Monday, February 20th, 2017
5:15 PM – 6:45 PM
Kennedy School Community Room
- Begin Planning for Spring Egg Hunt scheduled for April 15
- Discuss Fundraising Strategy for Concerts/Movie in Fernhill Park
- Elect Social Committee Chair for 2017
By Nancy Varekamp, CNews Editor
Editor’s note: The February 2017 CNews published a short report on how increased tensions in a divisive political climate are being experienced in Concordia. Unfortunately, a short newspaper story cannot offer many details. This is a longer version of that printed story but – to repurpose a phrase – it isn’t “the rest of the story.”
Increased tensions across the country are causing people to think about how they relate to each other, even here in Concordia.
That’s why the Concordia Neighborhood Association Board of Directors wrote a letter of support to community members. People from across Portland are talking more about how to support each other, and parents find themselves tackling tough subjects with their children.
“You should’ve known we’ve got your back. It’s should’ve already been out there,” Ben Preacher tells his customers and friends. The Wilder Bar & Café publican believes people in the community have always supported each other and will help if anyone feels marginalized or that their safety is threatened.
“In America, it’s impolite to speak of politics and religion,” Ben has learned in his six years in Portland. That’s the opposite of his native Ireland. He encourages his customers and friends to keep talking, and to join him engaging in political and social action.
Customer and friend James Armstrong agrees. “We live in this progressive bubble out here and there’s a significant part of the country we don’t relate to.” He said he’s nervous about changes to come in social service and health policies, and he’s looking for ways he can make a difference.
Complex issues aren’t new to him as president of Alberta Main Street. “In recent years, we’ve been heavily focused on what lots of Portland is focused on – equity,” he said. “Living in a gentrified community, acknowledging the faults of the past is not enough. We’re making it clear that moving forward, our organization is an ally to the entire community.”
Co-owner of Alberta Eye Care, he also keeps pulse on healthcare issues. “There’s a huge unknown there. Already, in recent years, our patients have been paying increasing premiums with higher deductibles and fewer options.”
He’s concerned that won’t ebb.
Children have fears too, according to Claire LaPoma Faubion Elementary School counselor and Trillium Family Services therapist. Children – and parents – have her ear and her shoulder daily.
Children are like sponges, according to her, and they pick up on their parents’ concerns – and on their calmness. “The bigger picture stuff can feel pretty heavy to adults and to kiddos,” she said. “As adults, we have fully-cooked brains, reason and life experience to find our own sources of resiliency.
“For kiddos, their developmental level can make it challenging to cope with change.” According to Claire, the bigger picture can overwhelm them
She encourages tackling their concerns and fears as a family. (See the formula Claire calls SELF to help direct family discussions.)
“Bring it home,” Claire said. “I urge parents and children to talk about what they can do within their families and the communities to maintain a sense of safety.”
Talking can be therapeutic – and it can lead to action.
“We’ve always wanted to be known as the place you can talk about things,” Ben said of his neighborhood meeting place. And that was made evident by the dramatic shift in business in November. Neighbors sharing concerns and opinions filled Wilder.
There’s already a somewhat formal start on sharing concerns on a citywide basis. A meeting in late November – dubbed “What Now?” – drew hundreds of people. Several human resources agencies in attendance reached out to individuals and other groups for volunteers, advocates and support.
“There was this massive momentum, with all of us like-minded people sharing our frustrations and our hope,” Ben said. “It was a strategic planning meeting for strategic planning.”
It may be too soon – in what’s been described as a divisive climate – for specific action to assure the safety of marginalized populations, healthcare and other issues on the political horizon.
James, already active in local political issues, is keeping tabs on opportunities to help make a difference. “It’s a little bit of a no man’s land right now, with the accusations of Russia hacking the election and the country’s leaders being named.
Watching, listening, talking – and caring for each other – are the frontrunners to action, James said. “Getting together to make things better by tackling difficult, complex issues require people from all backgrounds.”
Doug update: The dachshund at Madison Square G… No. Madison Park. Possible Doug sighting near 78th and Siskiyou Aug. 7. Loving mom, Naomi Painter, continues to search for him, as, I imagine, do we all!
Lots to love despite those teeth: The possum, North America’s only marsupial, garners local love. Eats ticks, snails, small rodents and more, gets billed as nature’s pest control and cleanup crew!
Lock ’em up! Concordia residents note an uptick in prowlers – day and night – checking car door handles, scanning properties for unlocked goods, even digging up flowers. Sadly, one resident was burgled during his own backyard dinner party. Be aware, be safe.
Ask and you just might receive! Sam, looking for odds-n-ends weekend work, gives a shout out to neighbors and is inundated with offers. Way to go, Sam!
