OP Targets Another Product Aimed at Underage Drinkers

October 30, 2007

This is going out to Nordstrom chief re flask flip-flops!

October 30, 2007

Mr. Erik B. Nordstrom
President of Stores
Nordstrom, Inc.
1617 6th Avenue
Seattle, Washington  98101

Dear Sir:

Upon shopping at the downtown Portland Nordstrom recently, I noticed an item in your men’s shoe department that we believe at Oregon Partnership is not worthy of your company: Flip-flops with a built in polyurethane flask in each heel.  The flip-flops, manufactured by Reef, also come with a tiny funnel for filling the flask and a plastic key to open the three-ounce flasks. They are advertised as “a drink come true!”

We at Oregon Partnership, a statewide non-profit promoting alcohol and drug prevention and education, consider this product as a means for underage drinkers to hide alcohol. School officials and prevention groups around the country agree with us. 

In recent months, several national chains have discontinued selling “drinking games” and other products with alcohol (and binge drinking) as an underlying theme. We believe that if we are to make inroads into the crisis that is underage drinking, products such as the Reef flip-flops should not be sold under the Nordstrom banner and in Nordstrom stores.

Your company has always been a wonderful community supporter, and you could be doing us all a favor by dropping this product. Thank you for your consideration. 

Sincerely,

Pete Schulberg
Communications Director
Oregon Partnership

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Oregon Prevention Awards At Red Ribbon Breakfast

October 27, 2007

CELEBRATING OUTSTANDING WORK IN REDUCING THE USE OF ALCOHOL AND OTHER DRUGS AMONG YOUTH

Champions in the field of preventing underage alcohol and other drug abuse were honored this week by Oregon Partnership, a statewide non-profit providing drug prevention education.

Three Oregonians and two community organizations received the 2007 Oregon Prevention Awards as part of Red Ribbon Week, which was established following the kidnapping and murder of Federal Drug Enforcement Administration agent Kiki Camarena at the hands of the Mexican drug cartel. The Red Ribbon is the national symbol for drug-free kids and has become an event celebrated in schools and communities across the country. Camarena’s widow, San Diego resident Mika Camarena was scheduled to have been a Breakfast of Champions speaker, but was unable to attend because of the destructive Southern California fires threatening her family’s house. “Efforts to keep our kids drug-free are being made every day by community anti-drug coalitions, law enforcement, businesses, youth in schools and community groups,” said Oregon Partnership President/CEO Judy Cushing. “The Red Ribbon Breakfast of Champions is our celebration of this amazing work.”

OREGON PREVENTION AWARDS:

Outstanding Business Champions Anna Peterson

Anna Peterson, has been a community leader for over 30 years. Anna is cofounder and three year chair of NO METH-Not in My Neighborhood, Salem’s local meth prevention task force. In 2004 Anna was appointed by Governor Kulongoski to the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission, where she served as the first Chair of the CJC’s Local Public Safety Coordinating Committee workgroup. Anna was appointed to the Governor’s Meth Task Force in 2004, where she took over as chair in 2006 and led their efforts through the 2007 legislative session. Anna brings her business acumen and her passion for making communities across Oregon safe and drug free to every effort she contributes to.

Outstanding Business Champions Dick Withnell

Dick Withnell, after years of providing Salem’s drivers with quality automobiles through the Withnell Motor Company‚ has translated his love for the area into community activism. Dick serves on: the Executive Committee of the Marion County Commission on Children and Families; the Linfield College Board of Trustees and the Salem Hospital Board of Directors. By tapping into the Salem area’s faith-based community and anyone else willing to assist‚ he has helped to increase the number of foster homes in the area from 75, in 2005, to an estimated 250 by the end of 2007. As co-founder of No Meth-Not in My Neighborhood, Dick has led a community wide effort in Salem to combat the impact of crime, addiction and family dysfunction created by the manufacturing and abuse of methamphetamines.

OUTSTANDING YOUTH CHAMPION Scott Kibler

Scott has served as a volunteer on Oregon Partnership’s YouthLine, a Teen to Teen Crisis Line, for the past two years. As an active teen advocate against underage drinking, Scott spoke on behalf of the OLCC before an Oregon Senate Committee Hearing; for the Governor’s Council on Alcohol’s in the Senate; before thousands of high school and university students on the issue of driving under the influence and the potential consequences to the community and the families of drunk driving victims; and at Oregon Partnership’s Annual Gala with General Barry McCaffrey, former United States Drug Czar. The Lake Oswego Police Department attributes their decrease in teen alcohol citations to Scott’s advocacy efforts and involvement in his community. Scott is an outstanding leader in his community and is well respected by his peers and adults for his maturity, passion and commitment to ending alcohol and drug abuse.

