About 60 people showed up for a Montavilla public safety meeting held Thursday, September 27th.

More than a few neighbors missed the presentation and asked for an update, so I reached out to the meeting’s organizer, Benjamin Kerensa, with a few questions. 

He said the meeting was called in response to the rash of recently shootings south of 78th and Glisan St, but the Q&A portion quickly turned to the broader issue of crime and homelessness in Montavilla.

Portland Police sent six officers: Assist Chief Chris Davis, Asst Chief Art Nakumura, Commander Tashia Hager, Captain Craig Dobson, Sergeant Pearce from the Gun Violence Reduction Team and Detective Meghan Burkeen from the Detectives Bureau. The Mayors Office sent Public Safety Advisor Robert King.

Kerensa said up to that point, there had been no arrests relating to the incidents, and the police encouraged neighbors to submit leads if they had them.

Three neighbors from near Multnomah County’s syringe exchange attended the meeting with complaints about crime they said they think is related to the exchange.

Kerensa wrote: “The police said their vice team has talked with the county and the county assures they are dealing with those issues but neighbors said the county isn’t receptive so police leadership said neighbors should complain to county health director and county board of commissioners and hold them accountable.”

He said that he thinks crime, especially theft, is getting worse in the neighborhood. He bases that on his frequent walks through the neighborhood from 2 am to 3 am, and following the crime-tracking Ring app.

To take a pulse of crime in Montavilla, I consulted City crime statistics available here:

August 2017 – August 2018: 672 larcenies and 196 burglaries

August 2018 – August 2019: 622 larcenies and 156 burglaries

Kerensa said Portland Police told him that the public-facing statistics “are just substantiated stats that means a arrest was made. When no arrest is made they don’t report that in public stats even if crime occurred the full raw data with substantiated and unsubstantiated is much higher.”

The police use a different set of stats for their own use, Kerensa said he was told.

update: Here’s what PPB lists as their crime data source:

I reached out to PPB to address that claim, and will update the story when they reply.

update 10/7: Sgt. Kevin Allen, PPB public information officer, denied Kerensa’s claim, confirming that the listed crime data is “all reported crimes, not just the ones that resulted in arrest.”


Though hearings on the plan to change City Code 3.96 has been paused, neighborhood associations continue to seek more details and make suggestions about the City’s official relationship with community groups.

Brentwood-Darlington Neighborhood Association hosted several staff from Office of Community and Civic Life at their monthly meeting. You can hear audio from the event here, including a Q&A with its director, Suk Rhee.


APANO arts fest:

It’s the third annual East Portland Arts & Literary Festival! This year in APANO‘s new building that opened this summer and Fubonn Shopping Center.

All kinds of music, storytelling, poetry, dance, and crafting will be on will be there to enjoy. The schedule is here.

Orchards of 82nd, 8188 SE Division St, & Fubonn Shopping Center (2850 SE 82nd Ave * Fri evening & Sat * $5 suggested


Live Montavilla music:

“Pete Krebs is a two-time inductee into the Oregon Music Hall of Fame, and a double cancer survivor. An in-demand performer, teacher and session musician, he lives in the NE Portland Cully neighborhood with his dog Dixie, who is a dingo and wears a little hat.”

Vino Veritas, 7835 SE Stark St * 7 pm – 10 pm * free


Once Upon a Time Family Theatre:

“Once Upon a Time Family Theatre is a magical mix of theatrical simplicity and grand storytelling for kids and their families. There’s always a slight twist to the traditional story that keeps these productions fresh. Though simply produced, these delightful and engaging productions will soon have everyone fully absorbed in the interaction of live theatre.”

This month’s production: “The Princess who Never Smiled”

Portland Metro Arts, 9003 SE Stark St * 11:30 am * children $1, $2 adults $2


Water Spirit: A Tribute to Jim Pepper (event):

“Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble (PJCE) honors the music and creative process of Oregon-born saxophonist Jim Pepper (Kaw/Creek) with a concert of new music.” 

Midland Library, 805 SE 122nd Ave * 4 pm


Farmers market:

Montavilla Farmers Market, 7700 block of SE Stark St * 10 am – 2 pm


Talk Time (event):

“Talk Time is an informal conversation circle for non-native speakers to practice speaking English. First come, first served.”

Gregory Heights Library, 7921 NE Sandy Blvd * 12:30 pm – 2 pm

Salmon welcome party:

“Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) and the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) invite all to a free, public celebration for the restoration of Crystal Springs Creek. The Salmon Celebration will celebrate the significance of the creek restoration work that has brought wild salmon back to the city.”

Johnson Creek Park, SE 21st Ave & Clatsop St * 11 am – 4 pm