Skiers Show Respect and Consideration at Mount Hood Meadows During Covid-19 Pandemic

Skiers Show Respect and Consideration at Mount Hood Meadows During Covid-19 Pandemic

A Lifestyle Story: Skiers are getting the hang of adhering to new Covid-19 restrictions at Mount Hood Meadows (MHM). Many have been impressed with the respect shown by others.

Physical distancing, face masks, regular sanitizing, individual responsibility, and accountability are required for guests and employees.

Skiers must buy tickets in advance, so here’s a link: https://www.skihood.com/ Mount Hood Meadows is the largest ski resort on Mount Hood. It’s located about 67 miles east of Portland.

MHM spokesperson, Dave Tragethon explains how skiers should think about hitting the slopes. “Think of Meadows as your fitness and meditation center. Come on up, get your workout, spend time reflecting, gain some insight, and then head back down the mountain refreshed. Make room for others who are in need of this same enrichment.”

The team at Meadows put together a video of one “Bluebird Day” in mid-December, with, “Fresh snow from the night before, temps in the teens, and a great groom. A lot of mountain open, with all six high-speed quads, plus four other lifts operating, helped spread out the crowd.”

Dave Tragethon explains that messaging about being patient and kind is resonating with skiers who have taken 2020 suggestions to heart, including:

  • Giving each other space at the lift lines
  • Observing and respecting the indoor capacity signage
  • Sharing outdoor dining space – limiting their time to the allotted 30 minutes and only for those who have purchased
  • Giving space on shuttle buses and in the queuing lines
  • Being considerate of those who are arriving for the noon and 2 PM shifts. Once you’ve got your turns in, head out to make room for others coming in
  • If Meadows reaches parking capacity, don’t park in other Sno-Parks, such as Teacup – leave room for others who want to cross country ski or snowshoe. There is no shuttling service to these Sno-Parks, and hiking is dangerous

“We thank all those who are putting others first while protecting themselves by wearing face masks properly at all times in our parking lots, lodge and deck areas, in lift lines, and on the lifts. Let’s take this spirit of caring for each other another step when planning our time on the mountain.”

Liftlines can be a bit longer than usual even though attendance is limited. Because of Covid-19, skiers are no longer seated four across with people from outside of their families. Most skiers ride up two at a time.

Masks are required on chairlifts and in lift lines.

Covid-19 protocols also necessitate that masks or face coverings are required:

•    Indoors at all times (except when eating)
•    On shuttles
•    In parking lots
•    All other outdoor locations where you can’t maintain six feet of distance from those not in your party

From Mount Hood Meadows, here are answers to FAQ:

Are reservations required? Season pass holders don’t need a reservation. Lift tickets must be purchased online in advance by at least 3 PM the day before you want to come up. Lessons and rentals must be purchased at least 48 hours in advance online. We will not sell any tickets, lessons or rentals at the resort this season.When do I need to purchase a lift ticket? Tickets must be purchased online in advance by at least 3 PM the day before you want to come up. Lessons and rentals need to be purchased online at least 48 hours in advance.What days can I use my Value Pass? Value Passes are valid every day, but on Peak Days they won’t work until 2 PM. Peak Days are December 26 – January 3, Saturdays and Sundays from January to March 7, MLK and Presidents Day Mondays. Get all the details on our Value Pass FAQ page.What if I want to use my Value Pass during the day on a Peak Day? You will need to purchase a ticket to ride during the day on a Peak Day.

When is my Night Pass valid? Night Passes are valid starting December 16, 2020, Wednesday through Sunday nights (from 2 to 9 PM), as well as extended night operations during the holidays. Night operations are scheduled to run through early March.

Do I need a reservation with my USSA Gold Pass? No, but you do need to pick up a ticket from the Concierge Desk.

Do I need a reservation with my Elite Pass? No, you can either purchase a pass and piece of media for $12 for the season, or just a piece of media for $2 and come have it reloaded at the Ticket Booth when you want to use it.

I have a season pass, but couldn’t park in the lot because it was full. Is there anything you can do? We are sorry you didn’t get in the lot. On busy days, we recommend getting here early or planning on coming up in the evening for night skiing and riding.

What if I come up without a Season Pass or lift ticket – can I take my chances? No, sorry lift tickets, lessons and rentals must be purchased online in advance. We will not be selling these at the resort this season.

