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Posts Tagged ‘oregon’

Photo: Max Tapogna
As a way to overcome resource challenges, Lisa Adams has taught students at her Portland, Oregon, elementary school how to make their own instruments.

I’ve been learning recently, both from my daughter-in-law and online, that parents frustrated with the imperfections of pandemic school are complaining about the problems to teachers even though it’s mostly not something teachers can control.

Meanwhile, teachers adapt. They’ve been going beyond the extra mile to make everything work. An ESL teacher I work with often spends long, unpaid hours solving technical problems, and my husband’s orchestra-teacher niece in North Carolina rarely finishes her day before 10:30 pm.

Max Tapogna writes at Oregon Artswatch about what arts teachers in his state are doing with limited resources for remote instruction.

“One by one, students pop into the classroom, each in a respective Zoom window. Trisha Todd, a drama teacher at Portland’s Grant High School, waits a few minutes until everyone in her Beginning Theatre class has arrived. Todd is teaching from her office at Grant, which is full of theater tchotchkes: a turquoise folding screen, a poster for Sarah Ruhl’s play Orlando, and what looks like poor Yorick’s skull. Todd’s students, however, are scattered around the city. …

“Class begins, inconspicuously, with a warmup. First some stretching. Then Todd asks the students to go around and share the musical artists they’ve been listening to recently. More than one student mentions Billie Eilish; another says he’s been blasting a lot of classic rock.

“ ‘I’m doing whatever I can to keep them engaged,’ Todd says. ‘We’re just hoping to keep them with us until they get back.’ …

“When classrooms were shuttered due to the coronavirus. Arts educators, especially those with subjects in the performing arts, were forced to grapple with ways to reach students from a distance.

“ ‘It was really hard,’ says Lisa Adams, a music teacher at Duniway Elementary School. … ‘Participation was not required. There wasn’t a unified way that every school was handling it.’

“ ‘Spring was very doomy gloomy,’ says Laura Arthur, a music teacher on special assignment for the district. ‘I feel like the fall is the second, third stage of grief. We’ve reached acceptance and solutions.’ …

“Mary Renaur, a visual arts teacher at Mt. Tabor Middle School … created online tutorials on how to make art supplies at home, like glue and paint, from materials that could be found in a kitchen or recycling bin. …

“Similarly, Adams has taught her students at Duniway to craft their own instruments from household objects, like a ‘guitar’ made from a berry container and rubber bands. One student, Adams says, filled a paper towel tube with beans and fixed tape to the edges. …

“Of course, the technology comes with its complications. On the day I spoke with Renaur, she described how a student’s Chromebook unexpectedly had stopped working.

When she learned the computer wasn’t working, Renaur hopped in her car and drove to school, picked up a new computer, dropped it off at the student’s home, and drove back to her house in time for her next class.

“ ‘Between classes, I had forty-five minutes,’ Renaur says. …

“Other adjustments have been less stressful. Chris Meade, who teaches drama and music at Lent K-8, says, ‘I did a whole assignment on taking silly selfies just to get students used to using a camera.’

“At the beginning of the school year, Meade surveyed his students to get a sense of their preferences for learning music virtually. ‘The majority of my kids were really uncomfortable singing by themselves into a computer,’ Meade says. …

“Instead, Meade shifted his focus to emphasizing music appreciation and literacy. This fall, for example, students are learning about the various musics of Latin America. District-wide, arts classes are now structured around themes like emotional resilience and racial equity. That change, Meade says, has been welcome.

“He says, ‘It’s nice to [explore] all these other aspects of music that kind of get glossed over during the regular school year.’

“For theater, Todd says her goal is less forcing her old curriculum into a new format than tailoring her subject to online learning. ‘We can look at history, we can look at Shakespeare, we can look at the Greeks,’ Todd says. ‘We could just read plays for a semester.’

“Instead of directing a fall play, Todd is organizing a 24-hour devised theater piece. The festival will showcase a play written, directed, and acted entirely by students. ‘It’s supposed to happen really quickly,’ says Todd. ‘You go with your instinct. You don’t have set limitations. You create them.’ ”

Read at Oregon Artswatch, here, how the typical isolation of arts teachers has been altered by pandemic isolation, which in at least one district has led to a collaborative way of working that will likely outlast lockdowns.

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Photo: Ryan Brennecke/The Bulletin, via Associated Press
The Blockbuster store in Bend, Ore., has 4,000 account holders and adds a few new ones every day.

