Thursday, January 31, 2013

February Fabulousness

This month marks my third year of posting monthly lists!  Stag Beetle Power has lasted well beyond the average life expectancy of a blog, and last month was a normal month in that it had  7,000 page views!  I would like to ask if you find it useful that you please spread the word and share it with friends.  The more people who read it, the more worthwhile it is to continue.

This is my monthly list of free and low cost events for the greater Portland area for the month of February 2013.  As always, I've dug deep to find all the educational and cultural events I can.  I created this list for the homeschool group that we belong to which has kids 10 and under, but most  events have much wider appeal.  Please note that Lego playtimes at regional libraries are no longer listed; there were  more and more every month so I suspect that those who enjoy them can easily find them at a library nearby.  This month, I thought Papa Cloudy would be the perfect person to help me proofread!  Alas, although he was definitely visiting Portland, he was super busy! So I relied once again on the cheerful and enthusiastic help of my sock monkeys, Razzmatazz, Greta and Efran.  (Thank you, guys! You're the best!)  So please... if you plan on attending anything, be sure to doublecheck for typos, errors and cancellations!

If you are interested in growing a garden this year, you might be interested in Grow Portland seed packing parties: Portland Nursery has many free gardening classes. I’ve been to a couple and my young son was welcome as well. You will find the February listings here (and please note that preregistration is required): Dennis’ 7 Dees also offers classes which generally have small fees: This is also a fabulous time of year to join a tree planting event. SOLVE has many listed on their webiste: and most events are suitable for young kids (you may want to bring kid’s gardening gloves). Friends of Trees also has many:

You may notice a LOT of events that relate in some way to the history and culture of Rwanda taking place at various venues in Lake Oswego this month. This is because the Lake Oswego Library is launching their "Lake Oswego Reads" program, and for 2013 it features "Running the Rift" by Naomi Benaron, a novel set in Rwanda that won the Bellwether Prize for Fiction.  This is a fabulous opportunity to meet Rwandan Americans and lots of other Americans who have spent time in Rwanda,  try Rwandan food,  learn about technology and humanitarian efforts that are being employed there, and even learn about Rwandan geology. (It's practically a whole unit study in one month!)  I have included events that could potentially interest families and are free or low cost.  The complete calendar is available on the library website:

Meanwhile, Multnomah County Libraries have chosen Sherman Alexie's "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" for their "Everybody Reads" program, and will be hosting many events relating to Mr. Alexie's works and modern Native American culture.  Mr. Alexie himself will be visiting Portland on March 12 (unfortunately this event is not low cost). I have noticed that there are generally far more opportunities to learn about Native American history than there are to learn about the experiences and perspective of the Native Americans who live here today, so these are also great opportunities. I have  listed the free and low cost events in this series that may be of interest to families, and you can find the complete calendar here:  

"Miniscule and Movable: An Exhibition of Pocket-Sized and Pop-Up Books", running now through February 3, Central Library, Collins Gallery. "In the world of book arts, there are two kinds that are among the most charming: small books and pop-ups. Both genres test the limit of bookmaking. Small books at times appear exactly like their oversize relatives having fine bindings and gilded-edged pages but with miniscule texts and images. Pop-ups appear as regular books until they are opened and their movable pieces reveal delightful three-dimensional surprises. Some smaller books were originally made for portability or to accommodate the small hands of children, while others were made small because their content was controversial and they needed to be easily concealed. Pop-ups bring images to life as three-dimensional models hidden inside the pages of a book but are also made simply to entertain."

Illustrator Steven Savage”, Friday, February 1, 4PM, Green Bean Books, “Come and meet the amazingly talented illustrator, Stephen Savage, as he presents his latest book, ‘Polar Bear Morning’! He will lead a special drawing activity for kids! He's also well known for other artistic books such as ‘Little Tug,’ ‘Where's Walrus,’ and ‘Polar Bear Night’!

Lecture on Rwanda”, Friday, February 1, 7PM, Lake Oswego City Hall, 380 A Avenue. “Carl Wilkens, nationally recognized speaker and former head of the Adventist Development and Relief Agency International in Rwanda, was the only American who chose to stay in Rwanda after the genocide began in 1994. His choice to stay and try to help resulted in preventing the massacre of hundreds of children over the course of the genocide. This year, Wilkens has embarked on a multi-city tour of the United States to share his story with students, teachers, activists, policy-makers and community members. While sharing experiences of what day to day life in Rwanda was like during the genocide, Wilkens focuses on the courage and resilience he witnessed with people facing horrendous choices in the middle of unimaginable slaughter. His presentation will include stories from both sides of the 1994 genocide as well as information on what life is like in Rwanda today.”

Busy Beavers Nature Program”, Friday, February 1, 1PM, inside the Cedar Hills Crossing Mall, “A fun and informative nature program! This program includes a story, real specimens, hands-on activities and ways for children to connect to nature! Hosted and presented by Tualatin Hills Parks and Recreation District.”

"Family Clay Nights", Fridays in February, 6PM- 8:30PM, Multnomah Arts Center, 7688 SW Capitol Hwy., Pdx. $20 a session per adult and child pair. $10 a session for each additional family member. Pay at MAC office. Come as a family and play with clay! Includes glazes, firings and 5 lbs of clay. Not for solo participants. This is an adult and child activity. Use of the potter's wheel by instructor approval only."

Panel Discussion: Modern Immigrants", Friday, February 1, 7:30, Portland State University, Cramer Hall, Room 171. Free. Refreshments served in the Finnish Room afterwards. Panel discussion with Dr. Lars Nordström as moderator. “Please join us to hear this all-inclusive Nordic panel talk about the contemporary immigrant experience. The participants will explore subjects such as why they came to the United States; what they found challenging after they arrived; what was stimulating; and finally, what their relationship to their native country is today. As usual, the presentation will be followed by a question-and-answer session.”

Lunar New Year Celebration”, Saturday, February 2, 1PM, Gregory Heights Library. “Celebrate the Lunar New Year traditions of China and Vietnam with traditional dance, food, games and a family craft project. 2013 is the Year of the Snake.”

Birding at Oaks Bottom”, Saturday, February 2, 9AM -12PM, meeting at the Sellwood Park parking lit on SE 7th Ave. at Malden St. “Join Patty Newland and Candace Larson of the Audubon Society for a bird walk around Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge. We’ll explore wetlands and woodlands, talk about the history of this amazing urban wild space, and look for resident songbirds and wintering waterfowl. We’ll walk 2–3 miles on both paved and uneven dirt trails.”

Birding on Sauvie Island”, Saturday, February 2, 8AM -11AM, meeting at the Backyard Bird Shop, 1419 NE Fremont Ave., Pdx. Free. Preregistration required; call 503-445-2699. “Sauvie Island's winter residents -- eagles, hawks, and falcons -- will be on impressive display, along with winter migrants and some year 'round residents of this wonderful close-in treasure. It always depends upon the weather, but naturalist Elaine Murphy, will help you tour raptor-viewing hotspots on this rural island just a quick hop from Portland to see: Bald Eagles, Red-tailed Hawks, American Kestrels, and Northern Harriers. We’ll try for a Peregrine Falcon, and search for Rough-legged Hawks, Cooper’s Hawks, or Merlins. We may see Snow Geese, a Great Blue Heron or two, and Sandhill Cranes as well. Sauvie Island’s open grasslands and leafless cottonwoods and oaks offer stellar birding opportunities at this time of year.”

The Voters Have Spoken: Oregon’s Controversial Ballot Initiatives”, Saturday, February 2, 2PM, Hollywood Library Meeting Room. “Oregonians participate in the political ritual of voting on citizen initiatives with more frequency and, at times, more enthusiasm than any other group of citizens in the U.S. Over the past century, Oregon has had more statewide citizen-generated ballot measures than any other state, and, as a result, ‘direct democracy’ has dramatically transformed the state’s political and social landscape. Linfield College associate professor Jackson Miller will lead a conversation about the role of persuasion and communication in the political process, focusing on issues raised by Oregon ballot measures over the past 10 to 15 years, which include abortion, education, gay rights, land use, marijuana, medical liability, obscenity, physician-assisted suicide, taxes, and timber.”

Family Trail Day: Celebration of Crawdads”, Saturday, February 2, 6:30PM, Tryon Creek State Park. $6 per person. Preregistration required; the page for this event seems to have gone missing from their website today but you can register by calling 503-636-4398. “Do crawdads really swim backwards? Learn the answer to this question and more as we observe live crawdads, participate in a crawdad relay race, and join one of our nature guides on an evening hike down to the creek. Dress to be outside and bring flashlights.” more info here:

Hike: Climate Change in Forest Park”, Saturday, February 2, 1PM-4PM, Lower Macleay Park, Pdx. $10. Preregistration required; register online: “Even in the cold grip of winter, the effects of climate change are beginning to show in Forest Park. From Phenology to Ornithology, learn how science is being used in Forest Park to understand our changing world.”

Japanese Doll Festival”, Saturday, February 2, 2PM, Northwest Library. “March 3 is Hinamatsuri, the Japanese Doll Festival. One of the five annual Japanese observances marking the changing seasons, this is a day when families honor their female children by making origami dolls. Boys will also enjoy this workshop as artist Yuki Martin teaches everyone how to make origami boxes to hold star-shaped Japanese candies.”

Concert, “Marc Black”, Saturday, February 2, 2PM, Ledding Library of Milwaukie. “Marc Black is an eclectic folk-rocker who carries the Woodstock tradition of dealing with life with all its social and political challenges…one song at a time. He’s been hailed by noted folk artist Happy Traum for his timeless songs featuring deep grooves, excellent playing and top-notch guitar and vocals.”

Gardener’s Special Winter Guided Walk”, Saturday, February 2, 11AM, Leach Botanical Garden, 6704 SE 122nd Ave., Pdx. Free. Limited to the first 15 visitors. “It may be winter but there are always many wonders to view in the Garden. Join our Garden Curator on a Winter Guided Walk to view blooming plants such as: Hamamelis mollis (Witch Hazel), Lonicera standishii (Honeysuckle), Helleborus (Hellebores), Edgeworthia chrysantha (Paper Bush), and Mahonia x media (Arthur Menzies). We’ll finish our walk at the Manor House to warm up on hot cider.”

Tet 2013: Vietnamese Celebration of the Year of the Snake”, Saturday, February 2, 9:30AM-5PM, Oregon Convention Center, 777 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Pdx. Admission $4 and free for kids age 5 and under and seniors age 65 and older. “Best of music, dances, and skit performances from different cultures! Lion dance, lucky money, martial arts, honoring outstanding students, Miss Ao Dai Vietnamese Pageant, art contest for children, free health fair.” 

Dragon Theater presents, “Beauty and the Beast”, Saturday, February 2, 2PM, McMinnville Library (free performance), Saturday, February 2, 11AM, and Sunday, February 3, 4PM, Ping Pong’s Pint Size Puppet Museum, 906 SE Umatilla St., Pdx ($7 for ages 2 and up, tickets available online or at the door). This is a live action show. “Beauty and the Beast (French: La Belle et la Bête) is a traditional fairy tale first published in 1740. Come Journey with us to discover one of the most beautiful stories ever told. Join Belle and the Beast as they tell their tale. Belle is a young woman who knows not to judge a book by its cover and with that falls in love unexpectedly with the Beast. Together they open each other's eyes to understanding, patience and standing up for the one you love. Let them show you that appearances can be deceiving and it's what's on the inside that counts.”

