Due propers to the all-weather cycling community, but for many, more sensitive riders the bike season is just arriving. Dovetailing with that is the launch of a collaboration between Berlin/Paris-based BLESS ("a multidisciplinary project that is consistently difficult to define... the elusive designers behind the brand are indifferent to the media and focus on quietly developing objects and garments that 'make the near future worth living for'") and Portland's own Table of Contents.
They've just released a lookbook for a new collection of cycling accessories: u-locks and cable locks, bags, and helmets that are crazy expensive. They are lovely, handmade in France (the helmet design is insane!), and have one foot in the fine art world, but most people simply aren't going to get much closer to them than looking at the photos, more of which I've posted over on MOD. In the meantime let's play a game. Guess how much a) a lock, b) a bag, and c) a helmet from the collection goes for, and I'll post the answers after the break. May we all be such ballers someday.
I was a big fan of the Portland Opera's Comics Night at the Opera program, where they invited local comic book artists to live sketch during a dress rehearsal. It was one of the few social media arts marketing campaigns I've ever felt remotely warmly toward—probably because it was born from a sense of experimentation and fun, rather than being a calculated marketing bid—and I loved that it fostered a sense of community and collaboration between two segments of the local arts world you don't often see in the same room. Plus, some beautiful drawings came out of it.
Portland Opera dropped the program last year, and then Oregon Children's Theatre picked up the idea and ran with it, inviting artists to sketch an afternoon performance. (Full disclosure: My boyfriend works at OCT, and helped organize this.)
OCT's current show, Zombie in Love, is a frankly adorable yet surprisingly gross musical about a zombie trying to get a date for the prom. I saw it last weekend and one of the songs—"The Zombie never gets the girl"—is still stuck in my head. The show is based on a book illustrated by popular cartoonist Scott Campbell, so a live-drawing session was a natural fit—plus, even more than opera patrons, kids *lose their minds* over good drawings. Local artists Lucy Bellwood and Mike Russell, plus Laika's Graham Annabel, joined Campbell himself in sketching the show; the results are currently hanging in the lobby of the Winningstad. OCT's got a blog post up about the experiment, with links to the artists' work.
It's appropriate that they invited Russell; he spearheaded the opera's initial live-drawing experiment, and in fact just released an ebook of his "live comics adaptations" called Opera, Drawn Quickly. I also enjoyed Lucy Bellwood's post about the experience—she was giddy about drawing alongside Scott C., whose work, she writes, she's been reading since middle school.
Zombie in Love runs through March 23; details here.
So... it sounds like the hate machine founded by Fred Phelps—Westboro Baptist Church—has turned on its founder:
Some online sources are reporting that Fred Phelps Sr., pastor of the Westboro Baptist Church, a Topeka church known for its virulently anti-gay pickets, may be near death.... The reports are mostly based on a late Saturday Facebook post by Nathan Phelps, one of Fred Phelps Sr.’s children. “He is now on the edge of death at Midland Hospice house in Topeka, Kansas,” Nathan Phelps wrote....
Nathan Phelps, who exited the church years ago, asserted that his father “was excommunicated from the ‘church’ back in August of 2013.” Writing about his father’s condition, Nathan Phelps added: “I’m not sure how I feel about this. Terribly ironic that his devotion to his god ends this way. Destroyed by the monster he made. “I feel sad for all the hurt he’s caused so many. I feel sad for those who will lose the grandfather and father they loved. And I’m bitterly angry that my family is blocking the family members who left from seeing him, and saying their good-byes.”
Excommunicated from Westboro Baptist? What? Had Phelps grown too old and infirm to hate hard enough for the toxic little shits he fathered, raised, and poisoned? The Phelps family, of course, has picketed the funerals of gay hate-crime victims, soldiers killed in battle, beloved celebrities, and many others. Fred Phelps' funeral should be entertaining.
I've been taking a break from hosting The Walking Dead Chitty-Chat Club, because... SNORE, right? However! Last night's episode was such a soul-crusher, I figured you guys would need to have a place to discuss your feelings. SO! Join me after the jump for a quick recap, and your PTSD comments! LET'S GET CHITTY-CHATTING!
