New Fundraiser at TwentySix Cafe 1/1/21 plus Knott Street Boxing Gets a Big Surprise from Les Schwab

Help out the Knott Street Boxing Club on January 1st from 7 am – 1 pm, at TwentySix Cafe at 2723 NE 7th Avenue
just north of Knott Street

In our fall issue, we reported on the Knott Street Boxing Club that normally works out at the Matt Dishman Community Center. However, because of Covid, the center is closed and the boxing club had to relocate for its workouts and training sessions. Stanley Dunn, both trainer and mentor, has dedicated numerous hours to the kids that are part of the club. They are now training at the Vancouver Avenue side of Dawson Park in the covered area.

The Knott Street Boxing Club has been around for a long time. According to its Facebook page, “It was once a top boxing club in the nation and produced championship level fighters. It has remained a solid community club in a neighborhood that has gone through a lot of changes. Boxing gyms are often recognized for helping to keep kids out of trouble by giving them a place to go and teaching them the value of discipline and hard work.”

Currently, the club needs equipment like a heavy bag and is saving up for a van to transport equipment to the park and drive the boxers to tournaments when they are able to participate in those events again. There is a new Go Fund Me page to make donations and any amount is greatly appreciated.

The kids at Knott Street Boxing Club training at Matt Dishman Park. Photo is a screenshot from the video link below.

One day this fall, the club, and also Stanley, got a big surprise. A film crew and reporter from KPTV were interviewing Stanley about the club and, unbeknownst to him, this was more than just an interview. The Les Schwab Surprise Squad arrived on the scene and presented the Knott Street Boxing Club with some much-needed equipment and a check for $2000. Stanley was so surprised and grateful. Check out the video here.

Hopefully, with the help of Portland residents, that van that they are saving up for will be acquired in the not too distant future.

You can help out now! On January 1st from 7 am – 1 pm TwentySix Cafe is holding a fundraiser for the Knott Street Boxing Club. Stop by, grab a coffee or tea and chip in to help out the club and the kids.

Adopt a Block Update: 26 and Counting… Can We Count You In?

By Jody Guth

PickUpTrash
Keep the Neighborhood Clean!

The Eliot adopt-a-block program is currently 26 members strong.  A few folks have moved, and busy schedules have put others on hold (to resume later, they promised!) However, we’ve added several new members in the last couple months, and the solve bags and disposable gloves I have stacked on my porch have started to dwindle – a good thing!  I’m committed to keeping those supplies stocked and am hoping other Eliot neighbors might wish to join our caring group of clean-street-defenders.  Please contact me, Jody, at 503-331-1511 (land line) and I’ll get you set up, and tell you everything you need to know. (regarding trash, that is….) My email address is jodyguth@gmail.com. 

 For those wanting to join but not quite ready to commit, there is also a way for you to help out.  Metro has a program called RID Patrol.  All you need is a phone or computer, and a few minutes of your time to report any illegally dumped items in the public right of way. Their contact info is oregonmetro.gov and their phone number is 503-234-3000 option 6. If reporting online, go to the search bar and type in rid. There is a wealth of information for you there. See a dumped mattress, appliance, large bags of illegally dumped trash, etc.,  just contact RID and they will have someone out to pick it up.  How cool is that?

Of course, we still need our feet-on-the-street citizens to tackle the cigarette butt’s, (no, they don’t degrade) fast food beverage cups and wrappers, and so many other bits of flotsam and jetsam swirling about our neighborhood streets. This is where a committed adopt-a-blocker (maybe you?) comes in. We’d love to have you join us. Oh, and there is a bonus. We have a quarterly drawing for one lucky member to receive a $100 New Season’s gift certificate compliments of our Eliot Neighborhood Association. I have picked 2 winners this time around as there had been some adjusting and uncertainty the past quarter.  Congratulations to Jan Landis, and Cindy Irvine! Couldn’t have happened to two more committed members.  Jan patrols the area around Boise Eliot school (and mentions she could use more help in that area!) and Cindy tackles Cook St between Rodney and MLK. She has also mentioned being overwhelmed on that street, especially closer to MLK. If anyone living in either of those areas would like to join/help I know both women would appreciate it.  

