Willamette Week, July 20, 2022 - Volume 48, Issue 37 - "Native Soil"

Page 1

NEWS: The Gun Show Must Go On. P. 8 DRINK: Pacific Standard’s Four Standout Cocktails. P. 22 THEATER: E.M. Lewis’ Extinction Odyssey. P. 25

Portland teenagers are finding nature—and themselves—on a former landfill. By Brian Burk, Page 12

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VOL. 48, ISSUE 37 Joey Gibson got off. 5

A state committee rejected a proposal to fund a meth detox station. 7 Portland Archbishop Alexander Sample said you can’t be prochoice and a Catholic. 7 A St. Helens-based weapons dealer has rented the Portland

Expo Center from Metro to host gun shows four times in the past eight months. 8

A man outside the 4th and Washington Starbucks offered our reporter a swig of wine. 10 Cully Park features a pipe to release methane that builds up in the landfill beneath. 12 Plants in the Native Gathering Garden include thimbleberry and fireweed. 14

Looking to swap houseplants? There’s a place in the West Hills. 21

The Portland Sketch Comedy Festival is back for the first time since 2019. 21 The Washington Square Mall food court now has a beer garden. 22 Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s new bar has a two-per-person limit on its espresso martini—not due to the alcohol but the caffeine. 22 Twilight Theater Company is producing a play about cancer, extinction, genocide, and playing the viola . 25 PAM CUT is screening a lesbian action rom-com outside OMSI. 27


What’s the deal in Portland with the random unpaved sections of road?


Mark Zusman




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To provide Portlanders with an independent and irreverent understanding of how their worlds work so they can make a difference. Though Willamette Week is free, please take just one copy. Anyone removing papers in bulk from our distribution points will be prosecuted, as they say, to the full extent of the law.

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• •••• ••••

A T R E A LRBO S ER E T •••• A E H T

Violent crime is the story of Portland’s summer. No incident grabbed the public attention like the racist assault of a Japanese American family over the July 4 holiday weekend. The suspect was released back on the streets for several days—and WW explored why (“Walk This Way,” July 13), revealing that a felony bias crime booking doesn’t trigger a night in jail. In follow-up coverage on wweek.com, we considered how much blame progressive reforms to the criminal justice system should bear for high-profile attacks. Here’s what our readers had to say:

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police unions, an apathetic

court system, and a shitty format of city governance are to blame from what I see.” ERIK EKLUND, VIA WWEEK. COM: “Not to say this guy

should have been released, but I sure wish there was the same level of outrage over the fact that there are literally hundreds of people statewide awaiting trial who are not represented by lawyers as there is over one guy getting his ‘94 hours of freedom.’ These are our fellow citizens—people who are presumed innocent, and who qualify for court-appointed counsel, some of whom have been sitting in jail for months. The ‘tough on crime’ crowd continually sucks all the oxygen out of debates on criminal justice and dictate everything The Oregonian prints on the subject. I will give Willamette Week credit for being a little more nuanced on the subject. Because of this disparity, a significant portion of the community has been fooled into thinking our current urban decay is the result of two years of Mike Schmidt’s policies

Dr. Know BY MARTY SMITH @martysmithxxx

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piece, thank you. A pass-thebuck tragicomedy of bad judgment and people ‘just following the rules’ set against a loopy era of Oregon and national politics which is simultaneously trying to elevate hate crimes to the highest tier of punishable offenses while at the same time trying to empty the jails based on the same underlying, insidious supposition, that systemic racism creates the atmosphere for many hate crimes AND results in people in prison simply because of the color of their skin. In this case, you’d have to place a good part of the blame on the arresting officer, who charged this POS with a non-jailable offense. The officer should have known better, that stupidity would rule the day once the case got into the hands of the ‘release assistance officer,’ who did, in fact, assist with this turd’s release.”


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“What I’m hearing then is that the ‘criminal justice reform’ we were sold in 2020 can be back-burnered for the right kind of criminal. What’s the right kind? The court of public opinion will let you know.” BOJACK, VIA WWEEK.COM:

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(which in reality are not that different from any of his predecessors’), rather than 40-plus years of Reaganomics.”

Ranked-choice voting seems designed for optimists who like a lot of the candidates running for office. What if I dislike most of them and only choose one candidate? Will my vote still count? —Russell S. Ranked-choice voting’s biggest advantage is without a doubt the fact that it’s almost always evaluated by comparing it to our current system, which is a pile of hot garbage. (So hot it started a dumpster fire in 2016!) It’s like having Jared from Subway as your wingman—you can’t help but look good by comparison. In a nutshell, RCV is a system that lets you vote for Ralph Nader or Jill Stein without accidentally getting George W. Bush or Donald Trump elected president. Once your protest candidate is eliminated, your vote goes to your second (in this case, probably Democratic) choice. For what it’s worth, both Al Gore and Hillary Clinton would have won in this scenario. Yes, Russell, your vote will count. RCV is

“Why is the reducing the number of incarcerated people a goal unto itself? If there is more crime, shouldn’t there should be more punishment? Either we have a criminal justice system or we don’t.”


Japanese American member of the community, I truly appreciate WW’s straight-up reporting on this. “This article hits every single point: what happened/which entities were involved, background on Oregon’s hate crime laws and, most importantly, ‘How do we fix this?’”


“People wanted progressive reform, very little reform happened, and somehow the takeaway is ‘progressives ruined everything!’ instead of looking at, you know, everything else.”

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: PO Box 10770, Portland OR, 97296 Email: mzusman@wweek.com

sometimes called instant runoff, because it’s like having a second runoff election after the worst-performing candidate is eliminated. In a normal runoff, supporters of the eliminated candidate return to the voting booth to pull the lever for their second choice. With RCV, we already know who that second choice is, so there’s no need for a second election. If you choose only one candidate, you’re essentially just skipping the runoff. RCV is often touted as an antidote to partisanship: The fact that second choices count is supposed to favor compromise candidates. However, it turns out that ranked choice is subject to the same “center squeeze” as plurality voting (aka hot garbage). Imagine three candidates; we’ll call them Castro, Hitler and Biden. In the first round, Biden gets 32% of first-place votes, Hitler gets 35%, and Castro gets 33%. It’s close, but Biden is eliminated. The Biden voters’ second choice was equally divided between Hitler and Castro, so Hitler wins, even though all the other second-choice votes went to Biden—he was the first or second choice of all the voters, but he’s still out. Obviously, these numbers are made up, but real-life centrist candidates have lost to more ideological ones by the same mechanism. Is RCV better than plurality voting? Sure, but there are better alternatives—maybe it’s just as well that the current charter review process is starting to smell like smoke. Questions? Send them to dr.know@wweek.com.


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8-12&13 JOEY GIBSON IN 2019 JUDGE TOSSES OUT JOEY GIBSON RIOT CASE: A Multnomah County circuit judge has dismissed charges against Joey Gibson, the founder of Patriot Prayer, and Russell Schultz for their roles in a 2019 street brawl outside a cider bar in Northeast Portland. A trial in the case of a third defendant, Mackenzie Lewis, will continue. Judge Benjamin Souede threw out the charges in court July 19, saying that prosecutors had failed to demonstrate that Gibson and Schultz engaged in “tumultuous and violent conduct,” one of the requirements for conviction on riot charges. “The state is trying to convict Mr. Schultz for being present at an incident that violence occurred, and they cannot do so,” Souede said. “I am somewhat bewildered that the state has driven this case to this point,” he added, placing blame on the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office. JUDGE BOUNCED FROM OSWEGO LAKE ACCESS CASE: The long-running battle over public access to the waters of Oswego Lake took an unusual twist July 19. Originally filed in 2012 by plaintiffs Mark Kramer and Todd Prager, who argued the public should be allowed to use the lake for recreation, the case was appealed up to the Oregon Supreme Court, which sent it back to Clackamas County for reconsideration. There, Clackamas County Circuit Judge Ann Lininger presided over the first phase of a two-part trial. In April, Lininger ruled against the Lake Oswego Corporation, finding that the public should be allowed to access the lake through city parks. But then, in discovery this summer, the Lake Corp. found emails showing Kramer had communicated about the issue with Lininger when she was a state representative—before she went on the bench. The Lake Corp. asked Lininger to recuse herself. She refused. But on Tuesday, Multnomah County Circuit Judge Thomas Ryan found the prior communications disqualifying and threw her off the case. The parties are now considering next steps. BLOSSER RETURNS TO OREGON: Nik Blosser, who served as special assistant to President Joe Biden and deputy Cabinet secretary, left the White House on Friday, July 15. Blosser returned to Oregon last month and worked remotely for his final weeks in the Biden administration. On July 25, he is joining the power company Portland

General Electric as a vice president for public policy, communications and public affairs. In a phone conversation with WW, Blosser cited the mandate to decarbonize the grid by 80% by 2030 as a continuation of his past work on climate change. “It’s one of the great business and societal challenges that we have,” he says. BRAGDON PUBLICLY RUES BRIDGE VOTE: In a striking warning to the area’s Metro Council as well as other local leaders, former Metro Council President David Bragdon said last week that his vote more than a decade ago to support the Oregon Department of Transportation’s bridge over the Columbia River was “the biggest mistake of my career.” His criticism of the project on July 14 did not sway the current Metro Council, which voted 6-1 the same day to advance early designs for a new Interstate 5 bridge. (Councilor Mary Nolan was the sole vote against it.) Bragdon’s testimony begged the agency he once ran to consider his error: “I understand that essentially the same project, based on the same flawed methodology and half-truths, is now before you, again, dressed up with the same false promises.” Greg Johnson, administator of the Interstate Bridge Replacement program, disagrees: “We value the work that was done by the Columbia River Crossing, but this is a different project with numerous changes that have occurred since that project.” GORDON SMITH DISPUTES BIG LIE: Former U.S. Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) has joined a group of prominent fellow Republicans to author a new report, “Lost Not Stolen,” that analyzes each count of election fraud filed by the Trump campaign in six battleground states after the 2020 election. The group includes former U.S. Sen. John Danforth (R-Mo.), onetime U.S. Solicitor General Ted Olson, and J. Michael Luttig, a leading conservative legal voice who served on the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. Over the course of a year, the authors examined challenges to the vote counts in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, including claims of manipulated voting machines, miscounting of ballots, absentee-ballot procedures, voter drives and bribery. In summaries for each of the states, the authors conclude “there is no evidence of widespread election fraud.” Smith could not be reached for comment.

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A New Hope Oregon has just one Republican in Congress. Could one of these three candidates become the second? Oregon Republicans have to like their chances to pick up a seat in Congress this November. There’s every reason to think Democrats will have a tough year: President Joe Biden is unpopular. Inflation is high. COVID variants keep flaring up. The party in power generally loses seats in midterm elections. This year is unusual in that Oregon has three open congressional seats. U.S. Reps. Earl Blumenauer and Suzanne Bonamici, both incumbent Democrats, are expected to win easy races, as is the incumbent Republican, Rep. Cliff Bentz. But population gains meant Oregon gained an additional seat in Congress—and different district boundaries. Even after Democrats in the state moved aggressively to give themselves an edge in the new congressional maps, anything could happen come November. Primary voters chose weak Republican nominees for two of the three open seats. The third may provide an opportunity for Republicans this year; it’s considered a toss-up by prognosticators. Here’s why. R AC H E L M O N A H A N .


Alek Skarlatos

Strengths: He’s an Army vet who helped prevent a terrorist attack on a French train in 2015. He even made a movie about it, directed by Clint Eastwood. Skarlatos played himself. Weaknesses: He ran and lost to retiring Democratic Rep. Peter DeFazio in 2020. DeFazio retired and Skarlatos jumped in again, this time for an open seat. But Skarlatos has some odd campaign finance issues. He’s paying himself and his brother with campaign dollars. (That may be perfectly legal. Federal laws allow candidates to pay themselves a salary, even though state laws don’t.) And, after an Associated Press story appeared in the primary, he faces a Federal Election Commission complaint for moving money from a charity he created after his last campaign to fund this campaign. Primary: Despite virtually no opposition (the other candidates received just over 1,000 votes to his 58,000) and raising $2.5 million, he has just $650,000 on hand. That’s more than his opponent, but not much considering his weak GOP competition he faced. Democratic opponent: Bureau of Labor and Industries Commissioner Val Hoyle, an experienced politician and campaigner. His campaign says: Campaign manager Ross Purgason calls the FEC complaint “a political stunt” and “without merit,” adding, “Alek was never paid a dollar from the 15:17 Trust and never served on the board of directors.” “Because Alek is a veteran who has dedicated his life to serving Oregon, he is not personally wealthy,” Purgason says. “Solon Skarlatos is the political director of our campaign, he’s an important member of our team, and his compensation is at a rate similar to work on campaigns and Capitol Hill.”


