"Diversity, Harmony, Community - Together WE can make a difference!”

Download the Wilkes East Neighborhood Fall 2022 Newsletter here!

Download the Wilkes East Neighborhood Fall 2022 Newsletter here! Wilkes East Neighborhood, Gresham Oregon USA. Diversity, Harmony, Community- Together 'WE' can make a difference.

Fall 2022 Newsletter

"Diversity, Harmony, Community -
Together 'WE' can make a difference!”


alt=Read it now!

Fall 2022 Newsletter

Inside This Issue:

  • Speeding 172nd, Injury Accident
  • Fall 2022 Weather Outlook
  • Local Adopt-A-Block Volunteers
  • Proposed Habitat Project, Glisan
  • WENA Board Elections Nov 14th

Download your copy here. (includes active web links)

¡Descargue nuestro boletín en español aquí!. (incluye enlaces web activos)

Newsletters are a regular publication of the Wilkes East Neighborhood Association. They are hand-delivered to over 1,500 residences and businesses in our area 3 times per year, timed to correspond with our general meetings.

View archive   |   Policy & Ad Rates

Got a story or tip to share?
Wilkes East residents are encouraged to submit articles and tips for the newsletter. Articles should be limited to 300-400 words and may be subject to editing. Include a related photo. Send by email to chair@wilkeseastna.org, or by postal mail to: 17104 NE Oregon St • Portland OR 97230.

Volunteers Needed
Newsletters are hand-delivered to Wilkes East residents and businesses by neighborhood volunteers. There are always routes that need delivery people. Routes are small and many. We can always use your help.
To volunteer contact chair@wilkeseastna.org.

Download the Wilkes East Neighborhood Summer 2022 Newsletter here!

Download the Wilkes East Neighborhood Summer 2022 Newsletter here! Wilkes East Neighborhood, Gresham Oregon USA. Diversity, Harmony, Community- Together 'WE' can make a difference.

Summer 2022 Newsletter

"Diversity, Harmony, Community -
Together 'WE' can make a difference!”


alt=Read it now!

Summer 2022 Newsletter

Inside This Issue:

  • Adding Livability through Walking
  • Summer 2022 Weather Outlook
  • Meet Gresham’s New Police Chief
  • New Bike Route In Wilkes East
  • Citizen Volunteers in Policing

Download your copy here. (includes active web links)

Newsletters are a regular publication of the Wilkes East Neighborhood Association. They are hand-delivered to over 1,500 residences and businesses in our area 3 times per year, timed to correspond with our general meetings.

View archive   |   Policy & Ad Rates

Got a story or tip to share?
Wilkes East residents are encouraged to submit articles and tips for the newsletter. Articles should be limited to 300-400 words and may be subject to editing. Include a related photo. Send by email to chair@wilkeseastna.org, or by postal mail to: 17104 NE Oregon St • Portland OR 97230.

Volunteers Needed
Newsletters are hand-delivered to Wilkes East residents and businesses by neighborhood volunteers. There are always routes that need delivery people. Routes are small and many. We can always use your help.
To volunteer contact chair@wilkeseastna.org.

Speeding on NE 172nd Ave Raises Concerns About Pedestrian Safety Near Middle School

Speeding on NE 172nd Ave Raising Concerns About Pedestrian Safety Near Middle School. Info here!
NE 172nd Avenue at NE Clackamas St, Gresham, Oregon

By Sheena Raab
Wilkes East Resident

Neighbors have been increasingly aware of the on-going high speed traffic on NE 172nd Avenue, as well as cars cutting through cross streets such as Wasco, Pacific, and Oregon. In the past, efforts have been made by past WENA councils to address the issues with the City of Gresham. Traffic measures have been put into place such as the speed advisory signs that flash during school hours. The fact remains that many of us, including myself, are concerned for pedestrian safety in our neighborhood, especially after a sedan crashed into the school yard of H.B. Lee Middle School this past fall.

