Category: Community

Dance Party Weekend at Moto PDX

Starting this Friday Night, Moto PDX will host a weekend full of dance parties. Beginning at 9 p.m. DJ Good Things will take over the cafe at 8826 SE Stark Street, playing music from the 80s, 90s, and 2000s. The music returns Saturday night at 9 p.m. with the Disco, Funk, and Boogie sounds of the 1970s. Both evening events are limited to those 21 years old and up. Event organizers will provide an all-ages dance party on Sunday afternoon starting at 2:30 p.m. All dance events are free to attend.

The Moto PDX Cafe opened last December, offering cafe dining and performance motorcycle maintenance. In the evenings, the space can transform into a nightclub for events like this weekend’s festivities. Pick your dancing day this September 23rd through the 25th, and head over to SE Stark Street for a special night out in Montavilla.

The Neighborhood Dumpster Day Returns

After a two-year hiatus, Montavilla’s Dumpster Day returns as part of a new Portland program. Area residents are invited to drop off bulky household items on Saturday, September 24th, at the Montavilla Church parking lot on the corner of SE 92nd Avenue and SE Hawthorne Boulevard. This free program allows residents to dispose of many large items not collected in regular curbside bins and prevents trash from ending up on the streets.

Two years ago, Portland’s Office of Community & Civic Life (Civic Life) discontinued a similar program once offered through neighborhood associations. Those programs provided an annual opportunity for residents to dispose of mattresses, broken furniture, and other trash that did not fit into regular collection containers. The events also served as a primary fundraiser for the nonprofit neighborhood organizations. Trash haulers will collect bulky items left on the curb during weekly pickup days if residents notify them ahead of time and pay a fee. However, some people do not have the means to arrange for those collections and instead leave items on the corner with “Free” signs attached. Those items can contribute to the City’s trash problem and congest public spaces.

The absence of a free dumpster program in Portland left a noticeable mark on the City’s trash collection system, prompting officials to create a new program. This weekend’s Montavilla Dumpster Day is the first in a series of events organized by Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS), with funding through the City’s Public Environment Management Office. For this event, the City will pay members of the Montavilla Neighborhood Association (MNA) and the Jade District to support the Dumpster Day operations. In the future, BPS will hire contractors to run events held in other neighborhoods.

People are encouraged to bring mattresses, furniture, and certain small appliances like a toaster, vacuum, or microwave. Some treated lumber and wood stumps are accepted but need to come from households, not businesses. Tires, large appliances, electronics, and hazardous materials can’t go into the dumpsters. However, Oregon Metro staff at the drop-off site will assist people in finding the proper disposal agency for items not taken at Saturday’s event. A complete list of allowed and forbidden items is available on the BPS website.

Although a Montavilla-based event, organizers secured ample dumpsters to accept items from local residents and neighboring areas. However, space is limited, and the event staff recommends people come early. The entrance opens at 9 a.m. and closes at 1 p.m. or when the dumpsters are full.


Disclosure: The author of this article will work at this event and may receive payment for his participation.

Remembering Former Metro Councilor Bob Stacey

Robert E. Stacey, Montavilla’s elected representative on the Metro Council for over eight years, died September 8th at the age of 72. He resigned from his position a year ago due to further complications from a health condition. Metro Council appointed Duncan Hwang, a Director at the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO), to the vacant 6th District seat in January. Councilor Hwang recently secured 68.7 percent of the vote during the 2022 primaries, allowing him to serve out the reaming years of Councilor Stacey’s term.

Bob Stacey came to Metro Council after a long career serving Oregon. His early work with 1000 Friends of Oregon secured the urban growth boundary, protecting farms and forests by limiting an endless suburban sprawl. He led Portland’s planning bureau from 1989 to 1993, and as an executive at TriMet, he helped plan the MAX Yellow and Red lines. Pedestrians and bicyclists crossing the MAX Orange Line at SE 14th Avenue do so via the Bob Stacey Overcrossing, named in his honor for decades of service to Portland. Stacey’s impact across the State was impressive, and the programs he supported within this neighborhood are ongoing.

