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Portland Blog: This Week in Portland, December 11 - December 18, 2010

This week in Portland brings us into the home stretches of holiday shopping madness and retail commercialism that almost universally drives us nuts each year.  Sure, shopping for just the right gifts to recognize those people near and dear to your heart can be fun and exciting, but it can also create a lot of needless stress and worry.  We all have good intentions, though.  If you want to feel really good about your holiday shopping (and thumb your nose at the ads telling you the perfect gift is a big-screen LCD TV, or a toolbox loaded with the latest gadgets, or a Lexus), why not give something more simple and meaningful to a family here in Portland who needs your help?  

Again this week on the blog, I am featuring local Portland charities that could use a helping hand.  Since many Portlanders are out shopping this week anyway, I am focusing on our local Portland Toy Drives as a reminder that you should add a toy to your shopping carts.   Give a toy and a smile, and fill your own heart with warmth and gratitude at the same time.  That could be the best holiday gift ever.  Listed below are some Portland Toy Drives conveniently located with drop boxes throughout Portland, as well as the Salvation Army Giving Trees, where you can pick up a tag with the name of a child and their "wish list" for a toy or gift.

If you're not in the mood for shopping but still want some holiday cheer, then get out and enjoy one of our Portland events this week.  Many holiday events are free, like Tuba Christmas in Pioneer Square, or the Christmas Ships Parade (in town a couple nights this week, check the schedule).  Just head to Downtown Portland and enjoy!  There are still plenty of additional Portland Holiday Events featured on the Portland events calendar this week, in addition to the start of our Portland New Year's Eve Events & Parties list.  If you have a Portland event you would like to add, go to the Portland Calendar, and click +Add an Event.  If you want to see your event featured in the blog, drop me a line on the community pages.  If you're looking for even more Holiday Events, visit the Portland Holiday Events page.

Portland Toy Drives

FOX 12 Toy Drive presented by Mattress World

Nov. 22 through Dec. 19
Give the gift of a smile this holiday season!

FOX 12 and Mattress World are teaming up to collect toys for families in need. You can help by dropping of a new, unwrapped toy at the FOX 12 studios or at any Mattress World location during regular business hours.

The toys will be distributed to children in the community through the Portland Fire Bureau's Toy and Joy program.

Good Day Oregon will be broadcasting live and accepting donations at the following locations:

Nov. 22 - Toy Drive Kick-Off: Mattress World, off I-205, 8861 SE Jensen Rd. in Clackamas
Dec. 1 - Mattress World on Airport Way, 10013 NE Cascades Parkway in Portland
Dec. 9 - Mattress World off SE 82nd, 11444 SE 82nd Ave, Happy Valley
Dec. 16 - Portland Fire Bureau Toy and Joy Warehouse, 5916 NE Going St, in Portland

Read more at:

Portland Fire and Rescue Toys n Joy Makers

"Toy N Joy Makers" mission for 95 years has been to promote the spirit of helping children and families of our community during the holiday season."

Cash and Toy donations can be dropped off at the following locations:  

Any local fire station Toy N Joy office

Toy Drive Suggested Toy Items
    (Infant Toys) Fisher Price, Playskool, Play Doh Play Sets
  • Tea Time Sets, Etc.
  • Junior Board Games
  • Lego's, Lincoln Logs
  • Tonka Cars/Trucks
  • Model Cars/Trucks/Airplanes
  • Other Children's Board Games
  • Fashion Dolls (Barbie, Bratz)
  • Dolls (Other Than Fashion)
  • Basketballs, Soccer Balls, Footballs
  • Craft Kits (Jewelry, Purses, Paint By Number, etc.)
  • Electronic Games (Portable)
  • Portable CD Players, Radios
  • Books For All Ages 13 & Under

Read more at:


KGW Great Toy Drive

Agency: Hands On Greater Portland

Description: This year marks the twenty-seventh annual Great Toy Drive for KGW Northwest NewsChannel 8. The drive will take place from November 28th through December 19th. KGW, along with their sponsors Les Schwab Tire Centers, and Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon are joining forces to collect and distribute toys to tens of thousands of needy children in Oregon and SW Washington.

