Willamette Week, November 16, 2022 - Volume 49, Issue 2 - "Captain Kotek"

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FINDINGS

KANN, PAGE 22

NEXT ADVENTURE

WHAT WE LEARNED FROM READING THIS WEEK’S PAPER VOL. 49, ISSUE 2 Weddings are back in Clackamas County. 7

A Homeland Security officer correctly identified a statuetoppling suspect whose photo was labeled “Guy in truck who pulled down statue.” 9

Most City Council meetings begin with a graphic description of suffering geese.

Gol Soccer Bar will show many of the early-morning World Cup games, but don’t expect any booze before 7 am. 21 The New York Times placed Kann on a national top 50 list within a month of its opening. We respectfully disagree. 22 Matt’s BBQ Tacos now has a

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permanent home inside Great Notion Brewing’s flagship. 23

Tina Kotek won the governor’s race with the smallest share of votes since Barbara Roberts in 1990. 15

Secret Formula is the perfect strain to smoke before a late fall stroll in Leach Botanical Garden. 24

Her haters spent $40 million trying to stop Kotek’s ascent. 17

Naked mole-rats can’t feel pain. 25

The company behind A Kids Book About series has now published a guide for parents.

Die Plage, Harley Gaber’s

21

Jagged Little Pill: The Musical was written by an Oscar winner and choreographed by a frequent Beyoncé collaborator. 21

ON THE COVER:

German-history montage series, consumed nine years of

his life and filled a hangar on the Oregon Coast. 26

Portland filmmaker Anthony Orkin’s Hello From Nowhere features fake Gilbert and Sullivan music. 27

Mark Zusman

EDITORIAL

News Editor Aaron Mesh Arts & Culture Editor Andi Prewitt Assistant A&C Editor Bennett Campbell Ferguson Staff Writers Anthony Effinger, Nigel Jaquiss, Lucas Manfield, Sophie Peel News Intern Kathleen Forrest Copy Editor Matt Buckingham

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the structures—that would be an incentive for people not to sit in vacant/dilapidated properties. It would prevent people from owning unused urban properties as long-term investments and instead put them to use. Check out land value tax and Georgism—it’s an economic theory with a lot of nutty followers, but actually makes some sense.”

MID COUNTY, VIA WWEEK. COM: “This property tax

exemption is meant to encourage developers to build more low-income housing. In recognition that after site purchase it takes time to secure financing and grants to build, property taxes are waived. If the developer goes back on their promise and builds market-value housing instead, they will in turn owe property tax on the site going back to when the exemption was first granted. “If they pursue but are unable to secure funding and grants to build low-income housing, then elect to sell the site to a different developer, they should owe no property tax. Why? Because they kept their end of the exemption up until it became impracticable to follow through and build. “Schmidbauer’s cited state-

Dr. Know

Willamette Week NOVEMBER 16, 2022 wweek.com

ments show he has a full grasp of these concepts. [Reporter] Sophie [Peel], however, infers (inadvertently I hope) some sort of wrongdoing. In the scorching hot housing market that is Portland (for whatever reason), reasonable incentives like this tax waiver are needed to encourage the building of low-income housing.” CHRISTY CORBETT, VIA FACEBOOK: “Gotta love that

when you Google the guy, one thing that pops up is that his group asked for an exemption to the prevailing wage law for the project. Rich people really try to hang on to that money.”

@HAPPYHUMANS, VIA TWITTER: “Tents are housing.

And fuck your development desire. People are just being cool and living life in this terrible world. You going after the one by Overlook Park next?” TAS50, VIA REDDIT: “I still

have a big pile of tokens from that place. Maybe I can get a refund on those if I promise to build affordable housing or something.”

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR must include the author's street address and phone number for verification. Letters must be 250 or fewer words. Submit to: PO Box 10770, Portland OR, 97296 Email: mzusman@wweek.com

BY MARTY SMITH @martysmithxxx

My old Subaru is falling apart, so I want to help the planet and buy a green car. The closest-to-affordable option is Hyundai’s Tucson hybrid—except they just added a gratuitous $9,995 upcharge to the already-ludicrous $37,000 sticker price. Why isn’t this illegal? —Rob M.

Beatles/circus mashup

it’s a

Our latest installment of the “Chasing Ghosts” series on vacant properties examined an abandoned car wash on Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard (“It’s a Wash,” WW, Nov. 9). The developer, California timber heir George Schmidbauer, pays no taxes on the lot. He receives the exemption because he promises to build affordable housing on the land—as do the owners of 717 other properties enjoying the same holiday. Right now, the lot is housing campers who have erected tents inside the car wash. Here’s what our readers had to say:

XLATOR1962, VIA REDDIT: “I might be OK with the property tax exemption if the owner were forced to drive past the site every day, like I am. It’s a disgrace.”

anthems for a world worth saving

CARSIE BLANTON NOV 23

DIALOGUE

Come, come, Rob—you make it sound like this is all some cynical ploy to maximize profits in a time of scarcity by sticking it to car buyers who have nowhere else to go. I ask you, does that sound like something car dealers—probably the third-most trusted occupation in America, after police union representatives and Catholic priests—would do? We’ll leave that question as an exercise for the reader. In the meantime, the euphemism that dealers seem to have settled on for this practice is “market adjustment.” (The original name, “Because fuck you, that’s why,” didn’t poll well.) You may also hear ADM (adjusted dealer markup), or even the almost-honest ADP (adjusted dealer profit), but they all mean charging more just because you can. You might be tempted to call this price gouging (probably because that’s what it is), but it’s not illegal price gouging. Under Oregon law, price gouging is only illegal if what you’re

marking up are essential consumer goods and services. A brand-new crossover, even one purchased for the most high-minded environmental reasons, doesn’t qualify, no matter how to-die-for that new car smell might be. What to do? In February of this year, the trade publication Automotive News reported that Hyundai’s corporate HQ had sent a sternly worded letter to its dealers about these “brand-damaging” high markups and threatening retaliation if they didn’t knock it off. Then again, that was February, and here we are. Theoretically, you can report your local showroom to Hyundai’s Consumer Assistance Center, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. Why not try to milk another year or two out of the car you’ve got? Sure, it’s a bit more polluting than a hybrid, but hybrids—especially new ones—have environmental costs as well. And it’s not like you throw the old car into the fires of Mount Doom when you get a new one; you trade it in. Soon it’s back on the road, polluting in someone else’s name, while you’re out an extra 10 grand—and for what? No, for now at least, I recommend that you get back in the Subaru, have a pint, and wait for this all to blow over. Questions? Send them to dr.know@wweek.com.


LETTER FROM OUR PUBLISHER TIM SAPUTO

DEMOCRACY LIVES: Portland voters braved the rain to drop off their ballots last week.

TO OUR READERS: This is Willamette Week’s annual letter to readers. It’s an opportunity to talk about the journalism that drives everyone who works here; to let you know how we’re doing as a business; and to tell you about internal developments in our operation—added causes for optimism. As was the case two years ago, WW’s annual report to readers is one week later than usual. (We’ve already reached the second week of our 49th year of publishing a newspaper.) This was also the case two years ago, when, like now, I couldn’t imagine placing our year in context without knowing election results. As of press time, there remain important races to be decided across the nation. But despite a lot of concern prior to last Tuesday’s election, it does seem as if democracy has held, and Donald Trump’s influence is on the wane. I join many Oregonians in hoping all are ready to move on—so we can deal with the real, and very challenging, issues facing the city and state we love. With that, here is our annual report. As has likely been the case for many of you, this has been a year of adjustment. WW ’s finances We are a smaller business than we were prior to COVID. That means 2022 has been a year of rebuilding. We rely on three sources of revenue—advertising, readers and events. • Advertising The ad business got walloped during the pandemic. Much of WW’s advertising revenue comes from event-based companies, and those are only now starting to come back. Hence our reduced page count the past couple of years. In addition, prior to COVID, we were publishing several magazines each year, generating around 15% of our annual revenues. We discontinued this part of our business (for the most part) in 2020 and 2021. This year, we published three magazines, including Nester (a guide to home design) and Winter Guide, which will be coming out next month. With luck, there will be more ad support for more magazines—and more pages of WW—in 2023. “What about political advertising?” you may

ask. After all, more than $100 million was spent on this sort of messaging in Oregon in 2020. WW (and most newspapers) benefit practically not at all from this gusher of ad dollars. That’s largely because you, our readers, are not considered “low information” voters—who are the main target market for most political campaigns. • Reader revenue As recently as three years ago, we were not asking for your support. Quite frankly, we didn’t know how you’d respond to such a request, especially if we kept all our offerings free. Your response has been both heartwarming and essential: Support from Friends of Willamette Week, which was nonexistent three years ago, now provides almost 20% of our funds. FOWW, as we call it, has grown to more than 8,000 members and will continue to be a crucial source of support for our journalism. Hence this plug: Please, if you are not yet a Friend, become one today. Go here to do so: wweek.app. neoncrm.com/np/clients/wweek/donation. jsp. • Events WW’s live events shut down completely during the pandemic. Only this past year have we been able to begin their revival, starting with the Oregon Beer Awards, Funniest Five, and Candidates Gone Wild—held last month just before the election. Some of our larger events, like TechfestNW, remain on pause as the economy shakes out. • The big picture All told, WW revenues for 2022 will likely end up 9% higher than in 2021. Of course, expenses are up too, but with continued support from you and the possibility of a revival in the advertising market, we’re looking forward to the year ahead with real optimism. Philanthropy Doing good is a key complement to any journalistic endeavor. That’s why few of Willamette Week’s many activities give us more pride than Give!Guide—our nationally recognized yearend campaign to support local nonprofits. Led by founder (and my business partner) Richard Meeker and executive director Toni Tringolo, Give!Guide hopes to raise more than $8 million for 235 local nonprofits from more than 17,000

of you before midnight on Dec. 31. Please visit giveguide.org and break out your credit card. And don’t miss any of our Big Give Days, which carry with them tremendous incentives to get you giving. Last, but most important: Our journalism This should come as no surprise: WW is a mission-driven company. Everyone who works here believes in the vitality of truly local and independent journalism. We don’t all share the same political viewpoints or attitudes about our city, but we do share the deeply held belief that you simply cannot have democracy without journalism that is independent, intelligent, fearless and as committed to the community it covers as are our readers. Here’s a little added context: For much of the media world, 2022 has been a year of continued retreat for journalism. At least two Oregon counties now have no newspaper reporters tracking local government. Closer to home, local journalism is on its heels. The Portland Tribune recently announced it is ending free newspaper distribution. The New York owners of The Oregonian, one of the largest publishers in the country, recently announced they will completely stop printing the three largest newspapers in Alabama in 2023. It inevitably raises the question of when Portland will follow. Then, too, last month Alden Global Capital, a hedge fund that is now the second-largest owner of newspapers in the country, announced its 200 papers—which include the Chicago Tribune and The Denver Post—will no longer be making election endorsements in statewide and national races because of their cost and divisiveness. WW is hardly an economic juggernaut. At the same time, we are certainly zigging while others in our industry are zagging. This year, we were able to increase our audience on social media. We expanded the audience for our Daily Primer newsletter, which now goes out six mornings a week. All the while, our print audience remained steady so that WW continues to be the best-read print publication inside the city limits of Portland. Most important, our news team paid particular attention this year to the challenging conditions affecting our city and state. • City Hall reporter Sophie Peel examined the causes and effects of a hollowed-out downtown—and how county health workers were

afraid to go to work at their Old Town clinics because of the conditions in surrounding homeless camps. Four months later, she broke the news that three downtown hotels—including the flagship Hilton—were approaching foreclosure while officials balked at requiring workers to return to their cubicles at City Hall. • We reported on the neglect of Portland’s shared spaces and the open-air drug market and shootings that surrounded Dawson Park. That finally attracted the attention of city authorities. • Our newsroom began answering, on a weekly basis, inquiries from readers about why properties in otherwise thriving neighborhoods were sitting vacant. That series, “Chasing Ghosts,” was by far our most popular feature in 2022—and will continue into 2023. Now some of those buildings are experiencing renewed developer interest. • As Portland stirred back to social activities after a two-year halt, WW produced in-depth guides to travel, drinking and dining. The most groundbreaking: a guide to “perfect dining days,” breakfast to dinner, in neighborhoods across the city—including downtown! • Reporter Nigel Jaquiss concluded a twoyear film project with Portland documentary director Irene Taylor on sexual abuse in the Boys Scouts of America. The film, Leave No Trace, streams on Hulu and is a 2023 finalist for a DuPont Award, one of the highest honors in documentary journalism. • Of course, our staff spent much of 2022 on election coverage, which included profiles of all three candidates for governor, regular watchdogging of the money being poured into politics, and 50 hours of tough and smart interviews with candidates and those campaigning for and against ballot measures, and our endorsements themselves. What’s next Our team is genuinely excited to continue covering Portland in the year ahead, when charter reform will begin to take shape at the same time the city wrestles with decisions that will have a huge impact on the health and livability of this region. Everyone at WW understands how fortunate we are to work in a city and state that, more than most, appreciate that democracy will not survive without robust, fearless and caring local journalism. With that in mind, I am pleased to report that, as of the first of the year, two important promotions will take place. Together, they will make ours a smarter and more relevant news enterprise. • Anna Zusman will become Publisher. • Aaron Mesh will become Managing Editor, responsible for the entire newsroom. Between them, Anna and Aaron have a combined 21 years of experience at WW—and understand full well the challenges and opportunities we face, as well as the importance of WW to our community. Me? My primary focus will turn back to the newsroom and to Friends of Willamette Week. I hope to grow support for new initiatives in local journalism. We appreciate your support and active engagement with our journalism. Together, with all of you, we hope the year ahead will begin the healing and rebirth of this wonderful city we all call home. Thank you,

Mark Zusman, Editor and Publisher Willamette Week NOVEMBER 16, 2022 wweek.com

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WW is raising $8 M for 235 nonprofits this fall in their annual Give!Guide. What causes do you care about? Find yours and give ‘em a few bucks!