Bob Stacey’s work with Metro touched many points within Montavilla. Most residents will associate his local efforts with the affordable housing project underway at 432 NE 74th Ave. However, councilor Duncan Hwang recounted several other impactful projects that his predecessor brought to the community. “Councilor Stacey did so much for livability for the entire region but also worked directly on projects in Montavilla, including advocating for the jurisdictional transfer of 82nd Ave to the City of Portland, improving neighborhood connectivity through the Jade Montavilla Multimodal Improvements Project, and was a particular champion of the Jade District and APANO’s work in developing affordable housing and community spaces.”

Although holding an elected position, Bob Stacey focused more on his work for the community instead of building name recognition. Representative Earl Blumenauer expressed that sentiment after Stacey’s passing. “Oregon just lost the most important person that most people never heard of.” Despite the lack of public recognition for his work, those who continue his efforts recognize that they stand on his shoulders and vow to follow Stacy’s example of civic leadership. “Oregon lost a true leader, and I hope to carry on his vision for our region and legacy of public service as his successor at Metro,” stated Councilor Hwang.


Images in this article are provided by Oregon Metro

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Last Show for Montavilla Movie Night

The Montavilla business district will host the final free movie night of the season tomorrow evening. For all of August, the Montavilla/East Tabor Business Association (METBA) presented weekly group viewing events in the Montavilla Public Plaza at SE 79th Avenue and Stark Street. Local businesses sponsored one movie each Wednesday, with other area businesses offering special concession packages. The 1986 film Labyrinth by Jim Henson will close out the successful community entertainment series on September 7th.

Chantel Chinco of Redwood organized the evening events for METBA, growing the audience weekly. This year, movie nights shared the street space with another first-time Plaza program presented by Montavilla Farmers Market. The 79th Avenue square features an evening min-market on Thursday nights, running through September 29th. This public street venue is supported by the Vibrant Spaces Community Events Activation Fund grant from the City of Portland, in conjunction with the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) Public Street Plaza Program

For the second year, the Montavilla Public Plaza at SE 79th Avenue and Stark Street has driven community engagement into the business district’s core with events like the movie night and market. Public support for these events will influence their return in subsequent seasons.

METBA invites the public to view David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly in the Labyrinth this Wednesday, September 7th. The Show begins at 8:30 p.m., and people are encouraged to bring chairs or blankets to the showing.


  • Aug. 10th: The Sandlot (Mr.Plywood)
  • Aug. 3rd: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (Natural Furniture)
  • Aug. 17th: Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter is Dead (Wink Vintage)
  • Aug. 24th: Dazed and Confused (The Observatory)
  • Aug. 31st: The Princess Bride (Redwood)
  • Sep. 7th: Labyrinth (Bonus Screening)

Disclosure: The author of this article serves on the METBA Board.

Jade District Dumpster Day Overwhelming Success

Saturday’s Jade District Dumpster Day and Solve Oregon cleanup attracted dozens of volunteers and a stream of vehicles dropping off large trash items. Within the first hour of operation, people filled 30-yard dumpsters at two drop-off sites. Instead of closing three hours early, the events coordinator, Alisa Kajikawa, picked up her phone and arranged for additional dumpsters. Before the day was done, yet another cycle of dumpsters rolled in to accommodate the overwhelming demand for trash disposal.

Kajikawa, the Jade District Manager, organized this one-day event with funds from Oregon Metro and support from the 82nd Avenue Business Association. The four-hour-long program included a community cleanup and open dumpster access for neighborhood disposal of bulky items.

Volunteers with Solve ventured out with 33-gallon carts to collect trash throughout the area and bring back items of all sizes to the primary dumpster site, located in the Unicorn Inn’s parking lot at 3040 SE 82nd Avenue. Nearby campers used shopping carts to roll in trash from their area and help clean up the streets.

