Kay Toran: Neighbor, Role Model and Leader

Kay Toran
Kay Toran, Eliot native and Volunteers Of America Oregon’s CEO and President

A family of 5 from Alabama decides to make their way to Oregon for a promising future and opportunity. Not such an unusual story for today but being an African American family in the 1940’s such a decision would be brave and fraught with worry about how the Pacific Northwest would treat them and also that it could be a long time before they see their extended family again. This is the beginning of the story of Kay Toran’s life which has been nothing short of an amazing. Growing up in Eliot, working for public and government agencies and finally finding her place in nonprofit organizations, Toran has been a neighbor, role model and leader for our community. The following is taken from an interview with Kay Toran and it is meant to help new as well as longtime residents learn a little more about our neighborhood and one of the families that has lived in Portland for 3 generations.

Continue reading Kay Toran: Neighbor, Role Model and Leader

I-5 Overpass Reconstruction Moving Forward

I-5 Overpass Reconstruction
I-5 Overpass Reconstruction

“The Box”

The recently adopted NE Quadrant Plan (a part of the Central City and Comprehensive Plans) was conducted in cooperation with the Transportation offices of the State (ODOT) and City (PDOT) to coordinate ODOT’s plans to expand capacity on I-5 through the Rose Quarter and the I-5 ramps with PDOT’s plans for the area between at Broadway/Weidler, an area known as “the Box”.

Continue reading I-5 Overpass Reconstruction Moving Forward

PICA Has a New Home

PICA New Home
15 NE Hancock

The Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA) has a permanent home in northeast Portland thanks to a generous donation from philanthropist Allie Furlotti. Since 1995, PICA has been an integral part of the arts landscape in Portland and the purchase of this building helps solidify its future in a rapidly changing city.

Continue reading PICA Has a New Home

Torrain: A Recycled Goods Shop

Torrain Bags
Nyla Jano
Nyla Jano

Nyla Jano, owner of Torrain here in Portland, was designing the women’s line for a skate company in California when she realized she was not doing enough. Her background working with environmental organizations and social work companies sparked a need to help others. “I always felt weird being just a clothing designer,” Jano said. And so, she teamed up with artisan groups in Cambodia to create a bag line made from recycled materials, such as rice bags, fish feed bags, cement bags, and magazines.

Continue reading Torrain: A Recycled Goods Shop

Editorial – MLK Gateway Project Status

The other day while walking to work I passed by the triangle where MLK and Grand come together at Hancock.  I noticed the sign announcing construction for the new gateway project to begin Spring 2011.  Then I recalled all the hubabalu about the project last May.  I was angry that our neighborhood lost out on a positive change due to the whining of a few.

Continue reading Editorial – MLK Gateway Project Status