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Portland Blog: This Week in Portland June 30 - July 7, 2012

Hey, Portlanders.  Welcome to another edition of our all-local Portland blog!  

This week we've got Portland Independence Day events including the usual roundup of Portland 4th of July fireworks displays.  And, the start of summer wouldn't be complete without the kickoff of the Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival - July 4-8, 2012.  This festival is a huge benefit for the Oregon Food Bank.

History of the Waterfront Blues Festival in Portland


The festival began in 1987 as the Rose City Blues Festival – a concert to support the homeless, sponsored by the Cascade Blues Association. Performers included John Lee Hooker, the Paul deLay Band, Curtis Salgado, Norman Sylvester Blues Band and Lloyd Jones Struggle. But the countdown of the annual blues festival begins in 1988 when Oregon Food Share, predecessor of Oregon Food Bank, became producer and beneficiary. That year, the festival raised $7,500 and 650 pounds of food. In 1991, the festival was renamed the Waterfront Blues Festival. Artist Gary Houston has been creating unique works of art for the festival each year since 2001. During the past 24 years, the festival has grown steadily in size and reputation and is recognized as the nation’s premier blues festival. Since 1988, the festival has raised more than $7 million to benefit Oregon Food Bank. The 2011 festival raised 110,454 pounds of food and a record $930,000 to fight hunger in Oregon and Clark County, Wash.

Portland July 4th Fireworks Displays - Happy Independence Day!

Fort Vancouver Fireworks


Fort Vancouver 4th of July Fireworks Show in Vancouver, Washington The 4th of July Fireworks Show is back again in 2012 with the newer version. It's BIG, it’s beautiful, it's crowded, but for many it is worth it to see and feel what at least used to be the biggest fireworks display west of the Mississippi River. (more than 65,000 people attended this show in the past.) This year is all new with the fireworks being moved from the barge into the park. The fireworks show starts after dusk, around 10:00 PM.

Oaks Park Fireworks


Pepsi Annual 4th of July Fireworks at Oaks Park - Gates open at 10pm. At Oaks Amusement Park. 

Corbett Fun Fest, Corbett, OR


Hello Everyone in East County Join us for the whole day Wednesday the 4th of July from 7 am to 10 pm. Select here for all details! Our parade starts in Springdale and follows the historic highway to the very East end of downtown Corbett

Portland Arts Events and Gallery Hops

This is also a great week to get out and see some art!  First Thursday and First Fridays art events are this week.  Get out to the Portland Eastside galleries, as well as the Downtown and Pearl District and enjoy the galleries this week.  Our great arts culture is one of many reasons Portland is such a vibrant city.  But did you know that Art in Portland is also a big part of our local economy?  I came across this article:

Local nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $253 million in annual economic activity (read full article)

The nonprofit arts and culture industry in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties generates more than $253 million in annual economic activity, according to Arts & Economic Prosperity IV, a national economic impact study. The study was conducted in 182 communities nationwide by Americans for the Arts, with local support from the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) and Business for Culture & the Arts (BCA). 

According to the study, the region’s nonprofit arts and culture organizations spent $152 million during fiscal year 2010. This spending is far-reaching: organizations pay employees, purchase supplies, contract for services and acquire assets within their community. The industry also leverages more than $101 million in event-related spending by its audiences; as a result of attending a cultural event, attendees often eat dinner in local restaurants, pay for parking, buy gifts and souvenirs, and pay a babysitter. All combined, these dollars support 8,529 full-time equivalent jobs, generate $195 million in household income for local residents, and $21 million in local and state government revenues. 

“Arts organizations add tremendous value to our community, but it’s not always something we can quantify,” said Eloise Damrosch, executive director of RACC. “We know that the arts have the power to inspire us and provoke us, delight and engage us. They foster creativity in the classroom and stimulate innovation in our workplaces. But now we see exactly how much arts and culture organizations contribute to the local economy – and it’s significant.”

First Friday Art Portland  - Download a Gallery Map

Portland First Thursday

More Portland Galleries and Art Events

South Waterfront Storage

New Self Storage Facility in South Waterfront – Now OPEN!

