Let the Spirit of Community Prevail

The recent divisive election impacted many, especially underserved groups such as immigrant and refugee communities. It is a good time to ask what we can do to make our neighborhoods, streets, places where we gather, a welcoming place for all. There are many ways to nurture goodwill which helps to cultivate hope in difficult times.  Our nearest neighbors are a great place to start. It could be taking the time to greet those who you have not had the opportunity to meet or chat with.
Promoting inclusion, connection, and compassion shows how people turn a place into a community.  
Thank you for your commitment to community!
~Warm holiday wishes to all

Support Transportation Improvements in your Neighborhood

Metro is seeking your input about transportation projects competing for regional funding through November 7.  The Portland Bureau of Transportation submitted several projects for complete streets to Metro to compete for Regional Flexible Funds. Below are 3 projects that propose improvements in Central NE neighborhoods:
  • NE Halsey Safety and Access to Transit
  • Connected Cully: NE 72nd Ave Ped/ Bike Parkway
  • N/NE Columbia Blvd ITS (Regional Freight Initiative)

Read more.

Home is Where the Heart Is Project

In partnership with Rose City Park Neighborhood Association,  Living Stages Theater will present an interactive theatrical forum “Home is Where the Heart Is” engaged community members in conversation about ideas, values, and assumptions related to “home”.  The forum was held at the Rose City Park meeting in June.  During the forum, community actors from Right to Survive, an organization created by and for members of Portland’s houseless community, presented a short scene to share some of the challenges homeless individuals and families face in day-to-day survival. Members of the audience were invited to stop the action of the scene and step onto the stage to propose their ideas for possible solutions.

This program was made possible with a Small Neighborhood Grant from Central Northeast Neighbors, and a grant from Oregon Humanities (OH), a statewide nonprofit organization and independent affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Living Stages is a Portland-based 501 c3 arts organization committed to the practice of interactive theater as a process for community engagement, action and transformation.

“As long as social injustice exists, ours is an unfinished theater,” says Tamara Lynne, Living Stages Creative Director. “We hope to inspire action not only on the stage, but in real life— to help communities transform this situation and create neighborhoods where all individuals feel safe, and can have a sense of home.”

For more information, contact Living Stages through our website www.livingstages.org or email tamara@livingstages.org.

For additional information contact: 503-863-1406

Air Quality Concerns Update

In response to the latest wave of concern about Portland’s air quality, The Cully Air Action Team (CAAT), in collaboration with Portland Clean Air, has developed a user-friendly presentation about how citizens can research:

 > who their nearby air polluting industries are

 > which government agencies issue permits to their operations

 > how to obtain those permits

 > what hazardous materials they have on-site and what toxics they emit

 > what to do once you have the data

The presentation runs about 30 minutes and comes with a guide put out by Portland Clean Air.

Please let us know if you are interested in hearing this presentation at your next gathering. Contact Alma Velazquez : advelazquez@comcast.net.


April/May Update:

Forum in Central Northeast Neighborhoods this summer.

The Multnomah County Health Department (MCHD), Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), and Oregon Health Authority (OHA) are collectively working to investigate sites in Portland with high arsenic levels detected in the initial, experimental, moss testing method reported in late February. The agencies developed a method to decide which locations to investigate first, using relevant air toxics data and information about vulnerable populations. Here is the set of criteria by which agencies will prioritize hot spots identified in U.S. Forest Service moss studies for further investigation (CNN had 3 hot spots). Current projections are that validated information from the US Forest Service moss study will be available this summer. DEQ and its partner agencies plan to update the public in a central northeast, multi-neighborhood forum sometime this summer, possibly in July. Look to the Central Northeast Neighbors website for announcements regarding the investigation plan, and for the date and location of the forum. Until the forum, look to the joint DEQ/Oregon Health Authority (OHA)/MCHD website: <http://saferair.oregon.gov<http://saferair.oregon.gov/Pages/index.aspx>> and for more information this multi-agency report: <http://public.health.oregon.gov/newsadvisories/Documents/se-portland-metals-emissions-physician-guidance.pdf>.

from David Gates of Rose City Park NA

Portland State University, the city of Portland and Multnomah County announced plans to spend $125,000 on a two-year study of the city’s toxic air pollution.


March Update:

Following the February meeting at Tubman, we have continued to follow the story of air quality in regards to the neighborhoods part of Central Northeast Neighbors.

Thus far, the greater attention has been on the neighborhoods in North and Southeast Portland affected by Bullseye Glass and Uroboros Glass. As local and statewide attention has turned to these two plants, the state’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has been struggling to keep up with increased interest in air quality.

Moss testing has known for years to be an effective test for air quality, but Oregon DEQ described it at community meetings as an innovation they have struggled to keep up with. Oregonlive’s map shows 3 major hotspots in the CNN area. While the Owen’s Brockway glass plant off of Killingsworth and 92 doesn’t make colored glass, a process that used cadmium at other plants, CNN residents are still concerned about arsenic and other metal pollutants found in the neighborhood. Portland State University Professor Linda George suggests that one option for concerned residents could be testing their soil. Anyone who does test their soil should share their results with her and the DEQ to determine if further tests in the area are needed.

CNN will continue to track the issue and offer updates as they are available. CNN neighborhood leaders are in communication with local agencies and Cully leaders sent a letter to the Governor to take action.

