Minutes of the February 2, 2011
Hillsdale Neighborhood Association Meeting
Meeting was called to order by Sheila Greenlaw-Fink at 7:02 p.m. with approximately 25 attendees. Self introductions were made.
ACTION ITEM: Minutes of the January HNA meeting were approved: moved by Keturah Pennington, seconded by Mike Clopton, unanimous vote.
Public Safety Update: Two SW Portland Police Officers and SW Crime Prevention Coordinator Stefanie Adams provided information about recent crime activity in the area.
There have been a number of incidents in SW Portland recently, mostly in the 26th & Capitol, and 30th & Vermont areas. Typically it is a group of 2-6 males age 14-18, where one of the group steps out and does the robbery using physical force, no weapons. Most incidents are happening after dark, but one last week was at 4:30pm. Also, home windows have been broken with rocks.
These things are happening mostly along busy streets. If we’re driving and see something that does not seem right, we are to call the police immediately: 911 if there is danger to person or property, or 503-823-3333 non-emergency. The important thing is to call at that moment, because five minutes later the suspects will be gone. For their investigation, the police need better descriptions of the suspects, so take notice of clothing details, location, direction they are moving, etc.
The police officers said they are doing extra patrols, but they need people who live in the area to keep them informed of what’s happening.
Minutes. Keturah Pennington moved to approve January minutes, Mike Clopton seconded, all approved.
SWNI: No formal report this month, brief comments by Don Baack for Carolyn Raz.
Schools. Michael Reunert presented information on school budgets. He was joined in portions of his report by Rieke principal, Andrea Porter. $1 billion shortfall expected in the next biennium. There will be a Facilities Bond Measure in May, and a local option levy. Phone banks are being organized to advocate for their passage. What can HNA do to support our local schools?
FUTURE ACTION ITEM: Sheila will have the information Michael sent her posted to the HNA website. The number one request is for financial support for classroom teachers, enrichment programs, etc. Other priorities for Robert Gray and Rieke include safety patrols, volunteers, grounds support, technology, science lab equipment, murals, art supplies, and an auditorium that does not double as a cafeteria. Wilson’s priorities include financial support, grounds support, job shadowing opportunities/business community speakers, and patrols for lunch time. He noted that they do not want just any computers, but specific types – please contact the school for more info.
Last Wednesday morning when it was foggy, two students ran into a car at Bertha and Vermont. One student fractured a foot.
FUTURE ACTION ITEM: There is a need for better crossings for students. Local principals are preparing a letter to the City asking for safety improvements. They will share the letter with HNA so that the HNA can express support. Rieke could use volunteer patrols 8:15-8:45 in the morning, and 3:00-3:45 in the afternoons at the Bertha and Vermont location (students cannot do their safety work this distance from the school, so they provide crossing assistance only adjacent.
SW Trails. Wrote a letter last month regarding 25th crossing from Bertha to Beaverton Hillsdale; a few pieces of maintenance are being done by Parks.
Land Use. Duane Hunting said not too much going on right now. Lenard Gard at SWNI does a compendium of land use issues, so their website has some information.
Wes Risher gave overview of the city-wide tree code re-write, with potential impact on homeowners. Group agreed this warranted additional time on future agenda.
FUTURE ACTION ITEM: Wes will compose a letter for the Association regarding the Hollywood Video site that Freddy’s will use temporarily for a pharmacy, requesting financing improvement to the landscaping there. Don Baack moved to have Wes do this, Rick seconded, all approved. For reference: land use review approved back in 1996
Parks. Council Crest starting tree removal to open up views. Can this also be done for the lost views along Terwilliger? The trees taken down will sit there for habitat. A playground at Marshall Park is being removed and there are no plans to replace it. Willamette Park advisory committee seeks volunteers for how to allocate funds. There will be further discussion of the Terwilliger views issue at April meeting.
Hillsdale Business and Professional Alliance. Primary attention has been on Main Street initiative.
