Center's reuse discussed

Most Multnomah Village area residents who attended a recent workshop on the future of the Sgt. Jerome Sears U.S. Army Reserve Center do not want it used primarily for low-income housing.

The March 10 workshop, sponsored by the Multnomah Neighborhood Association, was held to generate ideas for the reuse of the center, which has been turned over to the Portland Development Commission for redevelopment.

Some potential developers, including the nonprofit Community Partners for Affordable Housing, have proposed building transitional housing for the homeless.

But, according to association President Brian Russell, the majority of the 25 neighbors who came to the workshop want housing built for a mix of income levels, including at least some market-rate units for sale to the public.

'No one wanted it just to be low-income housing, and some neighbors don't want any housing at all. They'd rather it stay as it is or be used as a maintenance facility,' said Russell, who is preparing a report on the workshop that will be presented at the association's next meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. April 10 at the Multnomah Center, 7688 S.W. Capitol Highway.


School has its challenges

There may not be many children in the Pearl District, but there sure is a demand for schooling.

Emerson School, the Pearl's only public elementary school, has been hit by enormous demand, and will rely on a blind lottery to fill its available slots next year.

According to Principal Tara O'Neil, 130 students have applied for the 14 open kindergarten spots in next September's class at the charter school.

Last year there were 100 kindergarten applicants. Four years ago, when the school opened, there were 40 to 50 kindergarten applications.

The school will hold a community visioning meeting April 12 to help plan its future. According to O'Neil, among the issues to be considered will be expanding the school and a possible new location.

Emerson is at the corner of Northwest Park Avenue and Couch Street, and O'Neil said that if plans for the Burnside-Couch couplet go through, the increased traffic on Couch also could become a school concern.


Grant proposals wanted

North Portland residents are invited to apply for up to $300,000 in community livability funds for projects in the Interstate Corridor Urban Renewal Area, which encompasses portions of the Arbor Lodge, Boise, Bridgeton, Eliot, Humboldt, Kenton, King, Overlook, Piedmont and Portsmouth neighborhoods.

The awards typically fund capital improvements for community facilities or historic/cultural preservation projects. Projects must be sponsored by a neighborhood association, business association or public or nonprofit tax-exempt entity.

The Portland Development Commission awarded a total of $50,000 in such grants last year, which went toward projects such as a wheelchair ramp for a community medical center, acoustic upgrades in a historic community meeting facility and new trees and benches for a neighborhood school playground.

Proposals are due to the PDC by May 22; visit or contact Susan Kuhn, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 503-823-3406, for an application or information.

Residents also may attend one of two drop-in sessions April 10 to ask questions about the process. They are set for 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center, 5340 N. Interstate Ave.


Shaking it for the Earth

Earth Dance, a fundraiser for the city's Earth Day celebration later this month, will be held 7 p.m. to midnight Friday at the Village Ballroom, 700 N.E. Dekum St.

The event will begin with a drum circle and will feature five disc jockeys playing diverse styles of music, from reggae to world beat. Tickets are $10 to $20, and volunteers pay $5.

Earth Day will be celebrated April 21 at Woodlawn Park, Northeast 13th Avenue and Dekum Street. It will run from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and feature more than 100 local and sustainable businesses and environmental organizations; three stages of entertainment; and children's activities.


Trees offer an education

Lent Elementary School, 5105 S.E. 97th Ave., will host a tree planting April 3 to mark Oregon State Arbor Day.

Between 9 a.m. and noon, some 100 large trees will be planted by volunteers from the National Arbor Day Foundation, the Home Depot Foundation, the city of Portland and Friends of Trees.

The volunteers also will help schoolchildren learn how to properly plant, mulch and water the trees to improve their long-term health. Portland is one of 10 cities to host a planting organized by the National Arbor Day and Home Depot foundations.


Junk be gone

The Kerns and Buckman neighborhood associations have scheduled their annual cleanups for 9 a.m. to noon April 28.

Last year, volunteers collected an estimated 18 tons of neighborhood detritus, including yard debris, paper, metal and glass recyclables, computer components, building materials. They also removed 150 graffiti tags.

Organizers expect about 200 volunteers - some even from outside the neighborhoods - to participate.

Participants will meet at 2625 E. Burnside St., three doors west of the Laurelhurst Theater. A picnic with food donated from local restaurants follows the cleanup.

- Tribune staff

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