Mayor and Commissioner Fish recruiting members for the new Public Utility Board

Maybe you could be the next member on this board.  The only way to do that is to apply…

Mayor Charlie Hales and Commissioner Nick Fish are recruiting members to serve on the newly formed public utility board (PUB). The 9-member board will strengthen transparency and oversight of our two public utilities: the Portland Water Bureau and Bureau of Environmental Services.

Portland’s two public utilities provide vital water, sewer, and stormwater services to the City. With over 1,000 highly skilled and dedicated employees, the bureaus are operationally and financially complex.

The first meetings of the PUB is scheduled for late August, including a series of briefings about the utilities’ operations before the fall budget season begins. The PUB will be supported by full-time staff from the independent City Budget Office.

Applications for PUB members will be accepted through July 10, 2015. We would appreciate your help in recruiting applicants for the PUB.

More information about the PUB, including application materials, is available on Commissioner Fish’s website If you have questions, please contact Asena Lawrence at (503) 823-3597.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Youth Service America Grant

Are you between the ages of 5-18 and have an idea that could make your community safer?  This is your opportunity to apply for a grant for $500 to make your idea a reality.  Here is the link to learn more about this grant.  The deadline is midnight August 10th, so get those creative synapses firing.  If you do apply, let me know what your idea is and I can post it here and on the RNA Facebook page, too.

Good luck.  So excited for you…


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Fruit tree project

I know this is last minute, and I know how I feel about last minute things (not a fan) but I just found out about this mere moments ago.  So, as soon as I found out I quickly put it on our Facebook page and now I am posting the same here for those who eschew Facebook, for whatever reason (that’s cool).  Portland Fruit Tree Project is tomorrow, yes, TOMORROW, July 8th from 6:30-8:30 pm at Parkrose Community United Church.  Here is the link for more information and to sign up.…

I’m inclined to go simply because the host has the same name as myself. Do you know how often I have that happen?  With my name, it’s a rare event!  That’s amazing!!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Did you see the World Cup!

Then you know how little FIFA pays the women for taking the title versus the men ($2 million versus $35 million). Yes a $33 million dollar discrepancy, someone is really bad with numbers at FIFA even though the women have been winning, and winning often! Ugh. You should come to the street painting on Saturday, July 11 and we can talk about this and any other issues, local and abroad.

Where? 28th Place and Pardee St.
Bring a dish to share for the potluck block-party.
Bring your kiddo(s) and when they get bored of painting, the playground at Tucker-Maxon will be open for them to run around and have a little ‘me’ time. And, the playground is fully fenced.

Come join us, we’ll have paint and brushes/rollers in hand and ready to get the job done.

Hope to see you this weekend!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Stop and get some fresh fruits and veggies

and see our friends in the neighborhood at Berry Good fruit stand, just off of 28th.  They’ve got some local strawberries that are yummy and full of flavor (which, those giant berries from other unnamed stores seem to be lacking, trust me I know, sadly, from personal experience.  The berries from Berry Good however are not lacking in the flavor department, they can wear their flavor badge proudly!)  Check them out for a little nosh before the music fest at Reed.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Looking for something to do this evening…

Thursday, 7/2 at 8:00 pm in Kaul Auditorium at Reed College (SE 28th and Woodstock)

Beethoven’s Complete Violin Sonatas – Part I

Join us for this unique opportunity to hear all of Beethoven’s violin sonatas performed by six remarkable artists in three Thursday concerts.  Each duo of artists will create their own unique concert of some of Beethoven’s most intimate music!

Musical Conversation: Join us at 7:00 pm for the free musical conversation with the artists before the concert. The half-hour insider discussions will give you unmatched perspective on the music from the very musicians performing it for you in the concert!

ONLINE by clicking here, or get a series subscription here!
CALL our Box Office at (503) 294-6400 or fax us at (503) 294-1690
IN PERSON at 522 SW 5th Ave, Suite 919, Portland OR 97204


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

City Real Property Disposition Process

Amendments to Revised Draft of Proposed City Real Property Disposition Policy Going to City Council on Wed. July 8, 2015

The City Council will consider amendments to the proposed new, City Real Property Disposition Process Policy at the City Council on Wednesday July 8, 2015. The amendments reflect changes recommended by City Council members at the City Council hearing on July 1, 2015.

