Portland Opera Opens 58th Season with Puccini’s Grand Masterpiece Tosca

Portland Opera Opens 58th Season with Puccini’s Grand Masterpiece Tosca

Portland, OR. Portland Opera is celebrating a return to in-person performances with three performances of Puccini’s grand opera Tosca at the Keller Auditorium. The performances of Tosca are on October 29th, 31st, and November 6th. “We are over the moon to be returning to the Keller Auditorium this Friday for the first time in 727 days,” says General Director Sue Dixon. “Tosca is the perfect opera for our return to the theater after all of this time — it’s grand, traditional, passionate, and beloved. It’s really a classic for a reason.” This production will feature a number of company debuts, including tenor Noah Stewart as Cavaradossi, seen above, and Soprano Alexandra LoBianco will make her Portland Opera debut in the title role.

The piece tells the story of Tosca, a renowned diva, in Rome in 1800. An artist-activist has won her heart, and his revolutionary sympathies provoke the wrath of Scarpia, the corrupt chief of police. Her devotion and moral resistance are challenged by abuses of power, attempted rape, and tragedy—as this high drama builds to its haunting finale.

Gordon Hawkins as Scarpia and Alexandra LoBianco in the title role of Puccini’s Tosca. Photo by Cory Weaver/Portland Opera.

Dixon continues; “We’ve spent the last 18 months following the most up-to-date guidance, shifting our policies, and keeping health and well-being at the forefront of our decision-making. We are committed to keeping everyone involved safe. For this reason, all audience members must show proof of vaccination or negative PCR test to attend a show at Portland Opera this season, and everyone is required to wear a mask inside the theater (except when consuming food or beverages). Audience members will be asked to present this proof of full vaccine or negative COVID-19 test result, as well as verify their ID, prior to entering the theater to have their tickets scanned. At this point, children under the age of 12 (for whom there is not currently an available vaccine) will not be admitted to performances. We’ve also worked with our unions to create a COVID action plan for our cast, crew, and staff working on Tosca.” Detailed information about Portland Opera’s COVID-19 policies can be found here. If postponed, alternate COVID-19 dates for this production are May 13 – 21, 2022.

“We recognize that some people may not be ready to come back to the theater in person – and that is okay! We launched a digital channel, Portland Opera Onscreen, as a way to connect with our audience and perform throughout the pandemic, and we will continue to stream our performances here into the future. For Tosca, audience members can stream the opera on demand November 16th-December 31st.”

With the launch of the 21/22 season, Portland Opera welcomes Artistic Director Priti Gandhi, who joined the staff in early September. “I am delighted to be here in Portland for my first production as Artistic Director, and to welcome this incredible cast and creative team to Portland” shares Gandhi. “Tosca is full of passion, romance, tragedy, and politics. It is the perfect grand opera for a return to the theater.”

Noah Stewart as Cavaradossi and Damien Geter as Angelotti in Puccini’s Tosca. Photo by Cory Weaver/Portland Opera.

Soprano Alexandra LoBianco, whose performance as Tosca has been described as “thrilling” by Opera News, will make her Portland Opera debut in the title role. This production will feature a number of company debuts, including tenor Noah Stewart as Cavaradossi, baritone Gordon Hawkins as Scarpia, and tenor Katherine Goforth as Spoletta. Baritone Deac Guidi returns to Portland Opera as Sacristan, bass-baritone Damien Geter (Portland Opera’s co-artistic advisor) returns as Angelotti and the Jailer, and baritone Zachary Lenox returns as Sciarrone.

Conductor Tiffany Chang will conduct Puccini’s lush score, which features the beloved arias “Vissi d’arte,” “E lucevan le stelle,” and “Recondita armonia.” Chang, who makes her debut at Portland Opera as well as Opera Columbus this season, serves as artist-faculty at Oberlin Conservatory and Berklee College of Music, and was a recipient of a 2020 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award as well as a recent OPERA America Grant for Women Stage Directors and Conductors.

