May 7th Meeting is Annual WNA Board Election

We’re lining up some extra goodies to entice neighbors to our May 7th neighborhood meeting…Thank you Cloud City!

Doors open at 6:00 pm. Feel free to come for the social hour, even if you can’t stay for the meeting, which starts at 7:00.

This is the time of year we traditionally elect or re-elect the volunteers who make up the Woodstock Neighborhood Association Board—the Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer, Secretary, Area Reps (from the five different sections of Woodstock neighborhood), and Committee Chairs.

Interested in getting your hands dirty and being a part of the month-to-month decision making? Then board or committee service might be for you. Feel free to join in the conversation at our May 7th meeting and ask questions of current board members. Or, if you’re ready to get to work, step on up and offer to fill one of our vacant seats—we’d love to have you on the board! Even if you’re not ready to join our board, just by showing up and participating in the election process, you can gain a sense of who we are and what we do, and how you might plug in.

So Who’s Running?
Here are the people who have put their names in (so far) to fill the following WNA Board positions for the next year: 

Chair: Becky Luening
Vice Chair: Elisa Edgington
Secretary: Nicole Craigmiles
Treasurer: Merrilee Spence
SE Neighborhood Coalition Rep: Moshe Lenske

Area Representatives: These folks represent the five defined Areas of Woodstock Neighborhood. (Our neighborhood is quite large, with almost 4,000 mailing addresses within our boundaries!) Basically, Area Reps are encouraged to attend monthly WNA meetings, bring issues to our attention that may be specific to their section of the neighborhood, and generally serve as a “connector” between neighbors. Currently serving [not sure yet if all these individuals will continue after May 7th, but WNA allows more than one person to serve in this role]:

  • Area 1 – Nicole Craigmiles
  • Area 2 – Ann Crowder and Scott Smith
  • Area 3 – Jan Elliott and Dan Chin
  • Area 4 – Virginia Petersen
  • Area 5 – Jacky Jarrahzedah

Committee Chairs:  In addition to the administrative roles involved in keeping an organization together, a whole lot of stuff is accomplished in committees, and committee chairs are responsible for steering that work—convening committee meetings, participating with the WNA board, and helping broadcast information to the wider neighborhood.

  • Land Use – OPEN (Terry Griffiths currently serving) 
  • Friends of the Woodstock Community Center – Lonnie Port (new members wanted)
  • Outreach and Communications – Kenny Heggem
  • Sustainability Committee – OPEN (Becky Luening currently serving)

You don’t have to be elected to get in on the action. We count on neighborhood volunteers to jump in and help, whether for a one-time project or event, or ongoing committee work. Here’s a brief description of WNA committees:

  • Friends of the Woodstock Community Center works to keep the community center open and maintained and ensures WNA’s compliance with the partnership agreement WNA has with Portland Parks and Recreation (a successful relationship now in its 11th year). The WNA’s annual plant sale (coming up Saturday, May 10th!) is a benefit for FWCC. The Friends also maintain a Woodstock Community Center blog.
  • Communications & Outreach Committee (formerly known as the Media Committee) spreads the word about WNA meetings and other neighborhood happenings via social networks, and helps organize and promote special events and projects (e.g., the Mural project, Movie in the Park) sponsored or cosponsored by WNA. [WANTED: WordPress expert to help redesign our website.]
  • Land Use Committee studies, informs neighbors, and weighs in on plans, proposals and policies pertaining to our neighborhood’s built environment (residential and commercial). The committee interfaces with the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability through a SE District Liaison, and often sends representatives to southeast- and city-wide Land Use meetings on special topics.
  • Sustainability Committee focuses on improving the health and livability of our natural environs and, by extension, the health and happiness of Woodstock inhabitants. Under the umbrella of this committee is our own Woodstock Tree Team, a.k.a. Treestock, which spearheaded our neighborhood’s street tree inventory last summer in collaboration with the Portland Parks and Recreation’s Urban Forestry division. The Sustainability Committee maintains the Sustainable Woodstock blog and will be ready to consider new projects as soon as our “Woodstock Community Information Kiosk” project has been completed (soon…soon…!). 

