The photos of
NEWS: Campers Out,
Pickleball In? P. 6
Fox News doesn’t want you to see!
FOOD: Canard Brings
FILM: The Secret History of
Lunch to the ’Burbs. P. 22
the Roseway Theater. P. 27
PORTLANDERS AREN’T RETURNING TO THE OFFICE, BUT THEY’RE READY TO PARTY.
PAGE 12 WWEEK.COM VOL 48/46 0 9. 2 1 . 2 02 2
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The Oregon Department of Transportation likes secrets. 6 District attorneys don’t know who the Oregon State Hospital is releasing. 8 A DIY cartographer helped solve the Mount Tabor arson outbreak. 11 Portland has filled 8 in 10 restaurant jobs lost in the pandemic. 15
about 80% of what it was before the plague. 19 Portland’s premier cheese event, The Wedge, is finally back in person after two years of virtual or modified versions. 21
started a recovery-minded virtual writing class. 26
The Roseway Theater had a “candy bar matinee” for servicemen in the 1940s. 27
OUR MOST TRAFFICKED STORY ONLINE THIS WEEK:
Portlanders turned out in droves Sept. 16 for The Shins at Pioneer Courthouse Square; photo by Mick Hangland-Skill.
Crime is encroaching on a landmark of Portland’s Black community. Why won’t City Hall act?
Masthead Mark Zusman
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“Thanks, WW, for a thoughtful article. So much contradiction! Cops who can’t imagine anything between total saturation and doing nothing. A Black city commissioner who practices a staunch anti-police posture to keep up the virtue signal to her white liberal voters, while ignoring requests for adequate policing from Black constituents. And former gang members being given $200,000 to host a few BBQs and ‘keep out known shooters.’ And you didn’t even get to the city of Portland employees who have barricaded themselves in their basements and are refusing to come to work (yet are still being paid)!”
KEITH HUMPHREYS, VIA TWITTER: “Vivid account of
+ Erik Koskinen
Last week’s cover story took a close look at the crime and violence that plague one of Portland’s most beloved parks (“The Trouble at Dawson Park,” WW, Sept. 14). Portlanders living in the neighborhoods surrounding Dawson Park say they’ve complained to city officials for years that an open-air drug market and gunfire make the park unsafe. But city officials are reluctant to act decisively—in part because of fears they will redouble racial harms. Here’s what our readers had to say:
a Schoolhouse Rock singalong
how an open-air drug market is harming a historic Black neighborhood. Shutting these markets down is essential for community harm reduction.” MARK SNEEDLEY, VIA WWEEK.COM: “Why wouldn’t
TO THE WELL
this exact outcome be expected and welcomed by the social justice advocates who worked so hard to defund and demoralize police? Just wow.”
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KODAK6LACK, VIA REDDIT: “I volunteer at a food pantry right
outside of Dawson Park. Crime has been here for a minute! People actively selling and using drugs in front of Portland’s most diverse Catholic church, sleeping in the park, homeless being prostituted in the park for drug money, etc. A few months ago, a man was shot in a drive-by and I was the first to the scene. Obviously was put on hold with cops, so I tried to do CPR on this guy but he was gone. “The killer ended up being caught a few days later. Turns out he was living in a group home, paid for by the taxpayers, and committed three murders prior to this one! He was originally supposed to be in an inpatient psychiatric facility in North Carolina for the rest of his life, but was released and moved to the group home in Portland.” MG, VIA WWEEK.COM: “Here is the thing: This basic scenario has played out in many dozens of parks in this city in the last five years. One by me had essentially a permanent bike chop shop with literally 100-plus bikes at any time. It was there for like three years, bringing all the additional underground economy ‘extras’ with it, before anyone from the city did a damn thing about it. It ruined
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Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 21, 2022 wweek.com
Know, WW, Sept. 14), before bureaucrats added stop signs. But what about the small traffic circles that make drivers swerve around them into the path of pedestrians? Wouldn’t speed bumps be safer and more effective? —Rich A .
As is often my wont, Rich, I’m going to use your question to answer a completely different question and hope that nobody notices. (Though who knows? If my supply of alkaloids holds out I might get around to answering your question as well.) So, why don’t the small traffic circles that litter our neighborhoods like so many blue-tarp dwellings count as roundabouts? I’m glad you asked! At a nuts-and-bolts level, the difference between these little circles and true roundabouts is that streets approaching a roundabout have (a) yield signs and (b) medians separating the two lanes of traffic so you can’t enter the circle in the wrong direction. On a more philo-
a community space for years, impacting thousands of people in my neighborhood. I am very sorry for the folks of Dawson Park. But WW could run this story about a different park every issue for a whole year and not run out of examples of the massive abdication of duty by city officials and the Portland Police Bureau.” IAIN MACCOINNICH, VIA TWITTER: “There’s a lot
going on in this article, but a consistent theme seems to be government that’s incapable of making choices, as though that isn’t a choice in and of itself.” AESIR_AUDITOR, VIA REDDIT: “This article seems to only
confirm [City Commissioner Jo Ann] Hardesty’s true point that this is only really being cared about now that the area is gentrified/gentrifying. However, Willamette Week largely caters to the crowd moving in and displacing old POC neighborhoods, so no surprise that the article confirms this. Especially given the tone of this article that talks with such surprise and shock that crime could happen around the area. Next we’re gonna be hearing WW preach to us about the dangerous atmosphere outside of Lloyd Center, and the potpourri of racial identity east of 82nd where the Trader Joe’s are few, and the bullet holes are many.” 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
sophical level, however, traffic circles are intended as traffic calming devices, while roundabouts are also traffic control devices. It’s the difference between giving the traffic a Xanax and a warm blanket and giving it LSD and turning it over to a CIA hypnotist. All right, perhaps that’s overly dramatic. Still, traffic circles mainly just slow traffic down and reduce side-impact collisions. Roundabouts do all that while also taking on the function of more traditional traffic control methods like signals or four-way stops. Now, on to your speed bumps. (Lucky for you, I’ve got a few speed bumps left myself.) First, you’re almost certainly thinking of speed humps, the wide mounds you find in most Portland roadways that used to be good shortcuts. Speed bumps are what you find in parking lots where the speed limit is 5 mph; they’re maybe 1 foot wide and feel like you ran over a toddler. Are speed humps better? Unlike circles, they can be deployed between intersections, and as you note, they don’t risk interfering with adjacent crosswalks. However, humps are also louder than circles, and they’re a bad choice for bus routes. (Buses can navigate traffic circles fairly easily as long as they’re not required to turn left at one.) So, like anything else, it depends. What I really want to know is how the entire field of traffic engineering became solely about making it harder to get where you’re going. But I suppose that’s just the 20th century in me talking. Questions? Send them to email@example.com.
MURMURS COURTESY OF THOMAS LAUDERDALE
LAUDERDALE AND LARGE PAN CHARTER REFORM: Thomas Lauderdale, leader of the band Pink Martini, and singer Storm Large are lining up against the city charter reform proposal that will appear on Portland’s November ballot. Lauderdale hosted a Sept. 19 cocktail fundraiser at his home for the “no”campaign. Tickets cost $100 apiece and included a special appearance by Large. Both musicians have been longtime social justice activists, so their opposition to the ballot measure—which has the endorsement of a number of nonprofits and coalitions—is a meaningful win for the campaign against charter reform. The “no” campaign hopes to defeat the measure at the ballot box and then rally behind an alternative proposal crafted by City Commissioner Mingus Mapps next spring. Opponents raised $14,500 at Lauderdale’s event. The bandleader tells WW the proposal headed for the ballot is too complicated and, although it expands the City Council to 12 members plus a mayor, does not guarantee better candidates will run for office. “Inclusivity is a very correct, total, great goal,” Lauderdale says, “but not at the expense of functionality.” OLD TOWN PATROLS RETURN: The city plans to reinstate the Central Precinct Entertainment Detail, a seven-officer Portland Police Bureau unit, to patrol Old Town on weekend nights, Mayor Ted Wheeler announced Tuesday. The unit was created in 2012 to address violence and debauchery flowing out of downtown clubs but was disbanded amid budget cuts last year. It returns Sept. 22 thanks to a reshuffling within the precinct that will replace sworn officers with unarmed public safety support specialists during calmer, midday hours, Central Precinct Capt. Jim Crooker tells WW. Not everyone is happy about the reborn unit, however. Reporters attending the mayor’s Tuesday press conference at Kells Irish Pub downtown were locked in for half an hour following his remarks as protesters chanted “Fuck you, Ted Wheeler!” outside. Eventually, three squad cars pulled up, allowing Wheeler and his entourage to escape through a back door. ENVIROS BLAST HIGHWAY APPOINTMENT: Gov. Kate Brown announced Aug. 31 that she’d nominated 114 people to state boards and commissions. One of those picks is receiving significant blowback: Brown’s selection of outgoing state Sen. Lee Beyer (D-Springfield) to serve on the Oregon Transportation Commission. Eleven environmental
groups—including 1000 Friends of Oregon, the Street Trust and Oregon Walks—penned a Sept. 13 letter to Brown objecting to Beyer’s nomination. The letter expresses concern that Beyer, a moderate Democrat who’s endorsed unaffiliated candidate Betsy Johnson for governor, will rubber-stamp big highway projects. Beyer says he finds the environmentalists’ position “frustrating” because he either wrote or shepherded through the Senate most of the major environmental bills of the past 12 years. Beyer says he hopes Brown will stick with his appointment because feels he has a lot to add at the OTC, including making sure the $5.3 billion appropriated by a transportation bill he helped write is spent properly. “I have a lot of ownership in seeing that what we passed in 2017 will get done,” Beyer says. Brown spokeswoman Liz Merah says the governor is sticking with Beyer, who “has been a leader in transportation, environment and energy policy conversations his entire career.” TOOTIE SMITH DEFENDS PALTRY HOMELESS SPENDING: Earlier this month, Metro officials rebuked Clackamas County for its comparatively modest spending of proceeds from the first year of a regional homeless tax. The tax brought in a combined $209 million for the three counties in the metro area to spend on relieving homelessness. Clackamas County had spent only 6.6% of its available first-year funds, while Multnomah County spent 38% and Washington County spent 24%. Clackamas County Chair Tootie Smith responded in a public statement to Metro on Sept. 9: “Our county chose the fiscally prudent path of only spending money that we actually had.” Smith also noted that the county had committed 28% of its funds to contracts by the end of June, even if those funds weren’t yet spent. Meanwhile, the price tag of a new Clackamas County courthouse to replace the county’s aging one in Oregon City continues to rise, from an initially expected cost of $189 million to new estimates adjusted for inflation of $313 million. The county is using both state funds and funds from a private investment firm to finance the courthouse, and county officials say future repayments to the private firm Fengate PCL Progress Partners will require substantial cuts to the county’s budget. County spokeswoman Kimberly Webb says county officials are “thoroughly reviewing our budget for places where we can reduce our expenses in order to ensure we have a safe place for our residents to seek justice.” Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 21, 2022 wweek.com
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW THIS WEEK
Creative Measures The city weighs turning a street occupied by tents and car campers into a skatepark, pickleball court or off-leash dog park, among other ideas. BY S O P H I E P E E L
For more than two years, a two-block strip abutting Laurelhurst Park in Southeast Portland has been occupied by dozens of homeless people in tents and cars. For at least two years, neighbors have lobbied—sometimes successfully—for the city to intervene and sweep the campers. Within days and sometimes even hours of the sweeps, however, the campers move back. Now, city officials are weighing a different approach to rid the street of campers: transfer ownership or control of the two-block stretch of Southeast Oak Street between 37th Avenue and César E. Chávez Boulevard to Portland Parks & Recreation and turn it into a skatepark, pickleball court or off-leash dog park, among other ideas under consideration. (Oak Street is bracketed to the north and south by the park in the affected area.) Christine Leon is director of the newly formed Public Environment Management Office, created by one of the mayor’s emergency declarations this spring to better coordinate trash cleanup, homeless services and sweeps. Leon leads the Oak Street project and is in talks about the transfer with both the Portland Bureau of Transportation and the parks bureau. “The problems that we’re seeing throughout the city with cars and RVs and camping in tents is so extensive,” Leon tells WW. “We’re looking for solutions to transform these public spaces, and we’ve got to start someplace.” Leon says an ordinance to transfer ownership of the two
SPACE BATTLE: Tents and cars with houseless people living inside line Southeast Oak Street next to Laurelhurst Park.
blocks of street to the abutting landowner, the parks bureau, could come before the Portland City Council within a couple of months. In the meantime, says Jillian Schoene, chief of staff for parks commissioner Carmen Rubio, the mayor’s office is working on a “memorandum of understanding” between the parks and transportation bureaus that will lay the foundation for the project while an ownership ordinance is in the works to present to the council. The Laurelhurst Neighborhood Association has asked the city to consider alternatives for years to no avail. Now it appears neighbors have gotten the ear of the mayor’s emergency homelessness and cleanup team. But Laurelhurst Park could be a combustible place to pilot such a project. Neighbors have verbally sparred with campers before and tried to deter them, most recently by placing dirt
and gravel-filled planter boxes along 37th Avenue. Campers’ allies foiled that tactic. The move could also face opposition at City Hall. The street in question currently belongs to PBOT, which is overseen by City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, a leading opponent of displacing homeless campers. Hardesty did not respond to a request for comment. This week, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported that Portland lawyer John DiLorenzo, who earlier this month sued the city in an attempt to compel officials to sweep homeless camps in the name of disability access, sent a letter to city officials Aug. 22 on behalf of Laurelhurst neighbors. The letter insinuated a lawsuit might be on the way if campers weren’t removed from Oak Street. Leon says the project is not in response to DiLorenzo’s letter.