On January 10, 2021, Chris Strong, Transportation Manager of the City of Gresham and Stacy Talus, Vice Principal of H.B. Lee Middle School joined the WENA board meeting to discuss concerns and options. Mr. Strong advised those present that more information would need to be gathered and a discussion would need to be opened with the Fire Department and City Emergency Services which use NE 172nd as an emergency route for call outs. He stated he would have his team collect traffic data to determine the average speed on the street to see if the current situation would meet the criteria for consideration to install any additional traffic calming measures, such as speed humps.

We are hopeful that Mr. Strong will be able to provide an updated report on his team’s findings and advise us of the next steps our community can take.

Please join us for our March Neighborhood Association Meeting to continue the discussion on our shared concerns and possible solutions.


NE 172nd Ave Summary Comparison courtesy of the City of Gresham,Transportation Division:

July
2016
January
2022
Northbound Volume 1382 1419
Northbound Average Speed 29 26
Northbound 85th Percentile Speed 34 32
Southbound Volume 1201 1330
Southbound Average Speed 28 25
Southbound 85th Percentile Speed 34 31

View the full January 2022 NE 172nd Avenue traffic study.

Gresham Proposes Urban Renewal Extension to Invest Unutilized $37M in Rockwood-West Gresham

Gresham Proposes Urban Renewal Extension to Invest Unutilized $37M in Rockwood-West Gresham. Info here!
Congressman Earl Blumenaur and Gresham Mayor Travis Stovall tour Downtown Rockwood in 2021

By Emily Bower, Executive Director, City of Gresham

In 2003, Gresham voters approved the establishment of the Rockwood-West Gresham Urban Renewal Area authorizing the investment of $92 million into a 1,211 acre area in West Gresham. However, the urban renewal area will expire in 2023. This would leave approximately $37 million unutilized dollars due to delays from the Great Recession in 2008 and the COVID-19 pandemic. The City of Gresham proposes extending the urban renewal district to 2029. The extra six years would allow the City to invest approximately $37 million in new projects and to continue funding projects in the Rockwood-West Gresham Renewal area. To date, urban renewal has brought in new development, businesses, schools, after-school youth programs, helped with storefront grants and apartment restoration. With a little more time, imagine the projects that could be tackled in the future – using money that is already set aside.

Urban renewal does not increase your property taxes.

How it works:

  • It dedicates funds to an identified neighborhood so a city’s urban renewal agency can focus on improving the area.
  • It is often used to provide infrastructure to help spur economic development.
  • Urban renewal changes how the existing taxes paid on a property are divided out amongst different taxing districts like the City and Multnomah County.

  • As public and private investment stimulates growth in the district and the value of properties improve, money becomes available to use on the projects.
  • Urban renewal in Gresham can provide funding for projects sooner.

 

Boys and Girls Club, Rockwood ribbon cutting. Funded through Rockwood<br />
West-Gresham Renewal Plan
Boys and Girls Club, Rockwood ribbon cutting. Funded through Rockwood West-Gresham Renewal Plan. Photo: City of Gresham

For more information on this effort go to: https://greshamoregon.gov/Urban-Renewal/

Downtown Rockwood Update, Market Hall opening early May 2022

Downtown Rockwood Update. 9,000-square-foot indoor marketplace opening early May 2022. Info here!
Construction progress, Rockwood Market Hall. Photo: City of Gresham

By Emily Bower, Executive Director, City of Gresham

Following the opening of The Lumen Building in 2021, this Spring the City of Gresham and the Gresham Redevelopment Commission is excited to announce the opening of The Downtown Rockwood Market Hall.

The Market Hall will be a 39,000-square-foot indoor marketplace and will feature local, fresh and ethnic food alongside handmade, artisanal goods. There will be micro-restaurants and micro-retail stores, ethnic groceries, a commissary kitchen for rent with cold storage, and office space. The Market Hall plans for a soft opening in March with an open air pop-up market hosted by The People’s Market.

Diverse vendors of all cultures will be showcasing their goods during this market. Visit peoplesmarketrockwood.org for more information. A formal grand opening will follow in early May. The Market Hall is already 80% occupied with tenants. Space remains available for market grocers, a coffee shop and office tenants.

