Namaste to Gateway

by on Aug 18, 2015 | 0 comments

A new East Indian restaurant is being built in the former Electric Castle’s Wunderland video arcade site in Gateway. Namaste Indian Cuisine restaurant plans to open its doors by October at 10306 N.E. Halsey St., according to its owner, Harjinder Chand. Owner of three other restaurants, two in Portland and one in Vancouver, Chand purchased the building May 13. The remodeled building will also house a gift shop and grocery store selling East Indian and Pacific Island food, spices and gifts, as well as beer and wine. In addition, Chand’s eldest daughter will teach East Indian cooking classes at the restaurant, open to the community, once a week. Chand paid $540,000 for the 5,000-square-foot site, which includes the building and land. The Portland Development Commission approved several grants for Chand to support his efforts to remodel the long-vacated building, according to Sue Lewis, PDC’s grant program manager. These include a Development Opportunities Services (DOS) grant for up to $12,000 for a feasibility study; a Storefront Improvement Program (SIP) grant for up to $32,000; and a Green Features grant for up to $25,000 for energy efficient improvements. On the DOS grant, PDC will reimburse Chand 80 percent, up to the maximum amount. “The study is not complete yet, so I do not know if he will max out the grant,” Lewis said in an email. On the SIP grant, PDC will reimburse Chand 75 percent, up to the maximum amount for eligible facade improvement costs, such as painting the building, new windows, doors, signage, lighting and/or awnings. Lewis said whether he receives the full amount of the SIP grant will depend on the construction bids. For the Green Features grant, PDC reimburses him 50 percent, up to the maximum amount. Chand chose to locate his restaurant in Gateway because he noticed there were no major East Indian grocery stores in the area, just very small ones that offered few choices to the customers. “I like that area very much,” Chand said. “Living around that neighborhood are many Indian people, Nepalese and Highlanders from Samoa and Tonga, small island people. They are regular customers at my other restaurants. They all encouraged me to bring Indian food close to them, so that’s why I chose that area.” Chand applied for a building permit on July 9 and expects the remodeling to begin by late July or early August. He’s working with architect Lorraine Guthrie, who contracts with PDC, and designer Linh Dau, owner of Fine Arts Design Incorporated. Dau is the general contractor and designer of the interior remodeling of the building, which costs about $100,000, according to Dau. He explained the restaurant, grocery store and gift shop will be housed in...
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Grocery Outlet, Dollar Tree coming to Parkrose in 2016

by on Aug 16, 2015 | 0 comments

Last month, former Parkrose Hardware co-owner Bryan Ableidinger announced he’s applying for a city building permit for a new 22,000 sq. ft. structure for two tenants, Grocery Outlet and Dollar Tree. To make way for the new development Ableidinger plans to demolish the building next to his former concern that’s currently occupied by Good World Chinese Restaurant & Lounge at 10721 N.E. Sandy Blvd. Mark New of New & Neville Real Estate Services walked into Ableidinger’s hardware store 18 months ago and began a conversation with Ableidinger about developing the parcel. After Ableidinger looked at New & Neville’s work in St. Johns redeveloping a building for an ACE Hardware store and rehabilitating two others for a Grocery Outlet and Dollar Tree that face each other on Lombard Street, he was all-in with the real estate service company. “He took that model of neighborhood redevelopment, saw the Good World property, and showed up in the store one day and talked to me about it,” Ableidinger said in a phone interview. “We’re co-redeveloping that property with him.” Ableidinger said he doesn’t know how long the approval for his building permit will take, but Good World closes Sept. 1, which is when demolition of the existing structure will begin, to be followed by site preparation for the new building. Good World owner Wan Su said they found another location nearby for their popular restaurant, but they cannot announce where until they complete negotiations with the property owner. Su said for their customers’ convenience, they plan to stay in the area. Parkrose Business Association President Mike Taylor said his group knows the Ableidingers are good neighbors and look forward to the development. “The board is very supportive of the project and stated our support in a letter to the city,” Taylor said in an email. “The area needs a grocery store and new quality building are good for the area.” Parkrose Neighborhood Association Chair Annette Stanhope did not respond to requests for comment; however, Doug Cook, Argay Terrace Neighborhood Association chair—the neighborhood immediately east of Parkrose—did. “I want Parkrose revitalized too,” Cook said when told of the development. “Who doesn’t but it’s not going to be revitalized with a Grocery Outlet and Dollar Tree.” Parkrose residents Becky Seid and Melissa Ellinger Bergstrom were hoping for the more upscale Trader Joe’s to locate near their homes. “I wish it was Trader Joe’s,” Seid said on Facebook. “I wish it was a Trader Joe’s too,” Ellinger Bergstrom said, echoing Seid. “Grocery Outlet is okay, but with the amount of traffic that flows on Sandy it would seem a TJ’s could do really well and could be an attractive amenity for the neighborhood. A grocery store...
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by on Aug 14, 2015 | 0 comments

