Wednesday, January 31, 2007

GANA Meeting Minutes

GANA (Green Acres Neighborhood Association) Meeting
1/31/07, 7-8 p.m.
First United Church on 3rd St.

Photo by Georgia Schaich

Georgia Schaich, Betty Byrne, Diane Dormant, Kathy Ruesink, Rob Turner, Ann Kreilkamp, Kevin Polk

  • Additions to the Executive Committee
  • Small and Simple Grant
  • Houses for sale
  • City Repair Report, DVD, Discussion

We heard about who’s been added to the Executive Committee; talked about ideas for small and simple grants; discussed how we should respond to our alarm at the unusual number of houses for sale between Clark and the bypass; and both watched the 15-minute Intro to City Repair DVD and discussed our experiences at the recent City Repair Presentation in Bloomington.

The Process
Georgia opened the meeting with an announcement of changes to the Executive Committee (reduced to two (George and Ann) since Julia Jackson’s move from the neighborhood in September). The new members of this committee are Rob Turner, Nathan Harman, Noriko Hara, Phil Eskew, and Kevin Polk. Thank you for joining, one and all!

The next Small and Simple Grant from HAND is due February 19th. We decided to table City Repair ideas until later, and to focus for now on building active GANA membership through strengthening the block captain program. Georgia suggested that we use the grant to create "Welcome Wagon" type baskets for newcomers that would contain a brochure for GANA, trash and recycling info, coupons from neighborhood businesses and other relevant information. She will write the grant.

There are now 13 houses for sale in the eastern part of the Green Acres Neighborhood. Unfortunately, one of the them is the home of Betty Byrne, a long-time active GANA member. Betty is moving into a condo so that she doesn’t have such a big yard to keep up. We would like to help Betty, who lives alone, pack and move (at least her small things). So when the time comes, I will send out a message to the list for those interested in this next neighborhood work-party.

We realize that the ongoing and currently larger crisis of homes-for-sale is also an opportunity for GANA to focus its efforts on getting the word out to friends and acquaintances who are both looking for places to buy or rent and who also want to contribute to the vitality of neighborhood life. Kevin Polk has volunteered to take over both the GANA list-serve (from Jiangmei Wu, thank you Jiangmei!) and GANA website duties (from Julia Jackson, thank you Julia!). He will explore various web-based options and work with realtors to get easily accessible info and photos of Green Acres homes for sale on the internet for those who wish to promote or live in Green Acres.

City Repair DVD: the DVD is wonderful in that it shows lots of examples of the kinds of things Portlanders are doing to make their neighborhoods not only more friendly and liveable, but fun, creative, and even magical. On the Friday before his Saturday presentation to the city, a number of GANA residents had lunch with Mark Lakeham, an architect and City Repair co-founder, before taking a walking tour of Green Acres. We then showed him the original sketched visuals for the Green Acres permaculture/sustainability design. He liked it all, and his imagination was especially taken with the idea of turning several intersections into city-repaired gathering spaces that will express the creativity of Green Acres residents and lure the children outside to play.

His presentation on Saturday morning to the City Council drew over 100 people from various neighborhoods in the city and inspired us all to starting thinking about how to cooperatively "repair" our own little corners of the world in an imaginative, expressive way.

After a ten-minute break, we heard and discussed a short presentation on the UDO and city plans for 5th street, by speakers and city councilmen Tim Mayer and Michael Diekhoff. (Speaker Series report to follow.)

Next monthly meeting: February 28, 2007.

Blessings to all on this frigid Super Bowl Sunday!

Ann Kreilkamp GANA scribe

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