Author Archive

Friends of Trees Planting on December 7th; DISCOUNT!

November 15, 2013

We recently received the following item from Jeff Burns at Friends of Trees and wanted to pass it along. We heart trees!


Buckman Picnic in the Park, Sunday August 11th

August 3, 2013



Join us! The Buckman Community Association hosts its fourth annual BUCKMAN SUMMER PICNIC at Colonel Summers Park. Everyone is welcome to join us Sunday, August 11, 2013 from 4pm – 8pm for food, fun and music. The Picnic is a great opportunity to interact with the local community and to meet your neighbors. We have something for everyone to enjoy, including inflatable activities for the young and old alike, several picnic activities for everyone to enjoy, the opportunity to win door prizes from businesses in the local area, and music from local Portland artists.

The picnic is funded through private donations from community members and local businesses, including Honest 1 Autocare, Keep Buckman Free, and BCA Board members Brandon Sanders and Susan Lindsay.  We are continuously looking for more donations to keep the Picnic free and fun for all.

If you would like to contribute any donations or volunteer for the event, please contact Jamie Vann at More information can be found at


Bite of Buckman on Tuesday, June 11th; $10 off for Buckmanites!

June 5, 2013

You may remember when we posted last month about an organization called Dishcrawl, which leads culinary adventurers on walking tours of Portland eateries. Well, they’re at it again, this time in our very own Buckman neighborhood. And, as a special offer, they’re offering $10 off to Buckman residents! To take advantage, just e-mail Sara at before you buy your ticket, and she will give you a promo code to use.

Read on for details…

Bite Of Buckman

From breweries to foodcarts, farm to table restaurant to ethnic offerings, and everything in between, Buckman offers you a culinary playground with something delicious for everyone.

On Tuesday, June 11th, join us as we take you to four Buckman eateries to enjoy specialties of this vibrant neighborhood. Enjoy a bite of Buckman – Don’t wait, get your ticket now!

It’s a guessing game! We’re keeping the names of the restaurants we will be visiting a secret for now, but here and there we’ll give you some hints. Follow us on Twitter @DishcrawlPDX and be the first to know!

Where to Meet Us: All ticket holders will be notified of meeting location via email, 48 hours prior to the event.

I’m a Vegetarian: Vegetarian options are available, however we may not be able to accommodate other dietary restrictions. If you have any particular requests or have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Beverage Policy: Drinks are not included in the ticket price. Drink specials and pairings may be available at discretion of the participating restaurant.

Cancellation Policy: Cancellations are taken only if given 48 hours advance notice. All Dishcrawl events are held rain or shine.

Questions?: Contact me! I’m Sara, your Portland Dishcrawl Ambassador! My email is

About Dishcrawl: Food, Fun, and Exploration! We here at Dishcrawl aim to provide you with a premier culinary social experience by bringing together neighborhood restaurants, local chefs, regional food producers and fellow food enthusiasts.

Join us if you’d like to embark on a one-of-a-kind gastronomic adventure!

10th Annual Buddhist Festival in the Park, June 1st

May 3, 2013

We were recently contacted by the Buddhist Peace Fellowship of Portland, who wanted to tell us about their 10th annual Buddhist Festival, taking place in Colonel Summers park on Saturday, June 1st. Read on for details.

You Are Here
Navigating the Way
10th Annual Buddhist Festival in the Park
Saturday, June 1, 2013
11:00 a.m. – 4:30 pm
Colonel Summers Park
SE 17th and Taylor, Portland, Oregon

CONTACT: Heidi Enji Hoogstra

Dharma Talk and Panel Discussion on the Theme of
You Are Here
Washing the Baby Buddha Ceremony
Activities for Children
Tabling by Buddhist Communities
Food carts
Sales of Buddhist meditation supplies and imports

The place to be on June 1st is right here, the 10th Annual Buddhist Festival in the Park in Portland. You are Here. You could be nowhere but Here. Awareness of being just here, however, takes some practice, and Buddhists of many stripes are ready to share the way they navigate to this place right here.

Buddhism provides a refuge, a shelter that allows practitioners to sustain joy in the midst of suffering. It provides a way to navigate confusing and twisty paths, and helps people move from ways riddled with anger and fear to calm centeredness.

