Posted By johntarantino1 on July 3, 2010
Contractors and volunteers will join forces to remove graffiti in the Pearl District. This event will be attended by Portland Commissioner Amanda Fritz, NW Crime Prevention Coordinator Frank Silva, and Graffiti Abatement Coordinator Marcia Dennis.
This is our second graffiti cleanup event which will be a “Neighborhood-Wide Graffiti Clean Up” on Saturday, July 10th @ 08:30 am at Peet’s Coffee (1114 NW Couch St.). We hope to be experienced pro’s for this event, which will be supported by the City of Portland and Commissioner Amanda Fritz. Again, we will “party” after at Noodles & Co. with free lunch for our volunteers.
Will you help us make the change? We’d love to hear from you.
Download Flyer Here: [download id=”75″ format=”1″]
A graffiti free zone is an area that is declared graffiti free. Although the Pearl District has not been declared a "Graffiti Free Zone," it may be well on its way. Jan Valentine, the chair of the PDNA's Livability Committee, has done something in Portland that has never been done before. She has garnered enough volunteers to adopt every block in the Pearl District boundaries to keep graffiti at bay. Each volunteer was given green cleaning supplies donated by the city of Portland and an orange "Graffiti Buster's" vest to keep an eye on the blocks that individuals and businesses have committed to maintain, with some people and businesses adopting several blocks. In Los Angeles (link to article here), a similar project was undertaken with the same vision and scope as the PDNA. The “Graffiti-Free Zone” project was a team effort that targeted a one-mile square area in Los Angeles’ Central Avenue neighborhood where, for years, heavy graffiti plagued the buildings and served as a daily visual reminder to the community of its struggles with gangs, violence, vandalism and crime. If the people who adopted blocks for graffiti abatement in the Pearl District continue to remove graffiti on a regular basis, perhaps the neighborhood could be declared a graffiti free zone as it was in Los Angeles. This partnership with the PDNA, residents, and businesses helps to embody the community spirit. The program brings together a diverse group of youth and adults committed to a comprehensive graffiti abatement strategy designed to increase neighborhood safety and beauty. The graffiti cleanup effort started with two graffiti cleanup events over the summer. They brought out 60 volunteers in June, and 78 volunteers in July. It inspired Jan Valentine to think bigger. Now each volunteer will report their volunteer hours to the PDNA who will then give those statistics over to city. This is one of many projects that the Livability Committee works on in the neighborhood and if you are interested in becoming a volunteer, contact Jan Valentine - email@example.com
From the Zimmerman Community Center Board of Directors: As a past supporter of the Zimmerman Community Center (ZCC), we wanted you to be among the first to know that we just completed an exciting transition. At the end of 2014, ZCC ceased to exist as a separate entity and started 2015 as part of Friendly House, which shares our vision of creating community in the rapidly growing Pearl neighborhood of Northwest Portland. As some of you will recall, the ZCC concept started in 1995, with a bequest from Isobel Zimmerman, a lifelong Portland resident who taught math and science at Franklin High School. Miss Zimmerman's grandfather homesteaded in Fairview, when it was a rural area east of Portland. She lived all her life in the Victorian farmhouse he built and her father expanded, which is now a Gresham City Park and museum that preserves the 20th Century life of one pioneer family (Zimmerman Heritage Farm at 171st and Sandy Blvd). Just as the Zimmermans were pioneers in East Multnomah County, so the Zimmerman Community Center was a pioneer in the River District, when it was just horse barns, rail yards and warehouses. As The Pearl grew up around us, we served the community first out of an office in Union Station, then sequentially in rented storefronts on Lovejoy, Hoyt and 10th Avenue, while we looked for a partner and permanent home. During those years, ZCC was guided by a talented and dedicated Board of Directors and ably led by Executive Directors Patricia Rumer, George Meier, and Nancy Davis, with Kristina Smock as strategic and tactical consultant. In February 2011 we moved into a permanent home on the ground floor of The Ramona, an affordable family apartment building on NW 14th and Quimby. Kris Moore succeeded Nancy Davis as Executive Director. Ed McNamara, our landlord, was a very supportive partner, as we provided programming for the families in the Ramona and the surrounding neighborhood. Over the years, we've sponsored community gardens, and offered Isobel's Clubhouse for preschoolers and their adults, after school ping pong and chess for middle schoolers, drama classes with the NW Children's Theater, and adult activities like yoga and Creative Outlet. Most recently we offered the popular After School Activities Program (ASAP) for the children from the Ramona and the Early Learner's Academy, a Portland Public Schools program also housed in The Ramona. When our center was not in use, it was available to rent by outside groups, like the Italian Preschool, and by families for birthday parties and other celebrations. Friendly House, a non-profit neighborhood center and social service agency located at NW 26th and Savier, has a long history of serving families, children and adults in NW Portland. For 85 years, they have offered quality educational, recreational and other life-sustaining services for people of all ages and backgrounds. Friendly House will now expand into The Ramona to serve the growing population around the Pearl. Initially, they expect to offer a toddler play group, exercise classes for all ages, support and education for older adults, after school enrichment classes for school age kids, and