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VOL 47/23 WWEEK.COM 04.07.2021 VOL 47/20 03.17.2021

GO: Mark Frohnmayer speaks at a virtual TechfestNW on May 21. Tickets are $25 at techfestnw.com.


 Mark Frohnmayer built a three-wheeled rocket trike. Why is it worth a billion dollars? By Anthony Effinger Page 11

Stopping the Gunfire. P. 8

Talking Top Chef. P. 30

Sprung on Gummies. P. 33


STOP THREATENING ACCESS TO INNOVATIVE TREATMENTS & VACCINES Government price setting means politicians can arbitrarily decide that some patients and diseases are worth more than others—potentially discriminating against seniors, those with a disability and the chronically ill. Politicians could put government in the way of personal health decisions that should be made by patients and their doctors. Medicines could be subject to a political process and priorities that change with elections. Investments in life saving research, patient access to medicines and future innovation could be at risk. Tell Oregon politicians:

Stop threatening access to innovative treatments & vaccines.


Learn more at: www.ProtectOregonCures.com 2 Willamette Willamette Week xAPRIL 7, 2021 wweek.com Week_9.639" 12.25"_PhRMA_OR_Innovation.indd 1

3/25/21 2:59 PM



WHAT WE LEARNED FROM READING THIS WEEK’S PAPER VOL. 47, ISSUE 23 Soon, 75 cents of every dollar you spend on weed will go to the government. 6

Jusuf Nurkic is getting sued for allegedly dumping trash on his neighbor’s property. 21

Less than half the students at Peninsula Elementary are returning to the classroom this spring. 6

A Portland dad will try to fool Penn and Teller on national TV this week. 27

Portland could eclipse a 25-year homicide record by August. 8 People with grudges are broadcasting shootings on Snapchat. 9 Oregon is one of three states forced to change its vaccination timeline by President Joe Biden. 10 Elon Musk crashed an Arcimoto prototype. 12

The Villages in Florida has 60,000 golf carts. 13 Dave Frohnmayer lost his bid for governor because he wouldn’t cave to the demands of conservative Christians. 15

There’s a drive-in drag show starring Darcelle in Portland this week. 28 The contestants on Top Chef Portland were given a curfew during last summer’s Black Lives Matter protests. 30 Expatriate’s cocktails to go feature an homage to Budweiser on their labels. 31 Mixing feral sex-freak rockabilly with rap beats felt so much more intuitive 25 years ago than it does now. 32



Mark Frohnmayer and Oregon’s billion-dollar electric tricycle, photo by Wesley Lapointe.

The Oregon brothers charged with storming the U.S. Capitol were raised as Baptist missionaries.


Mark Zusman


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DIALOGUE Last week, WW published a profile of Christina Malone, a competitive powerlifter who holds the state record for heaviest squat by a woman (“She’s an Elite Athlete,” March 31, 2021). Malone is currently training to compete again in the fall, with hopes of breaking her own record with a 500-pound squat. Despite her athleticism, Malone has faced for most of her life harassment from strangers who tell her that the size of her body means she’s unhealthy. Over the past year, health officials designating weight as a COVID-19 risk factor have further emboldened fat-phobic comments, both online and in person. Here’s what our readers had to say: QuestionMark, via wweek.com: “That some stranger believes their opinion about her health is in some way needed is my definition of obscenely offensive.” Julie Brown, via Facebook: “It’s so unfortunate! I have been a bit of a gym rat over my adulthood and I’ve had several women express this huge concern for me that I’m going to get too big, hurt, blah, blah! Even though all I do is light weights. Keep on working it, Christina, any health care person will say training is good!” Traycy LaRae Moore-Tong, via Facebook: “I get this all the time too! People need to mind their own GD business!”

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Alex P. Sena, via Facebook: “She deserves all the praise and glory, not just for being a powerhouse! People doubt my strength because I am 78, until they see the amount of weight and reps that go up and down! These muscles did not appear outta nowhere, nor did they get developed by chewing on prune pits, brothers and sisters!” Hmck, via wweek.com: “The comments on this page certainly verify the story. It is amazing how many anti-fat comments show up on a story relating

Dr. Know

how those comments had hurt the person in the story. What she weighs is really none of your fucking business.” PDXBill, via wweek.com: “Body shaming is as hateful as racism. Why is this type of demeaning vitriol still socially acceptable?” Mutie, via wweek.com: “Her health is no one’s business but her own. Ditto the condition of her body and every other darned choice she makes for her own self. “That does not mean being overweight is healthy. It also does not mean all athletes are healthy. I think it would be better to separate her personal, individual choices and body from the larger health issue. Otherwise, the message is, ‘We can’t discuss obesity because there are successful people who are obese.’ “We can respect her integrity and deal with the costs of obesity at the same time.” @Nigel_ITBassest, via Twitter: “Biology is not as simple as true or false. While a person with more weight might be at a higher risk for certain illnesses, that is not necessarily true. I don’t know about this girl, but the fact that she’s doing so much weightlifting tells me that she’s pretty active.” Claire Tolmie, via Facebook: “Other people’s bodies aren’t your business. Period.” Neil Dalby, via Facebook: “Back in the 16th century, there was a samurai named Kenshin Uesugi, he was a hefty dude, he’s attributed with a particular quote about athleticism and aesthetics. Roughly, ‘don’t focus on appearing to be in shape, simply be in shape.’” LETTERS TO THE EDITOR must include the author's street address and phone number for verification. Letters must be 250 or fewer words. Submit to: 2220 NW Quimby St., Portland, OR 97210. Email: mzusman@wweek.com

BY MART Y SMITH @martysmithxxx

The best thing for society is for me to take the first vaccine I’m offered. But selfishly speaking, wouldn’t I personally be a lot better off with the 95% effective Pfizer or Moderna vaccine than the 65% effective Johnson & Johnson shot? Or am I just a jerk? —Vaccine Varlet This is why we should never share actual clinical trial results with the public. Just today I saw an email claiming that deaths among the unvaccinated group proved that the placebo was killing people, in a sort of Möbius strip of ignorance that I can only describe as almost elegantly stupid. In any case, don’t worry too much. As the immortal Jeff Lebowski didn’t quite say: You’re not an asshole, Varlet, you’re just wrong. Before I get into the reasons that the percentages you cite aren’t what they appear to be, let me cite a more important one: 100%, as in “all three of the vaccines you mention were 100% effective at preventing death or hospitalization due to COVID.” After that, frankly, the rest is details. In any case, the reason those percentages aren’t comparable is because the experiments were done at different times, in different geographical areas, on different people.

Your precious Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were tested in the U.S. during the late summer and fall, when COVID cases were at a low ebb—so low that not only did no one in Pfizer’s vaccinated group die of COVID, nobody in its placebo group did either. The Johnson & Johnson shot, meanwhile, was in the field during the winter spike in cases. Its study also included Brazil and South Africa—each home to a new COVID variant—as well as the U.S., and there were a quite respectable five COVID deaths in the placebo group (and none in the vaccinated group, as above). In fact, if I was a flack for Johnson & Johnson who drank too much on Twitter, I could plausibly boast that my company’s shot was the only one battle-tested against the so-called South Africa variant. I might also point that one shot is a lot easier than two, and I might ask, rhetorically, what kind of lame vaccine can’t even be stored in a normal refrigerator? Then I could move on to emasculating insinuations about the other vaccines’ low placebo-group body count. Then I’d probably get fired. Anyway, the point is, all vaccines are beautiful in their own way. (Except maybe Astra Zeneca.) QUESTIONS? Send them to dr.know@wweek.com.


Willamette Week APRIL 7, 2021 wweek.com





JAIL INMATES SUE COUNTY FOLLOWING OUTBREAK: Fifteen current and former detainees of the Multnomah County Inverness Jail, all of whom say they’ve tested positive for COVID-19, filed a class action lawsuit in U.S. District Court on April 5, accusing jail staff and Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese of negligence for failing to mitigate spread of the virus. The lawsuit follows an outbreak that led to nearly 200 positive cases among Inverness Jail inmates, and about 30 staffers or members of their households. “The reason for the outbreak is not a mystery,” the complaint says. “Defendants’ failure to require, or enforce, social distancing, [personal protective equipment], increased testing, or other precautions in jails and jails known to slow the spread of COVID-19 placed plaintiffs at imminent risk of contracting COVID-19.” The complaint alleges jail staff failed to require proper social distancing or conduct basic screenings for viral symptoms, and also required adults in custody to “continue to work or commingle” with others while awaiting test results. “The sheriff’s office does not comment on pending litigation,” said spokesman Chris Liedle. “However, since the onset of the pandemic, [the sheriff’s office] has worked side-byside with corrections and public health officials to keep adults in custody safe and healthy, and has constantly adapted its response and updated its COVID-19 policies based on the best information available at the time.” STATE SUGGESTS BURYING TOXIC SOIL ON BEACH: Environmental advocates and North Portlanders are livid at a decision by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality to clean up a contaminated beach on the Willamette River by burying most of the hazardous waste onsite and fencing off portions of the area. WW examined the controversy over Willamette Cove last year (“Buried Treasure,” Dec. 9, 2020). On March 31, DEQ issued its final cleanup plan—and mostly ignored pleas from advocates to haul the toxic waste away. “They’re not protecting Portlanders,” says Michael Pouncil, who lives nearby and chairs the Portland Harbor Community Advisory Group. “They’re not paying attention to the science of climate change. We’re concerned about the risks of leaving this contamination onsite and having another 1996 flood, and then the whole area is contaminated again.” The decision now rests with regional

government Metro, which owns the 27-acre property. Nick Christensen, a Metro spokesman, says the agency is weighing its options. “We’re in the process of gathering more information about moving more contaminated material offsite,” he says. FORMER POLICE UNION PRESIDENT RESIGNS FROM RETIREMENT BOARD: Former Portland Police Association president Brian Hunzeker resigned April 2 from his role on the board of trustees for the city’s Fire & Police Disability & Retirement office, a position he has held since 2016. “I hereby resign my trustee position with the FPD&R board,” Hunzeker wrote in an email to Mayor Ted Wheeler, first reported by The Oregonian. “I have appreciated the opportunity to serve.” As WW reported last week, Wheeler demanded Hunzeker resign from the board immediately following his March 16 resignation from the role of PPA president due to a “serious, isolated mistake related to the [Portland] Police Bureau’s investigation into the alleged hit-andrun by Commissioner [Jo Ann] Hardesty.” Sam Hutchison, director of FPD&R, confirmed to WW on April 5 that Hunzeker had submitted his resignation. “We will start the election process for his replacement as soon as possible,” Hutchison said. Hunzeker’s role in the leaking of false and damaging information about Hardesty is still unclear. The city has begun three investigations into the leak, with a fourth broader, cultural review of the Police Bureau in the works.


WIEDEN+KENNEDY EMPLOYEES THREATENED BY DATA BREACH: Among its many unpleasant qualities, 2020 was a banner year for data breaches. More than 90 companies reported to the Oregon Department of Justice that customers’ personal information was exposed last year by computer security breaches. (That’s an 8% increase from 2019.) Among the possible victims: employees of Portland advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy. WW has learned Wieden+Kennedy informed staffers over the last month that their personal information may have been compromised by a ransomware attack last November. The attack was on servers external to the ad agency, which directed WW to its accountant for comment. State records show that accounting firm Perkins & Co reported the breach to state officials on March 11.

Willamette Week APRIL 7, 2021 wweek.com






Cashing Out the Bowl An economist warns that Oregon could soon tax its weed shops out of business. BY S OPHI E P E E L


Heidi Fikstad, co-owner of Eugene cannabis dispensary Moss Crossing, is getting double vision from keeping watch for new taxes on her business. Tax hikes loom on the horizon from both Washington, D.C., and Salem. By the end of the month, Congress could increase the federal corporate income tax rate from 21% to 28%. And the Oregon Legislature could refer to voters a proposal to allow cities and counties to increase the local tax on cannabis products up from 3% to 10%, in addition to the state’s 17% cannabis tax. The effect on Moss Crossing? Its tax burden would increase from 61% to 75%. That’s not a typo: 75 cents of every dollar Fikstad makes selling weed would go to the taxman. “For a lot of businesses, this would be the straw that breaks the camel’s back,” Fikstad says. “We are exhausted already. To continue to pile on these excess taxes, it’s almost insulting. We’ve been struggling so hard to make it work, and businesses staying inside the regulatory lines are the ones most affected.” Every business owner hates taxes. But cannabis shopkeepers have more reason than most to complain. Because marijuana is still federally illegal, weed retailers can’t use any of the common tax deductions other businesses claim, which lower the total dollar amount a company must pay taxes on. Those deductions typically include wages, legal services, health care plans, advertising costs and security services. Fikstad doesn’t get deductions for rent, labor or the health insurance she provides for 17 employees. Portland cannabis economist Beau Whitney has been compiling an analysis of impending tax hikes, which he shared with WW. He says the one-two punch could be a recipe for disaster, and one the cannabis industry likely

No Write-Offs Economist Beau Whitney compared deductions a normal retail business qualifies for to deductions cannabis retailers are denied, based on a portion of the federal tax code, 280e, introduced in the 1980s to quell illegal business activity. The chart assumes the federal income tax rate rises to 28%, as President Joe Biden proposes. Any local cannabis taxes allowed by the Oregon Legislature would only add to the tax burden shown here. Source: Whitney Economics


Willamette Week APRIL 7, 2021 wweek.com

can’t handle. “The effective tax rate for cannabis retailers swells to greater than 70%,” Whitney’s report predicts, “potentially crippling the ability to operate small, women or BIPOC cannabis businesses.” Whitney says give it five or 10 years. By then, Oregon’s cannabis landscape could transform into an oligopoly— where a few dominant chains swallow up local businesses and dominate the weed retail industry. “If they’re forced into consolidation, you’re going to have large corporate entities that can absorb the costs,” Whitney says. “The large corporations will buy up the small business at a discount and drive small businesses out of the industry.” Ironically, Whitney predicts that allowing city and county taxes on cannabis sales will cut into the state’s coffers—because customers will stop shopping. Cannabis consumers are “extremely savvy,” Whitney says, despite misconceptions that they’ll absorb any price to get high. They may turn to the illicit market for cheaper prices if the tax proposals go through. “When you have a 7% tax increase, you’re going to have lower revenue,” Whitney says. Whitney projects a $24 million decrease in tax revenue if the local tax hike is approved, because demand will diminish by an estimated 14%. In essence, he says, lawmakers are killing their golden goose. “You’ve got this essential business that’s adding jobs and providing tax revenue. And then you’ve got this punitive tax that’s destroying businesses. It seems contradictory, with Gov. Brown and Biden and Pelosi saying they support small businesses, and then their tax policy is destroying the very communities that they’re professing their support for,” Whitney tells WW. “At some point, you just have to say this doesn’t make sense.”