This tenth year of a Buddhist festival in the park is cause for celebration. The event gives the opportunity to introduce Buddhism to the curious, and it also gives people of many different communities a chance to meet and compare rituals and teachings, and share smiles. The festival organizers are especially happy to welcome food cart vendors Koi Fusion, Taco Pedaler, and Momo Cart. Karuna Meditation Supplies and Tibet-A-Gift ( will sell Buddhist meditation supplies and related imports.

Dan Rubin, professor at Maitripa College, and member of Portland Shambhala Meditation Center, will be the keynote speaker. He plans to speak of insomnia as it relates to his Buddhist practice.

Members of the panel for discussion were chosen for their diversity of representation of Buddhist sects as well as their varying lives and stages on their particular Buddhist paths. Rayna Jacobson of Portland Shambhala Center, Amanda Risser of Dharma Rain Zen Center, and Charles Reneau of Oregon Buddhist Temple are currently scheduled. Rayna is a licensed acupuncturist, RN, and a meditation teacher at Shambhala. Amanda is a busy doctor, mom, and rooky roller derby competitor, as well as dedicated lay Buddhist practitioner. Charlie is a younger member of Oregon Buddhist Temple, in the beginning years of his Buddhist path.

While the Dharma talk and panel discussion occur in the park’s main shelter, the children’s pavilion will be busy with story times, crafts, and other activities.

Activities for children and adults come together in two ceremonies. The schedule begins with a Washing the Baby Buddha Ceremony. Participants may offer flowers and pour sweet tea over the Baby Buddha. Legend says when the Buddha was born, flowers and sparkling water rained from the sky, and he took seven steps and declared, “I alone am the World Honored one.” Many Buddhists celebrate the Buddha’s birthday in the spring with this ceremony.

Later, another ceremony will celebrate the diversity of Buddhism to be found in the Portland area. Participants may offer incense, and can chant a mantra or verse from their own or one of the many traditions present. All chants will happen at once, a cacophony of voices practicing the art of being present.

Many different Portland area communities will be represented at the booths.  Pure Land, Zen, Vajrayana, Vipassana, and non-sectarian groups will share news and information about their communities.

The festival is free, and all are welcome.  Organizers ask for mindfulness regarding waste.

11 am: Tabling by participating groups, also throughout the day
11:50 am: 108 opening bells
12 noon: Washing the Baby Buddha Ceremony
12:30: Workshops: Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), a way to incorporate the tools of Buddhism into your daily life, offered by Laura Jomon Martin; Short Intro to Buddhism, history and concepts, offered by Brenda Fugate, Oregon Buddhist Temple (see also Children’s Pavilion)
1:30 pm: Keynote speaker: Dan Rubin, Portland Shambhala Center, and Maitripa College
2:15 pm: Dharma song sing-along
2:30 pm: You Are Here Ceremony
3:00 pm: Panel Discussion: Rayna Jacobson, Portland Shambhala Center; Amanda Risser, Dharma Rain Zen Center; Charles Reneau, Oregon Buddhist Temple
4:00 pm: Raffle drawing (opportunity for one free ticket)
4:10 pm: Entertainment TBD

Children’s Pavilion Schedule
12 noon: Washing the Baby Buddha Ceremony
12:30 pm: Workshop: Chanting and Drumming by Jason Litts
1:00 pm to 4:00 pm: Geocache Treasure Hunt
(more of this schedule TBD)
2:15 pm: Dharma song sing-along
2:30 pm: You Are Here Ceremony
4:00 pm: Raffle Drawing and Closing

Participating groups so far include:
·        Buddhist Peace Fellowship, Portland (main sponsor)
·        Oregon Buddhist Temple
·        Dharma Rain Zen Center
·        Zen Community of Oregon (Heart of Wisdom and Great Vow Monastery)
·        Bright Way Zen
·        Maitripa College
·        Dance Mandal
·        Zen Center of Portland
·        Shambhala Meditation Center of Portland
·        Amitabha Buddhist Society of Oregon
·        TibetanPrayerFlag
·        Kagyu Changchub Chuling
·        Samden Ling

This Saturday (4/20)! Two Neighborhood Cleanup Events!

