POL Government Elected Officials Commissioner Nick Fish News Blog Archive Blog

Lilly Lee - Last Blog Post

As I spend my last week in the office, Nick and Aja have been absent. I, too, felt very absent my last week, because I was not here on Monday. Tuesday’s are my day off, and I went home early Wednesday. Today is Thursday, my last day. Time flies when work needs to be done in this office.


I’ve learned that many things happen behind closed doors. People in this office work very hard to make things happen for the City. There has to be a balance. If one asks, one can receive. Many organizations, small businesses, and non-profits come to this office, asking for Nick’s advice and support. Knowing Nick’s love for Portlanders, he gives his best to advise their missions.


During my time in the office, I have learned how to use Excel, thanks to Jim. I prepped Council binders, thanks to Asena, and how to make a binder for Nick, thanks to Liam. I became a better writer, thanks to Jenny. I learned to laugh, thanks to Aja. I learned that health is more important than work, thanks to Sonia. I learned that hitting a curb or two is okay, as long as the car takes you where you want to go. And lastly, I learned from Nick that it’s not about helping yourself, it’s about helping others.


What I will miss the most is Aja randomly singing in the office. Aja is filled with joyfulness, and he makes me smile. Liam makes me laugh. He can’t help it, it’s his accent, like when he says, “guard,” but it sounds like “God.” Laughter is catchy, and so are winks. The people in this office are winkers. Every morning when I come in, Asena gives me a wink.


As you know, this summer has been one of the hottest summers so far. The reason behind this is because in Portland, “July 9th is the 36th day straight without measurable rain” according to KOIN News staff. Therefore, outside of City Hall has been very hot! Inside, Fish’s office is very cold! Having air conditioning in the office is a luxury. Although, it can get a little chilly. There are always scarfs in the closet if you get cold.   


Over all, my time in this office and going to events with Nick has helped me get connections and networks for the future. After my internship here, I am hoping to volunteer at APANO and other non-profit organizations. I had a really great time with the Fish family these last two months, and I hope to stay connected with this family always.



July 30, 2015

Montavilla Jazz Festival needs you!

The Montavilla Neighborhood Association is excited to host the second annual Montavilla Jazz Festival in East Portland August 15-16.


Now in its second year, the jazz festival brings together neighbors and music lovers to enjoy original Portland-based jazz. 2015 Headliner Darrell Grant will debut his new work, “All 4 Naught.”


This year, the festival has added on-site food and beverage options courtesy of Portland Mercado’s Mixteca Catering and The Wine Nomad.


And, some proceeds from the festival will be donated to four neighborhood schools to support music education!


Organizers need volunteers to help make the weekend a success. Volunteers will stamp hands, check IDs, help set up, clean up, and more. In addition to a cool Jazz Fest t-shirt, volunteers get a free day pass to enjoy the music after their shifts!


To sign up to volunteer, email volunteers@montavillajazzfest.com.


To learn more about the Montavilla Jazz Festival, visit their website: www.montavillajazzfest.com.


Montavilla Jazz Festival

August 15-16, 2015

Portland Metro Arts

9003 SE Stark Street

Full Schedule

July 29, 2015

Commissioner Fish appoints Mike Stuhr as the new Portland Water Bureau Director

City Commissioner Nick Fish announced today his appointment of Michael Stuhr as the new Director of the Portland Water Bureau.


“I am delighted that Mike Stuhr accepted my offer to lead the Portland Water Bureau,” said Commissioner Fish. “He has extensive experience with Portland’s unique water system and has an outstanding track record as the bureau’s Chief Engineer. I believe Mike is the right leader to continue the bureau’s proud tradition of delivering high-quality, reliable, and safe drinking water to nearly 1 million Oregonians, from forest to faucet.”


Stuhr previously served for ten years as the Water Bureau’s Chief Engineer. In that role he successfully delivered major capital projects on time and on budget, including the new Interstate Operations and Maintenance Center and the Dam 2 Towers project in the Bull Run Watershed. He also served as Co-Chair of the Water and Waste Water Task Group for the Oregon Resilience Plan, a 50-year seismic resilience plan to guide policy and investments statewide.