South Waterfront Heated Storage offers a State of the Art Self-Storage facility located in Portland, Oregon. This modern day Self-Storage Facility offers extravagant features including: A digital camera surveillance system, personalized customer access codes and individually alarmed unit doors. Also find multiple covered/heated loading areas, freight elevators and a large quantity of flatbed carts; making your moving experience a breeze! 

Just minutes from John’s Landing, Sellwood and Lake Oswego; South Waterfront Heated Storage offers you a convenient location while providing great customer service. Also find moving and packing supplies – Your one stop shopping center!

Visit or call 503.226.7777 to learn more!

Open 7 days a week! Stop in for a cup of coffee and a tour of this cutting edge facility – Great Move-in Specials Available!

Learn how you can receive up to 50% off your 1st 2 Months Rent!


The Portland Photo of the Week

The Portland Photo of the Week is by Lindsay.  Lindsay submitted several lovely images of Hagg Lake and  Camassia Natural Area.

Hagg Lake Park

Owned by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, maintained and operated by Washington County, the Park features numerous picnic areas, two boat launching facilities, a fully stocked lake for fishing, more than 15 miles of hiking trails, and observation decks for wildlife and bird watching. Since the creation of Henry Hagg Lake in the mid-1970s, Washington County, the Bureau of Reclamation, and the Washington County Elks Lodges have shared a commitment to make the Park user-friendly to every visitor. Located just 25 miles southwest of Portland, resting at the base of Oregon's beautiful coastal range, Hagg Lake offers visitors the best of outdoor recreational activities.

Our Portland Photo of the Week winner gets a $20 gift certificate to a local Portland business of our choosing. This week our winner is treated to Powells Books, the largest indie bookstore in the world! 

Henry Hagg Lake Wildflowers by Lindsay

Henry Hagg Lake, Wildflowers - by Lindsay

Find more photos like this on

Powell's Bookstore Picks

We love Powells!   Portland Book Review of the Day   Portland eBooks   Powell's Author Interviews

Come and upload your Portland photos to the Photo Gallery for your chance to win each week.  Check back to see if your photo is selected for a spotlight in the weekly Portland blog! 


Take. A. Camera!

Written by PortlandNeighborhood Guest Writer, Rob Creighton Garrison

I had this brilliant idea yesterday.

It's raining a little.  We have an apartment full of kids.  Kaya, Daisy, and Bella are crowded around a laptop, employed in the construction of a boss mansion in a Sims game.  Hailey is busy with paper and colored pencils, her face so close to the surface of the table in her intense scrutiny of her medium that she looks asleep except for the dervish of the pencil in her blurring fist.  Zoey, three years old, is painting her own upper torso with the help of a bowl of Cheetos.  The missus, the alpha adult (she's the administrator, I fill the role of enforcer and sometimes sandwich cutter), is looking a bit frayed around the edges.

Me, I'm itching to get outside; I'd read all my mail and performed all the household chores, and I'm not much for watching Dora the Explorer (are we really sure that it's good for young minds? Talking animals are a staple of children's programming, but talking backpacks comes a little too close to William S. Burroughs territory for a little kid, don't you think?).  I wanted a walk, and if I could do the missus a favor by taking a few of the shorties off her hands for awhile it would be a check mark in the 'done good' box to boot.

My proposal to the masses, and the response, goes thusly:

Me (to the kids).  “Who wants to go for a walk at Oaks Bottom?”

The Missus.  “Oh God yes. GO.”

Daisy.  “Meh.”

Hailey.  “Meh.”

Kaya, to Bella.  “Yay! We could ride scooters!”

Bella (with a decided lack of enthusiasm).  “Uh...okayyy...”

Zoey (yellow up to her lower eyelids).  “Can I have a choclit cacker now?”

So Bella, Kaya, and I load their scooters into the trunk of the Yaris and head to Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge.  On the way it starts to rain a bit more.  Bella immediately begins to campaign for a return home, since walking in the rain makes zero sense to her, and besides, she was in the middle of building a garage for her Lexus.  I call for a vote.  Kaya and I raise our hands in favor of the walk, and I then drown Bella's protests with Garbage 2.0.

It begins to rain harder. I have to crank up the volume of Garbage 2.0.

