This weekend



Along with a bunch of awesome second-run films, a documentary called Loving is being shown at Academy Theater. Click here for movie times.

“Interracial couple Richard and Mildred Loving (Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga) spent the next nine years after they were married fighting for the right to live as a family in their hometown. Their civil rights case, Loving v. Virginia, went all the way to the Supreme Court, which in 1967 reaffirmed the very foundation of the right to marry – and their love story has become an inspiration to couples ever since.”

I just noticed you could vote (at the bottom of the page) for what movies to bring to Academy. Awesome.

7818 SE Stark * Loving @ 11:25 am, 7:15 Friday * $4 for adults, $3 for seniors and children


At Duff’s Garage: Jumptown Aces (blues & swing), with the Dahlharts opening at 9 pm. Bridgecreek plays from 6 pm – 8 pm. 2530 NE 82nd Ave * ???


The African American Read-In follows black story time at noon at Midland Library. Presented by writer and educator Rene Watson.

“Join us as community leaders, teachers, students, and local celebrities read from their favorite works by African American writers. Fiction and nonfiction for children, teens and adults will be featured in a special gathering of good words from great writings. Community members are also encouraged to come and share words from their favorite works.”

805 SE 122nd Ave * 1 pm * free


The monthly work party at the community orchard in Lents is Saturday. Tools, materials, coffee and snacks are provided, and the organizers ask that you wear closed-toe shoes and bring your own water.

The Malden Court Community Orchard opened in the fall of 2016, (article on opening), turning an under-used lot near the Springwater Corridor into a place where fresh fruit can be grown and shared with the neighborhood. From the website of Green Lents, the project’s non-profit sponsor:

“MCCO also serves as a publicly accessible green space, and helps improve public safety, the watershed health of Johnson Creek, neighborhood livability and provides environmental education opportunities for local schools and the surrounding community. MCCO is now a young food forest with over 250 native and fruit-bearing plants, with much room for development and growth!”

7677 SE 87th Ave.9 am – 12 pm * free, no registration required



“In this hands-on training PDXActNow will cover what community defense is, successful examples of community defense and how to identify and organize your community against threats and challenges to your safety and well being. Childcare will be provided. Space is accessible.” Register here.

6401 SE Foster Rd * 2 pm – 4 pm * free 


At The O’Neill Public House: “Stringed Migration is a quartet that performs a lush synthesis of Celtic and international roots music with a twist of jazz.” After the show, there’s an Irish traditional session.

O’Neill’s Public House * 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm * free



On Monday, President’s Day, APANO has an event to meet with state legislators in Salem. It’s full, but I’m still thankful it’s happening: “Join APANO on this collective Day of Action as we advocate for issues important to Asian and Pacific Islanders. We believe that anyone can add their voice to influence policy and gain more knowledge of the political process. Last year, community members made a difference in passing laws to provide health care coverage for COFA residents, and raise Oregon’s minimum wage. Be part of a powerful movement to advance racial justice in Oregon!”

APANO is also gathering stories about Asian Pacific immigrants resistance. Read what they’ve collected and submit your story here!



This weekend

Welcome to your weekend! I comb the vast wasteland of the Internet to bring you the best and brightest events happening in East Portland as a way to get involved in the betterment of your community. Enjoy~

Can we talk about potholes?: “The Portland Bureau of Transportation has begun the planning process to develop policies and funding options specific to residential side streets. Your input on this survey will help us understand where to focus efforts and what to prioritize in the new Neighborhood Streets Program.” Offer your feedback here: PDOT survey.


Pepper Grinders are live at O’Neill Public House: “Using the cream of the crop of amazing Portland players, the band is dedicated to the sound of the jump blues bands and the screaming sax greats from the late 40’s and early 50’s. The set list will include covers by the likes of Big Jay McNeely, Earl Bostic, Willis Jackson and more. This band is sure to get you into a dancing frenzy!” 6000 NE Glisan St * 9:30 pm – 1 am * free


You’re promoting your app through community service? Sure, I’ll bump it.

