11 29 2015
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Black Lives Matter Portland to Hold New Member Orientation

Black Lives Matter Portland will hold a new member orientation from 6 to 8 p.m. Nov. 19 at the Center for Intercultural Organizing, 700 N. Killingsworth St.

The purpose of this meeting to allow interested parties to learn about the Black liberation movement, BLM network and/or solidify their membership. The Portland chapter is a space for Black/African people and only seeks the membership of Black/African people. The space is inclusive of all Black people including children, youth and Black people of all ages. Food will be provided.

Black Lives Matter Portland is a chapter-recognized group of Black people who fight in solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter international movement and global organization. The group is active in the growing anti-racist movement both nationally and within the Greater Portland area here in Oregon.

The group is a movement and organization that celebrates the diversity within Black people, and enforce an inclusive and respectful environment. It does not condone prejudice based on a person's race, gender, sexual orientation, class, age, ability or other identities.

To fill out a new member form online, visit: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1jTtbDWQ8WjRnl6NBneJhlPI_mkmzwHc0bGieCfHhcRA/viewform


HOLLA’ to Screen at Hollywood Theatre November 20th Following Sold-out Premiere Showing

The Hollywood Theatre has scheduled an encore screening of HOLLA: Challenging the Narrative for Kids of Color in America’s Whitest City for 7 p.m. Nov. 20.

Pushed out of the inner city by rising costs and economic development, minority families increasingly settle in outer Portland and Gresham. HOLLA chronicles the organization of the same name, founded by Eric Knox, to mentor kids of color in predominantly white and white-taught schools. The film will be followed by a Q & A session with the filmmakers and Knox.

The film explores the lives of three young women on the HOLLA basketball team, as mentorship subtly transforms their experience. Through tough love and tenderness the kids learn to hurdle obstacles and adversity in a system biased against them. But learning is a two-way street—the viewer also sees the educators and mentors in the organization changing and growing through their work.

HOLLA’s soundtrack features material from Portland’s nationally recognized music scene, including songs from Tre Hardson (Pharcyde), Catherine Feeny, Joseph, and Liz Vice, whose album “There’s a Light” reached #6 on the Billboard Gospel charts and #13 on the R&B charts this fall.


Number of Students of Color at PSU Continues to Increase

The number of students of color enrolled at PSU has increased from 23 percent to 28 percent in fall 2015, the largest number ever.

Portland State raised its recruitment of minority students in recent years, including hiring a full-time Latino admissions recruiter and holding numerous outreach events on campus and in the community. Latinos are the fastest growing minority population Oregon. PSU has 2,932 Latino students, making them the largest minority group on campus and a 10.4 percent increase over 2014.

Total numbers also are up over the previous year for Native Americans, Pacific Islanders, Asians, Black, and students from multiple ethnicities. It is the biggest increase in minority enrollment in PSU’s history.

2015 Increase

Hispanic/Latino 2,932 10.40%
Asian 2,125 7.60%
Black 906 3.20%
Native American 362 1.30%
Pacific Islander 162 0.60%
Multiple Ethnic/Race 1437 5.10%

Total 7,924 28.00%

International student enrollment is also up 8% over 2014 to 2,152.

About Portland State University (PSU): Oregon's urban research university, recognized for excellence in sustainability and community engagement, is located in the heart of downtown Portland. PSU's motto is "Let Knowledge Serve the City," and it offers more than 200 degrees with opportunities to work with businesses, schools and organizations on real-world projects. www.pdx.edu


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 of Portland Announces Marijuana Regulatory License Workshops

The Office of Neighborhood Involvement will host two Marijuana Regulatory License application workshops from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. Nov 18, and from 3 to 5 p.m. Nov. 19, both at the Portland Building, 1120 SW 5th Ave.

The workshops will guide existing Medical Dispensaries, prospective Marijuana Retailers, and other Marijuana Businesses through the City’s application process, and outline how to legally operate a marijuana business in the City of Portland.

Participants of the two-hour workshops will learn more about the requirements and details of the City’s Marijuana Regulatory License, including distancing requirements, permits needed, coordinating between different agencies and jurisdictions, completing the application, and more.

Representatives from the Oregon Health Authority, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, and City of Portland bureaus will be available to answer questions
Existing medical dispensaries operating in the City of Portland MUST apply for a City Marijuana Regulatory License by January 4, 2016 or be subject to fines up to $5000.00. The City of Portland will NOT accept applications from existing Medical Dispensaries that have not waived confidentiality with the Oregon Health Authority prior to submitting the application.


Oregon’s population surpasses 4 Million

Portland State University’s Population Research Center (PRC) released the preliminary 2015 population estimates for Oregon and its cities and counties on November 16.
According to the preliminary July 1 population estimates, Oregon’s population increased from 3,962,710 in 2014 to 4,013,845 in 2015*, or by 51,135. This increase represents a 1.3 percent change, slightly higher than in the previous year (1.1 percent). The increase in 2015 is around 7,500 higher than added in 2014, but still not quite reaching peak pre-recession growth of 58,000 in 2006.

Population growth consists of two factors: natural increase (the number of births minus the number of deaths) and net migration (movers-in minus movers-out). From 2014 to 2015 net migration accounted for roughly 80 percent of Oregon’s population growth. During the past several years, natural increase has been contributing a shrinking share of population increase. Because of a declining fertility rate, the number of annual births has increased only slightly in recent years; and the number of annual deaths has risen at a faster pace due to the wave of aging baby boomers.

