November 24, 2009

Never too early to talk taxes

Category: Charity, Community, Government, Money Saver — admin @ 9:32 pm

Cash Oregon helps THOUSANDS of people save MILLIONS on tax returns

Cash Oregon helps THOUSANDS of people save MILLIONS on tax returns

I wanted to start this post off with some humorous holiday lyrics incorporating tax terminology but I got as far as Frosty the Taxman and hit a wall.  The truth is, this time of year, we’re thinking turkeys, stockings and gifts.  Not taxes, I-9’s and refunds.  Right?

But one local nonprofit IS thinking taxes.  And they hope YOU will too.  CASH Oregon offers free tax prep help for people with low to moderate incomes.

Doing your taxes yourself runs the risk that you will miss a key credit.  Paying someone to do your return can cost a couple hundred bucks you don’t have.  As a result, people can miss THOUSANDS of dollars in tax credits every year.  CASH Oregon volunteers do tax returns for free.  You want results?  How about 16 million bucks in federal returns last year on about 14,500 total returns.  This year, they expect to do even more returns.

Where YOU come in, is they need help with the paperwork.  In fact, they need about 500 people in total to handle the project.  You don’t need any background in the tax world, all training is provided.  But you DO need to go through their training which takes some time.  To learn more about the service (either as a volunteer or a client) go here.

August 7, 2009

A recap of our interview with Senator Atkinson

Category: Government, Life Saver — admin @ 10:54 am

Senator Jason Atkinson almost DIED after helping a friend

Senator Jason Atkinson almost DIED after helping a friend

A year ago, Senator Jason Atkinson thought he was doing a favor for a friend.  See, Atkinson can fix bikes and someone asked him to give his two-wheeler a tune up.  What  the Senator did not know, was that there was a bag on the back of the bike holding a gun.  When Atkinson took the bag off and tossed it on the floor, the gun went off shattering his femur and ripping through an artery.

If not for quick thinking by his wife to apply pressure and fashion a rudimentary tourniquet out of spare tubing, he would have bled to death on the floor of his workshop.

But he survived, spent a year in recovery, unsure if he could save his leg.  And when his leg was safe, having to learn how to walk again.

Now, he walks with a limp, deals with constant pain, but says he’s GRATEFUL for the experience.

See, Atkinson says he now has a better understanding of what it’s like for people living with constant pain, people who have lost limbs and feels he can serve the community better with that knowledge.

He lives everyday with greater happiness and gratitude than ever before.   Whether you agree with his politics, I think we can all give Jason Atkinson a thumbs up today.

May 29, 2009

An open-house on a city-wide level

Category: Community, Government — admin @ 1:31 am

Happy Valley, OR

Happy Valley, OR

The City of Happy Valley has a rather unique approach to the housing crunch.  Instead of waiting for a stimulus plan or for the market to simply rebound, they’re holding an Open City.  Well, they call it the City of Dreams event according to Steve Campbell with Happy Valley.  He tells GNPDX it’s kind of like an Open House but on a super sized scale.

While 150+ homes open their doors to prospective buyers this weekend in a massive tour-de-house, there’ll be an expo at city hall of all the municipal services (e.g., libraries, schools, police, fire department).  In short, potential new residents can check out more than their new digs, they can really connect to the community from the get go.

Campbell says they’ve never seen an event like this before and expect it will draw some great attention to the area (especially with temps in the 80’s to draw out the crowds).  For more info, click here.

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 6, 2009

Portland reaches a new low

Category: Government — admin @ 2:02 am

Courtesy The Oregonian

Courtesy The Oregonian



The Rose City has sunk to a new low.  In 2008, fewer people then ever (well, since they started tracking this kind of thing in 1925) were killed on Portland roads.  Even cooler, since the mid-80’s we’ve been on a slow decline.

Water hole yields 1,500 jobs

Category: Government, Jobs — admin @ 2:00 am

How many people does it take to dig a really big hole and fill it with water?  1,500.

At least that’s the projection out of Portland where they’re digging a new reservoir at Powell Butte.  The jobs will roll out over the next 3 to 4 years and has the project itself has a price tag of $138 million.

March 16, 2009

Bernanke to banks: Lend more and get us the heck out of this mess!

Category: Government — admin @ 1:04 am

Ben Bernanke, Chairman of The Fed

Ben Bernanke, Chairman of The Fed

You may have spotted  Fed Chief Ben Bernanke on 60 Minutes Sunday.  If you missed it, the top-dog in the financial world basically said that we COULD come out of this recession by the end of the year, provided banks start lending more.



Even better, Bernanke believes that we’ve passed the point where this whole economic upside down thing could turn into a depression.  In his eyes, it’s going to stick as a recession (granted a real BAD recession, but only a recession). 

If you’re wondering why we’re so excited about this, experts all say this is the most optimistic they’ve seen Bernanke since things went haywire in October.  If he’s had the market cornered on doom and gloom and now he says there’s potential light at the end of the tunnel, that’s a good thing.