Community Tree Lighting Celebration – 11/30 @ the Gateway.

Join North/Northeast Business Association and the community at the 2nd Annual Community Tree Lighting Celebration.  Experience the wonder of the holiday season the Sunday of November 30 at the PDC MLK Gateway on the corner of NE Schuyler, Hancock and Grand Avenue.  This wonderful community ceremony will begin at 5:00pm with the lighting at 5:30, live music and entertainment by local artists, and a raffle for prizes.

Cascadian action at Chevron station on MLK, Jan 2013.

Something I missed entirely, from January of this year:

Snowball Blitz Solidarity with the Unist’ot’en Blockade

“In northeast Portland, Oregon on a typically overcast Saturday afternoon on January 5th 2013, an act of snowy civil disobedience was about to take place. Along a particularly dismal stretch of 5 lane surface highway sits an unremarkable Chevron petrol station. Motorists loudly race by, occasionally slowing and pulling into the station to fill their vehicles full of refined gasoline, or maybe to charge a plastic bottle of high-fructose corn soda to their debit card. The air smelled faintly of benzene. Nothing out of the ordinary, just another day at a gas station. All of this was about to change.

“Dozens, then hundreds, then what seemed like thousands of snowballs were crossing the grey sky. A manic winter mayhem had begun. What few cars remained at the station soon had left, and no other vehicles were able to pull up to the pumps for a solid forty-five minutes as this jovial chaos ensued. The Chevron station was effectively shut down.

“The solidarity action with the Unist’ot’en clan of Wet’suwet’en territory was undeniably a success.”

Stop Funding Gentrification! Preserve Our Community! Protest at Vanport, this Sunday, 11 am.

A coalition of concerned citizens will gather this Sunday to protest a decision made by the Portland Development Commission (PDC) that will further exacerbate gentrification in the neighborhoods of North and Northeast Portland.

Date: Sunday, November 17

Time: 11am – 1pm

Location: Northwest corner of MLK and Alberta

 

The PDC has voted to give away $2.4 million in taxpayer dollars to a billionaire family for the development of the national grocery chain on Northeast Martin Luther King Boulevard and Alberta. In this age of service reductions, school closures, layoffs and budget cuts, the PDC hopes this subsidy for billionaires – which includes the co-owner of LA Lakers who is pursuing acquisition of his 3rd professional sports team – will trickle down to benefit the “under-served community.”

This development will occur in one of the fastest gentrifying zip codes in the nation (where rental vacancy times have recently dropped to a stunning eight days). Over the past decades, the PDC has contributed to the rapid displacement of traditionally African American and low-income residents living in North and Northeast Portland. This abuse of taxpayers dollars will continue to fuel a massive amount of new private investments – micro-apartments, skyrocketing rents, real estate speculation, that will continue to transform this community into an unlivable red-line for low-income residents.

There are obvious concerns about whether the PDC should subsidize Majestic Realty Company when there are 4 grocery stores that offer commercial and organic choices within a mile and a half of the site. There are true food deserts in our city, mostly in East Portland, that continue to be overlooked for equitable public resources.

In addition, this deal constructed by the Portland Development Commission was far from transparent. The recommendation for a grocery store project was developed by a committee over a decade ago. No public forum has been provided to re-evaluate this recommendation in over 5 years. The general public was not informed of the ‘mystery grocery store’ until days before the PDC Board brought their secret agreement to a vote.

Despite a long history of unfulfilled promises for remedies, the city bureaucracy has failed to see this property as an opportunity to bring together neighbors and community members affected by gentrification about what our vision is, for our public land.

We must try harder to hold the PDC to higher standards – more accountability, more transparency, and stronger focus on equity.

Trader Joe’s to MLK and Alberta?

DSC_0306A billionaire’s field of dreams?

The Portland Development Commission (PDC) is preparing to hand over the empty lot at Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and Alberta Street to an out-of-town development company, Majestic Realty, owned by a family of billionaires. The proposed sale price? $500,000 – less than twenty percent of what PDC says the land is worth. This billionaire clan and its team, in the proposal that commissioners tomorrow will consider for approval, will build two buildings, one housing a ‘national grocery chain’ and the other for small businesses.

I’ve been hearing for weeks that the grocer will be Trader Joe’s – not a great addition to the boulevard, not a terrible one. Traffic will be an issue; nearby businesses are excited by the proposal, especially the owners of the Vanport business condominiums just to the north of this lot – they hope for integration with the new development, and more business and foot traffic for all to share in an improving environment.

Predatory MegaCorps are not unknown at the intersection of MLK and Alberta – Pizza Hut and 7-11 Corp. have sunk their teeth into properties across the street in the past couple of years – but never before has the city’s development team offered to hand over a central square of inner North/Northeast to an non-local company, one that needs to receive this parcel of land for next-to-nothing, despite being run by a CEO (whose family owns Majestic) whose net worth is estimated at 3.7 BILLION dollars and is said to be one of the 400 wealthiest people in the entire world.

The proceeds from the sale of the Vanport lot at this intersection will be put into the Interstate Urban Renewal Area – with less money coming in, there will be less development that the city can spur in the area; less livability grants; and less neighborhood control over what happens to our part of town. And isn’t that what capital (with a big C) and its cronies in city hall want – for the residents of Portland to shut up, and shop? This deal is explicitly a trade-off – the city agrees to invest less revenue in overseeing development on the community’s terms (insofar as PDC is at all willing to listen to residents any more); and instead gives the money to folks who already waddle from fat stacks of cash stuffed into every pocket and greasy crevice on their bodies.

We have a mayor who openly celebrates gentrification; for him, residents are only of value to the city if they have money to burn. We have a development commission which now makes secret deals to give away public land to national corporations who specialize in draining off local wealth and putting it in the pockets of the Roski family. Majestic Realty’s CEO, Ed Roski’s current wet dream is to build an stadium for a future National Football League in Los Angeles – never mind the concussions, brain damage, and suicides; like neighborhoods, like our neighborhood, football players are only assets to lock up in contracts, and then drain dry.

DSC_0298

KATU’s take; oregonlive.com’s article on PDC’s shenanigans.

Whatever the details of the deal turn out to be – and we don’t know yet, because of PDC’s secrecy to date – this deal is bad for Portland. We deserve to regain local control of our economic development, rather than willingly cede control to strangers who do not care about us. Tomorrow the PDC commissioners decide whether to give away our central piece of undeveloped commercial land, and then they announce their decision. They will try to spin it as a favor to us – a boon to local development, an end to the putative food desert in the area, a grocery store that the neighborhood has long panted for – but in the end, this is a dirty deal done dirt cheap. Portlanders will be paying the price for years to come, and over time that price will grow to something much stiffer than the two million dollars the PDC is offering Majestic.

 

 

Lonely Dinosaur’s grand opening, Saturday Nov. 16th, 2941 NE MLK.

Lonely DinoSTORE Grand Opening Party!

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Saturday, November 16, 2013 from 610pm
2941 NE MLK
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We’re opening a Retail Store! This is a really big step for us and our company and we hope you will join us in celebration! Come drink some delicious home-brewed beer, see the new shop (in progress), learn how screenprinting works, and if you really want to support us, get all of your holiday shopping done! We’ll be hanging around the store all day, with festivities beginning at 6pm!

Things to look forward to: -Homebrewed beer made with home-grown hops by our very own Ben Warshauer! -T-shirt Raffle! -Live Screenprinting on whatever you bring us (cotton only)! -Mural Painting! -Pun contest

http://www.facebook.com/events/672025839496990/

Lonely Dinosaur online