Main Street. Launch party on February 10th, 6-8pm at Key Bank. Wine, bbq, music, face painting, etc. The five committees have their objectives and are developing work plans. Priority projects will be presented to the board on the 16th. PSU Urban Planning and Sustainability will help with the plan. Susan has left the program and Debbie Seibel is the interim director while search for new director takes place. Need to do fundraising, as PDC may not fund as much as last year. Immediate need is for $8,000 by June, then $50,000 next year. Already $21,000 has been committed. They need volunteers with marketing and fundraising expertise. Rick Seifert’s idea: people interested in the history of the area: have one or more “Hillsdale Heritage” nights where people who lived here 50 years ago come and speak about how it was back then – paid admission.
Friends of Trees – Brighton West. They are doing a project in HIllsdale’s Wilson Park area with a goal of planting 50-100 trees. He discussed the benefits street trees provide to neighborhoods in terms of property values, storm drainage, etc. Duane Hunting hosted a “Wine, Cheese and Trees” night to help those who are interested in tree planting learn more about the initiative. Free trees will be available and the urban forester will assist. The City’s “Treebate” program was also mentioned—the City will give up to $50 for new trees, and root barriers can be purchased to help ensure foots don’t damage plumbing or drainage lines, or sidewalks.
Neighborhood Emergency Team. John Morris reported that last week was the 311th anniversary of the last big earthquake in our area. With its grant last year, the NET did community outreach and volunteer recruitment at the Hillsdale Farmers Market, the Pancake Breakfast, the SW Community Center, Multnomah Days, and more. The team has 20 active members, and more volunteers are needed. The google group has 94 members, and you can join this email list through the link at the HNA website. Note that Hillsdale is home to over 7,000 residents, so increasing number trained in emergency preparedness is a big priority, particularly given impact of earthquakes and landslides in our hilly neighborhood.
Last week trained 20 people as trainers for the Know Your Neighborhood program. If interested, contact John, Lynn, or Stefanie Adams to schedule a presentation. This will be a transitional year for the Portland Office of Emergency Management (POEM), who manages the NET program. Last year’s work by two working groups came up with 27 recommendations to improve the program. There is now a 7-person steering committee, one for each city coalition, and four standing sub-committees are forming. The idea is that the NET program will now be self-governing with support from PFD and POEM. POEM has had a shot across its bow, because if these recommendations are not taken seriously, NETs from all over Portland will be taking their concerns to the next level. There are about 50 NETs in Portland, representing about one-half of Portland’s neighborhoods.
Rick Seifert has an idea to simulate an emergency – have a house with no electricity or water for 24 hours or more, and let people observe what happens. Main Street is interested in NET activities and has a disaster recovery program, so they will be in touch.
Transportation. 1) Barbur bridges need to be addressed for bike safety. The Newberry Structure will cost $3.8 to replace, and the Vermont structure $5 million to replace. These are critical constraints to bicycle transportation in SW Portland. The preferred bike route is the old Red Electric trail. Moving ahead with this is a high priority.
2) Land Use/Transportation studies are being implemented along Barbur based on the proposed high capacity transit line slated for this area. SWNI neighborhoods will need to coordinate with planning efforts in City of Portland, and link to City of Tigard and Sherwood. This could potentially become an Urban Renewal Area (URA) in the future.
3) An informal update was provided on the Capitol Highway bridge repair. The City has not been able to maintain the original schedule, and Arnie Panitch and others have been in touch regularly.
4) FUTURE ACTION ITEM: Wes will write a letter regarding the role of property owner assessments in sidewalk construction and bring it to the Transportation committee.
Announcements. Saturday morning 9:00 Usual Suspects will meet at Food Front, bring a grabber, gloves, bags. Idea for Montavilla as a sister neighborhood – meeting on February 28th at 6:30. Note that SWNI funds are safe; additional internal controls established. February 24th, ODOT will be at the SW trails meeting to talk about the Barbur crossing by the Rasmussen Apartments where a pedestrian was recently killed.
Many Thanks to Lynn Rossing for preparing minutes of the February meeting, some additional edits added by Sheila Fink.