Psst. Here are just a few classic Twitter reactions to last nights show.
An influential Russian news anchor reminded any viewers not already convinced of the nation's nuclear might that Russia is “the only country in the world capable of turning the U.S.A. into radioactive dust." Dmitry K. Kiselyov, an anchor hand-picked by Russian President Vladimir Putin to head Russia Today who is notorious for delivering on-air rants against foreign leaders and gays, made the comments on the Sunday evening news as the U.S. condemned the Russia-backed referendum in Crimea, according to the New York Times.... Kiselyov also claimed that President Barack Obama's hair had turned gray from fretting about Russia's nuclear power, according to the Times.
This is the same guy who said that the hearts of gay people who die in car accidents should be cut out and burned, not transplanted into people waiting for a donor. He was handpicked by Putin to head up "the entire state-controlled Russian news conglomerate."
GOOD MORNING, BLOGTOWN! She had dumps like a truck truck truck. Thighs like what what what. Baby move your butt butt butt. Uh, I think to sing it again. LET'S GO TO PRESS.
Well, it's official: Crimea declares its independence from the Ukraine, leading to an almost certain annexation by Russia. In response, European officials as well as America level tough economic sanctions against Russia, while Putin shrugs and says, "What am I supposed to do? Like the beautiful women, Crimea can't help but fall in love with me."
In response to the economic sanctions, a Kremlin-backed journalist said on his TV show, "Russia is the only country in the world that is realistically capable of turning the United States into radioactive ash." Oh, go fuck yourself, Ivan.
Meanwhile Sen. John McCain had his own tough words for Putin: "Russia is a gas station masquerading as a country." OUCH! Wicked sick burn, dude!
The disappearance of that missing Malaysian jet keeps getting more and more mysterious, with officials now backtracking on certain details, and claiming that the pilots may have been complicit... or maybe not. Or maybe!
A 4.4 magnitude quake hits Los Angeles on the heels of the quake that rocked northern California last week. (Do you have your earthquake kit stocked up? You don't even have one, do you? Well... your choice. But you can't have mine!)
US Navy SEALs have taken back an oil tanker that had been commandeered by three armed Libyans earlier this month. Not as impressive as Zero Dark 30—but still pretty boss.
North Korea fires 25 short-range missiles into the Sea of Japan, but claim it was only ten. (I think they're missing the point.)
Guinness beer joins Heineken and Sam Adams brews in refusing to participate in NYC's St. Patrick's Day parade due to absolutely ridiculous rules against LGBTQ participants. In response, Paddy O'Shea the Leprechaun said, "What? I guess ye be forcin' me to drink Coors, then?"
The Rev. Fred Phelps, Sr. (of the infamously homophobic Westboro Baptist Church) is reportedly suffering "health problems" and is currently in a care facility. Aaaand I refuse to lower myself to his level by saying anything else about that.
In sports, the Golden State Warriors squeaked the Blazers, 113-112, while the Timbers tie the Chicago Fire, 1-1. Read all the exciting details with Blogtown's round ball fanatic Rob Simonsen, and footy correspondent Brian Gjurgevich!
Now lads 'n' lassies! Here what be occurin' in your neck of the heather: Cloudy with occasional showers this week, with a bonny weekend ahead!
And finally, every year to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, Chicago murders thousands of leprechauns and dumps their blood into the river. Here's a time-lapse video.
Live from the Moda Center as the Portland Trail Blazers host the Golden State Warriors.
Well, that last road trip could have gone better. The Blazers suffered their first four-game losing streak of the season, lost Mo Williams for two weeks to a hip injury, and had to shelve LaMarcus Aldridge for an indefinite amount of time after he hurt his back on a nasty spill. When it rains it pours.
If there is any silver lining to the latest round of woes for the Blazers, it’s that Damian Lillard took on more leadership responsibilities. After dropping their fourth in a row, Dame called a team meeting. Tired of losing, especially after a few late collapses against Dallas and Houston, Lillard apparently put the onus on the players to finish games strongly.
Talk is one thing. With the Blazers down six late against the New Orleans Pelicans, their first game after said meeting, Lillard backed up his words by laying waste to the arena. He willed the Blazers to a win, putting his stamp all over a game that was dangerously close to being Portland’s fifth loss in a row. His late dagger was a fitting exclamation point on an incredibly rough week.