"Portland Youth Spelling Bee", Saturday, February 2, sign-ups at 12:45PM, Mississippi Pizza, 3552 N. Mississippi Ave., Pdx. "Are you a W-H-I-Z at spelling? Kids ages 5-18 are welcome to come strut their spelling stuff on the Mississippi Pizza stage. Three difficulty levels give everyone a chance to play. Winners take home fun prizes, and every speller gets a treat."

Native American Hoop Dance”, Saturday, February 2, 2PM, Central Library US Bank Room. “Using multiple hoops to create both static and active shapes, students from the Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA) will perform a storytelling dance that highlights this engaging and entertaining art form.”

Red Fans for a Lunar New Year”, Saturday, February 2, 3PM, Kenton Library; Saturday, February 9, 11AM, Troutdale Library; Wednesday, February 13, 6PM, Holgate Library; and Friday, February 15, 12:30PM, Midland Library. “Decorate red accordion fans with origami paper, Chinese character rubber stamps, glitter and other materials. The fan is a traditional Chinese symbol and red paper is used to symbolize good luck and happiness throughout the year. Artist Cindy Lommasson brings back this popular craft for the new year.”

"Guided Nature Walks", Saturdays in February, 10AM-11:30AM, Tryon Creek State Park. "Join a park ranger for a free guided nature hike to explore the forest and stream ecosystems and natural history at Tryon Creek State Natural Area. Topics will vary from week to week but will be appropriate for all ages. Parents must accompany kids on all hikes." February 2- Winter Twig Identification; February 9- Secrets of the Black Tailed Deer; February 16- The Art of Owling; February 23- Lichen, the Odd Couple.

Glass Art Presentation”, Sunday, February 3, 2PM, McMinnville Library. “Derek Jones and Tyler Goodwin from Liquid Light Glassworks will explain how they make glass beads and glass art. There will be a variety of glasswork for viewing and some glasswork will be available for purchase.”

Owl Prowls”, Sunday, February 3, 5PM, meeting at the Backyard Bird Shop at 1419 NE Fremont St. and travelling to Whitaker Ponds Nature Park (call 503-445-2699 to register); Sunday, February 10, 5PM, meeting at the Backyard Bird Shop at 11429 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy., Beaverton, and travelling to Tualatin Hills Nature Park (call 503-626-0949 to register); and Sunday, February 17, meeting at the Backyard Bird Shop at 1419 NE Fremont St. and travelling to Sauvie Island (call 503-445-2699 to register). $5 per person and participants will receive a $5 gift certificate the night of the class. The evening begins with a short class and continues with an evening walk to look and listen for owls.

Tribal Jewelry Workshop”, Sunday, February 3, 2PM, North Portland Library Meeting Room; Thursday, February 7, 6PM, Midland Library Large Meeting Room; and Thursday, February 21, 6PM, Hollywood Library. “Jewelry making is both a traditional and contemporary Native American art form with a rich cultural foundation. Join students from the Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA) in learning the history of tribal jewelry and beadwork while creating pieces of your own. Fun for all ages!”

Fur Trade Letters and Army Postcards”, Sunday, February 3, 12PM-3PM, Fort Vancouver National Historic Site Visitor Center, 1501 E. Evergreen Blvd., Vancouver, WA. Free. “A special exhibit of letters and postcards from the museum collections will be on display, and complimentary reproduction letters and postcards will be available for visitors to take home or compose on the spot. Costumed interpreters dressed as Hudson's Bay Company clerks will help with your script writing, as you practice writing by dipping a pen in ink and keeping your lines straight!”

Sherman Alexie: A Literary Roundtable”, Sunday, February 3, 2PM, Central Library US Bank Room. “Portland State University literature professors discuss ‘The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian’, as well as some of Sherman Alexie’s short fiction.

The Evolution of Oregon's Dynamic Geologic History", Monday, February 4, 7PM, Bagdad Theater, 3702 SE Hawthorne Blvd., Pdx. $5 suggested donation. Minors welcome with an adult. The presenter will be Dr. Scott Burns, professor of geology at Portland State University. At a previous OMSI Science Pub they mentioned that he is a really good speaker.

"Homeschool Archery", Monday, February 4, and Monday, February 18, 10:30AM, Archers Afield, 11945 SW Pacific Hwy Ste 121, Tigard. $6.75. All ages welcome. Archery lessons with equipment provided.

Jim and Jimmy in Concert”, Monday, February 4, 7PM, Goldendale Library, Goldendale, WA. “Join Dr. Jim Ogden and friends for an evening of Old Time music, featuring Dr. Ogden on piano.”

"The Beauty of the Visible and Invisible Night Sky", Monday, February 4, 7PM and 8:15PM, Mt. Hood Community College Planetarium, 26000 SE Stark St., Gresham. $2. "All shows are presented under a realistic representation of the night sky, featuring the latest galactic, stellar and planetary images."

Portland Nature Through Audubon”, Monday, February 4, 7PM, Mission Theater, 1624 NW Glisan St., Pdx. Free. Minors are welcome with an adult. Doors open at 6PM. “Since its founding 111 years ago, the Audubon Society of Portland has worked at the national, state, regional and local levels on the conservation of fish and wildlife habitat. The presentation will feature Tom McAllister, former outdoor reporter for the Oregon Journal and Oregonian, and a Portland Audubon member since he was a kid; Bob Sallinger, Conservation Director for the Audubon Society of Portland; and Mike Houck, Director of the Urban Greenspaces Institute and Audubon's Urban Naturalist since 1980. There will also be staff and many friends of Portland Audubon on hand to share their recollections of the organization's rich history, with a special emphasis on the Portland-Vancouver region.” The Pearl has notoriously difficult parking and the Mission Theater has limited seating. The early bird gets the worm!

Author Talk, “Bill Streever”, Monday, February 4, 7:30PM, Powell’s, 1005 W. Burnside, Pdx. “A bestselling scientist and nature writer who goes to extremes, Bill Streever sets off to find out what heat really means. Firewalk across hot coals and sweat it out in Death Valley, experience intense fever and fire, learn about the invention of matches and the chemistry of cooking, drink crude oil, and explore thermonuclear weapons and the hottest moment of all time. Written in Streever's signature refreshingly spare prose, Heat is an a compulsively readable personal narrative that leaves readers with a new vision of an everyday experience-how heat works, its history, and its connection to daily life.”

Olympians Panel Discussion”, Monday, February 4, 7PM, Lakewood Center for the Arts, 368 S. State St., Lake Oswego. “A Panel Discussion from local Olympic athletes, including:
-Terry Dischinger: 1960 Olympics in basketball
-Alison Gregorka: 2008 Olympics in water polo
-Je Kyoung Kim: 1992 Olympics in taekwondo. Chad Carter, KOIN TV news anchor, will lead discussion points including their motivation for striving towards Olympic excellence, what it was like attending the Olympics, and their current involvement in their sport of choice.”

The Reptile Man”, Tuesday, February 5, 7PM, Tigard Library Burgess Community Room. “Come for a slithering good time as the Reptile Man shares the joys of his 35 years of working with nature’s most beautiful and deadly creatures.” The Reptile Man is always highly recommended!

Place, Community and Identity in the Stories of ‘Coming Home’”, Tuesday, February 5, 5PM, Portland State University, Smith Memorial Student Union, Room 238, 1825 SW Broadway, Pdx. Free. “Coming Home” is an exhibit at the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center “Local scholar and public historian Jacqueline Peterson Loomis will provide an overview and discussion of the process by which the exhibit's content, primary themes, and design elements were identified and developed. The stories, photographs, and objects in the exhibit frame a historical narrative and conversation about immigration, ethnic and national identities, race and racism in America, and loss and recovery.”’s-japantown-place-community-and-identity-stories-coming-home?delta=0

Taking Flight with Sherman Alexie’s Native Slipstream”, Tuesday, February 5, 6:30PM, Central Library US Bank Room. “Dr. Cornel Pewewardy and faculty from Portland State University's Indigenous Nations Studies Program discusses contexts for Sherman Alexie’s work.” Sherman Alexie is the author of “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven”, the book that the movie “Smoke Signals” was based on (see screening and discussion Feb. 7).

Concert, “Enric Sifa”, Tuesday, February 5, 7:30PM, Lake Oswego Library. “Sifa lived through the Rwandan genocide. To comfort himself and other children living on the streets, he began singing his mother’s songs. Now he speaks and performs in both Rwanda and the United States, advocating for marginalized children. He will be playing his guitar and performing songs from his three albums as well as sharing some of his personal experiences from his time in Rwanda.”

Animation Behind the Scenes”, Wednesday, February 6, 5:30PM, Tigard Library Burgess Community Room. Suggested for ages 8 and up. “Mark Shapiro of the local animation company LAIKA will take you behind the scenes of their latest movie, ParaNorman. He’ll introduce you to actual production puppets and describe the creative process of LAIKA’s signature brand of stop-motion animation. Watch the film on Saturday, February 9, and see it in a whole new light.” We attended one of Mr. Shapiro’s presentations, on “Coraline”. He is a marketer and not an animator. We did not get a close up look at the models he brought, and found that much of the time was given to showing short promotional clips that are available on Laika’s website. You will probably enjoy the presentation more if you don’t watch promos first.

Raptor Identification Class”, Tuesday, February 5, 7PM, Gresham City Hall, Conference Center, 1333 NW Eastman Pkwy. “Learn about the birds of prey that call Gresham home with Metro naturalist James Davis. This class is a great way to prepare for the Metro/Audubon Raptor Road Triop on February 9.”

Victoria Trabosh’s Life Changing Story”, Wednesday, February 6, 7PM, Oswego Heritage House, 398 10th St., Lake Oswego. “Victoria Trabosh, founding Board Member and President of the Itafari Foundation, along with members of the Rwandan community will tell their story of Rwanda. Victoria is also loaning the Heritage House photos of her trips to Rwanda which will be on display all month. Victoria had the honor of speaking at the United Nations in 2006 about what happens when we forget the cost of a holocaust or genocide. She passionately believes each of us can make a difference in the world and spreads that message wherever she goes.”

"Symphony Storytimes", Wednesdays in February, 1:30PM, Woodstock Library. Suggested for ages 3-6. "Each one-hour storytime features one of the four families of musical instruments: strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion. Children and their parents experience a live musical collaboration between the library reader and an Oregon Symphony musician 4 times in a month at each location. Musicians play short selections, talk a little about their instrument and, after the stories are read aloud, audience members can try out each instrument!"

“Book Club for Grades 5-8”, Wednesday, February 6, 4PM, Beaverton Library Meeting Room A. “Come by the Teen Desk to check out your copy of ‘A Tale Dark and Grimm’ by Adam Gidwitz. Then join us for pizza and chat on Wednesday, February 6th!”

Homeschoolers: Ecosystems”, Thursday, February 7, and Thursday, February 21, 1:30PM, Ledding Library of Milwaukie. Suggested for ages 5 and up. “Ecosystem explorers! Homeschoolers travel to rainforests, deserts, and deep in the ocean. Includes craft time.”