As people turn away from “old media” toward ever evolving “new media,” the oldsters who are able to hang on sometimes do really well. That seems to be the case in this Last One Standing story.

Tiffany Hsu of the New York Times wrote in March, “There are only two Blockbuster stores left in the world. Very soon, there will only be one.

“The second-to-last Blockbuster, a squat blue-and-yellow slab wedged next to a real estate agency in Western Australia, will stop renting videos on [March 7] and shut down for good at the end of the month. Two stores in Alaska, part of the final group of Blockbuster outlets in the United States, closed in July.

“That will make the Blockbuster in Bend, Ore., one of a kind: a corporate remnant, just off the highway, near a cannabis retailer and a pet cremation service.

“But this is no elegy for Blockbuster, no lament for how Netflix killed the video star. … This is about the ability of the Bend store, like sturdy links in other dying chains, to live on and avoid being turned into a pawnshop or a fast-food restaurant.

“Some Tower Records stores still thrive in Japan long after their parent company declared bankruptcy and closed all of its American stores. There is a Howard Johnson’s in Lake George, N.Y., that is the lone survivor of what was once the country’s largest restaurant chain. Such holdouts have bucked the norm in the retail and restaurant industries, which have shed stores by the hundreds in recent years. …

“When Sandi Harding, the general manager of Bend’s Blockbuster store, heard that she would be running what is effectively the Lonesome George of video-rental chains, she posted a giddy message on Facebook: ‘Holy Cow it’s exciting.’

“The Bend store became a Blockbuster franchise in 2000. It has about 4,000 active accounts and signs up a few fresh ones each day, Ms. Harding said. Some of the new customers are tourists who have traveled hours out of their way to stop in. …

“ ‘It’s almost re-energized us, that we’re the last one,’ Ms. Harding said in an interview. ‘They treat us like celebrities.’

“A local beer maker, 10 Barrel Brewing, crafted a special beer, the Last Blockbuster, and served it at a party at the store. Two filmmakers raised nearly $40,000 on Kickstarter to finish a documentary about the location.

“One possible explanation for the store’s long life: Bend is in a region that the city’s mayor, Sally Russell, describes as having ‘huge expanses with really small communities’ that often do not have easy access to the high-speed internet necessary for content streaming. …

“ ‘It’s like with old vinyl, and how everyone wants to have turntables again,’ she said. ‘We get to a place where something out of date comes back in — there’s definitely interest in keeping this almost-extinct way of enjoying movies alive.'”

More at the New York Times, here.

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Photo: Tom Goldman/NPR
Reporters at rural Oregon’s profitable
Malheur Enterprise keep the news flowing while other local papers nationwide are folding.

This morning I read that television is expanding like crazy, no end in sight. Wasn’t the internet supposed to kill off television? Wasn’t television supposed to kill off radio? It seems to me that new technologies don’t necessarily destroy everything that went before the way cars destroyed horse-drawn carriages. It all depends on whether the old technology finds a new way to meet needs that still exist.

Consider local newspapers. Many are folding — and it’s definitely scary because that’s where big stories often break. But there’s still a need for local news, and I think someone will fill it. In rural Oregon, a small newspaper survived and became profitable by hiring a salesman and improving quality.

Tom Goldman at National Public Radio (NPR) has the story.

“The Malheur Enterprise was founded in 1909, and, like many other newspapers, was languishing. But in the past few years, its circulation has surged and it has won several national awards. … [It] has boomed in the past three years.

” ‘Boomed’ is a relative term when it comes to a rural weekly. Paid subscriptions are at about 2,000. But during a recent week, more than a third of Malheur County’s roughly 30,000 residents read the paper’s online edition. And advertising dollars, the lifeblood of a small newspaper, are way up.

” ‘Our overall revenue is more than triple what it was three years ago,’ says Les Zaitz, the paper’s editor and publisher. ‘Circulation is probably double. We’re profitable, and there are not a lot of papers in the United States that can say they’re profitable.’ …

“Zaitz, 63, was a longtime, award-winning investigative reporter for the Oregonian, the state’s largest newspaper. He is a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist. But he has always had a passion for small-town papers. Which is why, in 2015, he tabled his retirement plans and bought the Enterprise with family members. The paper, at the time, was almost out of business. It was filled with gossip and press releases.

