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Winston Churchill famously said, "first we shape our buildings and afterwards our buildings shape us". Indeed, the 'built environment' -- the collection of structures, streets and open spaces that makes up our cities, towns, and suburbs -- affects each of us deeply. It makes a difference who constructs what where, how many 'empty' lots are left empty, and which business moves in down the street. This section is for posts about zoning, planning, gentrification, sprawl, neighborhood association goings-on, urban growth boundaries, the effects of Measure 37, anti-Walmart and Starbucks campaigns, and anything else dealing with life not-in-the-country. It's also the place to post small local news that doesn't fit any of the grander categories. For example: interesting weather, non-political community events, star-gazing anamolies, etc.
This section is for posts about zoning, planning, gentrification, sprawl, neighborhood association goings-on, urban growth boundaries, the effects of Measure 37, anti-Walmart and Starbucks campaigns, and anything else dealing with life not-in-the-country. It's also the place to post small local news that doesn't fit any of the grander categories. For example: interesting weather, non-political community events, star-gazing anamolies, etc.
Food Front Cooperative Grocery Workers Vote Again To Unionize
From the open publishing newswire: On June 2, 2015, Food Front Cooperative Grocery Workers voted to rejoin United Food and Commmercial Workers Union, Local 555.
After a 6 month organizing effort, Food Front Cooperative Grocery workers voted to rejoin UFCW, Local 555. Out of a possible 91workers eligible to vote, 75 workers voted and 64 workers voted for the union. An over 80 per cent voter turn out resulted in a 85 per cent union vote.
Food Front workers had previously been a union shop for a ten year time period. In August of 2007, Food Front workers voted to decertify and ended their association with UFCW. The discussion that appeared on Portland Indy Media about the decertification is archived at:
The unionization effort follows a controversial 7 months for the cooperative which began last November with the public airing of staff discontents in the Northwest Examiner neighborhood newspaper. http://nwexaminer.com/co-op-crash
The subsequent coop owners concerns about the financial stability of the coop, led to the resignation of the Board of Directors chair person, the retirement of the general manager, and the use of an interim general manager from the National Cooperative Grocer consulting group. [...]
"The bottom line is that we wish to be respected, heard, treated equally and most of all supported," said Kira Davis, a store worker. "I believe that creating our union can help strengthen us. As a union, we will empower everyone through education, communication and action."
Volunteer Opportunity: Become a PFTP Ambassador!
From the open publishing newswire: Join Portland Fruit Tree Project in preventing waste, building community, and making fresh fruit available to neighbors in need...
If you believe that everyone should have equal access to healthful food, if you believe in the power of community, enjoy talking with people and want to help promote the work of Portland Fruit Tree Project, outreach events are a great way to volunteer!.
PFTP Ambassador Overview:
PFTP Ambassadors will play a vital role in connecting community members with Portland Fruit Tree Project. Ambassadors will help spread the word about PFTP's mission, programs, and ways to get involved. This will be done primarily through info booths at community events. Good communication skills and enthusiasm are essential to this position. This will be a great opportunity to meet new people, gain experience in community outreach, and help Portland Fruit Tree Project grow and thrive!
PFTP Ambassador Responsibilities:
Attend the 2015 Ambassador Orientation on Wednesday, March 25th from 6-7:30pm If you are not able to attend, we may be able to make alternate arrangements. Represent PFTP for at least 4 community outreach events this year Attend one harvesting party at the beginning of the harvesting season (June-July) Assist in set-up and take-down of PFTP tables and outreach materials at events Assist in transport of materials to and from outreach events
Request an application by calling 503-284-6106, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, with 'PFTP Ambassador Application Request' in the subject line. We'll send you an application right away! The application deadline is Saturday February 28th.
10th Annual Vancouver Peace and Justice Fair
From the open publishing newswire: The 10th annual Vancouver Peace and Justice Fair will showcase the hard work and creative spirit of individuals, social justice groups, peace organizations, faith communities, performers, artists, businesses, and environmental activists who are making the world a better place.