Upward Bound Despite widespread gloom, Portland apartment rents are heading higher. Given all the crime, trash and graffiti, and a downtown that’s been hollowed out by COVID, you’d think no one would be moving to Portland and rents would be falling. And you’d be wrong. Portland is still attracting new arrivals, and apartment rents are rising, because the rest of the West Coast is worse, at least in terms of cost, according to a new report from Marcus & Millichap, a real estate broker and research firm based in Calabasas, Calif. “Portland represents a haven of lower living expenses for West Coast residents considering 6
Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 21, 2022 wweek.com
relocation,” Marcus & Millichap said. As of June, the average monthly apartment rent in Portland was $350 lower than in Seattle and $940 below Northern California. That’s true even after rents in the Portland metro area jumped 13.3% to an average of $1,709 in the 12-month period ending in June. But wait. There’s more. Rents are likely to rise 9.1% for the full year of 2022, Marcus & Millichap said, in part because apartment supply isn’t keeping up with demand. Only 3,400 new units will hit the market this year, the firm said, the lowest construction volume since 2013. But:
“By year-end, Portland’s household count is expected to swell by more than 19,000.” The rebounding job market is also putting upward pressure on rents, Marcus & Millichap said. Last week, the Oregon Employment Department said the state added 9,300 jobs in August, enough finally to recoup all the jobs lost during the pandemic. At the end of last month, Oregon’s employment stood at a record 1,974,700, the department said. The apartment vacancy rate ticked down to 3.4% in June. Aside from the previous nine months, it was the lowest vacancy rate since
the second quarter of 2015. High-end apartments in Northwest and central Portland are the hardest to find because they are a steal compared with midtier units, the firm said. Class A apartments in the Pearl and other hipster havens go for just $170 more per month than more proletarian places, the smallest luxury gap among major metro areas. The upshot: If you want to rent something in Portland, an extra $170 a month will go a long way. And if you’re upset about high rents, blame California and Seattle. Portlanders have been doing that for years. A N T H O N Y E F F I N G E R .
ROSY QUARTER: An ODOT critic wants the unedited truth.
Under Cover The state highway department withheld information about the billion-dollar Rose Quarter project.
BY NIGEL JAQUISS
njaquiss@w week .com
A long-running disagreement over public information concerning a proposed $1 billion highway project is set for trial in Marion County Circuit Court next week. At issue is a seemingly straightforward question: What does the public think of the Oregon Department of Transportation’s plan to widen Interstate 5 at the Rose Quarter? Back in the middle of 2019, Alan Kessler, a Portland lawyer who specializes in public records, wanted to see exactly what ODOT learned from a 45-day public comment period, which followed a yearslong outreach process. Kessler had some reason to be skeptical of ODOT. Through previous document sleuthing, Kessler discovered that Portland Parks & Recreation had quietly worked out an agreement for the expanded freeway to cover about 150 feet of the East Bank Esplanade—without public input. Kessler blew the whistle on that plan, which the agencies promptly abandoned. ODOT has spent millions on public outreach for the Rose Quarter project, which got funding from the Oregon Legislature in a 2017 transportation bill. Initially, ODOT denied Kessler’s request for the results of the public com-
ment period, but after he appealed to the Oregon Department of Justice, the agency provided him some information but not, his lawsuit says, all that the law requires. Here’s what’s at stake at the trial:
“We are in active litigation and cannot comment on this case,” said ODOT communications director Kevin Glenn in a statement.
What did ODOT withhold?
With its $1 billion price tag, the Rose Quarter expansion would be one of the largest projects in ODOT’s history. Critics say the addition of freeway capacity flies in the face of state and local policies aimed at reducing carbon emissions generated by driving, the single largest source of such emissions in Portland. As WW has previously reported, ODOT has been reluctant to share information about costs and unwilling to do a full environmental impact analysis. It also, at least initially, resisted community pressure for substantial freeway caps and the mitigation of impacts on nearby Harriet Tubman Middle School. Kessler says the agency’s resistance to transparency should be a concern to everybody who has a stake in the project—that is, all Oregonians. “What appears to be happening is that the many millions ODOT has spent on public outreach has been on theater rather than public engagement,” Kessler says. “That’s millions on a show so that they can continue with failed urban renewal policies and the destruction of minority communities.”
Kessler asked for ODOT’s “full data” on public comments in its “original form.” But when ODOT finally complied with his request, an agency official admitted last month in a deposition that the department had created a new, sanitized document that did not include ODOT’s draft responses to the public comments— nor did it tell Kessler it had omitted that information. Kessler’s attorney points to a requirement in the public records law that agencies either provide all information requested or acknowledge they have withheld information and give the applicant an opportunity to ask for it.
What does ODOT say?
On Sept 19, after WW inquired about the lawsuit, ODOT issued a press release highlighting a poll—conducted June 1321—that showed “76% of Portland-area residents support ODOT’s project.” The poll included the premise—which critics vehemently dispute—that adding freeway capacity would reduce congestion. As for Kessler’s lawsuit, ODOT said nothing.
Why does it matter?
VANISHING ELKS An empty lodge highlights Gateway’s failure.
Address: 725 NE 100th Ave. Year built: 1975 Square footage: 12,852 Market value: $4.2 million Owner: David Douglas School District How long it’s been empty: 7 years Why it’s empty: Dwindling Elks membership and a lack of school funding For more than two decades, city planners and developers have had grand plans for a stretch of land east of the confluence of the Gateway Transit Center and Interstates 84 and 205. Their vision: an East Portland community hub to rival downtown. This could be “a place you’d have heard of before you got there, like the French Quarter or South Beach or Soho,” developer Ted Gilbert told a reporter for the Mid-county Memo in 2005. Gilbert had just purchased land near Northeast 102nd Avenue and Pacific Street, steps from transit lines at the heart of the planned redevelopment. Seventeen years later, Gilbert still owns 5 acres of property on that corner. It lies vacant, as does a neighboring 5-acre lot that contains an abandoned Elks lodge. The lodge closed in early 2015 due to declining membership. The David Douglas School District bought it. Today, tents and other ramshackle shelters ring the two properties. Trash dots the sidewalks. The walls of the 12,852-square-foot lodge are covered with graffiti. The air smells of fire; a burned-out shell is all that remains of an abandoned medical office building on the corner. It burned only a few weeks ago, Gilbert says, after squatters broke in and set up camp. Neighbors say the area is unsafe, particularly at night. One, who had lived nearby for 15 years, casually pulled a knife and a can of Mace out of his pockets. He declined to give his name. He said things were better when the Elks were still around. Gilbert’s dream, however, is not dead—although plans to raze the lodge and replace it with a new school are on hold, Gilbert says, a casualty of rising building costs. Gilbert wants to build a high-rise “modern elementary school” on the lot, with affordably priced “workforce housing” next door. He says he’s signed a contract with a developer to figure out the details. David Douglas School District, which purchased the lodge in 2015, says it has no immediate plans to develop the property, although the district “hope[s] to be able to do that fairly soon, if we can find the funding for it,” spokesman Dan McCue tells WW. The estimated cost of building the new 600-student school ballooned from $55 million in early April to $66 million in May, McCue says, at which point the district dropped plans to include the spending in its upcoming bond measure. Meanwhile, Gilbert has hired security guards to patrol his half of the property at night, while the school district admits it has struggled to keep up its half of the property. “It can be difficult to keep pace with the rate at which it gets degraded,” McCue says. L U C A S M A N F I E L D . Every week, WW examines one mysteriously vacant property in the city of Portland, explains why it’s empty, and considers what might arrive there next. Send addresses to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 21, 2022 wweek.com
Balloon Effect A federal judge has ordered the release of more than 100 patients from the state’s locked psychiatric hospital. No one is sure what happens next. BY LU C A S M A N FI E LD
Get Busy Tonight O U R E V E N T P I C K S , E M A I L E D W E E K LY. 8
Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 21, 2022 wweek.com
l m a n f i e l d @w we e k . co m
The Oregon State Hospital, the state’s locked psychiatric hospital, abruptly announced three weeks ago that, in response to an order by a federal judge, it would send more than 100 patients back to their respective counties early. Many of the facility’s patients face criminal charges and are being held until they are stable enough to stand trial. In interviews, sources familiar with Oregon’s struggling mental health system say the new policy will not resolve the system’s long-standing shortcomings: There are simply not enough treatment options for people suffering from severe mental illness. The emergency release is the latest symptom of a system critics say is wholly inadequate for the mental health challenges Oregon faces. Kevin Fitts, executive director of the Oregon Mental Health Consumers Association, says early release is a “fiasco.” “Where do these people go? There’s not enough capacity,” Fitts says. “I’m not talking about a little lack of capacity. I’m talking 20 to 30 percent of what’s needed.” The hospital didn’t say whom it was going to release, leaving prosecutors upset. “It’s the most absurd thing in the world that we don’t know,” says Washington County District Attorney Kevin Barton. “And not only that, they won’t tell us.” Oregon sits near the bottom in rankings of states’ mental health outcomes. Here, getting arrested is the only way for people to get treatment. And, when people fall out of the system, they often get arrested again. “It’s like squeezing a balloon,” Barton says. “The hospital has been squeezed, and it’s popping out at
our end. But there’s nowhere to put these people.” Jason Renaud of the Mental Health Association of Portland supports the new policy but says it won’t resolve the underlying problems. “A percentage of these people who are being released will be back in jail in a few weeks,” Renaud says. When such patients fall through the cracks, they make disturbing headlines. Take, for example, Terri Lynn Zinser, a 54-yearold woman who exited the Oregon State Hospital in April after a four-month stay. She was referred to a local treatment center, Unity Center for Behavioral Health, but left shortly thereafter. The county then lost track of her, court documents show, before she was found curled up under the covers of a child’s bed in a Northeast Portland home last Tuesday. Zinser was charged with burglary and harassment and released.