Lori Chavez-DeRemer

Strengths: She may be Republicans’ best shot. She’s a moderate and businesswoman; she and her husband own medical practices. She also served as mayor of Happy Valley from 2010 to 2018. Weaknesses: She’s lost two close state legislative races to Rep. Janelle Bynum. Primary: Chavez-DeRemer beat well-funded, second-time congressional candidate Jimmy Crumpacker in a hard-fought race. He had Oregon Right to Life’s endorsement; she had to overcome an inconsistent position on abortion. Democratic opponent: Jamie McLeod-Skinner, who accom6

Willamette Week JULY 20, 2022 wweek.com


“We absolutely excoriate the Nazis, as we should, for the 6 million-plus Jews that were killed during that regime.…I think most people don’t realize that since Roe v. Wade in 1973, over 63 million unborn children have lost their lives to abortion just here in the United States.” —Portland Archbishop Alexander Sample, in a July 8 video Sample took to YouTube in a slickly produced video that in slightly less than 10 minutes manages to equate abortion with Nazism, declares “the action of abortion and advocating for abortion is evil,” and concludes that if you are pro-choice, you aren’t Catholic. “It’s like a person who claims to be vegan and then eats meat,” Sample says. “It’s incoherent.” Sample, 61, enjoys a large flock: 124 parishes and missions; dozens of schools with 14,000 students; and two of the state’s largest hospital systems, Providence and Legacy. And he’s been archbishop since 2013, long enough to know state and local politics. The archdiocese did not respond to requests for comment, so we asked others what’s going on.

What’s the context of Sample’s remarks?

Sample’s pronouncements come on the heels of a May 27 video in which he voiced his support for San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone’s denying House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) communion anywhere in his diocese because of her support for abortion rights. Sample applauded that decision. “What Archbishop Cordileone did was actually an act of pastoral love and care

for Speaker Pelosi,” he said. Kevin Mannix, the prolific Salem ballot measure author and former lawmaker running for a House seat, is one of few Oregon politicians who strongly identifies as Catholic. Mannix says the national climate may present opportunities for pro-life Oregonians, but such conversations must be “straightforward but gentle.” The new video arrived two weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned federal abortion protections—and Portland protesters both marched and shattered windows in response. Sample’s video suggests he isn’t surrendering turf or conceding that his stance is antithetical to women’s rights. “We care profoundly about women,” Sample said in the July video. “In fact, you know, the church is one of the preeminent organizations that is reaching out in various ways to help women.”

What are the politics of abortion among Catholics?

Portland pollster John Horvick of DHM Research says his firm rarely asks Oregonians about abortion because it’s a settled issue here. Nationally, Horvick says, polling consistently finds an even split. “Catholics are ambivalent on abortion,” Horvick says.

plished the rare feat of taking out incumbent Rep. Kurt Schrader from the left. But that gives Chavez-DeRemer an opportunity, too, to cast herself as the right fit for the new district. Her campaign says: “Lori Chavez-DeRemer wants to go to Congress to tackle the issues that are impacting Oregonians, like inflation, rising crime rates, and education,” says campaign manager Jihun Han. “Lori is the only common-sense candidate in this race who has a proven bipartisan track record as mayor of Happy Valley and will make a fantastic congresswoman.”


Mike Erickson

Strengths: He can spend his own money on the campaign. Erickson has loaned or given himself $1.3 million so far. He’s a businessman who has run for Congress before. Weaknesses: Plenty of Republicans have written off the district, which might otherwise be up for grabs given how close party registration numbers are. Their pessimism stems from a notable scandal Erickson faced in his last run for Congress, in 2008. The allegation: He drove a woman he dated to get an abortion and paid for it. The woman and her friends spoke to the media, and Erickson denied knowing anything about the abortion or the pregnancy. In 2008, Oregon Right to Life, his Republican opponent in the primary, and other Republicans refused to endorse him. Primary: In theory, it was competitive. But he easily defeated moderate Ron Noble, who proved ill-suited to raising money. Democratic opponent: State Rep. Andrea Salinas, who won a hotly contested primary against an opponent funded by a crypto billionaire. His campaign says: The Erickson campaign did not respond to voicemail or email requests for comment.

“It’s about 50-50.” As a non-Catholic, Horvick says he can only speculate about Sample’s motivation, but he says it might make sense post-Roe to try to galvanize pro-lifers to push for some limits on abortion or more parental notification here. “Relative to other states, Oregon has exceptionally permissive abortion laws,” Horvick says. “Maybe his rhetoric is about motivating true believers.”

Could that happen here?

Oregon has among the nation’s strongest abortion protections, and voters have consistently reflected that support. In 2018, voters nixed ending public funding for abortion 64% to 36%. Samantha Gladu, the Portland-based organizational development director for the National Network of Abortion Funds, says Oregonians are ready to defend current abortion laws. “The anti-abortion movement is a radical minority that is out of step with the majority of Americans who support abortion and is rooted in white supremacy and violence,” she adds. “They have led an insidious, strategic power campaign and aligned with the most cruel, dangerous, hateful, and dehumanizing political groups to achieve their goals by any means necessary.” N I G E L J AQ U I S S .


The PCEF Prizes With big money at stake, we examine the winners of a second round of Portland Clean Energy Fund grants. Earlier this month, the grant committee at the Portland Clean Energy Community Benefits Fund announced its picks for which nonprofit organizations should get tax money to fight climate change, create green jobs, and drive climate investments in low-income communities of color. The nine-member, all-volunteer committee picked 66 projects totaling $111 million. (The fund has raised $300 million in three years of taxing the sales of large retailers.) The Portland City Council is scheduled to vote on approving the list July 20. Commissioners could ax individual grants this week, but it would be unusual at this stage in the process, city officials said. The vote is designed to be all or nothing.


Drug Deals Established substance abuse treatment providers say biased and illogical grant awards could waste millions in new addiction treatment funding. BY N I G E L J AQ U I S S

njaquiss@wweek .com

Some of Portland’s largest providers of substance abuse disorder treatment are furious at the way tens of millions of dollars in new funding are being allocated in Multnomah County. There’s a lot of cash at stake: $59 million of new funding from Measure 110 for Multnomah County providers alone. Oregon voters approved the measure two years ago to decriminalize the personal use of most hard drugs—including heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and opioids—while also diverting most of the tax revenues from recreational cannabis to fund new treatment for substance abuse disorder. Decriminalization officially went into effect in February 2021 and, unofficially, even earlier in some counties. Meanwhile, the Oregon Health Authority has struggled to get treatment dollars out the door. While money sits unused, Oregonians are dying of overdoses at ever higher rates. Ear-

lier this month, the state reported that drug overdose deaths had more than doubled, from 496 in 2019 to 1,072 in 2021. During that time, fentanyl overdoses rose from 71 to 509, an increase of more than 600%. The 21-member Oversight and Accountability Council mandated by the measure is still wading through an approval process that is cumbersome, unwieldy and, critics say, rife with subjectivity and decisions that aren’t in patients’ best interests. The council is charged with distributing $265 million over the next two years. It is also, by design, different from public bodies that have sway over large amounts of taxpayer cash: Its members are mostly people in recovery who work in the treatment field. That means they bring a lot of lived experience, but limited budgetary and management skills. That shortcoming features prominently in a June 29 letter from eight senior officials, including representatives of Multnomah County, the city of Portland, Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare, and LifeWorks NW, to the OAC and OHA brass. “We are writing to formally ask OHA for a review and redetermination of the grant decisions in Multnomah County,” the letter reads, “and, in parallel, to request an opportunity to discuss the procedural and substantive problems that occurred.” Co-chairs of the OAC did not respond to requests for comment on critics’ concerns. Tim Heider, a spokesman for OHA, which is responsible for implementing the measure, says his agency also will not comment on specific criticisms. After receiving the critics’ letter, however, OHA sent members of the council a three-page letter reminding them they must avoid biases and conflicts of interest and follow the criteria the health authority established for evaluating submissions. “In addition to questions about fairness, inconsistencies in the OAC’s decision-making can result in delays and disruptions to funding decisions,” the letter reads.

Here are some of the biggest, most interesting, and strangest winners. ANTHONY EFFINGER.


Community Energy Project Inc., $10 million over five years CEP retrofits homes to make them more energy efficient. It proposes to do as many as 50 homes annually for five years, with at least 25 homes a year belonging to BIPOC owners. All systems in a house would be converted to electric. Depending on need, they’d also get things like new insulation, sealing, and even heat pumps, the energy-efficient devices that cool homes in the summer and heat them in the winter. CEP says the upgrades would reduce energy usage by 42% and cut utility bills by 28%.


Constructing Hope Pre-Apprenticeship Program, $2.4 million annually Constructing Hope has been in business for 15 years, running free 10-week training programs in construction work. It hopes to use PCEF money to help more women and low-income people of color start careers in construction. Over the course of three years, Constructing Hope aims to enroll 595 students in pre-apprenticeship training, graduate 475 of them, and place 400 into clean energy and green construction projects. It asked for $7.2 million, or $2.4 million a year.


Community Cycling Center, $499,000 It’s hard to knock bicycles in Portland, but PCEF’s description of Community Cycling Center’s project raises more questions

Here’s what critics are upset about:

Critics say the funding allocations are inconsistent.

In their letter, the critics allude to a decision-making process that they say can seem arbitrary and heavily influenced by personal experience rather than the information that providers submitted in their applications. “We recognize each of the 21 OAC members have important life experiences, professional expertise and extensive relationships in Oregon,” the letter says. “While this background helps them in understanding client and sector needs, it has also meant they carry certain biases in how they interpret the intended priorities of the fund.” The OAC subcommittee insisted, for instance, that some applicants hire peer mentors, even if their proposal didn’t call for them. And Mary Monnat, CEO of LifeWorks NW, expressed surprise that her nonprofit’s application for funding in Washington County was approved while an identical application for Multnomah County was rejected.

Critics say the funding decisions ignore the coexistence of substance abuse and mental illness.

One controversial decision the subcommittee made was not to fund organizations that proposed to treat people with dual diagnoses of substance abuse and mental illness. Critics blasted that decision as at odds with the reality that many people suffer from both. “This narrow interpretation of the fund and its intended uses contradicts the [OHA] Request for Grant Application and Rules,” the letter says. Tera Hurst, executive director of the Oregon Health Justice Recovery Alliance, has monitored the OAC’s deliberations, which occur at weekly Zoom meetings. She acknowledges panel members expressed opposition to funding dual diagnosis programs but blames OHA staff for not stepping in to

correct them. “There are people on the OAC who work in addiction who feel that mental gets reimbursement at a higher level and so they should only fund substance abuse disorder programs,” Hurst says. “But OHA staff should have weighed in and said, ‘You can fund this.’”

Critics say the system will be chaotic.

