Community News December 2017

Home Energy Score

If you’re in the market to buy or sell a home, you’re about to get a peek at the inner workings of your Portland home. That’s because starting in 2018, most Portland home sellers will be required to include a City of Portland Home Energy Score and report in their public listings.

Developed by the U.S. Department of Energy, a home energy score predicts how much energy a home will use, similar to the way a miles-per-gallon score rates a car.

It provides transparency on energy costs and guides future upgrades, giving sellers credit for investments in energy efficiency and helping buyers understand how their future home will perform.

To prepare for the change, real estate professionals are getting a head start to make sure their seller clients are educated about the score.

Transparency in energy use is a trend among cities, including Berkeley, California and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Portland City Council unanimously approved the home energy score policy last year, and it goes into effect on January 1, 2018.

 Five Things You Need to Know

It’s straightforward: the score and accompanying report rank homes on a 1-10 scale, with 5 representing the average Portland home and 10 representing the most energy efficient homes.

The score is based on a home’s physical characteristics, not the current homeowner’s behavior or energy use or the types of lighting and appliances.

Assessors look at features like the “envelope” of the home (the roof, foundation, walls, insulation and windows), its energy systems (heating, cooling and hot water), and floor area or square footage.

Sellers must hire an authorized, licensed home energy assessor to perform a home energy assessment. This is a good way to protect home sellers and home buyers by ensuring an apples-to-apples comparison among homes.

A below-average score does not mean a home is poorly built. A beautiful, sturdy home can get a below-average score. It means there’s opportunity for the seller or future owners to make improvements that reduce energy use.

 The local non-profit Enhabit is currently scheduling home energy assessments for sellers preparing to list their home in 2018. Learn more at hey schedule assessments for homeowners wthin just three to five days, and complete assessments and deliver a score in just 90 minutes.

Proposals for Housing Bonds

Property owners, their representatives, and developers may submit proposals for Portland’s Housing Bond. Portland Housing Bureau (PHB) has released a Request for Interest (RFI) seeking opportunities to acquire land or existing residential buildings of twenty units or more.

Portland voters approved Portland’s Housing Bond in 2016, authorizing the City to issue up to $258.4 million in general obligation bonds for the development or acquisition of affordable housing.

“Unlike our traditional funding process, this RFI does not solicit competitive bids. Instead, we will determine which proposals best serve the public good and announce results on a rolling basis.”

Proposals will be evaluated in part by their alignment with Portland’s Housing Bond Policy Framework, developed by an 18-member advisory body with input from nearly 1,000 community members to guide the expenditure of bond funds.

The Framework, adopted by Portland City Council on October 11, sets an overall goal of 1,300 affordable housing units (including 650 family-sized units, and 600 deeply affordable units), and emphasizes the importance of serving Communities of Color, families, and households experiencing homelessness or at imminent risk of homelessness or displacement, among other priorities.

It also seeks to focus resources geographically in areas at high risk for gentrification as well as in High Opportunity Areas.


The full RFI is available online at For more information on Portland’s Housing Bond, visit

 Peacock Lane Historic District

The National Park Service on November 3 listed Peacock Lane on the National Register of Historic Places as the Peacock Lane Historic District.

The families on Peacock Lane have been working for over a year to gain recognition of the street that is so unique and special in the hearts of generations of the people of Portland.

While known throughout the area as The Christmas Street, Peacock Lane is a very vibrant community in the SE neighborhood.

Residents of Peacock Lane are reaching out to thank the people of the city who have supported them in efforts to become a National Historic District.

Among so many this includes the Sunnyside Neighborhood Association, the Bosco-Milligan Foundation (a.k.a the Architectural Heritage Center), the Portland Nursery, and most especially consultant Ernestina Fuenmayor Machado.

Since at least the 1940s, Peacock Lane residents have voluntarily hosted a free lighting display during the holiday season. Year after year, this extremely popular event brings joy and cheer to tens of thousands.

A large part of what makes this tradition so special is the architectural aesthetic of the homes. Each house on the lane was designed and built by a single developer, R.F. Wassel.

Between the years 1924 and 1930, Wassel constructed his vision of a charming English lane and each English cottage has remained preserved since originally being built nearly 100 years ago.

The Peacock Lane Historic District is a unique example of an early automobile suburb that retains the characteristics of Historic Residential Suburbs in the United States,1830-1960.

Known for its hierarchal street system, which includes road width, curbs and gutters, planting beds, and sidewalks,  Peacock Lane’s vegetation is important too, with the remaining historic trees clustered in the center of the district, augmented by objects like street lamps and sidewalk stamps. It’s an excellent example of an early automobile suburb.

The light show is back on Peacock Lane from December 15-31, 6 – 11 pm. Pedestrian Only Nights are December 15, 16 and 17.

Montavilla Frosty Fest

Frosty Fest offers Montavilla residents and visitors alike a chance to celebrate the holidays with local businesses. All throughout Downtown Montavilla, businesses will feature dazzling window displays to make strolling around fun and festive.

