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Free Fix-It Fair

Check out the City’s first Fix-It Fair of 2015 tomorrow!


Fix-It Fairs are free events that teach you simple ways to save money and keep your family healthy.


Visit exhibits and participate in workshops from many of our community partners. Experts will be on hand to discuss water and energy savings, health, nutrition, community resources, recycling, and more!

Staff from the Portland Water Bureau and Bureau of Environmental Services will be at the fair – stop by their booths to learn more about watershed health and water conservation.


The fairs provide free, professional childcare and lunch.   


Fix-It Fair

Saturday, January 24 9:30 am – 3 pm

Rosa Parks Elementary School

8960 N Woolsey Ave.


Can’t make it tomorrow? The next Fix-It fair is Saturday, February 21. Some workshops will be offered in Spanish! 


Fix-It FairClases en español

Saturday, February 21, 9:30 am – 3 pm

David Douglas High School

1001 SE 135th Ave.


Visit Fix-It Fair's website for more information. 

January 23, 2015

Friday Roundup

January 23, 2015

New plants "roll out" at Stephens Creek

In addition to providing sewer services and managing stormwater in the city, the Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) also works to protect – and even restore – our local wetlands and watersheds.


In southwest Portland, wetland habitat had been lost to development along the lower Willamette River. The Stephens Creek Enhancement Project is working to restore a 3.5-acre area.


BES crews recently installed new plants at the mouth of Stephens Creek and the Willamette River. Since new plants often have a hard time surviving the strong currents of the Willamette, crews used an innovative product to restore vegetation.


They rolled out wetland sod mats – woven mats that already have plants with strong root systems incorporated into them! They were grown hydroponically in Idaho, delivered by boat to the shore, and staked down in place.


We expect these heartier plants to survive river currents, prevent erosion, and enhance the natural habitat around Stephens Creek. If successful, this method could be used in future restoration projects!


Visit BES's website to learn more about the City's watershed services.

January 22, 2015

Bridge City from a new view

St Johns Bridge from Adam Simmons on Vimeo.


Portland is known for its beautiful bridges. A favorite is the St. Johns Bridge, spanning over the Willamette River in North Portland.


Adam Simmons, a video and sound student at the Pacific Northwest College of Art, recently captured the St. Johns Bridge from a whole new angle.


You can watch Adam's videos on his vimeo channel. Thanks for sharing, Adam!

January 21, 2015

Celebrating the life and legacy of MLK Jr.

Yesterday, Nick was honored to attend two celebrations of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


First, the 29th annual Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast, sponsored by the Skanner Foundation. Nick was pleased to join his public advocate, George Hocker, Commissioner Amanda Fritz, and bureau Directors Paul Scarlett and Mike Abbaté, at a table.


Thanks to Bernie and Bobbie Foster for once again organizing a wonderful community celebration, punctuated by a call to rousing action by Benjamin Chavis.


Later, Nick attended the 30th annual Keep Alive the Dream, a tribute to the life and legacy of Dr. King at Highland Christian Center in Northeast Portland.  He was pleased to tell the story of Sergeant Henry Johnson — and his 100-year-old struggle for justice.


As Dr. King once said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”


Special thanks to the sponsors of these wonderful events!

January 20, 2015

Unid@s panel


This afternoon, Nick was proud to join Latino Network Executive Director Carmen Rubio for a Unid@s panel discussion, Sustaining Latino Civic Engagement: Advocacy, Candidacy, and Service


Latino Network provides a multitude of opportunities, programs, and advocacy for the Latino community in the greater Portland area. Their Unid@s program focuses on encouraging Latino leadership and civic engagement.


Check out Latino Network’s website for more information about this wonderful organization. 

January 16, 2015

Friday Roundup

January 15, 2015

Portland’s green infrastructure

Green Innovations from PortlandBES on Vimeo.


The Bureau of Environmental Services produced a wonderful video about Portland’s innovative green infrastructure. 


The video features many projects funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  The EPA provides grants to public and private projects throughout Portland.  Between 2002 and 2014, the EPA awarded Portland $3.4 million in grants!


Portland’s green infrastructure projects demonstrate sustainable, low-impact stormwater management.  It includes green street planters, rain gardens, vegetated swales, ecoroofs, and more!


Green infrastructure helps manage stormwater runoff.  That protects rivers and streams, replenishes groundwater, and keeps our watersheds healthy. 


Check out the Bureau of Environmental Services’ website to learn more. 

January 15, 2015

It's a toad's life

One of our local critters, the western toad, is identified by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife as a vulnerable species.  That means that it will likely become an endangered species unless circumstances improve. 