The Mid-county Memo strives to be accurate and thorough in its coverage and corrects significant errors of fact. If you find an error, please call 503-287-8904 or e-mail department editor Darlene Vinson at In the “Pick up free compost in Parkrose” item in July’s Business Memos column, we spelled Kim Knoernschild’s name wrong. In addition, in last month’s feature story, “Sundling celebrates 30 years with Danna Brothers’ Elmer’s” we misstated Mr. Sundling’s post-retirement profession. He wants to be a fishing guide, not a diving instructor (as stated in the article). We apologize for these...
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Volunteers eager to join community advisory committee

by on Aug 12, 2015 | 0 comments

By late July, the Oregon Department of Transportation had received more than 30 applications for a seat on the community advisory committee for the 82nd Avenue of Roses implementation plan. The volunteers on the committee will provide input and recommendations to ODOT staff working on the project, as well as to a steering committee composed of elected officials and city, state and regional representatives. “It’s been really exciting to see the response,” said Terra Lingley, who is the new project manager for the plan. “The day the press release came out I got a bunch of phone calls and some emails inquiring about it, so I think the momentum is really great and the community is really interested in seeing this project be a success. So I’m excited to take over and get it going when we get the go-ahead.” Lingley will be the new project manager for the plan, once the contract negotiations are completed with CH2M HILL, the engineering firm selected to be the lead consultant for the plan. Lingley replaces ODOT’s Mike Mason as project manager as soon as negotiations end. Mason is stepping down because of his full schedule working as project manager with ODOT’s Outer Powell Transportation Safety Project, as well as other projects. “There are review processes on everyone’s side, so it takes awhile to get there,” Lingley said. “So we’re still negotiating. The original timeline we had was hopefully starting in August, but we just don’t know what’s going to happen. Unfortunately, it does take a little while to get under contract.” However, Lingley said the contract negotiations could last until fall. Oregon’s Department of Justice has to review the contract in addition to ODOT’s new consultant. Although Lingley could not yet specify who would be selected for the advisory committee, she indicated several community groups had expressed strong interest in joining. Those include the 82nd Avenue Improvement Coalition, APANO (Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon), Jade District and neighborhood coalitions, as well as individual neighborhoods. “What we’re hoping to look for is a broad representation of business and freight and bicyclists and pedestrians and transit riders, as well as the coalitions and organized groups that already have a stake in 82nd,” Lingley said. She expects about 20 to 25 people will be selected for the committee, so it will not be so large as to be unwieldy. “There are a lot of competing interests and we want to have balanced views, so we need enough people to provide those kinds of diverse interests and input,” she said. Some members of the group might represent two or more interests, such as a resident and a business owner or a transit rider and...
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Legislature votes $17 million for Powell Blvd. study

