THREE ASTONISHING STORIES OF OREGON AT ITS MOST BIZARRE. WILLAMETTE WEEK
“I’VE NO PLANS TO EVER RUN FOR OFFICE AGAIN.” P. 6 WWEEK.COM VOL 48/39 08. 03.2022
BOB PAMPLIN’S PIRATE COVE! P.12
A GHOST SHIP REAPPEARS! P.14
A DEAD GIRL’S FAKE DIARY! P.16
Willamette Week AUGUST 3, 2022 wweek.com
CHINATOWN MEET VOL. 3, PAGE 19
WHAT WE LEARNED FROM READING THIS WEEK’S PAPER VOL. 48, ISSUE 39
The toxic soil of Willamette Cove will be hauled away. 9 North Portland residents were more skeptical of approving charter reform as a package deal. 9 Toe Island Cove harbors Port-
land’s largest concentration of derelict boats. 12
For two decades a Portland talk jock, Rick Emerson has returned to debunk a bestselling diary. 16 Art Linkletter believed his daughter died from an LSD flashback . 17 You’ll no longer find cars on one stretch of Northwest Couch
become a public event plaza. 19
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DIALOGUE Last week’s cover story examined a baffling vacancy at the heart of Portland: a 115-year-old hotel called the Taft Home, which for decades housed people with mental and physical disabilities around the corner from the Crystal Ballroom (“The Mystery of the Taft Home,” WW, July 27). In December, the home’s operator shuttered rather than fix neglect discovered by state regulators. The building now stands vacant—despite being owned by the largest nonprofit provider of subsidized housing in Portland and receiving financing from the city’s Housing Bureau. One of its former residents, Josephine Allen, spent much of the past eight months sleeping in a tent across the street. Here’s what our readers had to say: NORMAN BIRTHMARK, VIA FACEBOOK: “We used to watch
ambulances visit the facility multiple times a day from our downtown apartment. It seemed to be a troubled facility, but daily ambulances are not unusual in assistance living. Very sad no one has figured how to reopen the much-needed housing.”
DUBIOUS, VIA WWEEK.COM:
“More discouraging news about a city that cannot get its act together. “‘Reach cannot sell the building without city approval until 2028, and cannot change the use of the building without the bureau’s permission.’ Doesn’t shifting from an occupied building serving the community to a vacant, shuttered building represent a change of use?”
JIM HOCH, VIA FACEBOOK:
“Nonprofits often have behavior as bad as, if not worse than, for-profit corporations. This is one of those times.” @AWESOMEMILIA, VIA TWITTER: “Jesus Christ, just another
example of policy failure by our local elected officials that leaves disadvantaged folks on the street. Why is our city led by incompetent people?” CHELLE BECK, VIA FACEBOOK: “One of the biggest
issues I’m seeing in our homeless crisis is how little we pay our care staff and mental health providers. We expect people qualified to work with the mentally ill to have high levels of college degrees and then pay them $45,000 a year. That’s barely enough to pay the bills, let alone student loans. We pay the people who care for the disabled a ridiculous $15 an hour and then wonder why there are staffing shortages. It’s like our society expects those with big hearts to just do the work for the love of people, totally taking advantage of their kindness. Makes me sad. Working with the mentally ill and disabled is hard work and so thankless. They deserve to be paid a sum that doesn’t require a second job!”
deeply affordable housing with services for seniors and people with disabilities. No one should have to go through what Josephine and her neighbors experienced when the Taft shut down.” AMANDA KNOLL, VIA FACEBOOK: “I cried reading this
story. This poor woman has been through so much.” CORRECTION
A recent item about Archbishop Alexander Sample (Quote of the Week, WW, July 20) incorrectly stated Legacy Health was affiliated with the Catholic Church. WW regrets the error. 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: email@example.com
“Downtown Portland shoulders
BY MARTY SMITH @martysmithxxx
Aside from being the saving grace of WW, your column on ranked-choice voting (Dr. Know, WW, July 20) helped me decide how I was going to vote on the issue. I was afraid of the scenario you described, but I hadn’t thought it through yet. Keep doing what you’re doing! —Another Marty I’m flattered that you found my words compelling enough to influence your vote, Another Marty. That said, it’s probably not the best idea to blindly follow someone’s advice just because they have the same first name as you. (Especially if your first name is Kanye.) The column in question explained how ranked-choice voting can elevate extreme candidates at the expense of more broadly acceptable, middle-of-the-road aspirants. I didn’t mention RCV’s higher percentage of spoiled ballots due to voter confusion (these are Americans we’re talking about, after all), but that’s true, too. However, I didn’t come here to slag on RCV again—and not just because I can see the upside Willamette Week AUGUST 3, 2022 wweek.com
NORTHWEST PILOT PROJECT, VIA TWITTER: “We need
TK, VIA WWEEK.COM:
the burden as the central hub of services for the homeless and destitute of this state, but it’s time to get real and stop expecting 120-year-old buildings to not fall into expensive disrepair, with ancient facilities and codes. Especially with third-party operators, who aren’t interested in upkeep and hire 20-year-old caretakers who could give a sh**. It all affects how much residents and employees bother to make that place livable, and apathy is a quiet cancer in a place like that.”
in throwing out votes from people who can’t put the numbers 1, 2 and 3 in numerical order. No, as befits the constructive, forward-looking attitude for which I’m famous, I’m here to offer an alternative. Seriously! It’s called approval voting, and it’s a favorite of election nerds everywhere, because it (mostly) delivers where RCV falls short. How does it work? You vote for every candidate you like. That’s it. No rankings, no runoffs, no assigning each candidate a numerical score between 0 and 99*. If there are four candidates and you only like one, just vote for her. If there are three you find equally uninspiring and one you detest with apocalyptic fury, you can vote for all three “meh” candidates without having to worry about which one has the best chance of beating Ted Cruz. This method guarantees the winner will be the person the largest number of voters feels they can live with. Spoiled ballots? Not when ticking the box for multiple candidates is what you’re supposed to do. Some may argue that this elects the least hated candidate, rather than the best loved, but let’s be honest: The main thing we love about our guy is how much the other side hates him. I’m willing to throw the dice on a world where that doesn’t work anymore. *“Range voting.” Kill me. Questions? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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AT MUSIC MILLENNIUM JOHN RUDOFF
11:00 NOON 1:00 SHERYL WUDUNN AND NICHOLAS KRISTOF
THE THIN BLUE LINE THICKENS: Six days after a fatal police shooting of a man in Southeast Portland, the Portland Police Bureau has yet to name the officer responsible. On July 29, the bureau announced that due to a “credible security threat,” it was withholding the name. It was the third police shooting in four days, an unusual streak, and the bureau said it was investigating “possible doxxing” of the officers involved. A bureau spokesperson declined to provide further details on the threat, or to give a timeline for when the officer’s name would be released. The refusal comes after someone in North Portland exchanged gunfire with cops last week—and as Portland law enforcement describes itself as besieged. “The level of violence we are seeing in Portland and the direct disregard for law enforcement is unacceptable,” wrote FBI Special Agent in Charge Kieran L. Ramsay on July 27. In a related event, 16 police officers were called to the scene of a car wreck July 30 after the car’s occupants allegedly resisted arrest and neighbors became “hostile.” The allegedly drunken driver was charged with a bias crime after she threatened two female officers who responded to the scene, according to a bureau press release. KRISTOF TO GO BACK TO THE TIMES: Nicholas Kristof, the former New York Times columnist who resigned from the paper after 37 years to seek the Democratic nomination for Oregon governor, announced this week he will return to the Times. The move comes after the Oregon Supreme Court in February upheld Secretary of State Shemia Fagan’s determination that Kristof didn’t meet Oregon’s three-year residency requirement because he voted in New York in 2020. Kristof, a Yamhill native, will finish his latest book before rejoining the Times this fall. In a related move, Kristof, who proved to be a prodigious fundraiser during his brief gubernatorial bid, donated the $990,000 remaining in his campaign account to Oregon Strong, a new PAC run by his wife, former journalist-turned-investment adviser Sheryl WuDunn. She says the PAC will not give to candidates but instead support “evidence-based job training.” As
for Kristof’s political future, he tells WW, “I’ve no plans to ever run for office again.” LABOR PAINS AT OPB: Service Employees International Union Local 503 picketed Oregon Public Broadcasting’s South Macadam Avenue headquarters Aug. 2. The union represents 26 OPB employees, including video editors, camera operators, and some administrative employees (news reporters and on-air employees are not represented). OPB has proven itself a fundraising colossus, with revenues of $48.5 million in 2020, about 50% more than five years ago. The nonprofit’s contract with SEIU expired June 30, and a union representative says contract talks are “pretty tense.” SEIU was particularly unhappy that OPB gave all unrepresented employees a $1,000 stipend this year but did not give that stipend to union members. OPB CEO Steve Bass declined to discuss contract specifics but says he’s optimistic: “We will continue to bargain in good faith to reach an agreement as soon as possible.” NONPROFIT WILL PROVIDE GUARANTEED INCOME: Black Resilience Fund, a program of Brown Hope, a nonprofit started by social justice activist Cameron Whitten in the wake of George Floyd’s murder in 2020, began accepting applications Aug. 1 for an initiative to provide up to 50 Black families with a guaranteed basic income of up to $2,000 a month for three years. Whitten secured a matching grant of $100,000 from the Oregon Community Foundation and is seeking to raise a total of $500,000 this summer. He says other large foundations are receptive to the concept of granting low-income families a monthly payment, an idea some economists have long supported and one that presidential candidate Andrew Yang highlighted in 2020. The awards are income-based and vary by family size: from $1,000 for a single adult up to $2,000 for a family with three or more children. More than 7,500 people applied in the first 24 hours after the program went live Aug. 1. “It’s a sign of the overwhelming need out there,” Whitten says.
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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW THIS WEEK
Double Fried We revisited three of the places where Portlanders were killed by the heat dome last year. BY S O P H I E P E E L
HOT DOG: Sandy Botkins and her chihuahua Cilantro.
Last year, a high-pressure weather system superheated Portland to 116 degrees and, by its conclusion, killed 69 residents of Multnomah County. This past week, another heat wave arrived: less searing but longer. It marked the first time that Portland surpassed 95 degrees for seven consecutive days, according to the National Weather Service. More dangerously, it was also the first recorded occasion when the temperature didn’t dip below 65 degrees for seven consecutive nights. That meant people never got the chance to cool off. Multnomah County health officials identified seven suspected heat deaths as of press deadlines Aug. 2. As the city suffered a parched case of déjà vu, WW revisited three of the places where Portlanders died last year. All three spots fit the trend line of last year’s deaths: low-income, elderly Portlanders living alone without air conditioning in environments that soak in the heat.
Peter Paulson Apartments
1530 SW 13th Ave. 10:30 am Friday, July 29 Sean Muldrew smokes a cigarette outside his apartment building in a motorized wheelchair. He has a takeout box of baby back ribs in the basket attached to the back. He’s been trying to call an agency he was referred to about getting an air conditioning unit for four days now, with no luck. He says he’s called over a dozen times and left messages. Last year, he says, the building handed out fans. “They had a stack of them, and they were like, ‘Here, here, here!’” Muldrew recalls. “They said they’re not doing that this year.” Yesterday, to his relief, a maintenance man installed dark curtains over his window. That, coupled with the three fans he has running, is helping. Muldrew wheels into the building to check on his cat, Callie, in his second-floor room. Since last summer, Home Forward, the city’s housing authority, purchased and installed 500 AC units in its buildings using general budget and grant dollars. (That means about 1 in 12 households received an AC unit.)
One resident died at this building during last year’s heat dome. Her name was Brenda and she had bright red hair. She flew around in her motorized wheelchair—sometimes too fast, according to those on her floor. Ian Davie, a spokesman for Home Forward, says building managers were instructed to check on vulnerable residents, provide chilled communal spaces if possible, offer water bottles, and educate residents about cooling resources—protocols it developed after last year’s heat dome. Davie says the housing authority is not aware of any deaths that occurred in Home Forward buildings. Along the two blocks north of the Peter Paulson, residents of other low-income complexes are sitting and standing outside to escape roasting rooms. Two women gossip animatedly while smoking. One man picks up still-smoking cigarette stubs and finishes them off.
335 NW 19th Ave. 9 am Friday, July 30 Skyler Harrison, 33, lounges outside his 13-story low-income apartment complex Friday morning. It’s already 75 degrees and climbing, and the sixth day of the weeklong heat stretch. In his second-floor room of the Home Forward building where two people died during last year’s heat dome, Harrison has built a contraption that’s a variation on a swamp cooler. He stuck seven frozen water bottles in a plastic foam cooler. He cut two holes in the top. Harrison then directed a fan into one of the holes so that the air would hit the frozen water bottles and blast chilled air out the other hole. He also dampens his sheets before bed, he says. The fan at the foot of his bed dries them by the time he wakes up. This year, the city partnered with local climate resilience firm CAPA Strategies to install heat sensors in three Home Forward buildings where Portlanders died last year. Sixty sensors, says climate scientist and CAPA manager Joey Williams, were installed in the three buildings, including Northwest Tower. Home Forward declined to offer any details about the pilot project and how the sensors worked during the past week.
