This weekend!

This weekend! Wow, East Portand is hopping this weekend!

FRIDAY 

Montavilla Station has live music Friday, Saturday, and Sunday… I saw it on a sign in front of the bar last week. Maybe they think all this online stuff is just a fad, and they prefer to keep it old school. I don’t know who’s playing, but I do know there’s a blues jam on Sunday and they tend to book blues rock and Americana kinda music. 417 SE 80th Ave. * ??? * free

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Having the Academy Theater nearby is awesome… and its air conditioning is a strong selling point these days. I love Portland’s tradition of second run theaters, especially the mix of mainstream and smaller films.  Here’s what’s playing this weekendFinding Dory and Captain America: Civil War both look good to me. 7818 SE Stark * $4 adults, $3 kids and seniors

SATURDAY 

Out of all the shenanigans that go down in the town, the PDX Adult Soapbox Car Derby is my favorite event. DIY design, a day in the park, day drinking, and a little danger… this event has got it all.

We did a short film two years ago. It’s a little rowdy, and there may be a little rough language:

It’s family friendly, but the organizers ask you to leave your dog at home. Speed and pets don’t mix, and there have been a few close calls recently. Mt. Tabor Park, up the volcano from SE 60th & Salmon * 9:30 am – 4ish * free

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The Jade District International Night Market is tonight as well. The photos look amazing… they said 5,000 attended last time. Portland Community College, Southeast campus, 2305 SE 82nd * 5 pm – 10 pm * free

SUNDAY

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Both Saturday and Sunday, the Montavilla Jazz Festival is taking place. It benefits neighborhood school music programs (which are underfunded), and spotlight innovative local jazz artists. Portland Metro Arts, 9003 SE Stark St, Portland * Sat. & Sun. 2 pm – 9:30 pm * ?? 

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And there’s always the Montavilla Farmers Market!

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From 10 am – 2 pm Sundays the Montavilla Farmers Market is on until October! You can double your SNAP benefits, and enjoy a wide range of produce and products.

Also: The Power of Produce (POP) Club seeks to teach children about fruits and vegetables, local food systems and healthy food preparation through fun activities. Kids engage in the full farmers market experience, trying new foods, having conversations with farmers, and buying local produce. Through the Two Bite Challenge, POP participants are rewarded for taking two bites of the featured fruit or vegetable, and receive $5 coupons to spend on fruits and vegetables of their choice at the market. 7600 block of SE Stark Street in the gravel lot across from Mr. Plywood * 10 am – 2 pm * free

 

This weekend!

FRIDAY 

Wanna Be 52’S (B52’s tribute band) / Lagoon Squad surf). Duff’s Garage, 2530 NE 82nd * 9 pm * ??? 

SATURDAY 

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Both Saturday and Sunday, the 8th annual Portland Slavic Festival is on at Ventura Park. Including music by Alenushki (folk songs), Chernova (Gipsy dance), Belarus (Slavic pop), workshops, a playground for children, food, clowns, a light show after dark, and a soccer cup throughout the day. There’ll also be a lottery and prizes, the grand prize being a new car.

From the Wikipedia entry for Slavic: The current geographic distribution of natively spoken Slavic languages covers Eastern Europe, the Balkans, the eastern parts of Central Europe and all of the territory of Russia, which includes northern and north-central Asia. Ventura Park, SE 115th Ave & Stark St * 8 am – 9 pm * free

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Portland Pickles baseball, both Saturday @ 7:05 pm and Sunday @ 5:05 pm. Walker Stadium in Lents Park (SE 92nd Ave. & SE Holgate Blvd * $7 – $13

SUNDAY 

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There are two street fairs in East Portland this weekend… The Montavilla Street Fair is a free summer street party with vendors, live music, food carts, and even a kids area! There’ll be six bands on two stages. SE Stark Street from 76th to 82nd * 11 am – 5 pm * free

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13726706_1234164916623555_5206411919662028893_nAlong with the always fantastic Montavilla Farmers Market and the Lents Farmers Market,
the Lents Street Fair is Sunday.

Fun, free, family-friendly event celebrating summer and community in the heart of Lents! Including: Chicken Beauty Contest (that gets top billing in the promo material); Music;  Food;  Vendors;  Zoiglhaus  Beer Garden; Kids Activities including bouncy castle, root beer garden, chalk mural and games; Lents History Exhibit. 91st & Foster * noon – 5 pm * free

Fed up with being ignored, some Lents neighbors back activist moving Springwater campers to Eastmoreland

If you’re tuned in enough to find this story, you’ve probably already heard: an activist is planning on moving homeless people living on the Springwater Corridor to Eastmoreland— the neighborhood where the mayor of Portland and the Multnomah County Chair live— rather than have them moved along without sufficient shelter or facilities.