There is no rest for the weary, though. The Blazers return home to face the Warriors, the team breathing down their neck in the playoff race. As if that wasn't enough, Portland is a week away from another five-game road swing. Hey, at least Miami is nice this time of year.
LIVE from Providence Park, where the Timbers take on the Chicago Fire, and I battle a mean set of burning legs.
With 15 kilos of Shamrockin' lactic acid ravaging my stems, I've already run further this morning than Diego Chara will sprint all afternoon. My quads are more messed up than traffic downtown and I could use a bucket brigade of ice right about now. Sooo....how's your Sunday goin'?
Ah, but one tried-and-true cure for shattered shins is watching those much more fit than me run much more effectively than I ever could. So here I sit, calves verging on rigor mortis, ready to take in Soccer City's first matinee of the season. And having eked their way to a season-opening draw last week, the Timbers should feel pretty hot about their shot against a Chicago side without its best player (2013 MLS MVP Mike "Alliteration" Magee) and fresh off an "embarrassing" loss to Chivas USA. So, there's that.
Say, I'm just realizing that live-blogging in no way requires hamstrings! So click past the jump and follow along, as I deftly describe the action/devastation—on the pitch/throughout my body.
Whomever, or whatever, disappeared that Malaysian Airlines jet has done a damned thorough job, so far. Officials are now saying the mystery likely involved criminal activity, and that they'll investigate the pilot's home. And check out the insane, if perhaps unreliable, tale radar signals are telling.
In fickle, awful Washington, DC, actual feelings don't matter—only approval ratings and that next crucial shot of electoral juice. So, for some trembly campaigning congresspeople, President Obama is now "poisonous." God, I hate national politics.
Russian military forces are dipping their toes into mainland Ukraine, reportedly seizing a village and pumping station in what Ukraine's government is (rightly) calling an invasion. Don't worry, Russia replies. They're just protecting the village from terrorists. This isn't good.
In local ominousness, the Oregonian says the crude oil that moves by train from North Dakota through Oregon frequently emits a worrying amount of highly flammable gas. More, even, than the stuff carried on a train that became an enormous fireball in Quebec last summer. That oil could be stabilized, but it would cut into profits. Capitalism!
The Airbnb announcement was made official in Mayor Charlie Hales' second State of the City Address on Friday. Check out Denis' coverage for a detailed rundown.
More potential labor strikes in the offing. Both Portland State University professors and one of the City of Portland's biggest labor unions have voted to authorize a strike if disagreements aren't hammered smooth in the near future.
There is no good place to get drunk and cause horrific and grisly wreckage with your car, of course, but Texas has to be one of the worst. The man who plowed into SXSW attendees this week could face the death penalty.
I'll admit it: Most Saturdays I'm just phoning it in; going through the motions until the time is right for whiskey and repose. Today, though? I'ma live it up.
Whatever you want to say about Vice, its dispatches from Ukraine are enthralling.
How did Warner Bros. screw over the people who made the Veronica Mars movie happen? One word: Ultraviolet.
I was one of those people who giddily donated to the Veronica Mars Kickstarter on its first day, and despite the issues I've had with the campaign (from the decidedly minor, like the increasingly self-satisfied backer updates, to the decidedly less minor, like Warner Bros.' precedent-setting manner of exploiting crowdfunding to gauge fans' interest and save themselves millions of dollars), I'm still looking forward to seeing the movie in a theater this weekend.
Why am I paying it to see it in a theater instead of watching it for free at home, since one of my Kickstarter rewards was a digital version of the film? Oh, right: Because it turns out one of my rewards wasn't a digital version of the film that anyone could actually use. Instead of giving backers a downloadable file, or a code to download the film via iTunes or Amazon, or an easy streaming option, Veronica Mars was released to the people who made it happen using Ultraviolet, a studio-backed streaming system that's a huge pain in the ass and never, ever works.
