The Oregonian's internet choice
Radical changes in the news media, and media in general, change us - you and me.
That statement has the ring of Truth with a capital "T". It was first posited by Marshall McLuhan four decades ago. "We become what we behold. We shape our tools and then our tools shape us."
Example: those who communicate exclusively by the spoken word are radically different from those who rely on print or television and, now, the internet.
A second "Truth" comes from the late James Carey. I've shared it many times. If this is your first exposure to it, read it twice or more...
COMMUNICATION DEFINES COMMUNITY. If we aren't communicating with each other, we aren't a community. Corollary: We suffer as a community if we have poor communication; we thrive if we communicate well.
If you take those two "Truths" and combine them, the recently announced changes at The Oregonian are about to affect you and me as well as our communities, including Hillsdale, Portland and Oregon.
The Oregonian's management sweepingly describes the "paper's" future as having a "digital focus." Content will begin on the web and then find its way into print.
As you likely know, The Oregonian is cutting back on its print by dropping three days of home delivery. Those of us still wedded to having the paper delivered to our doorsteps will receive it only Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Note those are our big shopping days when advertisers still want to reach us.
Significantly, the paper will still be printed on those three non-home delivery days AND will be delivered to one kind of home - retirement homes. That's a tip of the hat to seniors, many of whom have yet to log on to the internet. But they are literally a dying breed. My guess is that in five years, retirement home delivery will stop. Indeed, by then there may be no more printed editions of The Oregonian.
So what does this mean as we consider McLuhan and Carey's Truths about how media affect who we are?
With time it is possible that we will turn to our screens in exactly the way we have turned to the printed page. But that is unlikely. The two experiences and their defining technologies are clearly distinct and so we will become distinctly creatures of the digital media. An entire generation already is.
I've recovered from the idea of not getting The Oregonian delivered to my front porch on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. I will go on-line to The O's web site on those days. Thankfully, one of the announced changes is that OregonLive will at last be managed by the newsroom. Until now, it has been a poor source of needed civic information. It is already looking much, much better. Visit it HERE
With time, I suspect I will wean myself entirely from print. I've already done that with The New York Times.
Closer to home (yours and mine), I produce this little hobby "publication" exclusively on-line. I've resisted the rare calls for a print edition. The time and expense of printing and distributing simply aren't worth it.
I have also defined the news narrowly, making the Hillsdale topics covered here part of your consciousness and hence a part of you. Without that "news" you and the community would be less well informed.
Does it matter that you are reading this on-line? I don't think so. (By the way, if you want to learn about high school sports or crime, you can find that information elsewhere on-line. My goal is to report what you can't find somewhere else.)
With time, I don't think it will matter that you read The Oregonian's content on line. But how you read, will change. There will be links to follow and "comments" to be read and facts to be checked elsewhere.
I doubt that the quality of content will worsen, but you may have to search around to find the information you need. And faced with more choices, you will need to be a much more critical reader - something you should have been all along even before the at-your-finger-tips options you now have.
So we will change and be forced to change. we will have available more, not less, information about our various communities including "on-line" communities. In short, these changes, of which The Oregonian's is only one, are a net plus.
We should welcome them and welcome the opportunity they provide for us to change.
Home-bound commuters will continue to see dancers practicing in the studio.
The Portland Ballet to expand here rather than move
The busy corner of Capitol Highway and Sunset Boulevard is about to see major changes with the expansion of The Portland Ballet (TPB) this summer.
The non-profit ballet needed more space soon after it opened on the site in June 2001, said managing director Jim Lane. Last year, it had strongly considered moving to the John's Landing area, but after a survey showing the school's economic benefits to other Hillsdale businesses, property owner Ardys Braidwood, who rents to many of those businesses, decided to help expand the building by 2,600 square feet, from its current 3,500 square feet.
The expansion is in color
Lane put the cost of the expansion at between $500,000 and $700,000. Of that amount, the ballet school will contribute $170,000. Recently the non-profit announced a $70,000 building grant to the ballet from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust.
A fund-raising campaign has received a $10,000 grant from the Collins Foundation and $20,000 in board gifts.
The building campaign has also brought in $24,000 from individuals, bringing the effort to 73 percent of its goal.
Braidwood is supporting the expansion with a major investment in exterior demolition, reconstruction and building additions. Lane said she also has lowered TPB's rental rate over five years to aid the nonprofit ballet academy and company in recovering its costs from the expansion. The building, once a garage, is located at 6250 SW Capitol Highway.
Groundbreaking began Monday, June 24 and is slated for completion by September 16. Meanwhile, summer classes are being held at the site of the Portland Festival Ballet at 4620 Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway.
The expanded studio will allow for additional adult participants in ballet, jazz, modern, floor barre open classes as well as the creation of new programs.
Located at 6250 SW Capitol Highway, in the former Fulton Dairy garage (built 1919), TPB began renovating the space in 2000, opening its doors on June 21, 2001. Nancy Davis had been a sought-after teacher in the Portland area since 1992, so enrollment in The Portland Ballet (then known at Pacific Artists Ballet) was robust from the start. As the reputation of the Academy and its professionally-produced productions grew, enrollment increased rapidly, particularly in the last three years.
