April 29, 2009


Category: Community — admin @ 1:00 am

freecycleUsers call it a “Gifting Economy.”

The staff at Good News PDX calls it a “Cyber Space Swap Meet.”

The official name is “Freecycling.”

It’s like the barter section of Craigslist or the recent Trash to Treasure event in St John’s. 

Since 2003, Portlandians have been swapping their stuff through this online bulletin board.

Albert Kauffman helped start the local chapter six years ago and tells Good News PDX that the swaps offer a more personal connection than swining by the local mall and buying whatever it is you’re looking for.  Not only do users get to hear the personal story behind the item they’re taking home (”my dad bought me this sled when I was six years old”) but often, people find new playmates activity partners in the process.  After all, let’s say you’re swapping a mountain bike.  They like Mountain biking.  You like Mountain Biking.  Why not go Mountain Biking together.

The site is growing everyday, partially due to the downturned economy, so make sure you keep your eyes peeled for your own personal jackpot.

April 27, 2009

More Elbow Room at the Beaverton DMV

Category: Government — admin @ 1:05 am

Anyone who has had the pleasure of visiting the Beaverton DMV office on Allen Blvd can attest to its cramped quarters.  Lines can spill out into the sidewalk.  The waiting area is frequently filled to capacity.  Parking spaces are at a premium.  Things have been so tight, the twenty year old building had to stop offering driving tests in 2000 because the parking lot was too full.

No more!

Staff members are packing up their clipboards, driving manuals and testing computers and moving to a brand new, massive space in Cedar Hills (located here).

Not only does the new facility offer more space in general, the DMV will finally be able to offer driving tests at the west side facility once again.  Plus, the new site is ready to handle more customers if the area continues to grow (although staff don’t expect to see a jump any time soon).

April 24, 2009

Opening the pantry for military families

Category: Community — admin @ 1:00 am

Operation Homefront

Operation Homefront

When mom or dad are serving overseas, budgets can get tight back home.  Especially in the current financial crisis, more and more families are having trouble covering groceries, diapers and pet food.  But that will be a bit easier after this weekend.

Operation Homefront helps the families of soldiers when times get tough.

“We offer help if they run into a financial crisis and can’t pay their rent or their electric bill.  Stuff like that,” says Becky Ginsbach, a program coordinator with the Portland chapter.  Beyond cash, they also send care packages overseas and now, they’re offering care packages at home.

Saturday morning, volunteers will cut the ribbon on a brand new food pantry offering boxes of groceries, baby supplies and pet food to families who have hit a rough patch.  Ginsbach tells Good News PDX she expects to see an increase in the already rising demand for help as Oregon sets to deploy 3,500 more soliders next weekend.

The entire project is covered through donations and volunteers.  You can help by clicking here.

April 22, 2009

Turn your trash into treasure

Category: Community, Environment — admin @ 1:00 am

swap-n-playAnyone who has cleaned out a closet, a garage or an attic will always wind up with the same piles: Stuff you want to keep, stuff that’s garbage/recyclable and stuff that is in perfectly good shape but you’ll never use again.

This weekend, you can swap that old set of golf clubs for a like-new microwave.  Or trade in some children’s books for a computer keyboard.  It’s all part of the Trash to Treasure day in St John’s.

Credit for the idea goes to Andrea Davey.  She started this cool place called Swap N Play where families bring their kids to play together and swap gently worn toys, books and clothing (call it “hand me downs” for only children and first borns).  Goodwill will be on hand for the event and gets to take all of the items that don’t find a new home.

But Trash to Treasure is more than just a free swap meet.  Davey tells Good News PDX they’ll also be taking all that junk that is recyclable but you can’t leave at your curb (old electronics, styrofoam, metal, etc.).  Volunteers will shuttle it to the proper dump sites throughout the day.

The event is on Saturday at 7535 N Chicago Ave in St John’s.  For more info or to learn about Swap N Play, click here.

April 21, 2009

Blazers win!!!

Category: Uncategorized — admin @ 9:54 pm

The Blazers even the series 1-1 against the Houston Rockets this evening at the Rose Garden.  107-103 the final.

April 20, 2009

Weekly chore turns teen into hero when he saves neighbors from fire

Category: Hero, Uncategorized — admin @ 11:38 am

Normally, when fire crews have to race to put out a fire in a home, a “good ending” is that everyone got out safe and the house suffered a few grand in damage.

Thanks to a 13-year-old in Aloha, we’ve now got a NEW definition for a “good ending.” 

The teen was taking out the trash last night when he heard a smoke alarm down the street (flames were also licking at the windows).  Apparently a candle kicked off the blaze while the two older neighbors were sound asleep (the alarm didn’t wake them up).

The teen called for help and firefighters showed up a few minutes later.

How’s this for amazing: the couple got out without a scratch … and the house only suffered $200.00 in damage. 

The kid will be recognized for his quick thinking in a couple weeks and will forever be able to use the pick up line “hey, did I ever tell you about how I rescued two elderly neighbors from a fire?”

Above and beyond . . . WAY above

Category: Charity — admin @ 1:05 am

Kurt Patterson trains for Summit for Someone

Kurt Patterson trains for Summit for Someone

When it comes to giving to a worthy cause, most of us will kick in a few bucks or a few hours of our time.  Not Kurt Patterson.  See, Kurt Patterson is going a bit above and beyond.  Like, WAY above.  11,000 feet above. 




Patterson, who has NEVER climbed a mountain before in his life, says he’ll get to the top of Mount Hood in one day . . .  that is IF his friends, family and co-workers will pony up $3,400 for the local chapter of the Boys and Girls Club (kidding aside, Patterson assures us he’ll make the climb regardless of whether he comes in over or under his goal).

It’s called the Summit for Someone program.  Climbers all over the country volunteer for massive climbs and get sponsors to kick in for a local charity in exchange. 

“To be honest, I’m not too concerned about the climb itself,” jokes Patterson in an exclusive interview with GNPDX.  “They have this training program you’re supposed to start about eight weeks before the climb.  I’m not sure how I’m going to get excited about crawling out of a warm bed at 3 AM to go climb a mountain.” 

Interestingly enough, Patterson hasn’t worked with the charity before.

“I have some relatives who are involved,” he explains.  “They really take the role of being a big brother or big sister to those kids.  They call during the week to check in, answer any questions about homework and stuff.  Then, they hang out with them on the weekends, doing activities they both really enjoy.”

Patterson won’t be going for the climb until June and is still accepting backers.  To donate or learn more about the program, click here.  In the mean time, Kurt Patterson, we salute you!


Category: Schools — admin @ 1:00 am

The question is, where do the students of English 342 go from here?  The WSU Vancouver class of amateur filmmakers were each required to complete a film for the elective Documentary Film Theory and Production Class.  Their instructor, Pavithra Narayanan, wanted to get her students some extra exposure so, for fun, she submitted them to the Kenworthy Film Festival in Idaho a few weeks ago.

 English 342 swept the place. 

Every category including Best Film, Most original, Most Beautiful and Funniest.  Not bad considering that, for most of the kids, it’s their first attempt at filmmaking. 

April 17, 2009


Category: Community — admin @ 1:01 am



On Saturday it’s supposed to be a pretty nice day.  Some sunshine, highs in the 60’s.  Perfect day to get some dirt under your finger nails and mingle with your neighbors.

Every Earth Day, SOLV organizes dozens of SOLV IT volunteer programs around the state.  There are 120 sites in Clackamas, Multnomah, Washington, Columbia and Yamhill counties this year, all of which were designed by volunteers or local businesses.  Projects run from cleaning up illegal dumpsites to tidying up the local school playground.  Nancy Wilmes, a program coordinator with SOLV IT, says the personal nature of each program (picking up the trash from your kids playground or sweeping away the mud from your street) are what make the program so successful.

To find the projects in your neighborhood click here.

April 15, 2009

Joking around about C P R

Category: Health — admin @ 1:00 am

First, the local Red Cross came up with Single’s CPR night.  Now, it’s Comedy Night. 

Yep, those who sign up for the special Friday night class will be C P R certified, but also get a few laughs in the process.

Art Krug (a comedy vet of 26 years) will be joining the class, adding humor to the first aid training.  Krug has a personal attachment to the program.  Six years ago, his own heart stopped for about 6 minutes.  His wife used the CPR training she got in high school to keep him alive until paramedics arrived on scene.

Meanwhile, the Red Cross is thrilled at the new theme nights they’ve been rolling out.  Lisa Harwin with the local chapter says things like Singles Night, Comedy night and the upcoming LGBTQ class attract students who might not have taken a class otherwise.  AND, by adding some entertainment, it’s easier for the students to process.  Keep checking back with GoodNewsPDX because there are some NEW CPR class ideas in the works …. trust us, they’re fantastic!

You can sign up for classes by clicking here.