Crime update

In an update of our  December article When It Comes to Crime, the County Matters, Multnomah County Senior Deputy District Attorney James Hayden clarified the report by saying that while the County has some eighty deputy district attorneys, only a handful are assigned to handle thousands of misdemeanor cases.

After responding to a question from a conference attendee last month about why the DA’s office is a revolving door for crime, Hayden elaborated that the answer involves the entire Criminal Justice System.

“We would be a more effective system if we had adequate jail beds, adequate DDAs, adequate police and adequate probation officers and judges and staff.”

Counter to what was reported, judges do hear every case DDAs bring, but the lack of systemwide resources stymies outcomes and convictions.

“Inadequate CJS resources hinders our ability to meaningfully impact many misdemeanor offenders. Beyond the numbers, this means to me, there are too many cases and not enough DDAs.”

Residents interested in taking a Safety and Lifestyle course taught by East Precinct Sgt. Randy Teig should contact the officer directly at Randy.Teig@portlandoregon.gov.

Once he receives sufficient interest, he indicated he will alert the Office of Neighborhood Involvement to publicize the class as part of its crime prevention efforts.MP

 Business Beat

 Postal Annex Hawthorne: Brother and Sister, Scott and Maria Mapes, Portland natives, recently opened a Postal Annex at 35th and Hawthorne. The Mapes are excited to serve the neighborhood with packing, shipping, copying, mail boxrentals, notary and so much more. Bring your items in and we will pack them with diligent care, so they get to their destination safe and sound. We pride ourselves in being friendly, fast and convenient. And we have parking around back! 3439 SE Hawthorne Blvd. 971.279.5151 www.postalannex.com/16019.

 

Elders in Action Civics 101

Interested in getting involved in advocacy but not sure how to get started? Elders in Action invites you to participate in a 5 session training series focusing on the operation and structure or the city, county, neighborhoods and the state legislature. The first session begins on January 10, so register now at 503.235.5474 or cass@eldersinaction.org.

Session 1 – Inside Gresham City Government, Wednesday, January 10, 1 pm – 3 pm; Gresham City Hall (1333 NW Eastman Pkwy, Gresham). Session 2 – Inside Portland City Government Friday, January 19, 1 – 3 pm; Portland City Hall (1221 SW 4th Ave.). Session 3 – Inside Multnomah County Government, Wednesday, January 24,  – 3 pm; Multnomah County Building (501 SE Hawthorne Blvd.). Session 4 – Inside Neighborhood Involvement, Wednesday, January 31, 1 – 3 pm; East Portland Neighborhood Office (1017 NE 117th Ave.).Session 5 – Inside the Oregon State Government, Wednesday, February 7, 10 am – 5 pm; Field Trip Oregon State Capitol.

Snacks and refreshments will be provided! Reimbursement available for bus tickets to and from sessions.

Mt Tabor Weed Warriors

Do you enjoy getting outdoors and being a part of a community making a difference for Portland’s air and water quality? Enjoy spending time in Mt. Tabor Park and learning about plants and animals there and working with other volunteers? You could be a Mt. Tabor Weed Warriors Crew Leader.

Weed Warriors stewardship events are the last Saturday of every month, March-October, from 9 am to noon. Crew Leaders commit to attend at least two of these events and help lead volunteer efforts to pull ivy, dig out blackberry, or remove other invasive plants.

No experience is necessary, just a willingness to work with volunteers of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds.

The two training options are Saturday, Feb. 24, or Saturday March 3, both events from 10 am – 2 pm at the Mt. Tabor Visitors center. Participants need to attend one of two training days to become a Crew Leader.

During the training, you’ll learn common native and invasive species in the park, what Weed Warriors do, and how you can help others be stewards of this amazing park. All tools are supplied.

To register or for more information, contact Stasia Honnold, Stewardship Coordinator, at fmtp.weedwarriors@gmail.com or Lise Gervais at weed.warriors.coord@gmail.com

DE-ESCALATIONTRAINING

Sunnyside Community House, 3520 SE Yamhill St.

Saturday, January 13 1– 4 pm

Join neighbors who are interested in learning skills to better communicate with those who are strangers to us, who may be displaying disruptive behavior, and are dealing with substance abuse and/or mental health issues.Learn both verbal and non verbal skills.