Flavel RV and Mobile Home Park
8410 SE Flavel St. 1 pm Saturday, July 30 For the second time in two years, the RV park where Eugene Anderson died alone in his RV feels like it’s being cooked. The air is stagnant and there are few trees. No tall buildings create shade cover. The ground consists of asphalt, packed dirt and rocks. The only greenery is some potted flowers and plants surrounding some of the RVs. The campers are covered with a reflective, tinlike material. This is the recipe that killed Anderson last year during the 116-degree heat dome. He was found dead in his RV with a broken air conditioning unit. At the time, Sandy Botkins remembered Anderson as quiet but pleasant. They’d usually make small talk at the mailboxes, even though their RVs were less than 100 feet apart. They’d talk about her dog, Cilantro. Today, Botkins walks Cilantro. The dog rapidly lifts her feet up and down on the packed dirt as she pants next to the empty strip of land where Anderson’s RV used to sit. No one else is out and about the RV park. You can hear rustling in some of the RVs, but mostly it’s dead quiet. If you look at Cilantro, not as a 10-pound ball of yappy dog whose last two teeth fell out this morning, but rather as a heat vector, it makes sense that she picks up her paws with such rapidity. The heat burns and rises through her feet into her body—thermal mass, if you will—and gradually heats it up. “The longer she’s exposed to higher temperatures, the hotter she gets,” explains Williams, the climate scientist who WW invited out to Flavel RV Park. The surface temperature is 130 degrees where Cilantro stands, according to Williams’ heat-measuring device. On a tuft of rare grass along the edge of the RV park, the surface temperature is 95 degrees. On dead grass between RVs, the temperature is 110 degrees. The surface of one of the only trees in the park? Eighty-one degrees. An apartment complex just one block away sports healthy amounts of shade provided by tall firs. The surface temperature is 92 degrees.
J U S T I N K AT I G B A K
REPORTING GETS RESULTS
River Walk After much deliberation, Metro will proceed with a full cleanup of Willamette Cove. WILLAMETTE COVE
The Metro Council voted unanimously July 28 to proceed with a full cleanup of Willamette Cove, a 27-acre parcel of land that includes 3,000 feet of Willamette River beach in North Portland. 8
Willamette Week AUGUST 3, 2022 wweek.com
As WW previously detailed, the agency has since late 2020 mulled two options: leaving 23,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil in place under a durable cap (dirtier but cheaper), or
hauling away the contaminated dirt (cleaner but more expensive). The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality recommended the former, and advo-
cates feared Metro would agree (“Buried Treasure,” WW, Dec. 4, 2020). So Native tribes and groups that include the Portland Harbor Community Coalition and Audubon Society of Portland as well as North Portland neighbors pushed for the more extensive and expensive cleanup, ultimately swaying Metro. Metro Council President Lynn Peterson says she and her colleagues decided doing the right thing was more important than doing the least expensive thing. “Metro looks years and even decades into the future and is acting on what this region needs,” Peterson says. Cassie Cohen, executive director of the Portland Harbor Community Coalition, says tribal involvement appeared to make the difference on an issue her group has been working on since
Split Decision A polling result never seen by the city’s Charter Commission show Portlanders overwhelmingly favored placing three reforms on the ballot separately.
72% preferred separate questions.
22% preferred one measure.
6% preferred neither or declined to answer.
the November ballot by the Charter Commission, which voted overwhelmingly to bundle all three reforms into a single ballot question. Charter commissioners have said the reforms they proposed—a city administrator, ranked-choice voting, and multimember districts—are too interdependent to separate. The Portland Business Alliance has challenged the single-question measure in Multnomah County Circuit Court. Oral arguments are scheduled for Aug. 11. The PBA was among the funders of the North Star poll, along with
2013. “I think when the tribes formally got involved, that changed things,” Cohen says. Rose Longoria, regional Superfund projects manager for the Yakama Nation, says she and her colleagues drilled their position home with Metro and other agencies involved in the Superfund process. “It was a high priority for us to have the greatest cleanup possible,” Longoria says. The Yakama want healthy fish and believe capping toxic material is shortsighted. It would both restrict public access and leave the property vulnerable to flood damage. Michael Pouncil, a neighbor who often walks the contaminated beach, says it’s time for Metro’s deeds to match its rhetoric. “You can’t do all this talking about equity and not then provide public access to the river in one of the lowest-income parts of the city,” says
Pouncil, who is Black. In case you haven’t followed the dispute, here’s a quick primer on why Willamette Cove matters. N I G E L J AQ U I S S . Where’s the land and why’s it dirty? The cove, tucked between the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway and St. Johns bridges on the east bank of the river, is off-limits to humans because of toxins left over from shipyard work on the site throughout the 20th century. Metro bought the property from the Port of Portland in 1996. How much will cleanup cost? Right now, the estimate is $17.5 million. That’s considerably more than DEQ’s preliminary 2020 estimate of $10.7 million, but construction costs have soared as has the price of trucking soil to a land-
fill. “Our region looks to us to take bold action to get to the root of problems, not just to look for superficial, easy fixes,” says Metro’s Peterson. “We have the opportunity to not just do a good job but do a great job that will benefit the entirety of the region for generations to come.” Where’s the money coming from? Metro is still flush with cash from a 2019 greenspaces bond that raised $475 million. It will make up to $10 million available from that pot of money. The port is also on the hook for some of the costs—although how much is unclear because the terms of the 1996 sale remain confidential. Longoria says she’s elated but also frustrated that getting to a full cleanup vote took so long. “Agencies involved in the Superfund process make a lot of work,” she says. “We need them to be more focused on outcomes.”
TAFT WATCH We’re counting the days since a home for disabled seniors last housed anybody. BLAKE BENARD
In April, the North Star Civic Foundation, a good-government think tank, received results of a poll it had commissioned a month earlier to gauge public sentiment about charter reform to change the city of Portland’s form of government. Less than two months later, the 20-member Charter Commission would send its reform package to the November ballot on a 17-3 vote. The survey asked 500 respondents—with an intentional overrepresentation of BIPOC Portlanders—such broad questions as whether they wanted a big overhaul of City Hall or only minor tweaks; what voters’ top concerns were regarding government effectiveness; and whether people felt represented by City Hall. It listed three major reforms the Charter Commission was poised to recommend: ranked-choice voting, multimember geographic districts, and a city administrator form of government. It asked another question of respondents, one that now appears freshly relevant: Would you prefer to vote on charter reform as separate ballot questions or combined into one measure? “The groups most in favor of separate proposals are young women, voters in North Portland, and lower-income voters,” pollsters wrote. The poll’s findings appear to fly in the face of the measure placed on
Oregon Smart Growth, the Metropolitan Association of Realtors, and the Home Builders Association of Metropolitan Portland. That was back when the city’s chamber of commerce and its leading business interests were eager to see charter reform—but in a much different form than it’s now taken. What now appears peculiar is why the complete poll results weren’t presented to charter commissioners in April. On June 15, Charter Commission project manager Julia Meier sent an email to all Portland City Council chiefs of staff. It linked to three public opinion polls that Meier said were presented to the commission. The Lake Research poll commissioned by North Star was one of the three listed. But it was a truncated version. That 72% of respondents said they wanted separate ballot questions did not appear in the version sent to City Council offices. This week, WW obtained the full survey that included that particular question—which was never presented to charter commissioners and never provided to the public. Caitlin Baggott Davis, executive director of North Star, says the omission was not intentional, but rather her group wanted to focus on the core takeaways from the poll so it could message appropriately when promoting charter reform: “Our focus in the March poll was to understand if voters feel represented by Portland city government, and if they feel that services are being provided well. They don’t. We focused the presentation on that.” It’s also important to contextualize the period in which the poll was taken: It was before anyone knew that the issue of separate questions versus a combined question would so badly splinter interest groups on charter reform. Four charter commissioners tell WW they never saw the poll, nor the shorter version. Commissioner Robin Ye says seeing this question doesn’t change anything for him: “There’s an overwhelming sense of support for big structural change, and the policy proposal from the commission is best and only can be presented in a single package, because that’s how the reform policy works together, in tandem.” (Sofia Álvarez-Castro, communications coordinator for the Charter Commission, says the truncated version was publicly available but not formally presented to charter commissioners.) The full Lake Research poll raises a number of questions. Perhaps the biggest one is about transparency: Why was an important question in a public opinion poll not shared with charter commissioners? Meanwhile, results of another poll presented to charter commissioners in April asked a similar question. Commissioned by Building Power for Communities of Color, which now leads the campaign to promote the reform measure, and Represent.Us, a nonprofit that advocates ranked-choice voting, the poll asked respondents which of two statements they agreed with more: “Portland government is such a mess that we need to pass this whole package of reforms” or “We should only focus on changing Portland’s form of government.” Fifty-seven percent of respondents chose the former statement, and 31% chose the latter. (Another poll by FM3 Research, commissioned and funded by North Star and BPCC and presented to charter commissioners in March, asked about combining two of the three proposals. In that poll, adding more than one reform to the ballot question did not hurt, or help, the favorability of either reform.) North Star, which commissioned the poll that showed voters had doubts, is now joining the campaign to pass the full charter reform package. The campaign tells WW it’s raised $200,000 so far. S O P H I E P E E L .
242 days: That’s how long it’s been since the Taft Home, a former hotel that for 70 years housed low-income, disabled seniors, has housed a single person. The facility shut down Dec. 1 of last year. The private operator closed it after state regulators found poor conditions and documented inadequate care of residents. The owner of the building, Reach Community Development Corporation, did not look for another operator. Instead, it allowed the doors of the 70unit building to shutter amid a housing crisis. Reach tells WW it’s in the midst of a building analysis by a third party and can’t decide what’s next for the building until that’s completed. The city has an unusual level of control over the building, because it loaned Reach money for renovations decades ago. According to a binding agreement with the city, Reach must obtain permission from the city if it wants to repurpose or sell the building. If it does neither, Reach is required to use the building for low-income housing. The Portland Housing Bureau says it doesn’t have a timeline for reopening the building. S O P H I E P E E L .
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ave you noticed something strange? There’s no mistaking it, really. This summer in Portland feels a little…off. Gas is five bucks a gallon. Half the people you know caught COVID, and nobody noticed. Some days, the corner coffee shop simply doesn’t open because it can’t find enough workers. Oregonians are smoking less weed. And there’s an object alien to Oregon looming in the sky. A bright, shining orb that just won’t go away. A week of heat just pressed down on this city like a waffle iron, trapping residents in the dozen square feet of refrigerated space next to their window AC units. Just twice before has Portland suffered six consecutive days of temperatures above 95 degrees. Last week, we had seven.
Three astonishing stories of Oregon at its most bizarre. ILLUSTRATED BY MCKENZIE YOUNG-ROY
It’s enough to make anybody feel a little crazy. So here’s what we propose: Let’s get even weirder. This week’s edition of WW is dedicated to tales of the bizarre and unlikely. In the following pages, we take you to an island inlet in the Willamette River where law enforcement holds no power over nomadic mariners (page 12). We talk to the man who spent
16 years searching for the Goonies’ treasure ship—and may have found it in an Oregon sea cave (page 14). And we have an excerpt from the Portland book that uncovers the true author of an acid diary that terrified generations of teenagers (page 16). These aren’t WW’s usual stories holding elected officials accountable or unpacking public policy gone wrong (though you can still find plenty of that by flipping back to page 8). In fact, the stories you’re about to read don’t have much in common except that they share the one thing that delights readers and reporters alike: a good secret, revealed. These are beach reads—whether or not you were lucky enough to escape to the beach. We hope they serve as a pleasurable reminder that no matter how odd this town seems, the reality CONTINUED ON PAGE 12 is stranger than you imagined. Willamette Week AUGUST 3, 2022 wweek.com
THE SECRET OF TOE ISLAND COVE
Private ownership of Ross Island creates a safe harbor for transient boaters. BY N I G E L JAQ U I S S
Willamette Week AUGUST 3, 2022 wweek.com
vessels in Portland. “Last time I went out on the water, I couldn’t believe how many boats are out there,” says Travis Williams of the conservation group Willamette Riverkeeper. The causes are many: a shortage of housing on land that’s led people to consider aquatic alternatives; an aging fleet of fiberglass boats that cannot be recycled and are expensive to scrap; and a shortage of public funding for enforcement and disposal of derelict boats. But at Ross Island, there’s an additional wrinkle: Unlike virtually all of the Willamette River (and other navigable Oregon rivers), the river bottom where the abandoned and derelict boats congregate is privately owned. The Multnomah County sheriff’s River Patrol can tag and tow vessels that are illegally moored in state waters, using funding provided by the Oregon State Marine Board. But its jurisdiction doesn’t extend to private lands—and the secret is out. “Boaters have learned over the years where they can and cannot be removed or be forced to leave,” says Sgt. Steve Dangler, who heads the River Patrol. “They know that if they are pretty close to shore of Ross Island that Department of State Lands rules don’t apply.” From 1975 until this year, the river bottom around much of the island belonged to Ross Island Sand
Under a broiling late July sun, eight-member crew shells skim across the top of the bottle-green Willamette River like water bugs. Standup paddleboarders glide more slowly on the glassy water. And at the south end of heavily forested Ross Island, a motley flotilla of a dozen and a half castoff boats moves not at all. They are cabin cruisers, demasted sailboats, and smaller craft that once towed skiers or carried sport fishermen. Most are temporary homes. Others look like garbage barges, their accumulations of furniture, clothing, bicycles and piles of trash overflowing into the water. Eric Pedersen, who grew up in Southeast Portland, took a reporter out on the river last week on his 24-foot Alumaweld boat to show the accumulation of vessels, most unlicensed and moored illegally. “There’s no garbage pickup out here, no place to pump out your wastewater,” Pedersen says of the boats. “If you unhooked your sewage from the city system at home, how would that work?” People who live, work or play on local rivers agree there’s a crisis on Oregon’s waters: the large and growing number of abandoned and derelict boats moored in rivers and estuaries all over the state. The vessels often sink in navigable waters, imperiling other boats and threatening to leak fuel and other toxic substances into the drink. State officials say there are at least 175 of them in the metro area, far more than a decade ago—or ever. The epicenter of the junk boats is Ross Island, the teardrop-shaped spit of uplands on the Willamette, just upstream from the bridge that shares its name. Officials say the inlet at the south end of the island called Toe Island Cove hosts the greatest concentration of occupied and derelict
& Gravel, a subsidiary of R.B. Pamplin Corp. The company mined the lagoon in the interior of Ross Island down to a depth of 130 feet and processed rock on the adjacent Hardtack Island. Mining ceased in 2001 and the company is now under state order to refill the hole and restore habitat on both islands, a process it expects to complete by 2035. The president and CEO of R.B. Pamplin Corp., Robert Pamplin Jr., also owns the Portland Tribune and 23 other Oregon newspapers. Documents WW obtained under a public records request show that officials from the Department of State Lands, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office and the Oregon State Marine Board have repeatedly met with Ross
Island officials about the issue of abandoned and derelict vessels. Dangler of the River Patrol spends most days on the water keeping an eye out for swimmers and boaters in distress or behaving badly. He also tries to enforce the state law that says a boat can moor in one spot for no more than 30 days, then must move at least 5 miles away. On a recent day, Dangler says, he tagged seven abandoned or derelict boats at Toe Island, a city-owned spit of land west of Ross Island. Those boats can be towed and, if nobody claims them, scrapped. But just yards away, the biggest concentration of such boats in the metro area is beyond his jurisdiction. “We enforce the boating rules and regulations
FREE PARKING: Boats congregate in Toe Island Cove.
