This weekend!


The Lumberyard, an indoor bike park, is hosting a benefit for Gateway Green, planned to be Portland’s first outdoor bike park. 25% of admission and 15% of sales at Pulehu Pizza will help fund the project. 2700 NE 82nd Ave * 5 pm – 10 pm 

The 25-acre strip of land in the interchange of I-84 and I-205 will also have hiking trails, a kids play area, animal habitat, bird watching area, and bike infrastructure for all levels of riders. Construction began this week as well on this awesome addition to East Portland.

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fullsizerender-2It’s good to see Academy Theater get into the Halloween holiday spirit!

The third movie in their October repertory series for this month 1988’s Child’s Play, the gold standard of killer doll movies. This was the first horror / slasher film I’d ever seen in the theater, and I saw it with my church youth group leader, oddly enough. (Hint: the trailer gives away too much, just go and enjoy the ride.) 7818 SE Stark St * 9:05 pm, 10/14 – 20 * $4


Help beautify 50+ park locations including natural areas, neighborhood parks, and community gardens, many in East Portland. Go to (get it?) to register. Fri & Sat


It’s going to rain all weekend… I hope you have your rain gear or indoor projects all lined up. Midland Library has a great line up of events, and this one looks interesting:

” Lucha Libre wrestlers “luchadores” traditionally create their characters and design their masks based on animals, fiction characters, and public personalities that have attributes that they admire and want to be recognized with.In this workshop, participants will create their own Lucha Libre mask with craft materials modeling the traditions of inspiration of the “luchadores.” 805 SE 122nd Ave * 2:30 – 3:30 * free

According to this story in the Oregonian from last year you can sometimes find lucha libre matches here in Portland.


Portland Chamber Music is hosting a free show:


St. Peters and Paul, 247 SE 82nd * 7 pm – 10 pm *  free


I don’t know anything / couldn’t find anything about Beats Working, Saturday’s band, but Montavilla Station‘s booker has earned my trust at this point. Robin Gibson (Friday) and were excellent and the blues jam has been solid too. 417 SE 80th Ave * 9ish? * free



It’s so wonderfully phrased, I’ll quote it again this week: “The beginning of October is the best of fall and still some of summer: tomatoes, melons, peppers, zucchini, plus winter squash, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, it’s a great time to be at the market!” PDX Environmental Services and Feed the Mass are tabling this market. 7600 block of SE Stark Street in the gravel lot across from Mr. Plywood * 10 am – 2 pm * free

The season’s last regular Sunday market is 10/30, and there’ll be a Thanksgiving market 11/20.

At annual meeting, MNA lists achievements, adds three new board members

All five neighbors who wanted to serve the Montavilla Neighborhood Association board were affirmed in an election Monday night, with three new members added.

The board is still hoping to find a neighbor who can fill the Public Safety committee chairmanship.

Nineteen neighbors were present at Montavilla United Methodist Church, including board members and those who didn’t meet voting requirements. Board chair Michael Sonnleitner joked that attendance was high quality if not high quantity.

After listing the MNA’s long list of achievements in the 2016 Annual Report and before the vote, the five neighbors, who are now board members with two-year terms, introduced themselves.

The three new members are: Nick Mira is an architect who has been in the neighborhood since 2009. He said he wants to work on land use and transportation issues. Justine Scannell is a mother of two who said it’s important to teach her children to know and be invested in their community. Jenny Shaver, a mother of a Vestal Elementary student, said she is finishing up a degree at Portland State University and wants to use what she learned to help with housing and homeless issues.

Returning board member Victoria Swink got involved to help clean up an abandoned (or zombie) home near hers. The house was sold just recently, she was happy to report. Paula Funatake has been on the board for a year, and said she wanted to continue to work on communications, after working on transportation previously.