Remember, WNA is not the kind of group you have to join. If you live, work, or own property in Woodstock Neighborhood, you are considered a member, and we welcome your involvement. Even if you can’t make it to meetings, you can keep tabs on what’s going on via our Facebook pages (Woodstock Portland Oregon, a friend page designed for neighbor-to-neighbor interactions and Woodstock Neighborhood Association, our official organization page) or via the network.

WNA Land Use Committee meets Wednesday, April 9

Reminder! The April Land Use Committee meeting is scheduled for this coming Wednesday at 7:00 pm at the Woodstock Community Center, 5905 SE 43rd Ave at Knight Street. Time is running short for input on Portland’s proposed Comprehensive Plan, and this is the first chance the committee has to meet with Marty Stockton, the new Southeast District Liaison with the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS).

Marty Stockton let Land Use Committee Chair Terry Griffiths know that a request has been received from the property owner for a zone change from residential to designated commercial for four properties on the remainder of the 7-Eleven block between SE 52nd and SE 51st. Marty will be prepared to discuss how BPS would regard such a zone change request and perhaps what the neighborhood should consider when responding to it. Anyone who has time might want to take a look at this block before Wednesday’s meeting.

BPS has received at least two other requests for zone changes from residential to commercial; one is for the remainder of the block behind The Joinery. Come to Wednesday’s meeting to learn more about these proposed changes and how they may impact Woodstock, and to learn about other developments brewing in both the commercial and residential areas of our neighborhood.

Block Party Ho!

At WNA’s April 2nd meeting, Southeast Crime Prevention Coordinator Katherine Anderson passed around the basic info for organizing block parties, and in a followup email (after checking with Kalise Gregory at the Portland Bureau of Transportation on this question), she confirmed that people can apply for block parties in an alley, since an alley is a public right-of-way.

Here is the webpage with more information and a link to the application packet: Instead of listing a street to be closed, write Alley and then list the streets or avenues that the alley is between. The fee is $10.00 as described on the form. All residents who have property that abuts the alley need to be contacted and sign the petition. Additional information is available on how to proceed in case a resident can’t be contacted.

This form needs to be mailed, faxed or delivered in person NO EMAILS. All these options are listed on the webpage.

If you have any questions or need clarification on any part of the process of applying for a block party permit, please contact PBOT staff at 503-823-4003.

Alley Sweeper Urban Enduro

An annual motorcycle ride through Portland alleyways sponsored by the Sang-Froid Riding Club has some Woodstock residents up in arms. The story’s been picked up by KOIN TV and local FOX 12 news, and discussed at length by neighbors on the Woodstock Portland Oregon facebook friend page administered by WNA volunteer Kenny Heggem.

You’ve probably heard about it by now…this year’s “Urban Enduro” is scheduled for Saturday, April 19th. if your home abuts an alley, you may have experienced the  excitement in years past. (It’s been going on since at least 2009…not sure how long in Woodstock.) Click on the news links above for more of the backstory.

Many of us neighborhood association volunteers understand the concerns. I live on an alley myself, and am bothered by the noise, but it’s only once a year and it’s temporary, so…given all else there is to be concerned about in the world, this is a low priority for me personally. Nonetheless, I do think it’s important for neighbors to be able to air their concerns, and I want to empower people to work out non-adversarial responses to the event. Meanwhile, I’ve been digging around (and talking to PPD and PBOT) to help find answers to homeowners’ questions, especially about liability… (Is there an attorney out there who can help us drill down to the fine points of the law?)

We will devote a BRIEF discussion to this topic at tonight’s Woodstock Neighborhood Association meeting. For those of you who can’t make it, here is a little FAQ:

Q: Is this ride legal?
A: According to PBOT, yes. Alleys are considered public rights of way and as such are open to vehicular traffic. There is this Portland law about Unnecessary Noise, but I’m not sure if it applies (or how it would be enforced if it does apply):

14.24.150 UnnecessaryNoise. (Added by Ord. No. 139931; passed May 22, effective June 23, 1975.) It is unlawful to make any excessive or unusually loud sound which disturbs the peace and quiet of any neighborhood or which does injure or endanger the comfort, repose, health, peace, or safety of any person.