April 18, 2013

This Saturday is the annual Kerns/Buckman neighborhood cleanup event. If you’re not familiar with the event, it’s a great way to get rid of bulky waste, yard debris, or recyclables in quantities that are normally too large to leave on the curb on trash day. This year, the event has a new location: the parking lot of Hinson Baptist Church, at SE 20th Avenue & Salmon. For more information on the event, including lists of items that we can and cannot accept, visit the Kerns Neighborhood Association website at

Also, we were recently contacted by a group called Pick Me Up. They’re organizing monthly cleanup events in Southeast Portland. The first one is also this Saturday, April 20th, from 10am-noon.  The event will begin and end at The Madison House, located at 1932 SE Madison Street. For more information, click on the link below to see the event flier, and visit

Pick Me Up Flier


Crowd-sourced map of Portland surveillance cameras

April 18, 2013

We recently received an e-mail from a company called, which sells (perhaps unsurprisingly) video surveillance equipment. They recently launched a web application that provides an interactive map of surveillance cameras in and around Portland. The idea is that residents who have been the victims of crime could use this information to determine if the activity was possibly caught on tape. Here’s their e-mail:

I wanted to pass along the message regarding a new Portland-based camera project that our company recently unleashed.  This new community-driven project called CommunityCam provides a map of the locations of public/private security cameras across Portland and its outlying areas. The map is crowd-sourced, meaning any resident, business owner, association, neighborhood group, or government organization, can add locations of surveillance cameras to help their neighbors.  People who experience crime can use the map to locate cameras that may have captured the activity and ask their neighbors for help.   It’s also good information for the public to have.

To date, we’ve mapped about 2,000 cameras in the Pacific NW (all physically seen), and believe it’ll be a great tool for local residents & businesses. We thought this might make for an interesting piece on BCA’s blog or social media pages. Please check out the project website:  It’s also optimized for iPhone/iPad devices. Anyone can view the locations of cameras; just use the scroll wheel on your mouse to zoom in on various neighborhoods. To add cameras, use the “+” balloon marker or type in the actual address in the search bar. It’s super easy to use, and free obviously.

Ellen Arndt
Communications Manager
PO Box 231299
Portland, OR 97281
Direct: (503) 597-0961
Fax: (503) 726-4407



Prescription Drug Turn-in: Saturday, April 27th

April 18, 2013

We recently received word about the following city-wide event:

Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinets!

Crime Prevention, the Portland Police Bureau and the DEA will partner on Saturday April 27, 2013 to provide free disposal of your unused and expired prescription medications. One location will be available for you to anonymously drop off your medications at the Portland Police Bureau’s Southeast Precinct, located at 4735 E. Burnside. The drop site will be open from 10:00AM-2:00PM. All medications will be incinerated and will not go into our water supply.

Date: Saturday April 27th, 2013

Time: 10:00AM-2:00PM

Place: Southeast Precinct, Portland Police Bureau 4735 E. Burnside Portland, Oregon

Acceptable items for deposit: Prescription medications and samples, all over the counter medications, vitamins, pet medications, medicated ointments, and liquid medication in leak proof containers.
Items not acceptable for deposit: Thermometers/Sharps/Syringes, IV bags, bloody or infectious waste, hydrogen peroxide, aerosol cans, inhalers, EpiPens. NO SHARPS

For questions, contact Jenni Pullen (formerly Bernheisel) at 503-823-4257 or


Upcoming forums on Portland’s 1st grassroots aging-in-place “village”

April 11, 2013

We were recently contact by an organization called Eastside Village. They’re a planning group of eastside residents who are attempting to develop the first grassroots aging-in-place “village” in the Portland metro area. You can learn more by visiting their website at They’re also hosting a series of informational forums. Read on for details.

Learn about Portland’s 1st grassroots aging-in-place “village”

At Belmont Library Community Room, 1038 S.E. César E. Chávez
Sunday, April 21 at 2pm

At SE Uplift Fireside Room, 3534 SE Main Street
Thursday, April 11th at 7pm
Sunday, May 5th at 2pm
Thursday, May 16th at 7pm

Join us for a free info session to learn more about Portland’s very 1st aging-in-place village.

