Author Archive

Composting Site In Full Swing!

July 13, 2009

Congratulations to everyone who took part in developing our first composting site. The bins are set up and neighbors are already bringing vegetative kitchen scraps to the site.

The first batch of compost was put into the tumbler at the end of June and as of July 9th, the first batch of compost in the tumbler has completed two weeks. It will be interesting to see how many days (weeks or months) it takes to get finished compost. Will keep you informed!

The two main issues for the Community Compost Site are size of pieces and state of decomposition. We have had overly large items – melon rind, whole potatoes, etc. and stinky sludge added to the bin.

The message is – Cut it, crush it or smash it – smaller is better; and IF IT SMELLS, BAG IT AND TRASH IT!

We have added two items to the NO, NO list – avocado seeds and big pieces of avocado skin.

People are coming from all over Buckman with their compostable kitchen scraps — keep it coming and Thanks!

Update On Portland Plan

July 13, 2009

Dear fellow Portlander,

Thank you for your interest and participation in the early phases of the development of the Portland Plan.

As director of the new Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS), I am truly excited about the opportunity to develop a plan that promotes a healthy, prosperous and environmentally sustainable community. A quality plan absolutely must have the involvement of a broad base of Portland residents and businesses. To that end, I am writing you to bring you up to date on the Portland Plan.

The Portland Plan process started two years ago and built on the important work done through visionPDX. Through that effort, an impressive amount of information was gathered. Much of that can be reviewed in the Community Input Summary, which captures 17,000 comments from a wide variety of Portlanders and is available online at We also developed the Portland Plan Outreach Chronicles to summarize what we heard during the public meetings and summits in May and June 2008 (

More recently, Mayor Adams appointed a Community Involvement Committee for the Plan. This committee was formed to help design and monitor the public involvement efforts for the Plan. The committee will met for the first time today, July 8, 2009. In addition, at least two other advisory groups will be established to provide advice on the content of the Portland Plan and Central City Plan. Members for these committees will be drawn from the Mayor’s cabinets and other organizations to evaluate the technical work of staff.

Over the next three months, BPS staff, under the leadership of Chief Planner Joe Zehnder, will provide background information on key trends, conditions and issues facing Portland. This information will be available by mid-August and then be merged with provisional citywide goals and indicators in a Baseline Report due out in September.

Later this fall, Portlanders will be able to roll up their sleeves and work with each other to develop components of the Portland Plan. BPS will hold a series of community workshops where you will be able to discuss key issues and test “what if” scenarios that help describe the characteristics of the Portland you want to see in the future. I hope you will join us at these workshops and bring your neighbors, friends and coworkers to these events. The more people you bring along to participate, the more the Portland Plan will be a true reflection of our community.

As we move forward with the development of the Plan, I will send out quarterly updates and you can visit the BPS website any time for news or information at http://www.portlandonline/

So stay tuned, and stay involved. Your participation is essential.

All the best,
Susan Anderson
Bureau of Planning and Sustainability

July 14th Washington HS Meeting Location Changed

July 13, 2009

The Portland Park Bureau announced today, Friday July 10th, after 5pm that the next Washington High School Community Center Committee meeting scheduled for June 14th, 6pm at Matt Dishman has just been moved to Southeast Uplift, 3534 SE Main St.

The reason for the last minute change was given as lack of meeting space at Dishman.  The meeting will focus on approving project objectives and meeting with the architecture team (SERA), as well as hearing about the public outreach products.  There will be no designs at this early date.  A future 2nd open house for the project is planned for early August.  Date and time will be published as soon as details are finalized.

Land Use Notices for Buckman

July 13, 2009

Neighbors wanting to find out more about proposed development in their community, have only to go to the City of Portland Development Services website and search under your neighborhood for notices. Often development that causes changes that might impact an area, fall under “design review”, or call for specific code adjustments has to go through a land-use review. Neighbors can submit comments as well as concerns and suggestions to development services staff. Also, the BCA can assist residents with their concerns and can file an appeal on a decision with a waived fee.

Feel free to contact the BCA with your land use questions or to register concerns on proposed developments. Click the link below to keep abreast of proposed building plans in your area.

July Meeting

July 9, 2009

The July BCA meeting will be held Thursday July 9th at 7pm  in Room 206  of the Hinson Baptist Church, located at 20th and SE Salmon; please enter on the Salmon Street side.