Stage director Linda Brovsky will make her Portland Opera debut directing this grand, traditional production. Performances will also feature the talented local and regional musicians who make up Portland Opera’s orchestra and chorus.

From Portland Opera:

Portland Opera appreciates the ongoing support of funders including the National Endowment for the Arts, Oregon Arts Commission, James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation, Multnomah County Cultural Coalition, Oregon Community Foundation, and the Regional Arts & Culture Council, including support from the City of Portland, Multnomah County, and the Arts Education & Access Fund.

You can find more information about Tosca here, and for more information, and to purchase tickets visit portlandopera.org or call Patron Services at 503-241-1802. For more information, patrons may also contact the Opera Concierge at [email protected], Monday through Friday from 10 PM–5 PM.

Oregon Nonprofit Helps Foodies Find Local Farmers’ Markets

Oregon Nonprofit Helps Foodies Find Local Farmers’ Markets

Lake Oswego, OR. Saturdays through Oct. 2nd you’ll find thousands of locals meeting their favorite farmers in Millennium Plaza Park. The Lake Oswego Farmers’ Market is one of 123 farmers’ markets operating throughout the state, and each has its own local flavor. The Oregon Farmers Market Association works to give the community access to a wide variety of fresh, local, in-season farm products direct from the producer and to provide a centralized location for local producers to market directly to the buying public. It also provides an interactive map so you can find one near you: Click here for a map of farmers’ markets.

In response to COVID-19, many Oregon farmers markets have added online pre-order platforms for customers who would like to shop local, but from home. Here is a current listing (regularly updated) of markets across the state who are offering vendor products online.

Many farmers markets across the state have adopted OFMA’s COVID-19 Pledge, which means they have created safe and essential marketplaces for local food shoppers.

70 Oregon markets accept SNAP food assistance programs.

Governor Kate Brown even proclaimed August 1-7th Oregon Farmers Market Week.

Manzanita Farmers’ Market

From The Oregon Farmers Market Association:

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  • Farmers markets provide families of all income levels access to nutritious locally and regionally produced foods. More than 70 Oregon markets accept SNAP benefits and other critical food assistance because we believe that fresh, healthy food is for everyone.

  • Farmers markets are small business incubators. Data recently collected by OFMA suggest that over half the vendors at a typical rural farmers market are brand-new entrepreneurs with less than three years of experience.

  • Check out highlights from OFMA’s 2019 Census of Oregon farmers markets.

Did you know…

  • only $0.15 on the dollar goes to farmers when you buy food at a grocery store? Support your local farmers by shopping at the market, where they keep 100% of those dollars!

  • customers at farmers markets have 15 to 20 social interactions compared to one to two at a grocery store? Farmers markets are great for their communities. Visit your farmers market this week and chat with your neighbors.

  • farmers market food is WAY fresher than food from traditional retailers? Farmers market fare averages half a day since harvest, compared to 13 days at a traditional retailer. That’s a delicious reason to support your local farmers market!

  • the United States loses one acre of farmland every day? Support the vendors at your local farmers market to help keep working lands in production!

Bumble’s ‘Summer of Love’ Survey Find Desire for Vaccinated Partners

Bumble’s ‘Summer of Love’ Survey Find Desire for Vaccinated Partners

Lifestyle Story: Portland, OR. Bumble recently conducted research on how the pandemic has changed dating as singles head into the ‘summer of love.’ The women-first dating app and social networking platform, is revealing how the pandemic has shaped the way that single people are dating this summer and beyond as restrictions are beginning to ease and more people are becoming fully vaccinated within the United States every day.

Nearly 90%4 of American users who have selected their first date preferences within Bumble’s COVID Preferences Center are ready to date In Real Life (IRL) again. Of those ready for an IRL first date, there’s nearly an even split between those who are comfortable with a regular IRL first date (46%)4 or a socially distanced one (41%)4. Bumble has also seen growth particularly in those states and cities where there are higher vaccination rates.

