Mayor, Commissioners Present Spirit of Portland Honors
FRIDAY, NOV. 7, 2014 — Mayor Charlie Hales last night awarded four Spirit of Portland awards, recognizing individuals and organizations that have demonstrated exemplary dedication to positive change in the community — those who have gone above and beyond to make a lasting impact.
“These honorees exemplify Portland’s spirit of communitarianism,” Hales said. “They are part of the deep roots of Portland’s character—the character that regularly brings people to City Council to testify; that garners a vast network of volunteers; that motivates constituents to write and call our office on a regular basis.”
Hales bestowed the Spirit of Portland Mayor’s Award on the Rosewood Initiative and Andre Baugh.
The Rosewood Initiative is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to making the Rosewood area, located in a 15-block area around the intersection of 162nd and East Burnside, a desirable place to live, work and play. The organization is building a safe, healthy, respectful, vibrant and inclusive community for everyone in Rosewood, and is working for meaningful change in partnership with agencies across Portland, Gresham and Multnomah County. Residents and businesses connect with one another to align resources and achieve shared goals. Through the work of staff and volunteers, the Rosewood Community Center has become a neighborhood hub, where neighbors can stop by for myriad reasons including Zumba classes, parent/child classes, afterschool activities, community space rental, and computer/Internet access. Additionally, through a partnership with Work Systems Inc., the community center now provides valuable employment services, coaching, and research for community members looking for employment.
Andre Baugh, an Oregon resident for most of his life, has served the local community in numerous ways. He was appointed to the Portland Planning commission by Mayor Potter in 2008, and has since served under both Mayor Adams and Mayor Hales. He became chair of the Planning and Sustainability Commission in 2011. As chair, Baugh has been instrumental in involving equity and health in decision-making and planning processes. He was involved in the nationally recognized Portland Plan and the planning for West Hayden Island, and is currently leading the Comprehensive Plan update.
Mayor Hales also awarded Aber Starks of Conscious Coils and Portland Mercado the Community Award.
Amber Starks is a model, a business owner (Conscious Coils), and hair braider who’s a proud champion of natural hair. As a leader and advocate, she fought—successfully—to change Oregon law to increase economic opportunity for people who practice traditional natural haircare, focusing on the braiding, weaving and locking of hair without the use of chemicals. Amber is a 2012 graduate of the Urban League of Portland’s Social Justice and Civic Leadership Program, which empowered her to successfully navigate the legislative process. As a result, in 2013, State Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer introduced House Bill 3409 to created licenses for natural hair stylists. It passed in the House and Senate and was signed into law by Gov. Kitzhaber on June 4, 2013.
Portland Mercado is a community economic development initiative of Portland nonprofit, Hacienda CDC. It’s a grassroots initiative—Hacienda CDC’s response to the high percentage of unemployed Latinos living in the region, and the lack of access to culturally specific products and affordable business opportunities available in the city. Since 2010, Hacienda CDC and its “comunidad viva,” along with governmental, fiscal and community supporters, have teamed up to create a true cross-sector development that has the potential to transform the livelihoods of Latino business owners, families and neighbors spanning the Lents Urban Renewal Area. Portland has the opportunity to develop amenities to neighborhoods without displacing people, and the Foster Corridor is a great place to do it right. The Portland Mercado is just part of the current efforts to transform a neighborhood with a lot of history and community support.
Other Spirit of Portland honorees include:
Ronault L.S. Catalani (Polo): Equity in Practice Partnerships
Donita Fry: Native American Youth and Family Center
George T. Nicola: Gay and Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest (GLAPN)
Ramón Ramírez: Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste
East Portland Action Plan
Write Around Portland
Sandy Diedrich Environmental Stewardship Award:
Don Baack: SWTrails
Members of the Oregon State Police Salem Area Command
Kristi Jamison: Portland Commission on Disability
Dr. Karen Fischer Gray: Parkrose School District
Stephen Marc Beaudoin: PHAME
American Red Cross, Cascades Region
Jade District Steering Committee
Rose City Futsal
Mayor Tours Lents, Prioritized for Development into Complete Neighborhood
TUESDAY, OCT. 28, 2014 — Mayor Charlie Hales last week went on an informational tour of Lents, a neighborhood struggling with development. The mayor learned from neighborhood activists, business leaders and developers how they envision prosperity in Lents.
“This reinforced that we need to bring in developers that have in mind the best change for the neighborhood,” Hales said.
Hales has prioritized the development of complete neighborhoods to combat what he calls a “tale of two Portlands: 45 percent of Portlanders live in complete neighborhoods. That’s fantastic,” Hales said. “But 55 percent do not. That’s unacceptable.
“We want everything we love about Portland to be accessible to everyone. We want to uplift more people, ensure everyone has access to opportunity. That’s work that needs to be done in Lents.”
Portland Development Commission, the city’s urban renewal and economic development agency, has an eye on Lents, with several open requests for information for development sites along Southeast 92nd Avenue and Foster Road. From PDC:
“PDC is seeking statements of interest and development concepts from qualified development teams for the purchase and development of multiple sites located along SE 92nd Avenue & Foster Road in and around the Lents Town Center. PDC will offer more than six acres for development, and is poised to employ significant financial and other resources to ensure attainment of community goals and redevelopment objectives in the Lents Town Center.”
Learn more in the FAQ: http://www.pdc.us/our-work/urban-renewal-areas/lents/current-projects/lents-rfi.aspx
Hales also toured some bright spots in Lents, including Portland Mercado, a Latino public market at Southeast 72nd and Foster, funded by PDC and Hacienda Community Development Corporation. The remodel of a former car dealership is rolling along, and is likely to be finished by spring.
The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability is also active in Lents, working on turning a vacant lot into a community orchard and gathering place. Learn more about the project: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/article/507700. Design meetings will be held Nov. 15 and 19. Click the link for details.
Mayor Encourages Young Business Leaders to Become Civically, Politically Involved
FRIDAY, OCT. 10, 2014—Mayor Charlie Hales on Thursday called on young leaders with the Portland Business Alliance to become involved in public service. Hales talked about Portland as a city of opportunity, noting initiatives to promote, encourage and ensure fairness in Portland, such as the Black Male Achievement program in which the mayor invested. But he also talked about work that needs to be done to ensure that everyone has access to everything that’s loved about Portland — affordable housing, parks with amenities, good schools.
“I encourage all of you to get involved civically or politically. You’re already leaders; that’s why you’re here today. So get involved,” Hales said. “Find a candidate you believe in and work on his or her campaign. Find a ballot measure you support and work on that campaign. Find something you believe in and get involved.”
The mayor also responded to questions from participants. The questions, in the order they were asked:
PBA Young Leader question: There seem to be increasingly more homeless people downtown. What is the city doing?
Mayor Hales answer: Police and Clean & Safe respond to calls about people on the sidewalks, but business owners have responsibility too. They’re in charge of the sidewalks around their establishments, and they can do more. That said, Old Town-Chinatown has been prioritized. The community-developed plan for development should help draw positive things to the area—middle-income housing, businesses, restaurants—something more than bars and services. That will make the neighborhood more complete, diluting the impact of having services concentrated in one area. Meanwhile, you can support organizations that help lift people up, like Street Roots. They’re going weekly; carry a couple dollars and buy a couple issues.
PBA: Why are there more homelessness people now in Northwest Portland?
Hales: They were probably displaced. While we have police walking beats and bicycle beats and park rangers working to connect people with resources, homelessness has proven to be an intractable problem. We’ve poured money into housing and resources, but we still see people sleeping on the street. That’s part of why we’re working on the tiny homes project. It could be a solution to an ongoing, serious problem.
PBA: What about the Portland Police Bureau’s reputation? I was told it’s bad because of the media and other reasons.
Hales: It’s not the media’s fault. They don’t like anyone; that’s not their job. Their job is to be critical. But I disagree that the police have a bad reputation. Polling shows that overwhelmingly the public has a positive view of Portland Police. With walking beats and increasing community engagement, it’s especially evident that the polling is accurate.
PBA: Why should we care about the proposed 2035 Comprehensive Plan?
Hales: This is our opportunity to adjust to Portland’s rapid growth, and to make sure our planning reflects our goals. Especially in East Portland, we need to catch up with parks and infrastructure, like good streets and sidewalks. And we want to move toward less car-centric planning, and this is how we do it.
PBA: What is our greatest infrastructure challenge?
Hales: Transportation. That’s why we proposed that clunky mechanism of the street fee. People aren’t used to knowing they’re paying for their streets. There’s the gas tax, but that’s lumped in so people don’t think about it. But we’re at a point where the state can’t afford to maintain its bridges and highways. The federal Highway Trust Fund is close to insolvency, with the same tax rate since 1993. That’s why we, as a municipality, have had to step up to try to fund our own streets.
Beyond that, parks. We need to make sure every neighborhood has access to a good park, and that’s why we have a measure on the ballot. Schools: Portland Public Schools is gradually making improvements using bonds, but our schools need help. And sales tax: All of these challenges could be addressed with revenue from sales tax. Then we’d have tourists helping support our streets, our parks, and our schools.
