Author Archive

Seventh Annual Buckman Summer Picnic – August 14, 2016

July 29, 2016


♫ “Summertime and the Livin’ is Easy”♫.

At least we guarantee it will be from 4-8pm on Sunday, August 14th, when the Buckman Community Association presents our 7th annual, “Buckman Picnic in the Park”. This all-inclusive, free event features live music, a delicious BBQ meal with hot dogs, potato salad and of course watermelon, kids activities, a bouncy house, fire truck tours, community service booth, the return of “Roho” the therapy llama and door prizes galore. We invite you to bring your family, friends and especially kids to Colonel Summers Park, SE 17th and Taylor St., that afternoon to enjoy all the fun!Of course we couldn’t do this event without volunteers and we need lots of them! We have two 1-2 hour shifts planned for the party where you can help serve food, help set up ‘n clean up, or come the day before to get the park ship-shape. Our new picnic volunteer coordinator, Rie Nakata is ready to help you get involved. Contact her directly at or by cell/text 503-830-4782.

Donations to the Picnic to ensure it remain free and accessible to all are needed and completely tax deductible. Send a check made out to: “SEUL: Buckman Picnic 2016” to: Katy Asher c/o Southeast Uplift 3534 SE Main Street, Portland 97214. We can also receive and value “in-kind” donations of goods and services from local businesses and professionals which we can use for door prizes.  All donors will be listed on our sign boards, receive a donation letter, and thanked at the event podium as well as in the September SE Examiner newspaper.  We would love your support and especially *you* joining us for the picnic.  So grab a blanket, brings some lawn games and make an evening of it! To contact the BCA Picnic Team:

This year’s sponsors include: Venerable Properties, Killian Pacific, Sera ArchitectsZupan’s, Sheridan’s Fruits, Portland SpiritBolliger Insurance, Beam Development, Wentworth Subaru, Coca-Cola, Michael’s Italian SausageMill Creek Residential Trust and several Buckman neighbors.  Your support helps ensure the picnic is an event the Buckman neighborhood can count on every year, so please volunteer!

Pre picnic park cleanup planned for Sat. August 13th, 9am-12pm at Colonel Summers. We’ll meet at the pavilion and will bring some snacks. Bring gloves…we’ll have grabbers and garbage bags.

Volunteers Beat The Heat To Paint The Street!

July 29, 2016

On Saturday and Sunday, June 4 & 5, the hottest days of the year so far, volunteers gathered to make Buckman more beautiful, more fun and to build community spirit.

The Fruit, Flower and Pollinator theme at SE 16th and Ash was renewed on Saturday lead by Jim Forristal after a one-year hiatus.

A newly-enhanced graphic at SE 15th and Alder, designed by Rebecca Jolli, depicting a vine coming out of the compost bin going around the traffic circle with colorful dots, leaves, lady bugs and butterflies, was painted on Sunday.  Both painting parties were followed by a Dinner Potluck.

These projects were supported by a SPACE Grant from the East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District, the BCA, City Repair, Southeast Uplift and enthusiastic neighbors.

Thanks to Matthew Simonet for all the great pictures!

Want to Start an Urban Farm? – Full Article

July 28, 2016

By: L. Leland

*Article appeared in print version of The Buckman Voice… Bolded section was unpublished*

Have you ever thought about raising hens or keeping bees? Sorting out the permitting issues can be intimidating at first, but let me get you pointed in the right direction.


For chickens, ducks, doves, pigeons, pygmy goats or rabbits if you plan to have three or less (of any combination) no permit is required!

If you do need a permit, don’t worry. It’s a relatively easy process and the rules are pretty common-sense. The inspector is going to want to see that there is enough secured space, ventilation, and light for the animals to stay healthy. In addition, the structure must be at least 15 feet from homes, not including your own. For hoofed or loud animals this is extended to 50 feet. You will need to have a feeding strategy that will not attract rats, which can become a problem in urban environments. For chickens, I tried many different things before discovering a koi feeder that solved this problem. Absorbent ground cover needs to be replaced often in order to keep smells down, straw tends to work very well for this. Your permit application, plus $31 will go to Multnomah County Health Department Vector and Nuisance Control.