“Where do these people go? There’s not enough capacity.” The state’s mental health care system was decimated by the pandemic. In a presentation to legislators earlier this year by Steve Allen, the state’s behavioral health director, a slide called the losses of community-based residential beds “staggering.” Only 16 Level 1 secure residential treatment beds, the highest level of care available to returning patients, remain in Multnomah County. In a recorded call with county officials earlier this month, Allen struggled to answer questions about the public safety implications of the new policy. His agency released written answers to questions from county officials and WW earlier this week. But many questions, including the long-term effects
C O U R T E S Y O F O R E G O N S TAT E H O S P I TA L
OPEN DOORS: The Oregon State Hospital is full.
of the policy, remain unanswered. Here’s the ones that are. Why is the Oregon State Hospital doing this? Too many people are so severely mentally ill that they need hospitalization, but there are not enough beds. (The hospital’s capacity is currently 705 patients.) For people charged with crimes, this means jail. Defendants cannot stand trial unless they’re stable enough to “aid and assist” in their own defense. Meanwhile, they wait in jail for a bed to open up at the state hospital so they can be treated. This process can take months, which judges have found to be unconstitutional. In 2002, Disability Rights Oregon won a court order requiring the hospital to admit people within seven days. For 15 years, the state met that mandate, until “drastic cuts” in mental health services during the recession caused the waitlist to grow, says DRO’s legal director, Emily Cooper. By 2019, the average wait time was 26 days. “We continue to be terrified that there are people with mental illness waiting in jail for court-ordered mental health services who are—if not suffering—dying,” Cooper says. She points to the death of 22-yearold Bryce Bybee, who was waiting in Washington County Jail for a bed at the state hospital. On Aug. 29, U.S. District Judge Michael Mosman ordered state health officials to follow the recommendation of an outside consultant to fix the backlog: release pretrial patients early. While state law previously required the hospital to release defendants within three years, the new order reduces that to a maximum of 90 days for misdemeanors and a year for violent felonies. The timelines bring Oregon in line with other states, Cooper says. “You can’t just lock people away at the state hospital and throw away the key.” How many patients does the hospital plan to discharge, and when? “Approximately 120” patients were newly eligible for discharge at the time of the order, according to the Oregon Health Authority. They won’t be discharged all at once, however, and counties will be given 30 days’ notice before they are. The first batch of notifications went out last week. Multnomah County got its first on Friday, says Julie Dodge, Multnomah County’s interim director of
behavioral health. She isn’t concerned about the county experiencing a “rapid influx” of new patients, Dodge says. Still, it’s an unwelcome change for a system struggling to house and care for the patients it already has, she adds. The county has only three available beds in its locked treatment centers. “We are in this perfect storm,” Dodge says. “It’s going to take time to address it—and we don’t have time.” Where will the discharged patients go? It depends, says Judge Nan Waller, who presides over the county’s specialized mental health court, which handles such cases. Depending on the circumstances, defendants could be turned over to “community restoration” programs or simply let go. In extreme circumstances, prosecutors can ask for a defendant to be declared “extremely dangerous,” and if a judge agrees, they will be returned to the state hospital. But, Waller says, this is very rare. The court works with the county, nonprofits and insurers to try and find the best treatment option in the community for each defendant. But there are not enough beds. And there’s no requirement that residential treatment centers take someone in. That can make finding placements for people with criminal histories of some offenses, such as arson, difficult if not impossible, Waller says. “People end up on the streets.” Why doesn’t Oregon just expand the state hospital? This would require approval by the Oregon Legislature. The state did recently open several smaller “cottages” at the state hospital’s satellite location in Junction City. But, beyond that, “they have not expressed an interest in expanding the state hospital,” behavioral health director Allen told county officials earlier this month. State Rep. Rob Nosse (D-Portland), who chairs the House Interim Committee on Behavioral Health, says expanding the hospital is not a short-term solution. In the meantime, Nosse points to over a billion dollars in new funding for mental health care. But Nosse says it’s going to take at least two years for Multnomah County’s mental health system to catch up with demand. Although he wishes the county had more time to prepare, he understands the underlying logic of Judge Mosman’s order. “This is a big deal,” he says. “These people deserve to get through this system faster.” OK, the state is opening its checkbook. Where’s all that money going? Higher salaries for workers who care for patients at the state hospital and other treatment facilities, for one thing. During the pandemic, many employees refused to show up for work at the state hospital, and officials were forced to call in the National Guard. Over the summer, staff routinely work mandated overtime shifts, says David Lynch, a nurse at the hospital and union president. When asked why it’s difficult to get workers to staff these positions, Lynch has a simple answer: “the violence.” Earlier this month, Oregon Occupational Safety and Health announced it was issuing three citations to the hospital related to “workplace violence and injuries.” Lynch says recent pay raises have helped, but the hospital’s new release policy hasn’t. “It’s going to increase the acuity,” he says, referring to the amount of attention patients require to ensure their safety and the safety of staff. “There will be less time to stabilize them, and turnover will be more frequent.”
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Playing With Fire Here’s what we know so far about the string of arsons at Mt. Tabor Park. MICK HANGLAND-SKILL
HIGHLY FLAMMABLE: Mount Tabor under a haze during the recent red flag warning. BY S O P H I E P E E L
Last week, the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office indicted two 18-year-old boys on federal arson charges. Sam Perkins and Malik Hares are suspected of starting at least 36 fires on Mount Tabor during the summer. Fire investigators remain tight-lipped about the ongoing investigation, and the suspects are out of custody and living with their parents until their next court appearance in early October. The gravity of the fires is underscored by time and place. It’s the city’s hottest summer on record; in early September, when most of the fires were lit, the city was approaching a red flag warning—meaning fires were especially dangerous in the biggest urban forest in Southeast Portland. Here are five things WW has learned about the string of fires on Mount Tabor, the ongoing investigation, and the two teenagers suspected of lighting them. 1. One neighbor mapped 33 fires. Fire investigators knew of only 10. As an avid runner in Mt. Tabor Park, Jess, who asked that WW use only her first name out of fear of retaliation by the arson suspects, first noticed singed patches of ground in the park in mid-August. They were concentrated along Southeast Lincoln and Yamhill streets, which loop partway around the park and weave through it. The blackened swaths varied from
5 to 40 feet wide. Word started going around the neighborhood association and on Nextdoor: This was the work of arsonists. It was unclear if anyone had reported the fires to Portland Fire & Rescue. Neighbors launched nighttime patrols to watch for fires. On Aug. 31, Jess and her boyfriend spent four hours mapping the coordinates of each burn patch. They mapped 33 in total. She posted her map on Reddit, sent it to park rangers, and called the fire bureau. Soon after, Jess received a call from senior fire investigator Lt. Jason Andersen. “He said the map was the most vital piece of information they’ve gotten,” Jess says. “He said they only had five fires logged, and it wasn’t enough information to launch an investigation.” Andersen corroborates this: “Without their help, we wouldn’t have had a clue what was going on.” 2. A probable cause affidavit offers some insight into why the two teenagers lit the fires. Some of what investigators won’t say about their ongoing investigation is available in a probable cause affidavit that’s now public record. The affidavit details investigators’ first contact with the defendants. Investigators first approached Hares. He told them he didn’t light the fires but did act as
“We hit the tip of the iceberg. Now we’re trying to figure out how big the iceberg is.”
chauffeur so others could. (Two parking tickets Hares received Sept. 12 in downtown Portland show he drives a black Mercedes Benz.) According to the affidavit, Hares told investigators someone else lit most of the fires. Hares said he liked to return to the scene of a fire to watch firefighters put it out, and even spoke to them occasionally. Hares then offered to call Perkins in front of investigators. During that conversation, Perkins and Hares mutually scolded each other: Hares said Perkins took too long to get in the car, which he said led to its identification, and Perkins “told Hares that he was putting his foot down on a few things such as Hares was not to be on the scene anymore and Hares was not to talk to the Fire Marshal anymore or any firefighters.” According to the affidavit, Perkins “said he did it because he liked hanging out with his friends and liked driving away after they did it.” Screenshots of a recent Nextdoor post penned by an account under the name of Malik Hares warned neighbors of a fire. When someone
asked if he’d contacted police, Hares said he had but that they told him nothing could be done at the moment. On the day of the post, Sept. 9, the city was under a red flag warning. “Scared off a group of teenagers who looked like they were trying to do a fire…I mean who’s dumb enough to do this during the day—these tabor fires needs to stop!” That same day someone posted about a fire along 82nd Avenue. The Hares account commented: “I saw a homeless person running from it. Hopefully he didn’t start it and hopefully gets put out.” 3. Police expedited the arrests due to safety concerns, but prosecutors took a different view. Andersen says the fire and police bureaus arrested the suspects Sept. 11, sooner than investigators would have liked. “Sometimes we have to make that arrest to protect the public,” Andersen says. On Sept. 12, the DA’s office indicted Hares and Perkins on one count each of first-degree arson. They both pleaded not guilty. Multnomah County Circuit Judge Adrian Brown then released both teenagers until their next court date. The DA’s office declined to prosecute a third teenage suspect, citing a lack of evidence. Prosecutors told Judge Brown, however, that because the crimes did not cause serious physical harm to anyone and because the defendants did not threaten anyone with physical violence, they should not be held in jail. Brown initially registered concern about pretrial release. But she eventually conceded. “This is right on the line of a felony offense that would result in preventative detention,” Brown said, “and the conduct as alleged is just under that line.” 4. The two suspects are longtime friends. According to court filings, Perkins graduated from high school and Hares dropped out after the 10th grade. Perkins referred questions to his attorney, who declined to comment. Hares did not respond to requests for comment, and his attorney also did not return phone calls. Both worked full time at McDonald’s, according to court records. Their friendship goes back at least as far as Creative Science School, an alternative Portland Public Schools K-8 they both attended. The boys were close, former classmates say, and hung out with a small group outside the mainstream. 5. Fire investigators describe the Mount Tabor fires as “just the tip of the iceberg.” They hint the defendants may have committed other crimes. When asked if his suspicions were limited to arson, Lt. Andersen said “it could be broader.” “It’s sort of like an iceberg,” he says. “We hit the tip of the iceberg. Now we’re trying to figure out how big the iceberg is.” In their conversation overheard by investigators, according to the affidavit, Hares says to Perkins that “the building” on Southeast 92nd Avenue and Caruthers Street burned down. Perkins responds, “That is pretty cool.” Perkins later tells Andersen he lit a fire at a house. A recent visit to the address revealed a charred garage behind the house and a partially burned car parked inside. The house stands three blocks from Hares’ home. Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 21, 2022 wweek.com
Portlanders aren’t returning to the office, but they’re ready to party. C H A R T S BY R AC H E L SA S LOW P H OTO G R A P H S BY M I C K H A N G L A N D -S K I LL , C H R I S N E S S E TH , N I C K M E N D E Z , A N D A LLI SO N BA R R
Everybody can recite the question: Is Portland over? Since the pandemic and riots emptied downtown two years ago, Portlanders have compulsively worried whether the bloom is off the Rose City. Few months have provided as much nightmare fuel as this one. In the past two weeks, WW has reported that the Benson Hotel lost a major corporate client to fears of staying the night downtown. Another three hotels faced foreclosure proceedings. A quarter of downtown office space is vacant—and that’s before Liberty Mutual Insurance told employees it would vacate nearly a dozen floors of its namesake office tower in the Lloyd District. Murders and car thefts are on pace to eclipse rates last year, which were already the highest in decades. Bleak stuff. In light of that, the question we’re going to ask next may surprise you: Is Portland back? There’s actually some reason to think so. Venture into a commercial district on a Friday night in any Portland neighborhood and you’ll witness a scene straight out of 2019. Maybe busier. Those street seats aren’t just for COVID safety anymore—they’re overflow. The same downtown blocks that are desolate in the daytime start bustling at sunset. Lines for Old Town nightclubs curl around the block. Pioneer Courthouse Square teems with concertgoers bopping to the Shins song that will change your life. It so contradicts the national perception of Portland—and really, even the local one—that we felt it merited a closer look. We wondered if our eyes were deceiving us. But statistics kept by the hospitality industry suggest a recovery isn’t just starting—it’s nearly complete. Portland’s civic life in 2022 looks like a bald man with a mullet: There’s no business in the front, but there’s still a party in the back. “The nighttime economy is rebounding well,” says Dan Lenzen, co-owner of the Dixie Tavern and a board member of the Old Town Community Association. “Almost everybody’s at capacity on weekend nights.” In recent months, WW’s journalism has focused on the parts of our city that have ceased to function: police 12
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not responding to crime, employees refusing to return to the office, and poverty and mental anguish on the streets that government appears helpless to ease. That reporting is true. But it is only half the story. The other half can be found each week one page after the cover story, in a feature we call Street. There, our photographers have documented the return of the festivals, contests and nightlife that provide this city with a shared narrative. Without the Adult Soapbox Derby, the Waterfront Blues Festival, and Pickathon, Portland isn’t Portland. And those events returned this year for the first time since the coronavirus arrived. On the following pages, we’ll showcase our favorite shots from the summer Portland returned. We hope they bring a smile—but this is hardly frivolous. Shared spaces and shared narratives are what make a city worth having. What is the point of living jammed together if not to run into old friends at the bar? Asking whether Portland is returning to such communal events is a way of diagnosing the city’s chances of survival. And that matters a lot more this year. In the coming weeks, three candidates for governor will be asked how they will help Oregon’s most important city. Two of them—Christine Drazan and Betsy Johnson—are already airing TV ads that portray Portland as a cautionary tale, a hellscape and, most importantly, a liability for Tina Kotek. It’s tempting to brush this aside—to dismiss it all as fearmongering. It’s harder to measure the truth of the claims. But, in the following pages, we’ll try. As we looked at figures from industry groups and local governments, a pattern emerged: Portland is no ghost town, but it’s a late bloomer. This city has in large part emerged from its quarantine, but it hasn’t made a complete return to pre-pandemic life—or recouped at the rate of other places. The same number kept showing up: Portland is at 80% of where it stood before the virus. Is that a successful recovery? The answer isn’t as clear-cut as true believers on either side of the partisan divide would like it to be. So, is Portland back? That’s a serious question—because the answer shows us how far our home still has to go. SHINDIG: The Shins celebrated the 21st birthday of their debut album, Oh, Inverted World, on Sept. 16 at Pioneer Courthouse Square. >>>
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DANCING WITH OURSELVES: DJ Pains Grey (top two photos) spins the soundtrack to their kinky, queer, body-positive party Moan Zone at the Star Theater. >>>
Car trips show a return to social life. Portlanders may be working from home, but they’re not staying home. Traffic counts show that driving is almost fully back to where it was before the pandemic. We will have to wait and see what the surge in gas prices will do to 2022’s final numbers.
