Backyard Garden Cleaning Time with Pressure Washer. Men Cleaning Garden Cobble Stone Path.

15 Home Maintenance Tips for Spring

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After a long, dark winter, spring’s bright sun and warm winds are, well, a breath of fresh air. The only downside? All that sunshine spotlights your leaf-filled gutters, cracked sidewalks and the dead plants in last year’s flower beds. Follow this checklist to target the areas that need maintenance so you can get your chores done quickly, leaving you time to go outside and play in the sunshine.

Examine Roof Shingles

Examine roof shingles to see if any were lost or damaged during winter, recommends Dwight Barnett, a certified master inspector with the American Society of Home Inspectors. If your home has an older roof covering, you may want to start a budget for replacement. The summer sun can really damage roof shingles. Shingles that are cracked, buckled or loose or are missing granules need to be replaced. Flashing around plumbing vents, skylights and chimneys need to be checked and repaired by a qualified roofer. Download a spring home maintenance checklist.

Probe the Wood Trim

Use a screwdriver to probe the wood trim around windows, doors, railings and decks. Make repairs now before the spring rains do more damage to the exposed wood.

Check the Gutters

Check for loose or leaky gutters. Improper drainage can lead to water in the basement or crawl space. Make sure downspouts drain away from the foundation and are clear and free of debris. Consider installing gutter screens or protectors to help keep debris out of the gutters.

Use Compacted Soil

Low areas in the yard or next to the foundation should be filled with compacted soil. Spring rains can cause yard flooding, which can lead to foundation flooding and damage. Also, when water pools in these low areas in summer, it creates a breeding ground for insects.

Examine the Chimney

Examine the exterior of the chimney for signs of damage. Have the flue cleaned and inspected by a certified chimney sweep.

Check the Attic

Check your attic for proper ventilation and birds’ nests. Look for obstructions over vents, damaged soffit panels, roof flashing leaks and wet spots on insulation. Keeping a good airflow will save you when it comes to cooling costs. When you’re rooting around, wear long sleeves and gloves to protect yourself from insulation.

Inspect the Concrete

Inspect concrete slabs for signs of cracks or movement. All exterior slabs except pool decks should drain away from the home’s foundation. Fill cracks with a concrete crack filler or silicone caulk. When weather permits, power-wash and then seal the concrete.

Examine Brickwork and Stucco

Spalling is a chipping or popping away of a brick’s face, leaving the brick’s interior susceptible to moisture and crumbling. Look for this and any deteriorated mortar that typically occurs on older homes. If your brick is plagued with efflorescence, those unsightly white deposits caused by soluble salts left behind during water evaporation, the Brick Industry Association recommends dry brushing in warm, dry weather to remove it. If you discover water penetration in brick, consider sealing the brick with an appropriate sealant.

Replace Rotted Siding or Trim

If any of your trim or siding is has begun to rot or crumble, replace and repaint it. Repainting siding or trim is often more than a one-weekend project. For color consistency, you just can’t just touch it up—you need to paint a whole section.

Move Firewood

Remove firewood stored near the home. Firewood should be stored at least 18 inches off the ground at least 2 feet from the structure.

Check Outside Faucets

Check outside hose faucets for freeze damage. Turn the water on and place your thumb or finger over the opening. If you can stop the flow of water, it is likely the pipe inside the home is damaged and will need to be replaced. While you’re at it, check the garden hose for dry rot.

Recaulk Windows and Doors

Inspect and, if necessary, caulk around your home’s windows and doors annually. That will help keep out heat and humidity in the summer and cold drafts in the winter—and save money on your utility bills all year round. Open and close all windows as well. Do they all open easily, yet close tightly? If not, check the weather stripping. There are a number of different types to consider.

Repair Window Screens

To fix a small hole in a window or door screen, dab clear household cement over the hole with a toothpick. If the screens are plastic, test the cement on a scrap to make sure it won’t melt the material. Use the same technique to repair screen tears. Pull the two halves of the tear together and hold them in place with masking tape on one side. Apply the household cement to the tear, then smooth with a putty knife. When it’s dry, gently remove the tape and apply cement to the other side.

Service the AC Unit

Have a qualified heating and cooling contractor clean and service the outside unit of the air conditioning system. Clean coils operate more efficiently, and an annual service call will keep the system working at peak performance levels. Change interior filters on a regular basis.

Check Power Equipment

Check your gas- and battery-powered lawn equipment to make sure it is ready for summer use. Clean equipment and sharp cutting blades will make yardwork easier.