You can keep native mason bee houses without a permit, but all honey bee hives require a permit and some additional steps. You will need to notify all neighbors within 150 feet of your property. (It is no longer required to obtain their signatures.) Hives must be at least 15 feet away from any public walkways, streets, parks, public or private buildings (not including your own.) If the hive is closer than 150 feet to any of the aforementioned places, then it must be protected by a 6 foot high fence or hedgerow. Once you have met these requirements, you can submit your permit application along with $12 to Multnomah County Health Department Vector and Nuisance Control. If you plan to have more than 5 hives, you must also register with the Oregon Department of Agriculture. I’d also like to add please make sure that you have a reliable water source for your bees so that they don’t become a nuisance to your neighbors.

For any animal that you are thinking of introducing to your home or yard, please do research to find out what level of commitment it will to keep them happy and healthy. The Urban Farm Store and Bridgetown Bees are great resources in Buckman!


Portland is lucky to have our very own bee club! I’m Vice President of the Portland Urban Beekeepers. It is a great way to learn about beekeeping locally.

Spring and Summer are bee swarm weather! Bee colonies reproduce by sending some bees away to find a new home. If you see a bee swarm in Buckman (or anywhere else in the Portland area,) please call the swarm hotline to report it. The number is: (503) 444-8446. This hotline will call a list of beekeepers until someone is found that can save it.

Gardening for Pollinators

July 27, 2016

By: L. Leland

We have all read the news stories about the sad plight of pollinators today. Monoculture, pesticides, and loss of habitat are three big reasons they are having issues. With pollinators in decline, plants are suffering as well due to decreased reproduction. Maybe you are concerned, but you don’t know where to start? Luckily there are lots of options for ways you can help!

At a basic level, insects, birds, and mammals are attracted to certain flowers because they have food content. When they eat or collect pollen and nectar, they also pollinate the plant. Providing safe forage is key to their survival. Did you know that many stores carry plants that have been pre-treated with neonicotinoids? This is a class of pesticide that are systemic, causing the plant to produce the poison for years after your purchase! To avoid these, please find nurseries that carry untreated plants, buy organic, or start your own plants from untreated seeds.

One great way to help is to plant a perennial garden that provides flowers over the longest timeline possible throughout the year. If you search for “bloom calendars,” you can find some great resources for planning.

Not all flowers are created equal when it comes to providing food. Take some time to research great pollinator plants, there are some ideas to get you started below.

There are quite a number of native flowers that are great forage plants. A short list includes: Ceanothus, Rhododendron, Mock Orange, Red Osier Dogwood, Red Flowering Currant, and Oregon Grape.

Great perennials: Mint, Echinacea, Lemon Balm, Vitex, Hardy Fuchsia, Comfrey, Rosemary, Aster, Pincushion Flower, Penstemon.

Some fun annuals include: Borage, Poppies, Sunflowers, Crimson Clover, Calendula, Cosmos, Alyssum.

My favorite trees for forage include: Willows, Eucalyptus, Catalpa, Japanese Snowbell, Tulip Poplar, American Basswood, Sourwood, Maples, Magnolia.

Relax a bit about your lawn. (Or even replace it!) Weeds can provide great food, including Dandelions, Clover, Purple Dead Nettle, and Queen Anne’s Lace.

Adult butterflies will drink nectar from a wide variety of exotic plants, but to support the entire life cycle you have to do some research. For our Oregon State Swallowtail the caterpillars will munch on Arctic Sagebrush, plants in the Sunflower family, and some plants in the Parsley family. Please make sure to research what their eggs, young instars, caterpillars, and chrysalis’ look like so that you do not accidentally destroy the butterflies you are trying to help!

Beyond plants, you can also provide water for our friendly garden visitors. For bees, create a water source that does not move very fast and is filled with rocks and moss so that they do not drown. Butterflies prefer mud puddles because they obtain minerals when they drink (for male butterflies you can add a bit of salt for sodium).

I hope this is enough to spark your interest and get you started! I teach a class called Gardening for Pollinators through the OSU Master Gardeners, so please let me know if your organization would like to host it!

