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Susan’s Guide to Portland
Let me Help You Find a Home and a Neighborhood
Welcome to my Web site about the Portland, Oregon, metropolitan area. It’s my way of helping you become acquainted with the neighborhoods and communities of the Portland metro area and to inform you about the Portland area housing market. Your comments and suggestions about my Web site are always welcome.
If you have questions or if you are interested in buying or selling a home in the Portland area, contact me online or call me at (503) 497-2984.
Principal Real Estate Broker/CRS GRI
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Homes & Health
City living in a charming condo filled with light and open floor plan
Come live in the very walkable Northwest Portland area that is close to many delights—a French boulangerie and coffee shop, restaurants, food co-op, public library, public transit—and has a walk score of 89. The home is on a bus line and a short walk to the streetcar line. The Mediterranean style building has only ten units; this charming one is filled with light and has a soaring ceiling in the living room, in addition to the fireplace. The open floor plan provides space yet is a comfortable size (total of 991 square feet), with bedroom and bath tucked into loft area above, a half bath on main, two balconies, parking in street-level garage, and extra storage in attic space. The custom lighting is new as are two 7-foot armoires (great storage) included in sale. Light-filled with view from wall of windows in living room; balconies on both levels. Gleaming hardwoods on main. Gas fireplace, central AC. Spacious kitchen with eat bar, quartz counters. Includes built-in dishwasher, built-in microwave, disposal, range, and refrigerator. Price: $319,000. More details at RMLS – #14098700.
Prison inmates are signing up for Affordable Care Act
10 March 2014 — In a little-noticed outcome of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, jails and prisons around the country are beginning to sign up inmates for health insurance under the law, taking advantage of the expansion of Medicaid that allows states to extend coverage to single and childless adults — a major part of the prison population. State and counties are enrolling inmates for two main reasons. Although Medicaid does not cover standard health care for inmates, it can pay for their hospital stays beyond 24 hours — meaning states can transfer millions of dollars of obligations to the federal government. Read more…
What can you get for $700,000 in Lake Oswego
10 March 2014 — In the early days of the housing market recovery, homes at the lowest prices saw most transactions and the biggest price increases, driven by competition between investors and years of pent-up demand from first-time homebuyers. But the recovery is trickling up, and more homes are trading at higher price points. This week, our series features homes sold for $700,000. This three-bedroom, four-bathroom house in the Forest Highlands neighborhood in Lake Oswego sold on July 26 for $700,000. Read more…
Demolition puts an end to tilting Clackamas River trolley bridge
10 March 2014 — Heavy equipment began removing the old Portland Traction Co. bridge over the Clackamas River in Gladstone on Sunday, three days after the bridge’s pilings shifted and caused the structure to tilt. Aaron Hunt, a Union Pacific spokesman, said a railway company survey of the bridge in the past three days determined that it needed to be demolished. The company has worked with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, state agencies and the cities of Gladstone and Oregon City to get permits so it can demolish the bridge. Hunt said the bridge had not settled any further since Thursday morning, March 6, when one of its pilings began to shift, causing the metal structure to lean. Last year, Metro gave $201,892 to the city in the hopes of providing access for people to use the bridge across the Clackamas River by studying the feasibility of rehabilitating the historic bridge as an extension of the Trolley Trail into Oregon City. The steel truss bridge was part of a regional trolley line that was constructed in the early 1890s through Southeast Portland, Sellwood and into Oregon City. The bridge was likely built in the 1900s, but by the 1940s weight restrictions were imposed on the structure. In 1968, the Portland Traction Co. ran its last trains from Golf Junction in Sellwood to the Oregon City paper mill. That section of the trolley track was abandoned, along with the old bridge. Read more…
Sellwood Bridge field work update, Office of Citizen Involvement survey deadline
10 March 2014 — Good morning, Multnomah County readers. In case you missed it, the county’s latest Sellwood Bridge field work update is available for anyone who wants the latest details about the project. I’ll be heading out there in the near future to write another story about the project’s progress, and hopefully profile a bridge worker. Here’s a look at what’s ahead this week. -There are still a few hours to take the county Office of Citizen Involvement’s survey on county spending. The survey, which allows residents to tell county commissioners how they’d like to see money spent during the next budget year, is open until the end of Monday. -On Tuesday, area social services leaders will brief county commissioners on their efforts to help low-income people achieve financial security. Read more…
