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The controversial Mississippi Ave Lofts received a federal low income loan from The Albina Community Bank. I reread it several times because I couldn't believe my eyes. I think there is something terribly wrong with a high end condo project such as MAL, with 721 sq ft studios selling just below 300,000 and housing high end retail stores like Pastaworks, qualifying for a federal loan for low income communities.
Not only are they high end, but these developers have a documented track record of trying to bend rules and being less than honest in their drive to capitalize as much as they possible even in spite of community opposition. Then after they finally get their way (city capitulates, big surprise) they hire Gray Purcell a non-union, hire anybody off the streets(literally), company.
*SCAM WARNING!!* Rental-Data Bureau's (aka RDB, rental-data.com) Predatory Practices
If you are seeking rental property in the Portland Metro area you may have run across their NUMEROUS "Call RDB" house listing ads online. The ads often list enticingly low prices in attractive areas, yet NEVER offer an address or a photo.
Avoid these people and their dubious 'service' like the plague on free society they are. They republish a database of freely obtained house listings from off the net and charge RENTERS $35 to see their substandard imageless database. They illegitimately spam the free classified sites with their 'listings' which are in reality only ads for their website 'service'. They use phony bait and switch tactics by listing enticing properties in their ads that do not exist in the database once you become a member.
This Thursday, Books to Prisoners will be selling some of the overstock books in order to raise money for mailings. This will be at the Last Thursday Art walk near NE. 28th and Alberta from about 3:00 til late..Come early to get great deals on books and support prisoners
One of the outcomes of the most recent review of the infamous sit-lie ordinance, is that the city has been persuaded of the need for more public restrooms. This recognition on the part of the city is related to its agreement to decriminalize sitting on the sidewalk, finding approximately $750,000 for the entire program, part of which would go to provide an alternative, in the form of a drop in center of sorts, to this reality of homeless life.
Also in the new provision, is a determination to establish the availability of more public restrooms to counter the glaring lack of these essential facilities for people who have no alternative. In the account I read most recently about this pressing need, doubts were expressed that the restrooms could last long, because it was thought that they would quickly be destroyed by some of the people out there with the worst problems. Seattle's discouraging experience with the auto toilets was mentioned to illustrate this concern.
For the first time in more than four years, the Housing Authority of Portland will open a new waiting list for federal Section 8 rent vouchers.
Applications for a chance to join the waiting list will be available Nov. 1 and MUST BE SUBMITTED BEFORE Nov. 17. By applying for the waiting list, applicants will enter a lottery-style drawing to be held in January 2007. The first 3,000 names picked through the lottery will be placed on the waiting list for Rent vouchers.
Some anonymous friends of mine are not able to speak out. There is no longer a public safety net in Portland for women, youth or eldery people who need emergency service. The plan seems to be that if you don't provide service, the problem will go away. There is tons of talk about "true" solutions like housing but there is very little action for those who wind up costing us more in emergency rooms.
Please add to this article with facts, articles and first hand stories.
Commissioner Leonard commented: I filed an emergency ordinance today -that is also co sponsored by Commissioner Sten and Mayor Potter- that will provide the funding needed to immediately open the Women's Emergency Shelter operated by the Salvation Army.
I have been in the DHS Foster Care System for 10 years now. Here is some of the bullshit that goes on within. Recently my DHS caseworker has been totally nonexistent so I have not been able to get the help and guidance that I need. Also being in the Foster Care System for so long, I have realized that it is all a BS Joke that is played. Most Foster Parents I have encountered are real pieces of shit who just care about recieving their monthly paycheck of $1500 per month.
Recently, my monetary-influx changed dramatically (I was given a "discharge for performance" from a job; i.e., "fired"). I soon found out what I always knew -- that while employed I was always about one paycheck away from poverty. Within a month the severance they gave me was running out. Small trickles of money were beginning to flow in from this or that random source or odd job, but not enough for everything. I realized that if I got Oregon Trail benefits (i.e., Food Stamps), that I would be in a much better position to direct cash to rent. (Fortunately, my landlady is a friend who is giving me some slack for the time being. Thanks again, if you're reading this!)