But what you may have not heard is that several Lents neighborhood activists support the move. They say it’s not fair that lower-income East Portland bears a disproportionate amount of burden accommodating the homeless— and affluent neighborhoods like Eastmoreland should take their share. Requests for help in East Portland have been ignored, they say, and they haven’t been included in decisions on placing homelessness services.

On July 16, the day after Mayor Charlie Hales announced the Springwater Corridor would be cleared of campers, activist Jesse Sponberg posted a Facebook event called Exodus. He wrote that it is being organized to minimize injuries and arrests during the sweep and pressure the City into real solutions:

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Robert Schultz, Lents neighbor and co-founder of Lents Active Watch, was one of the first to comment, offering his support and inquiring about logistics. It’s an uneasy alliance, acknowledged by Sponberg when he responded that while he and Schultz don’t agree on everything he’s happy the 20-year Lents resident is willing to work for the greater good. Since the plan was announced, Shultz has continued to defend the plan— upsetting Eastmoreland neighbors.

Jennifer Young, also a Lents resident associated with LAW, added that people / activists have bought into the idea that Lent’s residents are just NIMBYs (not in my back yard), but the “real enemy” is the government officials whose inaction has fueled conflict between neighbors and campers.

Her comment on the move:

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People are stepping up to support the move: offering rides to the location, and a kitchen for the new camp. The five-year anniversary of Occupy Portland is Oct. 11th, and this movement is already its spiritual successor, no matter what happens. Sponberg commented that it’s going to take the entire city to pull this off.

Sponberg said shelters are nasty places, and he advocates for more places like Hazelnut Grove, where homeless folk can have space to build tiny houses and organize themselves.

The Exodus isn’t the only response to the sweeps, which have already happened in some places. Springwater Corridor campers are leaving on their own, and neighborhood activists say they are relocating other places in the Lents area. Officials are stepping up outreach, and some homeless activists are advising campers to “stand their ground“, and they’re pledging to stand with them. It’s a tense situation, and there has been more violence than usual lately. Another group called Boots on the Ground PDX is establishing another camp on public land. The location won’t be announced until July 31st, setting up another conflict with nearby neighbors who aren’t bought in on the plan.

I first heard about LAW through OPB’s Think Out Loud. A reporter accompanied the groups’ founders on one of their regular trails walks. The program (which is definitely worth a listen) didn’t offer any easy answers, but it showed that Schultz and the other co-founder were listening.

LAW isn’t an official group, Schultz emphasized that the group has taken no official position on the Exodus. Some support it, some do not. LAW includes “radicals on both sides and the more even tempered that want to see solutions”, he wrote me.  Schultz said LAW has helped people into housing, done clean ups, and provided food for the campers he said he sees as neighbors.

Schultz said when the group started they were called vigilantes, but they haven’t received a single complaint. The criticism goes both ways, however. Both Schultz and Young don’t appreciate the what some activists are bringing to the conflict in Lents.

“Advocates drive into Lents and tell everyone this and that then go home and hiking on the weekends while we live with the impact of that division…” Schultz wrote. “Very frustrating to face division from outside our community.”

I spent two-and-a-half hours on the phone with Jennifer Young Friday afternoon, and not a minute of that felt wasted. I was shocked by her stories of inaction by the police and local government in Lents, as they work to clean up crime, drug dealing, and prostitution. This site was started for neighborhood-level journalism, and I’m starting with Montavilla, but this issue shows that all of East Portland doesn’t get its fair share of services or voice in the media.

Young said she heard late last year that there’s a plan to push the homeless to East Portland, and she’s seeing the results now. The lack of police and government response reminds her of when she worked in North Portland’s Albina neighborhood in the ’90s— before the neighborhood entirely transformed by gentrification.

Young isn’t new to this issue. She has worked in mental health for 20 years, specializing in the chronically mentally ill and homelessness. She works full-time in mental health and regularly volunteers her time in the neighborhood. When asked point-blank, she said she does believe services are available for families, veterans, and the mentally ill. Human Solutions Family Center (160th & Stark, 503-256-2280), is a family-only shelter that doesn’t turn anyone away.

She’s also critical of what she calls the “poverty pimps” who have a vested interest— some as a career, some as an identity— in homelessness, and the local media who doesn’t dig deep enough. Homeless people have to want help, and she said it bothers her that vulnerable people are enabled in an unhealthy lifestyle.

Several Lents neighbors say that when they call the police, they often simply don’t come. Young said the lack of response is even worse when you mention the problem involves homeless people. We also discussed the fact that the City of Portland stopped crime information online and CrimeReports.com, the site that used to publish 9-1-1 calls, no longer does. This makes it difficult for people to track what’s happening, keeping all the day-to-day crime and problems blacked out.

