POL Government Elected Officials Commissioner Nick Fish News Blog Archive Blog

Portland shows its pride

Portland has had a month full of pride!


Nick was proud to support the LGBTQ community this weekend by walking in the Portland Pride Parade with fellow City employees.  Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the Portland Pride Festival & Parade honors our community’s diversity and supports equality.


Last week, City Council proclaimed June 2014 to be Portland Pride Month.  The proclamation highlights the economic, artistic, political, and social contributions the LGBTQ community provides Portland.  We were also pleased to celebrate Bureau of Environmental Services employee Debbie Caselton, who earned Pride Northwest’s 2014 Spirit of Pride award for her tireless advocacy on behalf of the LGBTQ community.


Portland is committed to diversity and social justice. Join us in celebrating Pride this month with Pride Northwest, Black Pride, and Latino Gay Pride.

June 16, 2014

A Taste of Historic Parkrose

During the summer, Portland has many colorful street fairs and events.  A great way to help support our neighborhoods, Street Fairs encourage people to get out and about to meet their neighbors and local businesses.


This Saturday, head to East Portland and enjoy the Taste of Historic Parkrose


Food lovers will relish tasty bites from local eateries under the Food Pavilion-Big Tent.  Appreciate the diversity of the district with multicultural performances, and venture under the Community Tent to learn all about important Parkrose resources and nonprofits.


Check out Historic Parkrose’s website for more information. 


Taste of Historic Parkrose

Saturday, June 14, 10 am – 6 pm

106th at NE Sandy Blvd.

June 13, 2014

Friday Roundup

June 13, 2014

Urban Weeds workshop

Urban weeds - the inevitable garden intruder.


This Monday, the East Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District (EMSWCD) is hosting a free Urban Weeds workshop.  Learn how to identify and combat common garden weeds as well as other invasive plants. 


Perfect for all levels of gardeners, this introductory workshop explains how aggressive plants take over your yard.  It also provides easy and useful tips to gain back control without the use of dangerous herbicides.


Herbicides are unhealthy for you and the environment.  Stormwater runoff from your garden can carry herbicides into our water system and pollute habitat for fish and wildlife.  It can also create health risks for pets and people.  By understanding ways to control weeds without using herbicides, you can keep your yard weed-free and environmentally friendly! 


Pre-register for the workshop on EMSWCD’s website


Urban Weeds Workshop

Monday, June 16, 6 – 8 pm


5211 N Williams Ave.

June 12, 2014

Are you ready for a swim?

This summer, you can check the Willamette River’s water conditions before jumping in.


Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) staff analyze water quality at five popular swimming locations each week - testing for E. coli and checking water temperature.


In 2011, the City completed the combined sewer overflow (CSO) control program.  Since then, E. coli results have been consistently low throughout the summer months.  A count of more than 406 E. coli organisms per 100 milliliters of water is above the health standard set by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.  Our levels are almost always well below that. On June 3, the E. coli count at the Riverplace Marina was just 5.


Before the CSO control program, combined sewers once overflowed in the Willamette River at an average of 50 times per year.  Thanks to the success of the CSO control program, that number has been reduced by about 95%!


Portlanders can take a dip in the Willamette River this summer, knowing it is now cleaner than it has been in generations.


Check the Willamette River’s water quality and temperature on BES’ website.

June 12, 2014

¬°Explorando el Columbia Slough!

Join us on Saturday, June 14 for the 13th annual ¡Explorando el Columbia Slough!


¡Explorando! is a free bilingual nature festival put on by the Columbia Slough Watershed Council, in partnership with the Bureau of Environmental Services and the Portland Water Bureau. Explore nature and culture with guided canoe trips, live music, folk dancing, and more. All activities are offered in both Spanish and English and are available for all ages.


You don’t need to register for the festival, but get there early because the first 300 visitors will receive a free ¡Explorando! t-shirt.


Special thanks to all of our sponsors who have made this fun-filled event possible.




El 14 de junio le invitamos a compartir el anual ¡Explorando el Columbia Slough!


¡Explorando! es un festival bilingüe gratuito para aprender acerca de la naturaleza auspiciado por el Columbia Slough Watershed Council, Bureau of Environmental Services, y Portland Water Bureau. Explore la naturaleza y cultura en canoa con guias, disfrute de música en vivo, danzas folklóricas, y mucho más. Las actividades se ofrecen en inglés y español, y son para todas las edades.


No es necesario que se registre para el festival, pero venga temprano porque los primeros 300 visitantes recibirán una camiseta gratis de ¡Explorando!


Gracias a todos los patrocinadores que han hecho este evento posible.


¡Explorando el Columbia Slough!

Whitaker Ponds Nature Park

7040 NE 47th Ave

June 14, 1 – 5 pm

June 11, 2014

Grants for artistic projects

Do you have a great idea for an art project or local arts event?


The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) invites local artists and nonprofits to submit proposals for 2015 Project Grants


RACC supports the region’s arts and culture community through a variety of grant programs. Project Grants will fund artistic projects and cultural events. Proposals with innovative and creative artistic focus, encourage community participation, or create arts-in-schools programs will be considered. 


RACC will award $750,000 in grants – ranging from $1,000 – $6,000. 


This summer, RACC will offer a series of online tutorials and orientation sessions for applicants to better understand the Project Grant’s guidelines and application process. 


For more information, check out RACC’s website.   