SPOTLIGHT ON

ENVIRONMENT CATEGORY CLACKAMAS COUNTY ELECTIONS AMAZON SETTLES OREGON WAGE THEFT LAWSUIT: Even as it prepares to lay off 10,000 corporate employees, Amazon is spending $18 million to settle a class action lawsuit brought by its Oregon employees, which alleges the e-commerce giant stiffed warehouse workers on their paychecks. It’s the “largest wage-and-hour class settlement in Oregon history,” according to a Monday press release from the plaintiffs’ attorney, Jon Egan. Workers were subjected to “corrective action” if they clocked in late—but received no additional pay if they clocked in less than five minutes early. As a result of the rounding, workers were deprived of pay for more than seven years at four Oregon warehouses, amounting to more than 40,000 hours of unpaid labor, according to legal documents filed in the suit. The complaint also alleges the company failed to fully pay employees at all of its Oregon warehouses when they took breaks shorter than the required 30 minutes. A U.S. District Court judge approved the settlement of the 2019 lawsuit in September, but notices to affected employees weren’t sent until this weekend, Egan tells WW. Over 10,000 employees will receive nearly $100 each in back pay, and those who file claims can receive an additional $1,200 in penalties. An attorney for Amazon did not respond to a request for comment. PORTLAND MAYOR EYES LARGE CAMP LOCATIONS: The Portland City Council will vote Nov. 17 on Mayor Ted Wheeler’s request for $27 million in preliminary funding from the fall budget adjustment to kick-start the six massive encampments he aims to build so the city can ban sidewalk camping. His request is likely to get three votes on the council, sources tell WW, but how the dollars are allocated could shift between now and the vote. That’s because City Commissioner Dan Ryan has requested that $6 million of the $27 million be allocated to rent relief. Ryan’s request comes amid Multnomah County leaders weighing whether to provide an additional $14 million in rent relief to prevent a wave of nonpayment evictions through the end of the year. Meanwhile, the mayor’s office is speaking

to seven property owners about hosting the controversial 250-capacity sanctioned camps on their land. CLACKAMAS COMMISSION REDDENS: Although Democrats generally exceeded preelection expectations locally and nationally last week, one place Republicans triumphed—albeit in nonpartisan races—was on the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners. Incumbent Paul Savas, a moderate Republican, trounced challenger Libra Forde, a Black nonprofit executive. More surprising: Ben West, a Republican nurse from Wilsonville, knocked off incumbent Commissioner Sonya Fischer, a Democratic lawyer, who, with strong backing from unions and other Democratic groups, outraised West. The winners join Chair Tootie Smith and Commissioner Mark Shull to give Republicans a 4-1 advantage on the board in Oregon’s third-largest county, where Democrats hold a 6-point voter registration advantage (the lone Democrat is Commissioner Martha Schrader).”I thought it was very curious,” says Clackamas County Democratic Party chair Jan Lee. “We certainly still vote like a purple county.” PROVIDENCE AGAIN POSTS LARGE LOSSES: The state’s largest hospital system, Providence Health & Services, which operates eight hospitals and more than 90 clinics in Oregon, announced another large quarterly operating loss last week, blaming inflation, staffing shortages, slow reimbursement, and continued supply chain disruptions for a $164 million third-quarter loss. That brings Providence’s total operating losses through the first three quarters of 2022 to $1.1 billion. The nonprofit reported that its large reserve base—effectively its savings from retained earnings—has also taken a beating from weak financial markets. It’s down $1.4 billion for the year but still holds assets worth $9.1 billion. “While we still have a journey ahead of us, we are moving in the right direction and are beginning to see signs of renewal this quarter,” Providence CEO Dr. Rod Hochman said in a statement.

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NEWS

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW THIS WEEK

ALEX WITTWER

CASES

We Don’t See No Riot Here Three prosecutions from the 2020 protests hinge on the debatable charge of “riot.” BY L U C A S M A N F I E L D

lmanfield@wweek .com

Multnomah County prosecutors have made good use of Oregon’s riot statute in recent years. Nearly 100 people were charged with it in 2020 alone. But as cases stemming from that summer’s protests wind their way through the courts, Portland criminal defense lawyers are questioning whether it’s constitutional. They argue the law violates the First Amendment, effectively making it a felony to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. The 50-year-old law, Oregon Revised Statute 166.015, is deceptively simple: It is a crime for “five or more” people to create “a grave risk of causing public alarm” through violence or tumultuous conduct. But its application has proved daunting for prosecutors and judges, who are trying to distinguish between rioter, provocateur and protester. Earlier this year, when Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt’s office attempted to prosecute Joey Gibson, founder of the right-wing activist group Patriot Prayer, and an associate, Russell Schultz, solely on riot charges for their involvement in a street brawl, the judge balked. “The state is trying to convict Mr. Schultz for being present at an incident that violence occurred, and they cannot do so,” Judge Benjamin Souede said in July. Challenges to the law’s constitutionality are not new. A trial court threw it out more than 20 years ago—only to have the Oregon Supreme Court reinstate it in 1997. But much has changed in the intervening two decades, says public defender Emma McDermott, who wrote a legal brief in October arguing the state law is unconstitutional. McDermott says the law is vague, giving police broad justification to make arrests, and prosecutors leverage to tack on a felony charge and pressure defendants into plea deals.

ABLAZE: Camillo Massagli playing his trumpet on Northeast Emerson Street.

In recent months, that brief has repeatedly been used in defense of people charged with rioting on Portland’s streets. Here are three cases in which McDermott’s brief has been cited in criminal proceedings. State of Oregon v. Camillo Charles Massagli Sept. 6, 2020, the 101st night of protests in Portland, was no different than any of the other nights, Camillo Massagli says. Massagli is better known as the “Trumpet Man” for his musical shows of civil disobedience. That night, Massagli played his grandfather’s trumpet in front of a burning mattress outside the Portland Police Bureau’s North Precinct. There were “record-breaking” winds that night, prosecutors say. And the county had instituted a fire ban. Police, worried about blowing embers, forcibly removed protesters from the area, and firefighters extinguished the blaze. Police later identified the man who had started the fire, Adam Layee. An officer saw him light the mattress. (Layee pleaded guilty in March 2022.) Massagli was accused of helping. The two were arrested later that night for “reckless burning,” along with 13 others on various other charges. Reckless burning is a class A misdemeanor, the equivalent of a DUII. But prosecutors tacked on felony charges as well: the crime of riot. In October, defense lawyers filed legal briefs challenging the constitutionality of the riot charge. And in November, Massagli pleaded guilty to riot—but with effectively no consequences. Prosecutors say they will drop all of the charges if he avoids arrest and then withdraws his plea in six months. Massagli lost his dream job as a wilderness guide and became homeless as a result of his legal troubles, he says. He was looking forward to the chance to clear his name in court, but prosecutors’ offer was too good to turn down. “The state came back with an incredibly good deal.” Massagli says. “I couldn’t refuse.” State of Oregon v. Theodore Matthee-O’Brien Matthee-O’Brien became infamous when Mayor Ted Wheeler publicly called for his expulsion from Reed College in the wake

of a night of broken windows at the Oregon Historical Society on April 16, 2021. “If that individual is convicted, I hope he’s expelled,” Wheeler said in a statement at the time. Well, Matthee-O’Brien has now been convicted of a crime. But not, perhaps, the one Wheeler expected. Matthee-O’Brien has long proclaimed his innocence in court filings. An FBI agent identified Matthee-O’Brien as the window smasher. But police reports identify another suspect, Cameron Millar-Griffin, who was caught on video smashing the windows with a small, black tool while carrying a distinctive bag. (He later paid more than $5,681 in restitution to the Historical Society after pleading guilty to riot and criminal mischief.) Both men were arrested later that night and charged with riot. Matthee-O’Brien was caught carrying the bag—and the tool. In October, his attorney filed a constitutional objection to the riot charge, echoing McDermott’s argument. A few weeks later, he pleaded guilty—but not to the window smashing. Instead, he was convicted of “interfering with a police officer” in a separate incident. On the day of President Joe Biden’s inauguration, Jan. 20, 2021, Matthee-O’Brien carried a shield, prosecutors wrote, and used it to shove cops who were pushing their way into a crowd. “They just tacked the rioting charges on to overwhelm me and pressure me into taking a plea deal,” Matthee-O’Brien tells WW. “And it worked.” Prosecutors promised to dismiss the riot charge if Matthee-O’Brien performs 80 hours of community service and stays out of trouble for the next six months. Matthee-O’Brien obtained his anthropology degree as the case was being litigated. Neither Reed College nor the city was willing to comment further. State of Oregon v. Brandon Paul Bartells Brandon Bartells was arrested in the driver’s seat of a white graffiti-covered van that police had just seen pull down statues of Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln in downtown Portland. It was during the “Indigenous Peoples Day of Rage” protest on Oct. 11, 2020, the night before Columbus Day. Bartells was one of six people in the van but the only person charged. The state’s case has weaknesses. Guy Gino, a special agent with the Department of Homeland Security, witnessed the toppling of the statues. He identified Bartells as the driver after being shown a photo depicting Bartells already in handcuffs behind a sign reading “Guy in truck who pulled down statue,” according to a motion filed by Bartell’s attorney, Sean Lo. Lo argues the identification is tainted and should be thrown out. Bartells pleaded not guilty to charges of riot and criminal mischief. His case is scheduled to go to trial in December. Bartell’s attorneys filed a brief challenging the law’s constitutionality Nov. 15, leaving open the possibility that the riot statute could be challenged on appeal. The city has valued the damage to the statues at $30,000, an amount Bartells could be forced to pay if he is convicted. The statues remain in storage.

TRENDING

THE 40% RULE QAnon-adjacent candidate for U.S. Senate Jo Rae Perkins’ seemingly inexplicable performance is actually par for the course. BY N I G E L J AQ U I S S njaquiss@wweek .com

One of the most puzzling results of last week’s election was the performance of Jo Rae Perkins, the GOP 8

nominee for U.S. Senate. Despite raising just $92,000, Perkins, 66, an election-denying, MAGA-loving, twice-bankrupt perennial candidate from Albany who had expressed support for the Jan. 6

Willamette Week NOVEMBER 16, 2022 wweek.com

coup attempt and shown more than a passing interest in QAnon, garnered nearly 41% of the vote in her challenge to Oregon’s longest-serving member of Congress, U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden. Perkins may be an extreme example, but pretty much every election cycle, GOP candidates—some credible and well funded, some not—get more than 40% of the vote. But not much more. “You could argue that people who are totally unqualified can still get above 40%,” says Jack Roberts, the former two-term labor commissioner who also ran statewide for governor and Oregon Supreme Court justice.

With few exceptions (such as when Dennis Richardson won the secretary of state’s race in 2016), GOP candidates, no matter who they are, cluster in the low to mid-40s: The last three GOP nomineeses for governor, Dr. Bud Pierce (2016), Knute Buehler (2018) and Drazan, all got between 43% and 44%. Over the past decade, some statewide Republican candidates have spent a lot: Drazan spent $22.7 million. Some have spent almost nothing—and done just as well as the big spenders. In 2020, for instance, Republican Michael Cross ran for attorney general. Cross, a software designer, is not a lawyer, had never run for of-

fice before, and spent just $11,333, about one-fiftieth of what incumbent Ellen Rosenblum spent. Nonetheless, 934,357 Oregonians voted for him—41.4% of the vote. (Disclosure: Rosenblum is married to Richard Meeker, the co-owner of WW’s parent company.) Perkins also ran for U.S. Senate in 2020, getting 39.3% against U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (see chart). In her two races for Senate, she’s spent less than $250,000, while her opponents have collectively spent more than $20 million. “There is a glass ceiling and a hard wood floor for statewide Republican candidates,” says state Rep.-elect Kevin Mannix (R-Salem).


NEWS

CHASING GHOSTS

UPSHOT

RETURN OF THE MAK’S?

Winners and Losers

Jazz fans await a club’s resurrection in the Pearl District.

LOSERS

Nov. 8 was a day of reckoning for many Oregonians—and not just those whose names appeared on the ballot. Here are the people and movements that got a boost from election results, or saw their fortunes crater. N I G E L J AQ U I S S

Portland plutocrats

Downtown real estate owners and CEOs spent more than $500,000 in last-minute money to boost City Council candidate Rene Gonzalez (who didn’t need their help) and Multnomah County Chair hopeful Sharon Meieran (who didn’t benefit from it). Those moneyed interests mounted a last-minute mailer spree to fight against the charter reform measure, but didn’t step in until only two weeks before election night. It passed handily.

and SOPHIE PEEL .

WINNERS

Politicians in exile

Voters’ approval of city charter reform, including four districts of three commissioners each, opens the field for candidates who have a base but lost, including City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty; former Commissioners Chloe Eudaly and Steve Novick; and former candidates Loretta Smith and Jefferson Smith (no relation). With ranked-choice voting and multimember districts, candidates will need just 25% of the vote in a district to win one of the new jobs.

Multnomah County election officials

Within the next three years, county election officials must set up new complicated voting systems for two different types of ranked-choice voting: one for the county and one for the city of Portland. That means new software, probably new staff, and a rehabbing of its entire elections process.

Portland’s struggling TV stations

Racial justice

They got a healthy cash injection from a governor’s race that saw $70 million in spending (the previous record was $40 million) and closely contested—and expensive—legislative and congressional races. The grainy, 30-second hit piece lives!

Oregon’s racist past appears to have reared its ugly head last week. First, nearly 800,000 Oregonians (44%) voted against Measure 112, which will remove language from the Oregon Constitution that allows slavery or involuntary servitude to be used as punishment for a crime. And voters ended the brief judicial career of one of the state’s very few Black male jurists, Marion County Circuit Judge Erious Johnson Jr., whom Gov. Kate Brown just appointed to the bench in February. Voters, who barely knew Johnson, replaced him with a white prosecutor.