and laws, but we cannot enforce the trespassing piece around Ross Island,” Dangler says. “So the loophole does exist.” Pamplin spokesman Mark Garber says private ownership of the river bottom around Ross Island predates statehood, but the company has tried its best to cooperate with official attempts to deal with unwanted boats. Garber says such boats began turning up around 2009. Company officials regularly provide the sheriff’s office photos and information about boats that are illegally moored; have given the sheriff written permission to remove the boats; and are active participants in a task force aimed at solving the problem. “Ross Island has been working early and often to remedy the blight brought upon its property and the river,” Garber says. But, Garber adds, the Multnomah County district attorney says criminal trespass cases are unlikely to hold up in court. And the sheriff’s office says seizing boats would require an unaffordable inventory and storage of vessels with no hope of cost recovery. Under advice of legal counsel, the company will generally not intervene or tow boats itself. “Ross Island Sand & Gravel said their maritime attorney advised against towing because then RISG would own and become responsible for the boat and all its contents,” read Department of State Lands director Vicki Walker’s notes from an Oct 18, 2018, meeting. In 2020, RISG did get permission from the marine board to remove two vessels that burned in Toe Island Cove. It cost the company $16,000 to get rid of them. “Ross Island has been unable to recoup a dime from the vessel owners,” Garber says. The imbroglio continues. In fact, due to an unusual decision by Robert Pamplin Jr., the situation is even more complicated. As WW previously reported, Pamplin transferred ownership of Ross and Hardtack islands and their submerged lands earlier this year to the R.B. Pamplin Corp. pension fund, of which Pamplin is the sole trustee, at a valuation of $10.8 million. (Pension experts have been critical of Pamplin’s sale or transfer of about $50 million worth of R.B. Pamplin Corp. real estate to the company’s pension fund.) The upshot of the transfer is that the watery parking lot for decrepit boats adjacent to Ross Island now belongs to 2,400 Pamplin pensioners. (Garber says Ross Island Sand & Gravel leases the island back from the pension fund.) Willamette Riverkeeper’s Williams, who has worked for decades for the return of Ross Island to public ownership, says the financial machinations are happening amid the degradation of delicate habitat. “If you look at the area where boats have congregated, you won’t believe how much junk has collected on Ross Island,” he says. “The whole thing just doesn’t make sense.” The issue of abandoned and derelict boats is a growing threat to navigation and marine environments here and across the country. Ron Schmidt, president of Waterfront Organizations of Oregon, which represents marinas and other waterfront businesses, has pressed state lawmakers to take the issue seriously.
“It’s definitely gotten worse,” Schmidt says. “In addition to the houseless issue, we’ve got a generation of fiberglass boats that are at the end of their lives. Owners are selling those boats cheaply to people who may not have the knowledge or the funds to maintain them.” Like the ancient RVs that have become homes of last resort as owners seek to avoid the expense of disposing of them, old fiberglass boats are available cheap—or free. Over the past two years, the marine board paid for the removal of 44 boats, 38 of them in Multnomah County. But that agency’s removal budget is currently capped at $150,000. Three bills that would have increased the funding available for the purpose of more removal failed in the 2021 legislative session. But state Sen. Kathleen Taylor (D-Southeast Portland), whose district borders the Willamette River near Ross Island, wrangled a one-time appropriation of $1 million to remove more vessels. That’s a start but nowhere near enough to tackle the failing boats in the metro area and untold more in rivers and estuaries around the state. (Metro also got $2.7 million from lawmakers to remove boats on the Columbia River.) On Aug. 9, DSL’s Walker will ask the three members of the State Land Board—Gov. Kate Brown, State Treasurer Tobias Read and Secretary of State Shemia Fagan—to support a $40 million funding request for DSL to tackle the problem in earnest over the next three years. “Abandoned and derelict vessels seriously threaten the health and safety of Oregon’s waterways,” Walker’s memo to the land board says. “Threats include water contamination, habitat degradation, public and private property damage, and impacts on recreational and commercial use and enjoyment of waterways.” Kelly Holtz moved in 2011 to a houseboat row near Oaks Park, just upstream from Ross Island. She says she was drawn to the ever-changing beauty of the Willamette and the wildlife that uses Ross Island as a refuge. Now, when Holtz looks downstream, she sees a lot of illegally moored boats not served by garbage removal or even a portable toilet. Supply boats buzz out from the dock at nearby Willamette Park to what has become an unpermitted community. “There are so many more of them than when I moved in,” Holtz says. Bob Sallinger, conservation director of the Audubon Society of Portland, has worked for more than two decades with Riverkeeper’s Williams and Mike Houck of the Urban Greenspaces Institute to convince Pamplin to convert Ross Island to public ownership. Pamplin did donate 45 acres of the island to the city of Portland in 2007, but talks have broken down since then—and will only become more complicated now that the pension fund owns the island. “Dr. Pamplin is very proud of that island,” Sallinger says. “It would be a sad thing if he doesn’t move this to resolution.” Eric Pedersen shares Sallinger’s hope that the waters around Ross Island will be restored. He swam or water-skied most summer days as a teenager 30 years ago but wouldn’t swim near the island now. As Pedersen nosed his boat onto the boat ramp at Willamette Park on July 29, he eyed the occupants of a dilapidated sailboat pulling away from the dock, where they’d left box of trash: “At least they didn’t throw it in the water.” Willamette Week AUGUST 3, 2022 wweek.com
CAVE OF WONDERS
A conversation with the archaeologist who (maybe) found the wreckage of a Spanish galleon in an Oregon sea cave. BY D O U G K E N C K- C R I S P I N email@example.com
For more than 300 years, chunks of beeswax, formed from Filipino pollen, and shards of Chinese porcelain have washed up on the North Oregon Coast around Nehalem—flotsam of a wrecked ship. Beachcombers have been turning up the artifacts for decades, and larger hunks of the beeswax can be found on display at little coastal museums and libraries. Fantastic fables of treasure have been folded into the story. From the time of Astoria’s founding in 1811, white settlers have heard Native legends of a distressed ship, and then searched for hordes of silver, gold and jewels secreted away on Neahkahnie mountain—the bountiful beeswax detritus providing presumed evidence of these aged claims. It is an Oregon legend older than the political construct of “Oregon” itself. Even if you haven’t heard the tale, you’ve seen it referenced: The Beeswax Wreck is the source material that inspired One-Eyed Willy’s treasure ship in The Goonies. For the past 16 years, Scott Williams has been searching for that galleon. Two months ago, his team recovered timbers that provided long-awaited proof of what ship met its doom in the Pacific. Well, maybe, Williams concedes. He captains a group of dedicated volunteers, called the Maritime Archaeology Society, that since 2006 has tried to solve the mystery of the ship’s identity. After combing countless historical records, examining the thousands of pieces of physical evidence found along the shore, and consulting with other experts around the globe, the team formed a hypothesis. Their theory: The specific ship that wrecked along this stretch of the Oregon Coast was the 17th century Spanish galleon Santo Cristo de Burgos Burgos. In 2013, commercial fisherman Craig Andes discovered a cave with water-logged timbers, partially buried in sand, that he believed was some of the wreckage from that ship. In 2020, he contacted the society and informed it of his cache. The cave is located on a particularly treacherous section of rugged coast, north of Manzanita, at a site accessible only at extremely low tides. Permits from multiple agencies were obtained to retrieve the artifacts, and in mid-June (as originally detailed by National Geographic and The Daily Astorian Astorian), a dangerous, lightning-fast recovery operation, two years in the making, removed the centuries-old ship timbers. Last week, WW met with Scott Williams, an archaeologist with the Washington State Department of Transportation and president of the Maritime Archaeology Society, in Olympia, Wash., to discuss this Oregon history legend. He told us about their recent discovery, and the 300-plus-year-old ship’s timbers that support their theory. (Maybe.) 14
Willamette Week AUGUST 3, 2022 wweek.com
WW: How big of a part of your life has this ship become? Scott Williams: From the beginning, for me the search has been an interesting puzzle to be solved: When we started, no one was sure what kind of ship the Beeswax Wreck was, or where it came from or why it was on the Oregon Coast. I didn’t grow up with the story and, in fact, had never heard about it until my friend called and asked me to work on the project, and I didn’t know anything about the Manila galleon trade. That let me approach the puzzle without any preconceived ideas or biases—I didn’t have a dog in the fight about whether it was a Spanish galleon, a Chinese junk, or some other ship, or whether it was the galleon of 1705 or a different one. There’s been a lot of people involved over the 16 years. And really, it’s just people who were interested in, wow, this Spanish galleon wrecked on the Oregon Coast! When, where, how, why kind of thing.
Have you solved the mystery? We are 99% certain we know the ship that wrecked. We know when it wrecked, but we just don’t know where exactly it wrecked. We certainly don’t know why it wrecked. It should not have been here in Oregon. So our goal is to keep kind of investigating that end of it. We would love to find the offshore wreck that we could do some limited excavations in and find a Spanish anchor or a Spanish cannon where we could say we’re now no longer 99% certain, we’re 100% certain.
You have selected the galleon Santo Cristo de Burgos, a Spanish galleon, as the probable ship. Why? In the 1500s, the New World’s getting discovered, it’s the European age of exploration. European powers create this huge trade with Africa, India and China. And from China, they start getting luxury goods: silk, cotton, spices. Those are the big three, and porcelain. The Spanish have a colony in the Philippines, its main purpose is to buy Chinese goods. They start exploring this trade, and because of the trade winds, the monsoons and all that, really, it’s only practical to sail about once a year. You leave the Philippines in June and ideally reach Acapulco, Mexico, by Christmas. Then you sell everything. You refit the ship, the ship sails from Acapulco in March, and it makes it back to the Philippines in three to four months. Back to the Philippines in time to load a whole new cargo and then set sail again.
COLOSSAL WRECK: Beeswax and timbers in the Tillamook County Pioneer Museum.
The trade eventually evolves to essentially one big ship every year. It leaves Manila in June, sometimes July. For 250 years, that trade goes on. The ships get bigger and bigger because if you can only send one ship a year and that’s your entire economy, you have to send a big ship. So they are maximized, super-cargo carriers. Massive, slow ships. Big crews, 200 to 300 crew members. Because that trade was so important, it was controlled by the Spanish government. Every ship was tracked, they had a cargo manifest, they knew the crew. If a ship went missing, they went looking for it because they wanted to find the cargo. So, in that 250-year period, you only have four sailing ships from Manila to Acapulco that just disappeared. One of them is in Baja, Mexico. One of the other three is the wreck we are examining. It shouldn’t be in Oregon. There was no reason for that ship to be here. They weren’t up here exploring or making a new settlement. They weren’t looking for food or water. They’re either way lost or disabled.
How far north would it have been reasonable to expect a ship under Spanish control to come? About Monterey Bay. Maybe a little farther north, but not much farther. San Francisco, tops. So, to be up here, it’s way off course.
In 2018, you co-wrote an article for Oregon Historical Quarterly that detailed the conclusions you came to supporting your theory that the beeswax ship was the Santo Cristo de Burgos. What was your evidence?
