June 29, 2009

BREAKING NEWS: Could the end be on the horizon?

Category: Recovery, University of Oregon — admin @ 3:02 pm

Normally a bit pessimistic about the economy, Tim Duy of the University of Oregon has some exciting predictions about the economy . . . as in, we could be ending the recession THIS YEAR.

Angel’s flock growing

Category: safety, volunteer — admin @ 1:19 am

Close to 15 Guardian Angels patrol Portland streets keeping us safe

Close to 15 Guardian Angels patrol Portland streets keeping us safe

In the past month, five people have volunteered to spend countless hours, walking Portland streets in order to keep the rest of us safe.  They’ll go through rigorous training including first aid and self defense.  And they won’t be paid a dime for it. 

They’re the new Guardian Angels.

Those five recruits are more than a 50% increase over the current force here in Portland.  A nice step towards the local chapter’s goal of returning to the glory days of the 1980’s, when more than 100 angels “flew” around Portland.

But let’s not lose the facts amidst the long term goal.  Five people are volunteering their time to keep us safe.  That’s fantastic.

GNPDX spoke with Thomas Hall who is the Chapter Commander.  While the Angel’s don’t serve in an official capacity, they do have a great working relationship with local cops, often deterring violent crime.  And when they can’t deter, they step in and make a citizens arrest until the boys in blue can come by to pick up the garbage.

In order to be an Angel you need to be 16 years old, employed or going to school, and take their three-tier training.  For sign up info or to make a donation visit here.

June 26, 2009

Gymnasts go green

Category: Environment — admin @ 1:00 am

NW Gymnastics Training Center

NW Gymnastics Training Center

At their core, kids’ sports, dance classes and other extracurriculars are about teaching little people how to grow up into decent big people.  Sure they learn how to hit a ball or do a pirouette, but it’s the hidden lessons that seem to be the most valuable.

Take turns.

Be a good winner or a good loser.


Practice makes perfect.

Time management.

There’s a gymnastics school in Gresham that is going a step further.  Northwest Gymnastics Training Center got some appluase from the city this week for incorporating the environment into the curriculum.  Yeah, in between back handsprings and proper stretching, their kids are learning about recycling and conservation.

It wasn’t too tricky.  Tina Stinson who bought the gym in November, says they do little things like use recycled paper, turn off lights they aren’t using and refill ink cartidges.  But the kids absorb every little step.  And then mom and dad pick it up. 

In just a few months, they’ve cut down on the amount of trash going out the door and energy being wasted. 

To learn more or to sign your kid up for lessons at the gym, click here.

June 24, 2009

Scoundrels sneaking around Tigard

Category: Arts — admin @ 1:00 am

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels opens at the Broadway Rose this week

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels opens at the Broadway Rose this week

It’s been a big year for the Broadway Rose Theatre company in Tigard.  The local troupe which has specialized in summer stock for the past 17 years, finally cut the ribbon on a brand new, year-round, facility a few months ago.

They’re launching more kids programs and educational programs.

And, they’re debuting another monster musical in the stage adaptation of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.  And we do mean MONSTER.  17 set views, two rotating turntables dominating the stage.  Granted the scope is nothing new for BWAYROSE . . . the local troupe regularly tackles difficult shows like Les Mis and Phantom with aplomb.

The show itself has a cinematic film, according to Lyn Cramer who directs the show.  She tells GNPDX it’s a direct replica of the insanely popular 1988 flick with Steve Martin.

This is Cramer’s first visit to the Rose City.  She’s a full professor at the University of Oklahoma Theatre Department.  The BWay Rose takes great pride in bringing in top artists from around the country for the season (and exporting them as well.  Some of you may remember Beaverton’s Shoshana Bean from Broadway productions like Wicked … but you may also remember seeing her bring down the house at the Tigard theatre a few summer’s ago in Bye Bye Birdie before she splashed onto the Great White Way).

Back to the show, it promises to be a hoot.  For those who aren’t familiar with the plot, a suave conman and a two-bit hustler join forces to scam the “Soap Queen” … but the woman they believe to be a wealthy heiress, may not actually be  (what, you thought we’d spoil the plot?).

To get your tickets to this dynamite production, click here.

June 22, 2009

Teaching a “CAN” do attitude

Category: Money Saver — admin @ 1:26 am

Canning is not only a Money Saver, it's Green Friendly

Canning is not only a Money Saver, it's Green Friendly

It was during the recession of the 1970’s that Molly Wells first started canning.  She finds it really fun and a money saver in the long run.  She’s tried to teach people how to preserve food through canning, drying and freezing … but until recently, there hasn’t been a lot of interest.