Modeled after Beacon Hill Village in Boston, Eastside Village PDX is not a building or a real estate development or a retirement community. Instead, it is a group of like-minded people who live on Portland’s east side who have come together to develop the resources they will need to age comfortably in their own homes.

Village members live in their own homes and can be homeowners, renters, seniors sharing housing or living with relatives. The Eastside Village, PDX boundaries are Powell Blvd on the south; the Willamette River on the west; I-84/Banfield or Halsey (east of I-205) on the north; 122nd on the east (except between Stark and Division where the boundary extends to 130th).

There are currently over 90 of these Villages already in existence—including Villages in Bend, Ashland and Seattle—with more than 100 in development across the country.

Admission: FREE

RSVP: or call 503-489-8496

Chana Andler,, 503-489-8496

Save Buckman Pool! (Again) Budget Forum Tonight!

April 11, 2013

Once again, the swimming pool at Buckman Elementary School is on the chopping block due to city budget issues. A group of concerned neighbors are mounting a campaign to keep the pool open. Christine Yun, one of the leaders of this effort, has penned an open letter to the community seeking folks who are willing to help save the pool. See below for more details. If you’re interested in participating and/or keeping abreast of the efforts, you can also join the Facebook group Save Buckman Pool at

Dear Buckman Community

Buckman Pool is the only Parks facility in the inner eastside.  We need to counter the negative article in the Portland Tribune last week,  Please consider writing a letter to the editor at both the Tribune and the Oregonian.  In addition, we need to ramp up our e-mails to City Hall.  Even if you have already sent an e-mail in, please send another.  Look for our rebuttal to the Tribune article this week.  It is also available as a pdf on our Facebook page, Save Buckman Pool, if you want to use the facts to help compose your own e-mail.

Of prime importance is to attend the budget hearing Thursday, April 11th at Montgomery Park, 6:30-8:30 pm.  It’s important to get there early to sign up to testify.  Those who arrive late were not allowed to testify.  Please also make sure that you print out your signs and bring them to the meeting.  Some smart people pasted them on to cardboard to make holding them up easier.  These were really effective.

Parents, please ask your children to testify – this is a great civic learning experience, and it really has convinced council in the past to keep Buckman Pool open.

There is a final city budget hearing Thursday, May 16th, 6:30-8:30 pm at City Hall.

Here is an updated e-mail list below:

  • Mayor Hales:
  • Grace Uwagbae, head of mayor’s constituent relations:
  • Matthew Robinson, policy analyst with the mayor:
  • Amanda Fritz:
  • Tom Bizeau, Fritz’s chief of staff:
  • Dan Saltzman:
  • Matt Grumm, Saltzman’s policy manager:
  • Nick Fish:
  • Mike Abbate, director of Parks:
  • Steve Novick:
  • Chris Warner, Novick’s chief of staff:
  • City Budget Office Director Andrew Scott:



Eat Inner South East with Dishcrawl

April 6, 2013

We recently received the following information from an organization called Dishcrawl, that leads folks on restaurant tours of neighborhoods. They’re doing one in Buckman soon! Read on for details.

Inner South East Portland offers rich culinary destinations set against the backdrop of both its industrial area and the picturesque neighborhood tucked around its corners. Renowned for its culinary institutions as well as bold, new and fresh offerings, Inner South East is the perfect ingredient for delicious sensory experiences.

On Wednesday, April 17th, join us as we take you to four Inner South East establishments to enjoy the food adventures of this vibrant neighborhood. Don’t wait! Get tickets now! You can find them at this link:

It’s a guessing game! We’re keeping the names of the restaurants we will be visiting a secret for now, but here and there we’ll give you some hints. Follow us on Twitter at @DishcrawlPDX and be the first to know!

Where to Meet Us: All ticket holders will be notified of the meeting location via email, 48 hours prior to the event.

I’m a Vegetarian: Vegetarian options are available; however we may not be able to accommodate other dietary restrictions. If you have any particular requests or have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Cancellation Policy: Cancellations are taken only if given 48 hours advance notice. All Dishcrawl events are held rain or shine.