Summer Events in Inner SE Portland

June 13, 2009
  • Village Building Convergence, various, locations Jun 4-13
  • Division / Clinton Street Fair and Parade, Sat. Jul. 25
  • Movie: “Dirty Dancing” &  the River City Band, Col Summers Park, Sat., Jul, 25
  • Movie, “Citizen Kane” & the music of Mitzi Zilka,  Mt. Tabor Park,  Mon. Aug, 3
  • Neighborhood Night Out for Crime, various locations, Tue. Aug. 4
  • Movie, “Casablanca” & the music of Mitzi Zilka, Mt. Tabor Park,  Mon. Aug, 10
  • Concert:  “Portland Festival Symphony”, Laurelhurst Park, Sat. Aug. 15, 6 pm
  • Hawthorne Street Fair, between 20th & 50th, Sun. Aug. 16
  • SE Sunday Parkways , Col. Summers, Laurelhurst, etc., Sun. Aug. 16
  • Concert: “Providence Stage Band”, Laurelhurst Park:, Sat. Aug. 22,  6 pm
  • Movie: “Singin’ in the Rain” & the music of Mitzi Zilka, Mt. Tabor Park, Mon. Aug, 24
  • Movie, “Indiana Jones & the Chrystal Skull” & the River City Band, Laurelhurst Park, Sat. Aug, 29
  • Movie,  “An American in Paris”, the music of Mitzi Zilka, Mt. Tabor Park, Mon, Aug, 31
  • Muddy Boots Festival, St. Philip Neri Church, Fri.-Sun. Sep. 11-13
  • Belmont Street Fair, 20th to 45th, Sat. Sep. 12

Community Composting Site at 15th & Alder

June 13, 2009

The Buckman Sustainability Committee is installing the first of many community composting sites during the City Repair Village Building Convergence (VBC) June 4-14. We will be installing a compost tumbler in the planting strip at 1507 SE Alder Street plus two bins for holding browns and greens.

During the VBC we will construct and install bins, install a compost tumbler, construct a kiosk and paint the intersection with an organic vine design with soft beautiful colors. The vine will seem to grow from the composting area. When the site is completed, neighbors will bring fruit and vegetable kitchen scraps for composting. They will put the scraps into one bin and cover with the leaves provided. The compost Captain will load the tumbler and turn as necessary. When finished, the compost will be FREE to participants in the program.

This is a pilot for a composting network in the neighborhood. The Sustainability Committee is composed of local volunteers and students from Portland State University. Much of the building material is being donated; a small grant from Vision into Action is also supporting our first three composting sites.

Join us any day starting at 8:30 AM Weekends, 3:30 PM Monday through Friday. Music and Snacks provided!

  • Thursday, June 4 – Scrub street
  • Friday and Saturday June 5/6 Construct and install bins
  • Sunday June 7 – Install compost tumbler
  • Monday and Tuesday June 8/9 – Outline street graphic
  • Wednesday, June 10 – Take a day off
  • Thursday and Friday June 11/12 – Construct and install kiosk
  • Saturday, June 13 – Paint street graphic

The Sustainability Team is looking for two more sites in Buckman. The sites should be readily available from the sidewalk and should have a dedicated person to monitor the composting.

Prevention is Key to Keeping your Valuables Safe

June 13, 2009

Okay, bad news first. Car prowls in the Buckman neighborhood are up significantly from last year already. But the good news is that car prowls are one of the easiest crimes to reduce with increased awareness and change in habits. Car prowls are most often a crime of opportunity, which is why prevention is such an important component.

The most important key to reducing car prowls is to keep your car “showroom clean”. You’ve probably heard people say that you should keep your car cleared of valuables. We actually suggest that you keep your car cleared of any belongings to decrease the interest of potential prowlers in the contents of your car. Thieves may not know that your cell phone is broken or that your gym bag only has dirty socks in it. In the meantime, you have the potential of paying an insurance deductible or more to replace the damage to your vehicle, in addition to the stress and aggravation.

We often hear people tell us that they left their valuables in their car because they were only running in to their home or business for a couple of minutes. Again, this is a crime of opportunity. You don’t need to leave a computer or a purse in your car for long, if the wrong person happens to see it on your front seat. It’s important that you take your belongings with you regardless of how long you plan to be gone.

Last, but certainly not least, always report suspicious activity to the non-emergency line at 503-823-3333 and crimes in progress to 911. If you are a victim of a car prowl, make sure to make a police report by calling the non-emergency number. This is how we know where and when to focus extra police attention and prevention resources.

It’s important that we all play a role in keeping our communities and business districts safe. Here is the link for the Portland Police Bureau’s Guide to Home and Vehicle Security for more additional tips or you can contact Havilah Ferschweiler at 503-823-0540 or

Work on a Buckman Historic District to be Revived

June 13, 2009

Discussions are on-going regarding the creation of an historic district in residential Buckman.  The assistance of a PSU intern may be available along with a small grant to help with the work.