Q: What traffic laws apply to alleys?
A: According to Oregon State Law, the speed limit on alleys is 15mph. For drivers emerging from alleys onto the street, the person must stop the vehicle before driving onto the sidewalk or sidewalk area, and if there is no sidewalk or sidewalk area, the person must stop at the point nearest the roadway.

Q: Are property owners responsible for safety of alleys?
A: Yes. As with other public rights of way adjoining residential properties, i.e. sidewalks and parking strips, property owners are responsible for keeping alleys clear of obstruction and safe for public passage. I don’t know the fine points of this law…given that this annual ride has a track record and the riders are out to have a good time, I would not worry too much about lawsuits stemming from rider injury; but I would warn against doing anything to intentionally obstruct the ride that could lead to an accident.

Q: What suggestions do you have for property owners who are concerned about the event’s impact on their alley or their sanity, or potential danger to pets and children? 
A: Post a sign at either end of your alley gently reminding riders of the 15mph speed limit, and to be mindful of the presence of children and pets.
Document any significant impacts to your unimproved alleyway by snapping before and after pictures, with which you may approach the Sang-Froid club for an alley maintenance contribution after the event.
Consider organizing a block party on your alley this year (or next).

Meeting Reminder and More…

Yep, the WNA General Meeting is tonight! 7:00 pm at the Woodstock Community Center. See our previous blog entry for details about that… 

If you live in Woodstock, we hope you’re signed up for the Woodstock Neighborhood Association’s emails, sent out once or twice month (see sidebar). Our latest edition contained lots of announcements about things going on around town. But wait: We just picked up our email and found even more upcoming events and announcements to pass along! Which is the reason for this post.

Senators Diane Rosenbuam and Carolyn Tomei co-host a Town Hall meeting on Wednesday,  April 9, 2014 from 6:30 tp 8:00 PM at the SMILE Station, 8210 SE 13th Avenue, Portland. The senators will talk about the accomplishments of the recently completed legislative session, and ask constituents to come ready with questions, comments, and priorities for the future. For more information, contact Debbie at 503-653-5180, or email Senator Tomei at

TriMet will reveal the winner of their Name the Bridge contest (a public vote on four proposed names for the new transit bridge currently under construction) at a special ceremony on Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at 10:00 AM at Eastside Greenway Trail, at the southwest corner of OMSI (1945 SE Water St.), overlooking the Willamette River and the new bridge. People are encouraged to walk, ride their bikes, or take transit to this event.

In celebration of National Fair Housing Month, on Thursday, April 17, 2014, from 5:30 to 7:00 PM, Duniway Elementary School hosts the Fair Housing Council of Oregon’s (FHCO) traveling exhibit entitled “Anywhere But Here.” The exhibit uses photographs, text, and personal quotes to chronicle the history of housing discrimination in Oregon. A staff member from FHCO will be on hand to provide additional insight and to answer questions. Please visit to learn more about FHCO’s work across the state. This FREE open house event takes place at Duniway Elementary School, 7700 SE Reed College Place, Portland. Please contact Nina Levine or Matt Goldstein with any questions.

Oregon Chamber Players perform a concert in Woodstock on Saturday, May 10, 2014 at 7:30 PM at All Saints’ Episcopal Church, 4033 SE Woodstock Blvd., Portland.

  • Pierne – Pastorale Variee
  • Scarlatti – Five Sonatas for String Orchestra
  • Caplet – Suite Persane for Double Wind Quintet
  • Gossec – Sinfonia in E Flat

Tickets will be available at the door: $12 student/senior – $15 general. For more information call Oregon Chamber Players at 1-888-OCP-8788 or visit the OCP website.

The 2014 Portland Regional Graffiti Summit, a free conference presented by the City of Portland’s Graffiti Abatement Program and Friendly Streets, a non-profit organization, takes place Tuesday, May 20, 2014 from 6:00pm to 8:30pm in the OMSI Auditorium, 1945 SE Water Avenue, Portland. This free 2.5-hour conference limited to the first 200 who pre-register (deadline May 10th). Find all the details here.

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Wood Chips Anyone? If you are a homeowner or a home renter responsible for yard maintenance, you may be interested in a new free service called Chip Drop designed to connect people who want wood chips for their yard with local arborists who have chips to share. There are a few simple rules for using the service, but we’re told it’s pretty easy. For more information contact Bryan Kappa at 503-621-6830.

