Student-Designed Playground

By Bob Kellett

For many students, the time they spend playing on the playground is one of the highlights of the day. At Buckman Elementary school, students having been thinking a lot about their playground.

Like other playgrounds at Portland Public Schools, Buckman’s faces a myriad of challenges.

There is broken and unsafe equipment, areas prone to flooding and unusable for large portions of the year, and limited access to natural materials and creative spaces kids need to develop social, emotional, physical, and academic skills.

Students at Buckman are eager to change the playground’s conditions. They’ve been working to envision what the playground could be.

With the help of landscape architects from Learning Landscapes, fourth graders at Buckman this spring developed a vision and a plan for the playground as part of the classroom curriculum.

They measured and took note of all of the aspects of the spaces. They spoke about what they would like to correct with the spaces and what they currently enjoy and still want to keep. The fourth graders compiled a list of wants, then conducted interviews of kids in lower classes to see what they would want to change.

They learned to design specific spaces with bubble drawings, to get an idea where things should be placed based on access, safety and common sense and flow of the space.

They learned about tools architects use to lay a final design on paper. These designs were then turned over to architects who combined and used them to create the design.

Among the concepts that emerged were nature-based play structures where children can climb logs and boulders, an Enchanted Forest where students can imagine new worlds among the trees, artfully painted game areas and labyrinth on the blacktop to inspire kids to play their favorite games or make up new ones, and a gathering area for parents and members of the neighborhood.

The Buckman community is kicking off a campaign to raise money to help turn their students’ ideas into a vibrant playground to benefit the school and the neighborhood.

They are seeking to raise $60,000 for the next phase of this project and an online fundraiser has been set up at: pages.donately.com/buckmanelementarypta/campaigns

Volunteers are needed for Community Care Day, Saturday August 25, 9 am-4 pm to paint a new design on the upper playground. Folks are also needed to trim shrubs and ground cleanup.

For information about the Buckman playground project and to get involved, contact pta@buckmanelementary.org.

Business Beat

MANAGED MOVES is a full service moving and downsizing company. Specialized teams assist in each step of the downsize, pack, move, unpack, estate sale and/or estate clean out. They are ODOT licensed, unlike other senior moving managers and their truck fleet and movers provide quality service. ManagedMoves.org / 503.780.7136

CARE ESSENTIALS by Kaiser Permanente is now open  at 3060 SE Hawthorne, Suite 1. The clinic provides convenient care to the entire community – Kaiser Permanente members as well as nonmembers. Care Essentials clinicians treat minor illnesses and conditions such as colds, flu, strep throat, pink eye, rashes, or urinary tract infections, and minor injuries such as minor burns and abrasions or splinter removals. A complete list of services and payment options are online at careessentials.org/services. They are open every day: Monday through Friday, 8 am to 8 pm, and Saturday, Sunday, and holidays, 9 am to 6 pm. Make appointments online at careessentials.org, by phone at 1.855.235.0491 or by stopping by in person.

INDIE COTTAGE PDX – 4414 SE Hawthorne Blvd. has great kids and adults classes schedule for August. See indiecottagepdx.com or FB to register or for details.

OHS photo contest

photo by Callie Attanasio, 2017 winner

 Love to take cute photos of your pets? The Oregon Humane Society Photo Contest wants your images to save shelter pets and win prizes.

There are three categories available to enter: Top Dog, Top Cat and Top Other Pet. A fourth category, OHS Choice, will be selected by OHS staff from among all photos submitted.

The deadline for submitting photos and voting is 11 pm on August 15, and entrants upload their pics online at tinyurl.com/ycacgv2x.

The public votes for their favorite photos and each category with the most votes will receive a printed and framed photograph of their entry and a $200 gift card from Frame Central.

The grand prize winner, with the most votes, receives a two-night stay at the Hallmark Inns on the Oregon coast.

A winning pic will be on the cover of the OHS magazine and winners and runners-ups will be featured in a magazine story.

