12 01 2015
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Planned Parenthood to Hold Enrollment Fair Nov. 13

Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette is holding an education and enrollment Nov. 13 in Portland. Throughout open enrollment, which runs until Jan. 31, 2016, Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette is helping women in Oregon and Southwest Washington take charge of their health by providing education, resources and in-person assistance to help community members get enrolled in insurance plans.

The event will take place from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Historic Kenton Firehouse, 8105 N. Brandon Ave.

RSVP: To make an appointment in English, contact Erin Gorry at (503) 260-0682 or erincac@ppcw.org. To make an appointment in Spanish, contact Kelly Dickens at (503) 260-1630 or kellycac@ppcw.org. Walk-ins are also welcome.

In addition to this week's enrollment event and Planned Parenthood's local ACA education activities, the community can also learn about how get covered online at PlannedParenthoodHealthInsuranceFacts.org. The website provides an overview of what the health care law, often referred to as Obamacare, means for women; a glossary of important terms related to the law and health insurance; a calculator that helps visitors get a sense of what kind of financial help they can get; specifics on what to consider as a woman choosing a health insurance plan; and a way to find local, in-person help signing up and to schedule an appointment for assistance.


Health Insurance Shopping Season Started Nov. 1

Starting Nov. 1, Oregonians can sign, up, renew, or change their health insurance plans at HealthCare.gov.

Open enrollment begins Nov. 1 and goes through Jan. 31, 2016. It is the time of the year to change plans, and, for those who do not have insurance, it is the only time to buy a plan and avoid a potential penalty on your 2016 taxes.

Financial help is available for many people if they enroll through HealthCare.gov. Depending on their income, they may qualify for tax credits to help pay their monthly premium and assistance with out-of-pocket costs such as deductibles and co-pays. Of the approximately 107,000 Oregonians who enrolled through HealthCare.gov for 2015, more than 77,000 received a premium tax credit averaging $199 per month.

Oregon has a network of insurance agents and community organization ready to help people enroll. You can find an agent or community partner in your area at http://www.oregonhealthcare.gov/get-help.html or you can call the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace at 1-855-268-3767 (toll-free).

DCBS also provided grants to 24 agents to create drop-in enrollment centers during open enrollment. These centers will be open during the entire open enrollment period during normal business hours, with some extended hours. You can find the list of enrollment centers at http://www.oregonhealthcare.gov/get-help.html.

While open enrollment lasts through Jan. 31, 2016, you’ll need to apply by Dec. 15, 2015, if you want to change plans or enroll in a new plan that takes effect Jan. 1, 2016. Most consumers who already have insurance through HealthCare.gov or directly through an insurance company will be re-enrolled in their same plan if they do not act by Dec. 15.

To start shopping for plans, visit HealthCare.gov or call 1-800-318-2596 (toll-free) (TTY: 1-855-889-4325).


City Urges Vancouver Residents to Keep Leaves Out of Streets

Fall leaves are everywhere. Knowing what to do with all those leaves on yards, sidewalks and gardens can be a challenge for homeowners, especially when there are so many conflicting messages. Vancouver Public Works offers these friendly reminders and tips:

You may have heard TV or radio reports about pay-for leaf service collection in nearby cities, where residents are encouraged to put leaves in streets. That's not the case in Vancouver. In Vancouver, property owners are responsible for managing leaves from their trees. The City doesn't operate a leaf service, where the City picks up your leaves and charges you for this work. In Vancouver, deliberately blowing or raking leaves onto streets and leaving them there is actually unlawful. Sweepers are generally no match for big piles of wet leaves. To prevent leaves from piling up on streets and clogging stormwater catch basins, Vancouver works with residents to solve the problem.

Throughout the year, each of the more than 13,000 stormwater drains in Vancouver get a cleaning by Vancouver Public Works crews. That's just one part of the preventative maintenance to prepare for the rainy fall and winter seasons. With all the regular stormwater issues to handle, community help in keeping drains clear is important.

Vancouver residents are encouraged to rake, bag and take leaves to one of four local drop-off sites for free disposal, courtesy of the City of Vancouver's Fall Leaf Coupon Program.

This year's free leaf disposal coupons for Vancouver and Clark County residents are good through Dec. 31, giving residents extra time to take care of fallen leaves, even during the holiday season. The coupons allow free disposal of up to 5 cubic yards of leaves only at the designated drop-off sites. Leaves must be emptied from bags at the disposal site. Branches and other yard debris, as well as mixed loads of leaves and other yard debris, will be charged at the regular disposal price.

Residents can find the coupons in a variety of sites: in the Recycling Refresher newsletter, sent to all households in Clark County; on the City's website at www.cityofvancouver.us/solidwaste and at Vancouver City Hall and other various City offices.

Please note: Leaf coupons will no longer be available at disposal sites so be sure to get your coupon before you go. This year's designated free leaf disposal sites include:

  • City Bark, 2419 N.E. Andresen Road. Phone: 360-253-8461. Hours: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Saturday, in October; and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday, November/December. Closed Sunday, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Early closures on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.
  • H & H Wood Recyclers, 8401 NE 117th Ave. Phone: 360-892-2805. Hours: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday-Saturday, in October; and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday, November/December; and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, all months. Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas. Early closures on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.
  • West Van Materials Recovery Center, 6601 NW Old Lower River Road. Phone: 360-737-1727. Hours: 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Closed Sunday, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Early closures on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.
  • Triangle Resources, 612 S.E. Union, Camas. Phone: 360-834-7253. Hours: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. Closed Sunday, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Early closures on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.

