of Untimely Departures

Volunteers are needed now for the annual Tour of Untimely Departures at Lone Fir Cemetery.

All positions are available; starting now and up to the evening of the event, Saturday October 28. Volunteers are  needed to make this popular Halloween event amazing.

Help protect the cemetery while learning about Portland history and having fun.

Volunteer positions include: set up, actors, tour guides greeters, ghouls, logistic volunteers, gate, and musicians entertainers. Sign up with family and friends for a fun-filled night.

For more information and to sign up contact J. Swofford at

Friends of Mt. Tabor walk/run

The 6th annual Friends of Mt. Tabor Park 5k walk/run and 10K run will be held Sunday, October 1, to celebrate autumn in the park.

Prices for the races remain the same at $25 for the 10K, $15 for the 5K, and $5 for kids 12 and under entered in the 5k. The race is a fundraising event to benefit Friends of Mt. Tabor Park. Over the past five years the race has raised over $7,000 for the organization.

Mt. Tabor Park has a well-designed forested trail system consisting of three trails – the Red Trail, the Green Trail and the Blue Trail – that circumnavigate Mt. Tabor. The Red Trail is a 1-mile loop running counter-clockwise; the Green Trail is a 1.7-mile loop running clockwise; and the Blue Trail is a 3-mile loop that runs counter-clockwise. The 10K utilizes all three trails, while the 5K utilizes the blue loop.
The 10K race begins at 9 am and the 5K race begins at 9:05. For check in and same-day registration, come to the parking lot near the caldera between 8 – 8:45 am. After the race mingle with other runners and enjoy post race snacks donated by local businesses.  There will be a raffle after the race for donations.

To register online or by mail, and to learn more about the race, go to

 Pod closure update

If all good things must come to an end, as a food cart manager at SE 28th Place and Division St. said, things are ending too quickly for the pod along SE Division.

“We had a good three-year run, but we had expected five,” he said.

The food carts known by locals as Tidbit must close or relocate by October to make way for more mixed use development on Division St.

“This is so sad. This was a draw for neighbors, families and tourists,” said  Chris Theison of Doghouse PDX as she served grassfed beef creations to long lines on a so-called “slow” weekday.

Doghouse is one of the luckier carts in the pod since it has a second location at SE 42nd and Belmont St. Plus, it may have a berth reserved up the street at 50th and Division courtesy of Joe St. Martin of Scout Brewery and Tavern on Hawthorne, and the Beer Garden that currently serves as the heart of the Tidbit community.

St. Martin is working with a property owner near the Plaid Pantry to establish a brick and mortar tap bar as well as indoor and outdoor locations for a handful of other vendors.

“We were hoping we’d last longer (at the 28th Place site),” said St. Martin, “But anyone who looked at that property and guessed its worth knew this was a short-term location.”

At another cart, a manager said she was scrambling to line up enough special events and pop-up meals to get through the winter. At still another, the employees were unaware of the coming closure.

Residents will feel the loss keenly. “Tidbit food truck pod is so wonderful. These carts are more than just a place to eat, they are a community gathering spot,” writes Richmond resident Lori Hawthorne who had hoped to find a way to stop the closure.

“On any day it’s busy, kids are running around, families and friends are dining, musicians are often playing.

“If you talk with the food truck owners, they admit being very worried about where they’ll go come end of the year as there just isn’t anything else like Tidbit; citing they’ll never be able to earn the income they were able to at this successful pod.

“To have this taken away for another apartment/condo complex, just like everywhere else on Division – it’s devastating.”

The good things that put Portland on the map – its charm, civility and food cart pods – seem to vanish all too soon. MP

 EASTSIDE PORTLAND AIR COALITION is organizing a community meeting with Oregon Department of Environmental Quality about the clean up plan for the contaminated soil and ground water around Bullseye Glass Company (SE 22d off Powell Blvd). Bullseye has filtered their stacks so air is 99% cleaner than it was. However, 42 years worth of toxic heavy metals washed off their roof into their drywells contaminating local soil and reaching the water table. Bring your questions and complaints: September 7, 6:30 – 9 pm, TaborSpace, 5441 SE Belmont St.

PREPARE FOR ALL TYPES OF DISASTERS – Thursday, Sept. 14, 6 to 7:30 pm at the Belmont Library, 1038 SE César E. Chávez Blvd., 503.988.5123. Registration required – Learn about Emergency Preparedness and how to develop social resilience in your neighborhood. A lively, interactive workshop will be presented by local Sunnyside Neighborhood Emergency Team (NET) members. Whether you’re a renter or homeowner, this workshop will provide you with knowledge of the tools and materials needed to take the next steps towards preparedness. After you register, pick up a free copy of American Red Cross Prepare! A Resource Guide.