Take a Look at the New Serena Williams Building at Nike

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The namesake building is the largest yet to grace the sprawling campus, and it’s baller.

Nike’s just opened its biggest office building yet in Beaverton and it’s dedicated to one of the biggest names in tennis. Opened just last month, the Serena Williams Building is equal in scale to 140 full-size tennis courts at 1 million square feet.

From the 23 columns in the atrium that represent the number of Grand Slam titles she’s won, to the slash above the garden walls that’s modeled after her tennis stroke, to the 140-seat Olympia Theater named after her daughter, the building is one giant love letter to Williams. (Nike has a history of naming its buildings after prominent sports figures, including Michael Jordan, Nolan Ryan, and more recently, LeBron James; the Serena Williams Building is among its most ambitious-ever builds).

Designed by Skylab Architecture, the complex was built atop a parking lot and service road that runs along a creek —the intention being to minimize car presence while incorporating the area’s natural environment into the building’s aesthetic. Over 20 percent of the LEED-Platinum certified building is made from locally harvested and manufactured recycled content, and it boasts 648 solar panels.

The new building will be occupied by Nike’s Consumer Creation teams, including the design department, consumer insight, and product merchandising; interior spaces include everything from showrooms and workspace to a footwear materials library, and a color lab. In the main lobby, Williams donated memorabilia for display, including shoes, outfits, and trophies.

“We knew that Serena was going to be named for the building pretty early on in the design. So, we tried to imbue her power and strength as an athlete throughout the building,” says Susan Barnes, one of the Principals with Skylab who was involved in the building design.

Want to see for yourself? The campus isn’t open to the public, but you can check out the new Serena Williams building in our handy slideshow, as Barnes highlights some of its coolest features.

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Steigerwald Reconnection Project

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Steigerwald Lake is a US Fish & Wildlife Service National Wildlife Refuge situated along the banks of the Columbia near Washougal, Washington, at the Gateway to the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. Through a collaborative partnership, the lands and waters of the Refuge and the Columbia River were recently reconnected. The collaborative Steigerwald Reconnection Project reconnected 965 acres of Columbia River floodplain after generations separated by a levee, reduced flood risk from Gibbons Creek, improved habitat for fish and wildlife, and created new trails for recreation at the Refuge.
Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge was first protected in 1987 and by 2019 comprised approximately 1,200 acres of wetlands, fields, woodlands, and a channelized Gibbons Creek. But since the 1960s until 2021, the Columbia River was cut off from the area by a 5.5 mile levee.
The US Army Corps of Engineers constructed the levee to reduce flood risk, however it separated the Columbia from its vast historic floodplain. And although the levee protected the Refuge and adjacent properties from Columbia River floods, it exacerbates internal flooding from Gibbons Creek. The creek was constrained to an artificially elevated channel as it flowed through the Refuge. Even moderate rainfall events often caused flooding that spilled over into the Port of Camas-Washougal and other nearby municipal, commercial and residential properties. This internal flooding required the Port to maintain a costly pumping system.
Partners including the Port, the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Estuary Partnership worked together to develop the project with the shared goals of flood protection, restoring habitat and natural ecosystem functions, and improving recreation opportunities at the Refuge. The project cost more than $31 million dollars and took three years to construct.

Work is now wrapping up before the Refuge reopens in May 2022. The Refuge will also briefly close in August and September 2022 to finalize construction.
Crews broke ground in summer 2019, when BioHabitats, Inc., a Portland-based restoration company, anchored 84 large wood habitat structures in the Gibbons Creek historic alluvial fan. Some of the wood installed was donated by BNSF Railroad. The structures help stabilize the area and support a variety of species once Gibbons Creek was released into its alluvial fan in the fall of 2021.

Meanwhile, workers with certified B Corp. Ash Creek Forest Management treated invasive species and reforested another 53 acres of the alluvial fan in during the first year of construction.
Over the 2020 and 2021 construction seasons, crews from Vancouver-based Rotschy, Inc. built setback levees to the east and west to protect the neighboring Port of Camas-Washougal industrial park and other landowners, while allowing the Refuge to be reconnected to the Columbia River.