The area around Buckman school seems to have the highest probability of being selected due to the number of Victorian residences there and the significant landmarks.

Work on the historic district was discontinued a year ago due to the lack of resources and the likelihood that an historic district would not protect the entire neighborhood from future incompatible development.

We will need the help and involvement of the residents in the area selected.  You are encouraged to assist with the project and respond to inquires as they occur over the coming months.

Green Street Facilities On SE Ankeny

June 13, 2009

The City of Portland is committed to green development practices and sustainable stormwater management.  Green streets are an innovative, effective way to restore watershed health.  They protect water quality in rivers and streams, manage water from impervious surfaces, and can be more cost efficient than new sewer pipes.  Green streets offer many benefits that sewer pipes can’t.  Green streets:

Clean and cool air and water

  • Refresh groundwater supplies
  • Enhance neighborhood livability
  • Calm traffic and enhance pedestrian and bicycle safety
  • Increase community and property values
  • Protect valuable surface and groundwater resources
  • Add urban green space and wildlife habitat
  • Help meet regulatory requirements for pollutant reduction and watershed resource management
  • Reduce stormwater in the sewer system
  • Save money on wastewater pumping and treatment costs

Green street facilities such as those to be installed in the Buckman neighborhood make a valuable contribution to these benefits.  Many hundreds of similar installations throughout the city are being included in future projects.

For the Ankeny corridor, there are 15 separate facilities, some are within the planter strip (between curb and sidewalk), some are vegetated curb extensions, and some are a combination of the two.   We worked with businesses, residents and property owners throughout the design process and responded as best we could to their concerns–making changes to placement and types of facilities where this was feasible while still achieving our requirement to reduce flows into the pipe system.

The facilities on or near Ankeny will have a slight impact on parking in the area.  There are approximately 155 parking spaces available between Ash and Burnside and between 16th and 20th. Of these, the green street facilities will displace approximately 16 spaces, or 10% of the total.  As you know, parking is a shared resource, and no adjacent property has exclusive claim to specific parking spaces.  While we understand the concerns expressed about parking in the neighborhood, we are confident that the green street facilities will be a benefit to the area.

City Expands Sunday Parkways to 3 Days of Smiles this Summer

June 13, 2009

The City of Portland Bureau of Transportation is planning to expand the highly successful Sunday Parksways in to three events this summer:

  • North Portland Route – June 21st
  • Northeast Route – July 19th
  • Southeast Route – August 16th

The City piloted Sunday Parkways, a six-mile loop of traffic free streets in North Portland last year, opening the streets to non-motorized traffic and a whole slough of events and activites ranging from live music to yoga to hula hooping.  This year the City is proposing a southeast route that will come through the heart of the Buckman Neighborhood.  This is a great opportunity for Buckman residents to come together and meet their neightbors as well as promote the Buckman Neighborhood to the thousands of likely participants from other neighborhoods.

The City of Portland needs donations and volunteers to ensure the success of the the three Sunday Parkways events this summer. The Buckman Community Association Board voted in March to donate $100 from its coffers to help the cause.

For more information regarding Sunday Parkways go to the following link:

To donate, volunteer, or register an event any of the Sunday Parkway events this summer see the following link:

Main Street, Portland Coalition News

June 13, 2009

The Portland Main Street Coalition has been active this spring. Several weeks ago we co-sponsored a workshop about the future growth and densification of inner city residential neighborhoods in order to allow neighborhood representatives the opportunity to express their concerns to local officials about the potential degradation it too much unregulated growth occurs.

Related to this is Senate Bill 907 which is intended to expand design review along Portland’s main streets and in town centers.  Unfortunately this was not successful due to the powerful homebuilders lobby and a senate committee that did not have any Portland representatives.  We were very pleased with the support given by our Mayor, Sam Adams, and many other progressive organizations and individuals.  This discussion will continue until ways are found to insure quality development in Portland.

And finally we have been focused on the upcoming development of the Portland Plan that will direct the future growth of Portland for the next thirty years.  This plan has been delayed due to the city budget reduction and will be scaled back or possible even discontinued in favor of more specific shorter range action plan that will result in specific improvements in Portland.

St. Clair Apartments Restoration

June 13, 2009

Buckman’s St. Clair apartment building was built in 1900 and suffered an unfortunate ‘modernization’ many years ago that involved encasing the building in stucco. The original design and balcony structure have been restored along with the original siding and trim. This one hundred year old this building typifies a medium density project that enhances the surrounding Buckman neighborhood.