By Andrés Oswill, MURP

CNN LUTOP student intern



The Oregon Health Authority (OHA), Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), and Multnomah County Health Department (MCHD) are working to investigate concerns about arsenic levels in five Portland neighborhoods. Carcinogenic metals were found in tree moss around Portland, with cadmium found near stained glass manufacturers Map. The map shows 3 hotspots in CNN neighborhoods. The most concentrated sits in Rose City Park around NE 52nd Ave.  Another is based along Sandy Blvd. and I-205 by Sumner. The last is on Columbia and NE 52nd largely in the Cully Neighborhood.

Both glass factories identified as potential sources of carcinogenic metals have voluntarily suspended use of cadmium and arsenic. Both companies were complying with legal regulations, but changed their practices once the information emerged. The state DEQ has released a Frequently Asked Questions sheet to help give more information, and a new group the Eastside Air Coalition emerged in response to the high levels of toxic metals discovered. They are visiting different neighborhood associations to talk about the concerns, and you can learn more about their upcoming activities on their events page. Neighbors for Clean Air-What’s in our Air has been actively working on community advocacy and policy to improve air quality in Portland for several years now. Also, The Cully and Rose City Park Neighborhoods are investigating and discussing the recent concerns at their meetings and plan to take action.

By Andrés Oswill, MURP

CNN LUTOP student intern

Sign-up for Neighborhood News with ONI Notification

Are you aware that ONI has a tool that allows you to sign up and receive news and information to connect the people of Portland with opportunities for engagement around City decision making and public policy, community livability and safety, and promotion of networking and collaboration among communities and neighborhoods?

This service is known as ONI Notification and I’m sure some of you have been past subscribers. You are receiving this message because whether or not you are a past subscriber or someone who has not yet subscribed you will need to go through the subscription process if you want to receive these updates.
Back in December there was a problem with the City’s news subscription service. A result of this technical issue was the loss of all users that had subscribed to receive news updates from our ONI Blog (Neighborhood News/ONI Notification) At that time we had approximately 2000 subscribers. So what this means even to those of you that had subscribed in the past is that you will need to re-subscribe!

The subscription service allows you to receive daily, weekly or monthly updates from the City regarding a number of different categories of City related news.
So if you are interested in receiving notifications from ONI via this subscription service follow these steps:
 Go to the City website at www.portlandoregon.gov and click “Sign In” in the upper right hand corner of the screen.
If you already have an account, sign in with your user name and password (if you can’t recall your password there is a password remind option you can click). If you don’t have an account there is an option to create one.
 Once signed in, scroll to the very bottom of the screen and click the “Subscribe” link under the Access header and then you will see a pop up box where you can select any of the category types of updates you would like to receive.

New Neighborhood Grant Projects!

2016 Will be Bright with New Projects!
We are grateful to announce community groups and their partners that will collaborate and engage diverse neighbors in four new projects in Central Northeast! 

Building Community Together.
The Central Northeast Neighbors grant program gives to efforts that actively involve under-served communities and other groups in these three community building areas:
  • Developing leadership and skills.
  • Building community identity.
  • Strengthening relationships and creating new partnerships.

Home is Where the Heart is                  
Living Stages and Right 2 Survive 

This partnership will present an interactive community forum that engages both housed and houseless in conversation about the qualities and conditions that make a home. Living Stages has been working successfully tobring awareness on issues of houselessness. Participants engage directly in a theatrical role play. This works to support the voices and develop leadership skills of those who experienced homelessness, and offers a unique opportunity for them to share their insights with the wider community in a neighborhood setting. The goals include deepening the collective understanding of home and housing as an essential and urgent need facing our community.

Let’s Take the Lead on Lead

Beaumont-Wilshire NA, Lead Safe America, and United Neighbors for Reform

The goal of this partnership is to increase awareness of the dangers of lead poisoning, especially in children with a film screening, panel, and community outreach.  With the demolition of buildings in residential areas, lead paint dust can become a health threat as is demonstrated in the film MisLEAD. The screening at the Hollywood Theater and follow-up discussion will be supported by door-to-door lead outreach near the houses slated for demolition in Central NE neighborhoods.


Scott School Kermes Community Celebration and Resource Fair
Center for Intercultural Organizing (CIO), Impact NW, Scott School

The annual Kermes multicultural celebration is to strengthen community identity and to inspire in parents and neighbors a sense of investment, responsibility, and pride in the education of the children in the Cully neighborhood. More than half of the students at Scott School speak a language other than English at home. The goal is to increase community connections.  This effort will provide resources to bring families, neighbors, and groups together. The Kermes celebration includes multi-ethnic food, performances, and interactive activities and is planned by a racially diverse group of parents and teachers.

Youth Bike Mechanic and Community Outreach Class 
Community Cycling Center and Helensview School in Sumner

This bicycle-based collaboration will support education and community building needs of youth attending Helensview.  These teens who’s needs were not met in other educational settings will develop hands-on skills using a STEM curriculum. The project will provide a professional bike mechanic that is experienced working with youth. The school features a bike workshop space that is well suited to host this exciting learning experience. The class will follow the Next Generation Science Standards which is possible through this unique collaboration.  The goal is also to engage youth in community stewardship and connection through bicycle empowerment.