Board Members Present: Aaron Stuckey, Barb Christopher, Steven Cole, Nikki Johnston, Christine Cours-Mitchell, Susan Hathaway-Marxer, Peter O’Neil, Jason Messer, William Archer, Michela McMahon, Jim Barta, Tiffanie Shakespeare, Nathan Corser, Pam Lindholm-Levy
Board Members Absent: Bev Burn, Dean Gisvold, Jeff Jones, Brian Schaeperkoetter, Nathan Christensen, Thomas Mertes, Emily Weltman, Kysa Alport
Visitors: Mac Martin, Sally McPherson, Ed Abrahamson, Emily Cole, Josh Buller (Portland Police), Kathleen Ellwood (Irvington School Principal), Catie Theisen, Nora Love
President Steven Cole called the meeting to order at 7:05 pm. A quorum of board members was present. Several corrections were made to the September 11 meeting minutes. (See attached for revised minutes.) The corrected minutes were approved.
Josh Buller of Portland Police Bureau reported on four items of interest:
- The purple mini-mart. An open investigation is underway due to complaints about drinking in public. And the City’s Bureau of Development Services still lists it as in violation.
- Shooting at NE 9th and Stanton. A search warrant was issued and an arrest made in connection with this. Investigation is still ongoing, but it is thought to be gang-related.
- Two burglaries. First was at 8:15 am on Sept. 30, at NE 20th and Stanton. Entry due to unlocked door. Person discovered in basement was able to escape. Second entry was at NE 21st and Stanton, about an hour later, and that person was arrested after a foot chase with dogs. It was a male, about 20 years old, someone with an obvious mental health issue. The two episodes are thought to be related.
- Home invasion at NE 16th and Klickitat. No information available. Considerable news coverage on this, many police units responded, no arrest as of this date.
- At Irving Park – not one call for service in the park in the last 30 days. Outside the park, at its southern border area, there were approx. 83 calls for service in the last 30 days.
Catie Theisen, a worker for the campaign opposing the passage of Measure 90, which would change how primary elections are organized and operated, presented statements as to why her organization was opposing the measure. The basic theme seemed to be that only the top two vote getters in a primary election would advance to the general election.
Kathleen Ellwood, new principal at Irvington Elementary School this year, gave a presentation about the school and some recent changes. She was formerly the assistant principal, so knows the building, staff and most students. Their enrollment is down in kindergarten and first grade this year, and staff is concerned about that. The middle school now has 150 students. One of her goals as principal is to preserve and honor the history of Irvington School and to that end, she is organizing an archive room.
An issue is a safer entry to the school. There is, as everyone knows, no line of sight from the office to the front door. The proposal for complete revamping of the entry was not regarded by the District, and so the school staff lobbied for cameras that could be monitored from the secretary’s desk and a buzzer by which people would notify the office staff of their desire to enter. What they got instead was a camera that can be monitored by having the secretary look at a computer screen to observe the entry.
The school’s PTA meets on the first Monday of each month, and she will endeavor to have a PTA rep. attend the ICA meetings.
NE Broadway Potential Changes: President Steve Cole reported that he and Peter O’Neil attended a meeting with representatives of the NE Broadway Business Association (NEBBA) to discuss potential streetcar installation, wider sidewalks, and bike lane expansion on NE Broadway. Murray Koodish, the president of the NEBBA, is opposed to the idea that the ICA sponsor a PSU graduate planning students study project to consider changes to the current way that traffic is managed on Broadway. He believes it is premature. Steve argues that now is the time to collect data, so that good data can be used in a study. They will meet again in two weeks. Steve also plans to meet with “Go Lloyd”, the Lloyd Center transportation organization to talk about potential NE Broadway changes.
Ed Abrahamson, who lives in Irvington and is associated with PSU, spoke about a graduate student study project that would involve 4-6 students and could start in January 2015 but its request had to be initiated by late November. Mr. Abrahamson is looking for “clients”, basically organizations that would be interested in working with PSU and these students to design a citizen-involved planning workshop with the purpose of creating a vibrant and safe shopping-oriented neighborhood street. He said that Grant Park and Sullivans Gulch NA’s have expressed interest in doing this. The NE Quadrant Plan, which has been finished, has ideas oriented toward making a change and those ideas would be considered in the project.
Sally McPherson, who is a co-owner of Broadway Books and thus knowledgeable about traffic patterns on Broadway, expressed her thoughts, which were that any study should have as its initial goal, the identification of issues to be resolved. She said the speed of traffic is a problem now and that many cars run red lights. These problems can be addressed with enforcement and may not need construction to solve them. Businesses on Broadway need on-street parking and good pedestrian safety for their customers and some of the small businesses will not survive a lengthy construction project to reconfigure the street and/or sidewalks. She says that many of these small businesses are surviving month to month.
Peter and Steve said that evaluation of the existing condition and any proposed changes would have to include putting Broadway on a “road diet”, not creating a defacto highway, but rather creating a more pedestrian safe environment. The PSU study project would begin in January 2015. Barb Christopher moved to support the PSU project by having ICA come on as a sponsor/client and Michela seconded the motion. It was passed; there were no “no” votes and no abstentions.
