Archive

Uncategorized

Portland Gentrification Documentary

Construction this Spring along North Williams Avenue at Mason, where three new multifamily building are in various phases of development. Construction this Spring along North Williams Avenue at Mason, where three new multifamily building are in various phases of development.

An affordable housing bill in the Oregon legislature might not have much immediate impact in Portland’s gentrifying neighborhoods, according to one housing expert.

Even if it passed tomorrow, a new bill that would allow the city to create affordable housing units in new multi-family developments would have little impact in fast-gentrifying communities. That’s because it the bill doesn’t impact rental housing developments, according to Jessica Larson, director of the Welcome Home Coalition.

LINK: Monday April 27- Inclusionary Zoning Workshop in SE Portland

House Bill 2564 would allow cities in Oregon to create “inclusionary zoning” laws. Cities could get affordable housing built in new developments by waiving certain fees, permits and building restrictions in exchange for the inclusion of below-market units.

View original post 405 more words

house.demolish.cook.3.4.15A once legendary party house was demolished Wednesday to make way for the latest apartment complex on the booming  North Vancouver/Williams Corridor.

I saw the demolition while shooting the Portland gentrification documentary I am producing.

The little blue house at 100 North Cook Street hosted the very first house party I went to after I arrived in Portland in 1995. I distinctly remember holding a plastic cup of beer in my hand and looking down from the porch at the vacant expanse of lots and abandoned buildings that was the neighborhood.

Almost 20 years later, the house is being pulled down as part of a multi-building demolition project. Soon, the Cook Street Lofts will rise on the block, according to the Daily Journal of Commerce.

The five-story, 105-unit apartment building will have on-grade parking and ground floor retail, according to the blog NextPortland. Read More

Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 2.14.07 PMWork has begun on a follow-up to the 2002 documentary on gentrification and affordable housing in the black neighborhoods of Portland, Ore., Northeast Passage: The Inner City and the American Dream, which was released at a time when gentrification was only a marginal issue. Since then, Portland has propelled itself in the national imagination as a place that attracts hordes of creative young people. It’s also become the whitest major city in the country, according to The Oregonian.

WATCH: Original Documentary Available on Amazon Streaming

Portland’s African American community, once centered in North and Northeast Portland, has been dispersed to the fringes of the metro area as new, wealthier whites have moved into the area. Nikki Williams, an African American woman and focus of the original documentary, has thrown up her hands. She is selling her home in North Portland and moving to Texas in hopes of connecting with black community there. Read More

Bud Clark Commons: $30 Million public housing construction project awarded Walsh Construction in 2008. Photo credit: Home Forward

Bud Clark Commons: $30 Million public housing construction project awarded Walsh Construction in 2008. Photo credit: Home Forward

A local construction firm has been awarded large Portland public housing contracts 81 percent of the time that it bids on them.

A GoLocalPDX investigation has found that Portland-based Walsh Construction and its affiliates have been awarded 9 of the 11 public housing construction contracts, valued at $5 million or more, that they have competed for since 2003, according to data released from public records.

Home Forward, formerly known as The Housing Authority of Portland, has awarded Walsh and affiliates over $240 million from these contracts, according to data released to GoLocalPDX.  Two of Walsh’s nine contracts had no other bidders.  Another two went to a partnership Walsh created with another company, called O’Neil/Walsh Community Builders.

“Walsh is shrewd,” said James Posey, owner of Work Horse Construction Metro Inc. “It’s about who you know in this game.“

Read the rest GoLocalPDX

Jose Tandy and workers claim Cornerstone Janitorial hired undocumented immigrants and then pocketed their wages.

Jose Tandy and workers claim Cornerstone Janitorial hired undocumented immigrants and then pocketed their wages.

A local janitorial company that has worked on publicly-funded projects has been shortchanging its workers and pocketing their wages, according to the claims of whistleblowers.

Wage theft complaints against Cornerstone Janitorial Service of Hillsboro have been filed in Oregon and Washington and whistleblowers allege that the company hires undocumented immigrants and takes taxpayer-funded wages that rightfully belong to workers.

In response, Cornerstone tells GoLocalPDX it only hires legal residents and pays the proper wages.

But an investigation by GoLocalPDX has found that in some cases workers are only paid $12 an hour on jobs that should have been compensated at an hourly rate of $36.

“This is discrimination and racism,” Jose Tandy told GoLocalPDX in Spanish. “I’m being robbed.”

Read the rest GoLocalPDX

Photo credit: Pedro Ribeiro Simões on Flickr. Creative Commons licence. Image cropped.

Photo credit: Pedro Ribeiro Simões on Flickr. Creative Commons licence. Image cropped.

