Hosford-Abernethy Neighborhood Development
Board Meeting: Tuesday, February 19, 2008
St. Phillip Neri Church Paulist Center ,2408 SE 16th Avenue (and Division)
BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT: Acting Chair Linda Nettekoven (LN), Secretary Carolyn Brock (CB), Treasurer Holli Ballestrem (HB), Alex Bassos(AB), Wendy Kunkel(WK), Amy Lewin(AL), Marilee Tillstrom(MT), Lindsey McBride(LM), Dave Kaplan(DK), Sue Pearce (SP), Frank Dufay(FD), Sean McCusker(SM), Ethan Timm (ET)
BOARD MEMBERS ABSENT: Matthew Masini, Jack Spadaro (called LN before meeting to say he had the flu and could not be there), Liz Gatti (out of town on a family matter).
Resignations: Dave Kaplan resigned prior to the meeting by e-mailing LN the following e-mail:
As HAND makes its plans for the coming year, I would like to make my Board seat available for replacement. I will be limiting my volunteer involvement to NAMI and SAVE OUR ELMS.
I hope to be a regular visitor to HAND board meetings. I will also volunteer for events where I can.
Hand Board Meeting:
Hand Board Meeting came to order at 7:05PM.
Approval of minutes:
â€¢ no discussion . SP motion, AL second, unanimously approved
Treasurers report – HB reported amounts in our account and expenses (see sheet)
Crime (no crime prevention officer present). Crime wave on division street summarized by LM. Also present on Belmont. LM had contacted SE precinct. They said there had been no increase. LM advised them it was unacceptable and put together a meeting with people in the community and various business associations. It quickly became clear to officers that a lot of people were concerned about a very real uptick in crime. Three suspects have been identified and arrested based on the information provided at the meeting. These three people were responsible for over 45 crimes in the last 3 months. Starbucks has had 45 windows broken in the last 9 months and the problem continues. Despite the presence of people at the crime scenes, only one police call has been made outside of the Starbucks alarm company. LM urged us to stay vigilant regardless of the primary arrests. There was also a discussion about how to be proactive in the neighborhood about crime. LN suggested that we start a discussion with the Red and Black community – perhaps they know something about the situation or have some advice as to what we can do about it. Thomas Price suggested that an article in the Southeast Examiner might be appropriate.
Finance Committee – A group met at the end of January to discuss what to do with the bequest that was received four years ago and whether the money ought not be placed in an account that earns more than .05%. We’ve been exceeding our income from the cleanup by $500 to $1000 a year, letting the bequest slip away year by year. There was also a discussion at that meeting about how to accept requests for donations. HB suggested that we transfer our funds to Rivermark to earn more interest (.4 percent instead of .05 percent at BOA). Craig Swinford suggested that perhaps we need to figure out our 3 and 5 year game plan first. There seemed to be a general consensus that we would be safe putting 15 grand into a high interest cd or money market account.
â€¢ Motion made by SP that all the money be moved to Rivermark money market account. Second by AL.
SP also indicated her thoughts for the future: (1) If Shawn’s number crunching supports it perhaps a large chunk of money be moved to a cd and (2) Donations issue should be referred back to finance committee. Several comments in discussion supported idea of tabling all motions and decisions until next month. Amendment to motion that the money only be moved if the account is FDIC insured. The vote was almost unanimous in favor of the motion, the only nay vote being AB (on the basis that a solid comprehensive proposal be put forth all at once).
â€¢ New motion for a finance committee. Seconded by SP. Nobody opposed to the motion.
Communications Committee – AL – Two meetings were held this month about what our message is and how it can be improved. Regarding the need to advertise the annual meeting and the clean up event, it was decided that a postcard mailer be sent out. Question from the committee whether we’re comfortable with a mailer since it would cost about $1200.00. Half of the expense would come from the event and half would come from the communications committee budget. No answer to the question was given from the board to the committee.
Clean up Event – Marilee – New pricing of 10 to 25 dollars. No hazardous materials. We’ve made good money in the past. We need volunteers, preferably strong, young males. We’ve done hats in the past because we get the embroidery for free but perhaps we could sell t-shirts of the sort we did a few years ago when we were neighborhood of the year. Perhaps something from the Stevens memorial (HAND gothic) could be put on a t-shirt.
â€¢ LM – Perhaps we should take Starbucks up on their offer to provide volunteers with a grant of approximately $1000.00. The program is called the Make Your Mark program. AL said it would be a good idea to promote fiscal responsibility and moved to support it. WK seconded. Unanimously approved.
