Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy 2008

I wish you all a healthy peaceful new year.

Here are the dates for neighborhood and board meetings in 2008

General Neighborhood Meetings

Wednesdays:

January 16, 2008
March 19, 2008
May 21, 2008
September 17, 2008

All the above meetings are at 7 PM. at the School on Marine Drive and Bridgeton Road

Board Meetings

Wednesdays:

February 20, 2008
April 16, 2008
June 18, 2008
Oct. 15, 2008

Time[s] and place[s] for the board meetings are unknown at present.

Neighborhood Clean Up Dates

Saturdays:

April 19, 2008
November 1, 2008

According to the By Laws, a new Chair and new Secretary are to be elected in the Spring. As the only meeting officially in the Spring is the May meeting - that should be the election.

Vice Chair and Treasurer are elected in the Fall - and seems that election was missed. The past Treasurer, Stan Hart, resigned and Chuck has taken over that position.

For those who think a change is needed in the neighborhood - please get out to meetings and get yourselves elected to the board.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Late December

As we wind down another year we tend to do as the god Janus did [hence January] we look both forward and backward and see a door to a future. This time of year can be depressing for many; it’s dark in some parts of the world, it’s a time for recounting [Janus looking backward], a time for family gatherings [and all those potential conflicts] and this year it is the middle of a long drawn out primary season that has yet to see a primary vote. But votes will occur when Janus looks forward.

For those of us with birthdays in December and January there is the additional counting and re-counting. Not only is the year changing – we are adding another year to us at the same time.
So on this nearly eve of Janus – I am reflecting doubly – as I am one with a January birthday. After many decades of life – I still see a positive future for us all – but we need to envision it and work toward its effect.

I have been known to get pessimistic about the sorry state of our country but I take heart form my son’s hypothesis that everything has a way of balancing itself out. Guess that comes from having a psychologist for a mother. It’s the homeostatic idea of life, ecology, biology, etc. But I never applied it to politics like he does and that’s why he’s a sociologist ☺


My optimism for 2008 and beyond is that we, as a country, will do more to take care of our own citizens; the young, the middle and the older ones.


That we will protect our food supplies and stop allowing foods in the system that are rife with pesticides, bacteria, hormones and worse.


That we will protect our farm land and stop poisoning the grounds that are so vital to growing good foods.

That we stop poisoning the air we breathe.

That we stop feeding hormones to our food supply.

I could go on - but in short: That we will love, nurture and provide for all people from cradle to grave by giving food, shelter and medical care so that all can experience the most optimal development that is possible.




Besides when you see this symbol outside your house on a cold December morning – you just have to have a positive outlook.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Want to Learn About Blogging?

I'm evaluating a multi-media course on blogging from the folks at Simpleology. For a while, they're letting you snag it for free if you post about it on your blog.

It covers:

  • The best blogging techniques.
  • How to get traffic to your blog.
  • How to turn your blog into money.

I'll let you know what I think once I've had a chance to check it out. Meanwhile, go grab yours while it's still free.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Following up on yesterday's comment

There are some, maybe many, who are upset with what I wrote yesterday.

Let me explain more - I am a process person. Processes, laws, by-laws, Roberts Rules of Order and other procedural methods we use to reach decisions are important. After all - we are, supposedly, a nation of laws.

If you read my politikal blog, lynnsrants, you already know that I dislike that the current federal administration AND congress have forgotten who they represent - WE - the people. They have by-passed most laws and procedures and gone ahead and done what they want...and to hell with constituents.

It matters not if you like the end result - we are not a society that goes with "the end justifies the means" and I am sure that in other matters most of you would agree with me. The tree issue and other neighborhood issues also can not be defined by the ends justifying how those ends were reached!

Not everyone in the neighborhood was or is in favor of what the BNA Board decided to do about the trees just as there were those who were in favor of stopping tree cutting - but unfortunately no opinions were openly solicited before the board's [plus a few] decision was made [and made in secret.]

There are many in our neighborhood who might have had some expertise to offer - legal, financial, outside the neighborhood support, etc. All of this kind of input was ignored yet decisions were made that affect everyone. And now there is a need to fund raise to pay for a decision made by a small group - asking those left out of the process to now pay for the decisions that were made without their input.

That's what some in the neighborhood are unhappy with what is going on. They like their neighbors; they just don't like the way their neighbors make decisions by skipping the process that is in place to make these decisions.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Oregonian article

Today's Oregonian has an article about the Bridgeton tree issue. Read it for an overview and update:

Click HERE

In my recollection of legal lingo there is a saying something like "a trial is the prime example of the failure of negotiation"....well that's what happened here. Only after a trial, and after the city's request that the two sides negotiate followed by the city's denial of the permit that the DD requested and requested that it happen AFTER negotiating - only then did the two sides sit and talk.

What a waste of tax payer monies. Not only is the BNA Board still looking for ways to raise money to pay off the legal fees, taxpayers paid for the court time and will also wind up paying for the cost of the DD attorney fees!

Maybe the next time an issue arises, the "powers that be" will not lie to the citizens but will try to communicate honestly and in good faith before taking unilateral action - and maybe the neighborhood association will start communicating to it's constituents openly and in a more timely manner.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Shop locally

On the left are some ads for local and nearby businesses. We are a small community and we support each other. A great way to do that is by shopping at local businesses where the products are often more unique. And if not unique - the service is always friendlier.

Channel's Edge has adopted a family for Christmas and you can go to CE and find out what the family needs.

There are a few of us who market vitamins and supplements - I call us the Bridgeton Vitamin Club and you can join us - even if you don't live here. Contact Lynn [503-477-5550] for information. Food based vitamins and supplements, children's multivitamins, and preservative-free skin care products can make great gifts.

Tom at Postal Place can send your packages, Wayne can fix your boats, and Channel's Edge, Kabob Shack and Po'Shines Cafe-de-la-Soul can feed you.

Enjoy the holidays....

Friday, December 07, 2007

From the Columbia Riverkeeper

This alert is from the Columbia Riverkeepers and a host of other environmental coaliitons

Please join a wonderfully diverse coalition of farmers, conservation groups, fisherman, global warming advocates, forestland owners, private property rights advocates, neighborhood activists and many others and:

Take a stand against the largest fossil fuel import project planned for the Northwest in decades.

Rally for Oregon !

Wed. Dec. 12th @ 11:45 a.m.

NW Natural Gas's corporate headquarters –

220 NW Second Ave. Portland (2 blocks north of Burnside)

Stand up for the Columbia River, fight global warming, and protect Oregon farmland and Oregon communities - Say NO to proposed Liquefied Natural Gas(LNG) terminals on the Columbia River and over 300 miles of new gas pipelines!

Don't let Oregon become the "gas tank" for California !

Energy speculators from Texas , New York and California want to use proposed LNG terminals in the Columbia River Estuary to send huge quantities of natural gas to California . Three LNG terminals are proposed in Oregon , and each project would import twice Oregon 's total gas demand each day. NW Natural has become an active participant in this scheme by proposing to build the 220-mile long Palomar pipeline that would rip across Oregon from the key salmon habitats of the Columbia Estuary, across the family farms of the Willamette Valley, through the wildlife habitats of the Mt. Hood National Forest and over the Wild and Scenic Deschutes River - all this in order to send gas from the proposed LNG terminals on the Columbia River to a California-bound pipeline near Madras.

California has repeatedly rejected the type of high-impact LNG terminals and pipelines that energy speculators are planning for Oregon , but many of Oregon 's elected leaders have been timid in responding to the serious threats that the proposed LNG project and pipeline would cause. At a time when Oregon should be working to decrease our use of foreign fossil fuels the proposed LNG project and terminals would be a multi-billion dollar investment that would greatly expand West Coast use of fossil fuels while seriously impacting Oregon 's water, lands, air and residents.

Come help say no to one of the largest fossil fuel projects in Oregon's history and join Oregon farmers, fisherman and conservation allies for next Wednesday's rally.

Also- please take action today to contact your elected leaders and urge them to oppose the proposed LNG terminals on the Columbia River and in Coos Bay .

Please ask Governor Kulongoski to direct his agencies not to issue permits for projects that are not needed in Oregon and not in the public interest.

