Willamette Week, September 13 2023 - Volume 49, Issue 44 - "Rise From Chaos"

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NEWS: Avalanche on Pill Hill.

FOOD: Magic Meat Truck Goes Brick and Mortar. P. 19

COMEDY: The Zach and the Jess Face the Music.

P. 23

The political machines that for decades dominated Portland elections must start from scratch.

WWEEK.COM VOL 49/44 09.13.2023
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VOL. 49, ISSUE 44

A national accreditor found insufficient space at the Oregon Zoo’s giraffe barn . 6

A woman tried to get into the downtown day shelter carrying a bag of stolen mail 7 Val Hoyle won’t hand over her phones. 9

Nearly half of OSHU employees would leave even if offered a similar job. 10

The blame for city failures will soon be diffused among 12 possible culprits , not five. 13

Angelita Morillo made a political “get ready with me” video on TikTok 16

There’s now a drunk bus from Portland to Mount Angel Oktoberfest. 18

Calcareous clay is the Jory soil of Paso Robles, Calif. 18

A mobile butchery has now taken up full-time residence in a former bagel shop. 19

On Mondays only, you can get a 10-inch Neapolitan-style pizza for just 12 bucks from Lucky Horseshoe Lounge. 20

Author Caitlin Donohue wants to teach your kids about cannabis. 21

Sometimes boys stop being interested in 4-H and get into fireworks. 22

What’s the deal with improv comedians hiking to Pittock Mansion? 23

Oregon cinema may have peaked in the 1920s when Buster Keaton took over Cottage Grove and crashed a train. 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. COQ AU VIN, PAGE 19 ON THE COVER: There be dragons in Portland’s new City Council districts; illustration by Kelsey Zuberbuehler, @kelseyzu.design OUR MOST TRAFFICKED STORY ONLINE THIS WEEK: Portland music promoters dread the city’s big plans for a Live Nation venue. 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.
AARON LEE WILLAMETTE WEEK IS PUBLISHED WEEKLY BY CITY OF ROSES MEDIA COMPANY P.O. Box 10770 Portland, OR 97296 Main line phone: (503) 243-2122 fax: (503) 296-2874 Classifieds phone: (503) 243-2122 fax: (503) 296-2874 3 Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 13, 2023 wweek.com FINDINGS


Last week, WW obtained the latest study by Prosper Portland of a proposed concert ballroom on the Central Eastside (“They Live,” Sept. 6). Normally, such a proposal would be cheered by Portland music lovers (except the ones who own existing venues). But this one would be operated by Live Nation, the Saudi-backed conglomerate that has tanked with the U.S. Department of Justice over its ticketing practices and efforts to blackball venues that don’t use Ticketmaster. Rockers were divided. Here’s what they had to say:

IAIN, VIA TWITTER: “I get the dislike of Live Nation, but I think a new venue of this size would be good for Portland. There aren’t a lot venues here that can accommodate 4,000 people; the Roseland, mentioned in the article, has a capacity of 1,410.”

ESQUEDA, VIA REDDIT: “On the one hand, a new 4,000-seat Live Nation venue wouldn’t displace many existing venues since that’s kind of a vacuum in the performing arts space in the city. Keller and Schnitzer might lose a few for seated events, but standing room shows would have a new home. Moda and Veterans already exclusively ticket through Ticketmaster, so the wolf is already in the hen house. “On the other hand, Prosper Portland is involved, so they’ll probably piss everyone off and nothing will actually happen, so we don’t really have to worry about Saudi Live Nation money building a cash siphon in the city.”


“I think it’s weird that Doug Fir is moving to the Central Eastside, and this Live Nation venue is trying to open in the Central Eastside, both near extremely loud railroad crossings. They’re going to have to do a ridiculous amount of soundproofing.”

SCOTTY RAY, VIA WWEEK. COM: “We have our own version

of Bend’s amphitheater—it’s called Edgefield. The only time bands skip Portland for Bend is when they were just here and they’re hitting up other cities. Live Nation is a predatory monopoly that needs to be broken into a million pieces and shot into the sun.”


“I have lived in Portland for 30 years and I am tired of having bands pass us by. Outdoor amphitheaters offer a very different experience than indoor shows can offer. The indoor venues are too small to be considered by the bands that this size of place will attract. If you are worried about the Saudi taint then just know that they will love it if you drive to a distant amphitheater. If you are worried about the corporate evildoers, then I’ll bet you can catch a great tiny violin set at Mississippi Studios.”

MICHAEL V, VIA WWEEK. COM: “I just went to Hayden Amphitheater and it sucked. It was super expensive and entirely too ‘regulated’ to have any relaxing going on. Just from that experience, I would vote no for this corporate venue. Why not subsidize a local over an international scam corporation that is in constant strife with the Justice Department?”


RESPONSE: “I’ve been to six concerts at Hayden Homes

Dr. Know

You cut out my most important point: Tipping was created so workers in states with a “tipped minimum wage” of $3.35 an hour can still make the real minimum wage. Why should servers make more than other minimum wage workers? Your jerky move of cutting my letter leaves me feeling a bit freer to NOT TIP.

Yes, my “jerky move” is clearly the problem. Honestly, Hate, if I didn’t know better, I’d say you were looking for excuses to NOT TIP.

We got dozens of letters on this subject, but Hate’s follow-up was such a great example of how the anti-tipping crowd can always find a reason why they shouldn’t have to pay (and how scandalized they are that someone might make more than minimum wage) that I couldn’t resist.

“Why should servers make more than other minimum wage workers?” Because they’re not, in general, minimum wage workers. Servers and bartenders are skilled workers compensated based on varying levels of experience and

Amphitheater in Bend this year and have no idea what you mean by ‘too regulated.’ It’s a great venue, never seen a fight, seen a few over served people, which they try to keep to a minimum for everyone’s pleasure and safety. Virtually no lines at alcohol stations. Options for chair rentals but not required. Freedom to roam. They had a few early problems with getting people into the venue in a timely manner, but that seems to have been solved. Overall, a great experience. I think this would be huge win for PDX. The concerts end at 10 pm in Bend due to sound regulations. PDX could add that as well.”

UNSOCIALSOCIALIST, VIA REDDIT: “Greetings from Austin! They will 100% gobble up your entire scene. They effectively own our largest park now (Zilker).”



A story in last week’s edition about public defense policy (“Meet Your Lawyer,” Sept. 6) incorrectly said the county was implementing changes to arraignments this fall. In fact, while the program has been piloted, Multnomah County Circuit Court has not agreed to launch it this fall. The story also misattributed a quote describing the sheriff’s support for the plan to Grant Hartley, director of Metropolitan Public Defenders. It was in fact a quote by Deputy John Plock of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office. WW regrets the errors.

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

Email: mzusman@wweek.com

ability. Some spend years working their way up to high-end jobs, which may even allow them to buy homes (as distasteful as that might sound to all you hardworking folks making $200K for answering email).

It’s true that service folks get their compensation in a weird way. At the end of the day, though, a top-flight bartender (for example) is worth upwards of six figures, whether it’s in wages, tips or cocaine. The bar can abolish tipping if it likes, but if it can’t pay the bartender in salary what she was formerly making in tips (which will involve raising prices), she’ll go work for someone who can—the free market at work, y’all!

Other folks sent variations of “they should just raise prices and pay the workers a decent wage.” I recently spoke to the manager of a Portland restaurant who just abolished tipping in favor of a fixed service charge, and—can you believe it?—the tipping trolls hated that, too.

Of course, that’s still a line item that looks like a tip. What about folding the additional labor costs completely into the menu prices? There are examples. One reader touted the “proudly tip-free” restaurant Lovina, in the Napa Valley. According to its website, it offers paid vacation, health and dental insurance, a 401(k) and a revenue share: 30% of every customer’s bill is paid directly to the staff. I don’t have a problem with that, but I’ll bet you do. (Also, a grilled cheese there is $26.)

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

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Top officials at the Multnomah County Jail told county commissioners at a Sept. 12 briefing that they’re expanding staff training in the use of body scanners at the county’s jails. The X-ray scanners were installed in the fall of 2019, but the sheriff’s office just became aware of a certification program that allows staff to train co-workers how to use them. In the wake of an unprecedented six inmate deaths earlier this year, Sheriff Nicole Morrisey O’Donnell said the scanners had proven ineffective at detecting fentanyl being smuggled into the jails, and some of the deaths may have been drug related (“Cell Death,” WW, Aug. 16). The problem, however, may not have been the machines but a lack of training. The jail brought in the company that services the scanners to provide staff training a few weeks ago at the county’s Inverness Jail in East Portland. Chief Deputy Stephen Reardon told county officials it’s already proving effective. Deputies are finding more contraband. “We are seeing a difference,” he said.


FEARS BUDGET SHORTFALL: As candidates in next year’s 12 City Council races flood the zone, the city’s Small Donor Elections program—which matches small contributions to candidates with taxpayer dollars by up to 9 to 1—is worried it won’t have the budget next year to meet its obligations. (Between 50 and 100 candidates are expected to run for City Council in 2024; see page 13.) The program is asking for an additional $4.2 million from the city to prepare for the influx of candidates. But Mayor Ted Wheeler hasn’t included the request in the upcoming fall surplus budget, nor has he indicated he will include it in next year’s budget. “If there is an extreme funding shortfall, match caps will have to be lowered accordingly, disrupting the program’s purpose of reducing the actual and perceived influence of large financial contributions,” Susan Mottet, the program’s director, tells WW. Mayoral spokesman Cody Bowman says the mayor’s office is monitoring the program’s budget needs and will “assess additional funding” next year. “That decision will be largely influenced by financial forecasts we will receive later this year,” Bowman says.


ACCREDITOR’S CONCERNS: An inspection report by the Oregon Zoo’s national accreditor outlines concerns raised during a site visit last summer. In the report, obtained by WW, the

Association of Zoos & Aquariums found no major problems but listed several “lesser concerns,” including “limited holding capabilities” at the giraffe barn, an outdated Family Farm barn, a penguin exhibit that is not “aesthetically pleasing,” and a damaged boardwalk and railing at the black bear and mountain goat enclosures. The zoo is working on fixes, it says. “We’ve already addressed two of them: boardwalk resurfacing and repairs, and assessment of educational programs. But the others—penguin, giraffe and family farm areas—are more complex projects, and we’re working on those now through the campus planning process,” says zoo spokesman Hova Najarian. The zoo has spent $150 million in the past decade modernizing nearly half of its campus with funding approved by voters in 2008. Now, it proposes a slew of projects to modernize the other half, including the penguinarium and giraffe exhibit that were the subject of AZA concerns, according to a staff report presented to Metro councilors earlier this month.

FEDERAL JUDGE SAYS PATIENTS MUST BE RELEASED FROM STATE HOSPITAL: A federal judge in Portland invoked the supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution on Sept. 11 to force the release of mentally ill inmates from the state’s locked psychiatric hospital. U.S. District Judge Michael Mosman ordered Oregon State Hospital last year to limit the time it held criminally charged patients who were sent there for treatment because they were too mentally ill to stand trial. The result—patients being discharged early—frustrated county judges who believed some needed longer periods of treatment. In some cases, they ordered patients to be held at the hospital past Mosman’s early release deadlines. That set up a constitutional showdown between federal and state judges. On Monday, Mosman pulled rank. “Orders issued by state court judges in Marion County prohibiting the release of detainees held at Oregon State Hospital for restoration purposes are void under the Supremacy Clause,” he ordered. The supremacy clause, in Article 6 of the U.S. Constitution, gives federal law precedence over state law when the two conflict. At issue are seven patients from Marion County held in August at Oregon State Hospital beyond Mosman’s limits, thanks to a lack of community facilities able to take them. The day after Mosman’s order, Marion County sued the Oregon Health Authority in circuit court, demanding the hospital hold more patients.

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The Fetty Files

The first uses of Oregon’s new fentanyl possession statute suggest who will pay.