280 Example of Impact on Retail Normal Business

280e Business


$2,400,000 Based on national average

Cost of Goods Sold (GOGS +50%)



Ordinary and Necessary Expenses (30%)


$720,000 Not allowed under 280e

Real Pre-Tax Profit w/o 280e



Taxable Profit



Fed Tax @28%


Net Annual Profit (Before State Tax and Debt Service)

28.0% $345,600

Big difference in taxable rates

$336,000 Retailers pay 150% more Effective tax rates higher 70.0% than any country’s corporate tax rate in the world


Lopsided Return Parents in wealthy, white neighborhoods are more enthused to send their kids back to school. Schools in Portland’s wealthier neighborhoods reported the highest interest in returning to classrooms for in-person instruction. Last month, Portland Public Schools surveyed all parents in the district to gauge who would send their children back into school buildings. (The return to elementary schools began last week.) As of March 22, survey results obtained by WW show an uneven enthusiasm. The eight schools where three-quarters of parents reported they had interest in their kids returning serve less than 50 Black students—combined. At Forest Park Elementary, nestled in Portland’s Northwest Hills, 80% of students are expected to return. The five schools where less than half of parents reported interest in their kids returning represent the opposite end of the socioeconomic spectrum. They’re schools that have diverse communities with a relatively high level of poverty. At Peninsula Elementary, in North Portland, 36% percent of families reported interest in returning—less than half the rate of Forest Park. Portland Public Schools maintains reopening is about helping the most at-risk kids. “We’ve said that a healthy majority of our families, including our families of color, are ready to return for hybrid,” says spokeswoman Karen Werstein. But the uneven interest in Portland mirrors national trends. Across the country, Black and Latinx families have been more reluctant to return to schools after their communities have been hardest hit by COVID-19. RACHEL MONAHAN.

Percentage of students that returned for in-person hybrid instruction


Retail Yearly Revenue (Based on National Average)

Effective Tax Rate


A difference of $201,600 per year

Schools above 75%

Schools Below 50%

Forest Park Alameda Laurelhurst Ainsworth Duniway Lewis Hayhurst Beverly Cleary

Rosa Parks Vestal César Chávez Vernon Peninsula

80.0% 78.4% 76.2% 75.9% 75.5% 75.5% 75.2% 75.1%

49.8% 48% 44.3% 42.9% 36%


WHO’S STEERING?: Lawmakers are wresting control of police discipline from the cops’ union.

Senate Bill 621 CHIEF SPONSOR: Sen. Lew Frederick (D-Portland) WHAT IT WOULD DO: Senate Bill 621 amends state law regarding labor negotiations with public employee unions so that voter-approved police oversight boards could operate in “full force and effect” without being subject to mandatory collective bargaining. THE PROBLEM IT SOLVES: SB 621 is inextricably linked to Measure 26-217, which Portland voters passed in November by a 4-to-1 margin. The measure, championed by Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, enshrined in the city charter a police oversight board that has the authority to investigate officers, compel officer testimony and other witness statements, subpoena documents, and take final disciplinary action against cops—including firing them. But current state law says the discipline process for public employees must be decided via collective bargaining. Without SB 621, Portland’s oversight board would most likely go to the bargaining table, where City Hall would face off against the Portland Police Association. From there, the oversight board could go to arbitration, where the board’s survival would be tenuous. “Other cities are watching this very closely,” Frederick said on the Senate floor April 5. “The deaths [and] broken bones created when excessive force is used will not be dismissed as collateral damage, the expected cost of some war in the neighborhoods of our Oregon.” WHO SUPPORTS IT: The American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon; the Rev. Dr. LeRoy Haynes, chairman of the Albina Ministerial Alliance Coalition for Justice and Police Reform; and Oregon’s chapter of Service Employees International Union, to name a few. Supporters say Senate Bill 621 is vital to the success of Portland’s oversight board. Darren Golden, a campaign manager for Measure 26-217 now lobbying for SB 621 on behalf of the Real Police Accountability PAC, says state laws pertaining to public employees have been an “unforeseen barrier” to establishing the police oversight board. “As we began having discussions with legislators, they said, ‘OK, we see that you carried out the most democratic process possible,’” Golden says. “Eighty-one percent of the people said, ‘We want this board.’ There should be no reason that a state statute should stand in the way of this board being implemented.” Golden points out that the bill applies only to disciplinary boards that oversee law enforcement. It does not affect collective bargaining laws for other public employees like teachers or transportation workers.

WHO OPPOSES IT: Seven senators voted no April 5: five Republicans, plus Sens. Brian Boquist (I-Dallas) and Betsy Johnson (D-Scappoose). The bill has also drawn opposition from the Portland Police Association and, by extension, the state’s law enforcement lobbying arm, the Oregon Coalition of Police & Sheriffs, better known as ORCOPS. ORCOPS lobbyist Michael Selvaggio testified during a March 9 hearing for SB 621 that the city misled voters when campaigning for Measure 26-217 because it promised to comply with all legal obligations set forth in the Public Employee Collective Bargaining Act when enacting the board. Selvaggio said ORCOPS polled 309 voters and determined that Measure 26-217 would have lost by a margin of 58.5% to 41.5% if voters had known the city would later seek to amend collective bargaining laws. “Passing Senate Bill 621 would be a terribly dangerous precedent to set,” Selvaggio said. “Indeed, every local government would now feel compelled to come to the Legislature to change the rules to tilt the scales entirely in management’s favor at the local bargaining tables.” Ongoing labor negotiations between the city and its police union, which resume April 7, raised some concern among lawmakers. “I have to tell you, I’ve had some real, long, difficult thoughts about this bill. I believe that we have to hold police officers accountable, and we need review boards,” Sen. Chris Gorsek (D-Troutdale) said Monday before voting yes. “But I don’t like it when cities and counties bring things to the Legislature to circumvent what’s going on at the local level.” Sen. Bill Hansell (R-Athena), one of four Republicans to vote yes, also expressed hesitancy prior to the vote. “I’m a little bit torn here because, on the one hand, I want to hold police accountable,” Hansell said, “but, on the other hand, I don’t want it to be a witch hunt against police as well.” WHAT HAPPENS NEXT: The bill passed the Senate on April 5 by a 20-7 vote, mostly along party lines. SB 621 awaits its first reading in the House. Frederick noted to his colleagues that SB 621 is one of several police reform bills before the Legislature this session. “You may hear that these bills are not needed, that the police will or already have effectively policed the police,” he said. “Any comments to that effect clearly try to ignore the videos, reports and basic evidence in the most recent past and, more importantly, decades of promises.” TESS RISKI.

HEY, PORTLANDAREA NONPROFITS! It’s time to apply for WW’s Give!Guide!

What’s the Give!Guide? It’s our year-end grassroots fundraising campaign that’s raised more than $40 million since 2004.

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The Peacemaker

Roy Moore calms wounded people before they seek revenge. Portland City Hall is betting his work can curb a wave of shootings.


OPEN ALL NIGHT: Roy Moore keeps a phone by his bed so Legacy Emanuel Medical Center can contact him if shooting victims arrive overnight. “It’s hard to unplug,” he says.



On a gray afternoon last September, a road flagger working a paving job outside Portland Meadows racetrack was shot in the back. The shooter hopped out of a car, fired, then jumped back in and sped off. The wounded man was a former gang member. Rumors on social media said the shooting was being celebrated by a rival crew. By 5:30 pm, 25 of the flagger’s family and friends were waiting for news outside the emergency room of Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in North Portland. That’s when Roy Moore showed up. He was sent by City Hall as an emissary to the two dozen grief-stricken and furious people gathered in the hospital parking lot. They couldn’t go inside—COVID. They didn’t know if the victim would live. People in the crowd began saying they’d settle the score. Moore’s job? Talk them out of it. “People are crying. People are yelling,” Moore recalls. “People are saying, ‘I’m going to do this. I’m going to do that.’ I was thinking, this could very much end badly.” Moore, 40, is a contractor on call 24/7 for the Portland Office of Violence Prevention. That office has operated in City Hall for 14 years. Working with an annual budget of $1.9 million—tiny by government standards—it is supposed to stop Portlanders from shooting each other. Its central tactic? Contracting a squad of outreach workers whose words might sway despondent young men from pulling the trigger in street feuds. Moore qualifies: A lifelong Black Portlander and a former gang member, he himself was shot in Las Vegas in 2005. “So I’m what you’d consider a credible messenger,” he says. Everything Moore did over the next six hours on Sept. 22 was a campaign to stop one shooting from turning into several. Six months later, elected officials see him and his colleagues as their best hope of slowing a vicious shooting war without turning to Portland’s most politically toxic solution: more cops. Portland has never seen people killed by bullets at this rate. The city had 18 shooting deaths in the year’s first dozen weeks. Fifty-five Portlanders were killed by homicide last year, the highest number in a quarter century. At this pace, Portland will eclipse that record by August. Nike Greene, a therapist and high school basketball coach, was hired in 2019 to run the Office of Violence 8

Willamette Week APRIL 7, 2021 wweek.com

Prevention. She was soon confronted by a spike in gunfire that tore through many of Portland’s poorest and most diverse neighborhoods. “People lost hope,” she says. “We are a nation that has been grieving loss after loss for a year, with all gas, no brakes and no pause.” City leaders are struggling over what to do. Mayor Ted Wheeler, the police commissioner, wants to revive a police patrol unit dedicated to reducing gun violence. His four colleagues on the City Council refuse to fund it, fearing a return to police racially profiling Black people. That places Moore in a curious spot: His work is the one strategy Portland leaders can agree on. In the past month, both Wheeler and his colleagues have proposed a surge in funding to the Office of Violence Prevention to contract additional workers like Moore. They disagree only on how much to spend. The mayor wants to nearly double the office’s budget, adding another $1.6 million. In response, Commissioners Jo Ann Hardesty, Mingus Mapps, Carmen Rubio and Dan Ryan demand even more: a $3.5 million boost, using money Wheeler would have spent on cops. At a moment when Portland appears to be flailing, besieged by violence and bitterly divided over police, a little-known office sits under everyone’s noses—and only in recent months has it gained the full attention of officials frantic for a solution. A look at the work of that office over the course of one night reveals what has gone wrong in this city, and who is best positioned to fix it. On Sept. 22, Vanessa returned home from delivering lunch to her husband at his flagging job on North Schmeer Road. (WW has changed her name to protect her from possible reprisal.) That’s when a friend called to say her husband had been shot. In a panic, Vanessa drove to Legacy Emanuel. “I was just crying and speeding,” she says. “Trying to get there.” For 45 minutes at the emergency room desk, no one would tell her his condition. That changed with the arrival of Hiag Brown. Brown is a volunteer who works alongside Moore, who runs a program called Healing Hurt People Portland. (Its work is part of a $349,000 grant funded by the Office of Violence Prevention.) He was able to learn what Vanessa couldn’t: Her husband was stable and going into surgery. “You could see the relief,” Brown says. “Her whole body just relaxed—like, ‘OK, now I can breathe.’” Moore arrived at Legacy Emanuel shortly after. His first

instinct was the same: find out the flagger’s condition. “I need to know if he’s going to be OK or not. I do a little prayer for whoever the victim is, because I know: That’s going to determine what the night’s going to look like.” When the victim got out of surgery, about an hour later, Moore was allowed to visit him. They talked about whether the flagger could change his life. About whether he felt safe. If his family needed to move. Then Moore asked the most immediate question of the night: “Do I need to talk to some of your friends to calm them down?” Both Moore and Brown had known the family, and many of the people waiting for news in the parking lot, for years. That’s a central reason the Office of Violence Prevention contracts with them. Many of the shootings that happen in Portland occur in a small social circle of Black Portlanders. In a 2020 analysis that studied four years of shooting data, OVP found that 50.8% of the victims and suspects in Portland shootings are Black men. “ Victims and suspects represent very similar demographics,” the report concludes. “No other group is more victimized by this type of crime than African American adult males.” (In fact, the overlap is so great that on more than one night, Moore has found himself at the hospital with two groups of grieving families—only to realize that the person who shot one victim was in the hospital waiting room, worried about the fate of another victim.) The city’s grants specify that OVP is looking for outreach workers whose presence will resonate with the people most at risk of shooting someone or being shot. No one fits the bill like a former gang member who grew up in the same neighborhoods. On the night of Sept. 22, Moore realized he needed to talk to one person in particular: the flagger’s brother. That wasn’t easy. The man was in no mood to be consoled. Yet he was the person whose choices could defuse others—people would listen to him. So Moore circled back to him, hour after hour, testing his anger with small, probing questions about his family, each designed to “touch on his soft points, bring him back down to humanity.” When he learned his brother would live, the man started listening. That’s when Moore made a plea: Gather up the people thinking about striking back, and let’s huddle. Moore got his audience. He told them: “We don’t need anybody else to end up here tonight. We don’t need anybody to go to jail tonight.

NEWS dedicated to curbing gun violence. But evidence from other cities suggests Moore’s approach is effective. Several U.S. cities, including Baltimore and San Francisco, are trying the same strategy—and early studies show steep reductions in shootings. In Oakland, Calif., a “focused deterrence” program cut gun homicides nearly in half—from 126 to 68—in the five years after the city started it in 2012, according to the California-based Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Brittany Nieto, who studies such programs at Giffords Law Center, says they can work without increased policing. “On the law enforcement side, most of these [police departments] are probably already doing enough,” she says. “You can’t arrest your way out of a gun violence problem. It

just doesn’t work. What these strategies do is to look at why people pick up a gun in the first place.” Six months after the Sept. 22 shooting, the flagger is in physical therapy. And Moore accomplished his goal: No one else was shot that night. No retaliatory shootings are known to have happened in the weeks after. His achievement went mostly unnoticed. The paradox of Moore’s work is that when he succeeds, nothing happens. “They’ll never know the impact that we had, because nobody got shot that night,” Moore says. “There was no retaliation that night. And there was a lot of people who were very, very capable of doing that. They will never know the shift in the temperature of the room. They’ll never know that that’s a win.”


And we know that the police know there’s a high potential for retaliation. You’re on their radar tonight. You guys just need to lie low, give it a couple of days. I don’t want to come back here for one of you guys.” That conversation offered a rare chance to connect during COVID. The pandemic has worsened Portland’s shooting wave in several ways: It robbed people of jobs, money and purpose. But it also eliminated the community gatherings where much of OVP’s street outreach occurs. “COVID took away stability,” Greene says. “COVID took away the power of accountability and presence—to be able to see your uncle and your aunt on the street, and you had to think about what you did.” Filling that vacuum: social media. Much of the grief and rage after a shooting pours onto the internet. Rumors fly. Shooters brag. “People are doing shootings on Snapchat,” Moore says. “Filming it, while they’re on Snapchat.” Much of his work now is monitoring social media, trying to spot grudges in the form of emojis. Isolation placed a greater burden on Moore and Brown. They’re the only two people contracted to respond at a hospital—the rare place where people gather in the wake of gunfire. And they report only to Legacy Emanuel. (The mayor’s funding proposal would expand the program to Oregon Health & Science University.) Moore stayed in the hospital parking lot until 11 pm. He spent much of the next week on the phone, soothing tempers. “I heard so-and-so is really messed up behind this,” he’d say. “He needs to call me, man. I know he’s stupid. I don’t want to have to show up at the hospital for him.” What he didn’t do: solve a crime or make an arrest. The shooter in the Sept. 22 incident is still at large. For some observers, that’s a significant gap in the city’s response. Critics of the plan floated by commissioners— including the mayor—say outreach workers can’t stem Portland’s shooting spike without more police officers

DEATH IN THE PARK: Memorials to Jennifer Garcia and Charlie Borbon-Lopez line Khunamokwst Park in Northeast Portland, where they were slain in a March 1 shooting.

