Diversity Gardening Co-op Harvests Food and Fosters Community

By Darren Holcomb

The Diversity Gardening Co-op is a citizen-led project envisioned by Eliot Neighborhood Association board member, Shireen Hasan, with the generous support of the members of St. Philip the Deacon Church led by Reverend Maria McDowell. It was designed and constructed by myself and other Eliot residents and community members.

This garden had its beginnings in August of 2018 and in April of this year 2019, construction began. By May we planted our first crops. Those crops were harvested this summer. Currently, the garden consists of nine 3’x6’ planter boxes growing a variety of vegetables for the members of our community. Our ultimate goal is to expand that number to provide gardening space for the members of the church, the unhoused, African Americans, low income, flash disadvantaged, veterans, youth who are in our area and even a raised gardening box for those needing wheelchair accessibility. There will also be an extensive herb garden for all to plant in as well as a meditation garden including artwork to reflect the African American Diaspora in the neighborhood.

These additions are currently in the design stage. This project is breathing renewed life to an area that was starting to slip back upon itself. The pooling of our group’s talents, community and business organization’s resources and other partnerships and support of the neighborhood have been key to helping us proceed past a number of obstacles, both inherent to the project and that arose from unexpected sources along the way. With the continued support of all involved, we are looking forward to the completion of this vision in the summer/fall of 2020.

Stay tuned for quarterly updates and please consider volunteering at the garden this year. It’s a great way to meet some new neighbors and friends and give back to your community.

New Plant Shop Takes Roots

By Ruth Eddy

On one of the last sunny days of the year, Tylor Rogers looks out an open garage door at Arium Botanicals, soaking in the fresh air with a room full of plants behind him. Just outside the door is the busy traffic at the intersection of MLK and Tillamook Streets and the skeleton of a sign left vacant from the previous tenants. “A sign is next,” Tylor says, “maybe something that just says ‘plants’.”

Over the last few months, Anthony Sanchez, 22, and Tylor Rogers, 24, partners in life and business, have taken over the former home of the Land Rover repair shop, Green Oval, which moved to a larger space at 121 NE Weidler Street, and the old garage is blooming with new life.

“I love seeing people’s faces when they walk in,” Rogers says. Most of the people who came to Arium’s grand opening this summer were plant enthusiasts who had started following the shop when it was only online. Like a well-cared-for plant, the business has grown visibly. Prior to their recent move, they rented a 400 square foot space in the Standard Dairy Building further north on MLK. There, they shipped online orders from the store half the week and were open to the public the other half.

“We would drive past this building every day on our way to work and imagine what it would be like,” said Rogers, who wasted no time when the building went up for rent. “It’s nice to be able to branch out and grow, so to say,” he said with a laugh. The new space is more than six times larger than their old shop. It’s painted a bright
white, with garage door windows inviting sunlight for cactus arranged on the floor. Other house plants are paired with locally made ceramic pots and macramé hangers. Rogers and Sanchez say they feel like they have found their forever home.

The shop’s name, Arium, is a representation of the space. It’s a play on “terrarium”, which breaks down into to Latin roots Terre, or Earth, and arium, or container.
“This is an entire vessel,” Rogers said, “Think of it as a large terrarium to host these plants and grow them to bring into other people’s spaces.”

Tylor and Anthony have a clear love for plants and are enthusiastic and approachable about sharing their knowledge with people looking to buy their first house plant or
to add an exotic aroid to their collection. “We have definitely killed plants in the past from not knowing how to take care of it. So we want to set everyone up as best as we can,” said Sanchez, recalling the fate of his first houseplant, a parlor palm from The Home Depot.

The house plant industry has seen huge growth in the last decade. Arium is a boat on that rising tide. A recent article in the NY Times reported a botanic design company, Greenery NYC saw a 6,500 percent increase in business in the past ten years. “I think it does something different for everyone,” Rogers said, “For us, we don’t have pets.”

Sanchez added, “But when we come home, it’s nice to walk into a space with living things.” Just like pets, houseplant owners find ways to communicate with their floral family, picking up hints about their plant’s needs.