Gov. Ted Kulongoski
60 State Capitol
900 Court Street
Salem, Oregon 97301

Tim McCabe, Gov.'s Energy Advisor (503) 986-6520 tim.mccabe@state.or.us
Michael Carrier, Gov.'s Natural Resource Policy Advisory (503) 986-6525 michael.carrier@state.or.us

Please ask our federal representatives to oppose the LNG projects and require the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to consider all of the Oregon LNG projects in a single environmental impact statement that specifically addresses why Oregon should host an LNG plant that is intended to send California gas.

Sen. Ron Wyden Phone: (202) 224-5244 Email: http://wyden.senate.gov/contact/

Rep. David Wu Phone: (202) 225-0855 Email: http://www.house.gov/writerep/

Sen. Gordon H. Smith Phone: (202) 224-3753 Email: http://gsmith.senate.gov/webform.htm

Rep. Darlene Hooley Phone: (202) 225-5711 Email: http://hooley.house.gov/


In addition to calling your elected leaders, please visit Onward Oregon's website to have an email automatically sent to your state and federal elected leaders.


Thanks for your support and help,
Columbia Riverkeeper, Landowners and Citizens for Safe Communities, Oregon Chapter Sierra Club, Citizens Against the Pipelines, Columbia River Clean Energy Coalition, Cascadia Rising Tide, Willamette Riverkeeper, Native Fish Society, Wahkiakum Friends of the River, and many others.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Beware when using ATM macines

A friend just told me that she was the victim of a "swiped" pin number and her account was hit for $500 [plus ATM fees] twice.

She will be reimbursed - but - the lesson is to beware when you use ATM machines.

The bank said to look at the bank camera to see if it has been taped over -

On snopes.com there is a good article and some photos of "doctored" ATM machines:
click here

Coming this Sunday

Sunday, December 9 from 1 to 4 PM come and hear Ellen Whyte and Jim Miller sing and play guitar and bass at Channel's Edge!

Channel's Edge is located at: 207 N. Bridgeton Road Portland [503-737-2465]

If you haven't heard either Jim or Ellen - this will be a treat

You can also check out the goodies at Channel's Edge while listening to great music..

There is also a wine tasting - to help Kim and Bob decide what wines to add to their selection

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Board Meeting Tonight

If you can make it - the Board of the neighborhood association is meeting tonight at 7 PM at The Mews.

The agenda is to talk about the DD meeting that will happen tomorrow night.

Local Café Hosts Christmas Party to Strengthen Community Morale

PORTLAND, OR (December 5, 2007) - Po'Shines: Cafe de la Soul, a soul food cafe in North Portland, will host a community Christmas party on Saturday, December 22nd. With live music, as well as free food and drink, the event hopes to celebrate the holidays while fostering dialogue and support within the Kenton community.

Po'Shines has been quite active in the community since it's opening this past summer. One of their first moves was to become a partner in the Teach Me to Fish program. The program is an initiative designed specifically to empower at-risk and troubled youth within the greater Portland area by providing guided training in job, life and performing arts skills. The café offers their facilities and staff to serve as an integral part of the success of the program. The café recently partnered with a neighboring organization PROPER, to host their 14th annual free community Thanksgiving dinner that fed over 300 people this past November.

“It is great when you can see a local business really care enough to be involved with the community,” said Echo Leighton, president of the Kenton Business Association. “Kenton has always been a community rich in culture and for Po'Shines to support such diversity while empowering the community through a program like Teach Me to Fish, is a movement that could really make our neighborhood thrive.”

“It’s amazing the change that can be made when a community really comes together,” said Antjuan Tolbert, manager of Po'Shines. “This Christmas party may seem like a little thing, but my staff and I see it as an opportunity to bring understanding and unity to a community comprised of individuals who don’t often get to come together because they are too focused on just making ends meet.”

For the party, Chef James Bradley promises to raise the dining standards for community events. The menu for the evening includes smoked salmon chowder, spanikopita and wild mushroom napolean as well as spice cake and up-side down apple pie for dessert, and malt cider and sorrel to drink.

Po’Shines will be collecting donations of time, materials and resources for the learning garden that they plan to start in early spring of 2008.

The party will be held from 6-10 on Saturday, December 22nd at the café, located at 8139 N. Denver. For more information call Po’Shines: Café de la Soul at 503.286.2590.




Sunday, December 02, 2007

DD meeting

I hate typing - I'd rather cut and paste and for some reason the images won't allow me to cut and paste and are "asking' to be downloaded rather than enlarging - so I'll post some parts of the agenda here. [It's the 3rd image in previous post]

The DD meeting is on December 6th from 6 to 7:30 at the DD Headquarters 1880 NE Elrod Drive [that's off 33rd]

- Landowners arrive and register at 5:45
- Staff reports start at 6:22 with financial info [current and projected budget] and one item is "Bridgeton levee"
- Video at 6:50
- Q and A at 7:20
- Adjourn at 7:30

To me it seems like an ambitious agenda for such a short meeting - only 10 minutes for Q and A? Apparently not many people have gone to these meetings and asked questions in the past : - )

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Drainage District Meeting - December 6th at 6PM


This is a copy of the letter and agenda sent to all landowners in the DD.

Click on the images to download and read.
[not sure why they don't just enlarge - oh well]

First two images are the DD's summary of the legal situation regarding the trees and the third image is the agenda for the meeting






Thursday, November 29, 2007

Update on the dead cormorant

The Audubon Society has retained tissue samples from the cormorant in case we encounter more dead birds..

If we find more dead birds, we can order a test for Garlon3 substances - that poison which Pen2 is using.

Wildlife said that while cause of death for the cormorant was likely from aspergilossis, it is possible in theory that the fungal infection was secondary and some kind of environmental poisoning contributed to it. We have no evidence as yet of harm due to ingestion of the spray.

Update on levee

Ed Hecker is with the US Army Corps of Engineers and sent this to the neighborhood association...
* USACE is reviewing existing policy and standards for vegetation
management using a four-step process. During the review, USACE will work in coordination with other federal and non-federal agencies, including regulatory agencies.

* Steps one and two: USACE will conduct the review using current
engineering and science studies and practices. The review will identify recommended modifications to existing nationwide vegetation management policy and standards, which will undergo an external peer review.

* Step three: USACE will then identify the regulations, policies and
manuals and changes necessary to implement any modifications to existing vegetation management. Use of regional variances regarding vegetation management may be considered as long as public safety is not compromised.

* Step four: Policy and standards, and implementation will be
discussed as part of a National Roundtable to be held in early 2008.

* The policy and standards document and the implementation plan are intended to be issued simultaneously.

* USACE vegetation management policy and standards will focus on public safety first and reflect a systems approach applying sound engineering, science, and operations and maintenance principles.

The policy and standards document and the implementation plan are intended to be issued simultaneously shortly after the national roundtable, subject to completion of the External Peer Review process.

Regards,

Ed Hecker

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Ahh..those slippery slopes

Guess winter is coming - the morning commute up the ramp is getting more slippery : o ). It's gotten to the point that I can't take my coffee with me when I take the dog out for his early stroll as I need that hand to grab the rail [just in case] - besides the coffee would cool off very quickly.....

The good side is that the river is higher and the ramp is therefore less steep...gotta see the bright side...and, of course, those skiers among us will soon be hitting the slopes of Mt. Hood.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

We all have a lot to be thankful for out here....friends, neighbors, all our pets, and a great sunny day for enjoying our turkey.

Have a happy thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

At the request of "anonymous neighbor"

The neighbor asked me to post the minutes of the meeting that no one knew about - so here they are:
MINUTES OF THE Continuing BNA BOARD AND TREE COMM. MEETING
October 24, 2007, North Harbour Mews Recreation Building, 7Pm

The joint meeting of the Board of Directors and the Tree Committee was called to order at 7:00 pm at the North Harbour Mews recreation center.

Board Members present were: Matt Whitney, Stan Hart, Walter Valenta, Leslie Sawyer, CherryAnn Kolbenschlag, Chuck Wilson, Jon Peterson and Kim Swenson. Stan Hart resigned and Chuck Wilson stepped in to act as Treasurer for the Neighborhood. Sam is on vacation so Becky Whitney has agreed to take the minutes.

Members of the Tree Committee present were Elise and Stuart Goforth, Tom Kelly and Becky Whitney.

The PDC Parks Bond Measure was discussed, people are writing grants for us.
Walter and Matt talked at length about the issue.
The Bridgeton tree issue was the #1 topic. Elise reported that Dave McAllister, the Urban Forester, called her and said that he did not agree with the drainage district that the tree cutting was an emergency issue. “Let’s compromise” is what McAllister suggested – much discussion ensued about actions – what should we do now?

Walter talked about which trees were going to be cut – he had additional information on what was going on. Elise and all talked at length about Drainage District, its organization, board make up and upcoming election. Much discussion was had about the Penn2 Board and Dave Hendricks, who’s in charge and who apparently has not kept the drainage district board informed. Discussion of which trees were regulated by the City Forester.
Elise reported on the City tree cutting permit rules and which city regs were backing the rules.

Penn2 Board elections – Walter should run. We need a representative for the December annual meeting. Talk ensued about the votes each Bridgeton HOA carried plus other groups, golf club and PYC.

Continuing with old business, we discussed bills and financial issues. A promissory note idea was proposed to the board to allow payment to Scott. All was approved – Sam was the only member absent so the motion passed.

Cherry Ann gave her ideas on a concert issue. Problem with Pier 99 – no heat and electrical problems. Decided to put concern off until February. Discussion was had about options and timing.

For anyone’s information, check out website, levees.com.

Fundraising effort needs to be escalated. We don’t know how much our final bill will be.

Meeting was adjourned at 9:05 pm.

Respectfully submitted,


Rebecca Whitney
Acting Secretary for Sam McGarrity

This neighbor suggested that all read the by-laws - especially Article V Board of Directors

link here: http://www.portlandonline.com/oni/?c=34264

Monday, November 19, 2007

Dead Birds

A few weeks ago a dead heron was found on Bridgeton Road and today a dead cormorant was found floating in my moorage.

The Audubon Society has been notified of both and I think the dead cormorant was taken to the Society so they could check the cause of death - if possible.

If I recall correctly, the heron had been buried by a neighbor and it may have been too late for the Audubon people to do anything.

More news as it happens - but if you find any dead large birds - let us know and let the Audubon Society know.

These birds were NOT killed by cats or dogs! I saw the cormorant removed from the river and it had no visible damage.

Response to my letter to the DD

The response from Bob Eaton to my email of November 9th came in the mail and was undated and I did not log in when it came but it was within the 10 days I requested of him. I'll quote and/or summarize the one page large font letter here:

1 - "The District does not poison beavers." He said they collapsed the burrow.

2- The herbicide use for vegetation control is Garlon 3A - a DowAgro product and he included the DowAgro Safety Data Sheet. Eaton claims animals are "safe" and "Those who use the River may do so with confidence."

3- Eaton adds that if anyone want to inspect the spraying records they are welcome to review them at the MCDD office between 7:30AM and 3:30 PM

4- He claims the DD this year "has gone over the neighborhood notification process procedures" with staff to make sure they will be improved for 2008. As we were never notified - when you and or I go to the office be sure to ask for the current neighborhood notification procedures to see if they even had any.

DowAgro's own Data Safety info suggests that prolonged or frequent exposure needs skin protection and that chemical goggles be used by those spraying. It also states: "...items such as faceshield, gloves, boots, aprons or full-body suit will depend on operation." So let's see - if you are the one spraying it - take all sorts of precautions. BUT if you are near where it is being sprayed and you can be exposed to it - he feels we have no need to know!

Al other info talks to exposure guidelines and of course that was not in the material Eaton sent.

I will make trip there and I suggest anyone else who is interested to go there as well.
Address is 1880 NE Elrod Drive - it's off 33rd

So you don't have to go looking - I'll re-post my letter him below - you can see he did not answer many questions.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Mr. Bob Eaton, Executive Director
Mr. Dave Hendricks, Deputy Director

Multnomah County Drainage District

Dear Mr. Eaton and Mr. Hendricks:

I am a Bridgeton resident. In October of this year a neighbor told me that your office poisoned the beavers in the Columbia River along the levees, including Bridgeton levee, and also sprayed “something” on the levee to curtail vegetative growth.

I find this worrisome and have a few questions:

1 – Did you poison the beavers?

If so, when specifically did this occur? Where were the beaver burrows located that were poisoned?

What poison[s] were used? Please be specific and also list all ingredients including information as to how long each of the ingredients is active.
Did you retrieve the dead animals?
If so, where were they found?
And if not retrieved – why not?

2 - Did you spray or otherwise cause chemicals or poison[s] to be put on the levee?

If so, when specifically did this occur?
Exactly what areas were subjected to this process and how close did the process come to the river's edge?
Did you first take care to note if any water fowl were nesting in those areas?
What specifically was used? Please list all ingredients and also include information as to how long each of the ingredients is active.

3 - Why were the neighbors not notified in advance of any of these events?

Many of us allow our pets to walk on the levee and explore the grasses along the slopes.
Many of us water our plants and vegetables with river water.
Many of us in the neighborhood swim and kayak in the Columbia Channel and River or otherwise come in contact with the water, as do many who do not live here but are out on the river in boats.

Assuming you have all this information readily available I expect a most rapid reply and expect an answer within 10 working days.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

All quiet on the water front

Not much going on in the neighborhood - and maybe this is why. It's hard to meet and chat with neighbors when the rain is coming down like it is because most of us are staying inside.

This is more like the east coast rain I thought I left behind - the all day - dark and dreary rain - YUK

Even my cold-weather loving dog hates this kind of rain - but my cat? She's out there someplace - probably in someone's house visiting...that's her new thing this Fall...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Anonymity and our neighborhood

Some neighbors have told me they agree with the anonymous neighbor postings and know that there is an unresolved issue in the neighborhood that was brought to light by the tree conflict.

Why neighbors choose to remain anonymous is that this is a small neighborhood and most everyone knows everyone else and we come into contact with each other on a regular basis. No one wants to step on toes for many reasons. By remaining anonymous, we can all go to the same parties and coffee shops and chat with each other with no hard feelings.

I am willing to remain as a conduit for anyone wishing to have a voice in the neighborhood. You all know how to find me : - )

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Christmas Ships coming soon - eeks!

Eeks = the fact that it's mid November ! [I'm still back in September/October wondering where this year went.]

And that means it's time to start preparing for the Christmas Ships parties : - )

The North Portland Harbor viewings are December 7 and December 14th at 7 PM.

For complete parade route details for both rivers click here.

More questions from "neighbor x"

The neighbor who wishes to remain anonymous downloaded and read the Bridgeton By-Laws after I posted the link the other day.

[Here is the link again: http://www.portlandonline.com/oni/?c=34264
and click on Bridgeton]

"Neighbor X" wanted to know why the By-Laws are not followed and had many questions about meetings and Board elections.
I suggested that concerned neighbors try to get to meetings and raise these questions - but neighbor X said that with no meeting schedules posted that is difficult to do and is hoping that postings on this blog might help a little.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Poisoning of beavers and "spraying" of the levee

This letter was sent today to the Multnomah County Drainage district and our state rep Tina Kotek - via email. I will post a reply when I receive one.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Mr. Bob Eaton, Executive Director
Mr. Dave Hendricks, Deputy Director

Multnomah County Drainage District

Dear Mr. Eaton and Mr. Hendricks:

I am a Bridgeton resident. In October of this year a neighbor told me that your office poisoned the beavers in the Columbia River along the levees, including Bridgeton levee, and also sprayed “something” on the levee to curtail vegetative growth.

I find this worrisome and have a few questions:

1 – Did you poison the beavers?

If so, when specifically did this occur? Where were the beaver burrows located that were poisoned?

What poison[s] were used? Please be specific and also list all ingredients including information as to how long each of the ingredients is active.
Did you retrieve the dead animals?
If so, where were they found?
And if not retrieved – why not?

2 - Did you spray or otherwise cause chemicals or poison[s] to be put on the levee?

If so, when specifically did this occur?
Exactly what areas were subjected to this process and how close did the process come to the river's edge?
Did you first take care to note if any water fowl were nesting in those areas?
What specifically was used? Please list all ingredients and also include information as to how long each of the ingredients is active.

3 - Why were the neighbors not notified in advance of any of these events?