Raptor Road Trip Rev Up!”, Thursday, February 7, 7PM, Audubon Society of Portland, Heron Hall. $15. Preregistration required; register online: “{The Willamette Valley in winter is home to a host of hawks, eagles, and falcons - attracted by the mild climate and abundance of waterfowl. Identifying these raptors may seem daunting at first, but sorting through them all isn't so hard when you know what to look for. Join Portland's Adult Education Programs Manager, Steve Engel, for an introduction to identifying birds of prey. We'll learn the key field marks for all the local wintering raptors, and make side-by-side comparisons of similar species. This class is great way to prepare yourself for the Raptor Road Trip extravaganza sponsored by Portland Audubon, Metro and Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife on the following Saturday at Sauvie Island.”

“Smoke Signals: The Literature and Culture of Native America”, Thursday, February 7, through Sunday, March 24, Central Library Collins Gallery. “Exhibition featuring highlights from the John Wilson Special Collections enhanced by historical items and artifacts provided by the Native American Youth and Family Center, this exhibition offers audiences an inside look at Native American culture and traditions.” An opening reception with light refreshments will be held Wednesday, February 13 at 6PM. A special screening of the 1998 film “Smoke Signals” will be held at the Hollywood Theatre, 4122 NE Sandy Blvd.  on Thursday, February 7 at 7:30PM. A discussion led by Rose High Bear of the nonprofit Wisdom of the Elders and Sky Hopinka will follow the screening at Magnolia’s Corner, 4075 NE Sandy Blvd. “Young Indian man Thomas is a nerd in his reservation, wearing oversize glasses and telling everyone stories no-one wants to hear. His parents died in a fire in 1976, and Thomas was saved by Arnold. Arnold soon left his family (and his tough son Victor), and Victor hasn't seen his father for 10 years. When Victor hears Arnold has died, Thomas offers him funding for the trip to get Arnold's remains, but only if Thomas will also go with him. Thomas and Victor hit the road.” “Smoke Signals” is based on the book “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven” by Sherman Alexie. See Feb. 5 for a discussion of Alexie’s books.

Author Talk, “Marie Brennan”, Thursday, February 7, 7PM, Powell’s, 3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd., Beaverton. “‘You, dear reader, continue at your own risk. It is not for the faint of heart—no more so than the study of dragons itself. But such study offers rewards beyond compare: to stand in a dragon’s presence, even for the briefest of moments—even at the risk of one’s life—is a delight that, once experienced, can never be forgotten. . . .’ All the world, from Scirland to the farthest reaches of Eriga, know Isabella, Lady Trent, to be the world’s preeminent dragon naturalist. She is the remarkable woman who brought the study of dragons out of the misty shadows of myth and misunderstanding into the clear light of modern science. But before she became the illustrious figure we know today, there was a bookish young woman whose passion for learning, natural history, and, yes, dragons defied the stifling conventions of her day.

 Here at last, in her own words, is the true story of a pioneering spirit who risked her reputation, her prospects, and her fragile flesh and bone to satisfy her scientific curiosity; of how she sought true love and happiness despite her lamentable eccentricities; and of her thrilling expedition to the perilous mountains of Vystrana, where she made the first of many historic discoveries that would change the world forever.”

Author Talk, “Nathanael Johnson”, Thursday, February 7, 7:30PM, Powell’s, 3723 SE Hawthorne Blvd., Pdx. “In this age of climate change, killer germs, and obesity, it’s easy to feel as if we’ve fallen out of synch with the global ecosystem. This ecological anxiety has polarized a new generation of Americans: many are drawn to natural solutions and organic lifestyles, while others rally around high-tech development and industrial efficiencies. Johnson argues that both views, when taken to extremes, can be harmful, even deadly. Johnson, raised in the crunchy-granola epicenter of Nevada City, California, lovingly and rigorously scrutinizes his family’s all-natural mindset, a quest that brings him into the worlds of an outlaw midwife, radical doctors, renegade farmers and one hermit forester. Along the way, he uncovers paradoxes at the heart of our ecological condition: Why, even as medicine improves, are we becoming less healthy? Why are more American women dying in childbirth? Why do we grow fatter the more we diet? Why have so many attempts to save the environment backfired? In this sparklingly intelligent, wry, and scrupulously reported narrative, Johnson teases fact from faith and offers a rousing and original vision for a middle ground between natural and technological solutions that will assuage frustrated environmentalists, perplexed parents, and confused consumers alike.”

Owl Prowl”, Friday, February 8, and Thursday, February 28, 6:30PM- 8:30PM, Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge, Sherwood, OR. Preregistration required; please register by submitting you name, number of participants in your group (up to 6), and your phone number to “Whooooo goes there? Join us at Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge to find out about the owls who make the Refuge their home. During a night hike we will learn about the mysterious lives of our nocturnal neighbors, discover their habitat, and learn about their amazing adaptations for life at night. Wear sturdy shoes, and dress for the weather.”

Celebrating Chinese Language and Culture: Beginning Mandarin for Children and Adults”, five Fridays from February 8 through March 15, 4PM, Hollywood Library. Preregistration required, register online: For kids 9 and up with parents. “Join instructor Kristina Knight to play games, learn Mandarin, and create arts and crafts related to Chinese New Year!”

Book Fan Friday”, Friday, February 8, 4:30PM, Powell’s, 3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd., Beaverton. Suggested for kids 10 and up. “Book Fan Friday is a workshop for kids 10 to 18 years old who love to write. This month, Newbery Honor award winner Kirby Larson (Hattie Big Sky) will lead a discussion about reading other people's letters and how they help inform historical fiction. Join us!”

Author reading, “Arthur Bradford”, Saturday, February 9, 11AM, Powell’s, 1005 W. Burnside, Pdx. “At recess one day, sisters Elsie and Theo spy a nut wiggling on the ground. Out pops Benny—the world’s smallest and most gentlemanly walrus. After the girls learn that Benny misses his home in the sea, they send him sailing in a milk-carton boat, along with a trusty band of adventure-seeking slugs. Together, Benny’s Brigade (as they call themselves) begin their voyage to a truck-sized island paradise, avoiding the salt water as much as they can. Slugs don’t like salt.”

24th Annual Origami Workshop”, Saturday, February 9, 1PM, Portland Community College, Rock Creek Campus, Rock Creek Event Center, Building 9 room 122, 17705 NW Springville Rd., Pdx. Free. “Volunteers from the local community will teach participants origami, the Japanese art of paper folding. Free materials! Everyone is welcome!”

Raptor Road Trip”, Saturday, February 9, 9AM-2PM, Sauvie Island. $10 per vehicle, cash only, which includes a Sauvie Island Wildife Area parking permit. “Begin your self-guided tour at Kruger’s Farm Market, where you'll pick up an event map and illustrated raptor identification guide. Explore Sauvie Island in search of the magnificent Bald Eagles, hawks, and falcons that spend the winter on the island. On this special day devoted to raptors, experienced naturalists and hawk experts will host activities and answer your questions at four locations around the island. Enjoy guided bird viewing, meet live raptors up close, and sharpen your hawk identification skills. Hot drinks and donuts are available in the morning to keep you warm while you breakfast with the birds. Spotting scopes and a crash course in raptor identification will be provided at three island viewing locations, along with naturalists to help spot the birds. Bring binoculars and field guides if you have them, and dress for the weather. This event takes place rain or shine. The road trip is suitable for birders of all skill levels, and families are welcome! Three of the sites — Howell Territorial Park, Coon Point, and the Wildlife Viewing Platform — are wheelchair accessible.” Lots more info here:  PLEASE NOTE:  The Audubon Society will use this event as an opportunity to release any wild birds they have had in their Care Center, if any are well and ready for release.  These are exciting to watch. Ask if a release is planned when you arrive; it would probably be at Howell Territorial Park.

"Lone Fir Cemetery Guided Walking Tour", Saturday, February 9, 10AM-12:30PM, Lone Fir Cemetery, entrance at SE 26th Street between Stark and Morrison Sts, Pdx. $10 suggested donation, which goes towards headstone restoration and educational programs. "Come for an informal history lesson while enjoying the beauty and tranquility of Lone Fir Pioneer Cemetery in SE Portland. Friends of Lone Fir Cemetery conducts monthly tours, highlighting Portland's founders, pioneers, its famous and infamous alike, as well as interesting headstones and monuments. Come visit this hidden jewel! Explore 30 acres of mature trees, a very special rose garden and fascinating architecture in this unique place, the only cemetery in Portland listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Suitable for all ages. No advance registration required. Meet in the center of the cemetery, at the soldiers' monument." Lone Fir was the first public cemetery in Portland, and a tour is a must for anyone learning about local history.

Rwanda Day at the Bookstore”, Saturday, February 9, 10AM, Graham’s Book and Stationery, 460 2nd Ave., Lake Oswego. “Meet author Gloria Ngezaho and family for a look into Rwandan food, music, fashion, politics, tastes and tidbits! Insights and highlights! Questions and answers! Family fun! Join us in our ‘living room.’”

Author Talk, “Anthony Boutard”, Saturday, February 9, 3PM, Pastaworks, 3735 SE Hawthorne Blvd., Pdx. “Cultivated from sea level to mountaintop, from parched deserts to sodden rain forests, from the rocky Gaspé Peninsula to the plains of Argentina, corn is the grain of the Americas. In terms of culinary uses, it is amazingly diverse, reflecting the breathtaking variety of the continents and environments from which it evolved. The consummate immigrant, corn is grown extensively on every continent except Antarctica. Market farmer and naturalist Anthony Boutard weaves together this unique plant's contribution to our culture, its distinctive biology, and the practical information needed to grow and enjoy it at home. Beautiful Corn advocates a return to the nourishing whole grain that built America, in place of today's genetically modified crops processed by industrial agriculture into synthetic sweeteners and cheap meat. Come along on this lyrical and inspiring journey through the seasons, learning about growing and using corn in the traditional way. Anthony Boutard is a widely recognized advocate in the local food movement, well-known for his efforts in reviving long-lost crops and bringing little-known varieties to market. He and his wife Carol own Ayers Creek Farm, a 144-acre organic market farm in Gaston, Oregon, specializing in berries, beans, grains, and greens for sale to local restaurants and markets.”

Waterbird Watching 101”, Saturday, February 9, 8AM-10AM, Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge, Sherwood, OR. Preregistration required; register by emailing or calling 503-625-5944 x222. “Do you enjoy watching birds in wetlands, lakes, and streams, but are not sure what they are doing, where they came from, or even know their name? Do you want to learn more about bird behavior, migration, identification, or how to use binoculars? Join U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Biologist, Michelle McDowell, to learn the basics of birdwatching and nature observation and open your eyes to the wonders that can be discovered at Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge. Fall and winter are the best time to experience migrating waterfowl that travel through the refuge by the thousands. All experience levels are welcome. We explore the refuge in rain or shine so dress for the weather. We will take a leisurely easy stroll on our wheelchair accessible nature trail. Bring your binoculars and field guides if you have them or borrow ours during the walk.”

Peace Corps Presentation”, Saturday, February 9, 10AM, Oswego Heritage House, 398 10th St., Lake Oswego. “Tyler Russ is from Canby, OR and is a graduate of Portland State University. He has spearheaded the Rwanda Guitar Workshop in partnership with the Peace Corps, which strives to introduce music into the lives of Rwandan children and adolescents. The project promotes collaboration and bonds through creativity and musical outlet. He has received a warm welcome in Rwanda. Hear him speak on his experience and the future of this wonderful program at this AAUW meeting which is open to the public.”

