Willamette Week, August 30, 2023 - Volume 49, Issue 42 - "Certified Fresh"

Page 1

NEWS: Reluctant to Go Downtown. P. 8

MUSIC: Family Worship Center’s Rock and Soul. P. 22

THEATER: Samuel Beckett in Victoria’s Secret. P. 23

You’ve got to try these heirloom tomato dishes on Portland menus.

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2 Willamette Week AUGUST 30, 2023 wweek.com


Reed College house advisers don’t want to be narcs 5

You can thank Napster founder Sean Parker for the seismic upgrade on the 10 West building. 6

U.S. Rep. Val Hoyle hasn’t released the public communications on her personal devices to her old office. 6

A county employee cited “crazy” downtown parking as a reason to continue telework. 9 Oregon Psilocybin Services has raised just $318,419 in fees this year. 10

Portland’s most authentic Detroit-style pizza is made at Assembly Brewing. 14

The Tomatotini at Emerald Line can be Cosmo pink, yellow or green, depending on the color of the incoming harvest.


Taiji Teahouse & Cafe has revived Red Robe Tea House’s

gongfu tea service ritual in Old Town. 15

The BLT is the most un-Jojolike thing on Jojo’s menu. 16

Zapiekanka is a traditional Polish street food that is basically an open-faced pizza sandwich 17

Shorts about Paul Knauls , the unofficial mayor of Northeast Portland, and DJ O.G. One will screen at the Hollywood. 21

This year’s Lan Su Chinese Garden Moon Rabbit will be portrayed by bunnies from the nonprofit Rabbit Advocates. 21

Name notwithstanding, Family Worship Center is not a religious band in the typical sense. 22

Cowboy Jazz is not what you think. 23

Don’t put lavender in Lisa Ann Walter’s doughnuts. 24

Willamette Week welcomes freelance submissions. Send material to either News Editor or Arts Editor. Manuscripts will be returned if you include a selfaddressed, stamped envelope. To be considered for calendar listings, notice of events must be received in writing by noon Wednesday, two weeks before publication. Questions concerning circulation or subscription inquiries should be directed to Skye Anfield at Willamette Week. Postmaster: Send all address changes to Willamette Week, P.O. Box 10770, Portland, OR 97206. Subscription rates: One year $130, six months $70. Back issues $5 for walk-ins, $8 for mailed requests when available. Willamette Week is mailed at third-class rates. Association of Alternative Newsmedia. This newspaper is published on recycled newsprint using soy-based ink. THE FLAMING LIPS, PAGE 19 ON THE COVER: Attack of the heirloom tomatoes at Emerald Line; photo by Gilbert Terrazas OUR MOST TRAFFICKED STORY ONLINE THIS WEEK: Portland’s fiercest advocate for swimming in the Willamette River declared war on algae. Masthead PUBLISHER Anna Zusman EDITORIAL Managing 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 Rachel Saslow Copy Editor Matt Buckingham Editor Mark Zusman ART DEPARTMENT Creative Director Mick Hangland-Skill Graphic Designer McKenzie Young-Roy ADVERTISING Advertising Media Coordinator Beans Flores Account Executives Michael Donhowe Maxx Hockenberry Content Marketing Manager Shannon Daehnke COMMUNITY OUTREACH Give!Guide & Friends of Willamette Week Executive Director Toni Tringolo G!G Campaign Assistant & FOWW Manager Josh Rentschler FOWW Membership Manager Madeleine Zusman Podcast Host Brianna Wheeler DISTRIBUTION Circulation Director Skye Anfield OPERATIONS Manager of Information Services Brian Panganiban OUR MISSION To provide Portlanders with an independent and irreverent understanding of how their worlds work so they can make a difference. Though Willamette Week is free, please take just one copy. Anyone removing papers in bulk from our distribution points will be prosecuted, as they say, to the full extent of the law.
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The arrival of large cannabis chains in Oregon over the past decade was a source of some consternation. So the news of their implosion was met with some interest from our readers. For much of the year, WW has investigated the business and political dealings of La Mota, the state’s second-largest dispensary chain. Last week, we considered what last year was the third-largest: Chalice Brands, a publicly traded Canadian corporation that has seen its market share crater (“Fade Away,” WW, Aug. 23). Now the company is going into receivership and leaving many of its creditors unpaid. Here’s what our readers had to say:

RIPPERDUCK, VIA WWEEK. COM: “In Eugene, you’ll find pot shops on nearly every other block. Way too saturated a market, and it’s inevitable they’ll consolidate to the point only a couple of these places will exist.”

TAS50, VIA REDDIT: “It’d be a real shame if we lost some dispensaries around here. Folks might have to walk another two blocks to get to the next one.”

SUSPENDED IN TIME, VIA TWITTER: “They have the best tasting gummies...but not worth $7.6 billion.”

AXEL-1973, VIA REDDIT: “I just want to point out that basically none of the corporate weed companies have been turning profits the last few years. Investors are literally the only thing keeping them afloat. The stock value on almost all the companies are awful and have been plummeting for years due to the stagnation of legalization. Too much competition, too

many growers, and not enough states have legalized yet. We are in an industry boom-n-boon.”

MICHAEL V, VIA WWEEK. COM: “Tulips, trains and now cannabis.”

JIMBO, VIA WWEEK.COM: “It’s going to get worse. Just wait until federal legalization and you will be able to buy a 5-gallon pail of cannabis extract from Cargill for a couple of hundred dollars. There may still be a few boutique growers; however, the real weight will move to the Midwest, where there will be 500-acre fields worked by machine. Two dollars a gram is still way too high for something this easy to grow.”

TIMOTHY NOLAN, VIA FACEBOOK: “Everything will be a Nectar chain store soon.”


Thank you for speaking for the trees in your article “Latest Housing Fight Is Kotek vs.

Dr. Know

Tips started out as a way to make up for earning less than the minimum wage. Portland servers, however, earn at least $15 an hour. Why should we tip them on top of that just for doing their job?

—I Hate Tipping

It’s a shame when diners’ natural impulse toward generosity winds up being exploited for financial gain by a bunch of lazy, entitled freeloaders who can’t be bothered to pull their own weight in the service economy. That’s why the rest of us would really appreciate it, Hate, if you and all your non-tipping buddies would drop the Mr. Pink routine and start paying your fair share.

We’ll put aside the question of what kind of person can be presented with a cheap, easy way to show kindness to another human being and think only, “How can I get out of this?” Instead, we’ll focus on simple economics.

First, like it or not, tipping is an accepted part of U.S. service industry compensation, and everyone knows it. An establishment where tips are good effectively pays better, and will

Lorax” [WW, Aug. 23]. Pitting housing against critical green infrastructure is a losing battle for everyone. This is not just an environmental issue, it’s an issue of justice and community health. In this Lorax story, we city dwellers could be the Brown Bar-baloots or the Swomee-Swans. Housing, clean air and water, and shelter from the hot summer sun are all nonnegotiable needs. We need to protect the trees so that they can continue to protect us.



Agree with the tree huggers. Heat is a big factor in urban places with too much pavement and no greenways like parks, especially with ponds and trees. Maybe they should look at Spokane. One of the most livable cities. Its parks are wonderful. Lots of green, ponds, ducks, trees and play places. Snow sleds in winter. Over time I don’t think you can put a price on livability. It’s a long-term very high value. Oregon has vast places with non-farmable ground. Some of it certainly needs housing on it. Land use is way out of control in far left thinking, which is we don’t want anyone out there.

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be able to hire and retain better employees than one where tips are lousy or nonexistent. When you go to that restaurant and tip poorly or not at all, you’re benefiting from a higher level of service provided by a well-trained staff and paid for by your fellow customers. You’re not paying for it, though—a classic free rider problem.

What’s worse, by not tipping you incrementally reduce the average compensation that each employee receives. This (probably along with your abrasive personality) makes these jobs just a bit less attractive to top-flight servers, driving down, if only slightly, the level of service received by non-skinflints like myself.

Anyway, even if we did somehow abolish tipping overnight, it wouldn’t save you any money. All that would happen is that every server and bartender in America would quit (some, no doubt, in memorably TikTok-able ways) unless and until management agreed to make up the difference with a wage raise equivalent to the lost tip income—an expense they’d pass along to you and me.

Diners are going to pay market value for service workers’ labor one way or another. The current system, arcane though it is, does end up allocating the relevant resources efficiently. The fact that it does this while also showing the world whether the diner in question is an asshole is just gravy.

Questions? Send them to dr.know@wweek.com.

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CITY COUNCIL: It’s going to be a big election for Portland City Council in 2024—as in, a lot of candidates. Just one week ago, a citizens committee cemented the boundaries of four geographic voting districts, each of which will elect three candidates to the 12-member council. In the days that followed, at least seven people filed paperwork declaring their intention to seek a council seat. Oddly, all but one live in District 3, which comprises most of Southeast Portland west of Interstate 205. They include longtime progressive political staffer Jesse Cornett; Tony Morse, policy director for the advocacy group Oregon Recovers; Robin Ye, chief of staff to state Rep. Khanh Pham (D- East Portland); Angelita Morillo, policymaker for Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon (who also runs a widely followed political TikTok account); Portland Housing Bureau employee Chris Flanary; and pharmacist Sandeep Bali. One candidate, transportation advocate Steph Routh, has announced her bid for a seat in District 1, which covers East Portland. An Oregonian reporter noted Tuesday that two additional candidates, Centennial School District board member David Linn and communications specialist Stephen Hall, had registered political action committees with the state to run in Districts 1 and 4, respectively. Pollster John Horvick says the most candidates to run for a City Council seat in a single election in the past 50 years was 12, in 2022.

REEDIES RELUCTANT TO NARC: As Reed College resumes classes this week, student house advisers are furious about changes to their job descriptions. Reed HAs (a role typically known on other campuses as a resident adviser, or RA) now must walk rounds through campus housing five times a week and serve as mandatory reporters of violations to the college’s drug and alcohol policies. While walking around and narcing on fellow students are standard RA duties at most colleges, they’re new at Reed. And they conflict with the experimental counterculture Reedies are known for. “Putting the HA in the role of a snitch isolates them from community,” says Rachel Fazio, the mother of a senior HA. “Because let’s face it—Reed does a lot of drugs.” Another part of the problem: Some of the rounds are at midnight and cut close to homeless encampments at Southeast Steele Street and 28th Avenue. (The city conveniently finished clearing the Steele camp Aug. 21, the date residence halls opened for new students.) Karnell McConnell-Black, Reed’s vice president for student life, wrote in a statement to WW that the new duties are “part of fostering a community of care on campus” and that the rounds were “clearly stated in the job description students accessed before applying for an HA position.”


VICTORIOUS: A monthlong battle between City Commissioners Carmen Rubio and Mingus Mapps over how best to fix the city’s broken permitting system has ended with a Rubio victory. At Wednesday’s City Council meeting, Rubio will ask her four colleagues to approve her plan to consolidate all permitting functions in one city office by next summer. According to a copy of Rubio’s resolution, all four of her colleagues— including Mapps—intend to support her plan. That’s despite Mapps’ announcement a month ago he would make an alternative proposal to the council that he said was “fundamentally incompatible” with Rubio’s. Shortly after Mapps’ announcement, however, a number of the most powerful business groups in the city and state came out in strong support of Rubio’s plan, as did a labor union. After that, Mapps backed off. Mapps spokesman Adam Lyons says, “City Council has found a compromise path forward and is bringing forward a resolution that is acceptable to everyone and will improve permitting in Portland.”


SEXUAL ASSAULT ACCUSES COUNTY OF RETALIATION: A Multnomah County probation officer has filed suit against her employer, the county’s Department of Community Justice, alleging gender discrimination and retaliation. According to the complaint, filed in federal court Aug. 28, the officer, Holly Fischer, was “treated like a perpetrator” after accusing a co-worker, her boyfriend at the time, of sodomizing her without her consent on St. Patrick’s Day 2017. The co-worker, Kevin Novinger, claimed the act never happened, and prosecutors declined to press charges. WW reported the allegation last year after the county concluded Novinger was lying about what happened that night (“The Odd Squad,” WW, Aug. 10, 2022). Fischer’s lawsuit alleges what happened next. She says she was forced to take a demotion in 2019 after making two errors during firearms training. The county subsequently forwarded “ninety pages of email communications and allegations of misconduct” to a psychologist, who ruled her unfit for service. The ruling was overturned after another psychologist found the emails “were consistent with an individual processing a traumatic event” and that the first doctor had assumed the assault didn’t occur. Fischer returned to her job as a probation officer in December 2021, although she continues to be the subject of “negative gossip” and “unfounded oral reprimands,” according to the complaint. The Oregon Bureau of Labor & Industries has already dismissed multiple complaints by Fischer regarding her treatment by the county. The county did not respond to a request for comment prior to publication.


How 10West Was Won

ADDRESS : 1017 SW Washington St.



MARKET VALUE : $1.6 million

OWNER : Talon Fliedner QOZB LLC


Since at least 2019

WHY IT’S EMPTY : A Seattle-area investor is fixing it up.

Most weeks, this column is all bad news and blight. This week appears to be different.

The West End Building, at the southeast corner of Southwest 10th Avenue and Washington Street, isn’t surrounded by chain-link fence because it became a haven for fentanyl users. It’s not in foreclosure or receivership, according to county records. It hasn’t been gutted by fire.

