Friday, July 29, 2011

Sam Adams Says He Won't Run for Re-Election

With pole figures plummeting, Adams opts to not run for re-election.

Posted By on Fri, Jul 29, 2011 at 9:30 PM

This just in: Portland Mayor Sam Adams has reportedly been calling his opponents with the announcement that he will not seek re-election in 2012.

Here's a statement just released by Adams:

Dear Portlander,

I am finishing a long-scheduled, and much appreciated, week-long "staycation." I hope you, too, are enjoying our long-awaited return of the sunshine. I have used my time off to reflect on the needs of our city, and how I can best serve Portlanders. I am writing to let you know my future plans.

Each day I have worked in Portland City Hall - starting as Mayor Vera Katz's Chief of Staff, then as a City Commissioner and now as your Mayor - I have been challenged, exhilarated, and most of all honored by the opportunity to serve my fellow Portlanders and help shape the future of our city. We have done great things together.

Since I took office as Mayor, we've put nearly 2,000 people back to work under the city's first Economic Development Strategy in 15 years. We reined inCity spending early, and have used the budget savings to help those - like the jobless and small business owners - hit hardest by the recession. We've made smart investments to expand summer education programs and offer college scholarships to help thousands of students graduate high school. We've laid the groundwork to ensure that every Portlander has access to arts and arts education. We've implemented a 360-degree anti-gang violence strategy, and approved tougher laws on illegal guns and drugs. With our Climate Action Plan and initiatives like Clean Energy Works Oregon, we have reduced our green house gas emissions.

We have made these changes by creating or invigorating community partnerships, like the new Cradle to Career education partnership, the emerging Portland Plan Partners Council, and the reorganized Planning and Sustainability Commission. These community- and business-based partnerships for change will endure, regardless of who holds positions of leadership in the public and private sector.

Making progress in this manner - progress that is accountable, resilient, and ever-improving - is the reason that I entered public service. We have a lot more work to do, which brings me squarely to my future plans.

I am under no illusion of how challenging the race for re-election would be. I've been in tough elections before; nobody thought I could win my city council race in 2004. But I believe for me to win re-election as mayor, I would need to fundraise and campaign full-time, starting now.

As I have considered the reality of a possible re-election effort, I have come to the conclusion that I have a choice: Move this agenda forward, or campaign full-time for re-election.

With the state of our nation in such flux, and so many local issues needing focused and hands-on mayoral leadership, for me, the choice is clear.

My best service to Portland will be to complete the platform of change and improvement you elected me to deliver: Creating jobs, increasing the high school graduation rate, and making Portland the most sustainable city, with the most equal of opportunities. This work is well underway, and I'm committed to making every day of the next 17 months count. Thus, I will not seek re-election.

Each day - supported by my partner, Peter, and my family - I wake up feeling blessed to have the opportunity to serve as your mayor. It is, without a doubt, the best job in the world.

It's also a job I cannot do alone. I want to thank my staff, who bring an unparalleled passion for this city to their work each and every day. I'd also like to thank my council colleagues, who have shared in this vision for a better Portland, and have helped us realize it. And I want to thank our community, business, non-profit, education, and faith community partners, without whom we could not have accomplished this much.

Mostly, I want to thank you.


Sam Adams


photo: ahockley

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Whisker Wars: The new reality show features plenty of Bend

A look at the new reality show Whisker Wars about competitive beard and moustache growing.

Posted By on Fri, Jul 29, 2011 at 7:35 PM

Remember last year when we devoted nearly an entire issue to beards, mustaches and the men who wear them? A year ago, Bend was hosting the Beard Team USA National Beard and Moustache Championships. And we definitely had beard fever.

Well, you can relive some of that hairy madness now, thanks to IFC's new reality show, Whisker Wars, which was filming during the Bend championships. The first episode aired last week and we've posted it below.

The producers and editors have -- it seems -- portray the world of competitive facial hair far more dramatic than it actually is, especially when it comes to champion beardo Jack Passion, who served as the MC for the 2010 national championships. Still though, it's pretty cool to see Bend on display in this pilot episode. Take a look:

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Jerry Joseph Tonight in Bend

Road warrior songwriter Jerry Joseph plays the Astro Lounge tonight.

Posted By on Thu, Jul 28, 2011 at 9:43 PM

We highlighted this show in last week's Picks section, but by and large, Jerry Joseph's show tonight at the NEW Astro Lounge location on Bond Street has flown under the live music radar.