Public Night at the Haggart Observatory”, Saturday, February 9, sunset until around 11PM, Haggart Observatory on the grounds of the John Inskeep Environmental Learning Center, 19600 Molalla Ave., Oregon City. Free. Please call 503-594-6044 after 3PM on the day of the event to hear a recording that will tell you if it is too cloudy for this event to take place. You may climb the stairs to the observation deck and have a turn looking through the main telescope! No flashlights please. More info here:

Lucky Chinese Dragon Craft”, Saturday, February 9, 10AM, Cedar Mill Bethany Branch Library, and Saturday, February 9, 1PM, at the Cedar Mill Library. All ages. Happy Chinese New Year! Join us for a drop-in Lucky Chinese Dragon craft in the children's area.”

Victorian Handcraft Demonstration: Lace-Effect Berlin Work”, Saturday, February 9, 12PM-4PM, McLoughlin House, 713 Center St., Oregon City. Free. Hands-on demonstration. “This lovely stitchery technique mimics elegant black lace.”

Birding at Whitaker Ponds Nature Park”, Saturday, February 9, 8AM-11AM, 7040 NE 47th Ave., Pdx. “Join Audubon Society leaders Dena Turner and John Nikkel as we walk the halfmile loop trail around the two ponds and also observe at Whitaker Slough. We’ll see a variety of birdlife and wintering waterfowl, and in February it’s possible to spot owlets at the Great Horned Owl’s nest.”

Love Your Backyard Birds”, Saturday, February 9, 1PM, Water Resources Education Center, 4600 SE Columbia Way, Vancouver, WA. Free. “February is great month to remember and show love to your backyard birds. It is also a good time to get ready for the Great Backyard Bird Count occurring Friday, Feb. 15, through Monday, Feb. 18. The Great Backyard Bird Count is an annual 4-day event that encourages bird watchers of all ages to tally the number of birds seen and create a real-time snapshot of their locations.”

Lion Dance”, Saturday, February 9, Uwajimaya, 10500 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy, Beaverton. At 3:15PM the Sunflower Dancing Troupe will perform Chinese Dance and at 4PM Lee On Dong Benevolent Association will perform a Lion Dance.

Chinese New Year Cultural Fair 2013: Year of the Snake”, Saturday, February 9, 10AM-5PM, Oregon Convention Center, 777 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Pdx. Admission $8, free for kids 6 and under. Tickets can be purchased online and a $3 off admission coupon is available on their website: “Dragon Dance, Lion Dance, food, booths, and much more!”

Birding at Powell Butte Nature Park”, Saturday, February 9, 8AM-11AM. “Join Audubon Society leader Ron Escano for a walk exploring the unique habitats of Powell Butte. We’ll be looking for winter visitors like the Northern Shrike. The parking lot at the top of the butte will be closed. Meet at the Rose Bowling Center parking lot at SE Powell Blvd and 164th Ave. Plan on a longer than usual hike into the park.”

Have a Heart and Sew!”, Saturday, February 9, 1PM, Three Creeks Community Library, Vancouver, WA. “Are you tired of giving candy on Valentine's Day? Come to the library to learn how to sew a small heart-shaped pillow!  Pillows will require 1/2 yard of fabric and about 8oz of fiberfill. Your sewing machine would be welcome, but machines will be on hand. Experts will be available to help with this project. All ages welcome!”

Tango Pacifico”, Saturday, February 9, 2PM, Wilsonville Library. “Tango music with classical and jazz influences.”

A Horse Named Bill”, Saturday, February 9, 10:30AM, Albina Library. “Join Red Yarn and his lovable critters on an adventure through gardens and farms that is sure to entertain kids and parents alike! Featuring modern-day versions of Br’er Rabbit stories along with favorite American folksongs, this interactive musical puppet show will have audiences laughing, dancing, acting and singing along in this lively performance.”

Why Aren’t There More Black People in Oregon? A Hidden History”, Saturday, February 9, 2PM, Belmont Library; and Wednesday, February 20, 6PM, St. Johns Library. “Have you ever wondered why the Black population in Oregon is so small? Oregon has a history not only of Black exclusion and discrimination, but also of a vibrant Black culture that helped sustain many communities throughout the state -- a history that is not taught in schools. Portland State University adjunct professor Walidah Imarisha will lead participants through an interactive timeline of Black history in Oregon and will also discuss how history, politics, and culture have shaped -- and will continue to shape -- the landscape for Black Oregonians.”

The Godmother and the Magician”, Saturday, February 9 and 23, 11AM and 3PM, Sunday, February 10 and 24, 4PM, Ping Pong’s Pint Size Puppet Museum, 906 SE Umatilla St., Pdx. Tickets $7 for ages 2 and up; tickets available online or at the door. “Whether or not you have walked the cobblestone streets of Prague, come experience a taste of old Europe in this enchanting Czech marionette show. Our hero battles a three-headed dragon, faces danger from the sticky, nasty spider and tries not to be squashed by a rampaging giant who’s trying to bake a cake. Seems like a simple day’s work, doesn’t it? It is for our Prince as Tendrak, the Story-Telling Dragon, relates this romantic Czech version of the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale. Performed by Master Puppeteer Steven M. Overton and Odessa Godoy from the Olde World Puppet Theatre.”

Red Tail Angels- Black Fighter Pilots in WWII”, Saturday, February 9, 1:30PM, Beaverton Library Auditorium. “Author Sig Unander will discuss his book Red Tail Angels: Black Fighter Pilots in WWII. Learn how these young aviators, under iron-willed General Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. made an inspiring record and changed history. The author brings their true stories to life and reveals details of pilots from the Northwest, including University of Oregon track star Robert Deiz.”

Rick Meyer’s Old-Time Music Show”, Saturday, February 9, 2:30PM, Hillsboro Main Library. “Join us for a delightful concert of pioneer music played by Rick Meyers on the banjo, guitar, autoharp, spoons, musical saw, jewsharp, noseflute, limberjack, harmonica, ukulele, washboard and washtub bass. His show will be a fun mix of historical information, playful dialogue and plenty of audience participation.” Always highly recommended.

Hand-Made Valentines”, Saturday, February 9, 11AM, North Portland Library. “Personalize your valentines this year with artist Kathy Karbo. Participants will create a one-of-a-kind valentine using copper wire, pipe cleaners, decorative papers and colorful beads and ornaments. Gain experience with hammers, anvils and needle-nose pliers. Fun for all ages!” Kathy Karbo is fantastic.

Art ala Carte”, Saturday, February 9, 2PM, Gresham Library Large Meeting Room. “In this artistic free-for-all, there is no such thing as too much glue, and your finished work of art does not have to look like anything at all! Load up cafeteria trays with seemingly endless amounts of goodies, recycled materials and art supplies from Art ala Carte’s art bar (formerly restaurant salad bars). Join us in creating your personal masterpiece!”

Monster Jam”, Saturday, February 9, 2PM and 7:30PM,and Sunday, February 10, 2PM, Rose Garden Arena, Pdx. Prices vary. Lots and lots of monster trucks!!!! Who could ask for more? “At most Monster Jam® events, Monster Jam trucks face off in at least two different forms of competition - racing and freestyle. Racing is traditional bracket racing, where the first truck to cross the finish line with the least number of penalties is the winner. The freestyle competition allows the trucks time on an open floor to show off their shills as they finesse the huge machines in a jaw dropping display of punishing stunts and amazing tricks.”

"Quizissippi Jr.- for kids!", Saturday, February 9, sign up starts at 12:45, Mississippi Pizza, 3552 N. Mississippi Ave., Pdx. "Why should grown-ups have all the fun? Portland's only kid-friendly trivia event invites your whole family to 'the best trivia on Saturday afternoons on Mississippi Avenue.' Questions for both adults and kids, multimedia clips, physical challenges, and plenty of great music mean a fun challenge and a good time for all. Teams of up to five players play FREE for fun prizes."

Chinese Lunar New Year Festival”, Sunday, February 10, 1:30PM, Tigard Library. “Come celebrate the beginning of the year of the snake! Make paper lantern and snake crafts and taste some traditional foods. Program provided in partnership with the Tigard High School Asian Club.”

"Portland Origami Paper Shapers", Sunday, February 10, 1:30PM, Belmont Library. "Enjoy origami-paper folding for fun, relaxation and stretching your brain. Learn a new origami project each month with various local origami instructors."

Behind the Seasonal Curtain: The Forest of Tryon Creek State Natural Area”, Sunday, February 10, 1PM, meeting at the nature center. Free. Suggested for ages 8 and up. Hike is 1.5-2 miles. “Discover what is happening in the forest of Tryon Creek State Natural Area and Tryon Life Community Farm this season. Join a park naturalist and a resident of permaculture-based Tryon Life Farm for a joint hike from the Nature Center through the forest to the farm. In addition to discovering what’s happening in nature and on the farm this season, find out how permaculture and protected natural areas support each other.”

Chinese New Year Celebration”, Sunday, February 10, 3PM, Woodstock Library; and Sunday, February 17, 2PM, Midland Library. “Celebrate the Lunar New Year traditions of China and Vietnam with a traditional lion dance, a musical performance, and crafts! 2013 is the Year of the Snake.”

"Papagayo", Sunday, February 10, 3:15PM, Fairview-Columbia Library; Saturday, February 16, 11AM, St. Johns Library; and Saturday, February 16, 2PM, Central Library US Bank Room (free tickets will be given out at 1:30). "Papagayo the parrot spends his days singing, playing games and disturbing the daytime slumber of the Animales De La Noche. But when the Ancient Moon Dog wakes up, and starts to eat the moon, the Night Animals are too afraid to do anything. Only Papagayo knows what to do. The Night Animals learn that Papagayo is a good friend to have, even if he is a little loud! Fun and interactive, this bilingual one person show brings the Guatemalan jungle to life with brightly colored puppets. Join us as we sing, hoot, croak , crow, and work together to scare away the Moon Dog in this interactive, bilingual performance."

Portland Taiko”, Sunday, February 10, 2PM, Beaverton Library Meeting Rooms A and B. “Portland Taiko is an award-winning Asian American drumming ensemble. Rhythm, melody, and movement are woven together into an exhilarating musical experience. By combining traditional and contemporary compositions and choreography, Portland Taiko takes Asian American music into unexplored territory with its innovative and provocative creations.”

Curious Garden”, Sunday, February 10, 10:30AM, Curious Comedy Theatre, 5225 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Pdx. $5 suggested donation. “The Curious Garden is back! Come see our old friends Razzie the Fairy, Daisy the Flower and Jojo the Lawnjockey - and meet our new garden friends Ribbit the Frog, Dottie the Ladybug and Flappy the Chicken! The Curious Garden is a show for all ages - especially kids 0-8. Every month on the second Sunday at 10:30am. And remember each episode ends with an open mic where you can sing, dance, tell a joke and show off your talent at the Curious Garden.”

Concert, “The Maculeles”, Sunday, February 10, 2PM, McMinnville Library. “Come enjoy a short ukulele concert by the Maculeles, then join us for a sing-along.”