The building, at 13th and Taylor, was restored from plans by Communitecture, the Portland firm that specializes in sustainable, community-oriented design. The architect for the project is Buckman resident and leader, Christine Yun who has involved herself with the renovation of Washington High School Community Center, the restoration of Buckman Pool, the Buckman Historic District, and the Main Street Portland Coalition.

One finds in the Claire apartments, twenty apartments with studios, one, and two bedrooms. The kinds of materials in this building will never be found in a new building, such as the Ionic columns in the foyer made with old growth Douglas fir. Inside, the building’s historical accuracy has been thoughtfully maintained. We hope that more of the historic older buildings as well as the newer buildings of dubious quality are redone in a similar manner.

Public Forum On Washington HS Center On April 9th

April 2, 2009

What does a swimming pool w/spa, open space for outdoor recreation, community meeting rooms, work out area, natural design and craft classes bring to mind? Hopefully if you have lived in Buckman for awhile, when asked to imagine frolicking in nearby amenities and recreational space what comes to mind is the new community center proposed to be built at Washington High School.

The history of this project is long extending for decades. The center’s creation at the corner of SE 12th and Stark has been the main goal of the Buckman Community Association for nearly six years and now we will lead a series of grassroots discussions of the new center, the scope and size of its footprint, and especially its impacts on our neighborhood with particular regards to parking and traffic changes and congestion.

The BCA is hosting a community discussion with our partners in Portland Parks about the center April 9th at 7pm at the Central Catholic High School Auditorium, 2401 SE Stark. This meeting will provide information, answer questions and get feedback from interested participants. All Buckman residents and those from other inner neighborhoods interested in the project are encouraged to come. We especially urge those living near the high school to attend. At this meeting you will find out the history of the project, the status of the land regarding ownership and zoning, how the land was purchased and paid for, the articles of community consensus from the long public process in 2004, and the exciting yet challenging possibilities and interesting constraints of funding the center with federal stimulus funding. The center with its pool, community field and preserved trees will be a wonderful amenity to our neighborhood and will serve many others on the inner eastside. But it will not be without impacts, and as the host neighborhood we will need to work together and advocate for a planned project of appropriate size and scope that will augment our great area, and not bury it in cars and traffic.

The BCA is also conducting monthly meetings about the center at our Land Use meeting, the *last* Thursday of every month, 6:30-8pm in the library of Buckman Elementary, 320 SE 16th. These meeting are informal, open to all, and a great place to share your ideas and find out more information.

For further information, contact the BCA at (best way) or by telephone 503-236-2214.

Volunteer for the Kerns/Buckman Neighborhood Cleanup

March 15, 2009

This year, the Kerns/Buckman neighborhood cleanup takes place on Saturday, April 18th, from 9AM to 1PM. As always, it will be in the parking lot of the Jones Kendall Building at 2625 E. Burnside Street.

If you’re not familiar with the cleanup, it’s an annual tradition and a great way to get rid of that bulky waste taking up space in your basement or attic. All manner of household goods are accepted, including electronics and computer equipment. The only things we can’t take are hazardous materials such as paint cans, batteries, etc.

Volunteers are always welcome to come down and help out at the event, doing anything from greeting people as they arrive to helping unload waste into bins. I know, FUN, right?!?

If you’d like to volunteer, you can contact Eric O’Connor, who is the Buckman neighborhood’s representative on the cleanup committee. Drop him a line at eric(at)magnetichealthfactory(dot)com. Or, you can just show up at the Jones Kendall Building parking lot at 8:30AM on Saturday, April 18th. Wear reasonably sturdy shoes (i.e., no flip-flops), and bring work gloves if you have them. Eye protection wouldn’t be a bad idea, either.

Support A Neighborhood Bicycle Improvement Project

October 15, 2008

The Twenties Bikeway project proposes development of a bike boulevard and bike lanes along a corridor in the high 20s blocks of east Portland starting at the north-end on NE 27th Ave and NE Lombard Street. The route jogs to 29th Ave. at Ainsworth and continues south on NE 29th Ave. with short jogs along NE Regents Dr. and NE Edgehill Pl. before reaching NE Knott, where it jogs to NE 28th Ave. The route continues along 28th Ave., across the Banfield (I-84), to SE Madison, where it jogs briefly to 27th Ave. The route jogs east again on SE Stephens to NE 26th Ave. before reaching existing bike lanes south of SE Woodward. The project also fills the southernmost gap south of SE Bybee on SE 27th Ave., Crystal Springs Blvd and SE 44th Ave., where it connects to existing bike lanes on Harney Drive and further south to the Springwater Corridor Trail.

