Stories of theVillage Neighbors March 2016
cleaning up the world One Atom at a time
meet Wendy Ohlendorf Hot Local Dress Designer
Local Business Spotlights on...
Chown Hardware Pacific West Roofing
Cover Photo by Brian Geraths
A Fable About Refinancing By Trevor Hammond with Aspire Mortgage
meals on wheels for lake oswego seniors
Stories of theVillage Neighbors Publication Team
Publisher: Jared & Stacy Kofron Content Coordinator: Jadene Mayla Creative director: Kerry Yu Designer: Janet Hladik Contributing Photographer: Brian Geraths
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2016 has already been a busy year so far. We (thankfully) made it through the icy part of our winter season and are heading into Spring! With this issue of LO Neighbors, we usher in the change toward warmer weather with local stories that will warm your heart and inspire you in the coming season. In our March issue we share the story of the Sykes family, a community-oriented Lake Oswego family that will make you smile. We highlight Chown Hardware, a family business established in 1879. Also featured is Pacific West Roofing, a third generation Oregon family business. We learned so much from our conversation with the Meals on Wheels program that we’re sure you’ll delight in what they do for seniors in our community. We invite you to relax with this month’s issue and discover what your neighbors have been up to. You might even start that home improvement project or take a class you didn’t know was offered. Peruse our calendar of events for hand-picked fun and engagement for the whole family, like the Daddy Daughter Dinner Dance or the annual Irish Festival. We appreciate our sponsors and neighbors (that’s you!) without whom we would not be able to share such wonderful stories about our city and the people who live here. I hope to see you around town!
Jadene Mayla, Content Coordinator
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Jared & Stacy Kofron, Publishers 2 | LO Neighbors – March 2016
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March 2016 – LO Neighbors | 3
Expert Contributors Cindy Passannante, Travel Expert – A skilled traveler herself, Cindy has helped people experience their travel dreams and adventures for over 30 years. Cindy enjoys her work with clients who want to have the best travel experience possible through a well arranged and planned vacation. (503) 658-5646 Garrison Hullinger, Interior Design – Garrison has a passion for creating an interior that is as warm and beautiful as it is comfortable and functional. His greatest asset is the ability to instantly see the potential in any space, and to artfully facilitate every detail from start to finish. (971) 255-0326 John DeCosta, Real Estate – An industry leader since 1978, John contributes to multiple radio, print media and online information sites. John is president of the Metro Business Development Group and founder of the “Breakfast with John” networking organization. (503) 702-0856 Dr. Jerry Yoon, Podiatry – Dr. Yoon is a board certified foot surgeon, a diplomat of American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery, and a fellow of American College of Foot and Ankle Surgery. He makes Lake Oswego his home and looks forward to continuing to provide highest quality care in foot and ankle related medicine and surgery. (503) 636-9656 Mike Moore, Wealth Management – Mike is the managing member of Crestline Capital, LLC, a Lake Oswego based wealth management firm. He and his wife, Darcy, have three children and have lived in Lake Oswego since 2000. (503) 635-4457 Steve Klingerman, Home Remodel – With a passion for quality and efficiency, Steve started his business in 1986. As a professional remodeler his core mission is code compliant design, value engineering and customer satisfaction. (503) 869-1290 Stan Robinson, Roofing – Stan, a third generation LO guy from Berwick Road, can remembers having burgers at the Dairy Maid when Benjamin Franklin was on the corner of State and A Avenue. He started Pacific West Roofing in 1980 and enjoys serving friends and neighbors in the area today. (503) 635-8706
4 | LO Neighbors – March 2016
Trevor Hammond, Certified Mortgage Advisor – A veteran of the mortgage industry, Trevor is director of Aspire Mortgage and co-author of “Borrow Smart, Retire Rich.” Trevor has provided thousands of homeowners with the clarity and confidence to make smarter decisions when it comes to their mortgages and money. (971) 300-0491 Curt Nelson, AV Security Professional – With more than 25 years of experience in custom audio/ video, security, networking and related fields, Curt works with builders, designers, architects and home owners to provide systems that work well and are simple to operate. (503) 538-1190 Sherry Dorn, Fashion – Sherry has worked the fashion runways from coast to coast; print ads, TV/radio, is the author of “The Sassy Shopper” and a columnist for various publications. Micah Dennis, Landscape & Exterior Design – Micah is innovative and connected with 20 years