2010 Hillsdale News FLAG
Issue #147
Posted August 27, 2015
Also in This Issue
* Housing leader leaves legacy here
* Online grocery shopping comes to Hillsdale first
* Food Front Board spiced with Hillsdale flavor
Views of the News 

- 30 -
Olympia TypewriterTraditionally in journalism the designation - 30 - marks "The End" of a story.

In the above headline it marks the end of an eight-year, 147-issue run of The Hillsdale News.

If you read last month's issue, this should come as no surprise as I prominently announced my intention to cease publication and gave my reasons for doing so. No need to repeat those reasons here. (The archive of nearly all the issues will remain accessible at hillsdalenews.org)

The response to my announcement has been a heartening outpouring of gratitude for The News. Many said they fully understood the reasons for my decision. No argument.

Another response has been that a handful of supporters and community activists see The News as such a vital resource that they hope to keep it alive. I've volunteered to advise them or anyone else who wants to keep the Hillsdale News "flag" (another journalistic term) flying.

With some entrepreneurial initiative, I believe The News could be a viable, part-time business.

Another response to my announcement was an invitation from Southwest Community Connection editor Kelsey O'Halloran to write a column. I accepted. My first column appears in the September issue of The Connection, which happens to be a paper I founded 21 years ago. (I will also continue to post on my blog, The Red Electric.

Before turning the lights out, I have some final thoughts. Several take the form of questions.

"Communication defines Community" has become a mantra for me. Without communication (printed, on-line, over the backyard fence) we aren't a community but just a bunch of folks who find ourselves in the same place. But a caution: If our communication is false or cruel or biased, our community will suffer. If what we say or write is true, informative, constructive and fair, we will thrive.

Keeping in mind the need for constructive communication, we should ask: "What does it mean to be informed?" And the corollary, "What does it mean to inform?" The questions are particularly hard to answer as our attention spans grow ever shorter and our lives become ever more complex, interconnected and often impulsive.

What is the proper balance between public and private interests? The question, for starters, touches on housing density, forms of transportation (including trails, sidewalks and more freeway lanes), taxes, and commercialism in our schools. Where are public/private "partnerships" appropriate and where are they inappropriate. For instance, I'm increasingly troubled by the fact that Portland Public Schools seemingly has no guidelines about advertising on school property...including on fences next to running tracks used by the public (hint, hint.)

The above is part of a larger question: How can we honor and enhance The Commons - the Hillsdale Commons? My own pet project for years has been to underground utilities in the Town Center. If undergrounding is important enough for the Pearl and the Lloyd districts (to say nothing of most of European cities), it should be important for a proud community like Hillsdale. Imagine our Town Center without its current blight of wires, poles and transformers.

We remain woefully ill-prepared for natural disasters, be they wild fires, mega-storms or the inevitable massive (or not so massive) earthquake. Consider that this City has utterly failed to address the problem of homelessness resulting from the disasters caused by wartime trauma, drug addiction, extreme poverty and mental illness. Now imagine the massive homelessness caused by a major disaster destroying whole neighborhoods. You and I, neighbors, are one earthquake (or lightning strike) away from life on the streets.

I remain troubled by the situation at Food Front's two-store cooperative grocery. The success of our Town Center is inextricably tied to the success of the Food Front "anchor" store here. Food Front has failed to communicate predictably or substantively with its 11,000 owners. In September several changes will take place on Food Front's seven-member board following upcoming board elections. At press time, details about the elections had not been forthcoming. The board (probably the "old" board) will hire a new manager soon. Much of the anticipated managerial change should focus on open, operational (as opposed to promotional) communication with owners, customers, the business community and Food Front's own employees (who recently unionized).

Finally, THANKS!...

To this community's hundreds of volunteers - in the schools, on civic boards, in the Farmers Market, at community events, in faith communities. A special thanks to those from Hillsdale who have stepped up to run for the Food Front board (see above): Ted Coonfield, Dave Hawkins, Eamon Molloy and Jett Maertz.

To Neighborhood House, at the heart of so much that we do to help the less fortunate.