Last year a record number Les Schwab Tire Center trucks and semis lined the streets outside the KGW Studios stuffed to the brim with toys, bikes, and sporting equipment that would eventually make their way to the children that need them most. None of this would be possible without the generous KGW Viewers, hundreds of employees at Les Schwab Tire Centers and Regence, and other local partners.

On Thursday December 18, all of the toys collected throughout the drive will be delivered to the KGW studio. Volunteers will un-bag, sort and re-bag the toys so that they can be delivered to the non-profit agencies the next day. This is physical/strenuous activity involving lots of lifting, bending, and hauling. Please only sign-up for one shift per day. This project is okay for children 12 and over, if accompanied by an adult. Volunteers should wear layers - work will be done inside (hot) and outside (cold). If you have gloves and/or a water bottle, bring them. You may be on TV at some point so please be aware before signing up.

On Friday, December 19, volunteers are needed to carry large bags of toys from the studio to the parking lot and load the toys into non-profit agency vehicles. The toys will then be distributed to needy families throughout Oregon and SW Washington. This is physical/strenuous activity. Please only sign-up for one shift per day. This project is okay for children 12 and over, if accompanied by an adult. Volunteers should wear layers - work will be done inside (hot) and outside (cold). If you have gloves and/or a water bottle, bring them. You may be on TV at some point so please be aware before signing up.

Read more at:


Portland Salvation Army Angel Giving Trees

The Army Angel Tree Giving Program was created in 1979 by Majors Charles and Shirley White when they worked with a Lynchburg, Virginia shopping mall to provide clothing and toys for children at Christmas time.

Ever since then, people across the nation have embraced these giving trees and the opportunity to make Christmas possible for thousands of kids.

In Portland, we are fortunate to have been blessed with sponsors and partners for this program.  In 2009, 16,000 individuals were helped through this program.  We anticipate an increase in need putting us at around 19,000 individuals seeking assistance for 2010. 

Giving Trees are located at various businesses, large and small, throughout Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties. 

Pick up a tag or two at one of the locations listed below!

2010 Participating Mall Locations

Eastport Plaza
4000 SE 82nd Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97266

Lloyd Center Mall
2201 Lloyd Center
Portland, OR  97232

Cedar Hills Crossing
3205 SW Cedar Hills Blvd
Beaverton, OR 97005-1357

Washington Square Mall,  located at 9585 SW Washington Square Rd., Portland, OR 97223, also dons their Christmas tree with Salvation Army Angel Tree tags as well as tags from other agencies.  If you stop by Washington Square, be sure to pick a Salvation Army tag off of their tree to help The Salvation Army provide for a child in need. 

For the past few years, KATU channel 2 has been a large sponsor of this program and continues to be this year through television advertising and promotion of the program within the community. 

For more information, please contact our Angel Tree Coordinator at 503.872.8374.

Or pick your angel tag online with JCPenney's Angel Giving Tree Program.  JCPenney and The Salvation Army have joined forces this season to offer online Angel adoptions, making it easier than ever to help a child or senior in need! 

For more information, visit:


Featured Portland Events this Week

Here are the featured Portland events this week!  Thanks to everyone for adding all the great Portland events to the community events calendar.  You can add your own Portland events directly to the events calendar, here.  Just click "Add an Event" and fill in the details.  For more ideas, here is the full list of Portland Holiday Events.

Mars on Life - LIVE!

November 30, 2010 to December 19, 2010 – Artists Rep Theater Mars on Life - LIVE! November 16, 2010 - December 19, 2010 By Susannah Mars Directed By Grant Byington This production runs approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes with one, 15-minute intermission. Sus… Organized by Artists Repertory Theatre | Type: portland holiday event

A Holiday Revue

December 11, 2010 to December 18, 2010 – "Keller Auditorium" Celebrate the holiday season in swinging style as we unveil a hip and fun-filled romp through a bevy of Christmas standards. Created in collaboration with Portland musical sensations Susannah Mars an… Organized by OBT | Type: portland holiday event  

George Ballachine's The Nutcracker

December 11, 2010 to December 24, 2010 – "Keller Auditorium" The sparkling lights of a towering tree. Waltzing flowers and dancing candy canes. A dazzling land of swirling snow… Join Marie and the Nutcracker Prince… Organized by OBT | Type: portland holiday event  

