Highlights of the November 6th Board Meeting of the Portland Neighborhood Association (PNI)
A. Guest Speakers and Community Discussion
a. Officer Abernathy, District Resource Officer (DRO) with Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) gave his report. Officer Abernathy’s cell phone is 502-767-9469. His email is [email protected].
• The Halloween Event had 1,100 attendees.
• LMPD is starting a new property crimes diversion program entitled Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion Project (LEAD). This program would allow some small crime perpetrators to work in other projects instead of serving jail time. The program is starting as a pilot program in Louisville. Fifty-eight percent of participants in LEAD programs in other states have not been arrested again. Maria McGary announced that LMPD has requested a volunteer from PNI to attend meetings as the program is being developed. If interested contact Kerrie Clifford for more information.
• Officer Abernathy clarified procedures for Portland residents in regard to the illegal boarding houses in the Neighborhood. When Codes and Regulations receives a certain number of calls an inspector will visit the property and issue an order to vacate. If not vacated, those living there will be subject to a charge of criminal trespassing and possible arrest. The house will be boarded up with heavy fiberglass. If the owners resolve the violations, residents may come back. It is important to have regular communication at #311 about all concerns.
• Suzi Bernert said that at least one house has $9,000 in fines and court cases are pending.
b. Latara Appleby of the Neighborhood House at 201 N. 25th St. announced an event on Thursday, November 29th from 4-6 pm. This casual open house called Portland Homecoming will be a celebration of The Neighborhood House’s service in Portland. There will be food, history and performances with alumni straight from Portland.
c. Che Rhodes a resident of Portland who teaches in the art department at the University of Louisville will be overseeing a program at a new building at 16th and Rowan named the Hite Art Institute for students seeking a masters in art. The building will be open for special events such as open studio weekends and gallery openings. University of Louisville art faculty will be teaching ceramics, glass, woodshop, print and digital workshops.
d. Angela Storey from the Anthropology Program at U of L announced the opening of a building adjacent to the art space that would serve as a Center for Archaeology and Cultural Heritage (CASH). CASH would have a forensics program and plans to work with the Portland Museum.
e. Mary Leffler President of the Portland Festival announced that the group had 500 raffle tickets that Festival members were selling for $5 each. If all 500 tickets were sold by the 19th of November there would be a drawing for a chance to win $1250 in Christmas cash.
B. Committee Reports:
a. Maria McGary gave the Beautification Committee report for Kristina Turner.
• There will be a Harvest Tree Decorating Ceremony of the large evergreen in the side yard of the Portland Library in honor of Native American Heritage Month. The decoration and storytelling will be from 1-4 pm on Saturday, November 24th.
• Natural decorations will be made at the Library on November 15th beginning at 5:00 pm in conjunction with the Library’s Teen Art Smart Program.
• Native American storytelling will include an Onondaga star myth about the Pleiades and the story of the cornucopia (horn of plenty). Hot apple cider and ginger snaps will be served. Dress warmly for the outdoor activity.
• Next Beautification Committee meeting is Wednesday, November 7th in the downstairs meeting room of the Library. Meeting starts at 7:00 pm.
b. Maria McGary gave the Communication, Branding and Marketing Report.
• Kerrie Clifford and Kristina Turner are working on a program to create an on-line resource as a buyer’s guide to purchase property in Portland. This project is the result of the Institute for Neighborhoods Workshop that both have been attending since September. The project will also include the Better Blocks Program. In addition, Danny Seim is marketing homes through the PNI Instagram Account.
• Danny talked about the Painted Lady Houses that is an idea being used in San Francisco and New Orleans to improve the exterior and property value of homes in the San Francisco and New Orleans Neighborhoods. Danny showed a house he painted on Portland and talked about the improvement in marketability and price that could result from using a little elbow grease and vibrant paint colors. The swatches of color displayed by Home Depot are also approved for use on the exterior of historic homes. Enough paint for the project could be purchased for $70 in the “oops” section of Home Depot.