Cleaning up leaves from storm drains are just one thing that volunteers for Adopt-a-Block can help with. Photo credit Sue Stringer

Summer’s almost over and the fall rains will soon begin. (don’t think I’ve ever been so anxious for THAT to start happening). Going forward, please do your best to keep your leaves from blocking sewer drains. Those who live on corners where the leaves flow down to them will be appreciative of any efforts “upstream”. Be kind, and consider your neighbors. Other bits of trash also get strewn about in the mix and keeping things clear makes it so much easier for adopt-a blockers to do their jobs without having to pick through heavy, wet piles of leaves.  Come on along….make keeping YOUR Eliot neighborhood clean a part of your good deeds. We look forward to having you join us.

Slow Streets for Cyclists and Pedestrians

By Monique Gaskins

https://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/76829 Link for Tillimook Improvement Project

Autumn is upon us! As the summer temperatures start falling and the days continue getting shorter, here is your friendly reminder to keep or start spending time outside. Especially with the limitations of Covid-19, being able to maintain social distancing while also running, walking, or bicycling can be helpful to mental and physical well-being. Although all of us might not have easy access to parks or gyms right now, we do have access to some innovative use of our city streets. Eliot holds at least two major greenways (Tillamook and Rodney) and is adjacent to at least two more (Siskiyou and Going). 

The Portland Bureau of Transportation, PBOT, launched a new initiative, Safe Streets, during Covid-19 that encourages Portlanders who are not in an automobile to stop limiting their usage to the sidewalk on some of our local roads. The goals of this program are as follows: 

1) Facilitate access to more outdoor space

2) Enable walkers, runners, and bicycles to maintain social distance while using city streets and sidewalks (Also called Slow Streets)

3) Provide more options for businesses to allow social distance

Here is a written response to a couple of questions from PBOT’s Communications, John Brady: 

MG: How does the city see Safe Streets? Successful? Not?

JB: So far, the Slow Streets program is helping keep traffic volumes and speeds low on the neighborhood greenway network. In addition, nearly 800 calls and emails to the city’s 823-SAFE line have been overwhelmingly positive with many people requesting additional or specific locations for Slow Street installations.

MG: Are there any plans to improve Rodney, Going, or Tillamook Greenways in the near future?

JB: NE Tillamook just completed a capital improvement project that improved crossings and reduced speeds along the neighborhood greenway from N Flint to NE 28th. We are in the planning stages for the next phase of the project from NE 28th to NE 62nd. NE Rodney and NE Going are not in line for construction projects in the near future.

Within the Eliot neighborhood, Northeast Rodney Avenue and Northeast Tillamook Street both fall under the Slow Streets program. Since the initiative kicked off earlier this year, I’ve enjoyed more space to run and bicycle without worrying about being limited to the space of a sidewalk. So, consider this an open invitation to all of our neighbors: I hope to see you getting some fresh air on the neighborhood greenways! 

Thai MLK—New Food Cart Next to Billy Ray’s Tavern

There’s a new food cart in town located on MLK at Sacramento and it sits right next to Billy Ray’s Tavern at 2210 NE MLK.

Thai MLK is a great new food cart on MLK at Sacramento. Julie Wilson, owner, shows off their extensive menu.
Photo courtesy Julie Wilson

Julie and Brandon Wilson have opened Thai MLK and the patrons of Billy Ray’s Tavern are, I’m sure, happy to have food that can be purchased at the cart and then consumed at the Tavern.

Julie Wilson moved here from Hawaii after working with her auntie who had a restaurant in Kauai, Hawaii. She learned how to make delicious Thai cuisine. Her sister owns a restaurant in Troutdale, Thai Carnation, so it’s no wonder that Julie would accept the offer to buy the food cart that used to be owned by her sister.