Year of the Snake Craft”, all day Monday, February 11, West Slope Library. “Join us as we celebrate Chinese New Year and the new Year of the Snake by making a snake craft!”

Concert, “Sally Harmon and Frank Gruner”, Monday, February 11, 12PM, Portland Center for the Performing Arts, Antionette Hatfield Hall Rotunda Lobby, 1111 SW Broadway, Pdx. Free. “Gifted local pianist and composer Sally Harmon and talented bass player Frank Gruner return to Noontime Showcase in a special program of romantic music. Sally and Frank’s intimate, organic sound is influenced by styles ranging from classical to jazz to pop. This is a delightful treat you shouldn’t miss.”

Presentation by Evan Thomas”, Monday, February 11, 7PM, Mary’s Woods Auditorium, 17400 Holy Names Dr., Lake Oswego. “Evan Thomas, Ph.D, P.E. is an Assistant Professor and Director of the Sustainable Water, Energy and Environmental Technology Lab and a Faculty Fellow in the Institute for Sustainable Solutions at Portland State University. The SWEET Lab is working with Manna Energy Limited to test and implement water treatment and monitoring systems for places like Rwanda. Manna’s water treatment plants use gravity sand filtration and ultraviolet disinfection, which together bacterially decontaminate the water making it safe for drinking, food preparation and personal hygiene.”

Owls”, Monday, February 11, 3:30PM, Hillsboro Main Library. Suggested for grades 1-3. Preregistration required; register online. “Nocturnal animals have amazing adaptations that help them survive in the dark. We'll check out sight, feathers, hearing, and behaviors, then dissect an owl pellet to discover what they eat.”

Anne Rutherford”, Tuesday, February 12, 7PM, Beaverton Historical Society, 12412 SW Broadway St., Beaverton. “Enjoy a Valentine to Oregon right before our state's anniversary with a lively performance of Pacific Northwest history in story and song by master storyteller Anne Rutherford. Hear tall tales spun by Oregonians from Oregon soil and real-life anecdotes about Oregon East and West. ‘Our region is chock-full of great stories: beautiful dreamers, healers and tricksters. You can count on Coyote to shake things up, and who else but an Oregonian would try to smuggle a meteorite? I love bringing our history to life through voice, character and folk- songs unique to our region,’ says Anne. Included in Anne's performance will be a tale from Clementine Ryder, Adventuress. Clementine is Anne's original character (some would say alter-ego) who, with associate Ol' One-Eyed Bob, has been known to subdue rattlesnakes, pirate ghost-ships and other elements from Oregon's folklore with a flick of her fringed leather jacket.”

Lopez Lomong’s Story”, Tuesday, February 12, 7PM, Lakeridge High School, 235 SW Overlook Dr., Lake Oswego. “Our own Lake Oswego neighbor will share his miraculous story as a “Lost Boy of the Sudan” who overcame extraordinary odds and adversity to become a proud American citizen and flag-bearer for the U.S. team in the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Olympics. Lopez was a happy six-year-old villager in the Sudan when he was kidnapped by rebel soldiers seeking young mercenaries. He watched other children die around him from starvation but escaped in the night, running for three days into Kenya where he spent the next 10 years in a refugee camp before being adopted by his American family. Every day was a struggle for survival, and yet, he found joy in running a daily 18-mile lap around his camp. He hasn’t stopped running since. Prepare to hear an inspirational story that continues today with his participation in the London Olympic Games and his efforts to bring help to the children of South Sudan.”

"Cataclysms on the Columbia: The Great Missoula Floods, with Scott Burns", Tuesday, February 12, 7PM, Audubon Society of Portland, Heron Hall, 5151 NW Cornell Rd., Pdx.  Free. "Between 15,000 and 18,000 years ago, a series of momentous floods crashed through the Pacific Northwest, reaching heights of up to 400 feet where Portland lies today and carving the landscape of the Columbia Gorge and Willamette Valley. Portland Audubon’s Feb. 12 Nature Night presentation will discuss this deluge, one of North America’s greatest sets of geological events – known as the Missoula Floods.  Geologist and gifted speaker Scott Burns will lead this thrilling presentation. Burns’ talk will focus on the incredible story of J Harlen Bretz’s discovery of the Ice Age floods and the pioneering research that Bretz used to prove his discovery to the world. Burns will also discuss the floods’ effect on the formation of 16,000 square miles of Pacific Northwest terrain, from eastern Washington to Astoria and the Willamette Valley."

Original Practice Shakespeare Festival presents, “Macbeth”, Wednesday, February 13 through March 17, 7PM, Post Five Theatre, 850 NE 81st Ave., Pdx. Tickets are $10 and all Sunday performances are pay what you will ($10 suggested). “Post Five Theatre presents Macbeth, a play that is considered one of William Shakespeare's darkest and most powerful tragedies. Macbeth tells the story of a brave Scottish lord who receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King. Set in Scotland, the play dramatizes the corroding psychological and political effects produced when its protagonist chooses evil as the way to fulfill his ambition for power.”

Penny’s Puppet Productions presents, “And They’re Off…”, Wednesday, February 13, 6:45PM, Holgate Library. “The curious Jade Emperor wants to have a way to tell the passing of time. How about an animal to represent each year? The Emperor decides to host a race to see which order the animals should go in. Join Penny’s Puppet Productions to find out which animal finishes the race first, determining the order of the Chinese calendar.” I usually don’t list Penny’s awesome shows because they are more specifically for preschoolers, but this one will be of wider interest because it's a fun way to learn the famous legend of the Chinese Zodiac.  

Atfalati-Kalapuya: First People of Washington County”, Wednesday, February 13, 10AM, Washington County Museum, 120 E. Main St., Hillsboro. $6 per child, children 5 and younger are free. Preregistration required; call 503-645-5353 ext. 133. “Explore the lives of the indigenous people of the Tualatin Valley, the Atfalati branch of the Kalapuya tribe. Students learn how the Atfalati dressed, what they ate and where they lived. In addition, students get to handle furs, stone tools, baskets and try their hand at a traditional craft.”

Movie Screening, “Rwanda-Do Scars Ever Fade?”, with Filmmaker Paul Freedman, Wednesday, February 13, 7PM, The Arts Council of Lake Oswego, 520 1st St., Lake Oswego. “In 2004, Paul Freedman traveled to Rwanda to produce and direct a History Channel special documentary about the Rwandan genocide and its aftermath. “Rwanda—Do Scars Ever Fade?” would go on to earn a Peabody Award, two Emmy nominations, and the IDA’s prestigious ABC News/VideoSource Award for best use of news and archival footage. Paul co-wrote and edited the documentary.”

Origami After School”, Thursday, February 14, 3:30PM, Ridgefield Library, Ridgefield, WA. “Learn the art of origami folding from Sensei Lois during this fun afternoon program.” “Experience a dance performance that knows no boundaries, incorporating breathtaking physicality, striking imagery, humor, wit and whimsy! Local favorite Earth Oven Pizza will provide concessions including beer, wine, soft drinks and other tasty snacks for purchase!” 

Body Vox-2”, Friday, February 15, 7:30PM, and Saturday, February 16, 2PM, Walters Cultural Arts Center, 527 E. Main St., Hillsboro. Prices vary. Experience a dance performance that knows no boundaries, incorporating breathtaking physicality, striking imagery, humor, wit and whimsy! Local favorite Earth Oven Pizza will provide concessions including beer, wine, soft drinks and other tasty snacks for purchase! More about the performers here:

Mt. Angel Wurstfest”, Saturday, February 15 and Sunday, February 16, 11AM-11PM (minors permitted with an adult until 9PM), Mt. Angel Festhalle, 500 S. Wilco Hwy 214, Mt. Angel, OR. Admission is $5 for 21 and over, and free for all under 21. Dust off your Lederhosen, starch your Dirndl apron and join the folks in Mount Angel for two days of celebration in honor of the best of the “wurst” – “Old World” sausages that is – at the 5th annual Wurstfest. The festival features live German music including performances by local dance troupes, German and domestic beers on tap, regional and German wines, and of course a variety of delicious handmade sausages. Select cheeses, artisan breads and cookies, specialty mustards, chocolates and roasted nuts round out the food offerings. Vendors will sell German souvenirs, clothing and other craft items.”

"Snow Globes", Saturday, February 16, 10:30AM, Capitol Hill Library (free tickets will be given out at 10AM); Saturday, February 16, 1PM, Gregory Heights Library; and Saturday, February 23, 1:30PM, Rockwood Library. "Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! Homemade snow globes are fun to make and will last for many winters to come. Artist Addie Boswell will help you create your very own miniature scene using recycled jars, greenery, beads, figurines and confetti. Personalize your globe by bringing a favorite tiny toy or treasure to hide inside."

Winter Birds at Smith and Bybee Wetlands”, Saturday, February 16, 10AM, 5300 N. Marine Dr., Pdx. $6 per adult or $11 per family. Ages 9 and older. Preregistration required; register online: With Metro naturalist and author James Davis. “Winter is an active time at the wetlands with lots of water birds – ducks, geese, coots and grebes. Raptors such as red-tailed hawks and bald eagles are common; sightings of falcons and other hawks are possible. The wetlands’ year-round residents as well as a few winter songbirds are easier to see because all the leaves are gone. Bring binoculars or borrow a pair on site; spotting scopes provided.”

Dragon Theater Puppets presents, “Rocket Hamster’s Dreamy Space Odyssey”, Saturday, February 16, 11AM and 3PM, and Sunday, February 17, 4PM, Ping Pong’s Pint Size Puppet Museum, 906 SE Umatilla St., Pdx. Tickets $7 for ages 2 and up; tickets available online or at the door. “Rocket Hamster may be small but he dreams big! His dream is to become an astronaut and travel the stars and explore space. But a villan known as "Luna Tick" will try and stop him! Her alien Space bugs steal the moon and try to take over the solar system, and only Rocket Hamster and his team of "Home Grown Heroes" can save the day!”

Stories Alive!”, Saturday, February 16, 11AM, Lake Oswego Library. Presented by the Lake Oswego Youth Action Council. “A reader's theater performance of two stories, plus refreshments. A lively group of Youth Action Council (YAC) teens will perform two stories: ‘The Cat in the Hat’ by Dr. Seuss and ‘Jack and the Bean Tree’ by Gail E. Haley.”

Author Talk, “Carla Sonheim”, Saturday, February 16, 4PM, Powell’s, 1005 W. Burnside, Pdx. “Sonheim will present drawing exercises and demonstrations (supplies will be available at the event). Rediscover a more child-like approach to creating with Drawing and Painting Imaginary Animals! Through fun and creative exercises, Carla Sonheim teaches you to draw a variety of fun animals and creatures, including: Dogs - Birds - Elephants - Fish - Cats - Rabbits - Fluffalumps - and many others! You'll also find a variety of unique mixed-media techniques to help you bring your creatures to life, resulting in a unique finished art piece. Improve your drawing skills, expand your creativity, and learn new art techniques--and have loads of fun doing it!--with Drawing and Painting Imaginary Animals.”

Three Different Backgrounds and Three Different Stories”, Saturday, February 16, 11AM, Lake Oswego Library. “Emmanuel Habimana, Guellord Ndagijimana, and Matthew Rugamba are three Lewis and Clark College students from Rwanda. Listen as they share their stories of the genocide and discuss their plans for the future. All are looking ahead to contributing to Rwandan society and culture upon their return home.”