Jade District Manager Alisa Kajikawa and Metro Councilor Duncan Hwang stacking mattresses

The dumpster on SE 82nd Avenue, and one on SE 92nd Avenue, were open to residents seeking a free place to dispose of items not collected through curbside trash pickup. Demand for dumpster use far exceeded expectations, and both sites eventually had to turn people away. Even after staff filled the five 30-yard trash containers to capacity, a stack of mattresses remained awaiting pickup by a recycler.

The dumpster demand seen over the weekend signals a great need in Portland for more events like the Jade District Dumpster Day. In 2020, The City canceled a long-running program that worked with Neighborhood Associations to host dumpster days across Portland. These events acted as an annual trash release valve that reduced the number of illegal dumps. Now groups like the Jade District are scrambling to find funding to meet the demand for trash disposal.

The original budget for the event only included funds for two dumpsters. The added cost of the three extra dumpsters will need to come from grant reserves and other funds within the organization. The success of the cleanup is measurable by the tonnage of rubbish collected. However, it barely makes a dent in Portland’s trash problem. Based on the demand seen Saturday and the piles of illegally dumped items across the City, an event like this could run every month for years without slowing down.

Flyer for the now completed event

Disclosure: The author of this article servers on the boards of the 82nd Avenue Business Association and Montavilla Neighborhood Association. He also volunteered at this event.

Montavilla Jazz Festival Starts Friday

Starting this Friday, August 19th, the annual Montavilla Jazz Festival returns with in-person music performances. The three-day festival showcases emerging and established Portland jazz artists in four venues. Tickets are on sale now, with select shows live-streamed from the Portland Metro Arts stage.

Venue tickets range from $5-35 per concert, sold through tickettomato.com. Event organizers offer discounts for advance purchases, students, and Arts for All eligible patrons. However, reduced pricing is only available for some concerts. A limited quantity of day passes for Portland Metro Arts performances on Saturday and Sunday cost $50-60, and all-access festival passes are available for $155-185. Event staff will stream the six concerts at Portland Metro Arts for free on the montavillajazz.org website with a suggested donation amount.

As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Montavilla Jazz relies on local business support, donors, and volunteers. Those contributions, along with ticket sales and support from other organizations, make the annual arts event possible. The Montavilla Jazz Festival is presented this year by OnPoint Community Credit Union, Mr. Plywood, and The Skanner News.

This weekend’s shows will provide a unique opportunity to experience some of Portland’s favorite jazz musicians. This exhibition continues to grow each year, working towards a large celebration in 2023. A recent investment of $18,730 from the Oregon Cultural Trust will support a considerable portion of next year’s event, including the Montavilla Jazz Festival’s 10th-anniversary concert at Mt Tabor park. Participating in this year’s concerts will help grow the organization and ensure the 10th anniversary is a huge success. 


Friday 8/19

Saturday 8/20

Sunday 8/21

Alberta Rose Theatre is located at 3000 NE Alberta Street. Portland Metro Arts is at 9003 SE Stark Street. The 1905 venue is located at 830 N Shaver Street, and Vino Veritas Wine Bar and Bottle Shop is in downtown Montavilla at 7835 SE Stark Street.


Images courtesy of Montavilla Jazz

AYCO Seeks New Home on 82nd

African Youth & Community Organization (AYCO) is in the process of buying the Flex Building located at 2110 SE 82nd Avenue. The youth mentoring organization currently operates out of the former Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) building on NE Glisan Street. Developers will soon transform the TBN site into affordable housing, prompting AYCO’s move to a new facility. However, the group needs to raise $5.5 million to purchase and renovate the new building.

In January 2021, AYCO relocated to 432 NE 74th Ave from SE 122nd Avenue. Although the group knowingly committed to a short-term lease for the property on NE 74th, they hoped to become a partner organization in the supportive housing planned for the site. Unfortunately, Metro did not select the development group they partnered with, making another move inevitable.