“The pandemic has leveled the dating world like never before and has brought about meaningful changes in behavior that we see having a positive impact on our community long term,” said Whitney Wolfe Herd, CEO and Founder of Bumble. “Historically, this is a time of year where the dating industry sees a considerable increase in activity and we’re experiencing that more than ever heading into this summer season. As our research illustrates, daters are entering this ‘summer of love’ with more intentionality than ever before and are prioritizing safety, compatibility, and shared values as restrictions ease and vaccination rates increase.”

Ahead of the official first day of summer on June 20, Bumble is sharing new research and insights about dating during this ‘summer of love.’

Here’s all the current research from Bumble:

Dating has changed for the better. The time that people spent in lockdown really allowed them to focus on what they are truly looking for while dating, giving them a renewed sense of clarity and confidence in taking control of their dating lives as they begin to meet new people this summer. Through recent research, Bumble has found that people are now dating more intentionally than before the pandemic – they’re being more honest about what they’re looking for in a relationship, whether it’s something casual or serious.

  • 55%2 of Bumble’s global users have said that they are now feeling less willing to compromise on what they want and need from a potential relationship, according to a recent survey.

  • Nearly 40%1  (38%) of Americans surveyed have noticed an increase in clear communication of expectations and intentions while dating throughout the pandemic.

  • Nearly 30%1  (28%) have seen a meaningful decline in dead-end conversations as people are being more honest about what they’re looking for in a relationship.

  • Nearly 40%1  (39%) respondents have noticed a meaningful decline in ghosting while dating throughout the pandemic.

  • Over 30%1  (31%) have said that they noticed a meaningful decline in catfishing.

Online dating is just… dating

It’s no surprise that people have adapted to new ways of communicating and dating to find and explore meaningful connections throughout the pandemic.

  • 91%1 of the Americans surveyed believe that there is no longer a stigma attached to meeting someone online or through a dating app since the pandemic began.

  • An overwhelming two-thirds1 (65%) think that it’s possible to fall in love with someone that they’ve never met in person before.

  • Nearly 40%1 (38%) enjoy going on virtual dates as they find that it’s safer to engage with a match virtually before meeting in person.

    • 1 in 31 (31%) like virtual dates because it saves them time and money.

    • 1 in 41 (26%) appreciate that they only have to get partially ready (“half-glam”) when going on a video date.

  • Many are also leaning more into other means of virtual communication – 1 in 41 (25%) of those surveyed have sent someone an audio message this past year.

Safety is still top of mind

Following a year in quarantine, safety is still top of mind and many are continuing to prioritize discussions on precautions and COVID vaccination statuses before meeting someone in person for the first time.

  • More than 54%2  of Bumble’s global users feel more safety conscious than before the pandemic.

  • Vaccination status is essential to many, as 30%1 Americans surveyed would not go on a date or have sex with someone who hasn’t received the COVID vaccine.

  • Bumble announced its plans to launch a “Vaccinated” Badge in profiles this summer within the US and the UK. By adding the badge, people will be able to show on their dating profile whether they have been vaccinated for COVID-19. Bumble will also offer complimentary credits for premium features, such as Spotlight and SuperSwipe, to those who enable the “Vaccinated” Badge later this summer.

To help its community feel comfortable dating right now and to help normalize conversations about dating during the pandemic, Bumble has added a COVID Preferences Center that can be accessed by tapping the profile icon within the Bumble app. After matching with someone, both individuals will be able to see what the other person’s dating preferences are – such as meeting outdoors and in uncrowded places only – and what precautions they want to take.

Bumble also offers a Safety Center, which is available online and within the app by tapping the profile icon. Bumble’s Safety Center provides a compilation of resources and tools to help its community date confidently.

Shared values are more important than ever before

The way that people are now approaching conversations around race and intersectional inequalities while dating has completely shifted after a year that re-ignited powerful social justice moments.

  • Since the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement in 2020, nearly 2 in 53  (38%) Americans surveyed said that they have re-evaluated how they approach race and inequality in their romantic relationships.