3,140,200,000 (rounded to the nearest 100,000)
Restaurant reservations trail bookings in other cities. A tight labor market is part of why Oregon restaurants haven’t staffed up. Another is that Portland diners are still sticking to their clamshell deliveries. In-person dining here—as measured by reservations and walk-ins logged by booking site OpenTable—remains notably below pre-pandemic figures. Among similarly sized Western U.S. cities, that recovery is squarely in the middle of the pack.
Vehicle Miles Traveled on State Highways in Multnomah County Source: Oregon Department of Transportation
Portland restaurants and bars are staffing up—but not like in the rest of Oregon. Here’s a place where you can clearly see Portland lagging behind the rest of the state. Employment at bars and restaurants across the state is thriving, but Portland has only filled 8 in 10 jobs in this sector.
MAX riders are not quite back on board. Those car miles may be inflated by the desire of people to remain isolated in their vehicles. A better barometer of how much Portlanders are venturing back into the world? Bus and train ridership. TriMet is luring new drivers with $7,500 signing bonuses due to a national driver shortage. But riders seem to be getting back on the bus and MAX trains on their own, though not at pre-pandemic levels. In February 2020, for example, there were 1.9 million TriMet rides; the number has hovered around 1 million for the past six months.
Average Rides per Week on Buses, MAX Light Rail and WES Commuter Rail
Source: TriMet Jobs at Bars and Restaurants, July 2019-July 2022 Oregon
Oregon Except Multnomah Co.
-4,500 (-2.7 %)
Source: Oregon Office of Economic Analysis
Diners Seated Sept. 17, 2022, Compared With the Same Day in 2019 Source: OpenTable
Las Vegas +38%
<<< RAT RACE: In August, costumed racers returned to Mount Tabor for the Adult Soapbox Derby.
San Diego +5%
Seattle -23% San Francisco -43%
SUNDAY FUN DAY: Nighttime crowds (bottom two photos) dine on Northeast 28th Avenue on a Sunday evening, then wander to a Laurelhurst Theater showing. >>> Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 21, 2022 wweek.com
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LAST HURRAH: This year’s Big Float was ostensibly the final one. We’ll see. Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 21, 2022 wweek.com
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<<< TAKING A BREAK: Portland transportation officials closed a street for a block party in Chinatown (top two photos).
TALK LOUDER: Fifth-wave emo band Mauve (top two photos) performs at the Electric Blocks in the Central Eastside. >>>
Portland’5 Centers for the Arts Total Events
<<< FLOAT ON: Crowd surfing at Pickathon, which returned to Pendarvis Farm in July.
March 13: Shamrock Run April 10: Bridge to Brews May 27-June 26: Portland Rose Festival July 1-3: Portland Craft Beer Festival July 1-4: Waterfront Blues Festival July 4: Oaks Amusement Park’s July 4th Fireworks Spectacular July 28-30: Oregon Brewers Festival Aug. 4-7: Pickathon Aug. 20: Portland Adult Soapbox Derby Sept. 24: The Wedge cheese festival
Big festivals returned this summer. The following 10 events returned in the past six months after being canceled or dramatically altered for two years.
Portlanders seem more confident visiting outdoor attractions—like the zoo. After a pandemic of mostly watching the residents of the Oregon Zoo via its consistently terrific social media channels (black bears in a bathtub! Elephants eating pumpkins!), at some point, it’s time to go see the real deal. Oregon Zoo attendance is at about 80% of what it was before the plague, the zoo says.
Attendance at live shows is still skittish. Live performances last year were an anxious affair, given the vaccine-card checks, KN95 masks, and the risk of side-eye from other attendees for singing or laughing too heartily. And it’s still hard to know how healthy the crowd size is at most venues—private ballrooms don’t volunteer their attendance figures. But government-owned venues must. Portland’5 Centers for the Arts (which consists of five performing arts venues, including biggies Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall and Keller Auditorium) is operated by Metro. In the fiscal year that just ended, attendance stood at 61% of pre-pandemic figures.
Summertime Attendance at the Oregon Zoo Source: Oregon Zoo
LONG LIVE THE QUEEN: Pride returns to Portland. >>> Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 21, 2022 wweek.com
PORTLAND PREMIERE RED CARPET EVENT
The Movies & Music of Kurt Rosenberg
Portland’s Own Internationally-Acclaimed Celtic/Folk/Film Music Composer & Filmmaker
CINEMA 21 – Sept. 28, 2022
Featuring Kurt Rosenberg’s 3 Music Short Films:
Highland Home · Dawn at Gougane Barra The Moon Followed Me To Falmouth with SPECIAL GUEST CELEBRITY Tim Gorman Composer, keyboardist for The Who Red Carpet Meet & Greet: 6:30 PM to 7:00 PM Screenings: 7:00 PM, 8:00 PM, 9:00 PM - followed by 15 minute Q & A’s Screenings are free to those who show up the day of the event Online tickets cost $2.25 per ticket For Tickets and information: cinema21.com
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COURTESY OF TRACY KIM MUSIC
COURTESY OF AMERICAN CHEESE SOCIETY
STUFF TO DO IN PORTLAND THIS WEEK, INDOORS AND OUT.
EAT: The Wedge
MIA: One of these musicians will not be playing with Tracy Kim (center) at Amaterra Winery this week.
LISTEN: Tracy Kim Trio Take advantage of the dry (hopefully smoke-free) conditions while they’re here. An inexpensive “social membership” at the West Hills’ posh Amaterra gets you all the benefits that the gorgeous wine venue offers, including generous tasting pours, unparalleled views of the Tualatin Valley, and live music on Thursday evenings. This week, the winery hosts the Tracy Kim Trio, a staple of Portland’s gypsy swing music scene, for your listen-while-you-sip enjoyment. Amaterra Winery, 8150 SW Swede Hill Drive, 503-961-6057, amaterrawines.com/visit/l1-bar-and-terrace. 5-8 pm Thursday, Sept. 22. Free with $25 social membership purchase.
DRINK: McMenamins Edgefield Oktoberfest
Summer drinking season may have come to an end, but that doesn’t mean festival season comes to a halt. In fact, fall ushers in a slew of events that will keep you comfortably buzzed for months. However, few are as big as the McMenamins Edgefield Oktoberfest. The former poor farm will have live music in two different venues—plus a roaming performer, plenty of bratwursts, and its special-release Oktoberfest Lager. McMenamins Edgefield, 2126 SW Halsey St., Troutdale, 503-6698610, mcmenamins.com. 11 am-10 pm Saturday, Sept. 24. Free.
DRINK: Binary Brewing Grand Opening
Binary Brewing is the latest Portland beer brand to take up residence in Beaverton’s bustling Old Town. The new taphouse is located in the 135-year-old former home of Beaverton Bakery, and even though the building went through extensive renovations, the owners were able to preserve details like the original floor tiles while cre-
ating a space that reflects Binary’s techy vibes. Celebrate the brewery’s grand opening with a block party featuring live music, food from MegaBites, brewery tours and, of course, beer. Binary Brewing, 12345 SW Broadway, Beaverton, 503336-0554, binarybrewing.co. Noon-8 pm Saturday, Sept. 24. Free.
DRINK: Fresh Hop American Summer
Now that summer is officially over, there will be fewer chances to experience an epic backyard party, especially one that packs multiple award-winning breweries all in one space. Level Beer is using fresh hop season as an opportunity to host one last outdoor festival at its original location before the fall rains move in. You’ll find some of the dankest beers made all year from Von Ebert, Foreland, Little Beast and the brand-new Living Häus, as well as lawn games and special merch packages. Level Beer: Level 1 Brewery + Taproom, 5211 NE 148th Ave., 503-714-1222, levelbeer.com. Noon-5 pm Saturday, Sept. 24. $25-$55.
Oregon creameries traditionally perform well at the American Cheese Society’s annual summer conference—in 2022, Dundee’s Briar Rose, Rogue Creamery in Grants Pass, and Tillamook Creamery were among the honorees. Taste some of those prize-winning creations at The Wedge, which is finally back in person after two years of virtual and modified events. If you missed stuffing your face with dairy alongside hundreds of other people, it’s time to pounce on tickets— they’re expected to go fast. Finally, the cheese no longer stands alone. Alder Block, 100 SE Alder St., thewedgeportland.com. Noon-5 pm Saturday, Sept. 24. $20 in advance, $25 at the gate. $15 for an alcohol-tasting add-on. 21+.
DRINK: Widmer Brothers
Nearly 40 years ago, back when Oregon’s modern craft brewing movement was just beginning, the very first beer the Widmer brothers decided to brew was a classic German altbier. Those Deutschland ties made the brewery a natural place to launch an annual Oktoberfest, and this year the celebration is back at the original pub. It’s the only time of year you can get Widmer’s small-batch Okto ale and take your photo with llamas dressed in lederhosen. Prepare accordingly. Widmer Brothers Brewing, 929 N Russell St., 503281-3333, widmerbrothers.com. 2-10 pm Saturday, Sept. 24.
WATCH: All Sorts
For those who have watched The Office on repeat for the past 15 years, it might be time to gradually expand your horizons with a screening of All Sorts, another workplace-themed comedy. The acclaimed indie surrealist film, released last year, focuses on the underground world of championship folder filing. Oregon Book Awards finalist Nick Jaina, the mind behind the film’s music, will host the Portland premiere. Clinton Street Theater, 2522 SE Clinton St., 971-808-3331, cstpdx.com. 8 pm Saturday, Sept. 24. $10.
GO: 31st Annual Oregon Grape Stomp Championship & Harvest Celebration
Re-create an iconic scene from I Love Lucy (hopefully without an epic fight) at Willamette Valley Vineyards near Salem during the 31st Annual Oregon Grape Stomp Championship & Harvest Celebra-
tion. Gather your stomping partner and participate in the traditional foot-based winemaking exercise, or show up to observe the antics and enjoy a flight along with live music. Prizes will be awarded to the most productive stomping team, with special recognition for those who perform their task in costume. Winemakers swear there’s no need to worry about toe jam, because the fermentation process eliminates pathogens, but you should probably take extra care washing those tootsies beforehand if you plan to stomp. Willamette Valley Vineyards, 8800 Enchanted Way SE, Turner, 503-588-9463, wvv.com/ events. 11 am-6 pm Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 24-25. $25 to attend, $65 for a two-member team to stomp.