by on Aug 11, 2015 | 0 comments

The Oregon Department of Transportation is studying one of the highest crash segments of Southeast Powell Boulevard (U.S. Highway 26) from Southeast 122nd to 136th Avenues before beginning safety improvements in the future. In July, the Oregon legislature voted to allocate money to improve the highlighted section of Southeast Powell Boulevard. The Oregon legislature voted in early July to allocate $17 million to conduct an environmental study of that section, which is one of the highest crash corridors in the state. That strip is part of the state agency’s Outer Powell Transportation Project, which hopes to improve pedestrian safety by widening Southeast Powell Boulevard from Southeast 99th to 174th Avenue, adding a center turn lane as well as marked crossings, sidewalks, bike lanes, lighting and safer connections to transit, housing and shopping. “That segment was identified as a priority for implementation should funds come in, rather than the whole corridor,” said Mike Mason, ODOT’s project manager for the plan. “The reason was because 122nd to 136th has some of the highest crash results. The whole corridor needs sidewalks and bike lanes, so hopefully we’re going to get funding over time to complete the whole project.” The city of Portland also contributed an additional $3 million to improve the same strip. Portland city commissioner Steve Novick, commenting on the city’s allocation, said, “Members of the east Portland community consistently rank improvements on Outer Powell Boulevard as one of their top transportation priorities. I applaud the legislature and particularly the east Portland delegation for prioritizing transportation safety investments on Outer Powell. I am proud to partner with the state legislature and ODOT to make this state highway safer for everyone.” The project follows the 2013 Outer Powell Boulevard Conceptual Design Plan, an ODOT and City of Portland project. ODOT began construction on parts of that plan in 2013 by paving, striping, adding buffer zones and installing four new signalized pedestrian crossings along Southeast Powell Boulevard to improve safety while the larger planning effort begins. The state conceptual study divided the whole corridor from Southeast 99th to 174th Avenue into four segments. Along those 75 blocks, there have been 1,024 crashes between 2009 and 2013, which is 37 percent more crashes than there have been on similar state roads in the same period. Since last September, ODOT has invested about $3 million to complete the planning, environmental study and design work for the corridor. This work will be finished in the fall of 2016, and it will lay the groundwork for additional project funding. From last September until this spring, ODOT conducted public outreach through meetings, neighborhood walks, interviews with residents and organizations, focus groups and email feedback in order to learn...
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Activists get no respect from City Hall

by on Aug 10, 2015 | 1 comment

Carrying forward a movement that began with a petition to undo Mid-Multnomah County’s annexation to Portland in 1985, members of the renamed Portland Community Equality Movement are still determined to gain services and respect for the efforts they have been making to get the city’s attention. When it became clear the de-annexation effort would not succeed, group members switched their focus to changing Portland’s governing structure. They want the various segments of the city to be directly represented. In the case of east Portland, the group hopes more and better services will be provided if it has a city council member who lives in one of the east Portland neighborhoods, instead of one who has been elected at large. Of course, this still requires a petition to be turned in, scanned for legality, and compliant with other requirements that are not necessarily easy for the nonprofessional to identify. If the city auditor’s office passes the petition as constitutional, the city attorney determines the ballot measure language and title. Before the petition goes on the ballot, however, several steps must be taken, and therein is the problem. Collene Swenson, spokesperson for this action, has already taken five trips to the auditor’s office to file a petition. Each time, she has dealt with issues of legality or verbiage, but the process can be confusing, and there is little help from officials. There is a voter information booklet describing how to fill out forms for a petition, but it does not explain the verbal style expected by the officials who make the decisions regarding what is and isn’t acceptable. Swenson has regularly been told to get an attorney, but she questions why the process must be so complicated. Any citizen with a basic understanding of legal procedures, she feels, should be able to file an acceptable petition to go on the ballot. She says the reactions she has gotten from the auditor’s office make her feel as if they wonder, “When will the gnat go away.” She is hoping to involve a larger citizen base and has reached out to other activist groups. The current petition, recently submitted, is the fifth effort by the group, and more than anything, she would like their efforts to receive some respect. On July 24, the most recent version of the petition was filed with the city’s elections office, and published in The Oregonian on Sunday, July 26, 2015. The ballot title: Amends Charter: Changes Form of City Government asks the question “Shall Portland be governed by nine member council (seven elected by district) and managed by a mayor with executive authority?” Citizens wishing to review this petition, part of the process, have until Aug. 4,...
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Gilman Court grand opening attracts politicians, well-wishers