more, depending on interest and need. (See below for the link to an interest survey by Friendly House.) The facility will also be available for rent, when Friendly House programs are not being offered. To learn more, you are invited to attend an Open House at the community center (now called Friendly House in the Pearl) on Saturday January 31, from noon - 3 pm. It will be a family-friendly event with a musical puppet show by Red Yarn. Two former members of the ZCC board will ease the transition by serving on the Friendly House board. We know you will be interested in following the progress of Friendly House in the Pearl and perhaps responding to opportunities to become involved in their ongoing mission "building community, one friend at a time!" Thank you for all the past support you have provided for ZCC and our programs. It has been a pleasure to serve you and the community for 20 years! Friendly House wants your input. Please complete their survey by clicking on this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FHP_NA15. Sincerely, Kim Sordyl, Chair, and the ZCC Board of Directors
Article From NW Examiner, written By Allan Classen. After considering alternatives to a 24-hour Portland Loo at Jamison Square for almost a year, it seems the community really never had any options. The Pearl District Neighborhood Association voted to accept the city’s specially designed public toilet last month, despite about 10 other ideas offered by neighbors at a meeting attended by 70 people two days earlier. Sandy Ammerman, the primary spokesperson for neighbors opposing the Loo, said the board’s decision “was a foregone conclusion” affirming a PDNA position taken last year. Although residents of condominium buildings surrounding the park insisted that these other options be explored, none of their suggestions came with the requisite funding and authorization from the affected property owners. Some neighbors favored doing nothing, but the idea of providing no means of relief for the thousands of children and adults who flock to the park’s popular water feature was unthinkable to most board members. Stripped of euphemism and generality, the objections centered on fear that an overnight restroom would be used by homeless people and lead to a clustering of anti-social behaviors that would make the area feel unwelcome or unsafe. “If you build it, they will come,” said Sheila McCoy, a PDNA board member who lives in the Streetcar Lofts. McCoy said she hears people pushing shopping carts past her windows until 3 a.m., suggesting to her that it would not take a strong magnet to cause them to congregate in or around the park. “You’re absolutely right,” said Officer Carl Weldon, who has tracked behavior around the city’s first Loo, located on Northwest Glisan by the bus station. Weldon said he has found drug paraphernalia in and around that Loo, and arrests are high in the vicinity, although he admitted that it is impossible to separate the public restroom from other contributing factors in the vicinity. However, Portland Police Chief Mike Reese has said he considers the Loo experiment on Glisan Street a success. “It is my opinion that the Loo makes sense in Jamison... Square,” said Reese, who was commander of Central Precinct at the time. While neighbors at the meetings complained about the unsightly or odiferous nature of public toilets, they would not have pushed for Porta-Pottys, as they did, if these were overriding considerations. Pearl board members sympathized with those who feared a Loo might become an attractive nuisance, and several had pleaded unsuccessfully with Leonard to allow it to be locked overnight. “I have tried like hell, and I did not win that argument,” said PDNA planning chair Patricia Gardner. Given an all-or-nothing choice, the board voted 10-2 for the Loo. But not before some soul-searching about the necessity of accepting 24-hour operation. Jan Valentine, who chairs the PDNA Livability Committee, wondered why Leonard had the power to dictate that a restroom never close when the park itself has a closing time. “I don’t accept that we cannot negotiate with a commissioner,” said Valentine. Several past and present board members supported the Loo even though they would have preferred that it be locked at night. Former PDNA President David August assured neighbors that “we have a superb record of going to the city” when livability issues arise and achieving solutions. August said the city is more likely to be responsive if and when there’s a documented problem instead of just a fear that something bad might happen. Advised of the neighborhood association’s decision and expectation of help if and when needed, Commissioner Leonard revealed no latitude. “People need facilities to perform basic human functions 24 hours a day,” Leonard told the Examiner. “The Loo was specifically designed to minimize the opportunity to use the Loo for illicit activities and has in fact been demonstrated to do just that in its current location on Northwest Fifth and Glisan, a neighborhood with an overwhelming number of homeless men and women.” The city approved $500,000 to design and build several Portland Loos. About $1,200 has been set aside for daily cleanup and maintenance. “There are problems throughout downtown Portland with some of the issues you identify,” Leonard continued. “To suggest that installing a 24-hour Loo would somehow create those kinds of issues where they otherwise would not exist is unfair and, I believe, not accurate. “If any negative issues arise as a result of the new Loo, we will address those issues. However, I do not think limiting the use of the Loo would be one of the options we would entertain.” Ammerman vowed to challenge the decision at city hall. “We will not give up, and we will not give in,” she said. “The neighborhood’s quality of life, and the success of our businesses, are literally at risk. This small neighborhood park is an entirely inappropriate place for a 24-hour-a-day Loo.”