I park in the Milwaukie Avenue lot, and we haul out the scooters and start down the path.  The girls seem bundled up sufficiently but I quickly conclude that I've under-dressed.  Oh well, a brisk pace and I'll be fine.  I have to walk nearly at a trot anyway, because the girls on their scooters become parti-colored dots in the distance almost immediately.  Interestingly, once Bella is on the path and at speed, her carping ceases.  She and Kaya stop at the fork, the junction where the paved path veers to the right toward the Springwater Trail while on the left the unpaved pedestrian-only path leads to the mausoleum and beyond.  I am sorely tempted to take them on the unpaved path, but mud and sneakers are not a good combination, plus they'd have to carry their wheels.  Oh well.  We pause a moment so I can lecture them about leaving me behind, and my dislike of running so soon after lunch.  We continue at a more casual pace.

We stop to look for tadpoles and frogs. None to be seen. What the heck?

We continue on and soon reach the Springwater, where we decide to head left toward Oaks Park.

This is where I start to feel stupid.  As we walk (and roll) along, a cyclist pedals by coming from the direction we're headed, and lets us know there is a mama goose and three goslings on the path ahead of us.  Kaya's squeal rises into the sub-harmonic in anticipation; this young lady is all about the cute and fuzzy.  Both she and Bella pour on the RPMs.  I trot behind, looking out at the water...

...and spot a heron standing amongst the remains of some pilings near the shore.  I would have missed it had my eyes not fallen directly on it.  I yell for the girls, and they come back to stand with me and look.

Yeah, see that crappy picture?  This is the dumb part.  I'm out for a walk with kids through a wildlife refuge and the Springwater, and what did I not bring?  Bingo!  Instead of a proper camera, I have a cell phone with which to capture these precious moments.  I tend to agree with George Clooney's character in Up in the Air (“Photos are for people who can't remember”), but they are handy for sharing with friends and family and the rest of you all on the innerwebz.  But no, I leave the camera at home.  I have pictures of Oaks Bottom and the Springwater already, see?  You wouldn't know I was a Boy Scout once, would you?  (It was for, like, a month, and all we did was play Capture the Flag; my troop was kind of lame. But still!)

We find the goose and her fuzzy darlings, and I snap a couple of pictures with the phone as they waddle along the train tracks before disappearing into the brush on the other side.  In reviewing the pictures I come to the conclusion that I either have a really useless phone camera, or geese have cloaking devices.  Can't see anything but train tracks.

It gets worse, and I just know the godz are snickering into their cumulo-nimbi at my frustration.  Farther up the trail...a deer, a big buck, standing regal under a full rack, gazing in our direction seemingly untroubled by our presence.  The girls' jaws unhinge in awe, as does mine as I fumble in my pocket for the phone once again.  This time I don't get the thing in my fat mitts before the buck yawns (I swear it did, y'all) and unhurriedly steps into the trees and vanishes.

“Did you get it?”, Kaya asks (yells, actually).  “Uh, no”, I reply, and both Kaya and Bella tilt their heads to one side as they look at me, in that way that communicates their conviction that adults really don't advance the potential of our species all that much.  This adult, anyway.

We trudge onward.  We turn around once we're abreast of Oaks Park, and walk back to the connection to Oaks Bottom, and so back through the refuge to the car.  Once home, I try to make up for the lack of photographic evidence with elaborate hand gestures and frantically descriptive phrases; the wife tilts her head to one side as she looks at me.

Please remember to take along your camera, for the sake of your memories and your self-respect.  It's so worth it.

Featured Portland Events this Week

Each week, we feature a handful of member-added events to the blog.  You can always add your own Portland events directly to the Portland events calendar.  Visit 


June 10, 2012 at 1pm to August 26, 2012 at 4pm – Alpenrose Dairy Alpenrose Dairy, Oregon's oldest family-owned dairy, once again welcomes the summer season and the opening of Dairyville. This is a Portland tradition that has been enjoyed by many kids and adults al Organized by PR @Bradshaw | Type: family, summer, fun

Free Public Tours of the Gerding Theater at the Armory

June 16, 2012 at 12pm to December 15, 2012 at 12pm – Gerding Theater at the Armory The first and third Saturdays of each month, The Gerding Theater at the Armory hosts FREE  public tours. Get the full story of how the Armory Annex went from an 1891 military drilling site to public Organized by Portland Center Stage | Type: tour, community event