Sanchez and Rogers have become more selective with the plants they have at their house as the collection in the shop has grown. Occasionally, they do become attached
to new plants for sale, but they are always happy to see them go to a new home. Many customers come back to share pictures of new growth. “It’s cool to create relationships with the people who acquire our plants,” Sanchez said, “You kind of feel like the plant is still in our life.”

On a recent walk in the neighborhood, the couple spotted a plant in a window, with the Arium tag still attached. Sanchez shook their head
recalling the feeling. “That’s really weird, like bizarre.”

“It’s super special to know we are playing a little piece in people’s lives,” Rogers added.

Arium Botanicals
2046 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd
503-719-4763
Ariumbotanicals.com

Black Hat Books Program Offerings

By Ruth Eddy

Local book shop, Black Hat Books, has an ongoing workshop and a reading group worth checking out. Learn confidence and become more well read while supporting a locally owned business.

Public Speaking!
1st and 3rd Saturdays 2:00 PM
Performative Reading and conquering stage fright twice monthly. All ages workshop taught by actor and musician Chrissy Sukboriboon

Reading Group
Mondays 7:00- 9:00 PM
Excerpts, essays, and poetry on a rotating monthly theme centering on black authors

Black Hat Books
2831 NE MLK Jr. Blvd

Mayo House Update

Many of our readers may remember the series of articles we have printed about the Martin Mayo House. You can find them on the Eliot Neighborhood Association website at eliotneighborhood.org. To recap, this Victorian house has had a very mobile history in our neighborhood moving three times to where it now stands at 236 NE Sacramento Street.

Back in the middle of 2018, the owners of the house were going to have the house demolished as they had sold the land to a developer who was going to build a new apartment complex. Enter, Cleo Davis, whose family has lived on the street since the 1980s. Just a few doors down to the east, where a little house sits at the back of the lot, is a piece of vacant land that once was occupied by an apartment building owned by Cleo’s grandmother. Unfortunately, the property, that was supposed to be income-producing for the family, was demolished in the late 1980s because of being deemed as blight.

Cleo is a local artist who was looking for a place to house the ARTchives which will focus on Black history in our neighborhood as well as other Black people who have made contributions to the community. When he saw that the house was going to be demolished, he went to work on buying the Mayo House, getting it moved down the street and then getting the property rezoned to accommodate businesses and residences. This was all accomplished by January of 2019 and the little house moved again, hopefully for the last time. It now sits on its new foundation awaiting renovation.

The history of the Davis family and the house move can be seen in a touching, short documentary called “Root Shocked” by Cecilia Brown, which can be found on Vimeo.

Most recently, potential ideas for renovations have been undertaken by the University of Oregon graduate students in the architectural program. Cleo co-instructed the course as students learned about the history of the neighborhood covering redlining and displacement. Then the students used the theories of spatial justice to draw up plans to build out the space using the existing Mayo House in the plans and provide community space and opportunities for displaced residents and artists. Each graduate student displayed creative uses of the space and house as final exam projects.

What the future holds for this historic home is uncertain as to the design and final architectural plans, but one thing is certain, this little house will not have to move ever again if Cleo Davis has any say in the matter. His grandmother can rest easy knowing that her property will be a place of community, provide financial security to her family and that future families will have a place to live that honors the past and provide bright opportunities for the future at the Martin Mayo House.

Portland’s First Motorcycle Shop and Cocktail Bar: Legion Motorcycle Co.

There’s a new place to hang out in Eliot. Whether or not you are into motorcycles, Legion Motorcycle Company has something for everyone. Need to repair your motorcycle? Legion can help with that. Want a place to hang out, drink a beer or grab a snack with your friends? Legion can help with that. Want to take a class or hold an event? Legion can help with that. Or maybe you need a haircut? Legion can help with that… well, actually the barber that is located in Legion Motorcycle Company’s shop can help with that.

Gabriel Court and Alex Glover opened Legion Motorcycle Company last August. The two, who met while working with homeless veterans, wanted to open a shop that supported the motorcycle community but with less of a cliquey and exclusive feel and making it comfortable and accessible to anyone interested in cycling. After settling on their current location at 2145 NE MLK Jr Blvd across from Billy Ray’s Tavern and next to Jayne dispensary, the two envisioned a DIY motorcycle repair shop, but it has morphed into a full service motorcycle repair shop/bar/barber shop complete with events, classes and a relaxed space to hang out. This is not a motorcycle club but is open to the public and is a place for anyone to come check out, hang out, and enjoy.

