Neighborhood activists in SW Portland sprang into action a few weeks ago, when chainsaws revved up at SW 63rd and Vermont—the future site of five new homes that will displace up to 80 mature trees.
"[A neighbor] called me in tears saying, 'We've got to do something!'" says Micki Carrier, tree liaison for the Maplewood Neighborhood Association. "So, I called for a funeral, and within 48 hours we had 30 residents dressed in black to mark the passing of the trees."
As of August 4, however, the trees are still standing—and folks like Carrier are exploring last-ditch options, like purchasing the roughly 1.3 acre property from the developer before he breaks ground. Meanwhile, Maplewood neighbors are busy talking up city council members on their broader concerns of super-sized infill homes and tree preservation. AMY JENNIGES
Commander Mike Reese of the Portland Police Bureau's Central Precinct recently sent a letter to downtown club owners, outlining steps the police would be taking to "make the entertainment district a safe place for citizens to visit.
"The combination of large numbers of people in a small geographic area and excessive alcohol use has created problems for citizens patronizing area businesses," Reese wrote. The police have already been making the rounds to check up on security officers' credentials ("ID Check," News, Aug 3).
With help from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission and the city's fire bureau, the cops will also be addressing things like over-service of alcohol, venues that exceed occupancy limits, noise violations, disorderly conduct, public drinking, and "offensive littering." AJ
Last Friday, August 4, a city street-sign worker noticed tiny glass vials wired to signs in North and Northeast Portland—like at the corners of NE Prescott and 14th, and N Albina and Simpson.
The teeny vials, capped with orange and yellow stoppers, prompted city officials to notify the cops. One official sent out a "safety alert" to neighborhood groups. (In response, one neighbor called to report that young men "climbed onto an overturned bucket and changed out the vials" on the sign near their house.)
"I've heard from a couple of sources now that those were air-quality testing vials, but we don't know who put them up yet," says the city's graffiti abatement coordinator, Marcia Dennis. "It's probably a legitimate study, but they didn't notify anybody at the city before putting them on street signs, which is a no-no." AJ