While at GoLocalPDX, I encouraged the team to do BuzzFeed-esque posts about “Why this is great…” and “What that is bad..” etc.  The idea, of course, was to take some of BuzzFeed’s ability to tap into the gestalt of a given demographic and condense it into a listicle that really resonated with people.  Because it was GoLocalPDX, we did these listicles in slideshow form. The schtick was to tap into Portland’s personality, both it’s traditional working-class-Pacific-Northwest personality and its new-chic-mecca-for-young-people-and-their-trivial-pursuits personality.   When these post worked, they really drove pageviews.  I think the most successful ones were those we came up with as a team and that really touched a nerve in terms of the community’s collective psyche.

Here is one of my favorites:

10 Reasons it Stinks to be a Straight Single Woman in Portland

Portand: You’re a wonderful city, full of hipsterish, handsome men. You’ve got a great nightlife, a fantastic cultural offering, and a million awesome places for a date.

But finding a boyfriend in this town is harder than finding a brunch venue without a line.

Sure, if you’re a single woman and happy to remain so, this city is probably as good as it gets. But if you’re hoping to become un-single at any future stage, you’ve got a problem in PDX.

Below are our 10 reasons why it stinks to be a single straight woman in Portland.

 

Parking_Meter_360_249_90The result of an obscure traffic court hearing this year has raised questions about whether or not Portland parking tickets conform to state law.

Some legal experts say it’s a good question.

In 2013, over 260,000 parking citations were issued in Portland, generating $18 million for enforcement agencies and the state general fund, according to the Multnomah County court administrator.

But are they valid?

In January Michael Selvaggio took a parking ticket to trial in Multnomah County Circuit Court after he claimed his ticket failed to display the time and place of his court appearance, according to court documents.

Read the rest of my story at GoLocalPDX

Breaking news and the folks at the digital desk at KGW have taught me a ton. I'm forever grateful.

Breaking news and the digital team at KGW have taught me a ton. I’m forever grateful to this station and its crew.

After only ten months at KGW, I’m moving on to become Director of Digital Content at GoLocalPDX, a web-based news platform set to launch this summer. 

GoLocalPDX will offer a range of lifestyle, entertainment and news coverage.  We expect to have a good deal of investigative and data driven stories. So please stay tuned.

Having said that, I owe a huge debt to KGW NewsChannel 8, where I spent the better part of a year grinding it out as a digital producer and breaking news reporter for KGW.com.

The station has been the most energetic, supportive and positive place I’ve ever worked. I was constantly surprised by the depth of talent and skills employed there.

The reporters are astute and work under deadlines that would make most others faint.  I’m especially thankful that I worked with Kyle Iboshi, who is not only one of the best reporters I’ve met in Oregon, but who also paid me $5 to mention him.

Read More

Meet me in St. Louie: The last of Portland's red trolleys will be shipped off to St. Louis after over 20 years of service. TriMet said they don't have the resources to run them. Critics say Portland and TriMet just wants to be rid of them.

Meet me in St. Louie: The last of Portland’s red trolleys will be shipped off to St. Louis after over 20 years of service. TriMet said they don’t have the resources to run them. Critics say Portland and TriMet just wants to be rid of them.

PORTLAND – Later this year, TriMet will send the last two of Portland’s four old-timey street trolleys to St. Louis. When it does, downtown Portland will lose a local icon and a little piece of its streetcar history. TriMet, which owns the streetcars, said in an era of cutbacks, it’s unavoidable. Critics say “you’ll regret it.”

The trolleys have been clanking through downtown for more than 20 years. While the City of Portland is gearing up to pay up to at least $1 million for a new streetcar for its own rail system, TriMet said it just doesn’t have the resources to run what are essentially tourist attractions.

Critics, however, believe transit bosses have been looking for a way to get rid of the streetcars for years and are giving away an emblematic asset.

An overlooked icon
The trolley have been a symbol for Portland for decades. They’ve adorned everything from postcards to refrigerator magnets.

Story, photos and videos at KGW.com

The tree attracts the homes and dreams of hundreds of strangers.

The tree attracts the hopes and dreams of hundreds of strangers.

PORTLAND – Some people wished for love, some for world peace, a lot of people wished for a pony.

Those are just a few of the hundreds of wishes hanging from a Horse Chestnut street tree at the corner of Northeast Morris Street and 7th Avenue.

On a cold Tuesday evening, a young couple walking down the block stopped and examined the tree with bemused interest. A sign, clipboard, marker and plastic bag of manila shipping labels beckoned for them to contribute their own desires.

The Wishing Tree, has been an oddity at this intersection since last fall. A photo of it recently sparked a trending post on the Portland Reddit pageMonday, garnering the kind of cheers and jeers that one would expect from something so quintessentially Portlandia.

The tree is the handy work of Nicole Helprin and sits directly in front of her 1926 Irvington home.

Read the rest and see the photos at KGW.com