People Get Ready

This year we are focusing on Emergency Preparedness. We intend to introduce each other to the resources that local institutions such as the City of Portland, Multnomah County, The Red Cross, and others have available, and work toward concrete actions that would increase our chances of responding well to earthquakes, floods, fires, etc.

Assembling an emergency kit and conducting drills are just two of the actions we will be focusing on in the coming months. We also intend to bridge the gap between preparing for short term disasters and longer term emergencies we anticipate arising with climate change and the ongoing arrival of Peak Oil. Some of the challenges in the two kinds of emergencies are expected to be similar (know your neighbors, be prepared/plan for things to  be different) while others are probably not (source food locally, learn to get around without heavy reliance on a car, heat house without fossil fuels, etc.).

Transition Sunnyside

Transition Sunnyside is an effort by the Sunnyside Neighborhood Association dedicated to transforming our neighborhood into one that relies more on people than on machines, more on community than on the electricity grid, more on creative local solutions than on imported products, more on the slower pace of human locomotion than on speedy fossil fuels. We are motivated by the combination of Peak Oil and Climate Change, and a desire to be better prepared for other kinds of emergencies as well.

For the past year we’ve organized a series of talks, films, and workshops around the subject of fossil fuels and how to use less of them at the local level; how to grow more of our food, meet a larger share of our transportation needs ourselves, and how to keep our houses comfortable using more insulation and creative approaches to heating. Many of you attended these events, and we enjoyed getting to know you a little better.

Transition Towns is an upbeat, grassroots model for transforming neighborhoods, towns, and cities into resilient communities, capable of thriving in a world where cheap oil and a stable climate are fast becoming things of the past. In July, 2009 our little SE Portland neighborhood became the first Neighborhood Transition Initiative, and the 37th initiative in the US (most of the others are towns or cities, including Transition PDX (Portland).

SNA, particularly through the sustainability committee, aims to prepare for short and long term emergencies, to build community resilience in the face of uncertainty, whether due to climate change, peak oil, or economic instability. We welcome your input and participation as we try to increase the visibility of these issues and improve our collective preparedness.

The point of Transition is to encourage the community to take these issues seriously and to begin grappling with the implications of our fossil fuel dependence. Weaning ourselves from gasoline, natural gas, and electricity generated from coal isn’t going to happen overnight, and some of it is not easy. A lot of it, though, is easier once you get to know someone who’s figured out how to do it.

PARKing Day in Sunnyside

Celebrate PARK(ing) Day and The Intertwine!

Parking spaces transform into mini-parks on September 17

Parking Day park in 2009

Get ready for a green invasion on Friday, September 17 as PARK(ing) Day takes to the streets in the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan area — and around the world! PARK(ing) Day demonstrates the need for urban green space and while it does get people’s attention for the day, all around our region many other green spaces and trails that make up The Intertwine can bring joy every day.

Rebar, a San Francisco art and design studio, created PARK(ing) Day in 2005. Since then, it has become an ongoing, worldwide, open-source experiment in reclaiming public space. Learn how Rebar combines design and activism at

Sunnyside will enjoy its park adjacent to the SE 33rd & Belmont bike corral. Thanks to the businesses Utopia and Dick’s Kitchen for being on board. And a big shout out to SNA’s Bill Stites for actively coordinating this yet again this year.