” ‘It wasn’t delivering much in the way of real local news,’ Zaitz says, adding, ‘[it] had one reporter who primarily focused on high school sports. … It had not had an ad salesperson in 10 years. … There was just no doubt in my mind that if we turned around the news product, and got a salesperson in, we could make the thing profitable pretty quick.’

“Sure enough, the Enterprise now is a serious, award-winning newspaper.

“This spring, the paper won a prestigious national Investigative Reporters and Editors award for its coverage of a case that rocked Malheur County. A man released from the state hospital after claiming he faked his mental illness was accused of killing two people after being freed. The Enterprise was the first weekly paper to win the IRE Freedom of Information award. …

“Reporter Pat Caldwell, who has been a journalist for 22 years, says Zaitz has transformed the way he works. ‘It’s all about detail,’ Caldwell says, ‘detail, detail, detail. Y’know? And why, why, why, why? Why are you doing this? Why is this happening? Who pays for it?’ …

“Zaitz has earned his readers’ trust with his devotion to bedrock principles of journalism. He acknowledges it also helps that he is one of them. His hands are thick from bucking hay and fixing barbed wire fences on his ranch about 100 miles outside Vale. But being on the inside doesn’t mean he and the Enterprise pander. … Enterprise reporting has angered local politicians. Some still don’t talk to Zaitz or his reporters.

” ‘Public officials who’ve evaded scrutiny for decades here aren’t very fond of us in some quarters,’ Zaitz says. ‘But the good public officials, those who are trying to do a good job, they recognize that we are doing our job and we are holding them accountable and we’re making them better governing officials. And they don’t object to that. Because we try to be accurate; we try to be fair. While they may have to salve the sting of a particular story, that sting wears off and they appreciate what we’re doing. …

” ‘Rather than worrying about what’s going on in journalism at the national level,’ he says, ‘let’s turn the periscope around and let’s rebuild from the small guy up. And I think that’s going to have more influence in the long run.’ ”

More at NPR, here.

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jesse-taylor

Photo: Kelly Howard
At Lincoln City Glass Center, a glassblower melts down objects made of clear glass to keep the studio supplied during a glass shortage — the unintentional consequence of environmental regulations and high demand from large overseas companies.

When I read recently about the closing of a glass-recycling center in Massachusetts, I didn’t have the imagination to consider all the causes or all the consequences.  What I did learn at the time was that beer companies were not using glass bottles as much and were moving to cans. That was all I knew.

Come to find out, thanks to the Law of Unintended Consequences, environmental regulations are having an effect on the amount of glass pellets available for a range of traditional purposes — including the glassblower’s art.

Lori Tobias writes at Oregon ArtsWatch, “On the Oregon Coast, creating a work of glass art is a bucket-list favorite, and there’s plenty of places to make that happen. But recent weeks have stressed some mom-and-pop glassblowing studios to the point of, well, a meltdown. It seems there’s just not enough glass to go around.

“Robin and William Murphy, owners of the Oregon Coast Glassworks in Newport, ran into problems earlier this month when they tried to buy a new supply of ‘cullet’ glass – furnace-ready recycled glass pellets that glassblowers turn into floats, bowls, and other art. There was ‘no glass anywhere available for purchase,’ Robin Murphy said. Nor would there be any until November, they were told. The shortage seems to be the culmination of stricter environmental laws, which led to a cutback in suppliers, compounded most recently by heavy demands on an overseas supplier.

“The Murphys have launched a fundraising raffle – of a glass sea turtle crafted by William – to help finance a new furnace that will melt ‘batch,’ a pelletized powder that is an alternative to cullet. It requires a natural gas furnace or what’s known in the industry as a ‘moly’ (short for molybdenum) furnace – a piece of equipment that generally comes with a price tag ranging from $30,000 to $50,000. The Murphys have a less expensive wire-melt furnace, but it doesn’t get hot enough to melt batch. …

“Oregon Coast Glassworks isn’t the only small shop facing the shortage. The Edge Art Gallery in South Beach is also experiencing it, as is the Lincoln City Glass Center. One of the largest of the dozen or so glassblowers on the central and north Coast with 21 employees, the Glass Center does have a ‘moly’ furnace, capable of melting batch or cullet. Owner and glass artist Kelly Howard prefers to use cullet, but she also has been unable to get any.