by on Aug 8, 2015 | 0 comments

More than 150 community members and dignitaries attended the grand opening of the new Gilman Court apartment complex July 20 at the building, 610 N.E. 99th Ave. Speakers at the free event included Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer; Portland City Commissioner Dan Saltzman; Dan Valliere, REACH’s executive director; and Roger Hinshaw, market president of Bank of America’s Oregon and SW Washington divisions. In addition, Gilman’s two surviving daughters, Maggie Gilman Holm and Cadie Gilman also delivered moving tributes to their father, Dennis Gilman. The recently completed 60-unit, $15.8 million complex for low-income seniors 55 and over was named after Gilman, co-founder and first director of REACH Community Development Corporation, the nonprofit that owns and developed the building. Gilman passed away in 2001. Other dignitaries at the event included former Oregon Governor Barbara Roberts, State Senator Michael Dembrow and a representative from Oregon Senator Ron Wyden’s office. “It was really, really wonderful,” said Laura Recko, public relations manager for REACH. “It was fun and festive. It was just fantastic to have the Gilman family there.” Gilman’s daughters brought many family members and friends to the event. “[Maggie’s speech] about her father was one of the most moving tributes I’d ever heard about anyone,” Recko said. “There were many people in the audience who knew Dennis in the days when REACH started. It was like going back to our roots 30 years ago. [Maggie and Cadie] were just incredibly moved that REACH had made this gesture toward their dad. You could tell it was very meaningful for them.” Blumenauer, who was a neighbor and friend of Gilman’s in those early years, also spoke. During the event, REACH offered the public self-guided tours of two of the vacant units. All but one of the 60 units has been rented. The remaining vacant unit is designed for someone who is hearing-impaired. “We really want to find somebody who the unit is appropriate for,” Recko said. Anyone interested in obtaining more information about that apartment may call the Gilman Court property manager, Jill Scheckla, at 971-277-7196 or email her at Seniors earning 30 to 60 percent of the area’s current median family income—$15,450 to $30,900 for single-family households—are eligible for one-bedroom apartments at the complex. Four of the units are renting for $325 a month, plus utilities. The others are renting for $540 to $605 a month, plus utilities. People interested in being placed on a waitlist for any units that become vacant in the building may call Scheckla, who is also the property manager for Glisan Commons Phase 1, a 67-unit, five-story building of workforce housing next door, owned by Human Solutions. Ride Connection, a transportation service provider for seniors and people with...
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Hazelwood Plaza construction on N.E. 102nd Avenue could begin this November

