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

RECHEDULED: Wilkes East Neighborhood Association Board Meeting: Mon Jun 17, 2024 6:30PM-8PM

06/17/2024 - 7:30pm
06/17/2024 - 9:00pm
Etc/GMT-8
Board Meeting, second Monday monthly via Zoom. Wilkes East Neighborhood, 17104 NE Oregon St, Portland OR 97230. Diversity, Harmony, Community -- Together WE can make a difference

Neighborhood Board Meeting

Zoom Online Meeting

RECHEDULED
When: Mon Jun 17, 2024 6:30PM-8:00PM

Join Zoom Meeting
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Meeting ID: 876 7713 2938
Passcode: 648285

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Meeting ID: 876 7713 2938
Passcode: 648285

Board meetings are scheduled for the 2nd Monday each month 6:30PM via Zoom
For more information please contact: info@wilkeseastna.org

Upcoming Meetings

  • Jul 08, 2024
  • Aug 12, 2024 *
  • Sep 09, 2024
  • Oct 14, 2024
  • Nov 11, 2024 *

* General Meeting. Everyone's invited. Please attend.

Join the Board
Are you motivated, passionate, creative?  Join the Board!

Help shape our neighborhood. Become a Member-at-Large at anytime. No experience required -- just the desire to make our neighborhood a better place. Click here for details!  "Together WE can make a difference!"

Wilkes East Neighborhood
17104 NE Oregon St
Portland OR 97230

Download the Wilkes East Neighborhood Spring 2024 Newsletter here!

Download the Wilkes East Neighborhood Spring 2024 Newsletter here! Wilkes East Neighborhood, Gresham Oregon USA. Diversity, Harmony, Community- Together 'WE' can make a difference.

Spring 2024 Newsletter

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


alt=Read it now!

Spring 2024 Newsletter

Inside This Issue:

  • Outdoor School for 6th Grade Students
  • Wilkes East Land Use Update
  • Rockwood Greenspace Now
  • Try The MyGresham App
  • Street Sweeping, 4th Wed, Mar-Nov

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 Fall 2023 Newsletter here!

Download the Wilkes East Neighborhood Fall 2023 Newsletter here! Wilkes East Neighborhood, Gresham Oregon USA. Diversity, Harmony, Community- Together 'WE' can make a difference.

Fall 2023 Newsletter

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


alt=Read it now!

Fall 2023 Newsletter

Inside This Issue:

  • WENA Board Election November 13th
  • Aging Levees, Will They Protect Us
  • Wilkes East Land Use Update
  • Climate Action Meeting, All Things Trees
  • How We Saved the CCACs

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.

City of Gresham, Climate Action Meeting, “All Things Trees”

City of Gresham, Climate Action Meeting, “All Things Trees”

By Janet Unruh, Wilkes East neighbor

The third Climate Action meeting was held September 28, 2023 in the City Council chamber. 30-40 people attended in person.

Presenters

  • Shannon Martin, Solid Waste and Sustainability Manager
  • Johnny Dea, Climate Action Plan Project Manager
  • Tina Núñez-Osterink, Natural Resources and Parks Planner
  • Mary Phillips, Senior City Planner at City of Gresham, working on tree code
  • Sarale Hickson, Urban Planner at City of Gresham, working on updating regulations related to waterways, floodplains, wetlands, and steeply sloped areas
  • John Wasiutynski, Director of the Office of Sustainability, Multnomah County
  • Dr. Vivek Shandas, renowned climate researcher and professor at Portland State University

Good news – Gresham is getting money for Urban Forestry

The USDA Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forestry Program awarded over $1 billion to fund urban forestry projects across the U.S. that “support equitable access to trees and the benefits they provide.” “Equitable access” refers to low-income neighborhoods that are deficient in tree canopy. The funding was made possible by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

Locally, a coalition led by Friends of Trees, including the City of Gresham, and others applied for funding. The coalition received a $12 million grant to be used over next five years to work with neighborhoods to plant and care for trees.
  The IRA urban forestry projects include:

  • Community tree planting (training and engaging volunteers) to plant up to 2,300 street and yard trees and 21,000 native shrubs in neighborhoods and natural areas, specifically in identified equity areas: East Multnomah County, West Eugene, and Springfield
  • Robust post-planting care, including watering, mulching, and natural area maintenance
  • Opportunities for direct community input and participation
  • Community education
  • Workforce training

Tina will be meeting with coalition members to find out how much of the funding Gresham will receive.