    • This number is even more significant for Black respondents, as more than 1 in 23  (53%) Black Americans are now re-evaluating how they approach race and inequality while dating since last year’s events.

  • 62%3  of respondents say that it is important for them to talk about key social issues on a first date, such as gender equality, politics, race, or the environment.

  • 75%3  would only date someone if a majority of their political and social views align.

  • 1 in 23  (51%) respondents believe that activism is now a more important part of society than their parents considered it to be during their generation.

Wolfe Herd continues: “Over the course of the pandemic, we’ve remained intently focused on listening to our community to understand how their needs have evolved and we have continued to innovate our product to meet that demand. We are always looking for ways to enhance the user experience by listening closely to user feedback and will continue to do so moving forward.”

Over the past year, Bumble has made several updates to its platform, including introducing 150 new interest badges in dating profiles and launching its “Night In” feature, where two people can participate in an interactive game during a video chat. The company also recently launched Snap’s AR Lenses within Bumble video calls and launched video notes that utilize Snapchat’s technology.

Research background:

1 Based on insights commissioned by Bumble and carried out online by Censuswide. Surveys were conducted with a sample of 1,003 single adults in the United States between May 4th to 10th, 2021. Censuswide abides by and employs members of the Market Research Society, which is based on the ESOMAR principles.

2 Based on a survey conducted on the Bumble app among those based in Australia = 1,215, US = 1,598, UK = 1,272 during Q2 2021.

3 Based on insights commissioned by Bumble and carried out online by Research Without Barriers (RWB). The survey was conducted with a sample of 1,002 adults in the United States between May 14 to 17, 2021. All research conducted adheres to the UK Market Research Society (MRS) code of conduct (2019) and ICC/ESOMAR (international). RWB is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office and complies with the DPA (1998).

4 Based on proprietary Bumble platform insights in the US, June 2021.

About Bumble app: Bumble, the women-first social networking app, was founded by CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd in 2014. Bumble connects people across dating (Bumble Date), friendship (Bumble BFF) and professional networking (Bumble Bizz). No matter the type of relationship, women make the first move on Bumble. Bumble is built on the importance of equitable relationships and how crucial they are to a healthy, happy life. They’ve built their platform around kindness, respect, and equality – and their community plays an important part in that. Bumble holds its users accountable for their actions and has zero-tolerance for hate, aggression, or bullying. Bumble is free and available worldwide in the App Store and Google Play.

Brown Hope & Black Resilience Fund Provide Direct Mutual Aid To Portland BIPOC

Brown Hope & Black Resilience Fund Provide Direct Mutual Aid To Portland BIPOC

Portland, OR. As mutual aid organizations all over Portland have arisen in response to the Black Lives Matter protests, nationwide police brutality, and the growing awareness of social justice activism, Brown Hope has taken strides in mutual aid efforts for Portland BIPOC. Founded in 2018, by Cameron Whitten, (seen above) with their mission directly informed by the needs of “Black, Brown, and Indigenous Portlanders” through trauma-informed activism, this completely volunteer-led organization is working within the community to make improvements for those historically marginalized communities in our city.

Co-founder of the Black Resilience Fund, Salomé Chimuku, speaking with an attendee of a July event where volunteers conducted in-person intakes and distributed funds to Black Portlanders in need. (Photo, Courtney Sherwood/OPB)

One of Brown Hope’s biggest achievements comes from their Black Resilience Fund program. Launched in the summer of 2020 with the goal of providing an immediate emergency funding resource for Black Portlanders, they successfully raised over $1 million in direct donations from 11,000 Portlanders in the short time frame of a single month. These funds are allocated as direct relief for BIPOC Portlanders, an admirable goal considering the financial hardship and trauma sprouting from this last year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since its launch last summer (8 months ago as of this article), their website donations tracker now sits just shy of $2.25 million.