Oregon Tradeswomen building completed 2020, Downtown Rockwood
Oregon Tradeswomen building completed 2020. Photo: City of Gresham

Learn more about leasing opportunities at downtownrockwood.com or email info@downtownrockwood.com.

Gresham Charter Review Committee Is Up & Running

Tagged:  

By Lee Dayfield
Wilkes East Resident
Charter Committee Observer

Finally after almost a year and a half the new Charter Review Committee (CRC) is up and running. Currently there are 12 people on the Committee and two positions need to be filled.

The first meeting of the CRC was held by zoom on January 10th and the second meeting is scheduled for February 7th at 6:00pm. To receive notices regarding the CRC you must send a request to Margaria Contreras at Margaria.Contreras@greshamoregon.gov or Dara Halligan at Dara.Halligan@greshamoregon.gov. The webpage for the CRC on the City's website is https://greshamoregon.gov/City-Charter/. There you can find Meeting documents which should contain the agenda which has a link for the meeting. At some point they will be posting recordings of the zoom meetings and possibly minutes. A link to the Charter and previous changes is also on this page.

During the January meeting Joseph Andaya was elected Chair and Jack Ardner was elected Vice Chair. They agreed to allow for public comment at the beginning of meetings but it is unclear how to register for testimony at this time. It should be posted on the webpage at some point.

City Attorney reported that the City Council, by Resolution 3478, asked the CRC to specifically consider and recommend either an at large or district system of elections. A recommendation to be delivered to Council by Jan. 31, 2023. Currently we have an at large system.

Dr. Todd Lochner and Dr. Ellen Seljan from Lewis & Clark have been hired to assist the CRC. They are experts on election systems and will give presentations to the CRC on that topic. You won't want to miss this meeting.

The Urban Renewal Dept. wants to give a presentation to the CRC. My guess based on discussions I have heard at a City Council meeting is they want to discuss changing 36A Urban Renewal, (b)(1) which states "council shall refer to the electors any ordinance adopted after November 1, 1986, approving an urban renewal plan or a substantial change in such a plan."

There is a public discussion group on NextDoor regarding Charter Review with almost 200 people which has had some interesting discussions about the Charter.

Download the Wilkes East Neighborhood Spring 2022 Newsletter here!

Download the Wilkes East Neighborhood Spring 2022 Newsletter here! Wilkes East Neighborhood, Gresham Oregon USA. Diversity, Harmony, Community- Together 'WE' can make a difference.

Spring 2022 Newsletter

"Diversity, Harmony, Community -
Together 'WE' can make a difference!”


alt=Read it now!

Spring 2022 Newsletter

Inside This Issue:

  • Speeding on NE 172nd Ave
  • Meet Gresham’s City Manager
  • Wilkes East Land-Use Update
  • Proposed Urban Renewal Extension
  • Gresham Charter Review Committee

Download your copy here. (includes active web links)

Newsletters are a regular publication of the Wilkes East Neighborhood Association. They are hand-delivered to over 1,500 residences and businesses in our area 3 times per year, timed to correspond with our general meetings.

View archive   |   Policy & Ad Rates

Got a story or tip to share?
Wilkes East residents are encouraged to submit articles and tips for the newsletter. Articles should be limited to 300-400 words and may be subject to editing. Include a related photo. Send by email to chair@wilkeseastna.org, or by postal mail to: 17104 NE Oregon St • Portland OR 97230.

Volunteers Needed
Newsletters are hand-delivered to Wilkes East residents and businesses by neighborhood volunteers. There are always routes that need delivery people. Routes are small and many. We can always use your help.
To volunteer contact chair@wilkeseastna.org.

PGE interns dig into Nadaka Park

Source: Gresham Outlook, January 3, 2022
By Angel Rosas

Project Zero interns also shared values of conservation with East County community

With growing fears of climate change and its effects on the Pacific Northwest, Portland General Electric is attempting to face those challenges through its Project Zero internship that allows young adults to experiment with and learn about environment-specific careers.