Tuba Christmas - Pioneer Courthouse Square, Portland

December 11, 2010 all day – "Pioneer Courthouse Square" Tuba Christmas Concert presented by SmartPark 1:30pm – 3:00pm It's the 20th Annual Tuba Christmas at the Square! Tuba enthusiasts, music lovers, and all of those last minute shoppers will rejoice in… Organized by Pioneer Courthouse Square | Type: portland holiday event  

Gospel Christmas

December 11, 2010 from 7:30pm to 9:30pm – Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall Sing Joy to the World and celebrate the spirit of the season with the Oregon Symphony and Portland’s own Northwest Community Gospel Chorus during Gospel Christmas. Prepare to be uplifted in a joyous… Organized by Kelly Vanderzanden | Type: concert  

Jingle Bell Swing

December 11, 2010 from 8pm to 10pm – Newmark Theater The Portland Gay Men's Chorus presents: Jingle Bell Swing. Swing in the holiday season as PGMC presents: Jingle Bell Swing! You’ll get a kick out of our 10-piece swing band and flip over our swing i… Organized by Portland Gay Men's Chorus | Type: concert  

Art and and Holiday Cheer This Weekend

Come by our studio show noon until 7pm. Friday Dec. 11th, Sat. 12th and Sunday the 13th. Ornaments to art! Check us out at and THIS WEEKEND AT 7731 SW Barbur

Portland Christmas Carol Sing-a-Long

December 12, 2010 all day – "Pioneer Courthouse Square" 12/12 Christmas Carol Sing-A-Long | 1:00pm - 2:00pm Join the Concordia University Choir in a sing-a-long at the Square. In addition to the musical fun, Concordia University will also be accepting d… Organized by Concordia University | Type: portland holiday event  

Portland Lights at Peacock Lane - Holiday Light Display

December 15, 2010 to December 30, 2010 – "Peacock Lane" Come see the lights on Peacock Lane and you'll find nothing but good, old-fashioned holiday spirit. Since the 1920s, each house in this quaint southeast neighborhood has been decorating for Christmas… Organized by Peacock Lane | Type: portland holiday event  

Celebrating Holidays in Cohousing

December 12, 2010 from 1:30pm to 3:30pm – Daybreak Cohousing Daybreak Cohousing is a dense, urban village with a physical design that encourages social interaction while respecting personal needs for private space. We are actively seeking new members who would… Organized by Laura Polich | Type: social, and, tour

Christmas Ships Parade 2010

December 9, 2010 to December 21, 2010 – "Willamette River" 2010 marks the 56th year for the Christmas Ship Parade on the Columbia and Willamette Rivers in Portland, Oregon. Please click on the Willamette or the Columbia Schedule links for complete schedules… Organized by Christmas Ships | Type: portland holiday event

"Fostering Harmony" Community Conversation (Jeff Schnabel & William Tripp)

December 17, 2010 from 6pm to 8pm – The Architectural Heritage Center Join us for the final night of our Community Conversation series and the announcement of the "Fostering Harmony" Viewer's Choice Award! Jeff Schnabel, artist and assistant professor of architecture… Organized by Architectural Heritage Center | Type: art talk, gallery exhibit  

The Holiday Half Marathon and 5 K, an event benefitting The Freshwater Trust

December 9, 2010 at 2pm to December 12, 2010 at 12pm – Overlook, Cathedral Park and St. John's neighborhoods Volunteer to support healthy people and healthy rivers The Holiday Half Marathon and 5 K, is a festive and unique road race complete with carolers, craft brew and eggnog, local food and live music at… Organized by The Freshwater Trust and FootTraffic | Type: roadrace, to, benefit, the, freshwater, trust 

Handel's Messiah

December 10, 2010 to December 12, 2010 – "First Baptist Church" Handel's Messiah (Complete) Fri, Dec 10; Sat, Dec 11 at 7:30pm; & Sun, Dec 12 at 4:00pm Rinaldo Alessandrini, guest director Yulia Van Doren, soprano Sarah Mattox, mezzo-soprano Cahen Taylor,… Organized by PBO | Type: portland holiday event