YOUR BACKSTAGE PASS TO THE WWEEK NEWSROOM Available anywhere you get your podcasts

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Vaccine Now The president has compelled Oregon to let everyone sign up for a COVID-19 vaccine in two weeks. Why did we wait? BY R AC H E L M O N A H A N


On April 6, President Joe Biden announced that all American adults would be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine by April 19. “That’s the way to beat this,” Biden said Tuesday, announcing he was advancing his deadline by two weeks. “Get the vaccination when you can.” In most U.S. states, that was a superfluous command. They were already planning to allow all residents ages 16 and up to receive vaccinations on or near that date. But not Oregon. Gov. Kate Brown and health officials had doggedly stuck to their plan to roll out COVID -19 vaccinations gradually to people at risk of severe illness and workers in jobs that have a high risk of exposure. She did not intend to make all adults eligible for a first dose until May 1. Hours after Biden issued his directive, Brown announced she would comply. Her statement did not mention the president. Instead, she again stressed the importance of getting vaccines to Oregon’s most vulnerable people. “We must reach Oregonians where they are, including those who may not have easy access to health care or the ability to take time off from work,” Brown said in her statement. Only two other states were waiting beyond April 19. Last week, Washington declared all residents eligible for a shot starting April 15. That’s the date California already circled on the calendar. And Idaho? It made everyone eligible a week ago. That made Oregon an island of enforced patience. Biden moving up the deadline throws into uncertainty Brown’s carefully orchestrated vaccine queue—one that experts say the governor had arranged to compensate for head-scratching decisions earlier in the rollout. You may have questions. Here are the answers to some queries that might occur to you in the brief time left to wait. Why can’t everyone in Oregon have a COVID-19 shot right now? The simple answer? The state still has a shortage of vaccines. Some math: There are 3.5 million Oregonians over the age of 16, of which 1.3 million have already gotten at least a first dose, according to Oregon Health Authority data. That leaves up to 2.2 million Oregonians competing for COVID-19 vaccine doses, if everyone became eligible right now. This week, OHA says it’s receiving a record number of prime doses: 275,000. See the mismatch? That’s eight Oregonians who might want a vaccine for every one dose available this week. For the next several weeks, the state is expecting far fewer doses—only 150,000 a week—because Johnson & Johnson had a manufacturing problem that will delay doses nationwide. In other words, making everyone eligible for a vaccine isn’t the same thing as giving everyone a vaccine. “If we were just to open it up to everyone, people would still have to wait in line,” says Oregon State University professor Courtney Campbell, a bioethicist. 10

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READY TO MINGLE: This Portlander is eager for the end of social distancing.

Then why were other states opening up eligibility to everybody? Some states have less of a mismatch between supply and demand. Take Idaho, which cited a lack of demand as it failed to vaccinate very many people: Its COVID vaccination rate is eighth lowest in the nation. Other states say they are moving fast because they have plenty of vaccines. California Gov. Gavin Newsom cited “abundance” on March 25 as the reason he was expanding eligibility so quickly—at least before the Johnson & Johnson delays. Washington also cited plenty of vaccines. “Thanks to increasing vaccine supply from the federal government and hard work from our providers across the state to get shots in arms, we are able to expand eligibility sooner than anyone initially thought,” said Washington Secretary of Health Dr. Umair A. Shah in a statement March 31. But those states don’t have enough supply to vaccinate every eligible person, either. In some cases, they might have more doses than Oregon—OHA has complained it is receiving less than its fair share—but not so many that they can match the expected surge of demand once everyone is eligible. In other words, more people aren’t getting a vaccine in California. Instead, different people might be getting it. What was Oregon doing differently? Gov. Brown has cited a commitment to equity as her reason for keeping eligibility comparatively narrow. She says she wants to make sure the communities most impacted by COVID-19 get first access to the vaccines. “Right now, we are focused on ensuring those populations have the opportunity to receive their vaccine before opening up to every Oregonian 16 and up,” Brown spokesman Charles Boyle told WW on March 29. “Oregon’s prioritization schedule is designed to ensure equity in distribution when vaccine supplies are scarce.” Oregon has a mixed track record so far on equitably distributing the vaccine. As of March 29, an analysis by Kaiser Family Foundation showed only a 2 percentage point difference between Black and white Oregonians for vaccinations. That’s the second-smallest racial gap in the country. But the state has a 15-point gap between white and Hispanic Oregonians, which is worse than average for the country, and places Oregon 20th out of the 30 states reporting demographic data. Perhaps that’s because Oregon has been slower to make frontline workers and people with high-risk medical conditions eligible for the shots than other states, just as the state was slower in making older Oregonians eligible. Both Washington and California opened up eligibility to

these groups earlier and have a lower gap between their Hispanic and white vaccination rates. Brown, announcing the shift to April 19, cited her ongoing commitment to equity. “Over the next two weeks, we will dedicate all available resources to ensure Oregon’s frontline workers and people with underlying conditions have access to vaccines–– two groups in which Oregonians from communities of color are predominantly represented.” Who’s right—Biden or Brown? Oregon has fallen behind in its vaccination rate, from 16th in the nation to 32nd. Clearly, speed matters if the goal is to prevent deaths. So there’s a case for going as fast as possible—which means eliminating all barriers. But some critics of the governor’s previous decisions on vaccine eligibility say the groups currently being made eligible are critical to reach. The state had the chance to address some of the unfairness of its previous decisions—like vaccinating teachers early on and giving shots to grocery workers much later, Oregon experts said. Making everyone eligible now would create a crush of demand and squeeze out frontline workers who waited through February and March. “If you open it up right now to everyone, some individuals have greater access in terms of transportation, proximity to vaccine clinics, proximity to information,” says OSU’s Campbell. Allowing that to happen, he adds, would worsen “the misuse of an especially scarce resource in late January and early February.” In other words, Oregon was stuck with its ordering system because it gave short shrift to some vulnerable people earlier in the vaccine rollout. Multiple experts point out that eligibility isn’t the only answer to ensure equity. Some states are reserving vaccines for certain underserved groups even as they open up vaccinations to everyone. And more outreach is required from Oregon public health agencies whose weakness has already been exposed by other parts of the pandemic. “There are so many other factors that come into play,” says Nambi Ndugga, a policy analyst with Kaiser Family Foundation’s Racial Equity and Health Policy Program. “Accessibility, working times, being able to sign up for the vaccination are examples. Addressing these other barriers to equity will impact how equitable the vaccine is.” Even before Biden’s announcement, Brown said she felt an urgency to get shots into arms. “Make no mistake, this is a race between the vaccines and the variants,” she said April 2. “It is a critical moment for us all to double down so we can outrun this next wave.”



Mark Frohnmayer built a threewheeled rocket trike. Why is it worth a billion dollars? CONT. on page 12

IT’S NO GOLF CART: Frohnmayer and his dog, Keira, in an Arcimoto outside his house in Eugene. Willamette Week APRIL 7, 2021 wweek.com


VACCINE DELIVERY: Lane County used an Arcimoto “Deliverator” at COVID-19 vaccination events. BY AN TH O N Y E F F I N G E R


lon Musk didn’t understand what Mark Frohnmayer was building. Frohnmayer is the founder of Arcimoto, a Eugene company that makes lightweight electric vehicles that just might be as revolutionary—for Oregon and the world—as Musk’s Tesla. Strangely enough, they knew each other before either was famous. A decade ago, they car-camped together in the California hills with a mutual friend, Adeo Ressi, CEO of the Founder Institute. Back then, Musk was a mere multimillionaire running a money-losing electric car company, and Frohnmayer was the scion of an Oregon political family who had a few bucks in his pocket and the crazy idea to build two-passenger, three-wheeled, doorless EVs in Eugene, Oregon. “I told him what we were doing,” Frohnmayer recalls, “and he was like, ‘Oh, it sounds like a golf cart.’ And I was like, ‘Well, not exactly.’” Years later, Musk found out what Frohnmayer had built: a slick rig with dual electric motors that goes 75 mph and accelerates like a Tesla. It was 2019 and their friend Ressi had just gotten his Arcimoto delivered to his house in Palo Alto, Calif. Musk jumped in, hit the accelerator, and lurched into a concrete wall. “Elon became the first person to crash a production Arcimoto,” says Frohnmayer, 46. Musk and Frohnmayer both want to save the world from climate catastrophe. Neither knew much about EVs before they began building them. Both men have cult followings and incredulous critics, and both have dodged bankruptcy and ruin many times. Unlike Musk, however, Frohnmayer has never totaled a McLaren supercar (price: $815,000), or downplayed COVID -19 to keep his employees at work during a pandemic, or called anyone an idiot on Twitter. To the contrary, he plays the banjo on calls with shareholders and has an Oregon Country Fair grin that contrasts with Musk’s libertarian smirk.


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But like Musk, whose car company is now worth more than $650 billion, Frohnmayer’s Arcimoto is on a tear. Its stock soared earlier this year, driven by positive reviews, progress on production, and the election of a U.S. president who has vowed to sink billions into EVs. In February, Arcimoto—which sold shares to the public in 2017—became one of the most valuable companies in the state, at $1.25 billion, and Frohnmayer became one of its richest citizens (at least on paper). It’s an amazing valuation for a company that has just 152 employees. Last year’s sales totaled $2.2 million, and the company lost $18.1 million. (By comparison, Portland railcar maker Greenbrier has a stock market valuation of $1.6 billion but has 15,000 jobs and annual revenue of $2.8 billion.) But the stock market is forward-looking. It values tomorrow, not today, and transportation wonks think Arcimoto will own a piece of the future. “Arcimoto has huge potential,” says John MacArthur, a research associate at Portland State University’s Transportation Research and Education Center. “It serves an underappreciated part of the market that could be gigantic.” Maybe so. Or maybe Arcimoto is just the another experimental EV company run by an idealistic polymath with a savior complex. Either way, it’s the most fascinating business and clean-tech story in Oregon at the moment, because Frohnmayer has come closer than anybody to bridging the gulf between our gas-guzzling present and an electric future. Now, can he drive the rest of the way?

Frohnmayer has come closer than anybody to bridging the gulf between our gas-guzzling present and an electric future.


regon has long tried to foster an EV industry, both for the jobs and the climate. Starting in 2011, the state spent more than $3 million on Forth (then called Drive Oregon) to try and seed an industry here. In 2019, Gov. Kate Brown signed legislation setting a goal that at least 90% of new vehicles would have zero emissions by 2035. Despite the help, the industry hasn’t taken off. Tim Miller, a former Intel executive, is one who tried. He founded Green Lite Motors in 2005 to make a threewheeled EV like Arcimoto’s. The company operated until 2014, when Miller just couldn’t raise any more money and had to close. Frohnmayer has gotten further than anyone because he just won’t give up, Miller says. “Mark has a deep sense of mission. That’s what gives him tenacity.” Frohnmayer’s lifestyle suggests he couldn’t care less about money, despite the fact his Arcimoto stock is worth about $100 million. He lives with two roommates in a small bungalow strewn with Buddhist prayer flags in the unglamorous “flats” of Eugene with his dog Keira. He’d like to have a family someday but, for now, “all of my children are made of metal and plastic,” he says. It’s hard to imagine Frohnmayer ever being in a bad mood. He’s tall and fit with short red hair—thinning and going gray—and he’s often smiling. Friends say he is the most earnest person they’ve ever met. “At heart, he’s a hippie—a muscular hippie—but his methods are extremely technocratic,” says Clay Shentrup, who has collaborated with Frohnmayer on a plan to fix America’s voting system (see “Aim for the Stars,” page 15). “He wants us to all be singing kumbaya and in harmony and having a nice unpolluted world that we can all raise our families in.” For fun, Frohnmayer likes to play the board game Risk (at which he admits he’s bent on world domination). “I don’t like to quit generally,” he says. To name his company, Frohnmayer started with A, because it would place him at the top of any list of car companies. “Arc,” he says, is short for archetype, the pattern from which many will be made, and “moto” means drive.

room room What it’s like to drive an Arcimoto. Instead of driving a 3-ton Suburban to the store for a gallon of milk, Frohnmayer wants people to take a two-seat electric FUV. There are countless trips that can be made with his vehicle, Frohnmayer says, including Uber and Lyft rides. Take combustion engines out of all those journeys, and you go a long way toward cutting carbon emissions. Arcimoto’s ideal market might be a place like The Villages, the sprawling senior living community northwest of Orlando, Fla., says Michael Shlisky, an analyst at Colliers Securities. The community has 750 miles of private roads, and the preferred vehicle is the golf cart—an estimated 60,000 of them. Village dwellers have money and might be willing to upgrade from a frumpy cart to a zippy FUV. I went to Eugene one sunny March day for a test drive, starting in the rear seat with company spokesman Jonathan Miller at the handlebars. The Arcimoto uses double seat belts for safety that crisscross your torso. I was glad to have them when Miller hit the gas on the first straightaway and left my spleen back at the stoplight. EVs accelerate at a constant rate, with no pauses for gear shifts. I felt like I was speeding down the highest hill on a roller coaster. We buzzed around Eugene and found a road where I wouldn’t kill anyone. Miller gave me the basics. Twist the right-hand grip to accelerate. A button under your index finger slows the rig by channeling kinetic forward motion back into the battery. There’s a foot brake, too, for more immediate stops. The blinker is a button by your left hand. I strapped into the driver’s seat and inched forward. It was a brisk day, so we had the seat and grip heaters on. I didn’t believe it at first, but those two features really make up for the lack of doors. Miller said driving an Arcimoto is like flying an X-Wing, and he’s not far off. You’re in a cockpit, and it’s way more Top Gun than Ford Taurus. Pretty soon, I was ripping. Electric acceleration means you can beat most any gas-guzzler off the line at a stoplight. I felt like a fleet mammal from the Carboniferous Period running between the legs of dinosaurs. Now all Frohnmayer has to do is sell Americans on evolution. ANTHONY EFFINGER.

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SMOOTH SOUNDS: The Arcimoto factory employs 60 people and is chock-full of high-tech gear, including two robots named Domo and Arigato and a stateof-the-art metal lathe they call Kenny G. Frohnmayer hopes to replicate the factory at locations all over the world after perfecting it in Eugene.

