Awareness and Involvement
Let's take a breather to consider what has been accomplished in recent Hillsdale history.
One year ago, Chase Bank announced it planned to build a branch in Hillsdale. After seven months of stiff neighborhood opposition, Chase abandoned its ambitions here.
Just months ago, Richard Stein announced plans for a Food Cart Court at the entrance to Wilson High School. Today, the plaza is under construction.
A year ago, the Hillsdale Main Street Design Committee sketched out plans to reconfigure the confusing, segmented and ugly parking lot across from Hillsdale's post office and liquor store. Today, the old unsightly fence is gone and the lot has been transformed to handle more cars and to make the area safer for pedestrians.
Two years ago, Hillsdale was one of three Portland communities chosen for the Main Street program. Hillsdale Main Street, a local economic revitalization effort, was the outgrowth of Hillsdale Community Foundation funding. Five years ago, the foundation itself didn't exist.
Ten years ago, there was no Watershed senior housing building. Today it is home to 50 residents and an essential meeting place.
Twelve years ago, Hillsdale had no Farmers Market.
Five years ago, a determined group of Rieke School parents fought off school district efforts to close the school. More than that, they reinvigorated Rieke's presence and markedly increased its enrollment.
Oh, and that Chase bank site...in the months ahead, plans are expected to be announced for a new building on the site. It will likely house a much needed credit union.
* * * *
The list of community accomplishments is far from complete but it is instructive and even surprising.
Compared to events in our own personal lives, those in our community seem largely haphazard. That's because those who shape the community are autonomous and often act independently.
The Chase proposal came out of the blue and was poorly executed by the big Wall Street bank. Stein's idea for a food cart court also took many be surprise, but he's so far done a great job of selling the project.
A small group starts a foundation that leads to Main Street and hiring a full-time executive director to guide volunteers and projects.
As a kind of "micro-journalist" I've chronicled 20 years of Hillsdale history. It seems like a crazy maze of change. But looking back on it, I'm not sure I would have had it any other way.
If nothing else, it has been fascinating to watch (and, yes, participate in). I think of the glass-sided ant colony I had as a kid. "Look that big clump of dirt this ant is pushing...What's that one doing up there with that leaf?...Hey! they're staring a new tunnel here...."
The difference between the ants and us is that the ants are all - down to the last ant - involved yet seemingly unaware. They're just doing their "ant thing." In Hillsdale we aren't all involved but we - or at least those of you paying attention - are aware. You are just doing your "human thing," whatever THAT might be.
Unlike the ants, you might ask yourself how your "thing" relates to the larger community.
Awareness and involvement are related. The second rarely happens without the first. To the extent that this publication, e-mail lists and newsletters make the community aware, we communicators can claim some credit for what's happened here.
But the real credit for change goes those who get involved. (I'll spare you the inevitable Margaret Mead quote about citizen involvement) Her words and our involvement will be as important in Hillsdale for the next 20 years as they have been for the last 20.
Town Center readies itself
for one-day Parkways transformation
Get ready for the chance to see things a little differently here...and to act a lot differently...thanks to the Sunday Parkways.
Ever considered boogying down Capitol Highway?
On Sunday, July 22, you get your chance. Read on.
Linda Ginenthal, who is in charge of organizing the Parkways
moveable street party, says it could attract 20,000 hiking, biking, running, strolling partyers to the 7.5 mile route.
Signs are alerting the community to the July 22 Parkways traffic changes.
They'll traipse through Hillsdale, Gabriel Park and Multnomah village. The park will serve as a node for hiking activity. A two-mile walk will start from there at 11 a.m. with the first 100 participants getting commemorative t-shirts, courtesy of Parkway sponsor Kaiser Permanente.
Traffic will be redirected from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. to make way for the party-parade.
In Hillsdale, businesses in the southside shopping center will host a stream of non-automotive traffic through the parking lot. Cars will park elsewhere.
Mike Roach, president of the Hillsdale Business and Professional Association, said he expects most businesses will take a financial hit from the activities, but it may be worth it if the parade's participants see a store they like and decide to come back later.
Several Hillsdale businesses plan to put up stalls along the route through the parking lot. They are renting space at $100 a crack.
The money goes to offset the cost of the parade, which Ginethal estimates to be $95,000. The cost includes barracades and policing.
Hillsdale will see Capitol Highway remain open but it will be reduced to two lanes. Some in the neighborhood have advocated experimenting with narrowing the busy street. The Parkways event will give them an opportunity to see how well a two-lane street works, although clearly under unusual circumstances.
Ginethal, who works for the Portland Bureau of Transportation as programs manager, oversees this summer's five parkway programs, but she says the Southwest one is special.