of experience in landscaping. His designs entice you outdoors with the use of destination points... drawing you out to relax, dine, enjoy a fire or water feature. His artistic imagination and distinctive design mindset has him influencing standards in Lake Oswego Landscaping. (503) 788-3117 Elizabeth Pasko, Skin Care – With more than 11 years of experience, Elizabeth continues to learn from the daily experiences with her clients, in the classroom, from her co-workers, and from various other professionals in her field. She is the owner/ founder of della bella Acne & Skin Care center and della bella mineral makeup. (503) 954-1249 Kaye Powell, Hardware, Plumbing and Lighting – For nearly 30 years at Chown Hardware, Kaye has helped homeowners realize their goal of creating beautiful homes and spaces using her knowledge of hardware, plumbing and lighting. Kaye is also a contributing member of the DPHA Education Committee. (503) 243-6500 John Draneas, Legal Advisor – John has been a highly regarded tax and estate planning attorney since 1977, and is recognized by both Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers. He writes the “Legal Files” column in Sports Car Market magazine and is nationally recognized as an expert in collector car law reflecting his lifelong interest in cars. (503) 496-5500 Willamette Valley Vineyards (800) 344-9463
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March 2016 – LO Neighbors | 5
preparing the 3 o’clock snack, and then diving into a report that needs to be reviewed and submitted, all in time to enjoy dinner as a family. Their home community gives Kira the chance to enjoy the personalities of each of her children. She has fun watching Lexi speak Spanish to her friends and act like everyone knows what she is saying, even though they don’t. Kohl is an amazing baseball player and quite the slugger. He once hit a pitch so hard that after it struck his coach, he earned the nickname “Jaw Breaker.” Noah loves supporting his football team as their starting center and enjoys tubing on the lake in the summer.
cleaning up the world one atom at a time
Photo by Brian Geraths
By Jadene Mayla
arm, approachable and brilliant are three words that best describe Kira Sykes; anyone that has met her would agree. She exudes happiness and optimism, and once you hear her tell you about her life here in Lake Oswego, you quickly understand why. Kira is a woman who has found a way to balance being a mom with holding down a high-profile career and participating in a rich social life. The family has lived in the Bryant neighborhood for the past 18 years. Kira moved from Canby when she was pregnant to take advantage of the great schools and family focus of LO. She loves the well-landscaped walking paths and proximity of activities like the swim park and dining at the French bakery, the Asian fusion restaurant owned by her neighbor, and the world-class Italian restaurant. The community is kind-hearted, and the kids are safe to roam around the neighborhood on bicycles or skateboards. Neighbors watch out for each other.
To say Kira’s job is exciting is an understatement as she works with a variety of clients from Nasa to the Department of Defense. She considers herself a mystery solver, sometimes traveling to exotic locations and finding buried sources of radioactive material that have been left exposed or have eroded. Kira’s role is to find solutions to stop the radioactive material from getting into the drinking water supply or being tracked around by foot. Many of the Navy projects she works on involve legacy problems that need to be cleaned up, some from the early 1900s when radioactive materials were being used for the first time. Kira has been with the same company for 26 years and loves what she does. She never feels bored and appreciates learning new things from every project. Not only does Kira love her career, she is also very good at it. She most recently received the 2016 Distinguished Engineer Award from Oregon State University for her career in nuclear
Kira is the proud mother of three beautiful and intelligent children. Kira’s children are Lexi, 19, a 4th generation student at Oregon State, Kohl, 16, and Noah, 12. Kira’s grandmother, grandfather, father, and brother went to OSU, as did she. The family spends time together regularly, and are very close.
Photo Provided by the Sykes 6 | LO Neighbors – March 2016
Working from home as a nuclear engineer affords her ample time with her family. She might be on the phone with the United States Navy in the morning after waiting at the bus stop with her kids, then talking with various professionals,
Photo Provided by the Sykes Submit content at BestVersionMedia.com
Photo Provided by the Sykes
cleanup. Her children are very proud of her. Kira’s motto is “cleaning up the world one atom at a time,” which is very fitting for the title of “Super Mom.”
make an oasis for gathering families. Neighbors stop by often, and there are great events and causes that her and her neighbors like to attend together.