We worked with Curt Peterson, a coastal geologist who specializes in the ancient earthquakes and their effects on the coast. Curt came out and he did his mapping with ground-penetrating radar and said the only way your artifacts could get to where they are is the 1700 tsunami. So that was our first clue. Then we started working with the Spanish archives, and there’s a 1699 letter from the governor of Mexico to the king of Spain, six years after the Santo Cristo de Burgos Manila departure, informing the king that despite six years of searching the islands of the west Pacific and the coasts of New Spain, the ship vanished without a trace. Finally, historians’ accounts: In 1917, one wrote about the galleon trade, and an extensive history of the Philippines in 1909 also stated that the ship set sail in 1693 and was never seen again.
So the discovery of the timbers really is just another piece of supporting evidence in your hypothesis. Correct. We knew about the ship timbers since 2020. We turned in a report to the state of Oregon in January of 2021, with a proposal that we need to go collect these timbers before they wash away, or before souvenir hunters took them away. And honestly, I’m not 100% sure that these timbers are from the Santo Cristo de Burgos. I spent Friday in Astoria, and I collected samples of wood from these beams that we’re going to mail out to the Philippines and to a radiocarbon dating lab to get more dates and better wood ID. Because it’s possible that this is a different ship. It is a shipwreck, but it’s possible that it could
be a Japanese junk. As we know from the Indian histories, another ship wrecked about 1770. The simplest explanation is, it’s our Santo Cristo de Burgos. It’s right where it should be. It’s definitely shipwrecked pieces, but it is possible that it’s not the wreck.
How much physical material did you recover in the cave? We’re still analyzing it. We recovered some pieces that once we got back and kind of cleaned them up clearly aren’t [from] the ship. But we have more than 20 pieces we think are from the ship. Some pieces measuring a foot in length, very water worn, to 7½ feet. Most of the pieces are under 3 feet. I want to say five or so that are more than 3 feet long. Some have more distinctive features, and we’re hoping we can send pictures and 3D models of those pieces to the people who really know Spanish ships and say, “Does this look like a rib from a 17th century galleon? Does this look like it’s from the upper deck?”
So the Santo Cristo de Burgos was transporting porcelain and beeswax. How much beeswax? We don’t know for sure. These ships carried anywhere from call it 40 tons of beeswax up to like 100 tons of beeswax. We don’t know how many tons of beeswax was carried on the Santo Cristo de Burgos, but beeswax was actually a small part of the cargo. So if you stop and think how much beeswax has been found over the past 300 years, that was the small cargo on the galleon. The big cargo was silk. And cotton, which of course is all deteriorated, unless we find some buried in the mud. Spices and Asian luxury art, Japanese lacquerware…
And a metric shit-ton of treasure! There was probably some gold jewelry.
I’m talking gold and silver, I’m talking Goonies shit, tons of Goonies kind of treasure. No, no, it wouldn’t have been tons of it. Probably some gold jewelry, but not like the galleons in Mexico or Columbia. The art and the silk were the real valuable items. The rich passengers, they had their family fortunes. But we’re not talking galleons in Florida where there was 50 tons of gold bullion, or a hundred tons of gold or silver bullion. There could have been, you know, a Catholic priest who had 200 pounds of gold. Maybe, if he was a really corrupt priest, 500 pounds of gold, but not 5 tons of gold.
Well, that’s disappointing! Sorry.
So what questions do you still have? Now that we know what ship was wrecked, what really interests me is the effect the tsunami of 1700 had on the wreckage: Is part of the ship still offshore, or is it all on land? If the tsunami picked it up and deposited it on land, what is the offshore source of the porcelain and wood that continues to wash ashore? This is just another piece of supporting evidence. This isn’t a, oh my goodness, we discovered blank. This is, you know, we are on the right track. Willamette Week AUGUST 3, 2022 wweek.com
How a former Portland radio host debunked a 1970s bestseller about teenage acid trips.
sy a of D ily H
Willamette Week AUGUST 3, 2022 wweek.com
Rick Emerson was 14 when he happened upon a copy of Go Ask Alice on the return shelf of his Kennewick, Wash., school library. Such an encounter was common in 1987—the book had sold 3 million copies since its 1971 publication—and also a little lucky: Three years later, the American Library Association would list Go Ask Alice among the most frequently banned books in the country. The attraction and repulsion were both baked into the book’s premise: It purported to be the uncensored diary of an anonymous California teenage girl who was dosed with LSD, got hooked and died, leaving only her notebooks as a document of her dissolution. Young Rick devoured it. Twice. “I read it and then went back to the beginning and read it again,” Emerson recalls now. “I was just sort of intrigued by the idea of who is this girl? How can nobody know?” Did she exist at all? The claims of Go Ask Alice always seemed a little flimsy—the author trips on acid and graduates to shooting heroin before ever sampling a cannabis joint—but that didn’t break the spell the book cast on a generation who stayed up all night with what amounted to an urban legend in print. The efforts of prudes to censor the book only transfigured it into something rare: a sermon on temperance that kids longed to read. “It’s like a chick tract in novel form,” Emerson says. Over the years, Go Ask Alice fell into a gray area of respectable ill-repute—becoming what Emerson calls “a grubby, strip-mall cousin to The Bell Jar.”
The woman who “discovered” the journals—a Provo, Utah, housewife named Beatrice Sparks— kept producing more diaries. The next one, Jay’s Journal, helped ignite the Satanic Panic, a national hysteria over the occult that lasted for much of the ’80s. But the more “true stories” Sparks produced of adolescent debauchery, the more likely it seemed she had made Alice up. Emerson, now 49 and living in Portland, has emerged with the definitive account of just how much of his paperback obsession Sparks fabricated, and how many family tragedies she exploited to reach the bestseller list. His new book, Unmask Alice (BenBella Books, 384 pages, $26.95), details the number of people in American publishing, journalism and the education establishment who were complicit in the deception—and how the rest were conned. The result is a propulsive read, a boardwalk thrill ride through the scams and moral panics of the late 20th century that abruptly hits the brakes to consider who’s buried under the fun park. Unmask Alice is an unusually resonant book in the era of QAnon and Pizzagate, when significant portions of Americans are ready to believe their political opponents (and neighbors) are child molesters. And it’s become something of a literary phenomenon this summer, the subject of lengthy consideration in the pages of this week’s New Yorker. It’s also a second chapter for a man who for 15 years was a familiar voice on Portland radio. Airing from 1998 to 2012 and drifting from station to station across the AM and FM dials, The Rick Emerson Show was a totem for a generation of Portland pop-culture geeks. With a clipped cadence that recalled the sportscaster
BY A A R O N M E S H
AUTHORSHIP: Rick Emerson and Beatrice Sparks.
Colin Cowherd, Emerson delivered sardonic soliloquies on topics ranging from suicide bombers to the songs of Meat Loaf. In 2006, WW compared him to Howard Stern (“in the same category, if not class”) and noted that when his show went off the air for a year, devoted listeners mailed Entercom hundreds of coffee cups affixed with notes reading, “I need my morning fix.” All of which is to say that Emerson knows something about cult followings—both as subject and object. In 2015, he assumed someone had already written a history of Sparks and her fabrications. An internet search turned up no comprehensive study. Emerson decided to write it. “It is a rabbit hole the length and breadth and width of which I could not have possibly imagined,” he says. That’s the kind of plunge a lot of obsessive people make—especially if they are, say, adrift after a divorce and the end of a 14-year radio talk show. But Emerson’s fixation revealed a capacity for seriousness he only hinted at on the radio: It took him seven years of research to complete Unmask Alice, and much of that work was spent confronting publishing houses like Simon & Schuster with the damage they did. The book feels like a work of retribution on behalf of anyone who was ever the subject of a nasty rumor. Not that the myth of Alice doesn’t still hold some power. “When I was a kid, I was fascinated with the Loch Ness monster,” Emerson says. “And then I reached some age where I was like, OK, there probably isn’t a Loch Ness monster. And then later I’m like, here’s the thing: I’d love for there to be a Loch Ness monster, just because it’s way more interesting. “And I think that was true with Alice. You kind of want it to be a real diary. That’s just more interesting. Because otherwise it’s just a badly written book.” The excerpt of Unmask Alice on the following page displays why so many people were willing to ignore their skepticism when Go Ask Alice first appeared. This passage concentrates on the television star Art Linkletter (yes, the avuncular host of Kids Say the Darndest Things). In 1969, his 20-yearold daughter Diane fell to her death from a Los Angeles apartment tower. Perhaps she jumped. A grief-stricken Linkletter became convinced she was driven to her death by an LSD flashback. The following year, Beatrice Sparks mailed him a book pitch.
whose parents loved her. Dosed with LSD by sleazy “friends,” the girl slipped into addiction and chaos. Harder drugs followed, and things got worse. She ran away from home, falling in with outcasts and criminals. Flashbacks came without warning, pushing her closer to madness. The girl fought to stay clean, but in the end, it was too much. She died without warning, leaving her parents to grieve and wonder. Then came the real twist. The story was true, the girl left a diary, and Beatrice Sparks had it.
For three years, Beatrice Sparks had peppered Art Linkletter with ideas, and nothing had stuck. She was fifty-three, with two grown kids, another in high school, and a string of fizzled projects. Her first book, a self-improvement guide published by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, had sold in Utah County, but just barely. Then, in rapid succession, everything changed. Diane Linkletter died, and her father became a scorched-earth crusader. In June, the Manson trial started. All those sweet young girls, warped and destroyed by a monster who fed them acid and stole their minds. And on October 27, 1970, one year after bringing Art Linkletter to the White House, Richard Nixon got his War on Drugs. Just like that, LSD, mescaline, psilocybin, and even marijuana were Schedule I drugs, right next to heroin. Beatrice Sparks had found her moment, and she pitched Art Linkletter on a new project: a simple story with a shocking twist. It was the tale of a bright but troubled California teen. A girl from a good, Christian family. A girl
The Bad Crowd, the seduction into drug life, the LSD madness, the death that only seemed like a suicide. It was the perfect pitch at the perfect time. It was, after all, a story Art Linkletter already believed. In a different state of mind, he might have asked some tough questions. Where was a homeless junkie getting pen and paper, much less storing them? What kind of addict keeps track of a diary, or little jotted notes? And didn’t the whole thing sound a little too familiar, like a way to leverage Diane’s death? In the moment, none of it mattered. Of course the timeline was jumbled— junkies were erratic, everyone knew that. And the similarities just proved it was true. You see? It happens. Just like it did to Diane. And where did Sparks get this diary? That part changed with every telling, sometimes a little, sometimes a lot, but the basic framework was always the same: Sparks met “Alice” at a youth conference in 1970. The two became friends, and after the girl died, Sparks thought her diaries—properly presented—would be a strong warning about drug abuse. Sparks had it all planned out. She would cut the diary down to book size, change a few names, and presto—one cautionary tale, ready to sell. She even had a title. Buried Alive: The Diary of an Anonymous Teenager, edited by Beatrice Sparks. There were a million loose ends. Who was this girl? Where were her parents? Was this even legal? But Linkletter’s reaction was all that mattered, and he was on board. His literary agency, Vandeburg/Linkletter, signed a deal with Sparks, and Clyde Vandeburg, who did most of the agency’s actual work, went looking for a publisher. Kathryn Fitzgerald stared into the shopping bag. This didn’t look like any book she’d ever seen. There were scraps of random paper and pieces torn from grocery bags, plus a bunch of diary
pages, all shoved into a large paper sack. It was a Friday afternoon in late 1970. Fitzgerald, a twenty-eight-year-old New York native with the beginnings of a nicotine rasp, looked a moment longer, then spoke. “Let me take it home and read it.” Fitzgerald hadn’t planned to work in kids’ books—it just sort of happened. She had a finance background, including a stint with the Small Business Administration and four years as a portfolio analyst. Even when she made the jump to publishing, it was strictly grown-up stuff, handling business and finance titles for Prentice-Hall, a company based in northeast New Jersey, across the river from Manhattan. Still, upward was upward, and when the head of children’s books retired, Fitzgerald sought the position and got it. Prentice-Hall mostly published nonfiction, and their biggest seller had come thirteen years earlier, with Art Linkletter’s Kids Say the Darndest Things, which (despite the Peanuts-style drawings) was aimed at adults. Books for children were a different story. They took years (sometimes decades) to gain momentum, then lingered forever, mainly by default. Anne of Green Gables, The Call of the Wild, the Little House novels—they were safe, solid choices, purchased by every new parent or first-year teacher. That was the irony of kids’ books: they were usually chosen by adults. To make a dent in the young-reader market, a book had to be lucky—and special. So when Clyde Vandeburg pitched what looked like a bag of receipts, Kathryn Fitzgerald was intrigued, but not very hopeful. A diary. In pieces. Found by some Mormon psychotherapist. Right. She took it home and started reading. Before long, she was convinced…mostly. Later, the doubts would resurface, and she’d argue against calling it “real,” but the diary felt true, no question. This, she thought, is something special. Within a few days, things were locked in. Sparks would get a few thousand dollars up front, and if the book was a hit, she’d eventually get royalties. Most books didn’t make it that far, but you never knew. Linkletter’s agency would take 10 percent of Sparks’s end, including the advance. Sparks signed the contact, and Buried Alive was slated for an autumn 1971 release. An excerpt from Unmask Alice by Rick Emerson. Copyright ® 2022 by Rick Emerson. Reprinted by permission of BenBella Books, Dallas, Texas. All rights reserved. Willamette Week AUGUST 3, 2022 wweek.com
Willamette Week AUGUST 3, 2022 wweek.com
OLD TOWN ROAD Photos by Chris Nesseth On Instagram: @chrisnesseth
Couch Street Plaza is the latest area to be transformed into a car-free public event space through a partnership between the Old Town Community Association and the Portland Bureau of Transportation. Located between Northwest 3rd and 4th avenues, the block hosted its first official event on Sunday, July 31. Chinatown Meet Vol. 3 featured DJs, popular local streetwear brands, a slew of talented break dancers, and onlookers.
