Library event promotes outer East Portland neighborhood associations

Discover why our Midland Library hosted their first-ever “NeighborFair” – and what you missed if you didn’t attend …

Chair of Hazelwood’s neighborhood association, Arlene Kimura, learns that Anglia Dickey (here, holding Sofia Vergara) came to the “NeighborFair” because she is concerned about the state of outer East Portland parks.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
A first-of-a-kind NeighborFair, put on by Midland Regional Library, provided a festive atmosphere for citizens to learn more about the 13 outer East Portland neighborhoods, and their coalition, on January 30.

In addition to learning about issues that impact our neighborhoods, and meeting their neighborhood association leaders, attendees discovered that the library had added to the merriment by providing refreshments.

Midland Regional Library’s Naomi Angier says she created the event to help bring neighbors – and neighborhoods – together.

Started with an idea
“When I came to Midland Regional Library, as a public outreach effort, I went to many of our neighborhoods’ association meetings,” said the event’s organizer, Naomi Angier.

“I came away from those visits being very impressed with the activities that the different neighbor associations were doing,” Angier told us. “I thought an event like this one, today, would be perfect – let neighborhood association leaders talk about what they do, what their boundaries are, and how people can get involved.”

The President of the Powellhurst-Gilbert Neighborhood Association, and Spirit of Portland awardee, Mark White, reported that people from all walks of life had come to their table during the event.

“Not only have people been asking about our neighborhood – and about East Portland in general – they’ve asked about all kinds of projects in which we are involved,” White smiled. “These have ranged from the Springwater Corridor Wetlands Project to wildflower and tree plantings. I’m glad we were here to show them how they can participate.”

Debby Friend, and RoseMarie Opp – Chair of Mill Park Neighborhood Association – talk about outer East Portland issues with visitors, including Bull Run water concerns.

The Chair of the Mill Park Neighborhood Association, RoseMarie Opp, observed that their association regularly meets at Midland Library.

“I’ve been mostly talking with people about our Bull Run water issues,” Opp related. “I feel this is critical, because our water bills will be doubling, and we’ll be $1 billion in debt for our community, to fix the ‘Cryptosporidium public health problem’ that, essentially, doesn’t exist.”

By the end of the fair, dozens of people became better acquainted with their neighborhood associations. “There’s a good chance we’ll hold another NeighborFair next year,” Angier said.

© 2010 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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