Portlanders grumble about cost of living
10 March 2014 — While Portland consumers may be wringing their hands about rising apartment rents as well as restaurant and retail prices, economists see positives in the most recent inflation report for the region. The overall inflation rate for the eight-county Portland-Salem-Vancouver area was 2.8 percent last year, reports the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That compares with a national annual inflation rate of 1.6 percent. While higher than the national average, the rising cost of living here is in line with acceptable inflation rate increases, experts say. “Consumers tend to over-weight gasoline prices, for instance, because they regularly buy it and see the price every time they go to the pump,” says Bill Conerly, a Lake Oswego economist. “But items such as apparel and flat-screen TVs are getting cheaper. We don’t pay as much attention to that.” Read more…
Butterfly watching in Oregon and Washington
10 March 2014 — Nature photographer Chris Carvalho used to collect butterflies. Now he just collects images of them. Going on a hike with him often doesn’t end up covering much ground because butterflies easily distract him. His macro photography reveals a world of colorful wings and complex camouflage. Carvalho has perfected the art of stalking and photographing his prey. He generously offered to share his secrets, which includes using a flash even outdoors. Binoculars that focus up close (5 or 6 feet), a point-and-shoot camera with good macro focusing, or a digital SLR with a long (120-200 mm) macro lens, with a tall flash that mounts in the camera’s hot shoe (when focusing up close the lens will cast a shadow that makes pop-up flashes useless.) Butterflies are easiest to find outside of cities. Seek out roadsides with flowers, or any meadow in bloom. In Oregon, try High Prairie near Mt. Hood’s Lookout Mountain or Lolo Pass Road. In Washington, good places are Silver Star Mountain and the roads leading to it, and the Swale Canyon Trail of the Klickitat River. Turn on image stabilization if available. Shutter speed of at least 1/125 second and a small aperture (high f-number) give best depth of field. For point-and-shoot cameras, f/8 works. For digital SLRs, choose f/22 or greater. Read more…
Columbia River inspires painters
9 March 2014 — It rises in the Canadian Rockies and flows steeply through the landscape it has created, finally broadening into an estuary of sloughs and islands before its waters meet the salt of the great Pacific. Here, at its mouth, it is an ever-present fact of life with a physical and spiritual power that inspires artists to cluster in homage at its shores. “The river is pervasive in the landscape,” says artist Thomas Benenati, who works as a ranger at Washington’s Fort Columbia State Park. “It’s everywhere I look, almost my whole day.” The Columbia is a presence in well over half of Benenati’s paintings, but it is almost never the subject. It is the textures and tonal values of the river that are the setting for the subject. The river, he observes, “Never goes anywhere, but it’s always different. Its reliability is a place for me to start my work. Read more…
Hunt for frog eggs
9 March 2014 — The Duck Lake Wetlands in Scappoose, just east of Highway 30 near Means Nursery, is an expanse of invasive reed canary grass choked by various dykes that restrict the area’s water from interacting with the Multnomah Channel. While native salmon are mostly blocked from the wetlands, a number of amphibian species have established a strong presence. Chas McCoy, coordinator for the Scappoose Bay Watershed Council, said the group is hoping to draft a “passive restoration plan” for the area, one that would allow salmon to return without hindering the amphibian habitat. McCoy said the plan, which involves reconfiguring nearby Joy Creek into the wetland, would be slated for implementation in 2015. On Tuesday, March 4, surveyors from various agencies and organizations, equipped with thigh-high waders, trekking poles and large spoons, waded into the wetlands in search of amphibian egg masses. Read more…
Cornelius teen loves to collect specimens and plan field trips for the Tualatin Valley Rock & Gem Club
9 March 2014 — Collectible teddy bears used to fill the shelves of Tina True’s Cornelius home until a rockslide (of sorts) swept them away. More specifically, they were crowded out by the hundreds of rocks her son, Brian, and husband, Dave, have brought back from all over the Northwest. “I’m hoping the house doesn’t sink,” quipped Tina, pointing toward not only the rocks — which weigh an estimated 10 tons and line baseboards and window sills as well as shelves — but the bulk of trophies Brian, 13, has scored by winning the junior division of the Portland regional rock and gem competition three years in a row.Brian, 13, is a confirmed rockhound, a hobby his dad and his mom are only too glad to encourage. “I’m happy to put up with rock dust,” Tina said. “They are out there making memories.”It all began about six years ago, when Brian stumbled on his father’s rock collection from childhood, discovering rocks wrapped up and stored in boxes. His father told him about collecting rocks when he was a kid and described each rock — sparkly samples, specimens with deep black centers, oddly-shaped ones — as Brian unwrapped it. He was hooked. “I started going to rock shows,” he explained. Read more…