02-19-2017  3:17 pm      •     
Dawson Park reopens

PHOTO: Anjanae Mesa-Sanchez, 9, and her brother Jalam Taylor, 1, play in Dawson Park as their mom Angela Taylor watches. After a $2.7 million makeover, Dawson Park on North Williams Avenue between Stanton and Morris in Northeast Portland has reopened with a new playground, a fountain, signs that tell the history of the park and a new open plan vista.

Refund Money Awaiting Oregon Taxpayers

Hundreds of taxpayers across Oregon have tax refund money awaiting them - all they need to do is cash a check. The Oregon Department of Revenue has mailed letters to taxpayers in possession of refund checks that haven't been cashed as a reminder to redeem these checks prior to October. Checks are considered void after two years and are then sent to the Department of State Lands.

If a letter is received, cash the check immediately. If the check has been lost or was never received, the taxpayer should sign the notification letter and return it to Revenue to have the check reissued.

Last year, Oregon taxpayers were notified of $1,850,779 in refund checks that hadn't been cashed. This year, 1,000-2,000 notification letters were mailed. Hunt said the most common reasons for not cashing a refund check are misplacement of the check or having an incorrect mailing address on file with Revenue. She said taxpayers should notify Revenue of any address changes to ensure receipt of all tax-related correspondence.

Visit www.oregon.gov/dor to get tax forms, check the status of your refund, or make tax payments; or call 1-800-356-4222 toll-free from an Oregon prefix (English or Spanish); 503-378-4988 in Salem and outside Oregon; or email, questions.dor@oregon.gov. For TTY (hearing or speech impaired), call 1-800-886-7204.


Affordable Care Act Allows Former Foster Care Youth to Remain On Medicaid/OHP Until Age 26

On January 1, 2014, Oregon began providing Medicaid/Oregon Health Plan (OHP) benefits to former foster care youth under the age of 26. Oregon's program is called the Former Foster Care Youth (FFCY) Medical Program. It is estimated that there are 3,329 former foster care youth in Oregon eligible for the program.

A provision in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) allows children/dependents under the age of 26 to stay on their parent's health insurance. Recognizing that children who are discharged from the foster care system as an adult (18-20) do not always have that option, the ACA includes a provision allowing former foster care youth to remain on Medicaid until age 26, regardless of income.

Youth can request a FFCY application from their DHS caseworker, Independent Living Program (ILP) provider or FosterClub Dedicated Outreach Representative. Other options include:

-- Phone: The DHS Children's Medical Unit (CMED) can take applications over the phone, please call 503-945-5720 or 503-947-2598.

-- Email: Applications can be requested or submitted via email 5508.c-med@state.or.us.

-- Mail: Applications are also available online on the DHS Independent Living Program website; look for FFCY Medical Program Referral Form. To submit application print, complete and mail application to CMED, 500 Summer Street NE, E-69, Salem, Oregon 97301

-- Fax: Completed applications can be faxed to 503-945-7032

July 18 Last Day for Public Comments on 2015 Health Rates


Oregon consumers have until Friday, July 18, at midnight, to provide comments on proposed 2015 health insurance rates.

The rate requests are available for review and comment at http://www.oregonhealthrates.org/. The proposed rates are for plans for businesses with fewer than 50 employees and individuals who buy their own coverage rather than getting it through an employer, which affects about 10 percent of Oregonians. The Department of Consumer and Business Services, Insurance Division must approve any rates before they can be charged to policyholders. The division's actuaries conduct a thorough review of the rates to ensure they are reasonable and justified.

Over the past two weeks, the Insurance Division held public hearings for each company's rate request. The hearings are available to watch online at www.oregonhealthrates.org.

The division will make decisions on rates by early August with consumer-friendly documents that describe the decisions by mid-August. Plans will be available starting Nov. 15, 2014, to purchase through the federal marketplace, agents, and insurers.


ReShonda Tate Billingsley Reading at North Portland Library

ReShonda is the national bestselling author of more than 35 books. Her sophomore novel “Let the Church Say Amen” has been made into a movie, directed by actress Regina King and produced by Queen Latifah’s Flava Unit Productions. Her entire Amen series, as well as the novel “I Know I’ve Been Changed” has been optioned by BET Film.

