More details emerge on the new shelter planned for Foster Road

More details are coming to light about the new women and couples shelter planned for 6144 SE Foster Rd, including the fact that it’s planned to be a low barrier shelter. Since the beginning, neighbors involved have criticized the process around opening this shelter— and are still asking for more collaboration and clarity

The Foster Shelter Steering Committee meeting begins at about the @ 8:00 mark. Whether you’ve been following the issue or not, there’s several insightful comments on the Facebook livestream, and you can read the comments in realtime as you watch the video.

If you’re new to the issue, here’s a story from when the shelter was approved by the Multnomah County Commission in January, and a more recent piece from a meeting on the shelter in March.

I want to thank Gray Ayer for filming the meeting and allowing me to use it in this story. If you’re interested in getting involved in the planning process around the shelter, visit SouthEast Allied Communities web page.

To recap the last meeting, reviewed the program and building design.

@ 12:30 – April, from the Joint Office addressed questions from the last meeting:

In the last meeting, she said the committee wasn’t asked to vote on what population would be served, rather it was a “straw poll” or “check in”. The shelter would serve the most vulnerable homeless and those who “haven’t be able to engage in more traditional shelters”.

Said there wasn’t a budget for public safety, and that would be based on the good neighbor agreement.

@ 19:40 – April said it wouldn’t be humane to site shelter facilities far from neighborhoods they’ll have to integrate into eventually. If a person’s criminal history precludes them from being within a certain distance from a school, they wouldn’t be able to stay at the shelter.

@ ~25:40 – Willamette Center (a shelter similar to the one planned for Foster Rd) has a good neighbor agreement, but when pressed said that it wasn’t an actual written agreement. But it was clarified that a written agreement was offered, but not requested because things were going smoothly.

The neighbor who asked for a good neighbor agreement, bringing applause from many in attendance. He was told he’s get a good neighbor agreement.

@ 33:24 – A neighbor said that the current low barrier plan is at the different end of the spectrum from what Mayor Ted Wheeler said. His staffer said Wheeler didn’t understand the terms meant, but does now.

@ 50:32 – Officers from the Portland Police Bureau addresses public safety concerns around the 120-person shelter. The comments on the FB livestream are insightful during their presentation.

It’s good these meetings are happening, but this all exists within the context of a top-down process that didn’t include neighbors until the decision was already finalized. Early in the livestream, one neighbor criticized the steering committee modelpreferring to pursue a lawsuit against the City.

This isn’t an endorsement, but Loretta Smith, a candidate for next month’s City Council election, address the issue in the video below:

Portland City Council Candidates Debate

It was good to see candidates for two Portland City Council seats discuss the issues brought forward by East Portland neighbors. Also encouraging was how many volunteers from different neighborhoods stepped up to help put the event together.

The debate was put on by the Brentwood-Darlington Neighborhood Association, and organized by the organization’s president, Chelsea Powers. 

After introductions and thank yous, the debate began.


@ 3:15 – The candidates for City Council Position 2, (L to R: Julia DeGraw, [a surrogate for] Nick FishPhilip J. Wolfe, and Nicholas Sutton) made their introductions.

@ 9:50 – The candidates are asked about better representation for outer Portland, and if they would support changing the City Charter to create districts.

@ 14:55 – The candidates answered how they would include neighborhood associations and other community groups in City decisions.

@ 20:40 – The candidates were asked about livability issues, and more specifically, if they supported hiring more police officers.

@ 29:25 – The candidates were asked how they would balance the budget to support City services.

@ 36:15 – The candidates were asked about how they would pave streets in East Portland.

@ 41:50 – The candidates made their concluding statement.


@ 49:30 – The candidates for Portland City Council Position 3 (L to R: Stuart Emmons, Andrea Valderrama, Loretta Smith, Jo Ann Hardesty, and Felicia Williams) made their introductions.

@ 55:30 – The candidates are asked about better representation for outer Portland, and if they would support changing the City Charter to create districts.

@ 1:03:08 – The candidates answered how they would include neighborhood associations and other community groups in City decisions.

@ 1:11:54 – The candidates were asked about livability issues, and more specifically, if they supported hiring more police officers.

@ 1:22:15 – The candidates were asked how they would balance the budget to support City services.

@ 1:30:33 – The candidates were asked about how they would pave streets in East Portland.

@ 1:37:47 – The candidates made their concluding statement.


Election Day is May 15th. The last day to register to vote in this election is April 24th.







MNA – March meeting

The March Montavilla Neighborhood Association meeting welcomed candidates for a Portland City Council seat, a representative from Portland Community College adult GED certification program, and heard about a planned development.

@ 4:45 – Candidates for position #2 of the Portland City Council incumbent  Commissioner Nick Fish and organizer Julia DeGraw spoke on these four issues: homelessness & housing; livability & crime; police funding & accountability; and the role of neighborhood associations

The last day to register to vote in the May 15th Portland City Council election is April 21st.

@ 52:30 – Juliet Purcell, with Portland Community College spoke on its Adult Basic Education / GED program.


@ 59:10 – A representative of the 14-unit development planned for 90th Ave & SE Hoyt spoke. 


@ 1:11 – The MNA board members gave their reports.

@ 1:25:00 –  Lene Garrett called for volunteers to be advocates for the elderly through the Oregon Long-Term Care Ombudsman. For more information go here.



Welcome to Village Portland

Welcome to Village Portland, neighborhood news & actions in East Portland. 