Never heard of Ultraviolet? That's because nobody fucking uses it, because it fucking sucks. But studios are terrified of piracy, so they make constrictive things like Ultraviolet; not coincidentally, Ultraviolet is so constrictive that anyone with half a brain realizes, roughly five seconds into trying to use the thing, that it's both easier and faster to either (A) buy whatever they're trying to watch on iTunes or Amazon, or, more likely, (B) pirate whatever it is they're trying to watch.
Case in point: You can already watch a pirated version of Veronica Mars, as noted by Jason Bailey on Flavorwire. Bailey's piece—"Veronica Mars Digital Download Is a Clusterfuck for Kickstarter Backers"—is a must-read for anyone interested in how major studios are trying (and failing) to deal with the sort of digital accessibility that people who are comfortable with the internet—e.g., Kickstarter backers—have become accustomed to.
Or, as Bailey points out, maybe giving backers the film via Ultraviolet was part of a plan to make even more money off the fans:
When the time comes, we’ll probably end up punting the Ultraviolet option and just buying the damn thing on iTunes. And not to sound all conspiracy theory-minded, but I can’t help but wonder if that’s a not-unattractive side effect to Ultraviolet being so goddamn terrible; it allows the studios to make giving something away as difficult as possible, and some people aren’t going to go to the trouble. (Via.)
If that is the case, well... hey, it worked on me! I'll be seeing Veronica Mars—paying to see Veronica Mars, a movie which, technically, I already paid for—at the Living Room Theaters tomorrow night. On the upside, at least it's supposed to be good.
MUSIC—Fans of the tomboy look are celebrating the one-year anniversary of the Wildfang juggernaut, but beyond their world of retail are other charms. Specifically, local bands Hurry Up and the Ghost Ease, which the store has cherry picked to do the honors at their b-day bash for girls, boys, and beyond. MS
Wildfang, 1230 NE Grand, 5-8 pm, FREE; show at White Owl Social Club, 1305 SE 8th, 8 pm, $3
FILM—Eeeeeeeeeeee VERONICA MARS eeeeeeeeeeeeee EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! LOGAN LOGAN LOGAN eeeeeeeeeeeeeee MAYBE THEY WILL KISS. AH
The Veronica Mars movie opens tonight at the Living Room Theaters, and is also available for digital purchase at theveronicamarsmovie.com
Vivian Maier, it's Video Vriday!
More Vriday after the jump!
At the risk of adding to the "Happy" overload—check out director Geoffrey Steven's remake of Pharrell's "Happy" video using the considerable dancing skillz of normal, everyday New Yorkers. Bonus: It was all shot in February so many of these amateurs are dancing on ICE. Anyway, it will make you say, "Goddammit. New York IS pretty wicked awesome."
It's surprising what can bloom in this city with even the slightest provocation.
For months and months, protestors around the country took to the streets to complain of low wages at the nation's fast food chains. Portland was mum.
In Seattle, the hubbub swelled and stretched, to the point the city spurned an established incumbent to elect its first socialist city councilwoman in November. That councilwoman, Kshama Sawant, has been forceful (unbending, even ) in demands that the city increase its minimum wage to $15, now. (That campaign is called 15 Now.)
And Portland—progressive reputation and all—hadn't uttered a peep. The largest debates lately have been concerned, as usual, with the water system.
Then Nick Caleb, a 30-year-old Concordia University professor and attorney—somewhat on a lark—decided to run for city council against Commissioner Dan Saltzman on Monday, calling for a quixotic $15 an hour wage and a host of other reforms. And today, four days later, some of Portland's noisiest activists are engulfed.
At a news conference in front of Portland City Hall this afternoon, Caleb stood with another city council candidate (Sharon Maxwell, taking on Commissioner Nick Fish), and some of the city's most-vociferous voices, to formally launch his campaign and call for a $15 wage. The crowd waved 15 Now flyers, and a picket "showing support for workers" was announced tonight, outside the McDonald's at NE Grand and Weidler. Caleb and others said they'd been in contact with members of Sawant's campaign, and are working to emulate her success in the Rose City.
Just like that, Portlanders are ready to force these discussions. Or at least that's how it seemed this afternoon.
(For Part I in my "YOU'VE BEEN STERANKO'D!" series, in which I write about how I'm moderately obsessed with comic book creator Jim Steranko, go here.)
