Alleys, Parks, and You – Community Events this week.

Our neighborhoods are always changing, and two community-oriented events this week are examples of that change. As neighbors we can watch it happen around us, or we can take charge and help put our own fingerprints on the place we call home.

If you haven’t been to one of these events, they’re pretty low key and casual. Swing on by and take a look. (more…)

PPS Candidate Forum Interesting but Disappointing

Last week’s school board candidate forum at Franklin High School provided some interesting insight into the personalities of four of the candidates, but was ultimately disappointing for the lack of substantive information it provided to attendees at the 90-minute event.


Roger Kirchner, Co-President of the Franklin High School Parent-Teacher-Student Association, helped organize last week’s PPS Candidate Forum.

About 80 people, including an impressive number of students, gathered in the gym last Wednesday evening to hear candidates debate the future of Portland Public Schools. Three of the school board’s seven seats will be decided in next month’s elections.

The forum, which is the only scheduled PPS debate in Southeast Portland this year, was cosponsored by the Cleveland High School PTA and the Franklin High School PTSA. All five candidates for the three PPS Board seats were invited. Pam Knowles, the Zone 5 incumbent who did not draw an opponent in her re-election bid, was a no-show.

The candidates vying to represent Zone 6 were David Morrison and Tom Kohler. Kohler is a small business owner and former Corvallis City Council member who calls our schools  Portland’s “best asset” and emphasized critical thinking skills as an educational goal. (more…)


IconWhat Would You Like To See?

Have you ever looked at the empty lots around the neighborhood and had a brilliant idea for what it could be used for? Finally someone who can do something about it wants to hear your ideas.

The PDC has control of many empty lots on their hands, such as 72nd & Foster, and a handful of sites in the Lents Town Center, near 92nd & Foster. While the PDC has got big plans and bold visions for most parcels, some sites are just awaiting a creative spark to figure out how to best use them today. (more…)

ROSE Invites the Community to Help Build a Village

barn_raisingWhen Oregon was still the frontier, people often came together to build the things their towns needed. Today, we don’t build so many barns anymore, but there’s still a need for citizens to bring their energy and skills together to meet community needs.

ROSE Community Development purchased and rehabilitated Bellrose Station in 2010, providing clean and modern housing for 40 area families. The facility, located at 7901 SE 92nd Ave, has a brand new community room and a garden.

Next up on the agenda is a place for Bellrose’s 70 kids to play. Bellrose Station residents have planned a modest playground and are launching a campaign to raise the funds to build it. (more…)

Better Bus Stops for Lents

I ride the #14 bus a lot. I’m on one of the “end of the line” stops on Foster, and after cruising through inner SE portland you can’t but see the stark contrast in the need and conditions of our built environment.

Screen shot 2013-04-02 at 5.59.35 AMThe Bus stop at 82nd & Foster pictured here,  is one of the highest volume stops on the #14, and it is also one of the ugliest, and potentially dangerous stops on the whole street. Further east on Foster, the stop at 85th pinches neighbors between a chain link fence on one side, and fast moving traffic on the other. There is no bench here, because there is physically no room. (more…)

Join the club

Another great read from Angela Cortal, ND

I like good food.  And I like deals.  What I really like are good deals on great food.  So in my quest for better food at a better value, I bring you the food buying club.

Surely you’ve heard about food buying clubs.  They’re usually organized with one or more homes being the locavore hub.  Others join as members, and everyone goes in on large orders of bulk food.  Usually the kind that costs an arm and a leg in the grocery.  Key words being organic, grass-fed, local, farm-fresh, but that’s no requirement.

What I’d like to do is provide enough information so that if you’ve ever been curious or interested in getting food through these avenues, a few of the “but what about…”s are already taken care of.food_club

First off, the when, where and how much.  There are more than a dozen organized food buying clubs slinging the mega orders of quinoa and collards throughout Portland.  One of the closest to us is Lents Grocery, just blocks off Foster in Lents.  Currently housed in one of its organizers house, all extra funding raised through orders (5% added to purchase cost) goes towards the future creation of a brick-and-mortar Lents Grocery store.

Although I mentioned that food buying clubs are usually run out of someone’s house, a few have now or are planning on transitioning into food co-operatives, such as Know Thy Food (storefront on SE 12th ave in the Brooklyn neighborhood), the Montavilla Food Co-op (in the store planning stages) and Lents Grocery. (more…)

Discount tickets going fast for the Franklin High Benefit Auction!

This year’s Franklin High School Benefit Auction is called “A Passage to India,” and early discount tickets are going fast.

Passage to India


The dinner and auction benefits the Franklin Parent-Teacher-Student Association and the Franklin Foundation’s award-winning Advanced Scholars Program, which has had remarkable success in bringing more low-income students into Advanced Placement, college-track classes.

The benefit auction features gift certificates to many local restaurants, Nike golf gear (possible Father’s Day gift?), local works of art, and some great vacations including trips to:
• a private casita in Loreto, Mexico,
• Sunriver,
• Black Butte Ranch,
• Seabrook on the Washington Coast,
• Cove Palisades Resort on Central Oregon’s Lake Billy Chinook.


The event takes place Saturday April 13, 6pm, at the Ambridge Event Center, 1333 NE MLK Blvd. Buy tickets or get more info here.

From now through April 5, tickets are only $25 –after that they go up to $35. For that price, attendees are treated to an Indian buffet dinner plus free drinks for the first half hour after doors open.

Organizers are also looking for donations of auction items, so if you can help, contact Lisa Zuniga.

Money for Foster, if We Fight For It

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) wants to give us money, but the competition is tough. Their current round of state transportation project funding has identified three projects directly relevant to our Foster neighborhoods, and we’re only going to stand out from the many other projects on the list if we can make our voice heard. That’s where you come in.

Below the project descriptions on this page are three forms, one for each Foster-area project. Please consider filling your contact information and letting ODOT know your interest in seeing one (or all) of these projects funded. (more…)