KLICKITAT MALL (KM): Bartholomew (Mac) Martin has talked with a professor affiliated with the Portland State University Masters of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) graduate student program about a project to improve, and make more safe and attractive the unfortunate looking property known as Klickitat Mall. It is public right of way and has several private driveway entrances to bordering residential property. KM provides a bicycle and pedestrian entry/exit to Irving Park from the east side of the neighborhood and was created by official City of Portland action, specifically street vacation of portions of cross streets between NE 11th and NE 14th Streets, during Model Cities time in the 1960s. In order for the project study to occur with the ICA’s leadership participation, the ICA would have to sign on as a sponsor/client. Funders for any changes would have to be identified. Although the ICA has funds it could contribute and has identified the improvement of KM as a goal, the scope and cost of potential improvement is unknown at this time. Nathan commented that the ICA’s Capital Improvement Committee would welcome the implementation of a planning study. The project study would have to be submitted to PSU by mid-November in order to be executed by Spring 2015. Peter O’Neil moved that the ICA support the PSU project by having ICA come on as a sponsor/client and Barb Christopher seconded the motion. It was passed; there were no “no” votes and no abstentions.
PARKING TASK FORCE: This group has been formed by the City and will address whether parking permits could be issued for neighborhood residents in the area of NE Fremont and NE 28th. Dan Wood, who is an Irvington resident and on the ICA Land Use Committee, is the ICA representative on this group. One of its goals is to stop park and ride commuters who leave their cars in the neighborhood and take MAX or Tri-Met to their destination. The group is also considering how Air B&B operators would manage users’ vehicles on neighborhood streets. There is a need to clarify the rules and make them known.
NEW BUILDING AT NE CORNER OF 11TH AND SCHUYLER: Peter O’Neil and Jim Barta discussed the property owner’s plan to construct a new apartment building on the existing parking lot that serves his adjacent existing small apartment building. The Land Use Committee is monitoring this proposal.
CITYWIDE DEMOLITIONS POLICY: Barb Christopher reported on the latest information available about this. A city-wide petition to change the procedure is being circulated and more neighborhood associations are getting involved. Barb reported that the ICA Board needs to keep close tabs on this matter because there are so many non-contributing structures within the ICA boundaries. In other words demotions with little or no notice could still occur in Irvington.
THE ICA BUDGET FOR 2014-15: Steve Cole opened discussion about this. Pam Lindholm-Levy said that the Home Tour Committee would like to see more money allocated for Charitable Giving purposes. Barb Christopher said that it is not possible for the group here tonight to make decisions about money when we don’t know the status of the treasury. She asked that Jeff Jones be requested to send out a financial report to all Board members by early November. Susan said that she had checked the by-laws and there is to be a written financial report distributed to the ICA Board in September, November, March and June of each year. There was conversation about the allocation for capital project work and Nathan said we should be keeping a record of the money spent on capital projects as we keep a record of what is spent on Charitable Giving. Nathan will be working on a proposal for the potential capital improvement projects.
PARKS: Jason reported that the ICA needs to plant a replacement for the monkey-puzzle tree, which was taken down recently. He believes it should be a big tree, with a 70” root ball. Cost of that would probably be in the range of $300 to $500. It should be at the school, near the benches. PPS will need to approve any planting on their property. Nathan suggested that the proposal be considered and potential funding discussed by the Capital Projects Committee at its next meeting. Jason thinks the replacement tree could be planted to honor Herb Amerson. Mr. Amerson is in his 90s now.
Concerning the recent Tree Climbing Event in Irving Park, Jason reported that the activity went well and Friends of Trees helped with funding. There were 65 climbers and Jason agreed to send pictures for publication in the next newsletter.
NEWSLETTER: Steve announced that we need more writers for the Newsletter. It’s important and not fair for Emily to be assuming so much of the burden of producing the Newsletter, and we have commitments to the advertisers. Steve also does not want to be writing so many articles. The deadline for next issue is October 18.
HOLIDAY PARTY: Nathan moved and William seconded that the Holiday Party be held on Thursday, December 11. The Board voted unanimous approval. No start time set yet. It will be at the Irvington Tennis Club, in their ballroom, which can accommodate 110 people. There was discussion about how best to do outreach to get people to come and bring a potluck item. As in the past, the ICA will provide ham and turkeys, but community members will be expected to contribute other items. Susan said that the Irvington Club might have particular rules related to bringing in beer and wine that should be checked out. Michela suggested that all potluck dishes be marked with their ingredients to accommodate people w/allergies. It was moved by Christine Coers-Mitchell that up to $500 be allocated for food and decorations. Pam Lindholm-Levy seconded the motion and it was approved with no dissent. The motion included directions for the ICA Treasurer to submit $400 to the Irvington Tennis Club to pay for the rental of the ballroom. Steve appointed himself, Christine, Jason, and William to be the initial committee for the party. There was discussion about a sound system and beer and wine. As for decorations, William said that he has a box that came from Mary Piper’s house with ICA stuff in it and it may include decorations.
DRINKING FOUNTAIN: Nikki Johnson reported that the City has denied the ICA’s request for a Benson Bubbler at the corner of NE 15th and Broadway. She said that they are not allowing any new ones to the system. She, however, intends to continue to advocate for Irvington to have a three or four bowl bubbler and it was clear there is significant Board support for this as a capital project.
NEW BUSINESS: Nikki reported that she has a new neighbor who has joined AirB&B and she and others have questions about what neighbors can do when this occurs. The City’s policies are confusing, regarding permits, parking and other things. It is difficult to file a complaint and there is confusion about notices.
- Steve reported that the May ½ marathon is set for the same day as our Home Tour. He will be attempting to get that changed.
- Steve announced that Susan Hathaway-Marxer has agreed to serve as Board Secretary for the year. Christine Coers-Mitchell nominated her to the Secretary position of the ICA Board. Jim Barta seconded, and the ICA Board unanimously approved.
- Steve will be setting up a meeting of the website committee.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:00 pm.