• Gary Watrous also pointed out that there was a book showing more traditional colors for historic, brick homes.
• Danny showed an overlay of a boarded up home that illustrated the before and after effect of such painting.
c. Revitalization Committee:
• Chairman Gary Watrous reported that Vital Sites was still working with PNI on the Save Our Schweitzer Building Campaign.
• Kerrie Clifford is working on a project to have a Neighborhood Summit with the Russell and Shawnee Neighborhoods on common issues such as vacant and abandoned properties, illegal boarding houses and the number of recovery homes being put into these neighborhoods.
• Economic Subcommittee Chair Richard Meadows announced the opening of the Rocinante Record Store behind McQuioxte’s at Portland Point. This store reflects the new trend in the vinyl record industry.
• Farm to Fork owner Sherry Hurley announced that her restaurant and catering store in the old firehouse on Portland Ave. was getting ready for its grand opening.
• Richard said there was a luncheon meeting at The Table with 5 realtors who work in the Neighborhood. Richard said the ongoing issue was obtaining the money needed to remodel these homes as related to property values. He is still working on finding appropriate funding.
d. Nate Pederson gave the report for the Health and Education Committee.
• After hearing about the 1619 Flux meetings at the last Board meeting, Nate attended one of the conversations and was impressed with the work being done in the area of education, art, inspiration and leadership in the community. He wrote a letter of thanks and passed it around for anyone interested in signing it.
• Nate is working on getting a Bike Sharing Program in Portland.
• Letter writing campaigns continue, especially for The Portland Anchor.
• The Reskilling Podcast continues every 4th Tuesday at the Portland Library and can be heard at metageny.com/reskill .
• With winter darkness upon us, tennis is in hibernation. The weekly activity will be weight training indoors at the Portland Community Center at 27th and Montgomery. The time is 6-7 pm. All ages and skill levels welcome.
• Volunteer tutors and readers are needed at Portland Elementary,
• The Community Garden (planters) in conjunction with the Portland Library was a success. Plans to expand are in the offing.
• Brenda Duffey announced that she will be attending the Education Committee meetings of the League of Women Voters as that organization develops its stand on issues of school performance, charter schools, vouchers, and busing in time for the start of the new legislative session. Brenda will post meetings of interest in the general announcements section of the email list and some will be listed in The Anchor. In addition, Brenda will be working with the Committee in the spring as registration for the new semester begins to discuss curriculum (especially in regard to reading, civics and American history), and fair and effective measurements of performance. homecoming dress stores
e. Evie O’Connell gave the report for the Hospitality Committee.
• Evie thanked everyone for making the Portland Porches 1st season such a success.
• The annual Christmas Party will be on December 4th in the Events Center behind The Table at 6:00 pm. This is in place of the monthly Board meeting and will combine celebration with recognizing all the successes of this year.
C. General Announcements and New Business
a. The 2018 Neighborhood Summit is open to everyone. It will be held on November 17th at Bellarmine College from 8-3 pm.
b. Phase IV Park Development meeting will be Tuesday, November 13th. No location or time given. For more information contact Mike Neagle.
c. Angela Storey of the CASH program announced that the organization was doing interviews and conducting focus groups on the topic of how well does Louisville Metro conduct outreach on its projects? Those who participate will get a $25 gift certificate. You may contact Angela at [email protected].
d. Amelia Baylon of Louisville Grows thanked the Neighborhood in working with the Healthy House to plant 167 trees in the Neighborhood at the Tree Planting on November 3rd.
e. Bruce Cohen owner of the corner commercial property at 3200 Rudd St. announced that the UN zoning had been changed to UR to allow him to operate a commercial business on the 1st floor with residences above. He is looking for a tenant for the building. Bruce may be contacted at 502-298-0657 or [email protected] for more information.
f. Donations for the Historic Marker are still being taken. Mike Neagle suggests that any business owners in the Neighborhood who have not yet donated may contact him at [email protected].