Neighbors invited to meeting over NE Alberta's Last Thursday

Neighbors invited to meeting over NE Alberta's Last Thursday

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by KATHERINE COOK and KGW.com Staff

Bio | Email | Follow: @KCookKGW

kgw.com

Posted on January 29, 2010 at 8:09 PM

Updated Monday, Feb 8 at 1:25 PM

PORTLAND -- Portland city leaders were set to take input from neighbors Monday night about the fate of the Last Thursday art events on Northeast Alberta.

Mayor Sam Adams and Commissioner Amanda Fritz will take testimony from neighbors, business owners activists, vendors, performers, and anyone else who wants to speak out.

Three options were to continue the event as is, make "significant (unspecified) changes"
or end the event altogether.

The city spends an estimated $10,000 a month to shut down a stretch of the street, rerouting traffic through adjacent neighborhood streets.

Last Thursday started as a simple art walk but has grown into a heavily attended street fair and flea market.

"We need to have a public discussion about 'is this subsidy something that everyone supports," Fritz said.

Gallery owner Donna Guardino helped start the event in 1997.

"It's good and it's bad," she said, "It's a circus, I love circuses but I think it's great on some levels, on other levels it gets a little crazy."

Neighbor Barbara Boose complained about litter. "There are some people though who just let out trash through the cars," she said.

In 2007, police had to break up a mob, then a fight, prompting Fritz to wonder "do we want to make some modification in some way"?

Footwear store owner Stacey Matney hopes for a compromise. She displays the work of local artists in her store. "Here we're trying to bring in good artists," she said, "and bring back more of a sense of art we saw a few years back."

The meeting is at the Acadian Ballroom on 1829 NE Alberta from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.

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