At the Arcimoto plant in Eugene, vehicles roll across the polished concrete floor toward completion, tended by the company’s 60 factory employees. The place looks like a neat and tidy auto body shop, except for some very highend equipment. A 4,000-watt laser cuts steel tubing and plates, and two robotic welders (named Domo and Arigato) weld them together. A state-of-the-art lathe (called Kenny G) and a milling machine (Barry White) carve components. Arcimoto’s main product is the Fun Utility Vehicle—it’s a jab at SUVs, which Frohnmayer hates. Arcimoto also makes the Deliverator, an FUV with a compartment on the back for packages, and the Rapid Responder, for fire departments that would rather not roll a huge truck for every emergency. In January, Arcimoto agreed to pay $10 million for a 185,000-square-foot building, where Frohnmayer says he will churn out 50,000 Arcimotos a year, a rate he hopes to achieve in the next 18 months or so. Through economies of scale, he hopes to cut the price per vehicle to $11,900 from today’s $17,900. But that future is far from assured. As of Dec. 31, Arcimoto had completed just 174 vehicles since production began in late 2019. It had preorders for 4,717, up from 4,197 at the end of 2019, an increase of 12% despite pretty relentless marketing on YouTube and a Tesla-like buzz. Getting car buyers to pay $17,900 for an FUV when they already have an SUV in the driveway could be a tough sell. And the FUV is an odd duck. Technically, it’s a three-wheeled motorcycle, but it has a crash-rated steel frame fitted with a clear, fighter jetstyle canopy. (For a test drive, see “Vroom Vroom,” page 13.) It has no doors, because those are heavy, costly and hard to build, but it has heated seats and heated handlebar grips. Frohnmayer’s mother drives hers year-round in Eugene. Now, Arcimoto must spend millions to ramp up production. Building lots of vehicles at a reasonable price is hard. Tesla, founded in 2003, didn’t make its first profit until last year. Ford Motor Company’s gross profit margin has fallen for five years, hitting 4.8% in 2020. So, why would anyone want to get into the business? To save the world, of course.


rohnmayer says he’s an unlikely entrepreneur. The family business is politics. His late father, Dave Frohnmayer, was elected Oregon attorney general three times starting in 1980 and ran for governor in 1990. Dave was one of the last of a generation of moderate Republicans and among the 14

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dozen most important Oregonians of the last half-century. From shutting down the Rajneeshees to running the University of Oregon as president for more than a decade, he played pivotal roles in most of the state’s key stories. As a kid in Eugene, Mark Frohnmayer played a lot of video games. He was an introvert and wanted little to do with politics, at which his father excelled. He got an Apple II when he was 7 and taught himself how to program. He spent a lot of time mapping his neighborhood to see how people and goods moved around. Tragedy rocked his world early on. In 1991, his 12-yearold sister Katie died of a rare genetic disease called Fanconi anemia, which impairs the production of blood cells in bone marrow. Another sister, Kirsten, died from it six years later at 24. Amy succumbed in 2016 at age 29, leaving only Mark and his brother Jonathan, an animal rights lawyer. The death of Amy, especially, shaped Mark. “The way she faced it has been a source of inspiration for me,” Frohnmayer says. “She had a zest for life even when she knew she had a ticking time bomb in every cell in her body.” After graduating from South Eugene High School, he went off to Berkeley to study electrical engineering and computer science. He graduated in 1996 and returned to Eugene to work for video game maker Dynamix. In 2000, he and friends started a new venture called GarageGames. Seven years later, billionaire Barry Diller bought the company for $50 million. Frohnmayer’s take: $6 million. He was a single guy with a windfall of cash, suffering deep distress about the fate of the world. “I had the irrational exuberance from the sale of GarageGames and money burning a hole in my pocket and a huge sense of urgency to solve the issue of climate change,” Frohnmayer says. A bike commuter, Frohnmayer had moved recently, and he needed something with a motor. He saw a threewheeled electric thing called the BugE in a Eugene parade. The BugE came as a kit. He got friends to help him assemble it. “That was really the light-bulb moment,” he says. Frohnmayer started Arcimoto in 2007. As a software guy, he thought it would take him six months to build a prototype. But this was hardware. Not just computer hardware but bent metal with human beings inside. He knew nothing about it, and he spent all his GarageGames proceeds learning on the job. “The first seven years of Arcimoto was just repeated failure,” Frohnmayer says. “We were aiming for something that we continued to miss.”

The closest Arcimoto came to collapse was in 2011. He took a prototype called Generation 5 to California for a 20-day tour. A driver took it out for a time trial at Refuel, an EV showcase at Laguna Seca Raceway in California. At high speed, one of the suspension arms broke and the vehicle rolled. The driver walked away without a scratch, but the vehicle was totaled. “We took Generation 5 home in pieces,” Frohnmayer says. Arcimoto ran out of cash, and Frohnmayer cut all but two employees. Frohnmayer raised a bit more funding, but the company petered along. Arcimoto built more prototypes. None made it to market. His money lasted three years, until just before Christmas 2014, when he had to lay off his last employees. “It was a dark time,” Frohnmayer says. Then, lightning struck. Sketching on a napkin, he found a 7-year-old error. The three-wheeler he saw in the Eugene parade had motorcycle handlebars. All of Arcimoto’s prototypes had a steering wheel. Ditching it would let him put the passengers more upright, shorten the chassis, and cut 600 pounds from the weight. He called Jeff Curl, a friend, and asked him to pay the salary of Jim Jordan, his lead designer, for three months. They dumped the steering wheel, buffed up the exterior, and in early 2015, Frohnmayer took sketches of the new design—it would be his eighth—to Silicon Valley, where he had gone begging for six years. And he got lucky, finally.


ill Hambrecht, a legendary Silicon Valley investor, is a disruption hunter. His firm, WR Hambrecht + Co, looks for companies with the potential to upend traditional industries. That’s what turns Silicon Valley on. “We identified Arcimoto as being very disruptive,” says Michael Kramer, CEO of Ducera Partners, a New York investment bank that owns part of WR Hambrecht. Together, the two investors plunged $2 million into Arcimoto, a corpse-reviving shot of capital. Frohnmayer got the news on March 10, 2015, the same day his father died after a long bout with prostate cancer. “A lot of life has happened during this project,” Frohnmayer says. Bigger money arrived in 2017 when WR Hambrecht helped Arcimoto sell shares to the public. The sale raised $19.5 million, a jackpot amount. Ducera has no other investments in EVs, he says. “This is our bet.” Kramer rips around New Canaan, Conn., where he lives, in a forest green FUV. “Everyone asks me about it,” he says.

im For tHe tars CLEAN FUTURE: An Arcimoto employee at work on one of the company’s three-wheel rigs.

Arcimoto has a hardcore following online. Among the acolytes is freelance journalist Galileo Russell. On a YouTube channel with 152,000 subscribers, Russell posts slam poetry-style analyses of Tesla and Arcimoto. (Frohnmayer was so impressed he named Russell to the Arcimoto board.) The comments on Russell’s videos don’t quite reach GameStop fervor, but people are clearly fired up. “Diamond hands on FUV,” one user wrote, using internet-speak for buying and holding a stock come hell or high water. Arcimoto started retail production of FUVs in September 2019, but the stock fell, bumping along near zero through much of 2020, until late last year, when investors went crazy for anything with an electric motor and wheels, and the stock, which traded for less than $2 in early 2020, suddenly jumped to $36.80 on Feb. 4, boosting the value of a company that has made no money to more than $1 billion. The most generous way to value money-losing companies is to divide their share price by sales per share. At $13 a share, Arcimoto’s price-to-sales ratio is 185. Tesla’s, by comparison, is running at about 20. So investors buying Arcimoto shares at $13 are expecting its sales to grow a whole lot faster than Tesla’s. But that may not be completely crazy. If Frohnmayer can produce 50,000 vehicles in 2023, as he hopes, and sell them for $11,900 each, Arcimoto’s sales would hit $595 million. If that happens, buying in for $13 a share would look like a bargain.

Save the planet? Boost the state? Put an electric tricycle on every street corner? Frohnmayer says it’s all about to happen. “Arcimoto has a real product that’s really shipping,” says Michael Shlisky, a senior analyst at Colliers Securities in New York. Arcimoto’s closest competitor, a Canadian company called ElectraMeccanica that also makes a three-wheeler, is still just taking orders. If Frohnmayer succeeds, he might do more to serve Oregon than even his father did. A large Arcimoto factory would employ hundreds, perhaps thousands, in Eugene. The best case, says MacArthur, the PSU transportation expert, is that Arcimoto fosters a constellation of EV companies in Oregon, just as Intel’s expertise brought more chipmakers, and Nike’s talent pool lured Adidas, Under Armour and others. “That would be the real success,” MacArthur says. Save the planet? Boost the state? Put an electric tricycle on every street corner? Frohnmayer says it’s all about to happen. “When you look at where Arcimoto wants to be in 10 years, selling hundreds of thousands of vehicles worldwide, there’s absolutely an argument for why we would be considered undervalued at $1 billion,” Frohnmayer says. “In the bet on the clean future, I think Arcimoto is a good bet. That’s why I’m all in.” GO: Mark Frohnmayer speaks at a virtual TechfestNW on May 21. Tickets are $25 at techfestnw.com.

Mark Frohnmayer thinks he can build a better election, too.

After Mark Frohnmayer gets Arcimoto up and running, he’s going to turn to his real mission: fixing America’s broken voting system. That’s according to Clay Shentrup, co-inventor with Frohnmayer of STAR voting, a system that uses complex game theory to make sure candidates who best represent the most voters are elected. “He’s going to go all in on voting,” Shentrup says. “That is going to be his thing.” Frohnmayer says he’s fully committed to Arcimoto, but he admits that voting is his other passion. For six years, he and Shentrup, a software developer in Portland, have argued that the current system fosters extremism and division. You know the system we have now: Each voter gets one vote, and whoever gets the most votes wins. That’s fine when there are just two candidates. The trouble starts when there are more. Then, two good candidates might take votes from one another, ceding the election to a weaker third. Given this possibility, voters often end up selecting the candidate they think can win, not the candidate they like most. Sadly, those are often two different people. Frohnmayer’s quest dates back to the moment his father’s political ascension ended. In 1990, Oregon Attorney General Dave Frohnmayer, a moderate Republican, ran for governor against Democrat Barbara Roberts. Frohnmayer was favored to win. Before the election, the Oregon Citizens Alliance, a virulently antigay, anti-choice Christian group reached out to Frohnmayer and threatened to hijack the election unless he gave in to their demands. “They came to my dad and said ‘If you don’t adopt these policy platforms, and if you don’t agree to appoint these people to these positions, then we’re going to run a candidate against you and make sure you lose,’” Mark Frohnmayer says. Dave Frohnmayer refused to play ball. Sure enough, a right-wing independent named Al Mobley jumped into the race, siphoned votes from Frohnmayer, and tossed the race to Roberts, who won with

just 46% of the vote, a plurality, not a majority. Frohnmayer and Mobley together had 53%. It says something about Mark Frohnmayer’s personality that he looked at this injustice and decided it could be fixed with science. Voting experts have come up with plenty of fixes, including open primaries, where voters aren’t constrained by party affiliation, and ranked-choice voting, where voters select first, second and third—or more—choices. In ranked-choice voting, a candidate who gets more than 50% of the first-choice votes wins. If no one does, then the other choices come into play. The candidate with the fewest first-choice votes is eliminated, and those votes go to the candidate who placed second on those ballots. The process continues until one candidate has a majority. STAR voting takes this a step further, with two parts to each race. (STAR stands for “score then automatic runoff.”) First, voters give each candidate a rating of 0 to 5 points, or stars. The two candidates with the most stars make it to the second round, an automatic runoff where each ballot counts as one vote, as in traditional elections. To win a ballot’s vote, one candidate in the runoff must have a higher star score than the other (say, 5 stars to 2 stars). If there’s a tie on a ballot (3 stars to 3 stars), then the voter is deemed to have abstained. The idea is that no votes are wasted, voters get greater say in electing their leaders, and second-rate candidates don’t win just because two other candidates split the vote. And a bonus: The primary and general elections are held at the same time, saving taxpayers money. Frohnmayer’s Equal Vote Coalition is pushing a bill in the Oregon Legislature to implement STAR voting statewide for all elections. Frohnmayer tried to get Lane County to adopt STAR voting in 2018 and fell just short, with 52% of voters saying no. ANTHONY EFFINGER.

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MY CHERRY AMOUR Who we found among the cherry blossoms at Waterfront Park.


On Instagram: @chrisnesseth


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Language Immersion



Spanish, Japanese, or Chinese

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Celebrate summer, celebrate science!

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Register your middle schooler now for animation, forensic science, train engineering, LEGO® robotics (and more!) small group day camps.

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Portland Education Collab pdxeducationcollab.com Weekly, June 14 – September 3 PDX Education Collab is offering exciting outdoor day camps for existing learning pods in the Portland-metro area! PDX Education Collab provides a dedicated teacher for your pod of up to 6 students. Camps run weekly 8:30 AM – 3:30 PM. We also have camp options for individual students looking to join a camp pod for single or multiple weeks of the summer. Contact us and see how we can help your student get outside this summer! All participating students must be potty-trained.

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Learn an instrument, form a band, write an original song

in-person this summer at the new Rock Camp HQ in SE Portland!

Limited Space Available! Visit


for dates & registration Willamette Week APRIL 7, 2021 wweek.com


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Led by professional teachers on the land at TLC Farm and in the surrounding forest of Tryon Creek State Park, each week children participate in exciting nature-based crafts and empowering activities such as gardening, food harvesting & preservation, cooking, herbal medicine making, crafting, natural building and woodworking. There is also time each day to visit the goats and chickens, and explore the beautiful surrounding forest. We provide a nutritious, organic snack each day and campers bring their own lunch. June 21-25: Natural Science July 19-23: Art and Crafts August 16-20: Woodland Forest Fun July 23-25: Rite of Passage - Ages 10 to 12 (For any boyish people) Ages 3-7 for the three camps, and ages 10-12 for the Rite of Passage

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Part of the SpaceX rocket that burned up over Portland is found on a private farm in Washington.

The Hillsboro Hops are making a long-shot play to host the relocated Major League Baseball All-Star Game. BRIAN BURK

Damian Lillard appears briefly in the trailer for the new Space Jam movie as some kind of gold-plated robot.

WA R N E R B R O S .

The newest Portland landmark to be added to the National Register of Historic Places is…Terwilliger Parkway?




















B R U C E E LY / T R A I L B L A Z E R S

Lidia Yuknavitch and Deborah Hopkins are among the authors nominated for this year’s Oregon Book Awards.


Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic is being sued by a neighbor who alleges the Bosnian Beast dumped concrete, trash and rocks over a fence dividing their properties in West Linn.

an issue all about PATIOS. Where to eat,


drink and socialize this spring!

Someone stole a one-of-a-kind snowboard from the Tillamook Cheese Factory. CC Slaughters—one of Portland’s oldest gay bars—will reopen after announcing its indefinite closure last October.


As vaccines roll out, and warmer weather is on the horizon - we're celebrating with


Portland-area Regal Cinemas will begin reopening this month.

PATIO ISSUE Publishes on 4/21

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Willamette Week's

TechfestNW is Back! As we rebuild from the pandemic, we're focusing this year's event on redefining our purpose as entrepreneurs, creating a more inclusive tech economy and discovering new solutions, ideas and inspiration.

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TechfestNW is presented in partnership with Oregon Entrepreneurs Network Visit our website to learn more about our partnership with Oregon Entrepreneurs Network and Black Founders Matter, helping to power a more inclusive and impactful TechfestNW.