For one thing it is combined with the Terwilliger Parkway Centennial Celebration, a three-day series of events (see schedule in the Date Book below). It is also the first Parkways to be held in Southwest. The only others held on the west side of town have been near downtown or in Northwest, she says.
Most other parkways have been routed through residential areas on low-traffic streets, but this one, in response to business requests, is going through the Multnomah and Hillsdale business districts.
Three hundred, red-vested volunteers will be at 70 intersections to direct traffic and help motorists adjust to changes. Police will also be on hand at major intersections to direct traffic. If you want to see how traffic will be redirected, go to the Parkways web site, which also lists activities at points along the route. http://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/article/401376
Ginethal says there's still need for volunteers. To sign up go to the Parkways web site at http://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/article/395825. "We can't do it without volunteers," she says.
Food court takes shape, Good Neighbor policy in the works
Earth movers are beginning to shape the new food cart court that in early August will be ready to offer tacos, waffles and burgers to hungry Hillsdale customers.
Richard Stein, who is developing the prominent site on the southeast corner of Sunset and Capitol Highway, says that the opening will represent the first phase for the court.
Pads for carts are taking shape.
It will feature a taco stand, a waffle cart and an "American Bistro" venue (burgers, fries etc).
He is leasing the land from Wardin Investments, which owns much of the commercial property in Hillsdale.
Stein has said he is taking an incremental approach in developing the site to see what works and what doesn't. He hopes eventually to have a total of five carts.
On July 10, as part of the learning process, Stein met with neighbors to formulate a "Good Neighbor Policy."
Many of the approximately 30 in attendance at Wilson High School came from apartments and condos just east of the site.
Stein characterized the two-hour meeting as a "conversation" about the court. Stefanie Adams, crime prevention officer with Southwest Neighborhoods Inc, the coalition of Southwest Portland Neighborhoods, moderated the meeting using Good Neighbor Policy guidelines.
At a final, follow-up meeting planned for Thursday, July. 19, Stein and Adams will present a draft agreement for approval by the group.
Agreeing to the policy is voluntary, Stein noted. "I don't have to do any of this, but I would like to do it."
Partly in response to neighbors' requests, Stein said that the court will not offer alcohol nor will it allow smoking. Other issues considered were hours of operation and the potential for noise on the site.
He said, "The meeting helped me learn other perspectives and broaden my own." For example, he said he is now aware that immediate neighbors have children and balconies and that is influencing his thoughts about the hours of operation.
Stein, a designer, has been active in planning in Hillsdale for 20 years and is the co-chair of the Hillsdale Main Street Design Committee. He was instrumental in designing the bike plaza between Food Front and Baker & Spice.
His goal with the food cart plaza, he said, "is to create a great community space."
Hillsdale house on Heritage Tour
So you have been in Hillsdale for 50 years....
If you happen to be a house designed by a noted mid-Century architect you might find yourself on the annual Heritage Home Tour . Face it, you are significant part of Hillsdale's post-war architectural heritage.
The Sam and Ester Fort House, tucked away in seclusion off Westwood Drive, has just such a place of honor in this year's tour to be held on Saturday, July 28, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Tickets are on sale online at
The cost is $50 for the general public and $35 for Architectural Heritage Center members.
The other houses on the tour are older than the Fort House; three were build in the 19th Century.
Here, in the booming Hillsdale suburb of 1962, Saul Zaik designed the one-story Northwest Regional house for the Forts in a secluded setting with expansive views.
Zaik, who recently visited the house, often designed homes using zones or pavilions. The Fort House has three pavilions that define the living and kitchen workspace, the children's area, and adult area.
Those taking the tour will see the Fort House's kitchen, which was recently renovated by Mosaik Design and Remodeling. The firm brought back the original period style and feel to the kitchen, while modernizing and improving it with contemporary materials.
|Clerk Tracy Lasseter welcomes customers to the colorful Multnomah Indigo Traders store.|
Indigo Traders opens Hillsdale store
Indigo Traders, the well-established Mediterranean import shop in Multnomah Village, is opening a second, larger store in Hillsdale.
The grand opening is scheduled for July's Third Thursday, July 19, said Samir Naser, who owns the business with his wife, Karla Bean. The Hillsdale store between Food Front and Other Worlds Games, is at 6352 SW Capitol Highway.
In addition to many offerings from the Multnomah Village store, the Hillsdale store will carry hand-loomed blankets and bedding from Turkey, leather poufs from Morocco and pottery, tagines from Tunisia and olive oil soaps from Syria.
Also new to Indigo Traders at the Hillsdale store are traditional copper trays and Turkish coffee cups, tea pots and serving plates.
Naser said he is excited about the new store's being in Hillsdale. "It's a great community - it is really a community."