Questions? Contact me! I’m Sara, your PDX Dishcrawl Ambassador! My email is

About Dishcrawl: Food, Fun, and Exploration! We here at Dishcrawl aim to provide you with a premier culinary social experience by bringing together neighborhood restaurants, local chefs, regional food producers and fellow food enthusiasts. Join us if you’d like to embark on a one-of-a-kind gastronomic adventure!

Green Dragon/Buckman Botanical Brewery Garage Sale, March 15-18

March 5, 2013

Our neighbors at the Green Dragon, a Rogue Brewery establishment, recently contacted us about an event taking place at their location soon. It’s a garage sale where you’ll be able to purchase discounted beer and merchandise. Appropriately enough, it takes place St. Patrick’s Day weekend, March 15-18. More info from their flier:


SE Uplift Sustainability Workshop – Space available!

February 13, 2013

SE Uplift is holding their second Quarterly Sustainability Workshop this coming Saturday, February 16th. The event will focus on working with the city to create neighborhood green spaces. There is still space available, and they would love to invite more Buckman residents to the workshop. Read on for details!

Greenspace & Working with the City Workshop
Saturday, February 16th, 2013 // 10am -12:30pm
3534 SE Main St
Portland, OR 97214

Could your neighborhood use more greenery? What if that gravel parking lot was a pocket park or that troublesome alleyway an orchard?

If you are at all interested in creating new community green space or improving existing spaces in your neighborhood – we have the workshop for you!

Please join Southeast Uplift for our second Quarterly Sustainability Workshop, highlighting green spaces and working with the city, including pocket parks, urban orchards and alley gardens on Saturday, February 16th, 2013.

With project presentations, networking opportunities and useful tips, this free workshop will provide participants with the inspiration and practical tools they need to create alternative green spaces in their own neighborhoods!

For more information and to register, please visit:

*Space is limited, so register soon!


New Apartments and Parking: Updated FAQ

January 29, 2013

The City recently provided us with an updated FAQ on parking requirements for new apartment developments. The document is attached below. Here’s the text of the City’s e-mail:

Attached please find an updated copy of the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) memo.  The memo includes three new questions (#1, #2 and #3).  Question #1 includes information from the November 13th Planning and Sustainability public forum and the January 10th City Council session.  It also includes information on next steps.  Question #7 has been updated to include four additional upcoming apartments: three on N Mississippi and one on N Vancouver.

A proposed set of near-term regulatory changes will be released the beginning of February 2013.  A public hearing with the Planning and Sustainability Commission is now scheduled for March 12, 2013 at 12:30 p.m. at 1900 SW 4th Avenue, Room 2500 A.  Public testimony on the draft proposal will be invited at the hearing.  Longer term solutions will be discussed as part of the Comprehensive Plan Update.

New apartments and parking January 2013

Survey on recent apartment building development projects

November 1, 2012

We recently heard from a Buckman resident about an online survey that was put together by a group of community members who are concerned about the recent spate of new apartment building developments without off-street parking. Read on for details:

Neighborhood Apartment Parking Survey
Sponsored by Citywide Land Use Group

Dear Neighbors and Community Leaders:

Our Portland community is experiencing unprecedented growth in the development of apartment buildings that include little or no off-street parking. Although a number of these types of older apartments remain along the former trolley lines, the approval of 28 new apartment buildings over the past 18 months has alarmed most of us.

Due to the recent community outcry regarding the approval of so many apartment buildings with no parking, the City’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) is conducting a study of residents and neighbors of eight of these older buildings. As a group of volunteers that make up the Citywide Land Use Group, we felt it was important to conduct our own, complementary survey. This survey is the result of our Apartment Parking Task Force and Editing Team’s work on the no-parking issue over the past four months. It is our attempt to clarify your concerns and needs.  We want to give neighborhoods the opportunity to provide constructive criticism to the City on this issue.