There is a $10 fee to enter and $5 fee for five votes. All entry and voting fees go directly to help the animals at OHS. Additional details at oregonhumane.org/get-involved/events/ohs-photo-contest.

Catio Tour 2018

The Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon and Audubon Society of Portland are showcasing Portland area cat patios, known as Catios.

The event is scheduled for September 8, 10 am – 2 pm, $10 (12 years and under are free). To register go to CatsSafeAtHome.org.

There will be ten catios to visit. Interest in catios is very strong throughout Portland and particularly in SE neighborhoods. It is a win-win for cats and wildlife.

Recycling:  FACT CHECK

What’s True and What Isn’t

By Bonita Davis, Master

Recycler and Sunnyside Resident

“What do I do with….?” was a question I recently saw posted on a local social media site.  Generating dozens of responses, most of the responses were spot on, but others not so much. Mixed in with facts were complaints, information from other cities and states, and opinions about what should be included in curbside recycling. It was confusing!

One thing is certain: in Portland, it is quick and easy to FACT CHECK your information on recycling – right from the source. There is no need to have doubts or wonder whether or not something is recyclable.

Here’s how: Dial the Metro Recycler Hotline at 503.234.3000 and talk with an expert for the most up-to-date accurate information available for all twenty four cities in the Metro area.

The Hotline is open Monday-Saturday from 8:30 am – 5 pm.  Find out what bin to use for an item in question, or possibly recycling and reuse options for items beyond the curbside program.

If you prefer online services, oregonmetro.gov has a Find-a-Recycler tool that is a great resource.

Another terrific resource is the Portland Curbsider Hotline, 503.823.7202. The service is available Monday- Friday from 8 am-5 pm. Find out what can be recycled and what is considered waste by consulting directly with knowledgeable staff.

Messages left on the Hotline are returned promptly. To view the latest online version of the twice yearly Curbsider, type Portland Curbsider into your browser and read up on recycling tips for sustainable living.

The Porltand Curbsider staff encourages you to leave these 6 things out of the blue bin: plastic bags, film and wrappers; plastic drink cups, straws and coffee cups, and frozen food boxes and trays; to-go containers and clamshells; styrofoam blocks and foam peanuts; and (it should go without saying) Diapers!

Metro staff agree and add plastic lids and pizza boxes to the list to the list and remind us all “When in doubt, throw it out!”

Volunteers for Earthquake Ready

Multnomah County is recruiting volunteers to serve on a Community Task Force, an advisory body that will provide important input during the environmental study phase of the Earthquake Ready Burnside Bridge project.

Portland’s aging downtown bridges are not expected to withstand a major earthquake, so Multnomah County is taking the lead on making at least one earthquake-ready. The Burnside Bridge is a key downtown link across the Willamette River along Burnside St., a regionally established lifeline route that extends from Washington County to Gresham.

The county is nearing the end of a feasibility study that will narrow more than 100 bridge replacement and rehabilitation options to a short list that will be evaluated during the next phase. The environmental study phase ends with selection of the preferred alternative.

Community Task Force members will be asked to serve during the 3-year environmental review phase. Meetings will be held on a weekday evening approximately every 2-3 months in a central location convenient to transit, starting in October. Dinner will be provided.

Members will provide input to the project team during the environmental phase and recommendations to decision makers at key project milestones. They will connect the project to their organization or interest group.

Multnomah County is seeking a diverse group of volunteers who use the Burnside Bridge and will depend on it during a major earthquake.

Task force members should be able to represent the interests of an organization or interest group and actively participate in a consensus-building group process. No professional design experience is required.

Individuals interested in serving need to complete an online application form by the close of business on Friday, August 17, 2018. Applicants can complete a hard copy of the application and return it to Multnomah County’s Communications Office via mail (501 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 6th Floor, Portland, OR 97214) or e-mail (burnsidebridge@multco.us).

For information, call 503.209.4111 or visit burnsidebridge.org.