Gabriel and Alex were both combat veterans. Alex was a master of arms in the Navy and Gabriel was an airborne medic in the Army. After their military service, both ended up working with homeless veterans in Portland which is how their paths crossed. Alex worked for Transition Projects and was the director of housing. Gabriel worked for Multnomah County as an Emergency Operations Manager. They worked together and ended up opening several homeless shelters across the city. Spending time together and becoming friends they discovered that they both liked motorcycles and were getting burned out on social work. Thus, when they talked about their futures, combining what they loved about motorcycles and their skills with motorcycle repair seemed to lead to creating a business that is unique in Portland especially with all the additional services that Legion Motorcycle Company offers. The name is a nod to their military service which they credit with their meeting each other and fulfilling their future adventures.

The business started as a DIY motorcycle shop where one could work on their bike using Legion’s tools and getting advice or assistance they needed with repairs. However, the DIY only format was not sustainable so Legion has developed into a full service shop while still offering a small segment of their business devoted to do it yourself repairs as well as membership opportunities. Legion purchased Portland Moto Collective and also some machining equipment for metal fabrication from the onsite scooter rental that recently went out of business. Add a barber and a bar and you have a unique new business in Eliot. The barber, Fabian Redondo, already had his station in this location with a prior barbershop onsite. Fabian has 11 years of experience and is available to make you look sharp Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm.

The addition of the bar makes the business even more sustainable and of course, a more entertaining place to hang out. What started as a few cans of beer and a tip jar has jumped to a whole new level with fellow veteran Lucas Plant, the bartender and  , pouring beer from Labrewatory, serving up vegetarian/vegan snacks, and mixing up reasonably priced, creative, low ABV wine and beer cocktails such as the Misunderstood Genius (red wine and Coca Cola) and Paradise City (champagne with elder flower and bitters).

Besides motorcycle repair and libations, Alex and Gabriel want to focus on education and events. They teach classes on motorcycle maintenance and electrical work, sell parts and jackets and are starting to offer themed parties. On Valentine’s Day they projected a movie on the wall, served heart shaped pizza and had a tattoo artist giving Valentine themed tattoos. Another event was a makers market with crafts for sale by local crafters and artists.

The next event is a restaurant pop up on March 15. The event is called Atomic Pickles and they will be serving spicy food items.

Legion currently hosts a women’s motorcycle group and offer a women specific motorcycle maintenance class. They also hope to bring in veterans who are looking for a different career path such as working in a bar or working on bikes.

It is important to Alex and Gabriel to support local nonprofits. They particularly focus on homeless services for homeless veterans and will soon offer a motorcycle tour of all the affordable housing facilities in the city. Also, they will be offering classes like earthquake preparedness, first aid, and CPR.

The Legion bar space can be rented for events. For pricing and availability email to luckyyou@legionmoto.co or call 503-954-1546.

Starting any new business can be both frustratingly challenging and pleasantly surprising. Alex and Gabriel say that the permitting process for food service was particularly challenging because there is not one specific place that the requirements can be found. However, the biggest surprise was how welcoming the neighborhood has been and how active the neighborhood is.  Many residents have come by and said how glad they are that Legion is here and what great neighbors they have been so far. Keeping the noise down at night and respecting the neighbors is important to the motorcycle company owners.

So when looking for a place to spend an afternoon or evening, waiting for a table at a nearby restaurant, or want to explore the world of motorcycle maintenance, stop by Legion Motorcycle Company and join your neighbors in welcoming Alex and Gabriel to Eliot. I know I’m glad they chose our neighborhood to make their dream a reality.

Legion Motorcycle Co.
2145 NE MLK Jr Blvd
Wednesday – Sunday 10 am-8 pm
503-954-1546
http://www.legionmoto.co

 Fabian Redondo
503-206-9215
@Barber_Fabian
Tuesday – Saturday 10 am-6 pm

Zumba for Your Life

By Shireen Hasan

Okay, all you couch potatoes (especially men), I challenge you to get up and prepare to ZUMBA!