Living on the lake is an opportunity to enjoy her time off. Now that she owns boat, she has found it is more fun than driving a car to the grocery store, cafe, or to get a glass of wine with her girlfriends. For Kira and her family, the lake is an extension of the neighborhood. During the Lake Run, she plays Rocky music on her front porch to cheer on the runners. On the 4th of July her friends makes cool paper invites to get through the roadblock and watch the fireworks. Lying on a boat with the bright explosions cascading overhead is a unique experience that Kira recognizes would be impossible in many other cities. Late night boat rides, sunsets and full moons over the water really add to the dreaminess of living in Lake Oswego. The trampoline, deck, BBQ, and rope swing in their backyard
Keeping the family and community together is important and they frequently travel with their neighbors. Some of the trips her family has taken lately include the Kahneeta resort, where they stayed in a teepee, biking and skiing in Sun River, and zip lining at Camp Dakota. They also like to jump off rocks into pools of water and take rafting trips down the Deschutes, laughing hard when they wipe out on the rapids. The Disney cruise and Disney World are family favorites because of how each guest and detail gets equal attention. They are taking more local trips these days, but in order to give each of her kids the same attention, Kira took them each on 1-on-1 vacations when they were younger. She took the boys to Legoland in California and on a cruise in the Bahamas while she and Lexi went on a Caribbean cruise. Back home, Kira appreciates her neighbors. She loves the movie theater owners for making it easy to boat right up to enjoy the sunset and the movie at the same time. She also really appreciates her large circle of friends who care about her and her family so much, filling their lives with laughter and a little bit of spunk. If there is one thing Kira would like the readers to know it is that she is extremely thankful for all of the support her neighbors give her. “My community helps me survive. We all pitch in to help each other,” says Kira. And that is what being neighbors in LO is all about. March 2016 – LO Neighbors | 7
Local Events march All Month
3rd Ave and Ankeny St, Portland
112 SW 2nd Ave, Portland
1500 Greentree Road
SCAVENGER HUNT ADVENTURE Treat the whole family to a local scavenger hunt. The tour requires approximately 2.4 miles of walking and you will also experience the city’s famous street cars. Time: sunrise to sunset, play anytime Cost: $49 for a team of 2-5 people urbanadventurequest.com
STEWARDSHIP PARTY 2055 SW Wembley Park Rd.
Join Friends of Springbrook Park in restoring native plants, explore trails through hills and over creeks. Wear sturdy shoes and bring gloves and drinking water. Time: 9-11am | Cost: FREE 503-699-4082
KNITTING GROUP 505 G Ave
Work on your knitting projects with Kat Riley, all levels are welcome. Time: 10am-12pm | Cost: FREE 503-312-1173
NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION MEETING 2500 Country Club Rd
Meet your neighbors and impact your community! Time: 7-8pm | Cost: FREE Oconnor1201@comcast.net
8 | LO Neighbors – March 2016
IRISH FESTIVAL Portland’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Festival is the largest of its kind in the Pacific Northwest. Features include traditional live music, dancing, arts & crafts, and children’s events on Saturday. The first 500 attendees get a free festival tee shirt with paid cover on St. Patrick’s Day. Time: 8pm-12am | Cost: $10 kellsportland.com/st-patricks-festival
ART FROM THE HEART CLASS 464 First St.
Child focused gift art projects for kids and treats for everyone, parent participation required. Register through Parks Dept. 503-675-2549 Time: 11am-1pm Cost: Res $17/Non-Res $26 tinyurl.com/zqe53or
MEET THE ARTISTS On Saturdays, Kids 8-14 learn about the life and career of an artist who influenced the art world and make their own mixed media interpretations of great works of art. Time: 10am-12pm Cost: Res $98/Non-Res $123 tinyurl.com/z57ulem
RECYCLED PAPER MAKING 706 4th St.
Get into Arbor Week by making beautiful, hand-made recycled paper that saves trees, water and energy. Ages 5 and up. Time: 3-5pm | Cost: FREE ci.oswego.or.us/kids/recycled-papermaking
GET TO KNOW LO TOUR
125 Rosemont Road, West Linn
The fifth in this tour series takes you to City Hall to learn about finance and budget. Time: 10-11:30am | Cost: FREE ci.oswego.or.us/publicaffairs/citydepartment-tours
SPRING BREAK FARM CAMP Kids 5-12 learn about organic farming and farm-based crafts, including edible flowers. Please wear layers for outdoor classes. Time: 9am-1pm Cost: Res $155/Non-Res $178 apm.activecommunities.com/ lakeoswegoparks
By Jadene Mayla
ake Oswego’s Meals on Wheels is a donations-based, non-profit program that is passionate about improving the quality of life and care for our seniors. They deliver lunch to homebound seniors as well as serve the noontime meal on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays to disabled adults at the Adult Community Center.