The Twenties Bikeway is a 9.2-mile corridor, of which 2.3 miles currently exist as bicycle lanes. Of the remaining 6.9 miles, 5.5 miles are to be developed with bicycle boulevard treatments and 1.4 miles are to be striped with bicycle lanes. Bicycle lane and travel lane widths will be striped on roadways according to regional and city street design guidelines. The bicycle boulevard segments will incorporate the full spectrum of treatments the city has applied to its existing bicycle boulevards.

The City of Portland has applied for $2.1 million in funding from the Metro Transportation Improvement Program (MTIP). Metro is seeking public comment on the allocation of regional flexible funds. The formal comment period will open at 12 noon on Oct. 13, 2008 and close at noon on Dec. 1, 2008. A basic list of projects and programs will be posted on the Metro web site at


  • Attend the Public Open House, Thursday, October 30, 5 to 8 p.m., Metro Regional Center Council Chamber, 600 NE Grand Ave., Portland
  • Comment online at
  • Send e-mail to
  • Mail written comments to Regional flexible fund comments, Metro planning, 600 NE Grand Ave, Portland, OR 97232
  • Fax comments to 503-797-1930

If the City of Portland is successful in obtaining funding for this project there will be a design process to workout the detail improvements along the route.

Take The New Buckman Survey!

October 1, 2008

We want to find out from you what you care about, your ideas, opinions, interests and concerns about the Buckman neighborhood and its relationship to the city at large.   Follow the survey link to the right or click here to head straight there.

Oak Basin Sewer Work Delayed to Spring 2009

October 1, 2008

Environmental Services has designed a series of sewer improvements and stormwater management projects in an area of southeast and northeast Portland known as the Oak Basin (see project area map below). The work will alleviate basement flooding problems, and replace more than 8,000 feet of sewer pipes that are in poor condition. Some sewers in the area are more than 80 years old.  The upgrades will increase sewer system capacity, improve reliability and help control combined sewer overflows (CSOs) to the Willamette River. The work was originally scheduled to start in the summer of 2008, but has now been delayed to spring 2009.  The project will take about 18 months to complete.

The original project included replacing or refurbishing the existing sewer pipe in SE Oak between 18th and 10th.  This included work on Buckman School grounds and at St Francis Parish.  That work has now been pulled from this project and will be rescheduled later.  Included in the future project will be additional Green Street facilities in an area east of the School.

Sewer Construction Techniques

The Oak Basin Sewer Project will require both open-cut trench construction and trenchless techniques to rehabilitate existing sewers. The project also includes construction of a new large interceptor sewer line in SE 10th Avenue and an access shaft at 10th and SE Oak Street to connect the new line to the sewer system. Construction will affect traffic with both travel lane and street closures. The city will provide traffic control updates during all phases of construction.

Sustainable Stormwater Management– Green Street facilities

The Oak Basin Sewer Project includes construction of several Green Street facilities along SE Ankeny Street between SE 16th and 20th avenues. Green Streets are vegetated curb extensions or streetside planters that collect stormwater runoff from the street and keep it from flowing into the combined sewer system. Green Streets slow stormwater flow and allow water to soak into the ground as soil and vegetation filter pollutants. This sustainable stormwater management technique treats stormwater at the site, protects water quality and helps replenish groundwater supplies.

Coordination with Burnside – Couch Project

The City of Portland Office of Transportation (PDOT) is designing roadway improvements for the Lower East Burnside and Couch Reconfiguration Project. Environmental Services is coordinating with PDOT to complete sewer construction in the PDOT project area before road construction begins.
For More Information

Call David Allred at 503-823-7287 for additional information or to arrange a presentation for your organization or business. To receive email updates, send your email address to Learn more about the Environmental Services Sustainable Stormwater Program at

David will also be giving a presentation and be available to answer your questions at the November 13th general meeting at Buckman School.

Amanda Fritz at Historic Association Meeting

September 26, 2008

City Council candidate Amanda Fritz is coming to speak and hear Portland’s neighborhood concerns Monday, October 13th at the monthly meeting of the Buckman Historic Association.  Come hear her at 7 pm and then stay to find out more about the Association.

The Buckman Historic Association is forming a cross-neighborhood coalition to address development policies in support of sustainable neighborhood growth, preservation of existing historic neighborhood character and livability, creation of walkable and green neighborhoods, compensation of increased density with neighborhood amenities, enforcement of development policies, and more.

The meeting will be held at Hinson Memorial Baptist Church, SE 20th & Salmon St.

Routes To The River – Final Report Issued

September 23, 2008

The final report for the Routes to the River Project was just released and is available for download in the library (link to the right).   The next task for this project is working with PDOT on the implementation phase.