Friends of Last Thursday to make changes to event

Changes in store for Last Thursday next year as recently released by FOLT:

New For Next Year:

Friends of Last Thursday has been working diligently to pay for the costs of the event and to minimize the impacts of 20,000 visitors to our district. We have come to realize that the only way to keep the event sustainable is to implement changes for nest year.


While it will remain FREE for all artists, crafters, creatives, musicians and performers, all other vendors will be charged a fee. This includes food vendors carrying a temporary or restaurant food license. This will give accountability to all vendors and repeat offenders will not be allowed to vend at Last Thursday.

One big problem is underage drinkers and the after hour violence from youth gangs.

before next season starts visit: for more info.

Notes from November’s Alberta Bar Summit

Alberta Bar/Neighbor Meeting
Nov 17th – Kennedy School Community room


City staff
– Theresa Marchetti – Oni Liquor Licensing
– Stephanie Reynolds – Crime Prevention
– Yolanda Sanchez – ONI Intern

– Scott Canary – Neighbor off 18th
– Dean Kessler – Neighbor off 21st
– Belinda Clark – NA – Concordia –
– Sara Wittenberg – Alberta Main Street

– James Pierce – Branch a Whiskey Bar
– Jessica Vogelin – The Know
– Tracy Ofson – Random Order Coffee House
-Clyde Wooden – Bye and Bye
-Bianca and Justin Giawngers – Binks
– Kevin Atchley – Pine Street Biscuits
– Becky Macy – Cruzroom
– Kate Verrill – Bar Lolo
– Eric Manfre – Alleyway Café
– Kay Newell – Boise NA
– Bill Leissner – SALT NECN


Meeting is to discuss the possibility of a global Good neighbor agreement between the licensed establishments, Neighborhood Associations, and residential neighbors in close proximity to Alberta Street. This meeting does not address the concerns related to Last Thursday, but only the late night impact of businesses that serve alcohol.

Two meetings were held in March and June with only licensed establishment to begin to develop strategies to address adverse impacts from alcohol service and businesses that serve alcohol. Licensed establishments asked to be able to continue the conversation without City Staff, however, subsequent meetings never occurred.

As complaints have continued about the saturation of alcohol service on Alberta Street, the city has begun to look at strategies to address the issues aggregately. One of those options is an Alcohol Impact Area, which would impose uniform restrictions on all licensed establishments on Alberta. Street. Those restrictions could include hours of operation, types of entertainment, outdoor seating, types of alcohol served, etc. The Alcohol Impact area rule is an available avenue to local governments when problems related to alcohol service in an area cannot be attributed to one particular licensed establishment, but are more indicative of a cumulatively harmful effect. This is a strategy that is used as a last resort. The goal is to avoid this through developing an effective agreement that communicates expectations and provides for easy communication between parties.

A draft GNA was prepared incorporating some of the strategies developed in the two meetings, as well as feedback received from neighbors and the Upper Hawthorne agreement. The group went through the Draft agreement.

Concerns raised/Discussion Points:

– Bad actors are not addressed in this process. Several neighbors and licensees indicated they were disheartened to see some of the problem locations not represented at the meeting. . Several licensees stated they would not sign any agreement because they felt that it was a punishment, and one that should be only for bad actors.

There is a large spectrum between “Good Neighbors” and “Bad actors”. Many negative impacts to the community are felt because of the sheer volume of alcohol service, not because one location is the causal factor.

The process is voluntary and good faith, which means attendance and participation, cannot be compelled. However, these types of agreements have been shown to diminish livability impacts and highlight the problem locations where they have previously been allowed to hide.

GNA’s are typically not appropriate or effective where laws are being blatantly disregarded. We have other tools of enforcement for these situations.

– City of Portland asking Businesses to Police other businesses – To some extent, this is true. Community policing relies on the community to set expectations and standards for members and to apply peer pressure and oversight in situations where those norms are not upheld. In participating in this agreement, you are policing by example.

– Law states that Trash cans cannot be anywhere on Alberta Street. This needs further investigation by City staff and collaboration with the county regarding smoking laws. Sara Wittenberg from Alberta main street can provide more information as well; as more trashcans are anticipated from the Alberta Main Street organization. Tri-Met bus stops are also trash magnets.

– Agreement is too forceful, and too negative against bars. – Agreement is a draft, and can look very different if the parties all agree. It should avoid being overly vague and therefore ineffective, however. Some neighbors/licensees asked for the agreement to be strictly contact information and an agreement to talk and be responsive to one another.

– Alcohol Impact area was used as a fear tool to compel participation – City of Portland wants to be transparent with the strategies that are available and being considered for the problems on Alberta. It would be inappropriate for businesses to be facing area wide enforceable regulations with no warning.

– GNA area is too large – twenty blocks is too much. No one on 15th cares about what’s happening on 33rd. There was discussion about tri-ficating the agreement discussions (neighbors and licensees in close proximity discussing together) and then coming back to a larger group. Possibility also of using 3 separate GNA’s.