These meals are a vibrant source of engagement for those who participate, fostering the development of lasting friendships. Seniors who met for the first time while having lunch often get together afterward for coffee or to take a class together. Many elderly or disabled participants of the program don’t have family in state or at all, so Meals on Wheels delivers more than just food; it can provide companionship for the seniors. Drivers for the program often have opportunities to take care of needs they see when they visit a home; for example if an elderly citizen isn’t able to get up after a fall, sometimes a Meals on Wheels driver is the only person who can call the emergency room. Meals on Wheels board member and weekly driver Lynn Brokaw sees a need for more awareness of the MOW program as many people do not realize this service is available here in LO. In order to increase awareness and promote the program they need partners within
the community and are very open to working with any organization that wants to hold a function and collect donations. Many groups already contribute in this way. The majority of donations come from seasonal events such as the New Seasons Market collection in October along with The Beer, Brats, and Bingo event that happens every year. The Rotary Club Lobster Feed has also partnered with Meals on Wheels as well as the LO Academy of Dance, which takes place at the Adult Community Center. Paid Meals also contribute to supporting the organization, and groups like the Chamber of Commerce and Garden Club regularly donate to keep the program going, too. Many groups come on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays to help serve the meals. Lynn is concerned that Meals on Wheels won’t be able to meet their fundraising goals due to being frequently confused with a Portland program called “Meals on Wheels for People”. Because that organization serves counties other than Clackamas County, the funds they generate leave Lake Oswego.
To learn more about how you can get involved or to donate to this vital program, contact Lynn at Meals on Wheels lakeoswegomealsonwheels.org or Berta at the Adult Community Center www.ci.oswego.or.us/acc.
380 A Ave
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March 2016 – LO Neighbors | 9
Local Business Spotlight
Chown Hardware The Choice for Contractors, Designers and Homeowners
Chown Hardware is a 136-year-old, 5th Generation, American Family Business located in the heart of Portland Oregon and Bellevue Washington. They are the source of luxury hardware, plumbing and lighting in the Northwest. This is not a box store or an oldfashioned hardware store.
When speaking of luxury hardware think of front door locks in special finishes and beautiful designs with matching doorbell buttons and hinges. The bath and the kitchen are especially important today as the one is the most private space in our homes and the kitchen is the most public. Detailing these spaces is incredibly important. Chown can help. And when it comes to lighting, the choices have increased in the past few years because of the evolution of the LED light fixtures. Chown can help determine the right source and light level for homes today.
When thinking hardware do not think miscellaneous repair and replacement products. As the premier decorative showroom supporting the luxury market, Chown specializes in the finest American and European products in beautiful finishes for today’s discriminating architects and designers. Contractors choose to send their clients to Chown because of the expertise of the sales staff who can help homeowners select the products that make a big difference in the beauty and functionality of a Brothers: David Chown, Fred Chown, Steve Chown, Parents (deceased): Frank space. Chown, Eleanor Chown. Photo Provided by Umpqua Bank
10 | LO Neighbors – March 2016
Do not think of Chown as product, think of Chown as beautiful home dreams realized. Their goal is to help customers find the right product to match their unique style. Chown invites residents and neighbors to stop in anytime to see their beautiful showroom and meet the team of experts that can help add beauty, style and security to the space we call home.
Meet Wendy Ohlendorf Local Up-and-Coming Dress Designer C
By Sherry Dorn
ortland is at the forefront when it comes to talented dress designers, and Wendy Ohlendorf has made quite an impression with her cutting-edge dresses. She’s a bundle of energy and personality; and her out-ofthe-box special occasion dresses are such a HIT that they fly out the door! In fact, if you’re planning on attending a special function and wearing one of her latest designs, you’re guaranteed to “sparkle and out-shine” everyone else! A busy entrepreneur, Wendy also owns a shop called “Boulevard de Magenta,” located at 632 SW Pine in Portland. Passersby enjoy watching Wendy sew and create from the windows outside. Sometimes it feels like sewing in a fishbowl! When entering the shop, you can also enjoy watching clothes being designed and made on-site. Boulevard de Magenta is actually half production and half boutique
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showroom. Wendy invites everyone to stop by her flagship showroom and shop for custom or off-the-rack fashions, all bursting with style!
Stephanie Sparkman, owner of Consigning Women, has been a great supporter of local Portland designers for years. She believes it’s time to “shine” a spotlight on our young designers, (and so do I!) In fact, Stephanie has commissioned Wendy to design several of her oneof-a-kind dresses. She wears them to various functions and charities, and is always asked the same question, “Where can I find this?” The answer is Boulevard de Magenta…of course! Wendy has been a featured designer and finalist in 2014 and 2015 at Fashion NXT (Portland), Vancouver BC Fashion Week, Tampa Bay Fashion Week and Fashion Meets Film. Look for her designs on Portland runways this fall 2016!