The counties that experienced the largest gains in population from 2014 to 2015 have the largest populations. As in the previous many years, Multnomah and Washington counties added the highest number of persons —each adding around 11,700 and 10,000 residents, respectively. Clackamas, Deschutes, Marion, and Lane counties each added over 3,000 to their populations; Jackson County added over 2,000; and Yamhill, Linn and Benton each added at least 1,000 to their counts. The population increases in these ten counties contributed to 88 percent of the statewide population growth this year. Almost half of Oregon’s thirty-six counties experienced increases ranging over 100 to under 835 persons. Nine counties saw little population change in the past year (less than a 100 person change).

Generally, net in-migration has either boosted population growth around the state or has prevented population losses. In counties where a natural decrease is occurring (over a third of the counties experience a natural decrease, meaning there are more deaths than births), net in-migration has offset overall population decreases. Net in-migration this past year is estimated to have accelerated in most counties statewide from last year.

In terms of growth rates, or percent change, nine counties saw increases at least at the same as the State or higher. Deschutes County experienced the largest percentage gain (2.6 percent) followed by Hood River, Washington, and Multnomah counties (2.2 percent, 1.8 percent, and 1.5 percent, respectively). Thirty-four of Oregon’s 242 cities experienced population growth in the past year at rates higher than the State. For smaller cities, sharp spikes in the growth rate could mean the increase of just a few persons, however.

Oregon’s incorporated cities have gained over 32,000 people from 2014 to 2015, with a combined 2015 total population of 2,776,860. Incorporated cities collectively capture about 70 percent of the state’s population, about the same as in the last few years. Preliminary estimates also show that cities accounted almost two-thirds of Oregon’s population increase, roughly the same as in 2014.

The preliminary estimates at least show small population increases in about half of Oregon’s 242 incorporated cities from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015, with 35 cities adding more than 100 persons. Portland shows the greatest increase with almost 12,000 additional persons than in 2014.

The cities of Eugene, Hillsboro, Salem, Grants Pass, and Bend each added over 1,000 persons in the past year. The population increase of over 1,400 in Grants Pass was largely attributed to large annexation of over 1,300 persons during the year. Twenty-eight other cities and towns are estimated to have a population change of between 100 and 900 during the period, led by Wilsonville. Sharp population increases in some of the smaller cities are usually due to the construction of apartments, or the arrival of workers and contractors for industrial projects such as energy or power, or for agricultural related jobs.

Eleven cities, scattered throughout Oregon are estimated to have between 5 and 110 fewer persons in 2015 than in 2014. Most losses are attributed to a decrease in the group quarters population (persons living in group living situations such as jails, college dormitories, and nursing homes), the removal of mobile homes, or the demolition of housing units. Fifty-eight cities reported to PRC that they had no change in population during the one year period. Note that the decrease in Tualatin’s population is due to a correction rather than an actual population loss.

PRC produces annual population estimates for Oregon, and its counties and incorporated cities using the most recent available data. These estimates are based on changes in the number of housing units, persons residing in group quarter facilities, births and deaths, students enrolled in public school, persons employed, Medicare enrollees, State and Federal tax exemptions, Oregon driver license holders, and other administrative data. Statewide housing and group quarters’ population data are collected from annual questionnaires sent directly to Oregon’s cities and counties. If we do not receive updated annual data from a city, its population estimate remains the same as in the previous year. The annual population estimates are used for revenue distribution to local governments and in program administration.
The preliminary population estimates are subject to revision during a month review period. The final July 1, 2015 population estimates will be certified by December 15, 2015. The annual population estimates are revised quarterly to account for annexations throughout the year.

The preliminary population estimates can be found on PRC’s Web site at: http://www.pdx.edu/prc/population-reports-estimates .


Commissioner Loretta Smith requests review of Accessory Dwelling Unit assessment policy

Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith today asked County Chair Deborah Kafoury for a review of Multnomah County tax assessment procedures concerning properties where a detached accessory dwelling unit (ADU) has been built.

“Over the past few years, the City and County have looked high and low for ways to increase the availability of housing in Multnomah County,” the Commissioner said.

“Now we find out that that while the City has done its part to enable homeowners to put in ADU’s, the County Assessor’s office has made an interpretation of the tax rules that is sending tax bills skyrocketing,” she continued.

“It is very troubling to me that this methodology was selected with virtually no communication to the public. We should all be on the same page regarding the importance of increasing the availability of accessible and affordable housing within our neighborhoods.”

Commissioner Smith is asking Chair Deborah Kafoury to review the current policy approach being taken by the Multnomah County Assessor’s Office, applicable to homeowners who build detached ADU’s on their property.


Gresham Offers Resources/Advice for Residents as Rainy Season Begins

Rainy weather is here, and Gresham residents who need sandbags to protect their property from flooding or high water may use the City's free, fill-you-own sandbag station.

Located at the Operations Center on 2123 S.E. Hogan Road, the sandbag station is open 24 hours a day and offers sand, shovels and bags to residents for home or private use. Sandbags are not available for commercial or contractor consumption. Residents are responsible for disposing or retrieving the sandbags after use.

How else can residents minimize the impact of heavy rain? Report instances of significant street flooding that are creating a hazard to the Operations Center at 503-618-2626, Monday through Friday, or after hours and on the weekends, 503-661-3906. Flooding may be reported online via the My Gresham app. Residents may also consider clearing catch basins of fallen leaves to minimize flooding--but only if it can be done safely.

Commercial building owners with flat roofs should make sure all drains are free of leaves and other debris to allow proper drainage from the roofs to prevent possible collapse from the heavy weight. Significant rainfall can add several inches of water to a large flat roof in a very short time if the drains become clogged. The roofs are not designed to hold the extra weight and could possibly collapse.

For more tips and information, visit http://www.greshamoregon.gov/sandbagstation/.


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: http://youtu.be/GnYLr6EpERs.


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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