She will be reading from and signing her newest work at the North Portland Library Meeting Room 512 N. Killingsworth. Tuesday, July 22 from 6-8 p.m.

A much sought-after public speaker, ReShonda is a winner of the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literature for her book “Say Amen Again” and was nominated again in 2013 for her book “The Secret She Kept”.

In addition to adult novels, she has also penned a teen series, Good Girlz. This winner of the 2012 NAACP Award for Outstanding Literary Work will discuss her works and answer your questions at this library gathering.

For more info go to www.multcolib.org/library-location/north-portland/events.

hand-webPHOTO: A human hand fashioned from more than 2,000 pieces of scrap metal salvaged  from old cars, unwanted appliances and other items was voted top sculpture at this summer’s Recycled Arts Festival.  Tom Jackson of Portland, a mechanic and fabricator for two decades who started creating recycled art a couple of years ago, crafted the winning sculpture. The ninth annual Recycled Arts Festival, held June 28-29 in Esther Short Park, was his first art showing. Jackson, who operates Real Mechanical Inc., already is thinking about next year’s event.

Campus Blues Fest Honors Janice Scroggins

Concordia University and The Original Halibut’s restaurant in Northeast Portland present the inaugural Campus Blues Fest, a blues music festival dedicated to the legacy of the late Grammy-nominated and beloved Portland musician, Janice Scroggins on Saturday, Aug. 9, from 12-8 p.m. at Concordia on the campus green.

The dynamic artist line-up will include performances by Portland blues icons Norman Sylvester, Linda Hornbuckle Band with Reggie Houston & Richard Arnold, Jim Mesi Band, Lloyd Jones Trio, Kevin Selfe & the Tornados, Jim Wallace, and The Strange Tones.  

Entrance to this family-friendly festival is free to the public with food vendors, such as, The Original Halibut’s and Cannon’s Rib Express available.

Join the hundreds of attendees who will enjoy back-to-back music from 12-8pm in the amphitheater on the campus green at Concordia University at 2900 NE Rosa Parks Way.

Concordia is an alcohol free campus.

For more information, visit www.cu-portland.edu/events

Free Youth Sports Safety Seminar

Law Enforcement for Youth's Y.E.S.S. programs 2014 Youth Sports Safety Seminar is July 26 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Chemawa Indian School, 3700 Chemawa road NE, Salem.

This seminar is free if you pre-register at www.lawenforcementforyouth.org. Kids pre- registered and attending with an adult will participate in a free football skills session provided by The Barton Football Academy.

Topics will include concussion awareness by OHSU, general sports injury assessment by Hope Orthopedics, speed and conditioning by The Court House Performance training and concussion management using The Sideline Kit concussion management system.

If you are a parent, coach, league administrator, or athlete this is a great way to improve your knowledge and the safety of young athletes.

Coaches attending will receive an attendance card that satisfies the requirements of Oregon new Concussion law. Jenna's Law requires all youth coaches receive concussion awareness training.

For more details or to sponsor our Youth Equipment and Sports Safety program contact us at info@lawenforcementforyouth.com or call 503-363-KIDS (5437)


Vancouver Police Taking Applications for NOW Volunteers Through July 23

Founded on the crime prevention theory that the more eyes there are on a street, the safer the street is, the Vancouver Police Department is looking to add to its citizen patrol volunteer team called, “Neighbors On Watch.”   NOW volunteers conduct foot, bike and vehicle patrols throughout the city.  Patrollers are non-confrontational, highly visible, and do not take any law enforcement action.  Each member of NOW commits to a minimum of four hours of volunteer patrol time each month.

Citizen patrol volunteers receive specialized training by VPD to become extra “eyes and ears,” reporting anything suspicious or criminal to local law enforcement. 

VPD is accepting applications through July 23 for the NOW program.  Citizens who apply will undergo a thorough background investigation.  Applicants must be at least 21 years old and live in the city limits of Vancouver.  To apply, contact Kelly Cheney at 360-487-7467 or Kelly.Cheney@cityofvancouver.us. 

