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Neigborhood briefs

News from around Portland's neigborhoods

NORTH

Pole problem may find fix in Big Pipe funds

City Commissioner Sam Adams may use $2 million in community remediation funds from the Big Pipe sewer project to address North Portland neighbors' concerns about what they call the 'big ugly pole' at the corner of North Killingsworth Street and Willamette Boulevard.

Neighbors have complained for months about the pole, which was installed as part of a backup power supply system to the Swan Island Pump Station for the Big Pipe project.

Adams, a Kenton resident, told neighbors last week that he will talk to Portland General Electric about the cost of moving the pole and its wires to another location, up North Basin Avenue. Adams said $2 million may not be enough to cover the cost, but the city possibly could cover the balance with contingency funds or by adding it to the overall cost of the Big Pipe project.

Adams said that in the future, he wants to provide residents a way to appeal the siting of such 'super poles' over a certain size.

'What I learned is the utilities have pretty unfettered access to the city's right-of-way,' Adams said.

NORTHEAST

Kids take art to park

Irving Park will be the site of a youth jazz and art festival from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, featuring artwork and music from neighborhood young people.

The park, at the corner of Northeast Seventh Avenue and Fremont Street, will also be the site of several Family Fun Days during August. The daylong events are scheduled for Aug. 4, Aug. 11 and Aug. 18.

The first two Family Fun Days will focus on health. Representatives from Northwest Medical Teams, Western States Chiropractic College and Providence Health Systems will be at the park to conduct health screenings and provide tips on keeping families healthy.

NORTHWEST

Center to seek support for expanded services

Friendly House began providing social services for downtown seniors in addition to Northwest Portlanders on July 1, and the community center's administrators knew they were taking on a large responsibility.

But how large is just becoming clear.

Vaune Albanese, executive director of Friendly House, said serving downtown seniors has forced the community center to double the number of case managers it employs, and more money will be needed.

Before it agreed to provide service to downtown seniors, Friendly House was handling about 80 cases at any one time, Albanese said. Now the center is handling about twice as many cases, including some that are more difficult.

A greater percentage of the downtown seniors live in single-occupancy hotels instead of apartments. Albanese said case managers are encountering higher rates of alcoholism and physical disability as well as mental health problems.

Neighbors receive award for community center

The White House Drug Control Policy Council last week honored activists in Southeast Portland for their work acquiring a property formerly used for the distribution of illegal drugs and transforming it into a community center.

The director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, John Walters, presented the Community Anti-drug Excellence Award to members of the Mount Tabor and South Tabor neighborhood associations and the parent-teacher organization at Atkinson Elementary School.

The Portlanders worked with local nonprofit Southeast Uplift and the U.S. Marshals Service to take control of the former Wake Up Deli at 5633 S.E. Division St., near Franklin High School. The deli was raided by police two years ago for being a distribution site for chemicals used to make the drug methamphetamine.

It is now the Atkinson-Tabor Community Commons.

SOUTHWEST

Tram scaffolds going up

Residents and travelers in the Southwest neighborhoods between the South Waterfront and Marquam Hill soon will see signs of one of the most difficult stages of building the Portland Aerial Tram.

The erection of temporary metal scaffolds at key intersections will allow workers to string the ropes that will move gondolas between the tram's upper and lower stations. The ropes are scheduled to be strung between the stations over the next few weeks without shutting down traffic on the roads they travel over, including the busy Interstate 5 freeway, Southwest Macadam Avenue and Terwilliger Boulevard.

They will then be used to string the cables that will hold the gondolas between the stations.

The work is being done by Doppelmayr, one of two private contractors building the tram for the city. By the time the work is finished, the company will have strung more than five miles of rope and cables between the stations.

SOUTHEAST

Walkers will try trail

The series of walking tours for Lents lovers, called Lents Walks, continues Saturday with a three-mile trek on the Springwater Corridor Trail.

The walk, the second of two on the trail, will be open to walkers of all ages and abilities; walk leaders will discuss the history of the trail, efforts to promote its use and the sights along its path.

Leaders of the walk, in conjunction with the Lents Neighborhood Association, will supply snacks and water. Participants are encouraged to bring a pedometer and a friend.

Walkers should meet at 9:30 a.m. on the south side of Kelly Elementary School, 9030 S.E. Cooper St. To sign up for e-mail alerts of future walks, go online to groups.yahoo.com/group/ilovelents.

- Tribune staff