Many of us allow our pets to walk on the levee and explore the grasses along the slopes.
Many of us water our plants and vegetables with river water.
Many of us in the neighborhood swim and kayak in the Columbia Channel and River or otherwise come in contact with the water, as do many who do not live here but are out on the river in boats.

Assuming you have all this information readily available I expect a most rapid reply and expect an answer within 10 working days.

I am posting this letter on my neighborhood blog [http://ibridgeton.com] and will post your reply as well. As others have shown interest when I spoke of this, copies of this letter will be forwarded to persons and agencies in addition to those noted below..


Lynn Dorman, Ph.D., J.D.
205 N. Bridgeton Road #5
Portland Oregon 97217
503-477-5550

Cc: Peninsula #2 Drainage District Board of Supervisors Messrs. Schafer, Halsten, McBride

Tina Kotek, State Representative District 44

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Good points from an anonymous neighbor

Someone who wishes to remain anonymous just asked me why meetings of the Board and meetings about the tree issue were kept "secret?"

Little or no notice has been given for Board meetings although this blogger has been more than willing to post such notices. Of late, notices are sent only to the North Portland neighborhood office for someone there to post on the city website.

The anonymous person I communicated with looked all over that site and found no mention of tonight's meeting and raised the question that since there is an email list of most of the neighbors - why is that list not being used to let neighbors know about meetings? And that person answered their own question with: "I guess they are trying to keep them secret. Why on earth should we have to check the city website on a regular basis to find out what is going on in our own neighborhood?"

This person went on to suggest that any association that makes decisions for a larger group of people and fails to communicate to those people about those decisions in a timely fashion [or even ask for input from the larger group] is not acting on any one's behalf except their own...and then to ask others to pay for the repercussions of those decisions - well - that left this person a wee bit angry!

Neighborhood Association Board Meeting Tonight

The Board of the neighborhood association is meeting at 7 PM in the MEWS social space at 905 N. Harbour Drive.

The Mews is the condo near I-5 - east of the hotel and behind the apartment complex. The social area is the eastern-most door.

Board meetings are open to the public...so try to attend.

[I only just heard about the meeting and so am posting it for all blog readers.]

A copy of the Bridgeton By-Laws can be found by going to this page http://www.portlandonline.com/oni/?c=34264
and clicking on Bridgeton - it's alphabetical : - )

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Commentary by Brain Stipak

This is reprinted with Brian's permission.

One acre, one vote. That's not democracy

By Brian Stipak of Portland, Oregon. Brian is a professor of public administration in the Mark Hatfield School of Government at Portland State University.


Every citizen has an equal vote in national elections -- "One Person, One Vote". But in the Multnomah County Drainage District it's "One Acre, One Vote".

Bridgeton Neighborhood residents earlier this year tried to elect a local resident to the supervisors of Peninsula Drainage District No. 2 by attending the meeting for that election. Although we were a majority in attendance, we had but one vote each and were easily out-voted by several people (non-residents, I believe) casting hundreds of votes representing businesses owning hundreds of acres.

What consequences results from such undemocratic process? In the current controversy about tree-cutting in the Bridgeton Neighborhood, the District supervisors and staff ignore the voices of the local residents. 0);"> The State Legislature needs to change this undemocratic "one acre, one vote" governance that robs people who live in a neighborhood of representation on a local agency affecting the livability and safety of that neighborhood.

State Representative Tina Kotek has taken the lead in trying to correct this lack of representation of local residents, and she deserves our support.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Don't forget to vote!

Ballots are due by Tuesday at 8 PM - so if you are mailing yours in - today is best - and tomorrow should be okay.

You can also drop off your ballot at any public library or other official county ballot drop off site.

Whichever method you choose - VOTE!

Our precinct has low voter turnout - let's improve that statistic!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Brief Summary of Pen2/BNA Meeting

The following is a summary of the 10/30/07 meeting (3-6pm) with Pen2:

At the suggestion of the City Forester, Dave McAllister, BNA and Pen2 met to work towards a mutually agreed upon plan for tree removal and mitigation.

Present:

BNA: Walter Valenta, Tom Kelly, Alise Goforth
Pen2: Dick Shafer
ACOE: Jeremy Britton

The group walked the length of the levee from Marine Drive to Columbia Way West Moorage to inspect marked trees and then sat down to discuss the situation.

No decisions were reached - and a second joint meeting is scheduled for next Tuesday, November 6 at 3 pm.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

A little self promotion

My local art group - all 12 of us - is putting on a Celebration tomorrow - we are into year 2!
Come celebrate with us and look at some wonderful colorful art!!!


CELEBRATION OF ART:
Portland, Oregon- October 28th, 9am-3pm
Neveh Shalom
2900 SW Peaceful Lane
Portland Oregon

The magic begins as you enter our Main Exhibit Hall. Live music by well known recording artists and performers will greet your ears, and a coffee house featuring fresh treats will tantalize your palate as you listen to the musical stylings of Stephanie Schneiderman (of Dirty Martini fame), George Fendel, jazz pianist, and Justin Jude, recently named "Oregon's Best Singer/Songwriter 2007!"

Stroll from exhibit to exhibit to experience a unique show that blends the best elements of a gallery opening with an artist colony tour -- with a coffee house of a forgotten age tossed in. Celebrating their second year as a collective, ORA artists invite the public to
discover their new work. Although the artists are Jewish, Judaic and secular works are available for purchase.

Members of ORA are: Rosana Berdichevsky , collage and multi-media; Lynn Dorman, photography; Leslie Elder, water colors, Robin Esterkin, water color, acrylic and mixed media; Laurie Fendel, fabric construction; Diane Fredgant, silk painting; Sara Harwin, fabric construction, acrylic painting and serigraph prints; Julie Hockley, hand-cast precious metal jewelry & ritual objects; Esther Liberman, handmade bead work; Sharon Segal, acrylic and mixed media paintings and cards; Eddy Shuldman, fused glass; and Sabina Wohlfeiler, water color paintings.

You don't need to be Jewish to come look, schmooze with the artists, nosh a little, and buy art that speaks to you., Best of all, admission is free!

For more information please visit our website: www.northwestjewishartists.org

A meeting?

Heard thru the neighborhood grapevine : - )

A member of the DD Board of Directors will be meeting with a member of the BNA Board to discuss the tree cutting situation.

This meeting is what the city arborist suggested - back on October 12th when all parties met with him.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Trees not requiring a permit for removal

From what I understand the 40 trees not requiring a permit for removal are the little ones that are not in the forty-five foot right of way.

So this 40 includes the little trees at Captain's Moorage, the firs trees at Columbia Way west, the little trees at Wayne's (which are no longer tagged orange), and little trees at the Mews.

And maybe the one at Blue Frog, but I think it is too close to the street right of way.

Letter of denial from the City Forester to Drainage District

[ Editorial note - the meeting with the City Forester and some of the neighbors, lawyers, etc. took place on October 12th. At that time the city requested that all parties try to reach consensus. The Drainage District's tree removal request was filed on October 16th - included 124 trees - and there was no intervening attempt to even talk to the neighborhood negotiators - and that was after the city arborist spent an entire day with Dave Hendricks and they concluded that 60 trees would be removed. ]


October 23, 2007

Harlan E. Jones
Jordan Schrader Ramis PC
P.O. Box 230669
Portland, OR 97281

Mr. Jones,

My staff and I have reviewed the information sent regarding the request for tree cutting permits by the Multnomah Drainage District in the Bridgeton Neighborhood. By your estimate a total of 124 trees are requested to be cut under PCC 20.40 and 20.42. This is the number referenced in your letter dated October 16, 2008.

There are 40 trees, included in these applications and part of the 124 total, which are below 12” in diameter and not within the ROW. These are not regulated trees. The City of Portland does not require a permit for their removal.