Holiday Window Decorating Contest – Voting Begins November 24. Go to

Merry Montavilla Soiree – Friday, December 8 from 5 pm to closing. Join the Montavilla Business Association downtown for discounts and specials on drinking, shopping, tasting and holiday merriment. In the spirit of the season, please bring canned food to donate to the United Methodist Church food pantry.

Santa Saturday – December 9 from 10 am to 1 pm at Vino Veritas, Santa Claus will be taking a break from holiday preparation to visit Montavilla. Stop by Vino Veritas, 7835 SE Stark St., to create crafts, drink hot cocoa, and tell Santa what you’d like for the holidays.

Free Holiday Screening – Sunday, December 17. Join the Montavilla Business Association for a free screening of a holiday-themed movie (movie and time TBA) at the Academy Theater, 7818 SE Stark St.

Air pollution comment period

In 2016, the U.S. Forest Service revealed dangerously high levels of toxic heavy metals in moss near two Portland art glass companies.

Governor Kate Brown responded by calling on Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to draft health-based regulatory protections for all stationary air pollution sources in Oregon.

Cleaner Air Oregon was launched to create these new rules.

Oregon currently has no regulations to protect people or the environment from the health effects of toxic industrial air pollution. DEQ regulates according to the Clean Air Act and EPA rules but these cover only the largest (Title V) polluters and only six of the most dangerous chemicals in our air.

Oregon DEQ has a list of 52 air toxics – health “benchmarks”-but these have acted only as guidelines should a crisis arise.

According to the DEQ’s statements to the media, Oregon’s air permitting program does not regulate based on human health.

Portland currently ranks as the worst city in the United States for respiratory distress from air pollution according to the 2011 EPA National Air Toxics Assessment released on December 2015.

Cleaner Air Oregon has written a draft proposal to address these problems. Oregon currently does not have regulations to protect people or the environment from the health impacts of most toxic industrial air pollution.

To read the proposed rules, summaries and all related material go to:

Holiday Networking Party

Join SEMpdx and their partners pdxMindShare, IABC, Mac’s List, and AMA after work on Tuesday, December 5, at Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison St. to celebrate the holiday season by eating, drinking, and supporting their 2017-2018 Charity of Choice, Schoolhouse Supplies.

This event is free if you RSVP prior to the event – A recommended $10 donation will go directly to our Charity of Choice, Schoolhouse Supplies. SEMpdx will be matching all donations.

Light appetizers will be provided with music by Mixwell NW – Professional DJ Service.

There will be a mandatory $10 donation at the door, for anyone who did not RSVP through Eventbrite.

*SEM – Search Engine Marketing

Recycling tips for December

By Bonita Davis, Master Recycler and Sunnyside resident

Holiday entertaining, gifts, and extra shipping can all add a 25% spike in the amount of landfill bound material each season. Nationally, that’s about 1 million tons a week!* Many of us hope to recycle much of that, but this year, some materials such as Styrofoam and rigid plastics are harder, or not impossible to recycle due to shifts in the market.

“When in doubt, leave it out” applies to holiday recycling this year.  To all of us who love to recycle, these are difficult words to hear, but necessary. China processes 70-80% of our recycling material. Recent enforcement of their no more than 1.5% non-paper contamination in a mixed paper bale has resulted in turning away recycling materials from the U.S.

In January of 2018, China’s rule becomes even more restrictive, to less than .3% or less contamination. Betty Patton, former Board President of Recycling Advocates, recently attended a DEQ’s Recycling Stakeholder meeting. Gathered to discuss solutions were representatives from local government, haulers, material recovery facilities (MRF’s) and processors. Read Patton’s timely report, Update on Recycling Changes in the 2017 October Newsletter, available at, and continue to check for future updates on strategies to better manage our recycling materials. Also of interest is the Curbsider blog at

All of us are shareholders and can be part of the solution. Here are some things we can do:

Be certain about what you place in recycling. Here to help us not “wishcycle”are:

Metro Recycle Hotline 503.234.3000

Curbsider Hotline     503.823.7202

Curbsider  in print      

The website has options for recycling electronics near your home

Reuse: Gift wrap, gift bags, raffia, paper ribbon and bows and Styrofoam are all reusable. Share with friends or co-workers or pass along on sharing websites. Rent, borrow or buy durable linens, utensils, dishes and beverage containers for long term use. Creatively reuse materials, such as crumpled tissue paper for packing material.  The silver lining? You can save big money,

Reduce. Visit for holiday ideas that involve more fun and less stuff. Concert tickets, bowling, movies, Chinook Books and more. Junk King reports 35% of us have unused gift items collecting dust in our closets and 70% wish of would welcome less spending on gifts. (

Here’s an interesting point of view from a Metro Recycling Hotline expert, “…if you feel guilty about throwing something away, don’t buy it.”

