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Update: Community Paints Rockwood Bright! Meet the new Plaza Del Sol!

Rockwood Paints It Bright!  Meet the new Plaza Del Sol! Gresham, Oregon.  Click for info!
Volunteers paint the plaza
Click to enlarge

Splashes of Color
mark a new beginning!

Plaza del Sol comes to the Rockwood Cultural Marketplace

Rockwood, Sep 19, 2009
When Rockwood coverage happens its commonly due to negative events. So, we felt it was very important to share an amazing community building event that took place today in Rockwood.

Welcome Rockwood's Plaza Del Sol painting!

Plaza del Sol is one of several new interim uses being sited by the Gresham Redevelopment Commission on the Cultural Marketplace (former Fred Meyer store) property in Rockwood at SE 187th & SE Stark St. Get Map!

The plaza is the first piece of a recently approved interim use plan for the Rockwood Cultural Marketplace to transform the site with new sidewalks, paths, benches, a wildflower garden, play area, basketball courts, a food-cart area, and many other family friendly activities.

Using supplies donated by Parr Lumber and Miller Paint, volunteers worked throughout the day to paint the huge 13,000-square-foot “Plaza del Sol,” a colorful scale model of the solar system on the Southeast corner of the site.

Reynolds to rehire some laid-off teachers with extra funds from Legislature

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Reynolds to rehire laid-off teachers with extra funds from Legislature

Finally some good news.
District receives additional $6.2 million in funding

Board votes $2 million to rehire teachers, $2 million for obligations. Places $2.2 million in contingency fund.

Reynolds board votes to spend added millions now, rehire teachers

by Betsy Hammond
The Oregonian, Thursday Aug 13, 2009

A unanimous Reynolds school board voted (tonight) to spend $2 milllion to immediately hire back laid-off teachers in order to reduce class sizes before school starts Sept. 8.

A standing-room-only crowd of teachers and parents applauded loudly.

Many had testified that students would suffer from a lack of attention and individualized instruction if the district stuck to its earlier plans to eliminate one of every four teaching positions and raise class sizes to 35 or larger at most grade levels.

Volunteers remove invasives, install new signs at July 2009 Nadaka Nature Park cleanup event

Volunteers remove invasives, install new signs at 2009 Nadaka Nature Park cleanup event sponsored by Friends of Nadaka and the Wilkes East Neighborhood Association, Gresham Oregon
Nadaka Nature Park

Great things are happening!

"Nadaka Nature Park" sign
and a new nature-based play area enhance the park

Volunteers remove invasives, create new play area

Approximately 25 hearty volunteers showed-up to the July 11th cleanup to help restore Nadaka Nature Park's urban habitat. Volunteers removed and disposed of wood waste, including invasive ivy, blackberries and holly, filling a 40 cubic yard drop box provided by the Wilkes East Neighborhood Association to capacity. Volunteers pitched-in to create a small nature based play area at the south edge of the park beside the meadow (photos below).

Nadaka gets a "sign"

Volunteers also installed a beautiful new "Nadaka Nature Park" sign at the entrance to park, and added "Friends of Nadaka" and "Wilkes East Neighborhood Association" to the list of groups contributing to park improvements on the Park Supporter's sign post (photos below). The signs, purchased by WENA through a generous grant from the City of Gresham, are a great addition to our wonderful park.

Cypress Park neighbors join-in National Night Out 2009

Cypress Park joins Nation Night Out 2009

Cypress Park neighbors send a message to criminals!

Residents join-in the 26th National Night Out

Neighbors gather against crime

The Wasco St. Neighborhood Watch (NE Wasco St. from 172nd to 179th) celebrated their first National Night Out "block party" Friday, Aug. 7, 2009 from 6PM-9PM. Two watch members took the initiative to prepare a flier invitation and others members distributed it.

Great participation

The block party attracted 40 members of the neighborhood, some who had never met. Conversation was fun and lively, one student performed magic.

The neighborhood potluck consisted of wonderful dishes from all families including Russian and Philippine cuisine. Everyone commented on what a great time it was.

An annual event

Wasco St. Neighborhood Watch plans to host an annual National Night Out block party each year.