Clackamas County couples

Catherine McMullen’s defeat of sitting County Clerk Sherry Hall isn’t just a victory for competence—it’s a win for the institution of marriage. Hall has refused to conduct any civil ceremonies since Oregon legalized gay marriage. McMullen says she will. Now to find a cake…

$22.7 MILLION

VOTE SHARE MONEY RAISED Source: Oregon Secretary of State’s Office

$10.4 MILLION 47.8% Mannix ran twice for attorney general, twice for governor, and once for Congress (he got 46% in the 2002 governor’s race against Democrat Ted Kulonogski), in addition to numerous legislative races. He says if Republicans want to win, they need to change their approach. Mannix thinks Oregon voters perceive Republicans as too interested in small government and not interested enough in solving problems. “The glass ceiling can be broken or pushed up higher,” Mannix says, “but we have to stop presenting ourselves as the chronic minority party, sitting on our hands in complaint instead of finding solutions or compromises.” Here are some typical finishes:

44.1%

43.3%

41.6% 39.3%

$3.08 MILLION

$185,000 2010 Chris Dudley RACE: GOVERNOR

2014 Dennis Richardson RACE: GOVERNOR

2016 Jeff Gudman RACE: TREASURER

$140,000 2020 Jo Rae Perkins RACE: U.S. SENATE

2022 Christine Drazan RACE: GOVERNOR

Address: 555 NW 12th Ave. Year built: 1941 Square footage: 10,000 square feet Market value: $5 million Owner: Mo Steele LLC How long it’s been empty: 5 years Why it’s empty: Skyrocketing construction costs Steve McLain’s closing of Oba Restaurante a 20-year-old Pearl District institution, was so abrupt his staff didn’t even have time to clean out the kitchen. Diners arrived to find a note announcing the closure posted on the door. That evening, when the landlord arrived to change the locks, desserts were still sitting in the refrigerator case, according to the building’s real estate broker. A subsequent letter from McLain, in which he called the restaurant a “labor of love,” failed to explain the reasons for the fancy Cuban restaurant’s 2017 closure. The Pearl District building has stood empty since. The longtime tenant, a limited liability corporation owned by Douglas Pitassi, president of Pacific Office Automation, has been paying rent on the empty building since taking over the lease from Oba. For years, the empty building has been tied to efforts to reopen the iconic Portland jazz club Jimmy Mak’s. In 2018, WW reported the club would move into the space the following year. That hasn’t happened. Why there’s been no progress remains a mystery, says Debbie Thomas, a real estate agent who once rented out the building. In recent months, Thomas has been shooting off texts, trying to unravel it. So far, no luck. Thomas says people often assume downtown buildings are empty because of the city’s “bad reputation.” But, she pointed out, there are other reasons too. “They don’t know the backstory.” Pitassi signed a lease on the building in 2018 and successfully obtained city permits to build out a music venue and bar under the Jimmy Mak’s name. City design review documents describe plans to replace the building’s roof and renovate the façade. But then the pandemic hit. “Construction costs literally went up almost a million dollars,” Pitassi tells WW. And the project became ensnared in a legal battle between Pitassi and the building’s former owners, the DiGregorio family. The family trust refused to sell the building in 2019, according to a complaint filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court by Pitassi’s holding company, Mo Steele LLC. He requested reimbursement for $300,000 in “improvements” already made to the building. In court filings, the family denied the suit’s allegations. “I have become aware that Mr. Pitassi has performed amazingly little work on the property since the lease began in June 2018 and that the interior of the property is basically a shell of a building,” wrote Richard DiGregorio in a December filing. He denied making any promises to sell. The lawsuit was settled amicably in October, and Pitassi now owns the building. (“Very nice people,” he says of the DiGregorios.) But now, Pitassi says, he is reevaluating his plans. “We are reconsidering the project,” he says. “This turned into a much bigger buildout than I thought.” 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 newstips@wweek.com. Willamette Week NOVEMBER 16, 2022 wweek.com

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NEWS

The City That Starts Over Sweeping charter reform to reshape Portland’s government passed last week. The politicking has already begun. BY S O P H I E P E E L

Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No.2 with Pianist Kirill Gerstein Sat, Dec 3, 7:30 pm Sun, Dec 4, 2 pm Sun, Dec 5, 7:30 pm tickets start at $25

speel@wweek .com

Portland voters decided last week to take Portland City Hall down to the studs. By a decisive 58% to 42% vote, they passed a ballot measure that remakes the city’s governmental structure. That means, in two years’ time, Portland will have 12 city councilors spread across four geographic districts, a city administrator that oversees all the bureaus that deliver services to Portlanders, and a mayor who serves as a supervisor rather than a legislator. On its face, that meant months of fierce campaigning between groups battling for and against the measure was over—and the greatest challenge became implementing the changes on a tight timeline. The deadline is certainly looming. The morning after Election Day, city officials laid out months of behindthe-scenes prep work they’d done in case Measure 26-228 passed. They would establish committees to set salaries and draw district boundaries, coordinate with Multnomah County to set up a new voting system, and establish new council headquarters in each district. But some of the most critical details of the measure are suspended in limbo, and the kind of government that voters will actually get depends partly on which 13 people Mayor Ted Wheeler appoints to draw the boundaries of the four voting districts. That means the politicking has just begun. Groups with a vested interest in the outcome could attempt to shape the volunteer committees—and if they do, they’ll be lobbying with a City Council where four out of the five members openly dislike the reforms they’re now tasked with implementing. “It’s an interesting political question, frankly, about how this is going to go,” says Jay Lee, a democracy researcher for the Sightline Institute. “There’s reason for concern about this being, not manipulated, but being at the discretion of the mayor and the council. There’s that quote that’s like, ‘Democracy is the worst system except for all the other ones.’ That’s how I feel about this.” Here are three levers that will determine the track the new government takes, and who has the ability to pull them.

Whoever serves on the committees will decide the shape of the new government.

orsymphony.org | 503-228-1353 10

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MKT-408_PrintAD_WW_RachPC2.indd 1

11/3/22 4:20 PM

A 13-member citizen committee will draw the four geographic voting districts by September 2023. Mayor Ted Wheeler will appoint its members by Jan. 31, and the City Council must confirm them by at least a 3-2 majority. As of Monday, 46 people had applied. Requirements exist in both state and federal law and the current city charter for drawing electoral districts.

RESET: Charter reform supporters celebrate promising early results on election night.

Regions must be contiguous and compact, preserve communities of “common interest,” and be composed of equal populations. The city says it will bring in an outside population consultant to assist the committee in drawing boundaries. But drawing voting boundaries has always been an opportunity for gerrymandering. It will take a nine-member voting bloc among the volunteers to pass the maps—and the City Council has no authority to veto, according to city officials. The salary commission will be composed of five members. The commission must get a majority vote to cement salaries for the auditor, mayor and councilors. The City Council has no authority to veto its final decision, either. That means the mayor’s 13 appointments matter. Unlike with the Charter Commission’s selection— where each City Council member nominated four members—Wheeler has near-total control now. And with three other centrist, business-oriented colleagues on the council come January, Wheeler is unlikely to get pushback against his picks if he selects less progressive members than served on the commission that crafted the measure, which established racial equity as one of its top priorities. Melanie Billings-Yun co-chaired the Charter Commission. “The mayor needs to pay attention to who he chooses,” Billings-Yun says. “And, I will add, the mayor really needs to pay attention to the will of the voter. Because people will be watching this.”

Last time, city commissioners abdicated their duties to oversee the Charter Commission. They’ve been given a second chance to pay attention.

In late 2020, the city project manager for the Charter Commission, Julia Meier, sent a list of around 50 recommended names to the City Council, whittled down from the 275 people who applied. Fourteen of the 20 ultimately chosen by the council were from that list. Mostly young progressives and a couple of moderates composed the commission. Over the next year and a half, the commission did its work with little interference or inquiry from the City Council. It came up with an ambitious measure that 17 of the 20 commissioners sent to the Nov. 8 ballot. But its contents were divisive. The unified attempt to fix Portland’s broken government quickly turned into


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FRIDAY NOVEMBER 25TH 8AM TO 10PM . OVER 170 LIMITED VINYL RELEASES . FREE COFFEE & MUFFINS AT 7AM . DEALS THROUGHOUT THE STORE PLUS A VERY SPECIAL RSD JOE STRUMMER RELEASE! a political fight between those who said the measure would make city government more representative of diverse voices, and those who said it sacrificed functionality for inclusivity. Mayor Wheeler and Commissioners Dan Ryan and Mingus Mapps didn’t express displeasure with the final product until after it made it to the ballot. “The mayor was AWOL on this issue, as far as I was concerned,” says Bob Weinstein, who campaigned against the ballot measure. “He didn’t express his opinion one way or another. As the nominal leader of the city, he should’ve done so.” The mayor has been given a second chance during the implementation process to show more care. The charter reform measure sets some basic parameters for committee selection: Members must be diverse in race, age, gender and geographic location. They may not serve on a committee if they’ve qualified for the upcoming ballot, which is no one since the ballot for the new form of government doesn’t exist yet. They cannot be city employees. It’s unclear, though, whether the mayor can add his own requirements for members, like barring them from running for City Council in 2024 or requiring that they have varying political affiliations. WW asked Wheeler if he’d add any requirements. The mayor declined an interview, but said through a spokesman that “decisions for who will be appointed to the committees are still being developed,” adding that he “welcomes recommendations but also plans to review all applicants.”

Outside interests are already circling.

Campaigns on opposing sides of Measure 26-228 spent $1.3 million this fall. Now they get a rematch. Many of the groups that intend to encourage affiliates to volunteer for the committees are the same groups that lined up for or against the charter reform measure. Four of the five City Council members come January opposed it. That creates an uncomfortable reality: An overwhelming majority of the elected officials overseeing this transition don’t like it. Mapps tried to tank the ballot measure this fall by proposing his own alternative measure to put on the spring ballot if this one didn’t pass. WW has learned Mapps attempted prior to the election to persuade Wheeler to join him in passing a council resolution that pledged to place an alternative measure on the spring

ballot. (Mapps says he asked Ryan, too. Ryan’s office says it doesn’t recall such an ask.) The united front, he reckoned, would convince skeptical voters that the council could do better than the Charter Commission. The mayor was noncommittal. Mapps later said he’d scrap the plan to place his measure on the May ballot if the Charter Commission’s passed because he didn’t want to undermine the will of voters. Ulysses PAC, which Mapps formed in 2020 explicitly to promote charter reform but then abruptly switched to campaigning against the measure after it was sent to the ballot, will now attempt to “promote the various opportunities for committee work,” says director Jessica Elkan. Jon Isaacs of the Portland Business Alliance, which funded a last-minute mass mailer campaign blasting the measure, says it’s “standard practice” to encourage his members to serve on committees. “We believe it would be prudent for the mayor to ensure that the committees include a diversity of perspectives and expertise, including the perspective of Portland’s employers,” Isaacs tells WW. “Given that the city has admitted that they don’t actually know the full cost of implementation, the voice of business leaders experienced in managing costs will be essential to charting a successful path forward.” Tugging on the other side are the Coalition of Communities of Color and a major donor to the “yes” campaign, North Star Civic Foundation. “We’re interested in making sure there are people on the commission who are really grounded in expertise,” says North Star CEO Caitlin Baggott Davis. “There are ways to gerrymander districts that would undermine that.” Damon Motz-Storey, spokesperson for the coalition, says, “We will be sharing the applications for these three implementation commissions widely,” but Motz-Storey said nothing that would preclude the coalition from lobbying the mayor during the committee selection process. Disgruntlement over what voters approved is still bubbling under the surface. Following the city’s press conference last week, where city officials could not answer specific questions about estimated costs, at least one organization is exploring legal action against the measure. This week, the city could not produce budget documents for WW outlining how it came up with estimated transition costs of $4 million to $5.9 million a year.

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Goose Hollerin’ Perhaps a different City Council will listen to the persistent campaign to ban foie gras. BY R AC H E L S A S LOW

@ R a c h e l L a u r e n1 2

Week after week, the animal rights activists arrive before the Portland City Council. They are at City Hall to decry the luxury meat pâté de foie gras. In the past year, 43 people have given three-minute testimonies against the sale of the French delicacy in Portland; zero in favor. First, they explain foie gras, which is the liver of a goose or duck that has been fattened by a process of force-feeding. The testimonies get gruesome, explaining the plastic tubes some farms use to shove food down the ducks’ throats. Then, a heartfelt plea: “I want to really encourage you to take a quiet moment and think about the insanity of this,” said speaker Andrea Kozil in the spring, for example. “Why wouldn’t we want to ban the sale of that here in Portland, to make Portland more a sign of the times?…It’s 2022.” Exactly. Portland in 2022 means a homelessness crisis. Rampant car theft and property damage. A homicide rate poised to easily overtake the record-setting 92 homicides in 2021. Pâté that is sold at as few as five upscale restaurants doesn’t clear the bar. Three political insiders, who have sat through many of these testimonies since last December, say there’s about as good a chance that a goose liver becomes mayor of Portland as that it becomes an outlawed food. (“Read the room! Foie-get about it!” one said.) “Politics is the allocation of scarce resources; you have to prioritize,” says Pacific University political science professor Jim Moore. “For a politician to say,

‘Oh, don’t worry about homelessness—it’s all about goose livers’? I can see why they are steering away from this.” But last week, Portland voters approved a paradigm shift in City Hall (see page 10). Soon, 12 commissioners will make policy decisions without having any responsibility for Portland’s day-to-day operations. Could their eyes turn to the lowly goose? Back in December 2021, when the nonprofit organization Animal Equality began its campaign to ban foie gras (French for “fatty liver”) in Portland, two commissioners expressed support for a possible ordinance: Commissioners Mingus Mapps and Carmen Rubio. Both offices have since backed way off. Mapps’ office says that “given the multitude of crises facing the city, banning foie gras is not a priority for our office.” Rubio’s office passed the buck to Multnomah County, saying the city of Portland does not have “the proper resources and structure” to ban foie gras. “Unlike other major cities, Portland does not hold a bureau dedicated to public health and food regulation,” says Jillian Schoene, Rubio’s chief of staff. “We indicated to the coalition of advocates that we would be more than happy to help advocate to the proper agencies.” Animal Equality isn’t buying it. Portland lawyer Sarah Hanneken is leading the organization’s charge to ban foie gras here. The New York City Council banned foie gras in 2019, but the law has been gummed up in court since and has not gone into


AARON LEE

BORDER ECONOMY: If animal rights activists succeed, diners will have to travel to Canard’s Oregon City outpost for foie gras dumplings.

effect. California banned it back in 2004. “It doesn’t exactly inspire confidence if Portland City Council is saying, ‘We don’t know how to enact this very simple sales ban,’” Hanneken says. “If they can’t do this, then some of these complicated issues facing our city are unlikely to be resolved.” Hanneken drafted a proposed ordinance and enforcement solutions for the City Council so that if it voted to ban foie gras, it could basically be plug-andplay. “We are very confident legally,” Hanneken says, based on her own legal expertise and the fact that she consulted with Lewis & Clark Law School.