Willamette Week AUGUST 3, 2022 wweek.com
A T R E A LRBO S ER E T •••• A E H T a night of comedy
B R O K E N P L A N E TA R I U M
• •••• ••••
STUFF TO DO IN PORTLAND THIS WEEK, INDOORS AND OUT.
+ Sean Jordan AUG 5 AUG 6
a one-woman circus about burlesque
CALL ME A PUSSY featuring
+ Glitterfox (5th) + Kris Deelane (6th) Grammy-winning singer songwriter
TIM O’BRIEN + JAN FABRICIUS one of Mexico’s funniest
MARIO AGUILAR Montavilla Jazz Festival 22
TOO SLIM & AUG 18 THE TAILDRAGGERS TY CURTIS
PJCE’s The Heroine’s Journey
Marilyn Keller, Darrell Grant, & Rebecca Sanborn
+ Stephanie Schneiderman
an evening of contemporary Hawaiian music
PAULA FUGA a soulful, ecstatic musical experience
FANNA FI ALLAH
a fusion of visual arts & burlesque SEPT 10 Nina Simone Tribute
I PUT A SPELL ON YOU
LaRhonda Steele + The Adrian Martin Sextet
8/28 • PHAME’S SUMMER FILM FESTIVAL 9/1 • SCIENCE ON TAP - HOW’D THEY FILM THAT? 9/14 • CONSIDER THIS: BLACK POLITICAL POWER IN OREGON 9/17 - TRACY GRAMMER 9/23+24 • OREGON BURLESQUE FESTIVAL
3000 NE Alberta • 503.764.4131 20
Willamette Week AUGUST 3, 2022 wweek.com
SEE: The Broken Planetarium: Live! Prophets! Live! The Broken Planetarium assembles Greek prophet Cassandra, 19th century scientist Eunice Newton Foote, Hildegard of Bingen and other female prognosticators to decry global warming via cabaret musical. Expect poetic fierceness and dark humor from a team featuring director Corrine Gaucher, writer Laura Christina Dunn, and Dunn’s acclaimed nonprofit theater company. The performance opens Thursday at Clinton Street Theater, with shows continuing through mid-August. Clinton Street Theater, 2522 SE Clinton St., 971-808-3331, cstpdx.com/ show/broken-planetarium-live-prophets-live. 7 pm Thursday-Saturday and 2 pm Sunday, Aug. 4-7 and 11-14. $25. VIEW: On the Ledge Opening Reception Help Blanchet House support those experiencing homelessness and addiction by attending the nonprofit’s annual show highlighting the work of more than 30 local artists, some of whom have benefited from the organization’s treatment program, including woodworker Lucas Pattison. All pieces are based on the theme “comfort food.” Pix Pâtisserie will serve things you can actually eat—some of its last batches of macarons before closing this month. Tuck Lung Gallery, 140 NW 4th Ave., 503-2414340, blanchethouse.org/on-the-ledge. 5-8 pm Thursday, Aug. 4.
LAUGH: Neal Brennan: Unacceptable Neal Brennan’s one-man, full-theatrical shows have a history of selling out. His latest endeavor, Unacceptable, comes to Portland’s Revolution Hall in all its droll glory. Brennan, a correspondent for The Daily Show With Trevor Noah, pairs his confessional-style comedy with the direction of artist-magician Derek DelGaudio to create the sort of secret humor sauce that has kept Brennan on the map since 1995. Expect themes of alienation and depression—only funny. Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark St., 971-808-5094, revolutionhall.com. 7 pm Saturday, Aug. 6. $40.
SHOP: Unique Markets Portland Summer 2022 Market Do all of your accessories and many of your wardrobe staples come from a store known for its giant red-and-white bullseye? If so, it might be time to branch out and shop the 150 expert-curated independent retailers, emerging brands, and up-and-coming designers set to take over Veterans Memorial Coliseum with their wares this weekend. Free beverages, free shipping, a family fun zone and more await you. Veterans Memorial Coliseum Exhibit Hall, 300 N Ramsay Way, 503-235-8771, uniquemarkets. com/portland. 10 am-4 pm, Saturday-Sunday, Aug. 6-7. $5 presale online, $8 at the door. $35 VIP. Kids 14 and under free.
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LAUGH: Howie Mandel Get excited—the talent behind Bobby’s World is coming to our very own region! For those of you who didn’t watch the long-running cartoon series on Fox Kids from 1990 to 1998, that would be Howie Mandel, also of America’s Got Talent, Bullsh*t the Game Show and many, many other projects over his decadeslong career. Hear his quirky comedy stylings (and possibly an explanation of his recent bizarre video post, deleted, but not before befuddling the internet) at Ilani’s Cowlitz Ballroom. Ilani Casino Resort Cowlitz Ballroom, 1 Cowlitz Way, Ridgefield, Wash., 877-go-ilani, ilaniresort.com. 7 pm Sunday, Aug. 7. $29-$39.
LISTEN: Opera in the Park’s 20th Anniversary Performance: Verdi’s Aida Take a dip into the operatic canon with a performance of Verdi’s Aida, marking the 20th year of this well-loved Washington Park tradition. This year’s festivities feature the celebrated Met Opera soprano Angela Brown and Richard Zeller, an acclaimed musician and faculty member at Linfield University. Bring the fam (or not) and settle into the Rose Garden Amphitheater for a classic tale set in Egypt. Washington Park Rose Garden Amphitheater, 410 SW Kingston Ave., 971-227-2520, portland.gov/parks/ arts-culture. 6 pm Sunday, Aug. 7. Free.
PINE MEADOW RANCH
PRIVATE ADULT FETISH & FUN
GO: Reusing Materials: Weaving Workshop Summer is the perfect time to gallop over the mountains to Sisters to learn about the ancient, functional art of creating baskets from pine needles. Stick around for the Maritime Weaving Mats Workshop, which promises “great fish karma,” and thus sounds too good to pass up. Experts in their crafts, retired U.S. Marine Greg Neitzel and Charlene Virts, one of the region’s preeminent pine needle weavers, will lead sessions over three days. Pine Meadow Ranch Center for Arts & Agriculture, 68467 Three Creeks Road, Sisters, 541-904-0700, roundhousefoundation.org/pine-meadow-ranch. 9 am-noon Tuesday-Wednesday and 9 am-2 pm Friday, Aug. 9-10 and 12. $65. Willamette Week AUGUST 3, 2022 wweek.com
FOOD & DRINK
One Love Buckman’s new Thai restaurant RukDiew Cafe pays tribute to Mom’s cooking. 22
Willamette Week AUGUST 3, 2022 wweek.com
Editor: Andi Prewitt Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
SWEET DREAMS: RukDiew’s interior design, including cloudlike lighting, has a “dreams and fairy tales” theme.
BY T H O M H I LTO N P H OTO G R A P H S BY A A R O N L E E
Sometimes, the best way for a restaurant to make a good impression on a hot summer day is by hitting you with a cool blast of AC. In the midst of last week’s heat wave, walking into RukDiew Cafe for dinner from a scorching-hot Southeast Belmont Street felt like floating into a pastel pink and green oasis. This new spot from the team behind Portland staple Thai Peacock and more recent spinoff Khao Moo Dang is a hit on social media and already packed nightly, so it’s not just the powerful central air that’s attracting the crowds. Owner Poomipat “Pat” Thaithongsuk’s inspiration for his latest project is his mother Temsuk’s love and kindness, which is reflected in the business’s name: RukDiew means “one love” in Thai, and the menu is filled with food she cooked for him as a child. That affection (Pat’s “secret ingredient”) has helped him create a queer-friendly safe space for everyone: Not only are customers having a great time, but the staff also seem to be enjoying themselves while hustling with a dancelike groove along the central bar to whatever music happens to be playing in the background. RukDiew’s design, influenced by dreams and fairy tales, is both peaceful and playful, with framed illustrations on the walls, light fixtures that resemble clouds and eclectically patterned plates. What a delight it is when those first dishes arrive
and you realize you haven’t been duped into trying hyped-up Instagram food—everything matches the stellar quality of items coming out of the kitchens in Thaithongsuk’s other two establishments. The most sought-after Thai appetizer in Portland these days might just be chicken wings, since the fall of the Pok Pok chain has many hoping to discover an adequate replacement. Look no further: RukDiew’s hot wings ($9) are not only heavenly, the dish is secretly two great snacks in one. Flats and drums are tossed in a light chile-garlic sauce and served on a bed of fried basil leaves and egg noodles. Once the wings are gone, you’re left with an “OMG”-good pile of sticky, herbal strands to crunch on. The crab rangoon with pineapple sauce ($8) is generously stuffed, and the unexpected yellow curry flavor evokes chilly autumn nights when you’d crave a warm-you-from-the-inside dish. Cold apps help cut through some of that richness. Fresh rolls with tofu and peanut sauce ($7.50) are well-constructed, but could benefit from the addition of herbs to make them really pop. Somtum ($11), a slightly overdressed salad of shredded green papaya and peanuts, is fun to scoop up with shrimp crackers ($6). Entrees are strong across the board, most notably the khao soi ($15 with tofu), essentially a perfect dish: fresh egg noodles hang out in a Northern-style curry sauce after a quick bath in the fryer. Its smoky spice is subtle at first, then grows, but is balanced out by a cooling medley of green onions, shallots, cilantro
Buzz List WHERE TO DRINK THIS WEEK.
1. THE KNOCK BACK
2315 NE Alberta St., theknockback.com. 4 pm-midnight Monday-Thursday, 4 pm-2 am Friday, noon-2 am Saturday, noon-midnight Sunday. Over the past two years, we’ve seen plenty of bars and restaurants close, along with a slew of brave newcomers entering the market. But rarer is the resuscitation of any pandemic casualties. Now, the Knock Back, which shuttered in 2020 after an unsuccessful GoFundMe campaign, has returned to its original location with a new menu of cocktails on tap, slushies, rotating craft beers, wine and zero-proof drinks. Perhaps the best part, though, is the fact that it has also revived food cart boom standout Grilled Cheese Grill under its roof.
Hot Plates WHERE TO EAT THIS WEEK.
1. CHENNAI MASALA
2. BUOY BEER POP-UP
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.
3. PACIFIC STANDARD
and lime. Panang curry ($16 with shrimp) with basil, makrut lime leaves, and chopped peanuts is deep and complex. While kana moo grob ($15), cubed pork belly stir fried with tender slices of Chinese broccoli in a spicy soy and oyster sauce, is a great use of sister restaurant Khao Moo Dang’s star ingredient. Takeout staples also feel elevated here: Pineapple fried rice ($13 with tofu) is tender and features layers of saltiness and sweetness thanks to a mixture of yellow curry powder, cashews and raisins. I couldn’t stop going back for one more bite…about a dozen times. The pad kee mow ($13 with tofu), which can sometimes be a one-note vehicle for spice, is my favorite version of the dish I’ve had in Portland. RukDiew’s take has the sweet black soy taste of pad see ew, a strong basil flavor, subtle chile spice, and melt-in-your-mouth wide rice noodles. Anyone who wishes to add more spice can request the hot sauce tray, which includes chile powder and pickled peppers so hot they made one of my dining companions cry. If you do find yourself shedding tears during your meal, whether prompted by spice or pure joy, the Thai iced tea ($3) provides comfort and relief. It’s less heavy than other versions, with a playful candy corn-meets-cereal milk flavor. The mango mojito ($11) is also ideal for sipping throughout your meal since it’s loaded with refreshing lime and mint. Other drinks may need a bit of work: the lychee martini ($10) was overly floral and not quite cold enough, and the plum sangria ($10) tasted like cabernet on ice. The signature dessert, sticky rice with mango ($7), was served a little too warm—almost hot—but had a romantic presentation. The rice was mixed with butterfly pea powder, making it a vibrant shade of blue, then topped with a coconut milk sauce and served alongside ripe sliced fruit. The lava cake ($6) is pretty standard, and pretty delicious: hot, gooey and fudgy, but it could have benefited from a scoop of ice cream on the side. Such things are the most minor of quibbles, however. I’d stack this exceptional restaurant alongside the titans of Portland’s Thai food scene. I, personally, cannot wait to make RukDiew Cafe my regular spot.
EAT: RukDiew Cafe, 2534 SE Belmont St., 503-8416123, rukdiew.com. 11:30 am-3 pm and 4:30–9 pm Monday-Thursday, 11:30 am-3 pm and 4:30-9:30 pm Friday, noon-9:30 pm Saturday, noon-9 pm Sunday.