At Foster Carts (5205 SE Foster Rd) Saturday, What the Trucks, an online food truck ordering service, will donate a meal to Portland Rescue Mission for every meal ordered through their app at these Foster Carts: Mauna Kea Bari Food CartRoad Runner BBQYear of the FishChicken Coop.



Its future is jeopardized by a recent court ruling, but still: Northwest Trail Alliance and Friends of Gateway Green are hosting a work party for the East Portland bike park. “Dig new trail, pull ivy, and help beautify our community-supported park. Come see the great work taking shape, and help us plan for the future!”

Gateway Green, 1/2 mile north of the Gateway Transit Center on the I-205 multi-use Path * 10 am – 3 pm 



This was C + V (copy + pasted) from the Multnomah County Library website, so we’ll have to assume their Vietnamese is on point: Giờ đọc truyện song ngữ (tiếng Anh/tiếng Việt), và ca hát cho trẻ em. In Anh hóa, (Vietnamese for English): “Bilingual storytime presented in Vietnamese and English for children ages 0-6 with adult.”

Holgate Library, 7905 SE Holgate Blvd * 4:30 pm – 5:15 pm * free 



Montavilla Farmers Market is having a Winter Stockup Market Sunday. MFM is also accepting members of its CSA program. Community supported agriculture is a great way to have a consistent source of produce and further invest in your local farmers, give it a look.

7700 block of SE Stark St, in the gravel lot across the street from Mr. Plywood * 11 am – 1 pm 


Craft a Valentine and spread the love to your neighbors in need at your Midland Library. “Along with the ribbons and glue, there will be an opportunity to make a small donation to an organization [Snowcap] helping people in need. Donations are optional and are not required for participation.” 805 SE 122nd Ave * 1 pm – 1:45 pm * free

This weekend



It’s the first annual seed swap from  Grow Portland. “Share extra seed you have saved in your garden with others and discover new varieties. Local gardeners and farmers will have the opportunity to learn about seed saving and take home free seed.” 

Midland Library, 805 SE 122nd Ave * 1 pm * free


“The Aarun & Jonathan Country Band play traditional, original & more featuring a national fiddle champion!”

O’Neill Public House, 6000 NE Glisan * 9:30 pm * free



Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley invites his constituents to a town hall meeting (invitation) in East Portland. “Senator Merkley will update constituents on his work in Washington, D.C. and answer their questions and invite their suggestions about how to tackle the challenges facing Oregon and America. Also, if you are running into red tape accessing veterans’ benefits or dealing with Social Security or Medicare, or having trouble getting what you need from other federal agencies, I will have a constituent services worker on hand who may be able to help.”

Franklin High School Cafeteria, 3905 SE 91st Ave * 2:30 pm * free


There’s another awesome presentation at the Midland Library this weekend. To honor Black History Month is a presentation called The Underground Railroad:From Tragedy to Triumph. Register here. Presented by Dr. William Thierfelder.

Midland Library, 805 SE 122nd Ave * 2 pm – 3:30 pm * free



I’d love to promote your awesome organization’s events as much as I promote the happenings at Milepost 5 Theater (where I live and serve on the board). Sunday evening is a free double feature brought to you by Psychedelic Psynema (FB event) featuring sci-fi classics The Empire Strikes back (6 pm) and Flash Gordon (8 pm). It’s a casual, family-friendly event, that should be a lot of fun.

8155 NE Oregon St * free

Homeless activists offer training for shelter volunteers, call for neighborhood-based shelters

East Portland needs more emergency shelter space and volunteers staff, said Pastor Steve Kimes, who helps organize an emergency warming shelter at Anawim Christian Community, located at 196th and Glisan.

Kimes is offering a two-hour training for volunteers to staff warming shelters on Thursday 1/26 (FB event) at East County Church of Christ. He organized the training after the City of Portland offered to open community centers as warming shelters during the recent cold weather snap if neighborhoods could staff them.