Green Gresham, Healthy Gresham

Green Gresham, Healthy Gresham (GGHG) will help identify where to plant trees, taking into consideration the demographics behind the lack of trees. Tina and John Wasiutynski began GGHG about six years ago with the goal of planting more trees to make Gresham a lusher, greener place for all who live in Gresham. Thanks to grants they have received along the way, they have been able to plant over 500 trees, take an inventory of street trees, maintain tree canopy, and recruit homeowners to plant trees. The IRA grant is much larger than the earlier grants and it will provide much more funding for tree planting and care. And there’s more good news: in addition to the IRA grant, Tina, John, and GGHG expect to receive grant money from FEMA for post-disaster response due to the heat dome event in June 2021. In that event 69 people died in Multnomah County.
See also: Green Gresham, Healthy Gresham' Grant Project Adding Street Trees to West Gresham Neighborhoods, the Wilkes East Neighborhood Newsletter http://www.wilkeseastna.org/node/3542

How trees help with hotter, drier temperatures

Trees help cool the environment. They are a simple and effective way to reduce urban heat islands. Trees and other vegetation such as bushes, shrubs, and tall grasses provide shade and cooling through evaporation and transpiration. They absorb water through their roots and cool surroundings by releasing water vapor into the air through their leaves. Trees and vegetation are most useful as a mitigation strategy when planted in strategic locations around buildings and in parking lots and streets. https://www.epa.gov/heatislands/using-trees-and-vegetation-reduce-heat-islands
Note: Heat is the number one weather-related killer in the United States. https://www.weather.gov/oax/heatsafety
Where Gresham is hottest
Heat-related deaths are associated with tree-deficit areas. When trees have been cut down in a neighborhood, heat-related deaths rise (quoting Dr. Shandras).
Rockwood is the hottest census block in Gresham. Rockwood has a deficit of trees because of large parking lots and rooftops in the industrial areas and because of wide roads. The heat island in Rockwood centers around the former Sunrise Center and Kitchen (see map, below).

Rockwood/West Gresham heat map
Click to enlarge

 

Former Sunrise Center, Rockwood/West Gresham
Click to enlarge

Heat islands are usually associated with industrial areas or big-box stores with their acres-wide roofs and enormous parking lots. But in the case of Rockwood, the heat island is next to residential areas where people walk to Max, catch a bus, go to a grocery store, or walk to their apartment. In the summer, this creates a health hazard for anyone transiting through, shopping, or living in this area.

How We Saved The Council Citizen Advisory Committees

How We Saved The CCACs

By Janet Unruh, Wilkes East neighbor

Council Citizen Advisory Committees (CCACs) play an important role in decisions that affect Gresham. These committees are made up of resident experts, interested community members, and a staff liaison to City government. According to the City of Gresham’s website, “City Council appoints residents to committees and boards to advise the Council on certain decisions and policy matters. Citizen advisory committee work stems from the City's Strategic Plan.” The CCACs include the following:

  • Charter Review Committee (work completed)
  • Community Development and Housing Subcommittee
  • Community Enhancement Advisory Committee
  • Design Commission
  • Finance Committee
  • Gresham Redevelopment Commission Advisory Committee
  • Historic Resources Subcommittee
  • Parks and Recreation Community Advisory Group
  • Planning Commission
  • Transportation Advisory Subcommittee
  • Urban Forestry Subcommittee (UFS)
  • Youth Advisory Council

My interest was in the Urban Forestry Subcommittee (UFS) because they are the stewards of the trees in Gresham. And so, it was stunning when in January 2023, City staffers met with all the CCACs including UFS, and asked us all to stop meeting for two to three months while the City restructured.

In the UFS meeting, they delivered that message and gave us no definite timeline for resumption or for interim communication.  I felt that they were stonewalling the subcommittee, and when members expressed disbelief and frustration, the staffers responded that the City “heard us” and would be in touch.