In June, Oregon lawmakers passed House Bill 2645, criminalizing possession of small amounts of fentanyl.

The new law, which went into effect July 28 after Gov. Tina Kotek signed it, has been touted by policymakers as a powerful new tool for law enforcement to address the rampant public use of illicit drugs. The law “addresses our primary concerns about the public health crisis unfolding on our streets,” Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said in late June.

But, according to charging records released to WW by prosecutors, Portland cops have used it sparingly so far.

The law introduced a misdemeanor for possession of at least 1 gram or five “user units” containing detectable amounts of fentanyl, which has been included in charges referred to the Multnomah County district attorney by police agencies only four times, says DA spokeswoman Liz Merah.

Last week, prosecutors filed charges in Multnomah County Circuit Court for all of them. The defendants include a suspected drug dealer, a woman trying to enter a homeless day center with a bag of stolen mail, and a county jail inmate. In half the cases, the charge was paired with other, more serious crimes.

The number of cases may rise as police become more familiar with how to use it, and a spokesman for the Portland Police Bureau says some cases may still be working their way through the system. “We are seeing positive momentum— though it will take time to train officers on the nuances of the new law,” the mayor’s office tells


Last Friday, Portland Public Schools Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero warned parents that teachers could strike as soon as October.

One of the issues at stake in the contract bargaining between PPS and the teachers’ union is the number of minutes teachers get to plan each week.

The Portland Association of Teachers says its members are nearly at the bottom of the heap of metro-area school

In the meantime, the details of these four cases offer some clues to how the law will eventually be enforced and who will be affected:

DATE: Aug. 9

LOCATION: Multnomah County Inverness Jail

CHARGES: A 28-year-old man from The Dalles was caught with contraband fentanyl while locked up in Multnomah County Jail. The circumstances, including why he was arrested and how long he was held, are unclear. But the charges signify the latest tactic to stem the flow of illicit drugs into the jail following a series of inmate deaths, some reportedly drug related. A warrant is now out for the man’s arrest after felony contraband charges, and another for misdemeanor possession, were filed Sept. 5.

DATE: Aug. 15

LOCATION: Southwest 6th Avenue and Harvey Milk Street

CHARGES: A 47-year-old houseless man was cited by Portland police for misdemeanor fentanyl possession at the downtown open-air drug market recently featured in a WW cover story (“Life in Hell,” July 26). That corner has been a target of increased police attention in recent months. Prosecutors filed charging documents Sept. 6 that provide little additional information besides the allegation that the man possessed “five user units” of fentanyl. A warrant is now out for his arrest after he failed to appear in court Sept. 12.

DATE: Aug. 28

LOCATION: PSU Parking Structure 3, Level 1

districts when it comes to paid planning time. In their most recent contract—which expired in June—they were allotted 320 planning minutes per week at the elementary level. Only the Reynolds School District in Fairview gets fewer, at 300.

The district’s current proposal is to bump Portland teachers up to 360 minutes per week that they can use at their discretion for tasks like grading homework, writing lessons and tests, and making photocopies. It’s also offered to add a day to the contract year of teacher planning time.

“ What we hear from our teachers is that they spend time outside of work planning, and we want to pay them for that,” says Sharon Reese, the school district’s chief human resources officer.

Beaverton teachers are sitting pretty at the top of the list, with a whopping 675 minutes. That’s more than 11 hours a week of paid planning time.

CHARGES: A campus safety officer at Portland State University caught a 41-year-old transient man sitting in a corner of the parking structure with fentanyl smoking paraphernalia, wads of cash, and an electronic scale. Nearby was a bag containing “postage-stamp”-sized plastic baggies full of fentanyl, which had a combined weight of 1.57 grams. The cop wrote him a citation for trespassing and drug dealing near a school, and ordered him off the PSU campus. On Sept. 5, prosecutors charged him instead with misdemeanor fentanyl possession. He’s scheduled to appear in court early next month.

DATE: Sept. 1

LOCATION: Transition Projects Resource

According to Reese, however, comparing Beaverton’s and Portland’s allotments of teacher planning time is not quite apples to apples. Beaverton counts administrator-led time, including meetings, in the 675 minutes whereas Portland counts only teacher-led time.

Portland teachers have asked for 440 planning minutes.

“ They tell us things like, ‘It’s not possible. We can’t do that,’” says PAT president Angela Bonilla, “when the reality is that other districts can do it, but for some reason the largest and most well-funded district can’t figure it out.”

Superintendent Guerrero warned PPS parents in a Sept. 8 email they should start preparing for a strike by teachers as early as the fourth week of October. A teachers’ strike in Camas ended Sept. 7 and one in Evergreen Public Schools in Vancouver, Wash., ended Sept. 11. RACHEL SASLOW.

Center, near Union Station downtown CHARGES: A 36-year-old houseless woman was trying to get into the shelter’s day center when someone called the police. She had an outstanding warrant related to 2022 charges of making fraudulent health care claims to the state—as well as a backpack full of stolen mail, including driver’s licenses from three states, debit cards, and nine checkbooks. The woman was booked in jail on a dozen charges of felony identity theft. And, because she had 10 counterfeit oxycodone pills hidden in her bra and elsewhere, she was also charged with misdemeanor possession. A warrant is once again out for her arrest after she failed to appear in court.

Source: Portland Association of Teachers

7 Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 13, 2023 wweek.com WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW THIS WEEK
Portland teachers envy the paid time for lesson planning enjoyed by their counterparts in Beaverton.
DISTRICT TIME Beaverton 675 Hillsboro 475 North Clackamas 450 Parkrose 380 West Linn 375 Centennial 365 Portland 320 Reynolds 300
ILLEGAL: A new law makes it a crime to have a few fentanyl pills.

Pursuit of Perfection

A Lexus dealership on Sandy Boulevard is stalled.

ADDRESS : 3075 NE Sandy Blvd.



MARKET VALUE : $6.3 million

OWNER : Holman Portland Real Estate LLC


WHY IT’S EMPTY : A Lexus dealer hasn’t come to town, as planned.

In the 1940s, Northeast Sandy Boulevard was considered the suburbs.

People began to buy cars en masse then, and when they shopped, they needed parking. Sandy had plenty, and stores followed. Among the outlets were car dealers. In 1949, Wallace Buick moved from downtown to Sandy, according to the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian Institution. Lots of other car dealers followed.

Decades later, the dealerships moved farther east, to 82nd Avenue, and out to other suburbs. Before the pandemic, it appeared that Sandy might be reborn as a pedestrian strip with bars, restaurants and shops. Some have appeared, including the Shaku Bar, Providore Fine Foods, and Paydirt and Boxcar Pizza in The Zipper food court.

Among the foot-draggers appears to be Holman Portland Real Estate LLC, an affiliate of a national auto dealer chain called, simply, Holman. The limited liability company owns the 1.6-acre parcel on the northwest corner of Northeast Sandy and 31st Avenue. It’s an odd-shaped lot that backs up onto Interstate 84 and has a battleship-gray building tagged with rather artful graffiti.

In February 2019, a year before the pandemic shithammer came down on nice things in Portland, Holman got permission from the Portland Bureau of Development Services’ Design Commission to build a Lexus dealership on the site, even as the city strived

for walkable businesses.

Holman went out of its way to make the thing look cool, according to the Design Commission’s approval documents for the project. It would be four stories with employee parking on the roof, a really thoughtful feature in parking-starved Portland back then.

The landscaping was going to be even better, including “precast seating stones, lighting and landscaping to create a pleasant and safe outdoor area. The shape of the open space reflects the curved shape associated with the Lexus brand. Several types of seating areas are anticipated in the plaza, providing options for passersby to stop or meet.”

But little has happened since that 2019 approval. Holman went back to BDS in May 2021 for some minor changes to the plan like using “fritted glass in lieu of louvers” (look up fritted glass; it’s cool) and changing the finish on the bike rack. BDS approved everything.

More than two years on, construction still hasn’t begun. Michael Moonan, director of real estate development at Holman, didn’t return a message on LinkedIn seeking comment. Nor did the company respond to a form on its corporate page.

Tim Heron, the city planner listed on the 2021 approval, directed questions to Lee Leighton, a land use planner at a local firm called Mackenzie. Leighton didn’t return an email.

Given the state of play in Portland, it’s easy to see how a luxury brand might have doubts about opening a store in the urban core when so many have closed. And Holman already has a Lexus dealership on Southwest Canyon Road at 87th Avenue. ANTHONY EFFINGER.

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.

8 Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 13, 2023 wweek.com NEWS
SCAN FOR TICKETS www.inmulieribus.org In Mulieribus PO Box 6374 Portland, OR 97228 Visit www.kboo.org/birthday55
LEXUS LOST?: A dealership had plans to sell luxury cars on Sandy, but the lot remains unimproved.

DIY Tech

Val Hoyle won’t provide her personal phones to the state agency she once ran.

U.S. Rep. Val Hoyle (D-Ore.), who while serving as Oregon labor commissioner used personal devices to discuss at least some state business, is now resisting handing over those devices for inspection.

In recent emails obtained by WW, Hoyle tells the Bureau of Labor & Industries, which she led from 2019 to the beginning of 2023, that she will produce the records herself, with the assistance of her attorney— even though BOLI officials made it clear it would be much swifter for the agency to scour the devices since they have the relevant software.

As WW reported last week, BOLI twice asked Hoyle earlier this year to produce all public records on her personal devices. Hoyle says she saw neither email. It was not until WW asked Hoyle about the requests last week that Hoyle reached out to the bureau.

Records previously provided by BOLI show that Hoyle did discuss state business from a cellphone—including a $554,000 grant the bureau awarded to a nonprofit co-founded by Rosa Cazares, CEO of the embattled La Mota dispensary chain whose business associate and longtime on-and-off partner was a top campaign donor to Hoyle. Current BOLI Commissioner Christina Stephenson revoked the grant this spring, after WW’s reporting on the cannabis outfit, because the grant would never pass legal muster with federal regulators.

Below is a recent exchange between Hoyle and BOLI records custodian Kelsey Dietrick about Hoyle turning over her cellphones.

AUG. 30, HOYLE TO DIETRICK: Hoyle explains that she missed both previous emails and would produce all BOLI-related texts on personal devices. “I would also like to put in a permanent public records request to have any documents that are sent to anyone concerning me. Please send those to me concurrently with the response to the requestor.”

SEPT. 5, HOYLE EMAILS DIETRICK AGAIN: “I am going through all my texts and will send anything BOLI related that has not been previously produced.”

SEPT. 5, DIETRICK EMAILS HOYLE: “For your phone records, the best way to do so is to make your personal devices available to the agency and we can assist you. This includes the two personal cell phones we are aware of as well as any other personal phones you may have used that hold BOLI related public records.”

Dietrick also asked that Hoyle return her BOLI-issued phone. Dietrick tells Hoyle that the bureau cannot accept a “permanent” records request.

SEPT. 5, HOYLE RESPONDS: “Due to both the high volume of personal texts compared to the significantly lower volume of BOLI texts and also my knowledge of who I worked with while at BOLI, I don’t think it would be practical for BOLI to assist. My plan is to include any text having to do with BOLI work. I have started at A in my address book and have been copying everything that could possibly be included from requests for a call back to questions on policy issues.”

Hoyle adds: “Also if I gave you my cell phone, I would be without it and that is not possible at the moment.”

SEPT. 6, DIETRICK WRITES BACK: “Should you choose to provide access to your device, I believe we can do a download in about 20 minutes.” Dietrick says that Hoyle sorting through her own texts is “not ideal as we will be unable to search the content as thoroughly.”

SEPT. 6, HOYLE REPLIES: She’s on the East Coast and doesn’t return until late September. “I would like to get this done so there is no doubt that as soon as I was made aware of this request, I complied. My attorney has advised that we perform the production of public records ourselves so as to ensure that we are fully compliant and nothing is overlooked.”