What if I lost my pass? You can get a new piece of RFID media to replace your lost pass for $2 at the ticket booth outside the main lodge, or at the ticket windows at HRM.

Learn How to Give Back for Free While Shopping With AmazonSmile

Learn How to Give Back for Free While Shopping With AmazonSmile

Portland, OR. The season of giving doesn’t have to end with Christmas; it can continue through AmazonSmile, a program that automatically donates to a nonprofit organization of your choice. The program offers all of the same items, prices, and benefits of online shopping while donating 0.5% of your purchases to the charity of your choice. Some even use AmazonSmile while shopping on their phones, as seen above.

A recent quarterly AmazonSmile notification informed shoppers that the Oregon Food Bank (seen above before the pandemic) recently received a donation of $1,752.15, at no cost to them.

AmazonSmile launched in 2013 and for the past seven years, it has provided a way for customers to support organizations they care about every time they shop. This program comes at no cost to the organizations or customers, and donations could help a wide range of organizations from global humanitarian efforts to local hospitals to school PTA’s.

“Donations from AmazonSmile have resulted in hundreds of thousands of charities expanding their meaningful work across global communities making a difference in people’s lives,” said Llew Mason, Vice President of Consumer Engagement at Amazon. “We are thrilled to have given over $215 million on behalf of customers to the causes they care about most.”

AmazonSmile can be accessed through a web browser and also through the app for iPhones and Android phones. Another way to directly donate items is through the AmazonSmile Charity Lists where the organization will have a list of items of what is needed most.

For first time users, to access the program first visit smile.amazon.com. Then follow the steps below.

  1. Sign in with your Amazon credentials
  2. Choose a charitable organization to receive donations or search the charity of your choice
  3. Then just select the organization and start shopping

Current spotlight organizations include UNCF (United Negro College Fund), Equal Justice Initiative, Feeding America, Save the Children, and Meals On Wheels America. In addition, there are also thousands of organizations to browse and choose from which are sorted into categories such as international or even by state.

When beginning to give back and donate there will be a choice between spotlight charities and searching for an organization.

Organizations can also register for AmazonSmile by visiting: org.amazon.com/signout and follow the steps below.

  1. Click the yellow “Register Now” button
  2. Search for your organization by name or EIN
  3. Click the yellow “Register” button next to your organization’s name
  4. Follow the instructions to complete registration

Tanya Ramos, CEO for Pencils of Promise, explains how the donations with AmazonSmile have helped the organization, “Education is the most powerful tool we can use to change the world. Thanks to the generosity of AmazonSmile customers, Pencils of Promise has helped provide access to quality education for over 100,000 children around the globe.”

From the AmazonSmile Foundation website: The AmazonSmile Foundation is a 501(c)(3) private foundation created by Amazon to administer the AmazonSmile program. All donation amounts generated by the AmazonSmile program are remitted by a subsidiary of Amazon.com, Inc. to the AmazonSmile Foundation. In turn, the AmazonSmile Foundation donates those amounts to the charitable organizations selected by our customers. Amazon pays all expenses of the AmazonSmile Foundation; they are not deducted from the donation amounts generated by purchases on AmazonSmile.

Friends of Noise Partners with Theaters to Keep Music Alive in Portland

Friends of Noise Partners with Theaters to Keep Music Alive in Portland

Portland, OR. Friends of Noise is a Portland-based non-profit that provides young artists with a well-rounded introduction to the music industry. (Wavy Josef, is shown playing an outdoor show above.) With professional workshops in everything from designing fliers and merchandise, to lighting and sound engineering, to networking and performing, the organization invests in its community to better prepare artists for the business side of music. Non-profits have not had an easy year, and this organization has shown that it is resourceful in keeping on track to serve local youth. With ongoing projects heading into 2021, and a long-term goal of opening an art-focused youth center in North East Portland, Friends of Noise is committed to coming out of 2020 stronger than ever.

Many local businesses were forced to halt all activities in March 2020 to slow the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic, and Friends of Noise was one of them. The young community that the non-profit serves, however, was highly active in social justice causes as the Black Lives Matter movement gained momentum all over the country in the wake of George Floyd’s death. Andre Middleton, Executive Director of Friends of Noise, delivered amplification equipment and other sound assistance to marches and protests around the city. Andre felt compelled to provide the non-profit’s sound equipment to a noble cause, “I wanted to make sure that the community’s cries for justice and change would be heard.” Friends of Noise continued to be an ally for these social justice events, which also validated the idea that outdoor spaces would become a viable option for their artists.