Ride like a girl? Gladys Bikes on Alberta gets high marks as a woman-owned and focused bike shop.
Neighborhood density a weighty issue: The Residential Infill Project keeps neighbors talking. One resident counsels wisely, “The question isn’t, ‘How do we keep things the same?’ That never happens. The question is, ‘How do we want things to change?'”
Carrie is a Concordia resident and lives on 29th Avenue. She is also a freelance writer with a penchant for poetic prose who tries to look for the humor in everyday life. She also is a mom and world traveler who, with her partner, owns a company that restores and repurposes vintage homes. Contact her at WurdGurl@gmail.com.
Welcome back neighbor! Glad to see you are checking in.
As you read through this month’s issue, you’ll quickly find that Concordia News reporters have been busy collecting the stories and information you really care about…or have they? Ultimately, this community newspaper belongs to you, and the best way to be sure that it’s meeting your needs is to let us know what captures your interest and serves you best. Please visit concordiapdx.org/survey to take our reader survey.
But timely news and good reporting are just half of the story. As a free publication, CNews relies on its wonderful advertisers to keep us afloat. These are the folks who want to get their products and services noticed by people like you and they trust CNews to get the word out.
Our community is not just those of us who live in Concordia, but includes all of the business people who have made significant investments and, more often than not, bet their entire savings on enterprises that serve you, many within walking distance. When we patronize those businesses, we’re letting them know that their CNews advertising dollars are well spent. In turn, their support keeps the news and information flowing to you. Let those businesses know that you saw them here. Empowering this community starts with cooperation, but real money keeps the wheels going ’round.
And around we go indeed! Are we moving in the right direction? Is Concordia the model community of your dreams? I think we’re well on our way. I feel at ease and inspired when I look around and see a diversity of people, and when I hear my native Spanish being spoken…or Japanese or German or Farsi. I’m sure I’ve missed a few. Speak up!
If you were fortunate to attend any of our free summer concerts at Fernhill Park, you may have thought you were inside one of those old Coca Cola commercials with people from all over the globe singing, “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing (In Perfect Harmony).” It felt like a real step toward a model community we can all be proud of.
What do you think we need to be the place you would call perfect? Commissioner Amada Fritz is coming to our general meeting Nov. 1. So think about what you would like her and other commissioners to know about where we want to be in 2030. For those of you with young children, this is an opportunity to secure a better world for them and beyond.
Thanks again and Semper Fi.
Highlights from the July 12 CNA Board include:
By Carrie Wenninger
This month’s column is intended to provide a timely serving of hot topics – as well as pass along some news you can use – from Concordia Nextdoor.com
Doug the Dog
Wiley dachshund continues to elude traps and extend his about-town adventure. The farthest potential sighting was July 8 at 36th and Broadway.
July Fourth fireworks spark explosive neighborhood debate
Are they good patriotic fun or stress-inducing bedlam?
For some, Red Plum circular isn’t peachy, just junk mail
Click here to remove your address from the Red Plum circular.
Phishy phone calls
Look out for bogus phone scam claiming the IRS has filed a claim against you. Report phishing of that nature.
Two thumbs up
Nextdoor.com’s Recommendations section has been upgraded to make it easier than ever to find neighbor-approved businesses. Find it on the home page menu tagged with a heart icon.
Carrie Wenninger is a Concordia resident and lives on 29th Avenue. She is also a freelance writer with a penchant for poetic prose who tries to look for the humor in everyday life. She also is a mom and world traveler who, with her partner, owns a company that restores and repurposes vintage homes. Contact her via email.
The next CNA meeting will be a special meeting of the Board of Directors to discuss the specific issue of filling the Advertising Sales role for Concordia News. Other agenda items may be added as needed.
Date: Tuesday, August 9th
Location: Community Room of McMenamin’s Kennedy School (5736 NE 33rd Ave, Portland, OR 97211).
This meeting is open to the public and any interested community members are welcome and encouraged to attend.
This is the age of information, in which we’re bombarded (or enlightened, depending on your perspective) with streaming news videos, blogs, texts, podcasts and various social media post notifications. So getting a plain old black and white newspaper in one’s mailbox can feel kind of comforting. At least it is for those of us (way) older than 35.
We know, however, the Concordia neighborhood has a median age of 35 years. So, to provide neighborhood news and info to a broader audience (okay, I mean younger), the CNA Media Team is working to beef up more than just the quality of this publication.
We are also working to improve the website and grow our Facebook presence. Why? To appeal to those people who didn’t grow up luxuriating in a morning routine that includes hot coffee, a comfortable couch, and the daily (printed) newspaper.
