Last week, US Senator Jeff Merkley traveled from Portland to Ashland on electricity only, completing his “Border to Border Oil-Free Across Oregon” tour without a drop of gasonline! Along the way he made a pit stop at Pringle Creek to charge up his car, have lunch, and take a tour of the neighborhood, and it was a pleasure to have him here.
Don Myers, President of Pringle Creek’s development company, welcomed the crowd and began the program. Speakers included Ecotality’s Amy Hillman, Director of OR Dept of Transportation Matt Garrett, Director of OR Dept of Energy Bob Repine, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 280 Tim Frew, and PGE’s President Dave Robertson. Then Senator Merkley spoke.

Senator Merkley with Painters Hall in the background.

His comments were thoughtful and inspiring, as was his demeanor. He recognized we are facing a challenge and need to respond to it. He acknowledged Painters Hall’s recent certification as a Net Zero Energy Building, producing more power than it consumes each year, and that his car was being recharged by 100% solar energy from Painters Hall’s 20.2kW PV system. After lunch and a meeting with our team, we toured the neighborhood and talked about porous streets, urban agriculture, greenroofs, and cluster style development (where large tracts of open space are preserved and protected). He has a very approachable personality, and was very engaged in the tour.
After successfully completing his trip to Ashland, he followed up with a very nice notecard to us expressing his appreciation for the neighborhood: “You are creating a spectacular community!” Thanks Senator! Come back anytime you’d like! We’d be happy to have you.

Don Myers addresses the crowd in front of Painters Hall
A line-up of Nissan Leafs at the event. There were also Chevy Volts and a Think City.

From left, Katie Gauthier (Senator Merkley’s Office), Senator Merkley, James Meyer (Opsis Architecture), Don Myers (Pringle Creek Community), and Art James (ODOT).