Buckman Community Association
By Susan Lindsay
At this month’s BCA meeting, developers of a 12-story apartment complex slated for SE 9th Ave. and SE Sandy Blvd., and a new housing project to replace the old school at St. Francis Church presented their plans. Lots of new residents coming to Buckman!
Join the BCA on Thursday, March 10, 7 pm, at our regularly scheduled monthly meeting. Highlights include an interesting presentation about a new 159 unit affordable housing apartment complex for seniors and multi-generational BIPOC families called the “Alder 9.” Located between SE 8th Ave. and SE 9th Ave. on SE Alder St., this new building, with funding from the Portland Housing Bureau and voter bond, offers permanent housing for those among us who need it most.
Also in March, we will hear from the leadership involved with the creation of a memorial garden at Lone Fir’s Block 14 to honor 19th century Chinese immigrants originally buried here and those interred here from the pioneer days, “Oregon Insane Asylum.” This beautiful project, approved and solidified in 2008, now has funding due to the generosity of the voters approving the Metro greenspaces bond.
The BCA, buckmanpdx.org, meets on Zoom monthly every second Thursday of the month. All are welcome! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for the link or for any other reason.
Looking ahead this summer and the possible return of the fun and always child friendly, Buckman Picnic, and maybe another Buckman Movie Night! Contact us if you want to help.
By Jill Riebesehl
Central City Concern (CCC) staff met with the Hosford-Abernethy Board to inform us of the opening of Karibu and The Imani Center, which supports black/African American individuals’ healing and recovery. It is at SE 20th Ave. and Powell Blvd., within the Brooklyn NA, just across Powell from HAND. Karibu will offer transitional housing, starting with eight beds (no more than 20), 24-hour staffing, parking and substance abuse rules. Imani’s services are outreach, helping with addiction and mental health recovery support, peer services and case management. The center’s opening will be in late spring. CCC owns and/or manages 34 buildings in the metropolitan area and is funded by tax-exempt bonds and a variety of local and federal funding sources. It is, with City Council help, fashioning good neighbor agreements with Brooklyn and HAND.
City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty met with the HAND Board in February. Three of her recent bureaus, Transportation, Office of Community and Civic Life (OCCL) and the Fire Bureau, dominate much of HAND’s concerns. Hardesty said OCCL is not yet where she wants it be, “the go-to place for civic engagement,” but they are working on it. Regarding our continuing request for a fully staffed Fire Station 23, she was not able to pry more money from the city’s general fund for the bureau and she addressed the poor training conditions for firefighters citywide. The city will soon be getting an electrically-powered fire truck, a first. They are smaller, more maneuverable and a huge improvement.
Within our boundaries, another arterial has met the slow-speed-limit movement. SE Hawthorne Blvd. is now 20 mph throughout its length. It follows on the heels of SE Powell Blvd.’s recent change to 30 mph. Several people spoke up about the increased traffic on SE 24th Ave. where Hawthorne narrows to two lanes. More data is needed to address the problem. Regarding traffic in Portland, Hardesty pointed out a huge maintenance backlog, beginning decades ago. She heard our plea for slower speeds on SE Division St.
The big question on everyone’s mind at the meeting was housing and those who are living on the streets. The commissioner in charge there is Paul Ryan. Hardesty joined the free-wheeling discussion, mentioning how “insane” the last two years have been: smoke, heat, COVID-19, protests, people pushed out of homes. She would like the city to stop selling public land to private interests. A recent example: the new Ritz-Carlton. The commissioner said she or her office answers all mail sent specifically to her.
The small site at SE 19th Ave. off Division St. is currently harboring tents and Reach Community Development is exploring the possibility of turning it into a tiny-house site.
HAND meets next at Tuesday, March 15, 7 pm via Zoom. All residents, property owners and businesses in our boundaries are welcome.
Mt. Tabor Neighborhood Association
By Jim Pierce
The Mt. Tabor Neighborhood Association met Wednesday, February 16 with several topics of critical concern: recent violent crime and the status of the empty, landmark reservoirs in the park.
