12-13-2017  4:18 pm      •     
MLK Breakfast
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NEWS BRIEFS

Special Call for Stories about the Spanish Flu

Genealogical Forum of Oregon seeks stories from the public about one of history's most lethal outbreaks ...

Joint Office of Homeless Services Announces Severe Weather Strategy

Those seeking shelter should call 211 or visit 211.org. Neighbors needed to volunteer, donate cold-weather apparel ...

Q&A with Facebook's Global Director of Diversity Maxine Williams

A conversation on diversity and the tech industry ...

City Announces Laura John as Tribal Liason

Laura John brings an extensive background in tribal advocacy and community engagement to the city of Portland ...

Humboldt Sewer Repair Project Update: Dec. 4

Environmental Services continues to repair more than 3 miles of public sewer pipes ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

The Skanner Editorial: Alabama Voters Must Reject Moore

Allegations of predatory behavior are troubling – and so is his resume ...

Payday Lenders Continue Attack on Consumer Protections

Charlene Crowell of the Center for Responsible Lending writes that two bills that favor predatory lenders has received bipartisan...

Hundreds Rallied for Meek Mill, but What About the Rest?

Lynette Monroe, a guest columnist for the NNPA Newswire, talks about Meek Mill, the shady judge that locked him up and mass...

Top 10 Holiday Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pet

Dr. Jasmine Streeter explains why pampering pets with holiday treats can be dangerous (and pricey) ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT

East Portland Community Center from outdoors
By Donovan M. Smith | The Skanner News

A pilot program designed to provide kids with fun and safe activities completely free of charge is now expanding to East County.

Debuted at popular Northeast Portland Matt Dishman Community Center in June, the East Portland Community Center, located at 740 SE 106th Ave., is next in line for the amenities.

The free activities began earlier this week and will run through Sept. 9 at the center for all registered youth ages three to 17.

Registration can be done in person at either center, and the typically takes no more than five minutes to complete. Participants must bring addresses and phone numbers for themselves and their parents or guardians, and information about any pre-existing health conditions. Youth need be present during sign up so their pictures can be taken for their passes.

Portland Parks and Recreations Commissioner Amanda Fritz called the program a valuable effort to enhance lives and reduce violence, and commended Mayor Charlie Hales for its expansion.

“This program is about more than sports or kids being bored during the summer. It’s about furthering the city and parks’ shared mission of equity and providing access to recreation,” she said.

Mayor Hales, who spearheaded the funding campaign to open the East Portland Community Center in 2002 as parks commissioner, reflected on what this expansion means to him.

“My dad was there with me the day [the center opened]. And with this expansion more dads and sons, moms and daughters and siblings will get to make the center a part of their lives as well.”

The mayor’s initiative begin with a $2 million investment in the city’s 2015-2016 budget, largely in response to what his office called a “spate of gun violence and youth violence” throughout Portland.

“This is an all-hands-on-deck issue,” Hales said. “This isn’t a city-government proposal, it’s a proposal for everyone,” Mayor Hales said in a press release. “We have to get upstream in the lives of our kids,” Hales said. “That means letting them pick up a soccer ball or a paint brush, a pen or a guitar, a job skill or a résumé. The more of these safe, positive activities we can provide for them, the better.”

More community centers will be taking part in the free programs throughout the center. With the continued expansion county, school districts, higher education, and even private businesses including professional sports organizations, will be asked to contribute to the initiative.

Young children may not be dropped off unsupervised at any of the bureau’s community centers. 

The East Portland Community Center is open 6 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. weekdays; 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays; and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays. The free program will not include the East Portland pool, which currently is at capacity.

For more information, go to the center’s webpage, or contact the center at (503) 823-3450.

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