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Portland Green Streets » 2009 » August

Archive for August, 2009

Sign In Now – Green Streets Day this Friday, August 28th!

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

Gorham Bike & Ski Staff

Gorham Bike & Ski Staff

Sign in now (click here) – Please take a minute to breathe amidst your busy summer and sign in now (and every month!) if you plan to walk, bike, take public transit, carpool, and/or telecommute this Green Streets Day – Friday, August 28th. (Click here and scroll down our main page to see who qualifies as a Green Streeter – anyone can do it!)

And find the Green Streets Sponsor nearest you with this great map! And/or read the rest of this entry for the freebies, discounts, and raffle items from local businesses – for those in Greater Portland who:

  • Wear Green (shirt, pants, socks, whatever!)
  • and Get Around Green (walk, bike, take transit, carpool, telecommute, etc.) on Green Streets Day!

As always – please e-mail us photos of you (& any other folks!) getting around green at PortlandGreenStreets@yahoo.com!

Notes on signing in:

  • If you still want to track all your green commuting through the month you can go to the upper right corner of the screen and switch your entry form to “General” – just be sure to place a check on Green Streets Day.
  • As in the past, your email address is required for identification. This information is kept absolutely private – Portland Green Streets never shares e-mails with anyone else.

Signing in enters you in this month’s Green Streets raffle and provides us with great collective green commuting data (which you’ll hear about with the raffle results!)

This Month’s Incentives (Freebies, Discounts & Raffle Items)

Freebies and Discounts for Green Streets Participants on August 28, 2009:

  • Attention to Detail Residential Cleaning Services (221-6558, www.greencleanhome4u.com): Offering a one time 10% discount for new accounts who mention “Green Streets” when calling for a cleaning!
  • Bruce’s Burritos (438 U.S. Rt. 1, Yarmouth, 846-6330, www.brucesburritos.com): 10% off  all menu items!
  • Butterfly Baby (543 Congress Street, 553-9255, www.butterflybabyonline.com): 10% discount on all stock! (FYI, Butterfly Baby has cloth diapers, too – the only ones on the peninsula? – in addition to its other green friendly pre-natal to small child (& parent) products.)
  • Clayton’s Cafe (447 U.S. Route One, Yarmouth, 846-1117, www.claytonscafe.com): Free small coffee – our first business to participate in Yarmouth!
  • Down-Home Cookin’ (28 Preble Street, 228-2064, menu at www.mainetakeout.com): 10% off all breakfast items – formerly of the Portland Public Market with yummy offerings!
  • Fetch! (195 Commercial Street, 773-5450): 10% off bio-degradable poop bags, poop bag dispensers, treat pouches and travel water bowls for Green Streets participants with pooches!
  • Fog Cutter Coffee (Two Locations: 519 Warren Ave., Portland and 176 Gray Road, Cumberland, 761-4520, www.myspace.com/fogcuttercoffee: Free iced or hot medium coffee!
  • Gorham Bike & Ski (693 Congress Street, 773-1700, www.gorhambike.com): Free sample of Chamois Butter – don’t give chafe a chance!
  • Green Clean Maine (221-6600, www.greencleanme.com): Sign in your participation in Green Streets and get $5 off any cleaning the week before or after Green Streets Day!
  • GTE Federal Credit Union (63 Marginal Way – building marked with Gorham Savings Bank sign, www.gtefcu.org): Cookies, coffee and juice for all Green Streeters who stop by (definitely stop in even if you aren’t a member)!
  • Guitar Grave (441 Congress Street, 775-4414, www.guitargrave.com): Free music CD with purchase. One free DVD with any purchase of $20 or more – & one pair of shoelaces!
  • Homegrown Herb & Tea(195 Congress Street, 774-3484, www.homegrownherbandtea.com): 1/2 off any hot or iced tea – a whole host of possibilities every day!
  • Hilltop Coffee Shop (99 Congress Street; 780-0025): Free regular coffee for Green Streets participants who bring their own mug (1/2 off for those who don’t)!
  • Jen Burrall Designs (76 Washington Ave., 772-1902, www.jenburralldesigns.com): 10% off all merchandise!
  • Lobby Cafe(400 Congress Street – in the Post Office building, 671-5776): Free coffee with breakfast or lunch sandwich!
  • Longfellow Books (1 Monument Way, 772-4045, www.longfellowbooks.com): 25% off all used books!
  • Maine Audubon (20 Gilsland Farm Road, Falmouth, 781-2330, www.maineaudubon.org): Four offers that day: 1/2 off a Maine Audubon membership; 20% off any Nature Store purchase for existing Maine Audubon members (including a great new book in stock, “Eco Babies Wear Green”!); Free “green gift” from the Nature Store for all participants; And a Return-Free sticker if participants have traveled by bus!
  • Maple’s Organic Desserts (Two Locations: 151 Middle Street, 774-COOL or 796 Forest Avenue, 210-6051, www.maplesorganics.com): $1 off any Maple’s product – coffee, baked goods, ice cream cones, pints, etc.!
  • North Star Cafe (225 Congress Street, 699-2994, www.northstarmusiccafe.com): Free small iced or hot coffee or tea!
  • O’Naturals in Falmouth (240 US Rte 1, Falmouth, 781-8889, www.onaturals.com): Buy one entree get a second one for free!
  • Others! coffee and gelato cafe (15 Monument Square, 874-7411): Free 8-oz cup of Others! Fair Trade/organic coffee or tea! Or bring your own mug and they’ll fill it – up to 16 ounces for free!
  • Panera Bread (343 Gorham Road, South Portland, 780-1212, www.panerabread.com): Free small coffee!
  • Portland Dog Wash (981 Forest Ave., 797-7082 , www.portlanddogwash.com): $2 off a self-service dog wash and a free Greenie dog treat!
  • Portland Photo Works (142 High St., Suite 220, 228-5829, www.portlandphotoworks.com): 10% off digital printing and select photo prints!
  • Rosemont Market (Two locations: 559 Brighton Ave., Portland, 774-8129; 96 Main St., Yarmouth, 846-1234): Buy a delicious homemade pastry and receive a free cup of Coffee by Design coffee!
  • Slainte! (24 Preble Street, 828-0900, www.myspace.com/slaintewinebar): $2 pints for all Green Streets participants from 4-9pm – stop by for some great live music that afternoon and evening.