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Editor: Andi Prewitt / Contact: aprewitt@wweek.com ERICK OH


Opera This nine-minute short is the pinnacle of 2020’s Oscarnominated animated shorts. But if Opera tells us anything, beware of pinnacles. Patient and haunting, Erick Oh’s conceptual film comprises one drooping pan down a pyramid-bound society, and then one pan back up. Resembling a pagoda in some areas and a spectral Richard Scarry illustration in others, the structure is populated by thousands of minuscule and identical beings, but their boundaries are clear: a ruling force at the top, undergirded by intellectual and professional strata with laborers at the bottom. Best seen on a 100-foot screen or with your nose 6 inches from your TV, Opera is intensely allegorical, though it’s difficult to pin down for what exactly. The castes, exploitations and cyclical violence found in most every modern civilization? No answer seems too big. Whatever the inspiration, Opera is a technical stunner. A viewer could watch it 10 consecutive times and snatch some new fleck of detail from, say, the second box on the left, seven levels down. The macro-simplicity of countless stick figures milling around a triangle only enhances the themes as ambitious as Mother! and disturbed as Brazil. NR. CHANCE SOLEM-PFEIFER. Cinema 21, Hollywood, Virtual Cinema.

THE MAESTRO: Director Erick Oh’s mesmerizing animated short Opera is nominated for an Oscar. OUR KEY


ALSO PLAYING French Exit The Parisian take on the Irish goodbye, a French exit amounts to quickly and silently ditching a party. That’s the Price family’s move when their New York accounts run dry and mother Frances (Michelle Pfeiffer) and son Malcolm (Lucas Hedges) flee to France. There, they can hole up and spend their last cash stacks while the movie around them cycles through genres. Based on a 2018 novel by Portland author Patrick deWitt (The Sisters Brothers), French Exit is mostly a roving gabfest, and a wonderful showcase for lioness-in-winter Pfeiffer, who savors Frances’ boozy Lucille Bluth-esque contempt in dialogue exchange after exchange. By contrast, a kindly naturalist at his acting core, Hedges can’t quite handle the playful yet biting artificiality. Still, French Exit simply tries on enough hats (love triangle, supernatural mystery, mannered comedy) that no one leaky crack sinks the ship. Azazel Jacobs’ film is by far at its best in skewering wealth’s absurdity, namely when Frances overpays a private detective to find a psychic to find a cat. Its more serious elements tend to drag, but there’s a curiosity and empathy toward the Prices’ ridiculous position. A onetime trophy wife (with no husband) and her trust-fund son (with no trust fund) are free of most everything: the good, the bad and any definition but mother and son. R. CHANCE SOLEM-PFEIFER. AMC Vancouver Mall, Eastport Plaza, Liberty, Living Room.


F.T.A. According to director Francine Parker, the White House itself called up American International Pictures in 1972 and, poof, this vérité document of Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland’s anti-war variety show evaporated from theaters. The presumed reason for the censorship is still the most important historical detail within F.T.A. (standing alternately for “Free” and “F*ck the Army”). Those were the flames Fonda, Sutherland (both fresh off Klute), songwriter Len Chandler and their touring troupe tried to stoke with this satirical counterprogramming to the USO. We witness thousands of soldiers thwarting their base commanders to attend, and concurring with the vaudevillian skits and musical numbers skewering a war that would “flatten” Southeast Asian nations “to save” them. While the unearthed documentary’s chief drawback is its sense of preciousness for the actual live show—maudlin folk ballads deserve their own wing in the Diminishing Returns Hall of Fame—it also demonstrates a real-time attentiveness to the Vietnam War’s countless exploited parties: Black GIs, women in the Air Force, unionizing Okinawan workers, Filipino independence movements. Even if the harmonies and high kicks didn’t turn the Hueys around, F.T.A. is a convincing testament to the theater kid’s particular tools of discord. R. CHANCE SOLEM-PFEIFER. Cinema 21, Hollywood, Virtual Cinema.

The Courier During the Cold War, British businessman Greville Wynne had a secret life. While exporting industrial engineering products, he worked as a courier for Col. Oleg Penkovsky,

Willamette Week APRIL 7, 2021 wweek.com

a Soviet military intelligence officer who was an informant for MI6 and the CIA. Wynne’s espionage career ended with his capture in 1962, but he survived 18 months in a Moscow prison and later wrote two memoirs, The Man From Moscow and The Man From Odessa. It would take more than a facile film to diminish his heroic legacy, but it’s still dispiriting to watch The Courier, a movie so bland it’s barely fit for the BBC. Under the direction of Dominic Cooke (The Hollow Crown), a tale that should have been scary and suspenseful turns into a stately British period piece, complete with a surprisingly shapeless score by the brilliant Polish composer Abel Korzeniowski. As Wynne, Benedict Cumberbatch is exquisitely vulnerable—the prison scenes are haunted by images of his increasingly skeletal frame—but The Courier’s cheery conclusion obscures painful realities, including the real Wynne’s MI6 training, which he said was more brutal than the KGB beatings he endured. Greville Wynne risked his life to prevent nuclear war. The least The Courier could have done was risk being honest. PG-13. BENNETT CAMPBELL FERGUSON. AMC Vancouver Mall, Cedar Hills, Cornelius, Living Room.

Chaos Walking Finally premiering after some 40 months of frantic reshoots and studio dithering (and, sure, virus-related postponements), Chaos Walking was an anticipated adaptation of Patrick Ness’ beloved YA sci-fi trilogy. But the film slunk into theaters this month under a cloud of negativity not unlike the roiling miasma of doubt and aggression bedeviling the 23rd century humans who inhibit its “New World.” Crash landing on the distant planet as a scout for a second wave of immigrants, Viola (Daisy Ridley) stumbles into a rough frontier community only to find all the women settlers are dead. Meanwhile, the men have become afflicted by a phenomenon dubbed “Noise” that renders mental activity visible, though the look of each one’s mind varies. Naturally, Viola’s arrival spurs

various reactions. The town’s mayor, David Prentiss (Mads Mikkelsen), wields his psychic shroud as a means of deception, while farmboy Todd (Tom Holland) is cajoled into aiding her escape and veers between a hectoring chorus of thoughts that range from self-recrimination to lust since this is the only woman he’s ever seen. Thankfully, these three lauded actors aren’t asked to do much more than lean into their signature affects: Ridley’s unsinkable resolve, Prentiss’ simmering menace, and Holland’s adorably brash neuroses. Compared to the relentless world-building of recent tween-targeted dystopian franchises, there’s a quiet confidence that downplays batshit-crazy sci-fi elements to encourage a sense of discovery. Alas, as the film repeatedly stresses, it’s never the thoughts that count. PG-13. JAY HORTON. AMC Vancouver Mall, Eastport Plaza, Cedar Hills, Cornelius.

Nobody His centrality to this hyperstylized shoot-’em-up notwithstanding, Bob Odenkirk shares one other crucial trait with the Bruce Willises and Dolph Lundgrens of the world—his head. That Easter Island chin. Those granite cheekbones. Stubble the color and texture of iron filings. Every time Odenkirk growls, broods or ironically luxuriates in the battering he takes in this half-comedic John Wick knockoff, that mug draws all attention away from the stunt men overselling his unremarkable punches and gunplay. Ilya Naishuller’s debut feature is essentially Death Wish with dads who collect vinyl and cultivate man caves they would never deign to call man caves. The spree of (maybe righteous?) violence by suburban accountant Hutch Mansell (Odenkirk) begins when he freezes up during a home invasion, much to the chagrin of his wife and teenage son. From there, Hutch is on a collision course with the criminal underworld as Nobody becomes a bloody romp but skirts questions of wounded modern masculinity raised by the inciting inci-

dent. Nobody can’t get over the fact that it cast Bob Odenkirk instead of letting the incredibly versatile actor tangle with the meaning of all this carnage. If only it took its own premise more seriously. R. CHANCE SOLEM-PFEIFER. AMC Vancouver Mall, Cedar Hills, Eastport Plaza, Cornelius, Living Room.

Zack Snyder’s Justice League A death in the family. Dueling directors. Wrathful fans. Zack Snyder’s Justice League may be a slab of bloated mediocrity, but the story of its creation is a saga of epic, tragic proportions. In 2017, Snyder surrendered his superhero mashup Justice League to director Joss Whedon (The Avengers), who reshot multiple scenes while Snyder grieved for his daughter, Autumn, who had died by suicide at age 20. Enraged by Whedon’s revisions, some fans demanded to see Snyder’s version of the film, unleashing a campaign that included a Times Square billboard and an airplane banner. Zack Snyder’s Justice League is the answer to their prayers: a restoration supervised by Snyder himself. It is also a four-hour bore that subjects us to a lifeless Batman (Ben Affleck), an apathetic Superman (Henry Cavill) and an appallingly clichéd screenplay (sample line: “The great darkness begins!”). The Justice League’s more charismatic recruits—Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), Aquaman (Jason Momoa), the Flash (Ezra Miller), and Cyborg (Ray Fisher)—provide spark and spunk, but not enough to elevate the interminable action scenes, which are clogged with sluggish slow motion, a Snyder trademark. None of this will faze Snyder’s fans, who care about him so passionately they have donated half a million dollars to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. There are plenty of reasons to loathe Zack Snyder’s Justice League, but it is important to acknowledge that it has meaning beyond its artistic failures— and to hope that finishing it brought some solace to a bereaved father. R. BENNETT CAMPBELL FERGUSON. HBO Max.



How does each episode work? Every show has four contestants. You’re playing for a trophy and the opportunity to open for their Vegas show when things reopen. You have to tell the producers how the effect works. Even though you’re there to fool Penn and Teller, the goal is really just to celebrate magic. It felt wonderful. You probably can’t explain what you did, can you? It’s an old trick that magicians have been doing for a very long time. I came up with a spin unlike anything anybody has seen before, and I expect other magicians are going to be flabbergasted. All of my magic takes the tricks that the magician uses to do impossible things and applies them to technology just to shift how you think about what’s possible. You’ve heard the Arthur C. Clarke quote? My motto, for a while, has been the converse: “Any sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from technology.” When did you start doing magic? My grandfather was a magician, and I inherited his books and tricks that he created. Somewhere along the line, I got introduced to computers and, from a very early age, started combining technology and magic.

SLEIGHT OF HAND: Local magician Seth Raphael turned to tech to trick audiences through Zoom and will now appear on national TV.

Prestidigital A local high-tech magician dials up a trick to fool Penn and Teller. BY JAY HORTON


WW: How did you end up performing for two of the best-known icons in magic? Seth Raphael: During quarantine, I found myself developing new magic at night and came up with some really fun new things I thought might play well over Zoom. I sent an audition tape and, after a couple of months, they finally wanted to talk to me about how it would translate onstage. I reworked everything, went through rehearsals a couple times over Zoom with the producers, and ended up going down to Las Vegas. What was that like? Penn and Teller have their own theater, but the entire casino was on lockdown for COVID, so the only people there were involved with the production. You see empty dealer tables and all of those little flashing lights from slot machines that weren’t designed to be turned off. This space that was meant to feel grand and full was just barren.

Were you the first? This was back in 2004, and there were maybe three or four of us with very different takes. Some people were producing CD-ROMs and doing tech performances. Some had flash apps that the magician could control.

While local rep theaters are out of commission, we’ll be putting together weekly watchlists of films readily available to stream. For National Library Week, we’re showcasing films that capture the wistful magic and wonder of libraries and bookshops.

Ex Libris (2017) In this gargantuan 197-minute film, prolific documentarian Frederick Wiseman provides an in-depth look at the fourth-largest library in the world: the New York Public Library. Through a series of vignettes and interviews with both unknown and famous patrons like Patti Smith and Ta-Nehisi Coates, Wiseman depicts the necessity of public institutions dedicated to knowledge. Kanopy.

The Booksellers (2019) Executive produced and narrated by the inimitable Parker Posey, this charming documentary is a literary love letter to the sellers, auctioneers, writers and other bibliophiles who make up the rare book world of New York City. There’s even a delightful anecdote from Fran Lebowitz about the time she lent a book to David Bowie. Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Google Play, Kanopy, Pluto TV, Vudu, YouTube.

The Public (2018) When a blizzard blows through Cincinnati, unhoused patrons seek warmth and refuge in the public library past closing time, staging a sit-in. What begins as an act of civil disobedience snowballs into a standoff with riot police. Emilio Estevez writes, directs and stars in this social issue drama. Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Google Play, Peacock, Vudu, YouTube.

Whereas you? Let’s say we were hanging out one night, and you’re talking about how a plastic elephant would be the perfect piece of décor. A few minutes later, my phone rings, and I play the call: “Hey, Visa users, time to get your plastic elephant!” That piece is called Strange-Flavored Spam. It’s not magic per se, but it plays with our communal experience, pushing our concept of what’s real and what’s not. Do you miss the stage? With my [five] kids, I’d love the opportunity to continue performing without having to travel, and I do a different kind of magic that lends itself to digital. If we can create a connection between three participants over Zoom—one thinks of a city, one thinks of a food, and another picks the phone number—then, all of a sudden, we have three people connecting even though they’re not together, which is different than just making a coin disappear, right? Magicians have historically jumped on cutting-edge technology, and I think that some of them were very excited about diving into Zoom magic. When people are starved for connection and entertainment, there will be huge audiences. Some people make a lot more than they were before. Certainly not everyone has a great show yet, but some of them are spectacular. Any blowback from your competitors about the virtual tricks? Oh, yes. I’m not on Facebook because I find life’s better that way, but I hear of discussions where people deride my technology as, you know, cheating. That’s fine with me. What is magic if not cheating? SEE IT: Seth Raphael’s “Magic R App” episode of Penn & Teller: Fool Us airs at 9 pm on Friday, April 9, on The CW. It also begins streaming on The CW app the following day.


Even after landing a coveted spot on the April 9 episode of Penn & Teller: Fool Us, “Magic” Seth Raphael is in no hurry to quit his day job. The global TED Fellow with a master’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab—his thesis was titled “The Wonder of Magic: Eliciting Wonder and Analyzing its Expression”—currently works in product design for Google’s augmented reality department. “The goal’s the same,” he chuckles, “use the tools available to help achieve things you previously thought impossible.” While awaiting his broadcast television debut, Raphael talked with WW about his background in technological wizardry, crafting illusions for a socially distanced age and the lingering specter of an empty casino.

So, you’ve been trying virtual tricks well before COVID? Yep, I’ve been waiting. My undergraduate thesis was called “The Fourth Venue,” an allusion to the three venues at which magicians typically perform: close up, stage and parlor. I saw the internet as the fourth venue.


The Bookshop (2017) The always lovely Emily Mortimer stars as a bookshop owner in this quaint feel-good drama set in a 1959 English coastal town. When her selling of books by incendiary authors like Ray Bradbury incites a cultural awakening in the conservative community, she faces opposition from a rigid grand dame (Patricia Clarkson) and earns support from a book-loving recluse (Bill Nighy). Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Hulu, Kanopy, Philo, Sling TV, Vudu, YouTube TV.