“ Read the room! Foie-get about it!” Animal Equality notes that the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability manages bans on single-use plastics and plastic foam containers. Similarly, a foie gras ban could also be enforced only when a customer complains. Unlike single-use plastics, which a few years ago were omnipresent in the retail landscape, foie gras is served at only a half-dozen high-end restaurants in town. Chef Gabriel Rucker is famous for his creative use of the meat, including in dessert. This fall, his restaurant Le Pigeon has featured “Grape Crunch,” grape and goat cheese ice cream, black pepper anglaise, meringue and basil with a foie gras profiterole (cream puff ). As Rucker and his staff prepped for dinner service at Le Pigeon one October afternoon, Rucker gave a chilly “no comment” about the proposed foie gras ban, and his staff hustled a reporter back outside. Next door,

sister restaurant Canard serves $23 foie gras dumplings. Argentine restaurant Ox did not respond to multiple requests for comment. Laurelhurst Market would not comment other than to confirm that it serves the pâté and “stands behind its production.” (The restaurant sources from Hudson Valley Foie Gras in New York.) Hanneken, who is vegan, says the force-feeding process—called “gavage” in French—is “tremendously cruel” and can lead to injuries such as perforation of the bird’s esophagus and stomach rupture. The geese and ducks’ diseased livers grow up to 10 times their natural size before slaughter, she says. Time will tell what effect Portland’s newly passed charter reform Measure 26-228 will have on special interest groups like Animal Equality. Melanie Billings-Yun, a former co-chair of the Portland Charter Commission, says the 12 city councilors in the new system, with their own geographic districts, can be more responsive to their constituents and public demand. “The foie gras question would definitely have a better chance of being raised under the new governing system, as the City Council will be larger and focused on legislation,” Billings-Yun says. “Under the current system, our four city councilors are vastly overstretched, their time taken up with running bureaus that manage the day-to-day operations of the city.” Portland’s first election with ranked-choice voting and new geographic districts will be held in November 2024. Hanneken says the ducks and geese ideally won’t have to wait that long. She does like the prospect of being able to find a foie gras champion among 12 councilors rather than only five. “When it comes to animal welfare, if we always wait for other issues to be resolved, there’s always going to be something,” she says. “But this isn’t a zero-sum game. We can enact simple animal welfare reforms while also dealing with these complicated issues.”

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With great power comes great responsibility for Oregon’s next governor. BY N I G E L J AQ U I S S

G

njaquiss@wweek .com

ILLUSTR ATIO NS BY STE PH E N PE LLNAT

@step hen pellnat

overnor-elect Tina Kotek loves Marvel movies. Now, after a bruising election, Oregonians need her to become a superhero. She must make that transformation as soon as Jan. 9, when she’ll be sworn in as the 39th governor in the state’s history and join Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey as one of the nation’s first two openly lesbian governors. Few of Kotek’s predecessors have inherited a bigger mess or done so with less of a public mandate. Oregon’s rate of unsheltered homelessness is among the nation’s highest. Oregon is near the bottom in access to mental

health and addiction services. Our high school graduation rate ranks among the nation’s lowest. Our largest private employer, Intel, is having financial woes and developing a wandering eye. The state’s largest city is a national punching bag—the “City of Roaches,” one of Kotek’s opponents, the unaffiliated candidate Betsy Johnson, termed it. In an October interview with WW, Johnson provided a more detailed assessment of Oregon’s ills. “Our streets are awash in drugs and crime and violence. Our schools are graduating kids who can’t read,” Johnson said. “Eighteen percent of the state thinks we’re doing OK. The rest think we’re off track. We’ve got eight counties who’ve actually voted to leave the Oregon family.” Kotek, 56, bested Johnson and Republican Christine Drazan

last week for the prize of leading a troubled state. She did so with only 47.1% of the vote, the smallest share for a victorious candidate since Barbara Roberts won with 45.7% in 1990. While the second- and third-place finishers now get to enjoy vacations, Kotek must immediately set to work hiring staff, formulating a multibillion-dollar budget, and figuring out how to avoid the fate of her predecessor, Gov. Kate Brown, who ends her tenure as the nation’s least popular governor. In some ways, Kotek is the night relief captain on the Titanic. As the race tightened in the final weeks, Kotek became more specific about her blueprint for tackling Oregon’s woes. She identified five areas for immediate focus. Here’s her initial to-do list, along with what Salem observers say about her prospects. Willamette Week NOVEMBER 16, 2022 wweek.com

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She says she’ll clean up the streets and attack Oregon’s housing crisis.

“For the public to have confidence, they are going to have to see a visible difference in the number of people outside and the amount of trash on the streets.” 16

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Polling has shown that the related issues of homelessness and a housing shortage are top concerns for Oregon voters. Whether Kotek can make material progress in those areas will determine her success. The enduring image from the political ads that all three candidates produced is the squalor of Portland’s unsanctioned camps. “I called for a homelessness state of emergency three years ago, while Kate Brown did nothing,” Kotek said in one campaign ad. “We don’t need a red state takeover to clean up the damn trash.” When she takes office in January, Kotek plans to finally declare that homelessness state of emergency. Kotek has been in touch with the mayors of the state’s largest cities about strategies for deploying more outreach teams, connecting people eligible for benefits (such as veterans) with resources, and expanding managed shelters. Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler briefed Kotek before announcing his plan for ramping up housing and building large new camps. “Gov.-elect Kotek was receptive to the plan and will meet with my team and I again this week in person to discuss opportunities for continued partnership,” Wheeler said. She’s laid out some specific targets: By 2025, she’ll “end unsheltered homelessness for veterans, families with children, unaccompanied young adults, and people 65 years and older.” Jimmy Jones, executive director of the Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency in Salem, says Kotek is proposing strategies that should soon make a difference. Rather than spending heavily on keeping housed people in place as the state has done, Jones says, Kotek’s plan aims to move the most vulnerable people on the streets inside. “For the public to have confidence, they are going to have to see a visible difference in the number of people outside and the amount of trash on the streets,” Jones says. Kotek also says Oregon will build enough housing by 2033 to get everyone living outdoors under a roof. (That’s 10,139 people as of 2019. The numbers for 2022 are not yet available.) The most direct tool Kotek will have at her disposal is the Oregon Department of Housing and Community Services, which funds affordable housing through tax credits. Critics say the agency moves slowly, has failed to adapt to Oregon’s housing crisis and, lately, has been overwhelmed by the task of allocating federal bailout dollars. Kotek wants the agency to aggressively speed the production of affordable housing and find ways to promote development of all types of housing. Margaret Van Vliet, a former director of housing for both the city of Portland and the state, says Kotek could push Oregon Housing and

Community Services, the state agency most involved in housing, to be both more creative and more aggressive. “Other states provide more kinds of housing incentives,” Van Vliet says. She says Kotek could push lawmakers to expand the kinds of housing eligible for subsidy to include modular and manufactured housing. Ed Blackburn, retired executive director of Central City Concern, which developed more than 1,000 units of affordable housing on his watch, says Kotek could also use the state’s control of low-income tax credits to demand Portland expedite permitting and design review, which are impediments to development.

“She could say, ‘We want to see more for our money,’” Blackburn says.

She says she’ll expand access to mental health and addiction treatment services. In an October interview with WW, Kotek made a specific promise about the director of the Oregon Health Authority, Pat Allen, and the leader of its behavioral health division, Steve Allen (no relation). “There won’t be any Allens there anymore,” Kotek said of OHA. The reason: She’s fed up with the state’s response to untreated mental illness and sub-


stance use disorder. The Oregon State Hospital is at the center of overlapping mental health crises. It lacks capacity for both patients who have been charged with a crime and are unable to aid and assist in their own defense and for a separate population of patients who have been civilly committed but for whom there are no beds inside hospitals or in secure community facilities. Last year, lawmakers led by Kotek appropriated half a billion dollars of new funding for mental health services. Another $300 million will flow over the next two years to addiction treatment from Measure 110, which decriminalized many drugs and diverted recreational cannabis tax revenues to new services. Kotek says patients and all Oregonians deserve to see better results from their tax dollars. “We’re not providing enough access to care,” Kotek said in an interview with WW. And it’s not all about the money. “This is about how we have set up our system delivery.” In the past, advocates say, Oregon has failed to make mental health and addiction services part of basic medical care—instead providing a patchwork of uncoordinated services and failing to serve the neediest, most obvious cases. “The biggest issue is the meth addict screaming at the sky on the corner of César Chávez and Hawthorne,” says Kevin Fitts of the Oregon Mental Health Consumers Association. “If we don’t make progress with that population, the rest of it is just a jobs program.” Fitts says OHA and elected officials spend too much time listening to the “big box” non-

profits who deliver services, and not enough time listening to patients to figure out what they need and what works. Advocates think a Kotek administration is poised to make big gains in mental health and addiction treatment because the new money that will flow over the next two years is enough to make a difference—but only if it’s spent efficiently. “All this spending needs to be coordinated,” Blackburn says. “We need a continuum of treatment so when somebody comes out of rehab, there is someplace for them to go.”

She says she’ll get big money out of Oregon politics.

Drazan, including $5.75 million from Nike co-founder Phil Knight. (Oregon is one of just five states that places no limits on political contributions in state races.) Despite winning the money chase and the election, Kotek insists she supports campaign contribution limits. One of the state’s leading proponents of such limits, Portland lawyer Jason Kafoury of Honest Elections Oregon, says he believes Kotek’s interest is genuine. That’s in part because the limits Kafoury’s group proposes favor Democrats. Honest Elections wants lawmakers to limit individual contributions in state races to $2,000 per donor—that would put Knight and many of the six-figure contributors to Johnson and Drazan out of the game. Kafoury says Kotek is supportive. It helps that Honest Elections’ plan includes small-donor committees, preserving the power of unions, a vital source of support for Democrats and the biggest donors to Kotek’s campaign. If lawmakers fail to pass such a law next year, Kafoury says, he’s confident voters will approve such limits in an Honest Elections ballot measure in 2024.

EVERYTHING BURNED: Kotek’s governorship will be judged by the conditions on Portland’s streets. PHOTO BY BRIAN BURK

The spending in the 2022 governor’s race went beyond staggering. Kotek spent about $29.5 million. The “anybody but Kotek” contingent spent another $40 million on Johnson and Willamette Week NOVEMBER 16, 2022 wweek.com

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ALIENATION: Rural voters, including the Republicans who gathered with Christine Drazan in Silverton, feel disenfranchised. PHOTO BY BLAKE BENARD

She says she’ll narrow the state’s urban-rural divide. Kotek promised in declaring victory that she would be “a governor for all Oregonians.” “I will work to bridge the divisions in our state,” she said in a Nov. 10 speech declaring victory. “I’ll spend time in communities all over Oregon working to fix problems and partner

with Oregonians who want to find solutions.” She faces long odds. Kotek won in just seven of Oregon’s 36 counties. And in most of the counties in which she lost, Drazan won overwhelmingly. And over the past two decades, the red counties have gotten much redder and the blue far bluer. Reversing that trend won’t be easy. “Is there a more ill-suited person to help rural Oregon than Tina Kotek?” DHM Research pollster John Horvick asks. “I don’t know her personally, but she is very much identified with Portland and the Democratic political establishment. It’s going to be hard to walk into Burns and be that person.” Two veteran Republican lawmakers say that if Kotek shows up in rural communities and pushes lawmakers and state agencies to address housing, homelessness and economic opportunity, she can win friends. “She has the ability to get a lot done,” says state Sen. Lynn Findley (R-Vale). “Homelessness and housing aren’t just a Portland problem. A lot of Eastern Oregon has significant homeless issues and, on a per capita basis, maybe it’s worse out here.” Rep. Werner Reschke (R-Malin) says he took Kotek in 2018 to visit Klamath Works, a nonprofit that helps people leaving incarceration and rehab to develop skills. The organization refurbishes bicycles but did not have enough. Kotek sent a load of bikes down from Portland. Reschke says the opportunity exists for her to do that again on a much larger scale. “People down here feel like we’re forgotten. This is a chance to start anew and start afresh,” Reschke says. “I hope both sides will take advantage of that.”

