By Laura Smith

At the April meeting of the Mt. Tabor Neighborhood Association (MTNA), a Thorburn Safety Project committee member gave an update on the results of the traffic speed tests conducted on Thorburn. Since the speed limit was lowered by 5 mph, speeds on average decreased by only 3 mph. Ten speed bumps have been approved for installation this season.

SE Uplift’s vice chair Terry Dublinski-Milton provided a slide show and information about the 60s Neighborhood Greenway/Bikeway, the Project’s next regional priority. Currently, there is a gap in the north-south network that spans the area between the 50s and I-205. The Bikeway will serve six neighborhoods at 12 high-crash and neighborhood corridors and creating a MAX-to-Division transit connection. Leveraging a path around the east side of Mt. Tabor Park will provide a north-south bike and pedestrian corridor which is less expensive, safer, requires less parking removal, and will displace less traffic than other options on the west side of the park. Info at seuplift.org/?newsletter=se-portland-bikeways

Jaime English, PPR project manager, gave an update on stair handrail projects planned in Mt. Tabor Park. Project considerations include ADA compliance, long-term maintenance and historic park aesthetics. The longest of new railings will be along the “grand staircase” on the NE side of the park leading to the top. The project has an installation date planned for Fall 2017.  Contact Jaime at 503.823.2568 or jaime.english@portlandor.gov.

Restoration of the Mt Tabor restrooms is under way. Once the work is completed, plans are to lock the bathrooms at night.

The City of Portland Budget Committee holds a public hearing for the Mayor and City Council to receive testimony regarding the citywide budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Testimony tickets are available an hour and a half prior to start time, drawn at random throughout the course of the event. Each speaker has two minutes to address the council. The hearing is Thursday, May 11, 6 pm – 8:30 pm at City Hall, Council Chambers, 1221 SW 4th Ave.

The site of the old Washington High School property located between SE Stark, Morrison and 12th and 13th Streets has a 1.3-acre parcel owned by Portland Public Schools. The central eastside neighborhoods are parks-poor and lack a community center, so this parcel is a rare opportunity. MTNA supports the City of Portland exercising their right to purchase this parcel from PPS before their rights of first refusal expire in early May. See the article in the news section of this month’s SE Examiner.

Vibe of Portland is the temporary tenant at the Tabor Commons/Cafe au Play space, connecting local artists to students who don’t have the means to get music and visual arts classes outside of their school day. Vibe has partnered with PTAs at Atkinson and Bridger Elementary schools among others in the Mt. Tabor area.

May is the month MTNA holds their annual Board member elections. If you reside, own property, maintain a business, or are the designated representative of a nonprofit located within the boundaries of MTNA, you are eligible to be a member. To be on the Board, you must be an member. Contact the nominating chair, Board Member Laura Smith. Nominations must be received at least seven days in advance of the election held at the next meeting May 17. Nominations via email at contact.mtna@gmail.com.

The City of Portland’s Cannabis Program is requesting applicants for the 2017-18 Cannabis Policy Oversight Team (CPOT), the City of Portland’s cannabis policy advisory group made up of community members, cannabis industry members, and health officials. The team discusses policy to ensure that Portland’s cannabis regulations are fair for businesses and maintain the safety and livability of neighborhoods. Applications until May 10. For information about CPOT: go to portlandoregon.gov/oni/article/557563. Questions? Contact the Program at 503.823.9333 or cannabis@portlandoregon.gov.

Eastside Village is a non-profit organization helping members age at home. Services include volunteer assistance, completing handyman tasks, offering gardening help, and giving rides when needed. The Village organizes social events and outings and has a list of preferred professional providers recommended by members. For information about becoming a member or volunteering, contact info@eastsidevillage.org or call 503.866.0571. Learn more about Eastside Village by attending at the next information session Saturday, May 20, at Woodstock Wine and Deli, 4030 SE Woodstock, from 10:30 to Noon. In June, it will be held at Hot Lips Pizza, 2211 SE Hawthorne, Saturday, June 17, from 10:30 to Noon.

The next MTNA meeting is Wednesday, May 17, 7 pm at Mt Tabor Presbyterian Church at SE 54th and Belmont, with social time starting at 6:50 pm. For information, visit mttaborpdx.org.