As have all reasonable people, I've long since given up on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Disney's blander-than-bland, duller-than-dull attempt to crank out some more of that Avengers money—this time doing so on the moaning beached whale of a cultural institution that is network television. But you know who hasn't given up on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., probably because he's contractually obligated not to? Comic book creator Jim Steranko, who's still recapping each interminable episode for The Hollywood Reporter! His most recent recap is one of my favorites:
Like most Agents of SHIELD viewers, I kept my fingers crossed that the glamazons touted for the fifteenth episode would blow my hair back like a Trojan Vibrations commercial or at least a Maxwell cassette ad. No such luck, Junior! (Via.)
But Steranko isn't just disappointed. He also has suggestions! AWESOME SUGGESTIONS.
Let me put it this way: We’ve seen all that sword-and-sandal action done better in the Lucy Lawless Xena series almost two decades ago and, while it may have a breath of novelty played against SHIELD’s high-tech ambience, the ol’ blade bit just isn’t compelling enough to cut it. Perhaps more exotic weaponry (such as a sword made of flame or an ax that sends its victims flamboyantly to Hell) may have helped. Even better would be warrior wenches brandishing explosively visual super powers, such as uncanny control of the weather or purple energy bolts from their eyes. (Via.)
Dear everyone involved in the writing of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Hire Jim Steranko. Not only did he already make a far more enjoyable version of your show, but his recaps of your show are better than the show itself. HIRE JIM STERANKO.
Buried beneath the accolades of True Detective, NBC's Hannibal does not get the appreciation it deserves. (Primarily because NBC knows it has a gorgeous, cable-style adult drama on its hands, is scared to death of it, and therefore refuses to promote it and buries it at 10 pm on Friday nights.) However, I'm doing my part by singing its praises whenever possible, and so is Uproxx which has presented a solid defense on why you should be watching Hannibal every week. Here's a taste of their article, "Why Hannibal is the Best Horror Series on Television":
If there’s a more literary, detail-packed show on television, it’s hard to think of one. For example, one of the key lines, early in the show, is spoken by Hannibal himself: “Killing must feel good to God, too… He does it all the time, and are we not created in His image?”
This is relevant because pretty much everything about Hannibal, from the architecture of his office to the way he holds his fork, tells us he thinks he’s God. In fact, the entire show is carefully written to show Hannibal as less a literate monster and more of a terrifying, corrupting influence, a Lucifer figure so clever you don’t realize he’s corrupting you until it’s far, far too late. And it makes your skin crawl.
Want further proof that Hannibal is currently the smartest, most terrifying show on television? WATCH THE OPENING SCENE OF LAST WEEK'S EPISODE HERE. Dear god... it's TERRIFYING. Trust me, I have a soul and constitution filled with sawdust, so it takes a lot for me to avert my eyes from anything—but this scene? I was actually covering my eyes which I haven't done since I was 12, because I have never seen anything as creepily gorgeous and graphic on any network, cable or otherwise... especially NBC. It's not embeddable, so hit the link, put on your headphones, and watch it full screen. IF YOU DARE.
Don't miss Hannibal tonight on NBC at 10 pm.
In the meantime, Reed College's Reed Magazine has published an article outlining the biography of one of the exhibits' featured designers, Emilio Pucci, with particular attention to his attendance at Reed and the mark he left on the college (the double griffin logo he drew is still used on the college's sweatshirts), the city (a 1957 fashion show he hosted at PAM was written up in the Oregonian as "the outstanding social event ever to be held in Portland"), and the world, both via his famous innovations in print design, color, and ski wear as well as his role in politics (tortured for information by the Nazis much?). I went to the school (thus my subscription), so I knew he was a Reedie, but the article is full of tidbits I wasn't aware of and aren't widely publicized, including his naive treatise on fascism that can still be checked out at the college library:
Hanging out with Emilio required some fancy ideological footwork because he was also a passionate defender of Italian fascism, a fact often forgotten or omitted from romantic accounts. His thesis, written under his adviser, Prof. Tom Staveley [history 1924–25, 1936–37], was “Fascism: An Explanation and Justification.” Reading the text (available in the thesis tower) turns one’s stomach. Emilio wrote in the introduction that he meant his description of Italy’s governmental system to correct misunderstandings and promote world peace. He believed that a strong centralized government was essential to a prosperous modern society. President Keezer, who himself frequently spoke out against fascism, wrote later that he thought Emilio’s presence at Reed as a “vigorous champion of it, could enliven our campus in an intellectually stimulating way.”