One of the elements included in Multnomah County’s proposal was a common entry point for anybody seeking help from any of the dozens of treatment providers in the county. Julie Dodge, interim director of the county’s behavioral health system, says her agency’s proposal was rejected out of hand. “The subcommittee’s discussion of our proposal was about two minutes long,” Dodge says. “They said, ‘They already have plenty of money, and the salaries they are proposing are excessive.’” OAC members also rejected a proposal to replace the downtown sobering center formerly run by Central City Concern and the Portland Police Bureau. Advocates for replacing that center believe a new, more comprehensive facility could sharply reduce the relatively high number of people in crisis who require a disproportionate share of resources from public safety agencies and hospital emergency rooms. One of those advocates, Multnomah County Commissioner Sharon Meieran, an emergency room physician, says she’s disappointed the panel missed a chance to create a vital triage center for some of the neediest people on the county’s streets. “People are cycling through ERs, jails and the street because there’s nowhere else to go,” Meieran says. “Unless we do something different, that cycle will never be broken.” Dodge says she hopes the OAC will take the criticisms by her and others to heart. “I’m worried that people won’t be able to find the services they need,” she adds. “Creating access was the whole point of Measure 110.”

than it answers. PCEF said Community Cycling would “give away 60 bikes, fund 14,000 hours of staff time, and provide stipends and logistical support to Black and Latinx community leaders so they can engage in transportation-related system improvement discussions.” Wait, what was that middle part? In an email, Community Cycling executive director Momoko Saunders said the center would give away more than 900 bikes in three years, 60 of which would be paid for by PCEF, and use much of the money to run free summer camps and after-school clubs for low-income youth. “We estimate servicing 2,200 people in our programs for the three-year period,” Saunders wrote. That’s clearer.


Hacienda Community Development Corp., $9.4 million At least five PCEF projects propose to remove gas-powered furnaces or appliances and replace them with electric devices, a move that hurts NW Natural, Oregon’s largest gas seller. Once considered a clean fuel, natural gas is becoming a villain among environmentalists in the state. Hacienda, an affordable housing provider, proposes to upgrade six developments, removing gas heating in as many as 243 units. NW Natural had no comment on the PCEF proposals that take houses and apartments off its gas network.


Friends of Trees, $96,000 Trees are a proven (and time-tested) technology for removing carbon from the atmosphere. The shade they provide also cools cities and can make life more bearable in the “heat islands” that


result in neighborhoods with too much pavement. Even so, Friends of Trees, the community tree-planting organization, was snubbed when it asked PCEF for $83,526 from the first round of grants. (As Oregon Public Broadcasting reported last week, the nonprofit was also collateral damage in a pissing match between city bureaus.) This time, PCEF delivered, recommending that the City Council approve a planning grant to serve communities of color. Friends of Trees says its saplings are shovel ready. Willamette Week JULY 20, 2022 wweek.com



A Farewell to Arms Even after promoters fled, Metro kept hosting gun shows. That is, until this week. BY L U C A S M A N F I E L D

Get Busy Tonight OUR EVENT PICKS, E M A I L E D W E E K LY. 8

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Two event promotion companies hosted nine gun shows at the Portland Expo Center in 2019. The following year, neither returned. One promoter had health issues, the other blamed poor attendance. It was an opportunity for Metro, the regional government that owns the Oregon Zoo and two convention centers, to abandon a long-criticized revenue stream that was already drying up. Instead, the agency signed a new contract with Rob Heller, a St. Helens-based weapons dealer convicted of federal tax evasion whose company manufactures ammunition and customized semi-automatic rifles. The first two events, scheduled for March and May 2020, were canceled due to COVID. But Heller persevered. He has rented the Portland Expo Center from Metro to host the “Shooting Sports & Blade Expo” four times in the past eight months, records obtained by WW show. It has not gone well. A trove of semi-automatic rifles and other guns was stolen earlier this year from under the nose of one of Heller’s employees as she and her son packed their bags in a hotel room overlooking the hotel parking lot. Still, Heller’s company has been publicizing two more shows at the Expo Center later this year: one on Sept. 10 and the other Nov. 19. WW asked Metro about these shows last Thursday, July 14. The next day, Metro sent Heller a letter informing him the Expo Center would no longer host his gun shows. The letter, dated Wednesday, July 13, cited “consistent communication issues” and missing

paperwork as reasons for not renewing the contract. Agency spokesman Neil Simon said the decision had been in the works for some time. Metro is a regional government that regularly trumpets its progressive values. Those values seem to clash with the hosting of gun shows, which activists argue glorify violence even as the nation fails to stanch a tide of gun massacres. “A gun show is a celebration of products that are poorly regulated and whose only purpose is ultimately to kill,” says Penny Okamoto, a longtime activist with Ceasefire Oregon. But the Expo Center is currently short on cash. Tourism cratered in the wake of the pandemic, and records show the center has been unable to generate enough revenue from events to pay its bills. Simon said Metro Council President Lynn Peterson was unavailable to answer questions prior to publication of this story. So WW reached out to the other six members of the Metro Council for comment. Only two replied. “It is not an issue I have kept up with,” wrote Gerritt Rosenthal, who represents Portland’s Southwest suburbs on the council, in an email. Duncan Hwang, who was elected to represent Southeast and Southwest Portland on the council earlier this year, said he was unaware that Metro had recently hosted gun shows: “That’s certainly not in alignment with the values I believe in.” At a meeting in 2013, the Metro Council gathered to figure out a way to ban handguns at the Oregon Zoo. But the conversation derailed quickly: Someone pointed


SHOWPLACE: The Portland Expo Center hosted the Pacific Northwest Sportsmen’s Show earlier this year. It also hosted gun shows.

out that Metro seemed to be doing quite a lot already to encourage firearms on its properties. It was hosting gun shows. Two councilors questioned the logic of banning guns at one property while selling them at another, WW reported at the time. Then-Metro Council President Tom Hughes argued that gun shows were safer under Metro’s roof, according to an agency report on the meeting. “I don’t know that you’re going to stop gun shows,” Hughes said. “They’ll probably move to the Clark County Fairgrounds or other places where the facility is not equipped adequately to deal with the kind of technology we can provide at our facility.” Hughes was replaced by Peterson in 2019. And it was under Peterson that Metro went into business with Rob Heller. Heller runs his businesses, Heller Enterprises, out of a beige St. Helens warehouse across the railroad tracks from Highway 30. Overlooking the highway is a large sign advertising his ball-bearing business: “Service is our specialty,” it reads. In 2018, Heller celebrated his 30th year in business by hosting a cookout featured in the St. Helens Chronicle. Heller had been in the business since he was 21 years old, working with his dad, the paper said. The business specialized in bearings, but eventually expanded into ammunition and firearms. The shop had a computer numerical control machine, and Heller discovered he could use it to make extremely accurate semi-automatic rifle barrels. For years, Heller made a lot of money selling ammunition for cash at gun shows. But he paid taxes on none of it. He owed $287,500 by the time the Internal Revenue Service caught on in 2014. After federal agents raided his warehouse, Heller pleaded guilty to tax evasion in 2016 and spent six months under house arrest. But he did not lose his business. At some point, Heller graduated from vendor to promoter. He hired a woman named Julie Zielke to run his new gun show business. Zielke was in the office last Thursday. A flyer taped to the front door advertised a dozen gun shows, including

two upcoming events at the Expo Center. In 2020, she said, Heller took over the shows run by another promoter, Wes Knodel, who was ill and wanted out. Conditions at the venue were deteriorating, Zielke said. Vandals have smashed truck windows in the parking lot and slashed tires, and vendors were complaining. “They don’t feel safe,” she said. Last May, Zielke and her son drove his F-250 pickup truck from the Portland Expo Center with a trailer full of semi-automatic rifles and other guns that had been for sale at that weekend’s show. (Heller Enterprises is a federally licensed arms dealer. It acts as a middleman at its gun shows, holding weapons until buyers pass background checks, a process that can take months, Zielke says.) The two were packing their bags in their hotel room at the Oxford Suites on Hayden Island when they saw their truck, gun-filled trailer in tow, drive away from the hotel parking lot, the son told The Oregonian at the time. The thieves fled to Washington with the trailer, cops in hot pursuit. They didn’t make it far; police stopped the truck and trailer with spike strips, and they jackknifed in the middle of the Interstate Bridge, totaling another car. The cops arrested two suspects. An agent for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives told the news media that the guns, taken straight from the Portland Expo Center, were in the “wrong hands” and “a threat to the safety of the community.” The ATF did not respond to WW’s inquiries about whether the guns were recovered. Despite security concerns, the shows were still profitable, Zielke said. Heller made a request to rent the Expo Center again this year. It is not clear what Expo Center director Matthew Rotchford knew about the nature of Heller’s business when he signed Metro’s first contract with the company in March 2020. And it’s not clear what he told Metro leaders. WW left a voicemail for Rotchford, but did not hear back by press time. Rotchford did know, however, that the Expo Center’s finances were in shambles. The pandemic eliminated event revenue the center relied on. Gun shows are by no means the center’s biggest moneymaker, but they are not insignificant. They appear occasionally in monthly reports of the center’s “highest-grossing events” distributed among the center’s leaders. Metro has consistently earned around $20,000 for each show, according to data Simon gave to WW. In the past five years, it hosted 29 shows and earned $637,000.

“That’s certainly not in alignment with the values I believe in.”

In 2020, that income disappeared and the Expo Center’s finances are still hurting. It is projected to lose money this fiscal year, according to a March budget report. Still, Okamoto isn’t convinced that gun shows are the best method for Metro to keep the lights on. “There’s got to be a better way,” she says, “than by selling arms.” In a statement informing WW the upcoming shows were canceled, agency spokesman Simon said: “Metro takes very seriously issues related to gun safety.” Zielke initially offered to make Heller available for an interview, but she stopped returning calls after WW initially contacted Metro for this story. A message left for Heller at his office was never returned.

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GATEWAY Thursday, 10:30 am: The shopping plaza along Halsey seems to be still waking up. An older man outside tries to move one of the green Starbucks umbrellas to a sunny spot. A man in his 30s named Shy and an unnamed man in his 70s are doing a Bible study together.

GOTTA GO: Starbucks is shuttering its store on Northeast Halsey Street in the Gateway neighborhood.

Falling Starbucks

reporters spent two days at both locations. We encountered relieved baristas, skeptical customers, a lot of panhandling, and one man who offered us a beverage that wasn’t coffee.

Two Starbucks on opposite sides of Portland are closing due to safety concerns. We spent 48 hours at them.

Thursday, 10 am: Suzi Chan, a regular at the store, says she thinks the closure is due to “mainly druggies walking around. It’s uncomfortable more than anything. I don’t think it’s unsafe as much as it is just uncomfortable.” The store is now “grab and go” only, meaning it no longer offers a seating area or access to restrooms. Another patron blames the vandalism: “That’s when it happens, when they have too many people and the protesting promotes more bad influence on people doing stuff like this— vandalism.”

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Abdul was shocked to learn his neighborhood Starbucks would disappear within the month. Abdul, who declined to give his last name, had stopped by the coffee giant’s Gateway store on Northeast Halsey Street for a Friday afternoon caffeine boost. That’s when he found out the location was one of 16 shops that the Seattle corporate office was closing—saying it had become too dangerous to operate. He was dismayed. Sure, the place had hosted enough disturbances that police were regularly called and baristas expressed relief at working someplace else. But it still felt like home. “I’ve been coming here for 15 years,” Abdul says. “I know everybody here. Some of the customers are like me: They know everybody.” Starbucks announced July 11 that its safety closures will include two Portland stores. One is in downtown Portland, at the corner of Southwest 4th Avenue and Morrison Street. The other is a short walk from the Gateway Transit Center, in a shopping plaza in deep Northeast Portland. The announcement said all 16 stores were closing for the same reasons: mental health crises, drug use and other safety issues at the Starbucks locations, though the company would not recount any specific incidents or the types of incidents that spurred the closures. “You’re also seeing firsthand the challenges facing our communities—personal safety, racism, lack of access to healthcare, a growing mental health crisis, rising drug use, and more,” Starbucks executives wrote to employees in a July 11 public letter. “We read every incident report you file—it’s a lot.” Starbucks declined to provide an incident log to WW from either store or to say how many calls were made to police from the two locations. A Portland police spokesman could not

be reached for comment on how often cops respond to calls from the stores. In Portland and other cities like Los Angeles (which is losing six Starbucks) and Seattle (losing five), the closures are the latest insult to the reputations of progressive cities. The problems cited by Starbucks are all too familiar: property destruction and crime, persistent homelessness and visible drug use, and a gutted downtown core after two years of an ongoing pandemic. Jason Renaud, a board member of the Mental Health Association of Portland, isn’t impressed by Starbucks’ rationale. “Blaming people with [mental] troubles is asinine,” he says. “There may be people causing troubles, but blaming them for your business failure, that’s not real.” But Renaud acknowledges that such blame is increasingly common. “Pretty much everybody who sits by a door in the metro area is having this conversation.” Starbucks’ decision as to which shops to close remains mysterious. Nine other Starbucks operate within a mile of the doomed downtown location; two are less than a couple of blocks away. A Starbucks kiosk operates inside the Safeway across the parking lot from the Gateway store. And the closures arrive as Starbucks faces a nationwide unionization drive. Neither the Gateway nor downtown location is unionized, but workers at the downtown store filed May 31 to unionize and are currently in a voting process scheduled to end Aug. 5, despite the fact the store will close July 27. (Less than half a mile away, at Southwest 5th Avenue and Oak Street, is a unionized store that will remain open.) While only 1% of Starbucks locations nationwide are unionized, 19% of those being shut down are unionized shops, reports The ºWall Street Journal. “It’s pretty egregious union-busting,” says Quentin Kanta, a lead organizer of Starbucks Workers United. Following Starbucks’ announcement, WW


Thursday, 3:35 pm: A young person comes in for coffee and mumbles quietly, then exits the store and rolls a shopping cart full of personal belongings away. Thursday, 3:40 pm: A guy whizzes by on a scooter, carrying a stack of dirty scooters while he rides. The MAX line passes by, adding a rumbling, ambient noise. Thursday, 3:50 pm: Barry, a young homeless guy, sits cross-legged outside the store and holds a sign that reads, “Any $$ U can spare, help thank u.” Barry’s girlfriend is seven months pregnant, and he’s unemployed but trying to get a job at a nearby hotel. “We’re a week away from housing, so you’d think we’d be at the top of the list,” he says. Thursday, 4:30 pm: Puna, a Nike store security guard on the same block, says he’s felt less safe lately due to people doing drugs. “We often have to kick people out of here,” he says, pointing to alcoves near the store’s entryway. Friday, 1:25 pm: A visibly inebriated man sits outside the store and talks unintelligibly to a truck driver. He holds a full bottle of wine. He offers it to a WW reporter as well as other passersby. Friday, 1:46 pm: A man sits down across the street in the shade with a sign that reads, “Any $ helps.”

Thursday, noon: A woman waiting for her drink in the lobby begins yelling unintelligibly, having what appears to be a mental health crisis. “Why do I have to go outside?” she yells at a security guard who approaches her. “Get the heck away from me.” After the guard escorts her outside, she collapses on the sidewalk. The guard picks her up by her armpits, and she walks into the parking lot. Shortly thereafter, two Portland police officers show up, speak to employees, and drive off in the direction the woman was last headed. Police categorize it as a “priority disturbance” in a running incident log. Employees at the Subway, which shares a door with the Starbucks, say such incidents happen frequently; last week, someone threw a chair through the window. A Starbucks employee nods affirmatively and makes a lips-sealed motion.

“I’ve been coming here for 15 years.”

Thursday, 4:08 pm: A man who appears to be intoxicated asks for water and lemons and enters the restroom. His clothes are dirty and a yellow bungee cord keeps his pants from falling down. He staggers around the store for several minutes before leaving. Starbucks employees have a small walkie-talkie at the register to communicate with security. But the baristas seem familiar with this man and don’t reach for the radio. Thursday, 4:14 pm: A woman browsing the cup collection tells the barista she’s sad the store is closing; it’s the closest one to her home. “It definitely feels unsafe,” the barista replies. “We’ve had cops many times.” The customer tells the barista she hopes that safety, not racism, is the reason the store is closing. There’s a large Ethiopian community in the area, she says. The barista replies that drugs are the overwhelming issue. Thursday, 4:45 pm: A patron orders a frappuccino and asks about the closure. The baristas say they’re mostly moving to the Airport Way location. One says, “I’m excited for a new beginning.” Friday, 10:54 am: A man in a wheelchair orders a drink from a barista, and she brings it to him outside. There’s a lively, bustling atmosphere both inside and outside the store as people chat with one another. Friday, 12:20 pm: A man in ragged clothes stumbles around, gets water from the Starbucks, goes outside, and pours the water on his head. Another woman sits outside the Subway adjacent to the Starbucks with a suitcase. Friday, 1 pm: The store closes early due to short staffing. Willamette Week JULY 20, 2022 wweek.com


Native Soil Portland teenagers are finding nature— and themselves—on a former landfill. BY BRIAN BURK


n a small rise overlooking Cully Park, an incoming McDaniel High School freshman named Adrian is pulling armfuls of vetch from the ground. He and nine other teenagers are up to their waists in tall grass on an already warm July morning in deep Northeast Portland. Wearing gardening gloves, T-shirts and face coverings, the teens chatter while they uproot vetch, an aggressive pea vine that competes with native plants. It has to go. These kids are members of the Youth Conservation Crew, a program for 14- to 18-year-olds run by Portland Parks & Recreation that sends five teams to plant trees, clear trails and yank unwanted plants in city parks starting at $14.75 an hour. This group, which tends community gardens, is the newest in the city, established just last year within the YCC. If you hear echoes of the New Deal in that name, you’re not wrong: Like the Works Progress Administration of another century, this city program is trying to mend an unfair society by putting young people to work. Yeah, from one point of view it’s just a summer job: These teens are following in the footsteps of anybody who’s ever spent a few hot months in a lifeguard chair or behind the counter of a Hot Dog on a Stick. But as Portland grows hotter each summer—especially in East Portland—Adrian and his crewmates are tending gardens in a place where relief from the sun is hard to come by: their own neighborhoods.


Willamette Week JULY 20, 2022 wweek.com


For decades, East Portland has suffered from a shortage of greenspace. Some 40% of households east of Interstate 205 can’t walk to a park within 15 minutes of their homes. Trees are scarcer, too. Cully Park (which lies just west of I-205) is itself built over a landfill that closed in 1990. Methane gas still burbles from a large gray pipe—called a “flare”—at the park’s edge as what was dumped here slowly decomposes. At the same time, East Portland has the city’s greatest concentration of kids under 18. Kids from these neighborhoods are more likely to be low-income people of color. They’re less likely to spend time in nature—or seek a career in it. Until joining this program, few of them knew that the bluffs that make up Cully Park are places where Indigenous tribes have long grown—and continue to grow—food for their communities. It is a modest project: 10 kids in gardens, for seven weeks, lugging water buckets and pushing wheelbarrows. But at a moment when all federal efforts to arrest global warming appear stymied by West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, and local efforts to rectify climate injustice are cash rich but untested (see page 7), Portland could use any win it can get. This photographer spent several days over the past two weeks in Cully Park with the kids of the Youth Conservation Crew’s community gardens team. In the following pages, we’ll show you why a day in the garden matters. CONTINUED ON PAGE 14

Willamette Week JULY 20, 2022 wweek.com


The crew restores land scarred by industry to what it once was. Brenda, along with her crewmates Alex and Yasmin, continue their battle with vetch. Against a backdrop of tractor tires and semi trailers, they fill a yellow wheelbarrow with armloads of tangled vines. The teens are in the Cully Park Native Gathering Garden, where plants are intentionally chosen for their native or cultural significance: thimbleberry, yarrow, salal, camas and fireweed. Indigenous land care practices are used to tend them. The scars of heavy industry are easily visible from this knoll: not just the methane flare, but a warehouse overflowing with used tires, and the silhouette of the Owens-Brockway glass recycling plant, which was hit with a $1 million state fine last year for releasing toxins into the neighborhood air. But by working here, Brenda and her peers are learning about a history that predates the landfill. “This is land that Indigenous people have gathered on, cared for and lived on for millennia, since time immemorial,” says Nichole Bruno, Native Gathering Garden coordinator. “Which means there is not a time that people can remember that there were no Indigenous people on this land.” 14

Willamette Week JULY 20, 2022 wweek.com

The teens’ work gets them thinking about the planet’s future—and their own. As the temperature pushes into the 80s, a Sunset High School junior named Peter grunts while lugging a 5-gallon water bucket from the irrigation spigot. He and his crewmates are hauling bucket after bucket to specific locations in the garden, then gingerly pouring water on select plants. Peter has been thinking about how this work could help a warming planet. “Improving the plant ecosystems overall will help more plants thrive, and I think that will help aid climate change,” he says. “It stops the amount of CO2 emissions, or reduces them. I think we are making a real impact.” What might make a larger impact is if the summer job spurs Peter into a green career. He’s weighing his options for college and beyond. “I was always looking to become an engineer, but through this job, I think maybe an environmental engineering field could be more suited to me,” he says. “I’ll look into going somewhere with good environmental science studies.”

CONTINUED ON PAGE 16 Willamette Week JULY 20, 2022 wweek.com


They care for each other while caring for the land. Every 15 minutes or so, when the temperature is at its hottest, a crew or staff member shouts, “WAM!”—short for “water appreciation moment”—and all within earshot must chug from their bottles. “We focus a lot on wellness and making sure we take breaks,” says crew sponsor Max Rodrigues, who manages the group. “It’s really easy not to.” Raised in the Portland area with a degree in natural resources, Rodrigues is in their first year with the YCC program. They say the program looks for teenagers of color and other marginalized communities—“not to tokenize them, but to give them the opportunity to experience this field, which is otherwise pretty hard to get into if you don’t already have knowledge of it.” Bruno agrees: “When we’re caring for the land, we have to care for ourselves as well,” she says. “And we have to care for each other.” During a lull between activities, Bruno switches on some of the lawn sprinklers, and the crew runs wild through arcs of water like the kids they are. On a lunch break, crew members Angelica and Amira sit together. They’ve just discovered they’ll both be attending Centennial High School in the fall, Amira as a sophomore and Angelica as a freshman. Angelica is nervous about starting high school. “I don’t want to get lost or be late, and then everyone just looks at me while I’m walking through the door,” she confides. “I got lost very regularly for the first month and a half,” Amira confidently reassures her. 16

Willamette Week JULY 20, 2022 wweek.com

The team cleans up for the day, but their work is just beginning. After about six hours of labor and activities, it’s time to wind down for the day. Into the storage shed go the buckets, E-Z UP tents and hand tools. Trash and recycling is collected. The teens fill out written logs of their progress; one whose English is limited is helped with his log by another. Each crew member has a different story of how the work is changing them. One talks about the financial boost it provides their family. Another describes helping his mother identify native and non-native species in her yard. More than one teen mentions having grandparents who love to garden, but whose parents struggle to find the time or the space to grow things at home. “I think we make a good team,” says Zoya, who will begin her freshman year of high school in September. “Community gardens are important. We can learn how to grow food. We can learn how plants are important medicinally. And they make our city really beautiful.” Their time in Cully is growing short. Each week through mid-August, they will tackle a new garden somewhere in the city. Next week, they’ll head east to the new Knott Community Garden near Northeast 117th Avenue.

Willamette Week JULY 20, 2022 wweek.com




Willamette Week JULY 20, 2022 wweek.com

GETTING JAZZED Photos by Mick Hangland-Skill On Instagram: @mick.jpg

For the first time since 2019, the Cathedral Park Jazz Festival took place without pandemic restrictions. The free event, held July 15-17 in its namesake park under the St. Johns Bridge, featured well-known local musicians like Eddie Martinez, the Mel Brown Trio, and Tony Coleman. The music and warm temperatures attracted people who were looking to dance as well as those who preferred to lounge and listen.

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HELL TO PAY: Hadestown, the Tony Award-winning musical, is the final Broadway in Portland show for the 2021-22 season.

LISTEN: Lunchbox

Concerts at Hassalo Plaza Whether you’re back in the office working, or still toiling away from a desk at home, take a lunch break that includes getting some fresh air and listening to live music. This midday series takes place at Hassalo Plaza at noon every other Wednesday through summer. Bart Hafeman and Clark Bondy of Hit Machine perform this week, sharing covers of the classics. Hassalo Plaza, 839 NE Holladay St., 503-236-6441, golloyd.org. Noon-1 pm, July 20. Free.