In summer of 2021, Rotschy crews removed more than 2 miles of the current levee and created four direct connections with the Columbia River, allowing for seasonal flooding and providing unfettered access to the area for salmon and lamprey.
A critical component of reconnecting the refuge was reconfiguring Gibbons Creek as it flows through the Refuge. For decades, the creek was diverted by a weir and constrained to an artificial elevated canal before it connected to the Columbia River through a fish ladder. This configuration also caused flooding, as Gibbons Creek frequently overflowed its channel. This internal flooding cost the Port of Camas-Washougal thousands of dollars in pumping and maintenance costs.

Before Gibbons could be released from its elevated canal, crews from Washougal’s LKE Corporation created a more natural, meandering channel, and added large wood and gravel riffles. Finally, in fall 2021, crews from Rotschy removed the weir, elevated channel, and fish ladder. This video gives an overview of work done on the creek.

There are also over 115 acres of new wetlands that were created, along with extensive replanting with native species. Overall throughout the project, contractors including Ash Creek Forestry and R. Franco Restoration planted more than half a million trees and shrubs and 14,000 pounds of native seeds. Estuary Partnership staff made a concerted effort to expand the existing wapato community at the site by harvesting and planting wapato tubers, seeding wetland areas with wapato seed, and transplanting live plants that would otherwise be impacted by levee construction. Wapato is an important first food and members of local Tribes will be able to harvest here in the future.

Additionally, in coordination with the Washington Department of Transportation, the project raised State Route 14 three feet to bring it up to the Columbia River’s 500 year flood stage.

 

The project also includes a new parking lot and amenities, viewing platforms, and adds more than a mile of trail to the Refuge’s trail system.

Over the three years of construction, the project also creates 503 local family wage jobs and provide opportunities for thousands of local students and community members to volunteer and contribute to the project.

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$10 million in state funding helps Metro expand dumped garbage solutions

Metro officials are ready to use new state funding to clean up the greater Portland region.

House Bill 5202, approved by the Oregon Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Kate Brown, will send $10 million to the Metro region for clean-up of public spaces. Metro, the elected regional government in the greater Portland region, regulates and guides the garbage and recycling system in most of Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties.

The funding will give Metro even more tools to clean public spaces in the greater Portland region enhancing existing services and providing opportunities to explore new options. Metro’s RID Patrol has already cleaned over 1,400 sites in 2022, collecting an average of 3 tons of trash each day. Metro’s Regional Refresh Fund will continue to be a key mechanism to distribute funds as it focuses on supporting community-led efforts that promote livability and improve equity in garbage and recycling service.

About 75 percent of the funding will be allocated towards efforts strictly focused on cleanup programs. Initial plans include expanding programs that provide resources directly to non-profit and community-based organizations, school districts, public agencies and local governments to increase their capacity for dumped trash clean-up. Metro also plans to work with the Oregon Department of Transportation to increase the number of crews clearing trash dumped on property it maintains and pursuing options for more voluntary disposal options for difficult-to-dispose items like sharps, derelict RVs and boats, and hazardous materials.

The remaining money will be split between mitigating impacts of garbage and recycling issues, and curbing reoccurring problems. This will be seen in installation of sharps boxes, vegetation and signage replacement, graffiti abatement and fencing.

“Over the course of the pandemic, we have seen a significant increase in the amount of illegal dumping and littering, and government has struggled to keep up with the problem,” said Metro Council President Lynn Peterson. “We appreciate the Governor and the state legislature making this influx of funding available to support our efforts in the region.”

The state’s funding authorization requires that the money is used to collect, dispose of and increase capacity for dumped garbage. Metro must ensure the money is not used to move any camps or people experiencing homelessness and that funds are not used to backfill any budget shortfalls.

Metro is looking forward to working with local government partners to accelerate clean-up efforts within the region and find solutions to the concerns raised by community members.

State approves extra $120M for I-205 projects, Abernethy Bridge

SOURCE – Jaelen Ogadhoh / May 02 2022

Inflated costs for first phase of highway widening financed through House Bill 3055 funds

PMG FILE PHOTO: LESLIE PUGMIRE HOLE - Abernethy Bridge spans Interstate 205 between Oregon City and West Linn.

PMG FILE PHOTO: LESLIE PUGMIRE HOLE – Abernethy Bridge spans Interstate 205 between Oregon City and West Linn.

The Oregon Transportation Commission on Friday, April 29, approved $120 million to fund unanticipated cost increases in the first phase of construction on Interstate 205 designed to address safety and congestion issues.

Construction is slated to begin this summer on Phase 1A of the I-205 Improvements Project, which the Oregon Department of Transportation says will provide Oregonians with “safer, more reliable access to work and critical services, even after an earthquake or other major disaster.”

