Neighborhood Notes April 2022

Buckman Community Association

By Susan Lindsay

The Buckman Community Association will host a public Candidate Forum virtually Thursday, April 14, 7 pm. All candidates for Multnomah County Chair and Portland City Auditor have been invited. Neighbors are invited to attend and submit questions which will be submitted directly to the candidates. These two positions are critically important for (County Chair) services related to public safety, help for disabled, elders and the unhoused, public health and (City Auditor) accountability of City expenditures, conflicts of interests and fiscal commitments. Find out the candidates’ positions and learn about their plans if elected. 

All are welcome and we especially invite residents of our nearby eastside neighborhoods to attend and be involved. The regular BCA monthly meeting link will be used. If you need the link, email buckmanboard@googlegroups.com. To reach the BCA anytime or to get on the agenda email buckmanboard@googlegroups.com or visit buckmanpdx.org.

HAND

By Jill Riebesehl

Slightly warmer weather coupled with Daylight Savings teased HAND with dreams of spring and summer. The Hosford-Abernethy Neighborhood for many years hosted an ice cream social in Piccolo Park. Perhaps we can resume that sweet activity, or join with another neighborhood, in a summer activity. Stay tuned.  

At our March meeting, we heard from Willie Levensen, with the Human Access Project, regarding all things Willamette River. The river has been used for decades by industry and for urban sewer outflow. The non-profit aids reclamation projects, such as beach reclamation and cleanups, but also sponsors fun on the river: the mayoral swim, the valentine’s dip and The Big Float X, which will be July 9. The website, humanaccessproject.com, has information about river swimming in our area. 

The Access Project collaborates with myriad of government agencies and others to clean up and create beaches and build swimming access points. Among accomplishments so far:  three urban beaches, another coming along near the Burnside Bridge and the Kevin J. Memorial Duckworth Dock alongside the Steel Bridge. A project on the drawing board within our neighborhood’s borders would create river access for swimming and docking small craft from a five-or-six ladder dock near the Hawthorne Bridge. On the other side of the Ross Island Bridge is the knotty problem of how to eradicate summer toxic algae blooms in the Ross Island lagoon. The Human Access Project and others, including OSU researchers, have been searching for solutions.  

We hosted two other visitors at our Zoom March meeting. Kate Merrell from the Central East Industrial District (CEID) brought us up to date on the successes of their Enhanced Service District (ESD), which is up for renewal at City Council. HAND and the CEID’s borders overlap, and we supported their proposal four years ago. We agreed to renew our support. The only other ESD is in downtown Portland, but other commercial districts are eyeing the concept. Businesses within ESDs fund most activities, which include but are not limited to public safety, cleanup and homeless problems.

Vadim Mozyrsky also joined us to answer our questions about how he would handle situations of interest to our neighborhood. He is currently a candidate for a City Council seat.

HAND meets via Zoom (although perhaps in person soon) at 7 pm every third Tuesday.  All residents, property owners and people who own businesses are welcome.  

Montavilla Neighborhood Association

By Jacob Loeb

The March 14 Montavilla Neighborhood Association (MNA) meeting featured speakers from Portland’s Neighborhood Emergency Teams (NETs) and CNBSeen. Both groups work to save lives through different means. However, they each rely on community education and volunteer support.

The Tabor-Villa NET team leader, Courtney Yan, returned to the MNA to update the membership on the organization’s latest efforts. NETs are supervised by the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management (PBEM) and staffed by volunteers. Selected participants join a locally coordinated network of trained community members who will respond to a natural disaster. Much of the group’s training centers on earthquake emergency response with classes taught by Portland Fire & Rescue and PBEM.

Currently, they are working to fill volunteer gaps within the NE portions of Montavilla and supply our network of emergency response caches in the neighborhood. Yan explained that most training and new volunteer orientation halted during the pandemic but will resume soon. There are opportunities to become trained and assist with the Tabor-Villa NET or the Basic Earthquake Emergency Communication Node (BEECN) program. Contact Yan at cyan.taborvilla@gmail.com for more information on joining the volunteer effort.