Solar array requires tree removal along Columbia Slough. Wilkes Community Group to hold emergency meeting: Jul 17, 2009 6:30PM

07/17/2009 - 6:30pm
Etc/GMT-8
Trees to be removed along Columbia Slough at NE 164th to make way for new solar array.  Wilkes Community Group to hold emergency general meeting Thursday July 16th, 2009 6:30PM. Public invited

Wilkes Community Group Emergency Meeting. Public Invited

Trees to be removed along Columbia Slough at NE 164th to make way for new solar array

When: Thursday, July 16th, 2009 6:30PM
Where: East Portland Neighborhood Office
1017 NE 117th Avenue
Get Map!

Purpose of meeting

As part of the City of Portland’s commitment to sustainability and the development of alternative energy sources, the Portland Water Bureau is currently working with a Solar Developer to install a 270 kW Solar Array in a field on Water Bureau property at the Groundwater Pump Station at 16400 NE Airport Way. This $3.5 million solar project will generate approximately 300,000 kWh of electricity; enough to offset part of the electricity consumed by the pump station and the equivalent to approximately 50 Oregon homes.

Unfortunately the orientation of the Solar Array requires removal of 32 red alder, Douglas fir and western red cedar trees along the south property line in order to prevent shading of the panels. All of the trees are between 15 feet and 30 feet tall.

The removed trees will be replaced by a 36 native cascara, western flowering dogwood and black hawthorne trees, which will not grow tall enough to shade the solar array.

Agenda

To prepare testimony for environmental land use review of Portland Water Bureau's Application (LU 09-128253EN) to remove trees from and environmental zone along the Columbia Slough in Wilkes at 16400 NE Airport Way. Click here to review the City of Portland's complete proposal.

Because the City of Portland must publish their decision within 28 days, they must to receive written comments by 5PM on July 17, 2009.

Questions?

Please contact Alice Blatt phone 503-253-6247 email aliceb@pacifier.com.

Capri Terrace holds June 2009 Neighborhood Watch meeting

Officer John Pemberton, East Metro Gang Enforcement Team (EMGET) speaks to the Capri Neighborhood Watch group June 14th
Officer Pemberton discusses local gang activity. Click to enlarge

East Metro Gang Enforcement Team slideshow brings local gang activity home to Capri Terrace residents

Neighbors hear gang presentation

Officer John Pemberton, East Metro Gang Enforcement Team (EMGET) spoke to the Capri Neighborhood Watch group in mid-June. 17 families along with 8 children heard about graffiti & gangs in the surrounding areas.
During the slideshow presentation neighbors learned in East Multnomah County alone there are over 129 active documented criminal street gangs, over 700 active documented gang members, and only 7 cops dedicated to combating gangs and gang violence. Officer Pemberton reminded everyone to photograph any graffiti they found before removing it and to mark the location & date the tagging was found before sending the photo to the Police. Neighbors were urged to report gang activity to 503-666-1844.

Bob & Mary Lundbom & their grandson hosted the event with hot dogs, multitudes of toppings along with lots of potluck sides and goodies.

Member presentations

Jerry Dunn gave an update on neighbor Gail Anderson. She is still in the hospital in Charlotte North Carolina. Everyone had signed a card for her the previous week & had been received by her with much appreciation.

Discussion regarding Code Enforcement & debris on a couple of neighborhood sites was discussed. A reminder about the up coming neighborhood Clean-Up and the Capri Terrace Neighborhood Garage Sale were mentioned.

Glenn Mathew, Watch Coordinator, gave an update of the happenings in our Watch area, which were relatively ZERO. He had hand outs, but also reminded members to check out the website CrimeReports.com, to follow crimes in the Gresham area.

UPDATE: Rockwood 10 years later: millions wasted, the former Fred Meyer site remains a vacant lot

The former Rockwood Fred Meyer store (since demolished) property continues to languish after years of failed urban development and millions wasted. Once a thriving middle-class community, the area has fallen into ruin - riddled with crime and poverty
Rockwood Fred Meyer (demolished),
185th & SE Stark. Click to enlarge.

Once the 'heart' of a thriving middle-class community, Rockwood continues to remains on life-support

UPDATE: Jan 2013

Ask anyone in East County to describe Rockwood and you're likely to hear them say "slum", "trouble", or simply "stay away".