Ellie Taylor was one of those interns. Taylor was paired with the nonprofit Play Grow Learn as she taught East County children about the environment by removing invasive species and planting native ones at Nadaka Nature Park in Gresham.


PGEs Project Zero interns help in forest restoration at Nadaka Park in Gresham. Info here!

COURTESY PHOTO: PORTLAND GENERAL ELECTRIC - PGEs Project Zero interns help in forest restoration at Nadaka Park in Gresham

"The entire purpose of this program is because climate change is here and we have to face that," said Taaj Armstrong, PGE Project Zero dean of cohort. "And the way we do that is working with underserved communities to make that change. We understand that people of color and low income people are the first affected by climate change and are often not represented in these organizations."

PGE started the program in 2020 and Taylor's cohort is only Project Zero's second group of interns. The six month program chooses interns to work with environmentally focused nonprofits.

The program works to recruit opportunity youth, which are young adults disconnected from work and school. Armstrong said there has also been a large push to prioritize offering this opportunity to BIPOC, LGBTQ+ and low income individuals.

"We look to have about 50 percent of our interns to reflect one of those demographics (BIPOC, LGBTQ+, low income)," said Kimberly Howard Wade, the Project Zero director. "This year we have 75%."

'A rewarding experience'
Taylor, who was originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan, moved to Oregon in February. Her stay in Oregon was a struggle as she became homeless. Taylor connected with Project Zero and was accepted into the program.

Working with Play Grow Learn and the city of Gresham's Environmental Services, Taylor and another intern removed invasive species and planted native plants like Oregon grey and swamp rose at Nadaka Park, while also teaching East County children about environmental stewardship.

"One of my favorite parts of the program would be the connections we made between us and the community of Gresham and Rockwood," Taylor said. "A lot of the kids we were working with came from disadvantaged home lives and to offer some stability while also teaching them how they can better their community through stewardship was just great."

During the internship the group also had days where they focused on specific themes with their fellow interns like equity and also took trips to visit other environmentally focused organizations to learn about careers there. To give interns more one-on-one help, they are also paired with mentors who help the interns with some of the growing pains of returning back to a more structured environment while also providing comfort and guidance throughout the program. Mentors even stay with the interns three months after the program has ended to help with their job search.

Noelle Saint-Cyr only recently started working with PGE as a transportation project manager, but when she heard about the opportunity to be a mentor she jumped at the opportunity. She ended up working with Taylor as her mentor/champion.

"I helped her as she returned to the workforce, which isn't an easy thing," said Saint-Cyr. "I just have to say it was such a rewarding experience to see her grow."

Taylor had the same sentiment. "I honestly don't know how I would have gotten through this program without Noelle," Taylor said. "She was the one that I vented to, and also just offered so many tips."

Starting a career
Now that Taylor's internship has concluded she is making plans to get her career started. She is thinking of going to community college to get a certificate to work in waste water treatment after a trip the group took got her invested in the work that is being done at Clackamas Water Environment Services.

However, Taylor believes the most impactful thing that Project Zero did for her was bring people unfamiliar with the field and make connections to people in those careers. "This program offers you an opportunity to make connections," Taylor said. "You are often required to have previous experience. But this internship gives me the ability to meet many different people in these fields that I am interested in."


This story first appeared in The Outlook. Support community newspapers. Subscribe at http://savinglocalnews.com

Download the Wilkes East Neighborhood Summer 2021 Newsletter here!

Download the Wilkes East Neighborhood Summer 2021 Newsletter here! Wilkes East Neighborhood, Gresham Oregon USA. Diversity, Harmony, Community- Together 'WE' can make a difference.

Summer 2021 Newsletter

"Diversity, Harmony, Community -
Together 'WE' can make a difference!”


alt=Read it now!

Summer 2021 Newsletter

Inside This Issue:

  • Trackers, Never Lose Stuff Again
  • New Special Needs Adult Program
  • Wilkes East Land-Use Update
  • Saving 267 Trees; Shaull Woods
  • Meet City Councilor Dina DiNucci

Download your copy here. (includes active web links)

Newsletters are a regular publication of the Wilkes East Neighborhood Association. They are hand-delivered to over 1,500 residences and businesses in our area 3 times per year, timed to correspond with our general meetings.

