Portland Environment: High Ratings

portlandIt seems that Portland’s environment is an enviable one.  I recently heard that there was a Japanese crew in the city, finding it to be one of the world’s “most sustainable cities.”  Along with three other cities, Portland has been chosen to be part of “The Future of Spaceship Earth” series published by Japan’s NHK.   According to director of the documentary Hiroki Inoue, the “documentary will look at the negative impacts to the environment due to people’s comfortable lives today and how it endangers the future of the earth.”

This isn’t really all that surprising to me.  As it is, Portland has a whole slew of non-profit organizations working hard to sustain and promote the health of its environment.  One of these is the Oregon Sierra Club which seeks to conserve the Oregon natural environment by influencing public policy decisions—legislative, administrative, legal, and electoral.  A member of EarthShare Oregon this organization has been working to protect Oregon’s environment and natural resources since 1978. Today, the Sierra Club has eight staff members in Oregon, working alongside volunteers to “advance the chapter’s conservation priorities.”

Then there is the Protect South Portland group which, a few months ago obtained over 4,000 signatures to force a city-wide vote to block the export of oil sands. Its aim is to protect the region “from toxic tar sands oil, which would lead to more air pollution and additional oil infrastructure on our waterfront, like smokestacks next to Bug Light park.”

These are just a few of the organizations making efforts in the name of Portland environment.  I for one, am glad to be living in a place surrounded by so many concerned individuals who believe that our environment is important to us.

Post Dated Letter Arrives One Day After Kennedy’s Funeral

The fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of President John F Kennedy is fast upon us. Kennedy was the nation’s 35th President, and was gunned down in Dallas on November 22, 1963. As the youngest man to fill the most powerful political position in the country, and arguably of the world, until that time, Kennedy was seen as a symbol of hope, change, and new ideas. He was often compared to the mythical King Arthur and his administration to the utopian realm of Arthur, Camelot. His early death and the sudden end to his presidency sent the country into deep mourning, disillusionment, and confusion.

Now it is fifty years since that monumental day when so much changed in the

The Fading Light of Camelot
Exhibition Commemorating 50 Years Since the Assassination of John F. Kennedy

country, and the Shapell Manuscript Foundation is remembering Kennedy with a special exhibit remembering the legacy of President John F. Kennedy entitled, “The Fading Light of Camelot.” Running from November 1, 2013 until January 2, 2014, it will be held at the Oregon Historical Society in Portland.

One small example of the many documents which will be on display as part of the exhibition is a letter written by JFK right before he left on his trip to the west, but which did not arrive until the day after the President’s funeral. The letter was post-dated to November 26 because it was a birthday note to Congressman Daniel J. Flood, sent several days before with the intention of arriving on the congressman’s birthday. Little did Kennedy or anyone else know at the time that November 26 would be the day after Kennedy’s own funeral. Needless to say, because of the peculiar dating of the note, the letter is extremely rare.