Click here to start filling out the questionnaire

In our view, the City, Metro, and the State are each dealing with competing goals. These include reducing air pollution, traffic congestion, and storm water run-off, while at the same time retaining and enhancing neighborhood livability, high density residential, affordable housing, living-wage jobs and vibrant local businesses. The recent development of apartments with little or no off street parking is a direct result of these policies.

Portland is not alone in dealing with reduced parking in new apartment developments. Other cities we reviewed included Seattle, San Francisco, and Denver.

Our contention is that the city needs to begin a dialogue with the neighborhood associations and business communities to help understand the impact of these goals and policies on our daily lives. We offer that Portland contains the most creative and enthusiastic community that could be brought to the table for this discussion. Together, it is likely we will come up with a range of ideas and equitable solutions.

The results of this Apartment Parking Neighborhood Survey as well as the BPS parking study will both be presented to the Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission at their November 13th Forum. This is but the first step in helping broker a dialogue between the City of Portland and its concerned neighborhoods on this issue.

The survey questionnaire should take you about 10 to 15 minutes to complete.

Student Mentors Needed

October 31, 2012

We recently received the following e-mail from Kathleen McKenna, Volunteer Coordinator at the NELA Center for Student Success. She wrote to tell us about an opportunity for community members to volunteer as student mentors. Read on for details:

My name is Kathleen and I’m the Mentor Coordinator at the NELA Center for Student Success in NE Portland.  We’re a college access program that serves low income, first generation and of-color high school seniors through a weekly mentorship program that guides students through the college and scholarship application process.

We’re currently looking for mentors to work with our students.  This is a one day a week, 2.5 hour commitment for the year.  Mentors work with small groups of students to make sure they’re on track with applications and to be a source of motivation.

All mentors in the Mentor 2 College program attend training so they are prepared for questions they may receive.  Additionally, our Centers staff is on hand to answer any questions our mentors may have.  Mentor meetings begin in the fall and finish at the end of the academic year.  The commitment is for the 2012-2013 school year.

If you’re interested, see the attached PDF file for more information: NELA Mentor Flyer

Buckman Community Association Land Use Meeting, October 18th

October 15, 2012

This Thursday, October 18th, a Buckman Community Association Land Use Meeting will be held to discuss proposed development at 2607/2625 SE Hawthorne Blvd.  The meeting will be in the Multnomah County Board Room, 501 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 7-8:30pm.

These two magnificent and grand 106 year-old historic houses were purchased at the end of last month.  The new owners plan to build a 4-story, 77-unit apartment building where these homes (currently full of commercial tenants) now lie.  Here is what they currently look like.

The tenants were unaware the property was being sold and were all given immediate 30-day eviction notices.  The former owner, who has held these properties for decades, has said he feels sick about the plans to tear them down and did not know this was planned.  These properties are now in real danger of being demolished imminently to make way for this new, large development..

The developer, Aaron Jones, and SERA Principle Architect Kurt Schultz have been invited to the meeting so they can hear concerns about this proposal, and give information to community members.  Concerned members of the community are asked to attend.  Ideas, suggestions and proposed solutions to save these important properties are welcome and wanted!

For more information on the proposal:

If you are unable to attend, but are interested in saving the buildings, please contact myself and/or Tim Askin, BCA Secretary and Co-Land Use Chair (  You can also contact the entire BCA Board anytime at

Thank you,
Susan Lindsay
Chair, BCA

BCA Mayoral & City Commissioner Candidate Forum, Thursday, October 11th

September 21, 2012

Still having trouble deciding who you should vote for in the upcoming Mayoral and City Commissioner elections? Come bring your ballot and figure it out at the Candidate’s Forum on Thursday, October 11th, sponsored by the Buckman Community Association. We’ll be asking Charlie Hales, Jefferson Smith, Amanda Fritz, and Mary Nolan where they stand on such topics as:

  • The Coal Train
  • Parking requirements (or lack thereof) for new apartment buildings
  • Fees associated with building permits and historic reviews
  • Access (or lack thereof) to the Public Involvement Process
  • Funding and support for neighborhood associations

There will also be an opportunity for attendees to submit their own question to the candidates. Here are the details:

What: The Candidate’s Forum
When: October 11th, 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Where: Multnomah County Headquarters Building, 501 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Commissioners Board Room 100

Position 1 Commissioner’s Forum
Amanda Fritz and Mary Nolan
7:15 – 8:00

Mayor’s Forum
Charlie Hales and Jefferson Smith
8:15 – 9:00

Pizza and light refreshments will be provided.

