Hands & Voices was originally founded to unite people within the deaf community who had chosen different methods of communication. It began when a parent-support group in Colorado witnessed a national debate over the merits of oral versus ASL communication within the deaf community in response to an exhibit at the Smithsonian. Aggrieved by anger that resulted in the exhibit being shut down, the parents worked to create an entity that would represent and aid all deaf and hard-of-hearing people.
A local autonomous chapter of this national movement, Hands & Voices of Oregon helps new parents of deaf and hard-of-hearing children. When children do not pass the newborn hearing screening, Hands & Voices of Oregon contacts their families with information about follow-up diagnostics and educational and communication services. Each family also gains access to a guide who can provide emotional support, connect parents to resources and other families, and attend developmental planning meetings at schools.
Despite their determinedly of-the-moment sound, RedFoo and SkyBlu are carrying on a long pop lineage: the former is Motown founder Berry Gordy's son, the latter his grandson. As red-hot electropop duo LMFAO, the uncle-nephew pairing electrifies dance floors with manic odes to party life. The 2012 Sorry for Party Rocking tour explodes with fan favorites such as "Party Rock Anthem" and newer hits such as "Sexy and I Know It," whose bouncy swagger dominated the Billboard Hot 100 chart for 28 weeks. The band parades in neon animal prints amid backup dancers, bobbing beneath giant robot heads, tossing inflatables into the crowd, and creating a spectacle Metro Weekly calls "enormously entertaining."
Since opening its gates in 1946, Portland Meadows has hosted exhilarating thoroughbred and quarter-horse races on its 1-mile oval every year from July to December. As racehorses burst forth from the track's 12-stall starting gate every thirty minutes during nine daily races, crowds of up to 4,400 shout their favorite ponies' names from indoor and outdoor seats and cheer on jockeys in a secret language known only to horse whisperers. Adults may place wagers on the races, test their luck at video lottery terminals, or take a closer look at the horses at the saddling enclosure; meanwhile, kids can blow off steam at the HorsePlay Kids Zones, which welcomes guests every weekend. Admission is always free at Portland Meadows, as is parking in its 300,000-square-foot lot.
Following a curriculum designed by Dr. Lin Day, a British child-development expert, the classes at Baby Sensory help to forge the bond between parents and their infants by engaging all the baby’s developing senses. Sessions begin with a song accompanied with sign language before diving into one of 40 unique lesson plans, which incorporate everything from exercise and stretches to music, puppet shows, and tactile games with scarves and feathers. Parents and children then split off into an exploratory play area—suited for both noncrawlers and babies strapped into tiny roller skates—to engage in play together and meet other families in a comfortable and safe environment. Lessons conclude with more structured sensory activities based on the latest research and developmental theories.