Members of the community stand in solidarity for a common cause.

The non-profit went on to hold numerous shows in NE Portland parks throughout the summer and even hosted a social-distanced Black Lives Matter rally in Cathedral Park on Labor Day that drew a crowd of 2000. These live music events were welcomed by these neighborhoods and provided much-needed revenue for the artists and showrunners that had relied on concerts in the past. Friends of Noise makes it a point to compensate performers and showrunners, and believes it is incredibly important to show the community of artists that their time and work is valued. By showing the young artists this now by paying them for their work, Andre hopes they will take that sense of value into their futures: “We’re all about teaching and giving kids opportunities to practice what they learn, and then working to get them paid opportunities to develop this as a career. We work to make sure that young people are seen as valued members of our local music ecosystem.”

In 2021, Friends of Noise will be launching live-stream programming as an ongoing way to feature their growing youth artist directory. This programming will be a collaboration with local music venues that have been closed due to Covid-19 restrictions, creating a connection between the artists and the theaters. They have partnered with theaters like Mississippi Studios, the Star Theater, and the Roseland Theater. The shows will also be multi-generational, pairing young artists with older artists, and will eventually incorporate a local dance group as well. The programming will be consistent, and the non-profit hopes this will represent the Portland music scene as a diverse and harmonious entity. This project is set to launch in January, and Friends of Noise hopes it will help sustain the local music industry through these uncertain times.

The band Out of Luck plays an indoor show before the pandemic.

Engagement in the Friends of Noise community has not slowed down with this pandemic. As a non-profit that serves Portland youth, its artists are looking for more ways to connect and be inspired by their peers. Friends of Noise knows that it cannot be a replacement for school, or other social activities that are no longer safe, but hopes that by building a strong community it can provide comradery through work and expression. This new live-stream project will support this ideal harmonious and collaborative music scene. When speaking about the future of the music industry in Portland, Andre is optimistic, “I have every confidence that young people will be pushing the envelope and be as innovative as they always have been. If we can create an ambience of collaboration over competition, this next cohort of musicians are going to be in an even better position in the future.” Friends of Noise is participating in Willamette Weekly’s GiveGuide, and you can also donate or volunteer on its website.

From Friends of Noise: Friends of Noise is a non-profit, educational, all-ages organization. Our mission is to provide safer and productive spaces for all-ages concerts, focused arts education, and leadership opportunities for youth with a focus on providing marginalized youth and youth of color access to performative creative expression. Our long-term goals are to contribute to the development of a region-wide network of young people and adults that are learned and ready to pursue a career in the music industry on stage or backstage and to grow into a youth-centered arts center that resides in a music-focused arts hub in an underserved community within our city.

We seek to create a non-profit, all-ages arts venue that is youth-oriented and youth-driven. We envision a safe, inclusive community meeting place for arts events, with a strong educational and mentorship component. We intend to engage young people in all aspects of event planning and production within this space, in order to encourage real-world skill-building. We believe these skills will serve students well in their future endeavors and help them become cultural leaders and engaged citizens in their communities.

 

Lifestyle Story: Mt. Hood Skibowl Opens and Cosmic Tubing Will Soon Light Up Night Sky

Lifestyle Story: Mt. Hood Skibowl Opens and Cosmic Tubing Will Soon Light Up Night Sky

Government Camp, OR. Mt. Hood Skibowl is now open for skiing and snowboarding. Ski Bowl managers say they’ll be operating with limited terrain on Multorpor, via the Lower Bowl (West Side). Skiers and Riders will be directed to the West Side and lift tickets will be sold on the west side only. The Eastside will be supporting Tubing operations.

As usual, the resort will host Cosmic Tubing®. Every weekend and holiday during the winter (and through Spring Break), the resort’s Snow Tube and Adventure Park transforms into a one-of-a-kind snowy scene complete with pulsing colored lights and bumping music. It’s all part of Ski Bowl’s Cosmic Tubing experience

There are over 600,000 LED lights, laser light shows, black lights, colored lights, rocking music, and more.

For tubing, Skibowl has Mt. Hood’s only dual conveyor lifts.
Night skiing operations are slated to start Monday and will operate through the week weather permitting.

Here’s a video about Cosmic Tubing:

Cosmic Tubing is open *Friday, Saturday, Sunday and holidays. (*Fridays after December 18th). It’s $38 dollars for adults and $33 for kids. Be sure to check with Skibowl before you head up to the mountain.