The Vancouver Peace and Justice Fair builds community among the grassroots peace and justice groups in Southwest Washington. We highlight our common goals of peace and justice at home, our community, and the world. The fair helps each of us find further ways of dedicating our lives to peace and justice.
ESTHER SHORT PARK
8th and Columbia St.
9am to 4pm - Admission is free!
Save Portlands Open Reservoirs - Friday Vigils Start
From the open publishing newswire: Friday Vigils to Save Portland Open reservoirs starts on the Hawthorne Bridge every Friday at 4:00 PM
"Today [Friday] we will be back on the Hawthorne Bridge, Westside at 1st and Madison. We will have signs talking about the covering of the reservoirs and the rate increases etc. We should be there about 4:00 PM until about 5:15 PM, this wimp wears out fast on the bridge, but we make some noise and try to have fun. All are welcome and the only rule is be proud of what you put on your sign; no other rules. If you get a chance stop and say hello to a person who is living on the street, they are having a tough time and could use some cheer; just say Hi."
Related Feature: report from this old vet
Camp Cascadia's Ongoing Fight to Defend Bull Run
From the open publishing newswire: On the evening of July 26, 2013, Camp Cascadia - the ongoing Friday night occupation of Mt. Tabor - hosted a public occupation of Mt. Tabor, in the name of fighting EPA Long Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule (LT2). Frequent honks and screams of "Thank yoooooooooouuuuu!!!" from passing cars proved to be a supportive, albeit disruptive, occurrence. Though occasionally drowned out by well-intended but bro-ish hoots and hollers emanating from 60th Avenue, the 35 citizens who attended the occupation discussed a wide array of issues.
Occupy Mt. Tabor - The Battle For Bull Run Continues
From the open publishing newswire:
FRIDAY, JULY 26, 2013 FROM 5-11PM
A Public Occupation of Mt. Tabor (Camp Cascadia)
Camp Cascadia assembles every Friday at 5:00pm and disbands at 10:59pm until our one simple demand is met: Mayor Charlie Hales, formally ask Senator Merkly and Representative Blumenauer to petition the EPA, on behalf of our city, for the LT2 Waiver.
As the people from Portland, who live here and who love this place and our beautiful city, we ask all who attend this public demonstration to respect Mt. Tabor and the surrounding land. This is our commons.
Become a Tree Scout with Portland Fruit Tree Project!
From the open publishing newswire: Announcement of a community volunteer opportunity
Volunteer opportunity: Become a Tree Scout with Portland Fruit Tree Project!
As a Tree Scout volunteer, you will help to find and register fruit trees in your neighborhood whose fruit might otherwise go to waste. Tree scouts serve as a vital liaison between PFTP and tree owners, helping us to connect with people that want to share their bounty with the community. It's a fun way to meet neighbors and help make locally grown produce available to all. Good record-keeping and reporting are essential to this position. All the necessary materials and information will be provided. You can expect to spend approximately 2 hours per week (on average) on this volunteer position, which begins June 22nd and goes through October.
Click here for more information on this position and how to apply:
VIDEO: Another Portland Resident Faces Eviction From Her Home By Mortgage Brokers 10/14
From the open publishing newswire: Yesterday over four dozen community supporters led by Portland Solidarity Network activists advanced upon a house owned by Patricia Williams and her husband to bring attention to another case of banks trying to evict homeowners and pocket revenue.
On Sunday a surprise solidarity event took place in southeast Portland. Yet one more desparate family came forward to the community with their story of being wrongly evicted from their home. Portland Solidarity Network, Occupy Portland members, and community neighbors met with upstanding citizens Patricia Williams and her husband at Raymond City Park to hear her story and bring some support. She addressed the crowd of 50+ people and told them of how she has been ordered to evict by a judge in favor of her mortgage brokerage firm. Williams and her husband have lived in their home for some time, paying off eight years in good faith on their mortgage and they believe the eviction is unfair. Dealing with sickness and financial problems, the couple say they are staying right where they are. Supporters signed a large banner and a neighbor gave a great speech, saying that the couple is well respected within the community where they live. Just like Alicia Jackson and Annette Steele, this woman and her family will not be moved.
Patricia Williams Will Not Be Moved!
