By Jill Riebesehl
Pressing business for the Hosford-Abernethy Neighborhood Association was a request to sign onto a petition initiated by the Linnton Neighborhood, and joined so far by more than 30 other organizations. The petition strongly urges both the city and county to get aggressive in holding fossil fuel companies financially accountable for their pollution and other damage to Portland and surrounding waterways. Prompting this outcry is Canada-based Zenith Energy’s determination to enlarge its tar-sand and crude-oil riverbank storage tanks (and subsequent loading of huge tanker ships). The Board voted to unanimously approve the request.
The Board had also unanimously voted to urge the city’s Bureau of Transportation to put its weight behind efforts to solve traffic congestion at the intersections of SE 11th and 8th avenues and the railroad tracks. The tie-ups caused by unmoving rail cars can last hours – no exaggeration – and result in many hundreds of drivers taking illegal detours and/or flooding neighborhoods in search of alternative routes.
HAND boundaries run from the river to SE 28th, from Hawthorne to Powell. We are by city rules asked to approve various activities along our section of the Eastbank Esplanade. Recently HAND’s chair noticed something different on the river. Holman Dock, just south of the Hawthorne Bridge, with a ramp, gangway and floating freeboard, had been replaced recently after storm damage by steel structures, but the rebuild made it difficult, and even dangerous, for swimmers to hoist themselves out of the river. In response to letter of concern, a city employee informed him that various agencies are reworking the freeboard to improve access, and the work will be finished in October.
Also within our boundary, and in response to calls for help from neighbors on SE Clay behind Safeway and Holman’s funeral home, HAND set up a subcommittee to look into a situation in which houseless campers have again been joined by people who feel threatening and even criminal. The group will be pursuing solutions that could possibly become useful citywide.
In July, the Board decided to hold its September meeting, its first post-COVID meeting, in person. It will be in a different building than usual, but still on the St. Philip Neri campus. Stay tuned. We are looking forward to seeing one another again, albeit behind masks, and are working on how to make access to the meetings possible via Zoom or some other such technology.
HAND does not meet in August. The Board will be holding a retreat to plot a strategic direction for the future. The next board meeting will be 7 pm, September 14 with the exact location at St. Philip Neri to be announced. All those who live and do business in the neighborhood are welcome.
Montavilla Neighborhood Association
By Jacob Loeb
The Montavilla Neighborhood Association is seeking Board members for several open positions. Elections occur in October, with candidates announcing during the September general meeting. This year there is room for up to six new Board members.
After completing their most recent two-year term, four members are stepping down. Positions available to fill are Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, SE Uplift Delegate and Land Use & Transportation Chair. Members can also run for unnamed Board positions outside of the above Officer titles.
We are grateful for the service of our departing Board members. Participating in the Neighborhood Association creates a substantive impact on the community. Representing the neighborhood is a shared responsibility and requires wide-reaching participation. With so many positions available, this is the opportunity to bring your perspective to the Board, particularly if you feel underrepresented.
Interested candidates should email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on the process. Montavilla Neighborhood Association is taking a summer break and there will not be an August meeting. The next General Meeting is Monday, September 13, 6:30 pm. Details available at the MNA website, montavillapdx.org/mna-calendar.
Mt. Tabor Neighborhood Association
By John Laursen
The MTNA hosted its monthly neighborhood meeting July 19 on Zoom. We heard a presentation from representatives of Transition Projects about their work in helping homeless people in Portland meet their housing, income and wellness needs.
Our next meeting will be Wednesday, August 18, 7 pm on Zoom. All who live and work in the Mt. Tabor neighborhood are welcome. Find the links for this and all of our meetings under the “Meetings and Events” tab of our website, mttaborpdx.org. MTNA also creates a monthly newsletter about important civic issues, which you can find on our website next to each month’s meeting minutes.
North Tabor Neighborhood Association
By Kim Kasch
The North Tabor Neighborhood Association met on Tuesday, July 20, and among a few topics discussed were the proposed speed bumps to be put on NE Everett St. The speed bumps are funded from the voter approved Fixing Our Streets program and this program includes safety and operational improvements to neighborhood greenways, including NE Everett. There is no additional funding for speed bumps currently on adjacent local streets at this time. However, voicing your concerns and letting City Council know the neighborhood traffic calming program (a former PBOT program which was cut years ago) is a priority to our neighbors would demonstrate community support for speed bumps in more places beyond neighborhood greenways.
Another topic of interest is the Emerging Recreation Strategy for Portland’s Parks and the removal of 18 tennis courts. If you are interested, read the strategy which you can find at bit.ly/PPRtenniscourtproject, as any comments are required by September 7.
Upcoming includes Kiley Yuthas from Transition Projects presenting during the August Neighborhood Association meeting at 7 pm. Yuthas will give a brief presentation about ways neighbors can get involved in supporting our unhoused neighbors.
Neighbors can help by:
• Volunteering: From sorting mail to keeping the donation closet organized to teaching yoga or crafts at a shelter, whether you have special skills or just want to lend a hand, a volunteer position can be found that will be a great fit.
• Cooking a meal: Meal providers cook over 100,000 meals each year for the shelters. Usually working in a team, meal providers prepare and deliver home-cooked dinners to each of Transition Project’s shelters almost every day. They are key in helping offset costs and serve more people.
• Hosting a donation drive: The donation drive program allows community members and organizations to collect supplies on Transition Project’s behalf.
Please check our website, northtabor.org, and sign-up for the Newsletter. Don’t forget to join us to provide input and help grow our community.
Richmond Neighborhood Association
By Claire Cofsky
The Richmond Neighborhood Association monthly meeting was July 12. RNA meetings are held via Zoom the second Monday of the month, 6:30-8:30 pm. Preregistration is required; the link to preregister is on the Agenda, posted to the RNA’s website (richmondpdx.org) and sent out to the RNA Announce listserv. To be added to the listserv, email email@example.com.
Steven Fang, the developer of the properties at 1812/1822 SE Cesar E. Chavez Blvd., next to Central Christian Church, presented his plans for the properties. He is proposing a three-story apartment building with 55 units, approximately 400-500 sq. ft. each, likely renting for $1,200. Part of the basement will be a day center for homeless youth and families, in partnership with Central Christian Church. Construction will start early 2022. He was very open to hearing comments from RNA and those in attendance and will attend the August meeting to show changes to the plans based on the comments he heard.
Quinton Bauer, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, presented on the city’s program to add approximately 220 65-gallon trash cans (with recycling-collection features) from I-205 to the river. The cans will be serviced two to three times per week.
The Board discussed the status of Hawthorne Fred Meyer’s closure of the south entrance doors. It will notify Fred Meyer that it opposes the closure of the south entrance and will likely oppose any formal application filed with the city.
The Board held an orientation for new Board Members. Points emphasized were the fiduciary duties held by Board members, the need to follow RNA Bylaws and the city’s rules governing neighborhood associations and the importance of complying with the city’s Open Meetings rules and transparency of process.
The next meeting is Monday, August 9. Please attend if you want to be more involved in your community.