By Jill Riebesehl
The board of the Hosford-Abernethy Neighborhood Association met in April using Zoom under the auspices of SE Uplift. We shared how we were faring during these times and then dug into some of our concerns, the main one being how we should proceed with the small piece of city property at the end of stubbed SE 19th Ave., off Division St.
We also heard about a new community effort called Helping HAND that is setting up as a way to match people who need help with volunteers able to help.
Our May meeting, also via Zoom, was well-attended by neighbors deeply concerned about plans for a low-income housing project by Catholic Charities on the St. Philip Neri campus. A response from the HAND board, if it so chose, would be due the next day.
City Council would be voting on a zoning change to enable 20 religious and other non-profits with a desire to provide low-income housing on their property to avoid certain expensive restrictions.
Neighbor objections included density concerns; building size, (which as of this writing would house 57 families); traffic and parking problems in Ladd’s Addition; an aesthetic departure to its historical designation; and increased student population at Abernethy Elementary.
Those in favor cited bringing more children into the neighborhood, providing housing for those who may be living in unsanitary and unsafe conditions, and adding more social and economic diversity. The board voted to recommend that City Council approve the zoning changes, attaching to our approval a list of recommendations reflecting our concerns.
On the agenda was repaving Hawthorne Blvd. The Portland Department of Transportation (PBOT) introduced HAND to the project, and said addressing issues other than paving would be welcome. These include: we are and have been for some time urgently asking for a walk signal at SE 23rd Ave.; additional crosswalks, perhaps at bus stops, and with flashing lights; a parking plan to aid businesses and control parking along adjacent streets; a three-lane configuration with islands for pedestrian safety; and consistent speed limits.
We were looking specifically at the part of the boulevard stretching from SE 23rd to SE 39th and will apprise PBOT of our suggestions in writing.
Finally, we revisited what to do with Avalon park on SE 19th Ave. for a very long time under our care to provide a sanctuary of sorts. Facing a range of neighborhood, and our own concerns about its recent use, the board voted to end our supervision and work to include the property as a part of Portland Parks & Recreation’s Community Gardens.
The board will meet in June via Google Meet. Our meetings are third Tuesday of the month, 7 pm. Everyone is welcome.
Laurelhurst Neighborhood Association
By John Liu
The Laurelhurst Garage Sale and Neighborhood Cleanup have been postponed and will be rescheduled as soon as feasible. The Historic Home Tour is postponed until next year. Friends of Laurelhurst Park are cancelling this years’ work parties until further notice.
The Laurelhurst Neighborhood Association’s May election was conducted on schedule using online voting and ballot drop-off, and the May general meeting was conducted online.
Laurelhurst Neighbor 2 Neighbor, the community mutual aid program set up in response to COVID-19, is operating and helping neighbors in need of assistance due to the shelter in place order.
Montavilla Neighborhood Association
By Louise Hoff
Montavilla Neighborhood Association Board met last month on Zoom and will do so again this month. We will invite the neighborhood to a General Meeting on June 8, 6:30 pm on the SEUL Zoom account. We hope to have a local speaker tell us more about bees and their importance in our gardens.
Last month Duncan Wallace introduced their design for a convenience store and plaza on SE 82nd and Glisan St. They are interested in having a local artist design a ceramic tile mural. We are in the process of attracting a small committee to help with the selection and hope to have more news to present at the General Meeting about how artists can submit their designs.
We have opened our Facebook page to all Montavilla businesses who have found a way to stay open or are beginning to find creative and safe ways to open up to the public. Some might have shorter hours, offer curbside service, deliveries or online services. So many of our businesses and neighbors have not received any government assistance or loans due to the virus closures. Our hope is to encourage everyone to buy local as much as possible and keep our Montavilla businesses alive until there is a breakthrough with antibody tests, a cure or vaccine. We are hoping to get an update from the police about how things are going in our neighborhood.
Mt. Tabor Neighborhood Association
By Stephanie Steward
The election for MTNA’s volunteer-board will be June 17, 7 pm on Zoom. Visit the “meetings” page of our website, mttaborpdx.org, for the Zoom URL.
Visit the Minutes page of our website for written updates about civic issues we’ve produced in lieu of cancelled meetings for March, April and May.
Richmond Neighborhood Association
By Allen Field
Due to the coronavirus crisis, the RNA is holding all meetings via Zoom. Meetings are the second Monday of the month, 6:30-8:30 pm. Everyone is welcome. Agendas are posted the week before on richmondpdx.org. Zoom meeting information will also be posted there and provided via the RNA’s listserv.
To be added to the RNA’s Announce listserv, email firstname.lastname@example.org. As a substitute for a sign in sheet, you are required to register for the meeting by providing first/last name and email. You will then get an email with the login link. You will not be allowed to join the meeting unless you provide your name and email with your registration.
RNA held its monthly meeting on Monday, May 11 via Zoom, 6:30-8:30 pm. The Board voted to hold its annual meeting and Board Members election in July. Eight, two-year terms are up for election. The relevant deadlines are: June 8, Deadline to declare candidacy for the Board. Notice of candidacy can be made at the June 8 Zoom meeting or at any time up to June 8 by emailing email@example.com. June 22, Candidate Statements (optional) are due by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Candidates are encouraged to submit a statement, up to 300 words, answering the following questions: Have you ever been to a neighborhood association meeting before? Why do you want to run for the board and what issues interest you?
The Board is still working out the logistics for the July election. The Board discussed doing an in-person vote in the church parking lot, online voting through Google forms, downloadable ballots to be dropped off at a voting site, as well as a special Zoom meeting the week before for candidates to give short statements. Due to a recent attempt to hijack the RNA’s May Zoom meeting, and at SE Uplift’s recommendation, online voting is not preferred. Election logistics will be discussed at the June 8 meeting.
Kevin Cavenaugh, the new owner of the Hawthorne Theater, explained his plans for the building. He plans to restore the theater, restore its historical façade and storefronts, and eventually rent the theater to the Hollywood Theater organization.
The RNA voted to send a letter of support for a Diamonds in the Rough grant offered by the State Historic Preservation Office and the RNA was subsequently informed that the grant was cancelled due to budget problems during the present health crisis.
Chris Armes, PBOT, reported that the Division Parking Permit project is on indefinite hold but the members of the Stakeholder Advisory Committee have been chosen, which is on the RNA website.
Karla Kingsley, PBOT, reported on the Hawthorne Blvd Paint and Pave project and the three alternatives it is considering for 24th to 50th on Hawthorne: keep Hawthorne as-is, remove a lane in each direction and add a center turn-lane west of Cesar E. Chavez Blvd., or remove a lane in each direction and add a bike lane in each direction. There will be another round of public workshops.