By Jill Riebesehl
Fall got off to a rousing start at HAND, with appointment of Linda Nettekoven to liaison with the new city bureau that replaces the Office of Neighborhood Involvement.
HAND neighbors recently heard from the staff at New Day School on SE Clinton St. They gave us alarming and graphic accounts of campers’ increasing use of tiny Avalon Park (off SE 19th) and their incursion across the fence and onto the school’s property. One solution that has risen to the top after much discussion is converting the park itself into a community garden. The board is actively exploring the viability of that idea.
Late this summer, Verizon erected a large, imposing cellphone tower, topped by a complex array of equipment, at SE 25th and Division. Neighbors were not notified, as required by city rules. The HAND board, dismayed, will be contacting all those involved, both to look into aesthetic mitigation if not more drastic steps and to make sure other neighborhoods are duly warned that this could happen to them.
In the process of building Tri-Met’s Orange line, the bridge over the tracks at SE 16 Ave. was removed. The results: pedestrians and bicyclists have risked their lives crossing illegally over the barrier created by stalled freight trains at 11th, 12th and Gideon.
Earlier this year, HAND was pleased to hear that Tri-Met had found money to replace the bridge, but some local businesses have expressed concern about how the current bridge design and placement (crossing from SE 14th to SE 13th) might impact access to their properties. Talks continue and construction is planned to begin early next year.
About one-third of the HAND boundary overlaps with the Central Eastside Business District between which there is often cooperation and coordination. The district is deep in planning for an Enhanced Service District, much like that which exists downtown. It would tax property owners (both businesses and the few residents) to handle security, graffiti, cleanup, parking issues and work force efforts. As part of enhancement, the district has already started a shuttle and hired NW Enforcement to provide non-armed security.
The district’s council is seeking Hosford-Abernethy, Buckman and Kern neighborhood support as it moves forward with a pilot project, which will involve a wide-ranging assortment of civic stakeholders, and to gather property owner buy-in and city approval. Discussion is on HAND’s October agenda.
Hosford-Abernethy Neighborhood District Association meets every third Tuesday at 7 pm, except December and August, at Carlin Hall on the St. Philip Neri campus. All are welcome.