From Skibowl:

Our mission remains to make Skibowl fun and accessible for all families who want to enjoy a wide variety of outdoor activities. Less than an hour east of Portland, Skibowl has emerged as a family-friendly alpine resort with something for everyone. For Skiers and Riders, Skibowl provides snow riders with 960 acres in the Mt. Hood National Forest. The resort features 34 fully lit night runs, 65 runs total and a vertical drop of 1,500. The longest run is the 3-mile Skyline trail, starting at 5,100 feet. With the most Black Diamond runs anywhere in Oregon, Skibowl appeals to accomplished riders, night and day. Those in the know are lured to Skibowl’s Outback, the legendary expansive terrain with forested steeps, open glades and ungroomed slopes that are nothing short of heavenly.

Nonprofits Count on Year-End Giving to Help Needy People Survive the Pandemic

Nonprofits Count on Year-End Giving to Help Needy People Survive the Pandemic

Portland, OR. Local families are in need of help after a year of unprecedented challenges. Pacific Northwest communities have supported causes like Black Lives Matter, record-breaking fundraising for political parties, and support for small businesses forced to close due to Covid-19. Nonprofits are hoping that they’ll receive much-needed year-end donations this holiday season. (Causes like Children’s Book Bank, pictured above, represent one of many local nonprofits that serve local families).

There are many meaningful actions that donors can take to help local communities in need of shelter, food, basic necessities, or toys for Christmas morning. On PortlandSocietyPage.com we have a page with a list of nonprofits, here’s a link to our partner’s page. Below is also a list of diverse nonprofits that may inspire those who can afford to offer time and resources to help these imperative causes thrive into the new year.

Volunteers at Blanchet House are encouraged to apply and follow strict Covid guidelines to ensure the safety of the community.

  • Blanchet House provides food, shelter, and aid to any in need with mutual respect and compassion. You can sign up to volunteer and learn more about donations on the non-profit’s website.  Blanchet House is also participating in Willamette Weekly’s Give Guide and are trying to raise 35,000 dollars by December 31st.
  • The Christmas Family Adoption Foundation makes it possible to support an entire family in need during the holiday season. The PNW families are nominated to receive Christmas gifts from a wishlist. You can contribute in multiple ways on the foundation’s website so if you are unable to adopt a family, you can still support this worthy cause.
  • Oregon Food Bank is another excellent way to make sure those in need have a warm meal this winter. The organization has extended it’s Giving Tuesday fundraiser, and are also participating in Willamette Weekly’s Give Guide. With 1,400 food pantries all over Oregon and SW Washington, and you can sign up to volunteer and help keep the business thriving on it’s website.
  • Children’s Book Bank is a wonderful organization to give to around the holidays. This non-profit knows how important books are in children’s lives and has donated over 650,000 books to children in the Portland area.  Book donations are being accepted along with monetary contributions, and you can volunteer with Children’s Book Bank virtually.
  • Store To Door makes sure that seniors and those with disabilities receive the groceries that they need through volunteer grocery shopping and delivery. This busy non-profit is always in need of volunteers and have many different ways that you can contribute. Store To Door has been improving the quality of lives of those in need since 1989.
  • Rose Haven works to ensure the safety of women, children, and marginalized genders that are experiencing homelessness, poverty, and other traumas. This organization provides a safe and stable community for these individuals, along with health resources and emotional support. Rose Haven’s volunteer positions focus on to-go meals, door-to-door services, and Covid-19 support currently, and there are many ways to donate to this worthy cause on the non-profit’s website.
  • Sunshine Division is another organization that will be in full swing ensuring that Pacific Northwest families get everything they need this winter. Food donations are always appreciated by this organization (with new Covid restrictions in place), and the non-profit hopes to continue to help families in the Portland area through monetary contributions this holiday season. Sunshine Division’s annual Winter Wonderland event runs from November 27th through January 2nd, and you can enjoy the drive-through light show from the safety of your car.

Sunshine Division organizes this Covid-safe family activity to support a great cause.

  • West Linn Food Pantry provides West Linn and Lake Oswego families with emergency food donations. They accept curbside food donations every Thursday between 1PM and 6PM at the non-profit’s West Linn location.
  • Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program gifts new clothing and toys to families for Christmas in the Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties. You can donate these items on the organization’s website, and find out more about the many ways this non-profit helps marginalized communities in the Portland Metro area.
  • Hands-On Greater Portland is an excellent resource for finding out how you can volunteer and get involved this holiday season. This non-profit works to connect volunteers with projects and will help you find the best way to utilize your resources to help our local communities thrive. The site keeps an updated project calendar as well, to keep you updated on when your help is needed.

