Susan and I were thrilled when our friends and neighbors opened the Gold Rush coffee shop as it was on our regular morning dog-walking route. Sadly, it has closed. But we found a new walking route and replacement café; Caffe Destino, located on the corner of NE Fremont and 14th. For dog owners, it is a short walk from the playground at Irvington School and a shorter walk from Irving Park. Whole Foods is on the adjacent block if you need some groceries as is the Irvington Library if you need to select or return library items (or drop off ballots).
Caffe Destino is family owned and operated. Holly Higdon became the owner recently after working the counter for over six years. You will find her at the counter most days. Her partner, Elias Herrera, works in the back making wonderful homemade pastries daily as well as hot and cold breakfast items and sandwiches, soups, and pies giving the place the family-friendly feel of a neighborhood cafe. Everything is made fresh daily. The biscuits and breakfast cookies are my favorite treats on our walks.
Caffe Destino is open at 5:30 am on weekdays and at 7 am on weekends. Hot food is available after 7, maybe earlier if it isn’t too busy. And, there is pie! They take phone orders at (503) 284-9455 and have a Facebook page and free wifi, which seem popular among some of the morning crowd. They have a loyalty program for regular coffee drinkers. They close at 4:00 pm.
The City of Portland is in a sweet spot. There’s a ripe opportunity to redeem racist policies that destroyed Portland’s thriving Black community but whether city leaders will do the right thing remains unseen.
The Emanuel Displaced Persons Association 2, EDPA2 is an ad hoc community-based organization with membership comprised of survivors and Descendants of the Emanuel Hospital expansion forced removal. EDPA2 wants the City of Portland, Emanuel Hospital, Home Forward, formerly Portland Housing Authority, and Prosper Portland, formerly the Portland Development Commission (PDC) to do the right thing and return land they took from a majority Black community.
During the ’60s and ’70s, more than 70% of Portland’s Black residents lived in Central Albina. This was a problem for Ira Keller, then Director of PDC, concerned with the “high concentration of Negroes in Central Albina.” Utilizing eminent domain under Federal Urban Renewal Law, Prosper Portland and Emanuel Hospital demolished the houses and businesses in Central Albina. It was a contrived effort that involved the participation of a religious organization, local business, the City of Portland, the State of Oregon, law firms, financial institutions, title companies, electric company, elected officials and city leaders, prominent Portland families and an aggressive propaganda campaign to stoke fears of a “Negro Ghetto”. The City of Portland created a pamphlet and radio spot featuring an Ogre-like cartoon character called Creepy Blight whose sole purpose was to warn white residents of “Blight”. In 1967, the local NBC affiliate KGW produced a film titled “Albina: Portland’s Ghetto of the Mind”, The Portland Housing Authority, now Home Forward, exercised discriminatory housing practices like requiring a $20 deposit and monthly rent aimed at evacuees of the Vanport flood forced to relocate to Guild’s Lake. The Housing Authority also provided funding for the 1962 Central Albina Report used to justify and legalize the removal of Portland’s Black community from Central Albina. Prosper Portland created a pamphlet ameliorating the devastation caused by Urban Renewal and instructed residents on how to move!
In 1970, Black residents in Central Albina formed the Emanuel Displaced Persons Association, EDPA to combat the destruction of their community and to move “with dignity and without suffering financial loss” as stated in the 1949 Fair Housing Act. They filed a complaint with The Department of Housing and Urban Development, HUD. Finding merit with the complaint, HUD’s involvement forced Emanuel Hospital, The City of Portland, PDC (now Prosper Portland), The Portland Housing Authority (now Home Forward) and EDPA to sign a Replacement Housing Cooperative Agreement. The Agreement demands all parties to work together to replace every home that was demolished, a 1:1 replacement for the families forced to relocate. For close to 50 years various organizations and individuals have tried to encourage Emanuel Hospital to enforce the Agreement. To this day, the Agreement remains incomplete. Note: adhering to the legal stipulations of a Cooperative Agreement, The City of Portland adopted a policy preceding the Agreement to address the 1:1 replacement housing; the policy and Agreement were never implemented.