Contractor bids for widening the Abernethy Bridge between Oregon City and West Linn, and for a new sound wall near Exit 9 and new roundabout at the Highway 43 interchange, came in “significantly” higher than expected according to transportation officials.

Phase 1A will be financed partially with funds approved through House Bill 3055 in the 2021 Legislative Session, increasing ODOT’s short-term borrowing cap to $600 million and “allowing ODOT to take out short-term debt that will be repaid by toll revenue or the proceeds of bonds,” pending the conclusion of a federally required environmental assessment about I-205 tolling, per ODOT officials.

“To address the repayment of the short-term borrowing, the Oregon State Legislature has identified future toll revenue as the primary source of funding for this project and directed ODOT to develop a toll program for the I-5 and I-205 corridors,” ODOT officials said.

“The process to implement a toll program is lengthy and it will take several years before any revenues are available to finance the project in total. Tolling is currently being evaluated under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process. The earliest tolling could be implemented is late 2024, and toll revenue will not be available until that time,” officials continued.

ODOT says it initially plans to fund the series of I-205 projects with a combination of bonding on $30 million previously provided by HB 2017, cash reserves and short-term borrowing before tolling revenues are available.

An initial bid of $512 million, submitted by contractor Kiewit Infrastructure West Co., came in $137 million above the initial $375 million total cost programmed in ODOT’s 2021-2024 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program, department officials say.

“The primary reason for the higher than anticipated bids are the escalation of the steel and high performance concrete unit prices,” ODOT officials report, citing deep soil mixing as an additional cost driver.

Following the cost review period in March, ODOT’s Urban Mobility Office negotiated Kiewit Infrastructure’s bid down to $495 million due to factors including “reallocation of risk,” as well as deferral of deep soil mixing and constructing two sign structures.

The total increase of $120 million will be programmed into the 2021-2024 STIP following unanimous approval from the commission during a special meeting at 9 a.m. on Friday. ODOT officials say they will update the commission on Phase 1A every six months as the project progresses.

What to Do in Oregon in April

Ah, sun-soaked April, our first full month of spring and daylight savings time! You’d be forgiven for simply spending the month moving your picnic blanket around a city park or contenting yourself with a wildflower stroll, but road trips near and far can fill your flower quota, too, or fill you with cheese or land you in an open-air theater at the Shakespeare Fest.

Wooden Shoe Tulip Fest

9 a.m.–6 p.m. Mon–Fri, 8 a.m.–7 p.m. Sat–Sun, through May 1, Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm, 33814 S Meridian Rd, Woodburn


It’s tulip time in Oregon, so grab a good pair of walking shoes and get your cameras ready for the 38th annual Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival. Spend the day wandering around 40 acres of colorful tulip fields with more than 100 varieties, and take silly family photos you might regret later at the cutout board. Not in the mood for walking? Take a ride on the Tulip Tour Train ($10 per person, noon–5 p.m. daily), which has several photo stops. Other activities include wooden shoe making demonstrations, the infamous duck races, and hot air balloons (if weather allows). Visit the Tulip Market and Field Greenhouse Tent for flower purchases. Those over 21 can take a guided tour of Wooden Shoe Vineyards and enjoy wine pairings along the way. Tickets for the wine tour start at $60, while individual entry tickets for the festival vary by age and day. All tickets must be bought online in advance. 

Plowing with Horses and Mules at Champoeg State Heritage Area

9 a.m.–3 p.m. Saturday, Apr 2, 8239 Champoeg Rd NE, St. Paul
Sure, that modern John Deere has its charms, but for a dose of agriculture’s past head to Champoeg for this living history presentation, where horses and mule teams will pull 19th-century equipment to plow, disc, and plant a wheat field. The state park, on the site of a since-washed-away town that hosted the vote to establish Oregon’s first provisional government in 1843, is also home to a visitor center and museum, trails for a leisurely bike or stroll, Willamette River access, and a disc golf course. A $5 parking fee or state parks pass is required.

Oregon Cheese Festival

11 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.–4 p.m Sunday, Apr 2–3,  Jackson County Expo, 1 Peninger Road, Central Point
If cheese is your jam, you’ll want to get your dairy-ere to the Oregon Cheese Festival in Central Point, near Medford. The event, which takes place at the Jackson County Expo, will house 19 cheese vendors—including Portland Creamery and Tillamook—and more than 50 other food and drink vendors to sample and support. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Oregon Cheese Guild. Leave the kiddos behind (maybe with a lactose-intolerant baby-sitter), as this event if for adults 21 and up. Tickets start at $20/day.

Oregon Shakespeare Festival 2022 Opening Shows

Apr 12–Oct 30, various stages, Ashland
Following “18 months of crisis, closure, and now rebirth,” according to artistic director Nataki Garrett, the 2022 Oregon Shakespeare Festival opens April 12 with the musical Once on This Island, first produced on Broadway in 1990, and the West Coast premiere of Mona Mansour’s Unseen. Those are contemporary works, but Shakespeare titles on the way include The Tempest and King John. Look for lower ticket prices this year (that … happens?), part of OSF’s effort to increase accessibility.

Dark Skies Exhibit at the High Desert Museum

9 a.m.–5 p.m. daily, exhibit runs Apr 16–July 10, 59800 US 97, Bend


Tetons at night.

If you’ve never visited the High Desert Museum, it might be high time to make the three-hour trek to Bend to check it out. This April, the museum will be unveiling Vanishing Night: Conserving Dark Skies in the High Desert, a new exhibition displaying gorgeous photos of the starry night sky, while simultaneously warning onlookers about the environmental toll of urban light pollution. Vanishing Night aims to educate about the high desert’s “disappearing darkness,” discuss the impact of light pollution on wildlife, and offer solutions as to how we can limit our artificial light usage. And, of course, it will make us ooohh and ahhh at pretty pictures of stars that very frustratingly can never be properly captured with our phones. General admission $20, April–October.

Harney County Migratory Bird Festival

Apr 21–24, various locations in Burns and around Harney County, Oregon
See the spectacular spring migration for yourself at the annual Harney County Migratory Bird Festival. Started in 1981, the event celebrates the larger-than-life migration of birds passing through Harney Basin on the Pacific Flyway. Over 300 species of birds pass through each spring. This year’s festival is bringing fluorescent back with a 1980s throwback theme, which includes a retro logo design. Join fellow birders and get a chance to meet with biologists and other bird experts while driving through up to 10 select birding locations in Harney County during the bird crawl—kind of like a pub crawl but with feathered friends instead. You can also register for one of the timed experiences, which includes guided birding tours, a movie in the park (Steve Martin, Owen Wilson, and Jack Black play competitive bird-watchers in 2011’s The Big Year, from the director of The Devil Wears Prada), and a working ranch tour. Can’t make it to Eastern Oregon? You can still take part in the festivities virtually with interactive presentations throughout the week. For an added bonus, purchase a Bird Crawl Passport, and if you get it stamped at a minimum of eight locations, you’ll earn yourself a commemorative pint glass and discounts at select local shops. Some scheduled activities run $15–100, but the bird crawl and movie screening are free.

Astoria Warrenton Crab, Seafood, and Wine Festival

4–9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.–8 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Sunday, Apr 22–24, Clatsop County Fairgrounds, 92927 Walluski Loop, Astoria (see website for parking and shuttle info) 
Summer might be beach season, but seafood lovers know months with an r in their names are prime time for eating. So this 40-year-old shoulder-season coastal food fest, back in person after two years off in the pandemic, is timed just right. Arts and crafts and beer and wine vendors join food stalls offering seafood ramen, crab and shrimp melts, and more. Day tickets $10–20 advance, $15–25 at door.

Hillsboro Moves Forward With Block 67 Project

If you talk to any long-term Hillsboro resident (like me), you will hear the “I remember when” stories of what the space between 6th and 7th Avenues, Baseline and Washington Streets once was. For me, it was the local Hanks, a grocery store that my mom frequented as a child. Sometime in my early teens, the Hanks closed, and the spot has remained empty all these years.

When the proposal for that area, now known as Block 67 came around, I was excited. It seemed such a shame for such a good piece of real estate to sit empty, when there are so many ways that it could serve the community. After a wait, it has finally been announced that the Block 67 project is moving forward.

What exactly is the Block 67 project? It is a proposal that would develop the aforementioned property into a mixed use block that would include housing, a plaza, retail space, and medical offices. The proposal already has some project partners, including: Mamancy Tea, Centro Cultural, Beyond the Wall Climbing, and Fresh Foods.

The City of Hillsboro is currently negotiating with real estate developer, Rembold, a Portland-based woman-lead real estate developer. They are also in partnership with Related Northwest.