Start your New Year’s resolution off on the right foot. Michelle Jones, at Matt Dishman’s Community Center, is the girl to move you on your way to better health and overall wellness. Michelle has been teaching ZUMBA for 9 years, starting at Sellwood Community Center, and has spent the last 7 years at Portland Parks and Recreation. Michelle says that she loves to dance, she prefers community centers and loves to see others’ joy of dance and the mental and physical benefits from ZUMBA.

Although Michelle teaches at a few locations for PP&R, she especially loves teaching her ZUMBA class at Matt Dishman Community Center because of the camaraderie and
diversity of a community of all ages, ethnicities, and all different levels of physical abilities. Her class even includes folks with developmental and physical disabilities participating in their own way, all dancing together.

Michelle feels that it is more than just exercise, it is a fellowship with each community exposing folks to music from around the world from Costa Rica or Africa, to name a few, which folks may not have the chance otherwise to experience. The Creator of Zumba, Alberto Perez, formatted ZUMBA for all folks to follow from beginner to advanced and all walks of life.

Elks Lodge Open to the Public

There is a big banner hanging from the Billy Webb Elk’s Lodge at Tillamook and Williams. The yellow lettering boldly says “Open to the Public.” The fraternal organization hasn’t always been open to the public. The club has occupied the corner since 1959 and historically has been members only. The club is now hosting many weekly events, like free Jazz on Sundays from 5-8 pm. Their full bar serves cocktails, Executive Groove lays down the music, the dance floor is open and food is available. The club hosts card games on Mondays and Thursdays, has a DJ on Friday nights and is finishing a new kitchen soon.

The Billy Webb Elk’s Lodge is a great place to meet neighbors and support the boldly standing Black-owned building of Portland’s African-American community.

Free Jazz
Sundays 5-8 pm
Billy Webb Elk’s Lodge
6 N Tillamook St

You’re Invited: Weekly Events at Cascadia’s Garlington Health Center

By Jennifer Wilcox

There’s a lot happening at Cascadia’s Garlington Health Center located at 3036 NE Martin Luther King Jr., Blvd. Everyone’s invited to join in and you don’t have to be a Cascadia client to participate. See below for some weekly events.

There’s more to come in the new year but check out these fun events now! Mark your calendar or check out Cascadia’s website at https://cascadiabhc.org/services/wellnessprogram/

Family Game Night

Come join us on the first Thursday of each month from 5:00-7:00 pm at our Garlington Health Center for a Family Game Night! Bring your family and friends each month to socialize, have some snacks, meet community members, explore our health center, and play some fun games! For more information or to ask questions, please email Jennifer Wilcox at wellnessprogram@cascadiabhc.org or call 503-238-0705 ext. 1109.

Walking Group

Come join us every Thursday at our Garlington Health Center to join our weekly walking group! Get out in the fresh air, meet new friends, and improve your health by joining our group. Walkers will meet in the Garlington Wellness Center on the first floor and walk from 11:30 am- 12:30 pm.

Healthy Eating Class

Come join us every Monday from 11:00 am -12:30 pm at our Garlington Health Center for our weekly Healthy Eating Class! Learn about nutrition, and how to create healthy, delicious meals for yourself and your family.

Music Meet Up/Sing-Along

Ready to make some music? Join the Music Meet Up and SingAlong on Thursdays from 2:30-3:30. Sing in a group hits from the 50s and beyond. Lyric sheets and percussion instruments are provided.

More to come in the new year so stay tuned!

A Brief History of MLK, Jr. Blvd

On May 28, 1873, under the direction of Edwin Russell, the townsite plat of Albina was laid out and filed with Multnomah County by George H. Williams. Many of the street names have stayed the same such as Page, Russell and Williams. However, many street names have been changed, some even multiple times. Our current NE Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard is one such street.

The original name of the boulevard was Marguretta Avenue named after Albina founder Edwin Russell’s wife. In 1888 Portland & Vancouver Railway built tracks for a steam-powered line along Marguretta Avenue. The rail line stimulated business and residential and some commercial development. The name Marguretta didn’t last long. In June 1891 an election was held for all residents of Portland, Albina, and East Portland to consolidate the three cities. With this new city formation, the street name was changed to Union Avenue. The street was widened in the 1930s and streetcar tracks were laid.