Please support any of the very worthy causes or those on our partner’s page.

Shop Local with the Arts Council of Lake Oswego Holiday Marketplace

Shop Local with the Arts Council of Lake Oswego Holiday Marketplace

Portland, OR. You could find your next Christmas gift at the Arts Council of Lake Oswego Holiday Marketplace. It showcases work from over 30 local artists including fine art, wood, ceramics, jewelry, handmade gifts, ornaments, textiles, confections, accessories, and more. The Holiday Marketplace is open for in-person, online, and curbside pickup shopping from Nov 28 to Dec 30.

During the two-week freeze that started on Nov 18th by order of Oregon Gov Kate Brown, the Holiday Marketplace is able to still offer in-person shopping with a lowered capacity that is limited to ten people including employees.

“I think what’s great about it is that we still are able to offer some sort of in-person shopping experience and from artists who are local,” Executive Director, Nicole Nathan, said. “So, while it may look a little bit different, we’re still able to offer the same core [values] at the heart of what we do and support our artists while also supporting the artistic community in Lake Oswego.”

The 2019 Holiday Marketplace.

In its fourth year, the Holiday Marketplace is one of the only in-person local gatherings of artists for the Portland and Lake Oswego area. Purchases directly benefit the artists and community-enriching programming of the Arts Council and this year the Holiday Marketplace can be found at the ARTspace Gallery.

For those who would like to stay local and stay safe while shopping, an online option will be available for the first time due to COVID-19 coinciding with the opening day of the Holiday Marketplace on Nov 28. The online shopping platform won’t feature everything from the gallery, instead, a few pieces of work from this years’ artists will be available to browse.

Nathan believes that this will be a good option for those who either live far away or might be sheltering place, because of travel restrictions, since they might not be able to come by in person. The online Holiday Marketplace will be able to reach those from further afield and still be able to enjoy some work, by local artists, or artists who they love and have seen before.

Some of the artwork offered at the Holiday Marketplace last year.

With restrictions in place, the Holiday Marketplace will look different this year with fewer wearables such as clothing and textiles. Vendors will also be further spread out to adhere to the six-foot guidelines. With the few pieces of clothing that are offered those will be disinfected between each visitor among other extra precautions.

ARTspace Gallery is taking all the safety precautions for a safe visit including:

  • Face masks are required to visit
  • Hand sanitizing stations are available throughout the gallery
  • Safe distance decals and public capacity are enforced
  • Sanitizing and cleaning after visitors
  • Contact-tracing – provide information where the public can check-in
  • Requesting people to stay home if not feeling well

According to Nathan, “We have an incredible number of artists who’ve been with us in past years and some new work as well. There’s some beautiful work, that you can get for yourself or your loved ones; It’s really in great support of not only our artists but helps support the arts council throughout the year.”

From the Arts Council of Lake Oswego website: The Arts Council of Lake Oswego works to ensure that arts are an integral part of life in our community, now and into the future.

Experience The Oregon ZooLights Like Never Before

Experience The Oregon ZooLights Like Never Before

Portland, OR. For the first time, visitors who attend ZooLights will be able to enjoy a light display of 1.5 million bright lights, animated animals, and immersive tunnels of lights from their car. This experience has been designed to provide a safe way for the community to continue this holiday tradition. The Oregon Zoo is known for the ZooLights display, but the annual walk-through is suspended along with daytime operations from Nov. 18 to Dec. 2, due to a two-week freeze put in place by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown in hopes of slowing the spread of COVID-19.

Visitors drive through ZooLights from earlier this year in a test run-through.

The two-week freeze has taken effect in Oregon, but the state’s most populous county will see those restrictions for even longer. Gov. Brown issued the freeze for at least four weeks in Multnomah County.

Oregon Zoo’s ZooLights runs from Nov. 22nd, till Jan. 10th, with the exception of Dec. 25th. Tickets are available online and must be purchased in advance. Here’s a video about the drive-through ZooLights experience:

“Everything’s been a little different in 2020, and ZooLights is no exception,” explains zoo events manager Nikki Simmons. “Like most of this community, our biggest concern right now is protecting everyone’s health and safety. We’re just thankful we could come up with a good way for the community to enjoy this holiday tradition.”

