PDC Set to Dedicate Nelson Plaza Tomorrow



The Portland Development Commission will officially welcome Nelson Plaza and Kenton’s food cart pod to the neighborhood tomorrow, the 1st!

See the official press release below:

October 31, 2016
Contact: Shawn Uhlman, PDC, 503-823-7994

PDC to Dedicate Nelson Plaza and Welcome New Food Carts

On Tuesday, November 1 from noon to 1:00 p.m., PDC Executive Director Kimberly Branam will join family members of a longtime Kenton business and property owner to dedicate Nelson Plaza, 8419 N. Interstate. The site will be a community gathering space and home to up to six new food carts serving the neighborhood.

Family patriarch Victor R. Nelson founded Kenton Machine Works and was the force behind Kenton’s most visible landmark, the Paul Bunyan statue that stands at the north end of N. Interstate Avenue. The statue represents Kenton’s roots as a rugged, working class neighborhood. The Nelson Plaza dedication will include the presentation of a plaque recognizing Mr. Nelson and his family’s history in the community.

The Plaza site is one of four properties originally owned by the Nelsons and purchased by PDC in 2011 for future development.  Due to market conditions, PDC decided to hold onto the Plaza site and make tenant improvements instead.  In 2015, PDC completed a development study that recommended a phasing approached for future development of the site and surrounding PDC-owned properties.

PDC worked with a group of community stakeholders to gather input on use of the Plaza site that would be supported by the neighborhood. The stakeholders, including local business owners and members of the Kenton Neighborhood and Kenton Business associations, expressed a strong desire to activate the space and attract the public to the north end of Denver Avenue.

Branam said, “We’re happy to honor the Nelson family’s role in Kenton and dedicate this site as a community space that also offers new opportunities for food entrepreneurs to serve residents and local businesses and their employees.”

Karen Nelson Wheeler said, “Our family has a long history here in Kenton, and we’re honored to have a plaque recognizing the role of my grandfather, as not only a longtime property and business owner but also as the visionary behind Kenton’s landmark Paul Bunyan statue. We’re very proud of our impact on the community and look forward to its future growth.”

The design and construction team (Raimore Construction, KPFF, 2.Ink Studio, and R& W Engineering) incorporated many of the community ideas, including spaces for food carts, a courtyard, a boardwalk path, community kiosk, plants and trees. PDC used Interstate Corridor urban renewal area funds for the site renovation.

Food carts up and running at Nelson Plaza include DeHomis, Drunken Noodle, and Killa Dilla.
PDC’s history with the Kenton neighborhood and physical improvements dates back many years and includes a $5 million streetscape improvement project completed in 2010.

Kenton’s Trick or Treat Event Returns Tomorrow

Kenton’s Annual Trick or Treat event is tomorrow, October 27th, from 5pm – 7pm at businesses around N Denver. Come show off your costumes!


Speaker Kotek Issues Statement on Leaded Fuel Use at PIR

During investigations into the so-called Kenton lead blob, the KNA learned that the Portland International Raceway (PIR) still allows racers to use leaded fuels. Given the recent concerns for lead around the neighborhood, the KNA questioned the city of Portland, which owns and operates the track through the bureau of Portland Parks & Recreation, about the continued use of these fuels back in May.

Following several months of looking into the issue, Eileen Argentina–Manager for the Recreation Services Division–recently released a statement responding to the KNA:

Thank you for your patience regarding your questions about the use of leaded gas use at PIR.  After researching the history of regulation of lead in gas, and consulting with our Health, Safety, and Environmental Consultant, we are confident that use of leaded gas at PIR events complies with applicable EPA regulations designed to protect public health.  The proportion of vehicles using leaded gas at PIR is relatively small and over the long term has been declining.  However, for some vehicles and some events, it continues to be an essential component of competitive racing and the PIR experience.

We understand and appreciate the concerns that led to your inquiry.  At this time, we are not making any change to the current practice of allowing some vehicles to use leaded gas.  If additional information comes to light that suggests the need for a re-evaluation, we will of course be willing to do that.

We’ve had a chance to review the documentary produced by the Kenton resident who initially raised the issue of leaded gas being used at PIR.  The documentary clearly has a much broader focus and recognizes the complexity of tracking and analyzing causal factors when exploring toxins in our environment.  In the end, it reinforces our understanding that by far the source of greatest concern for lead contamination remains lead paint.  This is where PP&R is currently concentrating its efforts – through the testing and remediation of lead paint on play equipment.