Union Avenue held its name until 1989 when the Albina Community Plan was developed to revitalize distressed neighborhoods in and around the Albina community. After inquiries about why Portland didn’t have a street named after Martin Luther King, Jr, especially since the minister had visited the Vancouver Baptist Church back in 1961, Union Avenue eventually was renamed Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard after a long and tumultuous process.

Historical data are from Roy Roos’ Book, The History of Albina, ISBN#0-9662224-2-3 and also from the Skanner article, “Renaming the Boulevard,: a Retrospective” which can be found at https://www.theskanner.com/news/history/6518-renaming-the-boulevard-a-retrospective2010-01-14

Letter from the Chair: Co-Chairs That Work Together

Our co-chairs Allan Rudwick and Jimmy Wilson recently sat down for a discussion about priorities for the coming year. We came away with a few things. Firstly, we are committed to being co-chairs because we want to work together. Working together means taking the shared experiences of our lives and using them to guide where we are going.

Co-chair Jimmy Wilson expressed a vision to help the homeless community. “As a city, we have been in a ‘housing emergency’ for 5 or so years and we don’t have much to show for it.” It was further discussed what it would mean for the Eliot NA to do something about it.

Co-Chair Allan Rudwick expressed concern about the desire to see vacant land in the neighborhood turned into useful places for people to thrive. This means a bunch of different pieces, working with the city and landholders to actually motivate building on vacant land. Some of that is just
reaching out to landowners, some of it is working with the city.

In addition, Co-Chair Allan Rudwick’s desire is to see something done about Diesel pollution. “We have a problem in Portland and in Eliot in particular with the number of unfiltered Diesel trucks rolling down I-5 in particular and other streets in the area. This is leading us to breathe more Diesel Particulate (aka Black Carbon) than other neighborhoods farther away from major truck routes. There are some solutions that seem obvious like requiring filters on trucks.” Cochair Jimmy Wilson mentioned that the problem of diesel particulates has been an issue for a long time and people have complained heavily in the past to no avail. This new effort may have legs but it should recognize those that came before and tried.

It is the sentiment of the co-chairs that “we are second to the community. We aren’t attending meetings just for fun, we’re doing it to try to make this a better place. Whether it is picking up trash, feeding people, or keeping a space for local residents to get help with their issues, we want the people of the neighbor to know that the Eliot NA Board is here for them. “We are trying to support the strong citizens in the neighborhood. Sometimes that is advice on how to get in touch with the city, sometimes it is financial grants but always it comes from a place of respect and understanding that everyone is trying their best.”

Further, we are out here trying to make the world better for the next generations.

Our time is now, but if we can’t clean up pollution and build a great place, what are we leaving for the young people? There is no personal glory in this job, but there is satisfaction with helping people make a difference.

Insurance Masters NW: Giving Back to the Planet and Covering Your Insurance Needs

By Corey Kaster

Insurance Masters NW was started in 2005 by Corey Kaster, a North Portland resident who saw the need for an insurance agency that does things differently. Too often people do not secure proper insurance because it seems confusing, time-consuming, or they receive incorrect advice. He began his agency to fix these problems by simplifying and streamlining the process, offering expert advice, and keeping the best interests of their clients at the forefront.

In 2018 Insurance Masters NW became a Certified B Corporation as they have always been committed to social and environmental responsibility. They also became a 1% for the Planet Member, committing 1% of profits to environmental charities.

In early 2019 Corey switched the office from being a semi-captive agency with Farmers Insurance to an independent insurance brokerage. This allows them to offer more competitive pricing while still providing great coverage and quality customer service. They have grown rapidly since this change.

Many financial experts will tell you some unforeseen events and a lack of the right kind of insurance can spell trouble quickly. It can turn a bad day into a bad life! Call them today and they can analyze your insurance needs and get you covered easily at the right price. Everyone has different insurance needs. Connecting with them for a personalized business or individual assessment can show how help protect your hard-earned assets. They offer an easy side-by-side comparison to your current coverage/pricing so you can easily make the right choice.

Corey was born and raised in Portland and loves the variety Portland and the surrounding area offers. When not in the office you can find him out hiking, camping, wakeboarding, snowboarding, biking, doing crossfit, yoga, exploring the city and more. As you can see he stays quite active!

