POL Government Elected Officials Commissioner Nick Fish News Blog Archive Blog

Join us at Southeast Division’s Openfest!

This Friday at 10 am, Nick and Commissioner Novick will officially re-open SE Division Street, after months of construction to improve the roadway!


Sponsored by the Division/Clinton Business Association, Openfest celebrates the end of the Division Streetscape Project with fun festivities and the debut of a wonderful art installation. 


The Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) was proud to partner with the Bureau of Transportation to bring the Division Streetscape to life.  Division’s transformation includes new green street facilities (like bioswales) and street trees, better access to public transit, new sidewalks and street lamps, public art, and much more!


At the re-opening, enjoy delicious foods, drinks, live music, and shopping! It’s the perfect opportunity to support our local neighborhood small businesses, and many shops will have discounts and deals throughout the day.


Also, don’t forget to check out Division’s newest art: This All Happened More or Less. Created by local artists Crystal Schenk and Shelby Davis, the beautiful public art installation is woven throughout SE Division. Funded by the City of Portland’s Percent for Art program, This All Happened More or Less consists of delightfully small bronze figures on large, dolomite boulders. 


Visit BES’ website for more information about Openfest.  See you there!



Friday, October 24

SE 31st and Division St.

9 am – 7 pm

October 22, 2014

Bureau of Environmental Services Update

City Auditor LaVonne Griffin-Valade released an audit today regarding the BES Columbia Boulevard Wastewater Treatment Plant office building.


It contains a number of serious and troubling findings. 


I have directed the City Attorney to begin an outside investigation. The investigation will be conducted by Ed Harnden and Paula Barran, partners at the Barran Liebman law firm.  Ed is a past president of the Oregon State Bar and both Ed and Paula are highly respected employment lawyers.  They have extensive experience conducting sensitive high level investigations, including those arising in the public sector.


Given the gravity of the issues raised in the audit, I have placed BES Director Dean Marriott on paid administrative leave pending the conclusion of the outside investigation.  Jim Hagerman, BES’s Business Services Manager, will serve as acting bureau director. 


I expect the investigation to be completed before the end of the year.


Portland City Council will review the auditor’s findings at a work session scheduled for October 28, 2014, 9:30-11:30am. The meeting is open to the public; no testimony is taken during work sessions.


Press Release from Auditor LaVonne Griffin-Valade


BES Columbia Building: scope additions and ineffective design oversight led to substantially higher project costs

City Audit, LaVonne Griffin-Valade


After Damning Audit of Budget-Busting Building, Fish Puts Sewer Bureau Chief on Leave

Denis Theriault in the Portland Mercury


Portland administrator Dean Marriott placed on paid leave as audit finds insufficient oversight on $11.5 million office project

Brad Schmidt in The Oregonian


Overspending and under-accounting at the Columbia treatment plant: Editorial Agenda 2014

Oregonian Editorial Board


Portland Environmental Services Director Dean Marriott Placed on Leave After City Audit of Sewer Office Building

Aaron Mesh in Willamette Week


Audit Finds Numerous Costly Problems With Portland's Columbia Building

Rob Manning on OPB


BES director put on leave during investigation

Dan Tilkin, KOIN6 News


Sewer director on leave during cost overrun investigation

Jim Redden in the Portland Tribune

October 22, 2014

Dia de los Muertos

The Portland Building’s art installation space is celebrating the dead.


Talented artist Pepe Moscoso commemorates Portland’s deceased leaders and visionaries in his beautiful installation, Dia de los Muertos.


Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a holiday that remembers and celebrates loved ones that have passed on. Originating in Moscoso’s native Mexico, Dia de los Muertos is now celebrated by many people all over the world – including right here in Portland. 


As with the holiday’s tradition, Moscoso constructed an elaborate, colorful altar, filled with painted skulls, photos, and special trinkets.  The deceased’s spirits are believed to appreciate the offerings. 


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


Dia de los Muertos is up until the end of October.  Check out RACC’s website for more information about the Installation Art Series.


Portland Building Installation Art Series

1120 SW 5th Avenue

8 am – 5 pm


Photo courtesy of RACC.  

October 20, 2014

Friday Roundup

October 17, 2014

Kenton Art Walk tonight!

This evening, join fellow North Portlanders at Kenton’s Third Thursday Art Walk.


Stroll along the beautiful historic neighborhood while perusing its great art and local small businesses. 


When you need a break from all that shopping, enjoy music, dancers, live martial arts, and delicious foods from local eateries. And be sure to walk north on Kenton to visit the historic Paul Bunyan statue!


The event serves as a great connection for two of Nick’s top priorities – supporting Portland’s neighborhood small businesses and our wonderful arts and culture community. 


Join Venture Portland and the Kenton Neighborhood Association tonight.  Check out Kenton’s website for more information. 

Photo courtesy of the Kenton Neighborhood Association.

October 16, 2014

Reel Film Festival

The Northwest Film Center is having its 32nd annual Reel Music Festival!


This year’s festival celebrates the wonderful combinations of sound, images, music, and culture within movies.  


Be inspired by rich, dichotomous blends of old and new, and of familiar and strange.  With diverse, eclectic collections ranging from vintage performance clips to modern animation, viewers are taken on a journey of musical and cinematic exploration. 


The NW Film Center is a recipient of the Regional Arts & Culture Council’s General Operating Support Grant.  


The Reel Music Festival runs through October 22.  Check out NW Film Center’s website for more information.

Photo courtesy of NW Film Center.

October 15, 2014

Clean water history



We could argue that Portland’s drinking water is the best in the world, thanks to innovative Oregonians long since passed.


In 1895, drinking water began flowing from the Bull Run Watershed through underground pipes, down to homes and businesses in Portland. The underground system substantially reduced the number of waterborne disease outbreaks. In 1929, the Portland Water Bureau began adding chlorine, nearly eliminating all waterborne disease outbreaks.    


Over a hundred years later, we still get our water from the Bull Run! And, because Bull Run water is so high-quality at the source, we are one of just six large water systems in the United States that doesn’t need to treat our water further.   


Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB), is launching a new show, “How We Got to Now with Steven Johnson,” which explores the history of great innovations. The first episode, titled Clean, takes viewers on a journey of our country’s history of underground water and sewer systems in the mid-1800s. Nicknamed the “clean revolution,” it was a time in our history when we were desperate to make cities healthier and cleaner.   

Clean airs on OPB on Wednesday, October 15 at 9 pm.


OPB’s Oregon Experience series has a great episode on the history of the Bull Run.   Watch it anytime for free on OPB’s website.   

October 13, 2014

Register your business for 2014's "Little Boxes"

Register your small retail business now to become part of the 4th annual “Little Boxes” shopping event in Portland!


Little Boxes launched in 2011, thanks to betsy & iya store owner Betsy Cross. Betsy wanted a strong, local response to the post-Thanksgiving “Black Friday” shopping tradition. Portland’s city-wide shopping event has grown dramatically, and showcases the best of Portland’s unique and trendy small business community.


The two-day event, from November 28-29, is a great way to shop local, support our neighborhood small businesses, and even win prizes!


Small businesses are the backbone of Portland’s economy.  They bring character and strength our neighborhoods, create jobs, and drive economic growth in our community.  As Council liaison to Venture Portland, Nick is proud to support Little Boxes.  


Visit Little Boxes’ website for information and to register your business!

October 10, 2014

Friday Roundup

October 10, 2014

Breakfast with the Street Roots family


This morning, Nick was proud to be the key note speaker at the Street Roots Family Breakfast.


For 15 years, Street Roots has provided an opportunity for people experiencing homelessness and poverty to gain income, and positively interact with the Portland community.

Street Roots is a powerful catalyst for positive social change. The nonprofit advocates for policy changes, health care, civil rights, social justice, and other important issues for Portlanders experiencing homelessness.


They publish a bi-weekly newspaper, including strong editorials, investigative journalism, poetry, artwork, and more. Street Roots also publishes the “Rose City Resource,” a guidebook for people seeking social services in our community.


By the end of the year, Street Roots plans to begin publishing weekly – more than doubling the number of copies sold!


There are 70 Street Roots vendors in the Portland metropolitan area - selling more than 30,000 newspapers each month. Congratulations to Marlon Crump, the paper’s 2014 Vendor of the Year!


Today’s Breakfast was an inspiring event. It highlighted one of life’s most important values: family. The Street Roots family – and the affordable housing family as a whole – is an essential part of the Portland community.


Check out Street Rootswebsite for more information about the organization. 

October 9, 2014

A District on the Move

Join Nick tonight at OMSI’s Theory Eatery for the Central Eastside Industrial Council’s (CEIC) A District on the Move


A location of innovation and growth, the Central Eastside is home to a plethora of creative businesses, including designers, filmmakers, manufactures, and much more. 


As CEIC’s first invitational business exchange, A District on the Move provides an exciting opportunity for Central Eastside businesses to mix, mingle, and foster relationships among 40 neighborhood companies.


Those businesses significantly contribute to Portland’s blossoming economy. Today, The Oregonian’s Ian Kullgren featured Portland’s economic outlook. Our median income and overall job growth are now outpacing Washington County!


A District on the Move is free and open to the public.  Check out the Central Eastside Industrial Council’s website for more information and registration.  


Theory Eatery in OMSI

October 8, 4 – 7 pm

1945 SE Water Ave.


Portland outpaces Washington County in income, job growth

Ian K. Kullgren in The Oregonian

October 8, 2014

A Portrait in Yarn

Talented local artist Jo Hamilton crochets masterful portraits with yarn.  


Funded by a grant from the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC), A Portrait in Yarn’s objective is to beautifully celebrate the people of Portland whose lives have been intertwined with HIV and AIDS. 


Her subjects are residents, volunteers, and staff of Our House of Portland, a residential AIDS care facility, where she has volunteered for a decade.


Hamilton’s first creation, Dr. ‘Sir’ Steven, delightfully portrays the eight-year resident who passed away from AIDS in 2012. 


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 and the freedom of cultural and personal expression. 


The project is free to view, and up at the Sum Gallery through October 28.  It then moves to several other locations throughout Portland.  For a full list of dates and locations, visit Jo Hamilton’s website.  


Sum Gallery

2821 NE MILK Blvd. 

Photo courtesy of Jo Hamilton.

October 7, 2014

National Manufacturing Day


On Friday, Nick joined David Douglas High School students to celebrate National Manufacturing Day at ADX Portland


Portland is home to many small manufacturing businesses that produce quality products - like bikes, furniture, clothing, jewelry, toys, and more!


ADX Portland focuses on one of Portland’s core values: collaboration. ADX provides a shared space of resources and knowledge for local small manufacturers and designers in Southeast Portland. Their model fosters a creative, talented community, and many of their manufacturers and designers go on to create their own companies. 


Small manufacturing businesses, like those at ADX Portland, support our economy, create jobs, and help our community thrive. 


And as businesses like these grow, we need to build a workforce to match it! Schools like David Douglas are providing their students with training and skills to keep Portland’s manufacturing future alive.


Check out ADX Portland’s website for more information.

October 6, 2014

Empowering women leaders

Yesterday, Nick was pleased to attend the Center for Women’s Leadership’s 8th Annual Luncheon!


The Luncheon honored 4 incredible women in Oregon: Multnomah County Judge Adrienne Nelson, Hispanic Chamber Executive Director Gale Castillo, PICA Executive Director Victoria Frey, and Congresswoman Darlene Hooley. 


The Center, located in PSU’s Hatfield School of Government, educates and empowers women.  High school and college students are inspired to break glass ceilings and pursue leadership roles in their careers, and throughout their lives. 


Through skills training, educational programs, and incredible networking opportunities with top women leaders throughout the state, the Center provides pivotal tools for emerging women leaders.


Learn more about the Center for Women’s Leadership on their website.

October 3, 2014

Friday Roundup

October 3, 2014

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