The menu at Thai MLK has a nice variety of appetizers, salads, stir fry, noodles, soups, and curries as well as beverages and desserts. Main dishes range from $9-10 and appetizers are $5-7.

Crab Puffs – just one of the delicious options at the Thai MLK food cart. Photo courtesy Julie Wilson

At this point they accept cash but also accept credit cards. Conveniently, there is an ATM at Billy Ray’s Tavern that can be easily accessed during the bar’s business hours.

As a bonus, Thai MLK is giving away free masks so you won’t have to worry if you order your food and then decide to go next door to the tavern.

Soon the Wilsons plan to build a patio next to the food cart to protect customers from the rain which will definitely be appreciated.

Thai MLK is open Tuesday—Saturday from 1—10 pm.  Be sure to try this food cart soon and welcome Julie and Brandon to the neighborhood. From personal experience, the food is delicious and I highly recommend the Pad Thai. It is so flavorful and you can increase the spice with the additional chili peppers included on the side.

We are happy to have them in Eliot!

Memorial Garden for Oregon’s First Black Politician

By Ruth Eddy

The Gladys McCoy Memorial on MLK and Knott. Photo credit Sue Stringer

At the busy intersection of Knott and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, a small semi-circle of grass with a few roses gives a break to the surrounding concrete. At the center of a faded, red brick wall is a portrait of Gladys Sims McCoy etched in stone, with wafted hair and bright eyes watching over passersby. McCoys’s smiling face is surrounded by an engraved list of her accomplishments, as well as the mindless graffiti tags familiar to underappreciated spaces of a city. 

McCoy’s accomplishments were many. She was the first African American elected to public office in Oregon. She was elected to the Portland Public School Board in 1970.  She also served for many years as a Multnomah County Commissioner. In remembrance, her name now graces a public park in Portland, public housing, and most recently, Multnomah County’s new downtown health department building.

Gladys McCoy – Photo courtesy Multnomah County

When she died in 1993 from thyroid cancer, her name wasn’t on any buildings, and her friend, Venerable Booker, wanted to ensure her legacy was remembered.

Booker was then the President of American State Bank, the first Black-owned commercial bank in the Pacific Northwest, which was located in the building directly north of the memorial, now a dialysis center.

A few blocks north of the bank, Hillary Mackenzie owned an architecture firm. As a customer of American State Bank, she got to know Booker well and was hired to design the memorial. She recalled he had a clear vision for the project, which would include “a walkway so you have to enter in the site, to settle in and read it. He wanted that recognition and then he wanted it to be pretty, so it was a place people would linger for a few minutes.”

McCoy’s portrait has recently had a front-row seat to many protests marching past in the wake of the murder of George Floyd. After the first night of protests in May, Irvington resident Kate Thompson went to survey the damage she had heard about on MLK. Across from the smashed Nike store windows, she found herself lingering at the memorial. “I walked past it for over a decade, walking to work at Good Sam’s,” she said. “It was not until I retired that I had time to be curious about its history’.

She started pulling weeds that day and has been returning most Friday mornings for the last three months. She has recruited others who wanted to help and started calling the group the Gladys’ Garden Gnomes.  The garden has become a place for Thompson to channel her outrage of racial injustice into something positive.  “We all need time for reflection,” she said. “Quack grass gives us that opportunity.”

For Thompson and her fellow volunteers, pulling up weeds provides an apt metaphor for our nation’s racism. The grass is deeply rooted and sends out runners in many directions, making it difficult to remove. Thompson acknowledges that she doesn’t know what good it will do, but that “it’s a choice to have hope.”

Thompson has been in contact with Mackenzie to add irrigation and some other features to the original design, including a way to memorialize Venerable Booker, the man who made sure our community knew Gladys McCoy’s life was a Black life that mattered.