“Most glassblowers agree that the problem can be traced to 2016, when the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and the federal Environmental Protection Agency imposed stricter regulations on glass manufacturers, ultimately prompting the closure of two major suppliers. One was Spectrum, based in Woodinville, Wash., which supplied glass products for 40 years to many Pacific Northwest artists. Bullseye Glass Co. of Portland survived the crack-down, but does not provide the type of glass used by glass blowers.

“With Spectrum gone, glass blowing studios turned to a German manufacturer, Cristalica, which is distributed through Olympic Color Rods, headquartered in Seattle. But this summer, Cristalica failed to keep up with demand, in part because of the heavy use of existing equipment.

“Howard said she heard the German company had a furnace go down a couple of weeks ago ‘and didn’t give anyone a warning. They said there is no more, and what they had was all given to the big companies. All of the rest us didn’t get any.’ ”

More here. Raffle tickets for the sea turtle are available for $50 here or by calling the studio at 541-574-8226. The winner will be chosen Sept. 2. No more than 500 tickets will be sold.

sea-turtle-face

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Photo: Amelia Templeton/Oregon Public Broadcasting
The Granny Pods of Portland, Oregon, aren’t just for grannies. This woman and her family live in one — technically an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) — in their landlord’s backyard. Last year, Portland issued building permits for roughly one ADU a day, easing a housing crunch.

When I was a child, I used to hear a lot about zoning from my politically oriented mother — large lots were good, allowing  residential uses in commercial or industrial areas was bad. Times change. Some industrial areas are clean; mixed-use development improves community vitality; higher density in cities is good for keeping rents affordable.

Amelia Templeton reports for National Public Radio about recent initiatives in Oregon.

Earlier this year, Michelle Labra got a notice that the rent on her family’s two-bedroom apartment was doubling, from around $620 a month to more than $1,300. She worried she was being priced out of Portland and would have to move to the suburbs.

“But Labra, her husband and their two children didn’t get pushed out of Cully, their North Portland neighborhood. They were able to stay by moving into a little house, 800 square feet, built in a neighbor’s backyard. It’s a type of housing city planners refer to as an accessory dwelling unit, or ADU, often called a granny flat or granny pod. …

“With a lot of cities looking for solutions to rising housing prices, the idea of making it easier for homeowners to add small second units in their backyards and garages is gaining traction. Portland has among the fastest rising rents in the country, and it has embraced the ADU as a low cost way to create more housing in desirable neighborhoods. …

“Talking about the sudden rent increase [at her old home] brings Labra to tears. She was close to the other families in the apartment complex, and so were her children …

“The [apartment complex] was on the main street in Cully, a neighborhood on the northern edge of Portland with mobile home parks, ranch houses and small apartments built in the 1960s and 1970s.

“It’s also, according 2010 census data, one of the most diverse neighborhoods in Oregon. Close to half of the people who live there are people of color.

“The residents of the Normandy started working with a community group called Living Cully and staged a protest against the rent increase. Hundreds of people marched in the streets back in February. …

“In an effort to arrest the gentrification of the neighborhood, Living Cully helped about half the families relocate to new homes in Cully. …

“Eli Spevak, a developer with the company Orange Splot, which builds smaller homes including ADUs … [says] Portland’s zoning code is contributing to its housing problems.

“On much of the city’s land, the code limits how many units you can build on a lot, so developers build the biggest house possible, to turn the most profit. There is an exception for ADUs as long as they meet certain criteria. …

” ‘The good thing about it from my perspective is they allow a neighborhood to have people with a wide range of incomes living with each other.’ ”

More here.

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Photo: Rupa Shenoy
Mayor Betty Roppe oversaw Prineville’s transformation after data centers injected new life. “We can keep the small-town feel. I’m sure of it,” Roppe says. “We don’t want to be a big city.”

I’m not always a fan of today’s tech giants, but I have to admit that when they provide jobs where there were no jobs, they are saviors.

This story tells how a dying town proved it was worthy of a tech company’s investment. Rupa Shenoy at Public Radio International reports this episode of PRI’s “50 States: America’s place in a shrinking world.”

“Everything people post on Facebook actually lives somewhere in real life — like a small town in central Oregon that was once decimated by the loss of manufacturing industries. …

“Steve Forrester’s grandparents got here in 1902. When he was growing up in the 1970s, Prineville was idyllic.

“ ‘It was a magical, magical place to grow up,’ he remembers. … ‘And everybody had a job, and everyone did well.’ …

“But when the federal government restricted logging and increased protections for animals … the city’s milling industry was decimated … Forrester took a job with one of the few remaining mills, because he wanted to live in Prineville.