If you don't know, Joseph is the leader of The Jackmormons as well as a member of Stockholm Syndrome. Tonight, though, he's playing solo -- which is still impressive.

This guy is one of his generation's great songwriters, but has -- for whatever reason -- never really gotten the attention he deserves. Go check him out tonight.

You need to use a flashplayer enabled browser in order to view this video

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Portland's Next Mayor: The Contenders

A rundown of potential candidates for Portland's next mayor.

Posted By on Thu, Jul 28, 2011 at 8:42 PM

Will it matter to Central Oregon who Portland’s next Mayor is? Maybe not, but to keep our readers current, the incumbent Sam Adams has had some PR difficulties since taking office centered around the fact he lied about having an affair with a young man before his 18th birthday during Adams’ first campaign. In 2009, Time magazine asked, “Can Portland’s Gay Mayor Survive a Scandal?” We will see.  Considering he has only raised $40 this year, it’s not looking too promising.

Eileen Brady the co-founder of the Portland-based New Seasons Market has announced her candidacy against Sam and seems to be gaining momentum fast with over $100,000 raised and an announcement last week she has been endorsed by Emily’s List, a national PAC that supports women candidates. But New Seasons is not a union shop and that could hurt her if unions decide to support Sam or someone else.

Jefferson Smith (D-Portland), 38, has confirmed to the Willamette Week that he is also considering a run.  While there is no doubt his background as founder of the Bus Project (progressive young Portlanders who get on a bus to knock on doors in more conservative areas) and as instigator of the Oregon Legislative “Rick Roll”, he could ignite an exciting campaign, some doubt he has the management experience to run a city the size of Portland (How ‘bout Bend Jefferson?).


A third candidate, Charlie Hales, is already having PR problems of his own: the Willamette Week reported he lived in Washington for tax purposes while continuing to vote in Portland. Still, he’s raised over $100,000.

In other Portland news, Central Oregonians may remember Steve Novick (D) from his fiery run for the U.S. Senate in the Democratic primary that was won by Jeff Merkley (D). He had a memorable, quirky commercial, A Beer with Steve. He is now in a strong position to be elected to the Portland City Council.

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Trying to Steal Our Stash: Imposters in our garage

Our beer is not your beer.

Posted By on Thu, Jul 28, 2011 at 7:53 PM

Imagine our surprise when opened our garage this morning, and found a neighborhood character happily helping himself to beer from our kegerator!

In nice weather, we typically leave the garage door up, but we had foolishly left the kegerator, which is normally kept close to our desks, in the garage. We didn't realize we were leaving the door open to community beer fills.

The exchange went something like this:

us: "Excuse me??!!"

local (already shwilled at 10am and talking in a voice not unlike Barney, from the Simpsons): "Ohw...I'm just filling up this here growler."

us: "Yes, we see that. That's probably not a good idea. It's our beer."

local (as he continues to fill): "Ahhh, c'mon. This is just old event-beer."

us: "Still."

He waddled away, we had a chuckle ... BUT THEN a couple hours later ANOTHER guy shows up (also wasted), sticks his head in the door and announces, "I'm just going to fill up some beer." We told him no way, then promptly moved our now much lighter kegerator back into the office where it belongs (operating a newspaper is hard work, we need it).

It turns out this may have been going on for some time. Our night, cameras situated slyly in the garage, recently caught the above character helping himself to a pint.

We're a fairly generous bunch here. But we can't just share our beer with any 'ole person who stumbles in here. We're on to you, you neighborhood beer liberators. We'll have our beer burgled no more!

image, via our hidden night cameras (not really): Rick Galvan

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Weighing Benefits of Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

Oregon Capitol News takes a look at the possibility of medical marijuana dispensaries in Oregon.

Posted By on Thu, Jul 28, 2011 at 4:45 PM

We've done quite a bit of reporting on medical marijuana over the past couple of years and recently ran this story on Bend's marijuana collectives. The issue isn't always easy to understand, given all the gray area that exists in Oregon's medical pot laws.

But Oregon Capitol News came out with this video yesterday that weighs the benefits of a medical marijuana dispensary system in Oregon and is a good starter for those looking to understand this often complex issue.

You need to use a flashplayer enabled browser in order to view this video

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

New Brett Dennen Video Features Bend, Oregon!

The video for Brett Dennen's Comeback Kid (That's My Dog) features some shots of people in Bend.

