Small Businesses and Nonprofits: Funds for Energy Upgrades Now Available

Only weeks ago, the City of Portland announced its new Bucks for Buildings program, which will help small businesses and nonprofits make green improvements that save energy and make sense financially too. Now the program has proven so popular that 60% of the funds are already spoken for.


Funded by a grant from the US Department of Energy, the City is offering rebates of up to 50% of the costs of improving properties with energy efficient insulation, heating and cooling, lighting and food service equipment. Nonprofits are eligible for up to 75% of these costs. (more…)

What’s Your Soap Made Of?

Over the past few months, I’ve been writing about health-promoting events, people and tips for better health. Maybe you try to eat healthy.  Maybe you try to exercise.  One area of healthy living that’s often overlooked are household products and cleaners. Why should you care?  I’m glad you asked (and even if you didn’t, I’m going to answer anyways).


The most common cleaners around the house are soaps- for the body, dishes and laundry.  And believe it or not, the ingredients extend beyond rays of sunshine, flowers and butterflies.  To understand what’s in our products, let’s begin at the beginning.  What’s a soap?  It’s a surfactant, producing micelles to encapsulate soluble materials to be removed from you, your dishes and your clothes. (more…)

This is Totally up Your Alley


Neighborhood Alleys: Love ‘em? Hate ‘em? Mill St. Planning wants to hear about it.

A group of graduate students from PSU’s Urban and Regional Planning program is working in the Lents, Foster-Powell and Mt. Scott-Arleta neighborhoods this year to listen and learn from your about how these alleys affect your lives. (more…)

A Lesson on Community from my Cat Tabor

taborpics-001Nothing reminds me of spring more than Cricket doing her best pogo stick impression as she hops up and down, paws grasping at the door handle she so desperately wishes she could open.  For a mostly indoor cat, little Cricket is fearless outdoors, ambushing her large and savvy feline foes.  Her brother Tabor, on the other hand, is a strong muscular boy who communicates in high pitched soft chirps and holds a permanently alarmed look in his big round eyes.  Tabor is a true innocent; a sweetheart of a cat that loves to hug. (more…)

Thoughts on Crime and Felony Flats

At FU we’ve been talking a lot about crime in the area.

December’s murder of 27 in Newtown, Connecticut, would have been shocking at any time. But it came just days after a similar –but fortunately less deadly –shooting here at the Clackamas Town Center that left two Christmas shoppers dead.

That horrific episode itself came only days after a nationally-reported story of an 11-year old and a 7-year old who attempted an armed robbery and carjacking in the parking lot of the Freedom Foursquare Church on 160th Avenue.

In the wake of these events, it’s hard not to wonder if things are getting crazier out there.

Recent crime reports from closer to home have included:

  • Last Fall, a series of brazen daytime armed robberies of several bars and convenience stores in the Foster Road area. Police have arrested two suspects in some of these crimes.
  • On January 18, a young man fired multiple shots into a car waiting in the Jack in the Box drivethrough on 82nd Ave. This suspect is still at large.
  • On February 6th, SERT teams engaged in an hour-long standoff on SE 61st between Foster and Holgate when an armed man allegedly took his wife hostage. Police used flash grenades to storm the home and arrest the man who –as it turned out –only had a .22 rifle in the house.
  • Last week’s arrest of two alleged dealers of heroin and Oxycontin in the parking lot of the 82nd Ave Walmart. Subsequent search of their fo-po home led to seizure of cash, heroin and their stockpile of 35 guns.
  • Early Saturday morning, Sulema Hernandez-Rivas was injured by a hit-and-run driver while crossing Division St at 68th Avenue. Although a suspect has been arrested, police now believe that there were two cars involved –which is to say that two different cars hit Ms. Hernandez-Rivas and both fled the scene.

Violent crime is nothing new here. From the Oregon Journal, 1928, showing the front of the Mount Scott State Bank at 63rd and Foster –the current K&B fortune cookie factory. The caption said “Crowd flocks to Mt. Scott State Bank after two holdup men killed.” (Photo thanks to the Oregon Historical Society)

It’s hard not to notice what seems like a spike in violent crime locally. Are the mean streets of Southeast Portland getting meaner?