2088 NE Stucki Ave., Hillsboro, 503-531-9500, chennaimasala. net. 11:30 am-2 pm and 5:30-9:30 pm Tuesday-Sunday. Chennai Masala has been a South Indian standard for more than a decade. After the dining room was remodeled, it gained the feel of a midscale restaurant, shedding the cafeterialike vibe. South Indian food leans heavily vegetarian, so order accordingly. We suggest one of the dosas, a scrolled crispy crepe made with fermented lentil and rice flours. Good plain with just a side of aromatic sambar or filled with potatoes, chutney, egg, cheese, meat and more.
2. EB & BEAN
1425 NE Broadway, 503-281-6081; 3040 SE Division St., 971-2428753; 645 NW 21st Ave., 503-889-0197; ebandbean.com. Noon-10 pm Sunday-Thursday, noon-11 pm Friday-Saturday. Now that our corner of the country is sweltering, it’s time to find ways to stay cool. Fortunately, Eb & Bean just launched four new nondairy froyo flavors that should act as a temporary respite from the sweltering conditions: amarena cherry lemon, garden mint, vanilla coffee, and hibiscus mango—a collaboration with Smith Teamaker. 100 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 971-346-2992, kexhotels. com/eat-drink/pacificstandard. 3 pm-midnight daily. At Pacific Standard, the new bar by Jeffrey Morgenthaler and longtime colleague Benjamin “Banjo” Amberg anchoring the Kex hotel, you won’t find any of the drinks the two men became known for at their former posts, Clyde Common and Pépé le Moko. But there are nods to those past hits in the all-new cocktail menu, like the summery rosé Negroni, the zesty All-Day Bloody Mary, and the Palm Desert Date Shake that’s decadent but not too boozy. “I just have no shortage of drink ideas,” Morgenthaler says. A gift and a curse we’re all thankful for.
4. MIGRATION BREWING AT WASHINGTON SQUARE
9585 SW Washington Square Road, migrationbrewing.com. 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 just opened a beer garden inside Washington Square with four taps as well as multiple packaged options, including cider and wine. The bar is surrounded 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.
5. PIX PÂTISSERIE
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.
3. DESI BITES
16165 SW Regatta Lane, #300, Beaverton, 971-371-2176, desibitespdx.com. 11 am-2:30 pm and 4-9 pm Tuesday-Sunday. Desi Bites is one of the Beaverton area’s newest South Asian markets with a full restaurant. Beware, however, the dining area is tiny (while the store is huge) and it fills up quickly. Plan for takeout, at least as a contingency. Don’t be afraid to try the fiery tomato and coconut-based Telangana curry, a specialty of Hyderabad. For a more mainstream repast, try the kati rolls or kebabs wrapped in paratha bread, which are messy but delicious.
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 pop-up, 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.
5. BEIRUT BITES
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.
Willamette Week AUGUST 3, 2022 wweek.com
HEALING HEMP Celebrate National CBD Day with a new topical, tincture or edible made from one of these Oregon companies.
BY B R I A N N A W H E E L E R
The youngest of the contemporary cannaholidays is also the most…sober. National CBD Day, observed Aug. 8, has only been around since 2018. It was established by North Carolina hemp brand cbdMD as a marketing tactic that quickly grew into something more substantial. Interest in the nonintoxicating cannabinoid derived from hemp has surged in recent years, and CBD Day is about more than just moving merch—experts in the field use it as an occasion to raise awareness about plant-based medicine. Which is to say, it’s a weed holiday for everyone. If you’re looking for ways to celebrate one of the most sought-after natural compounds this year, this roundup of highly regarded Oregon hemp-based products should get you started.
PAIN-RELIEVING TOPICALS Empower BodyCare Empower BodyCare’s line of lotions, drops and soaking salts features cannabinoids derived from organic hemp. A standout is the roll-on hemp oil extract that glides onto the skin with a nongreasy, velvety finish. Every product is third-party lab tested for potency, pesticides and heavy metals, and if you order online, 5% of all sales are donated to social justice causes. BUY: All New Seasons Markets and empowerbodycare. com.
Peak Extracts Peak Extracts’ award-winning Rescue Rub was developed by a licensed Chinese herbalist. Its marriage of traditional plant medicine and contemporary cannabis infusion results in an all-purpose, pain-relieving salve that’s an effective treatment for chronic pain, superficial trauma, and even my own tendonitis. BUY: peakextracts.com
TINCTURES Danodan Smart consumers know that an astronomical CBD percentage isn’t the primary indicator of how effective the product will be—instead, pay attention to the entire spectrum of cannabinoids, flavonoids and terpenes. Danodan tinctures may not have off-the-charts cannabinoid numbers, but it sources organic hemp flowers from small Oregon farms cultivated to have specific compound profiles, and the potency is plain. BUY: All Market of Choice locations and danodan.com.
Willamette Week AUGUST 3, 2022 wweek.com
Red Barn Hemp A backstory shared by many hemp brand founders is that they went into business while searching for remedies for loved ones. That includes Red Barn Hemp. The owners are third-generation Willamette Valley farmers who pivoted to cannabis after seeing how CBD kept their grandfather free from pain following a terminal cancer diagnosis. BUY: redbarnhemp.com
SKIN CARE Make & Mary Behind the chic Make & Mary storefront on Northeast Sandy Boulevard is a cannabinoid skin care wonderland. Founded by Yvonne Perez Emerson, the luxury line of products uses plants inspired by her Mexican and Scottish heritage, and includes everything from aromatherapy inhalers to bath bombs to herbal hydrosols. BUY: Make & Mary, 2506 NE Sandy Blvd., 503-444-7608, makeandmary.com.
EDIBLES Serra x Woodblock Chocolate You may be familiar with Serra’s groundbreaking cannacollab with local chocolatier Woodblock. Those iconic bars are also readily available in a nonpsychoactive, CBD-forward variety that could be an excellent gateway for chocophiles interested in some low-stakes plant medicine experimentation. BUY: All Serra locations, shopserra.com.
Greater Goods Another notable cannabis confectioner churning out CBD products is Greater Goods. In addition to its wide selection of artisan chocolate bars, the company produces fudge-covered cookies, marshmallow bonbons, and even a lemon sour sleep tincture. GG offers additional introductory-level CBD sweets for the otherwise uninitiated. BUY: hellogreater.com
SMOKABLES Plain Jane When it comes to smoking, I am a committed THC enthusiast. However, Plain Jane’s hemp products will entice me to light up every time they cross my path. The company’s selection of pre-rolls and blunts are across-the-board exceptional (the mini-blunts are a personal fave), but its CBD flower, moon rocks, kief and extracts are all solid options for low-tolerance party people. BUY: plainjane.com
Editor: Bennett Campbell Ferguson | Contact: email@example.com
Pickathon Returns to Happy Valley (and the Internet)
WHAT TO SEE AND WHAT TO HEAR BY DA N I E L B R O M F I E L D @bromf3
SATURDAY, AUG. 6:
This year’s edition of the festival features all-new stages and such headliners as Valerie June, Wet Leg and GZA. C O U R T E S Y O F P I C K AT H O N
MUSICIANS ASSEMBLE: Pickathon.
BY J A S O N C O H E N
Die-hard Portland music fans might say the pandemic wasn’t really over until the Pickathon came back. OK, the pandemic isn’t over. But in summer 2022, as with almost every festival and tour and venue, the show must go on. After being canceled in 2020 and not being booked at all in 2021 (unlike many bigger festivals), Pickathon returns to Pendarvis Farm in Happy Valley on Aug. 4-7 (and will be livestreamed in full for the first time). This year, the big names on the poster are Valerie June, Wet Leg and GZA & The Phunky Nomads, with a lineup that also includes returning favorites (Hurray for the Riff Raff, Mike and the Moonpies), recent touring artists that you may have missed indoors (Faye Webster, Yazmin Williams), and acts fresh off of Newport Jazz Festival and/or Lollapalooza (Nate Smith + KINFOLK, Nubya Garcia, Goth Babe). And that’s not all. There are also Oregonians (Margo Cilker, Kassi Valazza, Mariachi Tradición), DJs, art installations, the usual complement of food and drink (break out those reusable cups!), kid’s stuff, and a live edition of the podcast Chapo Trap House. It’s been a trying few years for Pickathon—and not just because of COVID-19. There was a bit of backlash over the initial lack of 2020 refunds (those were eventually given a year later, with the help of federal assistance and the #SaveOurStages lobbying effort). And in 2019, two arborists died while dismantling one of Pickathon’s stages, leading to a lawsuit for wrongful death and negligence against the festival and five other companies. “We’re trying to learn how to put together a festival again,” says Pickathon co-founder Zale Schoenborn. “And I guess on top of that, put together a brand-new festival.” Every Pickathon veteran knows that if you have a chance to see someone on the Woods Stage, that’s the one to pick. As Schoenborn notes, the
rustic, heavily forested grove was built by nature, whereas the festival’s other marquee outdoor stages (Mt. Hood, Treeline) merely tried to piggyback on nature. This year, Pickathon has been physically restructured, with a new layout of “neighborhoods” spread across Pendarvis Farm. Designed by artists and architects from Portland State University, Green Anchors, Skylab Architecture, and McFadin Design, among others, the neighborhoods provide more open space and flow, as well as greater opportunities for shade. “I think for anybody that’s ever been to Pickathon, it’s gonna be familiar, because you’ve been to Pendarvis Farm,” Schoenborn says. “But it’s gonna be completely new.” One thing that hasn’t changed, even during COVID: the sense that the pace of development in Happy Valley will someday end the festival. Schoenborn says he thinks and hopes that Pickathon can keep it going for at least another three to five years. But if pandemic life has taught us anything, it’s to count on nothing…and always go to the show. “I think it’s safe to treat any year of Pickathon as the possible last,” Schoenborn says. “You just don’t know, right?”
“closing this chapter of the band’s life for the foreseeable future.” Rosali Galaxy Barn, 9 pm Friday, Aug. 5; Woods Stage, 5 pm Sunday, Aug. 7. David Nance Cherry Hill, 11 pm Thursday, Aug. 4; Lucky Barn, 4 pm Saturday, Aug. 6. If your favorite Pickathon sets have been by the likes of Ty Segall or The Cairo Gang, Nebraska garage-psych god Nance is who you want to see this year. And then you also get Nance and his bandmates providing the metaphorical fireworks behind exquisite Philadelphia singer-songwriter Rosali. Sampa the Great Paddock, 12 am Saturday, Aug, 6; Woods Stage, 11 pm Sunday, Aug. 7. Schoenborn, DJ Stonebunny and Nico Vergara of Pickathon food vendor Nico’s Ice Cream all mentioned the Australian (by way of Zambia and Botswana) rapper, writer and producer. “She just fascinates me, that she can do all of the music live,” Schoenborn says. “It sounds like it’s overdubbed and produced, but it’s pretty much live.”
Wet Leg Paddock, 10 pm Friday, Aug. 5. Were you there when Wet Leg made its Portland debut at Vitalidad in March? Nope, because the British duo got so big so fast that it got moved to—and sold out—the Wonder Ballroom.
Garcia Peoples Galaxy Barn, 5 pm Saturday, Aug. 6; Grove, 4 pm Sunday, Aug. 7. Not to be confused with Portland’s Garcia Birthday Band, these New Jersey psychedelicists should still delight your Deadhead uncle…as well as fans of Sun Ra, Superwolves or Blitzen Trapper. Much like Pickathon overall!
Sons of Kemet Paddock, 12 am Friday, Aug. 5; Curation, 9:30 pm Saturday, Aug. 6; Cherry Hill, 9 pm Sunday, Aug. 7. Pickathon DJ El Toro (formerly of KEXP and now on KXCI in Tucson) is especially stoked to see this British jazz group, especially as they just announced on Instagram that they will be
GO: Pickathon runs at Pendarvis Farm, 16581 Hagen Road, Happy Valley, pickathon.com. Aug. 4-7. Weekend tickets $390; children 13-16 $195, 12 and under free. Single-day tickets $195 Saturday, $170 Friday or Sunday. Livestream at frqncy.live/pickathon. $14.99$29.99.
Portland’s The Decemberists appeal to the part of the brain that craves overwhelming detail. Rejecting good taste and cool indie cynicism, Colin Meloy and his crew craft prog-folk epics so dense with historical allusions and obscure language that an annotated collection of lyrics wouldn’t be a bad idea for a merch item. Opening for them at McMenamins Edgefield is the wonderful folk singer Jake Xerxes Fussell, whose reverent reinterpretations of gnarly old ballads will prepare listeners to dive into the world of historical arcana with the Decemberists. McMenamins Edgefield, 2126 SW Halsey St., Troutdale. 6:30 pm. $47.50. All ages.
SATURDAY, AUG. 6:
In 2015, Shamir was on track to becoming a pop star. His hit “On the Regular” bumped out of party-bus windows and advertisements alike, and his striking countertenor voice sounded like nothing else on the charts. Instead, he went in another direction, releasing crudely recorded and starkly arranged albums filled with meditations on racist violence and queer nonconformism. Though he’s spent the past half-decade flipping the bird to the music industry, his star power is still undoubtable—and he might just be the best singer in the whole lo-fi indie-grunge universe. Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside St. 9 pm. $15. 21+.