Then, Molly Wells hit a proverbial perfect storm.  Not only is Portland in the throes of a recession, but it’s also an area of the world where people tend to be conscious of eating more natural, healthy foods.

Last month, she finally put out a test note to see if anyone would sign up for canning classes.

By the tone of this post, you can guess how successful her first push was.  So many people signed up for the first batch of classes she’s had to add more in July for the overflow and is offering another round in August.  Considering how green-friendly Portland is, she may wind up offering the classes year round.

To sign up email her at Molly@MissMollyTutoring.com

June 19, 2009

Finding cold hard cash in your fridge

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

A new fridge can save you hundreds of dollars

A new fridge can save you hundreds of dollars

It’s pretty common these days for families to keep a spare fridge in the garage or basement.  It keeps extra soda chilled.  Stores that side of beef you got on sale at the grocery store.  And in times like these, isn’t it wise to be buying in bulk when there’s a sale and stashing the extra in your garage?

Yes.  But, there could be an even smarter way for you to save money.

Replace the fridge with the help of Energy Trust of Oregon.  They’ll buy your old fridge for $30.00 cash and recycle it (guaranteeing 95% of the materials are recycled . . . something not many electronics recyclers can guarantee).

Then, when you go and buy a NEW unit, they’ll give you a cash rebate on any energy-efficient model.  Plus, you’ll be saving money every month (about $160 per year if you pitch a model that was made before 2001).

Considering you can buy a decent fridge for about $1,000 (depending where you go and what features you want) . . . the new fridge has paid for itself in 6 years.  Not bad, eh?

To call Energy Trust for a pick up, click here.

June 18, 2009


Category: Uncategorized — admin @ 11:29 am

OBT Fundraisers obliterated their $750K goal and will survive for another season! Read more here at Oregonlive.


A solid advertising investment

Category: Community — admin @ 10:08 am

Do you have a small business, community group, nonprofit or restaurant that you want to promote?  Does advertising seem too daunting or too costly?  Sign up for the Mississippi Ave street fair in July.

You’ll get face time with about 20,000 people in just one day.  Plus rates are extremely affordable.  For more info on how to get involved in this super-fun Portland summer event click here.

June 17, 2009

Expanding despite the economy

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

SHARE Vancouver at work

SHARE Vancouver at work

Pop quiz.  What happens to all of the kids who receive free or reduced cost lunch and/or breakfast when school closes up shop for the summer?  The need doesn’t go away.  In fact, it may increase if mom or dad has to stay home from work or pay for a sitter.

Enter SHARE.  This Vancouver group offers help to the homeless year-round.  And when summer vacation hits, they provide free breakfasts, lunches and activities for those kids at local schools. 

While that, in and of itself, is cool.  What if we told you that they are expanding this summer despite a down economy?  Cooler, eh?

It’s true.  Donors stepped up and kicked in enough cash to add a new school and over a hundred new kids to their roster. 

If you want to help or get involved with SHARE click here.

June 15, 2009

Help Adam

Category: Community — admin @ 1:00 am

Adam Sprow - Four Years Old

Adam Sprow - Four Years Old

This little guy is Adam.  He’s four years old, loves to swim, play on the playground at school (really anywhere there’s one of those play structures actually) and motor around on his brand new trike.

He also can’t talk, struggles with walking and will have to deal with a developmental delay his entire life.  Adam has Angelman’s Syndrome (it’s often mistaken for Autism).  Essentially, there’s a missing link in his genetic chain that delays his development.  It’s actually a very common disorder according to his mom, Elke, who was kind enough to speak with GNPDX.

It also turns out, there is a lot of research underway in the battle against AS.  Adam is in line to participate in a number of studies …. some that could directly help him and a few others that could help other children with the disorder.

Here’s the problem, the studies are in different parts of the country.  While  Adam and his entire family desperatelywant to take advantage of these opportunities (both to help their son and the sons and daughters of countless other families) travel isn’t really an option.  See, four years of monstrous medical bills and the down economy have been murder on the families’ bank account.

So, they are rolling up their sleeves and hosting a garage sale, hoping to raise enough money for airfare and a place to sleep near the hospitals.

The cool part?  This isn’t just some minor sale.  Donations are pouring in from school and church friends to the event.  BUT, the family can always use more help.

Please, if you have electronics, dishes, toys, anything that is cluttering up your house and you think would fetch a couple bucks PLEASE get in touch with Elke Sprow right away and make a donation to help Adam.

And, if you are moving or are just looking for an affordable find, mark your calendar for June 27th and check out the sale itself.  Adam needs our help.

Info:  Saturday June 27th, 8A-3P

21108 NW Wapinitia Lane, Portland

Elke Sprow:  503-895-3279 / 971-226-4656