by on Aug 6, 2015 | 0 comments

Construction could begin as early as November on the proposed $8 million, five-story Hazelwood Plaza apartment complex between Northeast Glisan and East Burnside St. at 222 N.E. 102nd Ave. Alberto Rinkevich, project manager for the building, presented a preliminary design to the Portland Design Commission in October 2013, but commissioners rejected that design, asking for sturdier materials, more variety in paint choices, additional brick siding and placement of the courtyard in the front rather than the back of the building. Rinkevich revamped the design and presented it again to the commission in February. This time, the commission approved it 4-0. The new, approved design changes the complex into two five-story apartment buildings of 62 units with tuck-under parking for 44 vehicles, plus one loading space, a central entry plaza and a second-level outdoor deck. “The ground floor is brick and the other four upper floors are a mix of metal and cement board siding,” Rinkevich said. “We replaced almost everything. It’s a new building. We changed all the windows and everything is different. Now it’s a flat roof. We have two different lobbies, one for each building. On one side we have two shops replacing the live/work units we have in the other building.” The new design also now contains metal and wood canopies. Rinkevich plans to obtain a building permit by early August. He expects construction to begin possibly by November, to be finished by late 2016 or early 2017. He currently has received a few bids from construction companies and is checking into them. Ricardo Berdichevsky is developing the giant 72,726-square-foot building. The owner is Century18 LLC. At the October 2013 review, Rinkevich and Berdichevsky had asked the commission to let them reduce the depth of the setback for the ground level live/work units along the street from the required 25 feet to 13 feet. They also asked for a reduction in the interior parking lot landscaping to 860 square feet instead of 1,350 square feet. In addition, they requested narrower dimensions between the 80 bikes hanging on the wall rack and a reduction in the loading space from 18 feet to 16 feet. In the February 2015 hearing, they also asked to allow the ground-level retail spaces to be less deep than the 25-foot depth required in the zoning code and to replace the parking lot’s required landscape with the entrance plaza and the second-floor roof garden. “I got all the changes that I asked for from the city,” he said. “They were very happy with the new design.” Chris Caruso, a planner from the Bureau of Development Services, praised Rinkevich for his revamped design. “He made a significant number of changes,” Caruso said. “He really...
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August 2015 Issue

by on Aug 4, 2015 | 0 comments

Start watching your mailboxes for this months print edition, because it’s on it’s way!  Here’s this months important information… Meals on Wheels Letters to the Editor Lottery Memo Pad Business Memos Restaurant Ratings Letters to the Editor The featured stories this month by Linda Cargill, Patricia Macaodha and Tim Curran, are about the Hazelwood Plaza, Gilman Court,  and some local activists and volunteers. Also, a couple of well known new businesses coming to ParkRose in 2016!  We’ll post these feature stories here in the coming days, so if you want them sooner, check that...
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Google Workshop for Businesses in August

by on Jul 23, 2015 | 0 comments

The East Portland Chamber of Commerce is co-sponsoring an afternoon Google workshop for businesses that promises to deliver a huge amount of value to attendees. At this workshop, novice business owners will implement Google Analytics, Google My Business, and the Google Search Console, updating and ensuring the accuracy of all of their information.  Something a business could spend hundreds, or even thousands of dollars for, will be accomplished in just four hours using Google provided partner materials, under the guidance of multiple local internet marketing professionals who are also verified Google partners. One of the event organizers Scott Hendison, says this… “We didn’t want to just “show people how” to do these things at this workshop, because we know they don’t have the time. Instead, we are going to actually get the attendees up and running in just one afternoon on these three critical services, in order to have a significant impact on their future.” To find out more about the event, go...
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Spring Academic achievement Roundup

