The community newspaper has been publishing news with a focus on Portland’s African American community since 1975. Four years ago, crews installed dozens of solar panels on the white brick building’s roof. The Portland Development Commission chipped in money from its Green Features program, designed to help businesses become more energy efficient.
This month, the paper began publishing a daily power grid efficiency meter. The meter starts at 0 every morning then ticks up throughout the day.
Newspaper leader say they have saved thousands of dollars since the panels went up in 2012. They’re also creating electricity for their neighboring businesses to use.
Even as the neighborhood has changed around the building, the newspaper staff has been active with the Killingsworth community.
The newspaper’s owners also installed cameras a few years back on the building to monitor KC Food Market, long a hot spot for drug deals and shootings. They stenciled the word “CAMERA” with an arrow pointing up on the side of its building to make sure loiterers knew they were being watched.
The camera was one piece of a community neighborhood watch group that formed in response to a nearby shooting. When crime went down by 50 percent, cops credited the decline in part to the paper’s vigilance.
— Casey Parks