PBA: Thankfully I’m a homeowner, but if I were shopping for a home now, I don’t think I could be. What’s your vision to keep Portland a livable and affordable city?
Hales: Right now we dedicate 30 percent of our urban renewal area funding to affordable housing. Even when I cut the budget by $21.5 million, I dedicated money to housing. So we’re actively working to address affordable housing. Another strategy is scaling up the community land trust model, where a nonprofit buys land and a people own the home, just not the property underneath. That helps keep owning a home affordable—and Portland is a city of homeowners. The Comprehensive Plan can also help shape affordability. Realistically, though, there’s no stopping the fact that as it grows, Portland will become more expensive. We’re trying to meter that trajectory rather than stop it.
PBA: What’s the most challenging decision you’ve had to make so far?
Hales: I’d say the decision to move forward with the street fee even though I knew it’d be unpopular. But Commissioner Steve Novick and I decided it would be irresponsible to ignore the problem and pass it on to our successors or to future generations. There’s been a storm of anger and denial, but we’re doing the right thing.
Another challenge has been getting Nancy to stop reading the online comments. Read the article, sure; but don’t read the comments!
Mayor To Visit Old Town Street Activation Experiment
FRIDAY, OCT. 3, 2014 -- Tonight and Saturday afternoon Mayor Charlie Hales will tour the Better Block PDX set-up in the Entertainment District in Old Town.
The district was established under Mayor Sam Adams in response to rampant crime in the area, and because of its success in reducing crime and facilitating police response, was continued by the current City Council. Now bar owners in the area have invested in an experiment to create pedestrian space and a bike lane.
“The bar owners are stepping up to address a problem in their own neighborhood. It’s to their credit that this proposal is moving forward,” Mayor Hales said. “We will take the time necessary to study the results of this experiment and then will move forward together.”
On Saturday at 1 p.m. Mayor Hales will tour Better Block PDX's activated street -- pedestrian friendly, filled with vendors, booths, the Saturday Market, and other attractions to bring people into the right of way.
Update 2: Coverage from BikePortland
Last Sunday Parkways of the Season Attracts Families to Southwest Portland
MONDAY, SEPT. 29, 2014 -- Southwest Portland hosted the final Sunday Parkways of the series yesterday, and Mayor Charlie Hales joined the hundreds of families on the 3-mile route.
"It was hilly, and the mayor kicked my butt," said Jackie Dingfelder, an avid cyclist and a policy adviser to the mayor.
"It was a perfect day," Hales said. "I had some great conversations along the tour of a beautiful neighborhood -- exactly what the event is meant to accomplish."
Jade District Night Market Celebrates Asian Culture
SATURDAY, SEPT. 13, 2014 -- First Lady Nancy Hales on Saturday attended the final Jade District Night Market, an event that is part festival, part Portland Saturday Market, part food cart pod and celebrates Asian culture and promoting the Southeast Portland business district. Previous night markets were Aug. 23 and 30, and Sept. 6.
"It was wonderful--packed with so many families, kiddies, neighbors," Nancy said. "Families walked in from neighborhoods all down 82nd to event! It was extremely well-organized with many volunteers."
Nancy spoke at beginning of the event and welcomed everyone on behalf of mayor and city. She thanked the organizers, and encouraged much shopping, eating, and celebrating. She shared empanadas and rice beer with the band The Slants--Simon Young (bass), and Tyler Chen (drums)--and loved the Fasca Yo Yo Team, performing traditional work from Taiwan.
Neighborhood House Opens Children's Center, Head Start Program
FRIDAY, SEPT. 12, 2014 -- Neighborhood House -- a nonprofit social service provider whose programs help low-income, recent-immigrant and other vulnerable populations -- on Friday cut the ribbon to open their brand new Children’s Center.
The center will house a Head Start program serving 96 children, ages 3 to 5. Kiddos will come from around the Southwest neighborhood, with 22 spaces for children at Stephens Creek Crossing, the newest affordable housing in Southwest Portland.
“Head Start may be the smartest money ever spent on education,” Mayor Charlie Hales said. “For decades, studies have shown that students need a solid foundation early on, upon which to build their education. Neighborhood House will be providing just that to these children. What a tremendous public service.”
The Head Start program still has eight spots available for 3- to 5-year-olds in the Southwest and Northwest neighborhoods. Call 503-244-1800 for information.
Donors to the $5.2 million project helped add an educational and recreational feature to Southwest Portland, contributing to Mayor Hales' ambition for "complete neighborhoods," in which Portlanders regardless of background or income have access to quality amenities and opportunities. The location will serve a diverse community of children from Somalia and other East African countries, from Middle Eastern countries, and from Latin America.
North/Northeast Portland: City Seeks Community Help on Housing Strategy
MONDAY, SEPT. 8, 2014 – The City is investing $20 million in North/Northeast Portland over the next five years to help address the need for affordable housing.
Now, the city needs input from the community to help inform the housing strategy.
“The issues of affordable housing in North and Northeast Portland have moved front and center under the leadership of Housing Commissioner Dan Saltzman and the Portland Housing Bureau,” Mayor Hales said. “This effort is running concurrently with plans for new commercial development on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, including a grocer and a second new commercial building. The combination of jobs and housing is our best bet to overcome the problems of gentrification.”
A series of forums is scheduled for September and October. People can sign up to participate at the Housing Bureau’s website.
The forums are:
● Highland Christian Center, 7600 N.E. Glisan St., Thursday, Sept. 18, with dinner at 6 p.m. and the session from 6:30–9 p.m.
● Matt Dishman Community Center, 77 N.E. Knott St., Saturday, Sept. 27, with lunch at 1 p.m. and the session from 1:30 to 4 p.m.
● Gresham City Hall, 1333 N.W. Eastman Parkway, Gresham, Thursday, Oct. 9, with dinner at 6 p.m. and the session from 6:30 to 9 p.m.
● New Song Community Church, 2511 N.E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Saturday, Oct. 11, with breakfast at 9 a.m. and the session from 9:30 to noon.
City Gives Green Light to Gateway Green
WEDNESDAY, AUG. 27, 2014 – An island of unused land at the confluence of two freeways took another step this week in its journey to become an East Portland city park and regional off-road biking destination.
Portland Parks & Recreation has acquired the 25-acre Gateway Green property. The city will work with the Friends of Gateway Green to build an off-road biking facility on the site.
The Portland City Council today unanimously authorized the land transfer from the Oregon Department of Transportation, using funds from System Development Charges, not tax dollars. The city’s SDCs are fees paid by developers to support the increased infrastructure required when homes and businesses are built. A total of $19,300 in SDCs will fund the land acquisition.
“It is wonderful to take the next step on Gateway Green, an open space long envisioned for outdoor recreation,” says City Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz. “The location between I-205 and I-84 will boost Portland’s visibility as a world-class, bike-friendly city, and is a tremendous use of the underutilized land. The driving force on Gateway Green has been the persistent grassroots effort. I admire how neighbors and cyclists have come together to see their vision for Gateway Green move forward.”
Mayor Charlie Hales applauded the efforts of the Friends of Gateway Green, and Parks Commissioner Fritz. “This is a terrific addition to this, one of the greenest cities in America,” said Hales, who served as city parks commissioner in the 1990s, where he helped purchase space for, or develop, more than a dozen parks facilities in East Portland, including the East Portland Community Center.
“Portland Parks & Recreation is committed to partnering with community advocates to make Gateway Green a regional gathering place for families,” Fritz said. “It will be an important addition to our infrastructure that enhances wildlife habitat and recreation for children, families and seniors.”
Mike Abbaté, city parks director, hailed the importance of Gateway Green as part of the city’s bicycling culture. “The Portland cycling community has long asked for more recreational opportunities across our system. Gateway
Green will provide a place where bicyclists of all ages can gather, develop their skills and enjoy the outdoors, all while increasing their physical health.”
The brainchild of two dedicated community members, Linda Robinson and Ted Gilbert, Gateway Green has blossomed into a regional project that involves and is supported by multiple partners, including ODOT, Portland Parks and Recreation, Oregon State Parks, Metro and the City of Maywood Park, along with bicycle, environmental, and neighborhood groups, who are working together to realize the original vision.
“Obviously this is a huge step for the Gateway Green project –and an exciting day for me,” Robinson said, while speaking today to the City Council. “‘Patient persistence’ –that’s my personal motto. And this is a perfect example of how patient persistence can pay off.”
Abbaté thanked Robinson and Gilbert, “for their years of advocacy towards making Gateway Green a reality.
Developing Gateway Green was included as an Oregon Solutions project in 2009 and includes support from Gov. Kitzhaber’s office.
“Today’s action by Portland City Council successfully transfers 25 acres of ODOT property to the city, for the creation of a world-class recreational facility,” said ODOT Region 1 Interim Region Manager Rian Windsheimer. “This important milestone follows years of work by the Friends of Gateway Green, ODOT, the Governor’s office and the City of Portland.”
