Today's Tribune features several interesting stories. The first is a follow-up to "O Father, Where Art Thou?", a story Peter Korn wrote in December about the relationship between the City and County and area churches. This morning, in "Churches answer call to aid homeless," Korn writes that at least 14 churches have offered their services in response to a letter Nick and County Commissioner Kafoury sent in November asking for help serving our homeless community.
Also this morning, Peter Korn writes about a micro loan program run by Mercy Corps that's helping local folks start their own businesses. In "Small loans can fuel big dreams," Korn tells the story of Eric and Naihma Deady, who are opening a bike shop in Sellwood with financial assistance from Mercy Corps.
Finally, Jason Vondersmith explains in how the economy has affected the Regional Arts and Culture Council (RACC) grant program in "Recession cuts into arts council grants." During a year when a record number of grant applications flooded in - 263 - RACC's budget was about $50,000 less than last year. Says Executive Director Eloise Damrosch, "Now more than ever, it is essential that we invest in the arts."
Two stories in today's inPortland section of the Oregonian also caught our eye. In "Nightwatch holds 8-week art classes," Janet Goetze writes about the classes offered by Operation Nightwatch, a downtown Portland non-profit providing low-income or homeless people a social gathering place.
Joe Fitzgibbon, meanwhile, writes about the proposed park center at Powell Butte Nature Park, a joint project of the Water Bureau and Portland Parks & Recreation. The project will turn several hundred acres of the park, located between SE Powell and SE Foster just West of Johnson Creek, into a farm-themed setting with a new maintenance facility, caretaker's house, and interpretive center. The space will also include equestrian staging and outdoor teaching areas.