She says she will get tough on state bureaucrats. During her campaign, Kotek was unsparing in her criticism of Gov. Brown, her fellow Democrat, and state agencies. “I’m frankly tired of things not working,” Kotek told WW in an interview during the campaign. “Things have not functioned the way they are supposed to function.” She points the finger at Brown and directors of many of the state agencies who report to the governor, rather than rank-and-file employees. “I put the responsibility on the managers and 18

Willamette Week NOVEMBER 16, 2022 wweek.com

leadership,” Kotek told WW. “What I want to see from agency leadership as the next governor is that we have people who have a plan, have a timeline, and know how to get it done.” Political director Joe Baessler of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 75, whose union has 33,000 Oregon members, many of them state employees, points out that the state’s agencies and nearly 300 boards and commissions report directly to the governor. In practice, that means agency directors communicate with policy advisers in the governor’s office. “State agencies need a firm vision,” Baessler says. “The way the governor’s office works with policy advisers doesn’t work very well. They are just a conduit for information and don’t have enough authority.” Kotek’s biggest test of her willingness to hold state agencies and public employees accountable is likely to come in K-12 education, where graduation rates and test scores have riled a powerful constituency—parents. And businesses paying for the Student Success Act, a 2019 tax on corporations that brings in more than $1 billion a year for schools, want to see improvement. Kotek criticized Brown for vaccinating teachers first without reopening schools and called current test scores “unacceptable.” So while she’s unquestionably going to remain union-friendly, there are reasons to believe she’ll demand accountability. “We’re going to give you tools to do your job better,” she told WW, referring to public employees. “And we also need to see outcomes. I’m OK with those hard conversations.” Kotek says the Student Success Act and robust revenue from income taxes mean state agencies are no longer working from a position of scarcity. Now, she says, it’s fair for Oregonians to expect better results for taxpayer dollars. Much of what Tina Kotek proposes to do as governor could be lumped together as a pledge to spend taxpayer dollars more effectively. That’s an important goal. She’s been less vocal about how to grow the economy or even preserve the flow of tax dollars that fund services. In Oregon, one of few states with no sales tax, that means cultivating and retaining the private-sector employers whose workers pay income taxes. Kotek’s economic development platform is modest. It doesn’t offer any vision for how she would help employers grow or give any evidence she’s thought about the retention and growth of existing Oregon employers. But some business leaders who know her think Kotek can work effectively with the business community. “She got elected without really any business support,” says Peter Bragdon, executive vice president at Columbia Sportswear and former


OLIVE BRANCH: Kotek has reached out to Oregon business executives. PHOTO BY MICK HANGLAND-SKILL

”I’m frankly tired of things not working.” chief of staff to Gov. Ted Kulongoski. Yet he sees potential. “She is enough of a deal-maker to have a real ability to surprise people by making things happen.” “She will listen to your concerns,” says Julia Brim Edwards, the former Nike executive who worked with Kotek on the Student Success Act. “If you can show her something that’s good for business and good for Oregon, she’ll be a good partner.” Kotek cleared her schedule last weekend to get some rest. But on Nov. 15, she attended the board meeting of Oregon Business & Industry, the state’s biggest business association. That gesture impressed OBI president and CEO Angela Wilhelms. “I have to think that’s one of her first official acts,” Wilhelms says. “She’s a thoughtful, smart leader whom I’ve known to be truly interested in policy solutions.” DHM’s Horvick says Kotek’s challenge will be making enough positive change to improve perceptions inside and outside Oregon’s borders. “The folks I talk to really worry about Oregon’s competitiveness,” Horvick says. “A lot of that comes down to how do people think about Portland? Is it an attractive place to be? If not, Oregon is in a lot of trouble.” Liz Kaufman, a retired longtime Democratic political consultant, agrees Kotek faces a tough task. “She isn’t going to wave a magic wand,” Kaufman says. “This is going to take a lot of hard work. But Kotek was born for these challenges.” Willamette Week NOVEMBER 16, 2022 wweek.com

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STREET

Photos by Brian Burk @bpburk

YOU WIN SOME

Blake Benard @blakebenard Michael Raines @m_h_raines Brian Brose @brianbrose

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Election night was not a suspenseful affair. Despite fears that ballot counting could stretch for a week, initial returns Nov. 8 offered definitive answers in most of the significant contests not long after 8 pm. At Spirit of 77, where supporters of charter reform gathered, victory was met with shouts and tears of joy. Across the river at the Jack London Revue, Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty’s backers largely ignored the numbers showing her unseated by Rene Gonzalez. “Here’s what I know: I don’t have a lemon drop martini in my hand, and that’s a problem,” Hardesty quipped.


B R O A D WAY P O R T L A N D COURTESY OF

GET BUSY NOV. 16-22

STUFF TO DO IN PORTLAND THIS WEEK, INDOORS AND OUT.

YOU OUGHTA KNOW: Alanis Morissette’s seminal ’90s album Jagged Little Pill comes to life onstage in Portland this week.

WATCH: Jagged Little Pill: The Musical

Familial angst can be entertaining when chronicled by an Oscar winner (Diablo Cody) and the story is set to Alanis Morissette’s seminal ’90s album, then choreographed by a frequent Beyoncé collaborator (Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui). Jagged Little Pill: The Musical debuted in 2018 and quickly became a Broadway hit, winning both Tony and Grammy awards. Experience Morissette’s iconic, emotionally fraught songs in a new way as a jukebox musical. Keller Auditorium, 222 SW Clay St., 503-248-4335, portland5.com. 7:30 pm Wednesday-Friday, 2 and 7:30 pm Saturday, 1 and 6:30 pm Sunday, through Nov. 20. $29.75-$104.75.

 GO: 100 Diverse Voices on Parenthood

For those who fear their parenting style might be limited by monolithic culture, there’s an event at Powell’s to help. Jelani Memory, co-founder and CEO of A Kids Co. (which produces the series A Kids Book About), will lead a panel discussion featuring contributors to the book 100 Diverse Voices on Parenthood. They’ll offer advice and anecdotes to Portlanders navigating the journey called “Parenthood” with a little more confidence. Powell’s City

of Books, 1005 W Burnside St., 800-8787323, powells.com/events-update. 7 pm Friday, Nov. 18. Free.

10 drink samples. Oregon Zoo, 4001 SW Canyon Road, oregonzoo.org. 4-9:30 pm Friday-Saturday, Nov. 18-19. $35-$65. 21+.

LAUGH: George Lopez: OMG

 WATCH: You Can’t Be Serious

Hi! Comedy Tour

Things are going well for seasoned comedian George Lopez these days. His TV show Lopez vs. Lopez premiered on NBC this month, and he is back on a 30-date nationwide tour that includes a stop in Portland. Expect the Grammy-nominated funny man to share his reflections on fatherhood, discuss the humane treatment of chickens, and more during this one-night-only performance. You can get a sneak peek of what else Lopez might touch on by listening to his new OMG Hi! podcast. Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway, 503-248-4335, portland5.com. 7 pm Friday, Nov. 18. $39.50$69.50.

DRINK: BrewLights

ZooLights is one of Portland’s most anticipated seasonal events, but somebody smart decided that the festivities could be even better by adding beer. Thus was born BrewLights, the Oregon Zoo’s beautifully lit tribute to some of the region’s best breweries, cideries and hard seltzer producers. Admission includes access to the park, a light-up souvenir cup, and

While coping with a sibling’s cancer diagnosis and possible death, most people don’t turn to dance to work through their emotions. But performer Andrea Parson is unique. Parson’s combination of storytelling and choreography isn’t without hope— the evening promises to be equal parts tears and laughter, and there’s at least one cookie involved. New Expressive Works, 810 SE Belmont St., fromthegrounduppdx.net/you-cant-be-serious. 7:30 pm Friday-Saturday, Nov. 18-19. $15.

 GO: Union PDX - Festival:22

Dance students and spectators alike will find value in push/FOLD’s Union PDX festival this year. In addition to master classes and workshops, the multiday event includes a trio of performances showcasing a variety of dance styles, including West African, Afro Brazilian, Bharatanatyam and contemporary ballet, performed by artists from around the globe. There will also be a Q&A session following each show. Hampton Opera Center, 211 SE Caruthers St., 503-241-1407, pushfold.org/unionpdx/ festival-22. 7:30 pm Friday-Saturday, 4 pm Sunday, Nov. 18-20. $40.

WATCH: World Cup 2022 at Gol Soccer Bar

Portland has the well-deserved nickname of “Soccer City USA,” so many of you are likely making plans to watch this year’s FIFA World Cup. Unless you’ve purchased airline tickets to Qatar to catch it in person (which we wouldn’t advise given the country’s human rights record), your best bet is to watch all of the history-making moments at Gol Soccer Bar. Prepare for some serious jet lag-like symptoms if you’re determined to view the series live— most of the games are airing in the early morning hours. (In fact, it might be best to work from home for the next several weeks so you can sneak in a few naps.) Heads up: Viewings at Gol before 7 am will be alcohol-free. If you can’t find a table at Gol, walk a few blocks west to The Toffee Club for all 8 and 11 am games, as well as some of the 5 am games. Gol Soccer Bar, 1739 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503-206-5664, golsoccerbar.com. Various times, through Dec. 18. Free-$50.

SEE MORE GET BUSY EVENTS AT WWEEK.COM/CALENDAR Willamette Week NOVEMBER 16, 2022 wweek.com

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FOOD & DRINK

Editor: Andi Prewitt Contact: aprewitt@wweek.com

The Wrath of Kann Gregory Gourdet’s highly anticipated Haitain restaurant has started off with more misses than hits. BY M I C H A E L C . Z U S M A N P H OTO S BY M I C K H A N G L A N D - S K I L L

If the tale of “The Emperor’s New Clothes” was about a restaurant, Kann would be the emperor. The new Haitian sensation from celebrity chef Gregory Gourdet is not a great restaurant; it is not even a good restaurant judging by the things that matter: the quality of food and experience diners can expect there. Beyond these fundamentals, Kann is important only in the sense that it is testing how far a credulous dining public can be swayed by the cudgel of celebrity and powerful, scrupulously managed marketing. For those living under a rock the past few years, Gourdet achieved star status after a run to the finals on Bravo network’s cooking competition Top Chef. Additional appearances followed. He has a national audience. No other Portland chef comes close to Gourdet’s prominence. Gourdet’s fame is understandable. He is charismatic and mediagenic, does good work in the community, and has a compelling life story—the sort of person who makes television producers giddy. For exacting eaters, however, there has been little information until now about how well Gourdet could cook outside the friendly confines of a tightly choreographed TV production. Before Kann, Gourdet was the executive chef at Departure, a lightly regarded hotel restaurant best known for its cool-kid bar scene and Gourdet’s annual Peking duck dinners. He left his post there at the end of 2019 to open his own place, a tribute to his Haitian heritage. Ever since, local sycophants have relentlessly pumped Kann as the next big thing. Disclosure of its location in late 2021 was treated as breaking news. The buildout reportedly cost around $2 million. It employs a national public relations firm. There are investors. The final run-up to its public launch in August involved at least two weeks of half-price meals for local chefs and friends of the house. National media outlets managed to make it in for early looks. The Robb Report, a magazine aimed at the sort of people who collect six-figure watches and own eight-figure executive jets, wrote enthusiastically about Kann the same day it opened. A New York Times writer had it on a national top 50 list within a month. It is not hard to discern the behind-the-scenes machinations at work here. 22

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I visited Kann twice in September with a companion. We ate our way through most of the menu. It is a nicely appointed room, seating roughly 75. The big, open kitchen is entertaining. But the most indelible impression was the wave of noise bouncing off all the hard, angular surfaces. It measured a steady 85 decibels, comparable to a power mower, making normal conversation all but impossible. My ears rang afterward. Gourdet acknowledged noise is a problem. It is unclear if a fix is in the works. Another troubling flaw: Even if you could hear your partner, the seating is uniquely ill-suited to a night out for two. Most seats are either at the kitchen counter or tables built for four or six. There are a handful of smaller tables in the narrow space between the kitchen and streetside windows, but during my visits, they were all pushed together. So much for a hot date. Wonderful food might be enough to overcome the experiential lapses. The news on this front is disappointing. Kann has chosen to limit itself by eschewing all gluten and dairy. A laudable idea to some, I am sure, but not at the expense of delivering appetizing food. And that, along with multiple flaws in execution, made eating at Kann a slog. Brioche without butter or gluten is not brioche. Two “warm plantain brioche muffins” ($10) were dense, pasty and unappetizing. They are served with epis butter, a coconut oil-sunflower oil spread never to be confused with the real thing. Our server explained that epis is a Haitian spice blend used throughout the menu. The nonbutter tasted overpoweringly of raw garlic. Another defect that weaves its way through a meal at Kann is excessive, monotonous habanero (or its first cousin, Scotch bonnet) heat. Have you ever sweated your way through a dish so blisteringly hot, but so delicious, you couldn’t stop eating it? Now, imagine its evil twin. The side dish of pikliz ($8), described as “spicy pickled cabbage,” was all blister and no deliciousness, the flavor of any pickling spice all but absent. Likewise, the blast of capsaicin in September’s shaved watermelon ice mounded over the butterfish starter ($25) obliterated any flavor of melon or fish. Other missteps: fried sweet plantains ($9) that were partly uncooked inside and so sodden with oil that they oozed to the touch, and a glazed duck main dish ($56) scorched to stringy chewiness on


Top 5

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WHERE TO EAT THIS WEEK.

WHERE TO DRINK THIS WEEK.

1. MATT’S BBQ TACOS AT GREAT NOTION BREWING

1. SISSY BAR PORTLAND ALLISON BARR

2204 NE Alberta St., #101, 503-548-4491, greatnotion.com. Noon-9 pm Sunday-Thursday, noon-10 pm Friday-Saturday. One of the city’s most popular smokehouses is now officially in charge of the kitchen at Great Notion’s flagship. Matt’s BBQ Tacos moved into the brewery in early November—a change that will allow Great Notion’s owners to focus on continued expansion. You can expect all of Matt Vicedomini’s greatest hits at the pub, including tender slices of pork belly, chopped brisket and smoked ground beef served on housemade, lard-infused flour or vegan corn tortillas.

2. BAG O’ CRAB

3255 NE 82nd Ave., 971-716-8888, thebagocrab.com. 3-10 pm Monday-Friday, noon-10 pm Saturday-Sunday. Looking for a good time? Call Bag O’ Crab. There is no way to feel serious about anything—except, perhaps, demolishing a large bag of Cajun-sauced crustaceans—the moment you step through the doors at this new restaurant, thanks to details like the giant lobster mural and a robot waitress. Keep the fun vibes going by ordering Combo 4: a lobster or Dungeness crab, shrimp, crawfish, clams, corn, potatoes and sausages. Use an order of garlic bread to sop up the spicy, buttery boil.