In the industry since 2004, Derek Ortega joined the team with a passion for the impact of insurance in people’s lives. An expert in both personal and commercial insurance, he asks the right questions to provide customized packages to meet each need.

Insurance Masters NW offers the following insurance products – Business/ Commercial, Home, Life, Auto, Fire, Flood, Theft, and more.

Contact them today to see how they can help. Call 503-419-6421 or drop by at 434 NE Knott St. Suite 210 directly behind the Nike Factory store.

Taxed to Death, Part 2

This is the second article on current property tax issues, continuing the article in the Eliot Neighborhood News Spring issue. The first warned of potential changes to property taxes by the current state legislature. At the time, there were several legislators arguing inner N/NE properties were under-taxed and should be reassessed to increase tax payments. This was a consequence of Measure 50, a citizen initiative to cap the rate of property tax increases passed in 1997. It appears that won’t happen. More on that in a bit, but Eliot hasn’t dodged the tax increase bullet.

The other way Multnomah County can extract more taxes from a property in Eliot is selective reassessment. I stopped a County Assessor inspecting homes on my street about a month ago. He said the County was “updating its records.” While the Assessor has an obligation to keep accurate records, doing so on a selective basis — say focusing on Eliot because it is “under-assessed” — strikes me as inequitable. While Measure 50 caps the basis for real market value (RMV), it allows reassessment for new construction and other improvements. Generally, reassessment is triggered by building permits; however, self-constructed improvements are included. Adding a deck is an example and was one item of interest to this assessor (among others). He also volunteered that the County was implementing a “pilot” project to see how many improvements since 1997 were missing from their records. Of course, any improvements that were noted would result in reassessment and higher taxes. Geographically targeted reassessments are concerning enough, but I heard another story that was more disturbing. Several years ago a friend had a house built on her spare lot, like many others with their ADUs, It was permitted and assessed at the time. Recently she received a property tax bill for 5-years of under-assessment. She was told the County hadn’t adjusted her property value at the time and was collecting for the previous 5-years at the corrected rate, a bill over $25,000!

The lesson for all of us in Eliot is that the County apparently has targeted our area for selective increases in assessed value and higher taxes. I noted this as a “worst-case” for property tax collections, but one that is pressing because governments can’t increase taxes as much as they want because of Measure 50. To recap, property taxes are currently based on County assessment of the value of the land and improvements on it, typically a house. The tax rate for both is the same, so the total tax is based on the combination of land and improvements. Measure 50 fixed the local property tax rate to 0.015% of market value and limited annual increases to 3%. The assessed value was indexed to 90% of 1996-7 RMV. As a review of the book Survival Math on page 5 of this issue indicates, Albina in the 1990s was wracked with drugs, prostitution, and gang warfare resulting in reduced property values. Using a real-world example, in 1997 a small house in Eliot had an RMV of $50,000 and taxes set at $750 (other fees brought the total to $1,000). Thanks to Measure 50, that house is now assessed $94,000 and total taxes at $2,400. Without Measure 50, the RMV would be $430,000 and the taxes roughly four times higher!

The previous article noted that if the state legislature did void Measure 50, it would cause all properties to be revalued and the actual tax change somewhat less than four times, so long as the total amount of tax collections was the same as today. For example, if all properties were assessed at twice the current value, the actual tax would be the same as today – to prevent a windfall of tax payments to area governments. However, not all properties have increased at the same rate. Eliot’s values DID increase faster than some parts of the city, such as neighborhoods to the east and far south. As a result, Eliot tax payments would still increase more than many other neighborhoods.

The legislature did not void Measure 50, and it’s possible it can’t because it was a citizen initiative, which may require a public vote to change. What the legislature did instead, with the urging of many governments and social and environmental groups, was offer a proposal of a study of different ways of assessing taxes, one based only on land value; the value of improvements would not be reflected in the tax rate. In other words, a small, 1909 cottage in Eliot would be assessed at the same rate as the recently built McMansion next door. This tax scheme is called land value taxation. A bill (SB 702) to study it as a replacement for current property taxes has passed the Oregon Senate. It calls for a study next year, presumably to be used during the next Legislative session in 2021. The bill notes that the purpose of this study IS to find ways to increase revenues from property taxes, meaning higher property taxes regardless.

Coalition of Black Men/Shellmire Unlimited Bike ‘n’ Bite

By Shireen Hasan

The Annual Bike ‘n’ Bite hosted by the Coalition of Black Men & Shellmire Unlimited P.C. on Saturday, August 3, 2019, was a huge success!

Encouraging community participation and health and wellness, this event’s community participation doubled from last year and it seems to be gaining more momentum each year.

This is a once-a-year bike ride for the community where folks meet in the morning, follow a planned bike route, and end with a community luncheon.

This year, community bikers began their bike ride at the Vanport Plaza located at 5257 NE Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard, in Portland, and rode across the Vancouver Bridge to the historic Esther Short Park in downtown Vancouver, Washington, where they enjoyed festivities such as live music, food, farmer’s markets, other activities, and ending the bike ride with delicious healthy food at the Horn of Africa, also located in the Vanport Plaza. This event is open to the public, including families with children.

The next annual bike ride will be held sometime in early August 2020, so mark your calendars and do not miss out on the fun! Contact Coalition of Black Men at 503-919-6804 or Shellmire Unlimited P.C. at 503-946-3484 for more details.

Legacy Health Announces New President of Unity Behavioral Health Center

By Vicki Guinn

Legacy Health announced the appointment of Melissa Eckstein, MSSW, MBA, LCSW, as the new president of Unity Center for Behavioral Health effective September 30, 2019.

“We selected Melissa after a rigorous nationwide search with multiple highly qualified candidates,” said Trent Green, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Legacy Health. “Melissa brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in creating safe, caring environments for patients experiencing acute behavioral health crises and has a strong background in fostering relationships with staff, patients and the community.”

“Compassionate and respectful around-the-clock mental health services are needed for those facing a mental health crisis,” said Eckstein. “We can only do this with a highlytrained staff of professionals who feel supported and can focus on providing high-level care to patients. I look forward to working with Legacy Health leaders, staff and other partners to continue to improve the Unity Center model of care and to continue to build upon this greatly-needed service in the community.”

Eckstein has held leadership roles guiding the operations of behavioral health centers that offer crisis intervention. She most recently served as the chief executive officer of Palo Verde Behavioral Health, an inpatient and outpatient mental health and substance use treatment facility which offers programs for adults and adolescents. Prior to that, Eckstein held the position of chief operating officer for Spring Mountain Treatment Center and Spring Mountain Sahara in Las Vegas, Nevada. She served as CEO for Salt Lake Behavioral Health Hospital in Salt Lake, Utah, and COO for Ascend Health Corporation.

Eckstein holds an undergraduate degree from the University of North Texas; an MBA from Texas Women’s University; and a Master of Science in social work from the University of Texas at Arlington. She is a licensed clinical social worker.

Memoz Dessert Café – Creative, Deliciousness in Record Time

By Memoz Dessert Cafe

Brownie with Baked Alaska …
yummm!
Photo courtesy Memoz Dessert
Café

Brand new to the neighborhood, Memoz Dessert Cafe opened this spring at 3494 N. Williams. Founded by husband and wife team Aaron and Julie Allina, this one-of-a-kind, build-your-own dessert cafe serves up incredible desserts, designed by you and baked in under two minutes, right in front of your eyes.

With an array of menu items from comfort classics like brownies and cookies to the almond tart and seasonal crisp, there’s something for everyone, including gluten-free and vegan options. Memoz offers an endless array of desserts to choose from, you can design your own or choose from a selection of seasonal signature combinations, and select fun toppings like Baked Alaska, caramel, ganache, or a la mode.

Memoz pastry chef Erica Stephensen and her team of dessert guides then bake your creation in under two minutes utilizing the cafe’s cutting edge and lightning-fast ovens for a first of its kind dessert experience.

Family friendly and built as a neighborhood retreat, Memoz offers coffee as well as beer and wine for those old enough to imbibe. For families, board games and a relaxed atmosphere invites you to come and stay awhile. Memoz is open all day, 12 to 9 pm Sunday through Thursday and is open late on Fridays and Saturdays, from 12 to 11 pm.