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BAC hears emergency plans for Brooklyn Park

At the March General meeting of the Brooklyn Action Corps neighborhood association, Carmen Merlo from the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management gave a presentation on the Brooklyn “BEECN” hub (“Basic Earthquake Emergency Communication Node”) being sited at Brooklyn Park.

“We plan to organize about 40 meeting places citywide, where neighbors can gather after emergencies,” she explained."We want to permanently store caches of emergency equipment at each site to assist citywide communication and organized response.”

by: RITA A. LEONARD - With Brooklyn Park now officially designated an gathering place for Inner Southeast Portland residents in the event of a major earthquake or other emergency, Tyler Grant from the American Red Cross appeared at the Brooklyn Action Corps meeting in March to promote family emergency kits.Merlo revealed that locked cache boxes at each BEECN would contain a canopy tent, UHF radio, stretcher, and other supplies to assist trained Emergency Teams. The Brooklyn Park location is to be the hub for all the Inner Southeast neighborhoods served by THE BEE. A citywide test of the system is projected for May 22.

Next, Tyler Grant from the American Red Cross discussed family emergency kits. “Take control of your own preparedness,” he urged. “Don’t be paranoid, but keep your resources fresh and accessible.” He suggested including water, first aid supplies, personal medicines, a flashlight with batteries, a multiband radio, cash, and food. “You can buy kits ready-made from the Red Cross, or from Costco,” he said. “The Red Cross also has a tool and directions for shutting off home utilities. You should have a pre-arranged meeting place for everyone living in your home. Some folks keep a supply of canned goods as part of their kits, donating the food to charity at the end of each year, and buying new.”

The meeting included an update from Jennifer Koozer of TriMet, concerning the ongoing demolition and construction associated with the Inner Southeast MAX Light Rail to run south on S.E. 17th from Powell to Holgate. “Private development plans for open areas along S.E. 17th Avenue are still being discussed,” she commented. “Union Pacific Railroad plans to rebuild the footbridge at S.E. Lafayette Street. It should be under construction by 2016. A pedestrian crossing for the Clinton Street Station is being developed at S.E. 13th and Clinton.”

Koozer also told the BAC meeting that historic neighborhood transit items will be transferred to the nearby Railway Heritage Museum. These included a section of narrow-gauge streetcar tracks currently visible at S.E. 17th and Mall Street, and parts of an old wooden rail car formerly housing The Brooklyn Diner that was discovered at S.E. 18th and Holgate Boulevard [see separate story].

In other business at the March Brooklyn Action Corps meeting,

· Police Officer Eric Weber advised that an apartment complex on Holgate that had drawn much attention from Police had just been sold.

· A short presentation by Paige Schlupp from Portland Parks & Recreation focused on receipt of a grant to include Brooklyn in Portland's tree inventory process.

· Neighbor Matt McComas introduced plans for a new Brooklyn Foot Patrol, requesting 12 to 20 volunteers to offer about two hours per month.

· BACs Wendy Miller announced Brooklyns Neighborhood Cleanup event scheduled for May 4, 9 am-3:30 pm at S.E. 16th and Center Street. She also mentioned a possible neighborhood rummage sale.

In addition, Community Garden Coordinator Lee Kamrass reported on the Brooklyn Community Garden. The access slope has been landscaped with native plants and berry bushes, a new sign and two wooden arbors have been installed, and three new plots were made available to people on the waiting list. There will be a 4th of July Celebration at the garden, open to everyone. That last item refers to neighbors having found that the view from the new garden is ideal for observing the fireworks in the downtown Portland celebration.