What types of businesses would you like to see on Block 67?

Portland Street Response announces expansion

The City Council will consider another $3.7 million program request in next year’s budget.

PMG FILE PHOTO - A Portland Street Response worker on the job.

PMG FILE PHOTO – A Portland Street Response worker on the job.

Portland Street Response, which began as a pilot project in the greater Lents area in February 2021, expanded its coverage citywide on Monday, March 28.

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, Portland Fire & Rescue Chief Sara Boone, and Portland Street Response Program Manager Robyn Burek announced the expansion during a morning press conference.

“The expansion of the Portland Street response citywide is simply the right thing to do. We want to help people and meet them where they are immediately and with the tools that they need,” Burek said. “Portland Street response’s, data-driven approach ensures that we can now respond to calls across the entire city of Portland. This expansion means that all Portland can benefit from this innovative program.”

Portland Street Response is part of the fire bureau’s Community Health Division. The unarmed responders handle behavioral and mental health crisis calls that are not life-threatening.

About 65% of calls to the program in the first year involved homeless clients.

Creating an unarmed first-response team was a goal of Hardesty’s before she took office in January 2019. In her first year in office, the City Council created a special contingency fund that helped fund the pilot project that has now expanded.

“I couldn’t have imagined that just a few short years later, I would be standing here in front of you today, talking about this expansion,” Hardesty said.

She said the expansion received full support from the council.

Wheeler said the Portland Street Response members are trained to help people who are suffering mental and behavioral health crises. By addressing lower acuity calls, they allow police officers more time to address severe and violent offenses.

“It allows each of our providers to do what they are best trained and prepared to do,” Wheeler said. “All too often, though, there’s a lack of properly trained response to de-escalate crises on our streets, sending the right responders to the right calls, with the right training is the best way to meet the needs of those who are suffering on our streets.”

Police Chief Chuck Lovell said he’s looking forward to the expansion. He said when the program goes citywide, it will free up officers to take more calls.

Lovell also said the bureau has supported Portland Street Response from the beginning and will continue to support it.

Hardesty said there’s still more she’d like to accomplish. She’d like to see Portland Street Response be available 24/7.

“I will need the support of my colleagues in this next budget cycle to fully fund the next expansion of Portland Street Response. I am hopeful that together we can get there because as you can see from all the people behind me, when we work together as a city, we can accomplish great things,” Hardesty said.

With the latest expansion, the program will cover 145 square miles of the city, with 20 staff members, from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day. When the program began, it only had six staff members.

In October 2021, a study by Portland State University that evaluated the Portland Street Response team’s effectiveness said it should be expanded to respond round-the-clock citywide.

Burek said she expects Portland Street Response will focus on areas of the city that see a higher volume of calls for mental and behavioral health crises. She said they’ll need to position their vehicles accordingly.

To begin, Portland Street Response plans to have one vehicle working east of Interstate 5, one vehicle west of I-5 and a third vehicle that will pick up other calls as they come in and go anywhere. Burek said Portland Street Response hopes to have more vehicles to dispatch places in the future.

Bob Cozzie, director of the Bureau of Emergency Communications, said 911 has been experiencing high call volume levels for the last couple years. He said there’s been a 25% to 35% increase in 911 call volume since 2019.

The Bureau of Emergency Communications is working on ways to better address and dispatch calls as they come in and is currently working on an artificial intelligence response system for 911 hang-ups, which make up about 20% of call volume.

Despite this, he said he does not expect the expansion of Portland Street Response will result in any additional calls. He said calls for mental and behavioral health crises already are coming in and up to this point, they’ve sent other emergency services to respond to them throughout the city.

Hardesty said the city is working on a public education campaign to help better inform Portlanders on when they should call 911.

“Like, if somebody’s sleeping in a tent across the street from your house, that is not a good reason to call 911,” she said. “I think we have mis-trained the public to call 911 for everything, and everything is not an emergency.”

Cozzie said he has a vision to make Portland’s 311 number a county-wide resource and non-emergency line. He said he’d like to use 911 for emergency calls and 311 for “everything else.”

Originally, the council funded the pilot project for the Portland Street Response in Fiscal Year 2020-21 with $4.8 million. In October, the City Council approved a request for more vans. For Fiscal Year 2022-23, Portland Street Response has requested another $3.7 million, a budget they said would allow the program to expand to more hours by October 2022.

KOIN 6 News is a news partner of the Portland Tribune.