“Eric Klann was driven by the same devotion. He’s the seventh generation of his family to live here. Out of college, he also took a job in Prineville that he knew wouldn’t last. …

“A few years later, the nationwide housing bubble burst and demand declined for housing parts made by the last mills. Lots of people lost jobs and left. It felt like Prineville couldn’t catch a break.

“Both Forrester and Klann felt lucky to land jobs at the city — Forrester as city manager, Klann as city engineer. Their chance to save Prineville came in 2009, arriving in the form of a mysterious email from a company called Vitesse.

“ ‘For the longest time, we had no idea what Vitesse meant,’ he says. …

“Vitesse wanted to build a big warehouse and fill it with rows and rows of servers — servers that tend to get hot. Central Oregon’s cold nights could cool them naturally. Klann remembers the first in-person meeting with Vitesse, and how it felt like Prineville’s last chance. …

“Klann and Forrester decided to outperform the other cities Vitesse was considering. They showed the company their small town could move at big-city speed, by responding to Vitesse’s questions day and night. …

“Their strategy worked, and in 2010, Prineville finally learned who Vitesse actually is. Mayor Betty Roppe was at the new data center’s groundbreaking.

“ ‘They had the big finger with a thumb-up Facebook sign, and we all pressed the button and it lit up, et cetera,’ she recounts. ‘That was the big announcement — it was Facebook.’ ”

More at PRI, here.

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A nonprofit book service in Portland, Oregon, has recognized that “people living outside” are as likely to enjoy a book as people who live indoors.

Kirk Johnson writes in the NY Times, “A homeless man named Daniel was engrossed in a Barbara Kingsolver novel when his backpack was stolen recently, and Laura Moulton was determined to set things to right.

“Ms. Moulton, 44, an artist, writer and adjunct professor of creative nonfiction, did not know Daniel’s last name, his exact age, or really even how to find him — they had met only once. But she knew the novel, ‘Prodigal Summer,’ and that was a start. So, armed with a new copy of the book, off she went. Such is the life of a street librarian.

“This city has a deeply dyed liberal impulse beating in its veins around social and environmental causes, and a literary culture that has flourished like the blackberry thickets that mark misty Northwest woods. It is also one of the most bike-friendly, if not bike-crazed, urban spaces in the nation, as measured by commuters and bike lanes. All three of those forces are combined in Street Books, a nonprofit book service delivered by pedal-power for ‘people living outside,”’ as Ms. Moulton, the founder, describes the mission. …

“ ‘It’s not just a little novelty act — “Oh, that’s so Portland and cute,” ’ ” says Diana Rempe, a community psychologist. “Taking books to the streets, she said, sends the message that poor and marginalized people are not so different from the ‘us’ that defines the educated, literate mainstream of the city, whether in its hipsters, computer geeks or bankers.”

More here.

Photo: Thomas Patterson for The New York Times
Laura Moulton and Matt Tufaro in Portland, Ore. Ms. Moulton founded Street Books, a nonprofit book service for “people living outside.”

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Being reminded recently that Bored Panda was a good place to look for cool stuff, I read about a guy who makes his home in an airplane.

“Bruce Campbell is an inventive engineer who bought a retired Boeing 727 aircraft fuselage and upcycled it into an unusual and innovative home. The huge 3-engine commercial airliner is propped up on concrete pillars in a suburban wooded area outside of Portland, Oregon, and has its own driveway.

“The aircraft features a makeshift shower, but he is still working to install a working lavatory and to restore some of the plane’s original interior elements, like seating and lights. Campbell lives in this plane 6 months every year, and spends the other part of the year in Japan, where he is also looking to buy and similarly re-use a retired Boeing 747 fuselage.”

More here. Lots of pictures.

Photo: John Brecher
Says plane denizen Bruce Campbell, “Shredding a beautiful and scintillating jetliner is a tragedy in waste, and a profound failure of human imagination.

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Kai sent a link to a story about a guy who has his mother living in a tiny house in his backyard.

I had to laugh. The house is about the size of my garage, and as much fun as it would be to live in a child’s playhouse, I can’t imagine what a born pack rat would do with all her clutter. (Not to mention, how many grown children want a parent living in the backyard?)