In a response to you October 16th letter, I said I would expeditiously address your permit request but “In order to do this, however, the Multnomah Drainage District needs to specify the number of trees to be removed under each respective tree cutting Title (either 20:40 or 20:42) and the sections (justification) under which permits are requested” Based upon the information provided, I assume the permit request is as follows:
• 33 trees removed under PCC 20.40.
• 51 trees removed under PCC 20.42.
• The tree removal permits are requested as emergency permits under 20:42, without notification or mitigation.
You state: pg 3 paragraph 4 “While 20.40 deals with trees on public lands, nothing in 20.40 provides that 20.40 overrules 20.42 as to the cutting of trees, and 20.42, as stated, unambiguously applies to all land except certain single-family lots” and pg 3 paragraph 5 “The Forester has, and should immediately exercise, the authority to “order or effect” the removal of the trees creating this hazard to public safety by authorizing the District to cut trees as it proposes”.
Again in your email to me on October 17 you state: “As to the rest of the trees, it does not matter whether they fall under 20.40 or 20.42, and it does not matter whether the District or the Forester is correct as to the respective scope and application of those two chapters. Under either chapter and under both chapters, the Forester has explicitly authority to cause or allow the removal of trees, without any permitting process and without any mitigation requirements, in circumstances which present a public safety risk. We identified those specific provisions in our communication yesterday”.

Your permit to remove 124 trees under the emergency tree provision of 20.42.090 Criteria for Issuance of Permits is denied. The City of Portland does not agree with the Multnomah Drainage District that the trees are an emergency hazard for the following reasons:
• The trees have been growing on the levee for up to 50 years without demonstrated negative consequences.

• Despite the District knowing that the trees should be removed and based upon the request of the District, the regulating agency granted annual exceptions suggesting a lack of urgency.

• The City of Portland can grant an emergency tree cutting permit at any time when the levee becomes imperiled by high waters or seasonal conditions effectively assuring safety to “the traveling pubic or the integrity of a public street and associated improvements”.

• The trees submitted are not solely regulated under 20:42 for the following reasons: PCC 20.42.010 Purpose states " ..it is not the intent of this Chapter to require a permit for tree cutting in situations where the same activity is already regulated and reviewed by other provisions of the City Code". PCC 20:40.010 Purpose states " The purpose of this Chapter is the managing, conserving, and enhancing the existing trees located in the parks and public areas owned by the City of Portland and in public rights-of-way.." As clarified by the above, PCC 20:42 do not regulate trees within areas covered by PCC 20:40.

You may resubmit tree cutting permits at any time under the following conditions:

• A permit to remove the 33 trees regulated under PCC 20.40 needs to be accompanied by appropriate mitigation as stated in my October 16th response to you: “The City of Portland does, in most cases, require mitigation for street tree loss through replanting of the tree removal site. The City understands that to do this on the Levee will require replanting in vaults or planters so that tree roots will not migrate to the critical zone”.

• A permit to remove the 51 trees regulated under PCC 20:42 will require an appropriate mitigation plan depending on specific criteria used to justify the permit request.
I
Sincerely,

David McAllister
City Nature Manager and City Forester
1120 SW 5th Ave, Suite 1302
Portland, OR 97204

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Tree removal permits - update

One of the BNA board members has tried, without success so far, to meet with the Pen 2 people to see if they can work out a joint plan as suggested by the City.

In spite of the city request to negotiate - Pen 2 went ahead and requested a permit to cut 124 trees under the emergency tree removal provision of the City code.

This application was denied as the City does not find there to be an emergency but 40 of the 124 trees identified in the application fall outside of City regulation.

Which are those 40 trees is unknown right now - and the question has been put to the city.

Updates posted as they arrive on my computer : - )

Notes from a meeting with the Portland Police Bureau

The following notes are from a meeting between Bridgeton residents and the Portland Police Bureau.

The meeting took place October 22, 2007
#####

Present:

* Portland Police Bureau - Lieutenant Robert Day, Officer Colby Panter
* Ellen Osoinach, Deputy City Attorney
* BNA - Brian Stipak, Carol Emory, Leslie Sawyer

Meeting purpose was to discuss possible conflict over cutting Bridgeton trees and the Police Bureau's response to a conflict.

Brian stated that we hope the drainage district will act lawfully and follow required City tree permit procedures, and that the possibility of illegal tree cutting may now be lower because the board of supervisors for the drainage district may now be more involved. Brian stated that the BNA would act legally, would only intervene to stop illegal cutting, would not trespass on any private land against the wishes of a landowner, and would phone 911 as part of our response to illegal cutting.

Brian also gave Lieutenant Day and Ms. Osoinach copies of the letter signed by Bob Eaton which was distributed to residences in the Bridgeton area on September 18, 2007 informing them the drainage district would cut trees starting the next day. Brian pointed out the section in the letter which stated "any attempt to delay the progress will result in arrest of the person".

Lieutenant Day said that it would have been nice if the drainage district had contacted them before saying that the police would arrest people. He and Ellen Osoinach explained that the police would not arrest people for standing in the way of tree cutting unless there was a court order saying that residents could not interfere with the cutting, or unless someone was attempting to harm another person or property. Ms. Osoinach expressed concern about the potential for protesters to trespass on the private property of owners who actually wanted their trees cut.

Overall, Lt. Day was reassuring and made clear that the Police Bureau would not take sides in the conflict and would not arrest any Bridgeton residents on the basis of what was said by a drainage district official.

Carol said that the actions of Dave Hendricks as the operations manager for the drainage district has caused many people to have grave concerns about the safety of the levee. She cited how Hendricks said in court that he disagrees with the City Attorney and the City Forester and believes that he has the right to cut trees without obtaining tree cutting permits. She voiced the concern of many residents about the effect of removing trees on the safety of the levee and houses. She also repeated Brian's hope that the drainage district now will go through the tree cutting permit process with the City Forester.

Leslie said that we would probably not have thought of intervening to stop illegal tree cutting, except that the City Forester said that his response if the drainage district cut trees without going through the proper tree cutting process would be to fine the district. That would be a double hit for the residents. The trees would be gone with a higher potential of levee failure and the residents would have to pay the fines through increased taxes.

Lieutenant Day and Officer Panter have driven the area and were aware of the power company "trimming" of the trees at the school and the trees already cut at PYC. They did not know that all of those trees plus most of the other big and small trees on the levee were slated to be cut. They now understand the magnitude of the number of trees slated to be cut and our concerns for the safety of the levee.

They said that any call concerning tree cutting on Bridgeton Road would be taken seriously and there would be supervisors on site as well as police. They welcomed the constructive purpose and manner of our contact, Brian's patient persistence in arranging the meeting, and said that it was useful for them to be able to alert the day officers who might be less familiar with the neighborhood than the evening officers who attend our meetings.

#####

Monday, October 22, 2007

Last week's neighborhood meeting

This post is taken from the notes of someone who attended.

There were some who were outspoken against BNA efforts, largely because they don't want to lose the ability to get flood insurance. [Note - see previous post about that issue - loss of insurance was among the bits of misinformation going around.]

Most of the meeting was around the question of "What can we do?"

Some felt a need to encourage writing to the Pen2 Board members asking:

1- Why are they relying so heavily on two consultants who have performed so poorly in this matter?

2- Why haven't they requested a variance from the ACOE, as only they can do?

3 - Why has there not been an effective meeting with BNA to come to a joint plan as was suggested by the City Forester.

Pen2 board members are Mike McBride, Dick Shafer and Rich Halsten. There has been no direct communication with any of this board during the current process. They are elected to represent all residents of Pen2 - and that includes the Bridgeton neighborhood.

Finally there was a discussion of how to work to get a Bridgeton resident elected to the Pen2 board.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Levee Facts - directly from FEMA

Some in this drainage district area have been getting erroneous information relating to the Bridgeton Levee. Here is some information directly from FEMA. [ I have added emphasis on the points most often misinterpreted. ]

In order to help you further understand the levee documentation, attached are some Fact Sheet FEMA has produced regarding the National Flood Insurance Program and levees. The main points to take from it are:

· FEMA Mapping Process

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) maintenance correction period ends June 11, 2008 and the preliminary FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) are scheduled to be released in September 2008. FEMA will produce the preliminary FIRMs showing the current status of the levee (certified or not).

· Insurance

Regardless of the levee certification status, flood insurance will continue to be made available. Mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements for federally backed loans in the Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA) are related to effective maps. If a homeowner purchases flood insurance before the new maps become effective, the rating will be based on the map currently in effect when the building was constructed. This is known as “grandfathering.” I have attached a “Grandfathering Newsletter” to help you further understand this process.