Stuhr’s appointment follows a national recruitment to fill the position. Commissioner Fish and his team worked with bureau employees, partner organizations, and community members to develop the recruitment materials, review applications and interview candidates.


Stuhr holds a B.S. from the United States Military Academy at West Point, an M.B.A. from the University of California at Davis, and a Master of Science in Civil Engineering from Stanford University.


“I am honored to be chosen by Commissioner Fish to serve as Director of the Portland Water Bureau,” said Stuhr. “I look forward to working with Commissioner Fish and the City Council on our shared priorities: stabilizing rates, providing strong oversight on major capital projects, improving our customers’ experience, and ensuring that we have a resilient and safe water system for generations to come.”


Stuhr’s annual salary will be $180,000. He will assume his duties August 31, 2015.


Portland's new Water Bureau director: Michael Stuhr

Brad Schmidt in The Oregonian


Fish picks insider for new Water Bureau director

Jim Redden in the Portland Tribune

July 29, 2015

In the summer of '15

There’s been a lot of talk about droughts recently. With much of the west coast experiencing dry spells and Portland’s recent heat waves, it’s no surprise that people are concerned about our water supply. 


Luckily, Portlanders have an abundance of water, thanks to our visionary Bull Run Watershed and our Columbia South Shore Well Field. Our reservoirs in the Bull Run rely on rain rather than snow – and Mt. Hood had a rainy year!


A century ago, Portlanders also faced a hot, dry summer. An editorial from The Oregonian revealed a glimpse into the past. In the summer of 1915, the average Portlander used 112 gallons of water per day, which was quite a bit less than people in other US cities. 


Today, the average Portlander uses 52 gallons per day at home – considerably less than a hundred years ago. We are fortunate to have conservation-minded citizens and our incredible water supply.


Check out the Water Bureau’s website to learn more about the summer of 1915, and about our great water sources.   

July 28, 2015

Painting Portland

Portland is getting more incredible art murals!


The Regional Arts & Culture Council’s (RACC) board of directors has approved funding for two new Public Art Mural projects that showcase Portland’s diversity and unique character.


One is a seven-mural project in partnership with Forest for the Trees Northwest. The local non-profit brings 30 local and international artists to Portland for one week in August. The artists work together and paint incredible murals around the city. The goal of the project is to celebrate Portland’s evolving diverse identity through colorful, eclectic paintings. 


The other project is a giant mural with the Wattles Boys & Girls Club in the Lents neighborhood. It will be 90 ft. by 25 ft. on the Club’s east-facing wall. The mural is a neighborhood collaboration between the Boys & Girls Club, the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO), and gang-affected youth from Latino Network and Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center, Inc. The mural symbolizes the strength and interdependence of the Lents community.


The Public Art Murals Program is funded and administered by RACC. Check out RACC’s website to learn more.


A Rightful Place

Olivia Olivia in the Portland Observer


Photo courtesy of RACC.

July 27, 2015

The Weekly Catch

July 24, 2015

Guest Blogger - Lilly Lee

I sat in a meeting this week with Commissioner Fish and the Bureau of Environmental Services (BES). I learned that BES has a high school summer internship pilot program, which is allowing 65 high school students to be out in the field. These students will then gain experience and knowledge to have a successful career. They are also taking advantage of networking and making connections. The students inspire me because they are already thinking ahead about how they can be successful.


I really enjoy sitting in meetings with Nick because there is so much going on behind the scenes. There are so many different ideas for how Portland can grow. Many organizations, nonprofits, and citizens wants to improve Portland, but need help and support from Council. I really enjoy listening to the feedback and comments Nick has for them. In the end, they need to have a good selling argument to make their case.


As for my goodbye lunch gathering, the Fish family had it at the Nel Centro restaurant. The restaurant is connected to the Hotel Modera downtown. I got to shake hands with the owner, David Machado. David is also the chef, and owns two other Portland restaurants as well. Lunch was great, the food is amazing. I had the chicken salad with grapes and walnuts. The salad dressing is what made it so delicious!!! 



July 23, 2015

Portland welcomes home World Champions


A Governor, a Thorn, two Fishes, and friends joined a record sell-out crowd at Providence Park for the Portland Thorns soccer game last night.


Soccer City, U.S.A. welcomed home World Cup Champions Alex Morgan, Tobin Heath, and Megan Rapinoe. Governor Kate Brown, accompanied by three representatives from Girls, Inc., congratulated the women on the field before the game, with a thunderous cheer of 22,000 voices.


We're proud these outstanding women athletes and role models call Portland home. Go Thorns!


Portland Thorns set attendance record in 1-0 loss to Seattle Reign

Jamie Goldberg in The Oregonian

July 23, 2015

BES' summer interns

Today, Nick was pleased to host interns from the Bureau of Environmental Services’ (BES) Summer Intern Program.


The program is a great career introduction for students, and provides important skills, knowledge, and a fun experience of working in public service.


The paid internship is an 8-week program working alongside BES staff, learning all about pollution prevention, engineering, watershed restoration, and wastewater management collection and treatment.


Congrats to the interns for doing a wonderful job! BES is lucky to have you on the team this summer.


July 22, 2015

Celebrating Portland Opera’s 50th Anniversary

This morning, City Council honored the Portland Opera with a proclamation celebrating its 50th anniversary. 


Portland Opera inspires audiences with extraordinary, artistic, and diverse performances.


It first launched in 1964, with a production of Die Fledermaus at Madison High School. Today, Portland Opera has grown into a first-class company and is an important feature in our community.


The Opera is dedicated to expanding arts access in Portland and around Oregon. The Portland Opera To Go program provides one-hour versions of classic operas to schools and community groups state-wide, ensuring that everyone can enjoy the arts. 


Want to check out a show? Portland Opera is closing its riveting season with a street fair on Saturday, August 1, next to the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. The street fair will be followed by a live outdoor simulcast of that night’s performance of The Elixir of Love.


Check out Portland Opera's website to learn more.

July 22, 2015

Just keep paddling

Are you up for an incredible water adventure? Grab your family and friends and head to the 21st Annual Columbia Slough Regatta


It’s an on-the-water festival, great for families and enthusiastic kayakers or canoeists alike. Feel free to paddle at your own pace, and enjoy the wildlife-watching excursion on calm, safe water.


The Columbia Slough Watershed was historically used by local Native Americans, and even visited by Lewis and Clark! Today, it’s an urban watershed, home to thousands of businesses, people, a marine terminal, and two airports.


Sponsored in part by the Portland Water Bureau, the Columbia’s hidden waterway is an important habitat for some of Oregon’s most beautiful creatures. While there, keep your eyes peeled for eagles, blue herons, otters, turtles, and more!


Register on the Columbia Slough Watershed Council’s website.


Columbia Slough Regatta

Sunday, August 2, 9 am – 1 pm

1880 NE Elrod Drive

July 21, 2015

Bored with Power

Artists Joshua Pew and Molly Eno provide a satirical view of power in the Portland Building’s latest art installation, Bored with Power.


The installation includes a handmade, life-sized, stuffed gorilla on a ply-wood throne. It symbolizes the artists’ feelings towards the perceived power of large corporations, governments, and the general Western world. 


Each year, the Installation Art Series has several exhibition opportunities for talented university students. It’s a great way to introduce up-and-coming artists to the Portland community. Molly and Joshua both received their Bachelor of Fine Arts this year from the Oregon College of Art and Craft. 


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


Bored with Power is up now through August 14 in the Portland Building’s lobby.


Check out RACC’s website for more information.


Portland Building Installation Art Series

1120 SW 5th Avenue

8 am – 5 pm

July 20, 2015

The Weekly Catch

Women’s soccer still seeks a level playing field (OPINION)

Nick Fish in The Oregonian


Portland approves deal to keep Mt. Tabor reservoirs filled

Brad Schmidt in The Oregonian


Mt. Tabor reservoirs: Council approves preservation plan

Jim Redden in the Portland Tribune


Council agrees to spend $4M for Mt. Tabor reservoir water

Rachel Rafanelli in KGW News


Council tackles Mount Tabor, rideshares, RTDToo
Chris Woodard and KOIN 6 News Staff


Council agenda: Reservoirs, R2DToo, Uber and Lyft

Jim Redden in the Portland Tribune


City Council poised to resolve wrangling over reservoirs

Jim Redden in the Portland Tribune


Crystal Springs Chinook July 2015

Portland Bureau of Environmental Services


PWB to blend reservoir with well water

Jennifer Dowling and KOIN 6 News Staff


Portland Water Bureau taps groundwater, will you notice the change?

Emily Sinovic in KATU News


How much water does your garden need this week? Get the exact number

Janet Eastman in The Oregonian


2015 Editorial Agenda mid-year report card: Editorial

The Oregonian Editorial Board



Jules Rogers in the Portland Tribune


Street pianos in Portland provide an open opportunity to play

Randy L. Rasmussen in The Oregonian


Rescued pianos comes to life on the streets of Portland (Photos & Video)

Randy L. Rasmussen in The Oregonian


Surplus Stores

Dirk VanderHart in the Portland Mercury


Portland should test for housing discrimination every 18-24 months

Brad Schmidt in The Oregonian


Housing, minority groups support Saltzman proposal to boost affordable housing in central city

Steve Law in the Portland Tribune

July 17, 2015

Special guest blogger - Lilly Lee

What a busy week of work! Not necessarily just for myself, but for the whole Fish family. Working hard, helping each other prep Nick for Wednesday’s council session. The Mt. Tabor Reservoirs decision was a huge deal for Council. I sat in Council and listened to friendly amendments, testimony, and watched Portlanders give thumbs up and thumbs down. I thought the people living in the Mt. Tabor neighborhood gave thoughtful testimony, asking Council to preserve the reservoirs. The City Council approved a plan for the three open reservoirs in Mt. Tabor, so the reservoirs will be preserved. Council also approved $4 million to restore the reservoirs over the next four years. After sitting in council for an hour and a half, I had a lunch date with Commissioner Saltzman’s intern.


Alexis, Commissioner Saltzman’s intern, is studying at Oregon State University and her major is business. Alexis and I had lunch at Karam Lebanese & Syrian Cuisine. We’ve never had Lebanese food before, and I thought it would be great if we tried something new together. As we walked to the restaurant I found out that Alexis and I have a lot in common. We are both in college, we are the same age, we are interning through summer works for the same position in City Hall, and we both are believers. The only down side to this date is that we waited 40 minutes for our food, Alexis brought her lunch back to the office; and I brought mine home. Over all I had a great time connecting with Alexis and getting to know her on a deeper level!!!


I’m really sad I’m leaving this office so soon. Next Thursday is my last day!!!! I’ve learned so much from everyone here. I admire Nick, just the way he talks; so powerful and meaningful. Liam and I staffed Nick in a PowerPoint meeting this week, and when the presenter was done presenting Nick had the chance to give feedback. Every correction that Nick gave, I wanted to give him a high five. I can see that Nick really puts himself in the lens of the citizens of Portland, and cares about the benefits of Portlanders.


It’s an honor to work with the Fish family!

July 16, 2015


The Portland Water Bureau works hard throughout the year to provide Portlanders with some of the best drinking water in the nation.


One of the ways the Water Bureau maintains our high quality water is by conducting unidirectional flushing (UDF).


Over time, small bits of sediment and organic matter from the Bull Run Watershed settle and accumulate in the bottom of pipes. Unidirectional flushing forces high-speed water through pipes to remove those sediments. Flushing crews temporarily close valves to isolate sections of pipe, and water is directed through an open fire hydrant.  


Residents near flushing zones may notice discolored water and lower than normal water pressure. The discoloration does not pose a health risk. Residents should let tap water run until it becomes clear.  


Beginning this week, the Water Bureau will flush out water mains in the Powellhurst-Gilbert, Pleasant Valley/Powellhurst-Gilbert, and the Pleasant Valley neighborhoods. Flushing usually occurs Monday – Friday, between 9 am - 3:30 pm.


Check out the Water Bureau’s website for a full map of the flushing zone. 

July 15, 2015

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