General Membership Meeting Minutes 2009-04-13

Meeting Minutes 4/13/09

7:10pm  Meeting called to order by Clint Lundmark, Chair, after a time of refreshments enjoyed by all.  (Thanks to Kirsten and Marie for the goodies!)  Introductions followed.

Board Members Present: Brian Fugate, Caroline Collier, Marie d’Hulst, Joan Ivan, Julia Peters, Julie Woelfer, Naomi Sacks, Nathan and Penelope Miller, Pauline Bradford, Kirsten Jenkins

Neighbors Present:Susan Bailey, Mike Warwick, Sitka Coppedge, Kim Graham, Joan Thompson, Bill McRae, Geppha Scrigna, Ari Steinberg-Lake, Angela Kremer, Jason Franklin, Michele Pearce, Paul Farmer, Jillian Wiesenech, Jessica Bostias, Ashley Wilson, Michael Schultz

Guests Present:  J Isaac, Murray Koodish, Ofc. Amanda McMillan

Minutes: The General Membership Meeting minutes from 10/13/08 were approved as read.

Announcement: The African American Health Coalition is holding its annual “Wellness Within Reach Walk” at Dawson Park on Saturday, August 15.  There is a 1.5-mile loop and a 4-mile loop.  Cost is $20 and all funds go to the AAHC’s physical activity program.

Rose Quarter Development: J. Isaac of the Portland Trailblazers presented some possible options for development of the Rose Quarter.  One artist’s conception includes taking down the Memorial Coliseum (MC) and adding a “Live” area that includes shops, restaurants, clubs and an open air but covered space that could host live, free music and other events.  Nike has also expressed an interest in building a museum on-site.  A boutique hotel would also be built to help attract conventions.  This new area could create as many as 5,000 new jobs.  Such areas have successfully opened in cities like Louisville and Kansas City.  Another idea is to take down the MC and build a baseball stadium.   A baseball stadium would hold about 72 events a year, whereas the MC currently hosts 175 events/year. Whatever plan, if any of those proposed, is agreed upon,  a major focus of the Blazers is sustainability.  Many neighbors expressed concern about the proposed development, including parking problems, noise, litter, drunk driving, if big box stores would move into the area as opposed to local small businesses, and funding for the development.   Several neighbors voiced a desire to see this development, to see a stadium and sports venue or an area would people would gather on a daily basis (like Pioneer Square).  A desire was voiced for a more inclusive, slowed-down process and a resolution was voted on to present to the city commissioners, as they will vote on the proposed stadium on 4/15/09.  The resolution reads:  Be it resolved that the Eliot Neighborhood Association opposes the current development of a minor or major league baseball stadium in the Rose Quarter or anywhere adjacent or within the neighborhood association boundaries.  Furthermore the neighborhood association requests that a Good Neighbor agreement be established between the Eliot Neighborhood Association, the City, the Trailblazers, and any other development interest within the Rose Quarter for any new entertainment uses as a condition of development.  A vote was taken, with 24 in favor of this resolution and 4 opposed.  Everyone present was encouraged to call the city commissioners to voice their thoughts and opinions.

Broadway Rename: Murray Koodish of the NE Broadway Business Association came to talk about the possible renaming of Broadway to Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.  Murray mentioned the cost to small business owners to change their signs, letterhead, etc, as well as the cost to the city of the process.  The name “Broadway” has historical significance as well.  He addressed the process the city goes through for a rename and informed the group that bridges cannot be renamed and there is only a process for renaming streets.  A motion was made by Joan and seconded by Penelope of not renaming a street for Chavez but naming something else for him (ideas included a community garden, sculpture, park, etc).  This passed with 22 for and 2 opposed.

Portland Police Neighborhood Response Team: Ofc. Amanda McMillan reported that overall crime was down in Eliot in February and March.  She also reported that the numbers of neighborhood response officers is shrinking to 5 for all of N and NE Portland.  Therefore, she’ll be coming less frequently as she now covers two more neighborhoods.  Calls of an acute/emergency nature should be directed to 911.  Calls of a chronic nature (squatters, drug deals, etc) should be directed to her.

Newsletter Update:  Tony Green reported that the current issue will be the last issue if there’s not more help.  He has taken a job in Salem and has been doing the newsletter for 10 years, so his time is limited.  Tony agreed to write up the editor duties and responsibilities for the May meeting.  He could really need help from someone willing to do design work.  Susan Bailey agreed to be the distribution/delivery coordinator.

Committee and Representative Reports
Bylaw Review:
Has not met.
Dawson Park Concerts: Tentatively scheduled for the four Wednesdays in July.  Come!  They’re fun!
Friends of Trees: Clint is the neighborhood coordinator.  There was a planting on 2/14/09.  Out of 200 trees in NE, only 13 were planted in Eliot.
Grafitti Cleanup: Thanks to all who participated, especially the VOA guys.
Land Use Committee: No report.
MLK Advisory Committee: No report.
NECN: A new farmer’s market will start at King School Park on May 3 and be on Sundays from 10am-2pm.
Oregon Convention Center Urban Renewal District: No report.
Russell Street Improvements: Sidewalks are torn up on Russell down by Interstate.
Welcome Committee: No report.
Spring Clean-up: Will be held on Saturday, 5/16 from 9am-1pm.  Flyers will be mailed May 3.  Chris and Marie were unable to secure free dumpsters, so 4 were ordered at a cost of $125/each for a total of $600.  Would anyone be willing to try to solicit food donations for lunch for the volunteers????

Round Table
Pauline invites everyone to Immaculate Heart Catholic Church (across from Dawson Park) for an authentic African dinner and dance on May 2nd.

Adjournment: Clint called the meeting to a close at 9:32pm.