One of toads’ biggest threats is breeding habitat degradation.


The Portland Water Bureau’s Environmental Compliance Group works hard every year to enhance the toads’ natural habitat in the Bull Run Watershed. Their work helps create successful breeding grounds.


Crews cut and remove reed canary grass, an invasive species, from several breeding sites. This allows sunlight to heat shallow pools where eggs and young toads reside. 


The annual project is part of the Bull Run Water Supply Habitat Conversation Plan (HCP).  It’s a 50-year plan to protect and improve aquatic habitats at the Bull Run River and Sandy River Basin.


Visit the Portland Water Bureau’s website to learn more. 

January 14, 2015

The arts and culture industry

The National Endowment for the Arts published several reports about the arts and culture industry – and, it’s flourishing!


One of the reports, The Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account, examines how the arts and culture industry has impacted the U.S. economy. 


In 2012, arts and culture brought in nearly $700 billion nationally! Across the U.S., 4.5 million people work in the production of arts and cultural goods, and receive over $330 billion in compensation.  


The arts and cultural industry isn’t just beneficial for the national economy - it’s also great for local economies.  For every 100 jobs created by demand for the Arts, 62 more jobs are also created. 


Other reports focus on what motivates people to attend arts events, and why. 


Exposure to arts during childhood is a strong predictor for attending arts and culture events as adults – more so than education, gender, age, or income.  Over half of all American adults attended at least one arts and culture performance or exhibit last year.  That’s 120 million people!


People typically go to socialize with friends and family, learn new things, and to support their community. 


In Portland, we are fortunate to have a thriving arts and culture scene. 


Nick is proud to be Council liaison to the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC).  RACC provides many arts and culture grants to local artists, arts organizations, and schools in the greater Portland area. They also offer a plethora of opportunities for the public to enjoy diverse arts and culture events, exhibits, and programs.  The City of Portland – through our taxpayers – is RACC’s largest source of funding.


Visit the National Endowment for the Arts website for more information about the reports.  Check out RACC’s calendar for local arts and culture events.

Photo courtesy of the National Endowment for the Arts.

January 13, 2015

Friday Roundup

January 9, 2015

Pliable Planes

Local weaver and textile designer Jessica Hickey provides unique artistic expression in the Portland Building’s latest art installation, Pliable Planes


The installation is a quilted, scaled-down version of the Portland Building.  The soft façade depicts hidden parallels in architecture and textiles, including the visual language of patterned grids and lines.


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


Pliable Plans is up from January 13 until February 6 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

Photo courtesy of RACC.

January 8, 2015

New Year, New Term


This morning, our new Auditor, Mary Hull Caballero, swore me in to a new four-year term as City Commissioner.


I was joined by my family, colleagues, and honored guests, including former Mayor Bud Clark and former Governor Barbara Roberts.


Bud was the first Mayor to place homelessness at the center of the City’s agenda. Barbara has been my mentor for more than a decade. I am proud to call them both friends and role models.


I will continue to honor the trust voters have placed in me by working hard, by standing up for people who don’t have a voice in our government, and by always trying to live up to the standards of those who came before us.


Thank you!


Governor Barbara Roberts - 2008 Remarks


Photos by David Nguyen

January 7, 2015

The value of groundwater

Portland has a valuable resource right beneath our feet – groundwater!


Groundwater is found in underground aquifers.  Portland’s groundwater comes from the Columbia South Shore Well Field Groundwater Aquifers, along the Columbia River. 


The well field is capable of producing nearly 100 million gallons of quality water per day!


The reserve is important because it’s our emergency water source.  During the hot summer months, or during winter storms, water from the well field is sometimes blended with water from the Bull Run Watershed, Portland’s main supply of water. 


Portland is fortunate to have some of the best drinking water in the world.  Among the Bull Run Watershed and the Columbia Shore Well Field Groundwater Aquifers, we have billions of gallons of quality drinking water. Our water system serves nearly a quarter of our state’s population.


Visit the Portland Water Bureau’s website for more information. 

January 6, 2015

Expanding Cultural Access

The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) is now accepting applications for the Expanding Cultural Access grants


The grants are for non-profit organizations dedicated to making arts and culture more equitable. 


Competitive applicants provide creative programs for Portland’s diverse communities, underserved neighborhoods, persons with disabilities, and other under-represented populations. 


Funding for the grants comes from the voter-approved Arts Education and Access Fund.  RACC plans to invest approximately $50,000 towards expanding cultural accessibility. 


Applications are due by March 3.  Visit RACC’s website for more information. 

Photo courtesy of RACC.

January 5, 2015

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