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Alternative program sets pace for giving
Citizens debate park development fee increase
Refugees learn new laws, public safety rules
SnowCap Christmas dinner feeds the needs of the season
Workwise program changing how we think about work
City, county launch East Portland Action Plan
School District bond due to expire in December 2011
Carolyn Dowd, teacher, mentor succumbs
102nd Avenue work begins January 14

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The Memo Calendar is your vehicle to publicize community events. Let your Mid-Multnomah County neighbors know about events of interest, meetings, fundraisers and the like. Calendar submissions for the February issue are due Tuesday, Jan. 15. For best results, e-mail Darlene Vinson at Or mail your editorial submissions to 3510 N.E. 134th Ave., Portland, OR 97230. To leave a phone message, call 503-287-8904. The Mid-county Memo fax number is 503-249-7672.

Guitar zero to guitar hero
Want to be a real guitar hero? Enroll in the Mt. Hood Community College Guitar for Beginners class (MUS4G), offered winter term through the Community Education department.

In the 10-week course, students will learn to read rhythm charts, play chords and scales and learn to play lead or rhythm guitar. Several styles will be covered including classical, folk, blues, rock and jazz.

The class will be offered twice on Wednesday nights beginning Jan. 9. One class begins at 5:45 p.m., and the other begins at 7:20 p.m. The classes are held at Walt Morey Middle School, 2801 S.W. Lucas, in Troutdale. The fee is $59. To register, call the Community Education department at 503-491-7572 or visit for more information.

Medical office specialist degrees offered
If you are interested in a medical profession but prefer an office setting, the Medical Office Specialist programs at Mt. Hood Community College can teach you the skills you need for the career you want.

The Medical Office Specialist program has four tracks from which to choose: administrative secretary, accounting, management or unit secretary. The average Medical Office Specialist degree is obtained in approximately 18 months to two years. You may begin taking classes any term, and many classes can be taken in a compressed format or as self-paced classes, allowing you to earn an Associate of Applied Science degree even sooner.

In the administrative secretary program, a medical office specialist student will gain skills in patient relations, reception, medical records, computers, scheduling, coding and billing. This option appeals to those who enjoy helping people, want to work in a professional setting and prefer a variety of job assignments.

In the accounting program, a medical office specialist concentrates on accounts receivable, billing and collection procedures, patient and insurance record keeping, and budget and financial records.

In the management program, a medical office specialist student prepares to oversee a healthcare facility by learning how to lead people and manage office operations. The management specialist most often aspires to eventually manage some segment of a medical organization.

In the unit secretary program, a medical office specialist functions as the center of the communications hub found in a hospital unit. She or he works in a dynamic medical setting with physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals. Desirable traits of a unit secretary include strong communication skills, flexibility, professionalism and responsibility.

For general information e-mail

Refresher course can help older drivers
A refresher course can help older drivers continue driving safely. Mt. Hood Community College is offering an AARP-sponsored class designed for people age 50 and older.

This two-day class involves instruction only, not actual driving. Students who complete the program will receive a certificate and will be eligible for insurance discounts. Driver Safety Program (DRV5DS) will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 5 and Thursday, Feb. 7. The class will be held at the Gresham campus of Mt. Hood Community College, 26000 S.E. Stark St. A $10 fee will be collected the first day.

For more information or to register, call the MHCC Community Education department at 503-491-7572 or visit

Learn about Medicare options
If you’re confused about your Medicare options and don’t know where to turn for answers, the Mt. Hood Community College Community Education department can help with a class called Welcome to Medicare (HE4MC).

This course will help participants understand Medicare basics and make informed choices. Topics include: Medicare eligibility and enrollment; Parts A, B, C and D; covered services; Medicare insurance policies and problem resolution. Trained volunteers in cooperation with Multnomah County Aging and Disability Services teach this free course.

The class will be offered four times during winter term: Thursday, Jan. 17, and on Thursday, Feb. 21, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Bruning Center for Allied Health Education, 1484 N.W. Civic Drive in Gresham; and Saturday, Jan. 26, and Saturday, Feb. 23 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Gresham campus of Mt. Hood Community College, 26000 S.E. Stark St.

For more information or to register, call the MHCC Community Education department at 503-491-7572 or visit

Service club wants you
Russellville Kiwanis meets every Tuesday from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Refectory Restaurant, 1618 N.E. 122nd Ave. The agenda includes a brief business meeting followed by an interesting speaker from the community.

Russellville Kiwanis works in support of organizations such as DayBreak Family Shelter Network, SnowCap Community Charities, Mt. Hood Kiwanis Camp for Disabled Individuals, Ronald McDonald House, Parkrose Little League and others. If you drop in for lunch, they’ll buy.

Contact Charlie Ross at 503-252-1570 with your questions.

New year, new agenda
The Parkrose Business Association will begin the new year with a board meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 9 at 7 a.m. at the Pony Soldier Inn, 9901 N.E. Sandy Blvd. A general meeting will follow on Thursday, Jan. 17 at 11:30 a.m. at Steamers Restaurant and Lounge, 8303 N.E. Sandy Blvd. Drop in to find out what this active group has planned for 2008.

Professor to share insights
Members of the Sons of Norway Grieg Lodge encourage you to combine your love for literature with your Scandinavian heritage.

Read “Alberta and Jacob,” by Cora Sandel for the Norwegian Literature Book Group discussion on Saturday, Jan. 12 at 2 p.m. at Norse Hall, 111 N.E. 11th Ave. Coffee and cake will be served.

After the group has shared its views on this work, Ellen Rees, associate professor of Scandinavian at the University of Oregon will discuss how this coming-of-age novel presents an introduction to the Norwegian author’s body of work. Rees will speak at 4 p.m.

More information is available at 503-231-5199.

Butterflies in your garden
Flower Lane Garden Club will meet on Tuesday, Jan. 15 at Club Estates on Southeast 122nd Avenue and Main Street. The 10 a.m. meeting will feature guest speaker Bonnie Kiser, co-founder of Cascadia Monarch Society.

Lunch will be served at noon. Anyone interested in joining a friendly garden club is invited. Meetings are free. For more information call Isa Hogue at 503-253-4071.

Permitting for new single family residential projects
The monthly Lunch and Learn Brown Bag presentation offered by the city of Portland Bureau of Development Services will address new single-family residential projects this month.

Learn about changes to the permit submission process and find out what to include in your plans. Presenters will talk about who will review submitted plans, the review process and the review timeline while offering helpful tips.

This is a free event. Pack a lunch and join the discussion at noon on Friday, Jan. 22 downtown at 1900 S.W. 4th Ave. in Room 2500-A.

Medical marijuana to be meeting topic
There will be an East Precinct Block Captain meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 23 in the East Precinct Community Room, 737 S.E. 106th Ave. from 6 to 8 p.m.

The guest speaker will be Officer Sean Macomber of the Portland Police Drugs and Vice Division. His presentation will be on medical marijuana. Is the medical marijuana law legitimate for chronic pain relief, or is it a smokescreen for drug dealers? Macomber will offer his assessment.

All members of the community who are concerned about neighborhood livability and crime reduction are encouraged to attend.

Found objects become garden art
How about starting the New Year out by exploring a new activity? Villa Garden Club has just the thing for you. At the next meeting on Thursday, Jan. 24, the program will include a presentation by Nancy Goldman on garden art. Goldman is known for turning found objects like glass and ceramic pieces into garden art.

The meeting will begin at 10:30 a.m. at 1740 S.E. 139th Ave. Pack a lunch and join the fun. The public is invited.

If you have any questions, please call Leona Connelly, 503-287-4517.

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