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Beaverton’s New Performance Center Means Big Things for Access to the Arts

The just-opened Patricia Reser Center for the Arts is a game-changer for the western suburbs, and Portland’s arts ecosystem as a whole.


The Patricia Reser Center for the Arts’ 550-seat proscenium theater

Beaverton’s ISing choral group began in 2005 with a few passionate singers at Intel, and has since grown into an internationally touring choir of more than 80 members. They perform an eclectic repertoire, everything from gospel to movie themes to improvisational jazz, at venues as far-flung as choral festivals in Spain and chapels in France.

Despite their popularity with audiences around the world, ISing has faced the same barrier many performers in Beaverton have: a lack of performance space—particularly space that meets their financial, capacity, and acoustic needs.

But in April 2022, the group will sing within new walls: Beaverton’s long-awaited Patricia Reser Center for the Arts. The multi-million dollar home for artists in Beaverton opened on March 1, housing an art gallery, rehearsal space and 550-seat proscenium theater.

“Hillsboro has a performance center, but it’s a converted church. Sherwood has a performing center, but it’s really not a performance center, more of a community center” says Stephen Galván, the group’s director. But at the Reser, he adds, “the acoustics are phenomenal.”

The Reser is located at the Round, a mixed-use development in central Beaverton that sits right on the blue and red MAX lines, connecting it to Hillsboro, Portland, and Gresham. The space is also home to Beaverton City Hall, several restaurants, and a plant shop; an ever-growing food cart pod is nearby.

The new center has been in the works since 2018, when Patricia Reser, wife of the late Al Reser (of Reser’s Fine Foods), offered a $13 million pledge to build an arts center. A subsequent three-year capital campaign yielded $12 million, and the remaining $23 million is from bonds the city is repaying through a tax on hotels and motels.

Chris Ayzoukian, the Reser’s artistic director, notes that despite its size, the center won’t only host enormous acts who are able to fill a 550-seat space. By dimming the balcony, the capacity can slide down to 350; the gallery’s walls are mobile, and can be reconfigured based on exhibition size. “We came up with this scalable model,” says Ayzoukian, for nonprofits who can pay on a per-seat basis rather than a flat fee, which can be cost-prohibitive.

Elizabeth Shew, a 27-year-old dancer from Beaverton, says the Reser will be an important mechanism for reducing inequality in the arts. Shew began her ballet training at the Conestoga Recreation Center by Beaverton’s Southridge High School at the age of three. At five, she leveled up to community ballet, and by nine she was performing with the Oregon Ballet Theater in its annual production of the Nutcracker.

She eventually started commuting to a ballet school on the east side of Portland, which required a 45-minute commute, five days a week. She was lucky, Shew says,  because her family was able to get her to dance classes, but she says a healthy arts ecosystem requires more than that. “If you don’t have local infrastructure and you don’t have local support, then being able to do this type of career is sort of reserved only for those who have a lot of privilege.”


Vocal ensemble Nobuntu, who will christen the Reser on March 8

IMAGE: RONALD DAVIS

The Reser’s grand opening spring season is globally minded. It includes a solo experimental theater work by Iranian playwright Naim, a New York flamenco company, a mariachi group, the Count Basie orchestra, and more. The first public concert, on March 8, will feature a vocal quintet from Zimbabwe called Nobuntu. But there’s plenty of space for locals as well: Portland dance company BodyVox plans to perform their show “Nineteen Twenty’′ from March 17-19, and local dance presenter White Bird will bring Versa-Style Dance Company, a hip-hop group from Los Angeles, to the Reser in April. The ISing choir is preparing a repertoire of South American composers that they will perform mid-spring before taking their show on tour to Italy.

Shew is encouraged by what’s to come: “An art center that’s a hub that you would go to as a child and throughout your childhood expands your worldview. Even if you’re not going to go and be an artist, you will be exposed to so many more things and types of people and ideas because that exists.”

That sums up Ayzoukian’s hope for the center, too. In his ideal world, “we are not only a place for the arts, but a gathering place for the community.”

 

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I-5 – Interstate Bridge Replacement Program

Project overview

As the only continuous north-south interstate on the West Coast between Mexico and Canada, I-5 is a vital trade route for regional, national and international economies. With one span now over 100 years old, it is at risk for collapse in the event of a major earthquake and no longer satisfies the needs of modern commerce and travel.