SEPT. 7, HOYLE TELLS BOLI: She will produce the records by the end of the month. SOPHIE PEEL.

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On a Wire

Misgivings plague OHSU as it prepares an ambitious hospital takeover.

Oregon Health & Science University, the medical behemoth that aims to take over rival Legacy Health, recently polled 19,369 employees about their jobs. More than 7,000 responded.

One of the questions: Would you stay at OHSU if offered a position similar to yours at a different hospital? Just 54% said definitively that they would, according to results of the internal survey obtained exclusively by WW. Worse yet, just 44% said they had confidence in “senior management’s leadership.” About a third were neutral on that question, and another third had “unfavorable” opinions.

The poll is the latest sign that things aren’t hunky dory on Pill Hill. OHSU acknowledges the results of the survey, citing “unprecedented challenges for the last three years.”

But there’s more. In April, the Portland Business Journal reported that 27 department chairs at the OHSU School of Medicine took an informal poll, asking if they thought the university’s board of directors should reappoint president Dr. Danny Jacobs, 69, a surgeon with two degrees from Harvard University who grew up in rural Arkansas. Twenty-six of the 27 said no, according to the Business Journal Together, the two polls show that OHSU is heading into a monstrous purchase, to be made with millions in new debt, with a team that isn’t exactly on board. Not all the wood is behind the arrowhead, as the saying goes,

raising questions about whether OHSU is equipped to absorb Legacy’s 14,000 workers and become the Portland metropolitan area’s biggest employer, with some 32,000 doctors, nurses and other staff, 10 hospitals, and 3 million patient visits a year.

Jacobs will prove those doubters wrong—if he can guide the deal through a regulatory maze that includes the Oregon Health Authority, the Oregon Department of Justice, and the Federal Trade Commission. FTC approval could be the biggest hurdle, experts say. Under President Joe Biden, the commission has become more aggressive than it’s been in years, opposing health care deals that agency leaders think will kill off jobs or raise medical prices for consumers.

Care New England and Lifespan Health System, both based in Providence, R.I., abandoned their plans to merge last year after the FTC opposed the “anti-competitive” deal, saying it would lead to higher prices and a lower quality of care for Rhode Islanders. The commission is challenging another deal in Louisiana that had the state’s blessing, escalating its health care cage fight.

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“The FTC will be very interested in this particular merger.”

TRICKY ASCENT: OHSU is buying out a huge rival at a time when its own staff is leery of leadership.

“The FTC will be very interested in this particular merger” between OHSU and Legacy, says Douglas Ross, a professor at the University of Washington School of Law who worked in the DOJ’s Antitrust Division before working in private practice on health care deals. “Under current leadership, the FTC is extraordinarily aggressive, far more aggressive than under Barack Obama.”

It’s a tough time to be a hospital system. During the pandemic, surgeons couldn’t perform as many highpriced procedures that boost profit margins. Emergency rooms were flooded with uninsured patients seeking expensive, lifesaving care. And hospitals had to pay higher wages to attract traveling nurses after permanent staff quit, fed up with pandemic mayhem. Legacy, for one, lost $172 million from operations in the fiscal year that ended March 31, on revenue of $2.6 billion. OHSU, which is one and a half times bigger, fared better. It lost $90 million on revenue of about $4 billion.

The difference has led to speculation that Legacy sought a deal with OHSU in order to survive. On Wall Street, distressed companies often become prey, and hospitals are no different.

In a blog post titled “OHSU: Savior or Privateer?” (complete with pirate ship graphic), lobbyist Rick Metsger, a former Oregon state senator and onetime chairman of the National Credit Union Administration, said Legacy has been trying to cut costs by selling assets and closing facilities, “but the latter has been met with intense political pushback from local and state legislators.”

A deal that’s good for Legacy may not be good for the state, Metsger writes. “State and national hospital associations always tout these consolidations as improving the quality of care and reducing costs. But recent studies by Rand and Harvard have concluded that most hospital mergers fail to improve quality and

actually increase costs.”

Indeed, when it comes to cost control, OHSU is an Oregon laggard. In 2019, the Legislature started the (very literally named) Sustainable Health Care Cost Growth Target Program, setting an annual target to slow growth in health care spending. For 2021 to 2025, that target is 3.4% or less.

For patients with private insurance, OHSU’s costs rose 21.1% from 2020 to 2021, compared with 10.2% for Kaiser Permanente and 9% for Providence Health & Services. For patients using Medicare Advantage, OHSU showed growth of 8.3%, compared with 3.4% for Kaiser and 6.8% for Providence.

“OHSU serves the most complex cases referred from throughout Oregon, which require the most sophisticated, multidisciplinary and often costly treatment,” a university spokeswoman says. “OHSU’s higher share of ‘outlier’ cases makes direct comparison with other health systems challenging.”

Metsger also frets about what happens if the deal doesn’t work. OHSU, once owned and operated by the state of Oregon, has been a “public corporation” since 1995. It’s independent, but it still has close ties to the state. It got $129 million from the taxpayer-supported general fund in the 2021-23 biennium. Its workers are part of the Oregon Public Employee Retirement System.

“At the end of the day, the backstop for OHSU is the taxpayer,” Metsger tells WW. “What if they come a year or two from now and say, ‘Wow, this costs a lot more money. In order to keep people in health care, we need X, Y and Z’?”

Success depends on OHSU’s Jacobs. He’s going to need all of his skills to pull off what would likely be the biggest deal in Oregon health care history.

His employees aren’t the only skeptics. Doubts about Jacobs lingered at an OHSU board meeting April 19, when chair Wayne Monfries, a former Nike executive, asked for sole authority to negotiate a new contract with Jacobs after his old one expires in June 2024. Jacobs became president in 2018, and Monfries wanted to extend his contract for up to two more years, through June 2026.

Board vice chair Ruth Beyer said the process seemed “rushed” because Jacobs had almost a year left on his contract, plenty of time to deliberate. Board member Steve Zika agreed.

“Since this resolution came on the agenda, I’ve gotten more feedback in the last three days than I have in my four years” on the board, Zika said at the meeting. “And the feedback is that it’s too long. I take that seriously.”

Monfries said the board had to reappoint Jacobs now because “we have a lot of things coming up” and “the show of stable leadership is important.” He also assured the board that he’d been in touch with board members individually and that “everyone feels very comfortable with this.”

In the end, the board voted 6-2, with Beyer and Zika dissenting, to grant Monfries the power to negotiate a new contract with Jacobs. He explained to board members that he didn’t have to bring the contract back to them unless it extended beyond two years.

Four months later, on Aug. 16, The Oregonian broke the news, citing unnamed sources, that OHSU and Legacy would “join forces.” It was an inauspicious start to the process that surprised OHSU’s own employees.

“ We planned to share this announcement tomorrow with all of you as part of our coordinated efforts to announce this significant milestone,” the university told employees. “We apologize for any additional stress or anxiety this accelerated timeline has caused.”

OHSU said it had signed a “non-binding letter of intent to combine and create a comprehensive, integrated health system that will offer high-quality, essential health care services to patients.”

The bungled announcement was the easy part, and it’s likely things will get harder. Given its track record, Biden’s FTC will look at such claims closely.


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Rise From Chaos


Last November, Portland voters chose to overhaul city government.

As a result, a city administrator in January 2025 will take over day-to-day functions like pothole filling and trash pickup. That same day, 12 City Council members— more than double the current number— will take office to make policy for the city.

Each of the 12 will represent one of four brand-new geographic districts and will be elected using a voting system that ranks candidates by order of preference, like an Oscar ballot.

Three weeks ago, the city released maps of the new districts. The campaigns for who will occupy the seats in those districts began the minute the ink dried.

While the candidates themselves debut, the more important politicking is being done behind closed doors—by the political machines that have long determined who wins a seat on the Portland City Council.

But the campaign managers, strategists, and industry and labor leaders who typically play a huge role in electing candidates are without their trusted playbooks. Those were thrown out the day Portlanders approved Measure 26-228.

“It makes my head hurt a little bit,” says longtime Democratic consultant Mark Wiener.

“What we see coming together is very much what we talked about, which was democracy,” says Jenny Lee, deputy director of the Coalition of Communities of Color, which shepherded the measure, and

managing director of the coalition’s political arm. “Nobody is coming in with a clear playbook.”

A great deal is at stake. This is a broken city: Its bureaus plant trees but don’t water them, pluck light posts from public parks left in darkness, and can provide little aid to the man in a sleeping bag under Interstate 405.

The vote to change Portland’s form of government was an expression of disgust with the status quo, and the lucky dozen politicians who win office in 15 months “will be the people that are being handed the keys to set up a government,” says pollster John Horvick of the Portland firm DHM Research.

Over the past two weeks, WW spoke to more than 20 key figures—campaign managers, political consultants, labor union leaders, CEOs and nonprofit executives— about next year’s City Council races.

What’s come into focus is that at least two, and maybe three, political machines are attempting to navigate this new terrain while conceding that year one of a new city government will be chaotic.

One union strategist described it like this: “My mom always said, never buy a car on its first model year. Because it’s going to be full of bugs and shitty. And this election feels the same way. It’s going to be a mess. It’s going to be weird.”

These are the six questions that will decide who sits on the City Council in 2025—and whose interests they will represent.

political machines that for decades dominated Portland elections must start from scratch.
12 Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 13, 2023 wweek.com

How difficult will it be to get elected?

Let’s say you’ve decided to run for City Council in District 3, which stretches across Southeast Portland from the east bank of the Willamette River out to Interstate 205. By the time you jump in, nine other candidates have already declared. To secure a seat, you must make it into the top three.

The threshold to win a seat is 25% of first-place votes.

You’re a young progressive whose top priority is ending traffic deaths. That’s likely to go over well in this district, which in recent elections has favored candidates with liberal priorities.

But other candidates’ campaigns are built on ending traffic deaths, too. You’ll have to decide: Should you link arms with your two like-minded rivals and tell voters to support all three of you on the ballot? Or do you assume that District 3 voters have an appetite for only one transportation advocate in their district, and try to separate yourself from the other two?

“ You want to be an acceptable choice to everybody,” says Jake Weigler, one of the most accomplished political consultants in Portland. “If you can be in that Venn diagram, that’s a sweet spot to be in.”

On election night in November, you’re hoping to get 25% of the votes. That would mean you win a seat outright.

But if that doesn’t happen, the ranked-choice voting system means you and your opponents are in a scramble for second and third place. Voters’ second- and third-place preferences for eliminated candidates are then reallocated.

Whether you get elected now depends not only on how many people made you their top choice, but also whether you were anybody’s second or third pick.

Now imagine 60 candidates performing a similar calculus. Throw in the interest groups also thinking strategically, and you’ve got too many possible scenarios to untangle.

Longtime political onlookers estimate anywhere from 50 to 100 candidates will end up running across the four districts. (“But I don’t have a ton of confidence in that prediction,” Horvick says.) That’s as many as two dozen candidates per district.

The most candidates to run for council citywide in any election cycle in the past three decades? Twenty-one.

“There are multiple levels of strategy,” says Amy Ruiz, a consultant and lobbyist for industry groups, “that we can’t fully comprehend yet.”

A further complication: Portland’s campaign finance laws allow super PACs to spend money with few limitations, even as candidates must abide by spending caps. That means deep-pocketed patrons could play key roles in each district.

“I do not care for independent expenditure campaigns,” says Joe Baessler, political director for Oregon AFSCME, one of the most powerful unions in the state. “But it’s going to be hard to not think those are going to pop up.”

We asked Greg Goodman of Downtown Development Group, a major purseholder for business-friendly independent expenditures in recent years, about the probability of unshackled donors spending big money.

“In time and money, I would say more than likely we would get involved,” Goodman says.

Who’s running?

The annual Labor Day Picnic is where elected officials (and those who want to be) rub elbows with their union base. This year, six of the 2025 City Council hopefuls stood at the podium, stat-

ing their names and giving a little wave. To many in the crowd, the faces were entirely unfamiliar.