Information on Illegal Dumping from Metro

March 18, 2014

Our friends at SE Uplift recently forwarded us a message from Metro regarding the dumping of furniture, large appliances, and other items on our neighborhood curbs. Timely stuff, considering the upcoming Kerns/Buckman Neighborhood Cleanup event taking place on Saturday, April 19th from 9am-12:00pm in the parking lot of Hinson Baptist Church at SE 20th Avenue & Salmon! Read on for details on Metro policies regarding this practice…


Candidate Forum – Next Thursday April 8th

April 2, 2010

Buckman Community Association Bi-Annual Candidate’s Forum

When: April 8th 2010, 7pm to 9pm

Where: Central Catholic High School Auditorium – 2401 SE Stark St.


City Council Position #2 –
Spencer Burton
Jesse Cornett
Martha Perez
Dan Saltzman
Mary Volm

City Council Position #3 –
Jason Barbour
Walt Nichols
Tim Youker

Metro President –
Rex Burkholder
Bob Stacey


7:00 – 7:10 BCA Welcome, Announcements, Overview of Forum Format
7:10 – 8:00 Position #2 Forum
8:00 – 8:30 Position #3 Forum
8:30 – 8:55 Metro President Forum
8:55 – 9:00 BCA Closing and Thank You


Each Candidate will be allowed a 2 minute open statement at the beginning of their respective forum. Each Forum will consist of a minimum of 3 questions submitted that evening by audience members or prepared by the BCA board. Each candidates (within the same forum) will have the opportunity to answer the same question and will be allowed a 2 minute response. Questions addressing specific candidates will not be asked. Each Forum will be concluded with a 1 minute closing statement from each candidate We look forward to your upcoming participation Adam

Annual Kerns/Buckman Neighborhood Cleanup, 4/17/10

March 30, 2010

It’s that time of year again! Yes, time to scour your house for all that bulky waste and yard debris that you just can’t seem to get rid of.

The Kerns and Buckman neighborhood associations are teaming up once again to host the annual Neighborhood Cleanup. The date is Saturday, April 17th, from 9AM to 1PM. The location, as always, is the parking lot of the Jones-Kendall Building, located on East Burnside street at 26th Avenue. Click here for a Google map of the location.

If you’re not familiar with the event, it’s a great way to dispose of waste that is just too darn big to fit in your trash barrels or curbside recycling bins. With help from Metro, we recycle everything that can be recycled, and make sure that everything that can’t is disposed of properly. Examples of things we take include bulky waste, scrap wood, yard debris, appliances, tires, furniture, metal, styrofoam blocks, bagged styrofoam peanuts, batteries and computer/electronic equipment.

Unfortunately, some things are just a wee bit too toxic for us to handle. This includes things like hazardous waste, paint cans, or garden pesticides.

We collect donations on a sliding scale, based on the amount of waste you bring. It’s generally in the $5-50 range. A small price to pay for freeing up some space around your home and making sure you do it in an Earth-friendly way!

Are You a Friend of Trees?

September 22, 2009

Friends of Trees is coming to Buckman and the Central Eastside Industrial District. Buckman residents will have a unique opportunity to participate with their residential neighbors and businesses in a tree planting on December 5th.

The coordinators of Friends of Trees’ Buckman neighborhood planting invite you to help improve the quality of the neighborhood. You can support the neighborhood tree planting in one or both of the the following ways: purchasing trees for planting in the neighborhood, and/or actively participating on the day of planting.

And the best part: Friends of Trees is able to offer a discount for trees planted through this program!

  • Street trees, planted in the right-of-way between the street and property line, start at $50 for residential customers.
  • Trees planted on private property start at $70.

Friends of Trees staff will suggest locations for trees, obtain necessary permits for street trees, and coordinate locations with underground and overhead utilities. Property owners need only select the desirable tree from a pre-approved list, and provide enough water the first few years until roots are established.

Since 1989, Friends of Trees has been bringing people together to plant, care for, and learn about city trees. A hallmark of the non-profit’s work is its community-based model, which brings neighbors together and often inspires them to organize other projects to improve their neighborhood. Trees make our neighborhood greener and more livable. They provide numerous benefits, from cleaning our air and water, to conserving energy needed to heat and cool our buildings. They not only improve the value of our property, they actually improve the success of our businesses. Studies show that business sales increase at stores where trees have been planted.

To participate with Friends of Trees, please sign up at If you have questions, please contact the 2009 Buckman Neighborhood Coordinators, Jeff Burns or Sara Butcher, at or 503.531.6553.