Raffle Items for August 2009:

Sign in to be entered to win!

Fall Internship Opportunity with Portland Green Streets!

Saturday, August 22nd, 2009

is-this-youAt Portland Green Streets we’re all volunteers – and a fun crew it is!  We seek a capable and reliable intern for the Fall who’s primary responsibilities would include assisting with:

  • developing informative monthly e-newsletter
  • communicating with Green Streets volunteers, business sponsors, and interested individuals
  • events coordination
  • website maintenance and development
  • working on a specific project such as: mapping, volunteer and/or business recruitment, Portland Green Streets gear development, fundraising, graphic design and/or updating our marketing materials, etc.

The position is for September – December, 5-8 hrs/wk, with opportunity to continue through the Spring if interested.  Position is based in Portland. The intern will work closely with the lead organizer and also with other Green Streets volunteers on specific projects.

Portland Green Streets works with more than 50 green-interested local businesses, non-profit and public sector organizations.  This is a great opportunity to build non-profit work experience, gain broad exposure and make valuable connections with those playing a lead role in green transportation and conservation work in Greater Portland. In addition, intern would have opportunity to help Portland Green Streets chart its course.

Ideal candidate will be: proficient in computer skills, self-motivated, organized, positive, and energetic – with an interest in, knowledge of, and passion for public health, small business, and/or environmental sustainability.

Please email portlandgreenstreets@yahoo.com with your contact information, resume, areas of interest, and availability.

Portland Green Streets Tech Tools!

Friday, August 21st, 2009

Do you use iGoogle as your homepage? Add Portland Green Streets as a gadget on your page using an RSS feed! Here’s how:

  1. On your iGoogle homepage, click “Add stuff”
  2. In the men bar on the left click “Add feed or gadget”
  3. Paste in this URL: http://portlandgreenstreets.org/?feed=rss2
  4. Click “Add”

You will get updates from our website right on your homepage!