Hike: Portland’s 5,200-acre Carbon Offset”, Saturday, February 16, 1PM-4PM, Forest Park Springville Trailhead via Skyline Blvd., Pdx. $10. Preregistration required; register online: “Forest Park is constantly combating the carbon emissions of Portland. The park’s vegetation filters the air and helps facilitates our city’s healthy environment. Understand carbon sequestration and how the plants of Forest Park help the people of Portland.”

Commemorative Tualatin Centennial Play”, Sunday, February 17, 2PM, Historic Winona Grange, 8340 SW Seneca St., Tualatin. Donations requested. “After a long and bitter campaign, Tualatin residents voted to incorporate and form a city government. That year was 1913. The sticking point was the subject of alcohol: the state had decreed that incorporated cities could receive tax revenues from the sale of liquor within its jurisdiction. The vote was close - 47, those who warned of the evils of saloons, to 57, those who reasoned that alcohol was going to be consumed anyway and Tualatin may as well get its share of liquor taxes. The drama that kept the community embroiled back in 1913 will be re-enacted as Historical Society members, descendants, and current City officials act out the different personalities that made this issue so important. We know who voted to incorporate. John Wesch, owner of the El Rey saloon, and Charlie Roberts, owner of the Salem Brewery were among those who signed the petition. As has been the custom in the past five years, the program will celebrate the anniversary of the Tualatin Heritage Center. The play was written by Sandra Lafky Carlson and Loyce Martinazzi.”

Author Talk, “Ben Goldacre”, Sunday, February 17, 7:30PM, Powell’s, 1005 W. Burnside, Pdx. Dr. Goldacre reads from his book, “Bad Pharma: How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors and Harm Patients”. “We like to imagine that medicine is based on evidence and the results of fair tests. In reality, those tests are often profoundly flawed. We like to imagine that doctors are familiar with the research literature about a drug, when in reality much of the research is hidden from them by drug companies. We like to imagine that doctors are impartially educated, when in reality much of their education is funded by the pharmaceutical industry. We like to imagine that regulators let only effective drugs onto the market, when in reality they approve useless drugs, with data on side effects casually withheld from doctors and patients. All these problems have been shielded from public scrutiny because they’re too complex to capture in a sound bite. But Ben Goldacre shows that the true scale of this murderous disaster fully reveals itself only when the details are untangled. He believes we should all be able to understand precisely how data manipulation works and how research misconduct on a global scale affects us. With Goldacre’s characteristic flair and a forensic attention to detail, ‘Bad Pharma’ reveals a shockingly broken system and calls for something to be done. This is the pharmaceutical industry as it has never been seen before.”

2013 Day of Remembrance”, Sunday, February 17, 2PM, Portland State University, Hoffman Hall, 1833 SW 11th Ave., Pdx. Free. Presented by the Japanese American Citizens League. “An annual commemoration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt signing of Executive Order 9066 that was responsible for the incarceration of over 120,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry to American Concentration Camps. This year is the 25th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988; a Presidential apology and symbolic payment (redress) for lost liberty and property. There will be a panel discussion of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 and legal challenges of the forced removal of Japanese Americans from the West Coast, the role of the JACL in the redress effort, and current threats to civil liberties contained in the National Defense Authorization Act.” (The NDAA of 2012 has been interpreted as allowing the federal government to imprison American citizens indefinitely and without trial.)

"Dazzling Dragonflies", Monday, February 18, 1PM, Powell's, 3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd., Beaverton. Presented by Tualatin Hills Parks and Recreation. Suggested for ages 3-9. “This program will teach students about the dragonfly life cycle, their habitats, and some of their amazing adaptations.” 

"Woody Wood Ducks", Monday, February 18, 2PM, Powell's, 3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd., Beaverton. Presented by Tualatin Hills Parks and Recreation. Suggested for ages 3-9. “Students will discover the growth stages of the wood duck, their habitats, and how to recognize them in a neighborhood park.”

Author Talk, “Paul de Barros”, Monday, February 18, 7:30PM, Powell’s, 3723 SE Hawthorne Blvd., Pdx. Mr. de Barros will read from his book, “The Life and Art of Jazz Piano Legend Marian McPartland”. “In a world dominated by men, Marian McPartland distinguished herself as one of the greatest jazz pianists of her age. Born in the UK as Margaret Marian Turner, Marian McPartland learned to play classical piano, but was passionately attracted to the rhythms of American jazz. Entertaining troops in WWII Europe, she met her future husband, Jimmy McPartland, a cocky young trumpet player who was the protege of the great Bix Beiderbecke. They were married and, together, they made jazz history. At first, Marian played second fiddle to Jimmy in Chicago, but when they moved to New York, Marian and her trio took up residence at the famous Hickory House where she thrilled the crowds from her perch on a stage in the middle of large oval bar. From there she went on to triumphs at places like the Montreaux Jazz Festival. Possibly, her greatest accomplishment was the creation of NPR's long-running show Piano Jazz. More than the life story of one of our greatest artists, Shall We Play That One Together? by Paul de Barros chronicles an age when jazz was a vital art form. Just as inviting as Marian's signature question on Piano Jazz, Shall We Play That One Together? is an invitation to readers everywhere to listen to the score of a bygone age.”

Oregon Civics 101 with Rep. Tobias Read”, Tuesday, February 19, 7PM, Garden Home Library. “Celebrate Oregon's birthday month with this special presentation. Rep. Tobias Read is leading Oregon Civics 101 at Garden Home Community Library.” Mr. Read is a Democrat representing District 27 (Beaverton) in the Oregon House of Representatives.

Travel Switzerland”, Tuesday, February 19, 7PM, Tigard Library. “Learn about the beautiful country of Switzerland from its majestic Alps to its world famous watches, chocolate and cheeses! Find out how this small country has kept its cultural identity despite all the changes in Europe and beyond. Sample some of the best cheese and chocolate from the country and ask certified Swiss specialist Jonathan Larsen, from Switzerland Tourism, about traveling in the land of the Alps. Don't miss out on the wonders of Switzerland!”

"Bob Rabbit on Mr. Man's Farm", Tuesday, February 19, 6:30PM, Sunnyside Library, Clackamas, OR. "Follow trickster Bob Rabbit on this musical puppet adventure with Red Yarn (aka Andy Furgeson). Each night, Bob must sneak on to Mr. Man's farm to scrounge his vegetable dinner. But tonight he has company: a sly fox who is looking for another kind of dinner! What will Bob do? Find out during this interactive performance that mixes classic folksongs and stories with original music and puppetry."

Four Weeks In a Car and We Didn’t Kill Each Other: A European Family Vacation”, Tuesday, February 19, 6:30PM, Battle Ground Library, Battle Ground, WA. “My wife and I, plus our two kids Hazel (age 13) and Henry (age 10), really like to travel. In the summer of 2012, we packed our bags, flew to Amsterdam, “bought” a car, and hit the road. We spent four weeks traveling across Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, France, and The Netherlands. We drove through tiny villages, explored ruined castles, ate interesting food, hiked along cliffs, and sat on beaches. We didn’t kill each other. I did get a little grumpy at the end, but I felt better after I had a hamburger and some fries. We had a lot of interesting adventures along the way, and I’d love to share them with you in this travelogue.”

Homeschool Book Party”, Tuesday, February 19, 1PM, Fairview-Columbia Library. “Calling all homeschoolers age 6-10! Make new friends, talk about great books, and make book-related crafts. Read ‘The Fantastic Secret of Owen Jester’ by Barbara O'Connor.”

Author Talk, “Linda Tamura”, Tuesday, February 19, 7PM, Broadway Books, 1714 NE Broadway St., Pdx. Professor Tamura reads from her book, “Nisei Soldiers Break Their Silence”. “Nisei Soldiers Break Their Silence is a compelling story of courage, community, endurance, and reparation. It shares the experiences of Japanese Americans (Nisei) who served in the U.S. Army during World War II, fighting on the front lines in Italy and France, serving as linguists in the South Pacific, and working as cooks and medics. The soldiers were from Hood River, Oregon, where their families were landowners and fruit growers. Town leaders, including veterans' groups, attempted to prevent their return after the war and stripped their names from the local war memorial. All of the soldiers were American citizens, but their parents were Japanese immigrants and had been imprisoned in camps as a consequence of Executive Order 9066. The racist homecoming that the Hood River Japanese American soldiers received was decried across the nation. Linda Tamura, who grew up in Hood River and whose father was a veteran of the war, conducted extensive oral histories with the veterans, their families, and members of the community. She had access to hundreds of recently uncovered letters and documents from private files of a local veterans' group that led the campaign against the Japanese American soldiers. This book also includes the little known story of local Nisei veterans who spent 40 years appealing their convictions for insubordination.”

Artificial Photosynthesis: Learning from Nature’s Solar Energy Strategies”, Tuesday, February 19, 7PM, Mission Theater, 1624 NW Glisan, Pdx. $5 suggested donation. All ages welcome. “Every hour the world receives more energy from the sun than the total amount of energy consumed on Earth in a year. As the world demand for energy increases, new resources will be required, and it is important that the resources be disconnected from global warming issues, especially carbon dioxide emissions. There remains significant challenges of chemistry, engineering, economics, and politics before solar energy can assume a viable position as our primary energy resource. As a model of successful conversion of solar energy to other useful forms of energy, nature offers photosynthesis. At this Science Pub learn about the key features that make photosynthesis such an efficient process, and why we are challenged to find ways to arrange molecules and reactions to match nature’s success.”  The seating is limited at the Mission Theater and the parking in the Pearl is horrendous, so I’d advise you to get there early. Doors usually open at 5PM.

The Olympic Games- Beyond the Celebration with Jules Boykoff”, Tuesday, February 19, 7PM, Walters Cultural Arts Center, 527 E. Main St., Hillsboro. Free. “The Olympic Games have become the world's biggest sports extravaganza, where the best athletes come together to compete on the global stage. They have also become a massive media and marketing event, a global celebration of sport that's swimming in corporate cash. In this talk, Pacific University Associate Professor of Political Science Jules Boykoff explains why activists have questioned the games. Boykoff has published widely on this topic, and also represented the US Olympic Soccer Team in international competition.”

Tracing the Political Pulse of Rwanda Through Time”, Tuesday, February 19, 7PM, Lake Oswego Library. “Anne Pitsch Santiago, Ph.D. at University of Portland, worked in Rwanda for three years as the conflict management coordinator for a USAID project partnering the National University of Rwanda with the University of Maryland. Hear a lecture about Rwandan political and economic history as well as the present situation in Rwanda.”

Starting Seeds Indoors”, Wednesday, February 20, 6:30PM, Forest Grove Library. “Free gardening class at the Forest Grove City Library. Presented by the OSU Extension Service.”