It's an interesting read, and though the article doesn't make direct mention of the upcoming exhibit it's also a nice supplementary prep in anticipation of next year.
But he hadn't set about building things yet. He hadn't fully navigated the politics of a horrible budget. He yet hadn't waded into sidewalk enforcement and the related conversation of homelessness—a bedeviling subject for his predecessors and something that consumed his office's time and energy last summer and fall. And he hadn't been accused, yet, of being too quiet on one of his signature policy goals: police reform.
A year later, though, and some would say they're still waiting to see something more than blueprints. They may have to keep waiting. Hales is expected to echo last year's "back to basics" theme—still laying out plans for helping pay for parks and streets and sidewalks, working harder on police reforms, and talking about a campaign to take water and sewer oversight away from city hall.
Hales, thanks to an improving economy, may have some better news to share about the city's budget. But not much better. Our surplus, once $9 million, may dwindle to nothing. Which is still better than cuts. Hales will also have a chance to better and more strongly define his approach to homelessness—a message muddied last year through the use of harsh words (harsh enough to inflame his colleagues on the council) like "lawlessness" and "epidemic."
The grandees have packed the ballroom at the Governor Hotel, as expected. Before Hales goes off, they're all busy stuffing their faces. We'll be updating once he does! And follow @portlandmercury on Twitter!
1:14: A Teamster raises the Columbia Rivers Crossing and Interstate 5 expansion project. It's the last question. Hales points "deficits" in our own streets, like Powell—which is in lousy shape but needs state money. Hales clearly sees an opportunity for freeing up CRC cash for those other more tangible and necessary projects.
Thanks for reading!
1:12: Someone asks about a tourist tax. Hales says he and Novick are deep in a "focused" effort to raise cash for transportation. "We're not chumps and we want to see a specific proposal from the government." He wants something specific. Some "specifics" may need to go before voters, some may not need to. "Be specific and do what you said you were going to do."
Right after, Joe Esmonde from the electrical workers union, called the water district "stupid." And demanded a plan for Hayden Island. Hales said "it's off the table" because the Port didn't like the Planning Commission's ideas for mitigating a new marine terminal. Instead of "recycling the fight" over the port, let's go get underutilized industrial area in shape, Hales says.
1:08: Does the mayor have plan for gang violence in East Portland? Hales mentions years-old meetings of the city's gang violence task force, happening every two weeks. "There's an amazing partnership of people working to prevent gang violence." Part 1 crimes are down, Hales says. "We are holding the line at street-level." His Black Male Achievement Project could help, he says. "Not an original idea," but it could be effective.
1:05: "You gotta know when to fold 'em," Hales says when asked about a PDC writeoff for the Nines hotel. Some things don't pan out. But some do, Hales says. Like the Pearl District! That one totally did!
1:03: Hales says he'll convene West Coast mayors to talk about homelessness. It's a shared subject. Sam Chase, Metro councilor, asks about priorities for the region. Hales says "transportation funding." The state needs to deed over state highways to the city and pay for fixes. We need a higher federal gas tax. "We are way behind in infrastructure, and the more we wait the more it costs. And it costs in lives."
1:00: People in South Africa, he says, watch Portlandia. South Africa was hosting him at a climate change conference, and that's another opportunity for him to thank Sam Adams for something—rare public appreciation for his predecessor. And then in two years we'll have an international track meet that "aligns with our DNA." Gail Shibley, Hales' chief of staff, gets a thanks.
This world recognition, Hales says, can't come at the expense of us being grounded and livable. This is also the first mention of Superfund cleanup of the Willamette—but not by name. And he's ending the thing with another mention of Pericles. Lofty. And apparently worthy of a lengthy standing ovation. Questions from the crowd are next.