After the election, the board assigned board members roles:

Benjamin Kerensa, Board Chair
Michael Sonnleitner, Vice Chair
Justine Scannell, Secretary
Elaine Hakala, Treasurer
Nick Mira, Land Use & Transportation Chair
Jennifer Tamayo, SEUL Delegate

Highlights of the MNA Annual Report include:

MNA participated in over 17 meetings about Public Safety and provided a resource for neighbors to learn about crime prevention and reporting. A few neighborhood cleanups were organized, and the board dedicated over 300 hours of engagement with neighbors and public safety partners.

In Communications, through social media, word of mouth, and print, the MNA said they connected with 10,000 to 15,000 residents in 2016. Pretty good for a neighborhood of 16,000, Sonnleitner noted. The MNA hosted multiple meetings around Land Use & Transportation concerning infill, historical preservation, and development.

The third year of the Montavilla Jazz Fest raised over $15,0000 in revenue, using that money to make donations to the music programs of Madison and Franklin High School and Vestal Elementary School. The MNA also raised money through the National Night Out, Neighborhood Recycling Event, and Burgerville Fundraiser Night.

The MNA also advocated for the protection of a historic house on SE Alder St, and led dialogue between neighbors and the developer. The board also advocated for the continuing of a literacy program at Portland Community College and weighed in on transportation and public safety issues.

Sonnleitner, who is a retired PCC political science professor, said the board is creating a strategic plan and he said he hopes the board will be far more functional in the year ahead. They’re also planning a board retreat.

A neighbor who identified himself as Greg asked the board to do better outreach to the neighbors who don’t come to the meetings. Sonnleitner said even though the board has meetings, events, a Facebook page, and does advertising, only about 100 neighbors are signed up. Ben Kerensa, vice chair, added that the board is doing more networking with other organizations including Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon and the Montavilla East Tabor Business Association.

Neighbor Louise Hoff, who volunteered with the Jazz Fest, said that in a recent meeting a representative from Southeast Uplift and organization said Montavilla is one of the most active neighborhood associations among the 20 they cover.

MNA meetings are generally held on the second Monday of the month, according to the bylaws.



Montavilla Neighborhood Association Election is being held Monday 10/10

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The Montavilla Neighborhood Association board has six seats in play for this year’s election. The election is being held Monday 10/10, 7:30 pm @ Montavilla United Methodist Church (232 SE 80th Avenue) in the upstairs fellowship hall.

Five neighbors are running for the seats, and Michael Sonnleitner, board chair, said anyone interested in serving can nominate themselves the night of the meeting. He also said they are hoping to find someone to fill the Public Safety committee chairmanship.

Paula Funatake (transportation chair, communications committee chair) and Victoria Swink are running for re-election. John Whitman and Miranda Molea are departing the board.

The other three announced candidates for board are: Justine (interest: secretary), Nick (interest: land use), and Jennie (interest: at-large). Kerensa said their policy requires consent before candidates’ full names can be shared.

To be able to vote, you have to have been to a MNA (website) meeting in the past three years and affirm in writing that you live, work, or have a business in the neighborhood. “Though it is unlikely to be asked for, some proof of residency (like a drivers lines or Oregon ID) would be good to have,” Sonnleitner wrote.

Last year board terms were staggered so the entire board doesn’t turn over in one term.

Board members only one year into a two-year term, and not up for re-election are: Sonnleitner (chair). Ben Kerensa (vice chair, public safety),  Elaine Hakala (treasurer), Jennifer Tayamo (secretary, SEUL delegate), and Jane Lawson (at large, housing). You can see their smiling faces here.

Kerensa has been pubic safety chair for the past two year and said he is moving on from the position. It’s an important position, especially considering that many neighbors are saying that crime is rising in Montavilla. Here’s the petition seeking more police patrols submitted to Mayor Charlie Hayles, police and parks leadership by a group of concerned Montavilla neighbors.