One City staffer who spoke to us said, “We need a bit of time to clean, a bit of time to get the proverbial house in order, so we need to clean up the house a little bit.  So, what we are wanting [sic] to do is work with the three of you [the remaining UFS committee members] and ask for some time to pause.  So, we’re thinking 2 to 3 months.” See the meeting recording: https://tinyurl.com/sfy3a3cm, Passcode: D&A=%%5t. To hear this part, begin at 07:37 on the timeline. The entire meeting is worth watching in my opinion – it was a very emotional meeting.

Their message came across to me as disingenuous. If we were going to be on hold for an indefinite amount of time, the momentum would be lost and the remaining members might drift away. But because there were projects in process, grant money was coming in, and because UFS members were dedicated to the work, they refused to stop meeting.

To read more, see www.greshamtrees.org

A brief history of UFS

For those of you who aren’t familiar with UFS, it began in 1990 as the Tree Preservation Council Advisory Committee. In 2008, the Committee was renamed the Urban Forestry Subcommittee and was made up of City staff, tree professionals, and volunteers. UFS has written publications (for example, The Urban Forestry Management Plan at https://greshamoregon.gov/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=1375), worked with neighborhood groups, and planted many trees through the years in cooperation with Friends of Trees and during Arbor Month activities.

UFS has met regularly every month for 20-plus years.

UFS’ chief role is to advise the City, but the resulting work has to be done by the City. This includes such things as updating City documents like the tree code, following up on tree code violations, and ensuring that new real estate developments adhere to tree-related regulations. One of the reasons the City gave as to why they wanted to shut down the CCACs was the “opportunity to relieve staff liaison ongoing workload.”

Over the past few years, UFS members had become frustrated with a lack of cooperation from the City.  Members dropped out, and as of now, only three members remain.

It seemed to me that the City stopped cooperating with all the CCACs around 2019 to 2022, and after members had quit and meetings began to be canceled, the City surveyed past and current CCAC members to ask their opinions of such things as whether their committee was effective. The results of the survey were mixed.

Despite being asked not to meet, UFS kept meeting. Two months passed. Three months passed. Four months passed. Then, on May 2, 2023, City staffers made a presentation to the Mayor and City Councilors based on survey results. We found out about it thanks to UFS’ chair, who attended the four o’clock meeting. The staffers recommended the dissolution of UFS and most of the other CCACs. Below are two slides from that presentation with my markups.

Slide 18, Council Citizen Advisory Committee Review & Recommendations
Click to enlarge
Slide 20, Council Citizen Advisory Committee Review & Recommendations
Click to enlarge

See https://gresham.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=964&meta_id=59623

Members of the community and I wrote letters to City Council and spoke at Council meetings to complain. The City didn’t respond to us.

The idea of transforming UFS to task forces was disturbing. Task forces can be effective, but my experience of task forces in corporations is that they are mostly window-dressing for public relations. Because of the treatment UFS had already received, I was inclined to think the worst. The “ad hoc” part of it also meant that the City would decide who would participate, and when, or even if, a project needed to be done.

Download the Wilkes East Neighborhood Summer 2023 Newsletter here!

Download the Wilkes East Neighborhood Summer 2023 Newsletter here! Wilkes East Neighborhood, Gresham Oregon USA. Diversity, Harmony, Community- Together 'WE' can make a difference.

Summer 2023 Newsletter

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


alt=Read it now!

Summer 2023 Newsletter

Inside This Issue:

  • Rockwood Urban Renewal B188
  • Wilkes East Land Use Update
  • Climate Action Plan workshop
  • Reynolds Schools Start & End Times
  • WENA Summer Meeting August 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 Spring 2023 Newsletter here!

Download the Wilkes East Neighborhood Spring 2023 Newsletter here! Wilkes East Neighborhood, Gresham Oregon USA. Diversity, Harmony, Community- Together 'WE' can make a difference.

Spring 2023 Newsletter

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


alt=Read it now!

Spring 2023 Newsletter

Inside This Issue:

  • New Play Structure Nadaka Park
  • City Replaces LED Streetlights
  • Urban Forestry in Gresham
  • Caught on Camera
  • WENA Board Elections March 13th

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 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.

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