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March 2009 meeting minutes

Mt. Tabor Neighborhood Association (MTNA) Regular
Meeting Minutes for March 18, 2009

Board Members present: Mark Bartlett, Jim Blackwood, Nadine Fiedler, Heidi Kohne, Cathy Kuehnl, John Laursen, Paul Leistner, John McLaren, Stephanie Stewart, Bruce Treat and Bing Wong.

Board Members present: Mark Bartlett, Jim Blackwood, Nadine Fiedler, Heidi Kohne, Cathy Kuehnl, John Laursen, Paul Leistner, John McLaren, Stephanie Stewart, Bruce Treat and Bing Wong.

Board members absent: Cascade Anderson Geller, Don Jacobson, Bunny Marechal, Gayle Marechal and Nancy Norby.

Others present: Jimmy Brown, Wayne Dietz, Barb Gamelgard, Callie Goodman, Dave Hillman, Don Holden, Floy Jones, Officer Gary Manougian, Katie Meckes, Greg Snider and John Wish.

Bing Wong led introductions. Minutes from the March meeting was previously distributed via email. The minutes were adopted upon motion by Bruce Treat and seconded by Cathy Kuehnl. Bing Wong presented the treasurer’s report.


Bing Wong told everyone that the May elections for Board seats are approaching and for everyone to consider if they would like to run for re-election or election. Potential Board members in addition to residing in, owning property or a business in the neighborhood need only have attended two meetings in the past twelve months to be eligible to be a MTNA Board member. Bruce Treat will send a similar notice to the email group.

Heidi Kohne forwarded thanks to the neighborhood from the youth group at the Church for support of their recent 30 Hour Famine event.

Paul Leistner said that Gigi Bar at 60th/Division will be seeking a beer and wine license.

Stephanie Stewart says that the City is considering renaming 39th Avenue, Grand or Broadway after Cesar Chavez.

Bing reminded everyone that the Friends of Trees event is Saturday, March 21st from 9 a.m. to noon at the Church.

Bruce Treat said the neighbors involved with the Lincoln St. bus issue would seek approval from the MTNA at the April meeting.

Paul told everyone that Concordia University is putting on a series of diversity conversations in their main dining hall called Powerful or Polarized. The next two events are March 26 followed by April 30.

Katie Meckes from the East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District visited to talk about upcoming free workshops on landscape design (various dates) and weed watching (May 30). She said the EMSWCD also provides advice and information to residents regarding naturscaping and rain gardens. You can contact Katie at 503-935-5368 or find more info at if you are interested.

Old Business

Officer Gary Manougian reported that there have been double digit car prowls in the neighborhood and that they were generally concentrated in the North and East sections of Mt. Tabor. The boundary line for the proposed East precinct was moved to 39th avenue.

Roger Warner attended a Trimet open house and reported that the 15 bus would still travel on Belmont through the neighborhood but the frequency would be slightly less. Warner was told that the 15 line would be ending at the Gateway transit center.

Don Holden volunteered that the State Parks department had approved funds for the Howard Ramsey bench in Mt. Tabor Park.

David Shaff of the Water Bureau came out to discuss the processes involved in getting Portland’s water system in compliance with EPA’s LT2 rule.  The Rule requires that the Open Reservoirs be taken offline, and that we treat our Bull Run water before it is delivered to our system.  On April 1st, the Water Bureau needs to let EPA know what they are going to do regarding the reservoir component of the Rule.  Water Bureau recommends that the City pursues two parallel tracks regarding LT2: one is compliance, and one is to seek a way around compliance. 

Compliance includes taking the Mt. Tabor (and Washington Park) reservoirs offline as well as building a treatment plant for Bull Run sourced water.  The treatment plant build-option also requires the City to decide just which type of treatment plant is desired; costs for treatment options vary widely; for example one plant under consideration will cost $90 million and another will cost $385 million. 