– Data/ Measures of success – What is the data that is being used to assess problems, and what will be deemed successful. How will a GNA be shown to be successful; less complaints, full participation, less documented incidents related to alcohol service?

Numbers were not available due to the need of all police resources for the Occupy event. They will come in a subsequent email.

Measurements of success would incorporate both statistical data as well as perceptions from the community.

– Why are only bars involved? What about other trash producing enterprises; non alcohol serving businesses?
Alcohol consumption can led to harm on an ecological level. Research shows this. The late night impacts experienced on Alberta are primarily form late night alcohol serving establishments. However, a community agreement amongst all businesses may also be an available avenue worth addressing.

Other Neighborhood and Business representation – Several people raised concerns that other businesses were not present because of the time; that it was too much of a hardship. Others wanted to be sure other Neighborhoods were included.

Each licensed business was personally invited to the meeting, and most indicated they would be in attendance. All 4 Neighborhood associations were also invited, as well as NECN. The issues may not be as concerning because the rains have returned and so things have slowed down on Alberta Street.

Next Steps
Participants agreed to come together with several members of industry and several neighbors to develop an agreement that is more palatable by January 16th.

City Staff to distribute email list.
(Representatives of the Bye and Bye and Binks did not list their email addresses and will not be represented on the distribution list.)

Alberta Street Bar Meeting Thursday

Photo by Cari Hachmann/The Portland Observer

The City’s Liquor Licensing Program is working with the 53 liquor license establishments along Alberta as well as neighbors and neighborhood associations to create a collaborative bar agreement meant to decrease negative impacts from late night activities on the neighborhood. The City has already met twice with the licensed establishments to brainstorm ideas – they are now looking for input from neighbors.

The flyer publicizing the meeting states: “Alberta Street has a unique interface between neighborhood residents and the growing commercial district. Late night activity continues to increase, as well as negative impacts to the neighborhood . . . We would like to continue . . . discussions and formalize an agreement between the licensed businesses, community members, and neighborhood associations in the area.”

Bar Meeting Flyer

What: Alberta Street Bar Meeting
When: Thursday, November 17, 6-8PM
Where: Kennedy School Community Room
6332 NE 35th Ave., Portland 97211

KNA Meeting, Wednesday Oct 12th

What a great meeting we have planned! We’re so sorry that this agenda is being released so late… Columbus Day preparations had us running around all of last week, and we’re just catching our breath.

This week’s King NA meeting will feature our last visit with Officer Ryan Bren, who has served our neighborhood as District Officer for the last couple of years and has been a pleasure to work and communicate with.

We’ll be hearing from Emily Wilson, who has worked tirelessly to put together a project to improve Two Plum Park, in particular by raising money to install a bench. Two Plum Park is one of four neighborhood parks in King, and we’re happy to help out folks who are looking to take a hand in the care and improvement of them!

Speaking of, neighbor Diego Gioseffi and his neighbors have developed a project to remove invasive species from part of the King School lot, and replace them with native plants in the ground. We have struggled to get permission from the City to go ahead with the project, but progress is being made; also, the folks who run the King Farmers Market have offered to help. Once we have a date set, all are invited to come pull weeds and help us clean up part of the King School grounds! Please join us to get an update on the planning of this project.

We’ll be getting an update on the Portland Playhouse, & its efforts towards getting a Conditional User Permit from the City, in order to resume using their building at 602 NE Prescott. In addition, King NA has had discussions with the Playhouse and nearby neighbors about parking issues ~ we’ll have a short update on this.

The Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods is looking for feedback about Last Thursday. In addition to a survey of residents living near Alberta Street, NECN is reaching out to the nearby neighborhood associations to get feedback, ideas, compliments, and criticisms about how Last Thursday operates. Please join us and share your experience with us.

There will be other short presentations on topics of community interest, as well as a bit of time to bat around ideas, projects, questions, and thoughts. Please join us for Wednesday evening’s meeting – all are welcome at our Neighborhood Association!

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Friends of Last Thursday Seek Community Input

Friends of Last Thursday, the organization tasked with taking responsibility for the administration of the monthly street festival, is seeking feedback from the communities surrounding Alberta and the Last Thursday participants. This is your opportunity to explain what is good about LT and what needs to change.

From FoLT:

Friends of Last Thursday (FoLT) is on the move! Tasked by the city to localize stewardship of Last Thursday within the Alberta community, FoLT began hands on engagement during May Last Thursday to extremely positive result. Infractions were down, the street was reopened in record time and the FoLT Ambassador program made great progress in its education and outreach component. One of the cornerstones of the FoLT mission is to help create a safer event, which means working with participants to gain their compliance with city and county safety laws, including observance of ADA, parking, noise, fire and food handling codes, zero tolerance for open containers, and a Leave No Trace refuse goal. Also of high priority is engendering greater neighborhood respect. FoLT has listened to the concerns of our neighbors and is actively working to educate Last Thursday participants in the ways in which they can exert the lightest possible impact on our community.

FoLT Letter and Community Survey