SEE: Hadestown

Hadestown was the last show to win a Tony Award for Best Musical before the pandemic shut down the entire American theater industry. Now it’s back on Broadway and touring— though you’ll still need to mask up to safely watch its local run. The play is a contemporary adaptation of the ancient myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, who are in love and living the good life until they must journey into the underworld. Essentially, Hadestown is another tragic tale of star-crossed lovers—only this one is set to folk and pop music for some punch. Keller Auditorium, 222 SW Clay St., 503-248-4335, portland.broadway. com. 7:30 pm Wednesday-Friday, 2 and 7:30 pm Saturday, 1 and 6:30 pm Sunday, through July 24. $29.50-$154.50.

LISTEN: Michael Franti

& Spearhead Listen to the eclectic, upbeat sounds of Michael Franti & Spearhead at McMenamins Edgefield Amphitheater. Franti’s optimistic tunes include hits

“Say Hey (I Love You)” and “Sound of Sunshine,” drawing inspiration from hip-hop, funk, soul music and punk. Order a Ruby and some Cajun tots, then stroll the 74-acre former poor farm, ending the night in classic McMenamins style. McMenamins Edgefield, 2126 SW Halsey St.,Troutdale, 503-669-8610, mcmenamins.com/edgefield. 6:30 pm Thursday, July 21. $59.50 in advance, $65 day of show.

LAUGH: 4th Annual Portland

Sketch Comedy Festival Sketch comedy troupes took a big hit during the pandemic. For months, many performers couldn’t safely gather for shows and at least one company permanently lost its venue. But the laughs are back along with this festival, which has been on a COVID-induced hiatus. Groups both local (Sisters of Mercy, Spam Risk, Lone Wolves) and from across the U.S. (there are even a few Canadians) are scheduled to take the stage over the course of three days. The Siren Theater, 315 NW Davis St., sirentheater. com/portlandsketchfest.html. 7:30 pm Thursday, 7 pm Friday-Saturday, July 20-23. $14-$75.

GO: Washington County Fair

Come for the goat-milking contest, stay for the tractor-driving competition. Corn dogs, turkey legs, curly fries and all the other quintessential fair foods await at the Washington County Fair, which opens this Friday and continues for nine more glorious days. Beyond the farm animals, rides, and morning-to-dusk live music performances on the main stage, you can expect to find kids’ activ-

ities galore along with a bar and tap house for their weary parents. Westside Commons, 801 NE 34th Ave., Hillsboro, 503-648-1416, bigfairfun.com. Hours vary Friday-Sunday, July 22-31. Free admission.

GO: Tigard Music Festival

Take a short drive to Tigard’s walkable downtown for the city’s firstever music festival. A total of 14 performances from various genres are queued up for your listening pleasure on multiple stages, including indoors at beloved dive Tigardville Station. Stages and vendors are scattered along several blocks, so bring an easy-to-carry low-profile chair or blanket as you wander the area, deciding on where to park for a while. Downtown Tigard, tigardmusicfestival.com. 5 pm Friday, 10 am Saturday, 11 am Sunday, July 22-24. Free admission.

EAT & MEET: Shellfish

Book Signing and Demo Meet Seattle author Cynthia Nims at Flying Fish’s patio food cart ChefShack to get a signed copy of her new cookbook, Shellfish. The book offers 50 approachable recipes for home chefs to create dishes using shrimp, crab, scallops, oysters, clams, mussels and lobster. Stay for chef Trever Gilbert’s preparation of Nims’ harissa-roasted shrimp with carrots and radishes, straight from the pages of her newest publication. Flying Fish Company, 3004 E Burnside St., 971-8066747, flyingfishpdx.com. 1-3 pm Saturday, July 23.

EAT: Farm Brunch

Savor a farm-to-table meal without leaving the city at Cully’s Side Yard Farm & Kitchen. Ingredients for the three-course brunch come from Side Yard Farm itself as well as other local purveyors, and are served in dishes— including marionberry sweet rolls, a Canadian bacon-and-egg sandwich, and smashed-and-fried potatoes—alongside mimosas, farm bloody marys and Extracto coffee. You have the choice of table dining or picnic-style seats on the lawn. The Side Yard Farm & Kitchen, 4800 NE Simpson St., thesideyardpdx.com. 10 am Sunday, July 24. $60 per person; equity pricing available for BIPOC community members.

GROW: July Houseplant Swap

Head up into the West Hills to the idyllic Cornell Farm to find some new green plant babies to add to your life. Bring cuttings (in shareable containers) to earn some goodwill from fellow houseplant enthusiasts. Trade plants and knowledge at this free event. Cornell Farm, 8212 SW Barnes Road, 503-292-9895, cornellfarms.com. 4-5 pm Sunday, July 24. Free.

WATCH: Ondine

View a contemporary mermaid tale set in Ireland featuring a smoldering Colin Farrell. It’s a great way to start Portland Mermaid Week! As part of the Clinton Street Resistance Series, proceeds from the show will go to Sisters of the Road, a nonprofit helping those experiencing homelessness. Clinton Street Theater, 2522 SE Clinton St., 971-808-3331, cstpdx.com. 7 pm Monday, July 25. $6. Willamette Week JULY 20, 2022 wweek.com



Editor: Andi Prewitt Contact: aprewitt@wweek.com

Top 5



9585 SW Washington Square Road, migrationbrewing.com. Opening Thursday, July 21. Noon-8 pm Monday-Saturday, 11 am-7 pm Sunday. Migration is making it cool to be a mall rat again. The 12-year-old company is opening a beer garden inside Washington Square with four taps as well as multiple packaged options, including cider and wine. The bar will be located above Center Court near the top of the escalators between gag gift emporium Spencer’s and apparel retailer Forever 21. The rest of the floor is rounded out by food court staples, which means you finally have the opportunity to pair a Migration classic like Straight Outta Portland IPA with a plate of piping hot orange chicken from the nearby Panda Express.


1340 SE 12th Ave., 503-232-8060, jollyrestaurants. com. Noon-midnight Monday-Thursday, noon-1 am Friday-Saturday, noon-11 pm Sunday. Along the journey from family-friendly seafood restaurant to neighborhood sports bar, the Jolly’s most salable feature (beyond that iconic signage) has been an easy adaptability to changing tastes and demographic shifts over 60-some years. The place does engender goodwill among a dizzying cross section of Portlanders for reasons difficult to articulate. Pay this dive a visit (or several) before last call. At some point in the next year, developers will knock down the building and replace it with a residential complex.


2225 E Burnside St., 971-271-7166, pixpatisserie.com. Noon-9 pm Friday-Sunday. After 21 years in the restaurant industry, Pix Pâtisserie founder Cheryl Wakerhauser is retiring. That means you have a little more than a month left to fit in one last visit to her dessert emporium, which originally began as a farmers market stand in 2001. While stocking up on macarons and cream puffs, be sure to take advantage of Pix’s patio and order a bottle from the extensive Champagne and sparkling wine list, which has been awarded the “World’s Best” title multiple times.

CHECKING IN: Pacific Standard has taken over Kex’s ground-floor lobby space.

Pacific Standard Time All the drinks are new at Jeffrey Morgenthaler and Benjamin Amberg’s hotel bar.


1152 Marine Drive, Astoria, 503-298-6833, buoybeer. com. Noon-8 pm daily. Show Buoy Beer some much-needed love by heading out to Astoria for pints at its new pop-up. By now, you’ve seen the devastating images of the brewery’s primary location above the Columbia, partially crumpled like a tin can. There’s no word on when the pub, which collapsed in mid-June, might reopen, but fortunately the brand was welcomed by the new Astoria Food Hub, where you can now get Buoy on tap along with classic seafood once the kitchen is up and running.


10111 NE Cascades Parkway, 503-206-5765; 11800 NW Cedar Falls Drive, #110, 503-716-8663; vonebertbrewing.com. 11 am-9 pm daily. Cascade Station closed Monday. The two tap houses under the Von Ebert umbrella have just launched a Power Hour, and no, this isn’t the brewery’s version of the drinking game you may remember from your early 20s. Every Monday and Tuesday, from 7 to 8 pm, draft pours cost only $3, which is more than half off. Hell, with pints at that price, you may want to go ahead and revive the pregaming tradition.


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Once a band—Radiohead, let’s say, or Sleater-Kinney—gets to a certain point in their careers, not only are they ready to stop playing most of the old songs, but fans who just want more of the same can get it from the bands they’ve influenced. So it is for Portland bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler. At Pacific Standard, the new spot from Morgenthaler and longtime colleague Benjamin “Banjo” Amberg, you won’t find a barrel-aged Negroni, ice cream grasshopper, or any of the other drinks that the two men became known for at their former posts, Clyde Common and Pépé le Moko. Of course, this is not entirely by choice. Those Ace Hotel establishments were both casualties of the COVID-19 pandemic. But now Morgenthaler and Amberg are across the river, doing their own dream version of the hotel bar that’s also meant for locals, this time at Kex. Whereas Clyde was separate from the Ace lobby, Pacific Standard basically is the Kex’s lobby. And there’s still a photo

booth. As Morgenthaler puts it: “It’s not not Clyde Common. But it’s also not Clyde Common.” The biggest differences: Morgenthaler and Amberg are now owners rather than managers. They got to design their own bar-specific food menu, with none of those pesky chefs to interfere, including such bites as Walla Walla French onion dip, a Castroville artichoke with umami mayo, Willapa Bay oysters and steak frites. And the cocktails are all new, including myriad low- and no-alcohol options (and the alcohol by volume for all of them printed on the menu). Sure, there are still drinks you’ve heard of: an espresso martini, for instance, with a two-per-person limit due not to its overproof vodka, but rather the caffeine. And you can always order an old favorite from Clyde Common—or any classic cocktail—plus Morgenthaler’s Bourbon Renewal is available in its Nikasi canned version. “I just have no shortage of drink ideas,” Morgenthaler says. “So it’s nice to have a completely blank canvas and not say, ‘Well, we have to save these four slots.’” Morgenthaler breaks down four of Pacific Standard’s standouts:

Top 5

Rosé Negroni ($12)



Gordon’s Gin, Luxardo Bitter Bianco, Yzaguirre Rosé Vermouth, sea salt, lemon peel. 21.6% ABV “We’re kind of known for all of the things that we’ve done to the Negroni over the years,” Morgenthaler says. “So why not try something else, while also leaving that stuff behind?” This summery cocktail is basically a white Negroni gone pink, with Spanish vermouth and the bianco version of Luxardo’s Campari-like bitter aperitif. Sea salt rounds out the flavors and also tames the bitterness…though it’s not that bitter to begin with. “It’s very soft,” Morgenthaler says. “It shouldn’t taste exactly like a Negroni. It should taste like a rosé version of a Negroni. Just like a rosé pinot noir is a lighter version of pinot noir.”

Hot Plates

Tiger Balm ($11)

Housemade non-alcoholic spirit, Wilderton Lustre, pineapple, lime. 0% ABV Morgenthaler came up with his own N/A concoction—made with vinegar, tea, bay leaf and other herbs—not just for the flavor, but because local producer Wilderton’s citrusy and floral Lustre would be too expensive as the only base. “All of those [commercially distilled N/A products] are clocking in around 35 bucks for a fifth, which at 2 ounces is a $14 cocktail,” he says. “I just have a real dilemma with charging $14 for a non-alcoholic drink. As good as those things are, at the end of the day they’re still, like, flavored water.” While the name Tiger Balm cries out “medicinal rub,” the drink is more tropical than spicy. It’s pineapple forward and comes over nugget ice, with the zero-proof spirit adding an earthy note.

The All-Day Bloody Mary ($10)

Icelandic vodka, house bloody mary mix, pickle. 9.9% ABV “[O]nce the sun goes down, you can’t drink a bloody mary in public,” Morgenthaler wrote in his 2018 book Drinking Distilled. “Only men with lower-back tattoos do that.” But he also wrote that drinking rules are fun to break. So with Pacific Standard currently not opening until 3 pm (that will eventually change), and with the bloody mary feeling like a necessary hotel cocktail, Morgenthaler decided to come up with “a lighter, more refreshing alternative” that you might drink on its own, or even over dinner. This zestier version starts with Reyka Vodka and a small can of Campbell’s Tomato Juice, plus a mix that includes Worcestershire, Tabasco and black pepper. “The vodka and the tomato juice are constant, so if you’re going to get it lighter you have to make everything happen in that mix. It drinks more like a Caesar, or what they call a tomato juice cocktail—not heavy, like tomato soup.”