Washington HS Community Center Open House

August 17, 2009

After much work & anticipation, the second of three open houses regarding the Washington High School Community Center will be held on Tuesday, August 25, 2009 from 7:00-9:00pm at Buckman Elementary School, 320 SE 16th Avenue.

This is the chance to preview and comment on three design options and see how your vision for this facility matches with your friends and neighbors.  These designs will have incorporated results from the survey recently conducted by the BCA and Portland Parks & Recreation.

For more information on the project, Advisory Committee meetings and additional background information, go to  For specific interests, ideas and concerns, please email

Childcare is available but must be requested by August 21st.  Call 503/823-5113.


One Banana Peel At A Time

August 16, 2009

A great article on Buckman’s community composting site at 15th & Alder:

East Burnside Couplet Groundbreaking

August 16, 2009

From Mayor Sam Adams on August 12th, 2009:

Portland’s Central Eastside has languished for too long. Today marked a step toward a bustling, vital future for the district. This afternoon, I kicked off the official groundbreaking for the East Burnside/Couch Couplet Project.

Slated for completion by next fall, the project will create a new kind of one-way couplet: one designed to improve safety on one of our busiest arterials and humanize a street that has served as a barrier and has shortchanged the businesses and neighborhoods surrounding it. In the process, the project will create 120 jobs over the next 14 months.

I have long been a champion of this project, which reflects years of planning and community engagement. Property owners, businesses, and transportation advocates came together to create a vision that will prime redevelopment along Burnside. The completed couplet will feature bike lanes on Burnside from the east end of the bridge to 13th. It will offer safe crossings at every corner and a street environment that invites people to visit, dine, shop, and walk.

The project also includes “green street” improvements – trees and
stormwater swales that enhance the streetscape, filter stormwater, and protect water quality in the Willamette River. It will transform the intersection at Sandy and Burnside, providing an eastern “gateway” to the lower Burnside district, and moving traffic efficiently through what has been called the worst intersection in Portland.

Today’s groundbreaking happens thanks to an array of partners.
Neighbors from the Kerns and Buckman neighborhoods put in countless hours, as did the East Burnside Couch Design Advisory Committee and the Central Eastside Industrial Council. We owe them enormous thanks. In addition, special thanks go to Congressman Earl Blumenauer, an early proponent of the project who secured millions of dollars in federal funding for the project.

This is the type of project that makes Portland exceptional. It reflects our community engagement, our commitment to environmental sustainability, our investment in local businesses, and our willingness to take risks. I am proud to be a part of it, and am deeply grateful to all of those in the city who have helped to make it happen.

For more information about the project, visit

3rd Annual Haitian-Caribbean Festival (HaCaFest)

August 14, 2009

The Society For Haitian Arts & Culture is pleased to announce the 4th annual Haitian-Caribbean Festival on Saturday August 22, 2009 at Colonel Summers Park at 20th & SE Belmont from 11am to 6pm.

Join a day of celebration & fun, including caribbean food, dancing and music from all around the world, including Haiti, Cuba (Mambo-queens), Ghana (Chata Addy), Haitian traditional dance, African traditional dance, drumming circle with master drummer Carlos Gelin, reggae band The Sons Of Soil, Haitian band Balans, a Haitian-Caribbean Arts Exposition, plus prizes for raffle tickets, a fashion show & more!

Bring your drum & camping chair!

For more info please call 503/257-1014, 503/764-7244 or email: or visit

Sewer Construction Update

July 28, 2009

Crews plan to work on alternate Saturdays, starting with August 1st. Please drive carefully and follow directions from flaggers.

This Week:

* Crews will continue installing new pipe on 14th between Burnside and Couch, and will be crossing Sandy early next week. Crews will then turn west and install pipe on Couch to 13th. The project also includes new pipe on Couch between 17th and 20th, but that work will be done later.

* Next week crews will start work at the intersection of 10th and Ankeny, installing a large new manhole structure. This work will likely close that intersection completely during work hours. Once this manhole is in place, crews will begin installing pipe and manholes northward to Davis. This is large concrete pipe and the work will affect through access on 10th Avenue in the block being worked on. We will work with local businesses and residents to maintain essential local access. In order to minimize the impacts to traffic on Burnside, Installing this pipe across Burnside will be scheduled for night or weekend work hours under a noise variance permit.