The free leaf disposal program is intended to provide options for Vancouver residents with a lot of trees. Other options include subscribing to Waste Connections of Washington's yard debris collection services at www.wcnorthwest.com or by calling 360-892-5370 or emailing customerhelp@wasteconnections.com. Or compost leaves at home. Click here to learn how through the regional Green Neighbors Program.(www.clarkgreenneighbors.org.)

View our video showing how citizens and the City of Vancouver work together to manage fall leaves.


Beaverton Police Starting ‘No Refusal’ Program Allowing Blood Tests for Impaired Driving

The Beaverton Police Department started a No Refusal Program on at 9 p.m. Nov. 6. What this means is that when a person is arrested for DUII and refuses to take a breath test a telephonic search warrant may be requested for the subjects blood. If the search warrant is granted by a judge, a licensed medical professional will come to the police department to take the blood sample. This blood will then be sent to the state crime lab to determine the blood alcohol content (BAC) and will be evidence in the case.

Studies have shown that BAC test refusals are increasing around the nation (Refusal of Intoxication Testing: A Report to Congress, NHTSA). The Beaverton Police Department made 361 DUII arrests in 2014 and the refusal rate was approximately 23.5 percent. As a result of the lack of a breath sample or other physical evidence, the likelihood of these subjects pleading not guilty and moving forward with a trial is much higher. As a consequence there are more resources utilized from within the criminal justice system (i.e. courts, prosecutors, defense attorneys and other infrastructure) which has a direct negative impact on the efficiency of the criminal justice system and the safety of our community.

The Beaverton Police Department takes impaired driving seriously and are always looking for new ways to keep our residents safe. We feel this program will get more drivers the help they need to avoid driving impaired again and potentially causing their death or the death of an innocent person.

This program is being funded by a grant from the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT). The goal of this program is to increase the prosecution of DUII arrests and make Beaverton an even safer city to live and travel in.


Artists Rep seeks playwright submissions for the Oregon Play Prize

The play submission gates were thrown open on November 1 when the Table|Room|Stage (T|R|S) new play development program at Artists Repertory Theatre began accepting submissions for the new Oregon Play Prize. This is an unusual opportunity for Oregon playwrights to win a commission, work with a theatre on play development, and receive a first full production of their work at Artists Rep. Luan Schooler, Director of New Play Development and Dramaturgy, leads T|R|S and the Oregon Play Prize project.

The Oregon Play Prize

The Oregon Play Prize is a $10,000 commission for a new play written by an Oregonian. The playwright will be provided support in script development with space, consultations and readings, and the play will be produced by Artists Rep when it is ready.

To be considered for the prize, the plays must be written by a resident of Oregon. Scripts may be in any stage of completion, from a well-developed idea to a completed draft, but must be unproduced. Plays may be submitted to Artists Rep between November 1, 2015 and January 31, 2016. A panel of Artists Rep staff and volunteers will read all submissions and select three finalists. Descriptions and writing samples of the finalists will be posted on the Oregon Play Prize webpage late Spring 2016. Oregonians will vote for the one they most want to see produced and the prize will be awarded in Summer 2016. The timeline to production will depend on the readiness of the project. Complete submission guidelines are on posted on the website here.

“We're excited to read the work of playwrights from all over Oregon,” said Luan Schooler, Artists Rep Director of New Play Development and Dramaturgy. “The process we've created for the Oregon Play Prize will level the playing field so that an unknown writer has the same chance as a playwright who has already enjoyed successful productions. By involving the public in the final selection, we're all embarking on a big adventure together.”

About Table|Room|Stage

In August 2014, Artists Rep was the recipient of a $125,000 Oregon Community Foundation “Creative Heights” grant to establish a robust new play development program that will create opportunities for local and national playwrights, ensure that underrepresented voices are heard on stage, and establish Artists Rep and Portland as an engine for new play development.

T|R|S is a two-year pilot program that will commission eight new plays. Four of the eight commissions will go to writers of color, four will go to women, one play will be written for young adults. One of these commissions is the Oregon Play Prize, awarded to an Oregon writer.

With the T|R|S program, Artists Rep will offer commissions to eight playwrights over the next two years to start a new play, to finish one already begun or to revisit one that hasn’t yet been fully realized. Artists Rep is committed to offering women, writers of color and writers of work for young audiences a place at the table. The inaugural commission of T|R|S has been awarded to Yussef El Guindi for the completion of his play, The Talented Ones. This play will be read and workshopped at Artists Rep during our 2015/16 season. Learn more about El Guindi’s The Talented Ones here.

T|R|S program initiatives include playwright commissions, the Oregon Play Prize, and a new public theatre investigation program, Fresh Eyes. A remarkable intention of T|R|S is to provide the public unique access to the process of new work development through blogs and an online video series that allow for further audience engagement. Through these strategies audiences can learn about a little-known part of the theatre world by witnessing the process of play planning, selection and development, as well as learning from writers and artistic teams about the processes and challenges in developing new work.


For more Portland and Seattle area events see the Community Calendar.

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