As an intentionally multifaceted organization to deal with a multifaceted and complex community, Brown Hope has founded multiple other initiatives to build up our community. Power Hour is a weekly community discussion meeting in which participants can receive food, drink, and most notably, direct cash reparations of $25 (an interesting aspect of Brown Hope’s mission considering the rarity of active reparations). Featuring a 45-minute discussion based around local community happenings, news, and needs, they encourage white folks to come and participate and/or donate their time. Another is Brown Hope’s Black Street Bakery which provides work opportunities for Black Portlanders while offering the community delicious baked goods.

Brown Hope understands that community building requires mutual aid and a multifaceted outlook on what our community needs are. Further, they know that the only way to go about enacting real change is by offering an ear to the community you’re working within. Brown Hope is a “healing initiative” first and foremost. They understand that justice is a collective experience that requires all of us to put our best foot forward.

You can donate to the Black Resilience Fund here.

A bit about Brown Hope from their website:

Our Mission
Brown Hope is a community solution for racial justice, creating connection with Black, Brown, and Indigenous leaders through the heart, mind, and voice to inspire our collective healing.

Our Vision
We envision a future where the truth about this nation’s long history of injustice is self-evident. We envision the survivors of this injustice taking the lead on change. We envision love as a lived, and collective, experience.

Organizational Values
Truth Seeking
Love Creating
Always Resilient



Portland Parks & Recreation Revives 2021 Summer Programming

Portland Parks & Recreation Revives 2021 Summer Programming

Portland, OR. Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) will bring back programs including some Fitness in the Park classes as seen above. The city is restoring 2021 Summer programming and will be designing classes and events to meet public health regulations. Programs will also be as flexible as possible in case conditions change. This means a return of programs like Free Lunch + Play, summer camps, art center classes, swimming, movies in the parks and more.

Portland City Commissioner, Carmen Rubio, proposed PP&R Fiscal Year 2020-21 Supplemental Budget ordinance to City Council and was unanimously approved.

“This budget charts a new approach for Portland Parks & Recreation,” said City Commissioner Carmen Rubio. “It centers racial equity and lays the foundation for a Sustainable Future where all Portlanders’ feel safe and welcome in our parks system and where everyone can access programs that bring us together, help us heal, and make our whole community healthier.”

During this public health crisis, access to nutritious food has proven to be one of the highest needs in the Portland community. PP&R will play an important role in keeping kids healthy this summer by moving forward with the Free Lunch + Play program. Youth will be able to count on FREE lunches and safe outdoor recreation—citywide—from June through August.

Portland voters passed the Parks Local Option Levy (Parks Levy) in Nov. 2020 enacting a tax at the rate of $80 per $100,000 of assessed property value for five years in order to fund recreational programs and park services.

The funds from the Parks Levy usually wouldn’t become available until Nov. 2021 however, the Portland City Council also approved an interfund loan to let PP&R access resources early from the Parks Levy.

With Parks Levy resources, PP&R’s recreation program will transition from a model that depended on charging fees to a service-driven model that focuses on racial equity and eliminating cost as a barrier for Portlanders’ who need programming the most.

In 2013 Portland Parks & Recreation held its yearly Summer Free for All, a popular annual series of free outdoor concerts, movies, playground programs, and more. The Portland community will be able to attend this program again in summer 2021.

“I want to thank Portland voters for investing in their parks system through the Parks Levy,” said PP&R Director Adena Long. “We will use these community resources to provide recreation programming for kids, families, and older Portlanders’ in safe, outdoor, physically distanced settings across the City this summer. We will help our community reconnect, exercise and play, and learn and grow. And none of this would be possible without Portlanders’ investment in parks, thank you.”

Some PP&R sites and programs may need to operate at reduced or restricted capacity due to COVID-19 guidelines when summer arrives. For all summer programs, participant capacity limits and locations are subject to change based on the most current public health guidance.

Kids on scooters play together while receiving free food from Portland Parks & Recreation programs before the pandemic. Photo courtesy of Portland Public Schools.

Portland Parks and Recreation plans to keep the Portland community updated about the summer programming throughout the winter and spring as more details become clear. Below is the list of programs set to run this coming summer.