Decorative Plumbing Door Hardware Cabinet Hardware Lighting Steam/Bathtub Bathroom Cabinets Bath Accessories
Oregon 333 N.W. 16th Avenue Portland, Oregon 800-452-7634 Washington 12001 N.E. 12th St. #38 Bellevue, Washington 800-574-4312 www.chown.com
March 2016 – LO Neighbors | 11
the coolest I think its true…if I “squint”…I can see spring…I can even smell spring! Bright flowers are ready to burst, birds are twittering away…and street smart fashions have arrived! I love these “cool girl” styling trends; they are designed to really reflect the times. From hipster to preppy to boho, sporty or flirty, it’s your choice! Street-smart fashions are all over the map and definitely the look for spring!
“TEEN” STREET–SMART LOOKS
By Sherry Dorn (See page 4 for bio)
Sweet-heart Sundress: Fit and Flair $48 3D Flower Necklace: $18 Earrings: $14 Medallion Silver Bracelet: $18 Stacked Bangles Bracelets: $14 each Crossbody Wallet: $28
This is your chance to jump on board with the ultimate “cool girl “ look. Skirts are hot…whether mini…midi…or long. Mini is a must for teens, especially with a fun scalloped hem and bold buttons. Add a sleeveless cropped top in fresh stripes (why wait for summer to wear a cropped top?). Layer an edgy olive Moto jacket with asymmetrical zipper front and black vegan leather sleeves. So...Ohh…La…La…! Tights of course, you can’t go wrong with black boots and don’t be afraid of an edgy hat, stacked rings, spiky necklace and unforgettable large hoops! Can you believe it; Easter is in March this year. It’s a special day and it requires a special dress. For an unforgettable look, shopping at “Francesca’s” on A Ave. is the answer. They have an awesome selection of dresses bursting with color and smart style. Never underestimate the power of a perfectly designed dress to make any teen smile! Channel Katy Perry’s song “Teenage Dream” and ditch your usual jeans for statement- making separates. Instead, try tucking a soft floral top into matching high-waist shorts…lined of course. So easy to wear, simply layer a solid sheer blouse or light sweater for evening.
Short Set: Top: Orchid print $28 Short: fitted at waist $34 Floppy Straw Hat: $24 Necklace: Soft shell/tear drop faceted stones $24 Beaded Tear Drop Earrings: $14 Aviator Sunglasses: $14 Clutch Handbag w/Tassel: Black leather $44
To change up this look, add sailor pants or capri’s, the reigning favorite of all! Complete with floppy straw hat and sunglasses that take you from school girl to “cool girl”. I’m envisioning Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire kicking up their heels and dancing away!
• For instant polish; lightly roll and tie a simple bandana around your neck. “Grease Lightning!” • Can you believe scrunchies are back…shades of the awesome 80’s. Fashion bloggers love this trend! • Hoop earrings are the rage and I for one, am on board. Small or large, a hoop is flattering for most faces and works well with every style. • Stack your rings for a cool, edgy layered look…its all about the placement on your fingers. Index, middle, tip thumb or little finger…anything goes! • Look “fly” in all black…add oversized sunglasses and a burst of bright color . 12 | LO Neighbors – March 2016
Francesca’s: A unique boutique with fashion forward, trendy clothes, handbags, jewelry and unique gifts. Model: Sydney Jabusch...16 years old… junior in high school. Active in volleyball and school activities. Has traveled to Africa and Mexico on mission trips. Loves fashion, watches the trends and enjoys boutique shopping.
Street Smart/Moto Jacket: Olive fabric, asymmetrical zipper and vegan leather sleeves $58 Crop Top: Sleeveless mock neck $24 Skirt: Scalloped hem with decorative buttons. $38 Spiky Necklace: $24 Hammered Hoop Earrings: $14 Collection of Rings: $12-$14 Straw Hat with Band: $24 Sunglasses: $14 Submit content at BestVersionMedia.com
Photos by Levi Sim Photography March 2016 – LO Neighbors | 13
Local Business Spotlight
Pacific West Roofing Owners Stan Robinson (left) and Brian Jarvis (right).