To business owners and employees who so faithfully meet our needs.

To public servants, whom we often are  quick to blame but oh-so slow to thank. Thank you!

To those who have thanked this volunteer editor/publisher/writer down through the years. Your words of encouragement have been my "pay" and kept me going.

Thanks too to my constructive, thoughtful critics. You have helped make me and this publication better.

Finally, to my wife, Diane Moskowitz, who has proof-read every word you have ever seen here and has spared me from embarrassment and you from error.

Rick Seifert
Editor & Publisher

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Letters to the editor are always welcome. Write:

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From its heights, Hillsdale looks down on the Willamette River.
Back to the Future 
A Vision for Hillsdale

Editor's Note: Five years ago several of us successfully applied for a Main Street grant from the City. Part of the application called for us to describe the Hillsdale we envisioned in 2015. Today, Hillsdale Main Street is history. Through the program, a lot of hard work and local matching funds, parts of the vision have become reality. But much remains undone. The narrative vision serves as one guide to the future and bears reviewing. (See story below about upcoming meetings on strategic planning.)

Here is what we wrote five years ago:

The year is 2015. The new tree-shaded, meandering sidewalks wind into the Town Center and are in constant use. The covered walkways in front of the stores are alive with ambling shoppers.

On Capitol Highway, motorists slow to admire the bustling Hillsdale Town Center and to ease into parking.
The Hillsdale Library: books..."plus."

This is a place to spend time. Bicyclists have their own raised bikeway. A new crosswalk/speed table has been installed. The north and south sides of the Town Center, once divided by busy Capitol Highway, have grown closer - even intimate. The easy, slow and safe flow of traffic connects them as does the common "Mid-20th Century" theme and the amenities the entire area offers.

New, consistent signage, with its crisp "Fifties" logo and clean lettering, guides motorists and pedestrians alike. Those in cars know they can readily find parking. Hillsdale, no longer daunting and disorganized, is warm and inviting to all.

The Main Street program inspired some tasteful signage and celebrated our "mid-Century Modern" architecture.
Most come to Hillsdale to linger and savor the place, to wander among the attractive shops. Soon, they will come to the new pocket plaza and climb to the top of the landmark Hillsdale Tower. From its "Fifties" neo-futuristic eight-story pinnacle, visitors take in the sweeping views of the surrounding hills, the Willamette Valley, the Coast Range and Mount Hood.

Evenings in Hillsdale are vibrant. Vintage neon signs draw visitors not just from Portland but from afar. Hillsdale has become known for its boutique micro-cinemas. Regionally, Hillsdale has become a destination for film and food. After the films, patrons linger in Hillsdale's coffee shops and restaurants.

The Farmers Market has become a Sunday celebration with concerts in nearby Wilson Stadium. An "artists' row" has been added at nearby Rieke School, with proceeds supporting Hillsdale's Education Fund and its excellent schools. The Fund is a part of the Hillsdale Community Foundation.

Baker & Spice is a "third place" (after home and work) for many.
For all the fun Hillsdale provides visitors, it is still a place of business - the commercial and service core for the immediate community. The phrase "Hillsdale Has It" is more true than ever.

The Main Street storefront office recently expanded and is home to meetings that five years ago were scattered about the neighborhood. The center, staffed by volunteers, has a tool "lending library" and a "Green House," the home for Hillsdale's model sustainability program. Thanks to public/private solar installations and the local conservation program, Hillsdale is on track to becoming energy independent for its electricity. Plans are underway to tap geothermal energy as well. A new tower on the drafting boards will have a small but prominent wind-driven generator.

The Main Street Center also serves as a branch service hub for Neighborhood House. Hillsdale offers housing for the once homeless (The Watershed), for distressed families seeking new beginnings (Turning Point), and for those in need of public housing (Hillsdale Terrace, now Stephens Creek Crossing). Because it helps so many, Hillsdale is known as "a home with a heart."

