Archive for February, 2012

Take a Survey on a Potential New Charter School in SE Portland

February 10, 2012

We recently received an e-mail from Lynden Evans, who is with an organization called PHC Northwest. According to their website, PHC Northwest provides “broad-based educational, training and job opportunities (with full union benefits) for thousands of people with developmental, physical and mental disabilities”.

Lynden’s e-mail indicated that they are exploring the possibility of partnering with Portland Public Schools to open a charter middle school in SE Portland. They are currently in the public comment phase of the process. As part of that process, they have put together an online survey, and are looking for members of the SE Portland community to respond to the survey so that they can gather feedback. If you’re interested, you can take the survey here:


Call for Participation: Newsletter Articles, Candidate Forum Questions, Summer Picnic

February 10, 2012

Opportunities abound for you to get involved in the BCA, in a variety of ways! Read on for more details.

Newsletter Articles

Planning is underway for the next paper edition of our newsletter, which, like this blog, is called the Buckman Voice. We’re currently soliciting articles on any topic you think would be of interest to your neighbors. They don’t have to be long; even just a few paragraphs is fine. Examples include: a group or organization you’d like to publicize, a new local business that you think people should know about, a neighborhood cause you’d like to stump for, etc. To pitch us your idea, simply send an e-mail to Articles are due by Thursday, March 8th. You can download PDF versions of past issues of the Buckman Voice from our website:

Because we hand-deliver copies of the Buckman Voice to every home in the neighborhood, we’re also always on the lookout for volunteers willing to help with the delivery. It’s a great excuse to get out for a stroll and perhaps meet some new neighbors. Volunteers are encouraged to e-mail us at

Questions for our Candidate Forums

We’re in the midst of election season, and the BCA is getting in on the action by hosting candidate forums at our next two monthly meetings. At our March meeting, which will be held on Thursday March 8th, we’ll be inviting the candidates for the two City Council seats to come and take questions from our members. At our April meeting, on Thursday April 12th, we’ll be doing the same with the candidates for mayor. Of course, you’re encouraged to attend both meetings in person, where you can ask questions of the candidates, but if you can’t make it for any reason, you can also submit questions to us via e-mail at You can also feel free to post questions on our Facebook page at

Picnic Organizers

We’re 6 months away from our third annual Summer Picnic in the Park, to be held on Sunday, August 5th. We’re looking for volunteers to help with the picnic planning and organizing process. It’s a fun and easy way to get involved in your neighborhood by helping to put on this great event. Interested parties are welcome to e-mail us at

Buckman Historic Association Update

February 10, 2012

The Buckman Historic Association issued a press release today regarding their effort to establish a National Historic District in the Buckman neighborhood. You can download a PDF of the release here, or read it on the Portland Preservation website here. We’ve also included the text of the release below.

Press Release from the Buckman Historic Association February 9, 2012

When the effort began to form a historic district in Buckman, we had two main goals.

1. Improve neighborhood pride and cohesiveness

2. Protect our neighborhood’s historic resources and unique character through demolition review and design review.

After much feedback, we find that many residents are opposed to the concept of a historic district, mainly because of current design fees and the design review process. Additionally, we have discovered that demolition review only delays demolition, and does not halt it. We had also hoped it would be possible to develop our own design guidelines for the district. The city, despite having standards that are hard to interpret and, therefore, hard to enforce, does not want any help in developing new design review guidelines.

In the meantime, the Buckman Historic Association has committed to work with other Portland historic districts and historic preservation groups to campaign against the outrageous design review fees. We can’t say how long that might take and our success cannot be guaranteed. However, the historic association and volunteers have put in countless hours towards this project and the nomination is nearly complete. We are on track to have the application ready to hand in on March 1st. We don’t want to see our efforts go to waste, or to have to start over from the beginning at some future point, but we also see that continuing as planned would be harmful to the neighborhood.

A solution has appeared!

We have a chance to preserve our work, while also taking some time to pause, to bring the community together and to address the issues causing in ways we all find agreeable.

Our work can be submitted as a “Determination of Eligibility” (DOE), rather than as a nomination for a historic district. This gets our work on record but does not have the restrictions of a historic district. In the meantime, the state, and possibly the landmarks commission, would review and evaluate the DOE. No regulations would be imposed by the city. No design reviews. No demolition reviews. No new fees. If approved as a DOE, it would not become a full nomination until we initiated that process, which would involve outreach and the same review timeline as a historic district.

The Buckman Historic Association and neighbors opposing the historic district have joined    together to share our views and to work towards finding solutions. Over the next few months, we’ll send out information, announcements and updates as we talk to our local politicians and plan gatherings, workshops and events. And as we head towards elections, the Buckman Neighborhood Association and other organizations around the city will host candidate forums and we encourage you to attend and participate.

As homeowners and renters, we all care about our community and are invested in seeing that Buckman is livable, safe and vibrant. Our neighborhood may not have the big houses and broad lawns of some of the other historic neighborhoods, but, as Portland’s first suburb, Buckman has a diversity, history, proximity and character that, very likely, drew you here, too.

Grow Portland Seed Packing Session

February 8, 2012

We recently received the following e-mail from a community organization called Grow Portland (also see a PDF flier with additional information here):

Local nonprofit Grow Portland is gearing up for its third annual Seed Club. For the Seed Club, Grow Portland buys organic vegetable seeds in bulk from socially responsible suppliers. These seeds are repacked into smaller sizes and made available to home gardeners, schools, and non-profits at affordable prices.

This March and April, Grow Portland is hosting four sessions to pack these seeds. At these sessions, gardeners have a chance to socialize and learn with other growers, pack vegetable seeds, and take home 15 seed packets of their own.

Our Buckman neighborhood packing session will be Monday, March 12th 7-8:30 pm at Green Dragon (928 SE Belmont St). Gardeners sign up online in advance to attend.

See our website to sign up, and for more information on membership options for schools and nonprofits: Contact Lauren with additional questions:, 503-858-0216.


SE Oak Street Sewer Replacement Project Update

February 3, 2012

The city recently sent out a flier with an update on the SE Oak Street Sewer Replacement Project. A lot of the information contained in the flier is repeated from an earlier update that we posted about last month, but there’s some new info as well. See below for the full scoop.

Date: February 1, 2012
Contact: Joe Annett, 503-823-2934 or

Environmental Services will begin work soon to replace sewer pipes which are in poor condition on SE Oak Street from SE 10th to SE 18th avenues and some adjacent streets (see map on back). Construction is tentatively scheduled to begin in summer 2012.

Pre-construction Activities
You will see survey crews locating and marking existing utilities with spray paint.  Geotechnical crews may drill to verify underground utility locations and test soil and pavement conditions. In order to minimize damage to trees in the work zone, certified arborists from Portland Parks & Recreation will trim tree branches to a minimum height of 14 feet.

Construction Method
The city’s contractor will use open trench excavation, which includes the following steps:

  • Cut trench in pavement
  • Remove pavement and fill material
  • Install mainline sewer pipe
  • Install lateral service lines from the sewer main to the curb
  • Backfill trench with sand or gravel
  • Install temporary asphalt as work moves forward
  • Final trench paving and restoration

What to Expect During Construction
There will be noise, vibration, dust, traffic congestion, temporary parking loss, lane reductions, street closures in the construction zone, and disruption to normal neighborhood activity.

Work hours will be 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. The contractor may schedule work during the same hours on Saturdays.
Some streets will close to through traffic during work hours, but the contractor will maintain local access. You may experience delays getting to your home or business.

Parking will be prohibited in work zones during work hours.

Sewer service and other utilities should not be interrupted during construction.

A city construction inspector will be on-site during work hours. If you have an immediate need during construction, the on-site inspector may be able to assist you.

Equipment and material will be secured on the street after work hours.

Please contact me if you have concerns such as maintaining driveway access, business operations, medical deliveries, etc.

For more information on Environmental Services programs and projects go to:

Email with “SE Oak Sewer Project” in subject line to receive future construction updates by email.