Water Avenue Courtesy Shuttle

The Central Eastside has been quickly growing and so have transportation and parking issues in the area. In response, the CEIC is introducing the CEIC Water Avenue Courtesy shuttle. The buses began running July 9 with two shuttles operating every weekday (Monday to Friday) at peak hours, from 6:30 am to 9:30 am and evenings from 4-7 pm with about 15-20 min lag time.

“We hope that this free bus service will be a success and that we will be able to expand it. Eventually, if we have enough ridership, we even may be able to encourage TriMet to expand their service to this area,” says CEIC President, Brad Malsin. Each bus has a maximum capacity of 25 people and is ADA equipped. The route stops are :

  • Dairy Building, 2705 SE 8th Ave.
  • Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation, 2250 SE Water Ave.
  • OMSI Northern parking lot,1945 SE Water Ave.
  • ODOT (Water Avenue and SE Taylor St., Northern lot)
  • Eastside Exchange Building lot, 123 NE 3rd Ave.
  • Oregon Convention Center (most southern bus stop area)

“Our partner for this pilot project is City Center Parking, and we are working closely together to assess and adapt to the needs of the employees in the area, who are the main users. This is one more way of connecting people to more transportation options, whether it be parking at a monthly parking lot or taking the Orange line. You can track the bus on your phone, which gives the user the flexibility to decide whether to use BikeTown, walk or wait for the shuttle”, says Kate Merrill, Executive Director of the CEIC.

The CEIC is a non-profit, volunteer organization representing businesses and property owners in the Central Eastside Industrial District (CEID).

The CEID is a 681-acre district encompassing property south of I-84 to Powell and the river to SE 12th. It is comprised of district property owners, businesses, makers and residents.

Big Truck Day at Green Drop Garage

Green Drop Garage, Portland’s eco-friendly car repair shop announces Big Truck Day 2018.  Big Truck Day is a free community event featuring trucks of all shapes and sizes.

There will be trucks that take people into the air, trucks that go over large rocks and boulders, trucks that dump and trucks that put out fires. Kids and adults can climb aboard the trucks, explore and meet the individuals who operate them.

In addition to big trucks, there will be games, music, food trucks and ice cold treats from Stellar Pop. It’s sure to be an afternoon of summer fun for the entire family.

The event will be held Saturday, August 11, from 11 am to 2 pm at Green Drop Garage’s Moreland location at 5321 SE 28th Ave.

BUCKMAN PICNIC IN THE PARK takes place Sunday August 5, 4-8 pm at Colonel Summers Park, 20th and Belmont streets. This super fun, all inclusive party is hosted by the Buckman Community Association and sponsored by local businesses and neighbors. It features a free BBQ meal, bouncy house and kids activities, live music, fire engine, raffle prizes, splash pad fun, and with luck this year… adoptable rabbits. Donations are tax deductible and volunteers are needed to help serve food, set up and clean up. Contact buckmanpicnicteam@googlegroups.com to get involved and donate raffle prizes and funds.

ANNUAL JUDGED FUCHSIA SHOW AND DISPLAY on the grounds behind the buildings at the Portland Nursery, 5050 SE Stark St., Friday, August 10 from noon until 6 pm; Sat, August 11, 9 am until 6 pm and Sunday, August 12, 9 am until 1 pm. There will be prize winning fuchsia plants from the Friday judging, display plants brought by members, an extensive display of blossoms, opportunity to get fuchsia questions answered, and a modest selection of baskets and gallon uprights grown by members. Plant sales do not begin until noon on Friday.

SUNNYSIDE NEIGHBORHOOD GARAGE SALE – August 18, 9 am – 3 pm. The boundaries are between SE 28th Ave. to SE 49th Ave. and from SE Stark St to SE Hawthorne Blvd.