It’s a complicated, emotional issue, and as a writer, antagonism is so easy to set up with this issue. But what struck me about this alliance is that it crosses some entrenched battle lines, while spotlighting a point that Schultz and Young consistently make: Lents residents deserve equal application of the law and an equal distribution of homeless resources.

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The parkway on SE Reed College Place where the new homeless camp is planned.

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The It’s hard to tell from the image below, but SE Reed College Place is a parkway between SE Woodstock Blvd. and Crystal Springs Blvd.

This weekend!

FRIDAY hush_wideweb__430x361

Pretty sure there is live music at Montavilla Station on Fridays. I’m going to check it out this afternoon and update the site. If there’s other live music / events in Montavilla / East Portland, let me know! (They don’t have to have mullets, but it’d be a lot cooler if they did.) 417 SE 80th Ave * ?? * ???

SATURDAY 

At Duff’s Garage: Jacob Miller’s Bridge City Crooners / Joe Baker & The Kitchen Men (9 pm). Brian Oberlin, JT Trawick & the 2 Steppers, with a dance lesson. (6 pm – 8 pm). 2580 NE 82nd * ???

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More movies in the park in Lents! Tonight it’s 42: The Jackie Robinson Story, a movie about the first African American to play in major league baseball. Opening the night is Son de Cuba. We play different kinds of genres such as Salsa, Timba, Son, Merengue, Cumbia, Latin Jazz, etc. (I also learned from their website, there’s a world beat festival in Salem. Huh!) Walker Stadium in Lents Park, SE 92nd & Holgate Blvd * 6:30 pm * free 

SUNDAY

Support your local farmers at the Montavilla Farmers Market!

This weekend!

FRIDAY 

There’s a closing art show at Milepost 5 tonight. Two of my friends and neighbors, Leviticus Appleton and Maxwell, are hosting a closing party for their dual show “Alone Together”.

In the video below, Leviticus talks about his art, and goes on to explain how MP5 is available to serve community. Every organization and every business has its offerings and opportunities, and in the four months I’ve lived in Montavilla I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface.

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For after the show, or any weekend, there’s karaoke options at both Chinese Village (520 SE 82nd Ave.) and Candlelight Lounge (7334 NE Glisan St.).

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Portland Parks & Recreation is hosting a concert in Glenhaven Park featuring the Tony Ozier & the Doo Doo Funk All StarsNE 82nd & Siskiyou Street * 6:30 pm * free

SATURDAY

Wow, this fella playing at Duff’s Garage sounds awesome: Rudy “Tutti” Grayzell (born in Saspamco, Texas on June 8, 1933) is a Rockabilly musician. He was born Rudolph Paiz Jimenez, and took his stage-name from his German great-grandmother. He first formed “The Buckles”, which became “Texas Kool Kats” and a popular local group. He also had a daily radio show in 1957. These groups were country-oriented, but he moved toward a more rockabilly sound with “Let’s Get Wild” or “Duck Tail.” In the 1950s he toured with Elvis Presley. He is an inductee of the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. 2530 NE 82nd doors 7 pm, show @ 9 pm * ??

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For the second night in a row, Glenhaven Park park offers free entertainment. Tonight “Raiders of the Lost Ark” is on the big screen. Before the show is All Together Now, a Beatles sing-along band. NE 82nd & Siskiyou Street * 6:30 music, movies @ dark * free

SUNDAY 

Along with the closer-t0-home Montavilla Farmers Market, there’s a Lents International Farmers Market that looks great. Portland’s only internationally focused market, LIFM provides fresh, affordable, and culturally unique produce to the diverse Lents community and offers farm-direct sales opportunities for immigrant, emerging farmers, and new business owners. In addition to standard market produce, the market features a variety of unique fresh produce from Hmong, Latino, & Russian farmers. SE 91st and Foster Road * 9 am – 2 pm * free

Neighbors push back against new East Portland homeless shelter

Many neighbors aren’t happy about a 200-person homeless shelter planned for the Hansen Building at 122nd and Glisan, and tempers flared at a meeting Thursday (7/7) night.

It was good to see that both KOIN 6 and FOX 12 covered the meeting. Their stories focused on neighbors’ concerns about potential threats from homeless folks staying at the shelter and the fact that the neighbors weren’t involved in the decision.

In a tense exchange captured by FOX 12, Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury didn’t answer a question about why neighbors weren’t consulted, responding that they are placing shelters everywhere around the county.

There isn’t a lot of detail in those stories, but you definitely got a sense that many neighbors are worried and angry. One neighbor who supported the shelter made the point that homeless are already in the neighborhood.