· Disaster Assistance

Because the City of Portland participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), the certification status of the levee (certified or not) does not affect your community’s ability to obtain FEMA disaster assistance. If a federally declared disaster occurs, disaster assistance will continue to be made available.




Monday, October 15, 2007

Summary of meeting with City's Urban Forester

I have edited together a few emails from Bridgeton neighbors who were at this meeting - along with some commentary by me and them.

BNA members, Pen 2 and others met last Friday with Dave McAllister, Urban Forester for the city of Portland to gather facts in anticipation of Pen 2's permit request to cut trees along Bridgeton Road.

The attorneys for the City and Pen 2 traded arguments several times on this issue whether Pen 2 needs permits to cut trees on the levee, or at least for most of them or does not need permits. And while there were some pointed questions of Dave McAllister to the Pen 2 representatives, the upshot was that the Drainage District has not applied for a permit to cut trees, and until they do, the Urban Forester can really not do much of anything. He did state that he expected Pen 2 to have a "mitigation plan" attached to any permit request, even though Dave Hendricks made quite a point of stating that he did not feel they should have to do this.

The City Attorney explained the Tree permit code and why and how it applied to Pen2.

Pen 2 argued that the tree removal was an "Emergency", which according to the City code would waive the requirement for permits or mitigation. GeoDesign said they would write up and stamp a statement saying there was no immediate emergency. In addition, GeoDesign stated that winter months, during high saturation, is the best time for compacting sand. An argument that negates Penn2's position that the work is weather driven.

BNA argued that the corps has noted in annual eligibility inspections the trees as needing maintenance since 1987 and Pen 2 has done no tree or vegetation maintenance during those 20 years and has not informed landowners of any tree threatening the levee or posing an "Emergency." For those 20 years trees could have been trimmed, pruned, thinned to manage vegetation and prevent encroachment in to the critical core and with infrastructure.

New development could have planted levee compliant trees, residents could have planted levee compliant trees or located trees to prevent violating the corps policy. IF SUCH AN EMERGENCY - WHY NO INFORMATION OR NOTICE FOR 20 YEARS FROM PEN 2 ?

McAllister stated that BNA had e-mailed to the City and McAllister the communication Alise Goforth had directly with FEMA explaining that flood insurance and disaster relief are always available and unrelated to whether a levee is certified or not.

Additionally, FEMA explained that Mandatory Flood Insurance would not be required until September 2009 when FINAL MAPS are released. Penn2 has until September 2009 to get levee certified. Also, FEMA has a grandfathering program so that all existing construction can obtain flood insurance at the reduced rates, if required.
[emphasis added - LD]

At the end of the meeting, McAllister suggested that both sides (BNA and Pen 2) should go back to the negotiating table and hammer out a mitigation plan that we both could live with before any permits are requested.


I understand from some neighbors that Pen 2 has hired a company to remove the roots of the already cut trees at the Yacht Club end of the road. As some of those roots are fairly substantial in diameter and go under Marine Drive and Bridgeton Road - I do wonder how all this will be done - because in court - Pen 2 said they were going to fill in the excavated root areas with sand.

Anyone know the answer to this question? Please post it as a comment so we can all read it. Click on the word comment below.

Friday, October 12, 2007

The Columbia River Bridge Project

The Bridge Project is holding open houses this month

Learn more about the bridge, transit and highway options being analyzed for I-5 between Vancouver and Portland at an upcoming open house.

These community-focused events will provide the public with recent technical findings, cost estimates and a schedule of upcoming decision points. You can talk with project staff, look at detailed maps, get the latest project information and submit your comments.

Wednesday, Oct. 17
5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Former Hayden Island Yacht Club
12050 N. Jantzen Drive (across from Safeway)
Portland, OR
Presentation at 6 p.m.


Saturday, Oct. 20
10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Lincoln Elementary
4200 NW Daniels
Vancouver, WA
Presentations at 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

more info available at their website: Click here

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Neighborhood Meeting - October 17th

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

7 PM at the Marriott Residence Inn
1250 N. Anchor Way


From the BNA Board:

AGENDA

REPORT ON OUR EFFORT TO SAVE BRIDGETON ’S LEVEE AND TREES

There will be a recap of all that has been ongoing.

This meeting will give the neighborhood an opportunity to ask questions and to be brought up to date on what is happening.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

What's new with the tree cutting

from a neighborhood email - with minor edits :

The City Arborist is meeting with Dave Hendricks, operations manager at the drainage district, Wednesday to go over which trees the city controls through the tree permit process and which trees the drainage district can cut without city permits.

On Friday there is going to be a meeting at City Hall that will involve the drainage district, the BNA, the City Parks Bureau, and maybe city commissioners, to go over the whole process.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Judge's Decision

Click on each page [ there are 4 pages ] for a larger image...the very fainter last page contains only the signature and date




Injunction denied

I can't copy from the format right now -

but in short the judge denied the request for the preliminary injunction!

I'll try posting the entire decision later

This hearing proceeded on the very restricted nature of what could be presented in a writ of review context...
It's a very technical legal procedural item and so everyone was restricted in what they could present.

The judge could rule only on evidence which, due to the nature of the hearing, was very limited.

Fire Inspection

I was around when the Fire Department did it's inspection ...


Closing arguments

I'm posting a brief summary of the closing arguments..

Attorney for the neighborhood:

Suggested that Pen2 might start cutting trees, even without a city permit, if the TRO is lifted.
Argued that the petitioners do have standing [the legal right to bring the action.]
That neighbors are likely to prevail at the writ of review hearing.

Attorney for Pen 2:

The 60 day time limit started in June.
Pen 2 understand they must comply with Portland's tree cutting standards.
The commission statute indicates a commission is only to be in place on as as needed basis and it and a licensed engineer are not needed now.
He recited the one line from a Corp person to Portland that the levee has deficiencies.
That harm comes to all 1500 acres and the businesses in the Delta Park area if the levee fails - not just the neighborhood.
Dr. Gray came with a foregone conclusion and did not do a local evaluation.
Says the Army corp of Engineers makes the decisions; DD is just for ministerial work.
Petitioners use the word "likely" to prevail - TRO needs a higher standard of surety- therefore neighbors lose on the merits.

Attorney for the RiverKeepers:

Suggested that if this was such an emergency situation, why weren't the Army Corp of Engineers and the geotech firm hired by Pen2 not here testifying?
Remarked that Pen2 is relying only on the one sentence about deficiencies taken from a letter from the Corp to a local politician.
Argued that the Commission is still necessary and that the court can appoint such a commission.

Judge:

I will issue a decision after lunch tomorrow

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Hearing is over

I just got home from court and will post this for now...I will post a summary later...but I know some are waiting for info : - )

The Judge said she would issue her decision tomorrow [October 5 ] early afternoon.

It will be emailed to attorneys on both sides and as soon as a copy comes to me - I will post it [if I can] or summarize it if posting can't be done. [Some documents I have received are in formats that will not let me post them.]

Brief Summation of Wednesday's hearing

The following comments are from the notes of someone who was there for the entire day.

One of the big issues is the timing of the 60 days to file a TRO. Pen2 [ the Drainage District] is
claiming that the 60 days started running in June when the board
made a decision to cut trees. Neighbors [BNA] are claiming that we worked in good faith
with Pen2 until they finally gave us written notice of the number and
location of the trees to be cut - and that was the day before they started
cutting trees.

The Pen2 attorney has withdrawn the claim that FEMA mandated the cutting and
that the residents of Pen2 will not be able to get insurance. Actually, those now insured
will be able to grandfather in at low rates just before the 2009 remapping.


BNA called two administrators for the drainage district as witnesses and
one said basically said that he did not know as an answer to almost every
question. He said that he had no knowledge of obtaining the tree permit even
though he signed it. The second in command said that he has no kind of
college degree, but that he knows more about the structure and requirements
of a levee than a civil engineer would. He also said that he has a
disagreement with the urban forester and that he does not need a
cutting permit to cut any of the trees on the water side of the levee. These
two may also be testifying for Pen2 on Thursday - as will several land owners.


To be continued after today's hearing....

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

6:30 PM update

Just spoke with someone who was in court all day. The hearing went until after 5 PM and the neighborhood was still presenting it's case.

