General Meeting
March, 2004

Minutes of the Hillsdale Neighborhood Association Meeting
March 3, 2004

The meeting was called to order by president Don Baack at 7:00om. The agenda was approved. The minutes of the last meeting were distributed by email, and were approved.

Marcia Dennis of the Graffiti Abatement Task Force said that Stephanie Reynolds's article in the March SWNI News Letter covered the topic very well. Graffiti frequently leads to more serious crimes, so we should take immediate steps to remove it. Property owners have 10 days after being notified of the problem to remove the graffiti. If this is not done, the City may have it done and charge the property owner. (In the 6 years that this has been law, no owner has been charged.) The City has a contract with a company who will remove most kinds of graffiti for free. The company does not have the ability to remove paint from porous surfaces, or to do anything about etched glass, for example.

It is important to report all graffiti. It helps keep track of where such activity is occurring, and if a tagger gets caught, the police need to know where he/she has been. Report where, when, what on, and if possible get a digital picture of the graffiti. The graffiti hotline number is 503-823-4824, or you can call the City's information number 503-823-4000.

Miguel Ascarrunz is the new director of the Portland Office of Emergency Management (POEM) which was created in July of 2003. They are in charge of coordinating response to emergencies and include police and fire department officers. They are seeking grants to expand community involvement in emergency management, including Neighborhood Emergency Teams and Business Emergency Teams.

Susan Jewell asked what they could to help in an emergency. A. They would activate the emergency ops center to coordinate response, and, essentially, triage calls for assistance. Since the emergency responders would almost certainly be overwhelmed, only the most urgent would be responded to. It is important that neighborhoods and individuals be trained and ready to take care of themselves and assist their neighbors.

Susan: Q. What might we expect to hear or do in an emergency. A. There are not enough "sirens" such as have been used in emergencies elsewhere in the past, but perhaps something like that will be developed.

Glenn Bridger: Q. What about real-life plans? The City was not prepared for this winters' snow storm, though in many cities it would not have raised an eyebrow. A. More funding is needed. There is a planning body which should have a better answer by the end of this year. There will be a budget of $20 million this year and double that next year.

Susan: Q. Can some of that be spent to better prepare our schools for their roll as emergency shelters, to retrofit for earthquake resistance, etc? A. We'll think about it.

Don Baack: Q. Can there be better information dissemination about disaster preparedness? Maybe regular features in the Oregonian? And are there plans to expand the number of radio operators available? A discussion of radio dead spots and their hazardous effect in an emergency followed. Ascarrunz said there were plans to map the dead spots. There is $2 million available for enhanced communications. He promised to get back to us with information about dead spots, and a map showing exactly where the dead spots are.

Susan Jewell presented a map and information about a Type III hearing about a development at SW 23rd and Nevada Ct. The controversy is over what, if any, improvements should be made to Nevada Ct. The proposal is for an 8ft gravel path. The neighbors feel that this will encourage vehicles, and oppose it. John Gold feels that the HNA should push for required development of full streets and sidewalks whenever a permit is requested as the only way to assure that eventually southwest gets all of its transportation ways upgraded.

John moved that the HNA write a letter to the City insisting that the City adhere to its regulations and require full street development, and not allow substandard street to persist. Motion passed 5 to 4.

After some discussion about the needs of the area and the probability of various outcomes actually occurring,, Keturah Pennington moved that the letter to the City include the statement that if full street development is, for any reason, not required of the developer, that the street improvements be confined to a 3ft wide gravel path with barricades at both ends that will prevent vehicular traffic on the path. Motion passed 5 to 4.

Kenneth Steward hopes that there will be better communication between Neighborhood Associations in the future.

Don Baack gave a brief history of the boundary dispute between three of the SWNI neighborhoods and SWHRI. There will be a meeting March 4 with Jim Brown, head of ONI, and members of SWHRI and SWNI.

On Sat , Mar 6, 9 - 1, at Turning Point, there will be charette on the development of the Bertha Triangle.

Input is sought about what people want to see in Hillsdale, how to "spiff up" the architecture, etc.

Robert Gray School has sent a letter to Parks supporting regular trash pickup at the OLH dog park in Hillsdale Park.

Brief update by Susan on the school boundary re; Turning Point. The reasons seem somewhat illogical and insulting to some.

Susan feels that some sort of celebration of Reike's accomplishments is in order. She and Duane, and perhaps another volunteer were appointed to look into what might be done.

Eamon Molloy is the new Farmers Market Manager.

ODOT says 3 Barbur pedestrian crossings will be done by July.

Jeff Rames says the Hayhurst NA is opposed to the Red Electric Trail and wanted to know the Hillsdale NA position. Neighbors along the proposed trail are organizing in opposition to it. A lively discussion included the following points: 1) it would go past the back yards of established homes with children, where there are only blackberries now; 2) it would bring traffic down dead end streets; 3) it would cause loss of green space(?); 4) other similar trails have become neighborhood assets, once the trail was actually established; 5) it would be a good, flat, safe-from-auto-traffic bicycle/pedestrian route to downtown; 6) those who object should suggest positive alternate routes.

Meeting was adjourned at 9:44

Keturah Pennington, substitute secretary

HNA Meetings Page
HNA Home Page