What’s expected from a board member? From a blog post on the Montavilla Neighborhood Association website:
“Board members are expected to stay informed of board business and attend the monthly MNA meetings.  Additional duties vary but include chairing various committees (eg: Land Use and Transportation, Public Safety, Steering, and Communications), coordinating or volunteering at neighborhood events (eg: Montavilla Street Fair, Neighborhood Cleanup, National Night Out, Fundraisers etc), and assisting in the production and distribution of the neighborhood newsletter.  Board members can expect to spend 8-10 hours a month, outside of meetings, on neighborhood activities and other neighborhood organizations meeting while engaging with neighbors too.”
The post also said board members become experts in many areas (depending on where you serve) and are the first to know what’s coming to the neighborhood.
Because it’s the annual meeting, the board will also present the annual report (with financials and the year’s activities).

This weekend!

FRIDAY 14469728_1171036972918894_8740876157816597930_n

First Friday in Montavilla! From 5 pm – 9 pm there’s vendors, artists, and live music from Colectivo de Son Jarocho (traditional music from southern Veracruz, México), The Montavillians, and others.

Beginning at 6 pm, Beer Bunker is hosting a benefit for the Montavilla Co-op featuring High Flying Horse and Matthew Fountain. Stark Street‘s being closed (which always adds to the fun). It’s the last First Friday of the year!

Over at The Lofts Gallery at Milepost 5, there’s an artist reception with Gregory Manin from 6 pm – 9 pm. The show will run all month. 900 NE 81st * free



Live music at Duff’s Garage:a63052_bfbb09d80f8f40e4ba52d4f13baba8cb

“The wildly entertaining Strange Tones have blended a unique concoction of original blues, rockabilly, surf, and vintage R&B, and finished it off with a private eye twist. They’ve shaken and stirred these elements into their own original sound and style known as Crime-A-Billy.” 2530 NE 82nd Ave 8:30 pm * ???


The Magical Music of Disney opens this weekend at the Milepost 5 Theater! (Full disclosure: I’m on the board). Unfortunately, this weekend’s shows are sold out. But on the supercalifragilisticexpialidocious bright side: the show runs through October.

“Everybody has a favorite Disney film. From the wild ride Mickey Mouse takes in Fantasiato Elsa and Anna’s snowy world in Frozen, Walt Disney’s dreams have fascinated and delighted kids of all ages — and whether it’s “Let It Go” or “Hakuna Matata,” the whole family loves to belt out the classic songs from those movies.”



It’s harvest time at the Montavilla Farmers Market, and market manager Amanda
Cross wrote: “The beginning of October is the best of fall and still some of summer: tomatoes, melons, peppers, zucchini, plus winter squash, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, it’s a great time to be at the market!” 7600 block of SE Stark Street in the gravel lot across from Mr. Plywood * 10 am – 2 pm * free

The Bus Project engagement and SURJ PDX (Standing Up for Racial Justice) will be community tabling on the 10/9. The market runs through the end of the month (Sunday, 10/30), and there will be a Thanksgiving market on Sunday, 11/20.


At the Midland Library, at 1 pm there’s Vietnamese Story Time. At 2 pm, Technohosts (2 pm – 5 pm), where volunteers help with basic computer issues. 805 SE 122nd Ave * free


Midland Library


This weekend!


1934619_54718339089_6487867_n.jpgFrom Thursday through Sunday, Roscoe’s, one of my Montavilla favorites, is hosting the 7th Annual Fresh Hops SummitThe fresh hop summit will be featuring fresh hop beers in many different styles. Fresh hop beers, cask beers, cider, and sour beer will all be on tap. There will be over 30 fresh hop beers available and rotating throughout the weekend. Many of your favorite breweries will be on tap including Breakside Brewery, Fort George Brewery, Culmination Brewing Company, Baerlic Brewing Co., Laurelwood Public House & Brewery, 54-40 Brewing CopFriem Family Brewers, Flat Tail Brewing, and many many more! Taster trays will be available! 8105 SE Stark St * Thurs – Sun * free