Due to the sub-freezing temperatures and foot of snow Portland was hit with earlier this month, five people have died on Portland’s streets this winter— and there are many months until the potential for dangerously cold weather passes.

The city opens warming shelters when the temperature drops below freezing, but you’ll notice on the map below that most are located in downtown, closer-in Portland or in far East County and Gresham. (Taken from 211 data, the interactive map where the image below was sourced is regularly updated during severe weather.)


Jennie Shaver, who heads Montavilla Neighborhood Association‘s committee on Housing and Homelessness, said the City expected a lot from neighbors on short notice. Along with providing volunteers, neighbors had to have a security guard and a manager with paid experience working with the homeless. Shaver said she has lots of experience working with the homeless, but none of it paid.

When she realized the community center wasn’t an option, Shaver reached out to Saints Peter and Paul Episcopal Church, where she volunteers with Rahab Sisters, a women’s support organization. The church deacon made an emergency decision to host the shelter.

Only Mt. Scott Community Center met the City’s criteria and opened as a warming shelter, she said, and American Legion Post 134 on Alberta Street hosted a shelter as well.

Peter and Paul’s has been wanting to offer more services to the community, but Mak Kastelic, director of music ministry and church building curator, said they just didn’t have the resources. “But to have the neighborhood come in with its own energy, organization, and people, it was perfect,” he said. “At least we have the building.”

The entire shelter was organized in 36 hours, Shaver said. When the call for help was put out, 60 volunteers stepped up at the end of the first day, the schedule organized with a Google doc. At the end of the fourth night of having the shelter open, 80 blankets had been donated, along with supplies and every bite of food to feed about 40 guests a night.

Organizers tried to have three volunteers on site throughout the night, and each started their shift with a ten minute orientation. Homeless folks were dropped off by the police and fire department, and the shelter was listed on 211. Generally, everything ran pretty smooth, Shaver said, crediting community volunteers.

Shaver sounded disappointed with the City of Portland’s efforts. She said they didn’t help with community outreach, they just made demands. And when the volunteers asked for bus tickets to help their guests the next day, they were denied.

In the four years he’s been living in the neighborhood, Kastelic said he’s been impressed with what the Montavilla neighborhood can accomplish, and he points to the organizing of the warming shelter is another example of that.

The church plans on being available as a warming shelter regularly, and is also considering hosting a cooling shelter in the summer. Kastelic credits neighborhood leaders Ben Kerensa and Shaver for doing the heavy lifting to make the shelter happen, and says the church needs do more planning to be prepared for next time.

Kastelic also said it blows his mind that there isn’t more shelter capacity in Montavilla. Now that their shelter is closed, people have to go all the way across town to  find a bed.


Back before the call to staff warming shelters went out from the City and there was still a foot of snow on the ground, I called the churches hosting warming shelters, hoping to learn what they did to be approved to host one. I didn’t get reach anyone immediately at Anawin or Imago Dei Community, but when I called American Legion Post 134 the phone was answered on the second ring.

I asked Seth Grant, who served as a medic when he was enlisted and volunteers at the post, if there were any issues with insurance or government permits that they had to work through before opening their doors.

“Nah, we just did it,” Grant said casually.

They opened the shelter Wednesday, 1/4 with volunteers from the neighborhood as well as veterans. He said there were some problems expected when you put people with drugs and psycho-social issues in a cramped space, but he said the military mindset worked in their favor.

“You have to address it directly. You’re in our house,” Grant said about stopping an argument between two guests. He told them: “You can tame your shit or hit the bricks.”

A few city and fire department officials came by to inspect their building, and Grant said the fire marshal installed the required smoke alarms herself. A mental health care provider gave the shelter’s volunteers, who were mostly veterans, a crash course on how to identify and manage people with mental illnesses. He said they hadn’t reached out to learn how the shelter impacts their insurance, but would at some point.