The location is also commercially appealing because of the high-volume traffic on Capitol Highway. He added that commercial property owner Ardys Braidwood has been especially helpful and easy to work with.
The space was previously the long-time home of Kelly N-I Travel.
During Indigo Traders nine years in Multnomah Village, Samir has become known for his contribution to First Fridays, the evening of special events in the Village. The free Mediterranean food morsels at the store have become a popular draw.
Naser says he plans to contribute in the same way to Hillsdale's nascent Third Thursday. The grand opening on the 19th will be Hillsdale's first chance to get a taste of Naser's cooking. The event starts at 6 p.m.
For more about Indigo traders, go to the store's web site:
|Main Street scrambles
to find new VISTA worker
Hillsdale Main Street has had to scramble to find a replacement for the VISTA member who was all set to join Executive Director Megan Braunsten in the Main Street Office.
Melinda Hastings Wheatley had to back out of taking the job because of a family emergency in Texas. She had been scheduled to begin work on July 13.
Braunsten received an extended deadline from VISTA for hiring and is interviewing candidates.
The VISTA job entails fundraising, volunteer management and marketing.
Bags needed for Wilson Cluster Arts
New or gently-used purses, bags, clutches, briefcases and messenger bags are needed for Wilson Cluster Arts benefit purse sale on Nov. 11. Drop off in Hillsdale at Wilson High School, Paloma Clothing, KeyBank or in Multnomah Village at Switch Shoes & Clothing and Sip D'Vine Wine Shop. For more informations contact:
Linda Doyle Lsdoyle@earthlink.net
(503) 539-7240 or
Jaci Evans email@example.com
Thursdays, July 19, 26
Peace Village: A Family Experience
5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m Hillsdale Community Church - UCC
6948 SW Capitol Hwy. An intergenerational experience in creating peace in your world, neighborhood, home,and life. Evenings of song, storytelling, crafts and practicing peacemaking. Free, open to all ages, and includes dinner. Children should be accompanied by an adult. For more information, call (503) 246-5474.
July 19th's program will feature. award-winning songwriter, singer, and community-chorus director, Sara Thomsen. The free outdoor concert will be on the church grounds.
Sunday, July 22
Book Sale book collection
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Capitol Highway lot east of Baskin Robbins. Please, no textbooks, out-dated manuals or travel guides. Books will be sold at the Hillsdale Foundation's annual book sale on Sunday, July 29, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Friday, July 20 through Sunday, July 22
100th Anniversary celebration
10 a.m. Upper Duniway Park. Centennial Cake cutting and unveiling of Terwilliger Gateway sign.
9:30 a.m. to noon, meet behind Wilson HS bleachers. Guided tours by SW Trails.
9 a.m. to noon, Chart House parking. Restoration work party, remove ivy from around Totem Pole.
6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Upper Duniway Park. Concert
8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Meet at Upper Duniway Park. Run/Walk
11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday Parkways SW extension. Map below.
A link to a short video about the centennial is HERE
Sunday, July 29
HBPA Pancake Breakfast & Community Foundation Book Sale
35th Annual Hillsdale Business and Professional Association Blueberry Pancake Breakfast, served in the Key Bank/Casa Colima parking lot, begins at 8:30 a.m. and lasts until noon. The Community Foundation book sale, at the Watershed and along south side of Capitol Highway, begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 2 p.m. (Note: leftover books will be on sale at the Watershed's "Neighbors Night Out" on Friday, August 10. See below.)
Thursday, August 23
Movie in Dewitt Park
6:30 p.m. Dewitt Park. Live music at dusk followed by the movie "MegaMind."
Friday, August 10
Neighbors Night Out
at The Watershed
7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at The Watershed, 6388 SW Capitol Highway.
Community Partners for Affordable Housing (CPAH) is once again hosting the annual National Night Out, The Hillsdale Book Sale will still be in progress in the Watershed Community Room. The Minidoka Swing Band will perform on the Plaza. Limited space on the Plaza is available for groups to offer marketing, wine tasting, food tasting, etc. You will need your own table and a $20 donation. Reservations are necessary. The new CPAH Commercial space will be open for tours.
Contact: Saretta at The Watershed (503)452-0010
Saturday, August 25
Work Party to spruce up Wilson
9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Wilson High. SWTrails will be leading a work party to clear brush and ivy from the Wilson HS campus.
Meet at the drinking fountain on the north side of the school. Bring gloves, tools to prune high material, long-sleeved shirt, tools to dig out ivy and blackberries. Lunch provided.
Saturday, September 15
Hillsdale Paella Dinner
6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Location and price to be announced. Visit www.HillsdaleMainStreet.org/Happenings/Paella
. The event is a benefit for Hillsdale Main Street.