A child and adult enjoy some of the ZooLights from a test run-through earlier this fall.

How it will work; visitors can purchase one ticket per vehicle and join a queue to check-in curbside then proceed to the drive-through entrance. The route will go through the widest paths of the zoo which includes some behind-the-scene areas around the outside of Elephant Lands taking approximately 30-40 minutes.

A map of the drive-through ZooLights.

To help ensure a safe experience for all, the following measures will be in place during this year’s ZooLights:

  • Timed ticketing/limited attendance: All guests, including members, must reserve their ZooLights tickets in advance via the zoo website. Tickets are only available up to one week in advance of the visit date.
  • Masks/face coverings: Drive-through guests do not need to wear masks while enjoying the lights from inside their vehicle. Masks are required, however, during check-in and other interactions with ZooLights staff.

From the Oregon Zoo website: The Oregon Zoo inspires the community to respect animals and take action on behalf of the natural world. We do this by creating engaging experiences and advancing the highest level of animal welfare, environmental literacy, and conservation science.

Lifestyle Report: Second Home Sales Soar During COVID-19

Lifestyle Report: Second Home Sales Soar During COVID-19

A Lifestyle Story: Portland, OR. The coronavirus is changing the way people live in many ways. With more families isolating together, many are craving more spaces outside of their primary residence where they can relax in places like Central Oregon. (The home above at 61794 Tam McArthur Loop in Bend is listed at $3.7 million with Sotheby’s.) People see the valuing of time with family, friends, and time spent together in the great outdoors. Also, many professionals aren’t tethered to their desks because they’re working remotely. Consequently, the real estate industry is seeing some new trends. There’s an uptick in sales of second homes in markets that are drivable from cities.

According to industry statistics, the number of pending sales in the Bend area was up 53% in June. And some prices in Central Oregon are sky-high.

This property at 16400 Jordan Rd. in Sisters is listed for $24,000,000. It has 14,666 square feet with 8 bedrooms and 8 baths and is listed with Sotheby’s.

In Central Oregon, according to Bend Premier Real Estate, million-dollar home sales are breaking records. “Over the years, as various sections of Bend were developed, the luxury market expanded into Pilot Butte, Awbrey Butte, and the various golf communities in town such as Awbrey Glen, Broken Top, Pronghorn and Tetherow.” Bend realtors say they are in the midst of one of the most active summer selling seasons in years and struggling to find homes to list.

It’s part of a national trend. People are fleeing their glass-enclosed, high-rise apartments for larger second homes with outdoor space.

This house in the scenic mountain town of Park City, Utah is priced at $19.5 million. Park City is a popular destination for celebrities and film industry elite during the Sundance Film Festival. Since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, realtors say Park City has seen an influx of activity at the upper end of the market.

There has also been a surge of interest across California, spanning from San Diego all the way up to northern coastal regions, such as Montecito, Carmel and into Northern California’s wine country. Here’s a video of another hot spot; a $65 million dollar listing in Malibu, California.

According to Real Estate veteran, Karen Durrett, on the Northern Oregon coast, second homes are getting harder to find. The median price is also up.

In Manzanita, second homes for over $1 million have been snapped up all summer and now there are very few left for sale.

Just south of Cannon Beach there’s a modern oceanfront home for sale with an ocean view for $4,995,000. It’s 3,348 square feet and it sits on an acre.

Today’s record-low mortgage rates are also fueling interest. Since most experts forecast that mortgage rates will remain in the 3% range throughout the year, homebuyers are jumping on the low-cost mortgage train. This could help offset the higher house prices in some real estate markets.

Portland’s NAACP President Remains Optimistic About the Fight for Racial Justice

Portland’s NAACP President Remains Optimistic About the Fight for Racial Justice

Portland, OR. The President of the Portland Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is feeling optimistic about the future of race relations in the Rose City. Rev. E. D. Mondainé, a renowned musician, and U.S. Army/Air Force veteran took the helm of Portland’s chapter in 2018. His voice has become increasingly important during this time of downtown protests and civil unrest. Mondainé’s says, “Even though times are bleak, we can make change. Portland is a perfect storm for change in this country and the ninety-plus days of noise is the start of revolution.”

While many organizations and individuals protesting are calling for a complete defunding of the police in Portland (and across the nation, for that matter), Rev. Mondainé says that the NAACP does not stand with the goal of abolition, but rather, reformation.

