Lents decision on hold

The battle over whether the Portland Development Commission will be allowed to use the law of eminent domain to force landowners in Lents to sell their land appears to be on hold - for now.

In recent months, city Commissioner Randy Leonard has asked the Lents Neighborhood Association to join him in giving PDC the controversial power, which is also called condemnation, to attract a natural-foods store to Lents Town Center near Southeast 92nd Avenue and Foster Road.

Last week the neighborhood association decided to postpone a decision on the issue until the fate of a proposed ballot measure to ban most condemnations is determined. In a move that could later prove significant, the association did take a vote unseating a critic of condemnation, the association's past president Judy Welch, from the Lents Urban Redevelopment Advisory Committee. A vote of that committee would be required to approve condemnation.


Two gardens spotlighted

Space still is available for Metro's Gardens of Natural Delights, which includes two North Portland gardens.

The eighth-annual tour, set for July 16, will feature the Garden of Rooms, 2715 N. Terry St., and Tranquility Garden, 6545 N. Concord Ave.

The Garden of Rooms, owned by Nancy Cushwa and Peter Teneau, features three distinct spaces: a raised-bed vegetable garden, an English-type cottage garden and a Japanese-inspired pine garden. The Tranquility Garden, owned by Jeff Reed and Harold Mansperger, includes a woodland area, a wall of salvaged windows, potted fuchsia, a patio and more.

In all, there are 28 gardens on the tour, which showcases creative, chemical-free gardening techniques for plants and vegetables.

The event is free and open to residents of Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington counties. Register by calling Metro Recycling Information, 503-234-3000.


Public plaza takes shape

Four potential designs for a public plaza in Hillsdale will be presented at Wednesday's meeting of the Hillsdale Neighborhood Association, which will begin at 7 p.m. at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, 2201 S.W. Vermont St.

All designs would place the plaza in the Reike Triangle, located east of the Hillsdsale Shopping Center and between Wilson High School and Reike Elementary School.

The location and designs were generated during a series of public hearings on the plaza sponsored by the association. The hearings were conducted by a design team that included architect Mark Seder and project manager Meghan MacKenzie. Wednesday's meeting will include a discussion of the next steps in moving the project forward.


Distillery bash planned

Two streets in Northwest Portland will close for the second annual Great American Distillers Festival, hosted by Rogue Ales. The event is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. July 22, at Northwest Flanders Street and 14th Avenue.

It will feature 20 microdistilleries, a sidewalk barbecue, gourmet cheese and chocolates, and live music. A microdistillery is a distillery that makes handcrafted liquors in small batches, like the light rum, dark rum and Oregon hazelnut spiced rum made by Rogue Ales in Portland.

There is a $2 requested donation at the door, which will benefit the Oregon Zoo. The Pearl District Neighborhood Association is helping to organize the event.


Beer walk fills food bank

An 'unfiltered beer' tour of several establishments in Northeast Portland's Alberta Arts District on July 20 will raise food and cash donations for the Oregon Food Bank.

The event, sponsored by Pyramid Brewing, is free and includes beer tasting and pint specials at several of the tour stops on Northeast Alberta Street between 10th and 27th avenues.

Tour organizers will accept canned food and cash donations to the Oregon Food Bank at each tour location. For every $1 contributed, the food bank will collect and distribute 6 pounds of food, worth more than $7.

The tour will take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., with participants meeting at Binks, 2715 N.E. Alberta St., to start the tour. Guests must be 21 or over. RSVP encouraged online at


Buckman Pool to reopen

Community members are invited to a grand-reopening celebration for Buckman Pool on July 16. The free event, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., will include a community picnic and games in the pool, at 320 S.E. 16th Ave.

Helping with the event are Portland Parks and Recreation, the Buckman Pool Heroes, the Buckman Community Association, city council members and representatives from Portland Public Schools. The pool has been closed since spring 2005 to repair leaks that were found in the aging structure.

Last year, in response to citizen pressure, the Portland City Council appropriated $425,000 from the city's contingency fund to pay for repairs.

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