POL Government Elected Officials Commissioner Nick Fish News Blog Archive Blog

Little Boxes


Yesterday, Nick was excited to join Senator Jeff Merkley to help kick off Little Boxes' 4th year!


Little Boxes is a wonderful local response to the post-Thanksgiving “Black Friday” shopping tradition.  The Portland-wide shopping extravaganza features the best of our small business community.


Nick celebrated Little Boxes’ 4-year anniversary by touring participating small businesses with the Senator, Venture Portland Executive Director Heather Hoell, and Little Boxes founders, Will Ceravich and Betsy Cross from Betsy and Iya


The tour started in the beautiful St. Johns neighborhood, where 14 small businesses are part of the Little Boxes family! Afterwards, Nick headed over to Northwest and visited many shops, including Hammer and Vine, Manor Fine Wares, Child’s Play and more.


Small businesses are an important part of Portland’s economy.  They bring character and strength to our neighborhoods, create jobs, and drive economic growth.  For every dollar spent at a local small business, 70 cents stays in our community!


The two-day event is from November 28-29.  It’s is a great way to shop local and support your neighborhood small businesses! 

Don’t forget to download the app! The free smart-phone application is your digital passport to all things Little Boxes. 


Visit Little Boxes website for more information!

Photos courtesy of Rachelle Hamac.

November 26, 2014

Weekly Roundup

November 26, 2014

A pioneer in construction trade

The Portland Water Bureau’s senior inspector, Kate Barrett, has been a pioneer for women in construction trade since the late 1970s.


Kate was the first woman to graduate from the Carpenter’s Apprenticeship Program in Oregon!


She continued breaking glass ceilings by being the first woman carpenter to work for the City of Portland.  Kate later became the first woman inspector and then first woman senior inspector for the Portland Water Bureau!  


Kate has worked hard for the City of Portland for the last 27 years.  As a senior inspector, she ensures that contracting companies provide quality services that meet City standards. 


She experiences great satisfaction when she goes to work and sees many other women working for the Water Bureau and contracting companies. 


Kate is passionate about equity. She co-founded Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc. more than a quarter of a century ago.  The organization is dedicated to encouraging and promoting women’s success in trades, through education, leadership, and mentoring. 


Thank you Kate, for your great work and dedication over the last 27 years!


Check out Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc.’s website for more information.

November 25, 2014

The magic of the Holiday Express train

Start off the holiday season with an adventure on board a holiday train!


The Holiday Express is a wonderful vintage steam engine.  It takes passengers on a holiday excursion, along the beautiful Oregon Pacific Railroad.


The family-friendly ride starts at Oaks Park Station, and is about 45 minutes long.  During the ride, Santa and his helpful elves make an appearance and visit passengers!


The Holiday Express is put on by the Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation.  The foundation preserves Portland’s historic locomotives and railroad artifacts.  It provides education to the public about Oregon’s railroad history. 


The Holiday Express train rides begin the day after Thanksgiving! Visit the Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation’s website for more information. 

Photo courtesy of the Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation.

November 24, 2014

Friday Roundup

November 21, 2014

Small Business Saturday

Yesterday, Nick was proud to present a Proclamation to City Council, designating November 29 as Small Business Saturday. 


And, it’s just in time for our city-wide shopping extravaganza - Little Boxes! The two-day holiday season event is from November 28-29.  It’s a great way to shop local, win prizes, and support our neighborhood small businesses.


Small businesses are the backbone of Portland’s economy.  For every dollar spent at neighborhood small businesses, 70 cents stays in our community. 


As Council liaison to Venture Portland, Nick is proud to support our local small businesses and Little Boxes.  


Learn more about Little Boxes – and down their app – online.


Proclamation: Small Business Saturday


Prepare Yourself for Little Boxes

Katie Guinn in the Portland Mercury

Little Boxes Is the Only Sane Way to Participate in Black Friday

Marjorie Skinner in the Portland Mercury

Little Boxes is back: Portland's small-business answer to big-box Black Friday returns

Anna Marum in The Oregonian

November 20, 2014

Green street planting

It may come as a surprise, but its planting season for the City!


The Bureau of Environmental Services’ (BES) crews are planting new vegetation in green street facilities along SE Division.


Portland is well known for its green infrastructure, and green street facilities are an important part of that. Planting is the final step in getting the facilities operational and ready to go for the rainy season.


Stormwater hurts the environment and can kill salmon and other critters. Green street facilities use native plants to help filter stormwater and pollutants.  They protect water quality in our local creeks, and keep stormwater out of our sewer systems. 


Check out BES’ website for more information. 


Stormwater could kill salmon, but ‘rain gardens’ help

Keely Chalmers, KGW News

November 19, 2014

Painting Portland's forgotten history

Talented artist Gabriel Liston brings to life a forgotten part of Portland’s water history in his beautiful art exhibit, Get All That Is Coming To You


Liston’s inspiration comes from Lafe Pence, a lawyer, miner and congressman from Colorado.  Pence attempted to claim water rights in Northwest Portland from 1905 to 1908.  His scheme involved using water in Guild’s Lake.  The project was environmentally and economically disastrous, and Pence fled Portland. 


Liston’s art exhibit is a narrative that takes viewers on a trip through time.  Black and white oil panels relate to the controversial history surrounding Pence.  Large canvases illustrate Liston’s personal journey finding Pence’s water sites, and painted panels show what the sites look like in present-day.


Get All That Is Coming To You is funded in part by the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC).  One of RACC’s services is providing project grants to local artists.  Their mission is to enrich the greater Portland community with diverse artistic opportunities.


The exhibition runs through December 13th at Froelick Gallery.  Visit RACC’s website for more information.


Get All That Is Coming To You

Froelick Gallery

714 NW Davis St.

Tuesdays – Saturdays 10:30 am – 5:30 pm

Photo courtesy of RACC.

November 17, 2014

Finding Portland

Uncage the Soul created a spectacular time-lapse video of Portland and the Columbia Gorge that offers a unique perspective of our city. 


The video, Finding Portland, is comprised of 308,829 photos taken over 50 locations.  Each second of film took an average of 3.8 hours to make! It highlights the wonders of Portland through cutting edge video techniques. 


Uncage the Soul is a local video production company that creates amazing, dynamic videos.  With photography, innovative videos, and a creative team, Uncage the Soul produces alluring narratives for commercials, documentaries, and more!


Check out their website for more information. 

November 14, 2014

Friday Roundup

November 14, 2014

Age-Friendly Portland

Yesterday, Nick was proud to welcome representatives from Age-Friendly Portland and Portland State University’s Institute on Aging to Council. They presented the first annual report on our Action Plan for an Age-Friendly Portland.


Last October, Council passed a resolution accepting the Action Plan. We’ve seen great progress over the course of the year, especially in increasing civic engagement and volunteerism, economic development, employment, and housing opportunities!


Age-Friendly Portland provides a wealth of resources and information for older adults, and is enthusiastically supported by City Council and Elders in Action.. Their Age-Friendly Advisory Council is working hard to keep our Action Plan on track.


Nick is proud to be Council Liaison to Elders in Action, a local nonprofit dedicated to creating a vibrant community of elders who are active in civic engagement. 


Check out Age-Friendly Portland’s website for more information. 

Creating a More Age-Friendly Portland

Year 1 Progress Report

November 13, 2014

Celebrating Veterans Day

Once again, Nick was proud to march with JOIN in Portland’s Veterans Day Parade.


Each year the parade gets bigger and better.  This year, we were honored to have both United States Senators, Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, join the celebration.


Nick was pleased to thank Senator Wyden for his tireless work to secure the Medal of Honor for World War I veteran and hero, Sergeant Henry Lincoln Johnson.


Sergeant Johnson was part of the 369th Regiment, also known as the Harlem Hellfighters.  The all African American regiment served with distinction in WWI.  In 1918, a wounded Sergeant Johnson fought off a German raider party, with only his jammed rifle and bolo knife.  He heroically saved his partner from capture. 


On a day that we thank veterans for their service and sacrifice, Nick was very pleased that his 10 year old son, Chapin, could join him.


It's never too late to honor a real war hero: Editorial

The Oregonian Editorial Board

November 12, 2014

It's movie time!

The Northwest Film Center is having its 41st annual Northwest Filmmakers’ Festival!


This year’s festival showcases the outstanding and dynamic work by talented local filmmakers. 


The NW Film Center is a media arts resource and service organization.  It is dedicated to providing an array of wonderful exhibitions and festivals, educational programs, and art services to Portlanders. 


The Center is funded in part by the Regional Arts & Culture Council.


The Northwest Filmmakers’ Festival runs through November 15.  Check out NW Film Center’s website for more information.

November 10, 2014

Spirit of Portland 2014

Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’

– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Last night, Nick was proud to join his colleagues to present the 2014 Spirit of Portland Awards.


The Spirit of Portland celebrates individuals and organizations who do so much for others, and influence great, positive changes in our community.


This year, Nick was proud to name two award recipients: Stephen Marc Beaudoin and Dr. Karen Fischer Gray. 


Stephen serves as the Executive Director of PHAME, an inspiring non-profit that provides arts education and opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities. Stephen enriches our community by helping people with disabilities and their families actively engage in the arts – from music and dance, to poetry and visual art.  


Karen is the Superintendent of Parkrose School District. She has been a steadfast advocate and voice for East Portland students and their families.  Karen is also an active member of the City’s Planning & Sustainability Commission


Nick was also pleased to present awards to Ramón Ramirez and PFLAG Portland.


Ramon has served as President of Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste for nearly 20 years.  He is a champion for equity and has been a great leader for the immigrant and farm workers community in Oregon. 


PFLAG Portland (Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians & Gays) provides support and education to Portland families of gay and lesbian children.  It is a strong advocate for LBGTQ dignity, respect, and legal equality in our community.


The highlight of the evening was bittersweet, and very moving – Commissioner Amanda Fritz presented an award to three members of the Oregon State Salem Area Command, who quickly and compassionately responded to her husband’s fatal car accident in September. 


Congratulations to all the Portlanders and community groups who received awards! You help make our city a wonderful place.

November 7, 2014

I stand with Francisco

I join Mayor Hales in expressing my concern for Francisco Aguirre and his family.


The federal government must treat him fairly and humanely, and afford him full due process.


Francisco is an asset, not a risk, to our community. I am proud to stand with him. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.


Francisco Aguirre, Portland labor activist fighting deportation, arrested on federal criminal warrant

Steve Mayes in The Oregonian

November 7, 2014

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