Kate Thompson and the five arborists from Mossy Tree Care – photo courtesy Kate Thompson

Update: In October Mossy Tree Care donated their time to get the trees in shape which was very appreciated especially after the big windstorm. According to Kate Thompson, “Five men from Mossy Tree Care each donated two and a half hours of energetic labor to clean up the hardscape of the garden. They were a delight to work with.”

Obituary: Errol Michael Beard—Bridging Art, Light and People in Portland and Beyond

Born in Portland, Oregon. Raised in Vancouver Washington. A 1968 graduate of Ft. Vancouver High School, he also attended the University of Washington, studying architecture. As a youngster he found it easiest to go by Mike, but in recent years many friends knew him as Errol. Mike passed away peacefully in his home from ongoing health issues. He was preceded in death by his brother Gary. He’s survived by his children, Christopher M. Beard 26, and Nicole M. Beard 24, both of Portland, as well as his brothers Ed and Jeff and his sister, Cheryl Cristobal.

Mike spent his life working in the arts, focused on architecture, bridges and serving the community. He started his business, Errolgraphics, in 1979. He was well known for his series of Mt. Hood Jazz Festival posters, beginning in 1983 with the piano floating on Trillium Lake and for his 19 years of posters promoting the Bite of Portland. He’s also known for his series of architectural renderings of Portland’s bridges and his images of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Brooklyn Bridge, as well as New York’s, Chicago’s, Pittsburg’s and London’s bridges and many other iconic structures. Mike did many projects promoting Portland, including the Portland Opera, Chamber Music Northwest, the Portland BridgePedal, the Arial Tram and more. His national works were often featured in popular cinema. Mike was a founding member of the Willamette Light Brigade, focusing on lighting the city’s bridges, and he was a driving force behind the Winter Light Festival. Mike’s body of work is large and included national treasures, some of which can be found in the National Archives.

He loved the arts, golfing, rafting, camping and connecting with friends and strangers alike. As a child he spent summers camping and waterskiing with his family. When his own children were young, he spent endless hours at their sporting events and camping with them around the Pacific Northwest. He loved where he lived. His neighborhood in NE Portland filled him with energy. His neighbors knew him to sit on his porch and talk with everyone. That porch was a neighborhood gathering place. Mike will be remembered by those who knew him as a fun and generous spirit. He was creative, thoughtful and talkative. He was a loving father, brother, neighbor, and friend.

Due to COVID-19, there will be no funeral service. Mike will be laid to rest at Evergreen Memorial Gardens in Vancouver WA.

Mike’s children, Chris and Nicole, intend to honor his life by continuing to manage and sell his works at Errolgraphics.com.

Irving Park Nature Patch – Calling for Volunteers

From Portland Parks and Recreation website edited for clarity

Irving Park at the east side of Eliot neighborhood with sports fields, a dog park, playground and now an opportunity to make the park better for everyone. Photo credit Sue Stringer

Portland Parks & Recreation and the Bureau of Environmental Services are collaborating at Irving Park to create nature patches and rain gardens that will capture rainwater, foster habitat for wildlife, and add natural features for you to enjoy.

This project will bring nature to the neighborhood that works to protect public health and the environment by helping prevent flooding, sewer backups into basements, and overflows into the Willamette River during heavy rain. 

Areas targeted for nature patch landscaping include the degraded slopes around the basketball courts and between the dog-off-leash-area and the picnic areas. View the design concept here.

While the rain gardens are currently in the early design phase, landscaping to create the nature patches will begin this fall and planting will take place over next winter.

To sign up to volunteer to help create this space click here.

For more information about this project and other nature patches around the city visit the city website’s Nature Patch page.

The Irving Park Nature Patch is funded through the BES Percent for Green Program.