Sandy Keenan reports in the NY Times, “In most cities, adding a second house to a single-family lot would be illegal or would set off an epic battle with the neighbors that could drag on for years. But not in Portland, Ore.

“There, this kind of housing — referred to officially as ‘accessory dwelling units,’ but better known as granny flats, garage apartments or alley houses — is being welcomed and even encouraged, thanks to friendly zoning laws. And additional living spaces are springing up everywhere, providing affordable housing without changing the feeling or texture of established neighborhoods the way high-rise developments can. …

“Eric Engstrom, a principal city planner, has seen these small structures become increasingly popular during his 16 years working for the city. And as he put it, ‘Given the low vacancy rate, when they’re done, you can rent them out in about an hour.’ Which means that adding an accessory dwelling unit, or A.D.U., increases the value of a piece of property. …

“It was in 2010 when the biggest changes took place. That was when the city relaxed the limitations on size and began offering the equivalent of a cash incentive by waiving the hefty fees usually levied on new development. Other cities in the Northwest have been moving in this direction, but Portland is the first to offer a significant financial benefit and one of the few that does not require owners to live on the site, provide additional off-street parking or secure the approval of their neighbors.” More.

I know of at least one resort community that allows accessory apartments for family members. It’s a good idea, but there’s always the worry that in the season, some folks will just rent them out to tourists and still need a place to stay.

Photo: Laure Joliet for The New York Times
A 480-square-foot garage, now a home: one of many small dwellings encouraged by the city of Portland, Ore.

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Got this from SmallerCitiesUnite! on twitter.

Rachel Walker writes at PeopleForBikes.org, “How do you get more people on bikes? Go to where they are, open up a ‘shop,’ teach them to build and maintain a bike. Help them earn a bike. Repeat.

“This is the philosophy behind the myriad of community bike shops sprouting up in inner-city neighborhoods throughout the country. Non-profit organizations that cater to the underserved aim to destigmatize and popularize cycling among communities that have probably not heard of Strava or clipless pedals. In these neighborhoods, bicycle lanes, racks, and, most importantly, riders, are noticeably absent.

“And that, according to the forces behind community bike shops, must change—for multiple reasons.

“ ‘For our core constituents, getting a bike and learning how to maintain it is about economic mobility,’ says Ryan Schutz, executive director of Denver’s Bike Depot. ‘Owning a bike lets them travel farther to find work and spend their money on food, instead of on gas or bus fares.’

“Like the majority of community bike shops, Bike Depot puts bikes into the hands of people who otherwise couldn’t afford them or may not choose to buy them. The organization accomplishes this through earn-a-bike programs and by selling low-cost refurbished bikes. They also teach members bike safety and maintenance skills.” More here.

Sounds like a variation on Bike Not Bombs, which started in the Greater Boston area several decades ago, refurbishing donated bicycles and sending them to poor countries.

Here’s what Bikes Not Bombs says on the website: “Bikes Not Bombs uses the bicycle as a vehicle for social change. We reclaim thousands of bicycles each year. We create local and global programs that provide skill development, jobs, and sustainable transportation. Our programs mobilize youth and adults to be leaders in community transformation.”

All good stuff.

Photo: People For Bikes
The Community Cycling Center in Portland, Oregon, offers bike camps to local kids.

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Eben Horton, a glassblower with a studio in Wakefield, Rhode Island, loved hearing how glassblowers in Lincoln City, Oregon, had hidden special creations on a local beach for a community treasure hunt.

Inspired to do something similar, he settled on the idea of glass floats, the kind traditionally used on fishing nets.

The Block Island Tourism Council helped Horton launch the Glass Float Project. The council’s site has details.

“WHEN: The hunt begins June 2nd, 2012, and continues indefinitely. It only ends when all the floats have been found!

“WHAT: 200 Glass Floats (glass orbs about the size of a grapefruit) will be hidden on Block Island. Floats will be dated, numbered and stamped with the shape of Block Island. All floats are clear glass except for 12 (because it is 2012), which are special colored orbs. One super special float is made entirely out of gold leaf.

“WHERE: 100 floats on beaches and 100 floats on Greenway trails. Floats will be hidden above the high tide mark but NEVER in the dunes or up the bluffs.”

Understandably, they don’t want people walking on the dunes, which protect the island in storms.

Check the council website for the bio on the artist, too: “Eben creates custom one of a kind pieces on an individual basis out of his studio that he calls ‘The Glass Station’- a converted 1920’s gas station.” More.

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