Author Talk, “Madeline Albright”, Wednesday, February 20, 7PM, Bagdad Theater, 3702 SE Hawthorne Blvd., Pdx. Tickets are $15.99 and include a copy of her book, “Prague Winter”. They can be purchased online at Secretary Albright will be joined in conversation by Maria Wulff, president of the World Affairs Council of Oregon. “Before Madeleine Albright turned twelve, her life was shaken by the Nazi invasion of Czechoslovakia—the country where she was born—the Battle of Britain, the near total destruction of European Jewry, the Allied victory in World War II, the rise of communism, and the onset of the Cold War. Albright's experiences, and those of her family, provide a lens through which to view the most tumultuous dozen years in modern history. Drawing on her memory, her parents' written reflections, interviews with contemporaries, and newly available documents, Albright recounts a tale that is by turns harrowing and inspiring. ‘Prague Winter’ is an exploration of the past with timeless dilemmas in mind and, simultaneously, a journey with universal lessons that is intensely personal. The book takes readers from the Bohemian capital's thousand-year-old castle to the bomb shelters of London, from the desolate prison ghetto of Terezín to the highest councils of European and American government. Albright reflects on her discovery of her family's Jewish heritage many decades after the war, on her Czech homeland's tangled history, and on the stark moral choices faced by her parents and their generation. Often relying on eyewitness descriptions, she tells the story of how millions of ordinary citizens were ripped from familiar surroundings and forced into new roles as exiled leaders and freedom fighters, resistance organizers and collaborators, victims and killers. These events of enormous complexity are nevertheless shaped by concepts familiar to any growing child: fear, trust, adaptation, the search for identity, the pressure to conform, the quest for independence, and the difference between right and wrong. ‘No one who lived through the years of 1937 to 1948,’ Albright writes, ‘was a stranger to profound sadness. Millions of innocents did not survive, and their deaths must never be forgotten. Today we lack the power to reclaim lost lives, but we have a duty to learn all that we can about what happened and why.’ At once a deeply personal memoir and an incisive work of history, Prague Winter serves as a guide to the future through the lessons of the past—as seen through the eyes of one of the international community's most respected and fascinating figures.”

Snakes of Oregon”, Wednesday, February 20, 6:30PM, Billy Frank Jr. Conference Room, 2nd floor, Ecotrust Building, 721 NW 9th Ave., Pdx. $5 per person. Preregistration is required; register online “For a number of reasons, snakes have been demonized in our culture. Often overlooked are the significant ecological benefits that accrue from our scaly friends. Simon Wray is the Conservation Biologist for ODFW's High Desert Region. In this position Simon works with non-game species, including snakes, throughout central and southeastern Oregon.”

From Print to Pixels: The Act of Reading in the Digital Age”, Thursday, February 21, 7PM, Oregon City Library, upstairs. “Reading is just reading, right? No matter what format? Maybe not... Join Portland author Mark Cunningham who will lead a conversation on what happens when we change our methods of reading.”

"Bird and Nature Walk", Thursday, February 21, 9AM, Tualatin Heritage Center, 8700 SW Sweek Dr., Tualatin. Free. "Join us for bird walk at Hedges Creek Marsh. This 1 ½ hour walk around Sweek Pond is led by the Wetlands Conservancy."

OMSI’s Wild Weather”, Thursday, February 21, 4PM, Cascade Park Community Library, Vancouver, WA. “What causes exciting-and sometimes dangerous-weather conditions? How can we track them and protect ourselves? Explore the origin of lightning, wild wind patterns and fire tornadoes.”

Book Talk for Ages 6-9”, Thursday, February 21, 6PM, Vancouver Community Library. “Each month a free copy of the next month’s “book of the month” will be given to those attending to keep and add to their home libraries. For children ages 6-9 with a participating adult. This month we're reading The Great Cake Mystery by Alexander McCall Smith.” This is a prequel to “The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency” Series.

Author Talk, “Vince Welch”, Thursday, February 21, 7:30PM, Powell’s, 3725 SE Hawthorne Blvd., Pdx. Mr. Welch reads from his book, “The Last Voyageur: Amos Burg and the Rivers of the West”. “For nearly five decades Amos Burg traveled in search of adventure and natural beauty. During the 1920s and '30s he completed lengthy voyages on all the major western rivers – Columbia, Pig, Yukon, Canada's Mackenzie, the Green and Colorado – source to mouth, often traveling alone. He also managed to make a 4-month, 3,800-mile run on the Yellowstone-Missouri-Mississippi as well as the Middle Fork and Main Salmon, and numerous other small rivers. He broke new ground by being the first individual to take his rubber raft Charlie through Grand Canyon and down the Middle Fork and Main Salmon. The Last Voyageur chronicles Burg's epic river voyages as well as his journeys along the Inside Passage and through the Tierra del Fuego archipelago in the Dorjun and later the Endeavour. We follow not only the arc of his career as an outdoor writer, photographer, filmmaker, and lecturer for National Geographic magazine, but also his expanding sense of the natural environment as a place for spiritual and emotional rejuvenation and as a living repository of American western history. Burg once wrote, ‘How we treat our rivers tells us something about who we are?’ ”

“Baby Mammoth Teeth and Ancient Animal Tracks”, Thursday, February 21, 7PM, Tualatin Heritage Center, 8700 SW Sweek Dr., Tualatin. Free. “New evidence of giant animals roaming our region will be shared. Mike Full, Yamhill River diver and popular presenter, will share summer 2012 first-ever findings of fossilized tracks of a mammoth and sloth, and the horn core from a possible bison latirfrons. Research teams this past summer also uncovered three baby mammoth teeth. Mike will bring hands-on artifacts for all ages to handle.”

Paper, Plastic, or Cotton Tote Bag? Life Cycle Assessments of Everyday Items", Thursday, February 21, 7PM, Hotel Oregon, 310 NE Evans St., McMinnville. All Ages. $5 requested donation. “Every day we are confronted with choices that impact our environment: Paper, plastic, or reusable tote bag? Disposable plastic cup or reusable ceramic mug? Prius or Hummer? How do we really know what’s best for the environment? Learn more about how we evaluate the environmental impacts of various materials and products and some of the fundamental principles of green chemistry and sustainability as well. Warning: your intuition about environmental impacts is not always right!”

"Kid's Comic Club", Friday, February 22, 3:15PM, Northwest Library. "Do you love to draw? Do you love comics? Join the Comic Club! Each month make your own comic and then trade with friends. Lead by artist Kanani Miyamoto with help from library staff, kids will learn drawing techniques, research skills and have fun!"

Rwandan Luncheon”, Friday, February 22, 12PM, Adult Community Center, 505 G Ave., Lake Oswego. $5 per person. Reservations required; call 503-635-3758. “A delightful authentic taste of Rwanda! The menu for the luncheon is: spinach salad, Rwandan beef stew, bananas with split green peas, braised cabbage, yams, injera, and palmiers.”

Concert, “The Heritage”, Friday, February 22, 7:15PM, Community Music Center, 3350 SE Francis St., Pdx. Suggested donation $5 or $15 per family. “With rich layers of acoustic instrumentation, a heartfelt female lead vocal, and dynamic harmonies, our original style will fall within the bluegrass and alt-country genres. With our all-inclusive feel and our memorable melodies, we'll cater to a wide audience of listeners.”

Wizard World Portland Comic Con”, Friday, February 22, 3PM-8PM, Saturday, February 23, 10AM-7PM, and Sunday, February 24, 10AM-5PM, Oregon Convention Center, 777 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Pdx. This is not cheap, but there is a $10 discount for advance purchases and kids 10 and under are free with an adult. There are some pretty amazing people coming!

Reservation Blues: Changing Landscapes in Native American Art”, Friday, February 22, 6PM-8PM, Portland Art Museum, 1219 SW Park Ave., Pdx. Free. Deana Dartt, Curator of Native American Art at the Portland Art Museum, explores Sherman Alexie's work and the changing visual landscape of Native American artistic expression. The program will take place on the museum's Free Fourth Friday when admission is free from 5-8 pm.”

"Morning Bird Walks at Wapato Access Greenway", Saturday, February 23, 8AM-11AM, Sauvie Island. Free. Preregistration required; register online: "Join a Park Naturalist for Morning Guided Walks at Wapato Access Greenway on Sauvie Island. These informal walks will focus on the local natural and cultural history, a peek at the rare oak savannah habitat and beginner birding basics. They will occur the last Saturday of each month. Bring your binoculars, a water bottle, and expect to have a great time."

Eric Herman’s Cool Tunes”, Saturday, February 23, 10:30AM, Tualatin Library Community Room. Suggested for ages 3-10. “Bursting with comedy, creativity, audience participation and outrageous fun, Eric' Herman's Cool Tunes for Kids show will have kids dancing from limb to limb, smiling from ear to ear and laughing from nose to foot!”

Mt. Talbert Bird Walk”, Saturday, February 23, 8AM-11AM, meeting at the Backyard Bird Shop, 8960 S.E. Sunnyside Road, Clackamas. Free. Preregistration required; call 503-496-0908. “Backyard Bird Shop's free, expert-guided bird walks are a great way to learn how to recognize our local birds. Join naturalist and educator Elaine Murphy to explore Mt. Talbert's bird and wildlife population. Mt. Talbert is the largest undeveloped butte in Northern Clackamas County. With funds from the 1995 open spaces bond measure, Metro and North Clackamas Parks and Recreation District purchased 183 acres that include the butte top and west and north facing slopes, which are visible to tens of thousands of people who travel daily on I-205 or visit Clackamas Town Center.”

Hike: Spring is in the Air! Come Learn How To Identify It”, Saturday, February 23, 1PM-4PM, Forest Park, Meeting at Firelane 1 Trailhead via NW 53rd Dr., Pdx. 3.5 miles round trip. $10. Preregistration required; register online:  “There is no better time than early spring to begin to learn about the wonders of the plant life emerging around you! Join author and biologist Marcy Houle to discover the key plant species in Forest Park, how to identify them, and some fascinating tidbits to share with others.”

Your Land, My Land: Using and Preserving Oregon’s Natural Resources”, Saturday, February 23, 3PM, Hillsdale Library. “Oregonians are known for a fierce sense of independence and a rugged individuality, qualities long associated with natural resource vocations such as logging, fishing, farming, and ranching. The state is also known for its progressive environmental policies. Our sense of connection to a place informs our values and our approaches to conflict over resource and land use in our communities. Veronica Dujon, professor of sociology at Portland State University -- whose research focuses on gillnet fishermen on the Lower Columbia and the conflict over water rights in the Klamath Basin -- invites you to consider the various meanings we in Oregon have come to attach to different places in the state and to explore how these attachments shape our desire both to use and to preserve our natural resources.”

Science!”, Saturday, February 23, 2PM, Ridgefield Community Library, Ridgefield, WA. “Learn science and have fun. Visit various stations during this hands-on program.”

Congregation Shaarie Torah presents, “Cirque du Shaarie Purim Celebration”, Saturday, February 23, 6PM, 920 NW 25th Ave., Pdx. Tickets $15 adult, $10 child, $55 family maximum. Information on advanced tickets here:  Doors will open at 6PM, at 6:30 is a Megillah Reading, at 7:45 Hors d’Oeuvres will be served and there will be children’s entertainment, and at 8:45 will be an aerial show by Pendulum Aerial Arts, followed by a DJ and dancing.

Dragon Theater Puppets presents, “I Dig Dinosaurs”, Saturday, February 23, 2:30PM and 3:30PM, Hillsboro Main Library. “The host; Shawnry Connery, builds a time machine so that he can go back and see dinosaurs. But he keeps traveling to the wrong time and Accidentally takes other historical characters with him. They all end up in the past with the dinosaurs and have to find their way back to their own times!” Dragon Theater Rocks!!!