Braidwood decided to expand after a summer 2012 survey showed that TPB dancers and families contribute a minimum of $200,000 to area businesses annually and that 80 percent of them would not come to Hillsdale if not for The Portland Ballet. With the expansion, TPB's positive economic impact on local businesses is conservatively estimated to increase 30 percent, said Lane.
The expansion is led by developer Jeffrey Weitz/North Rim Partners, designed by Laurie Simpson Architect and constructed by James Frank Construction.
The Portland Ballet, established in 2001 by Nancy Davis (artistic director) and Jim Lane (managing director), former principal dancers with the original Los Angeles Ballet, nurtures young dancers from age three to 19. A press release said, "TPB students are trained with professional intent, and the enrichment and expectation that brings."
Hillsdale Main Street gets
public money for another year
Hillsdale Main Street received a one-year financial reprieve with the approval of the City's budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year on Thursday, June 20.
Megan Braunsten, Hillsdale Main Street's executive director, said the three-year old economic revitalization program, will go into the new year with its full $58,000 in public funding, but not all of it will come out of the just-approved general fund budget.
She said that the Portland Development Commission, which administers Portland's three Main Street Programs (the other two are in St. Johns and Alberta), will make up the shortfall from the general fund allotment.
A month ago, the mayor's proposed budget had cut all funding for the Hillsdale and Alberta Main Street programs, but persistent lobbying by Hillsdale activists led to restoring $20,500 for Hillsdale in the general fund, said City Commissioner Amanda Fritz, a supporter of Hillsdale Main Street.
Mike Roach, president of the Hillsdale Business and Professional Association, and Mikal Apenes, president of the Hillsdale Neighborhood Association, were among several Hillsdale community members who testified at three public hearings on the budget.
Roach, long-time co-owner of Paloma Clothing, testified that Hillsdale Main Street has accomplished more in the past three years than the entire business community has achieved in 30 years.
Braunsten said that Fritz "gave guidance for the best way to lobby for our behalf, and then kept us updated throughout the process."
In an e-mail, Fritz said, "Business owners and neighbors did the heavy lifting." She repeated that she wanted full funding in the general fund budget and was disappointed that didn't happen.
The lobbying also included e-mails to city council members and face-to-face meetings with city staff.
Mayor Charlie Hales' communications director Dana Haynes said the mayor changed his mind as a result of the hearing testimony. Originally Hales had concluded that "perhaps the programs had completed their work."
But, Haynes continued, "The more the mayor heard about Main Street, the more he was convinced there was good to be done by keeping the program around."
In other Main Street news, the founding president of the Hillsdale Main Street board is stepping down and will be moving to Florida this fall. Pam Field also served both as president of the Hillsdale Community Foundation. Including her time on the Foundation board, she has served in her leadership capacity for five years.
Replacing Field as president starting July 1 is Jennifer Klemann, who has been a Hillsdale Main Street Volunteer for more than two years, having worked on Main Street's first Springfest and on two Main Street Paella dinners. She is a former teacher and he has lived in Hillsdale six years. She is an education consultant with Focus Point Communication where she works on career and technology education.
She said she is excited about the changes in appearance that Main Street is bringing about through its storefront improvement program. While the renewed funding for a fourth year is heartening, she sees securing future funding as a top priority.
Southbound Sunset Boulevard traffic was diverted onto SW 18th.
Sidewalk project shuts two blocks of Sunset, causes detours
In the third week of June, motorists who routinely use SW Sunset Boulevard got a surprise - the road was closed at SW 18th to southbound traffic and at SW DeWitt to northbound traffic.
The closure resulted from the Water Bureau's upgrading and moving water meters and a fire hydrant in the two blocks to make way for a new sidewalk, said Carol Lane, an engineering technician for the bureau.
Northbound traffic was led on a detour that took it to DeWitt, Cheltenham and Pendleton. Southbound traffic was directed down SW 18th to Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway.
Work on the sidewalk itself began June 24, but Chris Armes, the sidewalk project manager for the Bureau of Transportation, said that PBOT's work is designed to keep Sunset open.
The Water Bureau's Lane said that her bureau's work would be finished before July, possibly as soon as June 27.
But that might not be the end of the closures during workdays.
On Tuesday, June 25, Long said, "Once the services are completed, we have requested that the Bureau of Maintenance come in behind us the following day to re-pave the trenches. Paving will depend upon weather conditions and the Maintenance Bureau's priority list, but as of now we think it will be done in the next few days."
She said that only neighbors immediately affected are notified in advance of the work.
She added that at least four city bureaus (Transportation, Water, Maintenance and Environmental Services) plus the contractor were involved in the sidewalk project. Utility companies have also had work to do.
"Work will be off and on and be done in different phases. There will be a lot of different people on your street for a while," Long said.