The non-profit Friends of Gateway Green hopes to raise about $1.6 million by the end of 2015 to validate a Metro “Nature in Neighborhoods” grant. Donations may be made at http://www.gatewaygreenpdx.org/
Mayor Celebrates Community Safety, Unity at National Night Out Events
WEDNESDAY, AUG. 6, 2014 — Jordan, 3, looked apprehensively at the plume of hamburger-scented smoke rising from the grill.
“Fire! Fire!” he shouted, looking up at the Portland Fire and Rescue firefighters towering behind him. “It’s hot!”
“The kid’s a natural,” said Battalion Chief Mark Kaiel. “He’s got a future.”
Firefighters with Station 2, Truck 2 on Tuesday evening were at Columbia Ridge Apartments for the Wilkes neighborhood National Night Out event, one of about 100 citywide. Since 1983, on the second Tuesday in August residents nationwide gather in their neighborhoods to demonstrate their commitment to safety and community. Law enforcement and emergency services attend events in their neighborhoods.
“This crew responds to this complex a few times a year,” Kaiel said. “It’s good for residents to see these guys outside of a crisis. And it’s good for the crew to see residents in a fun environment.”
Mayor Charlie Hales attended several National Night Out events Tuesday to talk with residents in an informal setting, sharing food, meeting kids, and hearing about the neighborhood.
“These events are a fantastic way to get people out into their neighborhoods,” Hales said. “A united neighborhood strengthens the fabric of community — critical for safety and prosperity.”
At Wilkes in East Portland, kids clamored in and out of a fire truck, handing their cellphones to firefighter Matt Fullerton to snap a photo.
In a Cully neighborhood apartment complex, Clara Vista Apartments, kids took over a police car, finding the button for the lights, the PA system, and — to the panic of police officers — the radio.
“No emergency,” Portland Police Officer Graham said into this chest radio, “just some kids.” He turned to the car: “OK, guys, time to get out.”
At the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO) in far Northeast Portland, kids from widely varied backgrounds ran around the gym with bouncy balls and hula hoops, pausing for face painting or to pull a block from the giant Jenga game.
At Binford Condominium Association’s event in Northeast Portland, former State Sen. Avel Gordly chatted with the mayor and First Lady over bratwurst and fruit. Used books were out for the taking, and kids ran around the expansive yard, pausing to smack a piñata and feed a parrot.
Marigold HydroPark hosted Southwest Portland’s Markham neighborhood event. Families gathered at picnic tables full of food and kids played with enough soccer balls to keep them dashing about.
In South Burlingame Park, the band Still Kickin’ — comprised of friends who’ve been jamming for nine years — played as children explored a fire engine, snatching stickers from firefighters Shannon Ellison and Josh Clemmer.
“National Night Out celebrates neighborhood safety and unity,” Hales said. “Look around — it’s working. People are having fun, hanging out. What a great, worthwhile event.”
Sixth annual Bike Town Hall Slated
TUESDAY, JULY 15, 2014 – Madison South Neighborhood: Sen. Michael Dembrow, plays host to the sixth annual Bike Town Hall at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 26, at The Lumberyard, 2700 N.E. 82nd Ave.
This year’s co-hosts are State Reps. Alissa Keny-Guyer and Barbara Smith Warner. Dembrow, who serves North Portland, calls this “a unique town hall on two wheels.”
This year’s focus is on the 82nd Avenue Corridor. “We’re looking for new ‘road diets’ on Glisan and Division, some innovative neifhborhood-centered community projects, and finishing at the Montavilla Farmers Market,” Dembrow said. “The ride will proceed at a leisurely pace, so riders of all ages and skill levels are welcome.”
‘World Cup’ Still Alive for Boys, Girls Teams at Delta Park
WHAT: The 5th Annual Portland World Cup Soccer Tournament
WHERE: Delta Park, N. Denver Ave. & Martin Luther King
WHEN: Today and Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Who: 17 boys’ teams and six girls’ teams are taking part in the 2014 tournament.
Photo Essay: https://www.facebook.com/PortlandWorldCupSoccer
THURSDAY, JULY 3, 2014 – East Columbia Neighborhood: Portland Parks & Recreation plays host to this year’s Portland World Cup Soccer Tournament, today and Friday, at Delta Park.
Opening ceremonies began at 9 a.m., featuring Bhutanese priest Khada Mishra, diversity advocates and special guests, including Portland Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz and Portland Parks & Recreation Director Mike Abbaté.
The Portland World Cup Soccer Tournament brings together 350 youths originally from more than 22 countries. Many were refugees or are newcomers to both Portland and the United States.
Crafting a handmade plastic soccer ball is one of the most common ways that youths in refugee camps and poor communities are able enjoy the sport, often in harsh conditions. Eder Mutara, a Portland World Cup Soccer Tournament organizer and player originally from the Congo, recalls his experiences in a Zambian refugee camp known as Mayukwayukwa.
“Living in a refugee camp makes one resourceful. Every day we would play with a ball we crafted from plastic bags and twine,” he says. “It was just as much a part of my day as mealtime. The best thing about this type of ball is that it can be played in any kind of field such as on dry ground, on the street, on the grass field, and pretty much everywhere. In my native language we call a plastic soccer ball ‘Tshibulundu.’ By playing with a Tshibulundu, I was able to keep my mind way from thinking of not having enough food and pure water. I was able to stay out of trouble and focus on making the right decisions.”
Mutara is entering his fifth year as a Portland World Cup Soccer Tournament participant. He spent several years in a refugee camp before moving to Portland with his mother, sister and six brothers. In the fall, he will attend Western Oregon University on a scholarship. Eder speaks seven languages, wrestles, plays football, soccer and plans to study accounting.
“In the camp we went without clean water, and often not enough food. People were depressed,” he says. “I believed that there was hope, and one way I tried to encourage those around me was by getting them involved in sports such as soccer and track. We were without shoes, balls or water to drink. I relied on the spirits of dozens of youth who were able to focus on something other than their immediate situation for a while. Eventually, I moved to America, where I’ve tried to use the same leadership skills learned in soccer to build community by organizing this large tournament through Portland Parks & Recreation.”
The Portland World Cup Soccer Tournament and its associated programs engage underserved and underrepresented immigrant and refugee youth who’ve come to Portland from all over the world, representing nearly two dozen ethnicities and cultures. This event is an important celebration of diversity, family, partnership and integration in Portland. There are 16 boys’ teams and five girls’ teams taking part in the 2014 tournament.
“When we talk about ‘closing the play gap’ here in Portland, we mean providing for people who need parks, recreation and play the most,” says Portland Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz. “The Portland World Cup Soccer Tournament and its related activities help foster awareness about what our city offers for people new to Portland – athletic, educational, career opportunities and more - through the international language of football, also known as soccer here in Portland.”
“The Portland World Cup Soccer Tournament is about much more than a game,” says Polo Catalani of the Office of Equity and Human Rights. “It’s about investing our efforts now to embrace the changing face of our city, about integrating people new to both Portland and the United States into our society and our quality of life, and about showing them how to take part in democracy.”
Catalani notes that one in five Portlanders are now foreign-born, and nearly half of area public school students belong to ethnic minority families. In many underserved north and east Portland neighborhoods, these percentages are even higher.
Immigrant & Refugee Community Organization (IRCO)
David Douglas School District
Office of Equity and Human Rights
The Oregon Bhutanese community
The African Youth Council of Oregon
For more information, call (503) 823-5300 or visit www.portlandparks.org.
Medical School Building a Game-Changer for South Waterfront
SOUTH PORTLAND – Attending the opening of the amazing Collaborative Life Sciences Building on South Waterfront last week. On hand were, from left, Kenneth Novack, president of investment firm MMGL Corp.; Dr. Joe Robertson, president of OHSU; Dr. Wim Wiewel, president of PSU; and Kate Jensen, a PSU graduate who is entering the OHSU School of Nursing.
Mayor Hales Celebrates Community Unity with Good in the Hood
SATURDAY, JUNE 28, 2014 — Mayor Charlie Hales, First Lady Nancy Hales, and members of the mayor’s staff on Saturday paraded down Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to celebrate community unity at Good in the Hood.
For more than two decades, the Good in the Hood festival has sought to build unity in Northeast Portland, with a focus on community-building. The event started as a Holy Redeemer Catholic School fundraiser for education programs. Now the event includes more than 2,000 parade participants from across the city and vendors from across Oregon and Washington, expanding the community far beyond Northeast Portland.
On Saturday, the smell of Big C’s BBQ settled over Albina Park and people danced to covers performed by Elliot Young and the Smokin’ Section. The Ebony Strutters, a drill team of girls aged approximately 4 to 15, delighted the crowd with a dance routine; by the end of it, the audience — including the mayor — was dancing along.
Hales kicked off the festival by proclaiming June 28 “Unity in the Community Day.” Good in the Hood reflects the mayor’s goal to develop a city of “complete neighborhoods” — those with good schools, ample jobs, and streets, sidewalks and parks that are safe and in good repair. The event is an exemplar of civic ownership among neighborhood residents; its growth shows how positive momentum in neighborhoods benefits the city as a whole.
