Slabtown Date Change

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The Slabtown Committee’s Community Workshop No. 2, originally scheduled for Thursday, February 4, at 6 pm, will be held on Tuesday, February 2, from 6 to 8 pm, at the Northwest Neighborhood Cultural Center. The objective of Workshop No. 2 is to allow community review of the preliminary student designer master plan concepts.

Workshops No. 3 and 4 are scheduled for Thursday, February 25 and Thursday, March 18. Workshops will start at 6 pm and last approximately 2 hours to allow for significant public input and community participation. Refreshments and snacks will be served.

Please join us to share your ideas and voice your preferences on the future development of Slabtown.

Slabtown Minutes – 1/21/10

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Slabtown Plan Committee
Meeting Minutes
January 21, 2010
5:30 to 7:00 pm
Northrup Building, 2282 NW Northrup Ave.

Committee Members Attending: Ron Walters (co-chair), Don Genasci (co-chair), Peggy Anderson, John Bradley, Wayne Clark, Mary Czarnecki, Dan Volkmer

Committee Members Not Attending: Greg Aldrich, Craig Boretz, Brian Bramlett, , Patricia Gardner, Dan O’Brien, Steve Pinger

Guests Attending: Fran Goldstein (neighbor, workshop moderator), Kim Carlson (neighbor), C. Sterkel, Stephen Jones (neighbor), Janet Filips (Legacy), John Cole (Portland Bureau of Planning & Sustainability)

No Motions.

No Votes.

*** End of Minutes ***

Meeting Summary:

The meeting was called to order at 5:37 pm.

The majority of the meeting was dedicated to reviewing community input from Workshop No. 1, known as the program of requirements, and results of the Slabtown online survey.

Over 30 minutes were spent reviewing the program of requirements, which included attendee voting results as well as short topic area summaries written by the student designers. Multiple committee members were concerned that the summaries did not accurately represent the voting results and community input. Specifically, items relating to neighborhood history, which received some of the highest vote totals, did not appear in the summaries.

Don Genasci, co-chair and professor of the student designers, explained that the students tended to focus more on actionable design input for master plans. History is hard to reflect in a master plan. He assured the group that the students heard the message about the importance of history. Ron Walters pointed out that more than 90% of people responding to the online survey either agreed or strongly agreed that neighborhood history should be somehow incorporated into future development plans of Slabtown.

After much discussion, the Committee concluded that it would be best to eliminate the topic area summaries and focus on the actual ideas and votes from Workshop No. 1. The Committee also felt that it would be helpful to list the ideas in order of vote count within each topic area. Ron is tabulating the raw data and will post the results on the NWDA website as soon as possible.

Next, the Committee reviewed the results of the Slabtown online survey, which was presented as a series of pie and bar charts. As such, the results were more factual and subject to much less interpretation. Committee members noted that 101 survey responses was a good amount but statistically small relative to the number of people living in the neighborhood. Survey results will be posted to the NWDA website as soon as possible.

The Committee briefly discussed plans for organizing community Workshop No. 2, which is now scheduled for Tuesday, February 2, from 6 to 8 pm. at the NW Neighborhood Cultural Center. After a short introduction, attendees will be invited to visit the “stations” of each of the eight student designers. Here, attendees will be able to review and comment on early drafts of of the students’ master plans, which are based on the program of requirements and survey results. A committee member will take notes and moderate interaction as necessary. Attendees will be given notes cards, on which they can provide written feedback about the strengths & weaknesses of each design and offer suggestions for improvements.

Students designers will use the written and verbal feedback to continue to refine there planning concepts for further review at community Workshop No. 3, currently scheduled for Thursday, February 25.

The final 5 to 10 minutes of the meeting were dedicated to ideas for outreach. In addition to printing small posters, the Committee discussed the idea of displaying student drawing in either a vacant store front on NW 21st or NW 23rd, or possibly in multiple active businesses interested in displaying the work. The Committee liked the idea, which received positive feedback from Kay Wolf (former President of the Nob Hill Business Association) and Ron Gulley, the new President of NHBA. Ron Walters will follow up with Ron Gulley to discuss the idea in more detail.