TUESDAY, AUG. 9:
When Florist singer-songwriter Emily A. Sprague released the solo record Emily Alone under her band’s name, it seemed to confirm the Brooklyn “friendship project” as more of a solo act. But for a new self-titled album, the band decamped to upstate New York for a largely instrumental record that’s their wildest, woolliest and most collaborative work yet, making use of sounds from the local environment across its 19-track sprawl. The whole band will perform with support from Marc Merza and Babytooth. Polaris Hall, 635 N Killingsworth Court. 8 pm. $15. All ages. Willamette Week AUGUST 3, 2022 wweek.com
Editor: Bennett Campbell Ferguson | Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Excerpts From Poems In Picture Me Thriving “Not What You See”
by Sgt. Leland Gilbert Gilbert, 42, oversees the Hillsboro Police Department’s Youth Services Unit. Picture me, but not what you see; Not a color Not my weight Not my gender, eyes, or teeth See my road; The landmarks I’ve passed The thoughts I’ve had Promises I made, kept, and broken Picture me, but not what you see; Picture me, but the me from my dream. Leland Gilbert: “The poem is aspirational. It’s all about overcoming the tendency to categorize people and make assumptions based on appearance. It’s just a really toxic problem for our society. I have this wish that two new people could just meet each other as people and get to know each other through conversation and experience. It’s Leland Gilbert’s fantasy world.”
Power to the Poetry How the nonprofit Word is Bond brings young Black men and law enforcement together through poetry. BY R AC H E L S A S L OW
@ R a c h e l L a u r e n1 2
When a dozen young Black men and a dozen police officers gather in a church to write poetry together, there is trepidation on both sides. “They’re all pulling me aside, like they think they’re the only one, saying, ‘I am not a poet. I cannot write anything profound,’” Lakayana Drury says. Drury is the founder and executive director of Word is Bond, a Portland nonprofit organization that works to empower young Black men. The poetry workshop is part of a Word is Bond summertime series that brings together youth and law enforcement. The students have an easier time of it, typically, because they are used to writing assignments in English class, Drury says. It’s tougher for the officers: “Poems and police don’t usually go together.” By the end of the workshop, many of the writers are clamoring to share their work with the full group. Their confidence got another boost this spring when the poems they wrote last July at Vancouver Avenue First Baptist Church were published in Picture Me Thriving (Word is Bond, 112 pages, $20). The poetry workshop is part of Word is Bond’s Rising Leaders six-week paid summer internship program for Black men ages 1621. The Rising Leaders “ambassadors,” as they are called, do a ropes course, get fitted for suits, go camping, and lead walking tours of their neighborhoods. At their final event with the officers, the youth meet them for a social event at Dawson Park in North Portland, where the officers attend in uniform for the first time during the program and the ambassadors wear their typical street clothes, rather than business attire. 26
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Drury believes that poetry is a deeper, more effective way to get the group sharing their life stories than telling them to sit in a circle and get to know each other. “What I think is special about Word is Bond is the emphasis on the youth voice,” says Picture Me Thriving writer Sgt. Leland Gilbert of the Hillsboro Police Department. “Particularly for young Black men, that is not a normal thing for them to be in charge of the conversations.” In the 91 original poems in Picture Me Thriving, some themes emerge. In the section “Dear Other Side,” many of the police officers wrote letters to “the bad cops,” revealing tension that exists within law enforcement. (“I am not a different person when I put on my gun and badge, are you?…I am sad to admit that I can see why so many people do not trust the police right now,” writes Officer Kyle Hefley of the Portland Police Bureau.) Meanwhile, the students express their fears of police interactions. Simon Abraha, who attends La Salle Catholic College Preparatory in Milwaukie, writes about “getting pressed by the police/For no reason, as if I committed a treason...I was so scared that I thought I was yelling but I was whispering/I got no freedom in this country/ But I’m still thriving.” Drury himself has enjoyed writing poetry for two years, and he is excited to make the art form accessible to the ambassadors. “We’re breaking that myth of what poetry is,” he says. “It doesn’t have to be this old stuff from a thousand years ago. It can be a fun, fluid form.” BUY: Picture Me Thriving is available at mywordisbond.org/shop/ picture-me-thriving-poems.
by Nigusu Hamaya Hamaya, 19, graduated from McDaniel High School and will study mechanical engineering at Oregon State University in the fall. Where is my place? Well, my place is not here Here, where we pay rent and hear the roar of I-205... My home is far away It crosses other worlds and it’s hard to get there... There are no streetlamps so it gets dark But I like it because you can see the stars It has been a long time since I have seen the Milky Way I took it for granted and now light pollution blinds the sky My home is a place where you go outside to have fun The dry Earth is cracked and thirsty Even if your feet are clean, by the end of the day You will have dirt all over them It is hot Nine months of the sun to be exact Every day you become a shade darker The politics make it hard but it’s still my home. Nigusu Hamaya: “I moved here from Ethiopia in 2012 when I was 8 years old. I barely knew any English. In Ethiopia, the way they talk about the U.S. is like a paradise. I was picturing a big house and tons of food in the fridge like in the cartoons and that we would be super rich. Instead, we were moving, apartment to apartment, and paying rent. That was the biggest difference.”
Editor: Bennett Campbell Ferguson Contact: email@example.com
COURTESY OF REED HARKNESS
STREAMING WARS YOUR WEEKLY FILM QUEUE BY B E N N E T T C A M P B E L L F E R G U S O N @ t h o b e n n e t t
PORTLAND PICK: IMDB
AWAY FROM HIM: Sam Harkness.
This Sam’s Life
Filmed in both Portland and Washington, Matt Ross’ Captain Fantastic (2016) is a splendid showcase for the hardened charisma of Viggo Mortensen. As a father attempting to raise his kids in an off-the-grid home, he bristles with wounded revolutionary fervor, creating a haunting portrait of a progressive warrior reckoning with the limits of his convictions. Starz.
Portland documentarian Reed Harkness explores the mysteries of his half-brother’s childhood in Sam Now. @chance_ s _ p
Before little brother Sam was Reed Harkness’ documentary subject, he was his movie star. In a series of annual short films captured by Reed’s Super 8 camera, Sam’s onscreen persona developed into the Blue Panther: a squirrely, charismatic teenage hero in a wetsuit and a lucha libre mask. One year, with a burgeoning documentarian’s instincts, Reed pitched a daring new direction for their franchise to then-16-year-old Sam: “How about we make a film about the Blue Panther finding his mom?” Reed had broached the elephant in the room, something no other members of his Seattle family wanted to openly discuss: that Jois (Sam’s mom, Reed’s stepmom) had disappeared three years earlier without a word. With Sam’s blessing, the brothers set off 1,000 miles down Interstate 5 to find Jois. That’s when the Harknesses’ many films became just one, 25 years in the making: Sam Now. Sam Now, which will have its Portland premiere Aug. 5 at Whitsell Auditorium, is both an uplifting and heartbreakingly ambiguous portrait of the Harknesses. In the film, Reed (a Portlander since 1999) tries to make sense of why people hurt each other—and whether reconciliation is possible when personal histories blur within a family. Immediately, one of Sam Now’s most intriguing dimensions is that the Harknesses are a problem-burying clan, but with a journalist in their midst. Many times, Reed appears to alter the course of his family’s history by asking loved ones to speak on camera about things otherwise unsaid. “For me [the camera] made it easier,” he tells WW. “Without that, it is not fun at all to have those difficult conversations. You can see in the movie it’s a balance of light and dark. It’s mine and Sam’s magical thinking and fantastical filmmaking crossed with the reality and gravity of the situation.” Making space to understand absent mothers, resilient sons and reticent fathers, the film captures how familial roles can seem predestined yet mutable. Still, no one evolves more subtly than the filmmaker hiding behind the camera. In Sam Now, Reed goes from delivering a harrowing plea
for communication in his early 20s to being a professional documentarian committed to fairness. In recent years, he’s helmed projects like the House on Fire series (which interviews Oregonians about what they’d save in a blaze) and the forthcoming feature Integration (which examines psychedelic therapy). “It gets really hard being the person that intakes the information and not being the person that is venting or exhibiting” their feelings, he says. “I wanted to represent all those different voices so that they could hear each other.” Sam’s own growth is by no means linear. When he reappears in Sam Now as a Seattle social worker in 2015 after years off-camera, he doesn’t seem his old happy self, but has certainly gained greater insight into that self. “I’d love to see Sam on a panel sometime with a bunch of other documentary subjects explaining what that’s like,” Reed says. “I know for a fact that every documentary ever made is an exploitation of somebody, something. You have to in order to get the story out. I think the film honors him as a person. Hopefully, he will take it as a gift.” The movie’s end makes clear that even though Sam Now was influenced by Michael Apted’s long-running Up series, there likely won’t be a seven-year check-in or a Sam Later. Yet the film achieves something closer to therapeutic evolution than narrative closure—and Reed says he remains unsure whether its impact is even measurable during this generation. Of course, if one of his four kids ever wants to make a movie about the family, he has thoughts. “I would tell them to go for it. But it’s the hardest possible filmmaking you could ever do. You’d be better off doing an animated feature; you’d get it done quicker,” he says with a laugh. If the encouragement and caution in that answer are slightly paradoxical, so is Sam Now (see review, page 28). It may be a film about an act of brotherly filmmaking that comes full circle, but it’s also about a search for a happy family that courses endlessly, unrecorded through decades and bloodlines.
It’s been almost 20 years since a purple raincoat-wearing Maggie Gyllenhaal walked into James Spader’s office in Secretary (2002), kicking off director Steven Shainberg’s kinky cinematic fairy tale. Since “sex positive” has become a fairly controversial term, the film’s provocations are starting to feel radical again. Plus, it features Spader at his best: using his creepiness as a layer to be peeled away to reveal the humanity beneath. Free on Tubi.
Before Joseph Kosinski made Top Gun: Maverick, he dazzled and baffled with TRON: Legacy (2010). While Garrett Hedlund is epically uninteresting in the lead role, an ultra-zen Jeff Bridges and a platinum-blond Michael Sheen blissfully bring on the weird (as does production designer Darren Gilford, whose mirrored black surfaces seem to extend into eternity). Disney+.
INTERNATIONAL PICK: KAZAK PRODUCTIONS
BY C H A N C E S O L E M - P F E I E F E R
Julia Ducournau’s Titane (2021) isn’t for everyone—especially if you’re not in the mood for gruesome murders by hairpin—but it’s an undeniably compelling meditation on sex, violence and gender identity. Agathe Rousselle stars as the elusive Alexia, who is either a woman, a man, a cyborg, a human, a god, or all or none of the above. Hulu.
SEE IT: Sam Now plays at PAM CUT’s Whitsell Auditorium, 1219 SW Park Ave., 503-221-1156, pamcut. org. 7 pm Friday, Aug. 5. $12. Willamette Week AUGUST 3, 2022 wweek.com
MOVIES V I N C E VA L I T U T T I / M E T R O G O L D W Y N M AY E R P I C T U R E S
G ET YO U R R E P S I N
TOP PICK OF THE WEEK DREAMWORKS
Galaxy Quest (1999)
After aliens confuse the washed-up cast of an old sci-fi TV show that’s not Star Trek (but is basically Star Trek) for real heroes, it’s up to this drastically unqualified motley crew to actually save the world. Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman and Tim Allen star in this rollicking cosmo-parody, which screens as part of the Hollywood’s “Trek Nights” series. Hollywood, Aug. 3.
No Country for Old Men (2007)
This acclaimed neo-Western directed by the Coen brothers (who adapted Cormac McCarthy’s novel) stars Josh Brolin as a hunter who stumbles upon a briefcase containing $2 million, Javier Bardem as the sadistic hit man hired to recover the cash, and Tommy Lee Jones as the sheriff investigating the whole ordeal. Screens in honor of this Best Picture Oscar winner’s 15th anniversary! Hollywood, Aug. 5.
Terrence Malick’s impressive directorial debut stars Sissy Spacek as a 15-year-old girl under the beguiling spell of a 25-year-old greaser (Martin Sheen). After a deadly confrontation, the pair go on the lam together, zooming through the Midwestern badlands, leaving a trail of bodies in their wake. Part four in Cinema 21’s “Seven From the ’70s” series, featuring an intro by film programmer Elliot Lavine. Cinema 21, Aug. 6.
Punch-Drunk Love (2002)
In Paul Thomas Anderson’s romantic dramedy, a businessman (Adam Sandler) becomes entangled in numerous misadventures, including falling for his sister’s co-worker (Emily Watson), pudding sweepstakes, phone sex scams, and Philip Seymour Hoffman delivering the most perfect “Shut-shut-shut-shut-shut up!” ever captured on film. Screens in 35 mm. Tickets are $5 for OLCC and food handler’s cardholders. Hollywood, Aug. 7.
Now and Then (1995)
Led by an all-star ensemble cast (Christina Ricci, Melanie Griffith, Thora Birch, Demi Moore, Rosie O’Donnell, Gaby Hoffmann, Rita Wilson, and more incredible women), this coming-of-age saga follows four gal pals in 1991 as they reminisce about a pivotal summer they shared together as teens in 1970. Hollywood, Aug. 8. ALSO PLAYING: 5th Ave.: The Legend of the Stardust Brothers (1985), Aug. 5-7. Academy: Creature From the Black Lagoon (1954), Aug. 3-4. Bend of the River (1952), Aug. 3-4. Deliverance (1972), Aug. 5-11. Anaconda (1997), Aug. 5-11. Cinemagic: Dollman (1991), Aug. 5. Hollywood: There Will Be Blood (2007), Aug. 4. The African Queen (1951), Aug. 6-7. Zabriskie Point (1970), Aug. 6. The Happiness of the Katakuris (2001), Aug. 6-7. Invincible Shaolin (1978), Aug. 9. Hollywood at Champoeg State Heritage Area: Encanto (2021), Aug. 6.