Cartside PDX– Tap House and More Carts Now Open for Business

We reported in the summer issue that a new food cart pod had opened on N Williams and Hancock. At that time only a couple of carts were open and we were anxiously awaiting more carts and also the tap house to start serving. Well, that time has come. Each have different hours so check them out or give them a call.  They are all listed in the Dining in Eliot list to the right. Check out their website for more information and menus at  https://www.cartsidepdx.com/

Lots of options at Cartside the new food cart pod on N Williams at NE Hancock

The following carts have joined the pod:

  • L’Unico Italian Street Food
  • Poblano Pepper Mexican Food
  • Yaba Yabaa Mediterranean
  • Ko Sisters Korean Soul Food
  • Let’s Roll Sushi PDX
  • Smaaken Waffle Sandwiches
  • PP Thai Food Cart

The Cartside Tap House is also now open 7 days a week from 11:30 am —7:00 pm and serving up beer, cider and wine with 25 different beers and ciders on tap.

Check them all out-  there’s lots of great food and drink to enjoy!

Boise Eliot Native Grove Update

By Andrine de la Rocha

Hello, Grove Friends!

Here in our third summer, the Grove is looking incredibly lush. As the shrubs grow to fill (and overfill!) their allotted areas, the vegetative contours of the Grove are starting to really look the way we imagined them when we first began. The Willow Dome is rebounding well from the bizarre massive water-main flood of last summer, and we seem to be attracting not just bees but dragonflies and birds of many species. Thank you so much for all your incredible help in making our dream a reality.

Now we’re thinking about a few equipment upgrades, and hope y’all might be able to kick in a little financial support.  

When we first began watering the Grove, we dragged our expensive hose across the street and discovered that auto traffic ruptured and destroyed the unprotected hose.  For the last couple of years, we’ve protected the hose with four 2” x 12” boards which are huge and heavy (as our Watering Heroes can attest to). They’ve done a great job, but are splintering, cracking, and breaking under the stress.

We’d need some actual hose ramps to protect them, which should both a) do a better job, b) last longer, and c) be much easier to drag out into the street and back. The ones we looked at are black rubber with a bright yellow lid, rated for 20-30 tons per axle, which should stand up even to the garbage and delivery trucks that occasionally traverse the hose.

Six 3’4” pieces, at $46 each, – 8% bulk discount, free shipping, = $254. 

The tripod for our sprinkler has done good service, but one of the legs is broken: the clip that holds it in extended position no longer works. Replacement tripod = $40

We also need a couple of bags of concrete to set the ceramic bird/bee bath in place, AND one of our really good hoses just broke at the hose bib last week and needed a repair kit = $19 which brings us up to a total of about: $325.

It would help so much if you felt comfortable with tossing a few (or a lot of) bucks at the project. Please use https://www.patreon.com/BoiseEliotNativeGrove to become a monthly Patron and/or make single donations through our PayPal account here: https://www.paypal.com/paypalme/NativeGrovePDX

There are about 150 people on our email list at this time, so if each of you threw say $3-5 at us, we could cover these costs. If you want to give more or cover the entire cost, we’ll name the hose ramps after you, and sing your praises every time we water the Grove. On the other hand, if you are willing to set up a monthly payment with a shout-out and adopt-a-plant perks, click on the Patreon link here:  https://www.patreon.com/BoiseEliotNativeGrove

Our Patreon and PayPal launch has so far attracted ELEVEN brave contributors who will have trees, shrubberies, and bee-hotel rooms named after them!

We’ve met several of our goals with these pioneer patrons and as such will be able to 1) purchase new bee-straws for the bee hotel, 2) purchase supplies to fix the hexagonal bench and install the birdbath, and 3) help pay for the water to keep the trees and plants alive! As those first funds arrive, we’ll get those things on the schedule. Until then, keep spreading the word and saving the world.

Also! Please share these links and tell people about the Grove and come visit and take pictures and post them and tag us and just help people find out about us and enjoy this miraculous place we’ve created together.

Thanks as ever for your ongoing support, physically, emotionally, spiritually, financially, and psychically. We hope to see you soon in the Grove (all masked up) and in the World (safe and distanced), and in the Streets (don’t forget to Vote!)

Much Love,

Andrine & Howard

P.S. Full disclosure: we were able to borrow the funds to purchase the hose ramps, and we’d like to pay that back to the generous person who fronted us the funds.

Boise Eliot Native Grove

~300 N Ivy St  PDX OR

fb: BoiseEliotNativeGrove

ig: @BoiseEliotNativeGrove

https://www.nativegrovepdx.org/

Letter from the Co-Chair

As I went for a walk last night, I was breathing in wildfire smoke. These are not normal times. I keep hearing calls to vote, as if our problems are political in nature. Society is not what it once was. As someone who likes to host friends, I am finding myself struggling to maintain my social connections during the time of covid-19. 

I worry about our organization, the Eliot Neighborhood Association (ENA). Our roles in my time with the ENA have been:

  • To organize and put out the Eliot News (a huge task). 
  • To be a space to discuss neighborhood issues, development proposals, city projects and plans, and advocate for a better future
  • To put on annual events like a neighborhood cleanup
  • To be a resource for neighbors needing help navigating the city’s bureaucracy

Recently, our organization is feeling depleted. We have been continuing to meet over zoom, but we are not really able to have an easily accessible open door for a community space. As a result, we are not gaining members and seeing as much of the public as we normally would. Many of our members have stepped down from positions and committees, more than I have seen in my 10 years with the ENA. We need your help! 


These times are trying. The national political partisanship combined with a sense that things just are not being taken care of at a local or national level is wearing on many of us. Technology companies are getting better at keeping our attention on scrolling or watching movies and we aren’t going out and making as many connections in the world as we might otherwise. 

The most important connections we can make are with those around us. I have also found that during the pandemic, I am making stronger connections with my neighbors who live right next to me than I have ever had. These are the people who I’ll turn to first for help out if something goes wrong. I would encourage you to connect with those around you. The ENA has your back and is here for larger issues, but the easiest solutions come neighbor to neighbor. Spending more time at home has made me realize that I am blessed to live on a great block. You might find that you are too.

Consider Donating Money to Knott Street Boxing Club

By Ruben Bansie

Knott Street Boxing Club is part of the Matt Dishman community center in N.E. Portland. It’s been around for a long time. Inside you can see trophies and newspaper clippings that go back to the 50’s. It was once a top boxing club in the nation, and produced championship level fighters. Back in the day there could be 70-90 kids at the gym everyday. It has remained a solid community club in a neighborhood that has gone through a lot of changes. 
Boxing gyms are often recognized for helping to keep kids out of trouble by giving them a place to go and teaching them the value of discipline and hard work. 

Knott Street plays another important role in the community: it brings people from different backgrounds together. Portland has become more expensive, and as a result, less diverse and more divided. At Knott Street, people from all different backgrounds- race, income, age- come together. It’s one of Portland’s few melting pots. You go to Knott Street and spend time with people you might not otherwise know. These kinds of institutions are fundamental in teaching kids to understand prejudice. And inside a boxing gym, the only way you can feel superior to someone else is by working harder than them.  None of this would be possible without Stanley Dunn, who acts as the coach and mentor to the boys and girls who train at Knott Street. When I boxed there, I was struck by Stanley’s commitment to the club. He puts his whole heart into it, almost every day. He’s been doing it for over 16 years.

Stanley and the kids at Knott Street Boxing

At Knott Street, Stanley teaches the sweet science to anyone who wants to learn. He teaches the kids how to be humble when they win, and how to deal with loss. He inspires them to be fit and take responsibility for their health. He helps them rise to their full competence. He even picks them up if they have no way to get to the gym.  

Stanley does all this for no pay. He doesn’t ask for pay. He is truly dedicated to serving the community by always being there for the kids. When Covid hit and training indoors became a risk, he trained the kids at Dawson park. Often a scene of drug addiction and crime, he turned it into a positive environment. The whole neighborhood, the police and ambulances, clapped their hands and honked their horns in support as they passed by. 

