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Get it fixed at West Linn's Repair Fair

Volunteers to restore household items, build community

When volunteer repairers hammer, weld and stitch at West Linn’s Repair Fair later this month, co-organizer Lisa Clifton says she hopes neighbors will come away with not only mended household items, but also a stronger connection to their neighbors and local businesses.

“We care about building a healthy, vibrant community where people can care for one another,” she says.

At the Feb. 20 fair, local computer experts, welders, seamstresses, jewelry repairers and knife and tool sharpeners will offer simple services free of cost. Clifton also hopes to secure bike and small appliance repairers for the event.

As a West Linn resident and a board member for the Friends of Robinwood Station community center — where the event will be held — Clifton sees the fair as yet another way for the building to serve the local community.

And in addition to building relationships and helping community members save money, Clifton says the fair could also benefit the environment.

The goal, she says, is “to get people to understand that they can get things fixed, and that they don’t have to go out and buy a new one and throw the old one in the garbage.”

She’s organizing the event with Randall Fastabend, another West Linn resident on the community center’s board and a firm believer in the benefit of simple repairs.

Fastabend recalls that when his dishwasher broke due to one faulty piece, he decided to buy the piece for a few bucks and install it himself rather than paying a professional $75 to come out and evaluate it.

“I’m a lifelong Oregonian,” he says. “I was taught that you fix things.”

The community center itself is a prime example of repair and reuse, he pointed out. In recent years, it’s received new siding and paint, and it continues to serve neighbors as it has since its construction in 1964.

While repairers at the event may not to be able to solve more complex problems on the spot, computer repairer Todd Hanthorn of TCL Technologies says he can most likely provide quick fixes to issues such as a blown power supply, and can offer tips on how to back up or clean a machine.

Hanthorn, who lives in Clackamas, says that he saw the repair fair as a way to give back to his community, since issues that might seem mind-boggling to many computer users are often simple to him.

“People are so intimidated by computers,” he says. “Most of the time, it’s really easy stuff.”

Contact Kelsey O’Halloran at 503-636-1281 ext. 101 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..