Saturday, January 5, 2008

General Meeting Minutes- November 26, 2007

SCA General Meeting Minutes

Monday, November 26, 2007 7:00


  • 2008 SCA Board elections
  • Jeff Strang, City Inspector: Home inspections
  • Lawrence Behmer: Neighborhood Emergency Teams, part 3
  • Chris Robbins: Boeing paint plant expansion update


2008 SCA board member elections Judy Harrison volunteered to serve as Recording Secretary as well as Corresponding Secretary. With this change, all nominees on the list were accepted unanimously by the voters. The 2008 board members will be installed at the January 28 general meeting:

Amy Hunter and Rachel Studer, Co-Presidents
Mikele Schappell, 1st Vice President
Ric Alexander, 2nd Vice President
Gabrielle Josephson, Treasurer
Rachel Studer, Publicity Officer/Newsletter Editor
Judy Harrison, Corresponding Secretary and Recording Secretary
Chika Saeki, Member at Large 2007-2009
Tom Braibish, Member at Large 2007-2009
Nasir Najieb, Member at Large 2007-2009
Vacant, Member at Large 2007-2009
Jason Orth, Member at Large 2008-2010
Chris Ritter, Member at Large 2008-2010
Jeff Strang, Member at Large 2008-2010
Vacant, Member at Large 2008-2010

Neighborhood Inspections (Jeff Strang, City of Portland Inspector) Jeff Strang works in the city’s Bureau of Development Services in Neighborhood Inspections. He inspects nuisance cases involving residential property, and problems usually have to do with trash, debris, and garbage; hazards; and disabled vehicles. Residents can go online to see if there is a record of nuisance cases filed against a particular house (, current and previous owners, and sale prices. There are about 9 housing and property inspectors. Building Inspectors at BDS (who are different from Neighborhood Inspectors) inspect renovations and new house sales for conditions and improvements in structural, heating, plumbing, electrical elements of the house—things that require permits.

Fines to homeowners who have had a neighborhood nuisance case opened against them can be $130 per month until the problems are fixed. Normally, they have 30 days to fix fire hazard and life and safety issues; 60 days for other infractions. However, waivers are available for homeowners facing hardships. Tenants can file nuisance claims against their landlords if necessary. The Community Alliance of Tenants can represent tenants in such cases.

Jeff distributed several information brochures.

Neighborhood Emergency Teams (NET), Part 3 (Lawrence Behmer, Portland Office of Emergency Management) The OEM operates the neighborhood emergency team (NET) program ( Portland lies in the Cascadia Subduction Zone, which experiences a major rupture every 300 to 500 years. We are due for such an earthquake in the magnitude of 9 on the Richter Scale, which would probably last 3 to 4 minutes. The devastation would overwhelm our first-responder resources (fire, police, rescue, hospitals, and so forth). The NET training covers utility control, fire suppression, disaster medicine, search and rescue, and lever extraction (rescuing people buried in rubble, for example).

The NET program’s Know Your Neighborhood program features a flip chart that guides residents in putting together three-day survival kits, a family plan, phone tree, and identifying a neighborhood meeting place, shutting off utilities, assessing neighbors’ skills and resources, mapping your block.

VERN, volunteer emergency registry network, is a registry for seniors and disabled persons who would need extra help in a disaster.

Boeing Painting Plant Expansion Update (Chris Robbins) As an interested community member, Chris Robbins has been attending the public meetings pertaining to the Boeing Company’s planned expansion of a painting plant in North Portland near the airport. He gave an update and agreed to represent SCA at forthcoming public meetings. DEQ requires Boeing to use the most effective technology for controlling or capturing volatile organic material. Boeing plans to triple the size of its painting facility at the Portland International Airport. Chris points out that the North and Northeast Portland are already in a highly polluted area, in part because of light industrial operations along Columbia Boulevard. Chris urged the SCA to reach out to elected officials (Blumenaeur, Smith, and Wyden) to ensure that there is EPA oversight of the DEQ and that it is doing what it should be doing concerning the Boeing expansion. DEQ is expected to issue a draft permit in 2 to 4 weeks, when there will be a public comment period.

Jeff Strang, in his role with the Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods Land Use and Transportation Committee, also has been to meetings and he noted that Boeing must get approval for expanding its painting facility. The Concordia community has been very involved in the public meetings and its community association voted that volatile organic compounds should not be increased by Boeing’s paint plant and that the association wanted more detailed analysis of wind patterns to see how the surrounding communities would likely be affected by the expansion of the plant.

Other Topics

SCA focus on transportation (Rachel Studer) As incoming co-president, Rachel Studer would like to focus the SCA on transportation issues and invited others to serve with her on a subcommittee. She is particularly interested in the city conducting a full traffic study of the area, particularly NE 15th Avenue and Fremont, and drawing up a plan to improve safety for pedestrians in this busy commercial intersection. She noted that the time is ripe to attend to these issues because of Sam Adams’s Safe, Sound and Green Streets Program which is looking at ways to improve the safety of bikers, pedestrians, and drivers in the city. Mikele Schappell, Tom Braibish, Amy Hunter, and Catherine Shisler volunteered to serve on a subcommittee.

The next SCA general meeting was set for Monday, January 28, from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Sabin Elementary School auditorium.

The meeting adjourned at 9:00 p.m.

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