The fact that half a dozen people were stumping, 14 months before the election, is a testimony to the appetite for seats. The filing deadline is Aug. 27, 2024. Yet 12 candidates have already declared, and several others haven’t denied they’re running when asked by WW

By all accounts, the seats are desirable. The pay is $133,000 annually. The blame for any failures will be diffused among 12 possible culprits, not five. Perhaps most appealing is that the new city councilors will have one job: make policy. No longer will they double as managers of city bureaus, as the current city commissioners do.

“It is a diminished role, and these new seats pay well,” Horvick says. “And people like to feel important. Being an elected official is one way to feel important.”

The likely candidates include the founder of Cuban restaurant Palomar, a chess coach, a TikTok personality, a pharmacist, and a legislative aide. None has held office before. Most are young and progressive. Few have name recognition (see “Who’s In,” page 14, for their names and brief biographies).

“Some folks want to come out early on the progressive side because they’re like, ‘I need to stake out space and clear the field,’” says Joseph Santos-Lyons, a consultant

NEW FACES: Tony Morse is one of 12 declared candidates for City Council.
CONTINUED ON PAGE 16 ALLISON BARR 13 Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 13, 2023 wweek.com
“There are multiple levels of strategy that we can’t fully comprehend yet.”

Who’s In

Meet the first dozen City Council candidates to throw their hats in the ring.

District 1

Steph Routh Age 47. Longtime advocate for bicyclists, pedestrians and public transit. Current member of the Portland Planning Commission, which advises the City Council on zoning and land use. Served in leadership roles for various transportation groups and worked for a time at the Portland Bureau of Transportation. Among her top priorities are transportation projects, traffic safety and affordable housing.

Timur Ender Age 33. Currently works as a transportation planner. He formerly worked on transportation policy under City Commissioner Steve Novick. Ender says his top priorities are affordable housing and building economic opportunity by supporting living-wage jobs.

David Linn Age 41. Board member of the Centennial School District. Linn has worked for more than a decade as an executive assistant at the Oregon Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology. His top priorities are restoring public safety and increasing the availability and affordability of middle-income housing.

District 2

Debbie Kitchin Age 67. Owner of Interworks, a construction contracting company. Served as chair of the Portland Business Alliance’s board of directors and as president of the Central Eastside Industrial Council, one of three enhanced service districts in the city whose members pay for bolstered city services such as trash cleanup and security patrols. Served on the 20-member Portland Charter Commission that crafted the new form of city government. Her top priorities are restoring public safety and combating homelessness and climate change.

David Burnell Age 43. Serves on the Government Transition Advisory Committee, which advises city leaders on the two-year transition to the new form of government that’s well underway. An alcohol and drug abuse counselor who formerly helped write policy for the Oregon Health Authority. His top two priorities are public safety and family-centric economics.


Here are a few known characteristics about Portland’s brand-new City Council districts.


This district’s boundaries are similar to those of Multnomah County’s District 2, a seat long held by commissioners of color.


Doug Moore’s business coalition thinks it can win at least two of these three seats for moderate candidates.

14 Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 13, 2023 wweek.com


By far the most racially diverse district of the four. In the Rene Gonzalez vs. Jo Ann Hardesty runoff last fall, voters east of Interstate 205 came out strongly in support of Gonzalez.


Known colloquially as “The Kremlin,” inner Southeast has long been a labor stronghold. Six young progressives have already declared their candidacies here.

District 3

Robin Ye Age 29. Chief of staff to progressive state Rep. Khanh Pham (D-East Portland). Member of the 20-member Portland Charter Commission that crafted the new form of city government. Formerly worked as political director of the nonprofit APANO. His top priorities are transportation safety and combating climate change.

Angelita Morillo Age 27. Progressive policy adviser for Hunger Free Oregon. Formerly worked as a constituent relations staffer for City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty. Has a successful TikTok account (29,000 followers) where she makes explanatory videos about local policies. Her top priorities are addressing homelessness and improving transportation.

Chris Flanary Age 36. City employee at the Portland Housing Bureau since 2013. Longtime union representative for American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 189, which represents about 1,000 workers at the city. Their top priorities are increasing wages for city subcontractors and stable, affordable housing.

Jesse Cornett Age 47. Board member of Oregon Recovers, an addiction recovery nonprofit. Former campaign aide, or “body man,” to Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. Longtime legislative staffer. His top priorities are relieving homelessness and improving public safety.

Sandeep Bali Age 40. Pharmacist. In 2022, he ran against incumbent City Commissioner Dan Ryan, receiving 8% of the vote. Ran on a platform of banning tent camping, and he’s running on it again. Two other priorities he notes are “cleaning up the city” and “restoring public safety.”

Daniel DeMelo Age 26. Chairs the Joint Office of Homeless Services Community Budget Advisory Committee, which, in theory, helps ensure Multnomah County uses its homeless dollars effectively. Says the county has largely circumvented those efforts. Attended Lake Oswego High School, where he fought against standardized testing.

District 4

Tony Morse Age 42. Current political director for the addiction recovery nonprofit Oregon Recovers. Former lobbyist for that group. Before joining Oregon Recovers as its political director earlier this year, Morse worked as a real estate agent (he’s trained as a lawyer). His top priorities are better addressing addiction and providing more treatment options and transitional housing for addicts. SOPHIE PEEL.

15 Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 13, 2023 wweek.com


who last year ran Jo Ann Hardesty’s unsuccessful reelection campaign. “That may or may not work.”

One of them is Tony Morse, a soft-spoken, amicable 42-year-old who’s long been involved in Democratic Party politics. A lawyer by training, he took to real estate after he started a family. He liked talking to people, and people seemed to like talking to him, too.

He’s also in recovery from substance abuse, so he started lobbying for the nonprofit Oregon Recovers and is now its political director. Already, he’s dubbed himself the “recovery candidate.”

“I think the city needs someone who is focused on recovery,” Morse says, “and who can forge these partnerships with the county.”

Another early declarer is Angelita Morillo. She does policy work for Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon, and took to TikTok to explain why she’s running for City Council as she applied red lipstick and threws on a blazer—a riff on the “get ready with me” videos that are popular with young trendsetters.

“Portlanders are craving candidates that are

ance), represents the largest employers in the city, like Nike and insurer The Standard.

The hold that business has on City Hall, even today, is apparent from its current composition: Mayor Ted Wheeler and Commissioners Mingus Mapps and Rene Gonzalez were strongly backed by the business community.

As the charter measure rocketed toward the ballot last year, the chamber unsuccessfully fought its validity in court. The group saw the measure as a threat to its steady influence.

Once the measure passed, the chamber pivoted. It hired Doug Moore, a soft-spoken but blunt political operative who led the Oregon League of Conservation Voters in the 2010s.

Moore’s task is to place moderates (he prefers the term “pragmatic problem-solvers”) on the City Council. He says he will try to build a coalition broader than just business: “It’s hard to say who will say yes and no, but I’m going to try. Politics makes for strange bedfellows.”

Moore is creating a 501(c)(3) and a 501(c)(4) nonprofit and a political action committee to ensure moderates are elected. They’ll be governed by two separate boards of directors, seats likely to be occupied mostly by business and industry leaders.

According to those familiar with Moore’s work, soft candidate recruitment has already begun—as has talk of strategy. Candidates the coalition will likely back include Eric Zimmerman, a staffer to moderate Multnomah County Commissioner Julia Brim-Edwards, who has not yet declared.

“ We want to just support the best candidates. This isn’t about ideology,” Moore tells WW—adding that the chamber hired him because he’s not afraid to “give a couple bonks” on people’s heads, but he also can build a broad coalition. “This is about problem-solving.”

One consideration? Which districts are most likely to support moderates (see “Strongholds,” a map of power bases on page 14).

“Business is disciplined about knowing they have to focus on particular districts,” Weigler says. “The west and far east district, and then maybe they can snag a couple seats in the middle.”


The July meeting addressed whether a coalition of labor and social justice nonprofits was feasible —and if so, whether it would create tiers of endorsements or jointly back candidates in some other way.

“In an election where you have 25 candidates,” says Felisa Hagins, political director of Service Employees International Union Local 49, “endorsements really matter.”

Also discussed: whether they should run a slate of candidates in one district—a duo or trio that campaigns together.

Weigler says running slates could get awkward. “It may turn out that being number one, two or three on a slate matters a lot. You don’t want them to feel like you’re picking between your children,” Weigler says. “A lot of us are still muddling through that.”

Labor leaders WW spoke to say that whether they’ll pursue slates is still up in the air. “We’re so focused on the elections that we’ve forgotten about the policies,” Hagins says. “Slates have to have an agenda. Without an agenda, what’s a slate?”

Will there be a third powerful group?

There is also the prospect of a third power base, further to the left, associated with progressive two-time mayoral candidate Sarah Iannarone. This constituency, which often overlaps with the politics of U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), includes members of local social justice nonprofits and representatives from BIPOC organizations.

Iannarone made headlines this spring by announcing plans for a candidate training school during the summer. It was quietly canceled. (Iannarone says it will commence in October.) Some progressive leaders told WW they were frustrated by that—they felt it killed momentum for the progressive base.

transparent and don’t back the status quo,” Morillo tells WW. “I’ve heard firsthand from Portlanders that are most impacted by poverty in our city. I know how to take advocacy and turn it into policy.”

Expect candidates with longer résumés and more name recognition to jump in next year.

Among those weighing runs: onetime Portland Mayor Sam Adams, former Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith, and erstwhile City Commissioner Steve Novick.

How will the business lobby adapt?

For decades, two interest groups jockeyed for power in City Hall: labor and business.

Business interests fought to relax building regulations, lobbied against new taxes, and focused City Hall’s attention on the health of the downtown core. The Portland Metro Chamber (formerly known as the Portland Business Alli-

How will organized labor respond?

Labor has long been the business sector’s equal, opposing force. More than 95% of the city workforce is unionized, the sheer mass making public employee unions a powerful bludgeon. So far, just one declared candidate falls directly into this category—Chris Flanary, who works for the city and is a union representative for American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 189—but there will be more.

Representatives of those groups met in a Southeast Portland conference room in mid-July to plot strategy.

A key figure at the meeting was Mark Wiener, the liberal consultant who’s played kingmaker to City Hall since at least the mid-1990s, advising Mayors Vera Katz, Sam Adams and Charlie Hales while in office and helping them out of PR pickles. Wiener says his role isn’t clear yet: “I’m just one of a group of people figuring out the best way to

Labor is known for the hundreds of thousands of dollars it pours into campaigns. The racial justice nonprofits have never had deep coffers, and some of them—specifically the Coalition of Communities of Color and Oregon Futures Lab—attended the July meeting with labor.

It was not lost on anyone inside the room that labor and nonprofits haven’t historically marched in lockstep on local races, Jenny Lee of the Coalition of Communities of Color says. While both groups agree on workers’ rights, unions flinch at some of the bolder experiments of the social justice left.

Earlier this year, Rep. Khanh Pham (D-East Portland) co-sponsored a “right to rest” bill that would have allowed homeless people to sleep in public spaces. Labor cringed at the bill; House Majority Leader Rep. Julie Fahey (D-Eugene), a labor Democrat, called it a “distraction” during the legislative session as Fox News pounced on it with glee.

Pham’s chief of staff, Robin Ye, 29, served on the city Charter Commission that crafted Ballot Measure 26-228 and is now running for one of the 12 City Council seats he had a hand in creat-

“You don’t want them to feel like you’re picking between your children.”
SOCIAL STAR: Angelita Morillo runs a TikTok account with 29,000 followers. FROM PAGE 13 16 Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 13, 2023 wweek.com

GO TIME: Robin Ye has long been involved in the nonprofit world.

I think should align us all.” (Iannarone says she’s not running for mayor or City Council.)

What about mayor?

In the same November 2024 election in which they’ll pick a City Council, Portland voters will also choose a new mayor.

It is in some ways a diminished job. The next mayor will hire and fire the city administrator who manages all the bureaus. But the mayor will not have a vote on the City Council under the new system and will have no veto powers (he or she will cast tie-breaking votes).

It’s unclear whether Mayor Ted Wheeler will seek a third term. A spokesperson for Wheeler tells WW, “He has not decided.” That appears true: He’s told some close associates he’s considering another term and told others he won’t run.

City Commissioner Mingus Mapps is the only person so far to declare his mayoral candidacy. It’s widely expected that Commissioner Carmen Rubio will run, too. Commissioner Rene Gonzalez is still on the fence between running for City Council or mayor.

Former Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese has also played coy about whether he’s running, but the current political mood suggests a lawand-order candidate has a chance.

Proponents of the government overhaul argued on the campaign trail that it would cause candidates to make nice with each other—so as

ing. He formerly worked for the APANO and is likely to receive endorsements from social justice nonprofits.

Ye says a coalition is critical: “We stand to lose something huge if these groups aren’t willing to work together—people not even feeling like the systemic changes we made lead to solutions. We have to be willing to work with anyone who cares about getting it right.”

WW spoke to the leaders of high-profile nonprofits about how closely they’ll align themselves with the labor unions.

Most were noncommittal.

“Labor has access to additional resources that would greatly benefit partners like us,” says Will Miller, executive director of NAYA Action Fund.

“But I don’t know now if it’s even feasible.”

Further complicating the question is the uncertainty around Iannarone, who has twice rallied Portland’s left for a citywide race and was supposed to shepherd its training school. But she has been notably silent so far.

Iannarone says labor and nonprofits don’t necessarily have to form a coalition—they just have to make sure they’re not working against each other.

“The thing we all want to pay attention to is not elevate candidates that just see Portland as a place to extract profit, or to have special corporate interests use this challenging, chaotic time as an inflection point to make gains in a direction that’s counter to loving Portland,” she says. “That’s what

not to alienate their opponents’ bases. It would certainly mark a change from the bitterness of recent campaigns—with Gonzalez’s bitter contest with Hardesty an example still fresh in everyone’s minds.

But the tone of the mayor’s race could set the tone for all other council races. If it turns nasty, the cold war between Portland’s power bases could go hot.

“I hope ranked-choice voting means we’ll see the edges of any political divisions soften,” says Ruiz, the industry lobbyist. “But as we get closer to November, we’ll likely see an uptick in mudslinging, with independent expenditure campaigns saying the things candidates can’t, won’t or shouldn’t.”

17 Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 13, 2023 wweek.com


LISTEN: Central Oregon Acoustic Music Gathering

This good old-fashioned hootenanny is worth the drive out to Prineville. The Central Oregon Acoustic Music Gathering, hosted by the Oregon Oldtime Fiddlers, features plenty of acoustic jams sessions, stage shows, dancing and workshops for kids and adults. Show off your fingerpickin’ skills or simply enjoy performances by the experts—we don’t have confirmation that Portland’s Luke Price will be there (in June, he was named America’s best oldtime fiddle player), but keep an eye out in case he decides to show up. Crook County Fairgrounds, 1280 S Main St., Prineville, 541-923-6946, centraloregonfiddlers.com.9 am-9 pm Thursday-Saturday, Sept. 14-16. Free admission, $30 per night for camping space.

DRINK: Mount Angel Oktoberfest

This event is about as close as you can get to Munich without leaving the state, and now even easier for Portlanders to reach thanks to a new shuttle service, which will pick up and drop off attendees from Zidell Yards on Friday and Saturday. Five beer and wine gartens await, and you don’t have to worry about getting behind the wheel or paying a sky-high ride-hailing fee. Mount Angel Oktoberfest, 5 N Garfield St., Mount Angel, oktoberfest.org. Hours vary Thursday-Sunday, Sept. 14-17. $15 round-trip shuttle service.

EAT: SnackFest

After reemerging from the pandemic last year, this food-focused festival is expanding. In addition to the traditional vendors and food trucks sprawled across the same space that hosts the Portland Night Market, SnackFest now also features a half-dozen ticketed events. Pop-ups

include everything from a seven-course meal by celebrated Los Angeles chef Nan Yimcharoen to Doug Adams’ Tackshack Country Steakhouse to a wine and caviar cinema lounge. The full festival starts Friday, but you can kick things off the night before with a dinner party hosted by Tournant. 100 SE Alder St., letsnack. com. 6-10 pm Thursday (ticketed event), 5-10 pm Friday, 2-10 pm Saturday, 10 am-4 pm Sunday, Sept. 14-17. $175 Thursday, Free Friday-Sunday. Other ticketed events Friday-Sunday $10-$155

LISTEN: Frances Changed My Life Block Party!

Portugal. The Man has been on tour this summer promoting their new album, Chris Black Changed My Life. This pop-up concert, however, is a special fundraiser to help pay for treatment for singer John Gourley’s daughter, who was diagnosed with an extremely rare genetic condition called DHDDS. In addition to performances by the band and other musical acts, there will be food vendors, activities for kids, and art displays. Revant Optics, 224 SE 2nd Ave., 503-741-2728, revantoptics. com. 10 am-7:30 pm Saturday, Sept. 16. Tickets at the door; price to be announced.

EAT: 3rd Annual Tomato Festival at Wellspent Market

If you didn’t get enough heirloom tomato suggestions from our Aug. 30 cover package, Wellspent Market has even more flavorful orbs for you to sample at its third annual festival dedicated to the fruit. There will be some science-y stuff, like a talk hosted by Oregon State University tomato breeder Jim Myers, as well as plenty of tasty stuff, such as cooking demonstrations by chef and author Martha Holmberg and Wellspent owner (and WW contributor) Jim Dixon. The best part should be

sampling the different varieties from local farmers and breeders and then voting for your favorite in the Tomato Tasting Contest. Wellspent Market, 935 NE Couch St., 503-987-0828, wellspentmarket. com. 11 am-3 pm Saturday, Sept. 16. Free admission.

DRINK: Fresh Hop American Summer, Vol. 2

Level’s backyard party, held in celebration of all things fresh hop, is, well, leveling up this year thanks to the addition of 10 breweries also pouring their beer at the brand’s Northeast Portland flagship. In addition to what amounts to a miniature beer fest, you can expect lawn games, demonstrations by a local glassblower, music by DJ J-Rad and Accidental Folk, as well as food for purchase from Flying Barracuda BBQ. Level Beer | Level 1, 5211 NE 148th Ave., 503-714-1222, levelbeer.com. Noon-5 pm Saturday, Sept. 16. $25-$55.

GO: Nuestra Arte

JUNTOSpdx celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month with a new, three-weekend event called Nuestra Herencia that will employ the mediums of storytelling, music, food and art. The opening ceremony, Nuestra Arte, focuses heavily on the latter, with works on display by Paulina Levaggi, Belen Puente, Jesus Torralba, Daniel Griego and more. T.E.A.M Center, 115 SE 9th Ave., juntospdx.net. 3-7 pm Saturday, Sept. 16. Free.

DRINK & WATCH: Gigantic Brewing + Anarcho Pro

Wrestling Presents Harvest Havoc

Gigantic Brewing’s Barrel Room is getting transformed into a gladiatorial battleground, only one with much better beer and cleaner restrooms. Secure your seat

to Harvest Havoc, presented in partnership with Anarcho Pro Wrestling, which will feature four matches inside a full-sized ring. In between bouts, four different bands take the stage for live performances. All you have to do is kick back and enjoy the mayhem with a beer in hand (your ticket includes your first pint). Gigantic Brewing, 5224 SE 26th Ave., 503208-3416, giganticbrewing.com. 5-9 pm

Saturday, Sept. 16. $15. 21+.

EAT: House of the Soul of a Lion Wine Dinner

The Willamette Valley has become known for its red Jory soil, in which so many vineyards are planted. Similarly, California’s Daou Mountain is often referred to as “a jewel of ecological elements” thanks to its calcareous clay, which is ideal for growing Bordeaux and cabernet sauvignon grapes. You might not be able to make the trip to Paso Robles, Calif., to taste the resulting wine, but Bethany’s Table is bringing those bottles to you by partnering with Daou Family Estates for this dinner. A winery representative will be on hand to guide attendees through their pours, which will be paired with six courses, including everything from a poached lobster and butter lettuce salad to osso bucco with charred farmers market vegetables. Bethany’s Table, 15325 NW Central Drive, Suite J-1, 503-614-0267, bethanystable.com/daouwine-dinner. 6-9:30 pm Saturday, Sept. 16. $170 plus 18% gratuity.

PRECIOUS HEIRLOOMS: Continue the celebration of tomato season at Wellspent Market this weekend.
18 Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 13, 2023 wweek.com
SEPT. 13-19

In Park

Presto! Change-o! Sea Breeze Farm’s Northwest Portland “Magic Meat Truck” has transmogrified.

Formerly a once- or twice-a-week street corner pop-up, the mobile butchery has now taken up full-time residence in a former bagel shop across Northwest Thurman Street from the now-shuttered Food Front grocery store. The bigger news is that proprietors Rose Allred and George Page have added an on-site restaurant called Coq au Vin to their portfolio along with a host of provisions to accompany your butchery and restaurant buys.

For those still unfamiliar with the Magic Meat Truck story, Allred and Page are a most remarkable pair. From their suitably named Neverstill Farm in Birkenfeld, Ore.—in the middle of the state’s upper west Columbia County hump—they have been producing a wide range of fresh meat, charcuterie and more for sale at farmers markets and elsewhere in Seattle and Portland. The truck serves as both a practical, well-appointed point of sale and a rolling conversation starter, far more familiar to French countryside towns than American cities, even a “weird” one like Portland.

Not only have the couple managed this enterprise, mostly by themselves, but they have been raising a young family: four children under the age of 7. As if to emphasize the point, Allred gave birth to their fourth child shortly after getting the Thurman space up and running in July. She was back at work within a day or two, an unsurprising fact if you know her.

The new setup is unlike anything else in town. The truck dispenses its wares either from a designated loading zone on the street or from a bay inside the space. Displays of seasonal produce, provisions, baguettes, wine and flowers reside nearby. Elsewhere on the premises

Editor: Andi Prewitt Contact: aprewitt@wweek.com

Buzz List



65 SW Yamhill St., 503-224-5626, paddys.com. 6 pm-midnight Friday, Sept. 15.

This past March, Paddy’s—downtown Portland’s oldest Irish pub—reclaimed its Guinness World Record for making the largest Irish coffee, a title it last held in 2011. To celebrate that victory, the business is throwing a Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day Party, where you can get discounted Irish coffees, pints of Guinness and shots of Kilbeggan. To help transport you to March 17 during the middle of September, there will also be pipers, plenty of traditional dishes on the menu and swag giveaways.


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.


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).


is a small kitchen, where Page holds court during meal hours. The dining room, such as it is, features a few scattered tables and chairs, plus miscellaneous tchotchkes. At first, there were no employees, just Allred and Page and possibly one of the kids wandering through, with or without a toy in hand. A few staffers came on board at the end of August.

Chaotic informality aside, the spur-of-the-moment meal I had in early August was as enjoyable as can be. It was after 8 pm, so I had the space to myself, save for a few passersby either ogling the truck’s meat case or stopping short to ask Allred a question and then purchasing a few items. At a more recent dinner, the food was just as good, but the chaos seems to have subsided as systems have been dialed in. The summer street scene on Northwest Thurman has long been vibrant—there’s no shortage of neighbors out for a walk and a meal—so Coq au Vin’s location is a solid choice, and its


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.

We knew this would be a standout spot for heirloom tomatoes thanks to 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, 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.


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 contain 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.

BE OUR GUEST: Coq au Vin took up residence inside a former bagel shop on Northwest Thurman Street.
Top 5
Northwest Portland’s Magic Meat Truck now has a permanent home and spinoff restaurant.
MEATMOBILE: The Sea Breeze Farm truck sells a wide range of proteins. 19 Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 13, 2023 wweek.com

Top 5

Hot Plates



2524 SE Clinton St., 503-764-9898, luckyhorseshoeportland.com. 4-11 pm Monday-Thursday, 4 pm-midnight Friday-Saturday, 4-10 pm Sunday. Rally Pizza owners Shan Wickham and Alan Maniscalco purchased this Clinton Street Theater-adjacent bar in spring, swapping out the venue’s quasi-Western theme and replacing it with Italian-inspired cocktail lounge vibes. The food menu reflects Maniscalco’s Italian American upbringing, and you can now get a number of those dishes for a discount thanks to a newly launched happy hour. Your best bets: an Olympia Provisions salami and provolone sandwich ($8) and a Monday-only, 10-inch Neapolitan-style pizza with rotating toppings ($12).


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


When a beloved food cart finally goes brickand-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.




offerings complement menus at nearby standout restaurants like St. Jack and Phuket Cafe.

As impressive as the Allred-Page rolling revue has been to date, this new venture shifts things into another gear. Page’s stove-side stylings at Coq au Vin deserve much of the credit. His tomato salad ($17) is enriched with heavy cream, red onion and plenty of black pepper; the tomato soup ($16) is a coarse-chopped purée savory with summer herbs; and the beef pasta ($25) features a hearty portion of Page’s own fresh, wide-cut egg noodles and braised short rib flavored with a touch of orange zest, topped with grated Parmesan and fresh basil. It was a perfect shimmer of summer. Reservations and walk-ins are welcome.

The more permanent location of the Sea Breeze Farm Magic Meat Truck and the opening of Coq au Vin are a boon to the food-loving neighborhood and worthy of a visit from elsewhere in town. It will be interesting to see the tricks Allred and Page have up their sleeves once we slip beyond the sunny season.

EAT: Coq au Vin and the Magic Meat Truck, 2376 NW Thurman St., seabreeze.farm/cav. Truck 11 am-7 pm, restaurant 3-9 pm daily.

4336 SE Woodstock Blvd., 503-206-5495, doublemountainbrewery.com. Noon-9 pm daily. 1700 N Killingsworth St., 503-206-4405. 11 am-9 pm Sunday-Thursday, 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 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 tomatoes. Each pizza is also 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 we would buy if it came as a candle.


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.



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.

FAMILY TIES: Rose Allred and George Page have been growing their business and their family.
20 Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 13, 2023 wweek.com


YA Weed Lit

Caitlin Donohue’s new book, Weed: Cannabis Culture in the Americas, aims to educate teens about the plant, prohibition and social justice.

Advocating for adult cannabis education has always been a hallmark of this column. Sure, Potlander features goofy gift guides; relatable, stoned reviews; and the occasional scientific breakdown, but each article is grounded by my reverence for cannabis as plant medicine, acknowledgement of the damage done by prohibition and the War on Drugs, and a prioritization of BIPOC voices in the industry.

The “quiet part out loud” is that this column is just as accessible to youths as it is to their parents, and since I encourage the normalization of adult cannabis use, it stands to reason that of course I champion author Caitlin Donohue’s newly published young-adult book Weed: Cannabis Culture in the Americas (Zest/Lerner Books, 184 pages, $18.99). Much more than a straightforward journalistic look at the history of cannabis in the Western Hemisphere, Weed is also deeply grounded by its reverence for cannabis as plant medicine and acknowledgment of the damage done by prohibition and the War on Drugs, and features more than a dozen interviews with diverse BIPOC voices shaped by, and shaping, the industry today. Sound familiar?

Weed is Donohue’s second YA title. You may have encountered the Mexico City author’s work in High Times, Remezcla, Marie Claire or The San Francisco Bay Guardian (to name a few). Despite Donohue’s pedigree, she takes a distinct backseat in Weed, instead passing the mic to a new generation of rec users who often go unrecognized (i.e., y’all’s kids).

Younger readers are invited to understand cannabis from the point of view of both a nurse advocate and a 14-year-old patient for whom cannabis therapy relieved symptoms of cerebellar ataxia, the loss of muscle coordination.

The book also encourages reflection on the commitment made by Indigenous Cannabis Coalition executive director Mary Jane Oatman’s grandmother, who, even after her cannabis farm was raided and she was sent to prison, returned to cultivate the medicinal plant on the land she stewarded. Mary Jane would go on to launch iconic Tribal Hemp & Cannabis magazine, aka THC

Weed further examines the War on Drugs through the very different perspectives of victims of the United States’ deadly and absurdly racist drug laws and a Mexican chanteuse whose ballads bloom on ranches where culture dictates that farmers cultivate without ever partaking.

On top of all that, American track and field sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson, who was suspended from competition for one month in 2021 by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency for testing positive for THC, gets her due, and former NBA player Al Harrington unpacks the use of cannabis therapy in sports.

While Weed does get undeniably heavy, it’s all treated with a tenderness that makes it appropriate for younger readers (less ACAB, more “eww, colonialism”). In fact, as a cannabis-using parent, this book feels like it was written for anyone whose ability to raise a child is challenged by taboos around smoking weed. The conversations Weed encourages are necessary, even

for non-users, and could lead to some remarkably digestible, bone-deep lessons.

When held up against the drug education programs Donohue and others in the DARE generation were subjected to in school, Weed debunks the scare tactics that conflate cannabis with opioids and amphetamines. The magic of the book is that it manages to disseminate all of this incredible information about the history and mystery of weed without spilling over into an implicit endorsement of underage, recreational THC consumption.

My 14-year-old play-nephew (my BFF’s son) recently began growing hemp. He was breaking it down into a salve to medicate my bestie’s chronic back pain. She gave the potion glowing reviews, and was not only enthusiastic about the relief

it provided, but thrilled by her son’s aptitude for cultivation in the pursuit of healing.

Elder recreational stoners who cut their teeth on pot brownies from someone’s hesh cousin: Compare your first interaction with cannabis to my nephew’s, and cozy up to the idea that the next generation of stoners are going to know so much more about weed than we did at their age—but probably still not as much as our ancient ancestors did.

GO: Caitlin Donohue appears at Taborspace, 5441 SE Belmont St., 503-954-2610, taborspace.org, at 7 pm Wednesday, Sept. 20; Alder Commons, 4212 NE Prescott St., 503-893-9366, aldercommons.org, at 7 pm Thursday, Sept. 21; and Up Up Books, 1211 SE Stark St., 503360-8994, upupbooks.com, at 6 pm Wednesday, Oct. 4. $5 admission fee at Taborspace. All ages.

21 Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 13, 2023 wweek.com





Home Is Where are “emo revivalists” in the same way their hero Bob Dylan was a folk revivalist. The Floridian band led by singer-songwriter Brandon MacDonald is schooled in the tropes and history of the genre, but their political conscience and MacDonald’s gift for surrealistic imagery allow them to stand outside their genre as not only one of the best emo bands in America, but one of the best rock bands, period. Opening are Bay Area band Awakebutstillinbed and Phoenix’s Your Arms Are My Cocoon Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison St. 8 pm. $18. All ages.


Scorched Earth

John Cooper Clarke weighs maybe 100 pounds at most, and about 70% of his body weight is probably bile. Famed for his terse, profanity-laden poetry, the English performance poet thrived during the late-’70s punk era, sharing bills with bands like the Sex Pistols, the Fall, and Joy Division. He even convincingly played his 20-something self in 2007’s Joy Division biopic Control, reciting a lightning-speed rendition of “Evidently Chickentown” and proving that those who were never young never grow old. Mission Theater, 1624 NW Glisan St. 8 pm. $20. All ages.


In Portland graphic novelist Breena Bard’s Wildfire, a middle schooler comes of age after an environmental catastrophe.

Julianna is a middle schooler who lives in rural Oregon. She loves being in 4-H and caring for her goats and chickens. She’s got cool parents and a kid sister. Life is good. But as often happens for middle schoolers, a lot of things start to change.

One day, Julianna comes across some boys she knows who are hanging out in the forest. The boys are no longer interested in 4-H; they’ve moved onto “cooler” pastimes. Now they’re drinking suspicious-looking beverages and rooting around in what turns out to be a bag full of fireworks.

It’s a classic “you’ve changed” coming-of-age moment, when kids start choosing different paths and pushing unfamiliar boundaries. The boys that Julianna comes across start going toward a more destructive route—literally. Their fireworks end up starting a wildfire, causing Julianna and her family to lose almost everything they have and to relocate to Portland.

“The story wrote itself very quickly, partly because of what we were all thinking about and talking about at the time,” Bard says. “I just had to kind of buy into the woo-woo idea that characters kind of live inside of us and are part of us. So that was kind of the origin of Julianna and all of the main characters.”

After the fire, Julianna’s parents do their best to resettle in a new city, but Julianna keeps her emotional cards close to the chest. Angry and traumatized after being forced to flee her home, she channels much of her rage toward the boys who started the fire, but soon discovers there’s more to the story than she realizes.

In one scene, Julianna joins the school’s conversation club (dubbed “Club Connie”) and hears all the other kids naming the reasons they decided to join: to save the planet, to reduce pollution, because it’s fun. “Taking care of the planet doesn’t have to be a drag,” says her new friend Ezra while the group is doing a cleanup day at the park.

Portland’s Visible Cloaks are as much of a historical project as an electronic group, exalting the influence of the ’80s Japanese strain of ambient music known as kankyō ongaku (“environmental music”) at nearly every turn. Their 2019 album serenitatem was a cross-generational collaboration with kankyō ongaku pioneers Yoshio Ojima and Satsuki Shibano, and for a rare performance at Old Church, the three artists will be joined by bass clarinetist Jonathan Sielaff of Portland ambient group Golden Retriever. The Old Church, 1422 SW 11th Ave. 8 pm. $25. All ages.

That’s where you’ll find Breena Bard, author and illustrator of Wildfire, a graphic novel about how one girl experiences the traumatizing effects of wildfires and how she learns that they’re caused and exacerbated by more than just one-off acts of human negligence.

It was after her graphic novel Trespassers won the 2022 Oregon Book Award for Graphic Literature that Bard set out to tackle climate change.

“If I can tell a story that has a compelling narrative and at the same time can cause the reader to think a little bit deeper—and maybe there’s some allegory built in, or maybe it’s just a subject matter that invites deeper exploration—that’s a definitely a goal of mine as a writer,” she tells WW

Bard had written a self-published graphic novel called Picket Line in 2011, which looked at environmental protests surrounding the redwood forests. Amid the thick smoke of the 2020 wildfires, Bard’s editor pushed her to write another book in the environmental realm.

“These are things we are going to have to do to maintain a livable planet,” Bard says of activities like trash pickup days. “And if you have to do it, why not make it fun? And I think kids are great at that. Kids are great at play and just being silly, and that’s why I wanted to show the scenes with the club—to show that yeah, it’s work, but you can have fun and you can personalize it. It doesn’t have to be a drag.”

Fueled by that philosophy, Wildfire explores the nuances of climate change, presenting tangible and visual ways kids and adults alike can do their part.

“I want to give kids a chance to see some of their own anxieties and fears in a relatable character,” Bard says. “And also to see a way forward and a way to be involved in their own future and in the future of this planet.”

SEE IT: Breena Bard appears in conversation with Jonathan Hill at Powell’s City of Books, 1005 W Burnside St., 800-878-7323, powells.com. 3 pm Saturday, Sept. 30. Free.

22 Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 13, 2023 wweek.com BOOKS&PERFORMANCE Editor:
| Contact: bennett@wweek.com
Bennett Campbell Ferguson


The Zach and the Jess

The daring improv duo are bringing their musical podcast Off Book to Mississippi Studios.

Zach Reino and Jessica McKenna—known as The Zach and the Jess—are seasoned improv comedy pros with all the pertinent credits for making stuff up on the fly in front of paying customers. Both trained with the Upright Citizens Brigade (McKenna also studied with the Groundlings) and have written some damn funny songs, but they are best known for their musical podcast Off Book: The Improvised Musical, which comes to Mississippi Studios this week. You may have seen other improv groups tackle musicals, but you’ve never seen any as accomplished as these two freaks of spontaneity (they’re like those twins who can read each other’s brains, which is creepy, fascinating and highly entertaining). OK, sure, maybe we can see people ad-libbing words to songs that don’t exist on any corner in Portland, but these guys can make them rhyme

WW: What amazes me most, besides your lightning-quick and clever brains, is your timing. How much trust do you have in each other?

ZACH REINO: Maximum trust. The longer we do this, the more our brains kind of melt together, and we’ve been performing together for over a decade now, so…

What does it feel like to make up a great lyric on the spot that really kills with the audience?

JESSICA MCKENNA: The live audience really makes it. But also I love making Zach smirk when he sees where I’m going before the audience does.

REINO: In a live show years ago, there was a third-act twist where the character one of us was playing was revealed to be a character the other of us was playing in disguise. We both realized it only a second before the audience


did, so it felt like a magic trick for everyone. That show I believe had tech issues and was lost to time, so you’ll have to trust me that it was cool. Or at least as “cool” as musical improv gets.

Do people ever come up to you who hate musicals but say they love Off Book?

REINO: Weirdly, this actually happens a lot. People have strong opinions about musicals. We love musicals, but we also understand why some people don’t. I honestly don’t know exactly what it is about our show that bridges that gap, but if I had to guess, it’s that our show feels more accessible than many musicals? Also it’s way, way more stupid.

How critical are you of yourselves after a performance?

REINO: These days, basically not at all. We’re always trying to be better and smarter, and try things we haven’t done before, but there is only so much you can critique a show you’re never going to do again.

How many musicals have you done now? Is that some record?

REINO: Just with Off Book we’ve done over 300, and outside of that we’ve done hundreds more, either in practice or with other groups. I don’t know if it’s the record, but it is a record of some kind.

What feedback from an audience member or critic after a performance has stuck with you?

REINO: Someone in a YouTube comment once called me a “talentless nothing man,” which is the funniest burn I have ever received, and apparently I’m going to remember it until the day I die. We’ve had a number of people reach out and tell us that Off Book the podcast has

gotten them through tough times, or been a go-to listen when they’re not feeling good. That amount of audience trust is a huge honor, and something we and our stupid, stupid musical improv show try very hard not to take for granted.

MCKENNA: Someone once said I had a voice like someone kicked out of a boys’ choir, which I still don’t totally understand and is sort of why I don’t read the comments, ha ha. But our fans are incredibly kind and generous.

What would you tell someone who wants to try improvised musicals?

MCKENNA: Pretend you’re already good at it! One day you will be, but you need some protective armor of delusion when you first start because it’s a li’l tricky! Just like regular improv, confidence is key, but don’t be afraid to fake that confidence, baby! People basically can’t tell the difference.

What do you think about Portland? Will you do anything for fun here?

REINO: Portland rules. We always have a great time here. Last time, we hiked up to the Pittock Mansion, and that was really fun.

MCKENNA: We always have a great time in Portland! We’ve gone to some great food stalls and tiki bars, and the fans there are awesome.

Are you improvising these answers?

REINO: As far as I know, yes. But it kinda depends on whether or not you believe in free will versus a predetermined future.

MCKENNA: These answers were fated long ago…

SEE IT: Off Book: The Improvised Musical plays at Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi Ave., 503-2883895, mississippistudios.com. 7 and 9:30 pm Tuesday, Sept. 19. $25. 21+.

Thirty years ago, the rallying cry at concerts by female-led punk bands was, “Girls to the front!” Leave it to a hip-hop artist to take that sentiment and flip it into something bolder and sassier: “Penises to the back.”

The artist in question was rapper Karma Rivera. She said it with a playful smile and a dismissive wave of her left hand. The Portland artist was already turning things inside out by performing the first part of her set from the middle of the dance floor on the Portland Spirit as it cruised up and down the Willamette. Why not surround herself with more female bodies to amp up music that, as she chants on recent single “Show Ur Worth,” carries a “cunty, flashy, sexy, sassy” energy?

Her short, lively set was the perfect capper for this nautical edition of the Thesis, the monthly showcase for local hip-hop that has been going strong for nine years. In that time, the organizers for this event, journalist-activist Mac Smiff and DJ Verbz, have clocked how far the influence of the culture ranges. For this installment of the Thesis, that meant bringing along Izzy Baba Melo, a Nigerian-born artist who kicked things off with a set of slinky Afrobeat jams, and Alana Rich, an up-andcoming future-pop singer in the vein of Charli XCX and Dua Lipa.

Even with those artists, the focus remained on the more traditional end of hip-hop with the addition of Bird Bennett’s blunted combination of goofball and street-wise rhymes and the pure trap of New Jersey-born Lambo Lawson, who packed the small stage on the boat with friends and collaborators. With little time between sets and every artist sticking to their most upbeat material, the two-hour pleasure cruise zipped by, leaving fans dizzy, happily seasick, and hungry for what the Thesis has in store for October.

23 Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 13, 2023 wweek.com

Jacob’s Ladder (1990)

Faceless monsters, unexplained fevers, disappeared friends, intentional continuity gaps…Jacob’s Ladder has all the makings of an “is this really happening?” thriller, all the while punishing the boyishness out of its protagonist (Tim Robbins). He’s Jacob, a New York City mailman haunted by Vietnam and family tragedy. Now, his reality appears to be gradually devouring itself.

Director Adrian Lyne (best known for erotic thrillers like Fatal Attraction) elevates Jacob’s Ladder beyond stock conspiracy thriller or mental-illness fable. For one, even when he’s effectively toying with demonic imagery, it’s not Lyne’s nature to go for full surrealism. On the contrary, scene after unsettling scene in doctors’ offices, bedrooms, and taxi cabs are lullingly grounded.

Thus the dogged search for truth fades. The audience is left to experience Jacob’s glitching, echoing narratives of family, war and redemption as something more elemental: the human consciousness’s absolute allegiance to story, down to the last nerve ending. Academy, Sept. 15-21.


Academy: A League of Their Own (1992), Sept. 15-21. Cinema 21: Contempt (1963), Sept. 14. King Creole (1958), Sept. 16. Cinemagic: When Harry Met Sally… (1989), Sept. 14. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), Sept. 15, 17 and 18. A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge (1985), Sept. 16 and 18. A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987), Sept. 17 and 19. Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984), Sept. 15 and 20. Freddy vs. Jason (2003), Sept. 17 and 21. Clinton: Gol Maal (1979), Sept. 19. Hollywood: Tokyo Pop (1988), Sept. 15-17. Showgirls (1995), Sept. 15-17. Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (1964), Sept. 16. Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964), Sept. 16. Invasion of Astro Monster (1965), Sept. 17. Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971), Sept. 17. Body Double (1984), Sept. 18-21.


Battle Royale

Some of cinema’s greatest action scenes have one thing in common: Oregon.

Many of cinema history’s most memorable action scenes thrive on their environment. The French Connection car chase needs Brooklyn, just like Die Hard needs Nakatomi Plaza and Enter the Dragon needs its hall of mirrors.

So it’s no coincidence that the best action scenes filmed in Oregon all feel distinctly of this state. They deploy our forests, railroads and jetties as playgrounds. And the films bring with them a sense of childlike improvisation and destruction, the way kids will dream and fight with whatever weird shit they discover in the backyard.

With more than 100 years to choose from, let’s anoint the best action scenes ever filmed in Oregon.

Green Room (2015): New Tactics

“This is a nightmare,” murmurs Pat (the late Anton Yelchin) as he surveys the carnage wrought in the claustrophobic, Portland-made thriller that pits punks vs. neo-Nazis. He’s right; director Jeremy Saulnier (Blue Ruin) does tend to savor dread and horror over pure action in the hyperviolent Green Room

Yet intermittently, the film’s terrifying potential energy turns kinetic, especially when final survivors Pat and Amber (Imogen Poots) decide the only way they can defeat the skinheads is by adjusting their fighting tactics to almost absurd, faithless wavelengths. When our heroes snatch back the upper hand by painting their faces, shaving heads, and distracting the Nazis by dropping corpses into a heroin lab, diversion becomes a performance unto itself.

The Great Northfield, Minnesota Raid (1972): Busted Robbery

In this jaunty, reflective Western, director Philip Kaufman (pre-The Right Stuff and Invasion of the Body Snatchers) has an ace in the hole: peerless craftsmanship. And when bank robbers Cole Younger (Cliff Robertson) and Jesse James (Robert Duvall) climactically hold up an unsuspecting Midwest town (actually Jacksonville, Ore.), The Great Northfield, Minnesota Raid turns grindingly, mesmerizingly tense.

It’s all sound, ambience and editing. Rain pours on a hazy afternoon, practically blind townspeople start firing on the outlaws, and the robbery’s first victim topples onto the promotional calliope outside the bank, scoring the scene with a siren that never ceases wailing.

Free Willy (1993): Leap to Freedom

Marshaling the emotional manipulation that defined what we called “family movies” in the ’90s, Free Willy goes from miscast and middling to delivering a triumphant crescendo when Willy the orca finally makes good on the film’s title.

Trying to end the whale’s captivity, a pro-Willy contingent led by 12-year-old orphan Jesse floors its whale transport truck backward

down a boat ramp. The Hammond Marina on the Oregon Coast is presented like a gateway to the Pacific, as a massive water-bound scrum ensues between whale haters and whale saviors.

Meanwhile, Willy appears all but dead and then suddenly takes to the sea, all while the camera keeps finding villainous actor extraordinaire Michael Ironside snarling. It’s heart-wrenching chaos, maestro’d by a crying boy, right up until Willy soars over the jetty like Michael Jordan in Space Jam

The Hunted (2003): Blades Only

William Friedkin’s lean, mean Oregon-made thriller boils down to knife fights. Special forces instructor L.T. (Tommy Lee Jones) is called in by the FBI to track a former pupil gone rogue (Benicio Del Toro) in the Pacific Northwest wilderness, an echo of First Blood for a new century of war.

When the two Sayoc Kali knife-fighting experts square off in Silver Falls State Park, Friedkin imbues the film with some pronounced Abrahamic themes about the father (Jones) slaying the son (Del Toro) in the name of a higher calling. It’s a thematically rich but blood-simple confrontation of slashing, diving and shoulder dislocation in the verdant moss.

The General (1926): Playing on the Railroad

It may never get better for Oregon action than when Buster Keaton took over Cottage Grove, hired 1,500 locals, affixed Civil War cannons to railroad cars, and quite literally crashed a train through a 200-foot trestle bridge into the Row River.

But if we’re going by best scene…the most timeless action of The General has to involve Keaton’s own physicality. There’s clear Mission: Impossible DNA in the inventive, thrill-seeking way the silent-era genius plays an engineer chasing Union soldiers who’ve commandeered his beloved steam engine (“The General”).

What follows is a wild escalation of track obstruction, culminating in Keaton inching down the front of his train’s cow catcher and whacking one railroad piling off the tracks with another, as though he were flipping a plastic spoon off a table by its handle. And it all unfolds in two uncut shots wherein Keaton would’ve been fatally pancaked by a moving train had anything gone wrong. If you can reckon with The General’s obvious Confederate sympathies, it features some of the most transcendent stunt work you’ll ever lay eyes on.

Honorable Mentions:

The Goonies

Kubo and the Two Strings

Emperor of the North Pole Canyon Passage

24 Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 13, 2023 wweek.com


Imagine Superbad led by an all-female, mostly lesbian cast of characters and you can picture Emma Seligman’s Bottoms, which stuns in its originality and hilarity. Best friends PJ (Rachel Sennott) and Josie (Ayo Edebiri) have one goal for the upcoming school year: sleep with the hot cheerleaders they’ve been pining for. Through a gut-busting comedy of errors, the pair start a self-defense club as a ruse to get closer to their crushes, a premise packed with blink-and-you-miss-it comedy (before the audience can finish laughing at one joke, Sennott and Edebiri have delivered another horribly hilarious line). Be warned: The humor isn’t for the faint of heart. Bottoms doesn’t adhere to the #GirlPower comedy rule book (in one scene, a group of girls all slowly raise their hands when Sennott asks, “Who here has been raped? Even gray-area stuff?”). But if you can handle the edgy jokes that would get a Tumblr user canceled in a heartbeat, Bottoms will make you laugh until you cry in the best way possible. R. Cinema 21, Clackamas, Fox Tower, Lloyd Center, 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. Cinema 99, Clackamas, Division, Empirical, Fox Tower, Hilltop, Living Room, Lloyd Center, Mill Plain, Movies on TV, 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 hot-pink plastic convertible. PG-13. BENNETT CAMPBELL FERGUSON. Cinema 21, Cinema 99, Clackamas, Division, Fox Tower, Hilltop, Living Room, Lloyd Center, McMenamins St. Johns, Mill Plain, Movies On TV, Oak Grove, Studio One.


Donya (Anaita Wali Zada) is a refugee freshly relocated from Afghanistan to the Bay Area after working as a U.S. Army translator. Given the danger and alienation she’s experienced fleeing the Taliban and leaving her family, it’s curious at first that director Babak Jalali renders this hushed, black-and-white dramedy so placid on its surface. Donya is resolute, confident and privately contemplative, especially as she

rises to the rank of “message writer” at the San Francisco fortune cookie factory where she works. Yet she is also an iceberg, silently and sometimes inscrutably tolerating the oddballs who attempt to connect with her largely through monologue. Donya’s therapist, for one—Gregg Turkington, eerily similar here to his On Cinema character—can’t stop yakking about White Fang, and her boss (Eddie Tang) constantly tries to impart how proper cookie fortunes straddle both meaning and meaninglessness. These one-sided interactions pile up a little bafflingly until Donya encounters a fellow iceberg, Daniel (The Bear star Jeremy Allen White), a mechanic who brings instant steadiness to the film’s sometimes head-scratching tone and harmony to Wali Zada’s proudly composed performance. In the film, as in life’s loneliest moments, it’s hard to decipher how ill-fitting new relationships can be until the fog lifts and the real thing appears. NR. CHANCE SOLEM-PFEIFER. Living Room.


While cinematic canines have wagged their tails 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. Clackamas, Hilltop, Oak Grove.


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.


With this banal hostage thriller, actor Fares Fares makes his directorial debut, showing confidence as a filmmaker, but fumbling as a writer (he co-wrote the screenplay with Peter Smirnakos). Alexej Manvelov plays Artan, who storms into a hospital and demands to see his estranged wife, Louise (Alma Pöysti), because she has been ignoring his requests to see their daughter, though the film doesn’t truly begin until Artan holds a cop (Fares) at gunpoint, forcing him to take him to his child. A Day and a Half looks polished and has two fine performances from Fares and Pöysti, but Manvelov overdoes it as Artan, hitting the same frantic notes over and over again. Worse, the dumbed-down story basically boils down to two men facing the consequences of their families distancing themselves after they have cheated on their wives, funneled into a seen-it-all-before thriller plot. R. DANIEL RESTER. Netflix.





TOP PICK OF THE WEEK 25 Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 13, 2023 wweek.com
@plastorm 26 Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 13, 2023 wweek.com
by Jack Kent



ARIES (March 21-April 19): Aries photographer Wynn Bullock had a simple, effective way of dealing with his problems and suffering. He said, "Whenever I have found myself stuck in the ways I relate to things, I return to nature. It is my principal teacher, and I try to open my whole being to what it has to say." I highly recommend you experiment with his approach in the coming weeks. You are primed to develop a more intimate bond with the flora and fauna in your locale. Mysterious shifts now unfolding in your deep psyche are making it likely you can discover new sources of soulful nourishment in natural places—even those you're familiar with. Now is the best time ever to hug trees, spy omens in the clouds, converse with ravens, dance in the mud, and make love in the grass.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Creativity expert Roger von Oech says businesspeople tend to be less successful as they mature because they become fixated on solving problems rather than recognizing opportunities. Of course, it's possible to do both—untangle problems and be alert for opportunities—and I'd love you to do that in the coming weeks. Whether or not you’re a businessperson, don't let your skill at decoding riddles distract you from tuning into the new possibilities that will come floating into view.

young, but I don’t foresee myself ever again trying to snag a free ride from a stranger in a passing car. Here’s a key lesson I learned from hitchhiking: Position myself in a place that’s near a good spot for a car to stop. Make it easy for a potential benefactor to offer me a ride. Let’s apply this principle to your life, Libra. I advise you to eliminate any obstacles that could interfere with you getting what you want. Make it easy for potential benefactors to be generous and kind. Help them see precisely what it is you need.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): In your history of togetherness, how lucky and skillful have you been in synergizing love and friendship? Have the people you adored also been good buddies? Have you enjoyed excellent sex with people you like and respect? According to my analysis of the astrological omens, these will be crucial themes in the coming months. I hope you will rise to new heights and penetrate to new depths of affectionate lust, spicy companionship, and playful sensuality. The coming weeks will be a good time to get this extravaganza underway.


1. "Bye now!"

5. Barber's tool

10. Union underminer

14. Business higher-up

15. Give the slip

16. Saved GPS setting, usually

17. On the verge of

18. Gripped tightly

19. Natural soother

20. [Mystery Clue 1]

23. Partner of "neither"

24. Spacy character in the main "Derry Girls" group

25. [Mystery Clue 2]

31. Actress Hayek

33. Nullifies

34. ___-Caps (Nestle candy)

35. Big events on Wall St.

36. Tears apart

37. Velvet Underground singer

38. Litter peep

39. "Beetle Bailey" boss

40. 3x4 box, e.g.

41. [Mystery Clue 3]

44. One of the Gulf States

45. "Kill Bill" actress Thurman

46. [Mystery Clue 4]

53. Bowl-shaped skillets

54. Passé

55. Mystical presence

56. Steve of the "Guardians of the Galaxy" series

57. Synchronously

58. Bird sacred to ancient Egyptians

59. House member

60. One of the Gulf States

61. Heron's residence

1. Minister (to)

2. Pink slip giver

3. Word before work or spirit

4. Initial offerings, sometimes?

5. Amp effect

6. Athletic footwear brand

7. Silent screen star Pitts

8. Reverential poems

9. Northern California attraction

10. "Want me to demonstrate?"

11. Measure for some dress shirts

12. Singer Tori

13. Apiary dweller

21. What Italians call their capital

22. Messes up

25. Place for an all-day roast, maybe

26. Blatant

27. Vowel sound in "phone" but not "gone"

28. Raul Castro's

©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.


29. "___ Upon a Time in Hollywood"

30. Lunch time, often

31. Actor Liu of the MCU

32. Sci-fi planet inhabitants

36. Reason to save

37. Words after "Oh jeez"

39. Train for a bout

40. Smallest U.S. coin

42. Kept occupied

43. Out of the blue

46. ___ de Chão (Brazilian steakhouse chain)

47. Peacefulness

48. Supercollider collider

49. "Father of Modern Philosophy" Descartes

50. Cartoonist Goldberg

51. Dwarf planet named for a goddess

52. Part of SSE

53. ___-Dryl (store-brand allergy medication)

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Gemini author Fernando Pessoa wrote books and articles under 75 aliases. He was an essayist, literary critic, translator, publisher, philosopher, and one of the great poets of the Portuguese language. A consummate chameleon, he constantly contradicted himself and changed his mind. Whenever I read him, I’m highly entertained but sometimes unsure of what the hell he means. He once wrote, "I am no one. I don’t know how to feel, how to think, how to love. I am a character in an unwritten novel." And yet Pessoa expressed himself with great verve and had a wide array of interests. I propose you look to him as an inspirational role model in the coming weeks, Gemini. Be as intriguingly paradoxical as you dare. Have fun being unfathomable. Celebrate your kaleidoscopic nature.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): "Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth." Cancerian author Henry David Thoreau said that. I don't necessarily agree. Many of us might prefer love to truth. Plus, there's the inconvenient fact that if we don’t have enough money to meet our basic needs, it's hard to make truth a priority. The good news is that I don't believe you will have to make a tough choice between love and truth anytime soon. You can have them both! There may also be more money available than usual. And if so, you won’t have to forgo love and truth to get it.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Before she got married, Leo musician Tori Amos told the men she dated, "You have to accept that I like ice cream. I know it shows up on my hips, but if you can’t accept that, then leave. Go away. It is non-negotiable." I endorse her approach for your use in the coming weeks. It’s always crucial to avoid apologizing for who you really are, but it’s especially critical in the coming weeks. And the good news is that you now have the power to become even more resolute in this commitment. You can dramatically bolster your capacity to love and celebrate your authentic self exactly as you are.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): The Virgo writer Caskie Stinnett lived on Hamloaf, a small island off the coast of Maine. He exulted in the fact that it looked "the same as it did a thousand years ago." Many of the stories he published in newspapers featured this cherished home ground. But he also wandered all over the world and wrote about those experiences. "I travel a lot," he said. "I hate having my life disrupted by routine." You Virgos will make me happy in the coming weeks if you cultivate a similar duality: deepening and refining your love for your home and locale, even as you refuse to let your life be disrupted by routine.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): My hitchhiking adventures are finished. They were fun while I was

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Is it ever morally permissible to be greedily needy? Are there ever times when we deserve total freedom to feel and express our voracious longings? I say yes. I believe we should all enjoy periodic phases of indulgence—chapters of our lives when we have the right, even the sacred duty, to tune into the full range of our quest for fulfillment. In my astrological estimation, Sagittarius, you are beginning such a time now. Please enjoy it to the max! Here’s a tip: For best results, never impose your primal urges on anyone; never manipulate allies into giving you what you yearn for. Instead, let your longings be beautiful, radiant, magnetic beacons that attract potential collaborators.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Here’s a Malagasy proverb: "Our love is like the misty rain that falls softly but floods the river." Do you want that kind of love, Capricorn? Or do you imagine that a more boisterous version would be more interesting— like a tempestuous downpour that turns the river into a torrential surge? Personally, I encourage you to opt for the misty rain model. In the long run, you will be glad for its gentle, manageable overflow.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): According to the Bible’s book of Matthew, Jesus thought it was difficult for wealthy people to get into heaven. If they wanted to improve their chances, he said they should sell their possessions and give to the poor. So Jesus might not agree with my current oracle for you. I’m here to tell you that every now and then, cultivating spiritual riches dovetails well with pursuing material riches. And now is such a time for you, Aquarius. Can you generate money by seeking enlightenment or doing God’s work? Might your increased wealth enable you to better serve people in need? Should you plan a pilgrimage to a sacred sanctuary that will inspire you to raise your income? Consider all the above, and dream up other possibilities, too.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Piscean author Art Kleiner teaches the art of writing to non-writers. He says this: 1. Tell your listeners the image you want them to see first. 2. Give them one paragraph that encapsulates your most important points. 3. Ask yourself, "What tune do you want your audience to be humming when they leave?” 4. Provide a paragraph that sums up all the audience needs to know but is not interesting enough to put at the beginning. I am offering you Kleiner’s ideas, Pisces, to feed your power to tell interesting stories. Now is an excellent time to take inventory of how you communicate and make any enhancements that will boost your impact and influence. Why not aspire to be as entertaining as possible?

Homework: For three days, love yourself exactly as you are. Don’t wish you could change yourself. Newsletter.FreeWillAstrology. com

to the Beginning"--two by two, to the start.
WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 14 © 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 SEPTEMBER 13, 2023 wweek.com



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