A series of horrific incidents have neighbors on edge, including arson in and around Western Seminary which caused extensive damage to the main building and the narrow escape of five sleeping children, including an infant, from a fire spread with accelerant at the caretaker’s cottage front door. The Valentine night fires were preceded by drive-by shoot-outs that narrowly missed a six-year-old boy playing on a front yard swing and left 30 shell casings on 60th St. Then an impaired driver hit the iconic, pink lodge at SE Belmont St. and SE 55th Ave., knocking out a structural pillar and there was the off-Burnside drive-by that endangered lives and left a home and car bullet-ridden.
To guide neighbors on how to effectively approach elected officials with concerns, MTNA welcomed Safety Advocacy guest speaker Leticia Kleinberg. MTNA recognized that these life and death incidents are happening all over the city, with heavy impact on lower income, marginalized communities and that every Portlander has a responsibility to hold elected officials accountable.
Kleinberg urged neighbors to provide solution-based testimonials to City Council, to write all Council members about specific concerns, to report crimes and be proactive with follow up. Upcoming budget decisions give urgency to proactive advocacy. MTNA plans to reach out to other NAs and organizations to address what can be done throughout the SE quadrant to protect Portland residents from arson, violence and organized gun-running.
Residents are increasingly distressed that the two, large former reservoirs at the west foot of Mt. Tabor Park have been empty for some six months in breach of a City requirement to keep them full at about 85 percent capacity. The water bureau has told an MTNA task force that they are empty for repairs. The task force asks that the bureau expedite fixes because the longer the basins sit empty, the more the damage from the elements and the greater the maintenance needs. The task force recommends partially filling the basins as a temporary solution. When the reservoirs were decommissioned several years ago, the city agreed to keep them filled at historic levels because they are on the National Register of Historic Landmarks.
With the City facing so many critical issues, MTNA urges all residents to become involved in their NAs. The next MTNA meeting is Wednesday, March 16, 7 pm and all are welcome.
North Tabor Neighborhood Association
By Kim Kasch
The North Tabor Monthly Neighborhood Zoom meeting took place Tuesday, February 15, 6:30 pm. There was a brief discussion about the City of Portland changing the city charter – basically the way the city is run. If you are interested in more information, visit portland.gov/omf/charter-review-commission.
The guest speaker was Josef M. West, AIA, West-Architects (west-architects.com/people). West gave a slide presentation on the upcoming construction project of the new 33-unit complex that will include several ground-level retail spots. This construction project is located at 53rd Ave. and NE Glisan St. (5327 NE Glisan St.). These dwelling units will be approximately 580-1000 square feet.
Join us at our next monthly meeting, Tuesday, March 15, 6:30 pm via Zoom. The Zoom link is available at northtabor.org. The March presenter will be a Metro Council candidate.
The NTNA is looking for neighbors to join the communication committee. Board membership is not required to participate in a committee.
Richmond Neighborhood Association
By Simon Kipersztok
The Richmond Neighborhood Association held its monthly meeting Monday, February 14. Meetings are held via Zoom the second Monday of the month, 6:30-8:30 pm. The link to preregister is on the Agenda, posted on the RNA’s website, richmondpdx.org, and sent to the RNA Announce listserv. To be added to the listserv, email email@example.com.
The RNA resumes its annual Spring Cleanup and U-Price-It sales this spring, Saturday, May 21, 9 am-1 pm at Central Christian Church, 1844 SE Cesar E. Chavez Blvd. It will partner with nonprofit CNBSeen (cnb-seen.org), to provide taillight repair to help people of color and historically under-served populations avoid pretext stops by the police for broken taillights.
RNA is hoping to resume its free summer movie event at Sewallcrest Park, scheduled for Saturday, August 27 to show “Hidden Figures.” Portland Parks & Recreation has not yet formally announced the movie schedule, but we are hopeful the summer movie program will happen. RNA is partnering with several organizations to table at the event and give demonstrations on programs to encourage kids, especially girls, to pursue their interest in science, math and engineering. More details forthcoming later in the year.
The RNA’s Houselessness Committee is making Hygiene Kits to provide to Hygiene4All and Beacon PDX to help people experiencing homelessness.
Matt Tucker will take over as the Richmond Newsletter Editor.
The next RNA meeting is Monday, March 14.