“In my office we don’t talk about world-class cities,” Hales says. “We talk about world-class neighborhoods. And Good in the Hood is an excellent example of that.”
Portland Parks & Rec Ready for Hot Weather
KEEP COOL IN A PP&R POOL!
PP&R pools offer open play swims, water exercise classes, junior lifeguard training, junior swim instructor training, summer swim teams, and more!
Pool lists and info: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/parks/38284
Fun in a Fountain!
Park fountains are enjoyable ways to keep cool! Here’s a list; the ones labeled as “interactive” allow wading, splashing and interactive play (like you find at Salmon Springs or Jamison Square): http://www.portlandoregon.gov/parks/42348
Splash Pads Are Open
Portland Parks & Recreation's splash pads around the city are open to help you stay cool! Splash away through the end of September, hours are 11 am to 9pm.
"Not only do they make the hot days more tolerable," writes the Oregonian, "but they pull people into the park. It's like a modern - and more colorful - version of the time-honored tradition of running through the sprinkler. Urban renewal in the form of water."
Splash pads can be found at the following PP&R parks:
Columbia Park - North Lombard & Woolsey
Essex Park - SE 79th & Center
Earl Boyles Park - SE 112th & Boise
Elizabeth Caruthers Park - 3508 SW Moody
Farragut Park - North Kerby & Farragut
Grant Park - NE 33rd & US Grant Place
Kenton Park - 8417 North Brandon
McCoy Park- North Trenton & Newman
Northgate Park - North Geneva & Fessenden
Peninsula Park - 700 North Rosa Parks Way
Pier Park - North Lombard & Bruce
Raymond Park- SE 188th & Raymond
Stark Street Island - SE 106th & Stark
Fun On the Fourth
Portland Parks & Recreation has seven pools open for Independence Day, Friday, July 4, 2014:
East Portland Pool (503) 823-3450 11:30am-1pm – Family Swim
740 SE 106th 1:00-5:00pm – Open Play Swim
Grant Pool (503) 823-3674 12-1pm – Parent/Preschooler Swim
2300 NE 33rd 1:10-4:25pm – Open Play Swim
4:30-6:00pm – Family Play Swim
Mt. Scott Pool (503) 823-3183 12:00-1:00pm – Family Swim
5530 SE 72nd 1:00-3:30pm – Open Play Swim
Pier Pool (503) 823-3678 1-5pm – Open Play Swim
9341 N St. Johns
Sellwood Pool (503) 823-3679 1-5pm – Open Play Swim
7951 SE 7th
Southwest Pool (503) 823-2840 11:30-1:00pm – Family Swim
6820 SW 45th Ave 1:00-5:30pm – Open Play Swim
Wilson Pool (503) 823-3680 12-6pm – Open Play Swim
1151 SW Vermont
For more individual pool info, please call your neighborhood pool directly.
“Summer is a wonderful time to experience what Portland Parks & Recreation has to offer,” says Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz.
“From our community centers, camps, classes, and the Summer Free for All series of movies and concerts in our parks, there is plenty to choose from! In all activities, stay safe, follow these PP&R guidelines for staying healthy and having fun, and take advantage of the healthy options and resources that Portland Parks and Recreation has to offer.”
Last Thursday a Success Under New Rules
FRIDAY, JUNE 27, 2014 — Upward of 15,000 people turned out for the second Last Thursday of the year, June 26. Mayor Charlie Hales was on hand to take part in the celebration.
“It was a terrific event, but noticeably quieter,” Hales said. “Last Thursday is an iconic celebration. People come from all over to enjoy the evening. I go almost every month and think it’s one of the city’s coolest events.”
Last Thursday is undergoing changes this year. In May, the city introduced a 9 p.m. closure of the arts celebration; previously, events ran deep into the night and early morning hours.
In June, the city began citing musicians for loud music. Musical acts were alerted in May and during the first half of the June celebration. Citations were given to three musical performers who refused to turn down their music.
“We head complaints from neighbors about the loud music, year after year,” Hales said. “We also heard from acoustic musicians, who were being drowned out by amplified music. So this year, we asked the loudest bands to turn down the volume. And by and large, they agreed.”
The mayor’s office received only one complaint about noise by Friday morning. During the event the Noise Control Office handed out just two noise citations and one violation letter. Drummers, ukulele bands, and other musicians were overwhelmingly cooperative with city noise enforcement, said Chad Stover, policy aide to the mayor.
On Thursday noise control officers and police warned musicians and distributed literature about the city’s noise standards. City code limits the maximum distance for sound to be audible at 100 feet, but officials were lenient, allowing an extra 25 feet. The few groups that didn’t comply with the warnings were cited, a $250 fine.
For 16 years Last Thursday has been a neighborhood arts showcase, but as it grew, neighbors and businesses were negatively impacted by noise and other issues. Noise enforcement is an effort to balance a trademark neighborhood event with the city standards that protect quality of life for neighbors and businesses, as well as to equitably enforce rules at festivals citywide.
City to Enforce Noise Rules at Last Thursday
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 25, 2014 – The City of Portland has been working for the last several years to better balance the impacts of noise at the monthly Last Thursday on Northeast Alberta Street. The noise from the event impacts neighbors, businesses and street musicians who have been drowned out by excessive loud musical performances.
Beginning at this month’s Last Thursday, the City will work to equitably enforce noise violations that have an impact on the neighbors and businesses in the Alberta Street Neighborhood area.
“Musicians will be held accountable to comply with the existing 100 foot audibility standard in the Portland City Code for performances at Last Thursday,” said Paul van Orden, Noise Control Officer. “Citations will be issued for individuals and groups found in violation.”
As the event grows, the City regularly hears from the community that the event should be held to the same legal standards that are used at any other street festivals throughout the city. “It is simply not equitable to let one un-permitted event, such as Last Thursday, operate at louder sound levels than we would for other community events such as the Mississippi Street Fair, Good in the Neighborhood, Belmont Street Festival, or the Hawthorne Street fest,” van Orden said. “These are just a handful of examples of events that have a robust number of volunteers, and work hard to comply with City permits and limit their impact on the community members living near their event.”
Over the last eight to 10 years, the Noise Control Office at the City of Portland has worked to educate musicians about the need along Alberta Street to comply with the City Codes related to street musician performance and the use of amplifiers in the public right of way that sets the maximum distance for sound to be audible at no more than 100 feet. After many years of education, and having announced the change in practice this spring, City staff will begin enforcing the existing rules.
Other changes at the 2014 Last Thursday festivities include a 9 p.m. closure, to comply with neighborhood requests. “We started that practice in May and it went well,” said Chad Stover, adviser to Mayor Charlie Hales.
Tomorrow at Last Thursday, the Noise Office will be working at the beginning of the event to pace off to 125 feet with one staff person and than another officer will educate musicians and DJs if they are too loud and need to reduce their sound. It will be the intent to give musicians a little more distance than the 100 foot rule by having officers pace off to 125 feet.
Any musicians who do not comply after a warning will be cited. The citation carries a $250 penalty.
“Last Thursday is a great event. People love it,” Stover said. “The mayor attended almost every one of them last year. We’re convinced it can remain a great event, and be a better neighbor. We’re looking forward to another season of vibrant Last Thursdays on Alberta with fewer noise impacts on neighbors.”
Last Thursday Kicks Off for 17th Season
THURSDAY, MAY 29, 2014 – Last Thursday, the ever-popular street festival on Southeast Alberta Street, kicks off tonight for its 17th season. It has grown into one of the largest such events in Portland, drawing upwards of 20,000 people each month throughout the summer.
Last Thursday is enjoyed by many, but with it comes livability concerns for neighbors and business owners in the area, such as drunkenness, noise, litter and vandalism.
“We love Last Thursday,” Mayor Charlie Hales said. “But we need to figure out how to pay for it. Last year, it cost about $75,000 to $80,000. And the taxpayers foot that bill. Other street fairs don’t get that deal. So it’s a matter of equity.”
Earlier this spring, the mayor’s office began talking to the business community, neighbors and the media, regarding a way to pay for Last Thursday.
The proposal for a fee is expected to be implemented later this summer, perhaps by July.
But other changes are in the offing this week. They include:
● Beginning immediately, the event will end at 9 p.m. Residents in the past have complained about the festivities running until the early morning hours.
● Beginning immediately, all musicians must comply with the city’s noise code.
● By mid-summer, all vendors setting up in the right-of-way will be required to officially register for space and pay a fee. Information on announcements and instructions will be posted at: www.portlandoregon.gov/lastthursday
Alberta: Changes Coming for Last Thursday
FRIDAY, MAY 9, 2014 – Mayor Charlie Hales announced today a set of changes for the monthly Last Thursday celebrations on Northeast Alberta Street.
Among the most notable: the summer festivals will end at 9 p.m., to address concerns of neighborhood residents. And the mayor’s office will study the option of charging fees, possibly to food vendors and local bars and restaurants that remain open during the festivities.