3. URDANETA

3033 NE Alberta St., 503-288-1990, urdanetapdx.com. 5-10 pm Tuesday-Sunday. If you’ve been waiting for chef Javier Canteras’ Bikini to return to the menu, your patience has just been rewarded. Urdaneta’s take on the classic ham-and-cheese sandwich is back and part of a seasonal offerings shake-up. A toasted brioche bun stuffed with jamon serrano, American cheese and sofrito béchamel is what we’ve been longing to bite into once it actually felt like fall instead of a prolonged August. 1416 SE Morrison St., 503-206-4325, sissybarportland.com. 4 pm-midnight Wednesday-Thursday, 4 pm-2 am Friday-Saturday, 4-11 pm Sunday. There’s no dance floor or recurring drag shows at Sissy Bar, which tend to lure customers to other gay bars in town, but the new video lounge does offer a space for unapologetically queer company and the pop music sustaining the community. Open since June, the venue is heavy on moving images for aesthetics, illuminated by both YouTube videos of recording artists and colored cubes reminiscent of the electronic memory game Simon. Order a Will Smith Punch, which here happens to be a drink, not a blow to the head.

4. THE SEA BREEZE FARM TRUCK

Pops up at Northwest 23rd Place and Thurman Street, seabreeze. farm. 5-7 pm Monday. The Sea Breeze Farm mobile butcher block is like a portal to a French street market that started appearing in Northwest Portland in late summer. Chock-full of fresh and cured meats, the customized truck sells everything from duck rillettes to pork cheek and belly to whole chickens raised by George Page and Rose Allred, partners in business and life. Their passion for their trade is evident in the quality of the products themselves as well as their enthusiasm for farm life. When you see the white Magic Meat Truck at 23rd and Thurman, do not pass it up.

2. BAD HABIT ROOM

5. JOJO AARON LEE

5433 N Michigan Ave., 503-303-8550, saraveza.com/the-badhabit-room. 4-10 pm Wednesday-Friday, 9 am-2 pm and 4-10 pm Saturday-Sunday. Bad Habit Room has technically been around for about a decade but previously opened only for weekend brunch and special events. After staying completely shuttered for two years due to the pandemic, it’s back and caters to a different crowd in the evenings. Cocktails take their inspiration from the pre-Prohibition era, and our current favorite is Moon Shoes, made with marshmallow-infused vodka, lemon, orgeat and a splash of Son of Man harvest vermouth that acts as a grounding agent.

3. ABIGAIL HALL

one side, probably from sitting over the hearth too long before final preparation. No-proof drinks and desserts both tended to be excessively sweet. Not all is lost at Kann. Ironically, two dishes least obviously related to Haiti (or the Pacific Northwest)—a humongous smoked beef rib ($92), most at home in Texas, and a whole branzino ($49), typically associated with the Mediterranean Sea—were fine. Perhaps the best-tasting item was Haiti’s national dish: griyo ($14), chunks of succulent braised pork, though it is relegated to the slate of starters and is accompanied by a mound of the hellfire cabbage pikliz. The unfortunate verdict on Kann and its chef is that television celebrity does not equate to restaurant kitchen mastery. By contrast, a tried-and-true winning formula is a burning passion to please, a commitment to quality, and subjugated egos. Perhaps this is what is missing. EAT: Kann, 548 SE Ash St., 503-702-0290, kannrestaurant.com. 4-10 pm Wednesday-Thursday,

813 SW Alder St., abigailhallpdx.com. 5-11 pm Tuesday-Wednesday, 5 pm-midnight Thursday-Saturday. When Mariah Carey, aka the Queen of Christmas, says it’s time to start celebrating the Yuletide—whether or not we’ve had our Thanksgiving feast—you oughta listen. And what better way to get into the holiday spirit than by drinking cocktails inspired by the season? Abigail Hall’s beverage director, Derek Jacobi (formerly of New York’s Dead Rabbit and Black Tail), has created a new cocktail menu with some Christmaslike drinks, including a Brûleevardier (a take on crème brûlée) and Walnut Olivetto (a nod to lemon meringue pie).

4. SMITH TEAMAKER

500 NW 23rd Ave., 503-206-7451; 110 SE Washington St., 503-7198752; smithtea.com. 10 am-6 pm daily. As we get closer to the holiday season—prime tea-drinking time—Portland’s renowned full-leaf tea company has partnered with Farina Bakery to create a pairing menu for both of its tasting rooms. You can now get a trio of colorful macarons (pistachio, rainbow sprinkle and lemon) to go with Smith’s Moroccan mint, black lavender and red nectar teas served on a charcuterie-style board that’s perfect for those days you long for Paris but are stuck in Portland.

5. WONDERWOOD SPRINGS 902 NW 13th Ave., 971-331-4284, jojopdx.com. 11 am-10 pm daily. A stationary version of the much-loved Jojo food cart has arrived in Northwest Portland. As with the truck, the highlights are smash burgers and multiple permutations of fried chicken, plus the eponymous deep-fried potato wedges, served with a side of sauce of which there are 10. A small order of jojos is ample for two. But go ahead, gild the lily and get one of the loaded versions, with different combinations of cheeses, sauces and alliums.

8811 N Lombard St., 971-242-8927, wonderwoodsprings.com. 8 am-8 pm Tuesday-Sunday. Mike Bennett’s new cafe is mostly about the art: 400 hand-painted pieces, ranging from cute woodland creatures to a sleeping dragon. However, this isn’t just another of the prolific artist’s popup exhibits. You really can eat and drink at Wonderwood Springs. Expect to find two custom coffee blends personally selected by Bennett, along with a regular hot chocolate and another made with mushrooms.

4-11 pm Friday-Saturday. Willamette Week NOVEMBER 16, 2022 wweek.com

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POTLANDER

Leaves of Gold We rounded up four spectacular locations for the final weeks of autumn leaf gazing, along with four equally excellent strains to enhance the views. BY B R I A N N A W H E E L E R

Arguably, the best things about living in the Pacific Northwest are the weed and the seasonal scenery. In Portland, every season features an iconic natural spectacle. Take, for example, the way the Willamette River’s mirror stillness on a clear summer day reflects downtown. Or consider the blooming of daffodils and cherry blossoms that, along with an almost daily HD rainbow, herald the arrival of spring. Even frigid winters offer breathtaking landscapes, from a snow-capped Mount Hood to Columbia River Gorge waterfalls icing over. But even with all that said, no season is more swoonworthy than autumn. Fall colors sweep through our arboreous town like wildfire. Dry summer air is quenched by torrential downpours that make every surface glisten. And the perfume of harvest season lingers for weeks. Now is the perfect time for foliage sightseeing with a seasonally appropriate strain of weed—it’s really the last time of year when leaves are still clinging to their branches. To help you take in all of the exquisite fall colors, we’ve paired local vistas with cultivars bred to produce serenity and inspire curiosity in users. Here’s what we’re smoking, along with the viewpoints we’ll be crowding, as we cruise toward the winter equinox.

Larch Mountain and First Class Funk On a clear day, from Sherrard Point at the top of Larch Mountain, you can spot five volcanoes in the Cascade Range: Mounts Hood, Adams, Jefferson, Rainier and St. Helens. But in the foreground of each of those peaks are endless acres of evergreens interspersed with the surreal glow of deciduous trees shedding their leaves. The hike is beginner level but features some vertigo-activating stairs that might trip the inattentive walker, so pay attention, stoner. First Class Funk is a euphoric strain with a potent, uplifting onset potentially powerful enough to shotgun its users up those shelf steps. Those efforts will later be rewarded with a high that fizzles into a relaxed, elastic state of bliss. Expect a spicy, lemony exhale and gassy, funky perfume. BUY: Cannabis Curb, 4069 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 971-255-1542, cannabiscurb.com.

Rocky Butte and Georgia Pie With its dramatic stone staircase, obscure location, and views of the Columbia River, Rocky Butte is eye candy for anyone who’s a fan of both masonry and sweeping landscapes. Look to the

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Willamette Week NOVEMBER 16, 2022 wweek.com

east to see the fall colors light up the Gorge, then take a seat on the steps for some light witchcraft or wizardry. This viewpoint deserves an uplifting cultivar with a sweet aroma, like Georgia Pie, which delivers a cerebral high that’s perfect for contemplative gazing and a fizzy body buzz that’s great for circumnavigating a small butte. Users also say these effects eventually evaporate into the munchies and, occasionally, couchlock. So bring a picnic basket and blankets just in case. Expect a nutty, sweet perfume and herbal exhale with hints of tart cherry. BUY: Nectar, 3350 NE Sandy Blvd., 971-703-4777, nectar.store/sandy-blvd.

Pittock Mansion and Black Jack This opulent destination is embedded deep in the wooded West Hills, so even the ride up to Pittock Mansion will dazzle with fall colors. The grounds offer an expansive panorama of the city, framed by a meticulously landscaped garden. Unless mishmash décor is your bag, skip the entry fee and instead roam the property and the crisscrossing Wildwood Trail to soak up all the intense hues and dizzying views. A fabulous cultivar for stoned stroll-gawking is Black Jack. The genetics deliver just enough pep for an effervescent body high, while the head effects are romantically euphoric. This is the strain to smoke to help you fall in love with the city all over again. Expect an earthy, woody, botanical perfume and a commensurately grassy exhale. BUY: Bridge City Collective, 215 SE Grand Ave., 503-477-9532, bridgecitycollective.com/se-portland-dispensary.

Leach Botanical Garden and Secret Formula In outer Southeast Portland, you’ll find a semi-secret manor next to a babbling brook located in a cluster of heritage trees and landscaped gardens. This is Leach Botanical Garden, and if you live here long enough, it’s possible you’ll attend a wedding here. For our purposes, though, it’s an easily navigable, low-stakes natural area exploding with fall colors. There is an overt “magic garden” vibe throughout the grounds. Match that energy with Secret Formula, a cultivar with a soothing, harmonious balance of both cerebral and physical effects. Expect a sour diesel perfume and sour citrus exhale. BUY: Green Muse, 5515 NE 16th Ave., 971-4204917, gogreenmuse.com.


BOOKS

MUSIC

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

MICHELLE O’SHEA / ZOE BALLERING

Literary Speculation

SHOWS

WEEK

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, NOV. 17:

Sarah Tudzin started Illuminati Hotties to create a showcase for her studio chops before transforming the project into one of the best shout-along rock bands of the new decade. The production fits like a three-piece suit, but Tudzin and her crew aren’t afraid to get it dirty (2021’s Let Me Do One More bursts forth with the irrepressible energy one might associate with an anime theme song or a late-’90s dance craze more than a self-described “tenderpunk” band). Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell St. 8 pm. $20. 21+.

SATURDAY, NOV. 19:

From biblical adventures to chicken sexing, Zoe Ballering’s new short story collection inventively explores what it means to be human. BY M I C H E L L E K I C H E R E R

@michellekicherer

Portland writer Zoe Ballering, author of the new short story collection There Is Only Us (University of North Texas Press, 192 pages, $14.95), attended her first writing group in high school, where she fell in love with storytelling and discovered the power of workshopping. After majoring in English, she pursued an MFA in creative writing from Western Washington University, where she met what already felt like a lifelong writing group. Though she’d heard horror stories about MFA programs, her experience couldn’t have been more positive. “I’d always hear people say, ‘You’re gonna become an automaton, you’re gonna have to write in a certain way in your program.’ But I didn’t find that at all,” Ballering tells WW. “I met fellow writers who I’m still friends with, whom I still share my work with.” Ballering is far from an automaton. Her work is imaginative and speculative, playing with themes like loneliness, pain and what it means to be human. Characters are at times otherworldly yet believably, lovably real. Ballering first began publishing short stories in literary outlets like Craft and Electric Literature—and once her story “Double or Nothing” won the 2021 Rougarou Fabulism & Speculative Fiction Contest, she was on a roll. She subsequently submitted a manuscript of There Is Only Us for the 2022 University of North Texas’ Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction and won. There Is Only Us examines ties between family, young love and, as Ballering notes, mothers. She wrote the collection’s two main mother-themed stories, “Mothers” and “Ark,” around the same time. The latter is a modern look at Noah’s ark and features Karis, a young woman who is in charge of the ark’s bird pairs and mistakenly breaks the two-by-two rule when she gathers two roosters instead of a rooster and a hen. This rookie mistake forces the ark to make a U-turn before the flood destroys life on earth, so the chosen ones circle back to the same place Karis got the roosters in the first place: her mother’s home. The inspiration behind the story? “When I was a kid, I was just obsessed with chicken sexing and how that’s actually a job,”

Ballering says. “You can make great money! But, I was fascinated by that process. And so then I thought, what—at least in the Western canon—is the first example of when this would matter?” Animal sexing aside, the story is really about a young woman who doesn’t take her mother’s mortality as seriously as she should. It’s a look at a common experience: that feeling that one’s loved ones—mothers in particular—will always be around, and the too-late realization that you’ve taken your time with them for granted. As for “Ark”’s biblical implications, Ballering takes a nuanced perspective. “I do not have a religious background,” she says, “but I’m very fascinated by the question: Is there someone up there? If so, why do they never answer? And why is the world the way it is?” That’s the theme of “Here I Am,” which inspired the collection’s cover art: a naked mole-rat, another animal that fascinates Ballering. “They don’t experience pain, and I think that is a really fun fact,” she says. “Though I’m not quite sure how you determine that.” Ballering’s mother works with people experiencing chronic pain, which got her wondering: What if people could somehow not experience any pain? “I think the question [of that story] is, what price would people pay to not experience pain?” she says. Since Ballering has spent most of her life in the Pacific Northwest, it’s no surprise that many of her stories evoke places in Portland and the surrounding cities or mention them outright. She says she can picture exactly where certain scenes would take place. Take “Substances: A School Year,” about a group of high schoolers obsessively revolted by a variety of substances, from “souplike substances” on the floor to what they perceive as feces or vomit. The story ends with a scene in which one character is walking, all eyes on her. “In my head she’s on 26th and Powell,” Ballering says. Of course, emotional geography is just as important as physical geography in There Is Only Us. Ballering sums up her collection well: “I think these are stories about navigating relationships and also navigating the lack of closure when our worlds are altered.”

Ana Roxanne and Rachika Nayar challenge the idea of ambient music as something neutral and functional that can simply be typed into an algorithm. Roxanne is fiercely present in her work as a multi-instrumentalist, and her music brims with melancholy and uncertainty. Nayar, meanwhile, recently put out an album called Heaven Come Crashing that’s as earth-shatteringly intense as the title suggests. Their co-headlining Holocene gig promises to be a showcase for abstract, beatless music that’s as powerful as any pop. Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison St. 6 pm. $18. 21+.

SUNDAY, NOV. 20:

When Let’s Eat Grandma debuted as teens with 2016’s I, Gemini, you would’ve been forgiven for thinking the two shaggy-haired British besties had some sort of psychic connection that allowed them to make spellbinding music at such a young age. On their subsequent albums, I’m All Ears and this year’s Two Ribbons, Rosa Walton and Jenny Hollingworth have honed their sound into a striking take on synth pop that retains all the dark fairytale mystery of their early work even as it bangs through the speakers. Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside St. 9 pm. $20. 21+. Willamette Week NOVEMBER 16, 2022 wweek.com

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VISUAL ART

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

SPEAKER FOR THE DEAD: Harley Gaber.

Die Plage Has Its Day The Oregon Jewish Museum showcases Harley Gaber’s legendary montage series chronicling German history from the Weimar Republic to World War II. BY J AY H O R TO N

@hortland

Any gallery should be thrilled by the chance to arrange the first proper showcase of a legendary masterpiece long thought lost— and thereby reawaken interest in unfairly forgotten visionary Harley Gaber. Gaber, a classically trained composer considered among the leading lights of American minimalism, was also a gifted visual artist whose photomontage and mixed-media projects won international acclaim in the 1970s and ’80s. In 1993, he began assembling a vast store of photos obliquely chronicling Germany from the Weimar Republic through the end of World War II for Die Plage, a magnum opus that would consume his next nine years and fill a hangar on the Oregon Coast. Eventually numbering some 4,200 separate panels of collage arranged in chronological order, Die Plage (which archivists estimate forms a 12-foot wall of imagery five canvases high running 1,680 feet in length) has never been shown in full. Now part of the surviving Plage trove is being showcased in the gallery area of the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education. It’s a must-see for anyone who wants to experience Gaber, who took his own life in 2011 after completing a musical composition (“In Memoriam”) commissioned by Dan Epstein to honor his late mother. As the exhibit enters the second of four months on display in the museum’s Old Pearl premises, WW sat down with the center’s executive director, Judy Margles, to discuss how little we truly know about Die Plage (“The Plague” in German) and how it darkly reflects horrors past and present. WW: How much of Die Plage do you use? Judy Margles: We have four collages in our teeny tiny gallery, or 390 images out of around 4,200. When installed, each one is five canvases high and 16 in length—80 in all—and feels about 12 feet high and 32 feet long. 26

Willamette Week NOVEMBER 16, 2022 wweek.com

And there’s some of Gaber’s music as well? The curator decided “In Memoriam,” the work honoring Epstein’s mother, should play inside the museum so people could listen while at the exhibition. Another piece called The Winds Rise in the North can be heard outside. We’ll also be presenting a concert Jan. 22 that features Gaber’s music as well.

“Throughout these monumental collages, there are perpetrators and there are victims.”

Why pick these collages? They’re coherent in concept as well as compositionally coherent. [Gaber] was systematic and very, very deliberate. He wanted the images to be seen in the context of another over and never hang alone. And he intended them to be chronological, which, of course, in our space, they’re not. The murals we’re showing are all from the Holocaust. There aren’t any from the Weimar ’20s. Because that didn’t fit lesson plans? From our choices, we want to pull out the themes that interest us as we’re talking to visitors—schoolchildren, particularly. Teaching the Holocaust works best when you can open minds with ideas relevant today. Connections not comparisons. That is the way we teach. And then we’ll say something about injustice persisting in an interconnected world. How might knowing about the Holocaust contribute to our understanding of our responsibilities to one another? Looking at Harley’s work provides us with such a brilliant opportunity to think about issues relevant then and still today— media literacy, propaganda, coming of age in the time of crisis. Think about what the children have been through during the pandemic, which is a plague!

We’re all dealing with the rising tensions between loyalty to one’s country and extreme nationalism. In the museum, we teach about democracy and pluralism, which function when everybody works together in a diverse society based upon cooperation. That’s what’s evidenced by these canvases. If we do not cooperate, if we do not work together, Die Plage tells us viscerally the collision of history will ensue. Did Gaber ever publicly talk about what he wanted from people’s reactions to his art? You approach Harley not ever knowing exactly what he was thinking, but…he did start destroying his work. On the canvases are photographic images stretched for collage, and he started razor cutting the images out of the frames. Why assume he was destroying the images, though? Did he ever announce a stopping point? Was he the sort to keep tinkering? Was there a unified vision? I believe he had a vision and really knew what he wanted to do. It was all so neat. You’ll see some of the razored-out images at the exhibition, and they’re very tidy. It wasn’t like he was slashing away at them maniacally. He very deliberately cut them out of the frames so they’d exist in the body of work. And he’s gone. We don’t know exactly his reasons for anything… You know, he never saw himself as a documentarian. Traveling to Germany all through the ’90s, he never imagined that he was providing a record of the Weimar era. His interest was studying what happens to human beings caught up in the sweep of history. He really sought to individualize, and you see that in the images. Throughout these monumental collages, there are perpetrators and there are victims. SEE IT: Die Plage is on view at the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education, 724 NW Davis St., 503-226-3600, ojmche.org. 11 am-4 pm Wednesday-Sunday, through Jan. 29. $5-$8; members and children under 12 free.


MOVIES

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

COURTESY OF HELLO FROM NOWHERE

screener

WITHIN THE WOODS: Denah Angel, G. Scott Brown, Summer Menkee and Sean Paul Ross.

Hot Seat: Anthony Orkin The local writer, director and editor combined romance and mystery with a fake Gilbert and Sullivan musical for Hello From Nowhere. BY R AY G I L L J R .

Portland-based filmmaker Anthony Orkin has been editing film since he found clippings in the garage next to his father’s office as a child in 1972. That led him to an 18-year career as a film editor in New York City—and paved the way for him to direct his own material. Filmed at Camp Baldwin, Orkin’s second feature, Hello From Nowhere, centers on two couples, John and Lanie (John Armour and Summer Rain Menkee) and Brendan and Denise (G. Scott Brown and Denah Angel), whose relationship tensions are manipulated by a mysterious hiker (Jason Paul Ross)…against the backdrop of an imaginary Gilbert and Sullivan musical. WW spoke with Orkin, who shared some of his experience for the benefit of any filmmakers who may follow in his footsteps, like a stranger in the woods. WW: I read that your wife challenged you to write the cheapest feature you could. Being so budget conscious, what would you look back on as your biggest misstep in that area? Anthony Orkin: I thought it would be cheaper to shoot in the woods, which was a fatal flaw. Because, of course, where do you put people…when they’re in the woods? I had this naive notion we’d all have this big camping trip/ film production. But people actually want fresh toilets and things like that. So we had to come up with a place that looked like the woods but was close enough to civilization so that people could check their email and clean themselves up after a day’s production. The whimsically symphonic score created such an interesting aesthetic. What was the inspiration behind this “imaginary Gilbert and Sullivan” sound? The funny thing is, I could have used the actual Gilbert and Sullivan because all that stuff is in the public domain. I started to do so, and then, as I was working away on it, I realized, I hate Gilbert and Sullivan. That was the whole

reason I was making the movie. So, I threw that out. I wrote my own imaginary musical in the style of Gilbert and Sullivan. And then, when I approached my composer, Jay Martin, I asked him to do a symphonic score in the style of music of days gone by. But really, he just took it and ran with it. So, what you get is a score which is, at points, somewhat antiquated but quite modern. Knowing that nature can be uncooperative at times, what was the biggest unexpected obstacle you faced during the shoot relating to the elements? As far as challenging the elements, the biggest difficulty I think was that we ran out of time and the sun started to come up. And we were shooting the climax, the big climactic scene where all is revealed at the end—and my poor lead actor, Sean Paul, had been waiting around for hours to do the scene…and he only got one take because the sun was literally creeping up. Which was challenging to work around, but we made that one take work!

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

HOLLYWOOD PICK:

It may sound perverse to make a hyperintellectual comedy about Hollywood’s anti-intellectualism, but Robert Altman did it with The Player (1992). Tim Robbins stars as an unscrupulous studio executive who…you know, the less you know the better. Let it suffice to say the film delivers the salacious goods—sex, death, stardom—even as it transcends them. Art mined from artlessness has never been so darkly delightful. HBO Max.

INDIE PICK 1:

Plenty of die-hard Christopher Nolan fans still haven’t seen Following (1998), the Dark Knight trilogy director’s scrappy, sinister debut. Shot in beautifully grimy blackand-white on weekends while Nolan was studying English at University College London, the film concerns a naive stalker (Jeremy Theobald) who is entranced by a dashing burglar (Alex Haw). Free on Tubi.

HOLLYWOOD PICK 2:

With Yellowstone returning, it’s time to reexamine co-creator Taylor Sheridan’s cinematic work. One of his most underrated films is Those Who Wish Me Dead (2021), about a smoke jumper (Angelina Jolie) shepherding a fugitive boy through a Montana wildfire. It’s like Gravity, but with ravenous flames instead of an endless void. HBO Max.

INDIE PICK 2:

What steps in casting and hiring did you take to ensure you had the most optimal work environment? I wanted people who were good sports, and hiring unknown actors is good for that because they can’t afford to be divas, I’m giving them a shot. One of the keys to that was hiring people who didn’t come with a retinue of stylists, their agent and whatnot, demanding a trailer. I read that you adopted the script from a short you’d written. What elements did you expound on to make it a feature-length production? For one thing, I expanded it from three characters to five characters. I’m a fan of working with odd numbers because there’s a dynamic inherent in an odd number in that it doesn’t allow you to pair people off easily. And the other thing I did was move it from a small Brooklyn apartment to the Great North Woods. SEE IT: Hello From Nowhere is available on demand.

No, the greatest magician movie of 2006 wasn’t The Prestige. It was Neil Burger’s The Illusionist, the saga of an elusive showman (Edward Norton) who outwits a dogmatic policeman (Paul Giamatti) in turn-of-century Vienna. At once a detective tale and a rapturous romance (Jessica Biel plays a noblewoman Norton woos), the film understands what few mysteries do: The best cons are the ones that are never truly revealed. Free on Amazon Prime, Peacock, Redbox, Tubi, Vudu, YouTube. Willamette Week NOVEMBER 16, 2022 wweek.com

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MOVIES G ET YO U R R E P S I N

Blue Collar (1978)

Richard Pryor and Harvey Keitel star in Paul Schrader’s directorial debut, centered on three workers who decide to steal from their local union, only to stumble upon a deep well of corruption. Free screening hosted by the Portland IWW (Industrial Workers of the World), with donations accepted for its low-wage workers strike fund. Clinton, Nov. 17.

The Manchurian Candidate (1962)

Korean War vet Robert Shaw returns to the U.S., showered with accolades for an act of heroism he doesn’t remember, triggering prophetic nightmares for the surviving members of his platoon (including Frank Sinatra). Screens as a tribute to the late Angela Lansbury, who plays Shaw’s scheming, Lady Macbeth-like mother. Hollywood, Nov. 18.

Kiss Me Deadly (1955)

A private eye drives solo down a darkened street. A frantic woman runs in front of his car. She’s beautiful, so he picks her up, oblivious to the deadly secret she harbors. Robert Aldrich’s bleak film noir broke new ground for antiheroic archetypes—and screens as part of Cinema 21’s “Film Noir in the 50s” series, hosted by film programmer Elliot Lavine. Cinema 21, Nov. 19.

Taxi Driver (1976)

“You talkin’ to me?” Robert De Niro stars as an insomniac Vietnam War vet working nights as a taxi driver, cruising the immoral streets of ’70s New York City and slipping into delirious madness. Martin Scorsese’s massively influential crime drama screens in 35 mm, as part of Quentin Tarantino’s Cinema Speculation series. Hollywood, Nov. 19.

Twilight (2008)

Dust off your Team Edward shirt and celebrate the 14th anniversary of one of the Pacific Northwest’s greatest claims to fame. This special screening will feature trivia and audience interaction (plus, 10% of ticket sales will be donated to the Quileute Indian Reservation). Clinton, Nov. 21. ALSO PLAYING: Academy: Kubo and the Two Strings (2016), Nov. 16-17. High Sierra (1941), Nov. 16-18. The Big Clock (1948), Nov. 18-24. This Gun for Hire (1942), Nov. 18-24. 5th Avenue: Mysterious Object at Noon (2000), Nov. 18-20. Hollywood: The Killers (1946), Nov. 19-20. Daisies (1966), Nov. 21.

OUR KEY

: 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 NOVEMBER 16, 2022 wweek.com

TOP PICK OF THE WEEK

UTAMA Facing a drought so severe that Quechua villages in the Bolivian high desert are basically abandoned, one of llama herder Virginio’s few remaining neighbors has a tragically beautiful explanation: “Time has gotten tired.” Depicting the struggle of isolated elderly couple Virginio and Sisa to continue their agrarian routines, debuting director Alejandro Loayza Grisi tells us indirectly but impactfully that they can’t go on like this for much longer. You can hear it in Utama’s most resonant sound: Virginio’s labored breathing, which soundtracks every scene he’s in (despite his visiting grandson’s many protests, the old man doesn’t fear death, only death in a hospital). Though thematically weighty, the story is almost wishfully simple in execution. It’s proud and hushed, performed with rough-hewn starkness by nonprofessional actors José Calina (Virginio) and Luisa Quispe (Sisa) and sparing the audience the pricklier underbelly of character complications. On its own terms, though, Utama (Quechua for “Our Home”) is a striking portrait of Indigenous populations surviving on the front lines of climate change—and Virginio’s llamas (whose ears are tagged with hot-pink fabric) loping across the foreground of desert landscapes make for as incredible a visual effect as they do a symbol. Sometimes the flock speaks louder than the shepherd: There is life here. NR. CHANCE SOLEM-PFEIFER. Living Room.

