• Trees Make Everything Better!

    Trees Make Everything Better!

    When’s the best time to plant a tree?  Twenty years ago.  And the second best time?  Today.  Consider this ancient Chinese proverb for this planting season. 


    Friends of Trees is at it again, in their 24th year of planting trees throughout the city of Portland. There are plenty of options to consider for your planting strip, depending on your site, but a few popular choices are:  Paper Bark Maple, Linden, Oregon White Oak, Forest Pansy Redbud, Japanese Stewartia, and Cascara, to name a few.  What’s that you say, you have room in your yard for a tree?  This opens up your options considerably, how about:  Douglas Fir, Giant Sequoia, Kentucky Coffee Tree, and various fruit trees, for example. 


    Friends of Trees offers high-quality stock of trees, works closely with the City of Portland & homeowners to choose the best trees for their space, and most importantly, provides an outstanding community planting event.  This is an opportunity to meet your neighbors, learn how to properly and safely plant trees, and have a delicious assortment of homemade soups and foodstuffs for lunch. 


    This season’s deadline to order trees for the Portsmouth neighborhood is January 20th, 2014.  If you’d simply like to be a part of the fun and volunteer for the morning, planting day is Saturday February 8th, 2014.  We will meet at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church at 7600 North Hereford Street at 8:30 am.  Kenton neighborhood is also joining us!  For more details look on their website  www.friendsoftrees.org

    By:  Amy Michet, Portmouth Neighborhood Coordinator for Friends of Trees

    contact:   amymichet@gmail.com

    Come for the trees, stay for the luncheon!

  • So, what is radon all about?

    It's on television. It's in the newspapers. It's on billboards.


    Portland has a radon issue, and it is not going away. The soil in the Willamette Valley containsgranite, brought down the Columbia River from Montana over 10,000 years ago. This granite contains uranium, which breaks down naturally and produces radon gas.

    Invisible and odorless, radon is drawn upward into our homes by the relatively lower pressure found in the structure above. The only way to know you have an issue is to test your home, using an inexpensive kit purchased at your local hardware store.

    So why all the fuss?

    Almost 40 years ago, medical research connected long-term exposure to high levels of radon with lung cancer. An estimated 22,000 fatalities are attributed annually to radon in the United States. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, behind only cigarette smoking, and the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers.

    Testing is simple, and can be done for under $30. Based upon the results, a homeowner can decidewhether to seek out a certified mitigation firm. Mitigation involves installing a system to counteract the house's upward influence on radon. A depressurization system will "hold" the gas beneath the house, draw it to a collection point, then vent it to the exterior of the house and above the roofline.

    For most single family homes, mitigation will cost between $1,500 and $2,000.

    Radon. It's a Portland problem. Not all homes will test high; any given house can test low, even when your neighbor tested their home and found it to be moderate or high. To know for certain, both EPA and the Surgeon General's Office recommend every home in America should be tested for radon, regardless of location. Test your home, protect your family, safeguard your health.

    A huge thank you guest blogger, Jim Bittner, of Cascade Radon. Jim shared more about Radon at the October Community meeting, and is happy to talk to Portsmouth neighbors more about your radon concerns, and testing and solution needs and questions. Jim can be reached at (360) 721-3967 or jim@cascaderadon.com.
  • Live Music? In Portsmouth? I Thought You'd Never Ask!

    'The Round' is a new monthly 'arts experience' curated by Portland Abbey Arts, which hosts non-religious community arts events at The Portland Abbey (the new moniker for the three building campus of St. Andrew and All Souls church) at 7600 N Hereford Ave in Portsmouth.

    North Portland community members are invited attend.
    The Round is...
    Three singer songwriters sharing the stage together
    with slam poets and live painters/visual artists
    for a relaxed evening of unique collaboration

    ROUND 12: Tuesday, Nov 12, 8 PM, $7

    Emily Overstreet (of Great Wilderness)
    Stirling Myles (of Alameda)
    Ryan Sollee (of The Builders and The Butchers) 
    Jessie Gardener (Poetry) 
    Katy Jorgensen (live visual art)
    Michael Alston (of Soundghost Studio, St. Johns), 
    audio engineer.

    Ticket via Brown Paper Tickets http://theroundpdx.brownpapertickets.com
    and at the door (cash or credit card)
    Visit Abbey Arts online at http://www.abbeyarts.org
    By:  Karen Ward @ The Abbey
  • Have you visited the "Pump Track"  yet?

    Have you visited the "Pump Track" yet?

    As the interest in bicycling grew at New Columbia, so has the need for basic bike repair. The members of We All Can Ride, a resident-led bike committee, dreamed of having a space where they could store tools, bicycle parts and equipment, while supporting community members with basic bike repair education. At the same time, staff at Home Forward expressed interest in transforming a vacant lot in their neighborhood into a place where young kids could safely ride their bicycles.

    From these two ideas the concept of a Bike Repair Hub and Skills Park was born. Made possible with support from the Portland Development Commission, Bikes Belong and Bike Gallery, the Community Cycling Center worked with graduate students from the Oregon College of Art and Craft and Pacific Northwest College of Art’s joint MFA program in Applied Craft and Design (ACD) to build a Bike Repair Hub during the summer of 2012. During the summer of 2013, the Bike Skills Park was born, creating a safe riding area for neighbors of all ages and skills levels.

    Melinda Musser, Communications & Marketing Manager- Community Cycling Center
    Questions? Contact  communications@communitycyclingcenter.org 
  • Lovely Fortune, Best Intersection Name in Portland!

    Lovely Fortune, Best Intersection Name in Portland!

    Looking into the past is a great way to get excited about your neighborhood.  I recently contacted the Oregon Historical Society to see if they had any information or photos regarding our very own Portmouth neighborhood.  When I saw this shot, I had to do a double take.  I couldn't believe that this intersection had a church at one time!  Today, there are some post World War 2 homes in its place.  A neighborhood can change so much in a matter of 60 years!  I am curious about the church, and what happened to it?  What denomination was it?  And now, I am curious about any old photos and stories you may have?!  Please share so we can explore Portsmouth's often overlooked history.

    By Amy Michet, Portsmouth Neighbor

  • National Night Out!

    National Night Out!

    Who woulda thunk it that hanging out with your neighbors could be so fun?  Me!  I always look forward to the annual National Night Out.  

    The introduction of National Night Out, “America’s Night Out Against Crime”, in 1984 began an effort to promote involvement in crime prevention activities, police-community partnerships, neighborhood camaraderie and send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back. NATW’s National Night Out program culminates annually, on the first Tuesday of August.

    There were 3 NNO events in Portsmouth this year.  The photo taken above was from the ice cream social over on N. Superior and N. Houghton.  This family talked about their street trees, the new bicycle path, and how the neighborhood has been changing for the better, to name a few!  

    Some neighbors shared dreams of an intersection mural at that exact location, but for now they resorted to using chalk to beautify the pavement. It is right on a "neighborhood greenway" bicycle path after all!  Several police officers arrived, to chat with neighbors about concerns, as well as giving tours of their vehicles. Everyone enjoyed the ice cream!   

    By Amy Michet, Portsmouth Neighbor