Pacific West Roofing
By Jadene Mayla
he roof of a house takes the brunt of the weather, making it possible for us to enjoy comfort at home. When the roof needs care or replacement, it needs to be done right by a responsible company that doesn’t cut corners and has the experience and expertise to handle the job with finesse as well as competence. Pacific West Roofing LLC has been in the area since 1980, providing state-of-theart roof repair, replacement, and maintenance for residential and commercial buildings. In 1979, founder Stan Robinson worked for a building materials distribution company selling to roofing contractors. He met his business partner, Brian Jarvis, in high school, and now they have 25 employees and work with customers in Oregon and Washington. Their business offers more options than any other roofing company in the Portland Metro area. This includes premium roofing materials and also the insulation and ventilation aspects. Stan says that many times they will hold off on bidding a job if they can’t ventilate properly, because it’s important to them that the manufacturer can carry an extended warranty for their customers. Sometimes a homeowner asks not to include ventilation, and this indicates to Stan and Brian that the project might not be a good fit. Their priority is quality and to ensure every manufacturer stands behind their extended 25 year workmanship warranty. Stan says they have a lot of laughs on the job which keeps things interesting, he says he has too many funny stories to tell. “Anytime we did a roofing job on the lake in LO, I would run and grab my boat, take it by the job, go water skiing midday at lunch and then back to work for the rest of the day; that was really fun.” Taking opportunities to enjoy the benefits
14 | LO Neighbors – March 2016
of a lake town, especially as part of the work day, is one of the creative ways they celebrate working in Lake Oswego. They share the love by hiring a taco cart for three employee appreciation days every year. Tacos are a great break from the job when the crews are tired during a long summer of working in the heat. Stan understands the importance of creating a fun and enjoyable work environment for his employees, they are loyal to the business and their work improves. Family life is also important to Stan. His son Brent is 27, and his daughter Tess is 20. As a family, they went snowmobiling while the kids were growing up, and they still make occasionally get up to the mountain when there is time. Brent is a team lead at Boeing in Seattle, and Tess is starting a new job at a veterinarian clinic in Milwaukie. Stan grew up in Lake Oswego and comes from a third generation Lake Oswego family. His grandfather was an entrepreneur and owned a business in Portland in the early 1920s. The family owned a property on the lake they called Robinson’s Point, and here they entertained Bob hope, Eddie Arnold, and The Young Americans back in 1967 when they came to Portland. Stan admits that getting to do that was very fun. As a business owner himself, he believes that when his company does business locally everyone wins. “We all contribute to a vital economy right here in town and help one another, neighbors and family, as we build the trust in one another to do so.” With trust at the core of who they are, Pacific West Roofing looks forward to serving families and other businesses in the Northwest for a number of years to come. Submit content at BestVersionMedia.com
March 2016 – LO Neighbors | 15
Village Home Tour
This home is right out of a storybook -- Charming from the exterior throughout the interior and right into the backyard. The territorial view of the Lake was enjoyed for many years with family BBQs and outdoor living. And while the view is amazing, being able to walk to the lake and enjoy the family sailboat was one of the many advantages of the location. The local swim park, 4th of July fireworks and being close to downtown LO are all benefits of living in this home. $799,900 16 | LO Neighbors â&#x20AC;&#x201C; March 2016
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This home is currently being offered through Judy Adler of Windermere Realty Group, 503-358-5843. March 2016 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; LO Neighbors | 17
Trevor Hammond with Aspire Mortgage
A Fable About Refinancing
iane walked into the house, setting down her things in the kitchen after a long day at work. “Did you hear that rates have dropped? Should we be looking into refinancing?”
Her husband, Jack, replied, “Yes, I did. Some people at work have been talking about that for the past week. But we just bought our house less than two years ago, so it’s probably too soon.” Diane thought about this. She agreed that it hadn’t been very long since they got their mortgage, and their interest rate already seemed pretty low. One the other hand, they had only put 10% down when they purchased the home, so they were also paying monthly mortgage insurance. Since they had purchased their first home, cash flow had been a bit tight, especially after their second child was born, and Diane had cut back her hours at work to be with their two young children. But she couldn’t help but wonder if the rise in home prices around them might also help them get rid of the mortgage insurance? The following day, Diane decided to take the initiative and
called her Mortgage Advisor, Trevor. Trevor had helped them buy their house initially, and she at least knew that Trevor would tell her if it was crazy to be thinking about refinancing so soon. By the end of the conversation, Diane had moved from skeptical, to relieved, to outright excited! Not only did it seem that they had enough equity in their house to now get rid of the mortgage insurance, but it appeared that they would be able to reduce their interest rate by .5%. Altogether, Trevor estimated that Jack and Diane would save just over $200 per month. “But what about the closing costs?” Diane asked.