HEALING 101 LECTURE – September 21, 6 pm. This lecture focuses on what happens in the inflammation, repair and remodeling phases of healing and how specific exercises throughout each stage benefit proper healing. at New Heights Physical Therapy, 5736 NE Glisan St., 971.339.3405.

RESERVE SPACE FOR THE NEW YEAR’S EVE DANCE at The Laurelhurst club, 3721 SE Ankeny St. Dance to the John Bennett Orchestra to celebrate 2018. Early reservations are encouraged, as space is limited. Evening attire (Black Tie/Formal Gown or Dark Suit/Semi-Formal). Social hour begins at 8:30 pm.  Cost: $40 a couple if payment received by October 1, $50 later. Contact Gerry Hubbard at 503.206.4076 for a registration form.

VIKING PANCAKE BREAKFAST SEPTEMBER 10 – Bring the family to our Pancake Breakfast and start the day with delicious all-you-can-eat Viking pancakes, scrambled eggs, sausage, fresh fruit, strawberry compote, lingonberries, orange juice and coffee or tea served in our charming Bergen Dining Room at Norse Hall. 8:30 am to 12:30 pm.  Adults $8, Children ages 5-12 $4, Children under age 5 are free. 111 NE 11th Ave. Parking is free.

CREATIVE WRITING CLASS FOR WOMEN – Write from prompts that may lead to new stories, poems or essays. Mondays,  10 am – 11:30 am., September 18 – November 6, at TaborSpace, 5441 SE Belmont. $12 to drop in for a class or $80 for all 8 weeks. All experience levels are welcome to join this encouraging class. Taught by Pushcart-nominee Linda Ferguson. For information, email

PARK(ING) DAY RETURNS TO PORTLAND SEPTEMBER 15! – Park(ing) Day is your chance to create a mini park! It happens once a year in September and gives Portland the opportunity to re-envision how our public spaces are used. Participants temporarily turn street parking spaces into parklets. An international event since 2006. Park(ing) Day creates opportunities for citizens, artists and activists to create more public spaces. The program inspires creative placemaking and to highlight different uses of the public right-of-way. PBOT wants to encourage you to rethink how streets can be used. See the website for an application and requirements:

SOLVE BEACH CLEAN UP SEPTEMBER 23 – This year’s event will be held in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Oregon Beach Bill, which placed our iconic beaches under public ownership in 1967. Thousands of Oregon volunteers come together for the SOLVE Beach & Riverside Cleanup, presented by the Oregon Lottery. Enjoy the outdoors while making a difference this fall as a SOLVE leader at the Beach and Riverside Cleanup, presented by the Oregon Lottery. Get involved today and make a difference for tomorrow. Contact

FREE SUSTAINABLE LANDSCAPE WORKSHOPS – CEU’s available! Dig it up. Mulch it down. Love your garden, all year ‘round!  It’s easy to landscape for clean water and healthy habitat. East Multnomah SWCD offers free classes to help you discover simple steps to creating an attractive, low-maintenance landscape that conserves water, reduces pollution, and attracts beneficial wildlife. All classes are free, and everyone is welcome. Register online at, 503.935.5368.  In September, Native Plants – discover Portland’s most common native plant communities, learn which species do well in similar growing conditions, and get tips to help them thrive. Wednesday, Sept. 27 from 6:30 – 9 pm at Woodstock Community Center, 5905 SE 43rd Ave.

VOLUNTEER TAG BUSTER – Join the Richmond Neighborhood Graffiti Task Force. As an official sub-committee of the RNA, the Graffiti Task Force is always looking for volunteers to help remove graffiti/tags and stickers from street signs and utility poles. Cleanups are held once a month for a two-hour period on a Saturday or Sunday. The next clean up will be Sunday, September 17. from 10 am – 12 noon meeting in front of Safeway at SE 27th & Hawthorne. Meetings are held at the D Street Building, 3050 SE Division, in the 2nd floor conference room. Scheduled for the 4th Tuesday of the month at 7 pm, they talk strategy and tactics, and brainstorm ways to get the word out. For more information or to join the email list, contact Volunteer Outreach Coordinator Nina Silberstein at nswriter@

CREATIVE MEDITATIVE PLANT ART, Saturday, September 23, 1:30 –  4:30 pm at People’s Coop 3029 SE 21st. To register  go to: We lead hectic, disconnected, and busy lives. Even when we are supposed to be relaxing it can feel like we’re just trying to check something off our to-do list. Creating Meditative Plant Art is a practice for getting out of that “always-going,” goal-oriented mode and slowing down to notice the Sacred all around you.


Community News September 2017

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