: THIS MOVIE IS EXCELLENT, ONE OF THE BEST OF THE YEAR. : THIS MOVIE IS GOOD. WE RECOMMEND YOU WATCH IT. : THIS MOVIE IS ENTERTAINING BUT FLAWED. : THIS MOVIE IS A STEAMING PILE. 28
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THIRTEEN LIVES On a sunny afternoon, 12 junior soccer players (and their coach) decide to explore a cave. As they enter, their crimson uniforms contrasting with the dark rocks, the boys have no idea that the cave will flood and that they will be trapped inside for 18 days—or that an international effort of more than 10,000 rescuers will be necessary to save them. Thirteen Lives tells that story, transforming the 2018 Tham Luang cave rescue in Thailand into a suspenseful, compassionate and disciplined film. It’s directed by Ron Howard, but without the soapy sensationalism of his most famous rescue movie, Apollo 13. As he observes the countless souls called to the cave—from parents desperate for news of their sons to volunteers who divert lethal amounts of water from the sinkholes above—it’s clear that he doesn’t care who these people were before the crisis or who they will be after. He simply wants us to be in the moment with them, feeling their terror and their dedication. Why? Because although Thirteen Lives celebrates the heroes of the rescue (including the British divers, played by Viggo Mortensen and Colin Farrell, who find the soccer team first), it isn’t about individuals. Howard wants to immerse us in a massive movement that, in some ways, transcended borders—“a war with water” that gave way to a vision of peace. PG-13. BENNETT CAMPBELL FERGUSON. Amazon Prime.
This hard-earned family journalism project by Portland documentarian Reed Harkness sounds a bit like Boyhood or Michael Apted’s Up series at first blush. In the film, Harkness lovingly traces the childhood evolution of Sam, his 7-years-younger half-brother, who gleefully performs stunts and gags in front of a Super 8 camera. But fairly quickly, a mystery takes over Sam Now. In 2000, Sam’s mom vanishes; three years later, the Harkness boys turn their amateur filmmaking into a documented quest to find her. That’s plenty intriguing, but Sam Now soon transcends the search premise too. Like its subject and its director, it grows up, depicting the fractured Harkness family for what it is: a confluence of histories and pathologies that perhaps can’t be reconciled. Sam Now affords screen time and consideration to everyone in the family, and it’s a masterful editing achievement to stitch an 80-minute family portrait from material that could so easily be precious, overlong and myopic. Instead, the film balances the constant allure of the past with the irresolvable present. “Healing” is too linear a word. The most a family can do is try—and making a 25-year monument to understanding is one hell of an act of trying. NR. CHANCE SOLEM-PFEIFER. PAM CUT, Aug. 5.
It’s tempting to call Prey a “back to basics” entry in the Predator franchise, but it’s more of a prodigal return to a theme only implied in the steroidal, beautifully plot-light 1987 original starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. In that film, Arnold had to strip away technological vanity and embrace natural cunning with the help of Native American tracker Billy (Sonny Landham), the only one who could sense the intergalactic big-game hunter known as the Predator. In turn, Prey, directed by Dan Trachtenberg (10 Cloverfield Lane), pits the Predator against Comanche warriors in 1719. An overly cautious start classically establishes Naru (Amber Midthunder) as an anxious young woman dead set on hunting with the tribe’s men, and the film too bluntly emphasizes that the Predator is among them on the Great Plains. But once the green blood starts spilling, Prey is all animal rumbles, tomahawk training, exceedingly clever weapons choreography, and muscular outdoor cinematography by Jeff Cutter. It’s disappointing that the film won’t be released in theaters (blame Shane Black’s disastrous 2018 sequel The Predator). But at least at home, you can holler aloud at the spectacular violence as Naru proves her gravitas and the series is rescued by filmmakers who have discerned its decades of latent potential. R. CHANCE SOLEM-PFEIFER. Hulu.
FIRE OF LOVE
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. Bridgeport, City Center, Hollywood, Living Room.
True scenes from the streets. @sketchypeoplepdx kentcomics.com
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B Y M AT T J O N E S
"Product Placement"--it's a sign of the times.
(March 21-April 19): Tips to get the most out of the coming weeks: 1. Exercise your willpower at random moments just to keep it limber. 2. Be adept at fulfilling your own hype. 3. Argue for fun. Be playful and frisky as you banter. Disagree for the sport of it, without feeling attached to being right or needing the last word. 4. Be unable to understand how anyone can resist you or not find you alluring. 5. Declare yourself President of Everything, then stage a coup d'état. 6. Smile often when you have no reason to. 7. If you come upon a "square peg, round hole" situation, change the shape of the hole.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): If I had to choose a
mythic deity to be your symbolic helper, I would pick Venus. The planet Venus is ruler of your sign, and the goddess Venus is the maven of beauty and love, which are key to your happiness. But I would also assign Hephaestus to you Tauruses. He was the Greek god of the metalworking forge. He created Zeus's thunderbolts, Hermes' winged helmet, Aphrodite's magic bra, Achilles' armor, Eros' bow and arrows, and the thrones for all the deities in Olympus. The things he made were elegant and useful. I nominate him to be your spirit guide during the next ten months. May he inspire you to be a generous source of practical beauty.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): To be a true Gemini,
ACROSS 1. Produced, biblical-style 6. Fox's foot 9. Sweet stuff 14. Make up (for) 15. "... sorta" 16. One end of a battery 17. Bialik who will continue as a host of "Jeopardy!" 18. Samantha who will not continue as the host of "Full Frontal" (because it was canceled)
whose pilots were too scared to show up? 61. "Yay!" 62. Burj Khalifa's loc. 63. Word after corn or Cobb 65. Martin Van _ _ _ 66. Saw publication 67. Delete 68. Gnarls Barkley singer Green 69. _ _ _-Caps (Nestle candy)
19. Charlie Parker genre
70. Winona of "Stranger Things"
20. Some imaging services out of Florida?
23. Seek permission 24. They're often split 25. Lazy river conveyance 28. Thespian 31. Disco hit centered around four characters? 35. UFO passenger 37. "Then I knew that _ _ _ my heart" (The Supremes lyric) 39. Alternative conjunctions 40. Cheap, flimsy consoles to play "Grand Theft Auto" on?
1. "Batman" sound effect 2. Coup d'_ _ _ 3. Painter of "The Clothed Maja" 4. Like Studio Ghibli content 5. Heat wave figures, for short 6. _ _ _ Xtra (Dr Pepper rival) 7. Between continents, perhaps 8. Protein shake ingredient derived from dairy 9. Hummus brand 10. Apprehensive
43. Bad _ _ _ (German spa)
44. Blue sky hue
12. Big scenes
45. Whodunit focus
13. Public image, for short
46. Umlaut components
21. Letters before a pen name
48. Ignited 50. Insect repellent compound 51. Spongy brand 53. It ended on 11/11/18 55. "Star Wars" starfighters
22. Company founded in Rochester (not, surprisingly, New York, New York) 25. Sped along 26. "King of the Hill" beer brand
©2022 Jonesin’ Crosswords (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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.
27. On top 29. They'll get you where you need to go, for a fee 30. _ _ _ Sewell, Alabama's only Black Congresswoman 32. New England-based soft drink brand 33. Cookie filling 34. It's a plus 36. Org. of Blazers and Heat 38. "The Voice" network 41. Jason Bateman Netflix drama 42. Routine 47. Whimper 49. Squicked-out outburst 52. "Low-priced" commercial prefix 54. Smartened up 55. Mˆtley _ _ _ (group depicted in "Pam & Tommy") 56. Long-eared leaper 57. Palindromic flatbread 58. Strange beginning? 59. "Orange you _ _ _ I didn't say banana?" 60. Ed.'s requirement, once 61. "This Is Going To Hurt" airer 64. Falco's "_ _ _ Kommissar"
last week’s answers
you must yearn for knowledge—whether it's about coral reefs, ancient maps of Sumer, sex among jellyfish, mini-black holes, your friends' secrets, or celebrity gossip. You need to be an eternal student who craves education. Are some things more important to learn than others? Of course, but that gauge is not always apparent in the present. A seemingly minor clue or trick you glean today may become unexpectedly helpful a month from now. With that perspective in mind, I encourage you to be promiscuous in your lust for new information and teachings in the coming weeks.
(June 21-July 22): Cancerian drummer Ringo Starr is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Though he has received less acclaim than his fellow Beatles, many critics recognize him as a skillful and original drummer. How did he get started? At age 13, he contracted tuberculosis and lived in a sanatorium for two years. The medical staff encouraged him to join the hospital band, hoping it would stimulate his motor skills and alleviate boredom. Ringo used a makeshift mallet to bang the cabinet near his bed. Good practice! That's how his misfortune led to his joy and success. Is there an equivalent story in your life, Cancerian? The coming months will be a good time to take that story to its next level.
(July 23-Aug. 22): One of the inspiring experiments I hope you will attempt in the coming months is to work on loving another person as wildly and deeply and smartly as you love yourself. In urging you to try this exercise, I don't mean to imply that I have a problem with you loving yourself wildly and deeply and smartly. I endorse your efforts to keep increasing the intensity and ingenuity with which you adore and care for yourself. But here's a secret: Learning to summon a monumental passion for another soul may have the magic power of enhancing your love for yourself.
(Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Musician Viv Albertine has recorded four albums and played guitar for the Slits, a famous punk band. She has also written two books and worked as a TV director for 20 years. Her accomplishments are impressive. Yet she also acknowledges that she has spent a lot of time in bed for many reasons: needing to rest, seeking refuge to think and meditate, recovering from illness, feeling overwhelmed or lonely or sad. She admiringly cites other creative people who, like her, have worked in their beds: Emily Dickinson, Patti Smith, Edith Sitwell, and Frida Kahlo. I mention this, Virgo, because the coming days will be an excellent time for you to seek sanctuary and healing and creativity in bed.
(Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Libran author Katherine Mansfield wrote, "The mind I love must
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have wild places, a tangled orchard where dark damsons drop in the heavy grass, an overgrown little wood, the chance of a snake or two, and a pool that nobody’s fathomed the depth of." Be inspired by her in the coming weeks, Libra. I suspect you will flourish if you give yourself the luxury of exploring your untamed side. The time is ripe to wander in nature and commune with exciting influences outside your comfort zone. What uncharted frontier would you enjoy visiting?
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): When you are func-
tioning at your best, you Scorpios crave only the finest, top-quality highs. You embrace joys and pleasures that generate epiphanies and vitalizing transformations. Mediocre varieties of fun don't interest you. You avoid debilitating indulgences that provide brief excitement but spawn long-term problems. In the coming weeks, dear Scorpio, I hope you will embody these descriptions. It's crucial that you seek gratifications and delectations that uplift you, ennoble you, and bless your future.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): "Wish on every-
thing," advises Sagittarian author Francesca Lia Block. "Pink cars are good, especially old ones. And first stars and shooting stars. Planes will do if they are the first light in the sky and look like stars. Wish in tunnels, holding your breath and lifting your feet off the ground. Birthday candles. Baby teeth." Your homework during the next two weeks, Sagittarius, is to build a list of further marvels that you will wish on. It's the Magic Wish season of the year for you: a time when you're more likely than usual to encounter and generate miracles. Be proactive! Oh, and very important: What are your three top wishes?
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Author Aldous
Huxley wrote, "That people do not learn much from the lessons of history is the most important lesson that history has to teach." While his observation is true much of the time, I don't think it will be so for you in the coming weeks. I suspect you will triumph over past patterns that have repeated and repeated themselves. You will study your life story and figure out what you must do to graduate from lessons you have finally, completely learned.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): In the film I Origins,
a scientist says this to a lover: "When the Big Bang happened, all the atoms in the universe were smashed together into one little dot that exploded outward. So my atoms and your atoms were together then . . . my atoms have always known your atoms." Although this sounds poetic, it's true in a literal sense: The atoms that compose you and me and everyone else were originally all squeezed together in a tiny space. We knew each other intimately! The coming days will be an excellent time to celebrate your fundamental link with the rest of the universe. You'll be extra receptive to feeling connection. You'll be especially adept at fitting your energy together with others'. You'll love the sensation of being united, merged, blended.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): My Piscean friend Luna
sent me a message that sums up how I feel about you these days. I'll repeat it here in the hope it will inspire you to be perfectly yourself. Luna said, "Every time I meet someone who was born within like two weeks of my birthday, I end up with the impression that they are the loopiest and wisest person I've met in a long time. They are totally ridiculous and worthy of profound respect. They are unhinged and brilliantly focused. They are fuzzy-headed dreamers who couldn't possibly ever get anything practical accomplished and they are lyrical thinkers who charm me with their attunement to the world's beauty and impress me with their understanding of how the world works. Hahahahaha. Luckily for me, I know the fool is sacred."
Homework: Imagine what you will be doing exactly one year from today. Newsletter. FreeWillAstrology.com
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