On August 1, 2017, City of Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler joined Executive Director of Prosper Portland, Kimberly Branam, and former President and Chief Executive Officer of Emanuel Hospital, Dr. George Brown, in a press conference to acknowledge racist policies responsible for the demolition and ultimate destruction of a once-thriving and self-sufficient Black community in what was Central Albina. Emanuel Hospital intentionally allowed portions of the demolished lands to “remain vacant for future development” for close to 50 years. A glaring reminder of a painful past for Portland’s Black community. Now, they claim to return a small parcel of land at the corner of N. Williams and Russell. For the record, Emanuel Hospital acquired more than 55 acres for their expansion yet less than an acre is offered for “return.”
To add insult to a longstanding injury, city officials claim the only way to develop the returned land is by placing it into the Interstate Urban Renewal Area, IURA. In the decade between 2000 and 2010, the IURA removed thousands of Black residents away from the city’s core in N/NE Portland where the majority of the city’s Black community used to reside. The IURA forced Black folks to relocate to east county, the poorest area in Multnomah County. The IURA is the largest, most gerrymandered and overused–it’s set to expire in 2021…
On August 9, 2017, at a regularly scheduled Prosper Portland meeting, members of EDPA2 and other community members stopped the vote to include the corner at N. Williams and Russell in the IURA. The vote goes before Prosper Portland’s Board of Directors again on March 11, 2020.
EDPA2 does not want the property at N. Williams and Russell included in the IURA where it’s expected to generate millions of dollars. How will the descendants of the Emanuel Hospital expansion receive any of those funds? EDPA2 wants city leaders to enforce and adhere to the Agreement that was signed many years ago. They want anything Emanuel Hospital and Prosper Portland “returns” to go to impacted families of the Emanuel Hospital expansion some of whose names are listed in the ten-panel historical display located in the Emanuel Hospital atrium. EDPA2 has met with City of Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler on this issue for more than 3 years. In December of last year, EDPA2 responded to the Mayor’s request for a plan with a presentation that includes long term economic development with a focus on community inclusion naming an internship program for neighboring students at nearby Harriet Tubman Middle School, job opportunities for high school students and a training/mentoring program for college students and ownership for Descendants of the Emanuel Hospital expansion. This plan is backed by an international company.
According to the August 1, 2017 press conference, it appears Wheeler and Branam want to relegate the Black community to affordable housing only, omit input from EDPA2 and deny long term economic development opportunities like the plan EDPA2 presented to the mayor.
On April 27, 2020 via zoom (rescheduled from March 31), EDPA2 aims to interject the omitted experiences and stories of impacted families into the current political discussion by presenting The Reclaiming Black Lands in the “Whitest City” lecture. Follow EDPA2 on Facebook. Contact EDPA2 at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join EDPA2 for Q&A Session for Reclaiming Stolen Black Lands in the “Whitest City”
One Medical, a nationwide healthcare provider, has opened a new location at 4141 N Williams (Skidmore and Williams). Their unique style of healthcare offers a membership model and a virtual medical team you can reach by phone or video 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
One Medical is offering 30 days free from membership fees (normally $199 per year) during this Covid-19 crisis so that residents can get testing if needed. They have a testing site in the parking lot of Vancouver Baptist Church. If you are experiencing symptoms of coronavirus you can get tested at this site after making an appointment through the medical facility.
In addition to the services listed above, One Medical helps to mitigate copays by offering information in the “Treat Me Now” section of the website for colds, allergies, UTI, etc.
Call 503-342-2520 for more information and appointments or visit onemedical.com.
Oregon’s next election is May 19. You may be tempted to ignore the election, especially considering how late Oregon’s primary falls in the season. Only six presidential primaries are scheduled after Oregon’s: Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, South Dakota, and the Virgin Islands.
But the May election is much more than a federal primary. The election also includes non-partisan positions and issues. Non-partisan offices can be awarded during the primary provided no one candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote. In that event, the top two contenders go into a runoff on the November ballot.
Those of us living in Eliot will have plenty to consider in our ballots this year. We’re electing candidates for the following positions:
· Mayor of Portland
· Portland City Commissioners
· Metro Council
· Multnomah County Commissioners
· Multnomah County District Attorney
· State Senator
· State Representative
· Judges (including for the Oregon Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals and the Circuit Court)
· Oregon Secretary of State
· Oregon State Treasurer
· Oregon Attorney General
· US Senator
· US Congressional Representative
The city council referred a measure to the May ballot to renew a gas tax to fund street repair. The tax was initially approved by Portland voters in 2016. It adds 10 cents per gallon of fuel. Continuing the tax will provide the city with money to pave streets, expand Neighborhood Greenways, and add traffic signals. A full list of projects is available at fixingourstreets.com/2020.
