By Jill Riebesehl
Laying low during COVID-19, in July the Hosford-Abernethy Neighborhood Association heard, via Zoom, from TriMet regarding progress on the Division Transit Project. The agency has kept the neighborhood apprised of the large project from its start. Among other improvements, it will include 20 new signalized crosswalks with improved lighting. A Board member suggested there needs to be a marked crossing on Division at SE 79th Ave. The other TriMet project that affects our neighborhood is the Gideon Crossing, the new bike-ped bridge over the tracks at SE 14th Ave.
TriMet expects the bridge, which will connect HAND and Brooklyn neighborhoods and provide safe crossing over the tracks, will be open in mid-September. The bridge will be managed by the Portland Bureau of Transportation. It will include elevators large enough for bikes with trailers as well as bilateral bike gutters for stairway use. Access to the bridge has removed a turnaround used by large trucks servicing the businesses on SE 14th and trucks have been seen blocking Clinton St. for that purpose. Board members had concerns about some upcoming changes in parking and other traffic patterns.
State Rep. Rob Nosse reported on the first special session this summer. Legislators passed 28 bills in three days, allocating $1.3 billion targeting a wide variety of needs in the state. We discussed more widely other ongoing concerns, such as the protests downtown.
HAND welcomed two new Board members: Bruce Bikle and Karen Girard. In the short August meeting, the Board elected officers and then adjourned for a Zoom retreat. Officers for the coming year are Chris Eykamp, chair; Mark Linehan, vice-chair and treasurer; Jill Riebesehl, secretary; Michelle Sprague, publicity and communications.
Before adjournment, the Board passed a resolution guiding its representative who sits on the SE Uplift (SEUL) board. SEUL is a coalition that includes 20 neighborhoods as well as other organizations. The HAND rep is instructed to vote against a suggested SEUL by-law change that would affect each neighborhood association’s ability to select its representative to the SEUL board.
Montavilla Neighborhood Association
By Louise Hoff
Montavilla Neighborhood Association will have its next virtual neighborhood meeting Monday, September 14, 6:30 pm. Montavilla Jazz was not able to hold the annual Montavilla Jazz Festival this year and came up with the most innovative idea of Take Out Jazz for one evening and two fantastic live streams of the trios Integer and Ron Steen as a fundraiser on the following nights. Montavilla Jazz has music programs at three local elementary schools and will soon be embarking on a local film about the music and culture in our community. We hope to hear more from Neil Mattson at the meeting.
Adam Wilson, our Land Use Chair, will give us an update on the search for a local mosaic artist to create a mural on the corner of SE 82nd Ave and Glisan St. at the Jackson Plaza. One of our neighbors is launching an idea to expand community gardens in light of increasing food scarcity for many in our neighborhood, which also has the lowest median income in Portland. Rachel Phariss will join us if she can access some of the bee materials since gardens and bees are key to a healthy future. Portland Parks and Recreation is accepting applications for community gardens. We have one at Berrydale Park, one on Mt. Tabor and one at Vestal School.
Peter Dills, METBA Chair, will let us know how small businesses in Montavilla are faring. We are definitely noticing a metamorphosis of downtown Montavilla/Stark Street which is looking more like a street in Europe with outdoor seating, little fences and umbrellas. Bipartisan Cafe has a new takeout window and outdoor seating is popping up on several side streets.
The Montavilla Farmer’s Market on Sundays has grown and the wide selection of fruit, vegetables, flowers, honey, hummus, bread, pastries, drinks, jams and even more wonderful items show us what can be produced locally and stay in the local economy.
Portland Community College is offering virtual classes this fall and has an exciting selection in their new catalogue. You can learn a profession, learn a language, exercise, find stress relief, hone your skills and investigate new fields of interest. In these turbulent economic times, it is important to look at all of your skills and see which ones might lead to a career change or an increased online presence. Meanwhile, wear a mask, grow a garden, stay healthy and see you at our next meeting. Our monthly board meeting follows at 7:30 pm.
Mt. Tabor Neighborhood Association
By Nadine Fiedler
MTNA has been meeting on Zoom during the pandemic, at our usual gathering time of 7 pm on the third Wednesday of the month. For info on meetings and how to attend, check the Meetings section of our website at mttaborpdx.org. Visit our website and Facebook page for more about MTNA, what’s happening now, who we are and what we have done to support our city and our neighbors over the years.
Participants at the August Zoom meeting discussed and took actions on issues that included SE Uplift’s expulsion of a board member who represented a neighborhood association and the possible installation of peace poles and a plaque at the neighborhood entryway on SE 50th Ave. and Hawthorne Blvd. We celebrated longtime board member John Laursen, who received a 2020 Governor’s Arts Award. Come join us – we welcome all neighbors to participate at our monthly meetings.
North Tabor Neighborhood Association
By Kim Kasch
At the August meeting of the North Tabor Neighborhood Association we authorized cash donations to the following organizations: Community of Christ Church, Grace Covenant Fellowship Church, NorthStar Clubhouse and Friends of Mt. Tabor Park. Both churches provide essential humanitarian assistance to people in our community. NorthStar is a mental wellness organization and the park’s importance to the community in this time of pandemic has become ever more apparent.
Our next meeting will take place Tuesday, September 15, 6:30 pm at 4837 NE Couch (Community of Christ Church). We have been meeting in the parking lot with appropriate social distancing but may switch to an online format. Check our website, northtabor.org, for details. We will elect a new Board at our October 20 meeting and encourage all neighbors to get involved in our activities.
Richmond Neighborhood Association
By Allen Field
The RNA meets the second Monday of the month, 6:30–8:30 pm. Everyone is welcome. Agendas are posted the week before on richmondpdx.org and are sent to the RNA Announce listserv. Meetings will be via Zoom until further notice. Preregistration is required, the link is on the agenda and sent to the listserv. To be added to the RNA’s listserv, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
At the August 10 monthly meeting, Kira Smith, Bureau of Environmental Services (BES), explained BES’ Watershed Health Grants. To encourage green infrastructure projects to help manage stormwater where it falls and improve watershed health, BES is offering $100 grants and $10,000 – $20,000 grants for community-oriented projects. Grant deadlines are on a rolling basis. For more information, contact Kira at email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or 503.823.5729.
Quiet Clean PDX requested a letter of support for their campaign to end gas leaf blowers. Homeowners have mostly converted to electric leaf blowers, so their focus is getting contractors to switch. The Board voted in favor of a letter of support of their efforts to ban gas leaf blowers, but comments were made that (1) the ban does not go far enough and all 2-stroke engines should be banned, (2) the ban could disproportionately impact people of color who comprise a large percentage of professional yard-care workers and (3) electric leaf blowers pose the same problems of blowing pollutants, allergens and germs and are very noisy as well.
Albert Kaufman, Allen Field, Denise Hare, Heather Flint Chatto, Leslie Poston and Simon Kipersztok were elected to the Board in the July 14 election. A Board Member Orientation was given on Board Member fiduciary duties, the city’s standards all neighborhood associations must follow, the RNA’s Code of Ethics and the city’s Open Meetings rule which limit voting and discussions underlying the Board’s votes to the RNA’s public meetings.
Debby Hochhalter was reelected by the Board as Chair, Simon Kipersztok was elected as Treasurer, Allen Field and Kamal Belkhayat are co-Secretaries. Simon agreed to become the Richmond Newsletter Editor, so we look forward to resuming our quarterly newsletter. The Board selected Committee Chairs and Liaisons. The next meeting is Monday, September 14, 6:30–8:30 pm.