“We’re working together with the organizers, the neighbors and the local business community to make Last Thursday a terrific event for everybody,” Mayor Hales said.
The street fair, now in its 17th season, began as an art walk and has mushroomed into a street fair that reaches crowds of up to 20,000 people during the peak of the season. Today, Last Thursday stretches for 15 blocks along Alberta Street.
Last Thursday has drawn artists, musicians, food vendors and performers from all over the country to Portland on an annual basis, making it one of Portland’s iconic events.
In recent years, neighbors have complained about livability concerns, including public urinations, drunkenness, loitering, littering, noise, double parking and fights. The monthly celebrations also have run deep into the early hours of Fridays. Last year, during his first year in office, Mayor Hales began exploring ways of maintaining the celebration while addressing neighborhood concerns. He also asked staff to investigate alternative funding proposals.
“Last year, taxpayers throughout Portland subsidized Last Thursday by an estimated $75,000 to $80,000,” said Chad Stover, project manager in the mayor’s office. “That includes police, fire, Transportation Bureau personnel, and the Office of Neighborhood Involvement. The Mayor’s Office also covered the cost of port-a-potties, garbage, recycling and security services.”
Stover and others in the mayor’s office will spend part of this year looking for an alternative to having the events sponsored by the taxpayers.
Typically, organizers of street fairs develop non-profit status, work together with businesses and neighbors in the area, and apply for a permit from the city. City services are provided in a support role, but the organizers are primarily responsible for funding and management. In the case of Last Thursday, no such body was ever created and, as a result, taxpayers have been covering the cost.
“The mayor believes that should be the model for Last Thursday as well,” Stover said.
No decision has been reached regarding the amount of fees, or who would be asked to pay them.
“Last Thursday is a special event that many Portlanders love,” Hales said. “We want to find a way to make it a sustainable event that is welcomed and appreciated by neighbors and businesses, as well as the Last Thursday enthusiasts who attend each year. Ultimately, the event needs to manage appropriately and it needs a financial home.”
Among the changes to expect this year:
- The events will end at 9 p.m.
- Police will strictly enforce open-container drinking in the right of way, as well as marijuana use. Neither was enforced strictly in the past.
- The Noise Office and police will work to bring street musicians within compliance of the city’s noise code.
- The city will look for ways to cover the extraordinary costs borne by taxpayers. Possibilities include applying fees to restaurants and bars that are open during the event, food vendors in the street, artists and performers.
Multnomah Village: Calling All Storytellers
FRIDAY, MARCH 28, 2014 – The Multnomah Arts Center is hosting “Truth Be Told: An Evening of Storytelling in Multnomah Village,” 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, May 2.
The center, a part of the Portland Parks & Recreation Bureau, is at 7688 S.W. Capitol Highway in Multnomah Village.
“We're looking for great storytellers who know how to hook an audience in with their voice and tell us a story they’ll remember,” said Judith Pullman, event coordinator. “Stories should be true and told from the heart, not the page.”
Judges will select an estimated six people to get on stage and wax poetic, Pullman said. “This will be an entertaining night – everyone knows truth is often more stunning than fiction –and we all know Portland is full of great stories.”
Admission will be on a sliding scale, and no one will be turned away. Food and drinks will be sold. Ages 21-and-older only.
The event is sponsored by the Multnomah Arts Center Association. All proceeds from this event will be designated towards improvements to center's auditorium.
Guidelines are available online. http://www.multnomahartscenter.org/truthbetold/
To sign up, call the Truth Be Told Voicemail at (503) 765-7146 and leave up to two three-minute voicemails.
The deadline is Friday, April 11.
Dawson Park Improvements Announced
March 19, 2014 – Portland Parks & Recreation has identified added funding to upgrade the new playground surfacing and equipment at the soon-to-be revitalized Dawson Park, at North Stanton Street and Williams Avenue. Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz delivered the news first to the Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods.
The changes include a playground surface designed to be universally accessible, along with several pieces of play equipment chosen to be enjoyed by children of all abilities.
“These are exciting changes to a park that is widely treasured and has a significant history,” Fritz said. “I am thrilled that Dawson Park is being re-energized, and proud to see our City working with neighbors to make it a vibrant part of the community once again.”
Mayor Charlie Hales praised the news. “We strive for a goal of ‘Every Neighborhood Complete,’ and this is what we mean. Every neighborhood deserves a great park, and Commissioner Fritz’ news heralds a great new resource for this region,” he said.
“It is important that the playground will accommodate children and adults of all abilities,” Fritz said, noting that Dawson Park is directly across from the Randall Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel. Several other organizations that serve and mentor children also are located near the park.
The new type of play surface is a sustainable and permeable system that utilizes shredded vehicle tires – one recycled tire for each square foot of play surface. It allows greater accessibility for people with disabilities, as compared to the typical “engineered wood fiber” play surface found in most of Portland’s playgrounds.
The enhanced turf and playground equipment are part of the larger construction effort by the Portland Development Commission and PP&R to restore the park as a key community gathering space, while honoring its rich African-American history. The $2.7 million renovation project will make the park more welcoming and attractive, with a central lawn, an improved playground, interactive water play feature, barbecues, flowering plants, bike racks, picnic tables and benches, and lighted pathways and better accessibility.
Construction began in October 2013 and is expected to be completed in June. PDC’s Interstate Corridor Urban Renewal Area is providing $2.3 million to fund the park improvements.
“Dawson Park is more than just a park — it’s a symbol of this neighborhood, North-Northeast Portland and our constant vision for a better city,” PDC Executive Director Patrick Quinton said. “These improvements are truly community-driven and we are honored to play a role in the revitalization of this community asset.”
“The redesigned Dawson Park stands as a testament to Portland’s commitment to a community open and available to everyone and to a better and brighter future for all its children,” said Paul Anthony, Parks Budget Advisory Committee liaison and Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods Parks Subcommittee member.
The park also will benefit from a $200,000 Legacy Emanuel Medical Center donation via the non-profit Portland Parks Foundation. The funds are dedicated to a new water feature at the soon-to-be-renovated park, which encompasses just over two acres. Legacy Emanuel Medical Center’s generous contribution provides two-thirds of the needed funding for this exciting park element.
The water feature is one of several opportunities offered in Dawson Park’s upcoming redesign, which was shaped through extensive community input and aims to celebrate the park’s history. The multimillion dollar makeover will encompass numerous improvements, including interpretive panels that tell the history of the neighborhood and the park, important centers of Portland’s African-American community. The interactive water feature is seen as a vital play element for the community. It originally was suggested by neighbors during extensive public involvement, and heavily supported.
“It is gratifying to see these dramatic and tangible park improvements,” said Michael Alexander, president and CEO of the Urban League of Portland and longtime Portland Parks Board member. “It is important to deeply understand the history here, while still focusing on the future. We look forward to a tremendous new park and appreciate the commitment by the City and its partners to increase the quality of life for all here.”
Historic Dawson Park has served as an integral social, political and economic center for many communities – most notably, Portland’s African-American community. The neighborhood around Dawson once was the heart of Portland’s African-American population, and the new park design will recognize that heritage with double-sided cast-stone medallions designed by artist Isaka Shamsud-Din to be placed in a decorative fence surrounding the playground. One side will be inspired by traditional African Ndebele patterns; the other side will contain historic neighborhood remembrances.
The project is a partnership between PDC and PP&R. The Interstate Corridor Urban Renewal Area will provide $2.3 million in funding, with remaining support for the water play feature from Legacy Emanuel Medical Center, Portland Parks Foundation and Portland Parks & Recreation. Support for the public artwork comes from the Regional Arts & Culture Council. R&R General Contractors has been selected to construct the park improvements; 87% of the construction work will be performed by MWDESB-certified contractors.
For current project information, visit http://www.portlandoregon.gov/parks/54478
For more information, call (503) 823-5300 or visit portlandparks.org.
Old Town/China Town: Mayor Seeks Volunteers for Street Closure Advisory Committee
TUESDAY, JAN 7, 2014 – Mayor Charlie Hales is seeking volunteers to serve on a stakeholder advisory committee for the Street Closure Program in the Old Town Chinatown Neighborhood.
On Oct. 23, the Portland City Council approved an extension of the Street Closure Program through parts of Northwest Third Avenue between West Burnside and Northwest Everett streets on certain days and during certain hours for a period of one year (Ordinance No. 186305). Upon request from the Old Town Chinatown Community Association (OTCTCA), one of the directives of the ordinance requires the establishment of a stakeholder advisory committee to provide input on multiple aspects of the Street Closure Program, including boundaries, hours of operation, public safety, noise, traffic impacts and more.
The committee will consist of City officials and 10 to 15 representatives from various stakeholder groups in the Old Town/Chinatown and Pearl District Neighborhoods.
The mayor also would like to see representation from as many of the impacted community stakeholder groups as possible, such as the Chinese community, residents, social service providers, bars and nightclubs, restaurants and others.
Volunteers should be able to commit to attending one meeting per month between February and October 2014.