This week the developers submitted a type 2 Land Use Review for the first of two buildings planned for the Glisan and 74th housing project. That four-story wood-framed residential building will contain 41 units of permanent supportive housing above a ground floor commercial kitchen, cafe, and retail incubator space. Additional amenities include resident services, laundry rooms, bike parking, and a community room.

With the permitting process underway, securing a new home for AYCO takes on a new sense of urgency. The Flex building on SE 82nd Avenue is several years old but has never found a tenant. Constructed in 

Flex 2110 SE 82nd Ave

2017, the building’s owner anticipated demand for high-end office and commercial space on 82nd Avenue near SE Division Street. Lower demand and the pandemic kept the building vacant except for a short-term popup COVID testing site. Crews only constructed the basic shape of the space, waiting for tenants to dictate the placement of interior walls. This unfinished condition will add to AYCO’s overall costs for the project. “The building is a shell and needs huge construction [and] tenant improvements,” explained AYCO Executive Director Jamal Dar.

The Flex building will cost $3.6 million to purchase. AYCO staff have allocated the remaining $1.9 Million to cover construction and furnishings. Fortunately, they have already received commitments for $1.5 million from supporters. An additional $2.5 million is expected to come from Federal funds and contributions from the City of Portland. Now, AYCO is seeking donors at any level who can help bridge the $1.5 million gap. They must find those funds within six to ten months or incur debt from loans.

The Flex building offers many benefits to the AYCO community, and buying the building will provide the permanent home this group has sought for many years. Dar explained that the building is centrally located near the community his organization serves. He feels its proximity to several schools, shopping, and transit options will be an invaluable benefit to the immigrant and refugee community using this resource center.

At 18,682 square feet, the increased building size means AYCO will continue to offer all existing programs with room to expand. “[The building] will allow us to conduct all of our programs, including establishing early childhood education and many other programs we currently don’t have,” said Dar. Buying the Flex building has the potential to take AYCO to a new level and secure its space in the supportive services community.

People or groups interested in investing in AYCO’s future location on SE 82nd Avenue should visit the group’s website www.aycoworld.org and click this Donate Now button at the top of the page. Jamal Dar and his staff are available to talk to groups interested in large sponsorship opportunities.

Montavilla Street Fair Returns Sunday

After a two-year hiatus, the Montavilla Street Fair returns this Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with family-friendly entertainment. Event organizers will block automotive access to SE Stark Street from 82nd Avenue to 76th Avenue on July 31st, making way for the expected 10,000 visitors. Attendees can eat, drink, and shop at 122 vendor booths. Nine music acts span two stages, and a pair of beer gardens offer adult beverages.

Since 2011, the street fair has welcomed Portlanders from all over the city to the historic Montavilla Downtown. Organized by theMontavilla/East Tabor Business Association (METBA), this yearly event highlights the unique businesses and groups in the neighborhood. This year’s Montavilla Street Fair is presented by Adventist Health Portland and Mr. Plywood, with sponsorship by over a dozen other businesses.

METBA invites everyone to stop by throughout the day and take in all that Montavilla has to offer. Organizers will provide public portable restrooms in mutable places along SE Stark street, and food vendors will offer many options to eat at the event. Drivers should expect detours starting at 6 a.m. on July 31st and continue through the evening up to 8:30 p.m. Anticipate crowded street parking in the surrounding area and plan for extended walking to and through the event.

Plaza Stage Music Schedule:

  • 10:00 AM – Tallulah’s Daddy (for kids!) – Matt Lynch (Tallulah’s Daddy) is a children’s music entertainer active in the Kindie Music scene in PDX.
  • 11:30 AM – Mo Phillips (for kids!) – Mo Phillips is a teaching artist and a fun time maker who teaches songwriting in schools and shreds ukulele for the people.
  • 1:00 PM – Norwester Sky – Original tunes that feel timeless while making the Americana songbook feel new again. These fellas take great pride in their craft and love to jam.
  • 2:30 PM – Jermaine – Hailing from gospel choirs in the midwest, Jermaine’s charismatic energy and passion for music is reflected in all of his solo and group efforts.
  • 4:00 PM – Friends of Noise – Friends of Noise provides resources, support and mentorship to youth that have something to say.