12:56: But this growth is missing people of color, Hales says. He also nods to SEIU, whom he's been close to. Meanwhile, city unions are threatening a strike vote amid impasses over city contracts. This is a way to get into an announcement of his Black Male Achievement Project. "It will take all of you in this room in your personal and formal capacities to make this work." More details, however, are yet to come.
Hales then moved on to talk about the Knight challenge Oregon Health and Sciences University is pursuing for cancer research. "I think it'll put Oregon on the map..."
And then it's Google Fiber. "We are the place, and this is the time."
12:52: From public safety to the economy: "Tourism is at a record high." Our office space vacancy is low and the market is going boffo. AirBnB is moving to Portland—some 160 staffers who will be new and local hires. (Strikes me these are arguments against discussions of public disorder and danger downtown.) A company in Lents that makes granola bars is being recognized. It's very Portland. And let's not forget Daimler's expansion on Swan Island. "These people are growing here because of the quality of our place."
12:50: On police use of force, he gets daily reports about what officer are doing, and he praised them for "great restraint." He tells a story of a man cutting himself and threatening to jump. An officer got him a sandwich and fries, and "something changed, a connection was established." The man got treatment. He's also talking about a "sketchy creeper" who was a "really dangerous felon"—the man killed in this week's police shooting. He said Kelly Vern Swoboda fired at Officer John Romero "again and again and again," something we haven't heard in in official reports to date. He gets a large round of applause for Romero, thanking him.
The labor activists who've been peppering east Portland's Fubonn Shopping Center with unflattering flyers and picket lines since last year have caused a 1 percent drop in business, the center's owner now claims.
And that owner, Michael Liu, is doing everything he can to force the Portland Solidarity Network to account for the demonstrations, even as the group says it will hold its largest to-date this afternoon.
The two parties met at the Multnomah County Courthouse this morning, to argue a motion in the defamation suit Liu filed in October against two PSN members, as well as the former Fubonn employees who claim they were denied wages and treated poorly while working at the Fubonn Supermarket.
The activist group says the suit amounts to what is called a "strategic lawsuit against public participation," or SLAPP. That's the name given to suits companies strategically file to silence and penalize vocal critics—like pesky laborer advocates—by saddling them with legal fees. But Oregon is one of a growing number of states to enact protections against such suits: special motions that can be filed to toss defamation claims that don't have merit.
That's what PSN has argued Fubonn's case is, and that's what attorneys argued over before Multnomah County Circuit Judge Youlee Yim You this morning.
"No evidence has been produced, and yet the campaign continues," said Corey Tolliver, Fubonn's attorney. "You have a group of people who are intent on destroying a person's reputation."
The solidarity network began stirring the pot after members were approached by two former employees, Marisol Elizalde and Norma Salazar. The women say managers at the center sometimes force employees to work off the clock, refuse bathroom breaks, and once made a pregnant employee lift heavy objects. They have alleged men are paid more, and that employees are driven to tears by harsh reprimands.
Since hearing those complaints last year, PSN has repeatedly demanded—via letters, flyers, and protests like one planned this afternoon—the women be given more than $4,000 for the allegedly unpaid work.
"Yes it would have been cheaper to pay the $3,000, but my client is not willing to be held hostage," Tolliver said. He called the protests a "campaign of lies."
Judge You didn't rule in today's hearing whether all or part of Liu's suit could be ruled frivolous. In fact, to the extent her comments to attorneys were indicative of her leanings, it seemed she'd allow the matter to continue until those questions could be more fully explored.
Tolliver argued that if even one component of the lawsuit—like the claim protestors trespassed on Fubonn property—appears to be true, then the rest of the suit must be allowed to stand. Cliff Davidson, the attorney representing PSN, argued that the judge could toss the defamation portions of the suit if she wasn't convinced they'd stand up in court.
I've got a pair of tickets to give away to the Mercury-sponsored talk show Late Night Action with Alex Falcone, tomorrow night at the Secret Society.