So I went to the DHS office on Alberta and Williams, because it was conveniently located for me, and wasn't pleased with what happened.
A variety of concerned groups and interested citizens came to the Budget meeting on Wednesday evening to speak out against the proposed budget cuts (due to the loss of I-Tax funds). Some of the groups that testified including the Women's Crisis Line, SMYRC (Sexual Minority Youth Resource Center), SUN (Schools Uniting Neighborhoods) Schools, SEI (Self Enhancement, Inc.), Portland Impact (Project Independence), DCJ (Department of Community Justice-Juvenile Division), Oregon Community Warehouse, Friendly House Senior Program, Northwest Family Services, Loaves and Fishes, Clara Vista, and a variety of Drug Treatment Programs and Domestic Violence services, and many many others.
The proposed cuts would affect appropriations for a variety of safety net/basic needs programs for everything from child development to senior independent living assistance. A surprising number of basic needs that could be cut under the current version of the budget including drug treatment programs, after-school programs, meals on wheels, crisis counseling, gang intervention, and basic needs programs that fill the gaps for people who are not eligible for federal and state assistance. Given that these were funded by the expired I-TAX, there is a very real risk of budget cuts that could seriously limit the good that these programs do in our community, and in worse case scenarios, the programs would cease to exist altogether.
It is 7 months post Katrina. Vast parts of N.O. still look like a war zone. While the U.S. spends billions destroying Iraq, our own people are still without homes, electricity, basic services. Out of the media spotlight, Katrina survivors are still struggling every day to get food, water, shelter.
WE MUST NOT FORGET.
Two days in New Orleans and my life is changed forever. There are no words to describe the devastation that remains seven months after Katrine.For much of the country, NOLA is old news. For people here it remains a monumental battle both against the destruction and aftermath, and also against the system that is racist, classist, corrupt and greedy
There is enormous need for volunteers.On-going home rehab will take years. At the peak of Spring Break there were 3000 people here, Today it's about 300. People Power is the greatest need, but almost every thing imaginable is needed from baby diapers to tools. Stores are boarded up and toxic so there's no running to to corner market for milk & bread.
Visit CommonGroundRelief.com. Common Ground is fantastic! Up out of the flood waters, holding the community together. Amazing! We may all need to know how to do this soon.
WE MUST NOT FORGET!
While posting fliers about the Fouad Kaady rally in Estacada today, we picked up a copy of the East County Gazette. In it was an article in the 'Mountain Views' Section, regarding a program which was news to me. It is called Dining & Dignity. The first restaurant in the entire United States to join Dignity & Dining was the Harmony Bakery in Estacada. Hitching Post Pizza has also joined. Here is how it works. "When an indigent person comes to the restaurant the guest must first ask for the manager and say to the manager, 'I don't have any money but I need to eat' The manager chooses which foods are available and healthy and then gives the guest the food. No taking of orders, no restaurant checks and no record keeping."
The Oxygen Collective, an Ashland, OR-based non-profit organization, and the newly formed Southern Oregon Gulf Coast Relief Network today announced plans to travel to New Orleans in early December. Members of both groups intend to support the ongoing grassroots hurricane relief efforts coordinated by Common Ground. Common Ground is a community-run organization offering assistance, mutual aid and support to the New Orleans communities that have been historically neglected and under served.
Local resident and educator Peter O'Connell traveled to the region two months ago to work with Common Ground. He is planning to return again with the Oxygen Collective and Southern Oregon Gulf Coast Relief Network. "I will never forget the images of desperate people suffering the initial tragedy of Hurricane Katrina. This tragedy has been compounded by the failures of FEMA and the federal, state and local governments to adequately address the needs of the affected communities. Into this void, Common Ground has stepped in to do the work that needs to be done," said O'Connell.