BAD AXE

The ceaseless turmoil of 2020 touched every American in some way, but the Siev family of Bad Axe, Mich., had more than their share of skin in the game. This documentary by David Siev begins as a portrait of his family trying to keep their restaurant afloat during the first wave of COVID-19—but in the rural battleground of Lower Peninsula Michigan, tension escalates in the summer of George Floyd’s murder, mask mandates, and hate crimes against Asian Americans. Amid these conflicts, patriarch Chun becomes his son’s most interesting subject. A survivor of the Cambodian genocide, Chun maintains a fascinating balance between keeping his head down and his hands ready should the shit hit the fan. Though David deeply understands his family’s dynamics, some attempts at production value (like overwrought music cues and sign-posting the Sievs’ journey too generically via events like election night 2020) diverge from Bad Axe’s best quality: the specificity of one family trying to do the impossible in a grounded way in a precise town at a precise moment. You couldn’t blame any 2022 viewer for being wary of reliving 2020 this soon, but doing so through the Sievs’ eyes is an enlightening and affecting experience. NR. CHANCE SOLEM-PFEIFER. On demand.

BONES AND ALL

Moviegoers expect certain motifs from a coming-of-age road trip film—stunning visuals, complex character development, growing pains in uncertain environments—all of which Luca Guadagnino’s Bones and All

supplies in heaping amounts. However, the whole human-eating business really came out of left field. Star Taylor Russell (Waves) cultivates a sincere sense of realism as Maren, a teenage girl with an inexplicable and uncontrollable craving for human flesh—while a typecast Timothée Chalamet perfectly portrays Lee, a brooding rebel with the suave demeanor of James Dean (and the same cannibalistic affliction as Maren). In search of a cure for her condition, Maren and Lee set off on a cross-country drive to find Maren’s mother. Unsurprisingly, they begin to fall in love, making Bones and All a horror movie in the same way a tomato is a fruit. Sure, there are generously gory shots and adrenaline-spiking chase sequences, but it just doesn’t feel like a horror film. There’s a novelty to hybridizing two genres with such distinctly opposite motifs (orchestrated with an undeniable attention to detail by Guadagnino), but the end result remains a tomato. Not exactly horror, not exactly romance, but something in between for people to argue over. R. ALEX BARR. Opens Tuesday, Nov. 22, at Bridgeport, Cascade, Cinema 21, Cinema 99, City Center, Clackamas, Division, Eastport, Evergreen Parkway, Fox Tower, Lloyd Center, Movies on TV, Progress Ridge, Tigard, Vancouver Mall, Vancouver Plaza.

BLACK PANTHER: WAKANDA FOREVER

Some burdens are too weighty for a sovereign ruler to bear—even Marvel, the king of movie franchises. When Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman died of cancer in 2020, he left behind a legacy of regal roles,

from Jackie Robinson in 42 to the mythic “Stormin’ Norman” in Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods. Yet no character has defined him more than King T’Challa, leader and defender of the Afrofuturist utopia Wakanda. Recasting was ruled out, so the series has been reengineered to focus on T’Challa’s sister, Shuri (Letitia Wright). When Wakanda Forever begins, Shuri has barely begun to confront her grief when she is challenged by Namor (Tenoch Huerta Mejía), the quasi-authoritarian ruler of an underwater kingdom. Compromises and threats give way to violence— and, because this is Marvel, weightless and incoherent visual effects (but no rampaging rhinos this time around!). The spectacle was subpar in the first Black Panther, but that film was borne aloft by the formidable charisma Boseman and Michael B. Jordan, who played T’Challa’s vulnerable and ruthless rival for the throne. With a sleeker script (Wakanda Forever runs 161 minutes), Wright and Huerta Mejía might have owned the sequel the way Boseman and Jordan owned the original, but their performances get lost in a rush of bland battles and baffling detours (believe it or not, both Lake Bell and Anderson Cooper are stuffed into the story). If Wakanda does endure forever, it will be because of the legacy Boseman and the first film left behind, not the ungainly mythmaking Marvel has attempted in its wake. PG-13. BENNETT CAMPBELL FERGUSON. Academy, Bagdad, Cedar Hills, City Center, Eastport, Fox Tower, Laurelhurst, Living Room, Lloyd Center, Pioneer Place, St. Johns, St. Johns Twin, Studio One, Tigard, Wunderland Milwaukie.


TRUE SCENES FROM THE STREETS! @sketchypeoplepdx

ALEX BLAIS

by Jack Kent

@ALEXBLAISART Willamette Week NOVEMBER 16, 2022 wweek.com

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JONESIN’

FREE WILL

B Y M AT T J O N E S

"I'm Gonna Have Some "If I Only Had a Grain"--enough for a meal."

ASTROLOGY ARIES

(March 21-April 19): One of your callings as an Aries is to take risks. You're inclined to take more leaps of faith than other people, and you're also more likely to navigate them to your advantage—or at least not get burned. A key reason for your success is your keen intuition about which gambles are relatively smart and which are ill-advised. But even when your chancy ventures bring you exciting new experiences, they may still run you afoul of conventional wisdom, peer pressure, and the way things have always been done. Everything I have described here will be in maximum play for you in the coming weeks.

TAURUS

(April 20-May 20): Your keynote comes from teacher Caroline Myss. She writes, "Becoming adept at the process of self-inquiry and symbolic insight is a vital spiritual task that leads to the growth of faith in oneself." Encouraging you to grow your faith in yourself will be one of my prime intentions in the next 12 months. Let's get started! How can you become more adept at selfinquiry and symbolic insight? One idea is to ask yourself a probing new question every Sunday morning, like "What teachings and healings do I most want to attract into my life during the next seven days?" Spend the subsequent week gathering experiences and revelations that will address that query. Another idea is to remember and study your dreams, since doing so is the number one way to develop symbolic insight. For help, I recommend the work of Gayle Delaney: tinyurl. com/InterviewYourDreams

GEMINI

ACROSS

tips?

Whishaw

1. Dashboard button letters

62. "Garfield" canine

34. Ending with rest or fest

5. Anthems, e.g.

63. "Bone" prefix

10. Carbonated drink

64. "Why not _ _ _?"

35. Grammy-nominated gospel singer Tribbett

14. Missile shelter

65. Repose

15. In the least bit

66. Stopwatch button

16. Singer Tori

67. Little irritator

17. Stumble over the jacket holder?

DOWN

20. Time of history 21. To the _ _ _ degree 22. Planet seventh nearest to the sun 23. Jake of CNN 25. Friedlander of "30 Rock" 27. Mauna _ _ _ 28. "Likewise for me" 30. Kind of triangular sail 33. Regatta completely taking place on a watch surface? 37. "SNL" rival until 2009 39. Noah's craft 40. Gulf of Aden country 41. How to tell which hive dwellers are evil twins?

1. Piece of property 2. Kind of heart valve 3. It's used to prevent bites on Spot 4. Bucket complement 5. Repeated words 6. "Spiral Jetty" state 7. Enclosure sometimes seen by Dr. Pimple Popper 8. U.N. agency promoting social justice

43. Plant's downward growth 47. Words before "Be Wild" and "Run" 48. City on the N.J. side of the George Washington Bridge 49. Half of VI 51. He coached Rudy in "Rudy" 52. Dusk follower 54. Ballet finale

11. Persian Gulf nation 12. Prefix for drama 13. Puts a question to

19. "La la" preceder 24. Medicare add-on section

46. Beirut's country (abbr.)

25. Deliberate thrower of a match, in wrestling slang 26. Hesitant agreement

50. Hand down

29. Person putting on a play

53. Halifax, Nova _ _ _

30. Chance to hang out and play

58. Place to call for gas pain

42. "The Good Place" main character

10. Paulson of "American Horror Story"

45. Actress Lotte who was married to Kurt Weill

57. _ _ _ Lanka

38. Bigeye tuna

53. Kick, so to speak?

18. Scrabble value of each of the letters in this answer

56. Kennel sound

37. Alps or Rockies, briefly

9. Model Schiffer

44. Title for knighthood (but only for British citizens)

48. Guy who's the putative Mayor of Flavortown

36. Facebook's answer to TikTok

31. Coffee cooler, maybe

55. Cole Porter's "Miss _ _ _ Regrets" 56. "As they shouted out with _ _ _ ..." 59. Taiwan suffix 60. "Dynamite" K-pop group 61. "American Dad!" airer

last week’s answers

(May 21-June 20): The TV science fiction show Legends of Tomorrow features a ragtag team of imperfect but effective superheroes. They travel through time trying to fix aberrations in the timelines caused by various villains. As they experiment and improvise, sometimes resorting to wildly daring gambits, their successes outnumber their stumbles and bumbles. And on occasion, even their apparent mistakes lead to good fortune that unfolds in unexpected ways. One member of the team, Nate, observes, "Sometimes we screw up—for the better." I foresee you Geminis as having a similar modus operandi in the coming weeks.

CANCER

(June 21-July 22): I like how Cancerian poet Stephen Dunn begins his poem, "Before We Leave." He writes, "Just so it's clear—no whining on the journey." I am offering this greeting to you and me, my fellow Cancerians, as we launch the next chapter of our story. In the early stages, our efforts may feel like drudgery, and our progress could seem slow. But as long as we don't complain excessively and don't blame others for our own limitations, our labors will become easier and quite productive.

LEO

(July 23-Aug. 22): Leo poet Kim Addonizio writes a lot about love and sex. In her book Wild Nights, she says, "I'm thinking of dating trees next. We could just stand around all night together. I'd murmur, they'd rustle, the wind would, like, do its wind thing." Now might be a favorable time for you, too, to experiment with evergreen romance and arborsexuality and trysts with your favorite plants. When was the last time you hugged an oak or kissed an elm? JUST KIDDING! The coming weeks will indeed be an excellent time to try creative innovations in your approach to intimacy and adoration. But I'd rather see your experiments in togetherness unfold with humans.

VIRGO

(Aug. 23-Sept. 22): In her book Daughters of the Stone, Virgo novelist Dahlma LlanosFigueroa tells the tale of five generations of AfroCuban women, her ancestors. "These are the stories of a time lost to flesh and bone," she writes, "a time that lives only in dreams and memories. Like a primeval wave, these stories have carried me, and deposited me on the morning of today. They are the stories of how I came to be who I am, where I am." I'd love to see you explore your own history with as much passion and focus, Virgo. In my astrological opinion, it's a favorable time for you to commune with the influences that have made you who you are.

LIBRA

(Sept. 23-Oct. 22): In accordance with astrological omens, here's my advice for you in the coming weeks: 1. Know what it takes to please everyone, even if you don't always choose to please everyone. 2. Know how to be what everyone wants you to be and when they need you to be it, even if you only fulfill that wish when it has selfish value for you. 3. DO NOT give others all you have and thereby neglect to keep enough to give yourself. 4. When others are being closedminded, help them develop more expansive finesse by sharing your own reasonable views. 5. Start thinking about how, in 2023, you will grow your roots as big and strong as your branches.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Even if some people are

nervous or intimidated around you, they may be drawn to you nonetheless. When that happens, you probably enjoy the power you feel. But I wonder what would happen if you made a conscious effort to cut back just a bit on the daunting vibes you emanate. I'm not saying they're bad. I understand they serve as a protective measure, and I appreciate the fact that they may help you get the cooperation you want. As an experiment, though, I invite you to be more reassuring and welcoming to those who might be inclined to fear you. See if it alters their behavior in ways you enjoy and benefit from.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Sagittarian rap-

per and entrepreneur Jay-Z has stellar advice for his fellow Sagittarians to contemplate regularly: "Ain't nothin' wrong with the aim; just gotta change the target." In offering Jay-Z's advice, I don't mean to suggest that you always need to change the target you're aiming at. On many occasions, it's exactly right. But the act of checking in to evaluate whether it is or isn't the right target will usually be valuable. And on occasion, you may realize that you should indeed aim at a different target.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): You now have extra

power to exorcise ghosts and demons that are still lingering from the old days and old ways. You are able to transform the way your history affects you. You have a sixth sense about how to graduate from lessons you have been studying for a long time. In honor of this joyfully tumultuous opportunity, draw inspiration from poet Charles Wright: "Knot by knot I untie myself from the past / And let it rise away from me like a balloon. / What a small thing it becomes. / What a bright tweak at the vanishing point, blue on blue."

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): In accordance with

current astrological rhythms, I am handing over your horoscope to essayist Anne Fadiman. She writes, "I have always felt that the action most worth watching is not at the center of things, but where edges meet. I like shorelines, weather fronts, international borders. There are interesting frictions and incongruities in these places, and often, if you stand at the point of tangency, you can see both sides better than if you were in the middle of either one."

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Over the course of

my life, I have been fortunate to work with 13 psychotherapists. They have helped keep my mental health flourishing. One of them regularly reminded me that if I hoped to get what I wanted, I had to know precisely what I wanted. Once a year, she would give me a giant piece of thick paper and felt-tip markers. "Draw your personal vision of paradise," she instructed me. "Outline the contours of the welcoming paradise that would make your life eminently delightful and worthwhile." She would also ask me to finish the sentence that begins with these words: "I am mobilizing all the energy and ingenuity and connections I have at my disposal so as to accomplish the following goal." In my astrological opinion, Pisces, now is a perfect time to do these two exercises yourself.

Homework: In what process have you gone halfway, and you really should go all the way? Newsletter.FreeWillAstrology.com

32. "Paddington" actor

©2022 Jonesin’ Crosswords (editor@jonesincrosswords.com) For answers to this puzzle, call: 1-900-226-2800, 99 cents per minute. Must be 18+. Or to bill to your credit card, call: 1-800-655-6548. Reference puzzle #JNZ990.

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