Starting in May 2020, demonstrations over the police killing of George Floyd have been held in the city of Portland, concurrent with protests in other cities around the United States and around the world.

When asked about the death of George Floyd and the reverberations across the nation, Mondainé’s said he believes Floyd’s death was nothing less than a “horizontal, modern-day lynching” and not to be convoluted else wise. (Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin is charged with murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd.)

Reverend E.D. Mondainé believes in Portland and the ability of residents to confront nationwide and global equality and equity. “We’re on a mission for justice, truth, and equality. And we’ll never stop fighting for that.”

The Portland NAACP has taken a stand on many issues including renter’s rights in 2019. 

Mondainé’s spoke to Portland Society Page reporter Daniel Chilton about his views on the strategy of the Black Lives Matter movement and where the NAACP stands regarding the policing institution, as well as the prison industrial complex.

While the public conversation has primarily revolved around police institutions and police brutality, Mondainé also discussed the often-absent subject of the prison industrial complex. With Black inmates outnumbering whites by a large margin until very recently (according to Pew Research Center, this gap has begun to narrow) Rev. Mondainé says that the NAACP is trying hard to keep this conversation going and has major plans in the future to continue to address both police and prison reform; that one cannot exist without the other present.

Thousands marching into downtown Portland; a photo strikingly familiar to those of the 1960s civil rights march on Washington.

About the Portland NAACP:

Founded in 1909 in response to the ongoing violence against Black people around the country, the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) is the largest and most pre-eminent civil rights organization in the nation. We have over 2,200 units and branches across the nation, along with well over 2M activists. Our mission is to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons.

The vision of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is to ensure a society in which all individuals have equal rights without discrimination based on race.

To find out more about Portland’s NAACP branch and any upcoming events, including their monthly meetings downtown, click here. If you’re interested in donating to their cause, you can do so directly here. To register to vote for the upcoming election and make your voice heard for change, you can do so here.

Play It Forward Foundation Removes Barriers for Young Musicians

Play It Forward Foundation Removes Barriers for Young Musicians

Portland, OR. Most piano teachers and students aren’t able to sit side-by-side these days; they’re learning via zoom. That’s the case with the young teachers at the Play It Forward Foundation. It was originally established by famous Portland pianist Michael Allen Harrison and has aimed to keep young musicians moving forward since its inception. It primarily operates with two distinct missions: the first is to take in donated instruments (primarily pianos) to rehouse them in public school programs and student homes; the second aims to keep these musicians in lessons while offering new teachers consistent work.

The first mission, wherein donated instruments are rehoused into public school programs and particularly talented young musicians’ homes, is just a part of how the Play It Forward Foundation is helping the community. The program’s Executive Director, Marietta Harrison, says that they look at nearly three hundred pianos a year, ultimately accepting around one hundred of these (with sometimes up to five calls a day for potential donations). These pianos are vetted and reconditioned prior to being donated in order to offer better services to the school programs or child’s home they end up in. In a time when public school’s art funding seems to be ever-declining, the organization pays for these services out of pocket in order to better serve the community.

With classes moved entirely online for the foreseeable future, potential barriers are further erased.

Rather than simply donating and dipping, so to speak, the second part of their mission aims to keep a consistent hand within Portland’s musical community. The nonprofit’s goal here is to remove any potential barriers between the students and their music– whether that be economic, logistical, or otherwise. Started in 2017 with a mere twelve students, the program was up to one hundred students by 2019.

Online piano recitals with both Michael and Marietta Harrison present.

Prior to the COVID pandemic, the program would offer work to young teachers seeking experience who would often travel to the school or the student’s home in order to better erase these potential barriers faced. Currently, the program has gone completely online and classes are being held through Zoom meetings. Given everything going on in the world right now, Marietta Harrison says that this program has always aimed to be proactive rather than reactive; establishing itself in the community as an organization that erases barriers for students and encourages musical growth.

About Play it Forward:

Nearly 20 years ago, the City of Portland passed a measure that cut critical funding to music education in our public schools. Having benefited from free music education in public schools, that eventually led to a successful career as a composer and pianist, Michael Allen Harrison could not watch this happen silently. Play It Forward, affectionately known as PIF was born. Play It Forward distributes gently used instruments gifted by donors to students and music programs throughout the Portland Metropolitan Community.

If you’d like to donate to a great cause, you can do so here.