Join Us on Facebook

Portland Green Streets is now on Facebook! Be one of the first members to join! Network and socialize with other Green Streeters.  You can find friends to commute with or meet up with at participating businesses for discounts on Green Streets Day. To join, click on the Facebook button to the left or click here – or search for Portland Green Streets on Facebook. Share it with Green Streeters you know and your friends!

Want to map out your Green Streets Day? Don’t forget to check out our sponsors on Google Maps. It lists the names, locations, and available discounts from our sponsors. Check it out!

Local School Educates Youth on Green Transportation

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

Friends School of Portland

Green Streeter Katie Spirer, 1st & 2nd Grade Teacher at the Friends School, writes:dscn08131

“This spring we spent a few weeks educating ourselves about alternative transportation by having experts come in to class to teach us about bike safety, pedestrian safety, the true costs of car ownership, and the benefits (and sometimes drawbacks) of alternative transportation.  We also took a great alternate transit field trip that opened up different transportation modes for all of us.  We walked from school off Mackworth Island to catch the #7 METRO bus into town, then walked down to catch a ferry to Peaks Island, then carpooled over to the Portland Transportation Center and toured one of the Downeaster trains. (more…)

Photos and Notes from Green Streeters

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

Kathy Beach, who commutes from South Portland to Scarborough says:

“Keep up the good work. I’ve talked 2 people at my job site into riding their bikes to work occasionally. The summer is the easiest time to make our case!”

Michael Danahy sold his car last year and walks, bikes, rides the bus and carpools everywhere. He writes, “Is it true that So Portland bus is free if you have a towel or otherwise can show that you’re going to/from the beach?”

The Answer – Until September 5th, you can get a free ride HOME from the beach when leaving from the Preble & Willow St. bus stop! Check out our website for full details.

Betsy Melrose commutes from Westbrook to the Old Port.

She writes: “Biked to work one day and then biked to a friends house in Windham. Lots of uphill on Blackstrap Road! Heavier trip with my CSA farmshare on the back of the bike!!”

Meg Quinn lives on Munjoy Hill. Starting next month, her son (pictured with Meg here) will walk to the East End School and she will walk or bike to her office on Fore St. At which point, she says ”We will be fully green-commuting household (when kid goes to nearby elementary instead of far-away preschool). Yay!”

Julia Reddy writes: “Selling my car a year ago was the best thing I’ve done – for my body, my spirit, and my footprint!”

Mary Anne Higgins, who struggles against laziness in her walking commute from the East End to the Old Port, writes:

“It was a very busy week and I’d been driving to work more often than I like. I forced myself to walk for Green Streets Day. The smells of the ocean, fresh-cut grass, and sea roses; the smiling neighbors who said hello; and the sound of the sea gulls all reminded me why I love walking to work. I arrived at work happy, awake, and relaxed. I really needed the reminder. And thankfully a friend drove me home in the rain after work!”

Portland Green Streets would like to say thanks again to sponsor Gorham Bike & Ski for all they do for the Greater Portland community – and especially for their support of the Blessing of the Bicycles in May. What a crew!

Gorham Bike & Ski Staff

Gorham Bike & Ski Staff

Events & Opportunities

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

kids-on-metro-busAugust 24 – September 30, 2009 – Ride METRO for FREE with College ID

Greater Portland Transit District METRO is welcoming students and staff to local colleges with a great deal:  Ride FREE with College ID from August 24 -  September 30, 2009. Students, staff and faculty from the following colleges may ride free with ID:

  • Andover College
  • Maine College of Art (MECA)
  • SALT Institute for Documentary Studies
  • Southern Maine Community College (SMCC)
    ( transfer from METRO to South Portland City Bus)
  • University of New England
  • University of Southern Maine (USM)

METRO does not offer bus service on Labor Day, Monday, September 7. For schedules and additional information, please visit www.gpmetrobus.com or call 774-0351. For ongoing updates, become a Facebook fan of METRO (Greater Portland Transit District) page. METRO, with bus ridership averaging 1.5 million annually, is Maine’s largest public transportation carrier, providing bus service to Portland, Westbrook, Falmouth and the Maine Mall area of South Portland with connections to South Portland City Bus, ZOOM, Intercity ShuttleBus, Concord Coach, Greyhound Bus, Amtrak/Downeaster, Portland Jetport and Casco Bay Lines.