Photos courtesy Knott Street Boxing Facebook page

Knott Street Boxing Club subsists on donations. It needs new equipment and more resources to keep its members involved. It needs funds to be able to put on exhibitions and travel to tournaments; the cheapest way to do this is to purchase a van to transport the boxing ring for set-up at exhibitions and for the team to travel to tournaments. And it needs the financial ability to help the kids who can’t afford the $20 monthly youth memberships.
The dream is to restore competitive greatness to the Knott Street Boxing Club by enabling it to compete. This gives the kids something to work towards. The minimum necessity is to keep the gym going, and provide the necessary equipment for it’s members to train.

There is a lot of awareness being raised right now about race and inequality in America. Donating to a charity or cause to help bring change to these issues is a good thing. I encourage you to research how your donations are being used, and better understand how you are helping. One of the best ways to help is by investing directly in your community. Small places like Knott Street make a big impact on the community. Knott Street is a throwback- there aren’t too many places like it around anymore. Let’s help keep it going and make it accessible to anyone who needs it, regardless of their income. 

The easiest way to donate is through the facebook page. Go to: www.facebook.com/knottstboxingclub and click on the “Donate” tab. 

Any questions, email Knott Street directly at knottstboxing@yahoo.com

 

What Will Be the New Normal Post-quarantine?

Recent development in Eliot has had two notable impacts on the area.  The first is construction of large apartment blocks.  The second is the flourishing of new cafes, bars, and restaurants in small storefronts.  The big question in my mind is what will happen to these in the immediate, as well as long term future?  Effort to allow bar and restaurant service in adjacent parking lots and sidewalks this summer is a necessary first step, but unlikely to be sufficient to preserve all of them.  Will the storefronts left behind by those that close just be boarded up, returning Williams/Vancouver and MLK to the way it looked prior to these developments?  Will residents in those multistory apartment blocks relocate to lower density rental properties where they have fewer contacts with strangers and high-touch surfaces?  Will folks who are allowed to continue working from home relocate, either to larger accommodations (2-bedroom units from 1 or studios) or leave the city altogether?  Any of these trends would change the character of Eliot as we have known it. 

Some other trends that are likely to persist include the reduced travel to work, for those who can, and for shopping as well as general avoidance of malls and theaters where strangers are thrown together (undermining the need to widen I-5).  Will this be the end of the Lloyd Center?  Its plan to become an “event center” seems especially poorly timed now, especially with the future of some of its tenants, (Lloyd Cinemas, Macy’s) unclear.  And what of the Blazers?  The Rose Quarter is already one of the smallest NBA venues.  Can the Blazers tolerate having only half the seats available for sale?  And, what about the large conventions needed to support the Convention Center and new hotel?  Perhaps the transition may be more “business as usual,” than a new normal governed by social distancing and mask-wearing with few risks for a rebirth of the pandemic.  Somehow, I doubt it.

Livability Committee and Adopt-a-Block Update

By Jody Guth

While the corona virus has kept the majority of us homebound – other than  for essential services – I’ve found that the streets have reflected this slowdown of activity. Less activity does equate to less trash but several adopt-a-blockers I’ve spoken to have been equally less motivated, myself included. Less people on the streets to collect garbage equates to certain areas not receiving “the love” a thorough trash pick-up will provide. 

Almost as an answer to that reality, I noticed a lone soul picking up trash along MLK Jr. Blvd the other day on my way to the store.  Pulling over to the curb and rolling down my window I asked the good Samaritan if he lived in Eliot, did he wish to join the Eliot Adopt-a-block program, and what was his name!  Fortunately he answered “yes” to the first two questions, and I happily added Michael Schwern as the newest member of our team. 