318 SE Grand Ave., 503-500-5885, beirutbitespdx.com. 11 am-8 pm Monday-Thursday, 11 am-9 pm Friday-Saturday. In 2021, Nicholas—one of Portland’s oldest Lebanese-Mediterranean restaurants—moved from its flagship location on Southeast Grand Avenue to a new, roomier building on Southeast Madison Street. Now the original space has been rebranded by second-generation owner Hilda Dibe as Beirut Bites, a fast-casual concept that uses family recipes to encourage newbies and longtime Nicholas fans to engage with casual dishes rarely seen in Portland, the specialty being five varieties of street pizzas prepared in a 700-degree oven.


1910 S River Drive, 503-446-3500, doughzonedumplinghouse. com. 11 am-10 pm daily. Dough Zone, a Seattle dim sum darling with its first Portland outpost, must have come in with some industrial-sized sage sticks to cleanse the former Lucier space: Early on, it seems to have what it takes to lift the yearslong funk there. Despite the remaining opulence, this is a casual business—a place to go with friends and order a smorgasbord. Fill a table with spicy beef pancake rolls, Berkshire-Duroc pork-and-shrimp steamed dumplings, and xiao long bao, which at $7.95 for an order of six is the best deal in town.


417 NW 10th Ave., 503-206-6097, ardenpdx.com. 5-9 Wednesday-Saturday. The food menu had not been this Pearl District wine bar’s strong suit. It is now that Erik Van Kley is helming the kitchen. The longtime Portland chef may only have a small four-burner stove to work with, but he still manages to create decadent dishes, like an appetizer of creamy burrata, crispy-fried mushrooms and pine nuts; and mains, such as duck liver ragù over tagliatelle and morel mushroom and ricotta cappelletti. Indecisive? Go with the chef’s prix fixe, four courses for $65 per person.


Palm Desert Date Shake ($12)

Cinnamon-agave date syrup, Tillamook vanilla ice cream, Lustau brandy, Pedro Ximénez sherry, whipped cream. 1.7% ABV Nestled on the dessert menu (along with an Oregon berry crumble and Morgenthaler’s internet-famous chocolate chip cookies) is this sort-of sequel to Pépé le Moko’s ice cream grasshopper, inspired by the favorite vacation ritual of any visitor to California’s Coachella Valley. It’s decadent but not boozy, with the brandy and sherry—which are both derived from raisin grapes—adding additional layers of nutty, dried-fruit flavor. DRINK: Pacific Standard, 100 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 971346-2992, kexhotels.com/eat-drink/pacificstandard. 3 pm-midnight daily.

2311 SE 50th Ave., 503-953-5385, rangoonbistropdx.com. 5-9 pm Wednesday-Friday, noon-9 pm Saturday-Sunday. After half a decade hawking tea leaf salads and chickpea tofu to farmers marketgoers on weekends—while holding down day jobs—the trio behind Rangoon Bistro now have a restaurant. The dishes reflect a pursuit to perfect childhood memories of two of the Myanmar-born co-owners native foods: cucumber thoke and poached shrimp, a gloriously large rice noodle dumpling stuffed with ground pork, and chana dal, skinned and split chickpeas served at least a half-dozen ways.


1510 S Harbor Way, 503-295-6166, kingtidefishandshell.com/ callao. 2-7 pm Wednesday-Sunday. Now that it’s officially summer, you owe it to yourself to spend some time on the waterfront while snacking on light fare suited for hotter temperatures. Chef Alexander Diestra has made it a little easier to do just that with his new seasonal outdoor popup, Callao, which prepares traditional South American ingredients through a Japanese lens—think skewers, ceviche and a couple of dreamy desserts, like a coconut cookie sandwich and coffee jelly served with hazelnut whipped cream.

Willamette Week JULY 20, 2022 wweek.com



Workday Weed Getting high while on the clock isn’t always advisable, but some cannabis products may help with focus, nerves or physical pain.


Even if you love your job, work can wear you down. But the right cannabis can build you back up. Take me, for example. Recently, the WW top brass invited me to be the new host of the paper’s podcast, Dive (available on all podcast streaming services). Interviewing award-winning journalists, local celebrities and community leaders is an honor I didn’t even know I coveted until it was offered to me. But there’s a caveat—it’s a lot of work. Producing, recording and editing a podcast for Portland’s alt-weekly is intimidating, especially considering my role as WW’s resident pothead, but it’s actually because I’m such a committed cannasseur that I’ve been able to juggle parenting, pot-column writing and leading the podcast. Cannabis had kept me cool and focused while in research mode, calm and engaged in planning and organizing mode, chill and present in host mode, and dialed in while in editing mode. Weed, in more forms than flower alone, has often been the MVP of Dive, and even if you can’t hear it in my rich, velvety radio voice, it’s for sure there with the assist. If you feel like a bit of plant-based therapeutics could make your workday more manageable, here are a few of the products that helped me through my first several weeks of podcasting.

Prismatic Plants Good Day This blend of CBD, CBDa and adaptogenic herbs, like schisandra and rhodiola, delivers a smooth, calming focus, and a dose in the morning is easy to add to your wellness routine. This particular oil tincture helped me keep my head in the game while recording my very first podcast, Episode 62, “The Portlander’s Guide to Solving Inflation.” Considering my limited fiscal intelligence, I might have been nervous to discuss money matters publicly, but Prismatic Plants Good Day soothed my nerves, and the podcast went off without a hitch. BUY: prismaticplants.com

Leif Goods Mint Hibiscus Bar


Producing, recording and editing a podcast for Portland’s alt-weekly is intimidating, especially considering my role as WW’s resident pothead. Barbari Muse Spliff Barbari’s smoking blends are potpourris with multiple applications as bath soaks, tea herbs, and a flowery incense. These spliffs marry traditional smoking herbs with cannabis to modify the potency of the weed and highlight the entourage effect, when other compounds act synergistically with THC. After interviewing Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nigel Jaquiss about Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tina Kotek for Episode 65, “The Kotek Puzzle,” a few drags of this spliff helped me pivot from conversational interviewer mode to relaxed, deep-thinker mode, which is exactly where I need to be while scripting monologues and sifting through discussion details. BUY: Bridge City Collective, 215 SE Grand Ave., 503477-9532, bridgecitycollective.com.

Hapy Kitchen Hard Candies For all the satisfaction that comes from a job well done, work can still jangle the bejeezus out of my nerves, and these hard candies cover two soothing bases: satisfying my oral fixation and delivering a potent 5 mg of THC. While discussing particularly frustrating political norms with Rachel Monahan for Episode 70, “Bitcoin Republic,” the modest chill delivered by one mango hard candy kept me from repeatedly grunting in frustration and hollering “WHY EVEN IS MONEY?” over the amount of cash spent on go-nowhere political campaigns and how much savings I’m losing to inflation. BUY: Rose Budz PDX, 2410 N Mississippi Ave., 503-208-3955, rosebudzpdx.com.

The most tedious part of one-man-band-style podcasting, for me, is the editing. While editing Episode 66, “The Tipping Point,” a multifaceted discussion about Oregon beer, for instance, I relied on a single square of a Leif Good Mint Hibiscus Bar to help put my mind and body at ease. Pulling apart a conversation and then rejiggering it so that the flow is easy and conversational can be tedious—consider all of the uhhhs, hmmms and thoughtful pauses that need to be cut. Anyone whose work includes file organization or creating spreadsheets will feel me—this kind of focused work can be a mind-melting drag. But when you’re in the right headspace, say, supported by one or two 5 mg squares of Leif Goods artisan chocolate, you can end up feeling meditative and satisfied upon completion of the task.

Peak Extracts Rescue Rub

BUY: Home Grown Apothecary, 1937 NE Pacific St., 503232-1716, homegrownapothecary.com.

BUY: The Kings of Canna, 1465 NE Prescott St., C, 971319-6945, thekingsofcanna.com.

Willamette Week JULY 20, 2022 wweek.com

As a stoned, old lady podcaster still learning the ropes, the one thing I definitely notice is how podcasting affects my sweet bod. After long bouts of typing and editing, my wrists often cramp and creak, and I’m often too sore to function once I close my laptop. I manage this pain with Peak Extracts Rescue Rub. While recording interviews for Episode 72, “Pod Complex,” with guests Sophie Peel and Rachel Saslow, my note-taking hand was far too stiff and tender to then immediately begin mousing around several tracks of unedited audio. I slathered my wrists, knuckles and fingers with Rescue Rub and took an extended break from the computer screen. An hour or so later, my pain had eased and I was able to jump right back in and finish the podcast, pain free.



Editor: Bennett Campbell Ferguson | Contact: bennett@wweek.com

A l i c i a Tu r v i n





In the past three years, Machine Gun Kelly transitioned from an aggro-rap also-ran to one of the most exciting contemporary pop stars. Embracing pop punk just as the zeitgeist swung around to embrace it, the 32-year-old presents himself as a damaged boy hiding a heart of bubble gum. Last time he came to Moda Center, he opened for Young Thug. Now, the idea of MGK sharing a stage with Thugger seems as far-fetched as him opening for anyone—in fact, he’s got no less than Avril Lavigne opening for him, plus “Emo Girl” duet partner Willow Smith. Moda Center, 1 N Center Court St. 7:30 pm. $25.50. All ages.

BIO HAZARD: Thomas Magee and Ben Delgado.


The Sound of Loss A teenage musician reckons with mortality in Twilight Theater Company’s Song of Extinction. BY M A X TA P O G N A

Song of Extinction opens with the discomfiting sound of a violist practicing scales, a timeworn indicator of household tensions. The musician is Max Forrestal (Ben Delgado), a precocious 15-year-old whose mother, Lily (Shelley Aisner), is in the hospital and near the end of an unsuccessful battle against cancer. Max lives with his inattentive father, Ellery (Thomas Magee), who ignores his wife and his son in favor of his biology career. In his absence, Max must come to terms with his mother’s sickness and the fragility of human life. But will the adults around him rise to the occasion and guide him? That question haunts Song of Extinction, which was written by acclaimed Oregon playwright E.M. Lewis (Magellanica) and directed by Michael Griggs and Kathleen Worley. Staged in Twilight Theater Company’s intimate venue, the 90-minute production deftly brings Lewis’ story to life—and offers a compelling meditation on the myriad ways in which life can vanish. In Lewis’s rendering, “extinction” becomes an umbrella term encompassing all sorts of suffering—cancer, death, genocide—and it’s reflected in Ellery’s work as a biologist. He’s studying a rare insect that lives in the Bolivian jungle, but because his efforts to lobby a land developer to stop deforestation in the region have failed, that species may cease to exist. Then there is Khim Phan (Arun Kumar), Max’s lonely biology teacher (and the play’s narrator). Phan was the only member of his family to survive the genocide carried out by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, and occasionally, memories of his past surface during direct addresses to the audience. Max, who is failing biology, comes to Phan for help on an essay about (you guessed it) extinction. Over the course of their meetings, Phan becomes something of a surrogate father, filling the void left by Max’s absent father and dying mother. At one point, Phan describes the murder of his family (including a 3-year-old brother) to a distraught Max, who basically tells

Phan to go to hell. He’s just a kid, after all, but Phan responds dismissively to Max’s outburst, claiming that Americans struggle with the concept of extinction because they can’t imagine it happening to them. There’s a hint of authorial voice behind Phan’s words. Elements of the play, which premiered in 2008, feel dated (like the fact that the characters see climate catastrophe not as global, but as something happening “elsewhere” in Bolivia), but Phan’s (Lewis’) warning about the American inability to conceptualize extinction is topical. Today, we live in a country where democracy itself qualifies as an endangered species and fundamental human rights have been completely wiped out. Yet the play’s best scenes offer an escape to a more optimistic world. In the final third of Song of Extinction, the disparate strands of the story are interwoven in scenes that abandon the strict realism Lewis employs earlier. Characters who have not previously shared the stage meet for the first time in a dreamlike Bolivian rain forest, which might exist in Lily’s imagination, or in a liminal space between life and death. It’s the most lyrical—and enjoyable—part of the story. When Max finally turns in his assignment, it bears the same title as the play. Like the healing power of music, it helps ferry Max to safer emotional ground, emerging not as a thesis-driven essay, but a humanizing reflection on his family. Given its subject matter, Song of Extinction could have left audiences despondent, but an uplifting ending suggests that the future is bright for its characters. Despite being a play about life ending, it reminds us that all life—human or otherwise—is worth preserving. SEE IT: Song of Extinction plays at Twilight Theater Company, 7515 N Brandon Ave., 503-847-9838, twilighttheatercompany.org. 8 pm Friday-Saturday, 3 pm Sunday, and 8 pm Thursday, July 28, through July 31. $23.