(You can view the video of the City Council discussion and public testimony from the July 1, 2015 City Council hearing (starting at 2:03) at: .)

You can find information about the July 8 hearing, how to share your comments and recommendations with City Council and the proposed amendments, review the input community members provided on the earlier policy language below, and get basic background on this project, by clicking on the links below:

City Council members are the decision makers at this stage of the process. Please direct your comments to them.

Why should you care?: The City of Portland owns a lot of property in neighborhoods across the city. Community members, in the past, have said they want to be sure that the City considers community priorities when it decides what to do with excess real property, that the City gathers and considers important information about a property in making its decisions (e.g. deed restrictions and other limitations), and that the process be predictable for and transparent to community members.

July 8, 2015 City Council Hearing

The City Council formally will review and consider adopting this new policy on:

  • DATE:     Wednesday, July 8, 2015
  • TIME:     sometime after 9:30 a.m.—most likely in the morning
  • PLACE:  Portland City Hall, 1221 SW 4th Ave., Council Chambers, 2nd Floor

The City Council hearing will start at 9:30 a.m. The City Council will take up the City land disposition policy later in the morning—no “time certain” has been established for this agenda item. You can find out where the proposed policy will appear on the hearing agenda by going to the City Clerk’s website on and viewing the “current agenda” page at:

How to Share your Comments with the City Council

You can share your comments with the City Council members in a few different ways:

  • Email your comments to The City Clerk will forward any message you send to this email address to all the City Council members. Comments you send to this email address also become part of the “formal record” for this City Council agenda item.
  • Mail or hand deliver hard copy comments directly to individual City Council members, or call their offices:  Click HERE for contact information for each of the City Council members.
  • Testify at the July 8, 2015 hearing:  A sign-up sheet will be available outside the City Council Chambers in City Hall on the morning of the hearing—sign up if you want to testify at the hearing.

Revised Policy Language and City Council Hearing Documents

You can find the revised proposed policy language and information about what’s changed at:

Other documents going to City Council for the hearing include:

Community Input and Comments

You also can review the comments submitted by individual community members and neighborhood associations and community organizations during the most recent comment period:

Background about this Project

Purpose of proposed policy: The City’s Portland Property Management Committee (PPMC), proposed this policy to address concerns about the need for a more consistent and transparent process for how the City identifies and disposes of real property. This policy will establish consistent, city-wide guidelines for how City bureaus identify and dispose of real property that a City bureau determines is no longer required for their operations.

The policy will:

  • Ensure Citywide consistency in the excess and surplus real property identification, notification, and disposition process;
  • Identify a standard process of soliciting public input and feedback on real property identified by a bureau as excess to the bureau’s needs before authorizing the bureau to dispose of the property; and
  • Provide opportunity for City Council to adequately consider alternative uses for excess real property.

The scope of the policy includes properties that have been deemed excess by bureaus following their internal review, approved by the bureau director, and authorized by the Commissioner-in-charge. The policy would apply to all real property owned by City of Portland, categorized into three groups.

Community Input and Changes to the Draft Policy:

In early May 2015, the City posted a draft of this policy online and solicited community input through written notice to hundreds of organizations and individuals, via social media postings, through an online survey, and in meetings with community representatives.

The Portland Property Management Committee reviewed the feedback and revised the policy based on community input, incorporating many of their suggestions. These changes included:

  • Including all properties in the policy – establishing three categories with different process steps, as described in the policy.
  • Replacing the requirement to place a notice in the newspaper with a requirement to mail notice to surrounding property owners.
  • Extended the Public Comment Period from 30 days to 45. Added requirement that the Council hearing on any ordinance declaring a property surplus could not be heard until at least 15 days after the Public Comment Period, with notice two weeks in advance.
  • Clarified that the 45 day Public Comment Period is “minimum”; bureaus can choose to have a longer period in advance of posting to the webpage, and bureaus and Council can choose to extend the time period based on community input regarding particular properties.
  • Added clarifications on what would be included in ordinances.
  • Clarified that Council could require additional conditions and terms for property dispositions and could direct bureaus on how the property should be disposed of.

The policy does not include specific criteria for prioritizing the sale of properties to community non-profits and/or for uses that would have community benefits. Since each property is unique, the policy reserves this decision for the City Council to make for each property, based on the site-specific public input that will be received from the community during the Public Comment Period for each property.  Council discretion is also reserved for determining the appropriate sales price and sales method.