The hearing will continue tomorrow morning with a break at 11 as the Judge has something else on her schedule and then will re-convene at 1 PM tomorrow afternoon.

Apparently the neighborhood's attorney called some of the Drainage District as witnesses. The neighborhood still has witnesses who need to testify and then the Drainage District will present it's case.

Stay tuned. If I get any specifics tonight about today's testimony I will post them...

Slight update - sorry

The hearing started about 10:15 and was mostly about legalities, scope of the hearing, and opening arguments by both sides. At noon - the judge said time for a lunch break and the hearing was to continue at 1 PM.

What had happened by noon was that the first witness for the neighborhood was about half way through his testimony. So he had to finish and then be subjected to cross examination.

The heat was on in the courtroom but with the windows open making some of us feel headachy !

I was one of those and was among the many who left at the lunch break. We figured the hearing had little chance of finishing today unless things moved more quickly after the lunch break and I don't know how late Portland hearings can or do go on in the afternoon.

As soon as someone who stays gets back to me - I will post any updates.

Side note - even if you enjoy technical legal arguing - this was not enjoyable... and I am a legal junkie...

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Judge and courtroom announcement

We are before Judge Alicia Fuchs at 9:00 a.m. in courtroom 324.

That's tomorrow - October 3

See you there - but if you can't make it check back here as I will post something as soon as I get home from the hearing

Monday, October 01, 2007

Plan ahead

We in this neighborhood do more than fight for trees or go to court in order to report on the legalities. [But I am a legal/politikal junkie at heart so I find it sort of fun : - )]

Most of us do other things...and I'll put a blatant ad here for myself!

I take pictures. I sell my pictures too. And I am part of an art group that has a show at the end of October..on the 28th. Pictures I have taken of the trees and flowers along our levee will be on display at this show.

CELEBRATION OF ART

October 28th, 9 am to 3 pm
Neveh Shalom
2900 SW Peaceful Lane
Portland Oregon

The magic begins as you enter our Main Exhibit Hall. Live music by well known recording artists and performers will greet your ears, and a coffee house featuring fresh treats will tantalize your palate as you listen to the musical stylings of Stephanie Schneiderman (of Dirty Martini fame), George Fendel, jazz pianist, and Justin Jude, recently named "Oregon's Best Singer/Songwriter 2007!"

Stroll from exhibit to exhibit to experience a unique show that blends the best elements of a gallery opening with an artist colony tour -- with a coffee house of a forgotten age tossed in. Celebrating their second year as a collective, ORA artists invite the public to discover their new work. Although the artists are Jewish , Judaic and secular works are available for purchase.

Members of ORA are: Rosana Berdichevsky, collage and multi-media; Lynn Dorman, photography; Leslie Elder water colors, Robin Esterkin, water color,acrylic and mixed media; Laurie Fendel, fabric construction; Diane Fredgant, silk painting; Sara Harwin, fabric construction, acrylic painting and serigraph prints; Julie Hockley, hand-cast precious metal jewelry and ritual objects; Esther Liberman, handmade bead work; Sharon Segal, acrylic and mixed media paintings and cards; Eddy Shuldman, fused glass; and Sabina Wohlfeiler, water color paintings.

You don't need to be Jewish to come look, schmooze with the artists, nosh a little, and buy art that speaks to you. Best of all, admission is free!

If you want to see some of our work go to the full ORA website HERE

or for the ORA blog go HERE

Not the levee - but relevant

I'm cross posting this from another of my blogs as it is relevant...
http://lynnsrants.blogspot.com/2007/10/science-not-from-this-administration.html

We are expected to believe this government and it's entities when they tell us what their "science" is...well here is an op-ed piece about how this administration deals with "science."

Another in the long line of "my way " - even about science - you know the area we used to say the USA was good at.

Well apparently science is not good anymore if it conflicts with a corporate bottom line!!

From an op-ed in the L.A. Times ...
What science the Bush administration chooses to stifle or promote seems to be a matter of politics and economics. According to a recent story in the Washington Post, the multibillion-dollar baby formula industry pressured the Department of Health and Human Services to weaken a 2004 public-service campaign promoting breast-feeding -- and it worked, even though the science supported the other side.

Numerous studies suggest that breast milk protects infants from developing certain illnesses and that formula-feeding increases their health risks.

The ad campaign was designed to drive home that point. Now the health of millions of infants is at risk because mothers don't have the scientific knowledge the ads would have conveyed to make an informed choice between breast- or formula-feeding.
According to the Post, a recent report by an agency within the Health and Human Services Department makes the same point as the canceled ads but has also been downplayed by the government because of pressure from the formula industry.

Full article http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/sunday/commentary/la-op-orent30sep30,1,5921620.story

As a Developmental Psychologist who advocates "real" science and breast feeding for optimal development in infants - this is sickening!

Don't children count anymore? Rhetorical question - of course they don't...they don't vote!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Legal update Sept 28th

The hearing did not take place this morning. Apparently there was a conflict of interest with the judge and the hearing is re-set for next Wednesday, October 3 at 9:30. As soon as I know what judge and room, that info will be posted.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

From CFR - Code of Federal Regulations

Selected portions of 44 CFR Ch. I (10–1–02 Edition) [emphasis added]

§ 65.10

Mapping of areas protected by levee systems.

(a) General. For purposes of the NFIP, FEMA will only recognize in its flood hazard and risk mapping effort those levee systems that meet, and continue to meet, minimum design, operation, and maintenance standards that are consistent with the level of protection sought through the comprehensive flood plain management criteria established by §60.3 of this subchapter. Accordingly, this section describes the types of information FEMA needs to recognize, on NFIP maps, that a levee system provides protection from the base flood. This information must be supplied to FEMA by the community or other party seeking recognition of such a levee system at the time a flood risk study or restudy is conducted, when a map revision under the provisions of part 65 of this subchapter is sought based on a levee system, and upon request by the Administrator during the review of previously recognized structures. The FEMA review will be for the sole purpose of establishing appropriate risk zone determinations for NFIP maps and shall not constitute a determination by FEMA as to how a structure or system will perform in a flood event.

§ 65.11

(e) Certification requirements. Data submitted to support that a given levee system complies with the structural requirements set forth in paragraphs (b)(1) through (7) of this section must be certified by a registered professional engineer. Also, certified as-built plans of the levee must be submitted. Certifications are subject to the definition given at §65.2 of this subchapter. In lieu of these structural requirements, a Federal agency with responsibility for levee design may certify that the levee has been adequately designed and constructed to provide protection against the base flood.
[51 FR 30316, Aug. 25, 1986]

Affidavit of C.J. Zadoorian

This is the geotechnical engineer who reviewed the arborist's report which was done at the request of the Drainage District.

I edited out the case caption and some other headers and footer but he affidavit is in it's entirety.