Do Jump! Greatest Hits for the Holidays

December 10, 2010 to January 2, 2011 – "Echo Theatre" DO JUMP! is one-third of a century old (well, almost). Come and celebrate with us this Holiday Season! We will be performing works from the past 33.333... years, including favorites from At Such a Di… Organized by Do Jump! | Type: portland holiday event

Christmas at the Old Church

November 24, 2010 to December 25, 2010 – "The Old Church" Christmas Holiday Concerts and Events at the Old Church run through the month. There are numerous concerts. Visit website for list of events and times:  Organized by The Old Church 

ZooLights 2010, Portland Zoo Lights at the Oregon Zoo

November 26, 2010 to January 2, 2011 – "Portland Oregon Zoo" See the zoo transformed into a winter wonderland, aglow with a million lights.* More than 200 animated animals swing through trees, jump across lawns, hide in bushes and appear in places where they'… Organized by Oregon Zoo 

Portland Winter Wonderland of Lights

November 26, 2010 to December 25, 2010 – Portland International Raceway Recognized throughout the Pacific Northwest as the "Largest Holiday Light Show West of the Mississippi", the 18th annual Jubitz Winter Wonderland - Powered by Comcast will grab your attention with gl… Organized by Jubitz 

Grotto Christmas Festival of Lights

November 26, 2010 to December 30, 2010 – "The Grotto" 23nd Annual Christmas Festival of Lights November 26, 2010-Thursday, December 30, 2010 5 p.m.-9:30 p.m. with gates closing at 10 p.m. Closed Christmas Day $8.00 general admission $4 children ages 3-… Organized by "The Grotto" 

The Santaland Diaries

November 30, 2010 to January 2, 2011 – Ellyn Bye Studio Nov 30 - Jan 2 Based on the true chronicles of David Sedaris’ experience as Crumpet the Elf in Macy’s Santaland display, this cult classic riffs on a few of Sedaris’ truly odd encounters with his fe… Organized by PCS 


The Portland Photo of the Week

And, onto our weekly Portland photo winner.  Here is Trumpeter Swans at Ridgefield by Aquatic Squirrel. Thanks to Aquatic Squirrel , and to everyone for uploading photos this week, drop by and visit the Portland photo album for the latest Portland photos.  


Trumpeter Swans at Ridgefield by Aquatic Squirrel

Did you know you can upload photos directly to the website from your cell phone?  You can - just visit the photos upload page and make note of the email address listed for sending photos via cell:  put that address in your phone, and then the next time you are out and about in Portland and see something photo worthy, you can share it on the spot!

Our weekly photo contest winner receives a gift certificate to one of our favorite new coffee spots in town, Coava Coffee Roasters.  Locals and coffee aficionados from all over have been saying that Coava is the best coffee roaster in Portland right now.  They were named one of the top ten micro-roasters in America by Imbibe Magazine in the March 2010 issue. Their new cafe is a "tasting room" for their roastery. Learn more about Coava Coffee Roasters.

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! 

Portland Blog, Forum Chatter & More

Below are the discussions posted on the Portland forum and Portland blog this month.  

Want to add your own two cents to the Portland blog?  Please do!  But please remember to keep it real and community focused. Read our terms of use and don't spam the planet with self promoting material or weird stuff as it will just get deleted.  We have a zero spammer policy to keep the site valuable and hassle free for our members.  Thanks!


Latest Activity in the Portland Walking Group

From the Garden State to the City of Roses- Help me!

Hi all,First of all, I'm so glad I found this wonderful site. Everyone is so helpful and kind. This is exactly why I'm relocating to Portland…

Started by Elizabeth Peterson

Jenna Peterson

College Student Renting an Apartment

I'm going to be coming out to Portland next summer just for a couple months and am wondering where a fun, place to live would be that I could…

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David Mitchell

Local Holidays

Even though I'm across the country :-( I want to remind my friends around Portland to support your locally owned businesses and shop local…

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  Multnomah Neighborhood -  Portland Real Estate Market Report

By Ross Seligman

Multnomah Neighborhood Real Estate Report

Multnomah is a charming area with a small-town community feel. This quaint area is located in Southwest Portland, but is still a fairly easy commute to Downtown Portland. The heart of the neighborhood is called "Multnomah Village", where you will find streets lined with unique gift and antique shops, cafes, a wine shop, an independent music store, art galleries, coffee shops, and more. This is a great place to take a stroll, especially during the holidays, as the village feel will make you feel as though you have been transported back to a simpler time. The Multnomah Community Center is a popular neighborhood gathering place, where locals come to share a strong sense of community. Here you'll find art and music classes of all varieties, as well as sports activities.  To learn more, click here.

