By Dave Kaplan

The HAND Board has passed a resolution requesting that regulatory bodies make a comprehensive study of the impact of coal trains passing through our neighborhoods on it’s way to power plants in Asia.  The resolution questions the wisdom of promoting fossil fuel use in countries with lax air quality standards, adding tons of carbon to the atmosphere, while posing an immediate threat to the air quality along the route of the trains. While the regulatory bodies are studying isolated elements of the program, there is no comprehensive review of cumulative impacts of the mining, transport, and burning of Wyoming coal to fuel industry in Asia. HAND joins other neighborhoods, cities, and environmental advocates in asking for this broad study.

Portland Police and the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) are working with Hosford Middle School to make SE 26th Ave. safer. Parents report high speeds and unsafe crossings of the street. Officer Yee reported his one-hour radar sampling showed few cars able to exceed the 25 MPH speed limit due to congestion and parked cars.  PBOT has reported that a marked “school” crosswalk is outside of state-wide standards because the street does not pass directly by the building. More conversation and speed sampling is hoped to produce a safe solution for kids crossing SE 26th Ave.

HAND is tracking carefully proposed new OLCC regulations for food carts and bars with outdoor seating adjacent to residential properties. New regulations will allow serving alcohol outdoors until 11 pm on weeknights and 1 am on weekends. Amplified music will be allowed during these hours.  Many neighbors are concerned about the impact these regulations will have on residences adjacent to these businesses.  HAND will ask the OLCC not to expand outdoor service hours where homes are impacted.

With construction in full swing, HAND has been following progress on the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail line. Work is well under way in HAND along the route from the bridgehead at OMSI to the Powell crossing at SE 17th. Buildings along the route have been removed.  Periodic street closures are expected as utilities are modified, the route is graded, and trackways are installed.  Details about planned disruptions can be found at the PMLR website: www.trimet.org/pm/construction/index.htm.

HAND Board has met with Cascadia Behavioral Health about their move of the PSRB outpatient clinic to SE 19th and Division.  Cascadia has also met with local schools and businesses to describe programs, and open lines of communications.

An Open House will be held on March 7 for interested neighbors to meet the staff and find out more about the program.