Main Stage Music Schedule:

  • 11:00 AM – Hiroki – Hiroki is a force of friends focused solely on grooves, vibes, the result is something smooth; something tasty.
  • 12:30 PM – Five Letter Word – Mix three singer-songwriters, several stringed instruments, and a variety of percussive techniques, and you get Five Letter Word.
  • 2:00 PM – Reb & the Good News – Rebecca Conner’s heart-centered, velvet vocals are delivered with a vulnerability that unravels listeners down to their core.
  • 3:30 PM – Moorea Masa & Friends – “Irresistible and staggeringly beautiful, Masa displays a delicate balance of restraint and raw power.”- The Oh Es Tee

Disclosure: The author of this article servers on the Montavilla/East Tabor Business Association, 82nd Avenue Business Association, and Montavilla Neighborhood Association Boards. All three groups have booths at this year’s street fair.

Church Opens Family Shelter for August

Last Tuesday night, Ascension Catholic Church conducted a training session for community volunteers. Starting July 31st and running through August, the worship facility at 743 SE 76th Avenue will operate as a Family Promise Metro East shelter. During those four weeks, the location will host three to five families. The program aims to prevent families with minor children from sleeping on the street.

Family Promise Metro East is an affiliate of the nationwide Family Promise organization that mobilizes volunteers to help fight houselessness. They employ a rotational shelter model that houses people in one location for a minimum of one week and then relocates the group to a new location in NE or SE Portland. This model reduces the burden placed on donated facilities and volunteer staff. Michele Veenker, Executive Director of Family Promise Metro East, explained that the rotational shelter model benefits the community beyond helping the unhoused. “We have so many stereotypes and so much misinformation [about houselessness]. This gives people a chance to be involved, seeing it for what it is, which is not always what people think.” Veenker feels that by moving the shelters throughout Portland, more communities have an opportunity to support families and learn about those without consistent shelter.

Although volunteers are encouraged to learn from their experience passively, the families in the program are not on display. At the training event, Veenker stressed the importance of guest privacy. That begins by avoiding questions about how a person became unhoused and extends to probing questions about someone’s past. She explained that families seeking this kind of support are already stressed, and many are dealing with trauma. Some people talk through those situations, and others prefer to stay silent. It is not the responsibility of the volunteers to counsel the guests.

Michele Veenker leading a volunteer training

Although hosted inside a religious organization, Family Promise does not allow proselytizing. “All of [our partners] are churches so far, but one of my goals is to hopefully get some other community involvement. Because we are not a religious-based order or faith-based organization at all, but we work a lot with churches,” explained Veenker. The organization’s core focus is addressing housing insecurity among children. “Every child deserves a warm and dry bed at night, and so that’s our leading edge. We want our children to be housed in some place that’s safe and warm,” said Veenker.

During the four weeks that Ascension Catholic Church will participate in this program, up to 14 guests will arrive in the evening from the Family Promise Metro East day center. Volunteers will have prepared dinner for the families and help serve the meal. They also prepare lunch assembly stations for guests to make food for the next day. A specially trained volunteer drives the minibus between the rotating shelter locations and the day center at the Community of Christ church.

During the school year, guests return to the day center early, allowing kids to catch their school bus from a fixed location. The daytime facility has computers, showers, and laundry facilities. For kids, they have books and toys. There is an Art Room and a Nursery for the younger children. Parents are responsible for looking after their children at the day center and shelter. Although grouped together, family autonomy is respected and required.

Family Promise Metro East only has two full-time employees and is not staffed to offer wraparound services. Within the program, volunteers perform the majority of the work. Funding comes from donations, and the partner churches provide food. They have benefited from successful fundraising but will need more funds to continue this program. Although Family Promise is 30 years old, and the Portland affiliate has existed for several years, this incarnation of the 501c3 organization is just getting off the ground. They only began hosting families again last Sunday after several years without guests. The last few years have centered on building relationships and securing locations for the rotational shelter program.

