Monday, April 9, 2007

General Meeting Minutes - Monday, February 26, 2007


Install new board member

Police update from Portland Police NE Precinct officers

Presentation by Youth Violence Prevention

Launch of Sabin Elementary School playground improvement project

Update on proposed improvements to the Water Tower park


New Board Member Nasir Najieb, a local resident and owner of Café Bean at NE 15th and Prescott, was installed as member at large.

Police Update (Officer Brian Sims, and Officers Clary and Liday): Officers distributed handouts of crime statistics for 2006 and 2007 that show a 50 percent reduction in overall crime in the Northeast precinct. Burglaries are down 7 percent, but graffiti is a growing problem. Police are working with the OLCC to address complaints about parking and public consumption of alcohol during the Alberta Street Last Thursdays street fairs. Officers were interested to learn the forthcoming results of the survey distributed by the Sabin Community Association. The survey asked residents and business people to indicate which issues--including criminal activity--are of greatest concern to them.

Discussion Additionally, police were asked what can be done about ongoing drug activity, particularly at NE 15th Avenue and Prescott; abandoned automobiles; poor traffic signage; and making an improved Water Tower park and gardens safe.

Conclusion Police offered these suggestions:

  • If you see drug activity, call the nonemergency precinct at 503-823-5700 and provide the dispatcher with a description of the individuals. Calls are tracked and logged and frequent calls about a particular problem area will come to the attention of police. Make your presence known to drug dealers; let them know you’re watching their illegal activity. Write down their license plate numbers, the frequency and duration of their presence, and house and apartment numbers where activity is taking place. Getting criminals evicted from apartments is relatively easy when police have your documented observations and can ask the landlord to evict them.

  • To report abandoned automobiles, call 503-823-7309. (Commissioner Sam Adams’ office is working to improve the system for reporting and dealing with abandoned cars.)

  • Requests for improvements to traffic signage or configurations need to be made by a neighborhood association—not by individuals—to the Portland Department of Transportation.

  • A gated fence around the Water Tower park and garden, that is locked and unlocked at regular hours, would help prevent crime, as would adequate lighting and trimmed bushes. Patrols done by security for the Portland Water Bureau would be OK but may be minimal.

Youth Violence Prevention, Office of the Mayor (Tom Peavey, policy manager) The agency received $360,000 in grant funds to support outreach and intervention across the city, with a focus on gang violence and graffiti. Graffiti by taggers consider themselves artists, while gangs mark their turf with such symbols as “STC13” and “187” (the California police code for homicide). In Sabin, taggers are responsible for most of the grafitti. Gang graffiti is more likely to appear farther north around Lombard. To report graffiti, contact Marsha Dennis at 503-823-5860. “Flash mobs” are a new problem in which young people track parties by text messaging and, resulting in hordes of uninvited and unruly kids descending on another youth’s home, often spilling out into the streets and causing trouble. The solution, says Peavey is to provide youths with more things to do on weekends. Portland Parks and Recreation is keeping later hours on Friday nights at several of its facilities to offer a safe place for young people to go. Between 9 and 11 p.m., doors are open (with no in-and-out privileges) at Peninsula, Deer Park, University Park, Mount Scott, and Matt Dishman community centers. Peavey encourages neighborhood associations to sponsor youth activities.

Conclusion Rachel Studer will invite a SUN School representative to attend the SCA meetings, and Amy Hunter will include SUN School youth events in the SCA newsletter.

Sabin Elementary School Update (Principal Richard Schafer): Sabin resident and landscape architect Jordan Secter is working with the school’s PTA and site council to launch a landscape improvement project for the north play area. In-kind donations worth $45,000 have been raised toward the $300,000 goal. The project will improve the area’s aesthetics and security and will support expanded enrichment courses, such as outdoor academic curricula, sports, and creative play. (No money is available from Portland Public Schools for this project.) Principal Schafer’s goal is to offer three enrichment periods each year, including PE, art, and computer science. The PTA hopes to raise $30,000 from its annual auction on April 20, from 6 to 11 p.m. at The Acadian Ballroom, 1829 NE Alberta Street. Tickets are $30 per person and the auction will feature silent and live auctions, fine foods and spirits, and art, products, and services from local artists and businesses. Additionally, the annual art auction at Starbucks at 15th and Fremont will take place in late April or May. All of the proceeds will go to fund the school’s art program.

Conclusion Judy Harrison will attend the next PTA meeting, March 8 at 6:30 p.m., to invite a PTA representative to attend SCA meetings.

The Water Tower Park (Rosemarie Cordello) Tonight was supposed to be the final public meeting with the SCA planning subcommittee and the Portland Water Bureau before work was to begin at the park. Some residents who live next to the park continued to object to the project, however, and the Water Bureau representative said that if the community opposes it the bureau may “walk away” from it.

Discussion It’s unclear whether there is a consensus for or against the project. It was noted that there is a long list of people who have waited up to 10 years to be assigned a plot in the Water Tower Community Garden, which the project would have expanded.

Conclusion Board members Kamberly Wilbourne and Gabrielle Josephson, and residents Rosemarie Cordello and Tom Braibish, will ask for a meeting with the Water Bureau to hear its assessment of the situation and to identify how to address residents’ concerns and to move forward. It is necessary to create a timeline and structure for decision making. It was proposed that the project be brought back under the oversight of the full SCA board with the subcommittee serving in an advisory role.

The next SCA board meeting was set for Monday, March 12, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Wild Oats cooking school area.

The meeting adjourned at 9:00 p.m.

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