Given the many different overlapping districts, let’s review who does what. Portland uses a city-commission form of government. Residents of the city of Portland elect a mayor and a group of at-large commissioners — meaning that commissioners can be from any part of the city. Individual commissioners are responsible for certain aspects of the city’s government. Here in Portland, that means that Jo Ann Hardesty is responsible for Portland Fire & Rescue and the Bureau of Emergency Management, while Ted Wheeler is the police commissioner. Portland voters have considered updating our government structure in the past and the City Club of Portland is considering advocating for a ballot measure on the issue in November.
The Metro Council is responsible for the Oregon portion of the Portland metropolitan area. Among other responsibilities, the regional government manages waste issues (including illegal dumping), coordinating the growth of the cities and town in the Portland metropolitan area, and overseeing such civic institutions as the Oregon Convention Center, the Oregon Zoo, and Portland’s Centers for the Arts. As it happens, Metro is the only directly elected metropolitan planning organization / regional government in the United States.
The Multnomah County Commission handles managing local elections, public health, and local criminal and civil courts for Portland and some surrounding cities.
At the state level, this year’s secretary of state election is particularly important. Beverly Clarno was appointed to complete Dennis Richardson’s term, after Richardson’s death in 2016, and is not running. If that wasn’t enough to make for an exciting race, the secretary of state’s role is especially important in 2020. After the completion of the 2020 U.S. census, Oregon’s secretary of state will be a key part of the redistricting process.
This election is also the first to implement some major changes in how the city of Portland and the state of Oregon handle elections. First, and perhaps most important, voters in the state no longer need stamps to mail in ballots.
The current election cycle is the first for the city of Portland’s Open and Accountable Elections program. For local candidates willing to forego large campaign contributions (such as those from corporations, rather than individuals), the city of Portland will match donations of up to $50 six times. Many candidates for mayor and city commissioner are participating in the program. Mayoral candidates Teressa Raiford and Sarah Iannarone, for instance, are only accepting donations of $250 or less. In contrast, incumbent Ted Wheeler has announced that he will accept donations of up to $5,000 from individuals and up to $10,000 from organizations, thereby failing to qualify for the Open and Accountable Elections program.
Make sure you’re registered to vote. If you want to vote in either the Democratic or Republican primaries, you need to be registered as a member of the appropriate party. If you register as a member of a third party or as an independent voter, you’ll still get a ballot in May, covering non-partisan positions, as well as ballot measures. To check if you’re registered, as well as to register, visit the Secretary of State’s website at sos.oregon.gov.
April 4 — Ballots mailed to voters currently overseas
April 20 — Ballots mailed to voters currently out of state
April 22 — Voters’ pamphlets mailed to voters in Oregon
April 28 — Deadline to register to vote or to change party affiliations
April 29 — Ballots mailed to voters in Oregon
May 11 — Don’t have your ballot yet? Contact the Board of Elections
How’s your Covid-19 Staycation / Artist-in-Residence going? As you are likely aware, everything involving being close to people is cancelled, including all EarthDay events, so we’re not hosting one on April 18 after all.
Good News:It’s still okay to take a walk, either by yourself or with members of your own household, and the Grove is a very lovely place to do that! We just finished installing our last few signs (funded by Kay at Sunlan Lighting on Mississippi) around the hexagonal bench & the salmon sculpture, a couple of new species signs, and one other. Come take a look!
As always, you’re welcome anytime to bring a trash bag/gloves and pick up any garbage you find on site. Say hi from a distance if we’re out there or on the front porch. We have a lot of time on our hands, so we will be out there weeding and grooming the plants, putting out more Mason Bees, weaving the willow dome as we are able…If you’re itching to do some real work in the Grove, email us at NativeGrovePDX@gmail.com and we can send you specific instructions with photos about what things need to be weeded, etc.
For now, we’re going to postpone our EarthDay projects to the Fall, when we will likely have a September or October clean-up, refresh & planting party. Until then, stay home, stay safe & healthy, and come take your isolation walk in the lovely Grove you’ve planted. Tell your friends and family about it too. Since we have the time to slow down, let’s enjoy the spaces near home and introduce them to our loved ones.
