Concern for Portland Environment

portland-riversI always thought that the Portland environment was something of which I could be proud. I felt like there were enough Portlanders who had worked on making the environment a priority; that it was something with which I didn’t need to concern myself.

So when I heard that Oregon’s waterways recently ranked the 33rd worst in the country, I was disappointed to say the least. According to Environment Oregon, just two years ago the Oregon industry dumped 1.3 million pounds of toxic chemicals into rivers, streams and lakes. What is going on and why didn’t I know about this??? Where are all those staunch Portland environmentalists who are meant to be on the case for me and my family? Oof!

I really thought that we were safe and protected from this kind of stuff. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has been working in this area for a long time. Just a few months ago, all revisions it made to the state’s toxics water quality standards were approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). At the end of last year, these recommendations were brought to the DEQ at a meeting in Portland and thereafter came into effect in April for all Clean Water Act programs.

Still I wasn’t thrilled by what Alexa Pettinari of Environment Oregon said, “With facilities dumping so much pollution, no one should be surprised that more than half of our waterways are unsafe for swimming and fishing.” Still, according to the 1972 Federal Clean Water Act, it is illegal to discharge pollutants into navigable waters unless the discharger has a federal permit. I hope at least that is effective and to the benefit of Portland environment.

Portland Calendar – Summer Drinking Fun

beer-festivalI’m not such an avid beer sport but when it comes to festivals it’s something else. Earlier this month Portland calendar got a good dosage of beer. The beer festival – that took place between June 5th and June 15th – was presented by Pizza Shmiza. Events on the calendar included: Cheese and Beer Special: $1 for a slice of Steve’s hand selected daily cheese pairing with a purchase of a full beer on tap or a bottle. Then there is the All Day Happy Hour (on Draft Beer), Sizzle Pie + Fort George Week (at which Fort George will be taking over 4 taps), Atlas Cider Tap Takeover, Widmer Brothers Small Batch Tap Takeover, East Glisan Pizza Lounge + Hop Valley, Masters of Lagers (PNW lagers and guests get to meet brewers from Heater Allen, Full Sail, Base Camp, Upright, the Commons and Breakside).

Other events at the festival include: Alameda Brewing Tasting Night, the Kickoff Party with Brewer Bands@ Ecliptic (live music and beers from favorite brewers kicking off with Brewmaster John Harris), Sierra Nevada & Ballast Point Tap Takeover & Fundraiser for Western Rivers Conservancy, and the Oakshire Arcade Tournament to name but a few.

This sure is something in the Portland calendar I was glad I was around to experience and enjoy!

Portland Happenings

tango-salsaI love Portland.  I never tire of it in fact. It seems like there is always something to look forward to and right now it is the festival season.  Between brew festivals and pirate festivals Daniel and the kids are going to have a blast!

As for me, I may end up at the Tango and Salsa Dance Festival!  Organized by Portland Parks and Recreation this outdoor event will feature live music from four bands and professional dancers will be there to teach us some of their tricks!  For a mere $8 I definitely want to be there.

I think Ethan would go crazy over the Balloons Festival.  We can watch tons of balloons going up into the sky.  That’s cute and simple and perfect for a 4 year old.

Summer around here is going to be fun.  I’m so glad we live here.

Portland Entertainment

blackberry-crispOkay it’s time to get moving on some out-of-this-world Portland entertainment!  I want some fun – I’ve had way too much time with the kids over Easter!  So let’s get looking on what’s on the Portland entertainment scene the next few days!

Happy hour sure sounds good to me and I was delighted to learn that one of our favorite hangouts – Rae’s Lakeview Loungeagain was voted best happy hour in the city.  I’m off there.  With or without Daniel, but hopefully with.  I absolutely LOVE the Pesto and Points and I cannot leave that place without the blackberry crisp – yum!

A few days ago was Record Store Day.  I decided to give it a miss – I went last year and it was mobbed.  This was the seventh one and Daniel said it was really a lot of fun.  But he’s the kind of guy who really likes throngs, music and being there right when all the new releases come out.  For me, I’d rather hang at Rae’s and munch on my blackberry crisp – that’s true, classic, authentic, Portland entertainment at its best!

Conservation of Portland Environment

PortlandI love Portland.  It’s such a great place to live.  And in general, I feel that the powers-that-be (or whoever it is) really do work hard to ensure the environment is protected.  But there is always so much to do.  And that requires money.  And not everyone is donating the money that is needed to protect and enhance the Portland environment.

So I was delighted to hear about the opening of the Alligator Head Marine Lab by Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (TBA 21).  Launched with the intention of engaging in “research dedicated to the conservation and sustainable development of Portland’s marine life,” this is the brainchild of Baroness Francesca von Habsburg.  It will be operated by staff at the University of the West Indies.

The program – aiming to enhance Portland environment in a variety of ways – received a large cash injection of $24.5m for five years, from von Habsburg.  It will focus on seven areas of Portland environment: “lionfish control, plankton communities, coastal water quality, fish nursery establishment, reef herbivore research, reef community monitoring, and the establishment of coral nurseries.”

So this really is very exciting.  I’m so glad that the Portland environment is continuing to be a top priority for the state.  And I hope to hear more in the same vein some time soon.