From everything to nothing
Not long ago -- or so it seems, Rockwood was a vibrant community, serving the regional needs of folks living in unincorporated East Multnomah County between the cities of Portland and Gresham. Whatever your need, Rockwood had it: grocerers, retailers, furniture, fast-food & restaurants, services, medical and more. Rockwood was buzzing with activity.

Those days are gone along with businesses like Fred Meyer, GI Joes, Girrods, Star Furniture, Rockwood Lanes, Fred's Travelrama, the laundromat, the urgent-care, Burger King, KFC, Dairy Queen, Winchell's, Skippers, and countless others.

Ignored for years by local government, Rockwood has been in decline for decades. Crime-infested, and poverty-sticken. Today Rockwood is fighting for its very survival.

Expect delays and weekend closures along NE 181st Ave in West Gresham thru June during Signal Improvements construction

NE 181st Ave Corridor Signal Improvements construction begins in West Gresham. Expect delays and closures through June.

Signal upgrades, ramp improvements, and pavement repairs are underway.

Much needed traffic changes come to West Gresham.

Ask any rush hour commuter traveling NE 181st Ave in West Gresham and they will tell you, traffic congestion between Interstate 84 and NE Halsey St is miserable. In fact at times, it's downright unbearable.

Frustrated commuters rejoice, change is here!

According to the City of Gresham Project Manager and City Engineers the long awaited NE 181st Ave Corridor Signal Improvements project has begun.

Linda Kidby, City of Gresham spokesperson says "signal upgrades, ramp improvements, and pavements repairs are underway right now and should be completed soon" to relieve traffic congestion through this busy area.

Expect delays and weekend closures

Construction workers are currently making improvements to all of the handicap accessible sidewalk ramps at the intersection of NE San Rafael St at NE 181st Ave.

Due to the nature of the asphalt repairs and the high traffic volume along NE 181st Ave city workers will need to close several intersections in the

Everything Nadaka: Recent events, grants, and a possible new expansion

Everything Nadaka: Recent events, grants, and a possible new expansion
Hollydale Elementary students, teachers,
and parents remove invasives from Nadaka Nature Park

Preserving urban habitat

Great things are happening at Nadaka Nature Park

Nadaka Nature Park is a lovely 10 acre natural area of second generation Douglas Fir forest with an under-story of native plants in the Wilkes East Neighborhood. Nadaka offers a quiet, woodsy escape with it's .46 mile walking trail loop and an open meadow on the south. The Wilkes East Neighborhood Association (WENA) is actively working to restore this natural area by removing invasive blackberry, ivy, and holly with volunteer work parties. Entrance to the park is near NE 175th & NE Pacific St.

Recent events at Nadaka

So far in 2009, the Friends of Nadaka group has organized over 10 invasive removal cleanups at the park including 75-90 Hollydale Elementary students, teachers & parents; and a SOLV Earth Day event April 18th with more than 30 volunteers.

Everything Nadaka: Recent events, grants, and a possible new expansion
SOLV Earth Day 2009 volunteers help restore Nadaka Nature Park's urban habitat

May 28th the Audubon Society of Portland organized a morning stroll to explore the natural and human history of this unique neighborhood nature park and to begin documenting the bird species inhabiting Nadaka.

Grant monies for Nadaka

WENA and Friends of Nadaka recently received a Metro 'Nature in Neighborhood' matching grant totaling $24,000 for improvements at Nadaka.

Reynolds School District lays off 149 teachers, more planned. Middle School students protest budget cuts

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Reynolds School District lays off 149 teachers, Middle School students protest budget cuts

Going from bad to worse,

District lays off 149 teachers, more layoffs coming. Middle School students protest planned budget cuts

Reynolds School District lays off 149 teachers

Source: The Gresham Outlook. By Rob Cullivan. May 29, 2009

The Reynolds School District is laying off 149 teachers as of Aug. 31, with the bulk of the layoffs coming among those hired in the past three years.

Faced with slashing almost $15 million from its 2009-10 budget, the district also will announce further layoffs, including among its music education staff as well as support-staff employees, according to Andrea Watson, district spokeswoman.

The teacher layoffs break down as follows: 5 teachers hired between 1996 and 2001; 42 teachers hired between 2001 and 2006; and 102 hired between 2006 and 2009.

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