No, the West End is fenced because the owner, Bellevue, Wash.-based Talon Private Capital, is renovating it, says Talon co-founder


U.S. Rep. Val Hoyle (D-Ore.) has failed for eight months to provide the Oregon office she once ran with state-related communications kept on her personal devices.

As the state’s elected labor commissioner, Hoyle oversaw the Oregon Bureau of Labor & Industries for four years, leaving after winning a seat in Congress, which she assumed Jan. 7. Twice in the days prior to her swearing-in, a records custodian from BOLI wrote emails to Hoyle, asking for her to produce all state-related communications on her personal devices that were generated during Hoyle’s time as BOLI commissioner.

Hoyle, for her part, says she never saw the inquiry.

BOLI’s records custodian, Kelsey Dietrick, wrote to Hoyle asking for those records that

William Pollard. “We’re just about finished with it,” Pollard says.

Talon is giving the West End a full seismic upgrade and restoring terra cotta accents added during an art deco remodel in the 1930s.

Construction is moving slowly, though. At midmorning Tuesday, there was no activity at the building, and no opening in the fence. Pollard says that’s because Talon is working in phases based on the availability of contractors. The next step is seismic work on the flooring.

“Once we finish the current scope of work, we will stop, take down the fencing and wait for market conditions to improve,” Pollard adds.

Talon isn’t doing all this out of the goodness of its heart. The neighborhood, home to Powell’s City of Books and the Ace Hotel, is going to become one of the most vibrant in the city, Pollard says. He has a very posh new neighbor: the brand-new Block 216 building, a 35-story glass tower with high-end office space and a Ritz-Carlton hotel.

And there’s more: The West End, which Talon has rechristened “10West,” is in an “opportunity zone.” Promoted by Napster founder Sean Parker, believe it or not, opportunity zones found their way into President Donald Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, passed in 2017. That law created 8,764 little tax havens endowed with money-saving benefits meant to lure capital into struggling communities that big-money investors usually ignore.

In exchange for sinking cash into one of the zones, investors get a temporary deferral of taxes on capital gains on other investments. They get more breaks if they hold on to an opportunity zone project for five years, and even more at seven years. Keep it for more than 10 years, and in some cases investors pay no taxes on capital gains made in the zone, according to the Tax Policy Center.

Investors have gamed the system, says David Wessel, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. “Mr. Parker and allies apparently failed to appreciate the cleverness and aggressiveness of lawyers, accountants and money managers employed by the wealthy,” Wessel wrote in The

would not be captured in state record databases because they were conducted on Hoyle’s personal devices.

“It would be ideal for you to produce all of your text messages that relate to BOLI business from your personal device(s) as this keeps us consistent with our precedent of retaining all communications and promotes transparency,” Dietrick wrote Jan. 6. “I would highly recommend conducting a due diligence search of your personal email accounts.”

BOLI says that, to date, it has not heard back from Hoyle.

Such a request when a state agency changes hands is not routine, says the state’s archivist, Stephanie Clark.

“It’s not customary, in my experience, to ask the outgoing administration for all public records held on personal devices,” says Clark, “because elected officials are informed through training and policy that personal devices should not be used to conduct public business.…An outgoing administration would presumably know that if they did use a personal device at any point during their administration to conduct public business, those records would have

New York Times in 2021. “They found myriad ways to exploit opportunity zones to reduce clients’ tax bills without much attention to those who live in the zones.”

Wessel name-checked Portland and the Ritz-Carlton as an example of an opportunity zone that birthed a luxury development in a relatively well-off community, rather than housing in, say, Erie, Penn. On the other hand, Wessel was writing before a spate of foreclosures made Portland a city of zombie buildings, surrounded by sidewalks littered with tinfoil for smoking fentanyl.

Pollard says Talon plans to keep 10West for a while. “We have a long view, and we own the property for cash,” he says. “We’re going to hold it for decades.”

needed to be captured and retained within state agency environments well before the end of the administration.”

That would suggest that BOLI’s incoming leadership had reason to believe Hoyle did use personal devices to conduct state matters. In response to that question, Dietrick said that for a time during Hoyle’s tenure overseeing BOLI, she listed her cellphone number—not her agency-issued phone number—in her email signature.

According to records previously provided to WW by the current BOLI administration, Hoyle used her personal phone on occasion to discuss official state matters, including an apprenticeship program that would grant a $554,000 grant last fall to a brand-new nonprofit co-founded by one of Hoyle’s top campaign contributors. (Hoyle’s successor, Christina Stephenson, revoked the grant in the spring after WW wrote about the nonprofit’s co-founder, Rosa Cazares, and her troubled cannabis outfit.)

Hoyle spokeswoman Marissa Sandgren says there is “no record of that request we can find in Rep. Hoyle’s personal email,” even though Sandgren confirms that the email address

Taking the long view with 10West is probably wise, beyond the tax advantages. Talon bought the building for $9.2 million in April 2019, when Portland was a hot alternative to a booming San Francisco for tech firms looking for hipster-friendly urban amenities. A year later, COVID-19 turned both cities into ghost towns.

But Pollard says he’s undaunted. “We’re big pro-Portland people.”

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.

BOLI sent the request to on Jan. 6 was, indeed, Hoyle’s personal email address.

As for the request made Dec. 30 to Hoyle’s BOLI email address, Sandgren says, Hoyle “was in the process of moving to D.C. that weekend” and adds that the weekend following was a holiday. “She wouldn’t be checking BOLI emails, and lost access to that account when she stepped down on [Jan. 2],” Sandgren says. Sandgren says Hoyle will produce the records for BOLI. SOPHIE PEEL.

Timeline of BOLI’s Seeking Val Hoyle’s StateRelated Communications on Her Personal Devices

Dec. 30, 2022: Oregon Bureau of Labor & Industries records custodian Kelsey Dietrick emails Hoyle at her BOLI address, asking for all communications related to her work for the bureau.

Jan. 6, 2023: Dietrick emails Hoyle at her personal email address, repeating the request.

Jan. 7, 2023: Hoyle is sworn in to her seat in Congress.

Aug. 29, 2023: As of press deadline, Hoyle had not provided the requested materials.

6 Willamette Week AUGUST 30, 2023 wweek.com WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW THIS WEEK NEWS
Private capital sees opportunity on the mean streets near the Ritz-Carlton.
OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS: Talon Private Capital is fixing up the West End Building and getting a tax break. CHASING GHOSTS For eight months, Congresswoman Val Hoyle has not produced public records held on her personal devices.

Tax-Free Enterprise

City leaders seek to attract businesses to a struggling downtown with a tax holiday.

Mayor Ted Wheeler and Commissioner Carmen Rubio plan to ask the City Council to make much of downtown Portland a tax-free enterprise zone as companies flee the central city to avoid taxes, crime and open-air use of illegal drugs.

Wheeler and Rubio plan to bring a resolution before the council Aug. 31, asking commissioners to allow Prosper Portland, the city’s economic development agency, to expand the enterprise zone boundaries to include “new tax lots in the downtown SW Portland core and NW Industrial areas,” according to a copy of the resolution posted on the city’s website. The new zone is shown in the map below.


Gov. Tina Kotek is conducting a task force to fix Portland’s ills out of the public eye.

WHAT: Portland Central City Task Force

WHEN : September, specific date to be determined

WHERE : Columbia Square office building

INVITED : U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), U.S. Reps. Earl Blumenauer and Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.), Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, Multnomah County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson, Standard CEO Dan McMillan


Last week, a 47-member task force formed by Gov. Tina Kotek to discuss Portland’s many ailments met in a 10,000-square-foot conference room in downtown Portland.

It was not open to the public. Nor will subsequent meetings in the coming months admit the public or the media.

That decision, says Kotek spokeswoman Elisabeth Shepard, was made by the governor and the task force co-chair, Standard Insurance president and CEO Dan McMillan.

“The task force is neither a ‘public body’ nor a ‘governing body’ under public meetings laws,” Shepard says. “It will not make recommendations to or decisions for a governmental entity.”

Shepard declined to provide an explanation why McMillan and Kotek decided

to keep the meetings private—though she pointed out most of the task force’s members are “not elected officials.”

The roster is stacked: Along with the Sen. Wyden, Reps. Blumenauer and Bonamici, Mayor Wheeler and County Chair Vega Pederson is a laundry list of state representatives and state senators. Also on the board are Portland business leaders like McMillan, who haven’t mandated that their employees return to work downtown and are likely sensitive to how their criticisms of the city could be perceived if the meetings were conducted in public.

To be sure, every word uttered by an elected official—especially when it comes to contentious issues like homelessness, mental illness and crime—is dissected by the press. But the key positions held by task force members make what they say about the state of Oregon’s economic center all the more relevant to the public interest.

“ We’d prefer that such meetings be held in public, or at least the results be released to the public as soon as possible,” says Norman Turrill, the governance coordinator for the action committee of the League of Women Voters of Oregon. “It would be beneficial for the public to be involved.”

Still, Shepard says the co-chairs, Kotek and McMillan, will “provide regular updates to the public” after each monthly meeting.

Because the task force is making no official recommendations to a government body, any policy ideas that do come out of the task force would need to be developed from scratch in public, Shepard says. “Any policy or budgetary recommendations will have to go through a public process at the legislative, municipal or county level in order to be enacted.” SOPHIE PEEL.

“The Business Advancement Team at Prosper Portland, who is leading employer retention for the city, is in conversations with companies making active decisions about their future in Portland and have identified the Portland E-Zone as a key tool in their decision-making process to remain in the Central City,” the resolution reads.

Companies doing business in enterprise zones are eligible for breaks that include paying no property tax for five years on big items like new buildings and small things like computers, printers and desks. Land and existing equipment is not tax exempt.

In general, the tax liability for a new capital investment is 1.5%, according to Prosper Portland. A $20 million investment incurs a tax liability of around $300,000 a year. Once the five-year period is over, the improvements are fully taxed for the life of the improvements.

“ We want businesses doubling down on their commitment to Portland,” says Jillian Schoene, chief of staff to Commissioner Rubio. She em-

phasized that the tax breaks are only on new investments. Bobby Lee, chief of staff to Mayor Wheeler, calls it an “economic development strategy to focus on growth and economic opportunities.”

In the past decade, Prosper Portland has managed 97 enterprise zone projects. Seven are active, the city says, and they have the potential to invest $100 million and create 350 new jobs.

“This specific policy generally falls more into a growth category rather than a retention strategy,” says Mike Wilkerson, director of analytics at ECONorthwest. “Growth of existing firms is important in the context of current market conditions and is often overlooked. The more challenging and time-sensitive recovery condition is retention, and so bringing additional policies that are more targeted on retention in addition to this policy would offer a more comprehensive approach to recovery.”

A separate resolution scheduled for the City Council on Aug. 31 seeks to extend the same graces to Daimler Truck North America—if it builds its new expansion in Portland. The resolution states that Daimler is “considering a significant expansion at an amount greater than $25 million, either in Portland, or in other markets throughout the U.S.”

To keep Daimler in Portland, Wheeler and Rubio want to waive a requirement that companies in enterprise zones increase employment to reap tax breaks. They want Daimler simply to maintain current job numbers, a valuable perk that sponsors of enterprise zones are allowed to bestow on companies. ANTHONY EFFINGER and SOPHIE PEEL.

7 Willamette Week AUGUST 30, 2023 wweek.com


Workers at the Joint Office of Homeless Services don’t like the idea of returning to their desks.

The pandemic is largely over and supervisors want their employees back in the office. No surprise: Workers aren’t happy. This conflict is playing out across the nation at workspaces of all types, big and small, public and private. The result of this tug of war has major implications for the future of downtown Portland, as leaders have emphasized at a task force convened by Gov. Tina Kotek.

WW has obtained emails and chat messages detailing tensions over teleworking at one downtown employer: the beleaguered Joint Office of Homeless Services, which was recently the subject of a scathing county audit that accused the agency of being siloed, slow and, according to service providers, “a confusing and chaotic organization.”

JOHS is run by Multnomah County, but partly funded by the city of Portland. And its offices, located on Southwest Oak Street, are just steps from the daytime camping and nighttime drug dealing that city officials are trying to curb.

But few county employees seem to work there: “15-35 percent” of the offices’ 100 employees are “in on any given day,” says Multnomah County spokeswoman Julie Sullivan-Springhetti. “Fifty percent,” she added, “are in the office or in the field in person once a week.”

This shouldn’t be surprising, she explains. “JOHS is largely an administrative function, not a direct service provider,” Sullivan-Springhetti wrote in an email to WW. “Folks are admin-

istering contracts, collecting and crunching data.”

In other words, the Joint Office’s 100 employees largely oversee contracts with the social service providers who have direct contact with unhoused people.

That work has recently come under scrutiny. In an audit released Aug. 23, County Auditor Jennifer McGuirk described an office where standards for contractors were malleable, service providers were paid late, and each division of the office “worked in a silo” where they rarely consulted one another. “Fewer than half of homeless service providers surveyed felt the Joint Office was doing a good job communicating policies and system goals,” the audit says.

Whether a mandated return to the office would improve matters is a subject of intense debate among workers and management, records show.

Unlike the county, the city of Portland required its employees to be at their desks 20 hours a week beginning last spring. That hybrid schedule “improves daily services to Portlanders,” Mayor Ted Wheeler said in a statement to WW. “I implore the Joint Office of Homeless Services and Multnomah County to explore their future of work options, as we have at the city, to find a solution.”

In the short term, JOHS plans to save money by moving its offices to a county-owned building after its lease is up in December. Plus, says its director, Dan Field, the new location by the downtown homeless shelter inside a former Greyhound station is “closer to the people that we’re serving.”

Field says he’s still evaluating whether to adjust the office’s telework policies in the future. In the meantime: “I’m trying to put out some fires and do a longer-term assessment,” he says. County leaders, at least behind closed doors, have considered adjusting their policies to better mirror the city’s. WW has obtained emails through a public records request detailing plans by the county’s director of Facilities & Property Management early this year to require employees to be in the office two to four days a week.

Field forwarded those plans to a JOHS human resources manager earlier this month. “Sharing this with you confidentially,” he wrote. “There continues to be a lot of discussion at the county leadership level about aligning around a shared hybrid work model.”

Field and the county ’s chief human resources officer, Travis Brown, then discussed how to address concerns from public employee unions. “The union will likely never agree to our approach here—and that’s OK,” Brown wrote.

There was also discussion within JOHS, less rosy in tone. The topic of teleworking came up during Dan Field’s first meeting with his team May 10. The meeting was not recorded, and Fields doesn’t remember exactly what he said, but he tells WW he broached the issue with staff to “take their temperature.”

The temperature was hot. Employees made their displeasure known in chat messages also obtained by WW through a records request.

HARD TRAVELING: Employees at the Joint Office of Homeless Services expressed concerns about their commute. BLAKE BENARD JOHS DIRECTOR DAN FIELD
MOTOYA NAKAMURA / 8 Willamette Week AUGUST 30, 2023 wweek.com



“We work together great already :),” said a program specialist. “We love telework!” said another employee.

THE COMMUTE WOULD EAT UP TOO MUCH TIME. “The number of meetings would be unsustainable if we had to drive,” the employee added. “And parking downtown is crazy.”


“There are also people who live far away because living close in is expensive,” wrote a third. “Yup, the housing crisis affects us too…,” another responded.


“COVID still exists and we have folks who are immunocompromised,” said another employee.


“Way more important priorities to work with discussing homelessness and what does it matter if it’s in person or virtual,” the specialist added.


“I am frankly disappointed and offended that we are even using this space and one of our first meetings together to discuss taking away telework; we would lose many valuable members of our team if that happens,” a sixth employee wrote. “I think we need to take into consideration the privileges those making big decisions have, unlike employees, such as myself and many of my colleagues do not have.”

9 Willamette Week AUGUST 30, 2023 wweek.com

Psychedelic Pork

Oregon Psilocybin Services is nowhere near paying its own way.

Backers of Oregon’s psychedelic mushroom law made big promises when they pitched Measure 109 to voters in 2020. Oregonians would get access to a life-changing compound in a safe, legal setting, and, after a two-year startup period, it wouldn’t cost taxpayers a dime.

Licensing fees paid by mushroom growers, testing labs, trip facilitators and service centers would cover the costs of a new bureaucracy within the Oregon Health Authority.

But two years have come and gone, and Oregon Psilocybin Services is nowhere near paying its own way. Fee revenue is anemic because too few people are seeking the various licenses (“Stuffed Mushrooms,” WW, May 24). Just four manufacturers, two testing labs, and eight service centers have been licensed. All three types of entities pay a one-time fee of $500 and then $10,000 a year to operate. Many more facilitators have been approved (88), but they pay only $150 up front and then $2,000 annually.

So far this year, Psilocybin Services has raised just $318,419 in fees, OHA says. That’s in line with estimates by WW. Tallying the number of permits issued and multiplying by all the fees, we came up with a total of

$342,425 since the program began licensing participants on Jan. 2.

Backers of Measure 109 said the program would cost far more—$3.1 million a year—to run. To fill at least part of that gap, Oregon lawmakers appropriated $3.1 million from the taxpayer-supported general fund for the two-year period that started July 1. OHA is betting that shroom fee revenue will pick up as the biennium proceeds, making up the rest of the shortfall.

OHA spokesman Afiq Hisham counsels patience. “It takes time to build a new section in state government and to become 100% fee-based, specifically because ORS 475A is the nation’s first regulatory framework for psilocybin services and required an intensive twoyear development period,” Hisham says in an email. (Oregon Revised Statute 475A is the law created by Measure 109.)

Some psilocybin experts are skeptical.

“The promise was that taxpayers wouldn’t be on the hook for this,” says Dr. Mason Marks, a professor at Florida State University College of Law and a senior fellow at Harvard Law School’s Project on Psychedelics Law and Regulation. “That was the promise to voters.” Marks knows the Oregon system because he served on the Oregon Psilocybin Advisory Board for a year,

www.NorthPortlandAttorney.com (503) 286-1346 TheresaKohlhoff@gmail.com Theresa M. Kºhlhºff Attºrney At Law WILLS : : TRUSTS : : PROTECTIVE PROCEEDINGS FREE WILLS, TRUSTS & PROBATE SEMINAR Sunday Sept. 10, Oct. 15, Nov. 12, and Dec. 17 Noon to 2pm 7512 N. Berkeley Ave. Fees Collected by the Oregon Health Authority for Its Legal Psilocybin Program (Source: OHA) APPROVED ONE-TIME FEE REVENUE ANNUAL LICENSE REVENUE MANUFACTURERS 4 $2,000 $40,000 SERVICE CENTERS 8 $4,000 $80,000 LABORATORIES 2 $1,000 $20,000 FACILITATORS 88 $13,200 $176,000 WORKERS 249 $6,225 $26,425 $316,000 Total Revenue: $342,425 10 Willamette Week AUGUST 30, 2023 wweek.com NEWS

and he’s pessimistic. “I don’t think this is ever going to be funded by fees,” he says.

Among the problems is cost. Opening a service center, a place where trippers don eye shades and headphones and venture into the psychosphere with a facilitator nearby, can cost thousands of dollars. OHA requires the centers to have robust security systems and safes to store mushrooms (still a Schedule I illegal drug). Liability insurance costs thousands more.

Worse yet, Marks says, costs could go up because the Legislature passed Senate Bill 303 last session, requiring service centers to collect aggregate data on people seeking legal psilocybin experiences: age, race, ethnicity, income, gender identity, and reason for using psilocybin. In addition to creating privacy risks, Marks says, the law will add costs to running the program.

“The data collection mandate proposed by SB 303 will cost the OHA additional money, pushing an essentially bankrupt program further into the red,” Marks said in testimony on the bill.

To cover those costs, OHA may have to raise its fees, making licenses even less attractive to facilitators and service center owners, OHA administrator André Ourso wrote in a February letter to Sen. Deb Patterson (D-Salem). Higher fees could have particular impact on people of color, whom Measure 109 sought to enfranchise in the psilocybin economy.

“Directing [Oregon Psilocybin Services] to implement SB 303 would require an increase in licensing fees, which would have a detrimental impact to licensees,” Ourso wrote. “ORS 475A creates additional opportunities for the workforce in Oregon, specifically for licensed facilitators from diverse backgrounds that may support the health of their communities through culturally responsive and equity-centered psilocybin services. Increasing licensing fees will create more barriers for a diverse workforce in Oregon and to effective psilocybin services.”

It’s much easier to go underground. Many of the facilitators that are pouring out of training programs (shroom schools are exempt from shroom system fees) are guiding subjects in their homes and Airbnbs, or on expensive retreats in foreign countries.

And growing mushrooms is easy. Untold numbers of Oregonians are filling plastic tubs with sterile grains, inoculating them with spores, and watching mini-forests of shrooms pop up. It doesn’t take much to send someone on a long trip, and there is likely a surplus of fungi.

In short, it’s easy to do an end run around the regulated system. Until that changes, OHA may have trouble convincing people to play by the state’s (expensive) rules, and the budget shortfall will have to be filled by taxpayers who were promised otherwise.


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16 Snarky Puppy Roseland Theater | 8 pm 1111 SW Washington Street, Portland 503.208.2933 AUGUST 18 - SEPTEMBER 3 Save on almost everything in the store , with the best prices of the year on all bikes! Willier, Pinarello and Orbea bikes are at least 15% off! THE BIG SUMMER SALE
Feat. John McLaughlin, Zakir Hussain & Shankar
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall | 7:30
Thursday, October 12
and Lionel
Saturday, September
11 Willamette Week AUGUST 30, 2023 wweek.com
12 Willamette Week AUGUST 30, 2023 wweek.com

MAKES MY TART MELT: The heirloom tart at Emerald Line comes with three savory cheeses.

For a limited time, heirloom tomatoes are back.

Long before the McRib, Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Whopper Melts stirred up excitement about limited-time menu offers, nature had its own way of introducing and then abruptly cutting off supply to coveted foods: growing seasons. Consider, then, the heirloom tomato the original Unicorn Frappuccino—a deliriously colorful, invigoratingly sweet, infinitely Instagrammable delight that’s only available for a few short weeks each year. Everyone from backyard gardeners to high-end chefs looks forward to this late-summer fruit, whose versatility lends itself to everything from salads to soups to sandwiches to pizza toppings. Of course, heirlooms are also delicious all on their own, plucked straight from the vine.

To celebrate the peak of the Pacific Northwest’s tomato harvest, we’ve been scouring social media accounts for weeks looking for signs of their arrival at local restaurants, calling (and re-calling) host stands to confirm heirlooms have finally hit menus, and sometimes even pleading with industry friends to add specials featuring the produce.

It was a delicious race against time—and one you can still participate in before we return to the dominance of the less flavorful, homogeneous red spheres found in supermarkets year-round. Here are a dozen juicy picks to help you get started.

You’ve got to try these heirloom tomato dishes on Portland menus.


13 Willamette Week AUGUST 30, 2023 wweek.com


Summer Garden Veggie Pizza

($18 half, $30 whole) and BLT ($16) 6112 SE Foster Road, 971-888-5973, assemblybrewingco.com. 11 am-10 pm daily.

Assembly Brewing offers what is arguably Portland’s most authentic Detroit-style pizza from owner-brewer George Johnson, a Detroit native who learned from one of the masters. This spacious FoPo brewpub is filled with tributes to where Johnson grew up, like the beautiful wall-to-wall mural that depicts the art of brewing in story form inspired by Diego Rivera’s Detroit Industry Murals. Assembly almost always stays true to its convictions—from the use of authentic brick cheese and blue steel baking pans to staying adamantly 21-plus in a family-friendly, school-adjacent neighborhood.

For Assembly’s heirloom specials, the brewery is exploring more Pacific Northwest flavor combos, like a sweet tomato version of its summer garden veggie pizza and a panini-pressed heirloom BLT with butter lettuce, bacon and thick slices of tomato. I don’t know if the Motor City would approve, but I can certainly get behind the garden veggie topped with grilled corn, zucchini and wedges of uncooked heirloom tomato in red and yellow, which is then splattered with a chile-lime aioli like a Jackson Pollock painting. This pie is like eating a backyard cookout with your vegetarian friends, with all of the flavors of grilling season captured on each slice. You won’t even miss the meat. Even if it’s not quite traditional, at least the tomato is placed on top of the cheese like any self-respecting Detroit-style pizzeria should do. EZRA JOHNSON-GREENOUGH.


Heirloom Pie

($19 for a 10-inch, $35 for a 16-inch) 4336 SE Woodstock Blvd., 503-206-5495, doublemountainbrewery.com. Noon-9 pm daily. 1700 N Killingsworth St., 503-206-4405. 11 am-9 pm SundayThursday, 11 am-10 pm

Friday-Saturday. 8 4th St., Hood River, 541-387-0042. 11:30 am-10 pm

Sunday-Thursday, 11:30 am-11 pm Friday-Saturday.

Double Mountain Brewery has been dropping its seasonal heirloom tomato pesto pizzas since shortly after the original Hood River pub opened in 2007. Back then, Oregon was not known for pizza, and the New Haven style that co-founder Matt Swihart brought to the pub was almost as big of a draw as the hoppy ales. Double Mountain was ahead of the curve when it came to heirlooms—the pie has become a cult favorite, inspiring fans to check the company’s Instagram feed every summer to find out when it becomes available. I take it one step further and ask the staff to notify me as soon as the first Royal Anne Organics heirloom tomatoes arrive.

Double Mountain seems to know that all eyes are on these special pies—every single one comes out thin and crusty, yet they are stiff enough to withstand a heavy layer of ripe circular tomatoes. The heirlooms themselves come in a rainbow of colors, sometimes blood red, sometimes ectoplasm green, sometimes golden like a sunset. No matter the hues, each pizza is topped with a piping-hot layer of mozzarella and Fontal cheese and a dusting of pecorino and Parmigiano, filling the air with a scent that I would buy if it came as a candle. EJ-G.


Pickled Summer Tomato Special ($17 half, $33.50 full)

2727 NE Glisan St., 503-239-4444, dovevivipizza.com. 4-9 pm daily.

On occasion, I’ve heard some deep-dish naysayers suggest the style is just casserole masquerading as pizza. But aren’t tomatoes just vegetables masquerading as fruit? Dove Vivi’s deep-dish pizza is just as divisive thanks to the untraditional cornmeal crust—similar to what you would expect in a sweet fruit pie, with the graininess of cornbread and a graham cracker crunch.

I, for one, love this crust, which is a great shell for serving layers of cheese and fun toppings like the caramelized onions on the house classic with sausage and peppers.

For the first of its many seasonal tomato specials, Dove Vivi filled that cornmeal base with a bed of gooey mozzarella, copious amounts of roasted garlic, and everyone’s favorite overused pizza garnish: arugula. I’ll admit I wasn’t initially sold by the menu description of the use of pickled heirlooms, which seemed to soak up oils while simultaneously seeping out a gelatinous membrane upon arrival. In the end, the pie won me over by delivering just what I was craving in an unexpected way. Through the magic of salting, the water-heavy heirloom’s juices are coaxed out and

evaporate when baked at a high temp, leaving the natural sugars and the fruit in its purest form, and the magic of this season’s bounty on full display. EJ-G.


Heirloom Tomato Plate ($13)

825 N Cook St., 503-265-8002, eclipticbrewing.com.

Noon-9 pm Sunday-Wednesday, noon-10 pm ThursdaySaturday.

Not all that many breweries add heirlooms to their menus, and those that do tend to use pizza to showcase the fleshy slices. Not Ecliptic, which, since opening in 2013, has distinguished itself by shifting its menu with the seasons (reflecting the meaning of the brewery’s name—the Earth’s orbital plane around the sun) and pushing the boundaries of pub grub by serving creative, elevated fare alongside the familiar burgers, wings and mac. In fact, it was here, years ago at a brewers dinner, where I first tried kohlrabi in a salad—a vegetable I had never heard of, let alone laid eyes

IT’S MARTINI TIME: Emerald Line’s Tomatotini, made with vodka or gin, is an elegantly simple ode to the heirloom.
14 Willamette Week AUGUST 30, 2023 wweek.com
DETROIT ROCK CITY: Assembly added heirlooms to its veggie pie this summer.

on. So it was no surprise that Ecliptic has highlighted tomatoes in a similar fashion—the produce is cut with attention to beauty and precision as if each tomato were a precious gem and then dressed simply to emphasize the key ingredient’s qualities. In this case, that is the gentle acidity of the heirlooms. Visually, there’s no other plate that mirrors the mood of late summer as well as this one. During my visit, large tomato wedges were rippled in vibrant shades of pink, orange and red like a fiery sunset that refuses to give way to fall just yet. Soft knobs of baby mozzarella cloaked in puréed Pomodoraccio tomatoes look as though they’re trying to pass as heirlooms, but, of course, their milky richness reveals their true identity. The addition of crisp breadcrumbs and whole basil leaves turns this dish into a refreshing panzanella-caprese mashup—exactly what you want

Buzz List


310 NW Davis St., 503-997-3261, taijiteahouse.com. 11 am-4 pm Monday-Saturday.

There is at least one entrepreneur who believes that peace and tranquility can be found in Old Town Chinatown. In mid-August, Eric Arthur opened Taiji in the space that used to house Pearl Zhang’s Red Robe Tea House, which we long praised for serving “one of the finest Chinese pots of tea on either side of the river.” Zhang retired in 2021, but before she did, Arthur broadened his knowledge of gongfu tea through her and the shop— and he’s essentially reviving the essence that she brought to the establishment along with her exceptional and detailed tea ritual.


5601 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 503-206-5308, joebrownslounge.com.

1-10 pm Tuesday-Thursday and Sunday, 1 pm-midnight Friday-Saturday. This year, the space that used to house iconic barbershop and beauty salon Geneva’s Shear Perfection got two new occupants: Joe Brown’s Carmel Corn and Joe Brown’s Lounge. (Yes, we’re talking about the same Joe Brown’s that pioneered “Oregon-Style” popcorn at Lloyd Center.) If a stiff drink is what you seek, head to the bar, which has a straightforward cocktail menu with minimum mixological bluster and maximum “naming a drink for the regular who always orders it” spirit. Both a mango margarita and vodka lemonade ordered at the bartender’s suggestion were made with a heavy pour, so prepare accordingly.

to nibble on when the stubborn heat of August lingers well into September. Next time, however, I’d ask them to go light on the olive oil, which tended to mute the sweetness of the tomatoes. ANDI PREWITT.


Tomatotini ($13), White Bean Crostini With Heirloom Tomatoes ($10), and Heirloom Tomato

Tart ($15)

1800 NW 16th Ave., 503-241-6559, theemeraldline.com.

11 am-2 pm and 4-9 pm-ish Monday-Friday, 4-9 pm-ish Saturday.

I got an email tipping me off to the arrival of heirlooms at Emerald Line from a complete stranger—the first sign that the seasonal specials at this train track-adjacent restaurant in Northwest Portland were going to be exceptional. The subject line merely said “tomatoes,” and what followed was a description of the sender’s lunch punctuated by a “Yum!” That was it. Just an enthusiastic prompt from one tomato lover that was received by another—oddly, sent on the day I had planned to visit the nearly 4-year-old business.

When I got there, the second clue that this would be a standout stop on my tomato tour was the plate of fire engine-red orbs on the bar, viewed through the eyes of an heirloom fanatic as an altar to the fleeting fruit. In reality, the placement was purely functional, giving bartenders easy access to a critical component in the Tomatotini. Made with four or so pingpong ball-sized fruits that are then muddled, vodka or gin (my server recommended the cucumber-infused Hendrick’s, inching it toward summer salad in a glass), a splash of simple syrup and a spritz of salt spray, the concoction is an elegantly simple ode to the heirloom. Cosmo pink early in the season—the Tomatotini could turn yellow or green later on depending on the color of the incoming harvest—it’s about as pure as you can get to the classic “slice, salt and devour with knife and fork” in beverage form.

Go for the tomato trifecta while you’re here by pairing the drink with crostini layered in an earthy white bean paste, juicy nubs of heirlooms, chopped basil and balsamic glaze as well as a tart, whose thin, flaky crust is an uncomplicated foundation for a trio of salty, savory cheeses (Asiago, Parmesan, Romano) and tomato slices as big as saucers with a depth of flavor so impressive,




2005 SE 8th Ave., 503-208-2061, divisionwineco.com. 11 am-5 pm daily.

After producing wine for nine years on Southeast Division Street, Division Winemaking has left its namesake stretch of pavement for larger digs. The newly dubbed Wine Yard not only gives the team more square footage for fermentation and packaging; customers also benefit thanks to a more spacious tasting room, 2,500-square-foot courtyard, and multiple event spaces. Now that we’re officially in the dog days of summer, cool off with the 2022 Polka Dots Pétillant Naturel, a sparkling rosé that can be enjoyed any time of day (Division claims it could take the place of a morning mimosa).



1629 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503-231-1492, mcmenamins.com/barley-mill-pub. 11 am-10 pm Sunday-Thursday, 11 am-11 pm Friday-Saturday.

McMenamins, the brewery that introduced countless drinkers in the Pacific Northwest to craft beer, turns 40 this year, and while the company isn’t throwing a big party, smaller celebrations are underway—particularly in August. While 1983 Lager will be on tap at multiple locations, you should go to the original McMenamins Barley Mill Pub to order a pint of this special-release birthday beer made with 2-row flaked corn malt and Tettnanger Cascade hops.



1300 SW 5th Ave., migrationbrewing.com.

3-8 pm Tuesday-Thursday.

Migration Brewing has proven that it’s the master of the pop-up by opening temporary bars in places as varied as a dying mall, a bustling mall and Saturday Market. The company’s latest seasonal project has taken over the just-renovated first floor of downtown’s Wells Fargo Center. While most of that structure is home to offices, you certainly won’t feel like you’re in a cubicle farm at the taproom, which seats 40 and features black matte subway tile and a sprawling outdoor patio. There are also 10 taps for beer and wine as well as canned cocktails. Why drink in an office building? Because it’s weird and you can—for a limited time.

SALT BAE: The Emerald Line tart needs only simple seasonings.
15 Willamette Week AUGUST 30, 2023 wweek.com
MAGICAL FRUIT: Emerald Line's crostini is layered in white bean paste and topped with chunks of tomatoes.

Hot Plates


431 SW Harvey Milk St., we.are.expensify. com/midtown-beer-garden. 10 am-10 pm daily.

The large selection of food carts at Southwest 5th Avenue and Harvey Milk Street now officially has a brand that was rolled out in late August at a grand opening party in an effort to revive a beleaguered part of downtown. The naming and redevelopment of Midtown Beer Garden was a joint project between software company Expensify (which happens to sit across the street from the pod) and ChefStable. There are 25 carts, both old favorites and newcomers, but we’re most excited by the addition of permanent restrooms, a zhuzhed-up ambience and Fracture Brewing beer.


55660 NW Wilson River Highway, Gales Creek, 503-359-9452, smokehousecng. com. 9 am-9 pm Friday-Sunday.

When a beloved food cart finally goes brick-and-mortar, the opening is usually surrounded by a great deal of fanfare and a Christmas-like countdown clock. Not so for Chicken and Guns. The Cartopia pod staple very quietly launched its first full-service restaurant this past spring, and did so in Gales Creek—miles away from any of its regulars. The trek to the roadhouse-style diner is worth it. You’ll, of course, find the cart’s famed wood-fired birds and crispy potatoes (the guns), but also an expanded menu that includes burgers, locally grown vegetable-based sides, and weekend brunch.


7505 NE Glisan St., whitepepperpdx. com/burger-thursday. 5-9 pm Thursday.

Most of the week, the kitchen at this 10-year-old Northeast Portland catering company is a quiet prep space by day, while some evenings its tasting room hosts weddings and corporate dinners. But on Thursday nights, White Pepper transforms into a neighborhood hangout serving burgers. We’ve sampled them all, and the standout of the bunch is the Classic Burger. The stack is everything you want a Big Mac to be but never is: two housemade patties, American cheese, iceberg lettuce, mustard and mayo, with ketchup on the side. No one element stands out; it’s just a harmonious combination that makes for the perfect summer meal.


527 SW 12th Ave., 503-719-6921, dollyolivepdx.com. 11 am-3 pm and 5-9 pm Sunday-Thursday, 11 am-3 pm and 5-10 pm Friday-Saturday. This month, The Wall Street Journal declared we’re “becoming a nation of early birds,” and it’s hard to argue with that point since Portland’s nightlife has never really rebounded from the pandemic. If we are all turning in earlier these days, might as well make the most of lunch, a meal that’s never been as leisurely as brunch nor as elegant as dinner, yet you can apply both of those adjectives to the midday meal experience at downtown’s Dolly Olive. Lunch service began in May and includes items that would suit just about anyone’s tastes, from a farro salad to a slow-roasted rosemary prosciutto-and-Gruyère panini to a crispy chicken confit. You can even pretend you’re at a fancy dinner and order a salted caramel cannoli for dessert—a move we highly recommend.


7157 NE Prescott St., 971-340-8635, chaatwallah.com. 3-9 pm Monday-Friday, noon-9 pm Saturday-Sunday.

Deepak Saxena’s food cart has found a new home outside Upright Brewing’s second location in the Cully neighborhood. Chaat Wallah began operating out of 503 Distilling’s lounge inside the Iron Fireman Collective building, but that arrangement only lasted a few months. Thankfully, the business reemerged and is now offering a killer happy hour deal: $2 off all sandwiches and $1 discounts on Upright beer from 3 to 6 pm Monday through Thursday. Now you have a tough decision to make: masala pulled pork, tandoori tuna salad or lamb smash burger?

you could swear you just tasted a spoonful of marinara that had been simmering for hours on a nonna’s stove. AP.


The BLT ($13)

902 NW 13th Ave., 971-279-4656, jojopdx.com. 11 am-10 pm daily.

The BLT may be the most un-Jojo-like thing on Jojo’s menu. While the fried chicken sandos and burgers at this Pearl District restaurant are practically toppling over when they reach your table—towering stacks made unstable by the sheer amount of toppings the kitchen has dared to add in a culinary version of a chair-balancing act—the seasonal sandwich is a smaller, tidier affair. During my visit, all of the components remained tucked between two slices of chewy shokupan save for a sliver of bacon protruding from one side. The BLT is also simple; it has only five components, whereas Jojo’s other assemblages are made with a grocery list worth of ingredients. But that doesn’t mean this sandwich is any less delicious or visually engaging.

Like some of Jojo’s offerings, the BLT is presented cut in half and turned upward so that you can easily see (and take plenty of social media-ready pictures of) all the neatly arranged, colorful layers. Normally pillowy-soft milk bread gets added heft because it’s been toasted in bacon fat, so rest assured your sandwich innards won’t come spilling out the side due to a slippery or weak foundation. Undulating thin strips of pork provide another source of satisfying crunch balanced by the gush of tomato—mine was blushing a shade of red so dark you could almost call it purple.

A generous slathering of tangy-sweet Duke’s ends up mixed with the shredded lettuce in a wonderful way that practically creates a slaw. The only sign that this otherwise orderly sandwich came from Jojo’s erratically playful kitchen is the shower of diced chives, which look like they came out of a confetti popper. Of course, you have the option to make the BLT as over the top as anything else here by adding melted cheese and a fried chicken thigh, which is a great excuse to return to see which version you prefer. AP.


Tomato Watermelon Salad ($11)

1205 SW Washington St., 503-241-2490; 1212 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503-234-7786; lardosandwiches.com.

11 am-10 pm daily. 4025 Mercantile Drive, Suite 125, Lake Oswego, 503-303-9227. 11 am-8:30 pm SundayThursday, 11 am-10 pm Friday-Saturday.

Of course you can get heirloom tomatoes in a sandwich at Lardo, the mini-chain whose simple counter-service setup belies the

quality of the elaborate and enormous stacks—many anchored by pork—coming out of the kitchen. But when the temperature is too hot, the sun too glaring and, frankly, you’re too exhausted to even consider loading your stomach down with a culinary anchor, opt instead for succulent tomato mixed into a lighter salad.

Striking ombré-hued wedges of the fruit, whose green flesh faded to yellow at the tapered base in my bowl, get top billing in the tomato watermelon salad because they are the star in this dish—every bit as sweet and juicy as you’d hoped. But the supporting cast of produce does what any successful secondary character should: drive the action by keeping you coming back for more variety and allowing the tomato to shine. Cubes of sugary watermelon that crunch like pebble ice almost shock the tongue when compared to the milder heirlooms, and their texture acts as a wonderful sponge, soaking up the lime-ginger vinaigrette pooled at the bottom of the bowl. Heftier chunks of cucumber and feathery cilantro also share an important role as essential cooling agents—the perfect remedy to a sweltering day.

I could take those core components and be perfectly content with that as a late-summer meal, but in a smart “clean out the greenhouse” move, Lardo finishes the blend with peppery shreds of Thai basil and dollhouse furniture-sized crispy fried red onion rings for an occasional savory bite. It’s the stuff of peak farmers markets and, best of all, there’s no assembly required on your part. AP.


Rainbow Chard Pizza With Fermented Beefsteak Heirloom

Tomatoes ($29)

4039 N Mississippi Ave., 503-281-4060, lovelys5050. com. 5-10 pm daily.

One of the great things about heirloom tomato pizza is that the heirlooms are always the star of the show, even when they take a backseat. Take, for example, Lovely Fifty Fifty’s rainbow chard pie, in which the crispy-edged leafy vegetable takes center stage. The denseness of the chard pleasantly contrasts with the creamy yet grassy mineral character of crumbly salva cheese, which sinks into chef Sarah Minnick’s always-perfect, chewy and bubbly crust. But the whole thing would arguably be too overpowering without the meaty chunks of fermented beefsteak tomatoes that steal the limelight, adding sweetness and a touch of acid to a very salty, rich and peppery pie. But don’t forget to pair this pizza with a sparkly beverage like the house favorite Lambrusco, because even with the hot-rod-red slices of heir-

Top 5
HIP TO BE SQUARE: The Spurley, an impromptu creation at Ruse Brewing, is a BLT in pizza form.
16 Willamette Week AUGUST 30, 2023 wweek.com

looms, you could still use a little more help cleansing the salty, buttery and garlic-dense Calabrian chile oils from your palate in between bites. EJ-G.


Shapes of Nature ($25) and The Spurley ($25)

4784 SE 17th Ave., 503-662-8325, rusebrewing.com. 3-9 pm Monday-Thursday, 3-10 pm Friday, 1-10 pm Saturday, 1-8 pm Sunday.

To get your hands on one of Ruse Brewing’s Detroit-style pizzas, you used to have to brave traffic on Interstate 5 north and cross state lines to reach the company’s spinoff restaurant Crust Collective in the new Vancouver, Wash., waterfront development. Thankfully, the brewery ended the need for that long, painful commute by launching a pop-up kitchen in its Brooklyn neighborhood taproom and production facility, which pumps out pies Friday through Sunday.

Now that it’s tomato season, the tables have been turned as Vancouverites may find themselves making the trek to the Portland location for slices topped with beefy heirlooms using recipes that aren’t being replicated up north. We have to admit, these special pies materialized, in part, because of our meddling—Ezra prodded owners Shaun Kalis and Devin Benware to get some fresh ’maters on the menu. But, boy, are we glad they took the suggestion. Visually, these may be the most stunning heirloom dishes of the bunch since each slice is crowned with a large, colorful round.

Using the fruit as a topping was something Kalis and Benware had mulled over since the latter grows his own supply of what he considers his favorite fruit. Together with Ruse sous chef Oscar Suarez, they developed a pie dubbed “Shapes of Nature,” which piles the dense crust with light capreselike components—in addition to mozzarella, they tinkered with the recipe by swapping in floppy arugula and oregano for basil and use maple sugar as the sweetener in a blackberry balsamic glaze.

But our favorite pizza ended up being an impromptu creation, The Spurley, which came together after Suarez showed up with an armload of new ingredients. A layer of brick cheese is studded with juicy, salty nubs of lardon with a crisp exterior and springy center. A bed of crunchy strands of iceberg that appear as though they were run through a paper shredder make the perfect cushion for the heirlooms—all canary colored on my pie and looking as cheery as a sunrise, which are then drizzled with a tangy jalapeño ranch that offers just a murmur of heat. Eat at least one piece as intended with all of the components intact for the full “BLT as a pizza” effect. But consume at least one slice like an Oreo by removing the tomato topper and savoring every delightfully juicy bite of it all on its own. AP.


Heirloom Gazpacho ($6 cup, $8 bowl) and Heirloom Tomato

Sandwich ($13.95)

6660 SW Capitol Highway, 503-244-6400, seasonsandregions.com. 4-9 pm daily.

Approximately five days into my heirloom crawl, my smartphone caught on to the mission. Suddenly, I was inundated with social media ads filled with red, yellow, orange and green globes of fruit being served at a restaurant I’d never heard of. Out of curiosity, I added Seasons & Regions to my list of stops, wondering just how many heirloom dishes could possibly be on the menu at a place that bills itself as a “seafood grill.” Turns out, there were plenty. The number and variety of tomato offerings is due to the fact that the owners, known as “Chef Greg” and “Farmer Wanda,” moved to a 14-acre farm in Estacada eight years after opening their establishment on the border of the Multnomah and Hillsdale neighborhoods in 2001 in order to supply the kitchen with organically grown heirloom produce. That includes approximately 300 tomato plants whose fruit ends up in everything from a caprese salad to gazpacho to a sandwich. The latter two could even be ordered for $9.95 each from the August Cheap Eats menu (the chilled soup special came with bay shrimp), making Seasons & Regions the best bang-for-your-buck source for heirlooms.

Constructing a satisfying tomato sandwich can be as simple


We didn’t have a big garden when I was growing up, but we always grew tomatoes. I learned early on that nothing tastes like a ripe, homegrown tomato. Here in the Pacific Northwest, tomato season is short— typically a few glorious weeks from late August into early September. While these days climate change means I’m eating tomatoes from my sunny, south-facing driveway garden by late July, we’ve still got a narrow window.

During that time, I try to eat as many tomatoes as I can, and since you can only put one, maybe two, in a sandwich, I came up with a deconstructed version to increase my tomato intake in one sitting: a plate of several sliced tomatoes drizzled with olive oil, dusted with flaky salt, and accompanied by a big dollop of mayonnaise along with a few slices of grilled or toasted bread—usually a crusty, rustic loaf.

Lately I’ve tweaked my approach. A wide, wooden bowl holds more tomatoes. And while I still love an airy, rustic slice, the classic tomato sandwich uses soft white industrial bread. I can’t bring myself to buy a squishy loaf of Wonder Bread, but the buttery, soft Sally Lunn from Portland’s Little T Baker—its tall, square loaves baked in Pullman pans—is better anyway. And given the area’s numerous amazing bakeries, there are many more similar breads to choose from. If I’ve got a lot of tomatoes, I may use both types, and more often skillet-grilled in olive oil than toasted.

I choose the best, ripest tomatoes from my garden, the farmers market or, in a pinch, the dry-farmed Early Girls you might find in better produce departments. They get cut into bitesized pieces, put in the bowl, drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with flaky salt and share the bowl with a dollop of Duke’s mayo. I grab my grilled bread, a fork and start eating.


4-6 medium tomatoes (or as many as you can eat)

3-4 slices of your favorite bread, toasted or grilled

2-3 tablespoons mayo, preferably Duke’s

2-3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

Flaky salt to taste

Grill the bread in olive oil until nicely browned, or toast the bread to your liking. Arrange on a plate and drizzle with olive oil.

Cut the tomatoes into bite-sized pieces, put them in a bowl, add the mayo and a good drizzle of olive oil, and sprinkle with flaky salt. Toss gently.

Take a bite of tomatoes followed by a bite of bread. Repeat as needed.

as placing slices of the fruit between two pieces of cheap white bread swiped with Best Foods. But just because an heirloom can sing when coupled with the humblest of ingredients doesn’t mean it’s not worth elevating. Seasons & Regions makes what is the best tomato sandwich I’ve had to date—by far the drippiest of any listed here thanks to a small wall of golden heirlooms three layers tall. Their sweetness pops amid a backdrop of herbaceous tangles of basil and sharp half-moons of red onion—all of it coated in an oozy Gorgonzola sauce that walks the line between tangy and earthy.

That dish was only surpassed by a rust-colored gazpacho, which

has all of the comforting savory flavors of a good, old-fashioned tomato soup coupled with the zing of a bloody mary. I could down water bottles filled with the refreshing liquid any day the temperature tops 90, but the medley of cucumber, red pepper and red onion hidden just below the surface turns this drink into a full meal. AP.


1208 E Historic Columbia River Highway, Troutdale, 503-665-6558, sugarpinedrivein.com. 11 am-5 pm


When I first heard that Troutdale’s famous soft serve ice cream and sandwich shack had a seasonal heirloom BLT, I thought

it was a great excuse to make the short jaunt to this popular recreational pit stop. In my excitement, I overlooked the fact that it was a “beet” LT, a vegetarian version of the bacon classic featuring my least favorite pickled vegetable instead of everyone’s favorite cut of pork fat. But being the pro that I am, I decided to take one for the team, and discovered the seasonal hoagie was surprisingly enjoyable (though messy). The smoked beet didn’t come close to capturing the magic of bacon on toasted bread, but the dish did convince me that every elevated BLT should have a housemade pesto sauce. In lieu of mayo, the very herbaceous and hot pesto slathered on a spread of soft, fluffy goat cheese begged for the squish of a sweet slice of purple beet and a chunky slab of heirloom tomato.

It wouldn’t be a Sugarpine Drive-In sandwich without the business’s housemade brittles—a unique obsession here. The Beet LT comes with a “bacon-spiced” sesame seed cracker version broken up like bits of candy in the roll. Ultimately, I wasn’t convinced this was a good use of my beloved heirloom tomatoes, but it was a fun sack lunch substitute for a day spent floating the Sandy River. EJ-G.


Heirloom Tomato Zapiekanka ($15) 403 SE 79th Ave., 503-477-8789, threshold.beer. 4-9 pm Monday-Friday, noon-9 pm Saturday, noon-8 pm Sunday.

Zapiekanka—pronounced “zappy,” like the sound of a laser on The Jetsons, and “konka,” like the sound of a Flintstones character getting bonked over the head—is a Polish street food classic that was added to Threshold’s small menu of snacks as a nod to co-founder and brewer Jarek Szymanski’s home country. Best described to a layperson as an open-faced pizza sandwich, the zapiekanka is actually much more interesting than that: a baguette layered with Polish kielbasa, morski cheese, spiced mushrooms, brined cucumbers and a tomato paste that’s similar to ketchup.

To make it even more authentic, Threshold recently started collaborating with Fressen Artisan Bakery in Northeast Portland on 12-inch-long bread that could stand up to the toppings. Every zapiekanka at the brewery is finished with that zigzag line of 15-vegetable, house-stewed tomato sauce with secret spices. But during tomato season, you can try a less traditional but even more mouthwatering version topped with heirlooms sourced from the neighboring Montavilla Farmers Market that are drizzled with a white garlic sauce. It’s the perfect way to filter Polish street food through a Portlandia beer lens, and so good when paired with Threshold’s Pivo Polish Pilsner, you’ll want to scream, “Yabba dabba doo!” EJ-G.

The ideal tomato sandwich might just be one that is deconstructed.
17 Willamette Week AUGUST 30, 2023 wweek.com
BEET GOES ON: Bacon is replaced with a smoked beet in Sugarpine's BLT.


For the second summer in a row, Portland’s living room was the city’s hottest music arena. Northwest-based independent event promoter True West took over Pioneer Courthouse Square for most of August by booking a lineup of crowd-pleasing performers. The series, PDX Live, launched in 2022 and this year drew an estimated 28,000 people. Up next: True West hosts Portland Oktoberfest at the same venue Sept. 22 and 23.

18 Willamette Week AUGUST 30, 2023 wweek.com STREET
Help; photo by Skyeler Williams, @sky_hawke Growing Pains; photo by Beans Flores, @refractedbean Tegan and Sara; photo by Skyeler Williams, @sky_hawke Patti Smith; photo by Mick Hangland-Skill
19 Willamette Week AUGUST 30, 2023 wweek.com
Fleet Foxes; photo by Mick Hangland-Skill, @mick.jpg beabadobee; photo by Beans Flores, @refractedbean Japanese Breakfast; photo by Allison Barr, @alliisonder The Flaming Lips; photo by Samantha Klopp, @endlessnoisephotos
20 Willamette Week AUGUST 30, 2023 wweek.com


30-SEPT. 5

GO: Vacancy Side Street Block Party

Don’t miss the chance to be a part of Vacancy PDX’s first-ever ticketed block party (atop a freshly paved lot) featuring an inspired blend of fashion, music and art. A vendor village will take over a segment of Northeast 22nd Avenue right next to the multipurpose artist collective space, where you can shop for clothing, jewelry and crafts; skateboard through the pop-up park; or take aim at the Liquid Death Dunk Tank. The side street is minor-friendly until 7 pm—that’s when the event’s three bars open for business and a lineup of musical acts take the main stage, including Bobby Raps and Sean Anonymous. Vacancy PDX, 2137 E Burnside St., Unit C, vacancypdx.com. 3-11 pm Thursday, Aug. 31. $15-$50.

WATCH: Black Friday

Described as a “celebration of Black creativity and innovation,” Black Friday is a new event that spotlights entrepreneurs of color in the Portland community through film and conversation. You can expect to see two shorts that tell the stories of Paul Knauls, the unofficial mayor of Northeast Portland and former co-owner of the heralded Geneva’s Shear Perfection beauty salon and barbershop; Portland Trail Blazers DJ O.G. One; and downtown BIPOC enterprise hub Creative Homies. In addition to the screening, Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon executive director Cobi Lewis will lead a panel discussion featuring business leaders like Stephen Green, the founder of Pitch Black PDX, which hosts a series of events that support Black business owners; Paige Hendrix Buckner, CEO of All Raise, a nonprofit that empowers women and nonbinary individuals in the tech sector; and Marquita Jaramillo, the principal of the Black Founders Matter Fund, which is used to invest in Black-led companies that are in the early stages of development. Hollywood Theatre, 4122 NE Sandy Blvd.,

503-493-1128, hollywoodtheatre.org. 6:30 pm Friday, Sept. 1. $20 general admission; $15 seniors, students and children.

WATCH: The First Annual Most Pageant: Main Event!

The ultimate queer extravaganza awaits at the Most Pageant, where one of seven fabulous finalists will be crowned The Most! Yes, all of the categories you’d expect to see at a Miss U.S.A. competition will be there, including talent, interview and eveningwear, but this contest takes its inspiration from the raucous tradition of drag queen pageants and underground balls, promising an experience that’s much more entertaining than spending hours watching women from each state parade around in gowns and talk about world peace. This event proudly has no boundaries, and when anything goes everything glows! Clinton Street Theater, 2522 SE Clinton St., 971-808-3331, cstpdx.com. 8 pm Friday, Sept. 1. $15. 21+.

WATCH: BitNile.com Grand Prix of Portland

Some people like to use Labor Day weekend to find quiet solitude in nature. Others prefer to spend the unofficial end of summer listening to the roar of turbocharged motors making laps around Portland International Raceway. This IndyCar Series race returns for its 29th year—this time with a slightly creepy blended-reality e-commerce company as the title sponsor—with 10 races from five different series, including NASCAR’s minor league circuit, the Automobile Racing Club of America’s stock car program and a youth division. The event everyone is there to see, of course, is Sunday’s IndyCar run, which could be the decisive factor in the championship chase. During the past four Portland Grands Prix, the driver who came away with the most points ended up claiming the Astor Cup. Portland International Raceway, 1940 N Victory Blvd., raceportland.com. Gates open 8:30

am Friday-Saturday and 9:30 am Sunday, Sept. 1-3. $25-$165.

GO: The Mid-Autumn Moonlight Market

Most Oregonians want to pump the brakes on summer rather than coast into the chilly rains of fall, however, this event isn’t ushering in the season of Pumpkin Spice Lattes (however, those did drop on an alarmingly early date—Aug. 24). The Mid-Autumn Festival is a cherished holiday in China that honors the Harvest Moon, the full moon closest to the autumn equinox. The Lan Su Chinese Garden has its own version of that celebration, which will kick off with a free lion dance at the entry plaza. Beyond that, visitors can listen to music played on a yangqin (a Chinese dulcimer), watch calligraphy demonstrations, and meet the revered Moon Rabbit (which in this case is played by animals from the nonprofit Rabbit Advocates). There will also be illuminated lion dances in the garden every single evening of the festival. Lan Su Chinese Garden, 239 NW Everett St., 503-224-8455, lansugarden.org. 2-9 pm Friday-Sunday, Sept. 1-3. $10-$25.

LISTEN: 10th Annual Montavilla Jazz Festival

If you love jazz, you won’t want to miss this sprawling festival that showcases original compositions by some of our city’s best performers. Concerts take place at multiple venues across the city, so be sure to check the schedule ahead of time in order to catch your favorite artists. The festival culminates with a special performance by internationally acclaimed drummer Alan Jones playing alongside Grammy Award winners Tivon Pennicott and Kevin Hays. Friday: Mt. Tabor Park Caldera Amphitheater, Southeast 60th Avenue and Salmon Street. Saturday and Sunday: Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta St.; Portland Metro Arts, 9003 SE Stark St. Friday-Sunday: The 1905, 830 N Shaver St.; Vino Veritas Wine Bar and Bot-

tle Shop, 7835 SE Stark St.; montavillajazz. org. Various times Sept. 1-3. Prices vary.

GO: Art in the Pearl Fine Arts & Crafts Festival

If we must bid farewell to summer, might as well do it as vibrantly as possible. For the 27th year, Art in the Pearl will take over the North Park Blocks this Labor Day weekend. And it just might take you all three days to wander through the labyrinth of booths and displays—more than 100 artists are expected to participate. Bonus: The festival is free to attend. North Park Blocks, 235 NW Park Ave., 503-512-9071, artinthepearl.com. 10 am-6 pm Saturday-Sunday, 10 am-4 pm Monday, Sept. 2-4. Free.

WATCH: Tina – The Tina Turner Musical

In the mood for a musical that will leave you feeling empowered, inspired and energized? Look no further than Tina –The Tina Turner Musical, which is making its local premiere. Broadway in Portland’s second show in the 2023-24 season tells the story of one of the most iconic and influential musical artists of our time. Turner overcame adversity to become the Queen of Rock ’n’ Roll, selling more than 200 million records and winning 12 Grammys during her career. Consider this series of performances (which are already selling quickly) a fitting tribute to the late artist, who died earlier this year at the age of 83. Keller Auditorium, 222 SW Clay St., 503-417-0573, portland.broadway. com. 7:30 pm Tuesday-Friday, 2 and 7:30 pm Saturday, 1 and 6:30 pm Sunday, Sept. 5-10. $30-$144.75.

SICK BEATS: Portland Trail Blazers DJ O.G. One (left) is the subject of a short that will be screened at Black Friday.
21 Willamette Week AUGUST 30, 2023 wweek.com



AUG. 31:

Boris named themselves after a Melvins song, and no wonder—the two bands are kindred spirits, branching out from the slow and overdriven sound of their early days to encompass an astonishing range of stylistic experiments over long and enviable careers. Expect both firmly in doom metal mode during their Twins of Evil tour stop at the Roseland, where Boris will play 2002’s Heavy Rocks in full and the Melvins will play one of their best albums, 1991’s Bullhead—which, fittingly enough, begins with “Boris.” Roseland Theater, 8 NW 6th Ave. 8 pm. $35. 21+.


Family Values

The Crystal Ballroom’s Sabertooth fest is devoted to psychedelic music, with the caveat that “the psychedelic music of the 21st century is in fact very different from what it was in the 1960s.” In the case of this year’s lineup, that means it’s a whole lot heavier. Beloved Eugene doom metal band YOB headlines alongside San Francisco black metal avant-gardists Ludicra Beer brewed on the premises will be served—and the fact that music begins at 4:20 pm sharp suggests plenty of other sacraments will be passed around as well. Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside St. 4:20 pm. $39.99. 21+.


Sir Richard Bishop emerged from the untamed American rock underground of the ’80s and ’90s with Sun City Girls before reinventing himself as an alternate-universe version of Leo Kottke: a solo-guitar concert virtuoso whose restless experimentation comes in a form your mom might feasibly enjoy. His solo albums like Salvador Kali and Polytheistic Fragments display influences from India, Africa, the Middle East and beyond, and while he’s left the nasty distortion of Sun City Girls long behind, his freak spirit remains intact. Polaris Hall, 635 N Killingsworth Court. 8 pm. $15. 21+.

A testament to the multifaceted nature of Portland’s music scene, the Family Worship Center is a band that could have easily emerged from the backwoods of Tennessee or the swamps of Louisiana. Not unlike the way that the mostly Canadian members of The Band (with the exception of Arkansas native Levon Helm) channeled images of the American South into their rock and roll, the Family Worship Center does this from the Northwest. And they do it—for lack of a better word—authentically.

Case in point is the aptly named tune “The South” on the band’s upcoming album, Kicked Out of the Garden, out Sept. 8 on Corporat Records. Beyond its lyrics, the song encapsulates a sound that evokes Leon Russell, brassy New Orleans R&B, and Memphis soul and gospel (alongside present-day rock-and-rollers like Low Cut Connie and Howlin Rain).

Much of the Family Worship Center’s sound and identity is the work of frontman and visionary Andy Krissberg, who has cultivated the band’s cultish, tent-revivalist image. The wild-eyed Krissberg started the band in Nashville in 2017, during a time when he was roaming the South (much like ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax).

“I really got into recording, mainly field recordings,” Krissberg tells WW. “I had a record lathe like in the 1920s. I would travel the South and record people straight to disc. Essentially I would just record folks wherever—like the kind of thing where Grandpa has a guitar under his bed, brings it out, that sort of thing, so you could have a physical memory.”

Krissberg also liked to stop by thrift stores in his travels, and it was at one such place that he made the discovery that ultimately inspired both the name and mentality of the Family Worship Center.

“I found this tattered and worn little bible called Family Worship from the 1970s,” he says. “It was really interesting, and there were a lot of things in the book that spoke to me and made me feel better.”

It wasn’t so much the hokey religious intonations of the book that lit a spark, but rather an idea that essentially boiled down to “just be kind and care about each other.” In pursuit of what eventually morphed into a philosophy of a righteous groove (with his own literature to spread the gospel), Krissberg took his experience traveling the South and moved to Seattle.

Soon he connected with “electric guitar and chief scientist and librarian” Dr. Andrew Friendly. The two bonded over their love of The Band as well as a mutual fascination with biblical literature, though Family Worship Center is not a religious band in the traditional sense.

“ When I first met Andy, I went on a Facebook group for Seattle musicians. Some guy that I had never met before posted, ‘Hey, do you like The Band and do you want to come make a new band with me?’” says Friendly, whose guitar playing often channels the Southern rock swagger of Little Feat’s Lowell George.

With their musical chemistry flowing, Krissberg decided to make the move to Portland, and eventually Friendly joined him. Other “followers” flocked from far-flung places like Arizona and Southern California to join the “family.” Several members live together, and that communal spirit flows through Family Worship’s boisterous, party-inducing performances, which often feature at least 10 people onstage, including a horn section and background singers.

Portland audiences hardly cut loose like they do in places like New Orleans, but the Family Worship Center gets people to drop their inhibitions and just have fun. “It’s like this fun group party thing where you’re kind of an outsider but you’re also drawn to it and you want to understand the experience,” Krissberg says.

The band managed to channel the energy of their live performances into Kicked Out of the Garden with the help of Portland producer Cameron Spies (Spoon Benders, Shivas). The result is an album that stands out in the Portland scene, with its shameless devotion to a 1970s rock-and-roll sound and hippie cult vibe. You can throw a rock and hit any number of bands playing psych rock, dream pop and even country in this town, but there is only one Family Worship Center.

SEE IT: Family Worship Center plays at Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside St., 503-231-9663, dougfirlounge.com. 9 pm Sunday, Sept. 10. $15. 21+.

With their latest album, Family Worship Center preaches the gospel of rock and soul.
“I found this tattered and worn little bible called Family Worship from the 1970s. It was really interesting, and there were a lot of things in the book that spoke to me and made me feel better.”
22 Willamette Week AUGUST 30, 2023 wweek.com PERFORMANCE Editor:
Bennett Campbell Ferguson | Contact: bennett@wweek.com SHOWS OF THE WEEK

Get Happy

Northwest Classical Theater Collaborative is staging Samuel Beckett’s bleak comedy Happy Days in an old Victoria’s Secret.

The three-decade rise of online shopping surged during the pandemic and put many shopping centers that were once all-ages social hubs out of business. A walk through the ones that remain—dim and eerily vacant—brings existential longing and dread, making Lloyd Center a fitting host venue for Northwest Classical Theater Collaborative’s production of Samuel Beckett’s tragicomedy Happy Days

In the mall’s vacant Victoria Secret, 50 stools and folding chairs face a red curtain that parts and reveals a small circular stage. Buried waist-deep in a mound of earth, Winnie (Diane Kondrat) begins the day with a prayer. She then takes from a black plastic bag with great care her daily items—a toothbrush, a handheld mirror, a hat and a revolver named “Brownie.”

Winnie speaks to her husband Willie (Chris Porter), but he rarely responds. Throughout the play, the middle-aged woman revisits old memories, fixates on rituals and the objects around her, and repeats, “This is going to be another happy day.” Willie, his wife’s foil, lies behind the mound and occasionally props the back of his head on the mass and becomes visible to the audience (Winnie is gleeful with gratitude when Willie utters a word to her).

It only gets worse from there. The second act reveals Winnie neck-deep in the earth. She laments her inability to move her arms and suggests that Willie has left her, and yet continues to talk to him. Despair starts


to creep in, but still she remarks that it is a “happy day.” Beckett illustrates, through the contradiction between Winnie’s relentless optimism and the barren earth in which she’s trapped, the futility of human existence in a meaningless world.

Throughout the play, translucent plastic tarp covers old fitting rooms and creates a backdrop for the stage. This is not mere decoration—in this production, images are extensions of emotions. At times, the yellow overhead light dims and orange-gold or purple-blue lights filter through the tarp to highlight Winnie’s different emotions.

From the first act, Kondrat does not let restricted mobility hold back her performance. She employs the full range of each artistic medium available to her—voice, countenance, upper body—and its opportunities for physical comedy. The actor’s masterful command of facial expressions and well-timed silences allows her to shift seamlessly between emotions of gratitude, sorrow, ecstasy and shock. And in a further demonstration of craft, Kondrat shifts her entire performance to her face in the second act and manages to maintain the character’s established presence onstage.

The production cuts many lines from the original script to create the 90-minute narrative (the play can run up to two hours). Still, such a static performance piece struggles to maintain audience attention for more than an hour. Beckett, best known for his earlier absurdist play Waiting for Godot, could have delivered the same messages, perhaps with


“What is Cowboy Jazz?” guitarist Ryan Meagher asked by way of introduction to his fascinatingly mercurial musical project of the same name. “That’s for you to decide.” The prompt required perhaps a touch more brainpower than usual for a listener on an otherwise lazy afternoon this past Sunday, but I gave it a shot.

greater impact, in half the length of the script. The play’s quirky location also affected the audience’s ability to stay immersed in the story. At the Saturday performance I attended, a disco-themed event on the mall’s ice-skating rink started during the second act (at one point, we could hear “Dancing Queen” blaring into the crafty theater space). Still, director Patrick Walsh has delivered a striking production. Toward the end of the play, siren-red light floods the stage and darkens gradually as Walsh twists Beckett’s original ending. Whereas Beckett left room for ambiguity, the director introduces action, in addition to replacing a song that Winnie sings with “What a Wonderful World” (a classic written six years after Happy Days was first performed), constructing an ending all the more absurd and haunting.

As ridiculous as a woman buried in a dirt mound insisting on the happiness of the day may be, Beckett’s play seems to starkly reflect reality today, 60 years after its premiere. The significance of our actions shrinks as the enormity of the world’s problems grows; climate change-related disasters of record impact and polled shifts toward global rightwing populism are met with social media activism and wellness microtrends as supposed forms of rebellion. Are we not manifesting a happy day?

SEE IT: Happy Days plays at the old Victoria’s Secret at Lloyd Center, 970 Lloyd Center F116, nwctc.org. $10.

The location of this laid-back gig—Strum, a well-appointed guitar shop on Southeast Stark with hollow-body axes and lap steels within arm’s reach of the players—and Meagher’s black Stetson suggested the simple answer: jazz interpretations of folk and country tunes. The quartet didn’t disappoint on that front with their spacious takes on Jimmy Webb’s “Highwayman” and the bluegrass standard “Short Life of Trouble.” The arrangements allowed Meagher and saxophonist Bryan Smith to get fast and loose, finding tart veins of dissonance and satiny textures within the familiar melodies.

It was the band’s original compositions that stretched “cowboy jazz” and twisted it into something far knottier and far beyond a surface level understanding of the musical concept. The rhythm section of Shao Way Wu and Jonas Oglesbee kept moving the needle from a bop swing to a sambalike shuffle—and during an extended coda to one song, Meagher slid to the highest reaches of his guitar neck to elicit squeaking tones closer in spirit to experimental electronic music.

So, no, there isn’t an easy way to explain away what Cowboy Jazz is up to musically. The quartet follows the same dusty trails already carved out by players like Sonny Rollins and Bill Frisell, who have both memorably recorded their takes on American folk and country songs. Like those musicians, Meagher and his band allows listeners to either take their name and their sound at face value or, in the pioneer spirit, join them as they explore new pathways.

23 Willamette Week AUGUST 30, 2023 wweek.com

Dark Angel: The Ascent (1994)

Dante probably didn’t see this one coming. After lifetimes spent torturing bankers and landlords in a hell pit, the dark angel Veronica (Angela Featherstone of The Wedding Singer) wants to take a page from Ariel’s book and “be where the people are.”

Despite the disapproval of her demon father, Veronica ascends to the strange world of man. Ironically, hell has ill-prepared her for how vile and manipulative humans can be; even more ironically, she becomes an avenging angel in a world of street crime and autocracy that feels like an alternate reality (director Linda Hassani filmed in urban Romania, despite her American cast).

Released by Full Moon Features— the B-movie house best known for the Puppet Master franchise— Dark Angel: The Ascent has all the practical effects and off-kilter line deliveries you could want (not to mention Veronica’s loyal German shepherd, Hellraiser). But there’s also a touching thoughtfulness to the film’s juxtaposition of humans and demons.

“Punishment of evil is the highest virtue someone can aspire to,” Veronica declares with breathy, childlike righteousness. In a world where humans couch evil deeds inside layers of irony and strategy, it’s the demon who takes a simpler view of life. Cinemagic, Sept. 1.


Cinemagic: The Crow (1994), Aug. 31. Cinema 21: A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), Sept. 2. Hollywood: Basic Instinct (1992), Sept. 1-7. The Pink Panther (1963), Sept. 2 and 3. The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982), Sept. 2. Office Killer (1997), Sept. 4. Fugitive X: Innocent Target (1996), Sept. 5.

Lisa Ann Walter

The Abbott Elementary star is bringing her standup to Helium Comedy Club.

When the SAG-AFTRA actors’ strike stalled Quinta Brunson’s Emmy-winning sitcom Abbott Elementary, Lisa Ann Walter (who plays Philadelphia public schoolteacher Melissa Schemmenti on the show) did what any resourceful, union-championing teacher would: She started organizing.

The veteran actor and comedian now serves on the strike negotiating committee and convinced her Abbott Elementary co-star Sheryl Lee Ralph to become a union rep as well. “I dragged her into union service,” Walter tells WW. “I was like, ‘Sheryl, you’ll get elected to any position you run for.’”

Now, with the strike well into its second month, Walter is also spending time back where her show business career began—performing standup, including a three-night engagement (Sept. 1-3) at Portland’s Helium Comedy Club.

When we caught up with Walter, she couldn’t openly discuss “struck work”—i.e., specific shows and movies—like Abbott Elementary or her breakout role as the wisecracking nanny Chessy in The Parent Trap (1998). So, instead, we spoke to Walter about her views on the strike’s urgency, her roots in ’80s standup and the character actors who inspired her career.

WW: Through all your standup tours in the ’80s and ’90s, you never made it to Portland, huh?

Lisa Ann Walter: No, it’s wild. It was three states I’d never been to. It was Oregon, Alaska, and there was one more state…like North and South Dakota? I’m counting that as one state. That’s not nice. What’s the local delicacy in Portland?

Oh, you know, the doughnuts are always a thing. As long as you’re not putting lavender in them. I’m OK with a bacon maple doughnut. But you start putting Fabuloso in the treat, nope. Big bag of “nope.”

So I was watching old clips of your standup from different eras.

So many different hair colors!

What was the landscape like when you started?

I started doing standup as a young mother. My son was a year old when I started, my first right out of college. There weren’t really moms doing standup; there were barely women! It was maybe 25 or 30 of us across the entire country.

And my act was very particular in that I was talking about why guys think that we’re bitches because of, you know, that time of the month. No! We’re bitches all the time because we’re trying to do it all. We’re trying to raise a family, find a cure for cancer, and have a flat stomach.

So I toured the whole country, except Portland [laughs]. I had so many people come up and say, “It feels like you’re the voice inside my head.” And that was incredibly gratifying.

You’re on the negotiating committee for the SAG-AFTRA strike. What have been your most significant takeaways from that experience?

If a corporation is making a gazillion dollars but not sharing any of that largesse with their people—only the people at the very top—it creates an inequity that eventually is a bad business model. It’s not workable, not sustainable, because you eliminate the middle class. It’s the same with actors. It’s a community of people who are barely eking out a living. Eighty-seven percent of us don’t make the $26,000 [a year] to achieve health care and pension contributions. My affinity toward [unions] is based in that belief that there should be a basic fairness in how we operate, and I realize that sounds like unicorn dreams when we’re talking about corporate America, but I don’t think I’m breaking any ground here when I say that corporate greed has gotten way the hell out of control.

You’re one of those character actors, particularly for millennials, who always brings joy when you pop up in movies and TV. Who were those character actors for you growing up?

The ones I modeled my career after were Eve Arden and Thelma Ritter—the people who were secondary characters, fast-talking, quick-witted, sharp, overly sexual. Those were the fun parts! I was always a big fan of Rhoda [Valerie Harper on The Mary Tyler Moore Show]. She was the show to me.

SEE IT: Lisa Ann Walter performs at Helium Comedy Club, 1510 SE 9th Ave., 503-583-8464, portland.heliumcomedy.com. 7 and 9:30 pm Friday, 6 and 8:30 pm Saturday, and 7 pm Sunday, Sept. 1-3. $30-$42. 21+.

24 Willamette Week AUGUST 30, 2023 wweek.com
Editor: Bennett Campbell Ferguson Contact: bennett@wweek.com


While cinematic canines have wagged across the silver screen since Rin Tin Tin’s heyday, Strays stands out by recognizing that any “man’s best friend” sentiment does neither side any favors. Playing an adorably scrappy pup determined to view the repeated efforts at abandonment by his human (a loathsome Will Forte) as extreme fetch, Reggie (voiced by Will Ferrell) digs deep within an Elf-ish faux-naïfdom that soon becomes a perfect counterpoint to an eccentric ensemble of pooches, including anti-owner provocateur Bug (Jamie Foxx), a police hound turned therapy animal (Raymond Park), and a binge-dieting collie of a certain age (Isla Fisher). They’re on an incredible journey to fulfill a dog’s purpose: to bite his owner’s dick off. Amid the film’s copious attempts at body humor, writer Dan Perrault’s brisk absurdities and director Josh Greenbaum’s graceful prowl between raunch and reflection offer just enough character development for an earned whiff of sentimentality lingering well beyond the crapshoot of barnyard gags. Uncovering the tragic misunderstanding that fueled Bug’s separatist agitprop seems no less sad (or, ultimately, hilarious) than Reggie’s reflexive defense of his owner’s unrelenting abuse (plot points that offer more perspective on modern relationships than any rom-com of recent memory). It’s all well and good counseling friends not to take any shit but, Strays bravely asks, what if they like the way it tastes? R. JAY HORTON. Academy, Cedar Hills, City Center, Clackamas, Eastport, Evergreen Parkway, Laurelhurst, Living Room, Lloyd Center, Mill Plain, Oak Grove, Pioneer Place, Progress Ridge, St. Johns Twin, Studio One.


At the start of Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, raindrops fall; at the end, fire rages. You’ll feel it burn long after the end credits roll. Nolan has made violent movies before, but Oppenheimer is not just about physical devastation. It submerges you in the violence of a guilt-ravaged soul, leaving you feeling unsettled and unclean. With agitated charisma and vulnerability, Cillian Murphy embodies J. Robert Oppenheimer, the theoretical physicist whose mind birthed the atomic bomb. When we first meet him, he’s a curly-haired lad staring at a puddle, but he swiftly evolves into an excitable visionary leading a cadre of scientists into the deserts of New Mexico, where they will ultimately build and test a plutonium device (referred to as “the gadget”) on July 16, 1945. What saves the film from becoming a connect-the-dots biopic is Nolan’s ingenious chronicle of the post-World War II rivalry between Oppenheimer and Atomic Energy Commission chair Lewis Strauss (Robert Downey Jr.). The more Oppenheimer fights to put “the nuclear genie back in the bottle,” the more Strauss seethes and schemes, thrusting the movie into a maze of double-crosses that echo the exhilarating games of perception in Nolan’s 2001 breakout hit Memento Of course, the thrill can’t (and shouldn’t) last. As many as 226,000 people were killed when the U.S. bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and they haunt the film like ghosts—especially when Oppenheimer imagines a charred corpse beneath his foot. A man dreamed; people died. All a work of art can do is evoke their absence.

R. BENNETT CAMPBELL FERGUSON. Cedar Hills, Cinema 21, City Center, Clackamas, Eastport, Evergreen Parkway, Fox

Tower, Hollywood, Joy Cinema, Lake Theater, Laurelhurst, Living Room, Lloyd Center, Studio One.


Once upon a time, Barbie dolls liberated all women from tyranny. The end… at least according to the first few minutes of Barbie, a sleek and satirical fantasia from director Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird, Little Women). Set in the utopian kingdom of Barbieland, the movie dramatizes the existential crises of the winkingly named Stereotypical Barbie. She’s played by Margot Robbie, who was last seen battling a rattlesnake in Damien Chazelle’s Babylon and her misadventures in Barbie are hardly less bizarre. Plagued by flat feet, cellulite and fears of death, Barbie seeks the source of her ailments in the real world, bringing along a beamingly inadequate Ken (Ryan Gosling) with catastrophic consequences: Awed by images of Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan, Ken becomes a crusading men’s rights activist, leading a revolt against the government of Barbieland and instituting bros-first martial law. And they say originality is dead! With its absurdist wit, glitzy musical numbers, and earnest ruminations on whether matriarchy and patriarchy can coexist, Barbie is easily one of the most brazen movies released by a major studio. Yes, its tidy ending betrays its anarchic spirit—after insisting that empowerment can’t be neatly packaged in a doll box, the film seems to say, “No, wait! It can!”—but it would be churlish to deny the charm of Gerwig’s buoyant creation. In an age when genuine cinematic joy is rare, we’re all lucky to be passengers in Barbie’s hotpink plastic convertible. PG-13. BENNETT CAMPBELL FERGUSON. Academy,

Bagdad, Cedar Hills, Cinema 21, City Center, Eastport, Fox Tower, Laurelhurst, Living Room, Lloyd Center, McMenamins St. Johns, Pioneer Place, St. Johns Twin, Studio One, Wunderland Milwaukie.