All applications should be submitted via regular mail, email, or fax to the contact information provided in the application form by midnight on Friday, Jan. 17, 2014. Decisions will be made by Tuesday, Jan. 24.
The first meeting of the committee will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014.
To apply, or for questions or concerns, contact:
Office of Mayor Charlie Hales
1221 SW 4th Ave, Suite 340
Tel. (503) 823-4027
Multnomah: U.S. Sen. Merkley Holds Town Hall Today
FRIDAY, JAN. 3, 2014 – U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley will hold town halls in Washington, Clackamas and Multnomah Counties in the coming weeks, starting today.
His first event is at 4 p.m. today in the auditorium of the Multnomah Arts Center, 7688 S.W. Capitol Highway, in Multnomah Village.
Merkley will update constituents on his work in Washington, D.C., will answer their questions, and will invite their suggestions about how to tackle the challenges facing Oregon and America.
“Advocating for Oregonians is my No. 1 responsibility and holding a town hall in every county is a great way to hear directly from Oregonians,” said Merkley, a Portlander. “I invite all residents of Washington, Clackamas and Multnomah Counties to come and discuss what we need to do to strengthen our state and nation.”
In 2008, Merkley pledged to hold town halls in each of Oregon’s 36 counties every year. He upheld his pledge in the previous five years.Washington, Clackamas and Multnomah Counties will mark his 181st, 182nd and 183rd town halls as a member of the U.S. Senate.
Moses Ross, who chairs the Multnomah Neighborhood Association, encourages residents to come speak to the senator. “This is a golden opportunity for our communities’ voices to directly be heard by our elected officials and I encourage you to participate,” Ross said.
Ash Creek Neighborhood: Sewage leaks into Creek inSouthwest Portland
MONDAY, Dec. 16, 2013 – City maintenance crews are working to repair a broken sewage pipe that is leaking into Ash Creek in southwest Portland.
The broken pipe is leaking into Ash Creek near the intersection of Southwest Knightsbridge Drive and Orchid Drive.
Because of increased bacteria in the water, the public should avoid contact with Ash Creek in that area until repairs are complete.
Parkrose: One-day closure for NE 105th slated for Monday
FRIDAY, DEC. 6, 2013 – Railroad maintenance work will close Northeast 105th Avenue between Sandy Boulevard and Marx Street in the Parkrose Neighborhood from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 9.
A detour will be in effect during those times, according to the Portland Bureau of Transportation. Southbound traffic will be directed east on Northeast Marx Street to 112th Avenue and south on 112th Avenue to Sandy Boulevard.
Northbound traffic will be directed east on Sandy to 112th; north on 112th to Marx; and west on Marx to105th Avenue.
Pedestrian and bike traffic should follow the same detours as vehicle traffic. Local access to businesses and residences will be maintained.
The closure is necessary for Union Pacific Railroad crews to perform track maintenance at the railroad crossing.
The public is advised to travel cautiously in the work zone and to observe detours. Travelers are advised to use alternate routes if possible. Railroad work is dependent on weather and the schedule may change.
Southwest Hills Neighborhood: Water Main Break on Vista Avenue Near Laurel Street
WEDNESDAY, NOV. 27, 2013 – Portland Water Bureau crews have responded to a main break on Southwest Vista Avenue near Laurel Street.
Around 2 p.m. today, an 8-inch, cast iron water main ruptured, causing water to flow into the street and catch basins. At this time, water to the broken pipe has been shutdown.
No flooding damage has been reported.
Southwest Vista Avenue, a residential street, between Laurel and Elm streets will be closed except to local residents. Traffic will be detoured around the work zone.
Crews will be on-scene until work is completed.
Downtown: Crosswalk enforcement action to take place Nov. 27
FRIDAY, NOV. 22, 2013 – The Portland Bureau of Transportation and Portland Police Bureau advise the traveling public that a crosswalk enforcement action is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 27, to raise awareness of pedestrian safety and traffic law.
The enforcement action will be from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the marked crossing on Southwest Naito Parkway just north of Harrison Street.
A crosswalk enforcement action includes a pedestrian decoy positioned at marked or unmarked crosswalks. These actions are designed to inform the public of longstanding Oregon crosswalk laws. Drivers who fail to stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk and pedestrians who jaywalk may be issued a warning or citation by the Portland Police Bureau.
Crosswalk enforcement actions are an effective way to communicate pedestrian right-of-way laws to both drivers and pedestrians. The transportation and police bureaus do enforcement actions in response to community requests and to educate the general public on the rules at marked and unmarked crossings. They are conducted approximately once per month.
Learn more about the Transportation Bureau’s safety work at http://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/40390 and pedestrian rights and responsibilities at http://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/article/435879
Sunnyside: Sewer construction requires lane closures on Southeast Cesar Chavez Boulevard
FRIDAY, NOV. 22, 2013 – The Portland Bureau of Transportation advises the traveling public in and around the Sunnyside Neighborhood that sewer work for a private construction project will require limiting Southeast Cesar E. Chavez Boulevard to two lanes at the intersection with Alder Street on Monday, Nov. 25, and Tuesday, Nov. 26, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Sidewalks will be open at all times to provide pedestrian access. Two travel lanes for vehicles will be open – one lane in each direction. The work will take place on the northbound travel lanes.
This work is weather-dependent, and the schedule may change.
The public is advised to expect delays, travel cautiously and observe all work zone signage.
Overlook: Sewer construction to delay traffic on Greeley, Willamette, Killingsworth
WEDNESDAY, OCT. 30, 2013 – A sewer replacement project in the Overlook neighborhood will close North Willamette Boulevard to through traffic at Greeley Avenue for two weeks beginning this Friday, Nov. 1.
The street will be closed from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays.
During construction hours, flaggers will control traffic at four intersections on Greeley:
• The Adidas garage.
• North Sumner Street.
• North Willamette Boulevard.
• North Killingsworth Street.
A map is available at this link:
The construction contractor will re-open the Willamette-Greeley intersection each day at 3 p.m. although construction may continue until 6 p.m. on Willamette east or west of Greeley.
Motorists should expect significant delays on Greeley, Killingsworth and Willamette and should use alternate routes when possible.
This work is part of the $6.5 million dollar Overlook Sewer Project to replace or repair about 17,000 feet of sewer pipes in poor condition. The city installed many of the sewers before 1920. The repair project will reduce the possibility of breaks, leaks, blockages and sewage releases to homes, businesses and streets.
Downtown: Sewage released to the Willamette River at Burnside Bridge
WEDNESDAY, OCT. 30, 2013 – An unknown amount of sewage spilled through an outfall pipe into the Willamette River on Tuesday at the Ankeny Pump Station in Waterfront Park. The pump station is at the west end of the Burnside Bridge.
People should avoid coming into contact with river water today in that area because of increased bacteria in the water.
The sewage spill was likely associated with a water main break earlier Tuesday on Southwest Fourth Avenue at West Burnside Street. The combined sewer system in that area collects runoff from streets and sanitary sewage in the same pipes. Water from the main break entered the combined sewer system through storm drains in the street.
Tuesday morning, sewage flowed through a valve at the Ankeny Pump Station and discharged to the river. Maintenance crews closed the valve and stopped the discharge at about 11 a.m. Tuesday. Due to a renovation project at the Ankeny Pump Station, its storm water pumps are not currently operational.
Barber Shop Robbed at Gunpoint in SE Portland
October 17, 2013. At 12:39 p.m., Central Precinct officers responded to the report of an armed robbery at Rooks Barber Shop, located at 3580 Southeast Division Street.
Officers arrived in the area and contacted employees who told police that the suspect entered the barber shop armed with a handgun, and demanded money. After obtaining an undisclosed amount of money, the suspect left the shop and was last seen walking westbound on Division.
Several officers searched the neighborhood but did not locate the suspect.
The suspect is described as a white male, unknown age, 6' tall, skinny build wearing a "Scream" style Halloween mask, dark-colored hoody, dark-colored jeans, armed with a handgun.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Robbery detectives at (503) 823-0405.
City Seeks Input for Pilot Project to
Enable Community Uses on Unpaved Streets
Portland has about 60 miles of unpaved, dirt and gravel streets within the city limits. While the City does not maintain these unimproved streets, some residents have taken the initiative to create garden plots, rest areas and other community uses in these public spaces.
Mayor Charlie Hales has directed the Portland Bureau of Transportation to gather community input on how the City can enable such community uses on streets. Starting Oct. 19, students from a Portland State University civic leadership class will be going door-to-door on behalf of the City in the Cully and Outer SE Division neighborhoods to gather ideas and gauge public interest in two areas that have concentrations of unimproved streets.
The concept came from Mayor Hales, who thought the City should try to empower communities to help determine what their neighborhoods look like by creating something useful and attractive. Many homeowners on unimproved streets have said that expensive paving projects are not what they prefer, but lower cost alternatives such as placing benches or gardens in the public right of way would still require a City permit.
“Too often, the City comes at a problem with a one-size-fits-all approach,” Hales said. “But when we have dozens of miles of public space taken up by streets that predate the City’s development rules, that the City can’t maintain, we should allow neighborhoods the flexibility to create appropriate uses for these public spaces.”