The Librarian: Quest for the Spear (2004) The only successful franchise about librarians, this made-for-TV adventure follows an Indiana Jonesesque academic named Flynn (Noah Wyle) who is offered a job at a mysterious library. When a magical artifact is stolen, it’s up to him to embark on a globe-trotting adventure to reclaim it. Unofficial Mayor of Portland Kyle MacLachlan co-stars as a villainous cult leader. iTunes, Kanopy, Pluto TV, Roku, Tubi, Vudu. Willamette Week APRIL 7, 2021 wweek.com




J O N AT H A N B L A N C / Z I P P O R A H F I L M S



GO: Darcelle XV’s Drag Drive-In When North Portland’s Shine Distillery and Grill held its first “drag-thru” in November, it seemed an entirely novel idea. Only a few months later, seeing drag from your car is a big-ticket event: This week, local legend Darcelle—at age 90 the world’s oldest drag queen—headlines a threenight drive-in show at Zidell Yards. Though Darcelle’s Old Town club, Darcelle XV, recently reopened at a limited capacity, the drive-in format allows a much larger production. In addition to Darcelle, it’ll feature eight other performers, including local stalwarts and Darcelle XV regulars like Poison Waters. And for those missing the pre-pandemic days when drag brunches were abundant, we’ve got good news: Two of the five scheduled performances are midmorning shows. Zidell Yards, 3121 S Moody Ave., 503-228-8691, darcellexvdrivein.com. 9-10:30 pm Friday-Sunday and 11 am-12:30 pm SaturdaySunday, April 9-11. $95-$175 per car.

 HEAR: Chemtrails at the Country Club by Lana Del Rey Chemtrails at the Country Club is the Lana Del Rey album for people who don’t like Lana Del Rey. Cherry-pie kitsch and classic-rock references are out the door, and these 11 tracks sound like a gentle breeze blowing across a field of grain. For the first time ever, her music gives us a sense of America as the inconceivably vast place we see in Westerns rather than just a loaded concept. “White Dress” is the best song she’s ever written. Stream on Spotify. 

STREAM: Alela Diane As if her wistful vocals weren’t already soothing enough, Alela Diane will perform her livestream at Holocene by candlelight. In celebration of her new live album, the Portland singer-songwriter performs a solo, piano and guitar set of her layered, intimate brand of folk. Diane will debut some new material and pull from her back catalog of songs that deal with divorce to motherhood, all with the same amount of humanism and grace. Holocene, holocene.org. 7 pm Friday, April 9. $16.95.


Willamette Week APRIL 7, 2021 wweek.com


 STREAM: OBT Raw For the company’s second set of intimate livestream shows, Oregon Ballet Theatre’s dancers performs works by classic choreographers like Bournonville and Balanchine, and more contemporary works by the likes of Nacho Duato. COVID-19 might’ve forced the company to cancel its big-ticket, fully staged shows, but these stripped-down virtual performances have highlighted what OBT’s dancers do best—emotive, athletically astounding movements. Oregon Ballet Theatre, obt.org. 7:30 pm April 8-17. $20.


STREAM: Distancias There are no Q-tips in Geo Alva, Robi Arce and Michael Cavazos’ digital epic Distancias, but there is a white supremacist YouTube personality named Q-Tipp. He’s played by Robi Arce, who wears a hideous mask that looks straight out of Neil Gaiman’s nightmares and repeatedly sings, “Jesus was white/Jesus was white/Just like the Bible says.” His slogan is “Do your research!” Distancias may be an experimental film that searches for meaning in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, but Q-Tipp is one of many hints the project is partly a critique of the search for meaning in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some viewers will perceive Distancias as a series of puzzle pieces waiting to be assembled, a mindset that will probably leave them frustrated and furious. If, however, you accept the film as something to be experienced but not fully understood, you will find yourself lost in one of the most dreamily profound works of art to emerge from a Portland theater company in the past year. Streams at hand2mouththeatre.org.


 WATCH: Ex Libris It’s National Library Week, which means you should take some time to thank your hardworking yet probably underappreciated local librarian and then pay homage to the establishments themselves by watching this 2017 film. In the gargantuan 197-minute El Libris, prolific documentarian Frederick Wiseman provides an in-depth look at the fourth-largest library in the world: the New York Public Library. Through a series of vignettes and interviews with both unknown and famous patrons like Patti Smith and Ta-Nehisi Coates, Wiseman depicts the necessity of public institutions dedicated to knowledge. Streams on Kanopy.


WATCH: 2021 Oscar-Nominated Shorts The nine-minute Opera is the pinnacle of 2020’s Oscar-nominated animated shorts. But if Opera tells us anything, it’s beware of pinnacles. Patient and haunting, Erick Oh’s conceptual film comprises one drooping pan down a pyramid-bound society, and then one pan back up. Resembling a pagoda in some areas and a spectral Richard Scarry illustration in others, the structure is populated by thousands of minuscule and identical beings, but their boundaries are clear: a ruling force at the top, undergirded by intellectual MICK HANGLAND-SKILL

STREAM: Movie Madness Anniversary Party A lot has changed in the 30 years since Movie Madness opened. Blockbuster rose and fell, Netflix came to power, and there’s now way more than just three Star Wars movies. Movie Madness has lasted through all that and, more recently, the retirement of owner and founder Mike Clark. And it hasn’t just survived—over the years, the rental store has also added a mini film memorabilia museum, screening room and a liquor license to serve its signature craft beer. Portlanders didn’t need a pandemic to solidify our love for the Belmont Street institution. But having a video rental store with more titles than Amazon, Netflix and Hulu combined has felt like a godsend, particularly this past year. Now, Movie Madness celebrates its three-decade anniversary with a virtual get-together and Q&A with Clark. Expect anecdotes from the store’s history and some of the friendliest film nerdery in town. Movie Madness, facebook.com/ MovieMadnessVideo. 7 pm Monday, April 12. Free.

and professional strata with laborers at the bottom. Best seen on a 100foot screen or with your nose 6 inches from your TV, Opera is intensely allegorical, though it’s difficult to pin down for what exactly. The castes, exploitations and cyclical violence found in most every modern civilization? No answer seems too big. Whatever the inspiration, Opera is a technical stunner. Streams along with this year’s other Oscar-nominated shorts through Cinema 21 and Hollywood Theatre.

READ: The Night Always Comes by Willy Vlautin Stories about working-class people often focus on the question of morality. Fictional poor people are either plucky saints who just need a chance in life or troubled souls whose moral centers have been hollowed by their circumstances—or maybe it’s the other way around, depending on the author’s point of view. Lynette, the protagonist of Willy Vlautin’s sixth novel, The Night Always Comes, is neither of these. As the novel opens, she’s already been offered a chance and has put a ll her waking energy into seizing it. The owner of the North Portland house Lynette shares with her mother and developmentally disabled adult brother offered them the chance three years ago to buy it for a little less than market value. But as the book opens, Lynette’s mother, a week from signing the loan paperwork, announces she doesn’t actually want to buy a house after all. So Lynette sets out to address the situation—but each attempt she makes presents a host of new problems and suggests increasingly dangerous solutions. The Night Always Comes is about a woman trying to find her place in a changing Portland, but it avoids easy nostalgia. In fact, it’s not clear the characters were any happier in the pre-gentrification city than they are in the place where they live now. It’s simply that the city changed in a way that never gave them a chance to catch up. Vlautin writes that 20 years ago, Lynette’s mother “would have never set foot” on Mississippi Avenue, but now the family regularly walks the street on weekends, mostly window shopping and surveying the menus at restaurants they can’t afford to eat at. (No character in this book is described in terms of race, but Portland readers, at least, don’t need to be told who was afraid of Mississippi in the early 2000s and who cheerfully takes to its sidewalks now.) The book takes place over the course of a single weekend as Lynette cruises around the city in search of money, but the plot is interspersed with flashbacks describing how she got

here—and why she’s so desperate for a better life. Vlautin’s prose is generally crisp and straightforward, making the book a quick read, with a slight exception: Every few chapters there’s a scene of heavy dialogue between two characters who typically speak in long paragraphs, often about an emotionally fraught subject. (More than one has Lynette and her mother hashing out years of complex history. Another has Lynette confronting a man who groomed her as a teenager.) The first few of these scenes are slow and plodding, but gradually I came to appreciate them as a change in pace from the increasingly frenetic primary plot. In the acknowledgments, Vlautin writes that after putting together a down payment to buy a $72,000 house in 2000, he stopped going out so much and started staying home to mow the lawn. “I began to like myself,” he writes. If throwing down roots in a place can change a person for the better, The Night Always Comes asks what happens to people who never get the chance to do it. Vlautin doesn’t offer answers, but he does end the book on an optimistic note, suggesting hope is out there somewhere—and, in the meantime, he paints a recognizable, sometimes harrowing portrait of a city in flux. CHRISTEN MCCURDY. STREAM: Willy Vlautin discusses The Night Always Comes with Chelsea Cain at 6 pm Wednesday, April 7. See powells.com/events-update to register. Willamette Week APRIL 7, 2021 wweek.com



Knives Out



TOP OF THE CHOPS: Sara Hauman (left) and Gabriel Pascuzzi competing on the first episode of Top Chef Portland.

Top Chef came to Portland amid a pandemic, protests and wildfires. We talked to local contestants Gabriel Pascuzzi and Sara Hauman about representing Oregon on the show’s strangest season yet. BY M ATT H E W SI N G E R


Last summer, Gabriel Pascuzzi traded one quarantine for another. As a contestant on the 18th season of the hit Bravo cooking competition Top Chef, the chef and owner of Stacked Sandwiches and Mama Bird was forced to live in a bubble scenario for eight weeks with 13 other chefs from around the country—and since this season was filmed in Portland, that meant being sequestered away practically within walking distance of his own home. “It drove me nuts,” he says. “I was literally driving by my own apartment every day, just being like, ‘I live 10 minutes from this stupid hotel. Why can’t I go home and sleep in my own bed?’” Pascuzzi was joined by Sara Hauman, formerly the executive chef at Arden, now running the kitchen at Soter Vineyards in Carlton, in representing Oregon in one of the strangest iterations of the series yet—one that had to contend not just with a pandemic but nightly social justice protests and, later, historic wildfires. The first episode premiered last week, and both have already stood out from the pack: Hauman came out on top in the main challenge, wowing the judges (which include Departure chef and show alum Gregory Gourdet) with a grilled quail dressed in an eggplant coconut yogurt, while Pascuzzi’s attempts to take the lead in a group challenge chafed against a Tucson taqueria owner. WW spoke to both contestants prior to the season’s debut about the challenges of taking part in Top Chef’s “pandemic season,” the pressure of competing in their hometown, and whether reality cooking shows are good for the food scene at large. WW: When it was announced the show was filming in Portland, the reaction seemed to be, “Great, we finally get a Top Chef season, and it’s during a time when the food scene is being destroyed.” Was it bittersweet for you as contestants participating in the show’s “pandemic season”? Sara Hauman: Of course, the selfish side of me was like, “I love traveling. I want to explore a new city! I’m stuck in my house, but now I’m stuck in Portland!” The other part is that downtown doesn’t look pretty. So many restaurants have shuttered. There’s lots of places with boarded-up 30

Willamette Week APRIL 7, 2021 wweek.com

windows, and it doesn’t look as beautiful as it usually does. It was mostly just not having people be able to see Portland in the light that it should have. Gabriel Pascuzzi: There are two ways I look at it. One is that coming out of a pandemic, anything promoting Portland is going to help Portland. Then the other was, yes, it’s a pandemic. Not only did it add extra stress to actually competing on the show and extra hoops you had to jump through, but usually on Top Chef, they go around to local restaurants and you get to see a lot of the city. They did a good job of getting around Oregon, but there just weren’t places open that we got to visit. There wasn’t just the pandemic to contend with but also the protests and then the wildfires. How did those things permeate the show? Hauman: We were very much in a tight, tight bubble. With the wildfires, for instance, we were not allowed outside whatsoever. Same with the protests—if there was word that a protest would be out, we would have a curfew and so would the whole production crew. Is there added pressure being the hometown representatives for the season? Pascuzzi: I didn’t feel that. The one thing I realized once I got on the show was, “Oh shit, I’m not going to be able to use all these ingredients I’m used to because they’re going to hold them for challenges.” So the hard part was waiting for these ingredients to come that I know are here, that I know are in season, and just having to, like, cook with other stuff. Hauman: I’m super type A. I’m a super-perfectionist. I don’t think being in Portland put any more pressure on me than I would already put on myself. I am super-stoked to be able to represent Portland and to bring a different style of food than I think a lot of people are expecting, which is nice. And I think even more, I’m super-excited to advocate for being a chef in wine country. Once you step out of that restaurant scene, there’s a lot of talk that goes on, like, “Oh, you retired” or “Maybe you can’t hack it in a restaurant situation.” And that is not the case at all. It’s super-important to me that people know, just because you decide to work in a small town, that doesn’t make you any less of a chef.

What was the biggest challenge for you personally? Pascuzzi: I put a bunch of pressure on myself—and I think probably some of the other chefs did, too—because there was just so much unknown, and it was like, “I have to do good on Top Chef so hopefully my restaurants will be OK.” You don’t want to waste your time there. The longer I got there, I got a little more comfortable, and I felt more in the groove. But definitely for the first couple [episodes], I was probably cooking a little tight, a little tense. Hauman: The biggest challenge for me was me. I’m incredibly self-deprecating. I’ve never really been super-confident in my abilities as a chef, and I think in the last handful of years, it’s really gotten in my way. I just had a breaking point when I was at Arden, and I just didn’t want to be at restaurants anymore. Normal guests would walk in the door, and I could just feel their judgy eyes. I kind of came out of this whole thing having a little bit more kindness toward myself and a lot more confidence, not only in cooking but in life in general. Are you prepared for the increased attention? Hauman: I’m still very naive and unconvinced about all the things that are happening right now. I don’t watch normal TV, so it’s hard for me to even fathom how many people will be watching me. I don’t know that I would say that I’m ready. I’m definitely taking it in stride. Pascuzzi: Gregory Gourdet is a good buddy of mine, and I told him, “I really value my anonymity. I don’t want to be a celebrity.” The point of going on here is, I enjoy competition and obviously to hopefully increase people coming to the restaurant. But he was like, “Oh no, it’s fine. Maybe during the season, people see you and want to talk to you when you’re at a restaurant, but beyond that, I do whatever I want, and nobody ever bugs me.” And I was like, “OK, cool.” Are cooking competition shows like this good for the restaurant and food world? Hauman: For a long time I would watch the show and be like, “Why would anyone want to be on that show? They obviously set you up for failure.” At the end of the day, it’s entertainment, and I think what I personally got from it is so much more than I went in thinking that I was going to get from it. Pascuzzi: Some of them aren’t, but it’s universally recognized that Top Chef is the best reality cooking show. I mean, they’re great for the industry. It’s boosted chef salaries, it’s boosted restaurant notoriety, it’s created a fervor for people to come to restaurants. Before, we were just kind of in the shadows—the grunts that somehow made magical food appear, and there’s a very select few who had a platform. It gives people who aren’t uber-famous chefs the ability to have a small platform within their communities.

WATCH: Top Chef Portland airs 8 pm Thursdays on Bravo. ‚ Read weekly recaps at wweek.com.






Where to get drinks this week, one way or another.