Many neighbors, including myself, were turned away from the meeting because the room was full. A person who worked at the building running crowd control said there were about 350 people packed into a room meant to hold 150. It looked like about 50 people were turned away. File_000 (2).jpeg

I received a mass email from Kafoury just after 5 pm. She apologized that there wasn’t enough room for everyone in the auditorium, and made assurances that neighbors and residents would be kept safe once the shelter opens, and the neighborhood would not be disrupted.

Slated to be open before the end of the month, the Hansen shelter is to be temporary, open for only about 12 to 18 months. “The shelter will cost an estimated $1.3 million annually with a staff of roughly a dozen people providing services, including access to housing, health and income resources, as well as referrals,” according to a release from Multnomah County.

The plan was announced officially Wednesday (7/6), but from what I could find it was first floated in a 6/28 Portland Tribune article. The story had no mention of the environmental problems with the building, but in a later Tribune/KOIN story included those concerns from Multnomah County board members Loretta Smith and Diane McKeel:

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There isn’t a working kitchen in the building. Will the residents have to travel 45 minutes to downtown for meals? According to the story, the building doesn’t have central air conditioning or heat, and the water runs brown and has a high bacteria count if you don’t let it run before drinking. Black mold, sewer flies, and asbestos are problems that have been remediated, officials said.

Smith and McKeel want to see the unused Wapato Jail re-worked to house the homeless. The Hansen shelter is supposedly temporary; as was downtown’s Peace shelter that opened January and is closing soon. A women’s shelter in Multnomah Village opened fall of 2015 and closed in May, based on a promise from Mayor Charlie Hales. A May KOIN news story said one women’s shelter will be opening up in the summer and another in the fall, but we don’t know how many or what category of the 267 (about 80 to 100 of those being men) displaced from the Peace shelter will be housed at Hansen.

Another big concern from neighbors: we don’t know anything about the people staying at the shelter. Peace’s rules don’t require identification, though they do forbid drugs and drug paraphernalia.  I’ve heard it will be the same set of rules for the new Hansen shelter, but I haven’t confirmed that yet.

I regret the way this has been handled by Kafoury— and I’m glad she’s acknowleged her mistake. I’m waiting on a few questions from Multnomah County officials, including how people can get on the email list for updates on this project.

Are there any assurances that would make you comfortable with this shelter, or is it simply a hard no? So far it doesn’t look like much had changed since the meeting, but if you have any questions please let me know. I’ll do my best to keep up with this issue.

This weekend!

FRIDAY 

At Duff’s Garage: Theater of Sheep (@ 9 pm).  A 1980s American new wave band from Portland, Oregon that was popular locally. Musically, the band had much in common with stylish new wave and New Romantic bands of the day such as Echo & the Bunnymen. Warthog Stew begins the evening at 6 pm2530 NE 82nd Ave * ?? 

SATURDAY

downloadJoin Unit Souzou for a free workshop exploring pedestrian safety, transit, neighborhoods, and community identity through “taiko” Japanese drumming, theater, and discussion. Get your bodies and voices engaged as we strengthen our neighborhoods! RSVP here. Jade/APANO Multicultural Space, 8114 SE Division St. * pm – 3 pm * free

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There’s also a Powell Butte clean up today: Join Hands On Portland and Portland Parks & Recreation to rebuild and restore the trail and fence systems, maintain native plantings, and remove invasive species. Wear long thick pants, a long-sleeved shirt and sturdy shoes. Bring a backpack, water bottle, rain gear and sunhat. Instruction, tools, gloves, water, coffee/tea and KIND Snacks provided. RSVP here. meet @ SE Ellis and SE 145th  * 9 am – noon * free

SUNDAY File_000 (1)

At Milepost 5, there’s Psychedelic Psynema, a new film event every second and fourth Sunday.

This week’s trip:
Alien Love, dir. Sissy Creamcheese and MWR (2016)
The Dark Crystal original cut, dir. Jim Henson (1981)
Logan’s Run, dir. Michael Anderson (1976)

If you haven’t seen the 1981 black and white original cut of the Dark Crystal, it is completely insane. You need to see it. If you think the theatrical release is weird, you are in for a very strange journey, friend. Companion piece Alien Love is a lovely and otherworldly recent work of stop-motion animation and poetry by local artists Sissy Creamcheese (Bacchus’ Boogiers) and Michael Roberts. And of course, Logan’s Run. You know Logan’s Run. Does the robot eat people? It bothers me every day. off NE Oregon, west of 82nd by courtyard6 pm * free

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The Montavilla Farmers Market is on every Sunday until October! There are these opportunities to sweeten the deal, as well as supporting your local farmers. 7600 block of SE Stark Street in the gravel lot across from Mr. Plywood * 10 am – 2 pm * free