* The Portland Water Bureau will be working at 14th and Couch to finish up paving. REPEAT INFORMATION: The contractor has a staging yard at 12th and Taylor and is shuttling material and equipment between the yard and the work areas. Watch for construction equipment in the area and drive safely!

Work on the green street facilities (curb extensions and planters) on Ankeny Street between 16th and 20th is scheduled to start in August.

TriMet has detoured bus routes #19 and #20 off of Burnside between 28th and 12th. TriMet riders may board buses at temporary stops on Sandy and Glisan. For more information, see TriMet at:

David Allred
BES Outreach and Public Involvement Desk

Bull Run Water Reservoir System

July 28, 2009

The email below is in regards to the proposal to cap the Mt. Tabor and Washington Park Reservoirs and build an unnecessary filtration plant. This would in all likelihood increase water rates and there is also a great deal of concern over how fair and open the public process has been around this  issue with the city council. City council is holding a hearing at 10 AM on Thursday to look further into this issue and possibly make a decision. Please consider attending if you are able, this affects  all the neighborhoods in Portland.

Neighborhood leaders,

I am writing to request that you or someone from your N.A. attend a city council hearing this Wednesday, July 29, 2000 in that your neighborhood wrote to the congressional delegation requesting their assistance in legislating protections for Bull Run. The Portland Water Bureau is pushing for a $385 million filtration plant that will forever negatively alter our drinking water, adding new unnecessary chemicals to our water and creating new risks.

We would very much appreciate your coming to this meeting and reading (or commenting on) the letter you sent to the congressional delegation. Community stakeholders want to keep the legislative option alive. More than 20 groups have written to the delegation seeking their assistance and you may have heard that Portland’s many craft brewers have recently gotten on board in that filtration will unnecessarily change the way our water tastes and in general will degrade our historically pure water for no public health benefit.

I’ve attached the Friends of the Reservoirs recent letter to City Council. You can find the Widmer Bro. letter to City Council at our website at where you can also click on the background section to learn the sad history of  PWB/corporate involvement in this extremely flawed negotiated EPA LT2 rulemaking process.

You might also receive an e-mail on the same issue from Oregon Wild. Many groups and businesses are working together to protect our water, but with the Water Bureau pushing hard for a filtration plant as was recommended by a 2002 corporate-led Bull Run Treatment Panel (Montgomery, Watson, Harza Global 4-year Bull Run Treatment panel consultant contract)

Please feel free to contact me with questions.

Floy Jones
503 238-4649



> We need YOU to come to City Council on Wednesday, July 29 at 10a.m. to speak out against selecting a filtration plant as the LT2 compliance option and speak in support of  alternative compliance. Legislated watershed protections are in place precisely so we can avoid building a filtration plant and the degradation of our water that comes with adding chemicals on top of chemicals on top of chemicals.  (Portland meets the federal criteria for filtration avoidance, something we are very proud of)

> This is the defining moment.  Will Bull Run water continue to be “the best from forest to faucet” or will the PWB force an unnecessary filtration plant, adding unnecessary chemicals, unnecessary costs, creating massive additional debt (much of the PWB budget is debt service), doubling your water bill in four years, adding new risks to the watershed and ultimately to our water, allowing the wholesale customers to become Bull Run owners as discussed in recent PWB/ wholesale customer closed-door meetings and outlined in the PWB/ Montgomery, Watson Harza Global document

Regional Transmission and Storage Strategy – (Regional Water
>> Providers Consortium.) . See page 6-2 Inter Gov. Agency Cooperative Agreement/ NO PUBLIC VOTE (recommended option) that would allow ownership to transfer and private company to operate, this sad document supports blending Bull Run water with the toxic river water from the Columbia or Willamette.)