At last, after more than 20 years of visions, plans and meetings, Hillsdale's promise is becoming an exciting, trailblazing reality - and a model for others.
Low-income housing leader takes new job, leaves Hillsdale legacy

As Sheila Greenlaw-Fink puts 16 years of work in Hillsdale behind her and moves on to a new job in Washington County, she leaves a legacy few are aware of.

Sheila Greenlaw-Fink
But look no farther than Hillsdale's tallest building, The Watershed low-income housing apartment at the corner of Bertha Court and Capitol Highway.

Its vertical "HILLSDALE" sign is a landmark.

The building, with its 51 units is home to many who were once homeless. Its community meeting room is a gathering place for several civic organizations.

For two weeks each summer, The Watershed is the staging area and site for the Hillsdale Book Sale, which funds the Hillsdale Community Foundation.

Most importantly for Greenlaw-Fink's work, The Watershed is headquarters of Community Partners for Affordable Housing (CPAH), the non-profit that developed the building under her leadership as CPAH's executive director.

Now, after 20 years with CPAH Greenlaw-Fink is leaving the housing organization in mid-September to become executive director for the Community Housing Fund in Washington County. The Fund attracts start-up funding for new housing projects similar to The Watershed and seven other CPAH apartment communities.

Just as Greenlaw-Fink has made a mark on Hillsdale, Hillsdale has become an important part of Greenlaw-Fink's life and work.
The Watershed Building.

In her time working here, she and her family moved to Hillsdale. She will continue to serve on the Hillsdale neighborhood association board. She and CPAH have been active in the Hillsdale Business and Professional Association.

She has become part of the very community leadership that so impressed her during the complex and often challenging planning phase of The Watershed project.

Fifteen years ago, in the project's formative stages, she quickly discovered that Hillsdale had an informed, activist leadership well versed in planning. It knew what it wanted and could forcefully articulate those desires.

The Watershed's tower, the landmark sign, the drinking fountain with its bench, and even the name "Watershed" grew out of those collaborative meetings. (The building, designed by Hillsdale architect Bill Wilson, literally sits at the headwaters of two watersheds. Wilson suggested the "Watershed" name.)

In an interview recently, Greenlaw-Fink said, "The leadership had no qualms about asking for what they wanted.... It was fun to work with such a pro-active group."

Out of the collaboration and engagement grew the community's strong support for The Watershed project.

She recalls how government agencies, the source of key project funding, were impressed - even surprised - that CPAH had such strong local support when so many communities often oppose low-income housing proposals in their neighborhoods.

She remembers how leaders "trooped to City Hall when they disagreed with planning decisions....They helped us stay focused and energized over the many years it took to bring the project to fruition."

As she prepares for her new job, one thing is certain: Greenlaw-Fink's work won't take her away from Hillsdale.

"I couldn't be happier to live in a neighborhood where I can walk to nearly everything I might want or need - the library, the farmers market, stores and restaurants - and have access to a buses when I don't want to fight traffic or parking downtown....I seldom take a walk without bumping into a friend or neighbor. It's a great place to call home."
The Burlingame store's construction site has announced the upcoming change.

Freddie's Burlingame store is first
in the chain to offer online shopping

Starting Wednesday, Sept. 2, grocery shoppers will be able to shop at the Burlingame Fred Meyer without even getting out of their cars.

The store is the first in the multi-store Fred Meyer chain, now owned by Kroger, to install online shopping. Several Kroger stores in the East started the service earlier this year.

After establishing an account with a password, customers will order online what's on their shopping lists. They indicate when they plan to pick up their orders, which are stored in temperature appropriate areas until they arrive.

At the Burlingame store, online customers pull into one of the four customer loading bays at the northeast end of the store near the Bertha/Barbur intersection. They identify themselves and then pay for their purchases from their cars.

Without so much as unbuckling a seat belt, they watch as their orders are wheeled out and loaded in their cars. Then they are on their way.

Some 15 new employees have been hired to roam the aisles to fill online orders in special carts.

To encourage customers to try the new service, Fred Meyer has made the first three internet orders free of a service charge. After that it's $4.95 per order.