The “felony flats” moniker has always been more myth than reality, but still, relations with law enforcement have never been great here. Most of our interactions with police take the form of the blur of a police cruiser speeding past, demonstrating that the City’s touted community-policing model has, after more than a decade, yet to trickle out to this part of town.

Old time residents here have never felt that they got the police protection they deserved.

It’s been almost four years since the 2009 shooting in Raymond Park that left 18-year-old Borisshell Washington dead. Soon we’ll pass the four-year mark on the arson fire that destroyed the Dougy Center. Both crimes are still unsolved, and both appear to have dropped off of the Portland Police Bureau’s Cold Case list.

So we thought we’d ask you, our readers, to tell us: How do you feel about crime in the Foster Road area? Is it on the rise? How is the Police Bureau doing? We’d love to get a dialog going about these issues, so please give your thoughts in the comment box below.

Caught on Camera and your Weekend Events

March is upon us and with it warmer and longer days.  We gain over an hour and a half of daylight this month!  Great motivation to get out and enjoy the neighborhood…

But before diving into your weekend events, here’s some photos of the Foster Corridor Investment Strategy open house this week.  Beyond the pages of plans I’m sure we’ll tackle in greater detail in a future post, it was great to see the Wikman-Arleta Building full of friends and neighbors and to be treated to amazing food from the Portland Mercado, thank you!



tt-001Celebrate Space Monkey’s 2nd year anniversary with First Friday featured Artists Alexis and Leif Jenssen, live music, pastries and a keg of of locally crafted beer by Captured by Porches.

Your live music Friday also includes Bolt Upright at Cadigan’s, Junkyard Dogs & Sonic Temple at the New Copper Penny and Rule of the Bone at The Lodge.

Movies?  But of course, kungfufridaysit’s Kung Fu Fridays double feature at Bar Carlo!  The Eunuch at 7 and The Supreme Swordsman at 9.

Comedy?  Why yes!  Check out Lezberados at the Bobwhite Theatre.  ”Lezberados is a fierce and funny, hot and spicy, side-splitting comedy show featuring two of the hottest dykes on the mic working the circuit”.


tt1-001Always a favorite, don’t miss Chess at the Holgate Library Saturdays 1-4:30 pm, a local tradition since 1971.  Also, it’s the monthly first Saturday guided tour at Leach Botanical Garden 11am-noon.

Dennis 7 Dees is getting us ready for spring and sharpening up our tools, testing soil, and teaching how to prune.  No wonder we all are rockstar gardeners around here…

Friends of Trees are visiting the Montavilla and Mt. Tabor neighborhoods this weekend, bringing with them 230 trees and an army of bike riding volunteers!

Once Upon a Time Family Theatre is back with Puss ‘n Boots at Portland Metro Arts in Montavilla, just $2 for adults and $1 buck for kids.  Enjoy a “magical mix of theatrical simplicity and grand storytelling for chilidogkids and their parents.”

National Green Friends has a cure for the munchies with a chili dog feed for OMMP cardholders.  ”Good people, good food, and good meds”.

Saturday Night

collage2The Lily Day Cafe is open at night!  (Friday/Saturday until 9pm) Snack on some Lipton Onion Dip and Chex Mix while sipping on creative cocktails like spirited coffees, red eye flights, salty chihuahua, or an orchard champagne cocktail.

If you haven’t been to Fujiyama yet, check out their revolving fresh sushi bar, teppanyaki shows, and deluxe rolls.  There is an upstairs lounge area featuring a full drink menu too!

Don’t forget, karaoke is alive and well around Foster Road hosted every Saturday night at the Eagle Eye and Cadigan’s Corner Bar.


Get ready for Farm Fit at Zenger Farm!  This 6 week series starts Monday March 4th-April 12th, 6-7am.  Described as “using mainly our own bodyweight and the geography of the site, we’ll strengthen the core, stabilize joints and improve posture. So come on out to the farm and let’s be great, together”.