This all takes a great deal of vigilance and effort. Six months ago the ConcordiaPDX.org website was three years out of date, and we had no Facebook page. We’ve made great strides since then but, because CNA website postings and Facebooking is performed entirely by volunteers with jobs and families, we ask for your patience while we work to improve our digital presence.
Now, here are three ways you can ensure we’re barking up the right media tree to provide what is relevant to you, our valued readers, as resources allow:
Recent CNA Media Team accomplishments:
We have a few more ideas, but your feedback on what we’ve been providing on the pages of CNEWS, on our website and on Facebook would be very helpful to ensure we’re on the path to happy Concordia neighborhood readers. We look forward to your input! And please – LIKE us on Facebook.
The winds they are a changing… will it be a hurricane or a summer breeze. No, not talking about the weather but governance, locally and globally. Like it or not, the world is in for a paradigm shift. The question is, will the shift happen to us or will we to it?
I look around and see whole political systems being overhauled and social fabrics being torn apart by festering injustices and poverty. In contrast, the Concordia Neighborhood appears as though we are doing quite well… or are we?
Events are driving changes
I think most of us would agree on that assessment and consider ourselves fortunate not to experience the unrest we have seen in the news almost daily. The severity and impact of these events are driving changes which were usually initiated by leadership within political parties. Now, matters have become so pressing citizens have, in some cases, scrapped their representatives or taken the discussion to the street.
Change is inevitable and typically understood with a 20/20 hindsight perspective. The Concordia Neighborhood is no stranger to change thanks to the many who dedicated themselves to creating the Renaissance. Concordia has become one of Portland’s most desirable neighborhoods.
So no wonder we can look at the rest of the world and tell ourselves all is good. Being fortunate enough to recently move here three years ago, I and others like me are the beneficiaries of these people’s efforts, but can we sit back and go for the proverbial “free ride”? This inheritance of prosperity and wellbeing is only a gift and requires us to be proactive in its preservation if we hope to expect the same future for our children.
Looking into the crystal ball, Concordia looks like it is going in the right direction, but then again, Republican and Democratic party structures had been moving along as though the road ahead were wide open. Assumptions should also be accompanied with reality checks from time-to-time if we are going to be an inclusive society and avoid reversal of fortune.
Foresight needed, not just hindsight
When looking in the rear-view mirror, each and every one of us knows what could have and should have been done to prevent the disturbing events of late. If we are going to heal the world, what we really need is to refocus our 20/20 hindsight to foresight. Let’s take those criticisms and observations about past events and ask ourselves not what we should have done but what will we do to promote wellbeing.
Each one of us is capable of bringing positive changes without having to lead the charge. Change happens in incremental stages and, dependent on small events, eventually connecting to bring about change. We can be the force for a better future just by taking small opportunities to step out of our comfort zone, reaching out to others or when we join an organization of like-minded folks.
Each of these activities lets others know who we are and what is important to us. And like the great philosopher Raffi has said, the more we come together the happier we’ll be. Let’s not make any assumptions going forward, let’s have more conversations no matter if it is about skinny houses or garden club news. Let’s have an understanding and appreciation for the other… not a bad formula for peace.
Lastly, Portland city commissioner Amanda Fritz has been rescheduled to appear at the November general meeting of the association. Please send me your vision for our neighborhood — one year, five years and 15 years from now — to see if Amanda is on the same page as we are, or if she needs to adjust her vision for our future.
Isaac Quintero Chair
Concordia Neighborhood Association
By Carrie Wenninger
A new regular feature offering an insight into what’s on the minds of Concordians
Curious about the news du jour right here in Concordia? From lost pets and found wallets to free mulch, hot tubs and kids’ clothing (just to name a few things!), from neighborhood crime and safety warnings to coyote sightings to opinions on the newest urban development projects, NextDoor.com is a free resource offering hyper-local social interaction via its web site and app. From their site: “It’s the easiest way for you and your neighbors to talk online and make all of your lives better in the real world.”
This writer has used it personally to quickly raise funds and clothing donations for a family friend’s severely burned young son at Legacy Oregon Burn Center. Within minutes, neighbors began turning up with cash, clothes, offers of homemade lasagna and more, showcasing the power and immediacy of social networking. Here’s a look at last month’s discussions:
May-June 2016 NextDoor.com Hot Topic Round Up
Carrie is a resident of NE 29th Ave. and a freelance writer with a penchant for poetic prose who tries to look for the humor in everyday life. She is also a mom and world traveler and, with her partner, owns a company that restores and repurposes vintage homes. If you see her, please say hello or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org