AFFIDAVIT OF CHRISTOPHER J. ZADOORIAN


I, CHRIS J. ZADOORIAN, swear, affirm under oath that:
1. I am a resident of the State of California. I am a competent person 18 years of age or older.
2. I am a licensed professional geotechnical engineer and a graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo with a degree in Civil Engineering and the University of Southern California with a Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering with and emphasis in Geotechnical Engineering. I am licensed to practice engineering in California and Nevada and have over 16 years of geotechnical engineering experience in California, Nevada and Oregon. Regarding the subject matter, I am working under the responsible charge of Scott V. Mills, a licensed civil and geotechnical engineer in the States of Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Utah, and Arizona with over 25 years geotechnical engineering consulting experience in Portland, Oregon.a licensed civil and geotechnical engineer in the State of Oregon. My involvement in this assignment is partially due to my general knowledge of the situation regarding woody vegetation on levees in Sacramento, California.
3. I am a Principal Engineer with GEODESIGN INC., a geotechnical and environmental engineering services firm with offices in Anaheim, California, Portland, Oregon, Vancouver and Seattle, Washington. I work from the office at 2121 Towne Centre Place - Suite 130, Anaheim, California and am the office manager and responsible Principal for this office.
4. GEODESIGN INC. has been retained by the Bridgeton Neighborhood Association to provide Geotechnical Consultation Service, including the review of an arborist report dated September 13, 2007 prepared by Mr. John O’ Shea, Consulting Arborist, regarding the condition of trees on the Bridgeton Road Levee. Mr. O’Shea’s report was prepared for the Multnomah County Drainage District.
5. In his report dated September 13, 2007, Mr. O’Shea has concluded that 120 trees should be removed immediately to meet federal standards. The letter does not establish a basis for this conclusion and generally lacks supporting documentation to validate the conclusion. A primary omission from the letter is detailed logs of excavations depicting root systems for trees identified for removal and positive confirmation that the subject tree root systems do in fact penetrate the critical section of the levee.
6. An arborist is not qualified or authorized by the Oregon Board of Engineering Examiners to perform an assessment of the structural integrity of the Bridgeton Road Levee and the effect of tree growth on this levee. These analyses must be completed by a Registered Professional Engineer licensed in the State of Oregon.
7. Oregon Revised Statutes Section 672.005 (b) defines the practice of engineering as the application of “special knowledge of the mathematical, physical and engineering sciences…for the purpose of ensuring compliance with specifications and design, in connection with any public or private utilities, structures, buildings, machines, equipment, processes, works or projects”. Persons found to practice engineering without a license are subject to civil and criminal penalties (ORS Section 672.991).
8. An evaluation of the effect of tree growth on the Bridgeton Levee requires an understanding of the equations and methods to calculate wind-throw forces, slope stability, definition of the critical section of the levee, and earthwork and grading practices. This expertise is clearly within the profession of geotechnical engineering. A licensed professional engineer must complete the engineering analyses of data regarding the levee, such as root depth and canopy size of the subject trees, and recommendations for mitigation, if required.
9. An on-going evaluation of the Army Corps of Engineers policy regarding woody vegetation appears to have resulted in a major change in the blanket policy as it applies to levees in Sacramento, California. Considerations made for Sacramento levees may be applicable to the Bridgeton levee, provided sufficient engineering evaluation is performed.
10. To date, sufficient and justifiable engineering data has not been provided that supports the plan to remove 120 trees from the Bridgeton levee. In addition, the very policy that is being referenced for the required tree removal is under intense scrutiny as there does not appear to be a justifiable basis for this policy.
11. The recent decision by the Army Corps of Engineers to evaluate further evaluate the potential impact of woody vegetation on Sacramento levees should be considered in the evaluation of the trees on the Bridgeton levee.
12. Sufficient data has not been provided to demonstrate that the 120 trees on the Bridgeton Road levee constitute an immediate threat to the stability of the levee. Further, sufficient time has not been provided to evaluate alternative mitigation measures for trees that would constitute a threat.
13. Mass removal of large growth species may result in a less favorable condition for the levee as this would likely leave a significant quantity of dead roots within the critical section of the levee and the impact on the levee and risk associated with this potential condition has not been evaluated.

Update on September 28 hearing


The hearing will take place tomorrow, September 28th at 9:30 AM in Room 410.

I will be there and will post relevant information afterwards.




Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Change of pace posting

Here are some photos from the Sail for the Cure - taken on June Bug
[click on photos to enlarge]





Legal update

At today's hearing, the judge left the TRO in place and the hearing scheduled for Friday will go on as originally scheduled.

Stay tuned. If you are legal junkie like I am, the convolutions in this are matter are fun to hear about....

Apparently some from Pen2 are still yelling "chicken little the sky is going to fall"... reminds me of certain people in a certain administration ......but then I am a proud cynic! and one who used to live in Washington, D.C. - home of the henny penny the sky is falling gang!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Miscommunication

So what else is new?

We arrived for the hearing that the Drainage District requested. But it seems they [or someone?] forgot to tell the docketing clerk that it was a hearing about a TRO.

The judge we met does all other expedited hearings - EXCEPT TROs!

Last I heard the hearing is now scheduled for tomorrow moringt [Tuesday Sept 25] at 9:30 AM.

In addition a permit for tree cutting that the City of Portland had issued is now revoked.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Legal matters

Legal scuttlebutt...I may be incorrect in some of the "facts" below as I got them not first hand....

After the injunction was ordered last week, the DD asked for a hearing to not only have the injunction dismissed, but they wanted the hearing now scheduled for the 28th to be expedited!

So a hearing was set for last Friday and guess what? The DD asked for it to be postponed as they were not ready!!!

So that hearing, on the dismissal of the injunction, will happen tomorrow - Monday - at 11:30 and I will be attending. Assuming the injunction stands, the hearing on the tree cutting itself will be Friday the 28th and I will attend that as well.

And a note for epicures - as the apple tree in my moorage was spared and tagged blue - I waited a few days to pick the now ripe apples and made a pie to take to a neighborhood gathering! YUM!!!!

Sail for the Cure

While all the news seems to be about the Race for the Cure, the Walk for the Cure or even the Sleep for the Cure....we rarely hear about Sail for the Cure - well maybe except in our neighborhood or other places where there are sailors.

Sail for the Cure is an annual OWSA [Oregon Woman's Sailing Association] event benefiting the Komen foundation.

Several Bridgeton residents will be out on the Columbia today on their own boats or crewing on other's boats.

Friday, September 21, 2007

This is a copy of the TRO issued on the 19th

click on the image to enlarge and read

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Trees get stay of execution!

I know the headline sounds "cute" but it's how the neighborhood feels right now. The trees were on death row and a Multnomah County judge issued a TRO [temporary restraining order] pending a full hearing on September 28.. Unfortunately, the order came too late for several large trees by the Portland Yacht Club - which were cut down.

According to the neighborhood association:
A notarized affidavit by Dr. Donald Gray a Professor (Emeritus) of the University of Michigan and a noted expert in the science of the structural integrity of earthen levees examined the Bridgeton levee this week and provided the neighborhood with a affidavit indicating that the district's plan to cut the trees would be harmful to the Bridgeton levee.
A flyer with details of this development will be sent out soon.

More to be posted as the news comes in...


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Press Release about the tree cutting

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 19, 2007

CONTACT: Alise Goforth (503) 475-4853
Bridgeton Neighborhood Assoc.

Brent Foster (541) 380-1334
Columbia Riverkeeper


Levee Expert Says Planned Tree Removal on Bridgeton Levee Would Threaten Neighborhood Safety:

Neighbors Threaten Lawsuit with Tree Cutting Potentially Starting this Wednesday


Portland, OR- The Bridgeton Neighborhood Association’s (BNA) and Columbia Riverkeeper’s fight to stop the Peninsula Drainage District from cutting over 150 trees on the Bridgeton Levee took a serious turn today when a national geo-technical expert filed an affidavit saying that the removal of trees on the levee would threaten levee safety and increase the likelihood that the levee would breach. Dr. Donald H. Gray, Professor Emeritus at the University of Michigan Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, has been in Portland this week surveying the levee and preparing a report to give to the Peninsula Drainage District on behalf of the Neighborhood Association.

The Columbia Riverkeepers and BNA filed a formal notice of negligence today with the Drainage District based on Dr. Gray’s findings and those of related studies that put the District on notice that if they cut the Bridgeton trees as proposed and there is a later breach in the levee that they will hold the District and its Supervisors legally liable for damages.

Dr. Gray plainly reported that if the trees are cut down their roots will then rot and create channels in the levee which water could pass through during a high water event. He explained that the “dying roots will eventually rot or decay and be converted from tensile reinforcements to zones of weakness or holes that will act as potential seepage conduits during high water or flood stage events.”

“This is not rocket science,” explains Matt Whitney, President of the BNA, “but the Drainage District is using outdated science, or no science at all to manage our levee. In the process they are going to put all of our lives at risk if they remove the trees on the Bridgeton Levee.”

Alise Goforth, who lives behind the Bridgeton Levee agrees. “While this started because the neighborhood did not want to lose our trees, the reality now is that the District is risking our lives and property by relying on science that is over 50 years old and clearly proven wrong by catastrophes like Hurricane Katrina. We fully intend to hold them legally accountable for their negligence”

“How can they justify cutting over 600 trees based on an outdated and flawed policy when they know that the science is definitely against them?”, commented Brent Foster, Executive Director of The Columbia Riverkeepers.

The Drainage District has already cut over 600 trees adjacent to the Bridgeton neighborhood and have marked trees for cutting and installed sediment fences in the Bridgeton neighborhood and may begin cutting in the neighborhood on Wednesday.