At Duff’s Garage Friday: MotorDude Zydeco plays the infectious dance music of the Creole people of Southwest Louisiana known as “zydeco.” Having performed in a wide variety of venues throughout the Bay Area and beyond, the band has developed a strong following of dancers who practice the traditional waltzes, two-steps, and zydeco-shuffle dance styles. 2530 NE 82nd Ave7 pm, dance lesson, 8 -11 pm music * $15


Friday, Saturday, and Sunday there’s live music at Montavilla Station. Bolt Upright hosts the Sunday blues jam / show. 417 SE 80th Ave * 9 pm? * free 


Portland Metro Arts “Once Upon a Time Family Theatre” productions happen on the first screenshot-2016-09-29-at-11-13-40-pm

Saturday monthly. Saturday’s performance is “Sleeping Beauty”. From the  website: 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. 9003 SE Stark St * 11:30 am * $2 adults, $1 kids 


Montavilla Food Co-op Annual Meeting & Potluck is Saturday. Co-op leadership will update the community on their upcoming plans and elect board members. It’s a free event, open to both member-owners and the general public, but they ask neighbors to register here. It’s a potluck, so bring a dish to share. Wix Agency LLC, 8037 SE Stark St * 11 am – 1 pm * free


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

The City of Portland’s crime statistics reporting blackout

This summer in a Montavilla Facebook group, a neighbor posted that her neighbor near 78th and Burnside was burglarized earlier that morning. The thief got into the home through a basement window, she wrote, and a laptop computer was stolen.

Another neighbor commented that a house near 78th and Ash had their door kicked in and was burglarized. In another FB group, two buglaries near 78th and Burnside were reported, so I added that to the conversation.

Were there four burglaries? Were there two? Was there just one amplified by word of mouth and social media? There also could have been other burglaries nearby that were reported to the police, but not FB, or not reported at all. It doesn’t take long to burglarize a house and there’s not much to stop someone with bad intent from making multiple stops.

The neighbor who reported the first burglary said she was pretty shaken up by the burglary— even more so by the fact that it happened during the day. I imagine everyone who chimed in on the post with sympathies, tips, and questions were too. I know what it’s like to come home a door pried open; feeling the shock of being violated while being unsure if the burglar is still inside.

After processing all this, I remembered that there was a meeting on crime prevention in my building that same night, with Portland Police Bureau officers scheduled to attend.IMG_1605

I’ve been looking into neighborhood issues for a while, and one of the most perplexing problems is crime. Petty crime like thefts and burglary aren’t going to make the news (unless it’s dramatic), but it is a serious quality of life issue for those impacted.

I got a chance to talk to the officers before the meeting, most curious about keeping up with local crime reporting. I wanted to know: is there any way for the police or neighbors to track crime, any way to connect the dots with rashes of incidents like burglaries or thefts?

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This weekend!


There’ll be four bands at Duff’s Garage tonight, running the gamut from blues all the way to blues rock, R&B, and country rock.

Rule of the Bone (classic rock) closes the evening

Underwhelming Favorites (rock n roll) @ 10 pm

Sin City Ramblers (wild country blues) @ 9 pm

Homefries @ 6 pm – 8 pm


The Malden Court Community Orchard (MCCO) a project of Green Lents, is having its grand opening!

For decades, the lot was infested with Himalayan blackberries and trash and attracted nuisance activities. In 2015, neighbors in the community came together to plan, design, and establish a community orchard in this space to serve as a long-term source of fresh produce in the Lents Neighborhood.

SE 87th Avenue and SE Malden Court * 10:30 am – 12:30 pm * free



There’s a magic show at Mall 205. 10100 SE Stark * 2 pm * $14 adults, kids $8


A community flea market will be held in (what I call) downtown Montavilla. Contact for more information. 408 SE 79th * 11 am – 4 pm



Both Montavilla and Lents have regular farmers markets on Sunday! The fall harvest should be coming in these days…