The lineup's great—in addition to host Alex Falcone and his charming sidekick Bri Pruett, there's:
Curtis Cook, currently one of my favorite local comics
Crackerjack sketch team the Aces
Musical guest Mont Chris Hubbard and the Bonus Show Trio
Ken Forkish, of Ken's Artisan Everything fame
Naomi Pomeroy, noted meat-lover and chef/owner of Beast
I have to just screen-grab this blurb about Pomeroy from the Late Night Action website, because I'm sure not going to write anything better:
Tee hee. All you gotta do to win tickets is email me by 3 pm today with "sleepy pig" in the subject line. (Those instructions are SIMPLE, if you fail to comply with them you WILL NOT WIN.) I'll email the winner by 3:30; if you don't hear back from me by then, you should probably just buy your own damn ticket. The show's at 9 pm tomorrow at the Secret Society, $10.
Recently, the Hollywood Theatre tapped Eden Dawn—fashion editor for the Portland Monthly and good friend of mine—and I to curate a "Fashion in Film" series... so, we are! The first one is happening on Saturday, March 22, complete with an after-party across the street at Blackwell's ("roughing it"). For our first film selection, it made sense to go back to our roots as wee little 1980s girls—arguably the most fun-loving fashion era in which to be a kid—and pull out one of the first films we can remember exciting our fashion imaginations: 1989's Troop Beverly Hills! If you have not revisited this gem in a while (which of course also features appearances by Jenny Lewis, Cheech Marin, Robin Leach, and Tori Spelling), take a moment to recall how totally amazing star Shelley Long's outfits are. Not to mention the important lessons this film has to teach you about tailoring, bargaining ("It's missing a bead, you know"), and gem-identification, as well as friendship! And love! And glamping.
Tickets are available now for the one-night-only screening—peplums and polka dots encouraged.
Originally posted on August 24, 2011.
I'm unemployed in Oregon and trying to come up with simple ways to make rent. My dear wife and I would like your opinion on the legality of selling my teenage son's sweaty gym clothes online. It sounds rather skeezy, I realize, and I'm only half-joking here. If we had a nonsexual website with pictures that weren't necessarily of my son, would that be buffer enough? Would this be seen as me whoring out the boy? He's up for it—as long as he gets his cut—but could I go to jail for this? He is 14.
Pimpin' Out Real Teen's Leftover, Acrid, Nasty Duds
My response after the jump...
You've suspected it for a long time—and now the proof is finally here. SXSW attendees don't know what the fuck they're talking about, and are willing to lie to cover it up. In Jimmy Kimmel's latest edition of Lie Witness News, he sends a fake reporter out on the streets of Austin to ask SXSW visitors what they think of certain bands—BANDS WHO ARE ENTIRELY MADE UP. (Not so) shockingly, the respondents have tons of opinions about these groups that don't even exist. (In the attendees' defense? Every indie band in the world sounds exactly alike and they're all terrible.)
This week I took a close look at XRAY.FM, the new progressive community radio station that celebrates its terrestrial broadcast launch tomorrow—the beta test of the online stream is already available (and will be the easiest way to access their programming for most of the city), which is an interesting and pretty plugged-in mix of talk and music. Looking into their situation was a real education in the hurdles a start-up like this faces, and opinions on its chances for success range from determined, spirited confidence to borderline mockery. There are good ideas and great intentions behind the project, which may ultimately end up manifesting in ways nobody saw coming. In the meantime, their launch party has an awesome lineup, with Ural Thomas & The Pain and Old Light, DJ sets from XRAY DJs like Rev Shines and AM Gold, raffle prizes from local companies like Stumptown and Toro Bravo, and it'll be MC'd by Portland musicians Corinna Repp and Kathy Foster. It kicks off at 9 at Mississippi Studios tomorrow, with a sliding scale of $15-30 going toward the cause.
It sounds like the search for the missing flight 370 may be shifting west, into the Indian Ocean.
So how hard is it to find a Boeing 777 in the Indian Ocean*? Since we humans are so bad at contemplating things at massive scale (the solar system, for example), Rob Cockerham has helpfully translated this problem down into more approachable scales.
Finding a 777 in the Indian Ocean is like finding:
A single grain of salt somewhere in the city of San Francisco.
Or a sesame seed in Yosemite.
Or a red blood cell at Burning Man.
* The search area isn't the entire Indian Ocean, of course, they'll start at the eastern side and work out, but still.. oceans are big! And also note that these comparisons are surface area. Once that thing sinks, oh boy.
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