Greetings Neighbor – Thanks for checking back in with me. As you may have already noticed, the Concordia newspaper has been transformed visually to rival any other Portland newsletter now in publication. As CNA Chair, it has been a priority to help us connect with one another, and Concordia News is by far the best mechanism to do so.
Fortunately my goals have been supported by like-minded believers in the First Amendment. CNEWS has always been available to readers who wish to dig deeper into community issues. But like so many books on library shelves that don’t get read unless the cover is attractive, CNEWS was in need of a makeover.
We believe the improvement in the paper’s readability will make it more enjoyable for everyone. It is not our intention, however, to make the publication just a pretty face — we also aspire to produce a publication with more muscle and content.
In our push for journalistic quality, we did create a bit of a monster. Over the last four months CNEWS has risen to a high level of professionalism guided by volunteers. These folks did so with the hopes that other volunteers would step in to continue these efforts. But in the process we realized that a professional paper was going to need a professional staff, so the CNA board is carefully considering pay for several key positions.
The decision to do this is based on the realization that if we do not, CNEWS will go back to being at best a newsletter – with limited opportunity for growth and improvement. We will keep you up to speed on the paper’s progress. We welcome your feedback and input, and also invite you to take pen in hand and write about that which you are most passionate.
We are also fortunate to have Sean Duffy join the board. He will be representing the Northwest 2 district of CNA. More about Sean in the next issue of Concordia News but for now, let me just say it is was great to see a person under 30 who stood up to join with us in making our community one in which we can be proud. Our board now has an amazing level of diversity regarding age and interests; and it’s critical that we recognize the importance of diversity to our future.
Parenting as grandparents
From time-to-time, I have heard comments about grandparents and others who have taken on the role of parent. They are often overwhelmed by the enormous task in front of them when close to retirement and looking forward to the “Golden Years.” I am the grandparent of a 4 year-old and 2 year-old and I help out with them occasionally. I have to tell you, it is one tough job, even when parttime — I can’t imagine going alone on this.
Ironically, I was asked to attend a grandparents support group (Ties That Bind) by Betty Harris to see if CNA might assist in getting the word out and/ or to provide ideas for grandparents or others who find themselves desperate for help in figuring out how to raise a child in today’s environment. This situation is cause for alarm, as some children are truly at risk. We can, and should, help as we are one of the resources that can bring a personal touch of support as neighbors. I have asked Ties that Bind representatives to submit a regular column in the Concordia News, so watch for upcoming articles to see how you might help, and certainly to see if there is information that can help you with your grandkids.
Reaching out to Concordia University on land use issues
I recently had the opportunity to meet with Concordia University Administration to discuss working together to develop a strategy for influencing design for new student housing construction while being sensitive to neighborhood character. The meeting was initiated as a result of some neighbors’ concerns about preliminary plans and a desire to have input into final design.. The meeting was initiated as a result of some neighbors’concerns about preliminary design plans and a desire to have input into final design.
University administration and I were in agreement on the necessity of early communication of planned activities so that we are part of the process and not at the end critiquing something that could have been avoided up front.
The University, like any one individual or business in our community, is a vital part of the fabric that binds us together and I believe it is important for all of us to promote each other’s progress and well-being.
It is for that reason I am going to encourage each institution and business to provide a liaison to CNA Board meetings, as we are all integrally connected and dependent for mutual success. More next month on CNA and Concordia News progress.
Chair/Concordia Neighborhood Association