For a description of the changes made to the draft policy and other issues raised by community input, please see the “What’s Changed and Why” table.

For more information about what led to the creation of this new proposed policy, go to: Why was this draft policy developed?

Why is ONI providing this information?:  ONI is providing this information because ONI offered to help the committee members reach out to the community.

ONI recommends you share your comments about the draft proposed policy language directly with the City Council members.

If you have other questions, please contact ONI Staff:  Paul Leistner,, 503-823-5284, or John Dutt,, 503-865-2625.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Let’s get ready to paint!

cans of paint? check.
rollers, paint brushes, paint pans and other painting supplies? check.
block party permit? check.
Let’s see, what are we missing…Oh I know that one key, essential element: YOU!

The Mermaid on a Unicycle is ready to painted and she needs helping hands of neighbors near and far. Those who live in Reed and those who like Reed and those who like mermaids (or those who like unicycles, or chickens in baskets on a unicycles…) Whatever attracts you to our street painting is personal to you, we simply need you to come out and help and join in the FUN!

We have some painting supplies, but if you have more, please feel free to bring them (rollers, brushes, paint pans, you name it, I’m sure we can make use of it).

We will be starting the festivities of fun at 9:00 am but whenever you want to show up to lend a hand is cool. Come, bring a dish to share and mingle with your neighbors. Maybe you’ll learn something new as well, like perhaps how to build one of those little libraries you see popping up all over town (I’ve asked that someone from Village Building Convergence teach how to build those to those who attend the intersection painting).

We will provide refreshments and fun and you can help be a part of this first ever intersection painting in the Reed Neighborhood (hopefully, the first of more to come). But, you’ll be able to say: I was there for the FIRST one. And that carries great historical significance. Such memories (cue up the Barbara Streisand song…not a sound from the pavement, has moon lost her memory…I digress).

At any rate, here are the deets my peeps

When: Saturday, July 11, 2015

Where: SE 28th Place & SE Pardee St.

Time: 9:00 am until the mermaid on the unicycle is done

Bring a dish to share and we’ll provide refreshments & fun, fun, FUN!

Hope to see you there!

Posted in Announcements, Events | Leave a comment

Single Family Housing Trends

During the heyday of America’s maximum retail sector surge (1996–2006), residential construction and the massive expansion of the automotive sector were at the top of the heap. In addition to the speedup of America’s gross domestic product of goods and services during this time frame, the U.S. was witnessing the peak of a population explosion that doubled its people count from 160 million in the mid–20th century to 320 million today.

Consequently, the automotive industry has broadened its U.S. market position, primarily due to additional Japanese, Germany, and South Korean automobile manufacturers setting up “finishing departments, mostly in non-union Midwest and Southern states, and has reached its pre-recession annual total of 16 million cars sold in the U.S. Residential home construction, however, has badly lagged its previous high point of 1.7 million single family annualized home starts.

Currently, residential construction has struggled to reach one million annualized starts, with most of these devoted to metropolitan leased apartment units, or as homes for leasing in smaller and rural communities. However, the fact that total housing starts fell 2.8% in October from a month earlier, while single family home units’ new construction rose 4.2% in October—the best pace since June 2008— is indicative of a major return shift to traditional single family startups, that year-over-year shows a 5.3% improvement currently.

The factors that are generating this switch to the more traditional homeowning of American families are as follows:


  1. The federal government, in conjunction with Federal Reserve Board approval, has started to lighten up on maximum down-payments, and the overly strict regulations, in the wake of the earlier loose requirements that generated a flood of foreclosures.
  2. With overall national job improvement, an increasing number of fully-employed job holders are committed to permanent homesteads in their new locations.
  3. While rental and residential leasing are still the predominant factor in the reduced level of family housing construction, the ongoing job improvement and lifestyle, especially with the “millennials,” who accounted for the highest rental/leasing commitment shift, has also been abetted by substantially higher rentals in both metropolitan and suburban living space.

While the 1.7 million annualized units of the late 1990’s and early 2000’s are nowhere in sight, as the million mark is the current norm, a steady improvement in the present trend is an encouraging sign of a steadily improving economy.

For future easy access to my blogs, please use the link below, and bookmark it to your desktop. The old link you may be using is still available. However, an alternate link is:


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Johnson Watershed E-Bulletin Nov. 2014

Johnson Creek Watershed Council E-BULLETIN November 2014 Gresham Main City Park by Bruce MacGRegor 3
1) Johnson Creek Appreciation Night – Thursday, December 11 2) Update from Salmon Surveyors 3) Update on JCWC’s Leadership Transition 4) Metro’s Upper Johnson Creek Restoration Project 5) Calendar at a Glance
1) Johnson Creek Appreciation Night – Thursday, December 11  Everyone is invited to this winter celebration as we recognize volunteers and partners. We hope this event will continue to strengthen the ties amongst the Johnson Creek community. See event invite here.Program 

  • Narrated slideshow to showcase what we have achieved together
  • JCWC 20 Club – honoring volunteers who have contributed to 20 or more events (Russ Stoll, Melanie McCandless, Nicole Alexander, Walt Mintkeski, Kevin D. Hay, Paul Ciri, Paul Rayburn, Nate Whirty, Lee Spiker, Lora Martin, Julie Chapman) Plus Dick Schubert and Marty Urman will be receiving the Presidential Service Award. 
  • See project photos displayed around the room
  • Potluck dinner with JCWC providing main course and drinks. Additions welcome but not required.
  • Final farewell to Executive Director Matt Clark. Don’t miss your chance to say good bye

Register: CrystalSprings_KatieSombat 1 3

2) Update from Salmon Surveyors Every Saturday from October 18-Every Saturday from October 18 – December 13 volunteers are surveying four sections of Johnson Creek, Crystal Springs and Kelley Creek tributaries searching for evidence of spawning fish. This year the project is supported by 60 volunteers. If you live by Johnson Creek please give us a call if you see any fish too. (Photo by Katie Sombat – wild, successfully spawned female coho in Crystal Springs) It’s been a successful year! Eleven live sightings have been recorded in Crystal Springs alone. Three carcasses have been retrieved, sampled and returned. Last week volunteers Jenai Fitzpatrick and Claudia Garcia found the first carcass in the mainstem too. (Photo by Jenai Fitzpatrick – wild, successfully spawned female coho in mainstem Johnson Creek near Telford Rd.) To read more about the salmon surveyors experience – see the Salmon Diaries blog here. This project is made possible with funding from the East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District.

11102_10152351391242024_5947898798482759261_n 23) Update on JCWC’s Leadership Transition Executive Director, Matt Clark’s final day at JCWC is December 5. The Board of Directors has hired Miriam Barnard through the Non-Profit Association of Oregon’s Executive Transition Services. Miriam who has more than a decade of non-profit management experience will serve as JCWC’s Interim Executive Director. She will start two days a week on December, providing day-to-day support of staff and operations/administrative leadership of the organization to ensure a smooth transition. She will continue until a new Executive Director is hired and on board. The Executive Director job posting closed last Friday, November 14. JCWC’s Hiring Committee will be reviewing candidates over the next week and is scheduled to begin interviews after Thanksgiving. If you have additional questions or comments, please contact board vice-chair, Dick Schubert at (503) 652-7477. To read more about Miriam, see her profile here. 4) Metro’s Upper Johnson Creek Restoration Project “Look at those rootwads! My eyes had just caught a glimpse of a large deck of logs with the rootwads still attached. I immediately started thinking about how to acquire those logs. Large pieces of down wood with rootwads are one of the essential habitat features in our streams – think of them as part of the furniture of great salmon habitat…” Article by Metro’s Kate Holleran. Read more about the project here. johnson creek 2 25) Calendar at a Glance  RSVP’s are helpful – email if you plan to attend an event.  Saturday, December 13 – Final volunteer restoration event of the season at Veterans Creek with Friends of Trees, Portland Parks and JCWC – 9am-12pm. RSVP with Amy at Monday, December 15 – EMSWCD PIC Grant Applications due. See more information here. Monday, January 19 – The Courts at Eastmoreland restoration project. Help protect Tideman Johnson Park by working in adjacent areas from 10am-1pm. Wednesday, January 21 – Volunteer Orientation at JCWC Headquarters 6pm. Come sit down with staff members and seasoned volunteers to learn more about what we do here at Johnson Creek Watershed Council, our mission, and how you can be a part of the work. Several programs are renewing in January. These include Johnson Creek Park Stewards and Green Street Stewards. Contact Amy at with your interest.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment