Neighborhood Notes December 2021

Buckman Community Association

By Susan Lindsay

Buckman Community Association, buckmanpdx.org, meets Thursday, December 9, 7-9 pm virtually. Contact BCA anytime at buckmanboard@googlegroups.com for the link or to bring any item to our attention.

The November 18 meeting opened with Mike Pullen from the Earthquake Ready Burnside Bridge Project Team showing colorful slides with options of cost-saving proposals for the new bridge. If you recall, voters soundly rejected that huge Metro transportation package and now the County needs to shave $100-$200 million off the project to get it built, hopefully before the quake. To find out more and weigh in on the belt tightening process, visit multco.us/earthquake-ready-burnside-bridge

County Commissioner Sharon Meieran spoke to the mental health services challenges facing our community. The Commissioner was engaging and open, but did not hold back in her assessment of how serious the problems are. She would like to see more services and more coordination between the City and County regarding not only the homeless, but the large numbers of meth addicts needing treatment and psychological care. 

Debbie Kitchin, member of the Portland Charter Review Commission, presented on the current review process and informed the meeting attendees that the committee is seriously looking at recommending a new structure of civic government and ditching the current citywide Mayor and Council structure. This will all need to voted on by Portlanders, so stick around as things could really change. Expect more news on this later this spring. 

State Representative Rob Nosse attended to help shed light on the assertion of Portland Police that the legislature has “tied their hands” when it comes to being able to intervene in destructive protests like the one on Indigenous Persons Day which caused $1-2 million in damages to downtown and the Pearl District businesses. Nosse said that is ridiculous (actually he used another acronym which starts with a “B” and ends with an “S”). The Representative was asked about recent reports in the narrative around the rationale for inaction by Portland Police and Multnomah County DA’s Office as the current “pandemic” of stolen cars and catalytic converters occurring in SE, NE and N. Portland, has changed from “we don’t have enough resources” to “Oregon State law won’t allow us to make an arrest.” Nosse was surprised to hear this as this was the excuse made several years ago, which the legislature worked and specifically fixed in 2019, so why this old story was being given new life was curious. He said he’d look into it and report back, which he is excellent about doing. 

At the December 9 BCA Meeting, those that would demolish the long standing and Buckman icon, the Jolly Roger Bar, and turn it into five stories of 112 apartments will be on hand to describe their plans and hear from the public. Will there be any parking? None. It has been suggested that this new apartment complex might help be part of the transportation solution by providing an electric car charging area. Will these units be affordable? I guess we’ll find out.

Also at that meeting, former Mayor Sam Adams, former aide to Mayor Katz, and currently special assistant to Mayor Wheeler (in fact his real title is “Director of Special Innovations”) will come to talk with the BCA at our invitation. He knows so much about how the city does and does not work. We want to ask about garbage, public safety and a host of other issues. Adams is articulate, knowledgeable and savvy and it should be an interesting time. 

Looking ahead to January 2022, a developer wants to put in a high rise on NE Sandy around 9th or 10th Avenues. We are working to get them to our January 13 meeting and hope to get City Commissioner Carmen Rubio too.

HAND

By Jill Riebesehl

The Hosford-Abernethy neighborhood is actively making plans for increased involvement at our level and with surrounding neighborhoods. We are eagerly looking forward to many old and new goings on in the coming year.  

At the Board’s November meeting, we heard from William Kaven Architecture about a five-story apartment building planned due east of the condos at SE Division St. and 26th Ave. City policy now requires developers to bring their proposals to the attention of the local neighborhood association. Many affected neighbors attended the Zoom meeting, which included a presentation, discussion, questions and answers. 

In other business, the Board went on record (for the second time) to ask for increased staffing at Fire Station 23 (SE Gideon St. and 13th Ave.). The station is staffed by two people. Recent fires in our vicinity provoked renewed concern. We are letting all those in city government with the authority to increase staffing know of our request for two more staff positions.

Also, after noticing that the south elevator to the new Bob Stacey bicycle/pedestrian bridge over the tracks had not been functioning reliably for some time, we took steps to alert those in charge. There had been no signs letting people who would be seriously affected know in time to change their routes. 

In years past, the HAND board, instead of meeting in December, has enjoyed a neighborhood holiday social. The party didn’t happen last year, and won’t again this year, for obvious reasons. We will, however, be meeting via Zoom Tuesday, December 21, 7 pm and all are welcome. We will be posting the agenda.  

Mt. Tabor Neighborhood Association

By David Petrozzi

MTNA hosted a community meeting November 17 on Zoom. We heard a special presentation from the Oregon Remembrance Project regarding its initiatives to work towards racial justice and reconciliation in various towns and cities across our state. In addition, there was an exploratory appeal to reinstate Portland’s traffic calming program that was discontinued due to the pandemic. We discussed a potential forthcoming second phase of the city’s residential infill program and updated our members regarding SE Uplift’s planned bylaw changes affecting neighborhood associations across town.

MTNA will host our next community meeting on Zoom Wednesday, January 19, 7 pm. Find links for this and all of our meetings, under the “Meetings and Events” tab of our website, mttaborpdx.org. MTNA creates a monthly newsletter about important civic issues, which you can find on our website next to each month’s meeting minutes. 

Montavilla Neighborhood Association

By Jacob Loeb

Two guest speakers presented at the November Montavilla Neighborhood Association (MNA) general meeting. A representative from Multnomah University outlined a construction project planned for completion in 2022 and members from the houseless service provider JOIN shared an organizational overview. Additionally, the MNA voted to create a new Education Committee to handle school and other learning resource subjects.

Eric Linman from Multnomah University joined the general meeting to provide the institution’s annual report to the membership. The university is creating a regulation-sized synthetic turf soccer field with lights and a scoreboard. A six-foot fence on the north and south ends will keep the ball from traveling too far off the soccer pitch. The long sides will have a four-foot fence allowing spectators a protected view. Field construction is underway now, continuing through 2022. Stadium lighting for the field requires further studies and then a type three review with the city and the MNA.

Katrina Holland from JOIN, joinpdx.org, walked the attendees through the organization’s services. For over seven years, they have worked from the building at 1435 NE 81st Ave., assisting the unhoused population. The location serves as the office for 50 caseworkers and offers day services for over 100 houseless to clean up and meet with staff. Their primary goal is to transition people off the street and into stable housing.

A new member of the MNA spoke about changes occurring to Portland Public Schools with interest in having the Association facilitate some conversations about those issues. The Board voted to create an Education Committee to take on that project and work on future educational matters.

Audio recordings of previous meetings are available online at montavillapdx.org/pdx-mna-meeting-podcast. The last meeting of 2021 is on Monday, December 13, 6:30 pm. Details are available at montavillapdx.org/mna-calendar.

North Tabor Neighborhood Association

By Kim Kasch

At the November North Tabor Neighborhood Association meeting, officers were elected. Appointed were: CJ Alicandro (Chair), Ross Hiner (Vice-Chair), Patty Lackaff (Treasurer) and Sarah Mongue (Secretary). Jules Unger and Lisa Maddocks will serve as Communications and Land Use/Transportation Representatives.

Some of the Board will plan to attend a Hard Hat tour of the new development project at 52nd Ave. and E Burnside St. 

Trang Shanbaugh of Masa Fresh, masafresh.com, gave a presentation regarding connecting local farms and producers to local people to purchase items.

Join us at our monthly meetings on the third Tuesday of the month, 6:30 pm, via Zoom. You can find more information at the NTNA website, northtabor.org.

Richmond Neighborhood Association

By Brian Hochhalter

Richmond Neighborhood Association held its monthly meeting November 8. Meetings are held via Zoom the second Monday of the month, 6:30-8:30 pm. The link to preregister is on the Agenda, which is posted to the RNA’s website, richmondpdx.org, and sent out to the RNA Announce listserv. To be added to the listserv, email richmondnasecretary@gmail.com.

Rob Nosse, our State Representative for District 42, joined us and described the legislature as being in an “in-between moment,” as the long session ended in June and the short session starts in February. He addressed the redistricting efforts at the state, as well as the congressional level, as census data is processed. The houselessness issue and the struggle to get relief funds to those in need before the moratorium on evictions runs out was discussed. He noted that upcoming issues for the short session include behavioral health, COVID-19 relief, overtime for farmworkers, policing and racism challenges, campaign finance and immigration. Questions were fielded from Board members and neighborhood members alike.

The RNA Board had an extensive discussion regarding the proposed SE Uplift (SEUL) bylaws changes.

Two new committees were created: DEIA (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Access) and Houselessness. Come to our next meeting if you are interested in getting involved on these topics. The Sustainability Committee was renamed to Sustainability and Climate Change.

PBOT will be making safety improvements and installing features to the intersection of SE 48th Ave. and Division St. to deter drifting in the intersection (cars doing donuts in the intersection).

The next meeting is Monday, December 13. Please attend if you want to be more involved in, and informed about your community.

Sunnyside Neighborhood Association

By Gloria Jacobs

At the November meeting, the Sunnyside Neighborhood Association welcomed new faces. We are co-sponsoring this year’s Peacock Lane holiday lights event. Join us Saturday, December 18, 6 pm where Peacock Lane and Belmont St. intersect to walk the holiday light show. We’ll begin the tour at 6:10 pm. We encourage you to dress in warm layers and wear a mask. 

Johanna Brenner from the Portland Metro’s Peoples’ Coalition spoke about the Portland Committee on Community Engaged Policing’s (PCCEP) recommendations to City Council and asked for the SNA’s endorsement, which we gave. 

The SNACC Committee will be hosting a clothing drive on Saturday, December 4. Event details are posted on both the SNA website, sunnysideportland.org, and Facebook page, facebook.com/SunnysidePortland

Consider joining our next meeting, Thursday, December 9, 7 – 8 pm when we host Oregon State Representative Nosse. He will provide legislative updates and lead a Q&A. Meeting details and the agenda will be posted on the SNA website on Monday December 6.

As the holidays near we’re approaching the one-year anniversary of the Sunnyside Shower Program. We gratefully accept donations to keep our volunteer-run project going. Donate on our website or via Zelle to treasurer@sunnysideportland.org. Please specify the Sunnyside Shower Program. 

Interested in what we’re doing? Our next Sunnyside Neighborhood Community Cares (SNACC) Committee meeting is Thursday, December 16, 6:30 pm. Details will be posted on the SNA website the week of December 13.

Neighborhood Notes December 2021

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