Operating and maintaining these aging structures costs around $1.2 million each year, split evenly between ODOT and WSDOT. Larger maintenance projects to keep the Interstate Bridge in service are expected to cost over $280 million through the year 2040, not including seismic retrofit. Replacing the aging Interstate Bridge across the Columbia River with a modern, seismically resilient, multimodal structure that provides improved mobility for people, goods and services is a high priority for Oregon and Washington.

Timeline
2020 – 2025
Project status
Not started
Funding
$3.2 to 4.8 Billion
Project hotline

What to expect

Project construction has not started and travelers should not expect to see any construction-related delays. The IBR program is committed to promoting the best ways to minimize, avoid, and mitigate the impacts of replacing and operating this key connection within our community.

Map showing the I-5 Interstate Bridge

The Interstate Bridge is located on Interstate 5 where it crosses the Columbia River between Washington and Oregon.

History and background

Timeline

Funding

Maps & drawings

Related links

Contact

When the northbound section of the Interstate Bridge opened in 1917, it was the first automobile bridge that crossed the river between Washington and Oregon. There was a 5¢ toll, per vehicle or horse, to cross the 38-foot-wide roadway. Electric streetcars operated across the bridge from opening day in 1917 until 1940. The bridge became part of Interstate 5 in 1957. Along with the new interstate system came a second parallel bridge, which opened to traffic in 1958 and required a toll for vehicles crossing the bridge.

Local Native American tribes frequented the shores of the Columbia River and routinely traveled on the river to trade and practiced usual and accustomed traditions since time immemorial. The bridge was built in the shadow of historic Fort Vancouver, which has transitioned over the years from a fur trading post, to a military fort, to today’s National Park System National Historic Site.

Why the Interstate Bridge will be replaced

Interstate 5 provides a critical connection between Oregon and Washington that supports local jobs and families, and is a vital trade route for regional, national and international economies. Beyond the concrete and steel of the existing bridge is a thriving background of scenic views, natural systems, and a rich history of our region’s national heritage.

We understand the vital link the bridge plays in connecting the region and the importance of the natural environment and health of our community. We are committed to finding a solution that will improve our transportation system, now and in the future

Extensive community and stakeholder engagement has demonstrated widespread agreement that the six transportation problems previously identified with the Interstate Bridge remain current issues that need to be addressed:

  • Growing travel demand and congestion
  • Seismic vulnerability
  • Safety concerns as a result of existing roadway design
  • Impaired freight movement
  • Inadequate bicycle and pedestrian facilities
  • Limited public transportation

Restarting bridge replacement efforts

Recognizing that needed improvements remain unaddressed, Washington and Oregon each dedicated funding in 2019 to restart Interstate Bridge replacement work. The states’ governors and legislative leaders directed ODOT and WSDOT to open a bi-state project office to complete the planning, design and construction work.

ODOT and WSDOT are jointly leading these efforts in coordination with eight other bi-state partner agencies: TriMet, C-TRAN, Oregon Metro, the Southwest Washington Regional Transportation Council, the cities of Portland and Vancouver, and the Ports of Portland and Vancouver. These agencies have a direct stake in future improvements because of their roles within the region’s integrated, multimodal transportation system. Together with ODOT and WSDOT, they will provide coordinated regional leadership throughout program development.

Bi-state legislative involvement will also be essential to successfully complete the planning and design process and move to construction. Each state legislature has identified eight lawmakers to provide direction and oversight to shape IBR program work.

Comprehensive and equitable community engagement is at the foundation of decision making for the Interstate Bridge Replacement program to identify a bridge replacement solution that best serves the complex needs of communities in Washington and Oregon. To support these goals the program has formed three advisory groups to provide feedback and recommendations: Executive Steering Group, Equity Advisory Group, and Community Advisory Group.

Steps to replace the bridges

Based on the program’s current schedule, it is estimated that construction could begin in 2025. Before construction could begin on a replacement bridge, WSDOT and ODOT will need to work with partners to:

  • Complete the federal environmental review process
  • Obtain necessary state and federal permits
  • Finalize project design
  • Develop a finance plan
  • Secure adequate funding
  • Complete right of way acquisition
  • Advertise for construction

The Interstate Bridge Replacement Program is committed to following a data-driven, transparent process that prioritizes equity and inclusion. The program will leverage previous planning efforts to update and improve upon past work to identify a solution that meets current and future community needs and priorities. This work will occur through joint efforts of the partner agencies in coordination with federal partners, permitting agencies, state and local elected officials, tribal governments, community stakeholders and the public.

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