Portland, OR

Wednesday in Portland: Emergency sewer repair slows NE Portland traffic starting tomorrow and more

Emily Scarvie

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By Emily Scarvie

(PORTLAND, Ore.) Hello Portlanders! It's Wednesday, Aug. 3 - Here's your daily round up of all the news happening in the City of Roses.

1. Emergency sewer pipe repair will slow traffic starting Thursday

Starting Thursday morning, the urgent repair of a 110-year-old sewer pipe will slow traffic in northeast Portland near the intersection of 3rd Avenue and Knott Street. Crews with Portland’s Environmental Services will be working from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and on some Saturdays.

The project, which could last through mid-September, will install a new maintenance hole and repair an existing sink hole. Traffic will be detoured to Northeast 15th Avenue. The area just south of the intersection will be closed during the project. Drivers should expect delays and street closures. For more details, visit portland.gov/bes.

2. Squatters take over home for sale in SE Portland, refuse to leave

After a group of strangers moved in and refused to leave, the owner of a home in southeast Portland says he’s unable to sell his property. It all started back in January when the homeowner went out of town, leaving the house unoccupied.

“Some guys, they just basically walked into the property, took it over,” Nathan Jones, a realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, who’s currently overseeing the listing, said.

The home is listed at $330,000, but Jones said that’s negotiable, as they’re looking for someone who can afford to evict those currently living there. “Costs money, to get an attorney, file all these papers and it’s like 90 days’ minimum,” he said.

The homeowner claims when he asked the occupants to leave earlier this year, they beat him up, sending him to the hospital. He hasn’t been back since the incident, but continues to pay $1,500 a month for his mortgage. He’s called police and the city to help evict the squatters, but hasn’t received any help.

Jones said people shouldn’t leave their homes unoccupied, regardless of if they have security in place. He said incidents like this are becoming more and more common

3. Commissioner Mingus Mapps discusses Portland's City Charter proposal

Portland Commissioner Mingus Mapps is against several aspects of the proposal to reform Portland’s City Charter, but is working to ensure that the issue makes the ballot regardless of if the proposal is thrown out in court. He detailed the pieces of the proposal that he supports in an email to supporters last week.

Mapps said he agrees with expanding the city council and creating city council districts. He also supports a city manager overseeing daily operations, instead of elected representatives overseeing bureaus. He noted that he could be convinced when it comes to multi-member districts or ranked-choice voting, but opposes the current combination on the proposal.

“I think what Oregonians really deserve is the opportunity to vote on each of these ideas on their own merits,” Mapps told KOIN.

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