>>  Alert others, anyone who cares about protecting and preserving our
>> pure Bull Run water. This is the most critical action with regard
>> to the future of our Bull Run water.
>> 1) Write to City Council now.  It is important that you write to
>> the Mayor and City Commissioners and their staff  now and say NO to
>> a filtration plant. Tell them you do not want the taste of your
>> water to change and you do not want chemicals added to your water.
>> Tell them you do not want any other entity to own Bull Run. Tell
>> them to vigorously pursue protective legislation such that all of
>> the ills of an additional Bull Run treatment plant can be avoided.
>> Tell them that you want your water to stay naturally pure,
>> unfiltered, inexpensively available  and sustainably safe, as it
>> has been for over a hundred years, with our present Bull Run system.
>> 2) Attend the City Council meeting at City Hall on July 29 at 10
>> a.m, note that this is not a time certain hearing so there might be
>> a waiting period. Bring 8 copies of any written testimony or
>> information (for the record and to hold the city council
>> accountable) and note on the top of the document(s), Council Agenda
>> Item 1071   Tell Council to uphold their commitment to support a
>> legislative option (more on this later) and not thwart community will.
>> Sam Adams
>> Tom Miller
>> Catherine Ciarlo
>> Randy Leonard;
>> Ty Kovatch
>> Amanda Fritz amanda@ci.portland.or;
>> Tim Crail
>> Tom Bizeau
>> Nick Fish ; Sam Chase
>> George Hocker
>> Dan Saltzman <

>; Grumm, Matt
>> 3)  Visit to read our letter to city
>> council and see the letter from Craft Brewers Alliance
>> 4) Thank Senator Merkley for his efforts at (503) 326-3386.  He is
>> working on securing an extension for EPA timelines while seeking a
>> sensible plan that would avoid unnecessary costs of treatment (and
>> burying, covering and additionally treating the open reservoirs).
>> Many groups including businesses, neighborhood coalitions,
>> environmental groups and democracy groups have written Senator
>> Merkley in support legislating alternatives that will allow us to
>> retain our open reservoirs and protect our source water from the
>> unnecessary degradation of these LT2 projects.
>> Don’t let big money, big bureau construction plans and big budgets
>> undercut citizen involvement, double water rates and rob us of our
>> pure Bull Run water!
>> If you love Portland’s pure water and want to protect it, please
>> act now to help us  keep it naturally pure, unfiltered,
>> inexpensively available and sustainably safe, as it has been for
>> over a hundred years, with our present Bull Run open reservoir system.

Liquor License Application: Duke’s Landing

July 21, 2009

The OLCC received an application for a Full On-Premises Commercial license at the following address:

Duke’s Landing [Sandy Cover Foods Inc.]
2715 SE Belmont
Portland, OR 97214

The license allows a licensee to sell wine containing not more than 21% alcohol by volume, malt beverages containing not more than 14% alcohol by volume, cider containing not more than 10% alcohol by volume and distilled spirits by the drink to patrons on the premises.

The license allows any form of legal entertainment. The legal hours to sell alcohol in the state of Oregon are 7:00 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. daily. The applicant’s proposed hours of operation are 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m., 7 days per week.

The applicant will have food service consistent with OLCC regulations.

The applicant proposes to have live music, DJ’s, Karaoke, Coin-Operated Games, Video Lottery, Social Gaming, and Pool Tables.

If you wish to provide the Commission with factual information concerning whether there is a basis to grant or deny this license under the OLCC’s licensing standards, please write the OLCC at the following address:

c/o Eric Hildebrand, License Investigator
P.O. Box 22297
Milwaukie, OR 97269-2297

or contact via Mr. Hildebrand via phone at 503.872.5197 or contact the Buckman Community Association.

Responses are requested by July 26th so the OLCC can process this application in a timely manner. The OLCC will share your information with the applicant, make it a part of the public record and consider it when making a final decision.

Review Of Public Art Notice – Farm Cafe Mural

July 20, 2009

Regional Arts & Culture Council – Meeting Notice

Meeting Name: Public Art Advisory Committee
Meeting Date: Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Meeting Time: 8:30 AM to 10:30 AM
Location: Regional Arts & Culture Council Board Room, 108 NW 9th Avenue, Room 202

The public is invited to attend and comment at this review of a mural by the Public Art Advisory Committee of the Regional Arts & Culture Council.
Please reply to Cheryl Norton at if you will attend.

Notice of Review of Public Art Mural Application for: The Farm Café

The proposed mural location is at 10 SE 7th Avenue. The proposed mural is composed of a farmer tilling the paved land of a 20th century city, transforming it into a renewable, sustainable urban farm community. It reflects not only the goals of The Farm Café to promote local, sustainable farming, but of the greater Portland community’s goal for green living throughout the city.   Located in a highly developed part of town, the mural will bring more color and interest to the site, as well as contribute to the continued growth of the cultural and economic significance o f the neighborhood.