Last night, Thurs. November 10, 2005, three medical workers documenting police harassment outside the Common Ground Free Clinic became the targets of that harassment. This incident is the culmination of increased daily harassment this week, and are just a few of the examples of abuse that volunteer relief workers have faced over the past two months and that New Orleans residents, especially African Americans, are facing everyday.
Greg Griffith, a volunteer relief worker, was arrested by the New Orleans Police and ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) near the Common Ground Free Clinic in Algiers. Greg was thrown against the car, charged with crossing a police line, resisting arrest, and carrying a concealed weapon- a small pocket knife. While handcuffed in the back of the police car, he was told that he would be "shot, and his body thrown in the river". He was bailed out last night fearing for his safety and will go to court at OPP this morning. Emily Westerholm, the Unit Coordinator was violently thrown to the ground and Scott Weinstein a resident RN was verbally abused.
The Oxygen Collective is organizing a trip in our biodiesel bus for the first three weeks of December to bring supplies and volunteers to offer direct aid and relief work for people in the New Orleans area. We will be joining with an inspiring grassroots effort spearheaded by the Common Ground Collective in the Algiers Neighborhood.
The folks at Common Ground are engaged in many amazingly inspirational projects, but they are stretched thin and are desperately in need of people on the ground to help them. The Common Ground Collective operates a health clinic that serves thousands, an fm radio station bringing news and information to the Greater New Orleans Area and two supply distribution centers, including the only relief center located in the heavily damaged 9th Ward District. They also serve as the central hub of the grassroots, anti racist community organizing effort occurring in Southern Louisiana. They play a crucial advocacy role for the empowerment of poorer residents facing a deeply entrenched racist system that is in many cases marginalizing and neglecting people rather than helping them return to their homes.
Our plan is to leave Southern Oregon on Dec. 3rd, completing the journey by Dec. 22nd at the latest. Please contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org for more info or to pass along useful contacts, make a donation or volunteer to come along.
My landlord evicted me, entered my property to remove all of my belongings, locked me out of the property, is now threatening to throw my stuff to the curb and I can't find anyone to assist me.
I'm a good tenant. I have always paid my rent on time, I mind my own business and I respect the property that I live on.
However, in the middle of last month I received a handwritten note from my landlord asking me to move by the end of the month. One other woman was asked to leave at the same time. The landlord told her he was kicking out all of the women in the coming months, which he later referred to as a "band of lesbians".
It was my understanding that even though he asked me to move by the 31st, I legally had thrity days. This being said, you can only imagine how shocked I was to walk into the building on the 1st to find that my stuff had been removed from my apartment and there was already someone living there! [ read more ]
Landlords' Rights ... An Update
Finding professional assistance has been and still is an uphill battle. I still don't have a lawyer, but thanks to the supportive responses from those of you who have also been in this position, I have a few more leads to follow.
My fear? I fear that I am devoting almost all of my energy to this and will get nothing in return.
I fear that it takes money to find justice. I know that I am not the woman this landlord has treated this way. Perhaps if one of those women had stood up for her rights I would not be in this position. I can't blame her though ... if I had a place to live I probably wouldn't care much either.
For the "City That Works" I don't see a lot working for the people in my position. There are a lot of people willing to speak to what the law states and few people willing to enforce it ... unless the issue is liquor laws, or drug laws, laws that protect business ... or the laws that protect the landlords. [ read more ]
The only kitchen serving fresh, nutritious meals to the people of New Orleans east of Canal St. is being threatened with closure by city officials. The loose-knit coalition of groups known as 'the Rainbow Family of Living Light', best known for their yearly 4th of July Rainbow Gatherings at rotating locations throughout the country, have been instrumental in the relief effort following Hurricane Katrina. The mobile kitchen they founded in Waveland, Mississippi, the area hardest hit by the storm, has been consistently serving 2,000 people a day since its inception in early September.