August 26 – Neighborhood Meeting to Discuss Bicycle Lanes on Forest, Deering and Park Avenues

The City of Portland and the Department of Public Services will host a neighborhood meeting to discuss the opportunity to expand the city’s bicycle network on Forest Avenue, Deering Avenue and Park Avenue.   The public will be able to learn of the proposed lane additions as well as have questions answered.  6:00 PM, State of Maine Room, City Hall

August 29 – Joshua’s Ride

Joshua’s Ride honors a college student who was killed while bicycling.  The ride has distances of 10, 22 and 77 miles and it begins at Cape Elizabeth High School.  Find out more.

August 29 – Don’t Walk Home! (Roadside Repair) and The Art of Wheel Truing from the Bicycle Workshop.

Don’t Walk Home! (Roadside Repair) –   ( 9:00am – 11:30am) Covers how to prevent having to do roadside repair as well as how to deal with flat tires and possibly unhappy gears, chains, brakes etc. using just what you can carry with you on your bike.  The Art of Wheel Truing (12:30 – 3:00pm) Truing a wheel is more than a skill. It is an art. This class will introduce you to the art of wheel work.  These classes are totally hands on and use your bike if possible so you learn how to fix your stuff. You will learn a TON! Each class costs $60/person and runs for 2.5 hours.  They are open to anyone 15 or older and there’s a deal for parents where they can bring their child and take the class with their child and they only charge for the child. Accompanying parents are free!  Check it out at The Bicycle Workshop.

September 1 – Green Streets Drop-In Volunteer Social at North Star Cafe – Every 1st Tuesday from 7:30-9am

September 2 – Public Presentation of Franklin Street Design Options from Franklin Street Study Committee

The Franklin Street Study Committee will be sharing three distinct interpretations of an improved Franklin Street Corridor with the pubic at the Merrill Auditorium Rehearsal Hall, behind City Hall. Please come to learn about the three design alternatives, the Context Sensitive Solutions study model that has guided the process, and to offer your input on the alternatives – and bring a friend! 6- 8pm.

By September 5th -  South Portland Bus – Last Chance for the 4th Annual Ride Home Free From the Beach!

Take the South Portland bus (including from downtown Portland locations) to Willard Beach and get a free ride home – from June 15th  to September 5th.  Show the driver your beach towel, sunscreen, etc. at the Preble & Willow St. bus stop only, and get a free trip back home. Once you’re on the bus you can enter the drawing for a fun South Portland Bus Service beach towel. Drawing forms available from the driver. Four winners picked each Friday. For more information, call 767-5556.

September 9 – Portland City Council Vote on Bike Lanes

The Portland City Council is expected to vote on September 9 on a proposal to add bicycle lanes to a section of Ocean Avenue.  The plan must win five votes in order to pass and it failed to do so on an earlier vote.  E-mail or call your City Councilor!

September 15 – Green Streets Drop-In Volunteer Social at North Star Cafe – Every 3rd Tuesday from 5:30 – 7pm

Enter Now to Win Custom Built Bike! Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s 2009 Super Raffle

The winner will receive a handmade, custom Maine bicycle valued at more than $3,500. Additional information is available on their Web site http://www.bikemain e.org/superraffle.htm

Check Out the Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s Strategic Plan

The Bicycle Coalition of Maine has adopted a strategic plan that will focus its work in six key areas:

  • Improving bicycle infrastructure.
  • Teaching bicycle safety to more Maine children.
  • Expanding our Share the Road campaign.
  • Advocating for bicyclists at the Maine Legislature and in other venues.
  • Encouraging more Mainers to bicycle.
  • Strengthening our organization.

Take a few moments to read the plan summary and to find out how you can get involved.   Please encourage your friends and family to make Maine a better place to bicycle by joining the coalition.  Thanks to the 1,300 members who participated in the plan’s creation by completing a survey last March.

AMTRAK Downeaster Specials

Early risers are rewarded on Saturdays and Sundays. Pay just $24.00 round-trip when traveling on train 690 and 695, 697, or 699. Tickets must be purchased at least three days in advance of travel. Reference promotion code v175. Blackout dates and restrictions may apply.

The Downeaster is currently offering 50% off the price of any Downeaster ticket for senior citizens (62+) and folks with disabilities. The discount can be used any day of the week and on any Downeaster train. To take advantage of this discount, travelers must use discount code V543 and must reserve their tickets at least three days in advance. Seniors will need to show proof of age; disabled folks will need to show a Medicare card or other proof of disability status. Disabled individuals can book tickets over the phone or at a staffed ticket window, due to a limitation in Amtrak’s web site - for contact and station information click here. All in all, this is a fabulous discount and a great way for seniors and disabled folks to get out, enjoy the summer, and leave the car at home!

This Fall – Don’t Forget the New Covered Bike Racks in Spring St. Garage!

Thanks to the hard work of and financing from the Portland Downtown District, new bike racks that hold 20 bikes have been added just inside the Spring Street garage at the entrance on Free Street in Portland.  Spread the word – bikes parked there are out of the rain and in a safe location.  An enormous plus for people who ride (or get stuck) in inclement weather – like the past 10 days!

Bring a U Car Vehicle to Munjoy Hill!

Car Sharing is a wonderful way to save money (get rid of your other car!) while having the convenience of a car when you need it – and you only pay for the time you’re actually using it. U Car Share (run by U Haul) pays EVERYTHING, including gas, maintenance, and insurance. Rate for a Chrysler PT Cruiser is $9.50 per hour, or $66 per day.  It’s  wonderful service! If you live on the East End in Portland get your membership application fee waived for a limited time.   Log in at www.ucarshare.com to sign up anduse this promotional code: MUNJOYHILL. If enough of East Enders join, the company will locate a car close by. For more information, contact Peter Alexander at 773-4606.

July Green Streets Day Raffle Results!

Friday, August 7th, 2009
Green Streets sponsor Goodwill Industries -and their amazing Green Streeting employees - July 2009

Green Streets sponsor Goodwill Industries -and their amazing Green Streeting employees - July 2009

Thanks so much to all of you who signed in with your participation in Green Streets Day, Friday, July 31st - especially with people on vacation! With people able to report others going green at their locations, we have an estimated number of 365 total participants – and there were 92 of you great folks signing in:

  • 31 walking, 35 biking, 6 taking the bus, train or ferry carpooling or vanpooling, 1 telecommuting, and 6 using multiple modes (i.e. some combination of the above)!
  • collectively saving 880 single-occupancy vehicle miles! (many of you saving those kinds of miles every day)
  • keeping approximately $87.90 in gas money in your wallets!
  • improving our air quality and individual health and reducing our climate-changing CO2 emissions by approximately 681 pounds!
  • enjoying the opportunity to get outdoors a bit more and/or share transportation with others
  • starting (& continuing) a fun and important conversation with the people of our community about how we get around!

Note: please continue to sign in every month – and please talk to other Green Streets participants about doing so as well. It helps us with participation data, like number of miles & emissions saved, commuting methods used, etc!

The winners of this month’s raffle come from the following work/school/life places: (Remember, you don’t have to be headed to a job on Green Streets Day – just getting around green no matter what you’re up to!)

USM, Portland, Turkey Hill Farm, TPDA, Tilson Technology,  League of Young Voters, The Corporate Library, The Beacon Group, 2 Canal Plaza, Slainte, Sappi Fine Paper, Retired, Preti Flaherty, Portland, PACTS!, Muskie School, Manpower, Maine Securities Corporation, Maine Historical Society, New Septembers, Kennebunkport, Kaleidoscope, Home, Goodwill Industries, Falmouth, ENVIRON International Corp, Dr. Newton’s Naturals, Concordia Partners, CIEE, Cape Elizabeth, Biddeford YMCA

Winners will be notified how to claim their prizes.

Thanks again to Goodwill of Northern New England, Portland Downtown District, Pat’s Pizza in Yarmouth, Dr. Newton’s Naturals, U Car Share, Portland Trails, Rosemont Market & Bakery, South Portland Bus Service, Others!, Maine Running Company, O’Naturals, the Children’s Museum, Nomads, Port City Life, METRO, WMPG, and Healthy Portland for your gifts to the Portland Green Streets initiative!

Have a great month out there going green and we’d love to see you at one of the next Green Streets Drop-In Volunteer Socials (post below)!