According to Sylvia Bogert at Southwest Neighborhood Inc., the umbrella organization for Southwest neighborhoods, the bureaus are only required to notify homeowners in the blocks where the construction interferes with access.
PBOT's Armes said that under the sidewalk contract, the work is to be finished by Sept. 21.
Habitat for Humanity moving forward with Hillsdale project
While the construction of Stephens Creek Crossing, the replacement for the old Hillsdale Terrace public housing, as been moving forward, Habitat for Humanity has been laying the groundwork for a much smaller but related project nearby.
In March, construction will begin on seven Habitat dwellings on property purchased in 2011 from the Greater Portland Bible Church for $200,000. Habitat has launched a fundraising drive for the $850,000 needed for construction. Individuals and companies are invited to be full sponsors at $75,000 per unit.
The red dot marks the Habitat property on Capitol Hill Road near Bertha Boulevard.
Home Forward (formerly the Housing Authority of Portland), which is developing Stephens Creek Crossing, helped Habitat purchase the property from the church.
The homes, likely one triplex and two duplexes, should take a year to build, said Sasha Davis, Portland Habitat's director of communications.
Families interested in becoming Habitat homeowners must attend a home-ownership application meeting at the Greater Portland Bible Church auditorium on Wednesday, September 18, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The ownership opportunity is different from the subsidized housing that will be available at the 122-unit Stephens Creek Crossing, which will be open to residents in January.
The Habitat project at 6875 SW Capitol Hill Road will be Habitat's first on the west side of Portland. Those interested in volunteering can sign up on-line at habitatportlandmetro.org
Those interested in housing at Stephens Creek should apply for the waiting list for Stephens Creek Crossing from Tuesday, July 9, through Saturday, July 13. Applications can be filled out online HERE
Children's center at Stephens Creek
seeks funds for building
Neighborhood House, which will operate a Children's Center adjacent to the new Stephens Creek Crossing housing, is raising money for a $50,000 matching grant from the Oregon Community Foundation. Neighborhood House still needs to raise $620,000 for the $4.6 million building .
Those wanting to give should contact: Mari Yerger, Neighborhood House Development Director, (503) 246-1663 x2119 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org
or visit the Neighborhood House website, www.nhpdx.org
Art (and books) sought for July 28 Hillsdale Sale
This year's Hillsdale Community Book Sale is adding donated art to its offerings. So, for this year at least, call it "the Hillsdale Community Book and Art Sale."
The sale is on Sunday, July 28. Donation collection is underway at the Sunday Hillsdale Farmers Market from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Collection will continue through July 21. Also, books and art can be left at the Hillsdale Main Street Office from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The office is in the Sunset Office Building at 1509 SW Sunset Boulevard, behind the Hillsdale Brew Pub.
Organizers ask that books with no value such as outdated references and used textbooks not be dropped off. Potential donors of art should also weigh whether their donations have value before dropping them off. Frames should be part of the consideration.
The sale, in its eighth year, will be located on the sidewalk along the south side of Capitol Highway and at the Watershed Building, corner of Bertha Court and Capitol Highway.
Sale hours will be 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The sale is held on the same date as Hillsdale's Blueberry Pancake Breakfast.
Proceeds from the sale benefit The Hillsdale Community Foundation, which is the institutional home of the Hillsdale Main Street Program.
Sundays, June 30, July 7, 14 & 21
Donations sought for Book & Art Sale
10 a.m. to 2 p.m., north end of Hillsdale Farmers Market. No text books or outdated manuals or references. Donations are tax deductible. Proceeds from the Sunday, July 28 Hillsdale sale benefit the Hillsdale Community Foundation and Hillsdale Main Street.
"Suspects" clean up the Town Center
9 a.m. to 10 a.m. The "Usual Suspects" gather at Food Front to clean up litter in the Town Center. All welcome. Work gloves suggested. Grabbers useful. Free breakfast burritos, courtesy of Food Front, top off the event.
Wednesday, July 10
meets second Wednesday
2 p.m. to 3 p.m, community room, The Watershed Building,
6388 SW Capitol Hwy. Monthly meeting of the association. Note the change in date for this month only - to avoid conflicts with the Fourth of July. Committee reports only.
Thursday, July 25
Metro Commissioner at SW Trails
7 p.m., The Watershed. The monthly meeting of SWTrails will feature a presentation by Metro Commissioner Bob Stacey about the regional agency's plans.
Sunday, July 28
Pancake Breakfast & Book and Art sale
The 37th annual Hillsdale Business & Professional Association Breakfast starts at 8 a.m. and lasts to noon, between Casa Colima and the Key Bank. The eighth annual Book & Art sale is from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. along Capitol Highway sidewalk and at the Watershed Building.Wednesday, July 31
Hungry for Hillsdale at Korkage
11 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the new location, the former space of Three Square Grill in the shopping center. A portion of the proceeds benefits Hillsdale Main Street.
Saturday, August 24
Wilson Campus Clean-up
9 a.m. to noon, Wilson High School Campus. End of Summer Wilson Campus Cleanup. BBQ to follow work.