The PSU students will ask residents if they would prefer to use some or all of an existing unimproved street as a pocket park, community garden site, or other option. Residents may see a need to provide a mix of vehicle access with community amenities along a single street.
“This is very much an idea still in the exploratory stage,” Hales said. “We may find no interest, or we may find a lot of excitement to transform gravel roads into something both functional and appealing to the neighborhood. We are happy partnering with PSU to get some input from residents and see if it’s a viable idea to alter, rather than just pave.”
City Commissioner Steve Novick praised the effort.
“As Commissioner in Charge of Transportation, I appreciate the Mayor’s approach to identify creative uses of unimproved streets,” Novick said. “I look forward to the outcomes of the pilot project to address this long running community concern.”
The public is also invited to share their ideas at two upcoming community meetings. This will be an opportunity to share issues and concerns City staff should take into consideration as they develop the project:
- Monday, Nov. 4, 6:30 to 8 p.m., EastPortlandCommunity Center, Poolside Room #1, 740 SE 106th Ave.
- Wednesday, Nov. 13, 6:30 to 8 p.m.,HollywoodLibrary, Community Meeting Room,4040 NE Tillamook St.
If there is interest in this new approach to dealing with gravel streets, the next step will be setting criteria for evaluating candidate pilot street projects and further engagement this winter with neighborhood and community groups. The city’s goal is to select four unimproved streets from sites proposed by community groups and homeowners throughout the city for an initial pilot project in 2014.
No final decisions on street alterations are expected before summer 2014.
Centennial Neighborhood Business Robbed at Gunpoint
Tuesday October 15, 2013. At 7:41 p.m., East Precinct officers responded to the report of an armed robbery at Baxter Auto Parts, located at 16716 Southeast Division Street.
Employees told police that the suspect entered the store armed with a shotgun, and demanded money. After obtaining an undisclosed amount of money the suspect left the store and was last seen walking eastbound on Division Street.
Officers, including a Police K-9, checked the area but did not locate anyone matching the suspect's description.
The suspect is described as a white male, 30-40 years old, 5'10" tall, thin build, wearing a camouflage jacket and pants, armed with a shotgun.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Robbery detectives at (503) 823-0405.
Stabbing in Old Town/Pearl
October 10, 2013. At 11:24 a.m., Central Precinct officers responded to the report of a stabbing at Northwest 9th Avenue and Couch Street.
Officers arrived and located the 38-year-old male victim suffering from a traumatic injury to his torso. Medical personnel transported the victim to a Portland hospital for treatment. The victim's current condition is not known, but he was awake and alert at the scene.
Officers talked to witnesses at the scene who described the suspect as white male in his mid-30s, 5'7" tall, medium build, wearing a maroon jacket, white t-shirt, and gray pants, armed with a knife. Witnesses told police that the suspect was last seen running northbound on 9th Avenue. Witnesses described a disturbance between the two men prior to the stabbing.
Anyone with information about this stabbing is asked to call Assault detectives at (503) 823-0400.
Hillsdale Neighborhood Crosswalk Enforcement
Forewarned is Forearmed
Heads up! The Portland Bureau of Transportation and Portland Police Bureau will conduct a crosswalk enforcement Tuesday, October 15th, 2:30 to 4 p.m. on SW Capitol Highway at SW 26th Avenue.
October 15th is National White Cane Safety Day and emphasizes safety for pedestrians who are blind and crossing the roadway using a white cane or seeing-eye dog, while also informing the public of longstandingOregon crosswalk laws.
Each crosswalk enforcement action will involve a pedestrian decoy positioned at a marked or unmarked crosswalk. Police will monitor how motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians adhere to traffic safety laws. Drivers who fail to stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk and pedestrians who jaywalk may be issued a warning or citation by the Portland Police Bureau.
The SW 26th Avenue crossing is heavily used by pedestrians who use nearby TriMet bus stops and the Mittleman Jewish Community Center. The crossing itself has pavement markings and signage mounted overhead and on poles.
“Being able to safely access community resources like Mittleman Jewish Community Center is important for my independence and quality of life,” saidPortlandresident Stephen Butler who will attend the enforcement action. “Having drivers stop for me and others that are blind when we are in the crossing increases our ability and right to access this and other valuable community resources.”
WOODLAWN NEIGHBORHOOD SHOOTING INJURES ONE
Wednesday October 2, 2013, at 8:45 p.m., North Precinct officers responded to the report of multiple shots fired in the 1700 block of Northeast Holman Street.
When officers arrived they spoke with witnesses and learned that a gunshot victim was driven to a Portland hospital prior to police arrival. Witnesses could not provide any suspect information to police.
Officers contacted the victim, an 18-year-old male, and learned that he did not live at the residence that was the apparent target of gunfire but was only visiting. The victim suffered a non-life-threatening gunshot wound and was expected to be treated and released from the hospital that evening.
Based on a preliminary investigation, the Gang Enforcement Team is responding to investigate.
It is not known if this shooting is connected with the shooting earlier in the evening at Northeast 15th Avenue and Lombard Street.
Anyone with information about this shooting is asked to contact the Gang Enforcement Team at (503) 823-4106.
Mayor Hales Interviewed in Arbor Lodge Neighborhood by the Today Show
WEDNESDAY, OCT 2, 2013 – Mayor Hales was interviewed by Erica Hill, anchor of NBC’s Weekend Today for a story highlighting Harper’s Playground, a fully accessible play area in Arbor Lodge Park. The Mayor, who was a supporter of the project even before he was elected mayor, touted the playground as an example of a public/private partnership making good things happen. He compared it to the old story of “Stone Soup” where everybody brings something to contribute to the pot, with great results for all.
The NBC crew also interviewed the Goldberg family, who spearheaded the fundraising effort to build a park that their special needs child, but that all children enjoy.
The story will air on Weekend Today within a couple of weeks, but no specific air date has been set yet.
Central City 2035: SE Quadrant Plan Stakeholder Advisory Committee Being Formed
TUESDAY, SEPT. 24, 2013 – The City o fPortland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability is accepting applications through Thursday, Oct. 3, for positions on the Stakeholder Advisory Committee for the Central City 2035 Southeast Quadrant Plan.
Centennial: Crosswalk Enforcement Planned Wednesday at 148th & Main
TUESDAY, SEPT. 24, 2013 – A crosswalk enforcement action is scheduled for Wednesday near the Parklane Elementary School in Southeast Portland, to raise awareness of pedestrian safety and traffic law and to emphasize safety at the start of the school year.
The enforcement action will be from 1 to 2:30 p.m. on Southeast 148th Avenue and Main Street. The location has pavement markings, signage and an overhead flashing beacon to help pedestrians cross safely.
A crosswalk enforcement action is designed to inform the public of longstanding Oregon crosswalk laws. These actions involve a pedestrian decoy positioned at marked or unmarked crosswalks while police monitor how motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians adhere to traffic safety laws. Drivers who fail to stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk and pedestrians who jaywalk may be issued a warning or citation by the Portland Police Bureau.
This location was selected because of the proximity to Parklane Elementary School and concerns the city has for pedestrian and driver safety on Southeast 148th Avenue. That area has experienced increased traffic as the population has grown.
The Portland Transportation and Police bureaus remind drivers to be alert and aware of pedestrians as they cross streets, and to be aware of children and parents crossing streets especially near schools, community centers, parks, and other neighborhood facilities.
Learn more about the Transportation Bureau’s safety work at http://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/40390 and pedestrian rights and responsibilities at http://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/article/435879
Buckman: SE Alder closed to through-traffic between 6th and Grand
MONDAY, SEPT. 23, 2013 – A sewer construction project has closed Southeast Alder Street between Sixth and Grand avenues to through traffic (http://goo.gl/maps/FyiOH).
The closure is in effect 24 hours per day, seven days per week. Construction will take three to four months to complete.
Flaggers are maintaining local access to the work area for motorists. The crosswalk on the west side of Southeast Sixth and Alder is closed for the duration of the project. All other crosswalks and sidewalks in the construction zone are open to accommodate pedestrians and bicycles.
Work crews are installing an underground vault on Alder between to store combined sewage during heavy rain storms.
St. Johns/Kenton: Street Improvements to Close Lane on North Portland Road
MONDAY, SEPT. 9, 2013 – Street improvements will require a lane closure between the St. Johns and Kenton Neighborhoods this week, on North Portland Road between Columbia Boulevard and Marine Drive.
The work will run from Tuesday to Thursday, Sept. 10 to 12. The lane closure is in effect 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day.
The public is advised to expect delays on North Portland Road while improvements are made. One lane will remain open at all times. The Portland Bureau of Transportation is asking the public to travel cautiously, observe all lane closures and directions by flaggers, and use alternate routes if possible.
The closure allows crews to apply a fog seal coat to protect the asphalt and to extend the life of the street. Fog seal is a mix of asphalt, water and fine grit that is sprayed onto the street leaving a dark black appearance. It will remain wet and sticky for up to six hours after application. The public is advised to keep children, pets, bicycles, shoes, and vehicles off the pavement until all barricades and traffic controls are removed.