EAT: Chef in Your Garden 20th Anniversary Cocktail Party
This year marks nonprofit Growing Gardens’ 20th fundraising series, Chef in Your Garden. For the final event of 2022, the organization is bringing some pretty big names to the kitchen, including James Beard Emerging Chef nominee Thuy Pham of Mama Dut; Alex Saw and Nick Sherbo of the celebrated Rangoon Bistro; and Lisa Nguyen of HeyDay bakery. Each chef will create a small plate highlighting a locally grown fruit or vegetable, ready for pairing with a Wild Roots cocktail or Wilderton mocktail. Proceeds go to support Growing Gardens’ efforts to educate students, incarcerated individuals and others about the benefits of growing your own food. Breathe Building, 2305 SE 50th Ave., chefinyourgardendinnerone.my.canva.site/ dinner-five. 5-7 pm Sunday, Sept. 25. $120.
� GO: Terrarium Tuesday
If outdoor gardening isn’t precious enough for you, then terrariums might be your jam. Build a miniature garden under glass at Tigard’s Senet Game Bar. The taphouse adjacent to the board game store Versus, Senet is pretty much a fantasy come to life for those of us who have spent our fair share of evenings hovering over Catan hexes. Go for the terrarium-building adventure, then return for the taphouse’s notoriously strange trivia nights, Wednesday Bingo and occasional Lego date nights. Admission gets you supplies for one terrarium plus a $30 credit toward your food and drink tab. Senet Game Bar, 12553 SW Main St., #201, Tigard, 503-583-7412, senetgamebar.com. 5-10 pm Tuesday, Sept. 27. $65 in advance, $70 night of the event.
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FOOD & DRINK
WHERE TO EAT THIS WEEK.
Editor: Andi Prewitt Contact: email@example.com
1. KACHKA C A R LY D I A Z / K A C H K A
960 SE 11th Ave., 503-235-0059, kachkapdx.com. 4-9 pm Sunday-Thursday, 4-10 pm Friday-Saturday. Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is a period of self-reflection that also happens to come with some delicious culinary traditions. If you’re looking for someone else to do the cooking for the holiday, which begins at sunset Sept. 25 and runs through sundown Sept. 27, then get your order in now to Kachka. Bonnie Morales’ beloved restaurant is offering a take-home menu that includes challah, apples and honey, chopped chicken liver, a short rib and carrot tzimmes and more. Many of these dishes will also be on the dine-in menu Sept. 24-26.
3951 N Mississippi Ave., 503-4778008, tartucapdx.com. 4-10 pm Tuesday-Thursday, 11:30 am-10 pm Friday-Saturday, 11:30 am-9 pm Sunday. If you’ve been craving some of that good ol’ Pacific Northwest farm-to-table elegance, it’s hiding in plain sight at Tartuca. Chef Jamie Wilcox is running a bustling machine of an open kitchen, pumping out dishes that are at once iconically Italian and quintessentially Oregon. She also makes sure to take advantage of the bounty of Sauvie Island and fresh herbs from neighbors’ home gardens. Since every dish is hyperseasonal, don’t expect to see the same menu twice.
3. PONO BREW LABS
1728 NE 40th Ave., 503-432-8143, ponobrewing.com. 4-10 pm Sunday-Thursday, 4 pm-midnight Friday-Saturday. Pono fans now have a dependable place to find the brewery’s beer on tap and can accompany those pints with some stellar Pacific Island- and Asian-inspired food. You really couldn’t go wrong with building an entire meal out of the starters, which include Filipino lumpia, kalua pork sliders, french fries topped with either more of that pig or beef bulgogi and sticky garlic shoyu wings.
1935 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503208-3948, todotaco.com. 5-9 pm, Sunday-Monday, 5-10 pm Tuesday-Saturday. Build-Your-Own-Taco Night is a weekly staple for many families, and it’s easy to understand why. There’s something so playful and satisfying about the creative construction. That fun, familial feeling is a big part of the experience of dining at Todo, where you can choose from half- or full-pound plates of taco fillings and adventurously shuffle them with various toppings on soft corn tortillas or crisp tostadas. Our go-to: the pastor de trompo.
5. TITO’S TAQUITOS
3975 SW Beaverton Hillsdale Highway, 503-406-5935, titos-taquitos.square. site. 11 am-6 pm Wednesday-Saturday. At Tito’s, the taquitos are neither an appetizer nor an afterthought but an elaborate—and elaborately composed—entree. They’ve got a spectacularly crispy crackle, strong corn flavor, and chunky-soft potato filling, plus an assortment of vegetable garnishes and your choice of proteins laid on top.
Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 21, 2022 wweek.com
SUPER SIZE ME: Canard’s second Oregon City home is like many buildings in the ’burbs: There’s a lot more room.
Canard Is Living the Suburban Dream You’ll still find steam burgers, foie gras dumplings, wine and soft serve at the Oregon City outpost, but also lots of new things, like twice the seating, lunch, and dishes for the kids. BY JA S O N C O H E N
P H OTO S BY A A R O N L E E
Would you travel 20 miles for a Salisbury steak? We’re not talking the spongy Swanson’s TV dinner of (admittedly beloved) childhood memories, but a deliciously beefy slab of seared-andseasoned, dry-aged ground brisket and chuck, with additional chunks of house-smoked brisket. Instead of corn and mashed potatoes, this upscale take on comfort food is accompanied by a side of hot-and-crispy frites tossed in rosemary garlic oil, while the gravy on the steak is a classically French mushroom-Madeira sauce, rather than American heartland brown. Fork it all together and you’ve almost got a haute poutine. Obviously, you’re at Canard, which, since opening on East Burnside in 2018—when it then became pretty much every Portland publication’s Restaurant of the Year—has fused American junk food and American drunk food with French bistro excess and French wine bar refinement. Except, you’re in Oregon City, where chef Gabriel Rucker and partners Andy Fortgang (the sommelier) and Taylor Daugherty (Canard Portland’s founding chef de cuisine) opened a second location in July. The group originally considered going with a more fast-casual concept—as every restaurant must these days—but ultimately wound up in the former Grano Bakery and Market space just doing what Canard does…i.e., a little bit of everything. The menu is built around the Portland stalwarts, including steam burgers ($5.50 each, or $30 for six), oeufs en mayonnaise ($12) and the famous Duck Stack ($22): pancakes, duck gravy, Tabasco onions and a duck egg, plus the option of adding foie gras ($15). But there are also brand-new
items, variations and cross-pollinations, with seasonal menu changes still to come. “It is meant to feel Canard when you step inside,” Daugherty says. On a recent Thursday night, the place was hopping both inside and out, with a patio covered in picnic tables, comfy rounded booths in picture windows, a rectangular bar and, just behind it, a busy open kitchen on display. “You guys should watch this show called The Bear,” said one diner in a party of six celebrating a birthday, and let’s face it, we were all thinking it. Daugherty says that Canard Oregon City’s Salisbury steak frites are meant to be a “more comforting” version of Canard Portland’s duck frites, while instead of Portland’s fried chicken wings with Szechuan five-spice, there’s Tokyo hot chicken tenders ($18), with a crispy cornflake crust and accompaniments of Koji honey, Japanese gribiche, bonito and a lemon wedge. You can also add those tenders to the broccoli Cobb salad ($14)— creamy and crispy and sweet with blue cheese dressing, bacon crumbles and smashed avocado—for even more of a Buffalo winglike experience. Besides the duck stack, the restaurant’s namesake protein surfaces in a smoked duck flauta appetizer ($18), while the famous foie gras dumplings, which come with apple butter, black sesame and peanuts in Portland, are here dressed with peanut sauce, blackberry and balsamic ($21, add black truffles for $15). You’ll also find foie gras at the top of the cocktail list in the Standard OG ($14), a kind of Manhattan-accented old fashioned: foie-washed rye, Park VS cognac, sherry-vermouth blend, Bénédictine, bitters and a lemon peel in a rocks glass, with the foie adding a mere suggestion of flavor and mouthfeel. There are a half-dozen beers or ciders, 14 wines by the glass and, of
Buzz List WHERE TO DRINK THIS WEEK.
1. OYATSUPAN BAKERS
16025 SW Regatta Lane, Beaverton, 503-941-5251, oyatsupan.com. 8 am3:30 pm daily. Though best known for its milk bread and sweet rolls, Oyatsupan also serves a variety of warm beverages to go with those baked goods. The newest menu item is a Hojicha latte, a Japanese green tea typically steamed to stop the oxidation process and then roasted, resulting in little to no bitterness as well as a low caffeine content. Oyatsupan promises that it is the perfect drink to transition from summer to fall thanks to the nutty notes from the tea and the creaminess of the oat milk.
2. ROCKABILLY CAFE
8537 N Lombard St., 503-384-2076, rockabillycafe.com. 8 am-8 pm Wednesday-Thursday and Sunday, 8 am-9 pm Friday-Saturday. About a month after opening last winter, Rockabilly added alcohol-soaked shakes to its menu, as if it knew we’d need another painkiller as the year wore on. Right now, you should be drinking the White Ukrainian, and not just because it’s trendy to protest the Russian invasion by boycotting the country’s exports along with its name. The shake’s soothing rum-and-coffee flavor is like slipping into that first light sweater of the season as we transition into fall.
3. HETTY ALICE BREWING AT BELMONT STATION
4500 SE Stark St., 503-232-8538, belmont-station.com. Noon-11 pm daily. After launching Living Häus Beer Company with two other Portland brewers at the former Modern Times location this summer, pFriem vet Gavin Lord has spun off his own project inside that same space. The brewery is named after his grandmother, who had a rough upbringing yet became known for her hospitality, a legacy he hopes to carry on with this business. Beer nerds know Lord best for his time as head brewer at Hood River’s pFriem and, after his year off from the industry, are undoubtedly pumped by his return.
4. RALLY PIZZA
course, over 100 bottles; non-alcoholic options include Athletic Beer, Seedlip and tonic, and canned (rather than bar gun) soda, as well as a Shirley Temple. “We have the best Shirley Temple in Oregon City,” one waiter cracks, suggesting that it’s probably the only one. Because it’s twice the size of Canard Portland, Canard Oregon City feels more naturally family friendly. In addition to the soft serve (vanilla, pineapple Dole whip or swirl, $5-$6) and four different ice cream sundaes for dessert, there is a six-item Little Ducks menu (most of which is still the same stuff that’s available for the kid inside you: burger, french fries, mac and cheese). As of Sept. 20, Oregon City is also the only Canard with daytime service, which stopped in Portland during the pandemic. That menu includes lunch-brunch additions like a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich with English muffin bread, a curry chicken gyro, and the social media fave hot beef and cheddar sandwich (aka “the Canarby’s,” which has previously been served in Portland). Should you make the journey? That depends on your passion for food, the value of your time, and your environmental consciousness. If you’re a local—not just to Oregon City but Milwaukie (where Rucker lives), Clackamas or Boring—it’s probably your once-a-month or even once-aweek spot, whether with family and friends or solo at the bar. And if you’re a Canard fan in Portland—or anywhere in America—you surely want to try the new spots at least once. After all, there’s no telling if that Salisbury steak will make it to Burnside.
8070 E Mill Plain Blvd., Vancouver, Wash., 360-524-9000, rallypizza.com. 3-8 pm Monday-Thursday, noon-8 pm Friday-Sunday. Rally Pizza serves some of Southwest Washington’s best Neapolitan-style pies, hand-stretched pasta and frozen custard milkshakes, like the piña colada. The use of fresh-squeezed, sweettart pineapple juice makes all the difference. The custard floats across the tongue as smoothly as a whipped cloud of meringue, while flavors of the tropics, from coconut cream to molasses rum, slowly dissolve like a sunset.