Many host organizations will only offer space for one week every quarter, four times a year. Ascension Catholic Church is using its school space for this program. Consequentially, they chose to fulfill their year’s worth of support all at once during August, as school rooms are unused during the summer. 

Family Promise Metro East still needs other groups with available facilities to participate. People can coordinate as volunteers or donate funds at the organization’s website. Families looking for shelter support can find information on the site’s support page. Families are defined by who the children in the group identify as their family unit. Because of the communal nature of the program, all guests are asked to remain sober and have a criminal background check free of violent offenses. Regretfully, Family Promise Metro East is not staffed or organized in a way that can protect people in an active domestic abuse situation. Specialty organizations that can maintain security and anonymity work best for families dealing with domestic abuse.

People interested in volunteering should contact Family Promise Metro East. They need onsite and remote support from people all over Portland and Southwest Washington. Neighbors around Ascension Catholic Church will likely not notice anything different during August, but they can feel good about the help offered within the building next door.

New Bike-Share Stations Arrive

BIKETOWN staff recently relocated the NE Glisan bike-share docking station two blocks to the west. Less than a year ago, crews installed the dock on the south side of the roadway near NE 80th Avenue. That same docking station is now on the north side of the street near NE 78th Avenue. Its new location is near a marked crosswalk with a rapid flashing beacon. Placement close to that intersections should make the parked bikes easier to access from any side of NE Glisan.


This article originally published September 4th, 2021.

Yesterday, crews from BIKETOWN installed new bike-share stations on SE 81st Ave just south of E Burnside Street. Its construction follows another recently built unit on NE Glisan Street west of 80th Ave. When completed, the 81st Ave location will house docks for up to six e-bikes available to rent through the BIKETOWN mobile app.

Last June, a survey conducted by BIKETOWN gathered community input on where to place new electric bicycle (e-bike) docks as part of the program’s East Portland expansion. A few months later, that survey data and other factors are guiding the placement of these stations. The BIKETOWN bike finder map currently shows the new station on SE 81st Ave as available for use. However, no bikes are listed there, and the stand is missing the vertical sign that displays user instructions. This bike-share location is near Walgreens Pharmacy on the road behind Hong Phat. The station’s proximity to the number 20 and 72 TriMet bus lines should reduce excessive walking for riders not directly on the bus route.

Station on NE Glisan Street showing user instructions.

Several blocks north from the uncompleted station, BIKETOWN staff finished an identical installation on NE Glisan Street. Crews completed this location last week, and it is fully operational. Workers placed the docks on the sidewalk in front of Glisan Dental, away from traffic. The SE 81st Ave docks sit in the road’s parking lane, relying on white traffic delineator posts to protect the parked bikes.

Station on NE Glisan Street.

BIKETOWN docking stations are simple installations that securely hold locked bikes. They do not provide any charging for e-bikes. Instead, BIKETOWN offers these locations as a reliable place for customers to find and return bikes. Throughout the week, staff redistributes bikes to these locations after collecting units left in remote areas. Each e-bike has a removable battery pack that employees can replace before putting them back out for use.

BIKETOWN van used for redistribution.

Since the expansion of the BIKETOWN network in late 2020, sightings of the iconic orange bikes throughout Montavilla and greater East Portland have increased. Often they are found secured to signposts and fences. The installation of more bike docking stations will transform the scattering of transportation options into a reliable network of mobility devices. Their new consistent location gives residents the confidence to bridge the transportation gap for short trips without a personal vehicle. Businesses near the docks should also see a boost in visitors, as patrons can expect to find a bike ready for them when they head home. Look for these docks next time you plan a short trip around Montavilla and see if an e-bike can enhance your mobility.

Station on SE 81st Ave partially completed.

Correction – fixed typo of store name Hong Phat