Support Portland's Sleeping Bag Drive!!
From the open publishing newswire: With over 1,700 people in Portland living without shelter (2011 Street Count), sleeping bags provide crucial protection from discomfort, illness and death.
The Sleeping Bag Drive is now an ongoing organization, and Portland's houseless population need your help!
The Red & Black & Laughing Horse Book collectives have teamed up to collect sleeping bags and donations (which will go directly towards sleeping bags as well as weatherproof tarps to protect from the weather) to be distributed in the local area.
With so many Portlanders living without adequate shelter and vulnerable to the dangerous, harsh winter conditions sleeping near our homes and businesses, it's our duty to provide what resources we have to assist those in need.
Visit www.sleepingbagdrive.com to donate online now, or drop off new or clean sleeping bags at one of the following locations in Portland:
The Red & Black
400 SE 12th Ave
Laughing Horse Books
12 NE 10th Ave
Open Mon-Sat 11AM-7PM
(503) 236-2893 (volunteer run, please call for availability)
Party for the Dogs! A Benefit for Ananda Farm Sanctuary
From the open publishing newswire: What: Benefit to raise money for the animals of Ananda Farm Sanctuary
When: Thursday, June 17, 7pm to 10pm
Where: Sweetpea Vegan Baking Co. located at 1205 SE Stark st
Why: To raise money for the animals, and to have a great time!
Sweet Pea is putting on a fabulous benefit to raise money to help with vetting costs for the rescue dogs of Ananda Farm Sanctuary. Ananda saved a group of dogs last month who were on death row in Los Angeles. Each of them came in with some very serious health issues, and would have been put down in the shelter had Ananda not stepped up to save them.
12 Arrested at Regence Sit-in!
From the open publishing newswire: Healthcare activists and their supporters, take over the campus of Regence-Bluecross, in an attempt to meet with their CEO, and have demands heard, but are denied justice, and refused entry.
This is Martha Perez, reporting to you live from SW Portland, where about 50 healthcare advocates are gathered for a non-violent, peaceful sit-in, rally and march around the campus of Regence Bluecross, home to one of the largest healthcare insurers in Oregon state. I am being told the building now is in lock-down, and will remain so, for the time being, in response to this latest action.
Urban Farm Store Commodifies Movement
From the open publishing newswire: With a designer chicken in a circle and someone who clearly does his own media work the urban farm store is here. Great place for a bunch of hype. Overpriced chicks, feed, and 275$ for a chicken coop!!! I'm not kidding. No selection of seeds. Many good, solid glossy books on the subject of gardening. Go to the library for info, and buy "gardening west of the cascades" ANYWHERE ELSE.
"The backyard food and chicken raising craze has many societal and public policy implications for Portland. Explore them with the man at the center of the local chicken and homegrown food scene, Robert Litt, owner of Urban Farm Store." Local chicken and homegrown food scene? What? And my guy is claiming to be at the center of it? Excuse me?
My big problem with the commodification of this movement is that food has gotten incredibly spendy. I do not want anyone to be turned off from growing food because they only have access to overpriced goods. The Urban Farm store is taking advantage of peoples ignorance in prices, and selling an image to yuppies. A very clean, upper middle class image.
Columbia River Crossroads: info on the Columbia River Crossing
From the open publishing newswire: A 10 lane bridge, while still too big, would be preferable to the current 12 lane concept, and there are signs that a smaller bridge might become the new concept
One of the things that jumped out at me from the fact sheets I got at the recent Columbia River Crossing "open house", (last Wednesday), was a projection from a sheet titled, "Traffic Effects of 8, 10 and 12 Lane Scenarios." This sheet compares the "local streets impacted by I-5 backups" in a 10 lane and 12 lane bridge scenario. In the 12 lane scenario, of course, there are no local streets impacted by an I-5 backup, either in Portland or Vancouver.
But in the 10 lane scenario, there are six streets or highways that are impacted. All but one of them are in Vancouver. So this really is a Clark County thing. The new bridge must be as large as possible so drivers from the northernmost reaches of Clark County, and probably beyond, can get to Portland in time for...whatever.