SNA Interview: Rhys Scholes, author of Portland’s Hawthorne Boulevard

What motivated you to do a book on Hawthorne Boulevard? 

I wanted to celebrate the fabulous place where we live and tell the story of how it got this way.

What were some of the most interesting things you learned about Hawthorne Blvd.?

The building on the southeast corner of 36th and Hawthorne is a great example.  It was a Safeway store when it was built and then it was a Fred Meyer.  Later the windows were boarded up and it was a warehouse for Union Furniture.  Today, it is the Bread and Ink Cafe, and you can tell it was a grocery by the newer bricks under the windows that were added to fill the openings where produce racks once extended out on the sidewalk.

This book contains both description and images. What images stand out?

The bridge fire in 1902, the Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade on Hawthorne in 1948, the giant cake at the Fred Meyer Grand Opening in 1951, and the neighborhood that disappeared under the bridge ramps in 1957.

How can readers obtain this book?

Visit to buy a book and join the discussion of Hawthorne history, or find it in your local bookstore.

October SNA Meeting Notes

At the October 8th SNA general meeting, Jim Toporek presented the design of a proposed three story, 11,473 sq. ft. mixed-use structure at 4738 SE Belmont. The proposed building includes 19 apartment units and ground floor commercial space. Please direct questions and comments to

We elected and welcomed new board member Christy Yeoumans. One board position remains open.

The SNA continues to make communication through our website, newsletter, and meetings a priority. Not every neighborhood has a newsletter, and we hope to leverage communication to help all our neighbors get through this crazy time. We welcome stories on any topic but especially contributions that might ease the burden of work/life/health in our Sunnyside neighborhood. We also hope to promote the cultural and business contributions of our residents (200 words max. please).

The November 12th meeting will feature Oregon House Representative Rob Nosse. Rob’s insights on legislative issues are always insightful. We also will continue to discuss the worsening homeless situation. All SNA meetings continue to be via Zoom, so please see the SNA website for the time and connection info; we’d love to have you join us. Stay safe.

Sunnyside Civility

Like a garden, our Sunnyside neighborhood consists of a variety of residents. Some homes have been owner-occupied for generations, while others are newly built or remodeled. Some people are leasing condos, and others are renting apartments. But one thing we all have in common is the place where we shop, exercise, dine, and mix, whether it is on the roads, the sidewalks, or in the store aisles. And, in order to do so peacefully and successfully, we need civility.

It is my hope through the SNA to write a small newsletter column on civility – to begin a conversation on how we can each feel heard in spite of differences, and yet achieve the consensus we need to make progress on important issues that impact the quality of life in our community. By doing so I hope to feel more connection and more peace. But I’m also doing it for my 8 year old son, to model for him that we can have tough talks with people, disagree, and explore solutions in a constructive way without our passions getting the better of us.

A coach once told me to “consider other people’s rights before my feelings and other people’s feelings before my rights.” With all the challenges we are facing today a little more thoughtfulness will surely help all of us.


SNA Safety & Livability Update

Attendance at the past few Safety and Livability Meetings has been sparse. I suppose, since COVID-19 weighs on everyone’s mind, the neighborhood has been fairly quiet. But with so many folks living without shelter throughout Sunnyside, the primary concerns around houselessness and camping are still relevant.

Of the perspectives and ideas proffered at several meetings over the past 2 years, I’m firmly not of the opinion we should abandon people in the street through the winter, toxic wildfire smoke, summer heat, or for any reason. Leaving people in scattered, unmanaged camps without sanitation and services isn’t good for anyone.

We share these challenges with many inner Portland neighborhoods and together we can seek relief and a civically engineered, humanitarian response. In a new neighbor’s words, “having to step through human suffering to walk in the park is a grim reminder.”

The focal point of the next Safety & Livability Meeting is a discussion of a draft of the North Portland Statement on Homelessness. The SNA board would like to join our fellow Neighborhood Associations to form a broader coalition and appeal to the city.

Please feel free to join us at the next Safety & Livability Zoom meeting, October 6th, 2020 from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.. There is more information at


Land Use and Transportation in Sunnyside and Beyond!

Hello neighbors!  Last month I became a new Sunnyside Neighborhood Board member.  This month, I’m excited to introduce myself as your Land Use and Transportation Committee (LUTC) chairperson. There hasn’t been a LUTC in Sunnyside Neighborhood for a while, so it will take some time to get up and running again. At the moment, I’m the only member of this committee, which is tasked with tracking all matters related to land use and transportation that affect the neighborhood and communicating that information to the community. I’m particularly interested in this topic: my professional background includes 20 years in land use and transportation planning and design for communities along the West Coast and across the country. If you are interested in getting involved, email me at or attend our next neighborhood association meeting.  Meeting details are posted at

Until we get enough folks interested to warrant regular meetings, this column will be my way of sharing what’s going on. My plan is to share happenings in the neighborhood as well as items from around the region that may impact our community. I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

In the Neighborhood

4738 SE Belmont St.

A new 3-story, mixed-use structure is proposed on the .13-acre site at the southwest corner of SE Belmont and SE 48th.  The proposed building includes 19 apartment units and ground floor commercial space. The ground floor will host 1,150 sf of commercial lease space along Belmont St. The building’s total square footage is 11,473 sf. A drywell on the south end of the site will dispose of stormwater.

We hope to have the architect present at the October neighborhood association meeting. Watch the website for a final agenda.

3114 SE Belmont St.

A new residential building is being proposed at 3114 SE Belmont. At our August meeting, William/Kaven Architecture shared design concepts for each floor of this five-story building. The building’s 24 units range from roughly 360 to 720 square feet, with 2 – 4 affordable units included. No commercial uses are proposed. The ground-floor of the building includes common areas, utility spaces, and some of the building’s bike parking. The building is set back and the height is stepped down adjacent to the single-family house on both the south and southwest sides. According to the architects, the building’s height and setback are similar to a typical 2-story house with a peaked roof.

Hawthorne Pave and Paint

The Hawthorne Pave and Paint project will repave and restripe the stretch of SE Hawthorne Blvd between SE 24th and SE 50th.  The City sees this as more than a routine maintenance project and has identified three key goals for the project: improving safety, supporting Hawthorne’s function as a Main Street, and connecting people to other parts of the city. See SNA President Dave Boush’s overview of the project and links to learn more and provide your feedback on page 1.

In the Region

Get Moving 2020 Transportation Measure

The Get Moving 2020 measure from Metro will be on your November ballot. This measure (26-218) proposes $5 billion in funding for a wide range of transportation improvements across Washington, Multnomah, and Clackamas counties. Watch this space for more information and learn more at at: