Meeting Minutes – Sep. 13, 2017

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Minutes of the West End Neighborhood Association (WENA) Meeting

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Reiche Community Room


Board members present:  Leana Good-Simpson, Rosanne Graef, Cassie Graham, Ian Jacob, Liz Parsons, Steven Scharf, Pamela Shaw, Clifford Tremblay

Board members absent: none

Others present: Joey Brunelle, Jon Call, Suzanne Hunt, Ana Lagunez, Jodie Lapchick, Lin Parsons, Christine McHale, Steve Mortimer, Penny Rich, Alice Ruvane, Kim Sutton, Spencer Thibodeau,  Brit Vitalius, Barbara Wood, Tony Zeli, Mary Zwolinski

The meeting was called to order at 6:35 PM and self-introductions followed.

Secretary’s report

Minutes from the June 14 meeting were approved.

Treasurer’s report

The Treasurer reported that the total in the Checking account was $2996.64, with $334.23 available in the general funds account, $145 in the WECANAIP Account, $30 in petty cash;  $2073.21 in the Swim for Life account, and 444.20 in the Harbor View Edible Hillside account.


Community policing

Neither Dave Argitis nor Sarah Colson was present for the Police report.

  • Christine McHale reported that the prostitution problem on Walker St. was being addressed in a new way as neighbors have met with City of Portland representatives of the Crime Reduction Unit (CRU).  The neighbors were given a number to call to receive a rapid response whenever they witnessed prostitution activity.  Christine observed that this tactic seems to be bringing some success to this long-standing issue.
  • Alice Ruvane asked about what constitutes an appropriate response to witnessing drug deals in front of her house. There was general agreement to photograph such incidents if possible and to do so without being seen.
  • Penny Rich noted that Cumberland Farms has placed a fence around their storage shed, reducing drug activity in that area.   
  • Assistant DA Jennifer Ackerman, who met with WENA members earlier this year, will be running for District Attorney.
  • Liz Parsons announced that neighbors on Winter St are working with the City Arborist, the Neighborhood Prosecutor, and representatives of Mercy Hospital on a street beautification effort.
  • The Neighborhood Prosecutor has advised photographing graffiti tags and sending the picture(s) directly to him rather than posting on Next Door or “See.Click.Fix.” Instances of graffiti (without photos) can and should be reported via “See.Click.Fix.” Learningworks’ Graffiti Busters program will remove the tags at no charge.


Invited Speakers

  • Rosanne Graef described activities available at Reiche, including free activities:
      • Book Nook (M-TH 8-10 AM),
      • Exercise videos
        • M 8:30 AM Strength/Weights,
        • W 8:30 AM Yoga,
        • TH 8:30 AM  Strength & Balance,
      • And at Congress Square:
        • Games and Fun
        • TH 9-11AM Knitting scarves for Chase the Chill,
    • Also Rec Dept Activities for a fee
      • Tu 8:45AM Tai Chi Cheh
      • Tu 6:00 PM Yoga
      • Aquarobics at the Reiche Pool Th 8 AM
    • And through Portland Adult Ed, Tu & Thu 6:00 PM Writing
  • Holly Lord reported on developments from West End Aging in Place (WECANAIP) and Portland Area Villages (PAV).  She also described the First Monday information talks each month, and the Movie nights on the 3rd Monday at 7:00 PM.
  • Mary Zwolinski introduced Wayside Food Programs, which offer community meals and food rescue efforts, including
    • A Monday night meal for students and families at Reiche
    • A mobile food Pantry at Harbor Terrace, and
    • CFSP, Commodities for Seniors Program, supported by USDA
  • Jon Call, the Portland Recreation Dept representative now stationed at Reiche Community Room, introduced himself. He will be helping with programs and scheduling rooms. Space is available to rent  @ $25 when staff is on-site.


  • Ian Jacob requested that a bike rack be placed at the entrance to the Community Center on Clark St, and the Center be listed with a Clark St. address to reduce confusion for visitors.
  • Liz  Parsons asked members to let her know if they are interested in joining the nominating committee for new WENA board members.
  • Anna Lagunez from Fair Rent Portland spoke in favor of the rent resolution that is scheduled to appear on the November ballot.
  • Brit Vitalius, representing Southern Maine Landlords Association, spoke against the resolution.
  • Ian Jacob described the complete City Mapping Project sponsored by the Portland Society of Architecture.
  • Pamela Shaw gave updates on the Edible Hillside and Harbor View Park, and announced a Work Day on Saturday October 7.
  • Rosanne Graef announced opportunities to volunteer in the Window Dressers Build Oct. 15-25 at Maine Irish Heritage Center.
  • Ian Jacob announced a Candidates Forum will be held on Wed. Oct. 18 from 6:30-8 PM. Candidates for the for the At Large Council Seat, Joey Brunelle, Bree LaCaisse, and Jill Duson will be present.
  • Steven Scharf reported that
  • The City Council passed proposed amendments to the zoning code affecting affordable housing, and the Western Waterfront.
  • The School Board received an extra $2.7 million from the State, of which $1.7 million is already designated, and $1 million may go to a reserve fund.
  • Councillor Thibodeau talked about developments on affordable housing, the pesticide ordinance, an Economic Development meeting regarding TIFF proposals, and Maine Medical Center.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:05 pm.