Articles by Karen Locke

Karen Locke

Originally from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Karen is a freelance writer living in the Vernon neighborhood of NE Portland. Before calling Bridgetown home, she spent a five-year stint in Minneapolis, where she was published in Minnesota Parent magazine and the Southwest Journal. Karen has been published in MIX magazine, Willamette Week and Portland Pulp.

Jobs for At-Risk Youth, Community Involvement and New Business

Community Market Proposed for Vacant Vanport Square Lot

Community Market Proposed for Vacant Vanport Square Lot

One community member has an idea for the plot of land at NE MLK Blvd. and NE Alberta St. where Vanport Square businesses say the Portland Development Commission has not delivered on promises to bring more foot traffic and excitement to the intersection. Clayborn Collins of Emmanuel Community Services will propose a community market at the intersection, which will serve to raise funds for an at-risk youth community more...

Community Discussion Continues About Changes to North Williams

A community forum meeting was held to discuss the North Williams Avenue Traffic Operations Safety Project on Monday, Nov. 28. The discussion surrounding the improvements has raised issues about the history of the neighborhood, its changing demographics, community power, and the nature of decision-making. The City of Portland designated N Williams as a “major city bikeway” as part of 2010’s Portland more...

Now Offering Assistance to 155 Businesses in N, NE and E Portland

PDC Finalizes Small Business Development Program

PDC Finalizes Small Business Development Program

Small businesses are in luck. There’s about to be more help on the way. The Portland Development Commission (PDC) has finalized the details of the Small Business Development Program (SBDP). The PDC and five nonprofit organizations have joined forces to create the Small Business Development Program. The initiative is aimed at strengthening and assisting 155 businesses located in North, Northeast, and East more...

Goal Is to Retain, Expand and Attract Businesses to Lents Town Center

Lents Neighbors Take Grassroots Approach to Economic Development

Lents Neighbors Take Grassroots Approach to Economic Development

When freelance graphic designer Adam Simmons bought a home in Lents town center with a store front attached, Lents Creative was born. But the process of starting the business involved a tangled mess of websites along with massive amount of information to sift through. Simmons realized there needed to be an easier way. “There needed to be a centralized place for information for business owners or potential more...

Pulled, Smoked, Grilled or Dragged Through the Garden

Celebrating Grilling and Hot Dog Month in Portland

Celebrating Grilling and Hot Dog Month in Portland

Most of us have dusted off the grill and dug the skewer sticks out of the junk drawer by now. Some of us have been grilling long before the clouds parted and the sun decided to stay out late, resulting in our fair share of franks and run-of-the-mill potato salad. Thankfully, Portland is full of butchers, delis, and restaurants that are stocked up and serving creatively-made artisan sausages, meat, and the like, more...

Neighborhood Association Weighs in On Potential Development

Land Use on Mississippi Avenue Still the Talk of the Street

Land Use on Mississippi Avenue Still the Talk of the Street

Someone standing on Mississippi Avenue years ago must have heard the message: “If you build it, they will come,” similar to the voice Kevin Costner heard in the movie Field of Dreams, as it’s now a bustling neighborhood teeming with both businesses and residences. A section of privately owned land located at 4008 Mississippi Avenue has been the source of conversation for many neighbors, as it is more...

Cultivating Healthy Eating Habits, Fighting Health Disparities

June Key Delta Community Center Creates Educational Garden

June Key Delta Community Center Creates Educational Garden

The neighborhood surrounding the Peninsula Park Rose Garden is about to look a lot greener. Neighbors of the June Key Delta Community Center, located on the corner of N Albina and N Ainsworth, have watched the Living Building Challenge remodel of the gas station since last August, but on May 29 neighbors noticed hard hat-clad volunteers preparing the land for a garden on the lot adjacent to the ongoing project. The more...

Developer Says "In Reality, It’s Merely a Crusade Against Capitalism"

Neighbors Oppose Potential Development on Mississippi Green Space

Neighbors Oppose Potential Development on Mississippi Green Space

When neighbors of the green space located between N Shaver Street and N Mason Street, at 4008 Mississippi Avenue, recently noticed a “Private Property, No Trespassing” sign and caution tape at the entrance, they became worried that they might soon lose the space they have used as an “unintentional” park for many years due to a proposed development by Chris Rogers of Phase Two Development. more...

Sustainable Succulents: So Easy to Propagate; You’ll Never Need to Buy More

You have probably seen them growing in pots and on rocks, nestled within the well-landscaped and manicured lawns of Portland. It turns out succulents can be easily reproduced and need little to no care, making them a cheap and sustainable addition to any garden. But how will you know it’s a succulent? Here's a good rule of thumb to remember: all cacti are succulents, but not all succulents are cacti. Cacti more...