🌱 3000 Homeless Challenge + Forest Park Fire Prevention

·7 min read

What up, Portland? It's a new week and the last one in March. But this is Portland, so we're not going out like a lamb, we're going out like a capybara! Here's what's going on today.

First, today's weather:

A cloudy day, but no rain, and with a high of 62.

Here are the top five stories today in Portland:

  1. Thirty local organizations and neighborhood groups are offering their solutions to Portland’s ongoing homeless problems. One of those alternatives is The 3000 Challenge, an effort to get 3,000 more people off the streets and into permanent housing this year. The challenge is a collaborative effort to share knowledge and ideas on how to get more people housed and use that to create a plan and also apply pressure to get it done. (KOIN.com)

  2. Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley, Ron Wyden and Representative Earl Blumenauer have announced that the Portland International Airport (PDX) will receive $3.75 million to ensure its runway survives a major earthquake. The funding is among a range of federal investments in Oregon’s emergency preparedness, public safety, and economic development included in the 2022 omnibus spending bill, which has now been signed into law by President Biden. (St. Helens Chronicle)

  3. Advocacy group People for Portland has proposed a November ballot measure that would redirect the bulk of the money from Metro’s 2020 Homeless Services Measure toward emergency shelter and force people living on the streets to move into the shelter space. If passed as currently drafted, the measure would constitute a sharp departure from the region’s current strategy for addressing homelessness, prioritizing shelter at the expense of securing permanent housing for people. (OPB)

  4. In the face of accelerating climate change, Portland Fire & Rescue is seeking funding approval from the City Council this spring to hire someone to plan for potential wildfires in Portland’s urban forests like Forest Park and Powell Butte. Last year, WW wrote about the risk of Forest Park going up in flames and the increasing worry among city officials that the park is a tinder box just waiting for a spark. Jonna Papaefthimiou, director of the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management, told WW at the time a fire in Forest Park was “one of the highest threats to public safety in our city. (Willamette Week)

  5. In just a little more than a year, Portland Street Response, a program designed to deal with mental health crises without armed officers, has grown from covering a few square miles to working throughout the entire city. Portland Street Response started in February 2021 as a pilot program in the Lents neighborhood. As of Monday, the program will expand across Portland. It now has a full staff of 20 members, and covers 145 square miles from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week.(KATU)

Today in Portland:

  • The Oregon Historical Society presents Historians and the News: A Conversation between Timothy Snyder and Christopher McKnight Nichols. A livestream over Zoom, Dr. Snyder and Dr. Nichols will discuss the implications of Snyder’s research in the context of today’s news, offering the kinds of insights that only careful scholarship can provide. This event is made free by the donors that support The Oregon Historical Society. Online registration is required. 5:30 - 6:30 PM.

  • If you want to feel a little brainier, head to the Clinton Street Theater as it shows A Brief History of Time. An adroitly crafted tale of personal adversity, professional triumph, and cosmological inquiry, Morris’s documentary examines the way the collapse of Hawking’s body has been accompanied by the untrammeled broadening of his imagination. Tickets are available online. Showtime is 7:00 PM.

  • Join Literary Arts for an evening with the 2022 Oregon Book Award Finalists for the Frances Fuller Victor Award for General Nonfiction. This online event will feature readings by finalists and will be followed by an audience Q&A. Register online to attend. 7:00 - 8:30 PM.

  • Test your knowledge of all things Harry Potter and the Wizarding World at the 4th Wall with its special trivia night! Grab your Potterhead squad and catch that snitch! The winning team will receive a 4th Wall PDX Gift Card. Proof of vax required to play. Trivia starts at 7 pm and it's FREE to play!

  • Spice up your Taco Tuesday with DJ Danny playing Salsa and Bachata music at Stage 722 in SE Portland. Whether you are a pro or just learning, this night is for you! Stage 722 has instructors ready to teach you all the steps, or join in to be your dancing partner. Come in your dancing shoes ready for some mid week fun! $5 cash at the door, includes Salsa lessons with instructors . Come hungry for Tacos and Tequila happy hour specials, while enjoying the sounds of Salsa, Rumba and Latin music. 7:00 - 11:30 PM.

From my notebook:

  • Portland Art Museum: "“Appropriation is not admiration, and exploitation is not love. ‘Syrup on Watermelon’ aims to hold up mirrors to false imposed identities and challenges the audience to look at the unsettling nature of these narratives.” — Christine Mille..." (Instagram)

  • Nano Beer Fest will return to John's Marketplace in Multnomah Village April 29 through May 1. John's Marketplace will host the beer fest, which is dedicated to showcasing micro-batch beer producers. This year marks the return of the annual event after a two year hiatus due to COVID-19. (Portland Tribune)

  • In case you haven't heard, Portland's Unipiper had his unicycle stolen last year. Much like the recent Pickles Mascot Uniform theft, the post took off and fans shared it across multiple social media platforms. "We’re gonna do everything we can to help find this," the Portland Pickles account responded. However, Brian Kidd — who performs as the Portland's world-famous Unipiper — later told the Mercury that recovering the unicycle isn't likely. The trail is cold, as the theft actually occurred in October 2021. (Portland Mercury)

  • More than 100 revelers danced and threw colors during a Holi dance party in Old Town Chinatown Sunday afternoon. Holi is a Hindu festival that celebrates the triumph of good over evil, and the divine love of the god and goddess Krishna and Radha. It also marks the arrival of spring, and Portland delivered on that front – with clear skies and temperatures in the 60s for the outdoor event that featured the traditional throwing of colorful Holi powders. (The Oregonian)

  • Roughly 42 years ago, Mount St. Helens erupted, ash falling on parts of both Oregon and Washington and changing the shape of the mountain itself. Here, we see aerial reconnaissance over Mount St. Helens showing the first signs of the impending eruption, an ash plume and vent appearing just off the summit. These first aerials of the mountain showing volcanic activity include descriptions of the event by crew in the helicopter. (YouTube)

  • Do you like tulips? You should know that the 38th annual Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival is going on right now in Woodburn, OR. Experience the beauty of 40 acres of tulips and over 200 acres of outdoor space and activities this spring. There will be wine tasting, a Tulip Tour Train and a Field Greenhouse Tent where one can purchase cut flowers, potted bulbs, merchandise and pre-order tulip bulbs. (Wooden Shoe)

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That's your Tuesday, Portland. Have fun and I'll see you tomorrow for more news of our favorite city.

Dominic Anaya

About me: Doctor, educator and now a writer/artist, I'm just chillin' in Portland, OR with my wife, our ferrets, our chickens and our goats.

This article originally appeared on the Portland Patch