Village Portland 2.0

Welcome to Village Portland, neighborhood news & actions in East Portland. 

We’re here to bridge the gap between news & civic participation… and to encourage folks get involved with their community and support their neighbors. There are a million voices fighting for your attention, but we want to help you connect with your village, your neighborhood… where your power to connect and make change is the strongest.

There are Village Portland sites for both Montavilla and Lents:

Village Portland @ Montavilla

Village Portland @ Lents

For more frequent updates on news and actions that impact East Portland, follow our Facebook page:

If you’re an organizer or writer interested in bringing a Village Portland to your neighborhood, contact Andrew Wilkins, Publisher / Editor:


I follow the news because you don’t want to

Recently, the Oregonian started showing up in my driveway. This wasn’t much-hated, unshakable Food Day— if was a full edition.

I’m not one of those people who prefer a print edition. The web is cheaper, cleaner, produces less waste, and gives readers a chance to contribute to the discussion. But I think it’s clear that there is much to be desired from the Oregonian (or their owners Advanced Publications) web product.

There’s been a lot of criticism of the Oregonian’s coverage, and the sensationalist reporting definitely seems like a trend. The most disturbing let an accused double murder’s implausible— but sexually titillating— excuse for the deaths are in the headline and lede. Rape victims get anonymity and so should murder victims— but there are multiple photos of the 19-year-old female victim accompanying the story.

Today’s big issue is cannabis legalization: Washington’s cannabis stores are opened yesterday (7/8) and the Oregonian sat down with the Oregon’s initiative author and the head of a national organization who gave $650,000 to the ballot measure. Surprise! They’re both in favor of it.

They talk about the lack of a DUI standard, and there are a few unattributed graphs on the standard arguments against legalization in general— but there are no substantial alternative POVs. Legalization seem inevitable in Oregon, (though polling shows only a ten point lead for advocates) but will it be done right? I started a Reddit thread on the issue.

In other stories:

* After a series of stories from the Oregonian, the Oregon state fire marshal posted the travel patterns of oil train travel in the state.

* A former high school principal was sentenced to 2 years in prison by a state court for sex with a 12-year-old, while a federal court gave him nearly 11 years in prison for possession of child pornography. He was convicted of a similar crime in 2003, and only served 6 months in jail and 1 year in a half-way house. The case highlights the disparity between state and federal sentencing regarding child abuse, the Oregonian reports.

* In 2012, Reed College reported 14 on-campus sexual assaults, while the University of Oregon (with 20 time the student body) reported 17. Columnist Steve Duin said these numbers indicate a need for sexual assault reporting reform at the U of O, similar to what happened at Reed in 2011.

There was also plenty of crime, sports, food, lots of inserts, and an editorial page focused mostly on national issues— but I included all of what I thought seemed important.

The case for crowd-sourced mapping


OpenStreetMap is an open-source alternative to big tech’s mapping.

The rise of smartphone and GPS technology has led to tens of billions of dollars in online mapping investments and acquisitions by big tech, but is it a problem to have our interface with the physical world controlled by for-profit companies?

OpenStreetMap is an open-source alternative, promoted in a blog post (I found on Reddit) by Emacsen, one of the organizers of the project. Emacsen writes big tech cannot be trusted to develop such a critical resource for three basic reasons: “who decides what gets shown on the map, who decides where you are and where you should go, and personal privacy.”

Along with being independent from big tech, OSM is customizable and maps can be downloaded to use off-line. I don’t use GPS, but I hear it can be unreliable. Apple’s turn-by-turn software can be frustrating, and recently after a few hours of roaming the streets of San Francisco with my iPhone 5’s map zooming in and out awkwardly and spinning the map so I couldn’t tell which way was north— I wished I had other mapping options on my phone.

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Trees and technology

Greg Everhart on the Sunnyside Street Tree Team (cool acronym alert: S2T2) have put together a Google map of neighborhood trees exhibiting gorgeous fall colors. Fire up your smart phone and spend one of these dwindling sunny autumn days on a tree tour of your neighborhood.

S2T2’s mission: “to create a more diverse, healthy, well-maintained urban canopy in all parts of our Sunnyside neighborhood.” S2T2 meets monthly, and their page on the Sunnyside blog has advice on what trees to plant for the space available. Partner organization Friends of Trees can also pick— and even plant for free— the perfect tree for your yard or planting strip (the space between your yard and curb)!


Two Scarlet Oaks at the northeast corner of Taylor and 38th are part of the Sunnyside Fall Color Street Tree Tour.


Plant and household pest experts are available at Oregon State University’s Metro Portland master gardner hotline: 503-445-4608.

I called today and got a return call within a few hours. The gentleman was extremely helpful and had good ideas on how to start sunflowers. He said to wait two more weeks before starting them inside.

Sunflowers have always been one of my favorite things to grow— they’re just so big and undeniably awesome— so I’ll show you how they’re grown later in the season.

Do you like cute critters and sunflowers? Click the jump if so.

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Ocean Frontiers: The Dawn of a New Era in Ocean Stewardship— it’s an ambitious title— is a film that “takes us on an inspiring voyage to seaports and watersheds across the country—from the busy shipping lanes of Boston Harbor to an obscure little fishing community in the Pacific Northwest; from America’s coral reef playground in the Florida Keys to the nation’s premier seafood nursery in the Mississippi Delta. Here we meet an intermingling of unlikely allies, of industrial shippers and whale biologists, pig farmers and wetland ecologists, sport fishers and reef snorkelers and many more, all of them embarking on a new course of cooperation, in defense of the seas that sustain us.”

This film, premiering in Portland on Saturday, March 7, is sponsored by a long list of local activist groups. The showing will feature Oregon First Lady Cylvia Hayes and Port Orford Mayor James Aubor. A Q&A session with Oregon ocean experts will also be held.

The Ocean Frontier’s website offers an opportunity to contact to your representative about supporting 2010’s National Ocean Policy, the legislation examined in the film.

There’s a lot of awesome bird watching and conservation events sponsored by the Audabon Society of Portland, including a trip to Ocean Shores, Washington to see these snow owls that are rarely seen in this part of the world. Love Audubon, and his society.

3/7/12 * Hollywood Theatre, 4122 NE Sandy Blvd * 7 PM * $5