The instructor is  Mark Schorr, Psychologist and the suggested donation $10

RSVP Pat Schwiebert at pat@tearsoup.com

 

EarthTalk – Environmental News

Dear EarthTalk: The environmental movement was built on the philosophies of people like Henry David Thoreau, Aldo Leopold and Rachel Carson. Who are the great environmental visionaries of our own day and age?                                                                                      — Betsy Englund, Boston, MA

Thoreau, best known for his book Walden, taught us how to live a simple life and take pleasure in nature’s splendor all around us. Leopold’s 1949 book, A Sand County Almanac, encouraged us to respect the land and its inhabitants and manage it with future generations in mind. Carson, whose book Silent Spring is credited with advancing the global environmental movement, taught us that the world would be sick, let alone way too quiet, without the soundtrack of wildlife.

While these voices from the past still guide our conservation ethic, a new generation of visionaries is reimagining what it means to be an environmentalist in response to the new existential challenges facing our species and our planet.

One of them is Winona LaDuke, who cut her activist teeth in the 1980s when she helped launch the Indigenous Women’s Network and campaigned for tribal land claims in Minnesota. In 1993 she partnered with the folk-rock duo Indigo Girls to launch Honor the Earth, which raises awareness and support for Native environmental issues and develops resources for the survival of sustainable Native communities.

Honor the Earth uses music, the arts and the media to spread awareness about our dependency on a clean, healthy planet. Most recently, LaDuke set up her tipi at one of the Dakota Access Pipeline protest camps. She has been outspoken about the need to reject such projects and the oil slated to run through them.

Many Americans first learned about the potential perils of climate change from Bill McKibben’s 1989 book The End of Nature. McKibben has subsequently penned more than a dozen books on related topics, and in 2006 crossed over into activism, helping lead a five-day walk across Vermont calling for action on global warming.

He went on to launch 350.org, a global climate organizing effort named after climate scientist James Hansen’s contention that atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide above 350 parts per million would be unsafe for humanity and the planet.

Pioneering the use of social media to grow its ranks, the group coordinated 5,200 demonstrations in 181 countries as part of its International Day of Climate Action in October 2009 and rallied hundreds of thousands more people at subsequent events.

McKibben remains an outspoken critic of both the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipeline projects.

While McKibben worked his way into our hearts through his writing, Josh Fox did it with video. The filmmaker’s 2010 documentary Gasland focused on the environmental effects of hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) of shale formations to recover natural gas deposits. The Oscar-nominated film became a key lever in the anti-fracking movement and Fox went onto become a vocal opponent of fracking.

In 2016, Fox traveled the country on behalf of Bernie Sanders’ campaign for President and helped pen a historic climate amendment to the Democratic Platform calling for the institution of a national carbon pricing system, the phase out of gas-fired power plants and higher efficiency standards for federal energy projects. Fox currently works as Creative Director for Our Revolution, a non-profit Sanders launched following the 2016 Democratic primaries to get more Americans involved in the political process and organize and elect progressive candidates.

Honor the Earth, honorearth.org; 350, 350.org; Our Revolution, ourrevolution.com.

EarthTalk® is produced by Roddy Scheer & Doug Moss and is a registered trademark of the nonprofit Earth Action Network. To donate, visit earthtalk.org. Send questions to: question@earthtalk.org.

ROGUE PACK “TRUTH AND DARE,” STORIES AND IMPROVISATIONAL COMEDY–Sellwood Playhouse, 901 SE Spokane, Jan. 26 & 27, 7;30 pm. Cost: $10 online, $15 at door, $12 students and seniors: http://www.roguepack.org. Rogue Pack a nonprofit theatre for underserved youth, facilitates storytelling theatre workshops for Portland area youth to empower and connect with their community. We partner with Portland youth organizations and theatre professionals mentor so they can reach their potential. Current partnerships are, Boys & Girls Aid and the Donald E. Long Juvenile Detention Center.

Portland Food Project

Portland Food Project (PFP) is a volunteer-run organization that sponsors food drives six times a year. They make it easy to donate food and get it to people who really need it.

Six Saturdays a year, donors put PFP green bags full of non-perishable food on their porches, in their apartment lobbies, and in their carports. Neighborhood Coordinators collect those bags and leave empty ones behind to fill for the next collection. The collected food is then distributed to 22 local food pantries.