Instead of falling into the trap of big team-ups, multiverses, and turgid action scenes, Ángel Manuel Soto’s small-scale superhero film Blue Beetle keeps its focus on family, humor and Latino culture. The charming Xolo Maridueña plays Jaime Reyes, a college graduate who returns home to Palmera City and is tasked with protecting a device called “the Scarab,” a piece of tech that attaches itself to Jaime and forms a powerful exoskeleton around him. It isn’t long before military-minded baddies show up looking for the Scarab, with businesswoman Victoria Kord (Susan Sarandon) wanting to take her corporation to the next level by harnessing the device’s energy. Blue Beetle has formulaic plot elements and a C-grade villain in Kord, and some of the jokes fall flat (such as when a bug vehicle farts on Kord’s henchmen). It overcomes its weaknesses with well-rounded supporting characters (George Lopez is a hilarious standout as Uncle Rudy), heartfelt scenes of family bonding, and well-framed action sequences. Blue Beetle is one of the last films in the soon-to-be-defunct DC Extended Universe, which began a decade ago with Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel. It’s too late to salvage the series, but Soto deserves credit for creating one of the more charming entries in a mixed-bad franchise. PG-13. DANIEL RESTER. Bridgeport, Cedar Hills, City Center, Clackamas, Division, Eastport, Evergreen Parkway, Fox Tower, Lloyd Center, Mill Plain, Oak Grove, Pioneer Place, Progress Ridge, Studio One, Vancouver Plaza.


Anyone attempting to imitate Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining has their work cut out for them. Stewart Thorndike’s sophomore film Bad Things is one such piece, playing like an LGBTQ response to Kubrick’s masterpiece. The story follows

Ruthie (Gayle Rankin), who inherits a hotel and invites her friends for a winter vacation that grows thorny as past trauma is revealed and some of the women start seeing ghosts. Bad Things is a disappointment from Thorndike (who showed promise with her high-energy debut Lyle); although it gets points for representation, acting and a beautiful piano score by Jason Falkner, the film is a bit of a mess. Its mix of relationship drama and paranormal thriller never quite gels, the hotel setting lacks character, and Thorndike never establishes the brooding atmosphere the tale requires. The Overlook Hotel in The Shining is one of the most memorable settings in all of cinema. The Comely Suites in Bad Things are instantly forgettable, much like the film itself. NR. DANIEL RESTER. Shudder.


In the opening scene of Between Two Worlds, French acting icon Juliette Binoche is seen applying for low-level cleaning jobs. Her character, Marianne, is mannered, vulnerable and observant—almost the opposite of her often genuine, sometimes coarse, unself-conscious co-workers. Based on French journalist Florence Aubenas, Marianne is undercover and researching a book on laborers who work tirelessly yet teeter on society’s edge. They’re paid minimum wage to perform herculean invisible tasks, like turning over 60 beds in 90 minutes on a ferry from Northern France to England. Visually, director Emmanuel Carrère strikes the right pose, a docu-realist style that puts the viewer in supply closets, break rooms, and even toilet bowls. But the need to manufacture drama often feels patronizing to the workers and ironically misfocused. At one point, Marianne announces in voice-over that her book is becoming a portrait of Chrystèle (Hélène Lambert)—a co-worker, friend and single mother to three boys—but that doesn’t remotely bear out in the film. Instead, it remains centered on the awkwardness of a journalist being found out by subjects with whom she’s behaving far too familiarly. In film and in life, the road to poserdom is paved with good intentions. NR. CHANCE SOLEM-PFEIFER. Living Room.


Upon first hearing plans for dark-hearted Sundance fave Cory (Thoroughbreds) Finley’s buzz-drunk film centered on the gender fluidity of alien overlords, you’d figure the resulting picture would be fun, yes? Or, at least, trashily engaging? Even vaguely redolent of the 21st century? Alas, Landscape With Invisible Hand wastes the reputation of the YA novel it adapts and the charm of stars Asante Blackk and Kylie Rogers, devolving into a cinematic lecture on economic stratification and celebrity worship. In 2036, we’re told, the world’s fallen under the rubberized forelimbs of an interstellar technocrat empire known as The Vuvv—and whole families depend on the aliens’ appetite for livestreaming courtship of fresh-faced kids. As hard scifi, the central conceit is so dully underwhelming that the utter absence of some game-changing twist is itself mildly shocking. A storyline this hackneyed requires a Neill Blomkamp-level visual tinkerer or Bong Joon-ho-styled set pieces to transcend leaden material, not a relative novice like Finley. His aliens never quite transcend the middling pall of a throwaway Doctor Who episode, though his treatment of the humans is arguably even worse. Apparently, we live in a world where Sundance entrants can effectively simulate the people and places of another universe while failing utterly to replicate any semblance of lower-middle-class life.

TOP PICK OF THE WEEK 25 Willamette Week AUGUST 30, 2023 wweek.com OUR KEY :
26 Willamette Week AUGUST 30, 2023 wweek.com

"Words of Longing"--or, just some long words across.

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Climate change is dramatically altering the Earth. People born today will experience three times as many floods and droughts as someone born in 1960, as well as seven times more heat waves. In urgent efforts to find a cure, scientists are generating outlandish proposals: planting mechanical trees, creating undersea walls to protect melting glaciers from warm ocean water, dimming the sun with airborne calcium carbonate, and covering Arctic ice with a layer of glass. In this spirit, I encourage you to incite unruly and even unorthodox brainstorms to solve your personal dilemmas. Be wildly inventive and creative.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): "When love is not madness, it is not love," wrote Spanish author Pedro Calderon de la Barca. In my opinion, that’s naive, melodramatic nonsense! I will forgive him for his ignorance, since he worked as a soldier and celibate priest in the 17th century. The truth is that yes, love should have a touch of madness. But when it has more than a touch, it's usually a fake kind of love: rooted in misunderstanding, immaturity, selfishness, and lack of emotional intelligence. In accordance with astrological factors, I assign you Tauruses to be dynamic practitioners of genuine togetherness in the coming months: with hints of madness and wildness, yes, but mostly big helpings of mutual respect, smart compassion, tender care, and a knack for dealing maturely with disagreements.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Gemini author Iain S. Thomas writes, "There are two things everyone has. One is The Great Sadness and the other is How Weird I Really Am. But only some of us are brave enough to talk about them." The coming weeks will be a favorable time to ripen your relationship with these two things, Gemini. You will have the extra gravitas necessary to understand how vital they are to your full humanity. You can also express and discuss them in meaningful ways with the people you trust.


1. "There's nothing left to add"

16. Era that Historic Williamsburg is supposed to represent

17. "Come see what life is like over here"

18. Fed a line

19. Exigency

20. First Lady after Lady Bird

21. Paintball sounds

27. Deg. for a grad student in film studies

28. Option to go straight to the game

32. Phrase that might introduce bad news

34. Garden gastropod

35. Steamed

37. Like some caulk or baking sheets

42. It's usually only accessible by plane or boat

43. "Srsly" preceder, maybe

46. New England nine

47. Calgary-to-Edmonton


48. Nighttime sound

50. Number associated with the musical "Six"

52. Where to find Merlin

60. Green New Deal focus

61. Well-crafted speech, perhaps


1. Heads of England?

2. Quick sellers, proverbially

3. Alaskan chain

4. Act like a sot

5. Author Blyton of "The Famous Five" series

6. Pulitzer winner ___-Manuel Miranda

7. Rested

8. Chess rating system

9. Rotating piece

10. Author Tan

11. Just out

12. Supplement ingredient

13. Fathered, on a ranch

14. Roman-___ (novel genre)

15. When repeated, "eh, you get the idea"

20. Performer of a surprise

2012 hit

21. "Santeria" rock band

22. Personal and vacation days, in the office

23. Bud of Bud

24. Stuff on a wall

25. Antidiscrimination law of 1972

26. Polite Indian titles, way back when

29. "Why Can't I?" singer Liz

30. Private eye, at times

31. University in Quebec City

33. French vessel for preparing an herbal brew

36. "2 Broke Girls" star Kat

38. Chip shop option

39. Some NHL endings

40. Prefix in some music genres

41. Pres. from Denison, Texas

43. Busy place in Chicago

44. Gourmet mushroom

45. "I've ___ idea" ("Beats me")

49. Cavs' home court, once

50. Hawk

51. Disney CEO Bob

53. Cute anime-inspired emoticon

54. "Insecure" star Issa

55. "Son of," in Arabic names

56. Prefix in some music genres

57. School gp.

58. Took command

59. Peptic start

CANCER (June 21-July 22): A self-fulfilling prophecy happens when the expectations we embrace actually come to pass. We cling so devotedly to a belief about what will occur that we help generate its literal manifestation. This can be unfortunate if the anticipated outcome isn't good for us. But it can be fortunate if the future we visualize upgrades our well-being. I invite you to ruminate on the negative and positive projections you’re now harboring. Then shed the former and reinforce the latter.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): The holy book of the Zoroastrian religion describes a mythical mountain, Hara Berezaiti. It's the geographic center of the universe. The sun hides behind it at night. Stars and planets revolve around it. All the world's waters originate at its peak. Hara Berezaiti is so luminous and holy that no darkness can survive there, nor can the false gods abide. I would love for you to have your own version of Hara Berezaiti, Leo: a shining source of beauty and strength in your inner landscape. I invite you to use your imagination to create this sanctuary within you. Picture yourself having exciting, healing adventures there. Give it a name you love. Call on its invigorating presence when you need a sacred boost.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Virgo journalist Anthony Loyd has spent a lot of time in war zones, so it’s no surprise he has bleak views about human nature. He makes the following assertion: "We think we have freedom of choice, but really most of our actions are puny meanderings in the prison yard built by history and early experience." I agree that our conditioning and routines prevent us from being fully liberated. But most of us have some capacity for responding to the raw truth of the moment and are not utterly bound by the habits of the past. At our worst, we have 20-percent access to freedom of choice. At our best, we have 70-percent. I believe you will be near the 70-percent levels in the coming weeks, dear Virgo.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Libra poet T. S. Eliot wrote the iconic narrative poem “The Waste-

land.” One part of the story takes place in a bar near closing time. Several times, the bartender calls out, "Hurry up, please—it's time." He wants the customers to finish their drinks and leave for the night. Now imagine I'm that bartender standing near you. I'm telling you, "Hurry up, please—it's time." What I mean is that you are in the climactic phase of your astrological cycle. You need to finish this chapter of your life story so you can move on to the next one. "Hurry up, please—it's time" means you have a sacred duty to resolve, as best you can, every lingering confusion and mystery.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Addressing a lover, Scorpio poet Margaret Atwood says, "I would like to walk with you through that lucent wavering forest of bluegreen leaves with its watery sun & three moons, towards the cave where you must descend, towards your worst fear." That is a bold declaration. Have you ever summoned such a deep devotion for a loved one? You will have more power and skill than usual to do that in the coming months. Whether you want to or not is a different question. But yes, you will be connected to dynamic magic that will make you a brave and valuable ally.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Sagittarian theologian N. T. Wright writes, “The great challenge to self-knowledge is blind attachment to our virtues. It is hard to criticize what we think are our virtues. Although the spirit languishes without ideals, idealism can be the greatest danger.” In my view, that statement formulates a central Sagittarian challenge. On the one hand, you need to cultivate high ideals if you want to be exquisitely yourself. On the other hand, you must ensure your high ideals don’t become weapons you use to manipulate and harass others. Author Howard Bloom adds more. "Watch out for the dark side of your own idealism and of your moral sense," he writes. “Both come from our arsenal of natural instincts. And both easily degenerate into an excuse for attacks on others.” Now is a good time for you to ponder these issues.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Capricorn playwright and novelist Rose Franken said, "Anyone can be passionate, but it takes real lovers to be silly." That's interesting, because many traditional astrologers say that Capricorns are the least likely zodiac sign to be silly. Speaking from personal experience, though, I have known members of your tribe to be goofy, nutty, and silly when they feel comfortably in love. An old Capricorn girlfriend of mine delighted in playing and having wicked good fun. Wherever you rank in the annals of wacky Capricorns, I hope you will consider expressing these qualities in the coming weeks. Romance and intimacy will thrive if you do.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): As I work on writing new books, I often draw on inspirations that flow through me as I take long hikes. The vigorous exercise shakes loose visions and ideas that are not accessible as I sit in front of my computer. Aquarian novelist Charles Dickens was an adherent of this approach. At night, he liked to walk around London for miles, marveling at the story ideas that welled up in him. I recommend our strategy to you in the coming weeks, Aquarius. As you move your body, key revelations and enriching emotions will well up in you.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): The coming months will be an excellent time to build, discover, and use metaphorical bridges. To get in the mood, brainstorm about every type of bridge you might need. How about a connecting link between your past and future? How about a nexus between a task you must do and a task you love to do? And maybe a conduit between two groups of allies that would then serve you even better than they already do? Your homework is to fantasize about three more exciting junctions, combinations, or couplings.

Homework: Do you have the power and know-how to offer beautiful forms of love? Newsletter.FreeWillAstrology.com

©2023 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.
WEEK OF AUG. 31 © 2023 ROB BREZSNY FREE WILL last week’s answers ASTROLOGY CHECK OUT ROB BREZSNY’S EXPANDED WEEKLY AUDIO HOROSCOPES & DAILY TEXT MESSAGE HOROSCOPES freewillastrology.com The audio horoscopes are also available by phone at 1-877-873-4888 or 1-900-950-7700 27 Willamette Week AUGUST 30, 2023 wweek.com







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