Local access to residences and businesses will be provided.
This work is weather-dependent, and the schedule may change.
Hosford-Abernathy: Construction Closes Southeast 6th & Clay
MONDAY, SEPT 9, 2013 – The Hosford-Abernathy Neighborhood will see a street closure next week and running through the first half of September.
The green street and pedestrian improvement project is closing Southeast Sixth Avenue at Clay Street to motor vehicles during daytime construction hours. Bicycles are allowed through the construction area during work hours. The project has not closed Clay Street.
Southeast Sixth Avenue is closed at Clay from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. The project will take about two weeks to complete.
Construction crews are installing green street stormwater management facilities, ADA ramps and concrete crossings. Motorists are detouring to Southeast Hawthorne, Grand, Mill, or 7th Avenue.
Hazelwood/Mill Park: Healthy Multi-Family Housing is Topic of Forum
FRIDAY, SEPT. 6, 2013 – The Oregon Public Health Institute will host a forum on healthy, multi-family housing.
The event is set for 2 to 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26, at the David Douglas District Office,1500 S.E. 130th Ave.
Join property owners, landlords and property managers to learn about design, construction and maintenance solutions to improve the health and safety of new and existing properties. Participants will take a virtual tour of the new “Healthy Housing Handbook for Portland Property Owners,” hear from local housing providers who are implementing some of the recommended strategies, and come away with a multi-family property cost study on health and safety features.
Opening remarks are by Serena Cruz Walsh, executive director of Virginia Garcia Foundation and former member manager at Albina Construction LLC .
To register for this free event, contact Lesley Barewin at Lesley@orphi.org by Sept. 20. For more information about Oregon Public Health Institute, visit www.orphi.org
Parkrose Heights: Project to close lane on NE Weidler
FRIDAY, SEPT. 6, 2013 – Street improvements will require a lane closure on Northeast Weidler Street between 102nd and 112th Avenues beginning today and continuing through Tuesday, Sept. 17, from 7 a.m. through 4 p.m. each day.
The public is advised to expect delays on Weidler while repairs are being made, according to the Portland Bureau of Transportation. Drivers are asked to travel cautiously, observe all lane closures and directions by flaggers, and use alternate routes if possible.
This closure is necessary to remove and replace both the base and the surface layers of sections of Weidler to stabilize the foundation of the road and to prevent potholes and other surface distress.
Local access to residences and businesses will be provided. This work is weather-dependent, and the schedule may change.
Lloyd District: Friends of the Multnomah County Library Host Used-Book Sale
TUESDAY, SEPT. 3, 2013 – Friends of the Multnomah County Library will host the 40th annual Fall Used Book Sale with more than 100,000 items, Oct. 18-21.
The sale is slated for the DoubleTree at Lloyd Center,1000 NE Multnomah St. Proceeds from the sale benefit the Multnomah County Library.
Kicking things off is a Members-Only Night from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18, Admission is free to the public on Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Monday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m..
Annual memberships can be purchased at any time, including at the door Friday night. Individual membership is $10 per person and $15 for families.
Oregon’s largest used book sale boasts 100,000 items at great prices. Hardcover and quality trade paperbacks start at $2, mass market paperbacks and children’s books at 50 cents, CDs at $2, and DVDs at $3. Also available in this new and used collection are audio books, LPs, video tapes, pamphlets, sheet music, and maps in good to excellent condition.
No electronic devices to check prices will be allowed during Friday’s Members-Only Night. Phones, scanners and other devices will be allowed Saturday through Monday for checking individual items. Items may not be set aside to be scanned later.
Back by popular demand is the Collector’s Corner. These special and rare books and ephemera are culled from the Friends’ online store and will be available for purchase from Friday to Sunday. Monday will be a 50-percent-off discount day on all remaining regular items.
The Friends of the Multnomah County Library advocate for and support the public library district. For more information, see www.friends-library.org or contact the Friends at firstname.lastname@example.org or (503) 224-9176.
Hazelwood: Portland to Test Emergency System on Thursday
MONDAY, SEPT. 2, 2013 – Portland will conduct a test of its community emergency notification system on Thursday in the Hazelwood Neighborhood, as part of National Preparedness Month.
The system is one of several communication tools used by Portland to alert the public in an emergency to stay inside or to evacuate an area.
The test will go out to 11,000 households and businesses via landline telephones, and to others who have previously registered their cell phone or email address with the website http://www.publicalerts.org. The message will be provided in English, Spanish and Russian to test the system’s ability to reach non-English speakers.
Hazelwood was selected for the test because of the large number of Spanish and Russian speakers in the neighborhood.
Hazelwood residents can help the city during the test by emailing email@example.com with the time the message was received, or posting to Twitter with the hashtag #hazelwoodtest.
Residents throughout Portlandand Multnomah County are encouraged to visit http://www.publicalerts.org/signup to sign up to receive future notifications by landline telephone, cell phone or email.
The Portland Bureau of Emergency Management’s mission is to protect lives, property and the environment through a coordinated and responsive emergency management program. PBEM works before, during and after emergencies to minimize the impacts on the community and promote a culture of resiliency.
Hosford-Abernathy: Construction to Close Southeast 6th & Clay
THURSDAY, AUG. 29, 2013 – The Hosford-Abernathy Neighborhood will see a street closure next week and running through the first half of September.
A green street and pedestrian improvement project will close the intersection of Southeast Sixth and Clay streets starting Tuesday, Sept. 3, according to the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services. The intersection will be closed 24 hours per day for at least two weeks while construction crews install stormwater facilities, ramps to meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and concrete crossings.
Motorists, cyclists and pedestrians will be directed to detour around the intersection, via Southeast Hawthorne, Grand, Market or Seventh Avenue.
Celebrate Diverse Cultures at Portland Roots Festival
FRIDAY, AUG. 23, 2013 – The first annual Portland Roots Festival explores the food justice movement and celebrates the flavors of African Diaspora food culture in an urban landscape.
The event is set for noon to 8 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 1, at Pioneer Courthouse Square. Admission is free.
The event will highlight the food practices of African-American, Afro-Caribbean, Afro- Latin and African Diaspora populations of Portland. It will feature dozens of food vendors, micro-entrepreneurs, artists and performers, youth activities, and a keynote speech from Will Allen, founder and chief executive officer of Growing Power Inc. Allen is widely considered a leading authority on urban agriculture and food policy.
The festival is hosted by Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives Inc., in celebration of their Healthy Foods Access Initiative. The organization is a nonprofit, community development corporation with a mission "to preserve, expand and manage affordable housing in the City of Portland, and to provide access to and advocacy for services to our residents."
The organization owns and manages 700 units of affordable rental housing consisting of single family homes, apartments, mixed-use and commercial properties located primarily in North and Northeast Portland.
Find out more online at:
Nominations Accepted for Spirit of Portland Award
THURSDAY, AUG. 15, 2013 – 2013 Spirit of Portland awards nominations are being accepted through Friday, Sept. 20.
The City Council presents Spirit of Portland Awards each year to individuals and groups who make a difference to the greater community. People are encouraged to nominate individuals, businesses, organizations, neighborhood or business associations that have created a project, service or event that has helpedPortlandshine.
The awards ceremony will be held Tuesday, Nov. 12.
How do I nominate someone?
Complete the nomination form for the organization or individual you want to nominate. Forms can be found at
• Word document: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/oni/article/401783
Attach a separate sheet telling us how your nominee exemplifies each of the six criteria below. Either number and describe each criterion or tell us a story incorporating all six.
Finally, submit these two pages to the Office of Neighborhood Involvement by 4 p.m., Friday, Sept. 20.
Award recipients will be chosen based on meeting all six of the following criteria:
- Assisting in the implementation of outstanding projects
- Enriching and revitalizing our community and neighborhoods
- Providing the community with a special service
- Demonstrating responsiveness, creativity and civic values
- Raising cross-cultural awareness
- Acting as good steward of the environment
You don’t need to specify the category. The selection committee will pick the category that best fits your nominee and their activities including:
- Neighborhood Association
- Business Association
- Emerging Community Leader
- Independent Spirit
- Community Stewardship
- Environmental Stewardship
- Community Harmony
- Outstanding Partnership
- Outstanding Organization (nonprofit and/or business)
Attach a one-page written narrative along with the nomination form. The Selection Committee will not review additional pages.
Please address all six criteria listed above in your written narrative.
Use a 12-point font or greater.
Award winners in the past are less likely to win, unless involved in a new project. Check here for past winners between 1985-2012.
Deadline for submitting nominations is 4 p.m., Friday, Sept. 20
Send completed nomination forms to
USPS: Office of Neighborhood Involvement
1221 SW Fourth Avenue, Room 110
Want to know more about the Portland Office of Neighborhood Involvement? Check here: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/oni/25967
National Night Out
The annual celebration is slated for Tuesday, Aug. 6. Read more: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/oni/article/458141
Which Neighborhood is Mine?