11TH ANNUAL CREEK CLEAN-UP – Saturday, August 25, 9 am – 12 pm, BBQ from 12 pm – 2 pm. The Johnson Creek Watershed Council invites you to their 11th Annual Clean-Up. Volunteers meet at 8:30 am at Mill Park in Milwaukie before dispersing in groups to designated sites. Following the Clean-Up, celebrate with a barbecue and silly awards ceremony. All are welcome, all are safe. Participants of all ages invited. Closed-toed shoes are required. Dress in appropriate clothes you don’t mind getting wet and muddy. Tools will be provided. Carpooling from Mill Park to clean-up sites encouraged. Come early – the first 100 volunteers to arrive will receive a fabulous 11th Annual Clean-Up T-shirt! For details and to register for the event go to: jcwc.org/events/cleanup2018

Somatics, If You Can Sense It, You Can Change It

By Kristin Jackson

After two years of trying “every imaginable treatment” to treat her pain, and having to walk with crutches, Debra now walks and functions perfectly well.

Angie suffered from dystonia for more than 16 years. Muscles in her neck and torso were chronically contracted, causing her head to remain rotated to the side. She can now stand comfortably facing forward.

Corey, who was born with a significant leg length discrepancy, knows how to keep back pain at bay so he can work full time and attend graduate school.

All three believe they have reclaimed their bodies and lives due to Essential Somatic Education (ESE).

Every experience humans have, whether physical, emotional, or psychological produces a muscular response within the body. The brain and nervous system control these responses, known as “reflexes.” ESE deals with the effects reflexes have on people’s bodies and lives.

Each day, we react to thousands of stimuli around us. We arch our backs when we need to take action. ES Educators call this fight-or-flight or green light reflex. When we are frightened the red light, or startle reflex, triggers the front of the body to close up.

To avoid pain or discomfort the trauma reflex will twist or bend the body to the side. Most people present with one or more of these reflexes.

The somatic reflexes, green light, red light, and trauma are perfectly natural. In prehistoric times, they helped species survive.

Fast forward to modern times. Today, our brains and nerves interpret everyday stressors as threats, even if we’re in no real danger. The brain’s sub cortex doesn’t know the difference between a saber-toothed tiger, rush hour traffic, or an argument on social media.

If we perpetually respond to stressors without relaxing our muscles to their natural resting lengths, we can end up with chronic muscle tension and pain. Repeated motor patterns: sitting hunched over a laptop for hours, compensating for a sprained ankle, being busy all the time, can result in tension, limiting our ability to move easily and without pain.

Thomas Hanna, Ph.D., the founder of Hanna Somatic Education, called this habituated tension Sensory Motor Amnesia (SMA). The brain’s sensory-motor cortex loses its ability to sense and control muscles voluntarily.

With SMA, we can feel anxious, fatigued, or in pain—in essence, not like ourselves. A common response is to stretch or strengthen muscles in an effort to force change. This can make things even worse.

ESE relies on intentional movements called pandiculations, which reset muscles to their natural length under the control of the brain and nerve receptors.

Pandiculations are gentle contractions and slow, mindful releases of muscles that  can reverse SMA. Somatic educators teach you pandiculations so you develop a greater awareness of how your body moves. With greater somatic awareness, you self-regulate and self-soothe to let go of your tension and stress.

Thomas Hanna was a philosopher. He aimed to help people realize their greater human potential and take greater responsibility for their own bodies, lives and minds.

“You are not a bunch of parts. You are not a broken doll [or machine]. You are a human being, a whole system, a whole process.” Hanna said.

The human body and brain work in tandem at all times. Hanna recognized that the majority of modern health conditions are not diseases or syndromes, but rather learned dysfunctions in response to stress.

Neurologically, we are wired to constantly be able to re-wire. The choice is ours. People often come to somatics as a last-ditch effort for pain relief.

They are pleasantly surprised to find many other conditions they didn’t even consider can be addressed through somatic education.

With Somatic Education, one can relearn to move and live freely.

Kristin Jackson enjoys helping others help themselves with Essential Somatics Education. For more information visit thinksomatics.com