Archive for May, 2012

Discussion to explain local property tax “compression”

May 23, 2012

Many community members find the subject of property tax “compression” confusing. Yet, understanding compression is important to understanding the potential impact of additional property tax measures that appear on the ballot.

Southwest Neighborhoods, Inc. (SWNI), a coalition of seventeen neighborhoods in southwest Portland, will host an hour-long conversation on property tax compression, using the library levy as an example. City Economist Josh Harwood and Michael Jaspin from Multnomah County Budget Office will describe how compression works.

The conversation will be held in Room 29 at the Multnomah Arts Center, 7688 SW Capitol Hwy, in the Senior Center on Thursday, June 14th from 10:30am to 11:30am. This will be an open discussion for anyone who would like to attend.

For more information, contact the SWNI office at 503-823-4592, or email:


BCA seeking new board members!

May 16, 2012

Dear Buckman Neighbors,

We wanted to let everyone know that the Buckman Community Association will be holding board elections at the June 14th monthly meeting. The BCA is the registered neighborhood association for the area bounded by SE 28th, E Burnside, SE Hawthorne Blvd., and the Willamette River.

The BCA is involved in many ongoing projects, including our annual and always fun Picnic in the Park, to be held this year on Sunday, August 5th in Colonel Summers Park. We also are engaged in ongoing sustainability projects, land use reviews, transportation and safety issues, historic preservation, getting a community center built, and helping neighbors connect with and get results at City Hall.

The BCA Board is a nine person body with two-year electable terms. Terms are staggered, so each year half the positions are open for election. All persons who live, work or have a special interest in Buckman are welcome to become part of the Association and to serve on our Board.

Next month, we will hold elections for four 2-year and one 1-year terms. Please consider serving your neighborhood and running for the Board!  We welcome new volunteers!

The election will be 7-9pm, Thursday June 14th in the Central Catholic High School library. Refreshments will be available!

Susan Lindsay
BCA Board Chair

New meeting location for July/August

May 16, 2012

A quick note about the BCA’s monthly meetings: because we lose access to Central Catholic High School during the summer months, our July and August meetings will be held in the Multnomah County Board Room, located at 501 SE Hawthorne Blvd. The dates of those meetings are July 12th and August 9th (both Thursdays). Starting in September, we’ll return to our usual location in the library at Central Catholic.

RIP Joe Cotter

May 14, 2012

Susan Lindsay, Chair of the BCA board, recently passed along some sad news about muralist and friend of Buckman Joe Cotter:

I learned last night the sad news that Joe Cotter, muralist and activist for art, died last month.

Perhaps you already knew this, but in case you didn’t, or did not get the chance to meet Joe, he was a wonderful, talented, complete character and, most of all, a wise and gentle soul. A tireless advocate for art and an amazing muralist, he did many of the McMenamin’s murals around the area, as well as the mural at the Musician’s Hall on NE 20th in Kerns.

I met him some years ago out in Eagle Creek, where he lived with his family amongst fir trees and rushing waters. Then when the Big Pipe grant opportunity arrived, I spent months cajoling him to take on our (at that time) very sad mural space at 12th and SE Morrison. I knew he could make it beautiful.

Joe initially was a reluctant muralist on the Buckman project. He was so busy! But after he got involved…well, his work speaks for itself. The mural is amazing. Ironically, it turned out to be his last major completed project.

No memorial service has been planned yet for Joe, but when it is, I will let folks know.

His family and wife Kolieha Bush (who helped him complete our mural after he first got ill) have asked that contributions in Joe’s name be made to either of these non-profits organizations:

Joe Cotter Memorial Mural Restoration Fund
PO Box 182
Eagle Creek, OR 97022

The Estacada Area Food Bank
PO Box 1196
Estacada, OR 97023

The following are two articles of interest; one from the Oregonian and one from Joe’s hometown paper in Foxboro, Massachusetts:

Hawthorne Civic Ecology Events

May 11, 2012

We wanted to let everyone know about two upcoming events from the Hawthorne Civic Ecology project:

Saturday, May 19th
10am to 2pm
Western Seminary, 5511 SE Hawthorne
Lunch will be provided

Thursday, June 7th
6 to 9pm
St. David of Wales Episcopal Church, 2800 SE Harrison
Dinner will be provided

For more Information and to RSVP:

These events will feature local business and neighborhood activists talking about their sustainability efforts.

For more information on the Hawthorne Civic Ecology project, check out an article from a recent edition of the Southeast Examiner:


Support Buckman Elementary

May 9, 2012

Our friends from the Kerns Neighborhood Association included this snippet about Buckman Elementary in their May e-mail newsletter. We thought it worth passing along.

Most of you are probably aware that Portland Public Schools (PPS) is facing a budget deficit and looking at cutting teachers and staff around the district. There is currently a proposal by the City, Teacher’s Union and School Board that would offset most, if not all, of the teachers cuts for the 2012-13 school year.

While this would be wonderful news, we will not know the outcome of these votes until May 30. (All three groups — City Council, members of the Portland Association of Teachers, and the Portland School Board — have to approve the deal. Please let them know what passage would mean for Buckman!) This news is welcomed but the outcome remains uncertain. Even if votes are passed in favor of this proposal, we cannot be entirely sure that they will re-instate both arts positions in our school. There have been many programs and services cut across our district, not just classroom teachers. Therefore, we must be ready to step in and fill any shortfall in funding, or we may not have our 3 full-time arts positions.

Last Tuesday night we felt an outpouring of love and support for Buckman and its unique and wonderful arts program. Our hope is to continue on this path to preserve and protect this amazing program for our children and future Buckman students. We hope our large funding goal to maintain current staffing at Buckman for the 2012-2013 school year will be lessened–but, we are not of out of the woods yet and anticipate a similar crisis hitting us next spring. There are a number of efforts underway to work on long-term solutions to end these annual school funding crises. Until those long-term solutions take effect, we are continuing our current fundraising campaign. Our over-arching goal is to establish two year’s worth of funding to provide the cushion of time needed to strategize, build partnerships in the arts community, seek grants and work for change on the state level.

Please give as generously as you are able. Make a pledge or donate directly to the Buckman Foundation. Be sure to enter “Specific PPS School” for how to designate your gift, and enter “Buckman” for School Name. If you are feeling compelled to alter your earlier pledge due to the possibility of a change in our immediate need, we will certainly honor that and respect your wishes. During our tabling sessions in the front corridor most folks have expressed their desire to continue with their pledge of support and we so appreciate that. We are all in this together and each have something of value to give–be it time, money or a skill or talent. We will keep you apprised of any updates as they happen. In the meantime, know the crisis has not been averted yet. We are continuing our efforts to preserve our arts program and plan for the future of Buckman. Thank you!