Week on the Cheap: Monday, March 1st – Thursday, March 4th

Whoops, apologies for our mistake publishing our Monday post this past Saturday—we weren’t quite finished and meant to add a last-minute addition to our Thursday edition. We blame the drugs we’ve been taking for our cold, which made us a little loopy and we didn’t realize our mistake until early Sunday morning. At any rate, on with this week’s highlights!

Article of the Week:

A couple of weeks ago we received a letter from our credit card company, Citibank, specifying that our once fee-free credit card will asess an annual fee beginning on April 1st. We had until March 31st to opt out, or in other words, close the account to avoid the fee (we could also aim to spend $2400 over the year and our annual fee would be ‘credited’ back to our account). So, should we close the account or should pay the $60 fee and try to spend at least $200 a month on it? To help us and to help any others facing this question, here are two articles that were helpful:

Citibank’s new $60 annual fee,” from the Chicago Tribune Problem Solver column. Provides some insight into the reasons of this fee.

Your Credit Score and Citibank’s New Fee,” from CBS Moneywatch, breaks down reasons for and against closing the account and the effect it will have on one’s credit score.

Ultimately, after careful consideration, we closed this account, even though it was our longest-held credit card. Part of the reason for this was that we rarely used it because the bulk of our credit purchases are done on a frequent airline card which has its own annual fee. Also, like many Americans, we have cut back our dependence on credit cards and make 90% of our day-to-day purchases with cash.

Monday, March 1st:

– 2009 America’s Got Talent Portland Auditions: auditions wrap up today at the Oregon Convention Center. These are open auditions, for any one and every one, so just show up between 8:00am – 7:00pm to wow the judges with your talent.

– “Star Wars” Poetry: Jeff Ettlin, Ana Hurtado-Gonzalez and Davey Plunk present a brave poetic and musical attempt at creating Star Wars poetry for accordion and guitar. 7:00pm at Three Friends Coffee House located at 201 S.E. 12th Ave (cross street is Ash), free.

Tuesday, March 2nd:
New and improved Hillsboro First Tuesday ArtWalk, 2:00pm – 8:00pm in downtown Hillsboro for art, music and receptions.

OMSI Science Pub at McMenamins Bagdad Theater from 7:00pm – 9:00pm. Tonight’s topic is “The Ghost Map and the Future of Cities.” $2 suggested cover charge, ages 21 and over only; minor is okay with an adult.

– Book reading at Powell’s City of Books in downtown Portland, 7:30pm for Gabriel Thompson’s “Working in the Shadows.” The book “shines a bright light on the underside of the American economy, exposing harsh working conditions, union busting, and lax government enforcement — while telling the stories of workers, undocumented immigrants, and desperate U.S. citizens alike, forced to live with chronic pain in the pursuit of eight dollars an hour.” Free.

Wednesday, March 3rd:
KGW Great Food Drive: get a free Tillamook Cheese® Omelet Breakfast at Pioneer Courthouse Square, 6:00am – 10:00am while supplies last (first 200 people)! Drop off your food donations at the Square.

– World Forestry Center Wondrous Wednesday: admission is just $2 for the Discovery Museum. 10:00am – 5:00pm. If you drive, be aware that the Metro parking fee of $2.00 per car still does apply!

Ignite Portland 8, doors open at 5:30pm and the show starts at 7:00pm (but try to get there early to score some good seats) Free admission, though a food donation is encouraged to help out a local charity. To learn more about what exactly Ignite Portland is all about, please take a re-read of our previous spotlight or see the web site for the schedule of the 20 talks you’ll see for this evening.

Thursday, March 4th:

– Crossroads lecture event: “Lincoln and the American West,” with Dr. Richard Etulain who will “discuss Lincoln’s early contact with the West, including the issue of slavery and its controversies, territorial expansion, political competitions, and western upsets involving Indians and Mormons.” 7:00pm at the Washington County Museum, free. Located adjacent to the Portland Community College Rock Creek campus.

Portland First Thursday in downtown Portland, Old Town and the Pearl for the monthly art walk and opening gallery exhibitions.

– “Hiking Utah’s Canyonlands,” slides and stories by photographer and guide, Doug Ironside. 7:00pm at the REI Clackamas Town Center location, free.

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