There are two options proposed for a way around compliance: one is to seek a variance through testing; in theory proving that the Bull Run water is the same as water coming out of a treated system (note that the standard by which this test measures is the assumed standard for water from treated systems; because treated systems are not actually tested to this standard it is unclear as to whether or not a treated system could meet this testing standard).  The second option for a way around compliance is to gain legislative relief; this option requires approval by Congress, the Senate and the President.  The Water Bureau will begin sampling the Bull Run water in order to seek the testing variance.  Shaff’s memo and recommendation can be currently found under the Events page on MTNA’s website.  The link as well as further news will later be moved to the News section of the website.  Shaff went on to note that there are six other unfiltered water systems in the country but that none are as protected or regulated as Portland’s and that no other variance of this type had ever been sought.  Shaff noted that providing filtration may open up the Bull Run water area to logging and recreational use.  On Saturday, April 11th, there will be an open meeting at 10 a.m. between representatives of our Congressional delegation (Blumenauer, Merkley, Wu and Wyden), Commissioner Leonard, the Water Bureau and anyone else interested.  The meeting will likely be at Glencoe Elementary cafeteria but at the MTNA meeting, that was not yet confirmed.  This is now confirmed.  The meeting will be moderated by Resolutions NW.

Floy Jones of Friends of Reservoirs visited to seek a letter from MTNA to our Congressional representatives and City Council seeking a congressional waiver exempting Portland from the LT2 EPA regulation. Motion approving letter made by Paul Leistner, seconded by Stephanie Stewart. Motion passed unanimously. Copies of the letters are available on the MTNA website.

New Business

Dave Hillman is with the group organizing the centennial celebration of Mt. Tabor Park taking place on August 1st and 2nd. Dave says that many groups and over twenty activities are planned to celebrate the park over the two days. John Laursen made a motion, seconded by Jim Blackwood that MTNA give $1000 to the celebration. Motion passed.

Stephanie Stewart (and Bruce Treat) have received recent noise variance permit requests in Mt. Tabor Park for weddings. According to MTNA guidelines adopted in February of 2005, no event should have an ending time of amplified music no later than 8:30 nor should the overall time for amplified music exceed three hours. The Weber wedding in August only is requesting a short time and only for the actual ceremony. The reception will be held elsewhere. The Parker/Cruz wedding in June requests amplified music from 6 to 8 p.m. Both requests are approved. Stephanie and Bruce will write separate letters to the parties involved.

Bruce Treat received a request for approval and support from Aaron Montaglione of Terrapin Events for the Mt. Tabor Doggie Dash in July in the park and for the Rock N’ Relay in September in the park. The Doggie Dash and precursor has been at the park for several years now while the Rock N’ Relay is a new event and some expressed concern about the length of amplified music and why it was moved from its previous location of Duniway Park. MTNA is going to invite Mr. Montaglione to the April meeting to further discuss both events.

Committee Reports

Southeast Uplift (SEUL)

Paul Leistner says that Paula Manley has been appointed the interim director of SEUL. Paul says that he is interested in the permanent position and would like withdraw as our representative to SEUL if he seeks that position. He went on to say that Commissioner Fritz’ proposal for the ONI (Office of Neighborhood Involvement) budget would be less cuts than anticipated

Land Use

Stephanie Stewart reported that Clearwire is applying to put four microwave dishes, ten panel antennae and other equipment on top of the apartment building at the corner of 50th and Hawthorne to assist with their “WIMAX” system. The equipment would be housed in 4ft x 4ft x 10ft boxes and an accessory cabinet would be housed in the building’s basement. The only noise would be from the equipment in the basement and not on top of the building. After much discussion, MTNA decided to not take a position on this land use application as it was felt that most neighbors would not be affected.

Meeting adjourned at approximately 9:10

The next MTNA meeting will be Wednesday, April 15 at 7 p.m. at the Presbyterian Church at SE 54th /Belmont.

Previous Minutes can always be found at