PHOTO: A human hand fashioned from more than 2,000 pieces of scrap metal salvaged from old cars, unwanted appliances and other items was voted top sculpture at this summer’s Recycled Arts Festival.  Tom Jackson of Portland, a mechanic and fabricator for two decades who started creating recycled art a couple of years ago, crafted the winning sculpture. The ninth annual Recycled Arts Festival, held June 28-29 in Esther Short Park, was his first art showing. Jackson, who operates Real Mechanical Inc., already is thinking about next year’s event.

Chillin' In The 'Couv: Where to Beat the Heat When Temperatures Rise

Temperatures are heating up, but Vancouver has cool places where residents of all ages can seek some relief. Here are some options where you can splash, learn or simply chill.

Visit Vancouver Parks and Recreation's community centers to cool off, meet up with friends or take part in programs to play, swim or get fit. Marshall Community Center is fully air conditioned. Most of the open areas at Firstenburg Community Center are ventilated with moving air, but are not air conditioned. For those age 55 and better, the Luepke Senior Center next to the Marshall community Center offers a variety of air-conditioned activities to beat the heat.

At both Firstenburg and Marshall, the Wi-Fi enabled lobby and game room areas are open to the public, free of charge. Fitness centers and pools are available to members or by paying a drop-in fee. Hours, schedules and other information can be found online at: www.vanparksrec.org (click on Community Centers at the top of the page).

Vancouver Public Works' Water Resources Education Center, along the Columbia River and waterfront trail, is an air-conditioned oasis for exploring our natural resources, from the aquaria to hands-on exhibits to toddler-size learning at Puddles Place. July 12 is also Second Saturday at the Water Center, a regular cool treat for families from 1-3 p.m. Admission to the Water Center and Second Saturday fun is free. Children must be accompanied by an adult. For Water Center information or directions, please see www.cityofvancouver.us/watercenter.

There are other air-conditioned options around Vancouver, too, including restaurants, theaters and shops, as well as Fort Vancouver Regional Library District locations.


Know Your City and Groundwork Portland present The Dirty Side of Portland Bus Tour, August 2nd, 3rd

Tour to examine safety and health issues of Willamette River and other key sites of environmental concern.

The Dirty Side of Portland Bus Tour*

Saturday, August 2, 11am-2pm

Sunday, August 3, 1pm-4pm

Departing location: Union Station

Cost: Sliding scale $10-25 (nobody turned away for lack of funds)

* presented in collaboration with Groundwork Portland

This tour group will leave from Union Station at 11am and return by 2pm.