The founder of CNBSeen (cnb-seen.org), Don Merrill, explained how his program reduces traffic stops by replacing none functioning vehicle lights. The free program aims to reduce police stops and alleviate interactions that could become deadly for people of color. He hopes to find local partners to host these events and donate the replacement bulbs for the vehicles.

The next MNA meeting is Monday, April 11, 6:30 pm. Details are available at the MNA website (montavilla.org/mna-calendar). Audio recordings of the previous gatherings are available online at montavilla.org/pdx-mna-meeting-podcast.

Mt. Tabor Neighborhood Association

By Midge Pierce

Report every crime, build diverse coalitions and advocate for specific safety measures were key takeaways at a special SE Safety Forum co-hosted by the Western Seminary, site of recent arson, and Mt. Tabor Neighborhood Association. Following a rash of gunfire and crime in the area, the Forum was held in lieu of MTNA’s monthly March meeting.  

Addressing residents’ fears and frustrations, Assistant Police Chief Brian Ossenkop and East Precinct Commander Erica Hurley were candid in their assessment of police force limitations. Staff shortages mean slower response times, despite Portlanders expectations for immediate assistance for 911 calls. Life threatening calls are priorities. Shootings may pull-in all officers on duty, angering residents experiencing lesser crime like thefts and car break-ins. 

The loss of once familiar neighborhood patrols interacting with Portlanders in positive ways has weakened community connections and contributed to public distrust of police. Paperwork backlogs further undermine confidence in the bureau’s follow through and policies. Retaining officers and recruitment are growing challenges as officers are lured away by more police-friendly cities, Hurley concluded. 

Because resource allocation is data driven, areas like Mt. Tabor with statistically lower crime may get less focus. That’s why reporting every crime is critical according to community organizer Leticia Kleinberg. Yet, only 50 percent of recent crime victims in the Mt. Tabor area filed police reports according to an online survey by Kleinberg and safety advocate Kate Merrill. Kleinberg’s presentation stressed the importance of both filing and following-up on every incident even if Portlanders believe their reports are ignored. She encouraged holding officials accountable and naming specific crime mitigation programs in testimonials to both City Council and County Commissioners. See her recommendations at bit.ly/SafetyAdvocacyRecommendations

Civic Life Community Safety Coordinator Jenni Pullen presented an array of free training from home security inventories to a Neighbors Together program that replaced Neighborhood Watch, retooled because of concern over bias. The new program aims to connect Portlanders with each other and foster inclusivity with diverse groups. Portlanders can learn how to look out for each other and request training at portland.gov/civic/communitysafety/resources.

Other speakers and the entire two- hour Southeast Safety Forum can be found at bit.ly/SESafety_10MAR22.

Register for the next Mt. Tabor meeting, Wednesday, April 20, 7 pm, at bit.ly/April20meeting. All neighbors are encouraged to attend so they too can participate in finding positive outcomes for neighborhood issues that arise.  

North Tabor Neighborhood Association

By Kim Kasch

The North Tabor Monthly Neighborhood Zoom meeting took place Tuesday, March 15, 6:30 pm. We discussed the new building developments in NTNA.

Two guest speakers running for office in the May 17 primary elections presented their reasons for running for office together with their agenda items.

Metro Council District 6 candidate Terri Preeg Riggsby (TerriforMetro.com) spent time discussing her background and agenda goals: 1) Healthy Environment, 2) Government Accountability & Transparency and 3) Disability–All Abilities Advocacy.

City Commissioner Position 3 candidate Kim Kasch (kimkaschforportland.com) presented her background and agenda goals: 1) Affordable Housing/Houselessness, 2) Mental Health/Safety, 3) Climate Solutions and 4) Supporting Local Businesses.

Kim Bandy was introduced as the new SEUL liaison for NTNA.