Sing Along with Charlie”, Saturday, February 23, 11AM, Hollywood Library (free tickets will be given out at 10:30). “Everyone will be singing along and grooving to the beat as Charlie Hope performs children’s music that adults enjoy, too. Singing both classic favorites as well as entertaining originals, everyone is encouraged to join in! Charlie’s debut album, It’s Me! A Collection of Songs for Children, has received many awards including two Independent Music Awards for Best Album and Best Song.”

Champoeg History Cache”, Saturday, February 23, 12PM, Champoeg State Park, RV Hall. Free with $5 state park day use fee per vehicle. “Fire Arms history and fur trade blanket information, the 1852 land survey of Champoeg, and a presentation about hide tanning.”

The Paper Airplane Guy”, Saturday, February 23, Evergreen Air and Space Museum, McMinville. There will be an 8AM show for members only (reservations required) and two shows for the general public at 10AM and 1PM which are free with museum admission. Admission is pretty steep at $25 adults, $24 seniors, and $23 youth. Washington County and Clackamas County Libraries have a cultural pass available for this museum. I hear this guy is pretty awesome. “John Collins is coming back to Evergreen, and this time as a world record holder for distance with a Paper Airplane! He will be showing his tricks of the trade and how you can impress your friends and irritate your teacher!”

The 90-Second Newbery Film Festival”, Sunday, February 24, 12:30PM and 3PM (with free tickets given out 30 minutes prior to each session), Central Library US Bank Room. All ages welcome. “The Newbery Medal is the most prestigious award in children’s literature and has been given out annually for the past 90 years. With the help of author James Kennedy, we will be hosting the second annual 90-Second Newbery Film Festival to debut videos that compress the story of a Newbery award-winning book into 90 seconds or less. It turns out that any book, no matter how worthy and somber, becomes pleasingly ludicrous when compressed into 90 seconds. James will be bringing the “best of the best” from the screenings he has already done around the country, and mixing them with entries from Multnomah County, with entertainment between the films, cabaret-style!” We went last year and they ran out of tickets while many were still in line. This year they’ve added a second screening, but I’d advise getting there early. The festival entries are available on Youtube, but I’d suggest watching them only if you can’t make it. We’d already seen most of them and it would have been more fun if we hadn’t peeked! But we did learn that books often win Newbery Awards when they are about dogs, death, or the death of dogs! (Someone actually wrote a book about the strange appreciation people have for these books, “No More Dead Dogs” by Gordon Korman, but it sadly failed to win a Newbery.)

What’s Growing on the Refuge”, Sunday, February 24, 1PM, Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge, Sherwood, OR. Preregistration required; contact or 503-625-5944 x222 with your name, phone number, and the number of people in your group (up to 6). “Join Refuge Volunteer Botanist, Ginny Maffitt, for a free plant walk at the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge. Discover what’s blooming and how native plants are vital to healthy wildlife habitats. Be prepared to be outside. We encourage you to bring cameras, plant identification guides if you have them, and nature journals if you like. Binoculars are always handy for those watchable wildlife moments.”

Are Dogs Really Just Designer Wolves?”, Monday, February 25, 7PM, Venetian Theater, 253 E. Main St., Hillsboro. $5 suggested donation. “In 1993 American scientists reclassified the dog as a subspecies of gray wolf because their mitochondrial DNA differs by no more than 0.2%. Doesn’t sound like much, but it represents a huge difference in the behavior of these two animals. 40,000 years or more of selection has made it possible for dogs to live with humans on human terms. The very survival of wolves, on the other hand, often depends upon avoiding humans and their livestock. So why are there more wolves and wolf-dog hybrids in captivity than there are wild wolves in all of North America? Why do some people want to possess a bit of the wild, and why are dog-food companies featuring howling wolves on their bags of kibble and promising a “return to an ancestral diet”? Join us for a lively presentation about wolves and dogs, illuminating the genetic, morphological, and behavioral differences between them.”

"Family Book Group- For the Younger Set", Tuesday, February 26, 3PM, Northwest Library. "Boys and girls in grades K-3 and their parents come together to share excellent books and learn about each other."

Talk Back to Books”, Tuesday, February 26, 4PM, Ledding Library of Milwaukie. Book group for ages 10 and up. “Read, discuss, and recommend your favorite books.”

Chinook: Master Traders of the Northwest”, Wednesday, February 27, 10AM, Washington County Museum, 120 E. Main St., Hillsboro. $6 per child, children 5 and younger are free. Preregistration required; call 503-645-5353 ext. 133. “The “Wapato Lowlands – the region on the lower Columbia River with Sauvie Island at its heart – was once one of the richest, most densely settled areas north of Mexico. This presentation explores the Chinook’s way of life. Students learn native Chinook trade language, called ‘Wawa,’ play a traditional game and investigate artifacts.”

Author Talk, “Virginia Morell”, Wednesday, February 27, 7:30PM, Powell’s, 1005 W. Burnside, Pdx. Ms. Morell reads from her book, “Animal Wise: The Thoughts and Emotions of Our Fellow Creatures”. “Noted science writer Virginia Morell explores the frontiers of research on animal cognition and emotion, offering a surprising and moving exploration into the hearts and minds of wild and domesticated animals. Did you know that ants teach, earthworms make decisions, rats love to be tickled, and chimps grieve? Did you know that some dogs have thousand-word vocabularies and that birds practice songs in their sleep? That crows improvise tools, blue jays plan ahead, and moths remember living as caterpillars? ‘Animal Wise’ takes us on a dazzling odyssey into the inner world of animals, from ants to elephants to wolves, and from sharp-shooting archerfish to pods of dolphins that rumble like rival street gangs. With 30 years of experience covering the sciences, Morell uses her formidable gifts as a story-teller to transport us to field sites and laboratories around the world, introducing us to pioneering animal-cognition researchers and their surprisingly intelligent and sensitive subjects. She explores how this rapidly evolving, controversial field has only recently overturned old notions about why animals behave as they do. She probes the moral and ethical dilemmas of recognizing that even “lesser animals” have cognitive abilities such as memory, feelings, personality, and self-awareness--traits that many in the twentieth century felt were unique to human beings. By standing behaviorism on its head, Morell brings the world of nature brilliantly alive in a nuanced, deeply felt appreciation of the human-animal bond, and she shares her admiration for the men and women who have simultaneously chipped away at what we think makes us distinctive while offering a glimpse of where our own abilities come from.”

Hiking Portland and Surrounding Areas”, Wednesday, February 27, 7PM, Hoyt Arboretum Visitor Center, 4000 SW Fairview Blvd., Pdx. Free talk. “Spend an evening with local author, Paul Gerald, as he shares some of his favorite hikes and tips for enjoying the outdoors around Portland.” The author will be signing copies of “Peaceful Places: Portland”.

Adam Bacher- A Day in the Life”, Wednesday, February 27, 7PM, Marylhurst University Commons, 17600 Pacific Hwy., Marylhurst, OR. “Adam Bacher is known nationally for his outstanding location photography, attention to detail, and extraordinary customer service. During a visit to Rwanda in 2007, he spent his time following and photographing, a day in the life of two children, a brother and sister. See his photos and hear the story of that amazing day.”

Fruit Trees 101: Fruit Tree Planting, Pruning, and Care”, Thursday, February 28, 6:30PM, Hillsboro Main Library. “Join Monica Maggio, pruning expert and Arboretum Manager for the Home Orchard Society, in this fun, hands-on, introductory pruning class. Learn basic pruning and tree care techniques to increase aesthetics and boost fruit production of apple, pear, fig, peach, plum and cherry varieties. Walk away with the knowledge on when to prune and how to make a good cut.”

Heart Healthy Vegan Food Demo”, Thursday, February 28, 6:30PM, Cedar Mill Library. Preregistration required; call 503-644-0043 ext. 114. “Join us for an evening of tasty treats and friendly instruction provided by local author and vegan cook extraordinaire, David Gabbe. Blending humor with practical information, Portland vegan cookbook author/instructor David Gabbe will demonstrate recipe preparations and provide samples of a number of vegan dishes. All recipes are cholesterol-free and gluten-free and contain no white sugar or white flour.”

It’s Raining Cats and Dogs!”, Thursday, February 28, 3:30PM, Belmont Library. “There is no need to masquerade, let’s take our animals on parade! They’ll march from the zoo and cross the park, they’ll swing past the school and be home by dark! Join artist and educator Anya Hankin as we prepare our animals for their grand adventure across town. Will they need crowns, capes, bowties or boots? With glue, glitter, feathers and colors, we will dress them in their finest and then lead them on a grand parade, stopping for treats and treasures along the way.”

Author Talk, “Dale Basye”, Thursday, February 28, 7PM, Powell’s, 3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd., Beaverton. Portland writer Dale Basye is personally responsible for the popular series that begins with “Heck: Where the Bad Kids Go” and details the adventures of deceased siblings Marlo and Milton in each of the nine circles of Heck. He will be reading from his latest, “Precocia: The Sixth Circle of Heck”.

Managing Conflict: Tips, Tricks, Traps, and Tools”, Thursday, February 28, 12PM, Central Library US Bank Room. A “Brown Bag Lunch and Learn”. “Disagree without being disagreeable; fix problems without fixing blame. Sam Imperati describes the conflict-resolution and communication tools necessary to reach resolution, not just settlement, for personal and professional success.”

Rwandan Geological Extravaganza”, Thursday, February 28, 7PM, Lake Oswego Library. “This is your chance to glean an overview of minerals, rocks, and volcanoes, and learn about the unique geological activities specific to the Rift Valley in which Rwanda lies. Michelle Stoklosa has a Ph.D. in geology and teaches at Marylhurst University.”

Surviving Collaboration in the Aftermath of War”, Thursday, February 28, 6PM, Portland State University, Smith Memorial Student Union, Room 238, 1825 SW Broadway, Pdx. Free. Dr. Naoko Shibusawa from the History Dept. of Brown University will present. “Dr. Shibusawa is the author of the book America's Geisha Ally: Re-Imagining the Japanese Enemy (Harvard 2006), which examines how Americans were able to accept the Japanese as valuable Cold War allies so quickly after a brutal and racialized war. Her talk at PSU will focus on a tale of two U.S. Army sergeants, Richard M. Sakakida and John David Provoo, who became prisoners of war when the island fortress of Corregidor surrendered to the Japanese on May 6, 1942. Because both men understood Japanese, both translated and were given tasks by their Japanese captors. Yet one emerged as a war hero—posthumously given a Congressional citation—whereas the other, though ultimately found innocent, remained hounded by the treason allegations against him for the rest of his life. The Japanese American went on to have a distinguished military career until retirement, whereas the Euroamerican became an indigent Buddhist monk who participated in anti-war demonstrations during Vietnam War. Their stories upend racialized normatives about nation and belonging, showing how the state firmly placed the Japanese American man into the circle of patriotism and honor while denying readmission to the white man. This talk will focus on Sakakida's testimony against Provoo at his 1952-53 treason trial and explain how Cold War racial liberalism, U.S. exceptionalism, and state surveillance allowed one man to survive World War II collaboration more easily than the other.”