Fred Meyer staff will be testing the new service starting Monday, August 31, to make sure it's ready for the grand opening on Wednesday.
Food Front's new board to be
leavened with Hillsdale members

In October, the new board of Food Front, the two-store co-operative grocery, is going to have a distinctively Hillsdale flavor to it. The Food Front's Hillsdale store is the "anchor" of the Hillsdale Shopping Center.

Although additional positions on the seven-member board could open up between now and October, as things stand now Hillsdale will have four members on the seven-member board.

Election of the new board will be held in September, with Food Front's 11,000 members being invited to vote. But because only five candidates are on the ballot to fill the five open seats, the election is uncontested.

The four Hillsdale candidates include two current, and only recently appointed, board members. Dave Hawkins is a business consultant and Jett Maertz is a family financial services advisor with Habitat for Humanity.

The other two candidates from Hillsdale are Eamon Molloy, manager of the Hillsdale Farmers Market, and Ted Coonfield, who was previously on the Food Front board and served as president of the board of Neighborhood House.

The fifth candidate, who has been on the board for six years, is Joy Orevik, the board's vice president.

Two board members whose positions are not up for election are its president and a long-time board member Linda Jauron-Mills, and treasurer and secretary Eric Miller, whose term expires in 2017.

In recent months, Food Front has experienced considerable turnover on its board during a time of personnel and financial turmoil. Peg Nolan, the acting general manager of Food Front, was brought in early this year to support and then temporarily replace long-time general manager Holly Jarvis, who retired in April. Nolan has been an executive with the National Cooperative Grocers Association, the business services cooperative for 143 retail food co-ops.

One of the first tasks of the board - it's not clear whether it will be the old or the new one - will be to hire a permanent replacement for Nolan. A list of some 30 candidates has been narrowed down to two so the naming of the new general manager is expected soon.

*  *  *  *  * 

Planning to be Hillsdale Association's focus

Planning is high on the agenda of architect Duane Hunting as he begins his term as the new chair of the Hillsdale Neighborhood Association.

Increased growth, mixed use, the possible arrival of new enhanced transit service on Barbur Boulevard, and higher density development are just a few  planning issues facing Hillsdale and the surrounding area in the years ahead, he notes.

At its Wednesday, Sept. 2, meeting at the Watershed Building, 6388 SW Capitol Highway, the Neighborhood Association will have an initial discussion of its strategic planning effort and consider a series of speakers and topics for future association meetings.

The goal is to pull together a "Hillsdale Action Plan" that will build on past Hillsdale plans. The first was the 1997 Hillsdale Town Center Plan, which was approved by the Portland City Council and offered a blueprint for change.

Hunting cites the original town center plan as providing a possible template for upcoming discussion and the formulation of the new action plan. The 1997 plan included a list of broad action categories:

* Land Use & Zoning (sense of place & balance of density)
* Transportation (transit access & resources)
* Business Growth & Development (community services)
* Urban Design (visual characteristics & improvements)
* Community Standards (neighborhood identity)
* Equity & Diversity Goals (gentrification & fairness)
* Environment & Recreation (natural features & characteristics)
* Housing (residential character, livability & density)
* Schools (educational & life skills training)
* Parks & Trails (outdoor experiences & pedestrian mobility)

*  *  *  *  *

Play Gym opens here for young children

Parents and grandparents looking for play options for three-through-five-year-olds have several choices...The Children's museum, OMSI, the Hillsdale Branch Library and numerous playgrounds.

Now they can add to the list the recently-opened Upper Westside Play Gym in Hillsdale with its growing list of classes: Spanish, movement, baby sign language and even playing the ukulele.

Courses and schedules are listed on the Play Gym's web site. A Facebook link is HERE.

The airy, scaled-for-kids Play Gym is located inside the entrance to the Sunset Office Suite building. The building is on the rise behind the Hillsdale Brew Pub at 1509 SW Sunset Boulevard. The location fits in nicely with other nearby activities as it is an easy stroll to the Hillsdale Branch Library and the Dewitt Park playground.

The Play Gym is owned by husband and wife Wally Jones and Lara Jones. They are also co-owners of Westside Academy of Kung Fu, Southwest Alive BJJ, and CrossFit Hillsdale. Those enterprises are located in the lower level of the same building and are entered from Cheltenham  Street.

