A Peak Vacation Day

Laura Oppenheimer • The Oregonian • Saturday, July 05, 2008

Summer did its best to skewer my inner traveler.

Gas prices hit $4 a gallon, and airfares climbed. Flying to a friend’s wedding in Louisiana would cost nearly $700, so I turned down the invitation. I felt trapped in Portland.

Then triple-digit temperatures descended. Last weekend, my neighborhood grocery store moved flowers inside. Dogs drooped and drooled on the sidewalk, waiting for their people to emerge from the coffee shop. I lay in my century-old home, motionless at midnight, sweat dribbling down my stomach.

But I had a plan: a day at the park.

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Cut trees spur outrage

Neighbors decry tree cuts along MLK for house move

Mariah Summers • The Portland Tribune • June 30, 2008,

Nearly three blocks of street trees were removed from Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard this weekend to move a house from Northeast Broadway to Northeast Thompson.

Neighbors were upset by the removal of the trees and confused as to how the city could have permitted such action, especially given its commitment to sustainable development.

“I feel that the city should not have permitted this move,” said Michael Russell, a resident of the area. “We are a city that values ‘green’ themed agendas and cutting those trees down goes against our city’s value system and so much we have worked toward.”

According to the Portland Bureau of Development Services, which oversees the permits issued for home moves, the bureau received a permit from the Portland Department of Urban Forestry to remove all existing street trees in the area except for two.

Later, the department issued a subsequent permit to remove more trees, which the Bureau of Development Services said it was was not familiar when reached today.

The Department of Urban Forestry could not be reached for comment.

Water: No clear answer

Water: No clear answer

City might need to build another buried reservoir at Powell Butte

Jim Redden • The Portland Tribune • June 19, 2008

At city Commissioner Randy Leonard’s direction, the Portland Water Bureau is drawing up plans to comply with the newest federal clean-water rules.

Unless the bureau can circumvent the rules, the plans could require the city to spend millions of dollars on a new water treatment plant, possibly located at the base of the large reservoir in the Bull Run watershed where Portland gets most of its drinking water.

The bureau also is studying building a second underground 50-million-gallon reservoir at the Powell Butte Nature Park, where one such reservoir already is located.

[read more…]

also, see this Tribune editorial on the same subject (“Water planning must go forward”)

Scott Yelton’s reflections

Mt. Tabor Central Yard & Nursery Planning Group member Scott Yelton took a close look at our process for his thesis at PSU. He’s just begun posting pieces of it at his own blog, over here. Take a look, and watch for further updates!

Council to consider Opsis contract

Now that City Council has approved a budget that includes full funding for our project, the next big step will be for them to approve our recommended contract with Opsis, the architecture firm selected to oversee the redevelopment of the Mt. Tabor Central Yard and Nursery. They will consider the contract this coming Wednesday, June 11.

Draft meeting notes, agenda posted

A draft of the minutes from our most recent general meeting (June 2, 2008) has been posted. Also the agenda for our next meeting (June 16). Members of our group may log in and directly edit the minutes over there; anyone else can make comments on the topics of the meeting here.

Budget approved for planning process

Compromise city budget approved
Update – Disputes over finances, development agency resolved

By Jennifer Anderson • Portland Tribune • June 4, 2008

With little fanfare, the Portland City Council on Wednesday morning approved the city’s proposed budget for fiscal year that begins on July 1.

Butman said despite the confusion and delays, the final proposed document addresses many of the concerns citizens expressed in the original budget hearing, such as giving financial support for the Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center, the Portland Tennis Center and the Mt. Tabor Park master plan.