1. Tulip Shop Tavern

825 N Killingsworth St., 503-206-8483, tulipshoptavern.com. Noon-10 pm daily. Tulip Shop’s menu of cocktails to go offers pretty much every classic concoction you can think of, each coming in a sealed canister about the size of a Red Bull and wrapped in a custom black label splattered in white squiggles. But if you’d like a break from tradition, you’d not be wrong to select the Paper Tiger for its name alone. The bright essence of grapefruit spins alongside lime cordial and a dash of salt, then warming notes of anise and ginger begin to crest courtesy of a somewhat rare spirit native to the Czech Republic called Becherovka—pretty classy for a cocktail named after the worst strip club in Denver.

2. Buddy’s Lounge

Expatriate’s Distant Colony

It’ll take you back—to the early 2010s. BY JASO N CO H E N


DRINK: Expatriate, 5424 NE 30th Ave., expatriatepdx.com. On Instagram: @ExpatriatePDX. 4-9 pm Thursday-Saturday. Ripe Cooperative, 5425 NE 30th Ave., ripecooperative.com. 11 am-6 pm Thursday-Saturday, 10 am-4 pm Sunday.

3. Blind Ox Taphouse

4765 NE Fremont St., 503-841-5092, blindoxpdx.com. Noon-9 pm Monday-Thursday, noon-10 pm Friday, 10 am-10 pm Saturday, 10 am-9 pm Sunday. Portland’s Beaumont-Wilshire neighborhood is home to a micro version of the ever-popular food hall. Divvying up the building means that Blind Ox has a unique array of painkillers almost anyone could appreciate following a tense year. Need to lick your way into a sweet, blissful oblivion? There’s whipped-to-order ice cream blasted with liquid nitrogen. Want to spend the afternoon knocked out on the couch? One of Nacheaux’s fried-and-smothered odes to both Mexican and Cajun cooking will induce a nap. And if you simply need a beer to take the edge off, there is also a well-curated, 20-deep tap list.


HOT PLATES Where to get food this week.

1. LaMotta’s Handmade at Water Avenue Coffee

1028 SE Water Ave., instagram.com/lamottashandmadepdx. Premade sandwiches served 7 am-1 pm Thursday-Friday, full menu 8 am-2 pm Saturday-Sunday. What Spam is to jamon, pork roll is to mortadella or bologna. The East Coast delicacy invites arguments over its proper name, but here in Portland, just be glad you can get it at all. At Chazz Madrigal’s weekend pop-up, the “Badlands” sandwich piles the meat some call Taylor Ham on a squishy An Xuyen seeded burger bun, with scrambled eggs and American cheese. It’s dressed with SPK, or “salt, pepper, ketchup.” No substitutions, as it should be.

2. Mama Dut

1414 SE Morrison St., 503-954-1222, mamadut.com. Noon-6 pm Thursday-Sunday. A year ago, Thuy Pham was a self-employed hairstylist with a dedicated clientele. When the pandemic made it impossible for her to do business, she started posting cooking videos on Instagram, making vegan interpretations of Vietnamese staples. Then she began hosting pop-ups. Within six months, she opened her first restaurant—and, just last week, she announced the impending opening of her second. It’s the definition of a meteoric rise, but it’s easy to see why customers and Portland food media have been so quick to rally around Mama Dut: Pham employs long-established techniques to create vegan food that’s as comforting as it is decadent.

4. Bit House Collective

727 SE Grand Ave., 503-954-3913, bithousesaloon.com. 4-11 pm Tuesday-Saturday, 2-9 pm Sunday. Pandan is the little leaf that could. At the new Bit House Collective, the tropical Southeast Asian flavoring is being stirred into the inventive cocktails by Natasha Mesa, formerly of acclaimed cocktail bar Deadshot. When ordering takeaway, go with Mesa’s twist on an old fashioned: the Padam, Pandan, Pandan O.F. ($11), a stiff little elixir in a square bottle with cork top. Mixed with vodka, bourbon, blueberry, galangal root and bitters, the green of the pandan is beaten out by the violet blueberry, but the flavor is still very much there.

5. Hammer & Stitch

2377 NW Wilson St., 971-254-8982, hsbrew.co. Noon-6 pm Wednesday-Thursday and Sunday, noon-8 pm Friday-Saturday. A visit to the Hammer & Stitch taproom will remind you of an earlier era of craft beer, when breweries often popped up on the industrial fringes, and tracking them down felt like a scavenger hunt. The brewery’s motto is “Keep it simple, stupid,” but “simple” does not equate with dull. The lager stands out for its bracing minimalism—each straw-yellow sip is light and crisp and offers a quick burst of bubbles.

4. Hey Chaudy

Order @heychaudy. When beloved Vietnamese karaoke bar Yen Ha on Northeast Sandy Boulevard closed in 2019, longtime manager and co-owner Anh Tran started messing around with recipes for bánh patê sô—flaky pastry stuffed with peppery ground pork or vegan Impossible meat. Soon enough, Tran got it dialed in and is selling them for $25 a dozen for meat, $30 a dozen for vegan from his Instagram handle, @heychaudy. The patê sô have exploded in popularity. Tran is also making different Vietnamese soups for pickup every Tuesday, available at his personal handle, @_2anh.

5. Toki

580 SW 12th Ave., 503-312-3037, tokipdx.com. Dinner served 4-8 pm Wednesday-Sunday, brunch 11 am-3 pm Friday-Sunday. At the moment, Toki is, for all intents and purposes, Han Oak, with a menu that includes both greatest hits and revised versions of other old favorites. But there’s also food that chef Cho was not inclined to cook much in the past, including bibimbap and a steamed bao burger, maybe the world’s first reheating-friendly cheeseburger. The star item, though, is the Gim-bap Supreme, which takes its inspiration from both Taco Bell and the TikTok “wrap” trend, in which a tortilla is partially cut into four quadrants, topped with four different ingredients, folded into layers, and griddled. CHAZZ MADRIGAL

“This is a genuine Expatriate cocktail, to be consumed in the pursuit of leisure and deliciousness,” reads the label on Expatriate’s bottled cocktails to go, in language ripped directly from the side of a Budweiser can. “We know of no other mixed drinks that will so readily transport you to a different year/country/situation.” In the case of the Distant Colony, that transportive place is the original St. Jack on Southeast Clinton circa the early 2010s, where Kyle Linden Webster first came up with a version of the drink before starting his own place with Naomi Pomeroy in 2013. “We’ve got a catalog of almost eight years of awesome stuff, and I haven’t actively bartended since the first year or two,” Webster says. “So it’s been really cool to bring back some of my old ‘greatest hits,’ and reintroduce them to people.” Available at both Expatriate (order via Instagram DM) and Ripe Cooperative, the Pomeroy-owned market formerly known as prix fixe destination Beast, the Distant Colony turns seven ingredients—Pueblo Viejo Reposado, fresh lime, Combier Pamplemousse liqueur, Cocchi Americano, and ginger syrup from local provider Commissary, plus honey and Angostura bitters—into a graceful and refreshing sipper. It’s something akin to a refined paloma that should also work for anyone who likes a mule. Handsomely presented in a bottle with an attached lime twist and handwritten instructions, the drink is best served after 15 minutes in the freezer, ideally after shaking in a Mason jar or cocktail shaker rather than in the bottle.“It’s hard to replicate the experience of an à la minute cocktail when it’s bottled,” Webster says. “If you take the time to pour the drink and shake it up, to aerate it, that gives you the texture that you would experience if I was making it for you right in the moment.” The label also has a last bit of advice: “Please listen to some records while sipping, and enjoy!”

8220 SE Harrison St., Unit 125, 971-288-5186, buddys-lounge.business.site. 1-11 pm daily. Like chocolate and peanut butter, Mary Kate and Ashley, or Twitter and bad hot takes, Buddy’s Lounge has brought another iconic duo to Portland: booze and boba tea. The best so far is also the classic: milk tea boba—black tea, milk and chewy tapioca balls—with a kick of whiskey for just $8. Subtly sugary, with just the right amount of chew to the tapioca, this is the kind of drink that would sneak up on you if you had more than one.

3. Piccone’s Corner

3434 NE Sandy Blvd., 503-265-8263, picconescorner.com. 11 am-8 pm Tuesday-Sunday. When the Portland restaurant scene first heard about Piccone’s Corner, the year was 2019, and the hope was that the Italian-style butchery would fill the void left by the closure of Cully neighborhood meat palace Old Salt. Of course, that was a long time ago in real time, and even longer in pandemic time. But namesake Austin Piccone, who raises hogs at Wallow & Root Farm in Sandy, didn’t let the dream die. The market finally opened in February, and the butcher case is stocked with Oregon-raised cuts of beef, lamb, chicken and pork, plus a menu of meaty pastas and sandwiches. Willamette Week APRIL 7, 2021 wweek.com



Editor: Andi Prewitt | Contact: aprewitt@wweek.com D I S TA N C I A S

MUSIC Written by: Daniel Bromfield | @bromf3

Now Hear This

Listening recommendations from the past, present, Portland and the periphery. SOMETHING OLD

GOING THE DISTANCE: Nobody went much of anywhere in 2020, so three local performers homed in on that endless loop in an experimental film.

The Magic of Isolation Loneliness becomes liveliness in Hand2Mouth and Moriviví’s Distancias. BY BE N N E T T C A M P B E L L FERGUS O N

There are no Q-tips in Geo Alva, Robi Arce and Michael Cavazos’ digital epic Distancias, but there is a white supremacist YouTube personality named Q-Tipp. He’s played by Arce, who wears a hideous mask that looks like something straight out of Neil Gaiman’s nightmares and repeatedly sings, “Jesus was white/Jesus was white/Just like the Bible says.” His slogan is “Do your research!” Q-Tipp is a clue that Alva, Arce and Cavazos are up to something. Distancias may be an experimental film that searches for meaning in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, but Q-Tipp is one of many hints that the project is partly a critique of such a search. When a monumentally deluded character tells you to do your research, you know it’s time to stop thinking and start feeling. Some audiences will see Distancias as a series of puzzle pieces waiting to be assembled, a mindset that is likely to leave them frustrated and furious. If, however, you accept the film as something to be experienced but not fully understood, you will find yourself lost in one of the most dreamily profound works of art to emerge from a Portland theater company during the past year. Distancias starts with Alva smoking in a Honda. It’s a beautifully simple beginning that tricks you into thinking you’re about to witness an ordinary tale—an impression that is obliterated by the next scene, which features an army of magazine clippings that come to life and violently attack Cavazos, covering his body like bandages on a mummy. The vignettes that follow are similarly strange. Arce shows up as a fanatically perky exercise coach who attempts to motivate his students by declaring, “The couch is lava!” The vile Q-Tipp unleashes a racist tirade, claiming that a video of two boys playing by a stream is footage of an illegal border crossing. Alva, Arce and Cavazos interrupt the film with seemingly out-of-place video chats, during which they discuss the pandemic and offer insights into Distancias.


Willamette Week APRIL 7, 2021 wweek.com

While most of the film is designed to eject viewers from their comfort zone, the chats are packed with cozy platitudes. “What a time to reflect, during the pandemic,” Arce says. True enough, but the statement is so simplistic you wonder if Arce believes what he’s saying or if he’s using empty therapy-speak to prove a point. At its worst, reflection is a hollow act. Revelations come, go and get contradicted on a daily basis—they don’t stick to us the way emotions do. When Arce offers his take on life in quarantine (“Oh my God, this is, like, I’m doing the biggest sacrifice!”), you snicker. When Arce weeps in a bathtub, you weep with him. His outburst hits you harder than a thousand insights. It isn’t an accident that Distancias is both didactic and visceral—it’s the point. The blandness of the video chats heightens your appreciation of the film’s more visceral scenes, like Alva’s brutal battle with a skateboard in a parking garage. After watching him execute a series of nifty tricks, then repeatedly tumble onto concrete, you feel both heartened by his persistence and haunted by his pain. The scene is a perfect representation of life during COVID—an endless loop in which each small success is inevitably followed by a blast of anguish. Despite being steeped in sadness, Distancias leaves you feeling anything but melancholy. With each strange new image, Alva, Arce and Cavazos’ creation seems to shout, “This is our vision! Take it or leave it!” If they were worried that Distancias would leave viewers baffled instead of enthralled, it doesn’t show. The production vibrates with the ecstatic faith of three geniuses who are confident that audiences will rise to their level of brilliance. Distancias is a collaboration between Hand2Mouth and Moriviví, a new Latinx theater company whose founders include Alva, Arce and Cavazos, who are also Hand2Mouth company members. It’s hard to imagine how the two organizations could top this film, but it is clear that its creators are a formidable artistic force. Their risk is our reward. SEE IT: Distancias streams at hand2mouththeatre.org/distancias though April 30. $1-$25.

After listening to the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion’s Now I Got Worry, I wondered why rock’s forward trajectory seemed to stall in the late ’90s— why mixing feral sex-freak rockabilly with rap beats felt so much more intuitive 25 years ago than it does now. I was tempted to blame the ’00s post-punk revivalists for rock’s sad present state, but then I heard Franz Ferdinand blasting from a restaurant and had much more utopian thoughts. SOMETHING NEW Chemtrails at the Country Club is the Lana Del Rey album for people who don’t like Lana Del Rey. Cherry-pie kitsch and classic-rock references are out the door, and these 11 tracks sound like a gentle breeze blowing across a field of grain. For the first time ever, her music gives us a sense of America as the inconceivably vast place we see in Westerns rather than just a loaded concept. “White Dress” is the best song she’s ever written. SOMETHING LOCAL Laura Veirs’ first new single since last year’s My Echo features two interpretations of a Rainer Maria Rilke poem, “The Panther,” one set to ukulele and another to guitar. Both instruments are treated with splendid, Arthur Russell-like distortion that gives the compositions a sense of place and conjures images much more vivid than you’d expect from a person alone with an instrument. The cover art is by a local artist, too—Anisa Makhoul’s big cat is indeed fearful, even if it’s not quite symmetrical. SOMETHING ASKEW Florian T M Zeisig loops bits of Enya’s 1988 mega-seller Watermark into disembodied elven madrigals on his new album, You Look So Serious. If you ever wanted to listen to the Lord of the Rings soundtrack without all the Uruk-hai war marches killing the vibe, this is the album for you. The title suggests this is somehow a comment on irony and musical taste, though it would be braver if he acted like Enya was never a joke in the first place.


Get Sprung Springtime is gummy time in Oregon. Here are six great local experiences to go along with them. BY BRIA N N A W H E E L E R

The skies are full of iridescent rainbows, technicolor daffodils are spilling over with misty-morning rainwater, and folks with their thighs out are wearing cutoff tank tops in mid-50-degree temperatures. It’s official—spring has sprung. One way to celebrate is by popping a cannabis gummy in a hue reminiscent of budding tulips, blooming crocus and blossoming cherry blossom trees before absorbing some intermittent sunshine. After a long, dark, traumatic winter, getting silly high and sponging up some flourishing Northwest flora is high-key therapeutic, whether it’s through a window or from a squishy lawn. WW rounded up six of the most festively fruity cannabis gummies and paired them with some of our favorite equinox escapades in anticipation of all the flower sniffing, sunbathing and cloud watching we intend to do while ringing in another spectacular rainbow season.