by on Jul 19, 2015 | 0 comments

Academic all-stars This program recognizes outstanding achievement in the classroom. David Douglas girls’ golf and band each posted 3.78 GPAs, ranking golf at #5 and band at #10 in 6A competition. Other Scots groups making the top ten were orchestra (3.66, #7) and solo musicians (3.72, #9). David Douglas baseball (3.12), boys’ tennis (3.39), boys’ track and field (3.01), choir (3.30), girls’ tennis (3.62), girls’ track and field (3.53) and softball (3.12) all had combined GPAs over 3.0. Also in 6A competition, Reynolds boys’ tennis (3.16), girls’ tennis (3.52), girls’ track and field (3.35) and softball (3.15) made the mark. Parkrose choir (3.57) was second in state, and boys’ tennis (3.59) was third among 5A schools. Band placed 10th with a 3.38 GPA. Other Bronco groups with a 3.0 GPA or better were baseball (3.21), boys’ track and field (3.03), girls’ tennis (3.61), girls’ track and field (3.31), softball (3.29) and solo musicians (3.50). Area 3A academic all-stars come from three schools. Portland Adventist Academy softball was fourth in state with a 3.59 GPA. Portland Christian track and field was sixth in state with a 3.30 GPA. Combined Portland Christian and Columbia Christian teams in softball (3.49) and baseball (3.23) ranked sixth and 10th, respectively. Other teams with 3.0 or better GPAs were Portland Adventist boys’ golf (3.31), Portland Christian girls’ track and field (3.39) and Portland Christian/Columbia Christian softball (3.49). Oregonian 2015 top academic achievers These students were designated valedictorians or top academic achievers by their respective high schools. Columbia Christian Caden Duke attends Oklahoma Christian University in the fall to study vocal music education and mechanical engineering. He was in the Oregon All-State Honor Choir, involved in student government and ran varsity cross-country. David Douglas High School Tommy Ngo is set to study computer science at Portland State University. He enjoys cross-country, track and field and traveling. Minh Nguyen attends Yale University in the fall where she will study physics, unless something more interesting comes along. Important activities during high school include the Summer Science Program, an Oregon Health and Science University Internship, and Outdoor School. Kevin Nguyen was active in student government, a National Honor society member and played football and baseball, among many other activities. He heads to Oregon State University to major in biology and hopes to become a cardiothoracic surgeon. Kathy Thach was a member of the Scots rocket team that qualified for nationals. She will enroll at Brown University in the fall and decide on her major after some exploration. Kathy loves her varsity tennis teammates, is a member of the Asian Youth Society and volunteers at Our Lady of La Vang Parish. She will enroll in the University of Oregon in...
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Safety improvements, repairs along 122nd Avenue

by on Jul 17, 2015 | 0 comments

The Portland Bureau of Transportation plans to spend $7.3 million to add safety improvements and paving repairs to a stretch of 122nd Avenue from Northeast Fremont Street in the north to Southeast Foster Road in the south. “There’s still a lot to be determined about where we’re going to be,” said Dylan Rivera, media relations specialist for PBOT. The Portland City Council voted June 18 to approve money for the project as part of a $29 million funding package for transportation. City Commissioner Steve Novick has stated that this budget gives PBOT the largest general fund investment the city’s made in transportation in 30 years. “This is one of the biggest investments the city’s ever made in one of the high-crash corridors,” Rivera said. “122nd has a high rate of fatalities and serious-injury crashes for people in cars, biking or walking.” Head of the transportation bureau at city council, Novick has championed the improvements to 122nd Avenue in part to prompt TriMet to provide frequent bus service for Line 71, which travels along the busy street. Line 71 stops about every 20 minutes, less often than TriMet’s frequent service lines. PBOT, working alongside TriMet, has identified several safety improvements that would give riders better access to Line 71, infusing its route with more speed. Approximately $4 million will pay for the safety improvements to the street; another $3.3 million will fund repaving projects, Rivera said. Private contractors hired by PBOT will remove the top two inches or more from the street, then repave the four-lane road. So far, PBOT has identified five intersections that, based on community input, desperately need safety improvements. PBOT plans to upgrade them and add crossing and sidewalks (see sidebar). “We still need to work with the community and do more engineering studies on what’s possible with the dollars we have,” Rivera said. Some crossings might already be painted, but they lack a flashing beacon. Others need curb ramps, allowing people in wheelchairs to cross the street more easily. In other cases, curb extensions may be added, allowing pedestrians more visibility and shortening the distance across the street. Other additions include raised refuge islands for walkers in the middle of turn lanes. Sidewalk infill will be installed, not only on 122nd Avenue but also on side streets where a missing section of sidewalk prevents an easy journey to schools or parks. PBOT expects to issue bids on the project in spring 2016, with construction targeted for summer 2016. The street paving will disrupt traffic on and off for a few months, Rivera said. However, PBOT plans to scatter smaller safety projects throughout the corridor a few weeks at a time. The entire project might stretch...
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