The harp is the most benevolent of instruments, long associated with rarefied beauty and safety from evil. Local artist Sage Fisher’s work as Dolphin Midwives won’t dispel this image—this stuff is extremely angelic—but it might just change your perception of what the instrument can do, looping it into undulating, evolving compositions shot through with her eerie, keening voice. Portland is a great town for New Age music, and Fisher’s brought along fellow local sound explorer Crystal Quartez for this show, alongside {arsonist} and Ethereal Champion World. Alberta Abbey, 126 NE Alberta St.. 8 pm. $12. All ages.


One of the last living legends of the 1970s roots-reggae era, Burning Spear (born Winston Rodney) is also one of its most active in the studio and onstage. Though he announced his retirement in 2016, he’s back on the road and stopping at the Roseland Theater on his latest tour. Reggae neophytes be warned: Rodney’s sparse, fiercely political work makes no compromises to audiences whose idea of reggae is based on Bob Marley’s cuddlier music. If you know reggae, you know he’s an all-timer. If you don’t, be ready to dive into the deep end. Roseland Theater, 8 NW 6th Ave. 8 pm. $35. 21+. Willamette Week JULY 20, 2022 wweek.com



Editor: Bennett Campbell Ferguson Contact: bennett@wweek.com




WA R N E R B R O S . P I C T U R E S


BREAKING BAT: Christian Bale.

The Dark Knight Chronicles How Tom Shone wrote the book (literally) on Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. BY B E N N E T T C A M P B E L L F E R G U S O N



Willamette Week JULY 20, 2022 wweek.com


In Kitty Green’s The Assistant (2020), the depravity of an unnamed movie producer (clearly inspired by Harvey Weinstein) and a callous HR stooge (Matthew Macfadyen) torments Jane (Julia Garner), a quietly anguished aide. It’s a must-see film, especially since She Said (a more traditional-looking film about the 2017 New York Times investigation of Weinstein’s sex crimes) is on the way. Hulu.


Confined by the tropes of bank-robbery movies, Spike Lee unexpectedly found artistic liberation with Inside Man (2006), which combines a familiar heist plot with meditations on race, class and Nazism. The cast includes Denzel Washington (as a gifted hostage negotiator), Jodie Foster (as a slick power broker), and Clive Owen (as a wise thief). HBO Max.


In Lee Chang-dong’s Burning (2018), a wannabe novelist (Yoo Ah-in) is perplexed by the disappearance of a former classmate (Jeon Jong-seo). A wealthy and mysterious friend (Steven Yeun) might be responsible, but the question of his guilt or innocence matters less than Lee’s mastery of deliciously subtle suspense. Based on a short story by Haruki Murakami. Free on Amazon Prime and Tubi.

C J C G V, C A M E R A F I L M

In director Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises, Bruce Wayne/Batman (Christian Bale) is crippled, jailed and forced to watch terrorists ransack Gotham City. It’s a brutal sequence best summed up by Bane (Tom Hardy), who declares that he prefers torture not of the body, but of the soul. Yet despite the film’s unsparing vision of human cruelty, Tom Shone—author of The Nolan Variations: The Movies, Mysteries, and Marvels of Christopher Nolan (Knopf, $40, 400 pages)—thinks that even at his most cynical, Nolan yearns for a rush of optimism. “I think he believes that heroism is kind of possible, but he starts from a position of deep skepticism—like, ‘Prove it,’” Shone says. “He wants to find heroism, he wants to find selflessness, but he’s just extremely suspicious about most of the examples of it we see.” Among the numerous Nolan books, The Nolan Variations stands out by enlisting him as a collaborator. Even as the uber-private filmmaker prepped Tenet (which he would later push Warner Bros. to release midpandemic, before vaccinations were available), he answered Shone’s questions, offering an unusually intimate glimpse into his personal and professional life. Much of the book is devoted to the Dark Knight trilogy, which ended 10 years ago today with The Dark Knight Rises. In honor of the film’s anniversary, Shone spoke to WW about how Nolan reinvented Batman, transforming a superhero franchise into a heartfelt meditation on the allure of despair and the necessity of hope. The trilogy began with Batman Begins (2005), which Shone describes as a production with “difficulties.” “There was a sense that I got from [Nolan] that there was a fair amount of wastage on that film—things they built that they didn’t use,” he says. Despite the challenges Nolan faced, Shone calls Begins the most “emotionally resonant” of the three films. That’s a credit to Nolan and Bale, who establish Bruce Wayne as a defiant idealist whose true superpower is his belief that for all its crime and corruption, Gotham City isn’t a lost cause. “Give me more time,” he declares. “There are good people here.” In The Dark Knight (2008), that conviction is assaulted by the Joker (Heath Ledger), who dreams up a violent “social experiment” to prove that “everyone is as ugly” as he is. Ledger’s performance won him a posthumous

Oscar—and terrified Nolan, according to Shone, who attributes the Joker’s dialogue to Nolan’s brother, screenwriter Jonathan “Jonah” Nolan. “The Joker is all Jonah,” Shone says. “Which maybe actually explains why [Christopher] Nolan might be more frightened of him. It didn’t come from him, if you know what I mean. Instead, it was this unruly creation that got handed to him.” If The Dark Knight shakes Bruce’s faith in humanity, The Dark Knight Rises nearly shatters it before reaching a jubilant conclusion: Bruce finding peace and love with Selina Kyle/Catwoman (Anne Hathaway). A happy ending was a daring move for Nolan (given how some moviegoers had fetishized the carnage of the previous films), but Shone says it didn’t sit right with him. “It’s unusually up, let’s put it that way,” he explains. “I think if there had been any thought in his mind that there might be a fourth or a fifth [film], it wouldn’t have ended like that. But I think his warmth toward that franchise as a whole as he took his leave of it, that was the reason for the warmth of the ending.” When The Dark Knight Rises was released on July 20, 2012, that cinematic warmth was meant with chilling reality. At a midnight screening of the film in Aurora, Colo., a gunman killed 12 people and wounded 70 others. In a statement released the next day, Nolan said, “The movie theater is my home, and the idea that someone would violate that innocent and hopeful place in such an unbearably savage way is devastating to me.” (Whether by coincidence or design, his next film, Interstellar, was devoid of firearms.) The devastation that day in Aurora will always matter more than how a movie ended, but it cast Nolan’s commitment to a hopeful finish for the trilogy in a prescient light. Life would always have plenty of tragedy without him egregiously adding to it by leaving off with Bruce Wayne isolated or dead. Nolan’s films appear to share Bruce’s belief that even when a better world seems beyond reach, we have a moral obligation to fight for one. It makes sense—as a father of four children inheriting a planet in dire need of new heroes, Nolan probably doesn’t have the luxury of being purely pessimistic about the future. “You’re not finding chunks of his life story in [his films], but the themes mean something to him as a person, as a man, and as a filmmaker,” Shone says. “And a filmmaker makes art from those things.”

Contemporary cinema is packed with Peter Pan riffs, but none quite like The Lost Boys of Portlandia (2016), a short film inspired by the origins of the nonprofit Outside the Frame, which produces videos to educate and employ houseless Portland youth. Directed by Nili Yosha, Outside the Frame’s artistic and executive director and founder. Free on Vimeo.




D.E.B.S. (2004)

Ignore the heinous 5.3 on IMDb; Angela Robinson’s lesbian action rom-com about the all-girl spy collective D.E.B.S. (Discipline, Energy, Beauty, Strength) is a campy, touching, certified bop of a movie. The cult classic follows a strait-laced spy (Sara Foster) who accidentally falls for gorgeous jewel thief Lucy Diamond (Jordana Brewster), igniting a forbidden romance. PAM CUT at OMSI Bridge Lot, July 22.

CLARA SOLA Filmmaker Nathalie Álvarez Mesén’s feature debut borrows its structure from Stephen King’s Carrie, but tells a very different story. Clara Sola takes place in a village in the mountains of Costa Rica, where 40-year-old Clara (Wendy Chinchilla Araya) lives with her strictly religious mother (Flor María Vargas Chaves) and a young niece (Ana Julia Porras Espinoza) gleefully preparing for her approaching quinceañera. Her deepest connection, though, is with Yuka, the family’s beautiful white horse, and the natural world that surrounds her. Clara is seemingly endowed with mystic abilities that are exploited as a connection to the Virgin Mary, thus codifying her role in town and emboldening her mother’s control over her. (“I’m interested in how religion helped to form and reproduce gender roles that aren’t healthy,” Alvarez stated in a press release.) The niece’s maturation into womanhood is what finally awakens Clara to her own sexuality—and her desire for freedom results in fits of rebellion that the people around her treat like childish tantrums. In her topical struggle for liberation from patriarchal control, Clara allows Alvarez to expose systematically repressive patterns, creating a cathartic journey. NR. RAY GILL JR. Fox Tower.


As our world faces existential threats like a depleted water supply and increasingly deadly wildfires, the best weapon we have is information. So it matters that the Portland-made Elemental is not just a documentary, but a wonderfully constructed one that systemically outlines the challenges and failures of humanity’s battle against wildfires—and their impact on both people and the planet. The film, narrated by David Oyelowo (Selma), features interviews with world-renowned forest and climate experts, along with a cross section of individuals impacted by and fighting back against the growing threat. Thanks to director Trip Jennings, it’s a comprehensive look at a war that isn’t lost, but must be redefined. (“I have visited with scientists, investigators and firefighters, and they have told me again and again that we can have healthy forests and safe communities, and that we can prepare for and adapt to fire,” Jennings says in his director’s statement.) Parts of Elemental may be too academic for a wider audience, but the use of drone shots gives a dynamic sense of scope to the documentary, while Nick Jaina’s velvety score brings texture to Jennings’ portrait of nature’s wrath and resilience. NR. RAY GILL JR. Hollywood Theatre. 7:30 pm Wednesday, July 20.


The latest film by French luminary Claire Denis (Beau Travail, High Life) opens with wordless frolicking on a beach, allowing us to briefly bask in the

late-middle-age beauty of Sara and Jean (Juliette Binoche and Vincent Lindon). But vacation quickly ends, and the rest of Both Sides of the Blade is drenched in high-toned dread and martial negotiations as Binoche and Lindon cultivate a simmering apartment chemistry back in COVID-masked Paris. The sudden appearance of François, Sara’s ex-lover and Jean’s ex-business partner (played by frequent Denis collaborator Grégoire Colin), reinstigates a desperate, illogical love triangle from yesteryear—and the fallout is simultaneously scattered and fatalistic. Amid all the drama, Lindon’s and Binoche’s performances endure, despite Denis offering no answers (or even questions) regarding why Sara, a successful, intelligent public radio broadcaster, would act as a weather-vane seductress in Jean and Francois’ faintly rendered sports-agenting underworld. Blade is hardly Denis’ best script, but she has still crafted a tense, erotic yarn about characters unable to savor real life amid looming ideas of who they once were. That much is real. NR. CHANCE SOLEM-PFEIFER. Living Room.