Along with the warming shelter, Grant said they’ve pushed out several pickup trucks full of clothes for residents of Bud Clark Commons. With movies playing and a bar, the environment is unlike most shelters, he said.

The service work has been therapeutic for the veterans as well as the guests. After combat, it’s hard for veterans to recreate their tribe and purpose that was once so clear in a war zone. Service work gives them that, Grant said.

“We took a vow to serve country. Just because the [military] unit is gone, it doesn’t take the desire to serve,” Grant said. “Why aren’t others [legion halls] doing this, and churches, whose base tenant take care of fellow man, why aren’t they doing this? We are one of few non-city resources doing this… it’s unacceptable.”

Somewhere between inspiring and shaming, Grant said we can get more groups stepping up to serve the community.

Post 134’s mission statement, and home to this amazing image:


Mike Pullen, communications coordinator for Multnomah County, wrote that no one is turned away from shelters in severe weather— even if they have to be transported to another shelter with available space. On the night of Sunday 1/15, he said they had a record 807 people in warming shelters overnight, and that’s over and above the 1,200 beds in our year round and winter shelters.
He wrote: “We prefer to use spaces that have already been approved as shelters, because it is faster and more efficient to bring them on line. These include churches and fraternal halls and public buildings. Basically, they need to be safe for large groups to overnight in, so the fire marshal needs to do a walk through to check fire exits and our staff make sure that bathrooms are sufficient and in working order.”
The training Kimes is hosting will give volunteers what they need to know to volunteer a shelter, and it will also go through the basics on how an organization can host a emergency shelter. Kimes has been hosting a emergency shelter in Gresham for five years. He said it took them about a year to work through the process to get opened.
From conversations with other organizations, he said that Gresham’s permitting is more involved, but with Portland, it’s less clear what’s expected. Kimes said organizations need to be persistent, and that he thinks both Gresham and Portland are willing to work with those wanting to host a emergency shelter.
If neighbors can’t make the training Thursday, Kimes said he’d be willing to host another if the interest is there. The best advice he’d give to volunteers of a shelter: keep a positive attitude and show the guest respect. On the church’s web page is a four-part series called Intro to Help the Homeless, presented by Kimes, who has been working with the homeless for 22 years.

This weekend

What an amazing display of neighborliness and organization last weekend!

I don’t know what it took to overcome all the barriers to making the warming shelter at St. Peter and Paul Episcopal Church, but I know compassion and coordination won the day.

These are the stories that need telling. These are the stories I want to tell. Thanks to all who made it work, I look forward to learning how it got done soon.


Where’s the live music in East Portland neighbors? I must admit I haven’t explored too far beyond Montavilla, but there are still some awesome venues nearby: Montavilla Station (their show listing’s aren’t online), The O’Neill Public House, and Duff’s Garage. They each have their own flavor, with blues, rock, and Americana a common find.

Johnny Cash tribute band Counterfeit Cash plays O’Neill Friday. 6000 NE Glisan * 9:30 pm * free 


Dr. Strange is a Marvel Comics romp into the mystic. One Rotten Tomato reviewer calls it Harry Potter for adults, and it stars Benedict Cumberbatch, an actor who seems to pick projects well. Six other second run films are on at Academy Theater (movie times), and also classic horror film The Blob (1958).

7818 SE Stark * adults $4; seniors, kids $3


East Portland Neighborhood Office is hosting a Earthquake / Severe Weather Preparedness Forum. “The panel members will include the American Red Cross,  Portland Fire and Rescue, and Portland Bureau of Emergency Preparedness.  There will be information sharing and questions/comments from the audience will be received and discussed.”

Savage Memorial Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall, SE 139th and SE Mill St * 10 am – 2 pm * free


This looks fantastic: Fox and Rabbit, an original mini-musical by Penny’s Puppet Productions at Midland Library.

805 SE 122nd Ave * 2 pm * free



Planting a Terrarium at Portland Nursery: “Create your own arrangement from our glass vessels and plant selection in this hands-on workshop. Get guidance from Portland Nursery staff member, Cait, on how to select a combination based on plant needs and aesthetics, and learn how to plant them together in a vessel. Go home with tips on keeping your creation healthy and happy.” Register here.

