On Sunday, Susan Oliver and I released a statement making public that allegations had been made about illegal activity taking place at the Kenton Women’s Village (KWV). Given the seriousness of some of these accusations that, for example, Catholic Charities might be dismissing and/or ignoring reports of criminal behavior at the KWV, we felt that the Kenton Neighborhood Association (KNA) needed to notify the neighborhood on some level of the situation and would report back once we knew more.
Although it quickly became publicly known, we didn’t speak to the nature of the supposed criminal activity as to not negatively impact any ongoing investigations nor exacerbate assumptions being made about our fellow neighbors. Of course, some were still quick to try to make this a told-you-so moment while others deemed our actions a reckless exercise in judging a vulnerable population and stirring up negative publicity.
Following our release, Catholic Charities reached out to the KNA and put out a press release, revealing that an investigation was taking place and that landlord-tenant law was limiting the ability for the rules and regulations of the KWV to be enforced. By Monday, the media was covering the situation, and the inaugural KWV Steering Committee meeting was working on ensuring the success of the KWV.
So, here’s where we stand:
As always, if you want to get involved, have questions, etc., feel free to contact us.
An update to this has been posted.
On the evening of November 10th, the Kenton Neighborhood Association (KNA) received an email reporting illegal activity occurring at the Kenton Women’s Village (KWV) even while employees of Catholic Charities, who manages the KWV, were onsite. The Portland Police Bureau was included in the email sent to the KNA.
The account contains a written report along with photos and a video and comes from a community houselessness advocate that has associations to the organizing partners of the KWV. As well, this individual has previously participated directly with the KNA on matters of the KWV.
Along with claims of criminal behavior, the report also points out potential breaches of the Partnership Agreement signed between the KNA and the organizing partners of the KWV, which partially includes the Joint Office of Homeless Services, Catholic Charities and the City of Portland Office of Management and Finance.
Furthermore, beyond the firsthand details from the community houselessness advocate, secondhand information from a village resident claims that Catholic Charities has dismissed and/or ignored reports of criminal behavior at the KWV.
The KNA indirectly obtained a response from Catholic Charities on the matter from Executive Director Deacon Richard Birkel.
“Catholic Charities is committed to assuring the wellbeing of villagers and to maintaining a healthy environment for those who reside there,” states Deacon Birkel. “We have gone above and beyond in many areas of management and security, including securing and paying for overnight security that is not reimbursed by our current limited contract.”
While Deacon Birkel’s assurances are appreciated, these allegations are extremely disconcerting and raise significant questions about Catholic Charities ability to properly manage the KWV.
After considerable delay, the inaugural meeting of the KWV Steering Committee, which the KNA is a non-voting member of, is scheduled for this week. We hope to have more information to share once that meeting occurs.
Beyond that, we’ll be working with the KNA’s Board of Directors and the KNA’s Committee on the KWV, along with the general membership of the KNA, to determine the KNA’s next steps in ensuring the health and safety of all neighbors.
Chair, Kenton Neighborhood Association
Board Member, Kenton Neighborhood Association
Chair, Kenton Neighborhood Association Committee on the Kenton Women’s Village
Following significant speculation last year, the IndyCar Series is stopping by the city-owned Portland International Raceway (PIR) on Labor Day Weekend for at least the next three years.
Big news for racing fans, and frankly, I was a bit surprised when the news broke this morning.
As anyone that follows sports in the Rose City knows, Portland often lands on potential expansion destination lists, be it MLB, NFL or, in this case, IndyCar. But unlike those other sports, Indy Car racing via the Champ Car World Series was here as recently as 2007, so when legitimate talk of the IndyCar Series finding its way to Portland started making the rounds, it certainly seemed like a likely possibility. Such so, that the KNA was actually encouraged by some racing enthusiasts with particular objections to IndyCar to take steps to block the IndyCar Series in Portland.
So why the surprise?
It comes down to the infrastructure. While the track itself is in racing shape, the rest of PIR needs work to be an IndyCar stop. “I haven’t been there for six months, but from when I went, I’d say there’s some upgrading that needs to be done because everything there is kinda temporary,” told Tony Cotman of NZR Consulting to Motorsport.com. “So my worry would be that it doesn’t just need a promoter; more like a ‘promoter-plus’ – someone who’s willing to take more of a financial risk.”