Posted By on Wed, Jul 27, 2011 at 11:51 PM

I was just taking a look at the new Brett Dennen video for his song "Comeback Kid (That's My Dog)" and all of the sudden was all like, "Whoa, I think I just spotted someone I know!"

That's because parts of the video were filmed at Dennen's early June show at the Athletic Club of Bend, which is pretty cool. Even cooler is that the video was directed by Bend's own Ben Moon!

Here's the video.


"Comeback Kid (That's My Dog)" Official Music Video from Brett Dennen on Vimeo.

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Win Tickets to This Weekend's Volcanic Funk Fest

Win two tickets to the Volcanic Funk Fest!

Posted By on Wed, Jul 27, 2011 at 10:55 PM

volcanic funk fest
  • volcanic funk fest
This weekend, the Century Center in Bend is transforming into a little slice of New Orleans with the Volcanic Funk Fest, which I previewed in this week's issue.

The festival, taking place on Saturday and Sunday, features some big names in the funk world, including Big Sam's Funky Nation, Orgone, Cast of Clowns and plenty others. Also, hit this link to hear the funk-tastic radio spot for the event. Pretty funny.

Tickets are still on sale, but we're giving away a pair of passes to the festival this week. All you have to do is go to our Facebook page, like the hell out of us (or just like us) and then comment on the posting about this blog.

Winners will be notified on Friday at noon via direct message on Facebook. If you don't plan on checking to see if you won on Friday, please don't enter!


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On the Mariners Losing Streak

How have the Seattle Mariners lost 17 games in a row? And why do we keep watching?

Posted By on Wed, Jul 27, 2011 at 5:36 PM

Mariners Losing Streak
  • Mariners Losing Streak
Update: At about 1:15 local time, the Mariners 17-game losing streak came to an end with a 9-2 win over the Yankees. Consider this an obituary to the worst run of loses in Mariners history.

I told myself I wasn’t going to write about the Mariners in this week’s Left Field column. And I didn’t. The piece that publishes tomorrow says nothing about the fact that last night, the Mariners improved (if that’s the word) on their franchise record 17-game losing streak. I didn’t write about the losing streak, because I figured by the time the print edition published, the Ms would have won, rendering any sorry lament void.

That didn’t happen. They lost again, this time to the Yankees, by a score of 4-1, the sort of close-enough-to-win-if-they-had-any-offense game that has become as familiar and disappointing as this summer’s weather in Seattle. This is funny. I’ve always been oddly proud of my native city’s sunnier-than-perceived summers and their better-than-advertised baseball club. But if there ever was a summer when a stereotype about Seattle is true, this is probably it. For all I know, there’s some downcast kid in a flannel shirt serving up lattés at every Starbucks and Nervermind plays over loudspeakers at each intersection.

Yeah, I know this is Oregon where – despite our regional television coverage – not everyone is a Mariners fan. In fact, most of you aren’t. But if you follow baseball, even tangentially, you know about this losing streak; and if you follow sports at all, you know that losing streaks have the power to ruin your day, or your week…or in this case, your entire month.

I remember the last time the Mariners won. It was the day after the Fourth of July – a Tuesday, I think – and I washed down a slightly hungover workday with a fluke extra-innings win over the Athletics. Things were looking good. The club was back at .500 going into the All-Star break and just a couple games out of first place. I even let dreams of the boys playing deep into October creep into my head. For the first time in a long while, the All-Star break seemed too long. I was anxious to see if they could take first place.

But they haven’t won since that day and are now 17 games below breaking even, 15.5 games out of first. The season is over and it’s still July. The trade deadline is approaching and in true Seattle style, they’ll piss away their best prospects and give up. The towel has been thrown in with two-plus months of pain left to endure. This shouldn’t be as depressing as it seems right now, but it is – just as it’s been for every Mariners fan I’ve spoken with over the past week as the losses piled up.

“But the Mariners have always sucked. What’s the big deal?”

You’re thinking that right now…unless at any point during your life you’ve been a Mariners fan. Yes, the team was shitty beyond belief for its first 14 seasons. They were always bad, but you knew they were bad, so it didn’t matter. Now, these guys aren’t that bad, so it’s doubly mindboggling. But then came ’95 and Edgar’s double down the line and Griffey rounded third and Dave Niehaus shouted “The Mariners are going to play for the American League pennant” and everything changed. We were no longer losers. Mariner highlights showed on Sportscenter and soon, they were good enough to blow up the damn Kingdome all together, hoping those losing seasons would be forever buried by the rubble.