“Yes, there are some costs involved,” Trevor explained, “but here is a break-even analysis I’ve prepared for you. With your monthly savings, in addition to having no payment due the first month after we close your new loan, you will break even on the costs in only eight months! So, as long as you guys aren’t planning on moving before then, you can rest assured this is a smart financial move.” “Now,” Trevor continued, “there is only one thing that can erode all of these great benefits of refinancing.” “What’s that?” Diane asked, with a confused tone. Trevor began to explain one of the biggest financial mistakes he had watched homeowners make over the years.
“Too many homeowners refinance their home, lower their monthly payments, and free up cash flow they never had before. Then, they have nothing to show for it years later. The savings simply got absorbed into their spending habits. My request is for you and Jack to decide where you will allocate the $200 each month that we are freeing up for you. This is a tremendous opportunity to super-charge your kid’s college funds, boost your retirement contributions at work, or pay off that nagging student loan faster. So will you commit to me that you’ll put this money to good use, and use this refinance as a catalyst for a better, safer financial future?” Diane had never even thought about what a bigger role this refinance could play in helping to achieve the rest of their financial goals. They were barely saving $200 per month now, and this would double what they could put away into savings! Diane thanked Trevor for his advice and quick analysis and promised to complete the loan application and get the paperwork over to his team by tomorrow. She couldn’t wait to share the good news with Jack. What is the moral of the story? Two incredible things are happening at the same time: Rates are back down to all-time lows AND real estate values are up. Take the time to reach out to your preferred mortgage professional to get a quick review of your current mortgage. With good, honest advice and analysis, you will either walk away with peace of mind that you are already in the best position, or you will find a tremendous opportunity to improve your financial future. 18 | LO Neighbors – March 2016
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March 2016 – LO Neighbors | 19
Catherine LeJeal with Escape Your Chaos
Emergency Supply Storage
TOP TEN TIPS
o you lie awake nights wondering if you have enough supplies for those unforeseen occurrences Mother Nature brings our way? By morning your feet hit the ground running with the daily demands of your life, the needs of your family, and those late night demons fade in the light of day?
Spring is the time for new beginnings. The dangers of winter have passed and we find ourselves lulled into a Disney-esque frame of mind with birds and butterflies in the air. Time to open the windows, shake out the rugs, and dust off the folding chairs for concerts in the park! We never expect danger when the sun is shining. Once again it’s easy to forget about your goals to get prepared. Many people are frozen with indecision, they don’t know what to prepare for. Earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, winter storms, power outs. Will you be at home? Will your home survive? Where should you store your supplies? Don’t let these distractions keep you from taking action. #1 DON’T PUT ALL YOUR EGGS IN ONE BASKET. Most homes have enough food supplies to last a few days. You will still need to have water, 1 gallon per day per person. I recommend a 5 gallon bucket with a lid for an emergency toilet and black hefty sacks in case of sewer problems. Have bleach, peroxide and first aid items on hand. Never let RX medications get below a ten day supply! Wet wipes in hand and body sizes are extremely helpful. For longer emergencies our family has storage with enough supplies to last a family of five 6 weeks. Any weather
proof storage area will do, a closet in your home, garage, a rented space or a tornado cellar. Have a few cache sites stocked. #2 TAKE A CLASS REI STORES and Lake Oswego City Hall both offer classes. #3 LOOK ONLINE FOR LISTS OF EMERGENCY SUPPLIES. REI: www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/emergencypreparedness-basics.html The Prepper Journal: www.theprepperjournal.com www.ready.gov/sites/default/files/documents/files/checklist_1. pdf #4 MAKE A FAMLY PLAN We use our storage unit as our meeting place. Have walkie talkies to communicate in case cell towers aren’t working. Have “Go” bags packed at all times, include one for the family pets. A laminated list of supplies to grab from home is helpful with phone numbers on the back. If you don’t live near family, partner with someone who will meet or call you after an emergency so you can check on each other.
#6 BUY BEFORE THE EMERGENCY Late summer when firewood, pellets and ice deterrent first appear on store shelves buy enough to last through storms or a power outage. Don’t forget lighters and batteries! That same week we have our tires checked, put snow cables in the car and repair home door weather stripping. #7 DO SOMETHING TO PREPARE We can never be certain we will have what we need for every possible emergency but every step you take in preparation will increase your comfort in times of need. Don’t let not being able to do it all, stop you from doing anything. #8 EXPIRATION DATES Buy the furthest out expiration dates as possible. Check dates twice a year. New Year’s and July or your birthday and your half birthday. If food is about to expire, bring it into the house to use and shop to replace it.
