Working Through the Pandemic

Hello Sunnyside Neighbors! My name is Lorraine Henriques, and I am the Secretary to the Board of the Sunnyside Neighborhood Association. I work as a Licensed Hearing Aid Specialist for HearingLife in Southeast Portland. I love my work; helping people hear better and improving communication between my patients and their loved ones is a privilege and an honor. For as long as I have been doing this work I have never been more challenged than I have been through this pandemic – to keep myself, my family and my patients safe is a serious responsibility I do not take lightly. I’d like to share with you some of the silver linings I have experienced in these challenging times.

I found out in late March I was the only Hearing Healthcare Provider who was seeing patients in Portland. I was very busy, but at the end of each day, I felt like I had played a part in relieving some of the stress people experienced.

My patients were grateful I was able to come to their vehicles and do “curbside” service on their hearing aids, dispense supplies or anything they needed. For those who ventured in, they found shields, barriers, spaced seating, and other precautions in place. But the enthusiasm for our services came front and center; people who had been resistant to getting help for their hearing realized how much they had been missing and how vital staying connected was for their happiness. Hearing is what keeps us truly connected to others. When those who have hearing loss cannot hear properly, they are truly isolated and cut off from their loved ones. The joy in a patient’s face when I give them their hearing aids back after service performed is priceless. The thanks I received from patients who heard well for the first time in many years was balm for my soul. People expressed appreciation that I was at work, and could help them.

To all the essential healthcare workers out there who worked through the pandemic, I am sure you feel how much you are needed and appreciated. I never realized quite how much I was needed or how “essential” my services were until this pandemic hit. It has brought a renewed sense of purpose to my profession. When we are all faced with fear and uncertainty, it is so healing to remember we are so important to one another, and we need to stay connected to one another. I’d love to hear your stories if you’d like to share them with me at Stay safe and well!

Sunnyside Dog of the Month: Meet Archer!

Archer comes to us from Fort Worth, Texas by way of the Oregon Dog Rescue in Tualatin (If you ever make it out to there please send my regards to Gretchen the Cat, their Chief Temperament Tester.) He is a Silver Labrador and about six months old in these photos. A resident of Taylor Street, he’s been enjoying walks in Laurelhurst Park, playing at the Mt. Tabor dog park and generally sniffing around the neighborhood. He’s been with us well over a month now, is full of energy and prides himself on his perfect situational awareness.

Prior to meeting Archer I’d never heard of a Silver Lab. The distinctive coat color from which they derive the name is the expression of a recessive trait carried by Chocolate Labs. Referred to as a “dilute” coat, the effect is seen when mutations in the gene encoding melanophilin cause atypical distribution of melanin-containing cells affecting the dog’s skin, hair, eyes, nose and mouth.

Having lived with a lovely Black Lab for many years, we’ve known for some time that we were ready to bring another dog into the family, but finding Archer took time and patience. As with many things it seemed at times that we would never be fast enough or high enough on the list — until suddenly we were.

Learn More About Radon and Test Your Home

As a non-profit organization, The American Lung Association has as one of its missions to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease.

One in every fifteen homes are subjected to high levels of radon exposure. And due to its naturally occurring, odorless, tasteless composition, it can easily go unnoticed. We would love to encourage your community to learn more about radon and possibly test their homes.

Please see the radon_infographic_ for more information about radon and a link as to where to purchase low-cost test kits.

Your Participation in Free Leaf Pickup Days Could Help Reduce Local Pollution

Taking advantage of PBOT’s free neighborhood leaf pickup days is a great way to keep your property tidy, our streets and storm water drainage systems clean and functional, and preserve the health of our urban forest and other natural landscapes.  It is also a welcome alternative to the harmful effects of gas powered leaf blowers, which represent a growing source of air, noise, water and even soil pollution citywide.  These small 2-stroke engines are inordinately large emitters of carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and hydrocarbons.  Blower winds, some in excess of 180 mph, damage new growth and developing flowers, blow away topsoil, and distribute disease spores, weed seeds, pesticides and other toxins across the neighborhood.  The common practice of blowing all this debris into the street also leads to these pollutants being carried into storm water drains where it then collects in our rivers.

So grab a rake, or a friend, or a rake and a friend, or $15 to pay a willing teenager, and join Bennett and me this fall (it’s one of her favorite things to do — “Dad, is it time to rake the leaves into a big pile yet!?”) for leaf pickup days on November 15th and November 29th.  On the day BEFORE your scheduled leaf day, rake your leaves into the street 12 inches from the curb.  If you can, move your car and any other obstacles off the street.  If you can’t move your car, you can rake your leaves into the middle of the street 12 inches beyond your car.  Please be considerate of your neighbors by raking your leaves into the street as late as possible and only in anticipation of pickup.  Leaves and other debris left in the street become extremely hazardous for bicyclists, get stuck in storm drains and erode curbs and other infrastructure.

Unlike years past, there is no fee for leaf pickup this year.  The leaf pickup zone does not cover the eastern part of Sunnyside, from César Chavez to SE 49th Avenue.  If you are unsure whether your address is within the pickup zone, please check the Leaf District Locator found on PBOT’s Leaf Day website where you can find out everything you want to know about Portland Leaf Day, and quite a bit more.

Happy raking!