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.
Beloved boy bands New Kids on the Block and the Backstreet Boys rev the engines of adoration among droves of fans with their poptastic summer tour. New Kids on the Block has been plucking heartstrings and handcrafting harmonies since 1986, combining a collection of international hits such as "Hangin' Tough" and "Step by Step" with five-part choreography and fashionable duds. Following in their footsteps, the Backstreet Boys began blowing up charts in the '90s, producing a songbook replete with favorites such as "I Want It That Way," "All I Have to Give," and "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)." The NKOTBSB Tour brings both acts together for a songful extravaganza, forming the more perfect union prophesied nearly 50 years ago by the Constitution. The May 25 concert also includes the vocal virtuosity of special guest and American Idol winner Jordin Sparks, adding to an ear-pleasing stew of dulcet melodies sure to soothe the most savage beast or most irascible mail carrier.
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.
An almost-40,000-square-foot indoor soccer complex, Salmon Creek Indoor Sports Arena facilitates heel-based competition with its year-round lineup of soccer leagues, skill-development programs, and open-field pickup games for all ages. Part-time Pelés can sign up for a yearly membership ($15) and receive an ID card with their picture on it that allows them to register for activities and prevents retired World Cup mascots from stealing their identity. Individuals can mix it up with different teams randomly assembled by arena staff during the weekly open-play sessions for coed adults ($5), youths ($5), and women ($8). Previously assembled supergroups can register for league play and test their skills against local teams made up of the nonsinging members of the Osmond family.
Within its recently renovated and refurbished walls, 3 Monkeys Pub & Grill spotlights a menu of hearty sandwiches and appetizers to accessorize frosty beers and TV screens glowing with athletic action. Shareable appetizers kick off chew-a-thons and include the Monster chicken strips, which chefs source from Oklahoma's infamous 100-foot-tall roaster and buddy up with a side of ranch or barbecue sauce ($4.75). The Porky Monkey steak sandwich transfixes stomachs with piles of flame-broiled sirloin, vegetables, and bacon perched atop a warm pub roll ($7.75). While watching a game on one of the eatery's nine TVs or its huge projector, guests can gulp down frothy glasses of Hamm's, Rainer, and Pabst Blue Ribbon ($2 each), or challenge the bar's mixologists to concoct cocktails from a huge range of liquors and mixers ($6+). Visitors can lounge on the outdoor patio year-round courtesy of heating units and 3 Monkey's seasonal contract with the Sun.
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.