The couple's stated mission is to provide young children "a clean, safe, fun, and developmentally appropriate movement space that offers quality instruction, and affordable opportunities to learn, play, and socialize."

Before The Chart House was Hillvilla

The Hillvilla restaurant, with its stunning view to the east, opened in 1921. In this photo taken ca. 1930, a distant Mount Hood can be seen faintly in the upper right. A 1924 menu lists a full-course dinner for $1.75. The Chart House chain, current owners, bought the establishment in 1985.

Photo courtesy of the Multnomah Historical Association
Date Book         
Wednesday, Sept. 2

HNA returns to strategic planning

7 p.m to 9 p.m. The Watershed Building, 6388 SW Capitol Highway. The first of several neighborhood association discussions about strategic planning will take place (See story above). Also a presentation by community garden leader Leslie Pohl-Kosbaul about the new Hillsdale Crossroads Community Garden.

Saturday, Sept. 5

Getting picky in the Town Center

9 a.m., meet at Food Front. A group calling itself "The Usual Suspects" invites you to become a member by putting in one hour of fun-filled litter patrolling in the Hillsdale Town Center. At 10 a.m., the Suspects show off "The pick of the litter" and feast on English Muffin breakfast sandwiches, compliments of Food Front. The Suspects meet at 9 a.m. at Food Front on the first Saturday of every month. Consider yourself ... suspect!

Saturday, Sept. 12

4T walk/ride to be led by Baack

8:45 a.m., meet behind the Wilson High School bleachers to take the 9:01 bus to Pioneer Courthouse Square and the beginning of the 4T loop route involving "Trail, Tram, Trolley and Train (Light Rail).  The bus is being added to the normal 4T mix. Loop founder Don Baack will lead.The loop will have 700 feet elevation gain and 1100 feet loss.  There are bathrooms at the Zoo and OHSU.  No need to buy a ticket as Sept 12 is opening day for the Tri-Met Orange line and TriMet will be free.  The loop will take 3-4 hours. Co-sponsored by SWTrails PDX and Hillsdale Neighborhood Association.

Saturday, Sept. 12

Community Picnic at St. Andrews Church

1 p.m. to 5 p.m., St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, Sunset Boulevard and Dosch Road. Free food and entertainment. Open to all.

Sunday, Sept. 13

Discussion: Racial Diversity and Inclusion
in our communities

2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Hillsdale Branch Library. Willamette University Professor Emily Drew leads a discussion about the challenges to creating racially diverse, inclusive communities in Oregon. What does the racial integration of place require of us and how might we prepare to create and embrace it?

Tuesday, Sept. 15

Head Start classes begin, register now

At the Children's Center at Stephens Creek Crossing. The Neighborhood House program helps 3 to 5 year olds achieve school readiness by promoting their social, cognitive and physical development. Class sizes are small, and families can choose between morning and afternoon sessions Tuesday through Friday. To learn more contact Neighborhood House Family Services Coordinator Lena Avakyan at (503) 246-1663, ext 7307.

Saturday, Sept. 19

Making your own journal from scratch

2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Hillsdale Branch Library. Learn how to make a journal, binding your self-made book using the four-needle Coptic stitch, which allows the journal to lay completely flat Registration required either on-line at the Multnomah County web site, at the Hillsdale Library or by calling (503) 988-5234.

Tuesday, Sept 22

Finding calm at home & work

6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Hillsdale Branch Library.  Learn basic skills to reduce stress; lessen chaos at home, school and work and find more connection and calm in the whole family. Registration required either on-line at the Multnomah County web site, at the Hillsdale Library or by calling (503) 988-5234.

Thursday, Oct. 1

Eco-Schools Network parent Meet-up

7 p.m., 4486 SW Washouga Ave. The "Dessert Meet-up" is an opportunity for parents seeking the "green" experience for their children at schools. Dessert provided. The Eco-School Network is sponsored by the Center for Earth Leadership, earthleaders.org 
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