Meeting Minutes – Mar. 8, 2017

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Minutes of the West End Neighborhood Association (WENA) Meeting

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Reiche Community Room

Board members present: Morgan Beede, Leana Good-Simpson (vice-president), Rosanne Graef (treasurer), Cassie Graham, Ian Jacob, Elizabeth Parsons (president), Steven Scharf, Pamela Shaw (secretary), Clifford Tremblay

Board members absent: None

Others present: Richard Bianculli (PPD), Channing Capuchin, Sarah Colton, Christine McHale, Michel Michaud, Janet Mishoe, Lin Parsons, Dick Stevens, Penny Stevens, Spencer Thibodeau, Gwynne Williams

The meeting was called to order at 6:39 PM and self-introductions followed.

Secretary’s report

Minutes from February were accepted as read.

Treasurer’s report

  • General Fund available funds as of 3/8/2017: $607.35
  • Swim for Life balance as of 3/8/2017: $5140.45

Rosanne Graef noted that big thanks were due to Paul Stevens for his work as co-chair of fundraising for Swim for Life.

Community policing

Rich Bianculli reported on a quiet month.

WENA topic for March

Jennifer Ackerman, Cumberland District Attorney’s office

Assistant DA Ackerman said that she wanted to meet with residents of neighborhoods to increase connection between residents and the DA’s office, and to seek out recommendations on cases of particular interest to neighborhood residents. She talked about the composition of the DA’s office, with units focusing on general cases, juvenile cases, domestic violence, human trafficking, and drugs. Her office handles all cases arising out of Portland and Falmouth. She said it is the largest office in the state, handling some 10,000 cases.

Considerable discussion followed her introductory remarks. Questions from the audience addressed human trafficking, domestic violence, and drugs.

Board member announcements

  • Liz Parsons let members know about
    • The St Patrick’s Day Parade on Sunday March 12.
    • City funds available for lead abatement.
    • Maine Yoga Kids, a new business in partnership with Rosemont Nursery School on Danforth St.
  • Rosanne Graef reminded everyone of activities available for free at the Reiche Community Room.
  • Steve Scharf reported on City meetings he has attended:
    • The School Board released a $107 m. budget for next year and announced there will be a school bond for $67m.
    • Dates for meetings to discuss Portland’s draft Comprehensive Plan will be posted on
    • At the Economic Development Committee plans were discussed for the City to sell unused land (there is none in the West End).

Member reports and announcements

  • Gwynne Williams announced that the WENA plot at Clark St Garden will grow beans for the Locker Project this summer.
  • Christine McHale wanted to note that prostitution on Walker St. has diminished significantly since the recent police sting operation.

The meeting adjourned at 8:05 PM.

Submitted by Pamela Shaw,