Reflections On Liquor Licensing Forum

July 20, 2009

I attended the Liquor Licensing Public Forum on June 29th at the Portland Building. The forum was comprised of a panel of folks from the OLCC and various city departments, taking questions from the audience about liquor licensing issues. As you might imagine, it was a rather fiesty event. Though the number of attendees was not large (in the range of 20-30), many in the crowd were quite vocal. There were a few people there who had clearly expended a fair amount of time and energy dealing with licensing issues in their neighborhood. It seemed to be the consensus among these people that the OLCC was effectively (as one attendee put it) a “rubber stamp regime”. The response the came back from the stage was that the OLCC are regulators, and in most cases, their hands are tied by the laws against which they must regulate. They urged citizens to talk to their legislators if they feel there are holes in the statutes.

For example, one of the big topics of conversation was saturation; e.g., licenses being given out for a preponderance of establishments in a relatively small area. There were several folks there from Hayden Island for whom this was a particularly hot topic. They claim that, on an island with a population of 2200 people, there are currently 22 bars. The OLCC’s response was that, while the statutes did once include a saturation clause, that was taken out some time ago. The OLCC can now not take this sort of thing into account when deciding on licenses. The representatives from the OLCC urged people to take this issue up with their legislators. Their message was, “help give us the tools to fight on your behalf”.

However, many in the crowd seemed to feel that the OLCC actually has more leeway and discretion than was being communicated. Some expressed frustration at the apparent disconnect between the OLCC’s own mission statement – which talks about protecting things like “neighborhood livability” – and what sorts of things the OLCC is willing/able to regulate.

I was somewhat surprised by the level of frustration and passion I saw on display last night, which went beyond anything I’ve personally encountered in my two years trying to fill the role of Liquor Committee. It occurred to me that one of the difficult things about these kinds of issues is that, in some cases, the people fighting them must feel really alone. For example, there was a young couple there that own a house next to a bar with an outdoor patio. They’ve lived next to the bar for about 7 years, but the patio is a more recent development (about 2 years ago). They received no notice that the bar had filed for an Extension of Premises on their license; their first notice was when construction started on the patio. Since then, they’ve been fighting to do something about it, and have gone as far as to retain a lawyer. Their frustration was evident; in the meantime, people living a block away may feel little or no impact from the situation.

The evening made me think about the role of neighborhood association Liquor Committee. It’s never been entirely clear to me what neighborhood associations can do to best address or head off situations like the kind that were brought up last night…..

Eric O’Connor

BCA Board Member

Portland NAs In The Oregonian

July 16, 2009

The link below is an interesting article about neighborhood associations in Portland.

Portland’s neighborhoods associations flex their muscles.
Oregonian story July 2, 2009, presents a look at five neighborhood associations — and the people behind them — that are seeing a resurgence of interest.

Public Comment On Streetcar Concept Plan

July 16, 2009

The Portland Bureau of Transportation has released a draft of the Portland Streetcar System Concept Plan, available at  It identifies high priority and other potential future streetcar routes in Portland.

As it pertains to Buckman, there is a priority route from downtown heading out Belmont to 39th, then south to Hawthorne to 50th.  Hawthorne is a potential alternate route.

The 45-day public comment period on the plan runs until August 14th (comment forms are available online at the link above), so please review it and make comments if you have an interest in (for, against, or neutral) the streetcar and the possibility of a line through Buckman.   On August 11th, the Portland Planning Commission will hold a hearing on the plan and it will go before the City Council on September 9th.

East Burnside Couch Couplet Project Open House

July 16, 2009

The Portland Bureau of Transportation is hosting a public open house regarding the upcoming Burnside Couch Couplet construction.  The open house will be Wednesday July 22, 2009 between 5:00-8:00pm at the Jupiter Hotel – DreamBox (800 East Burnside Street; TriMet Access via #12, 20 or 19).

Drop by anytime between 5:00-8:00pm and you will have an opportunity to learn about the construction staing and scheduling and Portland Bureau of Transportation staff and the project design team will be available to answer your questions.  Construction is anticipated to begin at the end of August.

For more project information, visit and search East Burnside / Couch Couplet.   If you have questions, please contact Chris Armes, Project Manager, at 503-823-7051.