The "Welcome Home Kitchen", as the Rainbow Family's Kitchen is known, has been serving well over 700 people each day for three meals a day, as well as providing free medical care, a distribution center of clothing and supplies, a community bulletin board and information table, and a sense of camaraderie that has brought smiles and hugs from people in the most desperate of circumstances.
But now the Deputy Chief Administrative Officer of the New Orleans Emergency Operations Center, Ms. Cynthia Lear, has declared that the city will unilaterally shut the kitchen down on Wednesday, providing no alternative and no resources for the underserved in New Orleans. Ms. Lear has stated that there is no appeals process for this decision, even though community members at the Fauberg-Marigny neighborhood council meeting on Monday gave virtually unanimous support to the ongoing work of the kitchen.
Please call ms. cynthia sylvan lear, the deputy chief administrative officer of the new orleans emergency operations center at 504-658-2180 and Mayor Nagin at (504) 658-4924, Fax: (504) 658-4938 to express your dismay that such a resource would be unilaterally dismantled by the government while it is providing such an important resource for the community.
Related: www.remarelief.net/ | The Forming of the New Waveland Cafe | Ongoing reports from Waveland | After The Flood, There Were Rainbows | Pics of the Cafe in NOLA | /a> | Rising From Ruinscompilation of onsite reports from both kitchens
this is a really excellent talk given by the founders of common ground in new orleans...
I hope everyone from pdx that has ability will make a time to visit out here sometime.
The project here is truly showing the potential of a grassroots collective to effect major change and there is real hope that this and other progressive projects can be a powerful force in NO against gentrification and for positive changes on so many fronts. [ read more ]
On September 20, Vinny and I returned to the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston to find out what was happening with the Katrina survivors since the Convention Center was closing it's doors as a shelter. An "Exit Only" sign on the doors made it clear that Katrina survivors were no longer welcome at the Convention Center. According to Anna Holly, Onsite Public Information Officer, it was time to "get back to business, back to conventions."
Many people were able to secure housing, however that was not the case for everyone. Vinny spoke with several people that had been excluded from federal services and are not sure what they are going to do for a job and housing. [ read more ]
Struggling for a Home After Hurricane Katrina
On September 20, after Vinny and I visited the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, we headed over to the Reliant Arena to find out more information about Katrina survivors being transfered from the Arena to Fort Chaffee, a military base in Arkansas.
The mood was more tense that it had been in previous days. It seemed that most people were not sure what was going on. Hurricane Katrina has wrecked peoples homes and changed their lives forever. After trying to find family members and friends, the next step for Katrina survivors has been to try to find some form of housing. [ read more ]
Audio (mp3): [ David Brown explains some of the roles played by Operation Compassion | Katrina survivors try to find some form of housing | Josh says Katrina survivors are treated differently in front of cameras | Milton, a Pastor in Houston, offers people shelter at a local church | Magnificent asks if he can speak from his heart | Laurence shares his incredible story of survival ]
On Saturday September 17, Vinny and I were on our way to the Reliant Arena, but we got a little lost in the sprawling city of Houston, Texas so we made our way to the George R. Brown Convention Center first. This convention center is next to the new baseball stadium where tens of thousands of people were watching an Astros game. Nobody seemed to care that in the building next to the baseball stadium, more than a thousand people still struggling to survive the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
The first thing we saw as we walked up to the George R. Brown Convention Center was a women being turned away from services at the Convention Center. I immediately pulled out my camera and began taking photos, but the police told me that i was not allowed to take photos. They told me that I had to visit the Media Check In area first. [ read more ]
Interview from 'Dome City' with Josh from New Orleans
On September 17, I spoke with Josh from New Orleans. He was sitting on a curb outside of Reliant Arena in Houston, Texas. Reliant Arena is a building next to the Astrodome and has been considered a part of 'Dome City.' Our interview begins with Josh explaining that he could get arrestted that night just for talking to me and giving me a recorded interview. (42:22 minutes / 19.4 MB)
Josh discusses the poor treatment of people evacuated to the Superdome in New Orleans and now living at Reliant Arena in Houston, Texas. Josh says that it is safer at Reliant Arena during the day because in the nighttime there is nobody -- meaning media journalists -- around to witness the horrible treatment inside and outside of the arena. [ read more | download the mp3 | download the torrent ]
Related Articles: [ 75,000 Body Bags Purchased For New Orleans | What is up with Katrina Evacuees in Portland? | If you can go now to New Orleans (or Mississippi) to rescue animals, do it! | food not bombs arrives in new orleans | Getting Your FEMA Money | Worries About Starving Pets In New Orleans May be Exaggerated ]
On September 13, the Common Ground collective in Algiers, New Orleans began the day with a meeting to discuss everything from staying healthy to the difference between martial law and a state of emergency. A medic at the wellness center said that the best way to maintain to the health of the community is be sure that everyone washes their hands often and to not share plates and utensils. After the meeting, volunteers assembled personal hygiene kits and dropped them off at the Common Ground Wellness Center at 1401 Teche St. where hundreds of people from New Orleans have been treated and received supplies.
A little bit later in the day, Iasha, Errol and Christopher came by to see if they could have some bicycles. The folks from Austin who brought the bicycles were happy to set the three of them up with bicycles. Iasha, Errol and Christopher said that all their friends have left town and they are the only children left in the neighborhood. Francisco, an artist from Austin, drew a portraiture of Errol as Rosa and Vinny conducted an interview. Iasha, Errol and Christopher also left with a bag of toys, crayons and a coloring book. [ read and see more >> ]
more first hand reports: [ Creativity, Solidarity and Mutual Aid in Algiers, New Orleans | Algiers New Orleans: Where Common Ground Is Found | The Houston Astrodome: Do You Know What Is Really Happening? | AUDIO: Interview from 'Dome City' with Joseph Bijou of New Orleans | More Scenes from 'Dome City' | The Surreal Scene of Dome City ]
I'm glad GW Bush and everybody in DC is dedicated to waging the war on terror! Let's expand it, because...I'm on the brink of homelessness and I feel TERROR. I was laid off in 2003 from a good paying job. I looked for another until my benefits ran out, then I had to get a near minimum wage job. I don't have health insurance and my savings are almost gone, so it's getting harder and harder to pay the rent. What I feel when I think about what might happen if my kid had some serious illness I couldn't pay for to keep him alive is TERROR. What I feel when i think about having depleted all of my life savings and ending up in shelters is TERROR. When I think about the neighborhood my kid plays in and all the meth addicts around here I feel TERROR. The thought that I might be homeless and scratch my unbathed nuts on the street one day, to be tazered or shot by a cop who claims I'm reaching for a weapon makes me experience TERROR. full comment ]
related: more articles from Anarchy-nonymous I what an illegal eviction notice looks like I Tyranny of Double Eviction Gives Local Couple Global Human Housing Perspective I Fannie Mae Study for Renters: "Evictions: The Hidden Housing Problem" I Portland Collective Housing I Community Alliance of Tenants
The Grim Reaper joined dozens of Oregonians to testify at the House Special Hearing on Health Care last week. The Grim Reaper told legislators he has been waiting for the House Death Committee to hold a hearing so he can testify in support of the leadership, which refuses to pass bills that would lower health care costs for Oregonians. According to the Reaper, "a guy can only wait so long."
The Grim Reaper testified in support of his friends in the pharmaceutical industry, "If it weren't for their astounding profit margins, more people might receive affordable life-saving medicines, which really slows down my productivity. That's why friends need to stick together. I deeply appreciate that they were willing to testify against extending the Oregon Prescription Drug pool to businesses and more Oregon families. That profit preserving audacity is rarely seen in politics these days, and I believe deserves some recognition. So, let's hear it for Big PhRMA, for standing up to put profits ahead of patients."