Portland Parks & Recreation’s COVID-19 Responsive Summer 2021 Programming

  • Free Lunch + Play: PP&R will serve over 100,000 meals to alleviate hunger in our community by continuing a critical, decades-long program of distributing free meals to enjoy in parks or take home. Families will also receive free art and music activities at Free Lunch + Play sites.
  • Summer Camps: Outdoor day camps, sports, and art camps will be available at 20 locations across the City.
  • Environmental Education: Nature day camps (info below), guided Ladybug Nature Walks, and family programs will connect young Portlanders to our natural environment.
  • Nature Day Camps for ages 5-12. The PP&R Environmental Education program will offer summer day camps full of hiking, exploration, nature-based activities, and more; groups of campers will adhere to COVID-19 guidelines with other participants of similar ages. Camps offer job opportunities as nature educators for qualified people aged 16 and older.
  • Environmental Education jobs and volunteering – the next generation of environmental leaders start with us. Paid work programs, volunteer naturalist training, and more. The Teen Nature Team (TNT) is a free program for middle school students connecting young people to nature, environmental careers, and college programs. The Youth Conservation Crew (YCC) provides jobs and training for a diverse population of 14-19 year-olds in the Portland area.
  • Fitness in the Park: Expansion of outdoor fitness programs, including yoga, exercise, and Zumba classes.
  • Swimming: Outdoor pools will open in summer 2021 for life-saving swim lessons, water fitness classes, lap swims, and swim team activities. Indoor pools will only open if public health conditions allow.
  • Community centers: Outdoor programming is prioritized to protect public health; community centers will provide staging for outdoor events and access will be limited.
  • Arts centers: The Multnomah Arts Center and the Community Music Center will offer outdoor camps and classes.
  • Art performances: Free art and music activities at Free Lunch + Play sites and small-scale pop-up performances will be available across the City.
  • Gateway Discovery Park: Art and cultural activities will be hosted all summer long at this East Portland park.
  • Splash Pads: Interactive (play) fountains and park splash pads (water play features) are anticipated to re-open.
  • Lifelong Recreation (formerly known as Senior Recreation): Virtual programs and outdoor activities will be available to older Portlanders.
  • Teen Force: Outdoor, drop-in programs designed for young adults will be provided in coordination with Free Lunch + Play events.
  • Stay and Play video series: Free arts, fitness, education, and music videos will help Portlanders stay active and connected to PP&R throughout the summer. Videos are available at Portland Parks & Recreation’s YouTube channel, youtube.com/pdxparksandrec/videos.
  • Virtual Programming: PP&R’s Adaptive & Inclusive Recreation (AIR), Lifelong Recreation, Portland Parks Preschool, and Arts & Culture programs will offer live virtual programming online.
  • SUN Community Schools: SUN Schools, a collaboration between Multnomah County and PP&R, will offer outdoor summer camps.

From Portland Parks and Recreation website: Portland’s parks, public places, natural areas, and recreational opportunities give life and beauty to our city. These essential assets connect people to place, self, and others. Portland’s residents treasure and care for this legacy, building on the past to provide for future generations. Making Portland a great place to live, work and play. Healthy Parks, Healthy Portland.

Elevate Oregon’s Mentorship Program Lifts Struggling Students During Pandemic

Elevate Oregon’s Mentorship Program Lifts Struggling Students During Pandemic

Portland, OR. During the Covid-19 pandemic, students can’t gather around the table like they used to. But Elevate Oregon staff members are working with students remotely and continue to be available around the clock. This dedication is nothing new. Launched in 2010 and inspired by a similar “Colorado Uplift” program, Elevate Oregon works with students and their schools in order to build relationships with those struggling to succeed. Largely organized and lead by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) within the Portland community, the program is aimed at benefiting BIPOC youth. With its primary goal of reaching struggling youth through interpersonal relations, Elevate Oregon’s effect on the community is inspiring to many.