Portland Shakespeare in the Park, Hamlet

June 23, 2012 at 7pm to July 14, 2012 at 9pm – "Lone Fir Cemetary" 8th Annual Twilight Tragedie: Hamlet, Prince of Denmark Directed by Bruce A. Hostetler All Shows are FREE Thursday, Friday & Saturday evenings, unless noted Lone Fir Cemetery in SE Portland   Ent Organized by Portland Actors Ensemble | Type: portland shakespeare

North American Organic Brewers Festival

June 29, 2012 at 12pm to July 1, 2012 at 5pm – Overlook Park With a motto to "Drink Organic, Save the Planet, One Beer at a Time," the North American Organic Brewers Festival will host its eighth annual event June 29 through July 1 at Portland's Overlook Park. Organized by NAOBF | Type: beer, festival

St Johns NoFest 2012 Music & Arts!

June 30, 2012 all day – St Johns The st johns nofest is a free music and arts festival with over 90 performances this year. the event begins at noon in the historic town square, and continues across multiple venues late into the nig Organized by | Type: festival

Portland Slavic Festival at Oaks Park

June 30, 2012 all day – Oaks Park Slavic Community festival will take place on Saturday, June 30th 2012 from 11 am to 6 pm at Oaks Park in Portland Oregon. The address is 7805 Oaks Park Way 97202. Every year since 2009 the Slavic Co Organized by Slavic Festival | Type: portland slavic festival

Voices of Veterans: A Bridge Back Home

June 30, 2012 from 7pm to 9pm – First Unitarian Church          This welcome home ceremony brings together veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the local community. It intends to help heal the distance between the warriors and those they prot Organized by Mosaic Multicultural Foundation | Type: literary, veterans, non-profit

Portland Authors in Pubs

July 2, 2012 from 7:30pm to 9:30pm – Jack London Pub Authors in Pubs is a 'First Monday' event that brings local writers into a bar, restaurant, or wherever and allows them to share their work with the patrons. This helps boost the confidence of the wr Organized by Portland Authors in Pubs | Type: authors in pubs

Portland Waterfront Blues Festival

July 4, 2012 to July 8, 2012Waterfront Downtown Festival dates and hoursWednesday, July 4: Gates - 11 a.m. Music - noon to 10:30 p.m.Thursday, July 5: Gates - 2 p.m. Music 3 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.Friday, July 6: Gates - 2 p.m. Music 3 p.m. to 10:30 p. Organized by Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival | Type: portland blues festival

Portland First Fridays

July 6, 2012 all day – Eastside Eastside Art Galleries  - Portland First Fridays event. Central Eastside Arts District THE CENTRAL EASTSIDE ARTS DISTRICT (CEAD) has long been home to many of Portland' Organized by First Fridays | Type: first fridays

LIQUID SCULPTURE II; Martin Waugh Photography Exhibit

July 6, 2012 from 6pm to 9pm – i witness gallery (Housed in the Northwest Center for Photography) Join Martin for the opening reception of his photography exhibit, Liquid Sculpture II.  Martin says, "My Liquid Sculpture images are fluids in motion, frozen in time by a flash of lightning. They are Organized by Northwest Center for Photography | Type: opening, reception

Portland First Thursday

July 6, 2012 from 6pm to 9pm – Downtown / Pearl District The art galleries in downtown Portland, Oregon, invite you to join them on the "First Thursday" of every month for an evening of art, wine and music. Walk from gallery to gallery to view all of the n Organized by First Thursday | Type: portland first thursday

June 2012 Portland Real Estate Report

June 2012 Portland Oregon Real Estate Market Report: What's Happening?


Here is a chart of all homes for sale, pending for sale, and sold in Portland, Oregon for the last 15 months:

In May 2012, inventory has risen slightly with 1971 homes on the market.   In May 2012, 620 homes sold and 829 are pending for sale.  

Yearly change from May 11 to May 12:

Inventory is Down 29.2%

Closed Sales are Up 12.7%.

Pending sales are Up 25%. 