Why is it that whenever the state intervenes in the care of your children they make you look like the bad guy? They send out these reports to the juvenile court system that state that the parents have said things that really were not said and that they lack certain interests in their own children that actually do exist. Even if those parents strive to participate in their kids' lives by making the regularly scheduled visits and going to their doctors' appointments and what-not, the social workers who draw up these reports still make it look as though said parents are not expressing interests in their children.
The following reply was sent from OHSU in response to a letter from a citizen concerned about experimentation conducted at their primate center... This letter is a great example of the response you will get from OHSU (or most animal research institutions) if you challenge their use of non-human animals in medical research. The same old unsubstantiated claims and an attempt to make it seem like only animal rights "extremists" oppose animal research. OHSU will buy ads and have their PR person send you a letter and maybe some pamphlets but they certainly wont engage in real debate.
Animal research is a multi-billion dollar industry. To keep the money coming in, they frame the issue as animal rights "extremists" vs. scientific reason. Yet it is OHSU who does not back up their claims with clear evidence, who refuses to debate and who, when confronted with solid arguments, falls back on manipulative emotionalism. Do not be satisfied with clever PR campaigns and slick pamphlets. Demand answers and real accountability.
OHSU's specious science and corporate greed exposed: [ White Coat Welfare ]
Bear with me, I know few words inspire more boredom than "budget." But this is important. The Multnomah County budget is just about to break out of the secret box in which it's been fomenting since the commissioners learned that they were facing yet another gigantic funding shortfall. Although it's not slated to go public until Thursday, word about its substance has been eeking out bit by bit. And if you care about the people of this city, you're not going to like it. Despite the reputedly progressive leanings of Diane Linn and at least 3 of the four other commissioners, it looks like children, old people, people with disabilities, and people who are poor are about to get the shaft, while the Sheriff's department smiles.
SB 501-1 would increase accountability for the insurance industry. The bill had its first hearing in the Senate Health Policy Committee on Wednesday, March 30. SB 501-1 would allow the Insurance Division to collect and make public financial information from insurance carriers for small and large group health insurance plans. Information including medical loss ratio, administrative costs, CEO salaries and profit margins would now be publicly available.
One of the Oregonians who testified in support of SB 501-1 was Pastor Gail McDougle of Salem's First Congregational United Church of Christ. Pastor McDougle is concerned about health care on two fronts. First, as a greater moral issue of health care for vulnerable Oregonians. "Health care is not optional or negotiable," explains Pastor McDougle. As the church administrator, Pastor McDougle is also concerned about the cost of health care for their employees. Premiums for the church's two employees increased 36% this year, while co-pays and the out-of-pocket maximum doubled. "We have been seeing double-digit increases, but to get a 36% increase in just one year makes it impossible for us not to think about what happens next year."
Federal cuts under House budget plan would hurt vulnerable Oregon residentsOregon's share of federal funding cuts in key programs that assist Oregon's low-income working families, children, elderly and disabled residents could be as much as $422 million over the next five years under the budget plan passed by the House earlier this month, according to a new report by the Washington, D.C.-based Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP). In the Medicaid program alone, the study estimates the potential cuts for Oregon range between $159 million and $213 million over five years.
"The impact of the proposed federal cuts for Oregon's health care system is just unacceptable," said Ellen Pinney, executive director of the Oregon Health Action Campaign (OHAC). "Over six hundred thousand Oregonians currently go without any sort of health coverage. Reduced federal support will certainly cause the number of uninsured to increase, which is not the outcome Oregonians overwhelmingly want. It is bad for individual Oregonians and bad for our economy as well."
This article is an announcement of a need from the community in regards to affordable, reliable, safe, accountable, political chilcare with a suggestion for a solution.
Unfortunately, for many radicals children are not in their everyday consciousness. But for many people in and out side of radical circles children are both an everyday joy and burden. Many parents are expected to raise their children alone without help from any community, unless they wish to join a church. For families that must work to survive, childcare is a major source of frustration. Childcare can and often does dictate a family's budget and ability to hold a job. Affordable, reliable, and safe childcare is almost nonexistent and if you want a radical spin on their environment forget it.