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#9 DON’T FORGET FUN! When you’re hibernating through a storm or waiting for help to arrive have books, cards, mad-libs packed in with your supplies to keep your mind occupied and family members in good spirits. A few (hundred) chocolate bars couldn’t hurt. #10 HIRE HELP In Lake Oswego, EscapeYourChaos.com sets up emergency supply storage. Perhaps you can’t afford to do this all at once but you could do it over time, one session with our Organizers every month for a year. You will sleep better knowing you have done what you can to Escape Your Chaos!
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DON’T FORGET TO GIVE CHILDREN A CODE WORD TO USE IN CASE YOU SEND SOMEONE TO PICK THEM UP FROM SCHOOL.
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#5 CAR SUPPLIES Our cars have a back pack that will sustain 4 people for 3 days. These are for sale ready made or you can assemble them yourself. Of course a good blanket and pillow is important for the car if stranded, a red kerchief and a whistle to attract help if needed.
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20 | LO Neighbors – March 2016
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March 2016 – LO Neighbors | 21
Brian Geraths with Prints Charming
Behind the Lens
’ve been chasing the lens of a camera around since I was 12 years old. I shot my way through high school, earning money as well as a higher GPA thanks to a great mix of creative courses. Photo 1, 2, Advanced Photography, Journalism, Yearbook and even a Fine Art Photography class that I created in my senior year. I convinced the principal to let me convert the artroom janitor’s closet into a darkroom. Hearing that, you’d think I knew I’d become a photographer, right? It wasn’t until 17 years later that I recovered from some bad career advice. At age 15 I was advised by an influential adult – “Never turn your hobby into a career, because then you’ll have to do it, and hate it”. At an impressionable age, that was all I needed to guard my beloved “hobby”. It was a very expensive hobby, so I mowed enough lawns to support it and the car that transported me to a higher paying job in a grocery store. 15 years into my retail management career, I left Fred Meyer with a confidence-boosting letter from the company president. He made it clear that I hadn’t burned any bridges, and was likely to succeed with my “... unusual combination of business savvy, customer service skill, photographic talent and pure energy.” I gave my best, not to climb a corporate ladder, but to fortify my future success at running my own business.
The education helped me understand what I did to be on Oregon’s “Court of Honor” six consecutive years, while earning me a Fellow of Photography degree (F.P.). The competition, however, put me at risk of an ego. I only wanted to know that my work was good enough for my clients. Twenty years of mostly returning clients was my answer. This month I will be photographing my 17th Portland Rose Festival Court, only this time as an Honorary Knight by the Royal Rosarians. Sir Brian Edward Geraths - Guardian of the Electron Rose, but please, just “Brian”.
As my wife and I assessed the mix of 2015 photo services we offer, it was clear that 70% of Prints Charming’s sales increases were commercial. (Headshots, products, publications, real estate etc.) Being asked to shoot covers for Lake Oswego Neighbors was just too timely to ignore. I enjoy working with this team of motivated and creative people. This combination of events inspired me to launch my new commercial service business – Photo Media Productions. I’ll be keeping Prints Charming Photography for now, but now I’ll get to focus more on the creative process. Collaborating with a talented video editor, two FAA Certified Drone Pilots, talented digital artists, I am now able to focus on being creative. See ad on page 3. Thank you Lake Oswego for contributing to my ongoing success, and I look forward to sharing this journey of growth, as I photograph you and the other rock-stars of this community.
After a 12 week course with a career counselor, based on the book “What Color is Your Parachute” I cashed in my 401k to open Prints Charming Photography in 1996. I left retail with the mind of a merchandiser, sure that I would be creating a commercial studio, putting emphasis on product photography. In 1997, I was invited to the Professional Photographers of Oregon annual print competition. The only images I had to submit were scenics and people, so I started there. Little did I know then, that Oregon was hosting the Western Region competition, including British Columbia, Alaska, Hawaii, California, Washington, Nevada and Montana. I walked away with a Kodak Gallery Award, Fuji Masterpiece, Best Illustrative, Best 1st-Time Print Aggregate and a new nickname to my Oregon peers - Mr. 96. I was too humble to gloat, since I didn’t even know why I won. I returned each year for six years to educate and compete. 22 | LO Neighbors – March 2016
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March 2016 – LO Neighbors | 23
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