9000 SE Division * 11 am – 12:30 pm  * $30

This weekend

Announced Thursday 1/12, the city is offering community centers (like the one at 82nd & Glisan) to be used as warming shelters if neighbors can volunteer to staff them. As you can see from the map below, there aren’t places to go anywhere near Montavilla. If you’d like to sign up for a shift, register here.


If you see someone who looks unprepared for the cold, county officials encourage you to call 503-823-3333, or 911 if the situation looks dire.

Last night at about 11:30 pm, beds was still available in East County shelters, according to a regularly-updated map pulled from 211 data. All the west side shelters were full.

As I warmed up after the commute home it was a relief knowing warm beds were available, but it would be nice to have opportunities closer to the neighborhood.


All original Americana with Radio Giants @ 9 pm; Warthog Stew 6 pm – 8 pm.

Duff’s Garage, 2530 NE 82nd Ave * ???


There were several days of service planned to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. around town, including an event planned for the Columbia Children’s Aboretum, but they’ve been cancelled due to the winter weather.


I’ve never seen this, or even stepped foot inside Mall 205 actually, but it looks pretty cool. All American Magic and Ventriloquist Show.

9994 SE Washington St * 1:30 pm doors, 2 pm show * $14 GA, $48 for 5


Sunday is a Montavilla Farmers Market Winter Stock-Up market. MFM offers Double Up Food Bucks for all EBT shoppers. Spend $10 in EBT funds at the market and you’ll get an extra $10 to spend. 

Sunday is also the last day to submit a resume for MFM’s part-time Financial & Volunteer Coordinator position.

7700 block of SE Stark St, in the gravel lot across the street from Mr. Plywood * 11 am – 1 pm 


“Love Chinese dim sum? Then you will love mantou! Come and learn how to make mantou (Chinese steamed buns) with Ashley Xu. Samples and instructions will be provided.” Register here, it’s required.

Holgate Library, 7905 SE Holgate Blvd * 3:30 4:30 pm * free 

This weekend

My body is warm, but my spirit is still chilled by the cold-related death of 51-year-old Mark Elliot Johnson earlier this week. He died on a sidewalk in front of a business near 99th and East Burnside, not far from the eastern boundary of our Montavilla neighborhood.

It seems like it would be so simple to just open the doors of churches and community centers, but, for whatever reason, we don’t have warming options in or near Montavilla right now. I’ve been reaching out to churches and non-profits to learn more about their community service, and the cold temperatures and tragic death of Mark Johnson definitely highlights the need for a closer look at what’s available— and what it takes to provide more.


Also the Montavilla Farmers Market is hiring a part-time financial & volunteer coordinator!

We’ll be opening the doors to the cafe / workspace at Milepost 5 today from 8 am – 1 pm. There’ll be $1 coffee and tea, and space to work on art. It’s mainly for residents, but part of MP5’s mission is outreach (I’m on the board), so feel free to come by and say hello. I’ll be hosting… cafe entrance on Oregon St. just west of 82nd





At The O’Neil Public House from 6 pm – 8 pm: “If Florence & The Machine and Alabama Shakes had a baby, Kaiya On The Mountain would be their love child. This youthful band has the music, the energy and the looks to back up their passion to put on an unforgettable show and they’re all no older than 21. So if you like alternative folk music with a southern flare, stick around. You might just fall in love.”  From 9:30 pm – 1 am: gritty roots rock with Gravel6000 NE Glisan St * 6 pm – 8 pm * free


The Montavilla Neighborhood Association Housing & Homelessness committee met Tuesday, and it’s good to see neighbors getting organized to help. The Hot Meal + Cold Weather Supply Share is an opportunity to help in the neighborhood. west side of NE 82nd, just north of the overpass, across from the 82nd Ave Max stop * noon – 3 pm