An essayistic portrait of volcanologist power couple Katia and Maurice Krafft, Fire of Love doesn’t overexert itself to make them camera ready. Pioneering and aestheticizing their field until their deaths in a volcanic explosion in 1991, they were always inadvertently preparing to be the subjects of director Sara Dosa’s stylish, adoring testament to the Kraffts’ two shared loves:

volcanoes and each other. (By the way, Wes Anderson probably owes their estate a royalty for the red beanies and direct-to-face zooms we see in their mountains of documentary footage.) Narrated by the poetic murmurs by Miranda July and featuring a soundtrack that includes Ennio Morricone, Brian Eno and others, the film is head over heels for the “alchemy” of the Kraffts’ love and all that volcanoes symbolize in parallel: death, rebirth and unbridled, mysterious emotion. Eventually, Fire of Love runs dry of things to say about a couple who appears to have had no existence beyond studying and filming gorgeous hellfire, but it’s a film begging for big-screen beholding. The Kraffts spent their lives impossibly close to volcanoes, and in the film, they’re often seen as silhouettes dwarfed by nature at its most overpowering. Get small with them. PG. CHANCE SOLEM-PFEIFER. Hollywood, Living Room.

Paper Moon (1973)

When a con man finds himself saddled with a 9-yearold girl (real-life father-daughter duo Ryan and Tatum O’Neal), they quickly find a way to make the most of it: by forming an unlikely partnership and swindling their way across Great Depression-era America. Part two in Cinema 21’s “Seven from the Seventies” series, featuring an intro by film programmer Elliot Lavine. Cinema 21, July 23.

Back to the Future Part II (1989)

In the acclaimed sequel to Robert Zemeckis’ sci-fi megahit, Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) and Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) hop back in the DeLorean to repair the space-time continuum by zipping back and forth between 1955, 1985, and the far-off future of…2015. Free event (and free parking). Milo McIver State Park, July 23.

Ondine (2009)

The always dreamy Colin Farrell stars in Neil Jordan’s Irish romance as a fisherman whose net trawls up a mysterious woman, the titular Ondine (Alicja Bachleda), off the coast of Cork. His precocious young daughter believes Ondine to be a mythical “selkie,” a seal that turns human on land, but that doesn’t stop him from falling for her. Screens as part of Portland Mermaid Week. Clinton, July 25.

Thief (1981)

Celebrate the impressive life and career of the late James Caan with this 35 mm tribute screening of Michael Mann’s neo-noir masterpiece. Caan stars as a denim-clad safecracker pulling off one last big heist before he quits the biz to pursue his American Dream of a house, a wife (Tuesday Weld), and kids (difficult enough in the ’80s, practically impossible now). Hollywood, July 26. ALSO PLAYING: 5th Avenue: Jesus Shows You the Way to the Highway (2019), July 22-24. Academy: Back to the Future (1985), July 20-21. Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974), July 20-21. The NeverEnding Story (1984), July 22-28. Pee-wee’s Big Adventure (1985), July 22-28. Cinemagic: Edge of Tomorrow (2014), July 20. Upgrade (2018), July 20. The People Under the Stairs (1991), July 21. Clinton: Night Tide (1961), July 26. PAM CUT at OMSI Bridge Lot: Shrek (2001), July 21. Earth Girls Are Easy (1988), July 23. Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001), July 24.





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Jack Kent’s

True scenes from the streets. @sketchypeoplepdx kentcomics.com Willamette Week JULY 20, 2022 wweek.com





"I'm Gonna Have Some Words"--themeless time again!


(March 21-April 19): Fiction-writer John Banville tells us, "There are moments when the past has a force so strong it seems one might be annihilated by it." I suspect that's sometimes true for many of us. But it won't apply to you Aries anytime soon. In fact, just the opposite situation will be in effect during the coming months: You will have more power to render the past irrelevant than maybe you've ever had. You will wield an almost indomitable capacity to launch new trends without having to answer to history. Take full advantage, please!


(April 20-May 20): Researchers have proved that lullabies enhance the health of premature babies being cared for in hospitals. The soft, emotionally rich songs also promote the well-being of the babies' families. I bring this to your attention because I believe you should call on lullaby therapy yourself in the coming weeks. Listening to and singing those tunes will soothe and heal your inner child. And that, in my astrological opinion, is one of your top needs right now. For extra boosts, read fairy tales, eat food with your hands, make mud pies, and play on swings, seesaws, and merry-go-rounds.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Dancer and singer-


1. Grand slam run count 5. Prince Buster's genre 8. Candle-heavy occasions, for short? 13. Quindlen with the 2022 best-seller "Write for Your Life" 14. Corn opener? 15. Some cameras or copiers 17. Show biz parent, maybe 19. Generational separator 20. Brick quantity 21. Aspiration for neither the over- or under-achiever 23. Roth offering 25. Salon worker 26. 180 degrees from NNE 27. Yerevan's country 31. Actor Morales whose Wikipedia bio mentions his name frequency in crosswords 33. Getting your kicks? 34. _ _ _-Magnon 36. Toy truck maker 40. Bedsheets, tablecloths, etc. 44. "The Only Way Is _ _ _" (U.K. reality soap since 2010) 45. The day before 46. Finishes, as cupcakes 47. Word before rain or jazz 50. Done over, like school pictures 52. Tuna steak choice 55. Part of CUNY or NYU 57. "Diners, Drive-_ _ _ and Dives" 58. Slide whistle-playing Simpsons character 62. Pro runner?

65. Farthest orbital point 66. Supernatural witch of Slavic folklore 68. Daughter of Pablo Picasso 69. Thumb drive port 70. Capital near Lillehammer 71. Positive quality 72. Rd. intersectors 73. Bovary and Tussaud, for example (abbr.)


1. Adjective for many worldrecord attempts 2. Not faked out by 3. Like some decisions 4. Disreputable newspaper (not like the one you're reading!) 5. Sport in which athletes crouch 6. "Turn it up and rip the _ _ _ off!" 7. Directed a wad of paper into a wastebasket 8. Truist Park team 9. Social media and computing elite 10. Lenovo alternative 11. Hatha and bikram, for two 12. Catches, as fly balls 16. Erupt 18. "The Bad Guys" screenwriter Cohen (not one of the filmmaking brothers!) 22. "That it be, lad" 24. Suez Canal's outlet 27. U.S. Open stadium 28. Platonic P's 29. "_ _ _ bin ein Berliner" (JFK quote)

©2022 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.

30. Person who may not feel romantic attraction, for short 32. _ _ _ Sea (arm of the Mediterranean) 35. Cheer for AtlÈtico Madrid 37. Twinge that may need massaging 38. Worn-out jeans spot 39. PTA pt. 41. Burp follower 42. Cable recorder, perhaps 43. Majors who was "The Six Million Dollar Man" 48. Ready to breed 49. "Holy Diver" rocker Ronnie James 51. Tequila who originally gained fame on MySpace 52. "And hurry!" 53. Medical privacy law, initially 54. Huge celebs 56. Big ride to a Dead concert, maybe 59. Alter _ _ _ 60. Ship feature 61. Declines slowly 63. It's not a good look 64. Country next to Thailand 67. _ _ _ Kippur

last week’s answers

songwriter FKA Twigs has taken dance lessons since she was a child. In 2017, she added a new form of physical training, the Chinese martial art of wushu. Doing so made her realize a key truth about herself: She loves to learn and practice new skills. Of all life's activities, they give her the most pleasure and activate her most vibrant energy. She feels at home in the world when she does them. I suspect you may have similar inclinations in the coming months. Your appetite for mastering new skills will be at an all-time high. You will find it natural and even exhilarating to undertake disciplined practice. Gathering knowledge will be even more exciting than it usually is.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Cancerian author

Laurie Sheck writes, "So much of life is invisible, inscrutable: layers of thoughts, feelings, and outward events entwined with secrecies, ambiguities, ambivalences, obscurities, darknesses." While that's an experience we all have, especially you Cancerians, it will be far less pressing for you in the coming weeks. I foresee you embarking on a phase when clarity will be the rule, not the exception. Hidden parts of the world will reveal themselves to you. The mood will be brighter and lighter than usual. The chronic fuzziness of life will give way to a delightful acuity. I suspect you will see things that you have never or rarely seen.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): It's always advisable for

you Leos to carry on a close personal relationship with mirrors. I'm speaking both literally and metaphorically. For the sake of your mental health, you need to be knowledgeable about your image and monitor its ever-shifting nuances. And according to my analysis of the astrological omens, you are now authorized to deepen your intimate connection with mirrors. I believe you will thrive by undertaking an intense phase of introspective explorations and creative self-inquiry. Please keep it all tender and kind, though. You're not allowed to bad-mouth yourself. Put a special emphasis on identifying aspects of your beauty that have been obscured or neglected. By the way, Leo, I also recommend you seek compassionate feedback from people you trust. Now is an excellent time to get reflections about your quest to become an even more amazing human.


(Aug. 23-Sept. 22): At your best, you are a flexible purist, an adaptable stickler for detail, and a disciplined yet supple thinker. Maybe more than any other sign of the zodiac, you can be focused and resilient, intense and agile, attentive and graceful. And all of us non-Virgos will greatly appreciate it if you provide these talents in abundance during the coming weeks. We need you to be our humble, understated leader. Please be a role model who demonstrates the finely crafted, well-balanced approach to being healthy.

Willamette Week JULY 20, 2022 wweek.com


(Sept. 23-Oct. 22): In my Astrological Book of Life, your life purposes as a Libra may include the following: 1. to be beautiful in the smartest ways you can imagine and smart in the most beautiful ways you can imagine; 2. to always see at least two sides of the story, and preferably more; 3. to serve as an intermediary between disparate elements; 4. to lubricate and facilitate conversations between people who might not otherwise understand each other; 5. to find common ground between apparent contradictions; 6. to weave confusing paradoxes into invigorating amalgamations; 7. to never give up on finding the most elegant way to understand a problem. PS: In the coming weeks, I hope you will make extra efforts to call on the capacities I just named.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Author Clive James

loved the Latin term gazofilacium, meaning "treasure chamber." He said that the related Italian word, gazofilacio, referred to the stash of beloved poems that he memorized and kept in a special place in his mind. In accordance with astrological omens, Scorpio, now would be an excellent time to begin creating your own personal gazofilacium: a storehouse of wonderful images and thoughts and memories that will serve as a beacon of joy and vitality for the rest of your long life. Here's your homework: Identify ten items you will store in your gazofilacium.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Tips to get the

most out of the next three weeks: 1. Keep your interesting options open. Let your mediocre options shrivel and expire. 2. Have no regrets and make no apologies about doing what you love. 3. Keep in mind that every action you perform reverberates far beyond your immediate sphere. 4. Give your fears ridiculous names like "Gaffe" and "Wheezy" and "Lumpy." 5. Be honest to the point of frankness but not to the point of rudeness. 6. Don't just run. Gallop.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Capricorn poet

Richard Hugo wrote, "It doesn't bother me that the word 'stone' appears more than 30 times in my third book, or that 'wind' and 'gray' appear over and over in my poems to the disdain of some reviewers." Hugo celebrated his obsessions. He treated them as riches because focusing on them enabled him to identify his deepest feelings and discover who he really was. In accordance with astrological omens, I recommend a similar approach to you in the coming weeks. Cultivate and honor and love the specific fascinations at the core of your destiny.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Author Violet

Trefusis (1894–1972) and author Vita SackvilleWest (1892–1962) loved each other. In one letter, Violet told Vita, "I want you hungrily, frenziedly, passionately. I am starving for you. Not only the physical you, but your fellowship, your sympathy, the innumerable points of view we share. I can't exist without you; you are my affinity." In the coming weeks, dear Aquarius, I invite you to use florid language like that in addressing your beloved allies. I also invite you to request such messages. According to my reading of the planetary omens, you are due for eruptions of articulate passion.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): I'd like to honor and

pay homage to a past disappointment that helped transform you into a beautiful soul. I know it didn't feel good for you when it happened, but it has generated results that have blessed you and the people whose lives you've touched. Would you consider performing a ritual of gratitude for all it taught you? Now is an excellent time to express your appreciation because doing so will lead to even further redemption.

Homework: When it's impossible to do the totally right thing, you can do the halfright thing. Example? Newsletter.FreeWikll. Astrology.com



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