POL Government Elected Officials Commissioner Nick Fish News Blog Archive Blog


BodyVox and the Amphion String Quartet are reuniting for the world premiere of their latest performance, Cosmosis


Cosmosis is a beautiful and riveting blend of dance, theater, and live chamber music. 


BodyVox is a local arts organization that combines dance, theater and film into incredible productions. It’s funded in part by the Regional Arts & Culture Council’s General Operating Support grant program. 


The Amphion String Quartet is an award-winning string quartet internationally known for its intense and gripping music.


Together, the two groups create a stunning performance full of passion and wonder.  


Cosmosis begins tonight and goes through June 6. 


Check out BodyVox’s website for more information and to purchase tickets.  



BodyVox Dance Center

1201 NW 17th Ave.

Portland, OR 97209


Photo courtesy of BodyVox.

May 21, 2015

Grant Magazine wins Gold

This morning, Nick was proud to present a Proclamation for Grant High School’s award-winning Grant Magazine team. 


Grant Magazine tells authentic stories of their high school community, including students, faculty, parents, and more.


In March, Grant journalists were awarded a prestigious Columbia Scholastic Press Association Gold Crown Award at a ceremony in New York City!


The Gold Crown Award is the Association’s highest award. It recognizes the best student publications across the country, based on writing, design, photography, and online coverage. Grant Magazine is the only Oregon publication to ever receive a Gold Crown Award – and this is the second year in a row that they won!


Congratulations, Grant Magazine!


Check out Grant Magazine’s impressive website, and consider supporting them with a subscription to the magazine.

May 20, 2015

Sipping from the Benson Bubblers


The Benson Bubbler drinking fountains are legendary in the City of Roses. 


The Benson Bubblers were named after businessman and philanthropist Simon Benson, who donated $10,000 for the purchase and installation of 20 fountains in 1912. 


Folklore suggests that Benson was concerned that local loggers were visiting saloons too much during the work day. He wanted to provide them with the alternative of fresh, clean water. 


Over a century later, the Bubblers are still flowing. They are so famous, there’s even one in our sister city of Sapporo, Japan!


There are 51 “true” four-bowl Benson Bubblers in Portland. Forty-eight are installed in downtown Portland while three on the Eastside. They provide drinking water from the Bull Run reservoirs.


An additional 79 bubblers replicating the original style have been cast and installed over the years, but are not to be confused with the “true” 51. 


KOIN 6 News has a great article about the history of the Benson Bubblers. 


Check out the Portland Water Bureau’s website for even more information.  


Where We Live: Benson Bubblers

Ken Boddie in KOIN 6 News

May 19, 2015

Summer arts camps

School’s almost out and summer is just around the corner. Kids know what that means – it’s almost camp time!


There are many arts organizations throughout our city that offer a variety of great summer arts camps and workshops for youth. 


The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) has a huge list of camps in Portland. Dance, music, visual arts, and more – there’s something for everyone.


Check out RACC’s website for the full list.


Photo courtesy of RACC.

May 18, 2015

Irvington students visit City Hall

This afternoon, we were pleased to welcome a surprise visit from some third graders from Irvington School in Northeast Portland.


After seeing the Oregon Children's Theatre's performance of Ramona Quimby at the Newmark Theatre, the students walked down from Portland'5 for a tour of City Hall!


They enjoyed a quick rest in Commissioner Fish's office before heading to their next destination.


Ramona Quimby, a play based on one of Beverly Cleary's beloved characters, runs through May 31. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit http://www.octc.org/onstage/ramona.

May 15, 2015

Friday Roundup

May 15, 2015

Work zone safety

With the warm summer months fast approaching, there’ll be more construction work that affects Portland’s streets. 


Part of that construction includes upgrading water mains and sewer pipes. It’s essential work for our city’s infrastructure. 


And, it can cause a little traffic. 


National studies have shown that driver distraction is the leading cause for work zone collisions. It’s important to be aware of your surrounding and to drive slowly. 


The Portland Water Bureau recommends the following tips to stay safe around work zones:

  • Use an alternate route. 
  • Expect delays.
  • Be alert. 
  • Obey all speed and warning signs. 
  • Do not tailgate. 
  • Carefully move over. 
  • Stay clear of construction vehicles. 

Check out the Portland Water Bureau’s website for more information.

May 14, 2015

Cell Phone Photo Paintings

Local artist Brittany Powell beautifully captures images of daily life in the Portland Building’s latest installation, Cell Phone Photo Paintings: Free


Powell’s art installation was inspired by losing her camera during a vacation. Her husband jokingly suggested that she should paint all of their photos – and she did.  All 80 of them.  


Powell is holding “studio hours,” in the Portland Building’s lobby. Visitors meet with Powell and text her a photo of their daily life. She will then paint the photo and put it on display for the duration of the installation. 


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

Cell Phone Photo Paintings: Free is up now through May 29 in the Portland Building’s lobby. Powell’s studio hours are Monday – Thursday, from 2 – 5 pm. 


Check out RACC’s website for more information.

Portland Building Installation Art Series

1120 SW 5th Avenue

8 am – 5pm


Portland artists turns cell phone pictures into fine artMaggie Vespa in KGW News


Photo courtesy of RACC.

May 13, 2015

The Right Brain Initiative

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has just awarded The Right Brain Initiative a $30,000 grant!


A program of the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC), The Right Brain Initiative engages young minds by integrating art in school curriculums. The program was launched in 2009, and has grown to reach over 20,000 local students in a single school year.


The grant will go towards building creative capacity for over 600 teachers and 80 teaching artists and arts organizations. This is Right Brain’s fourth grant from NEA, and its largest yet.


Right Brain not only encourages student creativity, it also has a positive effect in other subjects as well. Right Brain Schools see students averaging 6 points higher in reading scores and 9 points higher in math scores than before working with the program. English Language Learners’ scores increased the most – 10 times more after Right Brain!


Check out The Right Brain Initiative’s website to learn more about this great arts program. 


Photo courtesy of RACC.

May 12, 2015

St. Johns Parade


On Saturday, Nick enjoyed marching in the 53rd Annual St. Johns Parade


He was pleased to join community leaders, elected officials, the Rose Festival Court, marching bands, and more to celebrate 2015’s theme: “We Are Family.”


The St. Johns Parade has been a wonderful North Portland tradition since 1962. The event brings people from all over to celebrate the neighborhood’s rich history.  It has something for everyone – including, the St. Johns “Bizarre,” parade competitions, beautiful vintage cars, face painting, and more!


Thanks to the parade organizers, including Rachael Banks and Barbara Legge, for hosting another great parade!

May 11, 2015

Painting BIG

Are you ready to paint big this Saturday?


The Regional Arts & Culture Council is presenting Painting BIG. It’s a hands-on mural painting workshop that focuses on spray paint, stencil, and projection to learn how to create amazing, large-scale works of art. 


Talented local artist The Lost Cause is leading the workshop. Day-to-day life and cartoons serve as his artistic inspirations. The Lost Cause’s art can be found around Portland, and all over the country!  


Painting BIG is part of the Public Art Murals Program.  Administrated by RACC, the Program has provided matching funds for over 50 mural projects around the city.


All painting materials will be provided at the workshop. It’s $30 per person. Register here.   


Check out RACC’s website for more information. 


Painting BIG

Saturday, May 9, 1 – 4pm

Rosewood Initiative

16126 SE Stark Ave.


Photo courtesy of The Lost Cause.

May 8, 2015

Friday Roundup

May 8, 2015

Commissioner Fish appoints new BES Director

City Commissioner Nick Fish announced today his appointment of Michael Jordan as the new Director of the Bureau of Environmental Services (BES).


“I am delighted that Michael Jordan accepted my offer to lead the Bureau of Environmental Services,” said Commissioner Fish. “He brings an extensive record of public and private sector experience to the City, and shares my commitment to stabilizing rates, improving transparency, and strengthening accountability.”


Jordan’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.


Commissioner Fish sought a leader with strong skills in collaborative leadership and management, strategic thinking, equity, communication, innovation, and more. “Mike rose to the top of a very strong candidate pool,” said Commissioner Fish, “and will continue BES’s proud tradition of environmental stewardship and cost-effective delivery of sewer and stormwater services.”


Jordan previously served the State of Oregon as the Director of the Department of Administrative Services and Chief Operating Officer, and the region as Chief Operating Officer for Metro. He held elected office as a County Commissioner in Clackamas County and served as City Administrator in Canby. Jordan spent over a decade working for Pacific Power and Light Company.


Jordan holds a B.S. in Social Science from Portland State University.


“I am honored to be chosen by Commissioner Fish to head the Bureau of Environmental Services and very excited to return to my roots in city government,” said Michael Jordan. “I’m looking forward to engaging Portlanders on the challenging and important work of the bureau.”


Jordan’s annual salary will be $185,000. He will assume his duties June 1, 2015.


Michael Jordan, State's Former Chief Operating Officer Hired to Run City's Bureau of Environmental Services

Nigel Jaquiss in the Willamette Week


Michael Jordan will lead Portland's Bureau of Environmental Services

Wendy Culverwell in the Portland Business Journal


Fish taps former state executive for environmental bureau

Jim Redden in the Portland Tribune


Ex-state exec Michael Jordan to lead Portland's sewer bureau

Brad Schmidt in The Oregonian


City of Portland Appoints New Environmental Services Director

FM News 101 KXL Staff

May 8, 2015

Celebrating older Americans

Older adults are an important part of the Portland community -- and this month, we celebrate them!


This morning, Nick was pleased to read a Proclamation declaring May as Older Americans Month in Portland. Created by President John F. Kennedy, Older Americans Month became a nationwide celebration in 1963. This year’s theme is Get into the Act. It focuses on older adults taking charge of their health and being active members of their communities.    


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


The City partners with Elders in Action, Multnomah County, and other local nonprofits to enhance the lives of older adults in our region.  


Learn about upcoming opportunities for older adults on the Elders in Action website.


Older Americans Month Proclamation

May 6, 2015

Out and about with Nick


On Friday, Nick enjoyed the opportunity to tour the Portland Water Bureau’s Interstate Maintenance Facility, which is currently undergoing renovations in North Portland.     


The Interstate Facility is an essential part of Portland’s drinking water system, from forest to faucet. Interstate houses more than 200 employees, a water control center, water quality laboratory, storage area, administration offices, and more. Part of the facility is nearly 100 years old, so it lacks modern safety standards – and is known to “rain” inside the building on stormy days!  


The first phase of renovation of complete: a new 28,000 square foot office building. Its eco-friendly design conserves water and energy, and uses solar power. The Water Bureau expects the building will earn a LEED Gold certification. Next up, demolition of the old structure.


Check out the Water Bureau’s website for more information.


On Tuesday, Nick was pleased to join Venture Portland and local business leaders in Gateway to celebrate National Small Business Week – and to kick off a new funding initiative for East Portland business associations. 

The $100,000 initiative will go towards strengthening East Portland business associations, which provide essential support for our neighborhood small businesses. East Portland businesses deserve the same opportunity for success as other districts throughout Portland.


Our neighborhood small business community is part of what makes Portland great. They employ half our workforce and are the backbone of our local economy. Seventy cents of every dollar spent at a local business stays in our community!  


Visit Venture Portland’s website to learn how you can support your neighborhood small businesses.

May 6, 2015

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