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  • WASHINGTON (AP) — One month after the inauguration, the stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue in front of Donald Trump's White House still is a hard-hat zone. Skeletal remains of the inaugural reviewing stands poke skyward. Random piles of plywood and cables are heaped on the ground inside crooked lines of metal fencing. The disarray outside the president's front door, though not his fault, serves as a metaphor for the tumult still unfolding inside. Four weeks in, the man who says he inherited "a mess" at home and abroad is presiding over a White House that is widely described as itself being a mess. At a stunning pace, Trump has riled world leaders and frustrated allies. He was dealt a bruising legal blow on one of his signature policies. He lost his national security adviser and his pick for labor secretary to scandal. He's seen forces within his government push back against his policies and leak confidential information. All of this has played out amid a steady drip of revelations about an FBI investigation into his campaign's contacts with Russian intelligence officials. Trump says his administration is running like a "fine-tuned machine." He points to the rising stock market and the devotion of his still-loyal supporters as evidence that all is well, although his job approval rating is much lower than that for prior presidents in their first weeks in office. Stung by the unrelenting criticism coming his way, Trump dismisses much of it as "fake news" delivered by "the enemy of the people" — aka the press. Daily denunciations of the media are just one of the new White House fixtures Americans are adjusting to. Most days start (and end) with presidential tweets riffing off of whatever's on TV talk shows or teasing coming events or hurling insults at the media. At some point in the day, count on Trump to cast back to the marvels of his upset of Democrat Hillary Clinton in the November election and quite possibly overstate his margins of support. Expect more denunciations of the "dishonest" press and its "fake news." From there, things can veer in unexpected directions as Trump offers up policy pronouncements or offhand remarks that leave even White House aides struggling to interpret them. The long-standing U.S. policy of seeking a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Trump this past week offered this cryptic pronouncement: "I'm looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like. I can live with either one." His U.N. ambassador, Nikki Haley, the next day insisted, "We absolutely support a two-state solution." Trump's days are busy. Outside groups troop in for "listening sessions." Foreign leaders call or come to visit. (Or, in the case of Mexico's president, cancel out in pique over Trump's talk about the planned border wall.) After the president signed two dozen executive actions, the White House was awaiting a rush order of more of the gold-plated Cross pens that Trump prefers to the chrome-plated ones used by his predecessor. Trump hands them out as souvenirs at the signing ceremonies that he points to as evidence of his ambitious pace. "This last month has represented an unprecedented degree of action on behalf of the great citizens of our country," Trump said at a Thursday news conference. "Again, I say it. There has never been a presidency that's done so much in such a short period of time." That's all music to the ears of his followers, who sent him to Washington to upend the established order and play the role of disrupter. "I can't believe there's actually a politician doing what he says he would do," says an approving Scott Hiltgen, a 66-year-old office furniture sales broker from River Falls, Wisconsin. "That never happens." Disrupt Trump has. But there may be more sound and fury than substance to many of his early actions. Trump did select Judge Neil Gorsuch to replace the late Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court, a nomination that has drawn strong reviews from conservatives. But the president is regrouping on immigration after federal judges blocked his order to suspend the United States' refugee program and ban visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries, which had caused chaos for travelers around the globe. Some other orders on issues such as the U.S.-Mexico border wall and former President Barack Obama's health care law are of limited effect. Trump says his early actions show he means to deliver on the promises he made during the campaign. "A lot of people say, 'Oh, oh, Trump was only kidding with the wall,'" the president told a group of police chiefs recently. "I wasn't kidding. I don't kid." But the Republican-led Congress is still waiting to see specifics on how Trump wants to proceed legislatively on top initiatives such as replacing the health care law, enacting tax cuts and revising trade deals. The messy rollout of the travel ban and tumult over the ouster of national security adviser Michael Flynn for misrepresenting his contacts with Russia are part of a broader state of disarray as different figures in Trump's White House jockey for power and leaks reveal internal discord in the machinations of the presidency. "I thought by now you'd at least hear the outlines of domestic legislation like tax cuts," says Princeton historian Julian Zelizer. "But a lot of that has slowed. Trump shouldn't mistake the fact that some of his supporters like his style with the fact that a lot of Republicans just want the policies he promised them. He has to deliver that." Put Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in the camp of those more interested in substance than style. "I'm not a great fan of daily tweets," McConnell said Friday, referring to the "extra discussion" that Trump likes to engage in. But McConnell was quick to add: "What I am a fan of is what he's been actually doing." He credits Trump with assembling a conservative Cabinet and taking steps to reduce government regulation, and promised: "We like his positions and we're going to pursue them as vigorously as we can." The challenge may be to tease out exactly what Trump wants in the way of a health care plan, tax changes and trade policy. At his long and defiant news conference on Thursday, Trump tried to dispel the impression of a White House in crisis, squarely blaming the press for keeping him from moving forward more decisively on his agenda. Pointing to his chief of staff, Reince Priebus, Trump said, "You take a look at Reince, he's working so hard just putting out fires that are fake fires. I mean, they're fake. They're not true. And isn't that a shame because he'd rather be working on health care, he'd rather be working on tax reform." For all the frustrations of his early days as president, Trump still seems tickled by the trappings of his office. When New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie visited the White House last week to discuss the national opioid epidemic over lunch, the governor said Trump informed him: "Chris, you and I are going to have the meatloaf.'" Trump added: "I'm telling you, the meatloaf is fabulous." ___Follow Nancy Benac on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nbenac
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