In just four years the mentorship program at Parkrose High School in NE Portland, has seen the graduation rate of students skyrocketed from 55% to 90%. To attain this increase, Elevate Oregon partners with the school and offer students an “in-house” elective classroom. Rather than attempting to replace the school curriculum, they seek to build off of the school’s foundation. Within this class, struggling students work one-on-one with qualified and passionate mentors to find out what they need to be successful during high school and beyond. Paul Morris, Deputy Director at Elevate Oregon, says that this approach “allows students to fail safely” and that “Elevate is in the business of offering second chances to these youth.”

The in-school approach allows students easier access to the help they need without having to attend after-school programs, something that many students already in a chaotic state often can’t swing. Further, students are offered an incentive of end-of-the-year trips/parties for maintaining a high GPA.

Now in 2021, 11 years since Elevate Oregon had started its first program at Parkrose High School, it is serving over 600 students annually and has expanded its mentorship program to include students as young as elementary level as well as students transitioning between grades or schools. Mentors could potentially work with students for 8-9 years, building lifelong relationships with youth living within a chaotic world, who could benefit the most from the stability being offered.

Elevate Oregon’s interpersonal-focus is uplifting the BIPOC youth community here in Portland through its goal of connecting and building one-on-one relationships. Program leaders say it’s useful for a struggling high school student to have someone who cares. A listening ear and an open heart can go a long way.

Elevate Oregon functions entirely off of their mentors and donations. You can donate to this inspiring program here.

About Elevate Oregon from their website:

Elevate Oregon is an empowering, efficient, year-round mentoring program centered on raising graduation rates and post-secondary enrollment, while also striving to create “generational firsts”, offering students the tools they need to become future leaders in our region.

The Street Trust Hosts Virtual Benefit to Promote Active Lifestyles

The Street Trust Hosts Virtual Benefit to Promote Active Lifestyles

Portland, OR. The Street Trust’s annual fundraiser, Love In Motion, will look different this year from years past. The February 4th benefit will feature four local leaders sharing stories about what gets them moving. This event will be held virtually for the first time after being held at the Alberta Abbey for several years (as seen above).

Since 1990, The Street Trust has worked to promote and improve public transit, walking, and bicycling conditions in Oregon. The organization works in classrooms, on the streets, in city hall, and the state legislature encouraging and advocating for safe and convenient transportation options.

Erin Haley, Director of Communications, feels hopeful that the community will show up to support the nonprofit, buy raffle tickets, and contribute to the cause despite the event being virtual.

Love In Motion audience members listen to one of the speakers from the 2019 event

The Street Trust, like many other small organizations, has had to make some hard financial decisions this year according to Haley. Unlike previous years, Love In Motion is free to attend virtually and each story will have a mobility spin to it. American Sign Language will also be provided.

“The proceeds from this fundraiser will support the work of Street Trust to make streets safe, accessible, and equitable for all,” said Haley, “We hope to inspire people to consider a more environmentally friendly way of moving to their destinations but also to engage with the Street Trust in our advocacy work!”

Each year, Love In Motion features four different speakers alongside an emcee. Ayleen Crotty, producer and moderator of Film By Bikes will be the emcee of this year’s event. This year’s featured storytellers can be found below.

2021 Love In Motion Storytellers Pam Slaughter, Augusto Carneiro, Paul Buchanan, and Candace Avalos.

Here’s some information about the speakers:

  • Pam Slaughter is the Founder of People of Color Outdoors
  • Augusto Carneiro is the Founder and fearless leader of Nossa Familia Coffee
  • Paul Buchanan is the Former Vice President of West Seattle Bike connections
  • Candace Avalos is a Board member for Portland: Neighbors Welcome, and a newly appointed Chapter Review Commissioner for the City of Portland

According to Haley, the organization is thrilled to have this diverse group of storytellers. “All involved have been very generous with their time and energy and we expect it to be a wonderfully informative and fun experience.”

Although Love In Motion will be held on a different platform the event’s annual bike raffle is still happening. This year’s prize is a BMC Alpenchallenge E-Bike donated to the organization from Clever Cycles.

