The Fred Meyer grocery has been an anchor on our vibrant Hawthorne Boulevard for over 70 years with a main entrance opening onto the street. But in the last 6 months the Fred Meyer Hawthorne grocery, owned by Kroger, has closed or restricted the use of its only entrance onto Hawthorne Boulevard.
As a “Transit Street Main Entrance”, these doors are required to be open onto the sidewalk (for entry and exiting) by Portland’s Zoning Code to “promote walking and the use of transit.” The closure is burdensome for all users, but is especially inequitable and concerning for seniors and disabled people. The only entrance is now on the opposite side of the building–through the parking lot. In addition, this closed entrance has created a “zombie block” which significantly reduces foot traffic and has a negative effect on the vitality of the Hawthorne shopping district.
The city has notified Fred Meyer that this closure is a violation of city code and started fining them $700 a month since May. After the notice of violation, Fred Meyer submitted an application to permanently close the Hawthorne pedestrian entrance.
Inner Southeast Action (ISEA), a local community group focusing on land use, transportation, climate and equity, along with Oregon Walks, a state-wide pedestrian safety group, met with Fred Meyer local and corporate management about alternative solutions. One suggestion was to post a security guard at the entrance, but Fred Meyer insisted closure is necessary to stop theft and for “safety concerns”. It is interesting to note that both the New Seasons and Safeway grocery stores have managed to keep multiple entrances open onto the Hawthorne sidewalk.
ISEA and Oregon Walks have launched an awareness and advocacy effort to persuade the city to deny Fred Meyer’s application to permanently close the pedestrian entrance and to persuade Fred Meyer to fully re-open this entrance. The groups have launched a petition to get the doors reopened. The petition has over 425 signers so far, and will be sent to the Mayor, Commissioner Ryan and the Director of Bureau of Development Services. You can add your name to it here: https://bit.ly/3CWjH2N
The Sunnyside Neighborhood Association will discuss the situation and a possible neighborhood response at their next meeting on October 14th.
Emergency Preparedness for all Sunnysiders? ?
Is there a ‘one size fits all’ for emergency preparedness? No, there is not. However, the advice remains the same–getting prepared is much much better than doing nothing and hoping that an earthquake won’t happen anytime soon. Hmmm….
There are multiple ways to make preparedness more appealing. In my mind, it is the ways that each of us can help to build neighborhood resilience
and a sense of place in Sunnyside that will result in all of us getting to
know each other better. And to help each other get ready…
Questions, comments? Weigh in please via email to [email protected] and thank you.
How can Sunnysiders be prepared, not scared?
Each neighborhood in Portland has their unique challenges with regards to preparing for an emergency. This depends on the geography, the business communities and the willingness of neighbors to know each other and support each other BEFORE, DURING and AFTER an event.
How do you know where to begin?
A comprehensive resource guide is available on the Sunnyside Prepared!
Take a peek at the Sunnyside Neighborhood Map – an excellent overview of Sunnyside. Print a copy and walk around the neighborhood. Become familiar with the map legend. Though there might be new construction since this map was made, it will help you see how Neighborhood Emergency Team members size up the hazards, etc. in Sunnyside. All of the other resources on this page are updated and user friendly.
Want a bigger overview?
Go to the FEMA (Federal Emergency Preparedness Agency) website: https://www.fema.gov/ and click on the top toolbar item “Prepare for Disasters.”
Not a computer person?
Now that the Belmont library has reopened, librarians can easily point you to books and other resources that can help, or you can print out pages from the Sunnyside Prepared! or FEMA websites. These resources will help you get prepared, not scared.
Save your hard-to-recycle items! New Seasons Market, Ridwell, James Recycling, and Recycling Advocates are sponsoring a one-day recycling event where you can bring items you can’t normally put in the good ol’ recycling bin at home.
Revolution Hall parking lot SE Portland
Saturday, September 11th, 10am – 12:30pm
Hot, hot, hot!
It has been a long, hot and unusual summer. Scientists have been telling us for decades that severe weather caused by climate change was coming, but it is still a shock to experience this heat. It has made me sad to see the burnt foliage on trees and plants, especially the ferns that didn’t evolve to survive multiple days of triple digit weather. It was also disturbing to learn that 60 people died in Portland during the June heatwave. Our city and state need to be better prepared for these weather events. But we also need federal policy, otherwise our individual actions are like bailing water from a bathtub with the faucet running.
While I try to lower my personal carbon footprint, I also work to get carbon pricing passed at the national level because we can’t get to net zero emissions by 2050 without it. We have a unique opportunity to get carbon pricing passed through the upcoming budget reconciliation. If you are concerned about climate change, I urge you to contact your U.S. Representative to ask them to include carbon pricing, cclusa.org/house. Last month Citizens’ Climate Lobby volunteers inspired over 20,0000 people to contact their senators. We’d like to hit the same numbers for contacting U.S. Representatives. If you are inspired to do more, join Citizens Climate Lobby at https://citizensclimatelobby.org/join-citizens-climate-lobby/ and help me in advocating a price on carbon. I hope to see you at our next CCL meeting on Saturday, September 11th.