Please join us at our next monthly meeting, which will be on the third Tuesday of the month via Zoom, at 6:30 pm. The Zoom link is available at northtabor.org. The NTNA is looking for neighbors to join the communication committee.

Richmond Neighborhood Association

By Brian Hochhalter

The Richmond Neighborhood Association held its monthly meeting March 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, which is posted to the RNA’s website, richmondpdx.org, and sent to the RNA Announce listserv. To be added to the listserv, email richmondnasecretary@gmail.com.

Michele Pinkham, NARA NW, provided an overview of the many social services, events and programs they provide. Their mission is to provide education, physical and mental health services and substance abuse treatment that is culturally appropriate to American Indians, Alaska Natives and anyone in need. Visit naranorthwest.org for more information.

Reed Dow, building owner, announced “Farmhouse Carts” in the lot at SE 35th Pl. next to Division, behind Cibo Restaurant. Reed is working with the tenants and the neighborhood to create a pleasant, family friendly gathering space with many dining options.

Heather Flint Chatto updated us about the proposed affordable housing project on the site of Peaceful Villa after meeting with a representative.

May 10 Annual Board Election: The annual RNA Board election will be May 10, 6:30-8:30 pm, in front of Central Christian Church, 1844 SE Cesar Chavez Blvd. RNA meetings will be at Central Christian when in-person meetings resume. Like the last several years, people can vote in-person or drop off ballots (emailed to the listserve and on our website) at the church. Please note that people have to bring their own ballots. At the Monday, May 9 RNA meeting, candidates will give brief candidate statements.  

Seven two-year seats are up for election. The deadline to announce candidacy is Monday, April 11.  You can announce via email to richmond.pdx.chair@gmail.com by then or at the Tuesday, April 12 RNA meeting.

Richmond CleanUp Resuming:  Saturday, May 21 will by our Spring CleanUp for mixed/bulky waste, recycling (styrofoam, metal, electronics) and U-Price-It-Sales for reusable items and plants. No demolition, remodeling or construction debris. We are partnering with CNBSeen to do taillight repair to prevent pretext stops by the police of BIPOC individuals.

Our next meeting is Monday, April 11. Please attend to be more involved in and informed about your community.

Sunnyside Neighborhood Association

By Gloria Jacobs

During March’s Sunnyside Neighborhood Association meeting, we welcomed a group of interested neighbors who joined us to hear from TVA Architects (tvaarchitects.com). They walked us through their development project at 4406 SE Belmont St. 

The March meeting of the Sunnyside Neighborhood Community Cares Committee (SNACC) discussed the Sunnyside Shower Project (SSP) Needs Assessment which was conducted to shine a light on barriers to the service, unmet needs, core strengths, as well as finding paths to move the project forward. Findings are available online at sunnysideportland.org/category/snacc. We also discussed additional projects that the SNACC Committee might consider taking on to provide further aid to the houseless community, such as administrative and paperwork assistance. We plan to continue this conversation in our next meeting Thursday, April 21, 6:30-8:00 pm at The Formation Lab (838 SE 37th St.). We hope you’ll join us.

The SNA April meeting will be held at the Sunnyside United Methodist Church (3520 SE Yamhill St.) Thursday, April 14. Meeting details and the agenda will be posted on the SNA website (sunnysideportland.org) on Tuesday the 12th. The General meeting will be 7-7:30 pm, with the Candidate Forum to follow directly after, 7:30-9 pm. A discussion with Metro candidates Duncan Hwang and Terri Preeg Riggsby begins at 7:30 pm; the discussion with City Council candidates Jo Ann Hardesty, Vadim Myzorzsky and Rene Gonzales starts at 8 pm. If you would like to submit a question beforehand, email board@sunnysideportland.org.

We are still seeking a Land Use & Transportation Chair as well as a Newsletter Communications & Advertising Coordinator. To learn more, please reach out to board@sunnysideportland.org. 

Neighborhood Notes April 2022

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