Hapy Kitchen Watermelon Sativa Fruit Smackers + Bridge Walking on the Willamette

Sour Botz Pineapple Gummies + Intense Spring Cleaning

Wyld Marionberry Gummies + Train Watching at Kelley Point Park

If you start on the Steel Bridge, you’ll probably be high by the time you get to the Hawthorne Bridge, after which the view from Tilikum Crossing will be 100% swoon-worthy. By the time the loop is finished, users will have inhaled enough spring air to force out any leftover ashy winter vibes—almost like a spring cleaning for the soul. Hapy Kitchen’s fruit smackers are sour pastille candies that come in 50 mg single packages. The candies are firm without being springy, and all have robust natural fruit flavors. Each gummy is potent and long lasting, but the spacey, energetic high of their sativa watermelon feels especially appropriate for springtime bridge walking.

I once ate a single, 5 mg serving of a Sour Botz gummy and turned my entire house upside down on an extreme cleaning rampage. The swooning onset sent me into a tailspin that was so uncharacteristic for a single serving I had to reexamine what cannabis tolerance even meant to me. Despite its potency, the high is somehow sheer and bouncy, though it might overwhelm low-tolerance users. Once the high plateaued, however, its euphoria evaporates into a high that’s physically invigorating. If getting wild-stoned and leaning into spring cleaning is your gummy modus operandi, I can’t recommend Sour Botz highly enough. But, of course, your results may vary.

Get it from: Kush Kart Cannabis Delivery, kushkartpdx.com.

Get it from: Carefree Cannabis, 5926 NE Killingsworth St., 971-888-5109, carefreepdx.com.

These indica gummies are an attractive low-dose option for users interested in building a manageable, long-lasting high and potentially sharing their stash with a homie or two. Wyld’s indica-infused marionberry gummies are flavored with authentic Oregon marionberries, and their bright, tangy mouthfuls only slightly suggest sticky terpenes, making them a great choice for users who are less than enthusiastic about skunky perfumes and gassy flavor profiles. The aftertaste may be only mildly satisfying to fans of danker strains, but die-hard marionberry aficionados should be sated across the board by this ubiquitous gummy. Expect a spacey head high, a languid body high, and a subtle tingle just beneath the skin.

Lunchbox Alchemy Tangos Mixed Sour Fruit Bites + Sunbathing in the Park

Mule Extracts Twisted Citrus Indica Mule Kickers + Meditating at Rocky Butte

For cannabis users looking for more of a rose-colored afternoon than a psychedelic day of river-crossing, Lunchbox Alchemy’s Tangos come in a snackable package full of 5 mg servings rather than one big-ass 50 mg gummy. The soft, buildable high is perfectly suited to leisurely afternoons spent sunbathing on vivid green city park lawns. For low-tolerance users, the 5 mg doses are gently uplifting without becoming incapacitating, and for high-tolerance users, the option to build their ultimate dose and enjoy more than one piece of sour candy is decidedly attractive. Each bag of Tangos contains two bonbons in each of five flavors: blood orange, green apple, Key lime, raspberry and strawberry. Pro tip: Eat two or three a few hours apart to maximize an all-day mellow vibe.

Rocky Butte is less trafficked than other popular city parks, but if the burned pre-roll filters that freckle the walkway are any indication, this elaborately enclosed, petite volcanic peak is a total stoner hot spot. Which is to say, copping a lotus position and staring into middle space while astral projecting on the south lawn is probably not going to elicit any suburban pearl clutching. Once you’ve achieved inner peace, you can take in what’s arguably the most stunning view of the Columbia River in the whole city. The meditative highs of Mule Extracts’ Mule Kicker gummies arrive via 50 mg hunks of firm, springy gummy. I have a personal affinity for the citrus variety, but all of Mule’s flagship candies deliver full-spectrum, strain-specific highs and are a great size for stoner-couple tandem meditation.

Get it from: Plane Jane’s, 10530 NE Simpson St., 971-255-0999, planejanesdispensary.com.

Get it from: Truly OG, 4936 N Williams Ave., 971-229-1266, trulyog.com.

Get it from: Power Plant, 2384 NW Thurman St., 971-803-7970, thurmanstreetcollective.com.

Grön 1:1 Peach Prosecco Pearls + Playing on the Swings at Mount Tabor If your springtime inauguration doesn’t include an annual visit to Mount Tabor, maybe make this the year to consider a new tradition. Wildflowers are blooming, tree branches are budding, and the rollerbladers have returned to bomb the winding hills. Watching all of this while riding the swings, buzzed on a pearl-shaped, 1-to-1 Grön peach prosecco-flavored gummy is the stuff springtime memories are made of. Each of the sugar spheres in a Peach Prosecco Pearl 10-pack contains 5 mg each of CBD and THC, so users can expect a tempered high that is rosy and uplifting without drifting too deeply into psychoactivity. Get it from: Paradise Found, 10655 SE 42nd Ave., Milwaukie, 503-387-3659, paradisefoundor.com.

Willamette Week APRIL 7, 2021 wweek.com



Be a Willamette Week featured artist! Any art style is welcome! Let’s share your art! Contact us at art@wweek.com.


Sandy’s Studio location is in south east portland. Past I.A.T.S.E. stagehand, current painter/artist. All work is available as limited edition coasters, magnets, and prints. atstellavoyd@gmail.com or 503 784-5199. Twitter @stellavoyd


Jack draws exactly what he sees n’ hears from the streets. IG @sketchypeoplepdx kentcomics.com


Willamette Week APRIL 7, 2021 wweek.com


Week of April 15

©2021 Rob Brezsny

by Matt Jones

"Never Say Never"--just click the link, I promise.

ARIES (March 21-April 19)

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

"Today I feel the whole world is a door," wrote poet Dennis Silk. In a similar spirit, 13th-century Zen master Wumen Huikai observed, “The whole world is a door of liberation, but people are unwilling to enter it." Now I'm here to tell you, Aries, that there will be times in the coming weeks when the whole world will feel like a door to you. And if you open it, you'll be led to potential opportunities for interesting changes that offer you liberation. This is a rare blessing. Please be sufficiently loose and alert and brave to take advantage.

Kublai Khan, ruler of the Mongol Empire and China in the second half of the 13th century, kept a retinue of 5,000 astrologers on retainer. Some were stationed on the roof of his palace, tasked with using sorcery to banish approaching storm clouds. If you asked me to perform a similar assignment, I would not do so. We need storms! They bring refreshing rain, and keep the earth in electrical balance. Lightning from storms creates ozone, a vital part of our atmosphere, and it converts nitrogen in the air into nitrogen in the ground, making the soil more fertile. Metaphorical storms often generate a host of necessary and welcome transformations, as well—as I suspect they will for you during the coming weeks.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20) Taurus philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein was called a genius by Nobel Prize-winning author Bertrand Russell. His *Philosophical Investigations* was once voted the 20th century's most important philosophy book. Yet one of Wittgenstein's famous quotes was "How hard it is to see what is right in front of my eyes!" Luckily for all of us, I suspect that won't be problem for you in the coming weeks, Taurus. In fact, I'm guessing you will see a whole range of things that were previously hidden, even though some of them had been right in front of your eyes. Congrats! Everyone whose life you touch will benefit because of this breakthrough.

GEMINI (May 21-June20) Why don't rivers flow straight? Well, sometimes they do, but only for a relatively short stretch. According to the US Geological Survey, no river moves in a linear trajectory for a distance of more than ten times its width. There are numerous reasons why this is so, including the friction caused by banks and the fact that river water streams faster at the center. The place where a river changes direction is called a "meander." I'd like to borrow this phenomenon to serve as a metaphor for your life in the coming weeks. I suspect your regular flow is due for a course change—a meander. Any intuitive ideas about which way to go? In which direction will the scenery be best? ACROSS 1 Dental degree 4 "Pygmalion" author's initials 7 Big name in keyboards and motorcycles 13 Green Day, for one 14 Key on either side of the space bar 15 Lack of interest 16 Song activity #1 18 Senator Kyrsten 19 Linguistic suffix with "morph" or "phon"

the things the singer's "never gonna" do to you describe the theme answers, in order 61 Extremely _ _ _ (addicted to Twitter, say) 62 "Thrilla in Manila" result, for short 63 "Black Swan" actress Kunis 64 World leader whose name is repeated in Dead Kennedys' "Holiday in Cambodia" 65 "_ _ _ alors!" 66 '60s activist gp.

20 Admit, as a guest


22 Director Grosbard with a palindromic name

1 Serious-and-funny show

23 Song activity #2

3 Landscaping purchase

28 Filipino dish

4 _ _ _ damn (cared)

29 Dock workers, at times

5 "Expletive deleted" sound

30 Actress Daly of "Judging Amy"

6 Runway

31 Capital in the Andes 34 Harry Potter sidekick 35 Song activity #3 38 _ _ _ de los Muertos 41 Gently prods 42 Rough file 46 Integrated set that allows you to browse the Internet, e.g. 48 Seasonal gift giver 49 Song activity #4 53 Play a part 54 Knock it off 55 Aussie hopper 56 Difference in a close ballgame 59 Song-based trick wherein

2 Had for supper

7 "_ _ _ queen!" 8 Bee-fix? 9 The Red Devils of the Premier League, when abbreviated (the team uses this as their website) 10 Artist's workshop 11 Author better known as Saki 12 "You're the Worst" star Cash 13 Casey's place, in a poem 17 _ _ _ buco (veal dish) 21 2010 Eminem song featuring Lil Wayne 24 "_ _ _ to differ!"

27 Channel that airs frequent reruns of "Family Feud" 31 "Arrested Development" surname 32 Venerable London theater 33 Band booking 36 Poker dues 37 Abbr. on folk music lyrics 38 Broadband internet alternative 39 Unequivocal refusal 40 Very small power source 43 Mobile phone choice 44 Leisurely walks 45 '50s music scandal cause 47 Vacation while stationed in parks, perhaps 48 Canine : "doggo" :: serpentine : "_ _ _" 50 "The Neighbors" actress Jami 51 17-syllable verse 52 Neckwear worn by Fred on "Scooby-Doo" 56 Alley-_ _ _ (basketball maneuver) 57 Card game with four main colors 58 Badminton divider 60 Abbr. in a rental ad

last week’s answers

CANCER (June 21-July 22) Cancerian poet Denis Johnson eventually became a celebrated writer who won numerous prizes, including the prestigious National Book Award. But life was rough when he was in his twenties. Because of his addictions to drugs and alcohol, he neglected his writing. Later, in one of his mature poems, he expressed appreciation to people who supported him earlier on. "You saw me when I was invisible," he wrote, "you spoke to me when I was deaf, you thanked me when I was a secret." Are there helpers like that in your own story? Now would be a perfect time to honor them and repay the favors.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) What do you believe in, exactly, Leo? The coming weeks will be a fine time to take an inventory of your beliefs—and then divest yourself of any that no longer serve you, no longer excite you, and no longer fit your changing understanding of how life works. For extra credit, I invite you to dream up some fun new beliefs that lighten your heart and stimulate your playfulness. For example, you could borrow poet Charles Wright's approach: "I believe what the thunder and lightning have to say." Or you could try my idea: "I believe in wonders and marvels that inspire me to fulfill my most interesting dreams."

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) Virgo poet Charles Wright testifies, "I write poems to untie myself, to do penance and disappear through the upper right-hand corner of things, to say grace." What about you, Virgo? What do you do in order to untie yourself and do penance and invoke grace? The coming weeks will be an excellent time for you to use all the tricks at your disposal to accomplish such useful transformations. And if you currently have a low supply of the necessary tricks, make it your healthy obsession to get more.

HOMEWORK: Tell me about your most interesting problem—the one that teaches you the most. FreeWillAstrology.com

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) "Unexpressed emotions will never die," declared trailblazing psychologist Sigmund Freud. "They are buried alive and they will come forth, later, in uglier ways." I agree, which is why I advise you not to bury your emotions—especially now, when they urgently need to be aired. OK? Please don't allow a scenario in which they will emerge later in ugly ways. Instead, find the courage to express them soon—in the most loving ways possible, hopefully, and with respect for people who may not be entirely receptive to them. Communicate with compassionate clarity.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) Sagittarian author Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz wrote a poem entitled “Not Doing Something Wrong Isn’t the Same as Doing Something Right." I propose that we make that thought one of your guiding themes during the next two weeks. If you choose to accept the assignment, you will make a list of three possible actions that fit the description "not doing something wrong," and three actions that consist of "doing something right." Then you will avoid doing the three wrong things named in the first list and give your generous energy to carrying out the three right things in the second list.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) In the past few weeks, I hope you've been treating yourself like a royal child. I hope you've been showering yourself with extra special nurturing and therapeutic treatments. I hope you've been telling yourself out loud how soulful and intelligent and resilient you are, and I hope you've delighted yourself by engaging with a series of educational inspirations. If for some inexplicable reason you have not been attending to these important matters with luxurious intensity, please make up for lost time in the coming days. Your success during the rest of 2021 depends on your devout devotion to self-care right now.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) Sometimes when a disheartening kind of darkness encroaches, we're right to be afraid. In fact, it's often wise to be afraid, because doing so may motivate us to ward off or transmute the darkness. But on other occasions, the disheartening darkness that seems to be encroaching isn't real, or else is actually less threatening than we imagine. Novelist John Steinbeck described the latter when he wrote, "I know beyond all doubt that the dark things crowding in on me either did not exist or were not dangerous to me, and still I was afraid." My suspicion is that this is the nature of the darkness you're currently worried about. Can you therefore find a way to banish or at least diminish your fear?

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20) "Some people, if they didn't make it hard for themselves, might fall asleep," wrote novelist Saul Bellow. In other words, some of us act as if it's entertaining, even exciting, to attract difficulties and cause problems for ourselves. If that describes you even a tiny bit, Pisces, I urge you to tone down that bad habit in the coming weeks—maybe even see if you can at least partially eliminate it. The cosmic rhythms will be on your side whenever you take measures to drown out the little voices in your head that try to undermine and sabotage you. At least for now, say "NO!" to making it hard for yourself. Say "YES!" to making it graceful for yourself.

25 Greek vowels 26 Indian restaurant basketful

©2021 Jonesin’ Crosswords (editor@jonesincrosswords.com) For answers to this puzzle, call: 1-900-226-2800, 99 cents per minute. Must be 18+. Or to bill to your credit card, call: 1-800-655-6548. Reference puzzle #JNZ990.

Check out Rob Brezsny’s Expanded Weekly Audio Horoscopes & Daily Text Message Horoscopes

freewillastrology.com The audio horoscopes are also available by phone at

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INTO THE GAS Night after night, Portlanders confront Trump’s violent police in downtown. It feels like a party, and the end of the world.


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By Latisha Jensen | Page 13 PLUS


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That’s also where Portland's housing is the most overcrowded.







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A pandemic has crippled Portland's biggest arts season. But that hasn't stopped local artists from creating. Page 11

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Willamette Week, April 7, 2021 - Volume 47, Issue 23 - The Electric Three-Wheel Acid Test  

Mark Frohnmayer Built a Three-Wheeled Rocket Trike. Why Is It Worth a Billion Dollars?

Willamette Week, April 7, 2021 - Volume 47, Issue 23 - The Electric Three-Wheel Acid Test  

Mark Frohnmayer Built a Three-Wheeled Rocket Trike. Why Is It Worth a Billion Dollars?