Michael lives on the corner of Rodney and Tillamook. He’s been living there for three years and lived for another number of years not far from his current home. He told me he was motivated to help pick up based on his affiliation with Burning Man and their ethos of “leave no trace”. He felt compelled to do so along MLK as a way to give back as he supports the peaceful protests and vigils that make their way through Eliot. I thought it a wonderful way of supporting our neighborhood and the surrounding streets. Michael would like to adopt Sacramento Ave between Rodney and MLK plus other areas of need during his daily walks. Thanks, Michael, and welcome.  

In addition to Michael, I met another Eliot neighbor, Julie Cushing, who was picking up garbage along Rodney Ave. Julie also felt compelled to give back and make a difference.  She said she hated seeing trash in the streets and wanted to do her part. When I asked Julie if she wanted to join the adopt-a-blockers as well, she was happy to join and becomes the latest member of our little group. Julie lives on the corner of Rodney and Thompson, and has been in the neighborhood for 20 years. She would like to help out on Tillamook from Rodney to MLK, parts of Russell, and Williams. Wow…thanks, Julie! 

Both she and Michael will be entered into the drawing coming up in a few days for those in the Adopt-a-Block family. They and/or you could be the lucky recipient of the $100.00 gift certificate to your local New Season grocery store, who we randomly pick each quarter. My trusty pal, Adrian, will draw the name from a current list of 28 trash-eliminators, and I’ll notify the winner. The odds are pretty sweet.

I encourage anyone with a desire to lend a hand to email me at jodyguth@gmail.com to join. (If you prefer phone its 503-331-1511 which is a LAND line, so no texts). I’ll get you stocked up with gloves, garbage-picker-uppers, and bags for trash.  The trash can be left for pickup by the city on the corner or address of your choice. Let me know if you’re interested and I’ll get you set up with numbers, and everything you need to help keep Eliot lookin’ good. 

Letter from the Neighborhood Association Co-Chairs

By Allan Rudwick and Jimmy Wilson

Being co-Chairs of the Eliot Neighborhood Association (ENA) has not been what we expected this year. We started out the year wanting to work on vacant land, diesel pollution and wanting to see the city pushed on houselessness. This year has seen the City put up people in the Convention Center for months. It has seen a dramatic reduction in pollution due to the pandemic. And it has seen neighborhood meetings move to the internet. One last thing we wanted to do was to keep space for neighbors to local residents to get help with their issues.

Along the way, the Eliot Neighborhood has been dragged into multiple other issues that we didn’t foresee. Interstate 5 widening near the Broadway Interchange seems to be moving ahead despite a high volume of comments in opposition to the project. The ENA has been vocally opposed to the project from the beginning and we may be getting our toes wet again. We have been contacted regarding rezoning land in the name of providing more affordable housing. We also have been approached by neighbors about crime around Dawson Park and the surrounding blocks. This issue is attracting neighbors to reach out to each other and rally around a common cause. 

We are still here, we are still supporting people in Eliot even though we are not always doing it in person. Thank you for continuing to be neighborly through these challenging times. It is not easy but we will get through this. Together

Letter from LUTC Chair

This is a hard time to write a Land Use and Transportation update. Between the effects of the COVID-19 crisis, the police murder of George Floyd, and the Portland police’s escalating tactics against protesters, it is hard to see anything but police reform and supporting our most vulnerable neighbors as the top priorities.

If you have the means, some ways to support the local Black community are to eat at Black owned restaurants (https://iloveblackfood.com/pdx-directory/) or support Black owned businesses (https://mercatuspdx.com/directory/black-owned-businesses). The Black Resilience Fund is accepting donations and giving funds directly to Black Portlanders in need (https://www.gofundme.com/f/the-black-resilience-fund).

Local non-profits that help our most vulnerable neighbors, like the Blanchet House (https://blanchethouse.org), are still accepting volunteers amid the COVID-19 crisis to help with meal service and preparation if you have available time and are not part of a high risk group in regard to COVID-19.

Please take care of each other and stay safe.