Chart for average price per square footage:

In the past 15 months, the average price per square foot in Portland, Oregon has been between $132 and $147. In May 2012, the average price per square foot in Portland was $147.

Yearly change from May 11 to May 12:  Up 7.3%

Days on market and sold/list price %:

This chart is showing us two things. First, how many days on the market that a home is spending, on average, before being sold. In all of Multnomah County, in all price ranges, a home is taking, on average, 56 days to sell.

The other thing that this chart shows is what percentage of listing price the home, on average, is selling at. This is a great indicator of pressure on prices. In May 2012, sellers were getting, on average, 96% of their original asking price.

Yearly change from May 11 to May 12:

Average time it takes to sell a home has decreased 16.4%.

The percentage of original listing price that was paid has increased 3%.

Average price for sale vs. average price of sold:

In May 2012, the average price of a home that sold was $312,000.  The average price of a home that was listed was $388,000.  This does not mean that a home that was listed for $388,000 sold for $312,000.  The listed homes didn't necessarily sell.  For the sold/list price percentage, look at the 'Days on Market' graph.  In May 2012, this figure was 96%.

Yearly change from May 11 to May 12:

The average price of a home listed has increased 6.3%.

The average price of a home sold has increased 8.3%.

Months of inventory:

Months of inventory gives a timeline of how long it would take for all of the current listings to sell. Anything above 4 months is considered a buyers market. In May 2012, this figure was 3.2 months based on closed sales. Portland is currently, on average, a balanced market.

This does NOT mean that it will take, on average, 3.2 months for your home to sell. That number was, on average in all price ranges, 56 days.   It means that, if not a single listing were to come on the market in Portland from this moment, it would take 3.2 months for all available homes to sell before there would be none left.

Yearly change from May 11 to May 12:

The months of inventory figure has decreased 37.2%.
About the report:

This is a comparison of the past 15 months (including a percentage change analysis for the last 12 months) for all of Portland and are taken directly from the RMLS. What follows is my own analysis of these statistics. For our purposes, I thought it best to analyze Portland as a whole. Each neighborhood, however, is a little micro-universe and has its own market. Changing the parameters of the zip codes, price variables, or time periods can lead to very different results. This analysis is of all homes sold in all price ranges in Portland, Oregon. If you have any questions about specific zip codes, or any questions about the market in general, please reply to this forum with those questions or feel free to contact me at:

Since Portland is a neighborhood city, you can now search by "Irvington, Alberta, etc.". You can check it out by clicking here.

This information doesn't matter if you have a particular neighborhood in mind since Portland neighborhoods are their own micro-markets. If you have one in mind to buy or are selling your home, please request a report for that neighborhood and I am happy to post it on this blog or send it to you.  The complete Portland report is useful for an overall snapshot of the Portland market.  

Hey everyone, I want to know what you think of these reports. Too many stats? Just right? Something missing? Let me know so I can make these more useful for you. What are your thoughts about real estate right now? What do you think of the information in this report? Post to this blog so we can discuss.

Visit our website where you can contact us and search all Portland
Metro Area homes for sale from the RMLS in Portland, OR, including school and neighborhood reports:

Best Deals in Portland this Week

Each week Ross and Leah share five great Portland real estate deals from their listings.

The Best Deals in Portland This Week:  June 25th - July 2nd


1. 3154 NW CUMBERLAND RD Portland, OR 97210 - Hillside - $2.25M

Click the image to see the listing

2. 3937 NE DAVIS ST Portland, OR 97232 - Laurelhurst - $915,000
 Click the image to see the listing


3.  2023 NE 21ST AVE Portland, OR 97212 - Irvington - $699,500

Click the image to see the listing


4.  6804 N DELAWARE AVE Portland, OR 97217 - Arbor Lodge - $345,500

 Click the image to see the listing
5.  1400 NW IRVING ST #623 Portland, OR 97209 - Pearl District - $245,000
 Click the image to see the listing


Visit our website where you can contact us and search all Portland metro area homes for sale and real estate from the RMLS, including neighborhood and school information:

Did you know there are nearly 100 unique Portland neighborhoods?  Read and learn all about these interesting urban communities.



That's it for now

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