OUTSTANDING FAITH-BASED CHAMPIONS Hood River County Faith Connections

Faith Connections became an element of Hood River County’s Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug Prevention Coalition in 2003. Beginning with just 5 congregations in 2004 and growing to engage 18 different congregations in drug prevention efforts over the last three and half years has been a significant accomplishment. Engaging the faith community in the Hood River County Coalition’s prevention efforts has increased the size of the coalition by 30% from 312 to almost 400 active members; it has allowed access to faith based funding of $125,000 last year; and increased the number of safe and healthy alternative activities for youth by 20% annually. In addition, media coverage, feature stories and articles have increased by 600% in the last 3 years, and there are 50% more best practice parenting classes in the community in the last year. The Hood River coalition has now developed 5 youth and family centers across the county through Faith Connections with 2 more being built. Hood River exemplifies the strength and success of collaboration and their efforts in engaging the faith community have produced results that help give every family in the community the chance to be healthy and drug free.

OUTSTANDING COMMUNITY COALITION CHAMPION Lincoln Commission on Children and Families

Barbara Dougherty, Director of the Lincoln Commission on Children and Families, is a local, state and national leader promoting community coalition efforts to reduce underage drinking. Over the years, Barbara has utilized an effective combination of teamwork, leadership, and collaboration to implement innovative strategies which involve the Lincoln County community and local coalitions to address the problem of teen drinking. These strategies have resulted in numerous town halls and forums with adults and youth, the use of volunteers to assist in the enforcement of underage drinking laws (EUDL) and a partnership to support the Underage Drinking Awareness Project (UDAP), featuring broadcast quality television public service announcements written, produced, and directed by youth. Barbara’s experience and knowledge on underage drinking issues was recently acknowledged when she was invited to give a presentation at the 9th Annual Leadership Conference in Orlando, Florida. Barbara’s commitment to ending underage drinking and strengthening communities is exemplary. She continues to provide an outstanding service to families in Lincoln County.


Oregon Partnership Provides Boost for Crystal Darkness

October 11, 2007

What a night!

We’re talking this past Tuesday night, when more than 300-thousand homes in the Portland area were tuned into Crystal Darkness, the half-hour documentary focusing on the dangers of meth and the importance of prevention.  Twenty-five TV stations around the state aired the program simultaneously at 7:30 p.m.

Oregon Partnership organized the phone bank brigade – some 75 trained volunteers taking calls from viewers.  OP’s crisis lines operate 24-7, so we know what we’re doing when it comes to assistance and treatment referral via the phone.

During the program, some 300 calls came in – some from addicts wanting help, others from family and friends of addicts, but most of the calls from those wanting more information about the issue.

Make no mistake and the scientists researching meth will tell you this: the first time using meth, you’re addicted.  So we at OP believe prevention is the key to making a dent in the meth crisis.

Oh, and that number to call for more info: 1-800-923-HELP. 


LET THE FALL SEASON BEGIN AT OREGON PARTNERSHIP

October 2, 2007

As my 8-year old daughter would say…summer is so over.  And OP is hitting the ground running while the leaves are starting to drop and the rain gives us a good excuse to whine about the weather for the next six or seven months.

But hey, on the last sunny day in Portland, OP supporters last week had a ball at the Bell-Blazers Classic Golf Tournament at the Reserve.  A whole lot of former Blazers and present Blazer Steve Blake hit the links, not to mention various local celebrities.

All proceeds – for the second consecutive year – will go to Oregon Partnership alcohol and drug prevention programs. 

 Blazers front office dude, Kerry Nelson, scored a hole-in-one on the 142-yard 14th hole.  Kerry’s group was the first at the 14th tee for the shotgun start, and yours truly was a witness, busy taking golfers’ money for a chance to win a $50 gift certificate to the Portland State and Chop House if they landed on the green.  Unfortunately, Kerry didn’t sign up.  Next year!

Coach Nate McMillan spoke at the dinner following the tournament, saying the Blazers are going to run this year, and predicted Greg Oden will come back stronger than ever.  And with the exception of Brandon Roy, no one has cinched a starting spot.  That’s what training camp is for.  And yeah, McMillan seemed very upbeat.

Meanwhile, OP is taking care of last minute details for next Tuesday’s airing of “Crystal Darkness.”  TV stations up and down the state will be showing the program about the dangers of meth.  Showtime: 7:30 p.m.  OP will be handing the phone lines – for viewers who call in with questions and ask for help and guidance.

And on Thursday of this week, I’ll be moderating an OP-sponsored “Conversation with the Media” at Montgomery Park from 10 a.m.-noon.  Call 503-244-5211 to register. We’ve got a dynamite panel, with some of Portland media’s heavy hitters. 

– Pete Schulberg