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VALERIE HARPER SHIFTS ROLE FROM ACTING TO ACTIVISM

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You may know her as Rhoda, but Valerie Harper has moved from acting to activism.

Fifty-foot trees around Portland's City Hall were covered with giant drop cloths Wednesday to heighten public awareness of city trees, "just as solar eclipses gave ancient civilizations greater respect for the sun," Harper said.The stunt took 127,000 square feet of material - enough to cover three football fields.

"Living in a big city, it's easy to lose sight of what nature adds to our everyday lives," said Harper, who became famous as Mary Tyler Moore's best television friend. She later got her own shows, "Rhoda" and "Valerie."

The event, accompanied by a donation of trees, was part of a campaign sponsored by Yuban coffee to support tree planting in cities.