Meanwhile, here’s some more good news from the past month or so:
· We were GIFTED $150 from Kay, owner of Sunlan Lighting to finish our signs for a few more plants, the bench, and our salmon sculpture in time for Earth Day. Thank you, Kay and Sunlan for your generosity and commitment to community! (Next time you’re buying light bulbs on Mississippi Ave, be sure to let her know you appreciate her support of the Grove!)
· Students at The Ivy School took time last week to process our Mason Bee straws from last summer and have delivered dozens of bee cocoons to be released soon at the ‘Let Bees Inn’ Mason bee hotel in the Grove. Just in time, as the Osoberry/Indian Plum and Red Flowering Currant begin to blossom.
· We were granted a $500 Native Plant Grant from the Bureau of Environmental Services through the Neighborhood to River Program, so we can go to Bosky Dell and buy plants to replace some that died over the winter and bolster our rain forest ground covers for the coming spring.
· SOLVE IT for Earth Day has also granted us $100 to purchase mulch and even more native plants for our Earth Day event. We’ll be getting a load of wood chips for everyone to help refresh our paths on Saturday, April 18 (postponed til Fall).
· We’re in the final stages of permitting and stewardship arrangements with PBOT, and will hopefully be ‘on the map’ sometime soon! Stay tuned!
We’re excited to share another year with you Restoring Habitat, Cultivating Education and Growing Community!
With the shut down of most businesses we wanted to make sure that Eliot residents knew which businesses are still open for business and specifically take out for meal options, coffee shops to keep you caffeinated and more importantly to show these businesses appreciation for keeping us fed and that we want to keep them viable during these tough times. Below is a list of open businesses which will get updated as needed:
As we all know, the Covid 19 virus situation is changing daily. As of the printing of this issue, the events listed in the newspaper were still planned. However, many businesses may need to be closed and events may need to be cancelled or postponed. Please check the websites or contact the businesses or events for the latest status.
Stay safe, check on your neighbors, and remember our neighborhood businesses would appreciate your patronage whenever possible. We need to work together as a community to get through these tough times.
If you are elderly, disabled, or part of the defined vulnerable population, or know someone who needs help, please contact the neighborhood association. If we can help you with delivery of groceries, prescriptions, or supplies, contact us at email@example.com.
On a clear morning, as the sun traces a path from east to west, the light eventually breaks out over the treetops of the Eliot Neighborhood, slips under the freeway passes and spills sunshine onto North Russell Street. Still a quiet strip that’s surely poised to grow, right now it’s a mix of industrial shops peppered with business storefronts.
It’s during this time of day, at about 7:30 A.M. that you’ll want to make your way over to Bernstein’s Bagels. In the winter of 2018, Bernstein’s grew into the space that was formerly home to Mint, one of Portland’s mainstay cocktail bars. A labor of love and dedication, the renovation at 816 North Russell by owners Noah Bernstein and Peter Hurteau, features plenty of seating room and hand-painted wallpaper by Melanie Nead.
In fact, Nead’s studio that focuses on custom wall treatments and ceramic objects, Lonesome West Studio, sits beside the bagel shop. Her Arts and Crafts Movement inspired designs bring a coziness to the space and certainly do the historic property justice. All things boiled and baked dough, the frieze pays homage to the venerated everything bagel. Concentrate on it closely and the subtle ingredients begin to pop out: sea salt, barley, wheat, and poppies.
Even as they bid farewell to their firstborn, a location in St. Johns, a whole year after moving into the Eliot, Bernstein thrives. They continue to serve up delightfully hearty bagel sandwiches. However, the old adage rings true: the early bird catches the worm. Except, in this case, it’s bagels and they are very popular. They are “hand-rolled, boiled, and made onsite twice daily.” Looking for a classic lox combination? You got it. Schmear not, their spreads change from time-to-time. Flavors you may know—cinnamon raisin, herb, and strawberry—tossed in with wildcards like carrot cake and once upon a time even pizza. The bagel is merely a blank canvas; how you dress it is up to you.
Arrive eagerly and on time—your weekday and weekend windows to visit vary. Hot bagels come out of the oven at 7:30 A.M. Monday through Friday and at 8:30 A.M. on the weekends. Stop in or check out their Instagram (@bernsteinsbagels) for updates on specials.