This weekend!



Pride parties tonight at Crush and Holocene! All the weekend’s events are here.

Buddy Jay’s Jamaican Jazz Band looks fun too… Eastburn, 1800 W Burnside * 10 pm * free

Another event— they’re too interesting not to include— Felicia and the Dinosaur has their tour kickoff show at Red and Black. 400 SE 12th Ave * 7 pm – 10 pm * $5 suggested donation

What’s that… ? Funk, hip hop, perhaps an afro-beat groove… I can’t really define it, but Bel Mizik looks and sounds like a good time.


All That Glitters Burlesque Academy is having a graduation showcase at Analog Cafe and Theater tonight. The show’s the glittery culmination of a six-week burlesque course. 8 pm – 10 pm * $5

I haven’t been to the Jade Lounge for quite a while, but it’s a intimate venue that takes chances with less-established artists. Tonight, a band called Head Rest (6 pm) and Christopher John Mead (8 pm) are performing. Jade Lounge, 2342 SE Ankeny * free

Neighbors learn about Portland’s residential demolition “epidemic”

photo-19Neighbors have few protections or even notifications for residential demolitions, a vocal and clearly frustrated crowd learned at a panel discussion Wednesday night.

Residential demolition permit applications have surpassed pre-recession levels, said Shawn Wood, Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, and he expects them to top 300 this year, what would be a record year in Portland. He said that doesn’t even include major renovations, projects that remove less than 100 percent of the current structure and foundation.

Neighbor frustration with demolitions has been well documented, and some changes have been made. A loophole for skipping neighbor notification was narrowed, and Jill Grenda, supervising planner for Bureau of Development Services, said a voluntary demolition notification process is being developed. She said BDS is also adding links on its website about demolition.

“If you come home and a house that used to be next to you is gone, that can be jarring,”  Grenda acknowledged.

Justin Wood, a builder with the Home Builders Association of Metropolitan Portland, said the demand for new construction in desirable neighborhoods is driving the demolitions. He said neighbors can go to their elected leaders if they’re not satisfied with the current process, and get involved in the Portland’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan, that’s in the process of being updated.

Maxine Fitzpatrick, executive director of Community Reinvestment Initiatives, said the City of Portland has invested a couple hundred million dollars into NE Portland, and as a result about 10,000 African American residents were displaced between 2000 and 2010. The city promised to bring 10 percent of those displaced families back to NE Portland, but she said that promise hasn’t been fulfilled.

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Inner SE Crime Calls: 6/2 – 6/9


In Buckman crime calls this week, there were 6 assaults, 3 burglaries, 15 thefts, 9 property calls, and 16 traffic calls.

9 property crime calls: including 5 cold stolen vehicles, 4 cold vandalism, and 1 prowler.

16 traffic calls: including 3 injury accident, 2 unknown injury accident, 4 non-injury accident, 1 priority hit and run, 4 hit and run, and 2 parking problem.

Multiple incident calls (included in the above totals):

near Stark and the riverfront: 2 hazardous conditions

MLK and Madison: cold burglary and priority assault

Burnside and Grand: priority vandalism and cold theft

Burnside and 9th: 2 cold thefts

Hawthorne and 19th: 2 cold burglaries

The Buckman neighborhood boundaries are: Burnside Ave to the north, 28th Ave to the east, Hawthorne Ave to the south, and the Willamette River to the west. For more information on any incident or to offer a tip, visit or contact the Portland Police Bureau.

The ABCs of Portland’s Land Use Planning

officialsealThe City of Portland fosters a culture of wanting to shape your community, said Office of Neighborhood Involvement’s Paul Eisner, but he acknowledged there are fair concerns with development procedures, especially the notification process for demolitions and infill construction. He said the city is on the verge of improving the system, and surveys seeking feedback will be going out soon.

Eisner spoke Thursday at the Historic Kenton Firehouse last week during the ABCs of Land Use Planning, a regularly-held workshop. About 30 neighbors were given actionable information on the permitting process for developments. Eisner said most neighbors don’t get involved until they are personally impacted by development— but someone in your community has already done the homework on the options neighbors have to influence developments.

Participating in the ongoing update to the City of Portland’s Comprehensive Plan is critical way neighbors can get influence the development of their neighborhood, Eisner said. The update process is nearly finished and a draft will be released July 21, he said, but there are still opportunities for input. Developed in 1980. the state-mandated plan “sets the framework for the development of the city,” according to the Bureau Planning and Sustainability.

“If i was neighborhood association chair I’d be all over this,” said John Cole, senior planner with the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, who also spoke at the workshop. “It’s an opportunity that comes along once in a generation effecting policy and land use mapping and investment strategies of the city that have a significant impact on livablilty of your neighborhood.”

If a neighbor receives a Land Use Review or Environmental Zone Development Standards notice— an official notice that a development is proposed— Eisner said encouraged them to contact their neighborhood association and their area’s planner. Amanda Fritz, Portland Commissioner and 17-year neighborhood association land use chair, put together this step-by-step primer for how to proceed.

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Did TriMet misrepresent the reason behind their new “leaner” benches?

photo-19After a long day at work, it’s nice to sit down and wait for the bus. But in about 60 locations, TriMet’s new “leaners” take away that option, and the reason for the new stops are raising questions from riders.

TriMet said the new leaners were installed to meet the criteria of the Americans with Disabilities Act, a federal law that requires allowances be made for people with disabilities. The old benches were by law too wide for sidewalks, TriMet wrote in the announcement, and people with mobility devices couldn’t get by.

“The shallower leaner allows for installation in areas where sidewalks are not wide enough to meet the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards and accommodate a traditional bench.”

A TriMet spokesperson told the Oregonian that “many locations” didn’t comply with ADA regulations for mobility devices. That explanation was enough for the Oregonian, and besides a little snark implying the motivation was advertising-based, transit reporter Joseph Rose took the issue no further.

On TriMet’s Facebook page and social media, the riders doubt the reasoning. The leaners were cited as another example of the transit agency de-prioritizng riders for the bottom line— and it looks as though the federal disability law was only an excuse to install the new leaners.

Announced in early April, TriMet struck a ($3.3 million annually, the Oregonian reports) deal with Lamar Advertising to display advertising on vehicles and at stops. 600 new benches were funded by the company, and about 10 percent of those are leaners.

They’re not seats for sure, and only people of a certain height can actually use them to lean. They’ve been compared to medieval torture devices by The Portland Intelligencer, and commenters on TriMet’s Facebook page say they discriminate against children, the elderly, and people with disabilities who can’t use them to sit or even lean.

On FB and Reddit, supporters of the new leaners say it will keep “hobos” from sleeping at bus stops and reduce the amount of trash left by transit riders. Several commenters also suspect advertising is the real motivation: the leaners provide bigger space for ads and lack of usability keeps riders from blocking them from view.

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Inner SE Crime Calls: 5/26 – 6/2

Screen Shot 2014-06-03 at 9.25.18 AMIn Buckman crime calls this week, there was 1 burglary, 7 thefts, 6 traffic calls, and 4 property calls.

6 traffic calls: 1 priority hit and run, 3 non injury accident, and 2 parking problem.

4 property calls: including 2 priority vandalism, 1 vandalism, 1 cold stolen vehicle.

Multiple incidents: 2 hazardous condition calls near the Hawthorne Bridge.

The Buckman neighborhood boundaries are: Burnside Ave to the north, 28th Ave to the east, Hawthorne Ave to the south, and the Willamette River to the west. For more information on any incident or to offer a tip, visit or contact the Portland Police Bureau.

This weekend!


This is the final weekend of the Village Building Convergence! VBC’s had 14 years of building community through building projects. Here’s a nice summary from


Branx is hosting a benefit for the Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp, featuring Pyrotense, Alex Bradley, Dope Boy, and Morgue Boss. Branx, 320 SE 2nd * 9 pm * $12 adv, $15 door

Check out “8 bit future bass” at the Alahambra Theater Lounge with Rhinostrich, bryface, and Temple Maps. If you don’t know what that means (and are too lazy to follow the link), imagine the music you’d hear at a rave thrown by Link from the Legend of Zelda and the robot-headed hero from Metroid. God job keeping up with the classics, folks. Alahambra Theater Lounge, 4811 SE Hawthorne * 9 pm * $5


The Analog Theater and Cafe is hosting a benefit to send Portland burlesque performers to the Burlesque Hall of Fame weekend in Las Vegas, Nevada. (6:30 pm * ??) There’s also a burlesque workshop in the afternoon. (3 pm * ??)

How about some mariachi heavy metal covers with… METALACHI. They get extra points for the Christmas lights on their sombreros. Looks like a party. Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside * 9 pm * $15

Live Americana with Jacob Miller & the Bridge City Crooners, Smut City, and Jellyroll Society are performing at LaurelThirst Public House. 2958 NE Glisan * $5 * 9:30 pm


Dear Trimet



Contact TriMet:

Based on this Reddit thread, I decided to email TriMet about the reasoning behind the new “leaner” benches:

Good morning,

My name is Andrew Wilkins, I’m an occasional TriMet user and independent reporter here in town.

I have a question about the motivation behind the new “leaner” benches going in at many bus stops around town. TriMet spokesperson Roberta Altstadt told the Oregonian that they were installed because many of the old benches were in violation of ADA regulations. Which ADA regulation was being violated, and how many bus stops were actually in violation of the regulation? I’d also like to know how many of the leaners were installed and where the old benches are now.

I appreciate the agency’s commitment to rider concerns. Social media posts indicate there are many riders besides me unhappy with the new benches. I’d prefer to have my response by email.

Thank you, Andrew Wilkins



Inner SE Crime calls: 5/24 – 5/26


In Buckman crime calls this week, 1 burglary, 3 assault calls, 15 theft calls, and 2 property calls were reported.

17 traffic calls: 3 injury accident, 8 accident non-injury, 2 parking problem, 3 hit and run, 1 priority hit and run.

2 property calls: 2 cold stolen vehicle.

Multiple incidents (included in above totals): SE Oak and 7th: 1 hit and run and 1 injury accident; SE Taylor and 7th: 2 cold thefts.

The Buckman neighborhood boundaries are: Burnside Ave to the north, 28th Ave to the east, Hawthorne Ave to the south, and the Willamette River to the west. For more information on any incident or to offer a tip, visit or contact the Portland Police Bureau.

This weekend!


Featuring 3 bands from LA and several local acts, Synthfest is on at the Alhambra Theater Friday with: Twin Braids, Rodent, Kool Skull, Force Publique, Psychic Rites, Exotic Club 4811 SE Hawthorne * 4 pm * $5 – $7

Even with uneven performances and a multi-million-dollar-forfeiting escape to Africa, we all still love Dave Chapelle. He’s at Helium all weekend. Reddit/Portland has some feedback from the show in Portland— including several fans who have been burned by him before. 1510 SE 9th * 7:15 pm, 9:45 pm * tickets no longer available online

Aftermass is the first feature documentary to explore the events, people, politics, and social changes that led to Portland becoming the first major bicycle city in the United States. Aftermass features many of the leaders and major participants behind the growth of bicycling ridership since 1971.” Clinton Street Theater, 2522 SE Clinton * 7 pm * $7


Acoustic fun with QUIETLY KEPT (Albuquerque) and locals Spider Moccasin at Red and Black Cafe. 400 SE 12th Ave * 3 pm * free * all ages

Nigerian-born drum master Nojeem Lasisi assembles a squad of Portland musicians to bring live Afro-beat to Portland. Jujuba is a revolving crew, but the horns and percussion are always tight and the dance floor’s always full.