POL Government Elected Officials Commissioner Nick Fish News Blog Archive Blog

A farm in the middle of the city


Yesterday, Nick joined East Portland neighbors and community partners for the groundbreaking of Zenger Farm’s Urban Grange.


For 15 years, Zenger Farm’s programs have helped fight hunger and poverty, expand community building, educate youth, and promote healthy eating.


The City of Portland, Bureau of Environmental Services, and Portland Development Commission (PDC) were proud to partner with Zenger Farm to make the Urban Grange a reality. PDC awarded Zenger a Community Livability Grant. Grants were awarded to organizations that foster vibrant and healthy neighborhoods in the Interstate, Lents, and Gateway Urban Renewal Areas. Zenger Farm was one of the largest recipients. 


The $2.3 million Grange will allow Zenger Farm to double their capacity to deliver strong educational programs to our community.  Local students will continue to learn about the importance of healthy food, farming, and environmental stewardship. 


Zenger Farm also offers a Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, which allows Portland families to bring home portions of the farm’s harvest each year. In 2013, Zenger helped push local farms to start accepting food stamps, so low-income families could buy healthy, local produce. Zenger also supports the Lents International Farmers Market – the only internationally-focused market in Portland. 


Learn more about the Urban Grange on Zenger Farm’s website.


East Portland getting new Urban Grange

Steve Law in the Portland Tribune


Construction begins on urban farm's $2.3 million development

Alli Pyrah in the Portland Business Journal

July 22, 2014

Hollywood comes to the Northwest

Oregon’s creative economy is growing – thanks, in part, to Hollywood. 


Nestled right outside of Portland, in a large production studio, is the set of the new TNT TV-series, The Librarians.  In Sunday’s Oregonian A&E Section, Jeff Baker shared more about the new series, which airs this December.


Starring Rebecca Romijn and Noah Wyle, the 10-episode season is filmed entirely in the Portland Area.  The show, about the adventures of librarian Flynn Carsen (Wyle), protector of historical and mythological artifacts, is set to air in over 100 countries. 


Nick was pleased to visit the set of The Librarians in May, where he toured and watched filming.  As Council Liaison to the arts and small businesses, Nick supports creative industries that contribute to our local economy.


“Grimm,” “Portlandia,” “Leverage,” and now “The Librarians” are making rubbing elbows with actors in Portland more likely than ever – and it’s having a big impact on our economy.


Oregon offers many incentives to film companies.  Portland, with its mixture of modern and historical architecture, had doubled for diverse locations, including London and Dubai.  Oregon also boasts no sales tax, strong unions, great locations, and a talented pool of actors and behind-the-scenes people.


Executive producer and show-runner John Rogers says, “This Portland crew, pound for pound, is the best crew I’ve worked with in 20 years.  Full stop. None better.  We’re able to get incredible value out of them.”


Noah Wyle, Rebecca Romijn, and Christian Kane film new TV series, ‘The Librarians,’ in Oregon

Jeff Baker in The Oregonian

Photo courtesy of The Oregonian.

July 21, 2014

Governor Atiyeh, 1923-2014

My family, colleagues, and I join with all Oregonians today in mourning the death of former Governor Vic Atiyeh. 
I last saw Governor Atiyeh at a fundraiser for Camp Rosenbaum. He was seated next to former Governors Roberts and Kulongoski at the head table. He spent the evening sharing stories with us, and offering advice on current issues.
Governor Atiyeh was a gentle and kind man, modest and humble in his dealings with others. It was an honor to know this statesman, to learn from him, and to call him a friend.
We extend our deepest condolences to his family.
Jeff Mapes in The Oregonian
Photo courtesy of The Oregonian.

July 21, 2014

Jazz in Cathedral Park

Join the Jazz Society of Oregon this weekend at the 34th Annual Cathedral Park Jazz Festival!


Cathedral Park’s natural amphitheater sits in the shadow of the St. Johns Bridge in North Portland. It’s the perfect location to amplify sound, and is sure to be a hit for jazz enthusiasts and music lovers alike.


At 5 pm today, the Roosevelt High School Jazz Band kicks-off the festival, followed by the festival’s “Blues Night.” The event features a wide range of musical talents from all genres of Jazz – like Bobby Torres Latin All Stars on Saturday, and the all-female saxophonist group, the Quadraphonnes, on Sunday.


The Jazz Festival is the oldest continuous free jazz festival this side of the Mississippi.


Check out the Cathedral Park Jazz Festival’s website for more information.


Cathedral Park Jazz Festival

Cathedral Park

N Edison & Pittsburg Ave

July 18 - 20

July 18, 2014

Friday Roundup

July 18, 2014

North Portland celebrates Dawson Park re-opening

Last night, Nick was proud to join hundreds of North Portland neighbors to celebrate the grand re-opening of Dawson Park


The park has been a longtime gathering place for children, families, and the African-American community.


Named after child welfare and civic improvements advocate Reverend John Dawson, Dawson Park has a rich history in our community. From the 1940s – 1970s, it was the center of many important for many social and political movements – including Civil Rights marches and a memorable speech by Robert F. Kennedy.


With strong partnerships, Dawson Park has now been re-designed into a beautiful community space with play structures accessible to children of all abilities. Portland Parks & Recreation, the Portland Development Commission, Portland Parks Foundation, Legacy Emanuel Hospital, the Regional Arts & Culture Council, and the Harper’s Playground family all worked together to ensure that Dawson Park will continue to honor its history, and serve the community for generations to come.


As former Parks Commissioner, Nick appreciates the significance of Dawson Park to Portland’s history, and looks forward to seeing it become a neighborhood gathering place once more. 


Visit Dawson Park! It’s located on N Stanton and Williams Ave.

Dawson Park, historical hub of African-American culture, reopens with $2.7 million in upgrades

Casey Parks in The Oregonian

Dawson Park Reopens With a Concert from Ocean 503

Helen Silvis in the Skanner

July 17, 2014

Transformational art

Talented artist Emily Nachison takes viewers on a journey of mythological transformation with her art installation, The Realm of Quantifiable Truths.   


Mythology, scientific history, and New-age idealism are Emily’s sources of inspiration. Created out of cast glass and porcelain sculptures, her artistic story is represented through shapes of lead, gold, plants, rocks, fungi and small animals.


Funded in part by the Regional Arts & Culture Council’s (RACC) Project Grants, the installation explores stages of growth, decay, and transformation.


RACC’s Project Grants funds provide financial support to non-profits and individual artists throughout the tri-county region.


The Realm of Quantifiable Truths will be up in the Bullseye Gallery until August 30.  Check out RACC’s website for more information.


Bullseye Gallery

300 NW 13th Ave.

Tuesday-Saturday, 10 am – 5 pm


Photo courtesy of RACC.

July 16, 2014

Walking in sunshine

Enjoy this beautiful summer weather with a garden stroll. 


Join Elders in Action on Tuesday morning for the 2014 Senior Walks Garden Tour & Neighborhood Nature Walks.


Held monthly, the walk begins at Legacy Good Samaritan Medical Center’s award winning Stenzel Healing Garden.


The 20-minute guided tour is followed by an hour-long stroll in the local neighborhood.  It’s a great way to see lovely flowers and appreciate Portland’s heritage trees. 


The walk is free and no registration is required.  Check out Elder’s in Action’s website for more information. 

July 14, 2014

Mississippi Street Fair this Saturday

The Historic Mississippi Avenue Business District invites you to join them this Saturday for the 13th Annual Mississippi Street Fair!


It’s going to be a scorcher tomorrow, so pack up your water, a summer hat, and some sunscreen, and head down to North Mississippi Avenue. The fair is free and fun for the whole family – with dunk tanks, a Grandfather’s “rib-off” competition, over 40 musical acts, and more! Browse the nearly 200 local vendors.  Taste delicious delights from food carts and restaurants.  For those 21 and older, there are beer and wine gardens.   


Street Fairs are a great way to enjoy the sun, meet our neighbors, and support local small businesses.


Portland has many interesting street fairs and events during the warm summer months. Nick is proud to serve as Council liaison to Venture Portland, an organization dedicated to growing Portland’s unique neighborhood business districts. “Venture Out” this summer and check out upcoming summer street fairs and events.


Mississippi Street Fair

Saturday, July 12, 10 am – 9 pm

N Mississippi Ave., from N Fremont to N Skidmore

July 11, 2014

Friday Roundup

July 11, 2014

Restoring habitat

Crews began construction on the Luther Road Habitat Restoration Project along Johnson Creek last week.


The Bureau of Environmental Services is proud to partner with Metro and the North Clackamas Parks & Recreation District to complete the project, which will not only protect our sewer infrastructure, it will also give us the opportunity to improve the natural habitat.


A 76-inch sewer pipe crosses Johnson Creek near the Springwater Corridor Trail. Unfortunately, due to erosion in the creek bed and banks, part of the pipe has become exposed – and is in danger of failing or blocking fish passage. If the pipe were to break, sewage would release into the river, threatening both public health and our local wildlife.


Crews will repair and bury the pipe, ensure it is stable, and then begin restoration along the creek. We’ll create a new stable stream crossing, and actually move the creek and its floodplain to a safer location!  


The 2,000 feet of new stream channel and 5 acres of new floodplain will improve the creek’s water quality and strengthen the habitat for endangered salmon, trout, and other native species. 


The 10-acre piece of land will eventually be home to a 6-acre natural area and a 4-acre park!


Check out BES’ website for more information.   

July 10, 2014

Grants for local arts organizations

The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) has announced the first round of General Operating Support grant awardees for 2014-15.


Over $1.1 million will be invested in nearly 50 local nonprofit arts organizations.  New additions include Disjecta, Pendulum Aerial Arts, and Portland Jazz Festival.


Nick is proud to serve as Council liaison to RACC, as it provides funds for diverse art programs in our community. 

A panel of RACC board members and community volunteers rigorously reviewed many local arts organizations.  One of the requirements of RACC-funded organizations is that all performances must be available to the public – without discrimination – and take place in venues that are fully accessible for people with disabilities. Artistic excellence and fiscal responsibility must also be demonstrated. 


Check out RACC’s website for the full list of awardees. 

Photo courtesy of RACC. 

July 9, 2014

Hug a tree!

Last year, Portland set the Guinness World Record for the most people simultaneously hugging trees in one minute. 


This Saturday, join us at 2 pm at Hoyt Arboretum, and help Portland defend that title! Grab your friends and family and ensure our place as the top tree-hugging community in the world.


After you have hugged a tree, stay at the Arboretum to enjoy the warm summer day with picnicking, live music, games, and learning facts about our environment. 


Sponsored by the Bureau of Environmental Services, Friends of Trees, Hoyt Arboretum, Portland Parks & Recreation, and Treecology, Inc., the event is free and open to the public.  


Saturday, July 12, 2 pm

Hoyt Arboretum

SW Kingston Blvd and SW Knights Blvd

July 8, 2014

Art Space / Office Space

The Portland Building’s art installation space is turning into an office – a deconstructed office, that is.


Jesse Taylor’s Deconstruction Reconstruction: Office installation takes typical office materials and re-works them into abstract sculptures. Jesse enjoys creating new sculptures, but deconstructing the materials is just as important: “I approach the deconstruction act with the same kind of energy and intention that I would put into the production of a sculpture,” he shares.


The Regional Arts and Culture Council (RACC) sponsors the Installation Art Series. Selected through a juried process, each installation questions common perspectives through art.


Deconstruction Reconstruction: Office opens today!


Check out RACC’s website for more information about the Installation Art Series.


Portland Building Installation Space

1120 SW 5th Avenue

8 am – 5 pm


Photo courtesy of RACC

July 7, 2014

Happy Independence Day

On the 4th of July, we gather with friends and family to celebrate our great nation.


Portland Fire & Rescue Chief Erin Janssens reminds Portlanders to enjoy the holiday, but to remember to celebrate safely.


If you observe the holiday by setting off fireworks, remember that Oregon requires fireworks not to fly, explode, or travel more than one foot into the air, or more than six feet on the ground.


Whether you gather for a barbecue, watch a baseball game, or set off fireworks, have a safe and fun Independence Day!

July 3, 2014

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