Sustainability committee – AB floated a trial balloon for a Campaign for a Carbon Neutral Neighborhood to be presented at the March meeting. He said that
We are in a transformational moment
On the one hand, we have entered an age of consequences where the reality of climate change has become unavoidable . Among other things,
o The polar ice cap is melting, as well as Mount Hood glaciers
o Production of Oregon pinot noir grapes is threatened
o Desertification in the Sudan is exacerbating the situation in Darfur
o Species are disappearing at an alarming and accelerating rate.
o While the average American spews approximately 26.5 tons of greenhouse gases every year.
o If we don’t act soon it will be impossible to turn this thing around.
On the other hand, we’ve reached a tipping point in public acceptance of the problem. A recent national study showed that 84% of people thought climate change was a serious or very serious problem. In our little neighborhood in Southeast Portland that number has to approach 100%. And those that are left know that we need to wean ourselves off of our national addiction to foreign oil and oil dictatorships.
o If not us, who? Who is better situated than us to create a model for real change. To stand up and lead.
People are ready for change. They want solutions. They want to participate. But they don’t know what to do. Thousands of people in our small community frozen by the enormity of a global climate crisis. I know because I was one of those people until Linda told me to do something.
And when I started looking, I found that there were solutions all over the place. Low hanging fruit that is easy to pluck once you set a goal of reducing your carbon footprint. Like unplugging chargers and appliances when they’re not in use or weatherizing your home. It turns out there are places that will come into your home and tell you exactly where you can save energy. It turns out that there are incentives and programs and city agencies and non-profits throughout the city that will help us tackle this problem in myriad ways.
So the problem isn’t in people’s attitudes and the problem isn’t a lack of solutions. The problem is that the people don’t know about the solutions and the solutions don’t have a way of finding the people. If we are going to tackle this thing we have to become an organized community, which it turns out people are hungering for anyway. Linda just sent out the 5 year plan on increasing community, the culmination of a couple years of work.
The first thing we need is a common goal we can get behind. Thus, we will be asking this board next month to create an official neighborhood goal of reducing our carbon footprint.
The second thing we will be asking is for official approval for the Campaign for a Carbon Neutral Neighborhood – an organizing structure that will allow every citizen of HAND to participate in this goal if they so choose. The time when we can think small with 8 person green teams and once a year earth days has passed. The time where we can wait for others to solve the problem has passed. We need to join together in this common goal and we need to do it now.
Bike Boulevard â€“ Kirsty Hall and Jeff Smith from office of transportation. New project is to advertise that Clinton is a bike boulevard ( a low traffic street where bikes are given priority.) Despite traffic calming measures it still doesn’t feel like a pleasant place to ride. The hope is to eliminate conflicts and make it a better street to ride. So from 12th to 50th there will be signs and other indications of the preference for bicycles. A community member suggested that this is only a bandaid and what we really need are separate streets or sidewalks for bikes and a re-prioritization of bicycles over cars. A second community member suggested that perhaps putting up signs could make it more dangerous since nothing’s changing except the signs. Office of Transportation guy, Jeff Smith, said that they’ve done everything structural they can like speed bumps and roundabouts so now they’re going to try passive signs using artwork etc. LM said that the real problem is the disrespect from cars toward bikes and the complete lack of respect for rules of the road from many bikers – like blowing through STOP signs. LM also said that this sort of signage should not occur within the historic district of Ladds; at least not without lots of input. SP added vote for biker education and said that bikers are a real hazard for pedestrians. HB wanted to know whether there will be crosswalks included. Kirsty said that they are still at the input stage and don’t know what the specifics of the plan will be.
The PDX Comp plan – LN – Climate Change will be a major category of the new plan. LN invited any thoughts about how we can get greater participation from the community.
Community Connect – LN – It is important to LN that we as a neighborhood support the series of strategies encoded in the proposed Community Connect 5 year plan to increase community participation.
â€¢ LM moved for a letter of support for the plan. AB seconded. Unanimously approved except that Shawn abstained.
Burnside Bridgehead – LN – Nothing has happened in the last 3 years, apparently because the market is terrible. “AFRIEND” is going to write a letter suggesting that the memorandum of understanding between PDC and the developer should be terminated. They want a letter from us saying that we’re still committed to not having a big box store at that site. Live/work space and low income housing have been jettisoned because of the market. A straw vote was taken indicating very strong support for continuing our position.
Shamrock Run – SP – They want approval but it’s a use of the Eastbank Esplanade before we have been able to revise the Esplanade guidelines. SP suggests support with the proviso that we complete the guidelines in the near future.
â€¢ CB moved to support. AL seconded. Unanimously passed.
St David of Wales Episcopal Church – Their congregation has dwindled to less than 10 and will be bulldozed if they can’t rent it out at some point. They’re willing to move into their chapel. A member of the community wanted to spread the word that the church is available.
Submitted by: Alex Bassos, Note-taker and Carolyn Brock, Secretary