This year’s Love In Motion raffle prize is a BMC Alpenchallenge E-Bike

Haley encourages people to register for the event, “It is sure to be an evening of community and connection, hopefully, some laughter and maybe even some tears. Raffle tickets are also on sale now and are limited so don’t wait! Visit us at www.thestreettrust.org for more information.”

Raffle tickets can be bought through this link or text “BIKERAFFLE” to 44-321.

From The Street Trust website: The Street Trust staff and board are committed to creating communities where people can meet their daily transportation needs through active transportation.

Porsche and Audi Dealers Donate Over $17,000 to Dougy Center for Grieving Children

Porsche and Audi Dealers Donate Over $17,000 to Dougy Center for Grieving Children

Portland, OR. As the toll of the worldwide pandemic climbs higher every day, so does the need for grief response and counseling for families. Porsche Beaverton and Audi Beaverton are helping the Dougy Center’s grief counseling efforts by donating $17,100. The money was raised because Porsche and Audi pledged to donate $100 for every car sold during the month of December.
Everyone responds to grief in a unique way and grief can last a lifetime, which is completely normal. Counselors explain that being grief-informed is vital now.  “After listening to and supporting thousands of children, teens, young adults, and adults who are grieving the death of someone in their lives, and with pandemic-related deaths increasing, and more than 1.6 million deaths worldwide, over 300,000 in the U.S., it is time, now more than ever, to understand what it means to be grief-informed.” Here’s a link to resources addressing grief:

The Dougy Center (founded in 1982) has been helping children, young adults, and families through their grief and trauma by teaching them that grief is not only natural but that there is no “right way” to grieve. the loss of a loved one. The Dougy Center is also offering many programs remotely for easy access from home.

Dougy Turno, a 13 year old boy who inspired the founding of the Dougy Center for grieving children and familes.

Despite the social stigmas surrounding the display of grief and sadness, the Dougy Center seeks to raise awareness to break down the barriers of mental health. In a paper written by Dr. Donna Schuurman and Dr. Monique Mitchell (two directors at the Dougy Center), they explain that grief manifests itself in various ways through many social facets of our lives, leading to a complicated social web of emotional response and management with no easy answer. Further, they say that dealing with one’s grief has no time-line or direction and that it can last a lifetime. They say, during this time of pain and loss across the nation and the globe, it’s important to remember that you are not alone and that there are resources for you.

Yet, the Dougy Center doesn’t place sole responsibility of mental health awareness and management on health care professionals. Rather, their mission is one of mutual aid (read: reciprocal aid and cooperation) and community involvement. This is an important distinction as health care access is expensive and often inaccessible, especially when considering mental health. The Dougy Center has continually been a positive force within the community by offering training for individuals and/or organizations seeking to become grieving counselors, providing safe spaces for grieving children and their families, and raising awareness about mental health.

From the Dougy Center:

If you’d like to donate your resources or time, the Dougy Center has a plethora of options available to you. They also thrive on donations, which can be offered here.

The Dougy Center, the first center in the United States to provide peer support groups for grieving children, was founded in 1982. A courageous boy named Dougy Turno died of an inoperable brain tumor at the age of 13. In the two months prior to his death, he was a patient at Oregon Health Sciences University, where Beverly Chappell, at the request of Swiss psychiatrist and pioneer in the field of death, dying and bereavement, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, supported Dougy and his family during his treatment. Bev quickly observed Dougy’s ability to bond with other teens facing serious medical issues, how he intuitively knew he was dying, and how he helped other kids talk about their fears. After his death, Bev envisioned a place where children, teens, and their parents coping with the death of a family member, could share their experience with others who understood, who didn’t tell them to “get over it” or judge how they chose to grieve. The first grief support groups met in Bev’s home and has grown from that grassroots effort to become a sought after resource for children and families who are grieving. It is still the only year-round child-centered program offering peer support groups to grieving families in our community.

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.