Pamplin Media Group – Preservation committee meets again after racist hiatus
New temporary rules allow meeting administrator to approve comments during conference call or video sessions
Members of the State Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation will once again attempt to discuss the nomination of several state buildings and sites to the National Register of Historic Places.
The nine-member committee meets at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, November 30 and again at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, December 1 during a conference call to complete work on the nominations that were interrupted in mid-October by someone who posted racist and homophobic comments on an online video conference. The October 21 incident derailed two days of meetings scheduled to discuss local historic sites and properties.
An Oregon State Police investigation into the incident has been closed after failing to find evidence of a crime.
As with any public meeting, everyone will be allowed to listen to or watch the proceedings on video. As a precaution, the State Parks and Recreation Commission on Nov. 17 approved a temporary change to state rules requiring people to submit their comments to the meeting administrator, who will either approve or reject them. . Comments should relate to the proposed nominations.
Instructions on how to participate will be posted on the committee’s web page prior to the meeting. Registration is required to speak at the meeting. To register, go to www.oregon.gov/oprd/OH/Pages/Commissions.aspx#SACHP.
Chris Havel, spokesperson for the Department of Parks and Recreation, said the temporary rules in place for 180 days were developed to “protect the health and safety of our committee members.”
“This will allow us to intercept a repeat of the October 21 incident without exposing anyone else to attack,” Havel said.
The Oct.21 incident came as someone watching the session started writing racist slurs about an hour after the first day of a two-day virtual session. Committee members had begun a discussion about a possible nomination from several Portland-area sites associated with local African-American history, when the person, who has not been identified, began writing what the committee said. described as “racist and hateful insults”. The individual also posted the home addresses of committee members online.
Havel said it was the first time that virtual committee meetings had been interrupted by an intruder, and the first time the committee had to postpone or cancel a session due to outside interference. The person who wrote the posts used an online alias, Havel said.
During the November 30 and December 1 meetings, committee members will review three multiple ownership document proposals: Donald J. Stewart’s architecture in Washington and Oregon; the historic residential resources of Redmond, Oregon; and PWA and WPA Oregon New Deal Resources, 1933-1943.
Members will also discuss a possible nomination from several properties associated with African American history in Portland: Mt. Olivet Baptist Church, Dean’s Beauty Salon and Barber Shop and the Golden West Hotel.
A possible nomination of Portland’s South Park Blocks to the National Register is also on the agenda.
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