The meeting adjourned at 7:09 pm.

Slabtown Meeting – Jan. 21

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The next meeting of the NWDA Slabtown Committee will be held Thursday, January 21, in the Legacy Good Sam Northrup Building first floor conference room at 2282 NW Northrup Street, near the corner of NW 23rd Avenue, from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm.

The agenda for the January 21 meeting is as follows:

1. Review Community Input form Workshop No. 1 – 20 min.
2. Review Online Survey Results – 25 min.
3. Plan Workshop No. 2 (Feb. 4) – 20 min.
4. Outreach – 15 min.
5. Wrap up and next steps – 10 min.

Note: This is a Committee meeting, not a Community Workshop, though the meeting is public and anyone interested is encouraged to attend.

H&E Minutes – January 11, 2010

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Present: Bob L., Caroline Skinner, Kitty Midson, Bob Holmstrom, Paul Koberstein, Sharon Genasci

Bob Holmstrom reminded the group that four oil companies with tanks in the tank farm are coming up for new permits. Sharon agreed to formally ask DEQ for a hearing.

Paul Koberstein was congratulated for another excellent article, this time on past monitoring in the neighborhood, carried out by the NWDA Health & Environment Committee. Dr. Robert Amundson, the scientist who worked with us for many years, was in charge of the monitoring. Paul pointed out how well that data held up over the years in light of new research on air pollution in NW Portland. Part of the monitoring was financed by a $20,000.00 EPA grant raised by the committee, and three years of monitoring was financed by a settlement between Chevron and Don and Sharon Genasci.

Bob Holmstrom reported on the tour of Esco he and Mary Peveto made in December. Fugitive emissions are a problem. Esco’s Carter Webb, stated in a letter to the Examiner that 80 per cent of Esco’s manganese emissions are fugitive – not coming through a stack or any permitted route. He was quite upbeat that Esco seemed interested in making changes to reduce their emissions.

He described the process inside the plant: A major concern is the argon/oxygen process at the eastern end of Plant One, located across from the distillery. This process gets rid of impurities from the scrap in the melt, resulting in a plume of smoke. He suggested the capture hood needs to be significantly improved to reduce fugitive emissions. Another problem area for fugitive emissions is large vents in the roof with fans to push the toxic emissions outside the building.

At the eastern end of the building, where large components are made, he noticed a plastic sheet being used to compact the sand molds. Emissions from burning the plastic were not captured. Nor was there a description of chemicals in the plastic. The group was concerned about possible dioxin emissions.

There was discussion about the scrap used, the need to know where the scrap comes from and what it includes, as the toxics emitted in the foundry process vary depending on paint and other components in the scrap. Pours take place in various parts of the plant, but not all of them have good emission controls.

It was felt overall that there were four main areas for improvement, that could make a difference for the neighbors, 1. The plastic melt needs capture 2. Esco needs to improve control of odors. They say they have been working on this for some time, but odors remain a serious problem for the neighbors. Some say odors are getting worse. 3. Need better capture at the argon/oxygen process. 4. Some type of capture should be placed on the open roof vents with the fans.

The plant does have detectors for radioactive materials at various points on the premises.

There was a discussion about the DEQ Science Advisory Committee meeting to set new benchmarks for manganese. Dr. Matt Brodsky, the neurologist who testified at the last Esco hearing for the H & E Committee, spoke to the Science Advisory Committee about the health effects of manganese exposure. He urged the group to set the lower California benchmark, which they adopted. However, some in the neighborhood would have preferred a benchmark of 0, since there are no safe levels for manganese.

We will examine the Cooper Environmental data for manganese. All present felt the need to place future DEQ monitors near sources where toxics such as manganese are peaking, rather than areas with average levels, which is the DEQ normal process.

Sharon Genasci, Chair, H & E Committee

Board Minutes – November 2009

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see NWDA BoD Minutes – 2009 11 16