Six years after that, the Mariners were, without a doubt, not the worst team in baseball. Actually, they were the best team in baseball. In the history of baseball, to be specific. No one team had ever won that many games and now, a decade later, no team has. And that’s probably why this losing streak is starting to really sting. A lot of us who grew up with this team still love this squad. We’re scorned lovers. We’re battered puppies. We’re the Catholics of professional sports, taking a sick pleasure in the pain.

It’s been a hell of a season, too. First, there was the passing of Dave Niehaus during the off-season and since then the games just haven’t sounded quite right. Then there was the promise of greatness from some stellar pitching. But any wins they could find seemed almost like favors and we all sat around at the pub and said how great this team would be if they could just hit the damn ball.

No one thought this team was going to win a World Series this year. But winning is nice. Even if you we were getting a few each week. At least you could say, “Hey, the Mariners won” to yourself before going off to bed and rest soundly. You could wear your Mariners hat out in public, even here, deep in Oregon, and have someone ask you for the score or comment on Felix’s fastball.

Not now, though. We merely check the score, knowing that the streak has to end sometime, but taking each record-breaking defeat as another reason to stop caring and put away the hat. But if you’re a Mariners fan, you can’t do that. You might not be able to explain to the initiated why exactly this is, but if you have loved the team long enough to remember Alvin Davis, you know what I’m talking about.

And you’ll probably be tuning in today, knowing that no team could ever lose 18 games in a row.

Photo: Keith Allison

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

David Wu's Resignation: The Domino Effect

So what happens in Oregon politics after Wu's resignation?

Posted By on Tue, Jul 26, 2011 at 9:58 PM

It almost feels like a political holiday with all the excitement in the air among politicos around Wu’s resignation. Now we have a whole new perspective to speculate. So what’s the domino effect of Wu’s resignation? Things that were proceeding on a known timeline, now are not.

Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian was going to have to give up his position to run in the May primary against Wu. You can only run for one seat at a time and the deadline to file for that seat is early March of 2012. Depending on when Wu actually vacates the seat, he has said after the debt ceiling problem is solved, so maybe never, Avakian will still have the option of running for re-election if he loses in the Congressional race. And if he wins, Governor Kitzhaber can pick his replacement who will have the benefit of incumbency in 2012.

So where does that leave Senate Majority Leader Diane Rosenbaum (D-Portland) who was considering a run to replace Avakian as Labor Commissioner? Or how about Rep. Jules Bailey (D-Portland) who was positioned to run for her Senate spot? There were already several potential contenders for his House seat in a contested primary.

Many politicos will be watching the debt ceiling debate a little more closely as they watch the clock run out on Wu—in this case timing is everything.

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The Traveling Camera: Balloons Over Bend

Balloons Over Bend provides some great photographic opportunities.

Posted By on Tue, Jul 26, 2011 at 8:35 PM

The Balloons Over Bend event is very, very photogenic. You have to be a lousy photographer to not get a decent shot. The challenge is to get a shot not everybody else got.

So we went airborne (thanks to the Source) and we shot all possible angles day and night. All said and done, I like this photo best, which I took on the first day. Probably one of my first exposures there.

While Mark Trujillo was inflating his balloon and the sun was rising behind him, I captured the moment by shooting into the huge cavern of the balloon while Mark was closing the top.

I used a wide-angle lens to capture this.

See more of Christian Heeb's Balloons Over Bend photos right here.

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David Wu Resigns: Here are some people who might fill his spot.

U.S. Rep. David Wu of Oregon won't seek re-election, but here's some people who might.

Posted By on Tue, Jul 26, 2011 at 4:40 PM

David Wu
  • David Wu
Obviously the biggest political news in the state today is the ongoing saga of U.S. Rep. David Wu (D-Beaverton), 56. The Oregonian reported late Friday night that Wu is being accused of “aggressive and unwanted” sexual advances toward a recent high school grad and daughter of a friend.

This morning, Wu announced his resignation. In statement, he said: "I cannot care for my family the way I wish while serving in Congress and fighting these very serious allegations."

The question remains of who may run for the newly vacated seat.

Current contenders for the seat include current Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian (D) reported raising $195,000. Another Brad with a labor background, State Representative Brad Witt (D-Astoria), entered the race recently. State Senator Suzanne Bonamici (D-Beaverton) is rumored to have put together a team for the first CD too.

She could be an especially strong candidate because of her work on consumer protection and mortgage lending. Republicans may have their own strong contender if Portland businessman Ron Miller enters the race.

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