5. OLD PAL
3350 SE Morrison St., 503-477-9663, oldpalpdx.com. 4-10 pm Sunday-Monday and Thursday; 4-11 pm Friday-Saturday. New Sunnyside neighborhood restaurant Old Pal wants to become your regular drinking buddy. You’ll currently find a lineup of eight cocktails, including its eponymous drink made with rye, Campari, and Dolin Dry vermouth, as well as beer, wine and zero-proof drinks. Pair your beverage with the flavors of late summer, like an heirloom tomato gazpacho.
EAT: Canard, 1500 Washington St., Oregon City, 503-344-4247, canardrestaurant.com. 11 am-2 pm and 4-9 pm daily. Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 21, 2022 wweek.com
Fall Flowers We rounded up exciting new strains that are hitting dispensary shelves just in time for pumpkin-spice and apple-picking season.
BY B R I A N N A W H E E L E R
If the apples falling from my neighborhood back alley trees are any indication, harvest season is officially here. And just in time, too. If you’re like me, the spate of August heat waves has you yearning extra hard for some sweater weather. Temperatures aside, Oregon is arguably at her best in the fall, and for more reasons than the dazzling leaf colors, fat zucchinis and expansive corn mazes. Our state is incredibly fertile, producing not just a wide variety of produce, but also an abundance of weed. However, despite prolific production, Oregon’s cannabis use is down. You might even say recreational weed is going through a bit of a recession. But, during harvest season, we can reconnect with weed by celebrating the cultivation process along with the breeders whose hard work medicates our daily lives. To get started, here is a roundup of exciting new strains you can use to stock your fall canna-cornucopia as they begin to hit dispensary shelves.
Dream Cake Bred from a cross of Wedding Cake and Sunset Sherbet by Seed Junky Genetics just this year, this hybrid delivers the best of both its parent strains. Dream Cake has pronounced indica genetics and, as such, delivers distinctly serene effects. Users report romantic, dreamy highs best suited for low-stakes home use. Considering the genetics of this cultivar, you can expect the swooning tranquility of Wedding Cake and the sensual relaxation of Sunset Sherbet, both gently uplifted by a peppery, caryophyllene-forward terpene profile. BUY: Pur Roots Dispensary, 5816 NE Portland Highway, 971865-5176.
Zoap Zoap is a relatively novel, balanced hybrid with a complex genetic story. This cross of Pink Guava, Rainbow Sherbet, and F2 Pheno 21 arrives with a high potency (25% THC and up), resulting in a thick, cottony body buzz with the potential to either settle users deep in the couch or herd them toward the kitchen for a sleepwalkinglike adventure in snacking. Depending on their resting state, users report giggly, social highs as well as deep body relaxation. Potential therapeutic effects include relief from depression, nausea and chronic pain. BUY: Club Sky High, 8975 N Lombard St., 503-719-5801, clubskyhigh.net.
Georgia Pie Georgia Pie is an intensely cool, mollifying hybrid bred from a cross of Gellati and Kush Mints. This cultivar is reportedly strong enough to keep varsity stoners in a literal and figurative haze for the rest of harvest season. Effects include sparking euphoria, heavy limbs, mellow introspection and a powerful case of the munchies. By most accounts, this strain smells and tastes like sweet, buttery pie crust, which is very on brand for a season dedicated to pumpkin spice and apple picking. BUY: Nectar, 2422 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503-719-6106, nectar. store.
Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 21, 2022 wweek.com
Supa Durban If high-octane strains dominate your stash box, Supa Durban will be your brisk autumn wake-and-bake go-to. The strain is a haze-crossed variation of an already fiery landrace sativa, so users should expect a bright-eyed head high and blood-pumping body buzz. Pro tip: Use this cultivar with intention. It has a strong “rearrange your bathroom” vibe that could leave unprepared stoners feeling tightly wound. Take it slow, and keep some colored pencils on standby. BUY: TreeHouse Collective, 2419 NE Sandy Blvd., 503-894-8774.
Zuyaqui Zuyaqui is a sleepier cultivar that delivers potent, tranquilizing body highs and cashmere-fuzz behind the eyes. Bred from a cross of mellow hybrids Dogwalker and Horchata, Zuyaqui expresses her genetics with a daydreamy onset that melts into a velvet-heavy body high. Users detail classic pothead effects, like heavy eyelids, reckless snacking, and Netflix till naptime-style relaxation. Stoners who herald the arrival of fall because you’re leaving for work and coming home in the dark, Zuyaqui may be the perfect cultivar to kick back and disassociate with. BUY: Today’s Herbal Choice Barbur, 9220 SW Barbur Blvd., #107, 503-208-3042, todaysherbalchoice.com.
Editor: Bennett Campbell Ferguson | Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
COURTESY OF MARLON WILLIAMS
MARLON’S WAY: Marlon Williams.
Fact, Fiction and Maori
WHAT TO SEE AND WHAT TO HEAR BY DA N I E L B R O M F I E L D @ b r o m f 3
THURSDAY, SEPT. 22:
A Heilung show is halfway between something you’d expect to see on the Vegas strip and something you’d expect to see at Stonehenge under a full moon. The Northern European band plays an electric reimagining of old Norse folk music, complete with skin drums and bone rattles, while decked out in psychedelic druid costumes straight out of a period epic like The Northman. Even if their pounding drums and epic chants aren’t your thing, they’re still one of the most unforgettable live acts currently touring. Keller Auditorium, 222 SW Clay St. 8 pm. $40.50-$80.50. 18+.
SUNDAY, SEPT. 25:
Marlon Williams explains the inspiration behind his new album, My Boy. BY M I C H E L L E K I C H E R E R
At a truck stop somewhere outside of Boston, Marlon Williams holds a camera against the dashboard of his tour van and adjusts his headset to make room for his signature dangly earring. We’re talking about his upcoming appearance at San Francisco’s Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival, and when I ask if he’s going to bust out some of his old bluegrass numbers, he agrees that the occasion is as good an excuse as any. While creating his earlier albums, Williams (who plays Aladdin Theater on Sept. 29) was heavily influenced by Gram Parsons and Porter Wagoner. Folk music is in the New Zealand-born singer-songwriter’s kiwi soul, but his vocal stylings often shift from quiet country to an Orbisoneque belt to a Chris Isaak call. Every album is a new pivot—and at the center of each are Williams’ butter-rich vocals. 2018’s croon-tastic indie rock-folk album Make Way for Love helped propel Williams onto the global stage (it’s a break-up album that gets mentioned alongside Beck’s Sea Change and Joni Mitchell’s Blue). He then leaned into bluegrass, partnering with Canadian folk duo Kacy & Clayton to create 2020’s superb Americana album Plastic Bouquet. Williams’ latest, My Boy, explores themes of masculinity, tribalism and escapism. Songs shift from Polynesian guitar (“Easy Does It”) to synth-pop noir (“Thinking of Nina”) before the album concludes with a cover of Barry Gibb’s “Promises” that takes Gibb’s epic vibe in a haunting new direction. “Nina,” the album’s standout, was inspired by the FX show The Americans. It’s got the catchiest of refrains and a video with a David Lynchian feel that showcases Williams’ knack for acting. “For one reason or another, these more exaggerated and overthe-top sort of performances are coming out of me,” he tells WW. “It’s sort of self-perpetuating.” Williams’ performances in music videos have led to acting roles, including an appearance in the 2018 remake of A Star Is Born. So how much acting goes into Williams’ onstage performances? “I’ve had conversations with people who think I’m posturing on ‘Soft Boys Make the Grade,’” from My Boy, he says, referring to a song that is about less-than-cocky fuckboys (and features a
cringeworthy reference to DMs). “I’m addressing a certain part of my character there, or of my past behaviors.” Then there’s “Trips,” a song about 19th century sailors trying to circle the globe. “But it’s also about being on tour,” says Williams. He likes the ambiguous fact-and-fiction quality to his music: “I think to go too far in either direction is pretty foolish.” I ask Williams what’s up with the video for the undulating synth-pop number “River Rival,” which features a close-up of him dripping wet as he seemingly sings into your soul. He laughs. “That came from a place of utmost fatigue,” he explains. “I was just so tired I couldn’t even close my eyes. I was just like this glazed-over zombie, you know. So we sort of just had to lean into that.” Williams takes his work dead seriously but has enough humility to joke about said seriousness. “I watched that video [‘River Rival’] stoned later, and it felt like it went on for five hours,” he laughs again. These days, Williams is studying traditional Maori music (he is Ngai Tahu and Ngai Tai). While he isn’t fluent in Maori, he’s learning and absorbing hundreds of years’ of proverbs and songs through composers like Hirini Melbourne ONZM—and he’s working on a Maori-language album next. Williams is also reading Genevieve Callaghan’s One Story a Day, a collection of 1,001 micro-fiction stories. He describes the book as filled with “beautiful little idle thoughts…[that make you] think about things the way you don’t think about them, which is what you want in a writer.” For Williams, collaboration is the essence of creativity (he relishes working with other alternative, uncategorizable artists like Aldous Harding). “Being able to meet some of these other personalities in the field and to work out what the sum of the parts is?” he says. “That’s one of the greatest joys of being a creative person: that ability to learn from other people and to learn about yourself through working with other people.” SEE IT: Marlon Williams plays Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie Ave., 503- 234-9694, aladdin-theater.com. 8 pm Thursday, Sept. 29. $20. All ages.
If you’re not aware of what Demi Lovato’s been doing since her Disney days, prepare to be surprised. 2017’s Tell Me You Love Me established her as a vocal powerhouse unafraid to tackle thorny subject matter, and her two most recent releases went into uncompromising detail about the drug addiction and mental health issues she’s tackled throughout her life. Marketed in her teen years as a just-rebellious-enough pop-rocker, she’s the real thing now, and this year’s Holy Fvck could be called a return to her rock roots if it weren’t so much gnarlier than anything she’s made before. Theater of the Clouds, Moda Center, 1 N Center Court St. 8 pm. $22-$500. All ages.
WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 28:
In its decade of existence, Kikagaku Moyo has risen to prominence as one of the world’s most popular and respected contemporary psych-rock bands, and no wonder: Their linear, liquid-sounding music is so evocative it’s almost overwhelming at first. But just as they’ve released their best album, May’s Kumoyo Island, the Japanese band has decided to go on an indefinite hiatus. Catch them while you still can at Crystal Ballroom with Portland’s very own Rose City Band, led by Moon Duo’s Ripley Johnson. McMenamins Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside St. 8:30 pm. $25-$30. All ages.
Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 21, 2022 wweek.com
Editor: Bennett Campbell Ferguson | Contact: email@example.com
C O U R T E S Y O F K AV E H A K B A R
MAKE OUR GARDEN GROW: Kaveh Akbar.
Taking a Break Poet Kaveh Akbar discusses his recovery-minded virtual writing class The Break. BY M I C H E L L E K I C H E R E R
Come to any given session of The Break and you may get a prompt from a 100-year-old poem by Jorge Luis Borges or a brand-new story—or be encouraged to write while a song is playing or to step outside to do a writing exercise. Guest lecturers from across the country stop in to teach everything from poetry to comic drawing to groups that include writers, artists and musicians. The Break, which is free and meets virtually each month, is “focused towards people in or seeking recovery,” but no one has to say whether they are (or even who they are). “This is a writing group,” Tehran-born poet Kaveh Akbar tells WW, clarifying that The Break is in no way defined by any specific recovery program or philosophies. “You don’t have to say anything, you don’t have to turn on your camera,” he says. “It’s a low-impact way of engaging with the material.” Akbar co-founded The Break with friend and musician Kasey Anderson during the COVID-19 lockdown. They have been in recovery for nine and 10 years, respectively, and it seemed like the right time to start the group, which Akbar always had the intention of continuing once the mandates were lifted. Peak COVID lockdown was especially difficult for those in 26
Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 21, 2022 wweek.com
recovery programs. For people attending groups like AA, community and regularity—smoking outside before and after the meeting, mulling around nodding hello or chatting with other regulars—are important. When quarantine went into effect, those rituals were lost.