In my monthly Portland real estate report, I always talk about how each individual neighborhood is a micro-market. If you are looking to buy or sell in a particular neighborhood, the most crucial information that you need to know is what is going on in that neighborhood. In this situation, the overall Portland market report is less important and the national real estate report is just about useless. This posting is a real estate report for the Multnomah neighborhood of all homes in all price ranges. Feel free to request particular neighborhoods in which you are interested in buying or selling and I am be happy to do a report, just contact me on this forum or at

If you are looking for homes in Multnomah, visit this link where you can search for homes by particular neighborhood: Click Here

The first thing you will notice about individual neighborhoods as compared to the overall Portland reports are that the numbers can be wildly different month to month. Basically, the bigger the pool of data you are working with, the smoother the stats become. As we focus on smaller areas, many different things can happen month to month.

On to the report:

Here is the overall chart of inventory, sold, and pending for the Multnomah neighborhood from 8/09 to 10/10:

In October 2010, there were 22 closed sales, 47 pending sales, and 356 homes on the market in the Multnomah Neighborhood.

One year change from October 2009 to October 2010:

Inventory (how many homes on the market for sale): Up 13.4%
Homes sold: Down 42.1%
Homes pending sale: Up 20.5%

Chart for average price per square footage:

In the past 15 months, the average price per square footage in the Multnomah neighborhood has been between $139 and $190/sq. ft. In October 2010, the average price per square foot in the
Multnomah neighborhood was $168. 

One year change from October 2009 to October 2010:

Change in Price Per Square Foot:
October 2009: 164
October 2010: 168
Percentage Change: Down 2.4%

Days on Market, 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 October 2010, the average time on market for a home in the Multnomah neighborhood was 111 days.

The second thing that this chart is showing you is what percentage of the listing price the owners actually are getting when the house is sold.  This is a great indication of the pressure on prices.  In October 2010, sellers in Multnomah received, on average, 81% of their original listing price.

More stats for you:

Change from October 2009 to October 2010:

Time on Market: Up 79%
Sold/List price% difference: Down 13%

Average price for sale vs. average price of sold:

This chart shows us what the average listing was and what the average sale was. In October 2010, the average price of a house on the market in Multnomah was $532,000. The average sale was

More stats over one year:

Average active price: Down 18.2%
Average sold price:  Up 37.2%

Months of Inventory:

Months of inventory gives a time line of how long it would take for all of the current listings to sell. Anything above 4 months is considered a buyers market. This figure is a good indicator of supply and demand.  October 2010 in the Multnomah neighborhood was a strong buyer's market with 16.2 months of inventory.

By the way, This does NOT mean that it will take 16.2 months for your home to sell. That figure was, on average, in October 111 days.  Inventory is a figure that means that, if not another home were to come on the market in Multnomah from this point forward, in 16.2 months there would not be another home to sell.  They would all be sold.

Visit my website where you can contact me and search all Portland Metro Area listings from the RMLS:


Best Real Estate Deals in Portland this Week

Every week, Ross shares with us a selection of the best real estate deals in Portland.  Here is this week's featured listing.  This beautiful Victorian cottage is located in the popular Sellwood neighborhood in Portland.

2. 8635 SE 13TH AVE Portland, OR 97202 - Sellwood - $499,000

See the listing here:

Take a peek at all the best Portland real estate deals this week.

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

Powell's Bookstore Picks

We love Powells! (and what respectable Portlander doesn't?)

Portland Book Review of the Day

Portland eBooks

Powell's Author Interviews

That's it for now!

We hope you enjoy reading our weekly Portland blog.  Want to see more or less of something?  Let us know!  Once again, thanks for being here and making this Portland website such an asset to the community!  If you love this site as much as we do, tell your friends!  Have a great week!

PS -- Want to read back issues of this blog?  Here ya go!

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