Toilet Rebate

Portland Water Bureau currently offers a $50 rebate for replacing your old toilet with a WaterSense labeled toilet.

To learn more you can download
the Residential Toilet Rebate Form
and the Portland Water Bureau Fact Sheet

Funding is limited! Act Now!

The Portland Water Bureau also offers free Water Conservation kits that include a showerhead, shower timer, bathroom faucet aerator, kitchen faucet aerator, toilet fill cycle diverter, and toilet leak detection tablets.   The article here:
describes in more detail what is in each kit.
To request devices:
call 503-823-4527 or email


Toilet Rebate Information


Water–Efficient Toilets

Toilets are by far the main source of water use in the home, accounting for nearly 30 percent of an average home’s indoor water consumption. Older, inefficient toilets that use as much as 6 gallons per flush also happen to be a major source of wasted water in many homes.

Flush Facts

Recent advancements have allowed toilets to use 1.28 gallons per flush or less while still providing equal or superior performance. This is 20 percent less water than the current federal standard of 1.6 gallons per flush. The WaterSense label is used on toilets that are independently certified to meet rigorous criteria for both performance and efficiency. Only water–saving toilets that complete the certification process can earn the WaterSense label.

WaterSense Savings

By replacing old, inefficient toilets with WaterSense labeled models, the average family can reduce water used for toilets by 20 to 60 percent—that’s nearly 13,000 gallons of water savings for your home every year! They could also save more than $110 per year in water costs, and $2,200 over the lifetime of the toilets. Nationally, if all old, inefficient toilets in the United States were replaced with WaterSense labeled models, we could save 520 billion gallons of water per year, or the amount of water that flows over Niagara Falls in about 12 days.

Look for the WaterSense Label!

Whether remodeling a bathroom or simply replacing an old, leaky toilet that is wasting money and water, installing a WaterSense labeled toilet is a high-performance, water-efficient option worth considering. WaterSense labeled toilets are available at a wide variety of price points and a broad range of styles.


Please contact for more information

Lace bugs infest Riverhouse rhodies and azaleas

Lace bugs infest Riverhouse rhodies and azaleas

Many of our Riverhouse rhododendrons and azaleas are failing due to an infestation of lace bug.

Azaleas, rhododendrons face severe threat from lace bugs

By Kym Pokorny | For The Oregonian/OregonLive

Lace bugs usually become active in mid- to late May and early June, when they start laying eggs, but could get going earlier this year because of the mild winter. The bug is especially persistent because several generations are produced in one year, each one as hungry as the last.”
“Start looking now for eggs, which look like brown spots along the veins on the underside of evergreen azalea and rhododendron leaves. Once adults appear, you’ll see yellow dots on the surface and black feces on the underside. Eventually, foliage turns white, which is a sign the plant is not long for this world.”

Read more about lace bugs in the Northwest >> 

Howard Donnelly of NW Trees says he has used Safari on Azaleas and Rhodies for 2 years without any harm to pollinators.
“With my applications, I use a soil drench method to insecticide off any blooming plants so it does not come in contact with pollinators.”

Jane volunteered to do some research on Safari for us and uncovered the information below.


Insecticide temporarily banned by Oregon Department of Agriculture after 50,000 bumblebees die in Wilsonville

Learn more >>

“To summarize, the disclosed toxin in Safari is Dinotefuran. It is a neonicontinoid which is the insecticide which caused a couple of big bee die-offs in Oregon last year and is now banned in Portland. I was told that this was the insecticide our landscape company wants to use to treat the Rhododendrons.”

Thank you, Jane, for researching this.

The Landscape Committee voted “no” to spraying Safari to control the lace bug.

However, many diseased plants have been marked with flags for removal.

In an attempt to look for other options to save our beloved rhododendrons and azaleas, John and I made a trip to the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden in Portland yesterday. It was a gorgeous northwest day to meander through those magical trails!

Crystal Springs Rhododendron Gardens

Dennis O’Malley, of the Portland Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society, was generous in sharing his anecdotal lace bug experience with us, explaining that The Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden falls under environmental codes of the City of Portland banning many pesticides. So they had been experimenting with other solutions for dealing with the region-wide infestation of the lace bug.


The lacewing is a natural predator of the lace bug (confusing I know).
Lacewings are beautiful little green or brown insects with large lacy wings. Individual white eggs are found laid on the ends of inch-long stiff threads. It is the larvae that destroy most of the pests. They are sometimes called aphid lions for their habit of dining on aphids. They also feed on mites, other small insects and insect eggs.

Soap & Oil Sprays

The important point to remember is that the lace bugs attach to the underside of the leaves and the spray must come in direct contact with the bug to be effective. Dennis recommended the Safer brand of Insect Killing Soap. He also suggested a 1 gallon Gilmour Sprayer with a wand to help get up underneath the leaves. This has to be repeated every couple of weeks because the spray does not effect the eggs and new eggs hatch about every 14 days. He also talked about Kelp Spray which is believed to be released systemically providing extended protection.

Dennis said that he didn’t believe that removing one infected plant will have any effect on keeping others from becoming infected because it is an air-born region-wide infestation. He also said that he didn’t believe the lace bugs would kill a healthy plant. It may look a bit scraggly for a couple of years, but if you nourish it and bath it regularly in soap spray, it should pull through. That is obviously not an option on a large scale commercial level, however individual property owners may want to invest some time in nurturing a shrub they particularly love.

Kelp Spray

Another Rhododendron Society member shared her personal recipe for an organic systemic spray as we signed up for Membership. She recommended:

1 TBSP Kelp
1 TBSP Iron
1 TBSP Magnesium
1 GAL Water

Thank you  Portland Rhododendron Society for so generously sharing your time, experience, and love of these northwest treasures!

I found a Safer Insect Killing Soap with Seaweed Extract that I am going to try on the rhododendrons and azalea by unit 444 that showed signs of lace bug last year.

As a Riverhouse Homeowner, what action do you propose? We welcome a discussion of the problem in the comment area below.

Cheri’s Backyard Habitat

My Backyard Habitat Site Visit is scheduled for:
12:30 pm, Thursday 5/21/2015
444 N Hayden Bay Dr

Any one else who is interested is welcome to attend. I will be meeting with:
Heather Buley
Backyard Habitat Technician
Backyard Habitat Certification Program
tel: 503-313-8565

The site visit should take about one hour and is designed to provide technical resources to get us started. There are five components of the certification criteria:

  • Invasive Weeds
  • Native Plants
  • Pesticide Reduction
  • Wildlife Stewardship
  • Stormwater Management

Learn more here: (expand each topic for more detailed info by clicking the blue tabs).

The link below is recommended for searchable lists of red, yellow, and green zone pesticides:

Geese & Ducks

Riverhouse baby geese
With so many geese and ducks around this time of year, it’s good to remember what’s appropriate with regards to our interaction with these birds. The Oregon and Washington Departments of Fish and Wildlife, provide information about living with waterfowl that may be of interest. Follow the links below to learn more.
Among the items that you will find are the following:

    • Health issues related to waterfowl droppings
    • Reasons not to feed waterfowl
    • Landscaping tips to deter waterfowl from grazing

“Geese don’t like tall grass, because they can’t see predators well. Let vegetation grow taller and keep native vegetation along pond edges. Consider alternatives to short turf grasses. Plant trees and shrubs in the flight path between ponds and lawns. Keep backyard swimming pools covered to discourage geese and ducks from landing in them.”

  • Harassment and scare tactics

NW Trees Pesticide Report

The product that we will be using on your Silver Maples is called Agri-fos. The active ingredient is mono-and di-potassium salts of Phosphorus Acid. This product contains NO neonicotinoids which is the active ingredients in the products that have been shown to kill bees. This product is applied to the trunk approximately four feet high and down to the ground. This is a safe product that is approved by the state of Oregon and the city of Portland.

I hope this helps to ease both your mind, as well as, the minds of your tenants regarding our responsible plant health care practices. We strive to act responsibly with all of our services that our company provides when it comes to the health of vegetation and the environment.”

Below are the proposed treatments to control insects.

  • Azaleas & Rhodies will be treated for Lace Bugs
  • Indian Hawthorne will be treated for Root Weevil
  • Sarcococca will be treated for Aphids & Spider Mites
  • Otto LuyKen will be treated for Leaf Beetles & Shot Hole

Blackberry Massacre

There was concern that some blackberries were getting out of control along the banks between the trail and the bay. It appeared that our landscape company was just weed-whacking them about once a year and they continued to thrive. So our Conservation Committee organized an impromptu blackberry-digging work party on Tuesday evening April 21. Judy, Jane, VeeAnn, Cheri, Sandy, and Kim all showed up with garden tools and gloves and dug out many blackberries by their roots! It was invigorating! Great job ladies!!!

The second Blackberry Massacre Party gathered along the banks of the bay on Tuesday May 5, 2015 at 6pm.

“With eight of us there yesterday and four or so there the last time, and under-estimating that each person spent an hour on the work each time, we put in at least 12 people-hours, saving the association at least $660 (using Cedar’s $55/hour rate). Good job, everyone.” ~Scott Huff

Home Owners at work


I have been seeing a pair of raccoons coming and going from underneath the deck of 438. Pet food left outside and garbage left in trash cans meant for garden waste at the Moorage gate entryway may be attracting these potentially destructive animals.

Learn more about raccoons in Portland at

Solar Energy

“I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.”
~ Thomas Alva Edison in 1931

Solar and Wind Energy Start to Win on Price vs. Conventional Fuels, according to DIANE CARDWELL in her NY Times article from NOV. 23, 2014.

For the solar and wind industries in the United States, it has been a long-held dream: to produce energy at a cost equal to conventional sources like coal and natural gas.

That day appears to be dawning.

The cost of providing electricity from wind and solar power plants has plummeted over the last five years, so much so that in some markets renewable generation is now cheaper than coal or natural gas.

Is Solar Energy starting to make cents? What do you think?

Columbia River Land Trust

“The Audubon Society of Portland & Columbia Land Trust have teamed up to create a unique program that supports urban gardeners in their efforts to create natural backyard habitats. It’s through our collective efforts to revitalize urban landscapes that positive change is made. Together we make our cities a healthier place, for ourselves and for wildlife.”

The Conservation Committee met at 9:30 am on April 9, 2015 at Greg Ware’s home with Gaylen Beatty from the Columbia River Land Trust to discuss the Backyard Habitat Certification Program and other options. Gaylen will be sending a report of recommendations.

In attendance:
Greg Ware
Judith Dauchy
Marleah Llewellyn
Scott Huff
Cheri Calvert
Forest Heights Home Owners Association has a “Go Green, Natural Habitat, Trails & Landscape” Committee that might be a good resource for better defining the direction of our community.

I signed up my personal garden space (at 444 N Hayden Bay Drive) for the Backyard Habitat Certification Program.

I am looking forward to learning more!


Agricultural Chemicals

What sort of agricultural chemicals are being used on the land that surrounds our homes here at Riverhouse?

roundupAn article that appeared in this week’s New York Times discusses some of the results of studies done by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a respected arm of the World Health Organization. They classified glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup) along with two insecticides (malathion and diazinon) as “probable” carcinogens leading to cancer in humans.

Read more of the New York Times article by Mark Bittman
Stop Making Us Guinea Pigs

MARCH 25, 2015

It would be good to have the list of chemicals used on our grounds – for weed control, insecticides, herbicides, and fertilizers.

Judy’s research findings
“Generally, the chemicals used on the Riverhouse landscapes (Lesco 3-Way, Bandit, Snapshot, Rodeo, and Roundup) are decent choices if you are using the traditional approach to managing landscapes. The glyphosate in Roundup actually is pretty safe, even to the river. Once it comes into contact with a plant, it’s quickly absorbed and if it contacts the ground it readily breaks down into harmless compounds. With our sandy soil, there is little risk of runoff into the river. When treating weeds close to the river, glyphosate is still safe to use but only under the Rodeo label. Bandit is an insecticide that’s often used to treat Crane Fly in lawns. (With Crane Fly it is best to observe and only treat if necessary.) Lescoe 3-Way is a broadleaf weed herbicide. (There is a similar product with all natural ingredients that has proven to have good results?) Snapshot is a pre-emergent granular herbicide.”

Thank you, Judy, for researching these.