Independent Living Resources Block Party, Friday, September 21st

September 13, 2012

We were recently contact by a non-profit agency called Independent Living Resources, located at 1839 NE Couch, between 18th and 19th Avenues. ILR promotes the philosophy of independent living by creating opportunities, encouraging choices, advancing equal access, and furthering the level of independence for all people with disabilities.

Next Friday, September 21st, from 11am-2pm, ILR will be hosting a block party on NE Couch Street between 18th and 19th Avenues. The block party is an annual celebration of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). ILR be joined by 15 other community organizations and agencies that work towards empowering the disabilities community. There will be arts and crafts, performances, entertainment, and food throughout the day.  Several of the local Burnside restaurants have donated food for the event, and local businesses have generously donated gift certificates for door prizes.

You can learn more about ILR at their website or Facebook page.

Art DeMuro

September 11, 2012

“[Art] DeMuro, a Portland developer and preservationist, whose firm redeveloped the White Stag Block in Old Town and a number of other historical properties, died Saturday after a battle with cancer. He was 57. “

The Buckman neighborhood has lost a friend in Art DeMuro. BCA Chair Susan Lindsay, who worked with Art on the proposed redevelopment of Washington High School, penned this tribute:

By now most of you have heard the very sad news that Art DeMuro died Saturday night. I don’t know any details other than it was cancer of a rare and aggressive type.  I did not know he was sick, and always commented whenever we met how great he looked.

Art was an unusual developer. While a keen businessman, he did what he did motivated by a desire to preserve buildings of historic worth from the wrecking ball.  His projects, showcased on the Venerable Properties website, demonstrate his love of history and the restored buildings are beautiful to behold.

All of Portland has lost a friend this week….and especially Buckman. Art’s professional level of high standards and care in redevelopment took seed in Buckman in recent years and we have a number of preserved structures to show for it.

While meeting with Art over the years on other projects, it during was the Washington High School Redevelopment plan that I really got to know Art. Let’s just say, here was someone who didn’t bat an eye when I told him the school building talked to me……as I’m sure he in his own way had experienced this with his love of old forgotten buildings.

Last spring when Art was finally awarded the exclusive rights on the building and a purchase agreement was approved by the school board was one of the happiest days of my life.  I felt so ‘relieved’..that at last the building was in the hands of someone who cared, and knew of its beauty and potential…and had the means and experience to make it anew again.

While I have no idea what his unexpected passing will mean for Washington High, I know what it means for us and me.  We have suddenly and with no warning lost a wonderful, caring, intelligent, gifted man who knew how to navigate the difficult world of loans agreements, contracts, timelines and especially personalities to make beautiful, useful buildings appear from decades of waste and neglect.  And I and many others have lost a man we considered a friend.

It’s ironic on another level for me.  Last Thursday, having returned to Portland from being away much of August, I called some folks to specifically express gratitude for their work on projects we’ve been engaged with.  I started to call Art, and then hesitated.  I had so much to say to him..about how fabulous I thought he was, I decided to collect my thoughts some more before I called.

He was fabulous…and truly one of a kind.  I will miss him very much.  He was our friend.

Washington High School Community Center Update

August 30, 2012

An important step towards the creation of a full-service community center at the Washington High School property has recently occurred. The City of Portland Hearing Officer has issued approval for a Master Plan to provide conditional use at the site of 12th and SE Stark for the construction of the community center in two phases.  The Master Plan remains valid for ten years.

Phase one of new construction would include the aquatics center, changing rooms, fitness, wood studio and parking lot/field. Phase two would be the gymnasiums.  While there is currently zero funding for the construction of the center, having land use approval in place enables phase one to be built as soon as funding occurs. This center, as well as other city-wide projects, will likely seek funding via a future, comprehensive Portland Parks bond. The BCA has been active and involved with this project for years, and all updates on the future community center are shared at monthly meetings when they occur.

The full decision can be read here: