POL Government Elected Officials Commissioner Nick Fish News Blog Archive Blog

Maintaining high quality water at home

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


The Water Bureau monitors and maintains Portland’s vast drinking water system around the city and all the way up to your water meter. Beyond the water meter, and into your home, it’s up to you to retain that high quality drinking water.


Luckily, it’s easy! The Water Bureau has simple tips and tricks to ensure that your water stays safe and delicious.

  • Clean faucet screens (aerators) a few times a year.
  • Do not cook with or drink water from the hot water faucet. Use cold water and heat as needed.
  • If a faucet has not been used for several hours, run cold water for 30 seconds to 2 minutes before using it for drinking or cooking.
  • Install a backflow device on your irrigation system to make sure water doesn’t flow back into your potable water supply.

Check out the Water Bureau’s website for more information, and contact the Water Line with any questions or concerns at (503) 823-7525.

November 30, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is a time when we gather with friends and loved ones and reflect on the blessings in our lives.


Over the past year, I’ve been inspired by the power of people doing great things in our community. Here are three examples:  

  • Gretchen Kafoury, Debbie Aiona, Susan Emmons, Margaret Bax, Jes Larson and other housing advocates, who challenged the City to honor its promise to build more affordable homes in South Waterfront.
  • City utility employees and public safety officers, who provided support and assistance to the people of Roseburg in their time of need.

These snapshots of 2015 remind us of the true meaning of Thanksgiving – love, service, and gratitude.

November 25, 2015

Winter is coming

Today, the Portland Water Bureau is turning off most of the city’s iconic Benson Bubbler drinking fountains due to upcoming cold weather.


Dropping temperatures can freeze pipes, damage property, and cause safety hazards on sidewalks for pedestrians.


Of the 130 bubblers, two will be kept on to provide water to those who rely on them as their primary water source: one on West Burnside and NW 5th Avenue, and one on the waterfront near the west end of the Streel Bridge.


The Water Bureau has alerted 211info about the change, and asked them to contact homeless service providers to make sure water is available to people in need.


Once the weather warms up, the bubblers will be turned back on.


Check out the Water Bureau’s website for more information about our Benson Bubblers.

November 24, 2015

Little Boxes 2015

Are you ready for some holiday shopping? Shop local this year and support your neighborhood small businesses with Little Boxes!


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.


Little Boxes started in 2011, when small business owner and jewelry designer Betsy Cross of betsy & iya, along with her business partner and husband William Cervarich, brought together several shop owners who agreed to offer discounts and prizes for shoppers.


The event has grown over the last four years into a big success. This year, over 220 small businesses are participating!


Head out to any Little Box on November 27 and 28 and fill out a raffle ticket. You can do this on paper or with their App on your iPhone or Android. There’s no purchase necessary to enter the raffle, and you’ll receive one entry for each store you visit, and bonus raffle entries with each purchase. This year’s prizes include shopping sprees at your favorite Little Box, an Apple iPad Air, a 4-night roundtrip vacation for two, and many other incredible prizes. 


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.


Visit Little Boxes’ website for a list of participating businesses and more information.


Photo courtesy of Little Boxes.

November 23, 2015

Celebrating Public Art


Last night, City Hall was proud to host a reception for Celebrate Public Art, a building-wide art exhibit presented by the Regional Arts & Culture Council.


As Arts Commissioner, Nick was honored to raise a toast for the celebration. The celebration was one for the ages, with incredible live music by local artists, pop-up performances from Turandot and Carmen by two of Portland Opera’s finest, drinks, delicious food, and more.


November is Public Art Month, and Celebrate Public Art is one of many special arts-related events this month. All four floors of City Hall are decorated with colorful banners showcasing the City’s wonderful public art collection. There is also art from the Portland Building’s Installation Space – including a comical stuffed yeti on a throne.


2015 is a big year for arts. We’re celebrating 35 years of the Percent for Art program, Portlandia’s 30th birthday, the 20th anniversary of Regional Arts & Culture Council, and the 10th anniversary of the Public Art Murals Program.  


Celebrate Public Art runs now through December 4. It’s free and open to the public.


Celebrate Public Art

Portland City Hall

1221 SW 4th Ave.

Monday – Friday, 8 am – 5 pm

November 20, 2015

The Weekly Catch

November 20, 2015

Are you ready to give?

Since 2004, the Willamette Week has published their annual Give! Guide.


The Give! Guide provides Portlanders with the opportunity to give back and support our local mission-driven nonprofits and community organizations.  


The Give! Guide makes giving easy. All 143 of this year’s chosen nonprofits are divided in to 9 different categories, including art, education, social action, and more. And when you give, you get back – from discounts at local businesses to free items (like a scoop at Salt & Straw!).


This year, some of our favorite partners, including the Circus Project, Harper’s Playground, Street Roots, the Oregon Cultural Trust, Classroom Law Project, Friends of Trees, and The Right Brain Initiative made the list!


During the holiday season, the Willamette Week honors four Portlanders under 35 who do incredible work for local nonprofits with the Skidmore Prize. Our friend, Rebecca Burrell from The Right Brain Initiative, was one of the winners!


Browse the entire Give! Guide on its website – and help make a difference this holiday season. 

November 19, 2015

Spirit of Portland 2015


Last night, Nick was honored to join his colleagues to present the 2015 Spirit of Portland Awards.


The Spirit of Portland celebrates Portlanders and community groups who are making a difference in our city.


This year, Nick was proud to present five awards, to Po’Shines Café de la Soul, the Portland Area Business Association, Jennifer Delvin and the Community Watershed Stewardship Program team, Debbie Aiona from the League of Women Voters, and The Skanner founder Bernie Foster.


Po’Shines Café de la Soul won Business Community Partner of the Year. Po’Shines provides workforce training and restaurant experience to Portlanders in need.


Portland Area Business Association (PABA) won Business Association of the Year. PABA promotes equality and economic opportunities for Portland’s LGBTQ community. As Council liaison to small businesses, Nick is grateful to PABA for its dedication to our local economy and its commitment to equality.


As Commissioner in charge of the Bureau of Environmental Services (BES), Nick was thrilled to give Jennifer Devlin and her Environmental Services’ Community Watershed Stewardship Program team the Equity in Practice Award. They are focusing on providing environmental education for new Portlanders in underserved parts of our community.


Commissioner Fish was also proud to name two recipients for his Commissioner’s awards.


Debbie Aiona has been a strong and principled voice in our community, and an effective advocate in the fight to address Portland’s affordable housing crisis.


Bernie Foster is the founder of The Skanner. For the last 40 years, The Skanner has brought to light hard issues affecting African Americans and other minorities in our community. In 2011, The Skanner published award-winning stories about WWI hero Sergeant Henry Johnson. This spring, Nick was proud to join Bernie at the White House as President Obama posthumously awarded Sergeant Johnson the Medal of Honor.


Commissioner Fritz gave her Commissioner’s Award to the Portland Water Bureau and the Mount Tabor Neighborhood Association for their work in finding a solution for our historic Mt. Tabor Reservoirs. Thank you, Commissioner Fritz, for recognizing the hard work and dedication of the Water Bureau team.


Congratulations to all the awardees!  

November 18, 2015

Contemporary Native American art

The Portland Building’s latest art installation celebrates Native American Heritage Month.


The Installation, Artwork by contemporary Native American artists, features a variety of beautiful, cultural artworks by talented artists in our region.


The artworks are part of the Regional Arts & Culture Council’s Portable Works Collection. The collection is huge, with more than 1,900 works of diverse art - paintings, photographs, sculptures, and more - displayed around Portland, in our neighborhoods, schools, libraries, and other public buildings.


In Nick’s office, we are proud to display our own gallery of beautiful public art from the collection, including Native American carved wood panels, abstract paintings, photographs, and watercolors.


RACC sponsors the Art Installation Series. Selected through a juried process, each installation questions common perspectives through art.


Artwork by contemporary Native American artists is up now through November 30 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

November 17, 2015

Visiting the Portland Mercado


On Friday, Nick was proud to visit one of Portland’s great new cultural hubs: the Portland Mercado.


The Mercado is a grassroots economic development project of Hacienda CDC. Located in Southeast Portland, the Mercado provides a wonderful space for minority-owned small businesses. It also celebrates Portland’s Latino cultural heritage with delicious foods, entertainment, and diverse art.


Hacienda CDC, the Mercado’s parent organization, is a local nonprofit focusing on strengthening local families by providing affordable housing, homeownership support, and economic and educational opportunities.


The Mercado is a unique public-private partnership. The Portland Development Commission was proud to invest more than $1 million in bringing the Mercado to life, including providing the land on SE Foster.


The Mercado is an important part of Portland’s great neighborhood small business community. Small businesses are the backbone of our local economy – they strengthen our city and support good causes. For every dollar spent at a local small business, about 70 cents stays in our community.


Check out the Portland Mercado’s website for more information.

November 16, 2015

Good News

Yesterday, City Council approved important new funding for Age-Friendly Portland.


Portland is a proud member of the World Health Organization’s Global Age-Friendly Cities Project. In 2013, the City Council adopted an Action Plan for an Age-Friendly Portland.


The City’s investment of more than $51,000 demonstrates that we value and support this important work. Through a unique partnership with Portland State University’s Institute on Aging, Age-Friendly Portland will now be able to study the effects of Portland’s housing affordability crisis on older adults in our community – and to create a plan of action.


Nick is proud to serve on the Advisory Committee for Age-Friendly Portland. He also serves as Council liaison to Elders in Action, a local nonprofit dedicated to creating a vibrant community of elders who are active in civic engagement.


A special thanks to the rest of City Council for supporting this budget request, to Alan De La Torre and Margaret Neal for their strong leadership at Age-Friendly Portland, and to Portland State University, AARP, Elders in Action, and many others for their commitment to building an age-friendly community.


Check out Age-Friendly Portland’s website for more information about this great local organization.

November 13, 2015

The Weekly Catch

November 13, 2015

Celebrating Grimm


Last night, Nick was honored to present a City Proclamation honoring the magical NBC TV series, Grimm.


He joined the cast and crew, NBC producers, Governor Brown, State Legislators, and many others in celebrating a huge milestone: the filming of Grimm’s 100th episode!


Nick was even introduced by the star of the show – also named Nick! – played by David Giuntoli. In addition to the Grimm, our Nick enjoyed the opportunity to chat with a Hexenbeist, a Blutbad, and a Fuchsbau, too.


Portland and Oregon are proud to host local productions, with the help of the Oregon Production Investment Fund. And Shelley Midthun in the Portland Film Office at Portland Development Commission offers concierge service to productions to help navigate permits and other filming needs.

Nick serves as Portland’s Arts Commissioner, and proudly supports film and TV productions that contribute to our creative economy. Over 5 seasons, Grimm’s economic impact has been $250 million statewide.


Here’s to the next 100 episodes!


Grimm Day Proclamation


On the set of the ‘Grimm’ 100th episode in Portland (photos)

Kristi Turnquist in The Oregonian


‘Grimm’ celebrates filming of 100th episode 

Thomas Boyd in The Oregonian


‘Grimm’ celebrates 100 episodes

Fox 12 News


‘Grimm’ marks major milestone with filming of 100th episode

Maggie Vespa in KGW News


After 100 episodes, economic impact of ‘Grimm’ surges past $250M (photos)

Erik Siemers in the Portland Business Journal


Grimm’s 100th Episode Party Gave a Peek Behind the Scenes

Willamette Week Staff

November 12, 2015

Veterans Day 2015


Yesterday, Nick was honored to march with JOIN and Street Roots in the 41st Annual Ross Hollywood Chapel Veterans Day Parade.


After the parade, Nick presented four ‘Challenge Coins’ on behalf of the Parade Planning Committee, as a thank you to those who support our veteran community. The Coins were given to the parade’s Grand Marshal, Team RWB (Red White and Blue), to Staff Sergeant Walter Brophy (a WWII veteran and POW), Mike and Amy from 99.5 The Wolf, and Bill Schonely.


Thanks to the Ross Hollywood Chapel, the planning committee, Grant High School’s band, Tony Starlight, and all the honorees for making it a wonderful event! 


Our friend Mike Verbout said it best:


“Today we honor and recognize the men and women who have served our nation and who love their country enough to risk their lives to defend us.  Every day they deserve our gratitude.  Their courage to defend our country to preserve the liberties that we have as Americans.”

November 12, 2015

Celebrating our veterans

On Wednesday, join Nick at the 41st Annual Ross Hollywood Chapel Veterans Day Parade!


Nick is honored to march alongside local nonprofits JOIN and Street Roots, and to thank our veterans for their service and sacrifice.


The parade begins at 9:45am at NE Tillamook St. and 40th Avenue, and continues down NE Sandy Boulevard.


After the parade, Nick will present ‘Challenge Coins’ on behalf of the Parade Planning Committee. The Coins are given as a special thanks to those who provide great support to the veterans’ community in Oregon. 


Check out the Ross Hollywood Chapel Veterans Day Parade’s website for more information.  


Thank you to the women and men who serve our country every day!


Photo by David Nguyen.

November 10, 2015

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