Thank you – we value the ongoing dialogue that we have with you and look forward to continuing that work together.

Oregon Speaker of the House Tina Kotek, who lives in and represents Kenton as part of House District 44, has decided to issue her own statement back to the city at the request of the KNA. Please see the Speaker’s letter below:

Fall Edition of the Kenton Connect Goes to Press

Thanks to all the hard works of the KNA’s Communications Committee, the next edition of the Kenton Connect has gone off to the presses. It will start making its way around the neighborhood in the coming days via the efforts of the dedicated Kenton Walkers. Cant wait? You can check out the digital copy.

Delays Continue for Nelson Plaza

img_20160721_182350282_hdrThe Nelson Plaza and Kenton Food Carts Dedication is going to be rescheduled from its previous date of the 15th. A new date has not been set, but it likely won’t happen until next month or the tail end of September.

The project manager for the plaza, Sue Lewis with the Portland Development Commission, issued the following to community stakeholders:

Due to circumstance beyond our control, the dedication is being rescheduled. We cannot guarantee electricity connection or Occupancy Permit issuance by next week nor the food carts having their required permits. Therefore, there is no alternative but to reschedule. I am disappointed, as I’m sure you all are, but know it will happen!

My understanding is as soon as Occupancy Permit is issued, hopefully next week, the fence will be removed, allowing access. As soon as the carts have their required permits, hopefully the following week, they will occupy their space.

Land Use Update for August

IMG_20160721_182350282_HDRHere are the latest notes from the KNA’s Land Use Committee:

Nelson Plaza Food Cart

Dedication might happen on the first or second week of September.

4 carts (tentative):

DeHomis – Japanese Comfort Food

Drunken Noodle – Thai

Killa Dilla – Quesadillas

Puffy J’s – Puffy tacos

Portland Historic District Presentation

September 8th 6pm at 5736 SE 17th Ave.

What are the rules? Are there costs? And why might it offer protection to your home and neighborhood? Ask questions of an expert panel and figure out what historic district designation means to you.

Portland Harbor Superfund

Proposed Plan documents at NPNS

Meeting on August 31st at 7pm at 700 N. Killingworth

The plan for cleaning up Portland’s superfund sites appears to propose creating concentrated superfund sites. How we treat our contaminated land and water greatly impacts future generations here in Portland and downstream from us.

Portland Harbor CAG Steering Group meets on August 24, 6pm, at the BES Water Lab, 6543 N Burlington.

Columbia Children’s Arboretum

Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz has designated more than $1.1 million towards improvements at Portland Parks & Recreation’s (PP&R) Columbia Children’s Arboretum. The funding comes not from tax dollars, but from construction development funds called “SDCs” or System Development Charges. The investment will allow PP&R to increase circulation and access at the Arboretum—including the development of a paved multi-use trail, vital for more people to be able to get around the unique northeast Portland destination.

Mass Shelter and Housing Zoning Code Update

There are some changes to the upcoming zoning code to allow for more shelter housing.  You can see them here and comment: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/71246

Asbestos and Lead Paint Overview and where to report concerns


Overview of the demolition permitting process, including what is expected of contractors related to asbestos and lead


Certification Regarding Asbestos and Lead-Based Paint


The Bureau of Development Services Announces Search for Members of the Public to Serve on the Design Commission

If you’re interested in serving, you have until August 31st to apply at www.portlandoregon.gov/oni.


Emergency Preparedness Open House & Potluck Next Monday

The Kenton/Arbor Lodge Neighborhood Emergency Team (NET) is hosting a Emergency Preparedness Open House & Potluck next Monday, the 15, at the Historic Kenton Firehouse.

See their official write-up below:

Arbor Lodge & Kenton Community
Emergency Preparedness Open House & Potluck
Families welcome!

Meet neighbors and your local Neighborhood Emergency Team (NET) while enjoying an evening in the garden! We’ll share preparedness tips, resources, have activities for the kids. This is a casual event—feel free to stop by and say hello!

When: Monday, August 15th 6:30 – 8 p.m.
Where: Historic Kenton Firehouse, 8105 N Brandon Ave., in the garden
Potluck: Bring a dish to share or something to grill—or just stop in to say Hello!