In 2016, they collected nearly 100,000 lbs. of food from over 1,600 local donors.

Tens of millions of Americans face food insecurity every day. According to the Oregon Food Bank, one in five Oregonians faces food insecurity and 34% of them are children.

To help meet their monthly food needs, most turn to food pantries. The need is great enough that food pantries in the Portland area struggle to keep their shelves full.

By making it easy to donate, they help fill in the gaps and make it possible for hungry Portland residents to make complete, balanced meals for their families.

This is all about strengthening our community and  neighbors helping neighbors. Along with keeping food pantries shelves full year-round – and not just during the winter holidays – Portland Food Project creates neighborhood connections.

Neighborhood Coordinators communicate with donors and donors themselves reach out to friends and neighbors to participate. People get to know one another in ways that are often lacking in today’s society.

The next pick up is scheduled for  Saturday, February 10. They do pick-ups the second Saturday of every other month.

 

To learn more about Portland Food Project, visit portlandfoodproject.org or contact Karen Beck at 503.260.8200 or kbeck747@gmail.com.

Recycling tips for January

By Bonita Davis, Master Recycler and Sunnyside Resident

Post holiday overload?  Stuffed closets and drawers?  By now we have probably solved holiday related recycling questions by calling the Metro Hotline at 503.234.0000 or checking the Curbsider at portlandoregon.gov/bps/curbsider. Now, what do we do with all gifts we don’t need or want?

Tucking them away on a shelf can result in forgetting about them until a major clean-up. Over time, items can become obsolete or damaged and storage space disappears.

Here is a suggestion fromlifestorage.com: Try using a four box method to sort through your stuff. Ask yourself, how often does this item get used, is it sentimental, would I miss it if it were gone, and does it bring me pleasure? Determine what to 1.Keep and put away, 2. Donate/sell, 3. Dispose of  4. Store.

Things are made to be used!  Keeping consumer goods in use is just as important as recycling.  Offering up items on sites such as Nextdoor.com and Craigslist, consigning, and even re-gifting are all great options.

Hard-to-part-with items with sentimental value may be welcomed by local extended family members. Clothing, hygiene products and other essential items are needed by agencies. Find them on 211info.org.

The Metro and Curbsider Hotlines can help with where to donate. Always call an agency or check their website first so that you can match what you wish to donate with their needs.

Portland has wonderful reuse stores and programs.  Make this the year to check out Free Geek, Community Warehouse, ScrapPDX, ReStores, ReBuilding Store, ReClaim IT, Community Cycling Center, Title Wave, Tool and Kitchen Libraries, Dress for Success, P’EAR, and many other non-profits who depend on support.

Need an extra nudge to let go of some stuff? Some eye-popping facts from becomingminamalist.com: The US has five times more storage facilities than Starbucks shops. U.S. children play with less than 5% of the toys they own. The average American throws away 65 lbs of clothing per year. Our homes have more TV’s than people, and we spend more on shoes, jewelry and watches than higher education and we have more shopping malls than high schools!

What?! Get donating and embrace your unstuffed closet.

CREATIVE WRITING CLASS FOR WOMEN – Write from prompts that may lead to new stories, poems or essays. Mondays,  10 am to 11:30 am., January 8-March 5 (no class on 1/15), 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 group. Taught by Pushcart-nominee Linda Ferguson. For information, email ljdferguson@gmail.com.

FREE HOME LEAD TESTING KITS AVAILABLE – Homes built or plumbed between 1970 and 1985 may have lead solder in their plumbing. Testing is the easiest way to know if your home’s plumbing is adding lead to your water. Portland Water Bureau is committed to providing clean, safe, and reliable water to you and your family. Visit: multco.us/health/lead-poisoning-prevention to request a FREE lead-in-water test kit.