You might have noticed we’re crazy about the Foster area: huge fans of all the great happenings and events that create community and keep the fun close to home.  If you don’t see it here, we just plain missed it!  So help us out, post comments with all your discoveries and events.  If life or work pulls us away at moments, jump on in with a shout out anytime, many thanks!  xoxo.


The Traffic Analysis Results Are (Sort of) In

Project Overview: We are 3/4 through a process to update the Foster Streetscape Plan originally created in 2003. The update aims to explore the possibility of accommodating a future streetcar, improving safety for everyone, and providing a bikeway along the street. All of these objectives are in response to recent citywide plans. One potential strategy to achieving these goals is the reconfiguration the street from a 4-lane arterial to a 3-lane arterial design. The idea of this change is a source of some controversy.

The latest Advisory Committee meeting was packed with information about the impacts of various streetscape proposals. We learned a lot, and I wanted to share my summary of the details from the meeting.  I can’t stress enough that the analysis results presented below are preliminary and incomplete. For example, results showing impacts in the evening may be different when analyzed for the morning hours, so take some of this with a grain of salt.

An “I am Afrika” Gallery and your Weekend Events

Before heading into your weekend events below, here’s the 1st Annual African Cultural Celebration “I am Afrika”, brought to you by the Madison SUN African Student Group.  Click on the slideshow for a look at an evening of food, a bazaar, poetry readings, music, and a fashion show!


Collages-001Pinball Wizards of Foster Road, the Rose City Showdown V tournament is going down at the Slingshot!  Qualifying will take place on Friday and Saturday, top 16 advance to the finals on Sunday.

It’s Colored Pencils Art and Cultural Night at Ron Russel Middle School (every last Friday, location varies).  Enjoy an international smorgasbord of food and entertainment including music and dance from Portugal, Somalia, West Africa, Himalayas, India and Bhutan, and India!

Steven Vaugn Kray, host of the drop shop on 89.1, spins super heavy funk at the Gemini Lounge.

macbethmilepost5Portland Rock-n-Filmfest is back with tropical night and special guests,  Foster’s very own 18-piece jazz orchestra big band, “The Bobwhite Big Band” playing its **first-ever public performance** with a 30-minute set that promises to turn up the heat and get the entire crowd off their feet.

Post5 Theatre inaugurates their new black box performance space with a fast paced and visceral production of Macbeth, opens this Friday and runs Friday-Sundays, 7 pm, through March 17th.


Defense Arts Northwest invites you to join a freecalendar11 Muay Thai Kickboxing class (more info 503-779-9800).

The Ron Russel Middle School is hosting the City of Portland’s Fix-It Fair.  Learn simple ways to save money and connect with resources or Dennis 7 Dees will teach you how to prune like a pro.

Spend a relaxing afternoon at Bong Hit Bingo with National Green Friends, promising plenty of green for you OMMP cardholders.

Get an early start on your evening and take part in Mt. Scott Community Center’s 2nd annual Sock Hop.  Dress up in your 50′s finest for dancing and root beer floats.

Saturday Night

Take your hips on a journey to the sounds of Melao de Cuba, an eight person salsa band, who promises to fill the Bobwhite Theatre with traditional Cuban music.

Welcome back Cody Weather’s beautiful sound to Torta-landia or MJ12′s deep jazzy rock sound at the Gemini Lounge.

Celebrate with Lion’s Eye carnival style and wish them an amazing 4th anniversary!  Boozy root beer floats, carnival games, and a piñata, cotton candy and popcorn for your inner clown.


Lend a helping hand and start your day at an Our Happy Block with coffee and a donated beverage from the Lion’s Eye afterwards for your efforts!

Enter on the Red carpet, dress as styling or campy as you like, imbibe on special cocktails and mocktails.  It’s Oscars Night at the Bobwhite Theatre!  Watch the Academy Awards projected on the wall of the theatre and be ready to deliver an acceptance speech if your ballot is chosen.

Kick back and enjoy the Headhunter Jam at The Lodge Bar & Grill with a deluxe bloody mary and Sunday comfort food. Sweet tidings all ’til Monday, enjoy!