We’re here to bridge the gap between news & civic participation… and to encourage folks get involved with their community and support their neighbors. There are a million voices fighting for your attention, but we want to help you connect with your village, your neighborhood… where your power to connect and make change is the strongest.


There are Village Portland sites for both Montavilla, Lents, and now Brentwood-Darlington:

Village Portland @ Montavilla

Village Portland @ Lents

Village Portland @ Brentwood-Darlington

For more frequent updates on news and actions that impact East Portland, follow our Facebook page:



We’re most excited about the Village Portland @ Montavilla site. It has the space for more in-depth stories, as well as a more robust opportunity for local businesses to tell their story and reach their neighbors.


If you’re an organizer or writer interested in bringing a Village Portland to your neighborhood, contact Andrew Wilkins, Publisher / Editor:



Telling stories about neighborhood businesses shouldn’t really be that different than any other story. Neighbors invest so much time, energy, and money for the chance to build a business that reflects their values and serves their customers in a unique way.

Print and broadcast media both have limited space for promoting businesses, but on the web, space is limitless. We can put together an exciting mix of video, photographs, and words that will show your neighbors who you are, why you do what you do, and why they should support what you’re doing.

Take a look at the story of Montavilla Mini Farm, a neighbor who sells produce from her side yard garden. The full story is here, or you can watch the video below.



Life’s a little different in East Portland. Meet some of the activist and artists working in their community through a mural by local artist Alex Chui:


The 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade, it feels like the great American small town parade and the best of 82nd Avenue:


I follow the news because you don’t want to

Recently, the Oregonian started showing up in my driveway. This wasn’t much-hated, unshakable Food Day— if was a full edition.

I’m not one of those people who prefer a print edition. The web is cheaper, cleaner, produces less waste, and gives readers a chance to contribute to the discussion. But I think it’s clear that there is much to be desired from the Oregonian (or their owners Advanced Publications) web product.

There’s been a lot of criticism of the Oregonian’s coverage, and the sensationalist reporting definitely seems like a trend. The most disturbing let an accused double murder’s implausible— but sexually titillating— excuse for the deaths are in the headline and lede. Rape victims get anonymity and so should murder victims— but there are multiple photos of the 19-year-old female victim accompanying the story.

Today’s big issue is cannabis legalization: Washington’s cannabis stores are opened yesterday (7/8) and the Oregonian sat down with the Oregon’s initiative author and the head of a national organization who gave $650,000 to the ballot measure. Surprise! They’re both in favor of it.

They talk about the lack of a DUI standard, and there are a few unattributed graphs on the standard arguments against legalization in general— but there are no substantial alternative POVs. Legalization seem inevitable in Oregon, (though polling shows only a ten point lead for advocates) but will it be done right? I started a Reddit thread on the issue.

In other stories:

* After a series of stories from the Oregonian, the Oregon state fire marshal posted the travel patterns of oil train travel in the state.

* A former high school principal was sentenced to 2 years in prison by a state court for sex with a 12-year-old, while a federal court gave him nearly 11 years in prison for possession of child pornography. He was convicted of a similar crime in 2003, and only served 6 months in jail and 1 year in a half-way house. The case highlights the disparity between state and federal sentencing regarding child abuse, the Oregonian reports.

* In 2012, Reed College reported 14 on-campus sexual assaults, while the University of Oregon (with 20 time the student body) reported 17. Columnist Steve Duin said these numbers indicate a need for sexual assault reporting reform at the U of O, similar to what happened at Reed in 2011.

There was also plenty of crime, sports, food, lots of inserts, and an editorial page focused mostly on national issues— but I included all of what I thought seemed important.

The case for crowd-sourced mapping


OpenStreetMap is an open-source alternative to big tech’s mapping.

The rise of smartphone and GPS technology has led to tens of billions of dollars in online mapping investments and acquisitions by big tech, but is it a problem to have our interface with the physical world controlled by for-profit companies?

OpenStreetMap is an open-source alternative, promoted in a blog post (I found on Reddit) by Emacsen, one of the organizers of the project. Emacsen writes big tech cannot be trusted to develop such a critical resource for three basic reasons: “who decides what gets shown on the map, who decides where you are and where you should go, and personal privacy.”

Along with being independent from big tech, OSM is customizable and maps can be downloaded to use off-line. I don’t use GPS, but I hear it can be unreliable. Apple’s turn-by-turn software can be frustrating, and recently after a few hours of roaming the streets of San Francisco with my iPhone 5’s map zooming in and out awkwardly and spinning the map so I couldn’t tell which way was north— I wished I had other mapping options on my phone.

Continue reading

Trees and technology

Greg Everhart on the Sunnyside Street Tree Team (cool acronym alert: S2T2) have put together a Google map of neighborhood trees exhibiting gorgeous fall colors. Fire up your smart phone and spend one of these dwindling sunny autumn days on a tree tour of your neighborhood.

S2T2’s mission: “to create a more diverse, healthy, well-maintained urban canopy in all parts of our Sunnyside neighborhood.” S2T2 meets monthly, and their page on the Sunnyside blog has advice on what trees to plant for the space available. Partner organization Friends of Trees can also pick— and even plant for free— the perfect tree for your yard or planting strip (the space between your yard and curb)!


Two Scarlet Oaks at the northeast corner of Taylor and 38th are part of the Sunnyside Fall Color Street Tree Tour.