“There is a huge population of people in the middle of that Venn diagram of recovery and writing, and there are surprisingly few spaces dedicated to that space.” For The Break, which is sponsored by the Alano Club of Portland (a drug and alcohol addiction recovery support center), attendance started slow and steadily increased over the months. Now it’s gained traction, accruing a mix of people that is half regulars and half new faces. Akbar says he’s written letters of recommendation for people in The Break for jobs and grad school—and that seeing raw, honest
work emerge from the group has been moving. “It’s been powerful to be able to experience people’s creative or psycho-spiritual breakthroughs,” he says. Pilgrim Bell, which was published last month, is one of several collections that Akbar has written. The book was so successful that it earned praise in The New Yorker from Andrew Chan, who wrote that Akbar’s “practice of taking language apart, and harnessing the empty space around it, makes even the most familiar words seem eerie and unexpected” (other high-profile fans include Roxanne Gay, Mary Karr and Frank Bidart). Being in session with Akbar, an associate professor at the University of Iowa and poetry editor of The Nation, is a monthly honor that provides a safe and encouraging space for writers to explore new avenues with their work. Whether that work is related to recovery is completely up to the writers. Akbar says people who participate in The Break are never pressured to talk about where they are (or aren’t) in recovery. “There is a huge population of people in the middle of that Venn diagram of recovery and writing,” he says, “and there are surprisingly few spaces dedicated to that space.” GO: The Break meets virtually, portlandalano.org/the-break. 5-6 pm last Monday of the month. Free.
Editor: Bennett Campbell Ferguson Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org BRIAN BROSE
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
N I K O TAV E R N I S E / PA R A M O U N T P I C T U R E S
HOLLYWOOD PICK 1:
LIGHTS OUT: The Roseway.
Lullaby of the Roseway The fire that devastated the beloved movie theater started a new chapter to its long, strange history. BY J AY H O R TO N
spring, the theater had joined the war effort, adding a female manager and a “candy bar matinee” for servicemen. A dozen years later, the Roseway bid farewell to its balcony and organ to become the fifth Portland theater boasting a Cinemascope screen and stereoscopic sound. After flames sparked by a defective popcorn machine gutted the foyer and damaged the interior in 1957, colorful local drive-in impresario Jesse Jones oversaw a complete rebuild at costs equivalent to the low six figures. Signs of wear began to show following Jones’ 1968 death. Vandals hurled an object through the screen, which turned out to be uninsured. A screening of American Hot Wax showed the reels out of order, though attendance was so sparse no one noticed during consecutive screenings. “The Roseway was not doing well,” recalls longtime resident Marty McCray. “My cousin was just down the block here, and I remember seeing Lawrence of Arabia, A Hard Day’s Night, all that kind of stuff. It was always a nice neighborhood theater up until the ’70s, but, in terms of showing movies, the business went into disarray.” McCray’s father ran a neighboring electronics store where the young guitarist would host rehearsals after hours for his band The Offering—and the Roseway’s ongoing troubles inspired a potential opportunity. “The owner of this arcade next door…keeps listening to us and comes up with this idea: ‘Hey, we got this great band next door to a [struggling] theater. Let’s start putting on concerts—like a mini-Fillmore or something, you know?’” McCray says. “So, 1977, we did two concerts there onstage—light show, all that kind of stuff.” Although The Offering would soon splinter, McCray spent the next 50 years as a musician performing at Portland-area clubs. Pete Holmes, their drummer during the Roseway shows, co-founded Beaverton-to-Sunset Strip glam-rock group Black ’n Blue alongside longtime Kiss lead guitarist Tommy Thayer. Following stints with Peter Gabriel and Ted Nugent, Holmes now drums for the latest incarnation of Ratt. As for the Roseway, McCray recalls that “they revamped the theater in the 1980s. It didn’t really catch on.” What about now? “My first inkling is, yes, hopefully we can rebuild it,’” Roseway owner Greg Wood told WW in August. “But to be honest, it’s also overwhelming.” After surviving a near-century, it remains to be seen if the Roseway will bloom again.
Ryan Coogler may have conquered the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Black Panther, but he’s also a master of intimate, character-driven drama. His feature directorial debut, Fruitvale Station (2013)—about Oscar Grant (Michael B. Jordan), a 22-year-old Black man murdered by a Bay Area Rapid Transit police officer in 2009—remains his best, most bracing film, rich in both detail and feeling. By immersing us in Grant’s last day on earth, Coogler brought him back to life, if only for 85 artistically perfect minutes. BET+.
Why whine about the supposed drawbacks of Method acting when you can bask in a beautifully naturalistic scene shared by Marlon Brando, Eva Marie Saint and a glove? Elia Kazan’s On the Waterfront (1954) has lost none of its raw cinematic force—and that’s partly because the cast (which also includes Rod Steiger and Karl Malden) believed that film acting could be about more than movie-star peacocking and mid-Atlantic accents. HBO Max. N E W YO R K E R F I L M S
From the moment word spread of the three-alarm fire that devastated Northeast Sandy Boulevard’s Roseway Theater on Aug. 6, grief swept through Portland. Regular patrons and long-lost émigrés shared vague remembrances, but genuine sorrow lay beneath the performative trauma. Flames engulfing a neighborhood landmark beloved by generations should tug the heartstrings, of course, but this wasn’t quite a tragedy. Nobody was injured and 80 firefighters made sure the blaze never threatened additional buildings. Nevertheless, as details emerged about the totality of the structural damage, public mourning for the Roseway felt intensely personal. “Coming home from my morning jog and seeing a dozen fire trucks and huge smoke billowing from the direction of my house was pretty terrifying,” says Alex Kennedy, host of The Devil Made Me Do It podcast. “The theater was always a great place to go with my daughter. She’s a teenager now, so it’s hard to get her to do anything with me, but we’d walk to Roseway in silence, join our neighbors laughing or cheering, and always walk home with smiles on our faces.” The Roseway has stayed a neighborhood movie theater until damn near spitting distance from its centenary, despite barely any neighborhood to draw from. That’s extremely rare in itself—doubly so for a business stranded amid a perennially parking-starved wisp of a commercial hub. Given the theater’s awkward location and relatively anonymous charms, its stubborn endurance over the past few decades seems nothing short of miraculous. (In the 1950s, just about every silent-era cinema gave away its theater organ. In the ’70s, the Roseway brought its back.) The Roseway’s launch (a soft opening Oct. 15, 1924, with The Fast Worker, followed by an official debut Friday, Oct. 16, with The Signal Tower) wasn’t especially newsworthy, but trade publications spoke well of the 589-seat theater’s “artistic design.” Although the first few years were marked by a smattering of wildly eclectic attractions (including a runway show of the latest cotton and silk styles from Milady’s Toggery), the live acts soon dwindled as the theater kept pace with innovations. Early 1941 brought the first significant renovations (to the foyer, stairway and general lounge). By the following
Five years ago, Darren Aronofsky unleashed mother!, his sickening and exhilarating meditation on Christ and climate change. Whether you love the movie or loathe it, it’s Hollywood filmmaking at its most audacious; who but Aronofsky would have dared to funnel an epic saga of pregnancy and environmental devastation through a single, solitary house? Jennifer Lawrence stars as the anguished wife of a writer (Javier Bardem) whose narcissism unleashes hell on earth. Showtime.
If you’re looking to get into African cinema, start with late Senegalese filmmaker Ousmane Sembène. One of his greatest achievements is Xala (1975), a sneakily hilarious satire about El Hadji (Thierno Leye), a government official who seeks a supernatural cure for his impotence so he can sleep with his new wife. The movie’s climax—which involves a peculiar revelation and a lot of saliva—is one of the most magnificently absurd scenes ever captured on film. YouTube. Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 21, 2022 wweek.com
MOVIES MUSIC BOX FILMS
G ET YO U R R E P S I N
TOP PICK OF THE WEEK UNIVERSAL PICTURES
Body horror master David Cronenberg directs this techno sci-fi film about a skeezy TV executive (real-life slimeball James Woods) who discovers and broadcasts a show called Videodrome that depicts people being tortured. But when his girlfriend (Debbie Harry) auditions for the show and never returns, he comes to find that the program’s violence is all too real. Academy, Sept. 21-22.
Belle de Jour (1967)
In Spanish surrealist Luis Buñuel’s acclaimed erotic drama, the luminescent Catherine Deneuve stars as an alienated young housewife who spends her nights unable to be physically intimate with her doctor husband and her midweek afternoons working at a high-class brothel. Screens in 35 mm. Free for Hollywood Theatre and Movie Madness members. Hollywood, Sept. 22.
It’s the end of the world as Kirsten Dunst knows it, and she feels fine! Lars von Trier’s arthouse sci-fi film explores human reactions to impending doom—and stars Dunst as a depressed bride-to-be who couldn’t care less that a rogue planet is about to crash into Earth (relatable!). Meanwhile, her sister (Charlotte Gainsbourg), who represents anxiety, freaks the hell out (relatable!). Clinton, Sept. 23.
The American Friend (1977)
Adapted from one of Patricia Highsmith’s homoerotic Tom Ripley novels, this neo-noir by Wim Wenders stars Dennis Hopper as the slippery American Ripley (later played by Matt Damon in The Talented Mr. Ripley). This time, he’s living in Hamburg, where he schemes to coerce a terminally ill picture framer (Bruno Ganz) into becoming an assassin. Living Room, Sept. 23.
The Maltese Falcon (1941)
Humphrey Bogart stars as private detective Sam Spade in this film noir classic about the dangerous search for the titular coveted jewel-encrusted statuette. Legendary director John Huston’s impressive feature debut screens as part one of Cinema 21’s Bogart on the Big Screen series (and features an intro by film programmer Elliot Lavine). Cinema 21, Sept. 24. ALSO PLAYING: Academy: The Breakfast Club (1985), Sept. 21-22. There Will Be Blood (2007), Sept. 21-22. Hollywood: Carrie (1976), Sept. 21. The Third Man (1949), Sept. 23. Metropolis (1927), Sept. 24. Paris, Texas (1984), Sept. 24. A*P*E (1976), Sept. 25. Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982), Sept. 26. They Live (1988), Sept. 27. PAM CUT: Aggie (2020), Sept. 23.
THE STORY OF FILM: A NEW GENERATION In 2011, documentarian Mark Cousins set out to elucidate a little thing called film history. The Story of Film: An Odyssey lasted 15 hours, ran on Turner Classic Movies and cemented former BBC host Cousins as a recognizable film appreciator. Now, the tastefully soft-spoken cineaste is back with a three-hour addendum—The Story of Film: A New Generation. This roving, languid video essay on 2010s cinema finds its strength in Cousins’ ability to unpack scene after scene—it’s part sermon, part clinic (imagine a David Attenborough film about movies). He strolls inquisitively through choice clips and categories, decelerating to the tempo of “slow cinema” like An Elephant Sitting Still, lovingly unpacking Booksmart’s comedic verve, and marveling inclusively at where VR and mo-cap are whisking cinema. While perhaps unnecessarily split into titles that Cousins views as extensions of historically great films and ones that are truly “new,” the documentary is always more commemorative than critical. It can sometimes be hard for cinephiles to trust other cinephiles during a movie testament this high-minded (skepticism and fandom often go hand in hand). But Cousins is always humble and affectionate enough to avoid excesses of snark, pretension or even genre bias. He’s just the shepherd through the latest chapter of a 120-year dream. May none of us ever wake. NR. CHANCE SOLEM-PFEIFER. On Demand.
This Washington-made cubicle comedy prefers paper clips to staplers, but its kinship with Office Space is undeniable. All Sorts is a fresh, diversely cast trip through lightly dystopian corporate offices that haven’t aged much since 1999—characters in this sophomore film from director J. Rick Castaneda still use ’90s Windows tech. As we follow newly employed data-entry clerk Diego (Eli Vargas), the film’s influences and priorities split. There’s a cute but shallow romantic plot that owes more to The Office than Office Space, with teddy bear Diego falling for his co-worker June (Greena Park), who’s transcendently skilled at file sorting. That talent opens a literal door in an office full of hidden passages and eccentric drones—and eventually leads to a filing tournament. Ultimately, All Sorts is a series of atmospheric comedy montages—e.g., rifling through all the contortionist positions from which a worker could type to avoid falling asleep. Almost all these gags last two beats past the laugh, but they keep the film grounded within its small budget—and a little closer to Real Genius’ goofball charm than Being John Malkovich’s alienation. A job can only be so awful before weirdness prevails and everyone makes the best of it. NR. CHANCE SOLEM-PFEIFER. Clinton Street Theater. 8 pm Saturday, Sept. 24.