It’s worth thinking about!

Hawthorne’s Holiday Stroll

 Saturday, December 2, 2017

  • 1 to 4 pm – Ornament Making/Tree Decorating

The Fernie Brae @SE 41st

  • 4 pm – Wag Your Swag Ugly Sweater Doggie Parade

Stroll from Kids at heart to The Fernie Brae

  • 4:40 – Wag Your Swag Doggie Parade

Stroll from Kids at heart to The Fernie Brae

  • 5 pm – Holiday Sing-a-Long

With Cocoa and Cider @The Fernie Brae

  • 5:30 – Holiday Tree Lighting @The Fernie Brae
  • 5 to 7 pm – Sip and Shop Beer & Cider Tastings:

Locations along Hawthorne


TAG BUSTERS cleanup is scheduled for:  Saturday, December 23, Meeting at SE 38 & Hawthorne (in front of Wells Fargo Bank) 10 am – noon.We will be getting people in the holiday spirit with Christmas carols, Santa & his elves and doughnuts/coffee/hot chocolate.

HAWTHORNE DIABETES GROUP – Healthy Holiday Habits, Thursday, Dec. 14, 7 – 8:30 pm, 2828 SE Stephens St. Food is central to the festivities, which can be challenging for people who watch their blood sugars. Normal schedules and daily routines get altered around the celebrations and this can make it harder to stick to health-promoting habits. Are the holidays challenging for you? Come for realistic tips and tools on how to enjoy the holiday season and still keep your health in balance. $10 donation requested. No one will be turned away for lack of funds. RSVP through or by contacting Julia Hanfling at / 503.504.5050

LONGEST NIGHT service will take place at Portland Mennonite Church, Thursday, December 21, 7 pm, 1312 SE 35th Ave. The longest night of the year comes right before Christmas. Many people experience the ‘glad tidings’ of the season, but some of us are carrying grief, enduring loss, or struggling with depression.  Portland Mennonite Church is gathering for a service of readings, contemplative music, silence and prayers. The hour-long service begins at 7 pm in the Sanctuary and everyone is welcome. Seek light and peace for your soul on the shortest day and longest night of the year. See for more information.

JOIN THE FRIENDS OF MT. TABOR PARK BOARD – Do you love Mt. Tabor Park? Do you want to help preserve this SE Portland treasure? How about affecting change in the park? If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” consider joining like-minded park enthusiasts as a Friends of Mt. Tabor Park board member. FMTP is searching for dedicated volunteers who can offer help and expertise while serving on the board. Terms are for three years and involve seven meetings annually. Other duties are determined by board needs and board members’ preferences and availability. Contact current board chair, Beau Russell for more information: or 503.512.0816

UNITY OF PORTLAND HOLIDAY SERVICES – Early Candlelighting Service, Friday, December 15 at 7 pm; Christmas Eve Candlelighting Service, Sunday, December 24 at 6 pm;  New Year’s Eve Burning Bowl Ceremony  (letting go of the old, and welcoming the new), Sunday, December 31 at 6 pm; White Stone Ceremony (choose Freedom for the New Year) , Sunday, January 7 at 11 am. The Unity Church is located at 4525 SE Stark St., 503.234.7441,

DIY HOLIDAY CRAFT FESTIVAL at Tabor Heights United Methodist Church, 6161 SE Stark St. on December 3 at 1 pm. Make swags, candles, gifts, decorate cookies, eat some goodies, make a treat for a bird, listen to music, and generally get in the mood for the holidays. Some members of “The Beat Goes On” band will come and play live. Bring a can of food for SnowCap, a local food pantry too if you can. Everyone is welcome.

PORTLAND PARKS & RECREATION (PP&R) IS HIRING for immediate vacancies in the Aquatics division. The Bureau is accepting applications now for lifeguards, swim instructors and water fitness instructors. Positions are open at PP&R swimming pools located throughout the city. With five indoor and seven outdoor (during summer) pools throughout the city, PP&R Aquatics staff have the opportunity to provide a service to their community while earning wages ranging from $11.25 – $14.00 per hour. Training is required as part of the application process for potential employees. But fear not: courses for those interested in becoming a PP&R lifeguard or swim instructor are available during Winter Break – December 18-21, 2017. Lifeguard candidates must be strong swimmers 15 years or older, and complete a four-day training. Swim Instructor candidates must have good swimming skills, the ability to work with all ages and complete a four-day training. For more information regarding training courses and employment opportunities or to request an employment application call Portland Parks & Recreation Aquatics at 503.823.5130.

1) As part of the Central City 2035 Comp Plan, heights west of 12th will be between 50’ and unlimited.

2) The Residential Infill Project is still proposing to increase density on all properties within 1/4 mile (= 5 blocks) of centers & frequent service bus lines. It creates a new “a” overlay zone which will allow increased density on lots colored pale yellow, see link at








Community News December 2017

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