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Brooklyn learns its light rail construction is nearly done

by: RITA A. LEONARD - Rick Sadle and daughter Darielle Ruff, owners of the local Salvador Mollys restaurants, showed attendees of the May BAC meeting mural designs for their new location, which opened in June on S.E. Milwaukie Avenue just north of McLoughlin. At the May 28 General Meeting of the Brooklyn Action Corps (BAC) neighborhood association, Jennifer Koozer, TriMet’s Community Affairs Representative for the Portland Milwaukie MAX Light Rail Project, reported that the construction is nearing its end in the neighborhood.

“The pedestrian underpass at S.E. 17th and Powell Boulevard is being cleaned up, and permanent lighting is scheduled for June,” she said. “The wood covering the artwork there will then be removed.

“The sculpted artwork consisting of weathered rowboat planters along S.E. 17th Ave will continue to be installed incrementally along with other final elements of the design. Southbound traffic from Powell Boulevard onto S.E. 17th Avenue has reopened.”

Koozer pointed out that work is still in progress on traffic signals in the area of S.E. 11th and 12th Avenues near Division Street, and TriMet is still taking feedback on suggested plans for the former Advantis Credit Union site at S.E. 17th and Rhine Street. TriMet is looking to work with neighbors and stakeholders, to incorporate sustainability principles, and to compliment the character of the neighborhood with whatever arises there.

In addition, a TriMet open house is scheduled for June 23rd concerning bus route changes resulting from the opening next year of the MAX line.

In other matters at the monthly BAC meeting, Chairman Mike O’Connor introduced the recently elected Board members. “We are so pleased to welcome these volunteers,” he smiled. “It's been seven years since the Board has had a complete slate of eleven members. For the past couple of years, we've only had six or seven people step forward. It shows renewed interest in the neighborhood.”

BAC stalwart Marie Phillippi spoke of the Neighborhood Cleanup and Rummage Sale held on May 17. “This was our biggest year ever,” she reported. “We filled five dumpsters with over twelve tons of garbage and one ton of yard debris, recycled a ton of metal, and donated four bikes and two truckloads of items to Goodwill. We raised $1,437, which will completely fund this summer’s ‘Ice Cream Social in the Park’.”

Two restaurants made an appearance at the meeting. Jared Boyce, new manager of what is now called the “Twilight Cafe and Bar” at 1420 S.E. Powell Boulevard, said he wants to bring back a community feel to the restaurant. He invited families to attend what he hoped would become an annual “Kick Off to Summer Block Party” on June 22, focusing on local craftsmen and a BBQ, with music, balloons, and a bouncy house for the kids. “Hours of the event are noon to whenever,” he said. “We’re also planning to reintroduce a breakfast menu here, in hopes of attracting more families.”

Also appearing were Rick Sadle and daughter Darrielle Ruff, co-owners of “Salvador Molly’s” restaurant in Hillsdale, who confirmed they would open a new Salvador Molly’s in the former Yummy Garden space at 4729 S.E. Milwaukie Avenue, just north of McLoughlin Boulevard, in June. “We create international meals, blending Caribbean, African, and Asian flavors,” explained Sadle. “We also host monthly fundraisers for community and educational groups, and we ask for your suggestions for those. We’ve been remodeling the site with additional indoor seating, and a patio complete with fire pit and water feature.” Sadle showed samples of colorful murals being painted on three sides of the building.

Other events at the May Brooklyn community meeting included news that:

· Jeff Lowery is the new Coordinator for the Brooklyn Community Garden on Franklin Street;

· Don Stephens suggests that an old apple tree at S.E. Center Street at McLoughlin may be a historic remnant from Gideon Tibbetts original orchard;

· Eric Wheeler, an architectural historian who designs and leads historic walking tours in the city through his business, Uniquely Portland, says that Dana Beck, history writer for THE BEE, has inspired him to create a Brooklyn Walking Tour.