How about a nice friendly game of Kickball? Heads up! Mt. Scott-Arleta Neighborhood, immediately to the east of Woodstock, has submitted a Creative Engagement Grant application to SE Uplift in which they propose organizing a summer kickball tournament involving a handful SE Portland neighborhoods including Woodstock. Hope to be announcing more details about this soon….

The 2014 Movie in the Park schedule has just been released by Parks and Rec, and Woodstock Park is scheduled to host Labyrinth on the evening of Saturday, August 12th. Business sponsorships available. SAVE THE DATE! Stay tuned for more details, including the announcement of this year’s pre-film musical entertainment.

April 2nd Meeting Preview

7:00 pm at the Woodstock Community Center

All are welcome! Meet neighbors, learn about local happenings, and help make Woodstock one of the best places in the world to live!

On this month’s agenda:

Rich Newlands, Project Manager for the Portland Bureau of Transportation, will give a presentation on the 20s Bikeway project, which cuts through the southernmost section of Woodstock, and will be a welcome traffic-calming feature for that neighborhood.

Jacob Sherman, Chair of neighboring Brentwood-Darlington Neighborhood Association, will be on hand to inform folks about citizen efforts to address air quality concerns in our area and an upcoming community meeting to talk about the issue, sponsored by one of the known industrial polluters. Read more on our Sustainable Woodstock blog.

The Berkeley Park tennis court renovation undertaken by the Rovello family was covered in a previous blog post. Jennifer Yocom, Community Relations Manager with Portland Parks & Recreation, will be on hand on April 2nd to ask for Woodstockians’ encorsement of the proposal to permanently name the renovated court to “Alex Rovello Memorial Tennis Courts.” 

We’re expecting a brief discussion of the “Alley Sweeper Urban Enduro” motorcycle ride sponsored by the Sang-Froid Riding Club, and an update on the FREE “Get Ready for Anything” emergency prep workshop series coming to SE Portland in April and May. in addition we’ll have the usual reports from Crime & Safety folks, Reed College’s Kevin Myers, Woodstock Library’s Carol Uhte, and our very own Terry Griffiths, who will make a pitch for the May 10th Plant Sale, an annual fundraiser for the Friends of the Woodstock Community Center.

Click here to download the full agenda.

Protected Sick Time is here!

This just in, from the City of Portland:

As of January 1, 2014, the City of Portland’s new Protected Sick Time ordinance went into effect, providing workers in Portland with a protected right to earn sick time to use when they or a family member are sick, injured, or in need of preventive health care.

The ordinance applies to all employees who work within the geographic boundaries of the city of Portland for 240 hours or more in a calendar year. Employers with six or more employees must allow workers to earn paid sick leave. Employers with five or fewer employees are required to provide unpaid sick leave. Full, part-time, and temporary employees should accrue one hour of job-protected sick time for every 30 hours worked and, if earned, can accumulate up to 40 hours paid or unpaid sick time per calendar year. Earned sick leave may be used in increments of one hour or greater, and may be used to cover all or part of a shift.

For employers and employees interested in learning more about this new law, visit, email or call 503.823.3994.

Land Use Committee meets Wednesday

As is their habit, Woodstock Neighborhood Association’s LAND USE COMMITTEE meets on the upcoming Third Wednesday of the month, March 19, 2014, at the Woodstock Community Center (5905 SE 43rd Ave). The meeting starts at 7:00 PM and ends at 8:30.

The proposed focus for this month’s meeting is planning and prioritization for the improvement (or not) of Woodstock’s unimproved streets. All are welcome!

Be Prepared for Anything!

Members of the Woodstock Neighborhood Emergency Team, or NET, are collaborating with other SE Portland neighborhood volunteers to put on a series emergency preparedness workshops this April and May to help Southeast Portlanders prepare for “the big one“—or any other future catastrophe that may come our way.

There are three topics being offered: (1) Make a Plan and Build a Kit; (2) Help Friends & Neighbors Get Prepared; and (3) Secure Your Home Against Disaster.

Thanks to our own KD Henderson, most of the dates and locations for the workshops are now up on the web:

Get Ready for Anything SE PDX Blog

SouthPdx Preparedness Facebook Page