Congratulations to the Young Poets

Congratulations to all of the young poets recently chosen as winners by the Oregon Poetry Association!

List of Winners

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Spring bird walk at Smith and Bybee Wetlands

April 12, 9 – 11:30 AM.
$6/person or $11/family.
Bring binoculars or borrow some on site.

During spring about 30 species of birds either migrate through Smith & Bybee Wetlands or join year-round resident birds to nest in the natural area. April through June is the peak of migration and local nesting, with lively and noisy birds everywhere. Learn to identify birds by sight and song. Walks are led by Metro naturalist James Davis. Bring binoculars or borrow a pair on site.

Where: Smith and Bybee Wetlands, 5300 N. Marine Park Drive, Portland

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Khan Academy to Help With SATs

Big News

Khan Academy has gotten a major partnership to help less-advantaged students study for their SAT tests just as thoroughly as wealthier ones. Khan Academy is one of the best “free education” websites around.

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Another Example of Why Zero Tolerance in Schools Is Bad.

While “zero tolerance” helps ensure that all kids are treated the same, thus taking prejudices out of the decision making process, the lack of thinking that it allows (enforces) is a major problem.

For instance, this kid, who took a razor blade from a self-harming kid and told a teacher about it … got suspended. Let’s hope the hearing goes well.

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Books about Parenting Girls

Every once in a while, even BuzzFeed has a good article. Today, we found this list of books about the challenges of raising girls. Dear to my heart is the “Dads and Daughters” section with a great book by Joe Kelly.

The list of books is On their site but a partial list is below. See their site for mini-reviews.

Also, one friend recommends this book: Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters: The Frightening New Normalcy of Hating Your Body.

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Portland Teachers Vote to Strike

For the first time in Portland Teacher Union history, our teachers have voted to strike. Since there’s a mandated cooling-off period, this means that beginning February 20, Portland Teachers will be on strike.

The question that caused a commotion in our house was “since we support the teachers, do we send the kids to school?” On the one hand, keeping the kids out of school shows a solidarity with the teachers and underlines to the school board how we feel. But on the other hand, sending the kids to school helps overburdened administrators and teacher substitutes see what their money buys – underlines the worth of the teachers.

Personally, I don’t care for the School Board’s messages to parents, claiming to be on the parents’ side, trying to save them money and keep tight reins on the teachers.

How do you feel about the strike? Will you send your kids to school during it?

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Monster Jam Roars Back Into Portland!

Iron Man
Monster Jam® retudns for more car-crushing Monster Truck Action! Next month, February 15 and 16th. Eight massive trucks will be part of the action this year at the Moda Center – you’ll see Metal Mulisha, Wolverine and the all-new New Earth Authority driven by a local Oregon resident (Norm Miller). You’ll also see World Champions Grave Digger®, Max-D(sm), Iron Man™, The Patriot, Tropical Thunder, and …. Captain USA!! truck line-up subject to change.

In addition, there’s a pit-party on Saturday.

It’ll be at the ModaCenter (Rose Quarter)…

Saturday Feb 15 2014,
Party in the Pits: 11:00AM-12:30PM
Event Times: 2:00PM and 7:30PM
(Saturday 2PM event ticket and PitPass required for entry; Pit Pass available to purchase for $10/Adults, $5 kids).

Sunday Feb 16 2014,
Event Time: 2:00PM

Ticket prices range from $20, $30 (Gold Circle) and $40! Kids tickets are only $5 each (select seating only, limit 4 kid tickets with one adult ticket). You can buy tickets at or in-person at the Moda Center Box Office!

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The Oregon Zoo invites visitors to brighten their holiday nights at ZooLights, where sparkling lights and brilliant hues transform the zoo into a winter wonderland. Presented by Toyota with support from The Boeing Company, the traditional holiday light show begins Friday, Nov. 29, and runs through Jan. 5 at the zoo.

What is Zoolights?

Imagine the zoo, at night, with a million and a half lightbulbs lighting up the area. A brisk walk through the zoo, and this year there’s a new pathway: this year’s ZooLights promises a more immersive experience, with visitors moving in a continuous loop around the zoo through areas that haven’t been lit up before. One spectacular new section through the zoo’s Africa Rainforest features a twisting 100-foot-long rainbow-colored tunnel of light.

(No train this year, however, the Steam engine will be decked out for your photo opportunities.)

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Rockin’ Ever After Has Opened


Disney On Ice, Rockin’ Ever After has opened and the opening show was sold out.

Definitely recommend this show, the songs are great, the skating is great. Some old favorites and some new favorites (as you may imagine from the photo, Meridh from Brave)! Get your tickets now, the last show is 10/27.

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Mister Negative

Mr. Peate is an interesting mix of contradictions, which lends some great writing energy. He claims his children’s book series is his most accessible work, it starts with “Gentle Tara and the Butter-Fly Ride.” He lives in Oregon City, and his thought-provoking books might be good to leave around for your young adult. You can read more about him either on his amazon author page or at his website.

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