• Connect with your neighbors, local businesses, and community groups
• Find out about Portland’s Neighborhood Emergency Teams (NETs) & meet your local NET volunteers
• Learn
o Discover ways to prepare your block of residents via fun events
o What to include in your preparedness packs & ‘Go’ kits
o Where to get information in an emergency
o How to sanitize water containers, use walkie-talkies, & tie various knots
o How to become a NET or affiliated trained volunteer for your block
• Help
o Build a block-by-block neighborhood map
Identify volunteers & skills, potential hazards & resources, and households needing extra help
o Share your skills with your block and others
o Get involved with your local neighborhood emergency team

See you in the garden!
Brought to you by your local Neighborhood Emergency Teams (NETs)—
For more information visit: www.portlandprepares.org

Interested in supporting this event?
Contact: arborlodgeprepares@gmail.com or kentonprepares@gmail.com

PIR Offering Free Tickets to Rose Cup Races for Kenton Residents

13064574_10153744904273842_2490951681666139451_oThe Portland International Raceway has graciously provided the Kenton Neighborhood Association with free tickets to the Rose Cup Races (July 29-31) for Kenton residents. If you would like tickets, please contact us.

PDX NET: Bulletin for July Released

Take a look at the latest Portland Neighborhood Emergency Teams BULLETIN below:


PIR Holding Open House on Sunday

The Portland International Raceway is inviting the community to come down to the track for an open house on June 26th.  The city’s press release on the event is below:

Portland International Raceway Hosting Open House on Sunday, June 26

PIR offering on-track opportunities, displays, pro drivers and more 

(Portland, OR) –

Portland International Raceway (PIR) is hosting an Open House on Sunday, June 26 in conjunction with and benefitting the Friends of PIR organization.  Admission is free to attendees and will spotlight the many PIR user groups and the diverse set of activities the venue offers to the residents of the Portland metro area and around the Northwest.

The public is welcome to meet and get photos with special guests including Christian Fittipaldi, two-time and current IMSA Prototype Driver’s Champion and Indy Car veteran with Newman/Haas Racing. Fittipaldi is a huge fan of Portland and says he is very excited to be back to meet with neighbors and fans.  Another former Indy Car driver, and Portland’s own Parker Johnstone, will bring his 1995 Reynard – the vehicle which won the very first Indy Car pole position for Honda’s racing team.

On-track activities will bring added excitement to the day.  Visitors to the Open House can take their own street car for two paced laps of PIR (for a donation to Friends of PIR of $20 per car).  And for those wanting to get their pulse rates up, track rides are available in cars ranging from fast street cars, to exotic sports cars to full race cars, including 500 horsepower Porsches and stock cars.  Donations start at $30 person and up depending on the car.  Helmets and driving suits will be provided as needed.

“This is a day to celebrate all things PIR and have the chance to show off the venue’s versatility”, says PIR Track Manager E.C. Mueller.  “We thank our user groups, supporting businesses and volunteers who all pitch in to make this possible.”

Cars on display will include vintage and modern racing cars, true classics and both European and US vehicles.  More information about the Open House is available at www.portlandraceway.com or by calling 503-823-7223.

“Portland International Raceway operates a marvelous array of diverse events which attract visitors from far and wide – all without any General Fund tax dollars,” notes Portland Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz.  “From traditional road races to the spectacular annual holiday lights at the track, PIR is a wonderful destination. I admire the traditions and the versatility of this distinctive Portland venue.”

“The raceway is a unique and exciting part of the Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) system, and in fact it is unique in the country,” says PP&R Director Mike Abbaté.  “PIR generates hundreds of jobs in the area, bringing business to hotels, restaurants, the shops that cater to PIR users, from bicycle racers to runners to car builders, and generates millions of dollars each year to the regional economy.  We are proud to have PIR in the Portland Parks & Recreation portfolio.”

About Portland International Raceway

PIR is owned by the City of Portland and is managed within the Parks & Recreation Department. Beginning in 1961 “Portland’s Fastest City Park” has hosted to a variety of events including road racing, motocross, car cruise-ins, drag racing, swap meets, bicycle racing and numerous foot relays and runs.  PIR is an enterprise fund, meaning it receives zero City tax dollars while providing entertainment to approximately 350,000 combined visitors, participants and spectators of all ages each year.

About Friends of PIR

Friends of PIR is a 501(c3) nonprofit committed to the preservation and enhancement of Portland International Raceway (PIR) as a resource for those who use it, both participants and spectators alike; sustaining and expandingPIR’s civic contribution as an institution in north Portland; providing guidance and support for the ongoing management of PIR in a manner that assures its ongoing value as a venue for motorsports and other diverse forms of recreation and entertainment.



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