HAWTHORNE DIABETES GROUP: A Body Trust Approach to Food, Weight & Health – Thursday, Jan. 18, 7 – 8:30 pm, 2828 SE Stephens St. When most people, regardless of size, feel discontent about their weight, it is time for a new conversation aboust health, one that nourishes and celebrates who we are and who we can become. January’s workshop look at factors that impact our relationship with food and body, and talk about the difference between letting go and giving up. Leave with ideas for starting the New Year with acceptance instead of resolution. Dana Sturtevant, MS, RD, is a trainer, mentor, yoga teacher, and dietitian specializing in Health at Every Size and Intuitive Eating. Visit benourished.org. $10 donation requested. No one will be turned away for lack of funds. RSVP through meetup.com/Hawthorne-Diabetes-Group or by contacting Julia Hanfling at julia@3peachesnutrition.com / 503.504.5050

TRUE NATURE: CLASSES IN MT. TABOR PARK begin January 30. Registration is now open for Portland Parks & Recreation’s True Nature, a program that promotes deep nature connection as a means of self-development for mentors and children while building healthy, resilient community connections for all. Children ages 4-12 commit to attending weekly classes for 8 weeks. See portlandoregon.gov/parks/truenature for details.

LEAD POISONING PREVENTION WORKSHOP – Attend a free workshop and learn how to prevent lead exposure in your home. Great for households with children or pregnant women, especially those living in homes built before 1978. Qualified participants receive a free kit of safety and testing supplies at the end of the workshop. Tues, Jan 16,  6 – 7:30 pm, and Tuesday, Jan 30, 5:30 – 7 pm at 2900 SE Stark St A. Great for anyone who is looking to complete a small project that may involve exposure to lead paint, such as sanding down an old window frame, re-purposing an older door with potential lead paint, or any other small construction project in an older home. communityenergyproject.org or call 503.284.6827 x108.

STOP DRAFTS AND INSULATION WORKSHOPS – Free workshops to learn to stop drafts in your home, especially around doors and windows and how to weatherize a flat attic. Great for homeowners and renters. A free insulation workshop Thurs, Jan 11, 6 – 8 pm, East Portland Community Center, 740 SE 106th Ave. teaches participants. air sealing, ventilation, installing insulation, and incentives to help cover the cost of your project.  Learn more and register for all three of these workshops at communityenergyproject.org or call 503.284.6827 x108.

SPRING OREGON CLEAN UP–Thousands of volunteers will come together for a day at the beach Saturday, March 24 from 10 am – 1 pm to clear the coast of litter and marine debris at 45 locations stretching from Astoria in the North, all the way to Brookings in the South. SOLVE’s Spring Oregon Beach Cleanup, presented by AAA Oregon has been a family-friendly tradition for over thirty years. Each of the locations offers a great opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and explore the Oregon coast, all while making a positive difference for marine animals, coastal communities and the health of our entire ocean. Supplies and instructions are provided at each check in location and all ages and abilities are encouraged to join in. To register and view a list of project sites, visit solveoregon.org or call 503.844.9571 ext. 332 or 1.800.333.7658. Registration opens February 5, 2018.

Questions? Contact SOLVE by phone or email us at info@solveoregon.org

Bottle bill expands

An article in the Portland Business Journal by Pete Danko said that beginning on Jan. 1, more beverages sold in the state will be covered under the state’s bottle bill.

Coffee and tea, cider, sports drinks, fruit and veggie juices, coconut water and kombucha are among the new beverages in containers between 4 oz. and 1.5 liters that will require a 10-cent deposit and be eligible for redemption.

The expansion is the result of a 2011 amendment to the first-in-the-nation bottle bill that Oregon passed in 1971. It puts the law “in line with the kinds of products that are out there today,” Jules Bailey, chief stewardship officer for the Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative, which manages logistics for the bottle bill, said in a news release.

Oregon Liquor Control Commission said the list of covered beverages is so long and varied now that it would be easier to think in terms of what won’t be covered.

Come the new year, that dwindling list will include distilled spirits, wine, milk, infant formula and meal replacement beverages. A list of exceptions is available on the OLCC website oregon.gov/OLCC/pages/index.aspx

The expansion comes on the heels of a busy year for recycling in Oregon. In April, the bottle bill deposit and redemption value doubled from a nickel to a dime, in the hopes of turning around a declining redemption rate (64.3 percent in 2016).

Then came the news that China, the destination for most of the mixed paper and post-consumer plastics collected in the state, would stop accepting a long list of materials.

That has led state environmental regulators to agree to allow some processors to dispose of recyclable materials that can’t find a market.

That’s not an issue for plastic bottles returned to retailers or Bottle Drop centers, however they all get recycled at a facility in St. Helens.