02-19-2017  6:15 pm      •     

Community Meeting Addresses Gaps in Social Safety Net
The economic downturn and expected reduction of state funding for a range of social services has local stakeholders searching for ways to fill potential gaps.
A community discussion on the topic is set for Thursday, April 23, 6-8 p.m. at King's Way Christian High School, 3300 NE 78th St., under the direction of Marc Boldt, who chairs the Board of County Commissioners.
Invitations have been extended to representatives from faith-based organizations, non-profit service providers and other stakeholders interested in helping organizations connect with volunteers.
The meeting is sponsored by the Department of Community Services and open to the public. RSVP's are required by Monday, April 20. To RSVP please call (360) 397-2130 or send e-mail to Kelly.Dunn@clark.wa.gov.

U of P Sale Benefits Study Abroad Program
The University of Portland's Moreau Center for Service and Leadership will hold a giant rummage sale on campus (5000 N. Willamette Blvd.) from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 25 in support of its Nicaragua Immersion program.
The general public is welcome to the sale, which will take place just outside the Pilot House near the main entrance to campus. Items for sale include baked goods, kitchenware, desks, chairs, sofas, bicycles, home décor, televisions, fans and more.
Proceeds from the sale will support a group of 17 university students traveling to Nicaragua on a service learning immersion project. They will be working with the non-profit organizations SEEDS of Learning, and Witness for Peace, with whom they will be building a local school, volunteering in community projects and learning about fair trade agriculture.
A portion of the proceeds will also go to the University Village residence hall charity. For more information, contact Michelle Chang at (503) 943-7132 or moreaucenter@up.edu.

Apply Now for Public Montessori School
The Ivy School — Portland's first tuition-free/public/charter Montessori school — will open this September with 60 students in two mixed-age classrooms serving grades one through three. Any child eligible for enrollment in Portland Public Schools may apply for admission to the Ivy School via an upcoming lottery.
The Ivy School will be holding an informational event in the auditorium of the Matt Dishman Community Center on Sunday, May 3rd at 6:30 p.m. All are welcome to attend and learn more about the school. Staff will be available after the presentation to discuss both Montessori methods and the Ivy School itself.
A second public meeting is scheduled for Sunday, May 17 at 6:30 at the Peninsula Park Community Center. Please RSVP for either event to tammy@ theivyschool.com. 

Gardening Tips, Lead Reduction Workshop
There will be free Water to the Weather gardening workshop on May 2 and May 19. Participants will learn to maintain a healthy garden or landscape with efficient watering tips and resources. Multnomah County residents receive a free conservation kit.
Call to register at 503-284-6827 x109c or email water@communityenergyproject.org. The workshops take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Rain or Shine at 13126 NE Airport Way, Portland, and Tuesday May 19th 6 to 8 p.m. at Community Energy Project, 422 NE Alberta St.
There will be a free Lead-Safe Home Projects workshop on May 21. Participants will learn how to safely conduct small lead paint disturbing projects. Qualified participants receive a free lead safety kit, and access to borrow a professional-grade dual sealed HEPA vacuum cleaner. Call to register at 503-284-6827 x107 or email lead@communityenergyproject.org. The workshop is Thursday, May 21 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Community Energy Project, 422 NE Alberta St.

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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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