I thought that financial risk would make IndyCar in Portland a hard sell, but I was wrong: That promoter-plus emerged as IndyCar and Green Savoree, an Indianapolis-based motorsports event ownership and management company, agreed to cover the expense of needed upgrades.
The track has become a polarizing issue among neighbors, and the response to Indy Car racing back at PIR will likely play out as usual with supporters discarding concerns among neighbors with arguments telling them to move, get used to it or to recognize that PIR was there.
Of course, these debates happen for a reason, and the number of newer Kenton residents that lack PIR nostalgia, don’t have interest in racing and/or are bothered by the noise and pollution happening at a city park keeps growing. Supporters of the track need to recognize that and find ways to engage with those newer residents if the track is to remain successful.
Is IndyCar the answer? I’m not sure.
But we do know that the city is at least talking about neighborhood concerns. While pointing to possible economic benefits, Commissioner Amanda Fritz, who oversees PIR through Portland Parks & Recreation, also mentioned a willingness to work with neighbors on noise impacts.
“It is very exciting to see IndyCar racing coming back to the Rose City,” Commissioner Fritz, said today at a press conference. “An event of this magnitude means $12 million to$15 million in revenue to the city, scores of jobs, and an exciting weekend of racing with new cars using clean-burning ethanol for fuel. I also acknowledge that there will likely be noise impacts in nearby neighborhoods. We will work closely with the organizers and the neighborhoods to mitigate the impact.”
The KNA is certainly ready to work closely with the city, and to that end, the KNA is already planning meetings with representatives from Portland Parks & Recreation about the event. Along those lines, following up on concerns raised last year by Speaker Tina Kotek, who lives in Kenton, the city released to the KNA this week findings from lead air testing at the track. The KNA will be seeking out expert assistance in evaluating the results, but in the meantime, the study can be found below:10159-38_PPR_PIR_Lead_Assessment_Report_100517
The annual Trick or Treat on N. Denver Street will be held on Thursday, October 26th, from 5pm – 7pm along N. Denver (& Side Streets) between N. Schofield & N. Argyle! The Kenton Business Association will be featuring Kenton businesses from Lombard and the surrounding area with our Trunk or Treat location in the Hive Tattoo Parking lot!
The 1st annual Tall Paul Fest arrives September 9 12pm–7pm on N Willis Blvd between N Brandon and N Denver!
Get ready to see a restored Paul, have a pint of Widmer Brothers limited edition “Tall Paul Lager” and root on the Timbers in the their live telecast game vs NYCFC.
And get this: Timber Jim is coming out of retirement to cut log slabs during the game!
Slabs will be available to buy in the live auction at half time along with other great items like Danner Boots, 107ist Limited Edition 5th Quadrant Timbers scarves, Miniature Paul Bunyan Dolls and more.
Top bidder in the live auction will have the opportunity to remove the veil from Paul right after the game.
All proceeds go to the restoration and preservation of our beloved icon.
Learn more about the restoration of Paul at PaintPaulPDX
Arbor Lodge & Kenton
Neighborhood Emergency Team
Open House & Potluck
Come enjoy an evening in the garden with neighbors – kids are more than welcome. Bring a dish to share or something to grill, or just stop by to say hello.
Monday, August 14th, 6-8pm
Historic Kenton Firehouse
8105 N Brandon Ave
Meet your local Neighborhood Emergency Team (NET)
Learn what we’re doing to prepare the community for a major earthquake
Get advice about:
The restoration of Kenton’s Paul Bunyan statue has started with scaffolding going up! Thanks to Safeway Scaffolding for donating their time and equipment to start the process.
With the help of neighbors and business partners, #PaintPaulPDX has raised 71% of the funds, but $25,000 is still needed to finish the restoration this summer. Please considering donating to keep our momentum going!
Catholic Charities has released the first issue of their monthly newsletter for the Kenton Women’s Village. See the newsletter below:Kenton Women's Village Update July 2017 & Needs
Thank you, Kenton!