Photo courtesy of RACC

June 10, 2014

Strengthening our infrastructure

Like it or not, we know “The Big One” could happen any time in the future. So the City is taking steps to ensure we are better prepared for emergencies or disasters like earthquakes.


Last Tuesday, the Portland Water Bureau gave a demonstration of the newly installed Earthquake Resistant Ductile Iron (ERDI) pipe


Following recommendations from the Oregon Resilience Plan, the Water Bureau installed the ERDI pipe to test ways we could improve our water system’s ability to remain usable after a seismic event.  The innovative pipe, widely used in Japan, has moveable joints that can elongate or contract during earthquakes or landslides. 


There are two pilot projects to evaluate the ERDI pipe.  845 feet of 6- and 8-inch diameter pipe has been installed on SW Northwood Avenue, and the bureau is currently installing 585 feet of pipe on SW Council Crest Drive.


Learn more about how your family can prepare for an emergency by visiting the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management’s website.

PWB shows off earthquake-resistant pipe

KOIN 6 News staff

Portland Water Bureau Tries Out Earthquake Resistant Water Pipe
Pat Boyle in FM News 101 KXL

June 9, 2014

Friday Roundup

June 5, 2014

Funding community watershed health projects

City Council has approved $95,000 in grants for 13 community watershed health projects in Portland.


Since 1995, the Community Watershed Stewardship Program has provided over $867,000 in grants to local organizations.  These grants support innovative projects that improve watershed health and protect water quality. 


For the average residential sewer ratepayer, the grants represent an investment of about 24 cents a year, and every grant dollar invested leverages three dollars in volunteer time and similar contributions. 


More than 40,000 volunteers have worked on projects funded by stewardship grants – helping enhance and restore Portland’s beautiful natural areas.


Some of this year’s projects include educational programs, rain gardens, cleanups, and local restoration.


Community groups can apply annually for grants up to $10,000.  For more information, visit BES’ website

June 5, 2014

Our sewer, stormwater, and water utilities: next steps

This week, Nick reached the one-year mark of leading the Portland Water Bureau and the Bureau of Environmental Services.


Working with our community partners, we have taken a number of important steps toward increasing transparency, stabilizing rates, and spending ratepayer dollars wisely.


Looking forward, we still have work to do. Today’s Portland Tribune editorial acknowledges the hard work of the past year, and gives us a call to action: let’s get it right.


This summer, we will launch a Utility Oversight Blue Ribbon Commission, which will make recommendations to the City Council in the fall. We will share more information on the Blue Ribbon Commission next week.


Reforming Our Utilities


Our Opinion: Let's get water, sewer bureau changes right

The Portland Tribune


City pins plans for water fix on panel

Jim Redden in the Portland Tribune


Failed water district proposal will help Portland: Editorial

The Oregonian Editorial Board

June 5, 2014

RACC grants expand community access to the arts

The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) has awarded over $25,000 in special grants to 10 local nonprofit organizations


The grants were possible thanks to local voters who approved the Arts Education and Access Fund in 2012.  The grants invest in nonprofits that serve diverse and underserved communities, including communities of color, immigrants, refugees, people with disabilities, and the LGTBQ community.


Nick is proud to serve as Council liaison to RACC, as it works to provide equal access to art for everyone in our community. One of the requirements of RACC-funded organizations is that all productions or programs must be available to the public – without discrimination – and take place in venues that are fully accessible for people with disabilities.   


The 10 grants awarded include cultural festivals, youth education, musical performances, and more!

For information about the grantees, visit RACC’s website.

Photo courtesy of RACC

June 4, 2014

Weekend Roundup with Nick

This weekend, Nick attended three great Portland events.   


On Saturday, Nick was proud to join Portlanders in celebrating the life of the late Charles Jordan.  Charles Jordan, Portland’s first African American City Commissioner, was a great community leader and urban pioneer. After his service as a Commissioner, Charles Jordan later became Portland Parks & Recreation Director – laying the foundation that built the Gold Medal system we enjoy today. His legacy lives on in the children and families who visit the Charles Jordan Community Center in North Portland. 


Later that evening, Nick attended one of the best parties of the year – the Pacific Northwest College of Art’s (PNCA) 2014 Gala, Transformation Now! Nick enjoyed connecting with Portland’s arts community, which helped raise millions to support PNCA’s future. Gala attendees were surprised by a riveting performance by talented singer-songwriter, KD Lang.  


On Sunday, Nick joined Southeast Portland neighbors for Zenger Farm’s 2014 kick-off of the Lents International Farmers Market.  A provider of affordable and culturally unique produce, the Market is a great place to buy delicious vegetables while supporting emerging farmers and new business owners.

June 2, 2014

Friday Roundup

May 30, 2014

Public Displays of Affection

The Portland Building’s Installation Space has turned into a photo studio!


Talented local artists Erica Thomas and Emily Fitzgerald’s Public Displays of Affection is now up in the Portland Building’s lobby.  The installation encourages the public to reconsider who and what is family – and to take a picture of it!  Take professional, studio quality portraits with friends, domestic partners, co-workers, children – any important relationship that you identify as family.  You can even take a photo by yourself.  Public Displays of Affection promotes interesting conversations and highlights the special relationships in your life. 


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


Public Displays of Affection will be up in the Portland Building’s lobby until June 27.  Starting on June 2, the artists will be on-site on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 -5 pm. 


Check out RACC’s website for more information about the Installation Art Series.


Portland Building Installation Space

1120 SW 5th Avenue

8 am – 5 pm

Photo courtesy of RACC

May 29, 2014

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