: 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
Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 21, 2022 wweek.com
A century of Westerns have relied on land squabbles— and in the West of 2022, you have to watch where you park. That’s what starts the trouble between Sandra Guidry (Thandiwe Newton), a college professor
living in a remote canyon home after her mother’s death, and the deer hunters who want to use her driveway. One of God’s Country’s great strengths is how far and wide it escalates this elemental conflict. Most of the film’s complexity comes from director Julian Higgins and co-writer Shaye Ogbonna adapting the original James Lee Burke short story to center on a Black woman largely alone in the snowy remoteness. Still, some of the resulting ideological struggles feel more grafted on than organic. As Sandra fights for her safety, God’s Country becomes a cascading polemic, expositorily touching on #MeToo, diversity in academia, police violence, and recent American history in ways that sometimes drown out her character. Fortunately, the ideas can’t drown out Newton. You’ve never seen the Westworld star given the chance to show such versatility: Sandra is vulnerable, grieving, inspiring, caretaking, self-sabotaging and hard-bitten as frozen earth. With a nod to Do the Right Thing, this is one of the few modern Westerns that becomes something new while invoking age-old American conflicts. R. CHANCE SOLEM-PFEIFER. Cinema 21, Clackamas, Eastport, Oak Grove, Progress Ridge, Vancouver Mall.
When the makers of the A24-bred, tastemaker-approved indie horror flick X announced they were readying an already filmed prequel for release, critics largely dismissed the claim as further evidence of just how much time everyone had to spare amid pandemic doldrums. You’d think that director Ti West (The Innkeepers, The Sacrament),
who obsessively re-created ’70s aesthetics for X, would be a poor fit for Pearl, a small-town character study set near the end of the First World War. Yet from the film’s overwrought orchestration to the Technicolor sheen of its opening credits, West seamlessly borrows the cinematographic palette from MGM’s glory days to brighten this old-fashioned yarn about a plucky farm girl’s dreams of silent-movie stardom. Co-screenwriter and star Mia Goth’s Baby Jane/Norma Desmond rictus grins and disarming naturalism make it hard to root against Pearl (even as the inevitable violent spree looms), and the playful but never jokey film draws strength from the persistent dread roused by our darkest fears: alligators, maggots, German accents and, yes, the unforeseen bloodlust of a fresh-faced psychotic. The scares are still big; it’s the pitchforks that got small. R. JAY HORTON. Cedar Hills, Cinemagic, City Center, Clackamas, Eastport, Evergreen Parkway, Fox Tower, Hollywood, Laurelhurst, Living Room, Lloyd Center, Oak Grove, Pioneer Place, Studio One, Tigard.
TRUE SCENES FROM THE STREETS! @sketchypeoplepdx
by Jack Kent
Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 21, 2022 wweek.com
B Y M AT T J O N E S
"Singularity"—because we reached #1111.
ASTROLOGY ARIES (March 21-April 19): Poet Susan Howe de-
scribes poetry as an "amorous search under the sign of love for a remembered time at the pitchdark fringes of evening when we gathered together to bless and believe." I'd like to use that lyrical assessment to describe your life in the coming days—or at least what I hope will be your life. In my astrological opinion, it's a favorable time to intensify your quest for interesting adventures in intimacy; to seek out new ways to imagine and create togetherness; to collaborate with allies in creating brave excursions into synergy.
(April 20-May 20): Social reformer Frederick Douglass (1817-1895) had a growlery. It was a one-room stone cabin where he escaped to think deep thoughts, work on his books, and literally growl. As a genius who escaped enslavement and spent the rest of his life fighting for the rights of his fellow Black people, he had lots of reasons to snarl, howl, and bellow as well as growl. The coming weeks would be an excellent time for you to find or create your own growlery, Taurus. The anger you feel will be especially likely to lead to constructive changes. The same is true about the deep thoughts you summon in your growlery: They will be extra potent in helping you reach wise practical decisions.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): "Conduct your blooming
in the noise and whip of the whirlwind,” wrote Gemini poet Gwendolyn Brooks. I love that advice! The whirlwind is her metaphor for the chaos of everyday life. She was telling us that we shouldn't wait to ripen ourselves until the daily rhythm is calm and smooth. Live wild and free right now! That's always good advice, in my opinion, but it will be especially apropos for you in the coming weeks. Now is your time to "endorse the splendor splashes" and "sway in wicked grace," as Brooks would say.
ACROSS 1. Without help 5. Lay's variety 10. _ _ _ Danger (MAC lipstick shade) 14. Jazz trumpeter Baker 15. Rammy or lamby? 16. I can't believe it's not rice (well, unless you told me) 17. Future doc's subj. 18. Made over 19. Egg repository 20. Art student who passed all the Impressionist courses? 23. Ancient Jordanian city 24. Went slowly 26. "Equal" prefix 27. "Mr. Robot" actor's cousin who's part of an influential punk band? 33. Go toe to toe in the ring, maybe 34. Trancelike look 35. Inkling 38. Anesthetized 40. "Good golly" 41. She debated Biden in 2008 43. Get over (with) 45. Like writers of Seth Rogen comedies, maybe? 47. Airport code at the 2002 Olympics
53. "Have a sample, Mr. Clooney"?
28. Grand Canyon State sch.
58. Squished circle
29. Rachel Maddow's network
60. Type of column
30. Partner of wiser
61. Slangy "name" for COVID-19
31. "_ _ _ lift?"
62. Facebook's parent company
33. Ball game interruption
63. Sly meeting 64. Alternative to 1% 65. Author Zane 66. Casual approvals 67. Watchers
32. Encryption element 35. Online IDs 36. Number cruncher's stuff 37. Stretch 39. "Frasier" producer 42. "I, Claudius" emperor 44. Stooge's laugh
46. Collector's item
1. Dish prepared with garlic butter and wine
47. Like a lot of October content
2. Comedic "That's a disaster!"
48. "Of Mice and Men" man
3. Simple shack 4. Cute carnivore 5. Bjorn with five straight Wimbledon wins 6. Affirm
49. Coffee additives 52. By its nature 54. "It's My Party" singer Lesley 55. Irish New Age singer
7. Radiohead album of 2000
56. "The Addams Family" nickname
8. Oklahoma town
57. Opera divisions
9. Figure out
58. Text exclamation
10. Entreaty to a monster in a scary dream
59. Software abbr.
11. Arcade game reward, sometimes 12. Abbr. in a birth announcement 13. Go bad in the fridge
50. Singer Day who played Billie Holiday
21. Skater Lipinski
51. Word before crust or hand
25. School time
22. Starfish features
©2022 Jonesin’ Crosswords (email@example.com) For answers to this puzzle, call: 1-900-226-2800, 99 cents per minute. Must be 18+. Or to bill to your credit card, call: 1-800-655-6548. Reference puzzle #JNZ990.
last week’s answers
CANCER (June 21-July 22): “Don’t look away,"
advised novelist Henry Miller in a letter to his lover. "Look straight at everything. Look it all in the eye, good and bad." While that advice is appealing, I don't endorse it unconditionally. I'm a Cancerian, and I sometimes find value in gazing at things sideways, or catching reflections in mirrors, or even turning my attention away for a while. In my view, we Crabs have a special need to be self-protective and self-nurturing. And to accomplish that, we may need to be evasive and elusive. In my astrological opinion, the next two weeks will be one of these times. I urge you to gaze directly and engage point-blank only with what's good for you.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Tips to get the most out
of the next three weeks: 1. Play at least as hard as you work. 2. Give yourself permission to do anything that has integrity and is fueled by compassion. 3. Assume there is no limit to how much generous joie de vivre you can summon and express. 4. Fondle and nuzzle with eager partners as much as possible. And tell them EXACTLY where and how it feels good. 5. Be magnanimous in every gesture, no matter how large or small. 6. Even if you don't regard yourself as a skillful singer, use singing to transform yourself out of any mood you don't want to stay in.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): In the coming weeks,
you should refrain from wrestling with problems that resist your solutions. Be discerning about how you use your superior analytical abilities. Devote yourself solely to manageable dilemmas that are truly responsive to your intelligent probing. PS: I feel sorry for people who aren’t receptive to your input, but you can't force them to give up their ignorance or suffering. Go where you’re wanted. Take power where it's offered. Meditate on the wisdom of Anaïs Nin: “You cannot save people. You can only love them.”
(Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh was born under the sign of Libra. He said, "The root-word 'Buddha' means to wake up, to know, to understand; and he or she who wakes up and understands is called a Buddha." So according to him, the spiritual teacher Siddhartha
Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 21, 2022 wweek.com
Gautama who lived in ancient India was just one of many Buddhas. And by my astrological reckoning, you will have a much higher chance than usual to be like one of these Buddhas yourself in the coming weeks. Waking up will be your specialty. You will have an extraordinary capacity to burst free of dreamy illusions and murky misapprehensions. I hope you take full advantage. Deeper understandings are nigh.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): I invite you to be
the sexiest, most intriguing, most mysterious Scorpio you can be in the coming weeks. Here are ideas to get you started. 1. Sprinkle the phrase "in accordance with prophecy" into your conversations. 2. Find an image that symbolizes rebirth and revitalization arising out of disruption. Meditate on it daily until you actually experience rebirth and revitalization arising out of disruption. 3. Be kind and merciful to the young souls you know who are living their first lifetimes. 4. Collect deep, dark secrets from the interesting people you know. Employ this information to plan how you will avoid the trouble they endured. 5. Buy two deluxe squirt guns and two knives made of foam rubber. Use them to wage playful fights with those you love.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): There's an ancient Greek saying, "I seek the truth, by which no one ever was truly harmed." I regard that as a fine motto for you Sagittarians. When you are at your best and brightest, you are in quest of the truth. And while your quests may sometimes disturb the status quo, they often bring healthy transformations. The truths you discover may rattle routines and disturb habits, but they ultimately lead to greater clarity and authenticity. Now is an excellent time to emphasize this aspect of your nature.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Let's imagine you
are in your office or on the job or sitting at your kitchen table. With focused diligence, you're working on solving a problem or improving a situation that involves a number of people. You think to yourself, "No one seems to be aware that I am quietly toiling here behind the scenes to make the magic happen." A few days or a few weeks later, your efforts have been successful. The problem is resolved or the situation has improved. But then you hear the people involved say, "Wow, I wonder what happened? It's like things got fixed all by themselves." If a scenario like this happens, Capricorn, I urge you to speak up and tell everyone what actually transpired.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): To honor your
entrance into the most expansive phase of your astrological cycle, I'm calling on the counsel of an intuitive guide named Nensi the Mercury Priestess. She offers the following advice. 1. Cultivate a mindset where you expect something unexpected to happen. 2. Fantasize about the possibility of a surprising blessing or unplanned-for miracle. 3. Imagine that a beguiling breakthrough will erupt into your rhythm. 4. Shed a few preconceptions about how your life story will unfold in the next two years. 5. Boost your trust in your deep self's innate wisdom. 6. Open yourself more to receiving help and gifts.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Author Colin Wilson
describes sex as "a craving for the mingling of consciousness, whose symbol is the mingling of bodies. Every time partners slake their thirst in the strange waters of the other’s identity, they glimpse the immensity of their freedom." I love this way of understanding the erotic urge, and recommend you try it out for a while. You're entering a phase when you will have extra power to refine and expand the way you experience blending and merging. If you're fuzzy about the meaning of the words "synergy" and "symbiosis," I suggest you look them up in the dictionary. They should be featured themes for you in the coming weeks.
Homework: What's the best change you could make that would be fairly easy to accomplish? Newsletter.FreeWillAstrology.com
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