View archive   |   Policy & Ad Rates

Got a story or tip to share?
Wilkes East residents are encouraged to submit articles and tips for the newsletter. Articles should be limited to 300-400 words and may be subject to editing. Include a related photo. Send by email to chair@wilkeseastna.org, or by postal mail to: 17104 NE Oregon St • Portland OR 97230.

Volunteers Needed
Newsletters are hand-delivered to Wilkes East residents and businesses by neighborhood volunteers. There are always routes that need delivery people. Routes are small and many. We can always use your help.
To volunteer contact chair@wilkeseastna.org.

It’s going to be a scorcher! Potentially historic heatwave ahead for Jun 25-28, 2021

A weather update from WENA's in-house meteorologist, Garret Hartung: It’s going to be a scorcher this weekend, potentially historic heatwave ahead for June 25-28. Info here!

A weather update from WENA's in-house meteorologist, Garret Hartung:

As you might have heard by now, or seen on your favorite weather app/source, it’s gonna get hot this weekend. For the past several days, forecast models have been painting a dire picture for the PNW. An anomalously strong ridge of high pressure is looking to park itself over the Pacific Northwest over the weekend, paving the way for temperatures to meet or exceed records for the month of June, and potentially making a run at the hottest temperatures ever recorded in our region. For reference the highest temperature recorded in June for Portland is 102F, with the all time high temperature record being 107F. After Monday, temperatures look to calm down a bit and get back into the lower 90’s, but it will remain very dry.

So how hot will it actually get?
NWS Portland (at the time I’m writing this) is going with high temperatures at PDX of 104 for Saturday, 108 for Sunday, and 103 for Monday. Temperatures at night will be warm as well providing little relief, with some places failing to dip below 75. To me, these seem like good values to make your plans off of. However there is the a fair amount of potential for it to be even hotter. Should things line up perfectly (thermal trough parked in perfect place, offshore/downslope flow, no high clouds or smoke) there is the potential for Portland to exceed 108 and possibly even 110!

“Ok it’s gonna get hot like it usually does in the summer, why should I care?”
While tornadoes, hurricanes, and other violent forms of weather often take the top news headlines, a relatively silent killed lurks under blue skies and sunshine. According to the CDC over 650 people each year die from exposure to extreme heat and the medical complications that come with it.

Know the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. It could save a live
Click to enlarge

Here in the PNW, many are not blessed with air conditioning. This weekend will be brutal to outright dangerous for those without it. Even potentially deadly to our more vulnerable populations. On top of that, this event is happening right before the 4th of July holiday, with dry conditions persisting throughout the week leading up to it. This is setting the stage for downright scary fire conditions. There is also some concern regarding lightning in the coming week in our higher terrain. Bottom line is that this heatwave can be deadly in itself, and will likely lead to prime conditions for fires.

Some recommendations:

  • Check on friends, neighbors, family, especially those who don’t have AC and/or are particularly vulnerable to excessive heat
  • Do not leave pets, children, or really anything you really care about in your car. Temperatures inside can reach deadly levels within minutes in this kind of heat.
  • Avoid staying outside for long periods of time. If you have to, bring a lot of water and use shade frequently. Wear loose fitting lightly colored clothes.
  • Stay hydrated, drink lots of water and not too many sugary, caffeinated, and/or alcoholic beverages.
  • Even if you have AC, have a backup plan in case of power outages.
  • Know the signs of heat stroke and heat exhaustion. It can save someone's life. See www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat for more information.
  • Reconsider stocking up on fireworks for 4th of July. I personally don’t think it’s worth the fire risk, even in the city. The fire danger could get to the point where counties ban them due to the risk of fire.
  • If you live in a fire zone, have a plan if a fire breaks out near by.
  • Be kind to each other. Heat like this is stressful and a lot of people will be struggling to get some sleep during this period.

Stay safe and stay smart my friends!

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